Archive for March, 2012

Why we need to bring creativity and technology back together across the curriculum

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

by the Guardian

Last year Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google challenged the British education system. He said he was flabbergasted to learn that computer science isn’t taught as standard in UK schools. “Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it’s made. That is just throwing away your great computer heritage.” Schmidt’s point goes deeper than a critique of today’s ICT teaching. He was highlighting the divisions between those who teach and learn humanities in Britain and everyone else in the science and engineering “camp”. Schmidt encouraged UK educationalists to reunite art and science, something that Apple’s founder Steve Jobs had advocated the benefits of many years earlier. In an interview with the New York Times in 1997, readers were reminded that Jobs had once said the Macintosh turned out so well because the people working on it were musicians, artists, poets and historians who also happened to be excellent computer scientists.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/mar/21/creativity-technology-classroom-teaching?newsfeed=true

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iChildren: How Apple Is Changing Kids’ Brains

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

By JULIE HALPERT, The Fiscal Times

Three years ago, when he was just two-years-old, Max Fuller got his first iPhone. His father, Craig Fuller, the CEO of a banking technology company, said it’s been an “enormous tool” for teaching him the basics about colors, shapes and letters, and most recently the names of all of the dinosaurs and how they lived. But Fuller most appreciates how it allows his son to communicate with him, since he’s divorced and lives in a different state. They video-chat almost daily. “It gives me a chance to be in his life, even if I am not around as much as I would desire.” He expects to give his one-year-old, who lives with him, an iPhone, as soon as he’s ready. “I think it’s one of the most incredible tools ever made for helping kids understand the world.”

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/03/21/iChildren-How-Apple-Is-Changing-Kids-Brains.aspx

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Did texting kill the classic phone?

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

By Larry Magid, Mercury News

The telephone as we know it — or at least as we adults know it — may soon be a thing of the past. I’m not talking about smartphones — they’re really not phones, but pocket-sized personal computers with an optional voice function. But I do wonder if the idea of using any type of device to actually talk is likely to fade away or at least diminish considerably. That’s certainly a conclusion one gets from the latest Pew Internet & American Life Project report that looked at the way teens use phones. The study, “Teens, Smartphones & Texting,” by Amanda Lenhart, found that:

• The median number of texts teens send on a typical day rose from 50 in 2009 to 60 in 2011.

• 14 percent of teens say they talk daily with friends on a landline, down from 30 percent in 2009.

• 26 percent of teens say they talk daily with friends on a cellphone, down from 38 percent in 2009.

http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_20217573/magid-tech-did-texting-kill-classic-phone

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Technology Class Gives Students Real-World Skills

Friday, March 30th, 2012

by MARC BUCKHOUT, Foothills Focus

The potential is evident in 2011 Cactus Shadows High School graduate Zach Vesledahl who took what he learned about sound engineering in the classroom and turned it into an internship at Universal Studios. The hope is apparent in senior Laura Morton, a student with aspiration of making art part of her career. While her talents once were limited to drawing and painting her newly developed computer skills have increased her spectrum of options. “I came into this class after failing technology in eighth grade,” she said. “I started messing around with Power Point and then I started learning Photo Shop and now I’m making graphics for authors.” Morton’s work earned distinction when her poster was chosen for last year’s Desert Foothills Film Festival.

http://www.thefoothillsfocus.com/032112-MediaClass.asp

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EagleEyes: Technology ‘opens so many doors’ for Northville’s disabled students

Friday, March 30th, 2012

by Julie Brown, Observer and Eccentric

EagleEyes will help Northville students ages 3-26 with cognitive and physical challenges. Farrow wrote the grant for it through Old Village School, with the Northville Education Foundation grant used to purchase technology. “It’s so they have access to a computer,” said Susan Oleson, a speech and language pathologist at Cooke and Old Village Schools for special needs students. EagleEyes will be based at Old Village classrooms at Cooke, and was also supported locally by the Jane Frances Abler Memorial Fund, named for a former student. Students who can’t use a mouse, lacking those motor skills, can with EagleEyes use eye movement for learning, communication and entertainment. It turns electric impulses of muscles around the eye into mouse “clicks,” Oleson said.

