ACT To Replace Its College COMPASS Placement Test

July 6th, 2015

Test sending too many into remediation
ACT is phasing out Compass, a popular course placement test that colleges use to determine whether students need to take remedial courses. Recent research has shown that Compass — and similar exams — funnels too many community college students into remediation. (Inside Higher Ed, June 18)

What Do Students Know About College Applications And Finance?

July 5th, 2015


By Rachel Fishman

Today, New America’s Education Policy Program released the second in a series of College Decisions Survey briefs that analyze new survey data about what prospective college students know about the college-going and financing process. Part II: The Application Process focuses on how students go about researching and applying to colleges. It looks at the number and type of schools and programs applied to and the search behaviors of prospective students.

With more than 7,500 colleges and universities in America, students have several options to choose from depending on a variety of factors such as price, location, and programs offered. So how do prospective students go about the process of applying to colleges? According to an online survey of 1,011 U.S. residents ages 16-40, who were largely prospective college students (with the remainder in their first semester of college), a majority of prospective students (60 percent) plan to apply to more than two colleges, and about three-quarters (76 percent) had already started their search. The survey was commissioned by New America and conducted by Harris Poll in October-November of 2014.

Though many prospective and recently-enrolled students had behaviors in common, the process of searching for a college did vary based on age. Adult prospective students were far more likely than their straight-out-of-high-school peers to intend to enroll in online or hybrid programs. In fact, 76 percent of 30-40 year olds planned to enroll in online-only or hybrid programs (which blend online and face-to-face courses), whereas 66 percent of students aged 16-19 planned to attend on-campus only at a traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ college or university.

It is clear in the college search and application process that older prospective students have different needs than younger students. And since students need to have good information in order to compare colleges and make an informed decision, it’s critical to consider how to meet the different needs of these demographics.

“While higher education operates in an imperfect market full of information asymmetry, policymakers and institutions can do better to make sure students are aware of their options–including providing information about face-to-face, online, and hybrid options,” said Rachel Fishman, senior policy analyst and the report’s author. “Targeting information to different demographics will ensure that they can make a college choice that makes sense for them academically and financially.”

More About the College Decisions Survey

New America commissioned Harris Poll to create and administer the College Decisions Survey. A national online survey was conducted between October 7th and November 3rd, 2014. The sample included 1,011 completed interviews and consisted of U.S. residents ages 16 to 40 who do not have college degrees and plan on enrolling in a two-year or four-year college within the next 12 months (n=747). The survey also included individuals who were in the first semester of their first year at a two-year or four-year college (n=264).

The five College Decisions Survey briefs will be released during the spring and summer of 2015 and will cover topics including:

  • Financial concerns during the postsecondary decision-making process Read the report here
  • The application process for different types of students
  • Students’ familiarity with financial aid
  • Students’ ability to estimate their loan debt and monthly payments
  • The college search process and helpfulness of various common resolutions

New Concepts For College Debt

July 2nd, 2015

Once seen as the Great Equalizer, the value of higher education in the era of soaring college debt has come into serious question.

In their new book, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream, authors William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue that our current system of financial assistance imposes debt debt on vulnerable students in exchange for the promise of a college degree that may never materialize. Ultimately, the greatest costs are borne by the low-income students who must rely on this system, while students from more affluent families emerge unscathed. As a result, the Great Equalizer is becoming the Great Reinforcer.

Rather than patching the student debt system, The Real College Debt Crisis proposes striving for a college preparation and finance mechanism that helps America live up to her ideals. By shifting from a debt-based model to an assets and investment based model, the authors suggest that our nation can build a system that rewards effort and talent and reduces inequality.

Follow the discussion online using #realcollegedebtcrisis and following @AssetsNAF.

A Smartphone or a PC, what is more useful for a student?

July 1st, 2015

By Melissa Burns

Nowadays it is difficult to see students with huge backpacks full of books. They were replaced by small smartphones, laptops and computers. Often when entering a college some freshmen may think what will be more useful for them? However, in our dynamic world all is fair in love and war.

The benefits of PC

Functionality of a smartphone

Smartphones are useful for their apps, but now there are a lot App for PC Hub‘s available for our good old desktops. Imagine the situation: you are a student who lives miles from home because of a college, and with these apps you can easily download your messenger to a computer, and thus keep in touch with your family and friends fast and free.

Poly-tasking

Another huge advantage of a PC is that you can simultaneously operate several programs and apps, not to mention the fact that at the same time you can watch a movie in another browser window. In a way, thanks to a PC a student becomes a real Julius Caesar, who was famous for his ability to do several things at one time.

