Archive for July, 2010

Young Inventors Discover Joys of Learning

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

By John Waller, the Arlington Patch

You might not think it’s possible to create a spaceship, a flying car, twin leopard geckos and a “super-duper” computer all in a day’s work, but that’s exactly what kids at Club Invention did last week and then some. “The overall point of the program is to show kids that they can do things too,” said Melanie Konstandakis, director of the week-long summer camp at Pierce Elementary School. “It’s not just up to adults to figure everything out.” The enrichment program, developed by Invent Now Kids, an Ohio-based nonprofit, drew more than 100 local kids, mostly from Arlington, going into grades one through six. It’s aimed at making science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more fun for elementary school students through hands-on learning and creative thinking, and it seems to be working.

http://arlington.patch.com/articles/young-inventors-discover-joys-of-learning

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Student avatars could help improve teacher training

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

by Steven Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed

Here’s how it works: The teacher-in-training stands in a room in front of a projection screen depicting five students into two rows. The student avatars are being controlled by “interactors” — acting students from the university’s fine arts school and sometimes hired professionals — who have studied the behavior of the students they are embodying. The fact that the teachers-in-training are interacting with avatars that are being controlled in real time by humans, as opposed to artificially intelligent personas, is the key to the whole project, says Dieker.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-07-07-IHE-avatars-teacher-training07_ST_N.htm

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Schools tackle growing practice of cheating

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

By Marsha Sutton, La Jolla Light

The Canyon Crest investigation determined that an estimated 50 percent of the students in one teacher’s two AP psychology classes – or about 40 to 45 students – were guilty of cheating. There were varying degrees of academic dishonesty: sharing the test and providing the answer keys, receiving those answers, sharing homework notes and collaborating on assignments that were meant to be completed independently. “The students were not at fault,” commented one student in response to an article on the issue. “The reason that the students were able to cheat on the tests was because the teacher never changed the tests from year to year. This illustrates pure indolence on behalf of all the teachers of this generation who ignorantly cannot be bothered to create new tests from time to time.”

http://www.lajollalight.com/news/271665-schools-tackle-growing-practice-of-cheating

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Revolution Needed for Teaching Literacy in a Digital Age

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

by Esther Wojcicki and Michael Levine, Huffington Post

Educational video games, simulations, modeling tools, handheld devices, and media production tools can allow students to see how complex language and other symbol systems attach to the world. Digital media has the potential to increase the “book” vocabulary, and the concepts attached to such words, for children whose families are unable to do so. In the classroom, digital media also have other major advantages. These media teach students to master the production of knowledge, not just the consumption of knowledge. Kids learn to create videos, write blogs, collaborate online; the also learn to play video games, do digital storytelling, fan fiction, music, graphic art, anime and even more.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/esther-wojcicki/revolution-need-for-teach_b_635630.html

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Is ‘smart’ technology making us stupid?

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

By Margie Rigney, Georgetown News-Graphic

“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.” — Sydney J. Harris I love my computer, I surf the Internet and I spend a lot of time on Facebook, e-mailing and writing. But this past month when my power supply cord broke, I was reminded of how much time I waste in the cyber world and I was forced to deal with things in person that I had previously dealt with online and it felt good. With all this technology you would think we would be getting smarter, but I know adults that don’t know their own phone numbers.

http://www.georgetownnews.com/articles/2010/07/06/opinion/doc4c31f4b8d4cb5552942015.txt

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U.S. public libraries: We lose them at our peril

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

By Marilyn Johnson, LA Times

The U.S. is beginning an interesting experiment in democracy: We’re cutting public library funds, shrinking our public and school libraries, and in some places, shutting them altogether. These actions have nothing to do with whether the libraries are any good or whether the staff provides useful service to the community. This country’s largest circulating library, in Queens, N.Y., was named the best system in the U.S. last year by Library Journal. Its budget is due to shrink by a third. Los Angeles libraries are being slashed, and beginning this week, the doors will be locked two days a week and at least 100 jobs cut. Libraries are an essential service in action, as well as an effective leveler of privilege and avenue of reinvention. As budget cuts affect more facilities, children will be the first to suffer.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-johnson-libraries-20100706,0,5371729.story

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Technology comes to Baltimore’s public libraries

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun

Tucked under a public library computer keyboard was an anonymous note: “Thank you for helping me get a job.” The paper scrap turned up at downtown Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, where staff members say their 160 computers are enabling unemployed people to find jobs, do homework or manage their budgets. “From McDonald’s to McDonnell Douglas, 85 percent of all hiring is done online,” said Pratt CEO Carla D. Hayden. “In a city like Baltimore, where 30 percent of the population has no home computer access, we have found a new role.”

