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A Provocative Protest Pits Pro- and Anti-Gun Activists

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 25, 2016 - 2:47am
Concealed handguns are now legal in public-college classrooms in Texas. On the first day of classes at the University of Texas at Austin since the law took effect, opponents and supporters expressed their views with signs, slogans, and sex toys.
Categories: Higher Education News

9 Consejos Útiles para Padres en este Regreso a Clases

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 24, 2016 - 1:47pm

El regreso a clases puede ser un tiempo de locura y ansiedad para padres de familia y sus hijos. Estos son algunos de nuestros mejores consejos para asegurar que este nuevo año de clases tenga un buen comienzo.

 


Recorre el camino que tu hijo seguirá para ir a la escuela y toma nota de patrulleros escolares, guardias de cruces peatonales y áreas de tráfico en el transcurso. Conversa con tus hijos sobre NO hablar con extraños e investiga cuáles son las reglas en tu escuela sobre la llegada temprana o tardía. Pregunta sobre los procesos de entrada y salida en la escuela. Si es posible, pasa a visitar la escuela y conoce las instalaciones por dentro.

 


Presentate con los maestros de tus hijos y pregunta cuál es su método de comunicación de preferencia. Algunos maestros son más activos en medios sociales o por correo electrónico, mientras otros prefieren llamadas de teléfono o reuniones en persona.

 


Haz de las tareas un hábito diario. Encuentra un lugar tranquilo y constante en tu hogar donde tus niños puedan realizar la tarea. Si tu hijo(a) está teniendo dificultades con su tarea, busca ayuda de su profesor lo antes posible.

 


Asigna un lugar especial en tu hogar para hacer tareas escolares. Elimina distracciones. Comunica claramente que la educación es de alta prioridad en tu familia mostrando interés y celebrando el trabajo de tus niños.

 


Limita el tiempo que tus niños tienen permitido ver televisión, y cuando decidas que es momento de hacerlo, hazlo una actividad en familia. Platiquen de lo que están viendo y haz preguntas al final de la programación.

 


Es natural que durante el verano los niños no sigan un horario específico. Sin embargo, el descanso adecuado es esencial para un año saludable y productivo. Ayuda a tus hijos a adaptarse a su rutina de descanso de nuevo, llevándolos a dormir y despertando más temprano, por lo menos una semana antes del inicio de clases.

 


Seamos realistas – nadie se puede concentrar estando hambriento. Los estudios muestran que aquellos niños que comen desayunos y almuerzos balanceados y nutritivos son más exitosos en la escuela. Prepara comidas nutritivas en tu hogar y, si necesitas ayuda, investiga si tu familia califica para programas de nutrición como el Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares.

 


Siempre es buena idea llevar a tu niño(a) por un examen físico y de la vista antes de comenzar la escuela. La mayoría de las escuelas requieren que los estudiantes tengan sus vacunas al dia, y en veces piden documentación para demostrar que los niños están al tanto de sus estudios médicos. Investiga los requisitos de vacunación en tu estado y siempre ten a la mano copias de su historial médico.

 


Lleva un plan de lectura con tu hijo(a) por al menos 20 minutos al dia. Tu ejemplo reforzará la importancia de la literatura y ayudará a tu niño(a) a explorar nuevos mundos divertidos y aventuras juntos.

Adria Márquez es la Directora de Contenido Digital para el Departamento de Educación.

The post 9 Consejos Útiles para Padres en este Regreso a Clases appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

Duke U. Lays Claim to $10 Million From Oilman’s Estate

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 12:12pm
The university filed probate-court papers on Tuesday seeking more than $9.9 million in what it says were unfunded pledges made by the oil and gas magnate Aubrey McClendon before his death, in March, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Categories: Higher Education News

Meet the Sex Shops in Austin, Tex., That Put the Cocks in ‘Cocks Not Glocks’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 11:35am
The University of Texas flagship prohibits dildos in public but, thanks to the state’s new campus-carry law, allows guns. Students are protesting, and local proprietors are lending a hand.
Categories: Higher Education News

Meet the Sex Shops in Austin, Tex., That Put the Cocks in ‘Cocks Not Glocks’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 11:35am
The University of Texas flagship prohibits dildos but, thanks to the state’s new campus-carry law, allows guns. Students are protesting, and local proprietors are lending a hand.
Categories: Higher Education News

You Don’t Know Your Students. This Professor Hopes to Change That.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 11:00am
Michael Wesch, an associate professor of anthropology at Kansas State University, joins his students for an unusual tour of their lives beyond the classroom.
Categories: Higher Education News