Space

The screen of a desktop computer or notebook provides greater visual capabilities, and it is less stressful for your eyes if you read a lot or watch videos. Also, a regular keyboard is still a winner when it comes to writing papers and reports.

The benefits of a smartphone

Compactness

Of course, one of the main advantages of a smartphone is its size. The smartphone is easy to carry, download apps, make calls, set reminders, make notes. Your smartphone is your particle, it is an alarm clock, and an Address Book, and a camera, and a mirror, and a phone, and a library, and a cinema, and the cook, etc…  You don’t have to organize a special room for it, or buy a table, it can live comfortably in your pocket.

Savings

Yes, even though to get a good smartphone you’ll have to fork out, still it is a great way to save money. Firstly, if you are a student from another country, you can save on calls to your family. Apps such as viber help to make free calls around the globe. Secondly, soon you won’t have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on expensive educational publications, as the Google Play Books now allows to rent books for 180 days. It’s a bargain, since you do not have to buy the whole manual for the sake of one chapter.

Personal assistant

Another advantage of the smartphone is its ability to be always at hand: as a voice recorder at a lecture, as a music player in the gym, as a camera at a party. If you work on your report, it will always be there to record your thoughts.

Smartphones are definitely ahead, but some features they still are not capable of. So when you leave for college, you need to think well, why do you need a PC or smartphone, weigh all of the features and then make a decision.

Author’s bio

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. You may contact Melissa: burns.melissaa@gmail.com

US Ed Backs Down On College Rating System

June 26th, 2015

Higher Ed Accountability
Ratings without … rating
A U.S. Department of Education accountability system planned for release this summer will not compare colleges or assign scores, but will instead be a data-rich, consumer-facing tool on access, affordability and performance. (Inside Higher Ed, June 25)

An education agenda for 2016: Conservative solutions for expanding opportunity

June 25th, 2015

An education agenda for 2016: Conservative solutions for expanding opportunity

June 2015

Chester E. Finn Jr., Michael Q. McShane, John Bailey, Frederick M. Hess, Katharine B. Stevens, Diane Auer Jones, Kevin J. James, and Andrew P. Kelly; edited by Frederick M. Hess and Max Eden

Read Online Printable Copy

Key points

  • America’s pre-K, K–12, and higher education systems are in need of reform, but the Obama administration’s reform implementation efforts have been marked by an unprecedented expansion of federal authority and a remarkable faith in the ability of federal bureaucrats.
  • Although conservative presidential candidates might be tempted to double down on rhetoric about abolishing the federal role in education, conservatives should instead offer a reform agenda that clarifies how to tap into the strengths of the federal system to foster educational opportunity for all.
  • Specifically, these candidates should strive to expand educational options and access, increase transparency regarding school quality and student outcomes, make long-term investments in research and development, and eliminate burdensome regulations.

 

State Comparative Analysis of College Ready Policies

June 24th, 2015
Mapping College Ready Policies in the States

The current state landscape of higher education policies often prevents clear alignment between college expectations and high school standards for college and career readiness. This disconnect is visible in many places—in required coursework, minimum state standards for admission into higher education systems, academic merit requirements for financial aid, and course placement. Lindsey Tepe maps state-by-state college and career readiness data in the brand new data visualization platform Atlas.

atlas.newamerica.org/mapping-college-readiness

7 Ways For College Students to Make Extra Cash This Summer

June 23rd, 2015

BY JANE HURST

You may not be ready for a full-time job yet if you are a student, and obviously you want to enjoy your summers as much as possible. But, that takes money, and you need to find ways to earn money before you can go out and have fun. Luckily, there are all kinds of ways that you can make extra money so you can take part in all of the fun summer activities, including camping, concerts, and of course, days at the beach. Yes, you need money for all of these things, even if it is just to get a drink of soda. One way you can make money is to sell your phone. We’re not saying you need to get rid of your phone, but if you are planning on upgrading anyway, you may as well make some money off the old one. Here are some more ways you can make extra cash this summer.