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-pratt-hayden-20100705,0,7135455.story

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Students find variety at good ol’ Virtual High

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

By Robert A. Frahm, Connecticut Mirror

In Connecticut, the virtual school movement gained additional momentum last month as state education officials announced a partnership with a Florida company to offer online summer courses for students who need to make up credits in courses they failed. The State Department of Education, using federal funds, will pay the $150 course fee for each of the first 300 students who sign up for the summer programs offered by Florida Virtual School. “The response has been overwhelming. . . . Clearly, this is a huge area of need and interest,” said Karen Kaplan, educational technology director for the State Department of Education. Students can log on anytime to do the coursework.

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/6638/more-students-logging-7210

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Tech Tips For Teachers: Free, Easy and Useful Creation Tools

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

By RYAN R. GOBLE, NY Times

New technologies are a powerful way for teachers to take their instruction to the next level. With so many choices, the trick is to locate user-friendly tools that allow you to craft differentiated learning experiences that engage students and help them develop 21st-century skills.

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/09/tech-tips-for-teachers-free-easy-and-useful-creation-tools/

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Thinner, Cheaper Laptops Offer A Break On College Costs

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

by Brian Caulfield, Forbes

Tuition costs are soaring. Once-affordable state schools are growing crowded. The best private schools are getting more selective. But, the gear needed to get by on today’s digital campus is cheaper and more powerful than ever. Better still, after tackling deadlines for everything from admissions to lining up housing for your student, you can finally take your sweet time, analysts say. “I expect very aggressive price points come this fall,” says Tim Bajarin, director of consumer technologies at tech tracker Creative Strategies.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/15/laptops-netbooks-apple-technology-computers.html?partner=technology_newsletter

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Cutting Through the Cloud Hype

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

by Vittorio Viarengo, Forbes

 The term ”cloud computing” may be overused, but the cloud has lots to offer. “Cloud” has become a charged, and sometimes polarizing, word within enterprise IT organizations. It is the topic of many conversations and has become a priority on most chief information officer agendas, but often when we ask people within the IT ranks whether they are using cloud computing or implementing private clouds, they tell us “no”–even many of those who are far along in their virtualization journeys.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/15/virtualization-automation-resources-technology-cloud-computing.html?partner=technology_newsletter

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Why The Internet Is Not Making Us Stupid

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

by Andrew McAfee, Forbes

I know I’m not the only Internet optimist but sometimes it feels that way. A set of prominent, smart and thoughtful analysts of technology has adopted a fretful or pessimistic tone in recent books about the Net. So as a counter to these books and the cumulative impression they leave, I’m going to do something that’s frowned upon in many bien-pensant circles: I’m going to cheerlead for technology. Web-based technologies are doing a lot of good. We just need to develop self-control.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/internet-google-innovation-technology-cio-network-mcafee.html?partner=technology_newsletter

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Teacher wants to change education using 40 iPads

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

by Richard O. Jones, Journal-News

Titled “Let’s Change Education,” Wilson’s proposal would allow the purchase of 40 iPads and an iMac computer to help maintain and synchronize them, along with programs and accessories. “We wouldn’t need textbooks,” Wilson said. “It would essentially turn the classroom interactive. If I ask a question, then everyone could respond on the iPad and their answers would appear immediately on my desktop. It would make sure it wasn’t just the smart kids that are answering questions in class, but also those who are shy or just not engaged.

http://www.journal-news.com/news/hamilton-news/teacher-wants-to-change-education-using-40-ipads-800149.html

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Why can’t you do 1:1 for $300 a kid? Wait, you can!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

By Christopher Dawson, ZD Net

A colleague asked me the other day about potential costs for a 1:1 deployment in a high school. He had a number of $300 per computer in his head. $500 per computer, however, seemed a lot more realistic to me. After all, people see the prices on the sorts of netbooks I reviewed this weekend and get a serious case of sticker shock, forgetting that the average bargain basement netbook isn’t running an OS that can join a domain, lacks Office or anti-malware, and presents durability concerns for younger kids and capability concerns for older kids.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/education/why-cant-you-do-11-for-300-a-kid-wait-you-can/4088

