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EdTech Insights

The future is now

Is plagiarism just bad manners?

Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker, Malcolm Gladwell created a stir on Twitter when he shared that he thought, “plagiarism [was] just bad manners…” This was his response to plagiarism allegations against him, during his interview with Daily Beast.

His reasoning was that plagiarism was not the journalistic sin it is made out to be, but rather that “the notion of originality” is narcasisstic. He argues that journalism cannot acknowledge that it is highly derivitave in nature, and therefore enforces originality on the level of the sentence. Basically if someone takes your words and makes something new with it, he “doesn’t care.”

But according to Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing, it is precisely this “I don’t care” attitude that lies at the core of plagiarism. The apathy of not caring about academic excellence leads to plagiarism and contract cheating.

The challenges related to plagiarism and contract cheating are becoming greater as the digital world and access to information freely shared grows. But this should not make us care less about plagiarism – in fact, we should become even more dilligent in how we credit thoughts and ideas. As in all things in life – where rules are no longer respected, unfortunate consequences follow.

Similarly if we loosen up the rules for plagiarism – what would the consequences for academic standards and credibility be?

We have to keep pushing for academic integrity, where plagiarism is more than “bad manners”, but rather an unacceptable act that equates to theft of ideas, thoughts and words.

Agree? Maintain Academic Integrity at your institution. Let us help you.

*Source: Turnitin Blog

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It’s apathy that leads to academic misconduct.

Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing

Education. Technology. Innovation

Next level digital teaching and learning

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Next level digital teaching & learning

Today’s students have high expectations of their learning experiences.  Due to their everyday exposure to technology, there is a need for highly engaging learning experiences. Most importantly they demand a learning environment that not only gives them the qualifications they need, but also the skills to be successful in the workplace.

Often institutions invest in the hardware and software systems that are the norm when it comes to the digital learning journey. But how confident are you that you are able to use this technology to its full potential?  Learn how our Digital Teaching and Learning Series (eteacher powered by Blackboard) enabled educators from the University of Johannesburg to take their digital teaching and learning tools to the next level.

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The best training I’ve received so far.

Belinda Schutte

Education. Technology. Innovation

Plagiarism is just bad manners

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Is plagiarism just bad manners?

Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker, Malcolm Gladwell created a stir on Twitter when he shared that he thought, “plagiarism [was] just bad manners…” This was his response to plagiarism allegations against him, during his interview with Daily Beast.

His reasoning was that plagiarism was not the journalistic sin it is made out to be, but rather that “the notion of originality” is narcasisstic. He argues that journalism cannot acknowledge that it is highly derivitave in nature, and therefore enforces originality on the level of the sentence. Basically if someone takes your words and makes something new with it, he “doesn’t care.”

But according to Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing, it is precisely this “I don’t care” attitude that lies at the core of plagiarism. The apathy of not caring about academic excellence leads to plagiarism and contract cheating.

The challenges related to plagiarism and contract cheating are becoming greater as the digital world and access to information freely shared grows. But this should not make us care less about plagiarism – in fact, we should become even more dilligent in how we credit thoughts and ideas. As in all things in life – where rules are no longer respected, unfortunate consequences follow.

Similarly if we loosen up the rules for plagiarism – what would the consequences for academic standards and credibility be?

We have to keep pushing for academic integrity, where plagiarism is more than “bad manners”, but rather an unacceptable act that equates to theft of ideas, thoughts and words.

Agree? Maintain Academic Integrity at your institution. Let us help you.

*Source: Turnitin Blog

Get in touch

It’s apathy that leads to academic misconduct.

Christine Lee, Adjunct Professor of Writing

Education. Technology. Innovation

Expand the traditional campus – go mobile

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Expand the traditional campus - go mobile

As the idea of the “traditional” student disappears from higher education, campus communities are responding to an increasingly diverse student body, with a wide range of backgrounds, interests and perspectives. To ensure that all students, regardless of these differences, experience a study journey that meets the standards above, we must expand the traditional campus to deliver on the individual needs of each student. More and more institutions are realising that mobile can offer the flexibility to create personalized experiences with a platform that can scale across large student bodies and many campuses.

