iOS 8 Is Coming: What Are The Big Wins For Education?

July 10th, 2014

By Dan Kemp, Edudemic

This week Apple held their developer’s conference and made a number of exciting announcements about iOS 8. We at the Book Creator team have picked out some of the key updates coming with iOS 8 – the ones that will change the way iPads are used in the classroom.  Apple announced major updates to their operating systems, which will launch in the Fall. iOS 8 will be released for iPads and iPhones, and OS X Yosemite is the latest update to the Mac operating system. These updates bring with them many exciting features which are good news for teachers, students, and classrooms.

http://www.edudemic.com/ios-8-coming-big-wins-education/

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10 New Technologies You Should Know About

July 10th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Every year has its standouts, right? 2007 had the original iPhone, and 2010 had the iPad. But what has 2014 offered us in terms of awesome technology thus far? There’s been some chatter about things like Google Glass, but I have yet to see any notable number of folks walking around donning their Google specs. There are lots of little things that come out that are better than the last version, but we’ve really been looking at a lot of incremental improvements on existing technology – iOS8 is not offering any major breakthroughs or improvements over iOS7, iOS6, etc. The handy infographic linked below from Weekly Science brings us 10 technologies from 2014 that are pushing the envelope tech-wise.

http://www.edudemic.com/new-technologies/

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802.11ac New Standards

July 9th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Network speed will experience a huge expansion under the 802.11ac standard. 802.11ac-networkA relatively new technology standard has huge potential for school connectivity as it aims to relieve congested networks and drastically increase network speed. The 802.11ac standard operates in the 5-gigahertz spectrum–a move away from the clogged 2.4-gigahertz frequency in which 802.11n operates. The rollout will occur in three waves, and the first wave is already active. The three waves will eventually increase data rates up to 6.93 Gbps and will open MHz channels and available data streams.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/30/critical-abcs-80211ac-674/

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Watch: a viral economics course that can be completed in one sitting

July 9th, 2014

by Gregory Ferenstein, Venture Beat

The next frontier in higher education may be viral courses that can be completed in a single day. One of my favorite economists, Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution, is out with a new course on “Everyday Economics”, complete with short quizzes and eye-candy visual lectures. The one below, on the rise of human prosperity, is intellectually delicious. “For this type of material, let’s face it: We’re competing with BuzzFeed,” Alex Tabarrok told the Chronicle of Higher Education. Tabarrok is a professor at George Mason University and co-founder of Marginal Revolution University, which is offering the course. Indeed, there appears to be a trend in one-shot courses. Vocational online course provider, Udacity, has teamed up with Google to offer advanced web programming courses that can be completed in a single day.

http://venturebeat.com/2014/06/26/watch-a-viral-economics-course-that-can-be-completed-in-one-sitting/

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Robots Learn Faster, Better with Online Learning Helpers

July 9th, 2014

by Product Design & Development

Sometimes it takes a village to teach a robot. University of Washington computer researchers have shown that crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks. Instead of learning from just one human, robots could one day query the larger online community, asking for instructions or input on the best way to set the table or water the garden. The research team presented its results at the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong in early June.The research team presented its results at the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong in early June.

http://www.pddnet.com/news/2014/06/robots-learn-faster-better-online-helpers

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Where Teaching Meets Technology

July 8th, 2014

by Sophia Hollander, Wall Street Journal

In late May, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $20 million investment in new devices and software to increase classroom connectivity—and a $650 million capital investment over the next five years. And on Friday, city officials are set to announce a series of summer courses for teachers on the topic—offered through partners including PBS, Google and Microsoft—to meet the expanding need. The courses will be free and include in-person and online elements. Last spring, the Department of Education started a Blended Learning Institute to train science teachers like Mr. Larsen how to teach with technology more effectively. This year, it launched a track in computer science; classes led by the 60 newly trained high-school teachers will begin next fall.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/where-teaching-meets-technology-1403833224?mod=WSJ_LatestHeadlines

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Online learning platform Udacity launches an Android app and four new Google-supported courses

July 8th, 2014

by NICK SUMMERS, the Next Web

Udacity is expanding its online learning platform with a new Android app and four courses designed in collaboration with Google. After bringing some of its video lessons to the iPad and iPhone, Udacity is turning its attention to Google’s hugely successful mobile OS. The new Android app gives students the ability to stream lectures on the move and test their knowledge with quizzes. The company has also promised an offline mode at a later date, so users can download videos and watch them at any time. To coincide with the launch of Google’s I/O conference, Udacity is introducing four new courses created in partnership with the renowned technology company. The first is ‘Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals,’ instructed by Reto Meier, leader of Google’s Scalable Developer Advocacy team, as well as Google developer advocates Katherine Kuan and Dan Galpin.