  1. Sell Old Books – Have you amassed a big library of books over the years, but you don’t actually read them again once you have read them the first time? If so, sell those old books and make some extra money. There are plenty of used book stores that will pay you for those books, and there are websites dedicated to buying and selling used books.
  2. Online Tutoring – You can apply for online tutoring jobs once you have completed a few competency and placement tests. You can work from just about anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. You never have to actually go anywhere to work, and you can usually pick and choose your own hours.
  3. Babysitting – This isn’t just a way for teens to make extra spending money. If you can land a full-time babysitting job for the summer, you are going to have a pretty good income. If you don’t want to do it full time, there are plenty of other babysitting opportunities out there to help parents with part-time jobs or those who just want a break for a few hours.
  4. Offer Music/Art Lessons – If you play an instrument, or you have a particular artistic skill, you can offer lessons. The great thing about this is that you can teach from your own home, at the home of the clients, or even at some community centers for a small fee to rent the space. The latter is a better option if you intend to hold group classes.
  5. Promote Events – This is a great job for someone who doesn’t want a regular job. You can find out about local events going on, and get paid to promote them on your blog, website, social media, etc. Events can range from concerts, sporting events, or just promoting various products. You will have to contact local PR and advertising firms to find out about how to get into this.
  6. Dog Walking – If you love animals, this is a perfect way for you to earn money. You get to spend time with animals, walking and playing with them, and you get paid to do it. Not only will you make money, by the end of the summer you should be in pretty good shape from all of the exercise you will be getting.
  7. Pet Sitting – Another great money-making idea for animal lovers is pet sitting. This is especially lucrative in the summer, because people want to go on vacation but can’t always take their pets with them. Rather than taking the pets away from their homes and sticking them in a strange kennel somewhere, you will stay at the home and take care of the pets.

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot.

Top 10 Study Apps for College Students

June 22nd, 2015

BY KATE ROSIE

 

If you are one of those college students who are on tighter budget, you must be wondering how you will be able to go through your courses when you don’t have enough money to get access to powerful study tools. The good news is that there are still some great study tools which will cost you almost nothing, however, if you go for in purchase apps, you might have to pay a little money for use. In this article, you will be able to explore 10 amazingly useful tools for you.

1: iTunes University

 Apple has created an online iTunes University which has a huge database for the course material from almost all popular colleges and universities. You might also be able to find your school’s learning material on iTunes U and even if it is not available, you can still find similar material which will enable you to prepare yourself for exams.

 

  • Participation in private courses
  • Wide range of subjects
  • Courses from top universities
  • Notes and Highlights
  • Audio & video lectures
  • 750,000 free books, videos and lectures
  • Cultural institutions in thirty countries

2: Dictionary.com

Students can’t ignore vocabulary building as it helps them in their exams but most of the students have very limited access to the large number of words and if they try to be benefited with the resources, they have to pay. However, if they use dictionary.Com, it can let them have more than two million words with definition.

 

  • Word of the Day
  • Audio pronunciation
  • Voice search
  • Translation in 30 languages
  • 800 topics in fun language
  • Word Origin
  • Quiz Widget
  • Local lookups
  • Spelling suggestions

3: Exam Vocabulary Builder

It is claimed that more than six million people are using Exam Vocabulary Builder application to improve their vocabulary power. The vocabulary building source has been very effective in increasing language proficiency, professional advancement, and graduate or college entrance exams. This app is especially great for those who want to prepare themselves for TOEFL or ESL.

 

  • Illustrative sentences
  • Quick memorizing
  • Find vocabulary list
  • Clearly defined group words
  • Interesting quiz mode
  • Words organization

4: iStudiez Lite

If you need to prepare yourself for the semester quickly and you have already wasted a lot of time, iStudiez can be a perfect organizer for you this time as it will allow you to organize your exam schedule, assignment and coursework. The free version of this useful app will allow you to manage at least 15 classes and 15 assignments. In addition to this, you can also get 5 courses and 5 instructors.

 

  • Organize schedule
  • Follow up homework
  • Summarize classes and tasks
  • Up to date with pending tasks
  • Protect your data

5: Google Drive

Google Drive is a bunch of office use applications based on cloud and with the help of GD, you can take notes, develop presentations, create spreadsheets and draw diagrams and most important of all, you can keep all those files saved in cloud which can be accessed from a computer or a cellphone whenever needed.

 

  • View docs, PDFs, videos, photos etc
  • Easy file & folder sharing
  • Searching files by content or name
  • Quick access to the recent files
  • Check out details of files and other activities
  • Offline file viewing

6: Skype

You might be wondering how Skype comes in the category of study apps. Well, it has all the features which can make it a perfect study app such as voice chat, text chat, video calling, file sharing etc. When you have shortage of time and can’t personally visit your classmates to discuss something related to study, you can use Skype for effective and quick communication.

 

  • Send & receive messages
  • Send videos, photos and other files
  • Voice & video calls
  • Video messaging

7: Coursera

Coursera is basically a company that is involved in educational technology and providing its services through online courses for free. It has made partnership with some of the top universities to make a large number of courses available for everyone in computer science, social sciences, medicines, mathematics, biology, physics, humanities, business and all other major subjects. You can choose a course from hundreds of available courses, watch video lectures, complete assessments and connect with instructors and learners.