Learn how you can deploy mobile to support student success across all student demographics and enable a vibrant campus that each student can experience in their own way.

1.Enhance real-life campus experiences

Deploy an app that will help students get oriented on campus, informs them of mandatory and optional orientation events, and gives them opportunities to connect with other students.

2. Make course enrollment easy

Use your campus app to decrease the barriers for students to enroll in college and progress at a steady pace towards college completion.

3. Support students with financial aid information

Students may be eligible for grants they never knew existed, and, with some support, might be able to rearrange their budgets to find that extra funding.

4. Create engaging, personalised communications

Ensure your students are getting information that is critical to their success on campus. Too often, student emails go ignored and pile up, only to get batch deleted when inboxes become full.

5. Help students skill-up, no matter the skills they’re looking for

Students are increasingly looking for customised learning experiences that incorporate digital options. Take your in-app offerings one step further and use mobile to support student learning.

6. Prioritise student wellness and mental health

Incorporate a wellness module into your campus app, featuring content like tips for starting a meditation practice, managing competing priorities, or starting a new habit, such as regular exercise.

8. Keep students on track with degree progression

Make sure your students know how many more credits they need to graduate, which required classes they need to take, and how they are tracking towards college completion

9. Bring together your campus community

Mobile can bring people together under shared interests and keep students connected to your institution.

10. Deliver on a student support system

Having a support system is key to student success. Give parents, family members and other student supporters access to campus information through the app.

Get in touch

Unlock mobile innovation.

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation

Cloud servers reduce costs up to 21%

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Cloud servers reduce costs up to 21%

While the impression is there that a cloud server is potentially more risky than hosting data on an internal server, IT leaders in Higher Education believe the so-called “Cloud” is the way of the future for Educational Institutions. In fact hosting in the cloud can save an institution up to 21% in cost!

Data is dynamic. Constantly moving, constantly accelerating in terms of size and speed. The only way to stay up to speed competitively is to host this constant stream of data on a cloud-based server. But what are the implications for an institution if they were to opt for cloud? Here are a few key benefits:

More space

A cloud-base server means access to virtual space. This means institutions can handle higher volumes of inquiries and admissions, improving overall performance.

Cost-saving

Less human resources, less equipment, less on-premises security needed. In short less infrastructure translates to less costs

Security

Yes, handled correctly a cloud-based server can actually be safer than your data locked up in a room with human protection. Protected 24/7 with less technical disruptions and physical threats such as fire, power failures and physical security.

Ease of access

Share information immediately across your institution. A cloud-based system offers a standardised administrative process, with the advantage of immediate roll-out of all changes.

Want to opt for cloud? We have the SIS for you

Get in touch

Consistent campus management. Delivered.

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation

Best practices in action

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Exchange best practices to put ideas into action

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Confucius

BbWorld is the once-a -year event that brings together the brightest learning professionals from all over the world. Attending this event, affords you the opportunity to see and do. Experience innovation in education and professional development, participate in peer-driven discussions, network and learn about tech best practices. Over three days, you get to choose the deep-dive sessions that suit your background and expertise and take away practical insights that you can apply to your learning programmes.

When: 23-25 July 2019

Where:  Austin, USA

Why…

IMPROVE YOUR ORGANISATION

Invest in your organisation or institution! Attending BbWorld gives your team the chance to participate in sessions and programmes that are specifically designed to empower users. This means it is so practical, it equips participants to take back what they’ve learnt and apply it in their work environment. The main focus is on creating a greater impact overall.

CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

Networking will always stay relevant. With higher education, K-12, corporate and government industries represented, you’ll have the chance to speak with peers from around the world. Share and learn from best practices with others, while making new connections throughout the event.