You Don’t Know Your Students. This Professor Hopes to Change That.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 11:00am
Michael Wesch, an associate professor of anthropology at Kansas State University, joins his students for an unusual tour of their lives beyond the classroom.
Categories: Higher Education News

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 2:55am
This fall Chad A. Goldberg will teach students the significance of the "Wisconsin Idea," a longstanding principle in the state-university system’s mission statement that was almost overturned last year by the governor.
Categories: Higher Education News

NYU’s Graduate Union: Success Story or Cautionary Tale?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 2:55am
The NLRB’s ruling on Tuesday, that graduate students are employees, prompts a look back at the labor-union battle that started it all.
Categories: Higher Education News

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 2:55am
This fall Chad A. Goldberg will teach students the significance of the "Wisconsin Idea," a longstanding principle in the state-university system’s mission statement that was almost overturned last year by the governor.
Categories: Higher Education News

NYU’s Graduate Union: Success Story or Cautionary Tale?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 2:55am
The NLRB’s ruling on Tuesday, that graduate students are employees, prompts a look back at the labor-union battle that started it all.
Categories: Higher Education News

Ruling Pushes Door to Grad-Student Unions ‘Wide Open’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:01pm
The National Labor Relations Board’s decision in a case involving Columbia University has made clear that graduate-employee unions are legal at private colleges. Experts predict a surge in organizing similar to what has taken place among adjuncts.
Categories: Higher Education News

Ruling Pushes Door to Grad-Student Unions ‘Wide Open’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:01pm
The National Labor Relations Board’s decision in a case involving Columbia University has made clear that graduate-employee unions are legal at private colleges. Experts predict a surge in organizing similar to what has taken place among adjuncts.
Categories: Higher Education News

Will the NLRB's Columbia Ruling Tarnish the 'College Experience'? A Closer Look

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 12:41pm
The board's lone dissenter said a host of unwelcome behaviors were likely to take hold at private colleges. The other members largely dismissed that concern.
Categories: Higher Education News

Will the NLRB's Columbia Ruling Tarnish the 'College Experience'? A Closer Look

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 12:41pm
The National Labor Relations Board's lone dissenter said a host of unwelcome behaviors were likely to take hold at private colleges. The other members largely dismissed that concern.
Categories: Higher Education News

Out to 'Impress' a Woman, U. of Pittsburgh Student Instead Needs to Be Rescued

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 11:18am
"The young man met a girl, brought her up to a rooftop, and decided to impress her by leaping from one roof to the next," a city spokeswoman said. He ended up stuck beside a Qdoba restaurant.
Categories: Higher Education News

In Victory for Union Efforts, NLRB Rules Columbia U. Grad Students Are Employees

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:38am
The National Labor Relations Board's 3-to-1 decision reverses a 2004 ruling involving Brown University. That decision barred graduate students at private colleges from unionizing.
Categories: Higher Education News

Stanford Bans Hard Liquor From Undergraduate Parties

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:37am
The university's students and faculty and staff members have been talking about its troubling alcohol culture since March.
Categories: Higher Education News

North Dakota Open Educational Resources Initiative: A System-wide Success Story

WCET Frontiers Blog - August 23, 2016 - 9:31am
Overview

The North Dakota University System Open Educational Resources Initiative is a 3-phased plan hinging upon a unique collaboration among the North Dakota legislature, the University System Office, and the faculty at public institutions across the state. At the intersection of these three entities are change leaders who have come together for a common goal of improving higher education by reducing textbook costs for students. A 2015 post previewed this work, and this post outlines the plan, the people, and the product.

Project Inception

The American public has called for a change.  Higher education is expensive and the national student debt load is collectively around $1.3 trillion. Lawmakers and educators in North Dakota are interested in ideas that might reduce the cost of attendance at ND public institutions. During the 63rd Legislative Session, Thomas Beadle, a young representative, sponsored a legislative study and resolution urging the North Dakota University System to increase the use of open textbooks as a way to cut costs for college students. In 2013, the Legislative council estimated that North Dakota students spent around $1,100 per year on textbooks. Rep. Beadle described how the idea came about:

“Going into the 2013 legislative session, I really wanted to focus on our students and how we can try to look at new ways of helping them.  For years we have been talking about the growing levels of tuition and fees, but we hadn’t done anything that looked at the other costs associated with going to school.  As a young, recent college grad, I remember how frustrating it was to have to buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of books each semester, and only be able to get a fraction of that cost back when I would try to sell them later on.  I knew that the internet and technology was changing the game in how content was being delivered, but I hadn’t been seeing it on my campus, and knew that as a state we could do better.”