 

  • Online free courses
  • Browse catalog
  • Join courses
  • Learn anything anytime
  • Wide range of subjects

8: Evernote

Evernote is considered to be the most effective tool to take notes, compose, bookmark etc. The app can also be used for to-do-list. Eevernote is available on variety of platforms including mobile apps and web browsers. If you are working on a lengthy research paper, this simple app will help you stay focused on taking ideas. It will also enable you to collect information including snap photos, handwritten notes and web articles.

9: XMind XMindis considered to be one of the best mind mapping tools and when you are receiving ideas in your head, it helps you create simple charts and maps. When you have overloaded by the information and it seems impossible to find out the valuable ideas from loads of info, XMind will clarity your thinking. This tool will enable you to evaluate, connect and organize ideas. XMind supports variety of programs including MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, PDF, HTML, RTF, Plain Text, JPEG, PNG, GIF etc.

 

  • Mind mapping
  • Fishbone chart
  • Matrix
  • Local networking sharing
  • Brainstorming
  • Mind toolbox

10: MyScript Smart Note

MyScript Smart Note enables users to write, annotate and sketch images. With the help of this app, youcan export handwritten notes as text which can be searched, defined and edited. If you have stored notes in Evernote, GoogleDrive, DropBox or S-Note, you can share them via email. The capability of recognition of text is available in more than 59 languages. You can easily edit your notes with easy gestures. Erase, insert or join words all together.

 

  • Write notes naturally
  • Search notes
  • Share notes
  • Store notes
  • Edit notes with gestures
  • Use digital paper

Final Words

All of the above discussed study apps can be really helpful for the students to enhance their learning skills for their school, college or university studies. Students also find difficulty in preparation of custom essays, assignments, research papers, book reviews and other similar documents and the best solution to deal with these issues is to get help from Coursework home where you can assistance from professionals.

About the Author

Kate Rosie is a technology writer from Southern California with an extreme passion for technology writing. She is also a strong supporter of integrating technology into education and for this she shows her support by writing articles time to time discussing advantages of technology.

 

How Can Technology Enhance College Student Creativity?

June 18th, 2015

By Jane Hurst

If you are finding your education boring, you are doing it wrong. Believe it or not, your professors want you to be creative, even if you think that they simply want you to repeat what you have learned back to them in term papers and exams. The more creative you are, the better you are ultimately going to do in your studies. So, how do you get more creative? If you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, there are things you can do to change that, such as using the following creativity-enhancing apps.

  • Storybuddy – This is another story app that lets you create and share stories. You can draw right on the screen with your finger to create picture books, and add text that you can easily customize with a built-in keyboard. You can even add your own photos to really make stories your own.
  • Explain Everything – This is an interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool that you can use to animate, import, narrate, annotate, and export just about anything you can think of.
  • Forte – Even if you have no musical training, you can still learn how to write musical scores. Not only is this going to take your creativity to the next level, you will also notice numerous other benefits, such as having an outlet for stress relief with your song writing. Learn more about how you can start writing music at Forte.
  • Educreations – This app gives you a white board you can record with. You can use it to create video tutorials, explain mathematical formulas, create animations, and so much more. You can even put commentary on your photos.
  • Show Me – Another whiteboard app, you will be able to create voice-over white board tutorials, and even share them with others via the Internet. This app is geared for users of all levels, and is extremely easy to use.
  • Popplet – This is a great app for both school and work. It is a platform that lets you capture and sort ideas, collaborate with other people in real time, and so much more. And, you can do it all quickly and easily.
  • Idea Sketch – Convert drawings to text, and text into drawings easily with this app that you can use for pretty much anything your imagination can come up with. Illustrate concepts, brainstorm with others, create lists, plan presentations, and a whole lot more.
  • Draw Free for iPad – If you are into drawing and painting, this is the app for you. You can use it to make your ideas come alive, and it is suitable for hobbyists and professional artists alike. Even kids can have loads of fun using this app.
  • Animation Creator HD – Have you ever thought that you would love to try your hand at animation? Now you can when you use this app. There are easy-to-use drawing tools that have plenty of power, as well as loads of color options. You can create realistic animations with Retina quality and a high frame rate playback.
  • I Tell A Story – This is a great app for kids so they can narrate and record their own stories. This is a full-scale audio recording and editing tool, plus there are many other things you can do, including record stories yourself. You can include music and humorous sound effects to the recordings, and even turn stories into audio books.
  • Strip Designer – Create fun comic strips with your own photos. There are loads of cool templates, and you can add word balloons, effect symbols or stickers such as “splash” and “boom”. This is really going to make your stories fun, and you can share your graphic novels with friends and family.

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot.

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