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20120322/LIFE/203220409

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More Schools Eye a Blend of Online and Classroom Learning

Friday, March 30th, 2012

By Julie Wootton, Magic Valley

When students arrived Tuesday in BJ Price’s class at Twin Falls High School, visitors from another school district were waiting to observe their class.  But it’s nothing new for Price’s biology students, who didn’t seem to be caught off-guard. “Does anyone have a laptop today?” Price asked as students got settled. A few students pulled out their own laptops and signed into an online program to work on a science lab. Everyone else went to computers at the back of the classroom. A few educators from the Fruitland School District in the Treasure Valley looked over students’ shoulders to see what they were doing. Price and fellow biology teacher Matt Harr are the only teachers at Twin Falls High with a fully “blended” classroom. Visitors from around the state have come to their classrooms to learn more about how the model works.

http://magicvalley.com/news/local/education/more-schools-eye-a-blend-of-online-and-classroom-learning/article_929b24a2-5017-5a53-9d31-f5cd1b31d8a3.html

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Take a class online from Ben Bernanke

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

By E. Scott Reckard, LA Times

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is going back to school – and the public is invited to watch. As part of his efforts to demystify the nation’s central bank, Bernanke has agreed to deliver four online learning lectures to George Washington University. Bernanke, a former economics professor at Stanford and Princeton, will become the first Fed boss to teach as a side job. He’s already become the first to hold regular news conferences and town hall-style meetings.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/fi-mo-bernanke-lecture-20120320,0,4073658.story

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STEM: A Fast Growing and Vital Field with a Declining Share of Women, According to a New Report

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

By Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Jobs in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) fields are expected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, nearly double the growth of all other fields. A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) shows that women are underrepresented in all but one STEM field, and have been losing ground in receipt of STEM degrees from community colleges over the last decade. According to the new report, Increasing Opportunities for Low-Income Women and Student Parents in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Community Colleges, the share of women pursuing degrees in STEM fields at community colleges is significantly declining. In 1997, women earned 33.8 percent of these degrees but that number dropped to 27.5 percent in 2007. Although women make up close to half of the labor force, only one in four STEM jobs is held by a woman.

http://www.bradenton.com/2012/03/20/3949536/stem-a-fast-growing-and-vital.html

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Make Your Own E-Books

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

by Lincoln Mullen, Wired Campus

Making an e-book can be easy—almost trivially easy—using Pandoc, a tool I’ve written about earlier on ProfHacker. Of course, Pandoc isn’t the only way to do this. Mark has used Sigil and written about it, and another good option is Anthologize, which Julie wrote about. Since a good way to learn is by doing, let’s create an e-book of My Favorite ProfHacker Posts. You can follow along with the commands below and these files hosted on GitHub, and you can also look at the Pandoc documentation.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/make-your-own-e-books-with-pandoc/39067

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Tablets Haven’t Killed the PC Yet

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

Despite the substantial growth of mobile handheld and tablet devices, traditional PC desktop and laptop systems aren’t going away anytime soon. Just the opposite, according to a report released this week: Annual PC shipments could grow by nearly 50 percent worldwide between now and 2016. According to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC), total PC shipments worldwide and across all segments grew a modest 1.8 percent in 2011, reaching 353.3 million units. That growth was driven by traditional portable computers (laptops, netbooks, etc.), which increased 4.2 percent overall to 209.4 million units. Desktop PCs actually declined in 2011 worldwide by 1.6 percent from 2010, reaching 144 million units.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2012/03/20/tablets-havent-killed-the-pc-yet.aspx?=CTNU

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Report: Gartner Says Computing is Shifting to the Personal Cloud

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

by Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

A new report from Gartner suggests that by 2014 users will store more of their data in the cloud than on their personal computers. Gartner analysts said they believe that this shift will provide users with greater device flexibility and enable them to be more productive, while organizations will have to rethink their delivery of applications and services. Gartner analysts identified five megatrends that are driving this shift toward the “personal cloud,” as they call it. The megatrends are consumerization, virtualization, app-ification, the ever-available self-service cloud, and the mobility shift.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2012/03/14/report-gartner-says-computing-is-shifting-to-the-personal-cloud.aspx?=CTNU

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Khan Academy for the Masses – ShowMe Boasts 1.5M Lessons