BECOME A POWER USER

We offer ample training opportunities to ensure you’re well acquainted with our technology. By attending BbWorld 2019, you’ll be better suited to use the tools you already have and come up with new ways to enhance the learner experience.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Stay up to date with the latest in tech trends, with leaders in the industry as keynote speakers and trending topics in edtech. We also address challenges and give you a chance to speak with industry leaders.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Arrive a few days earlier and make the most of your time in Austin. The Blackboard Analytics Symposium also in Austin, TX on July 22-23, as is the Leadership Summit, followed by BbWorld 2019. Learn more about the BB Analytics Symposium here or the Leadership Summit here.

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Learning in the hands of technology – is revolutionary.

Eiffel Corp

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

Future-fit Institutions

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Is your institution future-fit?

We are almost halfway through 2019! While the year seems to be moving fast, it is noteworthy how technology is moving even faster. Robots are teaching themselves to manipulate an object through trial an error; AI assistants are becoming smoother and more versed in speech (search Google Duplex for more) and ECG-enabled smart watches could predict your likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.

In the face of this 4th industrial revolution, institutions need to stay relevant. With Workers Day on the 1st of May, we have to ask ourselves what will the future hold for South African graduates?

While we don’t know exactly what future jobs will look like, we do know new jobs will replace traditional ones, and these will require an entirely different skill set.

According to our Digital Teaching and Learning Director, Myles Thies, “Future learning is micro- and blended-learning and curriculums will be online. The workplace will be transformed and digital will be utilised to reskill staff.”

Artificial Intelligence can learn fast, memorise patterns and strategies and execute tasks repetitively with precision. It would be almost impossible for a human to compete with this within the workplace. In fact, robot automation is estimated to take over 800 million jobs by 2030. Furthermore, it is predicted that the half-life of a job skill would be five years. This means that every five years, that skill is half as valuable as it was before.

Therefore, skilled workers need to stay ahead and relevant, otherwise their value as employees will keep on declining.

But how can institutions instruct students in manners that will aid them in staying ahead?

According to Myles, there is no easy quick-fix solutions, but there are some key factors that would play a role.

INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY AND UPSKILL INSTRUCTORS

While it is important to consciously invest in technology, it is only a small part of the solution. It is even more important for educators to acquire the skills and capacity to impart skills in the technology-dominated environment.

ADAPT

Institutions need to be able to adapt. Learners often seek out new modes of learning based on their current use of technology, but educators are not always able to meet them at that level with digital teaching and learning techniques.

BE RESPONSIVE

The ability and speed of adaptation must be robust enough to cope with the increasing pace of innovation. Teacher & lecturer skills are not keeping pace with innovation and capabilities.

OFFER QUALITY

Learners are more discerning, and the tertiary education is becoming more competitive. The quality on every level of the institution should be agile and flexible. There should be benchmarked standards for quality when it comes to digital teaching and learning execution in courses.

 

Get in touch

Learning in the hands of technology – is revolutionary.

Eiffel Corp

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

Original writing ensures academic quality

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Original writing ensures academic quality

 

The University of Pretoria (UP), is one of South Africa’s largest research universities. The University boasts 1357 study programmes, an 82% undergraduate pass rate and 85% of graduates employed within a few months of graduation.

To maintain their reputation and standards, the University must ensure students deliver high quality academic writing that is original.  “There is an international trend of plagiarism due to easy access and consequent ‘copying and pasting’ from academic writing on the internet.” Contract cheating is the newest form of plagiarism, where students pay a service provider to write papers on their behalf. While the motivations for students to commit plagiarism vary – some are not even aware that they are committing plagiarism. Students need to understand the seriousness of plagiarism.

That is why UP has opted to adopt an institutional policy that encourages original writing and avoidance of plagiarism. Their policy is enforced with a robust and effective online programme, namely TurnitIn. For them the proof has been in the submissions.