ND Rep. Thomas Beadle

“In collaboration with some friends of mine, who had faced very similar frustrations about rapid cost increases for books and ‘silent expenses’ that went in to their education, we came up with Open Textbooks as being a first step for North Dakota to look at in order to try and help the students of the state not only save a few dollars, but also to help them get a more active learning tool.”

“While I knew about Open Textbooks and the impact that they could have, the whole world of Open Educational Resources was very foreign to me.  Fortunately, we had Dr. Spilovoy, a very visionary leader in the ND University System who would take our resolution pushing the NDUS to explore this new technology and run with it.  When I introduced the concept, and got legislative approval, I had hoped to start a conversation and try to move the ball forward a little bit.  I hadn’t expected the tremendous snowball effect that it would create!”

Gaining Funding and Support

In order for a system-wide initiative to succeed, there had to be stakeholders involved at every level. A bipartisan and student-focused group of legislators on the Interim Higher Education Funding Committee supported the idea and provided a platform for innovation and feedback. The North Dakota University System put together a team made up of faculty, a student, technologists, and provosts to draft a white paper exploring the concept of open textbooks in response to the legislative request. Because I work with Academic Affairs and Technology at the NDUS system office, I was on the team that wrote the white paper. And after the legislative session, I was asked to lead the Open Educational Resources Initiative for NDUS. Over the next few months, I spent a significant amount of time researching, planning, and preparing presentations, and collaborating with stakeholders across the North Dakota University System.

Governance, cost, collaboration and policy considerations were paramount to the planning process. I wanted to find and partner with a repository of open education materials instead of having to create and maintain a library. The University System is built on the concept of academic freedom. Faculty own the curriculum and choose materials for the courses they teach. I knew that faculty development, support and buy-in were key to the success of the project. An effective approach would be to empower campuses to create and implement open educational resources and textbooks in a way that best suited their unique mission, vision, and faculty. Finally, I knew that funding would be necessary and that the legislature would be interested in seeing a return on its investment. I put together a project concept and presented it at the Interim Higher Education Funding Committee.

OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES PARTNERSHIP CONCEPT:
Improving Student Access, Affordability, and Academic Success

Textbook costs create a financial burden on college students that can impact their academic success and their financial health. North Dakota University System students each pay an estimated average of $1,100 per year for academic course textbooks. Open textbooks and other open educational resources can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs and reduce the cost of attendance. Open textbooks are complete, real textbooks that are licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed. Open educational resources include peer-reviewed videos, simulations, lesson plans, and many other openly licensed materials.

By replacing traditional textbooks with open textbooks and open educational resources, the cost of attendance would be reduced without impacting the budget of the college or university. And faculty would have the opportunity to adopt open textbooks and educational materials that they can edit to best meet the needs of their students.

Concept Overview: Implement a system-wide Open Educational Resources initiative throughout North Dakota University System in three phases:

  • Phase 1. Partner with the Open Textbook Network and the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library to build on proven success. Expand to other Open Educational Resources opportunities that would benefit our students and faculty. Phase I will introduce open textbooks to faculty with support, professional development, and stipends.
  • Phase 2. Train a trainer at each campus so that the campuses begin taking ownership to reduce textbook costs for students. NDUS would also host an Open Educational Resources Summit.
  • Phase 3. North Dakota Open Educational Resources Ideation Grant. Campuses would be challenged to design and implement their own campus-wide open educational resources initiative. Funded proposals will include support and collaboration from campus administrators, faculty, technologists, and others on campus. Proposals can include a variety of peer-reviewed open educational materials such as open and/or digital textbooks, videos, simulations, and other resources that replace traditional textbooks and reduce cost of attendance for students. Campus proposals will be funded based on actual dollars saved in student textbook costs.
The Report Prompts Legislative Action

The work between sessions set the stage for successful implementation. And in the 64th Legislative session, Representative Thomas Beadle introduced legislation to fund a project to increase the use of Open Educational Resources. The governor and legislature supported the project with funding even though overall budgets had been cut state-wide. The final budget appropriation was $110,000.

Of the legislative appropriation to support the Open Educational Resources Initiative, Rep Beadle said, “One of the benefits of a state like North Dakota, is that we are a small community.  While that can be seen as a limitation by many, it has actually helped us experience rapid success.  We are small enough to be nimble and adapt quickly. Every stakeholder knows that they need to work with others in order to get things done, and we need to develop and foster relationships to get things done well.  We have really created a strong team atmosphere that is working together to push OER in North Dakota, and to make this a success for our students, our institutions, and our state.  The buy-in and leadership we have seen on our campuses within the faculty has been tremendous, and the assistance provided by our University System office has been crucial.  As a lawmaker who is responsible to the citizens and the taxpayers, being able to see the return on investment has been crucial.  Knowing that we have the players and stakeholders all seeing benefits, and seeing ways that we can improve and operate more efficiently, has allowed us to be able to get legislative support for these initiatives, and hopefully to continue to provide that support in the future.”