http://thenextweb.com/apps/2014/06/25/online-learning-platform-udacity-launches-android-app-four-new-google-supported-courses/

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Libraries will lend out WiFi hotspots to foster online learning

July 8th, 2014

BY JON FINGAS, Engadget

For the less fortunate, a library may be the only reliable way to get online. But what do they do after hours, or when they can’t make the trek? That’s where a pair of Knight Foundation grants may prove vital. Both the Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library are starting up large-scale projects that lend WiFi hotspots to households with little to no internet access, giving them a chance to pursue internet education programs that would otherwise be off-limits. Chicago’s approach will let those in six broadband-deprived neighborhoods borrow a hotspot for up to three weeks; in New York, the library will offer mobile routers for up to a year as part of existing learning initiatives.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/25/libraries-lending-out-wifi-hotspots/

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How Higher Ed Is Using Cloud Computing

July 7th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

I set up my mom’s new iPhone recently, while she sat alongside me and watched. At some point in the setup process, it asks if you want to enable Cloud backup. She looked totally confused and asked ‘what’s a cloud’? While I’m willing to bet that most of Edudemic’s readers are way ahead of my mom in understanding what the cloud is, I’m also willing to guess that most readers can’t talk about what the cloud is being used for aside from a general description of ‘data storage’. That is, in fact, correct. The handy infographic linked below takes it a step further – investigating today’s top cloud innovations in post-secondary education.

http://www.edudemic.com/higher-ed-cloud/

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Why (And How) Teachers Are Using Twitter

July 7th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Oh, Twitter. You’re so useful for teachers. You connect educators so that they can share tools, tips and tricks, offer insight, and support one another. You bring your sexy social media-ness into the classroom to keep kids interested in what they’re learning when they think they’re actually (sort of) having fun instead. That said, there are still skeptics. How can 140 characters be so effective? Does anyone even care what I have to say? How do teachers really use it? These questions and more are explored in the handy infographic linked below.

http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-are-using-twitter/

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Survey on Digital Games Use in the Classroom

July 7th, 2014

by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Ed

A survey of grade school educators on using games in the classroom was recently released by the Games and Learning Publishing Council (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). A few findings that stand out:

55% of the surveyed teachers who include games in their classroom use these digital games with their students weekly. This suggests rising numbers of students who will be accustomed to the idea of games as yet another familiar method of the classroom, as at that level of use it’s no longer about providing novelty. (Of course, there are plenty of other teachers who don’t use them at all.)

45% of the surveyed teachers listed insufficient time as a barrier to bring games into the classroom while 44% cited cost.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/survey-on-digital-games-use-in-the-classroom/57295

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Google Will Finance Carnegie Mellon’s MOOC Research

July 6th, 2014

by Avi Wolfman-Arent, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Google will give Carnegie Mellon $300,000 in each of the next two years through the Google Focused Research Award program. The university’s research will focus on “data driven” approaches to research on massive open online courses, including “techniques for automatically analyzing and providing feedback on student work,” according to a news release. The goal, it said, is to develop platforms intelligent enough to mimic the traditional classroom experience. “Unless the MOOCs pay attention to how people actually learn, they will not be able to improve effectiveness, and will end up as just a passing fad,” said Justine Cassell, associate vice provost for technology strategy and impact.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/google-will-finance-carnegie-mellons-mooc-research/53521

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5 education TED Talks to support innovation

July 6th, 2014

By Laura Devaney,eSchool News

Every educator needs some inspiration now and then, and these days, such inspiration can be found online in just a few seconds. The internet brings inspiring and motivational speakers and experts to anyone with a connection and an internet-ready device. TED Talks are some of today’s most popular examples of the internet’s power to expand learning opportunities to all.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/24/june-ted-talks-673/

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Interview: Andrew Ng, chairman and co-founder of Coursera

July 6th, 2014

by Stephen Ibaraki, IT World Canada

There is an impending digital tsunami — or D-Quake — that can drive enterprises to destruction if they don’t continually update their business model canvas for competitive advantage. Massive open online classes (MOOCs) will reduce training costs by over 80 per cent. Robots and off-shoring are changing labour roles, Google is testing self-driving cars and Amazon is testing drones for package delivery. There are the new wearable / embedded devices with more than 10 sensors and the ubiquitous Internet of Things forming a planetary nervous system. Virtual reality systems (Oculus Rift/Facebook, Sony, Microsoft), glasses (Google), Amazon’s dynamic perspective providing 3-D-like capabilities in their new smart phones are already here. Big data will be smart data with machine learning, deep learning where computers grow brain-like capabilities. At the root of much of this is Andrew Ng, whose efforts are recognized by magazines, fellowships and awards.

