At the Internet services company Openface, you can easily tell which desk belongs to Sherri McGurnaghan, the company’s director of voice-over-IP services. Her desk in the loft-style office on the third floor of a building on Park Ave., at the corner of Sherbrooke St. W., is the only one that has a purse slung around the chair. That’s because McGurnaghan is the only woman working among a group of about 20 men. McGurnaghan is part of a group that affectionately calls itself Girl Geeks – women who work in the field of technology. In Montreal, a group of women organizes Girl Geek dinners about once a month. In the last year, attendance at the Girl Geek events has grown from 20 or so to about 80, mostly women.
Mendeley performs just about all the functions you would expect a reference/citations manager to do: It organizes your bibliography and outputs it in various forms (with native plug-ins for Word and Open Office); it lets you read and annotate PDFs; it syncs your library across multiple devices; it lets you create groups to share articles with colleagues; and much else–it even offers recommendations of new articles that might interest you. New features include the ability to share annotations of articles, better support for nested folders, a paper-duplication detector, and various improvements the PDF viewer and file organizer. Mendeley Desktop is, at least on my Mac, a sleek, thoughtfully designed app.
RSS is near-ubiquitous on blogs and news sites, but every once in a while, you’ll find a site that 1) provides regularly-updated information that you want to check frequently, but 2) doesn’t provide an RSS feed. When that’s the case, what you want to do is “scrape” the content of the page into a feed, which you can then subscribe to in your aggregator. Best of all, feed scraping is pretty easy to do. There are a variety of services out there that support it, but one of the easiest to use is Feed43. If all you want to do is to set up a single feed for a site, you don’t even need to register. Registration is free, which makes it easy to edit feeds you’ve set up, and you can also pay a variety of different fees if you want your feeds updated more regularly.
New York University management professor Glenn Okun throws a 500-page, spiral-bound book of Xeroxed course materials onto his desk. The thick tome contains nearly 20 business case studies and represents just half the reading his students will plow through this fall—fairly typical of MBA courses. “Leafing through one of these is like leafing through the equivalent of the Manhattan Yellow Pages,” he says. Next, Okun unsheathes the alternative: an iPad (AAPL) edition of the same course materials—a feature NYU introduced last year. In each digital case study, students can highlight material in fluorescent colors and take notes. A tap on the screen allows them to skip to an exhibit at the end of a document, and then follow the menu back to where they left off reading—with no virtual or actual page-leafing required. All the features work offline. “Now,” Okun asks, “which would you prefer?”
In an urban school outside Detroit, more than half of freshmen failed English in fall 2009. Along with failing classes, freshmen students got in trouble. A lot. That semester, principals at Clintondale High School dealt with 736 discipline cases for 165 students. A year later, the scene changed. Of 165 freshmen, only 19 percent failed English. Math classes saw similar results, going from 44 to 13 percent. And both science and social studies failure rates dropped too. As failure rates plummeted, so did discipline cases. Principals only had to deal with 249 cases for 140 students.
When California’s anti-bullying law was drafted in 2006, social networking hadn’t exploded yet, so it wasn’t included in the education code. But now, students use social networks to communicate every day. And they’re using it to bully others. In legislation that Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Friday, administrators will be able to suspend or recommend students for expulsion from school if they use social networks to cyberbully others.
How important is technology in a child’s education? (At the end of the day, isn’t it most important that they can read, write, and solve basic math problems?) How important is funding? Do communities need to spend more money on schools to incorporate technology into classrooms? Are there other areas of government that should support technology investment in schools? Should Internet and social-media training be included with basic computer-skills workshops?
This video is a presentation of how a Social Work Service User Participation website was planned. The site aim is to enable service users and students to interact and to provide a repository of information for students. It was developed by Pat Walton and Sue Lansley of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York with my advice in planning for the student learning experience.
The Apple iPad will dominate an influx of tablet computers into classrooms this fall, according to an education technology expert and industry reports. “The iPad is the best tablet out there today that we’ve seen reviewed,” said John Connolly, technology director for Chicago Public Schools, during the TechWeek conference this afternoon at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The iPad’s market dominance will translate to dominance in schools as educators adopt tablet computing this fall, experts agree. The iPad accounted for 90 percent of tablet sales in the third quarter, according to the research firm IDC. Chicago had 700 iPads in 23 public schools during the past school year. This fall it will add 4,500 iPads in about 50 schools.
At Douglas County School District, a balanced assessment program is helping students acquire knowledge and skills to become responsible global citizens. Douglas County is the first school district in the country to implement a balanced assessment system built upon a universal view of a student’s data collected through all grades and subject-level performance assessments, benchmarks and state assessments to build authentic learning paths. The corner stone is a new web-based data management platform, Promethean’s ActivProgress, in which a variety of assessments can be used and data are easily accessible, allowing teachers to conduct assessment for learning and put the most effective teaching strategies into practice.