Since implementation at the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2008, 4 354 papers were submitted to TurnitIn. Nearly half those papers had similarity scores of 25% and higher. This means these papers resembled material published on the web or assignments submitted by other students. As high similarity scores might indicate the presence of plagiarism, UP started with a drive to increase the originality of assessment papers, inter alia through adopting an academic integrity and plagiarism policy that created channels for severe punishment in cases of proven plagiarism. The policy was shared on the Library website and to academic departments, and subsequently widely noted and incorporated in assessment instructions across the university.  In 2017, the use of TurnitIn confirmed an upward curve in the growth, with 150 563 submissions and a staggering 243 445 similarity reports.

 

More UP lecturers are using TurnitIn to screen student assignments before marking in order to verify that the work is the student’s own. The number of papers submitted to TurnitIn also increases annually. In UP’s experience, TurnitIn has helped students improve the originality of their papers, and therefore their papers’ academic quality.

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Your culture of academic integrity begins with Turnitin.

Eiffel Corp

Eiffel Corp. Education. Technology. Innovation

Top teacher shares tips

EdTech Insights

The future is now

One of the world's best teachers shares management tips

“There is nothing wrong, with getting it wrong…you learn so much more through the process.” Wendy Horn, Global Teacher Prize Nominee 2018

Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms. Many of us would agree that we had that one teacher who influenced us to set life goals and achieve our best. That one teacher who made us pursue our tertiary studies or who pushed us to achieve more. And for many, Wendy Horn, school principal and science teacher from Protea Heights Academy, is this teacher.

In February 2018, Wendy Horn received recognition for her role in her learners’ lives, when she was nominated as one of the top 50 teachers in the world for the Global Teacher Prize. Wendy understands that educators “shape the future” of their learners.  Wendy also believes that being a teacher must be your calling, “when you stand in front of that class, those children must be your everything.” She adds that “the school, through the innovative use of technology, is preparing learners to be creative problem solvers that will be able to make a positive contribution to society in the future.”

As part of their strategy and digital toolkit, Protea Heights Academy uses Staffroom Software.

We asked her to share her experience with Staffroom Software:

HOW DOES STAFFROOM SOFTWARE IMPROVE YOUR PROCESSES?

“The product saves time. We are able to work from any place that has an internet connection. It also speeds up processes, allows us to collaborate and share data seamlessly.”

IS STAFFROOM SOFTWARE WORTH THE INVESTMENT?

Yes, we save time! It makes the workload less per educator. We can communicate easily with parents and learners. Staffroom allows us to share data so that we can analyse our performance and suggest suitable intervention strategies.  We also cut down on the use of paper and files and can share information effortlessly. The digital archive allows us to store marks, reports and learner information which means we can share these documents with every staff member, as well as parents. Without Staffroom I would ‘freak out’ – it would be as if we were back in the dark ages and would mean more work!”

According to Wendy, Staffroom Software adds to the success of her team, “it adds to our brand in that we communicate with parents effectively. It allows educators to work smartly and saves time. The product allows easy and effective data analysis. It just makes the admin a little bit easier – which in turn means we can use our time more efficiently.”

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“There is nothing wrong, with getting it wrong…you learn so much more through the process.”

Wendy Horn,
Global Teacher Prize Nominee 2018

Education. Technology. Innovation

Empower educators through technology

EdTech Insights

The future is now

Empower educators through technology

In large sectors like the Education Sector, decision-making must be driven by data. Student Information Systems (SIS) supports a flow of data that is easily accessible and can be analysed to increase the accuracy of decision-making.

An effective SIS offers solutions to tertiary institutions – ones that are flexible, comprehensive and scalable. The ideal SIS has the capacity to configure the automation of an entire student management system based on an individual institution’s needs and requirements.

Probably the most powerful element of a SIS, is the easily accessible data it can provide. Organised data at one central point, from where reports can be compiled, data analysed and projections made – all with one important result: interpreted data for informed decisions that rely on facts.

If knowledge is power, then decisions based on interpreted data is the ultimate empowerment of your institution’s management team. 

Stellenbosch University opted for a SIS that offers them the administrative management system they need. Learn more here or get in touch for more information.

 

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There is no smarter choice than investing in knowledge.

Eiffel Corp

Education. Technology. Innovation