http://www.itworldcanada.com/blog/interview-andrew-ng-chairman-and-co-founder-of-coursera/94863

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Study finds MOOC engagement varies from offline courses

July 5th, 2014

by Stefanie Botelho, University Business

The paper is based on quantitative investigations of more than 300,000 students’ behavior in several large Stanford University courses offered on Coursera, one of the major MOOC platforms. It identifies five distinct types of engagement with MOOCs:

Viewers, who primarily watch lectures but don’t hand in many assignments

Solvers, who hand in assignments for a grade but view few if any lectures

All-rounders, who watch most lectures and hand in most assignments, behaving more like a student in a traditional course

Collectors, who primarily download lectures and may or may not be watching them immediately or in the future

Bystanders, who register for a course but whose total activity is below a very low threshold

http://www.universitybusiness.com/news/study-finds-mooc-engagement-varies-offline-courses

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Blending and flipping modern architecture

July 5th, 2014

by Jeff Schramm, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Instead of meeting twice a week for an hour and 15 minutes each, we meet once a week. I’ve found that students need structure and a weekly meeting at the same time and place gives them that. Much (but not all) of my content heavy lecture is now online in short (7–12 minute) video clips that the students access via our learning management system prior to attending class. The videos are recorded with Camtasia and are voice over PowerPoint with a tablet that allows me to draw on the screen and annotate photos and text. My narration is captioned so students can read along as well as listen to me speak. After viewing several videos and completing the required readings for the week, both online and in a traditional textbook, students take a short online reading quiz to check their comprehension. The quiz counts but not for much. The bulk of their course grade is still in-class essay exams, papers and an end of semester group project.

http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2014/06/23/guest-post-blending-and-flipping-modern-architecture/

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10 ed-tech books for summer reading

July 5th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

There’s no better time to get caught up on industry and education than during summer vacation. Summer vacation, while also the perfect time to pretend you’re not enjoying your niece’s copy of Twilight with a mojito in-hand, is also the best time to catch up on fascinating books that can help broaden your perspective on issues in the field of technology, education and educational technology. And while it’s always satisfying to read dense epics on topics you can brag to your peers about, these books are not chocked full of thick technical jargon, but rather, innovative and well-researched thoughts on influencing trends and disruptions, written in ways to promote discussion.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/edtech-summer-reading-286/

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Video Games In The Classroom? Know The History Before Trying It Out

July 4th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Video games used to be more…well…special. Less widespread, less mundane. We now also can play games on our computers, phones, and tablets, so a game console isn’t necessary anymore if you want to play games. We use games in our classrooms and out that help students learn and reinforce new concepts.Check out the awesome video by Jonathan Mann below for an entertaining look back at the history of video games and a potentially useful video for anyone trying out video games in the classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/history-video-games-video/

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Gaming may help children with autism socialize

July 4th, 2014

by eSchool News

Children with autism could get help from games that help them develop certain skills. It’s a simple idea that makes a lot of sense, but University of South Carolina researcher Roger Newman-Norlund has had trouble landing grants to pay for a study of the concept. So Newman-Norlund set up a Kickstarter account and a website, www.mymoneymyscience.com, which explains the basis for his work. His goal is to raise $150,000 in two months. “Every year, we would try to apply for government grants and we would get shot down,” said Newman-Norlund, director of USC’s Perceptual Motor Development Laboratory. “The government doesn’t think it’s important, so why not go to the people who do think it’s important?”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/20/games-autism-socialize-987/

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The Beginner’s Guide To Google In The Classroom

July 4th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Google offers work well for that setting as well as many others. The a ton of solutions for students, teachers, and classrooms. Some products are intentionally designed for classrooms, others just happen to Google Apps For Education and Google Play for Education are two tools built for teachers and students that encompass a ton of different solutions for different types of work. The handy infographic linked below takes a look at some usage statistics on Google tools in the classroom along with a few tidbits about Apps for Education if you’re not familiar with them. Keep reading to learn more.

http://www.edudemic.com/google-in-the-classroom/

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4 ways to make college more accessible for special needs students

July 3rd, 2014

By Andria Casey, eCampus News

There may be a shortage of apps targeting post-secondary special education, but you can still take steps to facilitate a smooth transition for your students.  In recent years, the awareness of special needs in education has grown steadily. Yet, most of the focus is placed on K-12 resources. As special needs students move on to higher education, the amount of support and resources seems to dwindle. Nearly 350 special needs apps can be found when searching in the iTunes store. The large majority of these apps feature fun cartoons and basic concepts – perfect for the K-12 audience, but not the higher education audience. I was impressed with the recent eCampus News article on assistive technology apps, which listed several apps that held value beyond the doors of high school.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/education-special-needs-623/

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