Edtech News Round Up: Data Transparency, Net Neutrality, and Robots

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Will data transparency help broaden students’ career options? The Association of American Universities believes so.

Push for Big Change in Graduate STEM Ed

A report by the National Academies is encouraging STEM graduate programmes to provide more data transparency and focus on developing transferable skills.

This is a response to the shifting industry landscape, which has resulted in a broader variety of career outcomes.

Recently, the Association of American Universities called on member institutions to offer current and prospective graduate students more information about student demographics, average times to finish a degree, and financial support.

The Association is also encouraging members to be transparent with data on previous student career paths and outcomes both inside and outside academia.

Scientific fields are merging and students must become familiar with multiple disciples as well as having an area of specialized expertise. Because of this the report also proposes that core competencies and transferable skills should be at the center of any graduate STEM program.

The aim of the change is to support students in exploring career options within the changing science landscape.

Roombas, Refrigerators and Other Unexpected Tech That Teachers Actually Ask For

Classroom technology is usually associated with things like iPads or SMART boards. However, teachers across America are using non-traditional ways to help students think differently about technology.

Like a Roomba for example. If you didn’t know, this is a robot vacuum cleaner with sensors. Preschool teachers have used there to teach young students about robotics and empathy.

The goal was to show students what a real robot does in contrast to how they see them in cartoons or on TV. Students could get a clearer idea of how robots can be used to help people and the presence of technology all around us.

This is part of a nationwide trend as teachers using unexpected or everyday technology in creative ways to teach valuable lessons and to get children excited about tech learning.

Google Expeditions App Now Offers Augmented Reality Tours

Google added AR tech to its Expeditions app last week.

The app allows students to use AR in their learning. Practical applications could see students taking a more interactive approach to learning about subject areas such as medical science or getting to grips with the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. There are currently some 800 “tours” already available.

Unfortunately, however, use is limited because the app requires an ARCore or ARKit-compatible device in order to use it.

California Senate Votes to Restore Net Neutrality

California State has voted to approve a bill that would reinstate the previous net neutrality regulations previously repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Following the FCC’s move to eliminate net neutrality, states began to implement their own measures.

The bill would reinstate the rules of the 2015 Open Internet Order. This will forbid ISPs from controlling online content, requiring them to treat all internet traffic equally.

If the bill passes, internet providers will not be able to obtain government contracts in the state of California without obeying the regulations.

Federal net neutrality is set to end on 11 June, leaving states to legislate their own protections. California would be the third state, along with Washington and Oregon, to pass a new net neutrality law following the repeal.

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