Data Shows Progress

In order to show progress, cost savings, and project success, I began working on baseline project data. In 2013, Babson Survey Group released “Opening the Curriculum: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014.” I contacted Dr. Jeff Seaman of Babson Survey Group and asked if we could collaborate on a survey report comparing ND’s baseline data to the national survey data. He responded positively, and by October, 2015, we released “Opening Public Institutions: OER in North Dakota and the Nation, 2015.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • NDUS faculty are more aware of open educational resources than their counterparts nationally.
  • Similar to their peers nationally, NDUS faculty are taking the initiative with OER adoption. NDUS faculty report similar barriers to adoption; however, they also report that they are currently using a variety of OERs for instruction (primarily videos).
  • More than half of NDUS faculty and those at national public institutions report that they are not sufficiently aware of OER to judge its quality.
  • The most significant barrier to wider adoption of OER remains a faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it.
  • Faculty are the key decision makers for OER adoption. At the two-year Associates level, North Dakota University System faculty enjoy significantly more autonomy in the selection of course materials than their peers who teach at the associates level at public institutions nationally.
  • A majority of North Dakota University System faculty say that they “will” or “might” use open resources in the next three years.
Project in Motion

The NDUS joined the Open Textbook Network and began collaborating with other partner institutions already implementing open educational resources projects. I assembled a NDUS OER Steering Committee made up of a student representative, faculty members from each institution type, a legislator, and national experts in open education.  In October, 2015, I organized a system-wide Open Educational Resources Summit at Valley City State University. Provosts were asked to send campus OER leadership teams made up of innovative faculty, librarians, instructional designers, and open-minded individuals. David Ernst, Ph. D., the Director of the Center for Open Education and Executive Director of the Open Textbook Network spoke and conducted a faculty workshop on open education and the adoption of open textbooks. Faculty that reviewed an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library and wrote a peer review received a $250 stipend.

The NDUS Open Educational Resources Campus Grants Call for Proposals was announced. Campus teams left the NDUS Open Educational Resources Summit energized to create their own campus plans and submit for funding.

On March 4, 2016, the OER Steering Committee met to review campus OER project proposals and give feedback. The initial state investment was $110,000. The first four funded proposals include estimated student cost savings of more than $2 million for school year 2016-2017.  Three of the campus projects will provide faculty stipends to revamp general education courses using open source materials and textbooks. One project at the University of North Dakota will make Robinson’s “The History of North Dakota” an open textbook. Another round of grant proposals is due in October, 2016 with four more $10,000 institutional grants anticipated.

The final financial impact of this initiative will be calculated at the end of the 2017 fiscal year. In the words of Senator Tim Flakoll, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, “The Open Educational Resources Initiative could well go down in history as having the highest return on any higher education investment we’ve made in the last 25 years.”

___________________________________________________

Call for Proposals: NDUS Open Educational Resources Special Projects

The North Dakota University System seeks grant proposals that implement high-impact, collaborative projects in support of open education and reduced textbook costs for students.

Applications for any amount of funding up to $10,000 are welcome from North Dakota University stakeholders, including faculty, librarians, technologists, administrators, students, and bookstore staff. Projects must involve the creation, adaptation or innovative use of Open Educational Resources (OER), which are educational materials that are openly licensed to the public to freely use, adapt, and share.

Sustainable adoption of OER is a complex issue with many parts, including course redesign, open material reviews, technology support, curriculum mapping, and much more. Project proposals will be evaluated using a rubric that balances the following criteria to prioritize impact and collaboration:

  1. Student savings on textbooks.
  2. Quality considerations such as use of peer reviewed resources, attribution/copyright clearance, and ADA compliance.
  3. Serving a campus or discipline where the availability or use of OER is underrepresented
  4. Collective commitments, such as:
    1. Department-wide commitments (for example, redesign all sections of a class, or all classes in a sequence), or
    2. Multi-institutional commitments (for example, collaborators on more than one community college campus, commitment to implement at more than one campus, or a 4-year partner).
    3. Institutional in-kind (e.g. release time) or cash match commitments (not required but may be considered favorably during the review process).
  5. Assessment plan to demonstrate improved student savings, learning, retention, and success.

Completed proposals should be no longer than three well-written pages and signed by the applicants and supervisors. The OER Steering Committee anticipates making 5-10 awards. Proposals are due 5 pm Monday, February 29, 2016. The NDUS OER Steering Committee will notify applicants by 5 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016.