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Topsy Expert Search helps you find topical experts on Twitter

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

By Chad Catacchio, The Next Web

Topsy, the third-party Twitter search engine, has launched Topsy Expert Search to help you find topical experts on Twitter. It’s pretty straightforward – just type in a topic that you are interested and Topsy gives you a ranked list of “experts” – at least in the Twitter sense – on the topic you’re searching on

http://bit.ly/9z84FR

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Increasing Demand for Software Courses

Monday, July 19th, 2010

by Gurleen Kaur, Software Courses

Computers are the main source of connectivity these days. People are mostly dependent on computers for their major share of work. Whether its completing the college assignments, teaching lessons, work presentations or doing a long distant chat for almost free, computer or information technology has enabled human being in coming out with the speedy solutions of almost everything. These days, students also are very much inquisitive about developments around them, this leads to their increasing interest in the field of technology. The’ why’ and ‘how’ of machine parts have resulted in many students adopting software and technology as their career fields. Software is the first and the foremost thing to be stored in any computerized machine to make it work. Starting from computers, to I- pods to mobile phones, everything is based on one or the other software. Even the world of internet is also based on softwares which enables the global connectivity of the masses and makes the world a more communicative and interesting place to live.

http://computersciencecourses.net/increasing-demand-of-software-courses/494/

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Summer Technology Camp Held for Girls

Monday, July 19th, 2010

By ANDREA ISOM, myFOXDetroit.com

42 girls from metro Detroit are on their way to ruling the world. All of them are absolutely amazing, and in just one week, they were able to accomplish what some people never will. These young girls are ready to show the world what they’re made of — sugar, spice and everything nice and throw in some math, science and technology, too. “It’s a wonderful experience. Even if you hadn’t considered technology as a field, this really opens your eyes,” said 7th grader Lauren Pankin. “At first, I thought it was impossible. I thought that you had to do all these lists of things, but now when I just look at it, it’s looking like wow,” said 6th grader Leanna Toles.

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/summer-technology-camp-held-for-girls-20100702-wpms

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Technology in UK schools: Is the clock being turned back?

Monday, July 19th, 2010

By Mike Baker, BBC

Laptops are now commonplace in schools Is the government’s attitude to computer technology in schools taking us back to a “dark age” of chalk-and-talk? That is the fear of many in education who think the coalition government’s actions are turning back the clock on recent developments in the use of computers for learning. First there was the decision to abolish Becta, the agency that advises schools on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Then there were speeches on the curriculum given by the new Education Secretary, Michael Gove, which focused entirely on traditional subjects and were silent about ICT.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10495726

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Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

By Converge

School districts and college campuses across the country are trying to grab students’ attention and teach them in ways they learn best. That means they’re adding social media features to learning management systems, offering more online and blended courses, and taking advantage of mobile devices. Check out the top trends in learning management systems, online learning and mobile computing identified in a 2010 Software & Information Industry Association report released this month.

http://www.convergemag.com/classtech/2010-Ed-Tech-Trends.html

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Students Lack Opportunities to Use Tech in Class, Report Finds

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

By Converge

While many high school educators consider technology as a teaching tool, they don’t use it as a learning tool for their students, according to a report released today. An online survey of 1,004 high school students, faculty and district IT professionals*, called the CDW-G 2010 21st-Century Classroom Report, shows that schools still have a ways to go as they strive to teach and learn with technology.

http://www.convergemag.com/classtech/Tech-in-Class-Report.html

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Texas District Changes Classrooms with Wireless Technology

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

By Tanya Roscorla, Converge

Each school in Texas’ North East Independent School District provides laptops and iTouches for students to use. And in the future, the students may be able to bring in their own devices. But because of all the mobile devices, the infrastructure takes a beating. One access point serves three classrooms. If each room has more than 15 or 20 devices, connectivity goes down or disappears altogether. Dead zones and slow access to the Internet also cause problems. “With our current solution, we just couldn’t support the density of 30 devices per classroom,” said Brandon Platt, assistant director of Management Information Services for the San Antonio district.

http://www.convergemag.com/infrastructure/Texas-District-Changes-Classrooms-with-Wireless-Technology.html

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