“Last year we had a district administrative initiative that entailed changing our focus from technology as a learning center to technology integrated into all instructional areas with project based learning,” explains Kathy Bernacki, district information officer at Pemberton Township Schools. “It became apparent that we were going to have to have more of these mobile labs that travelled around the schools as the teachers and students worked on different projects.”…. “It used to be that technology was a subject on the side, like art and music,” concludes Bernacki. “But over the course of the last five to ten years, that has changed dramatically. Technology is now used more as a tool to motivate students to learn all subjects across the entire curriculum.”
University faculty and students who make a standard upgrade from a 32-bit to 64-bit version of Windows may find themselves unable to connect to their school networks off-campus, with even a simple task such as trying to check school eMail from home yielding an error message. The culprit: schools may be using a remote access system that is incompatible with many university members’ new computers.
When you interact with other people, your brain processes a number of small and subtle cues about faces. At the exhibition, visitors saw how the human brain understands faces, including how motions are transferred from one person’s face to another, and what their faces look like when they switch gender. The visitors also saw sophisticated computer vision systems capable of recognising facial expressions. ‘We will be showing some of the latest research from the EU-funded LIREC project, which aims to create socially aware companion robots and graphical characters,’ said Professor Peter McOwan from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London before the exhibition. ‘There will be the opportunity for those attending to see if our computer vision system can detect their smiles, watch the most recent videos of our robots in action and talk to us about the project.’
Links to iPad applications that target the various levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. Schrock only included free apps that were “content-neutral” to make them usable across the curriculum. I also tried to include apps for the iPad only, but a few iPhone apps may have snuck in! Each app image is clickable, and you will be taken to the iTunes Store to learn more about each one.
Yesterday I attended my first webinar. I probably shouldn’t admit that but it is true. There are other first experiences that I’m hoping to have before my summer is over. I consider this my summer to play with technology. I registered for this particular ASCD webinar because it was focused on using the iPad as a production tool for authentic learning. I wanted to compare what the speaker had to say with the direction we have been moving as a district. We have been repeating the mantra, in various forms: it’s about the learning and not about the technology.
I’ve been using Google+ since about day 2 of the limited field trial and in that time I’ve noticed that most people, even many of the geeky tech-oriented people, don’t quite get the finer points of messaging yet. It’s time to correct that. One of the biggest complaints about communicating on Google+ I hear is “Why can’t I send a message to just my friend?” or “Why can’t I send a direct message like on twitter?” or worse, “Why do I have to create a circle with just my friend in it to send a message to him?” The answer to the first two questions is “You can,” and to the last, “You don’t have to do that.” Let’s look at how.
So what are the benefits of online learning? For those of you who are not enrolled in post-secondary education, a platform such as Learnville could provide a viable alternative to learning, and as a bonus, in the comfort of your own home. Online learning also allows people to remain anonymous, therefore making people feel more comfortable about asking questions that they would otherwise not ask. Furthermore, online learning platforms will likely provide users with much greater variety in the types of courses offered. With in-class learning, you are quite limited by both the availability of courses, and their physical proximity to your home. There are very few restrictions associated with e-learning. One of the major concerns, however, is the lack of personalized attention to students online. This is a concern that can at least partially be mitigated by real-time, and virtual classroom teaching.
It’s been almost two weeks since the launch of the “field trial” of Google’s new social network, Google Plus. As the hype grows, more and more people are receiving their invitations to the service, and in turn, there are an increasing number of discussions about how Google Plus might work for teaching and learning. The early consensus seems to be that Google Plus has a lot of potential, with services that could aid collaboration and communication in the classroom. Hangouts, for example, allow video chatting with up to 10 people, including the ability to jointly watch YouTube videos. Sparks provides a collection of posts on a particular topic, a way perhaps for students to gather research. And most notably, Circles allow users to sort their various contacts into social circles, giving them a more granular level of control with what they share.
Teachers and students often utilize technology and social networking in their everyday lives. However, in the past, technology has not always improved achievement,” said NMEF’s Director of Research and Evaluation Dr. Beth M. Miller, in a MNEF press release. “As this report makes clear, we are truly at a crossroads in the potential for technology to enhance student-centered teaching and learning.” According to the report, technology alone is not the answer, but technology has the ability to greatly supplement student learning. Three key areas are addressed in the findings: technology can help teachers address individual needs and steer students toward proper resources; technology can help prepare kids for life and work in the 21st century global economy while enhancing knowledge and skills valued by employers, but not usually noticed by standardized testing; technology can help shift responsibility for learning back to the student, allowing them to personally organize their own learning process.
My USB flash drives (or thumb drives or whatever!) are really handy, but also really easy to misplace. Is there a way to protect the files if (or when) I lose it? If the files you’re keeping on the drive are Microsoft Office files, you can password protect those files so they can only be opened by you or someone else that knows the password. In Office 2003, when you choose Save As, in the upper right corner of the save window will be a button labeled Tools. Click that button and scroll down to Security Options. The top option of the dialog window that opens will give you a place to enter a password for allowing access to the document. Put in the password you want and click OK, and then complete the saving process. In Office 2007, the Tools button is in the lower left-hand corner of the Save window, and you’ll need to select General Options to enter your desired password.