___________________________________________________

Tanya’s Tips and Take-Aways
  1. Focus on Students. When leading an Open Educational Resources project, focus on making a difference for students. It is motivating to think that more people will have the opportunity to access information, and that students won’t have to go into more debt because of high textbook costs. Student associations and leaders will be excited to help promote an Open Educational Resources Initiative.
  2. Empower the Faculty. Faculty rarely get to showcase the amazing things they do in their classrooms because they are busy focusing on and teaching students. Make faculty the super stars when talking about Open Educational Resources. Ask expert faculty to talk about how they’re using open textbooks and resources in their classrooms. You will be amazed what you’ll learn from faculty. The faculty will learn from them.
  3. Collect the Data. You need to show a return on investment. Collect baseline data on student textbook costs, faculty needs, barriers to adoption, and faculty understanding of Open Educational Resources and textbooks. At the culmination of the project, collect follow-up data so that you’ll be able to show growth, improvement, and textbook cost savings.
  4. Customize the Message. There are many reasons why replacing high-cost textbooks with free textbooks and resources makes sense. However, different groups of stakeholders care about different things. Customize your presentations and message to reflect what folks care about. Faculty are interested in protecting academic freedom, having the autonomy to choose and customize resources, adopting quality learning materials, and helping students meet the course objectives. Talk about how OER can meet faculty needs. Legislators and administrators are interested in initiatives that will be successful and reflect positively on their state and institutions. They want to see a good return on any monetary or time investment. Remember that legislators and administrators are also parents, neighbors, and friends; everyone cares about education. Students are interested in saving money, being engaged, and the convenience of accessing learning materials variety of formats on any device. All of these viewpoints are valid, and you’ll find great success if you focus your presentation on what matters to the audience.
  5. Find your People. There are innovative, excited, supportive people who are interested in improving higher education. Spend time with them and absorb their energy. Listen to their ideas; ask what they think of your ideas. Give them credit when they help you. All along this journey, there have been people who have opened doors, offered encouragement, and signed on the dotted line because they believed in it. There will also be people who hate change, and/or dislike you. There might even be folks who actively work to stop or sabotage your project. That’s ok. You don’t need to waste time trying to change them or fight about it. Think of them as part of the adventure. Smile, be polite but firmly state you will continue the work, and then find a pathway around their roadblocks. I’ve discovered that many of the people who initially resisted the project are now actively working to promote it. Focus your time and energy on the people who will contribute to the project’s success. Keep your eyes on the prize, and never give up on your goal.

 

Tanya M. Spilovoy, Ed. D.
Director, Distance Education and State Authorization
North Dakota University System
Tanya.spilovoy@ndus.edu


Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 23, 2016 - 7:00am

Back to school time can be a hectic time for both you and the kiddos. These are some of our best back to school tips to help ensure this school year gets off to a great start!

 

 

Walk or ride the route your child will take and make note of school patrols, crossing guards and high traffic areas along the way. Talk to your kids about NOT talking to strangers and find out what, if any, policies your child’s school has regarding early arrivals or late pick-ups. Learn about the school’s entrance and exit policies. Then, if you can, pop in and check out what the inside of the school looks like.

 


Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and ask him or her about the preferred method of communication. (Some teachers are active on email and social media, while others prefer the phone or in-person meetings.)

 


Make homework time a daily habit. Find a quiet and consistent place at home where your child can complete his or her homework. If your child is having difficulty with his or her homework, make an appointment with the teacher sooner rather than later.



Set up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Remove distractions. Make it clear that education is a top priority in your family: show interest and praise your child’s work.



Limit the time that you let your child watch TV, and when you do decide to do TV time, make it a family affair. Talk together about what you see and ask questions after the show ends.



During the summer, children aren’t always on a schedule, which is understandable. But, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your kids get back on track sleep-wise by having them go to bed earlier and wake up earlier at least a week in advance of when school actually starts.

 


Let’s face it – no one can concentrate when they’re hungry. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. Fix nutritious meals at home, and, if you need extra help, find out if your family qualifies for any child nutrition programs, like the National School Lunch Program.

 


It’s a good idea to take your child in for a physical and an eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations, and you may be asked to provide paperwork showing that your child has all the necessary shots and vaccines. So, check your state’s immunization requirements. And, always keep your own copies of any medical records.



Make a plan to read with your child for 20 minutes every day. Your example reinforces the importance of literacy, and reading lets you and your child explore new worlds of fun and adventure together.

Dorothy Amatucci is a Digital Engagement Strategist at the U.S. Department of Education.

The post Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

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