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

by Startl

ShowMe, the startup with the ultimate iPad app and corresponding web platform, turns the iPad into a video whiteboard allows teachers to record lessons while drawing on the touchscreen whiteboard. The recorded video lesson can then be shared on the app and web where learners can browse video lessons on everything from math and physics to finance, history and the arts at their own pace. ShowMe has over 400k downloads since summer 2011 and with over 1.5 million lessons is taking the Khan Academy concept mainstream. ShowMe’s technology powers Princeton Review’s SAT Prep app.

http://startl.org/blog/2012/03/18/khan-academy-for-the-masses-showme-boasts-1-5m-lessons/

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Coding bootcamp teaches students to program robots

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

By Francie Diep, MSNBC

The new nonprofit CodeNow whisks underserved high school students away for a weekend… to learn to code. By Day 2, the students are using Lego Mindstorm, a Lego robotics kit, to program their own robots. Keep in mind that some of these kids don’t have access to the Internet or even to a computer at home, though all are computer literate, CodeNow founder Ryan Seashore said. The students qualify for the program by applying, and the Washington, D.C.-based CodeNow’s team looks especially for girls and kids who receive free or reduced-price lunches, because they’re underrepresented in technology jobs today. There are several programs that provide underserved students with free tutoring in reading and math. After their first weekend, CodeNow students learn more through an online course.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46786949/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/#.T2jLcBG419E

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How About a New Mathematics Curriculum?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

by Max Sauberman, Milburn-ShortHills Patch

When the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the results of its 2009 PISA (Program for International Students Assessment) exam of 15-year-old students, American math scores were dismal. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called these results a “wake-up call,” since our average math scores placed us below 30 other countries. The average, of course, does not represent Millburn, but the warning still carries weight. The Internet offers a solution to improve learning. Khan Academy leads the way. Founded by its only faculty, Mr. Salman Khan, the Khan Academy (KA, khanacademy.org) is a free, online educational resource with a library of 2800+ videos. KA covers the core math subjects: arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus (is that really a subject?), calculus, statistics, through linear algebra—everything from 1+1 = 2 to sin2(x)+cos2(x) = 1 to e^iπ+1 = 0.

http://millburn.patch.com/articles/mhs-musings-a-new-mathematics-curriculum

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Teachers share tips for using smartphones as learning tools in class, at home

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

By DIANE D’AMICO, Press of Atlantic City

For years, schools have banned the use of cellphones in schools. But today some schools are cautiously embracing smartphones as a student-friendly technology that can enhance lessons at little or cost to schools. “This is their life,” said Barbara Horner, an eighth grade language arts teacher at the Emma C. Attales School in Absecon. Patricia Weeks, director of the SRI & ETTC said a major advantage to smartphones is that students already know how to use them. “The teachers are interested in integration, how to use the technology to improve the lesson,” Weeks said. “With a smartphone or tablet they don’t have to teach the students how to use the technology itself.”

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/atlantic/teachers-share-tips-for-using-smartphones-as-learning-tools-in/article_d29a89f2-6e38-11e1-b85a-0019bb2963f4.html

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Bring Your Own Device Prompts School Infrastructure Investments

Monday, March 26th, 2012

By Tanya Roscorla, Converge

Many of the nation’s school districts still don’t have the bandwidth needed to support mobile devices used by students. IT leaders have no idea how much bandwidth usage will grow once students bring their own devices to school for learning, said Bailey Mitchell, chief technology and information officer of Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools, one of the leaders in the bring-your-own-device movement.

http://www.convergemag.com/classtech/BYOD-Forsyth-Infrastructure.html

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Tablet Ownership Skyrockets Among College Students

Monday, March 26th, 2012

By Tanya Roscorla, Converge

Tablet ownership among college students has more than tripled since last year, according to survey results released Wednesday, March 14. As students bring more tablets to college, IT leaders likely will be forced to change the way they provide services and interact with students. Out of approximately 1,200 college students surveyed online in January by Harris Interactive, 25 percent have a tablet. Last year, that number was only 7 percent.

http://www.convergemag.com/infrastructure/Tablet-Skyrockets-College-Students.html

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Startups Aim to Make Coding Fun

Monday, March 26th, 2012

By Rachel Metz, Technology Review

For Jacob Arriola, a business development manager for a Spanish media company in Los Angeles, learning to program wasn’t a necessity. But figuring it might help with his job, he started using an online code-tutorial service called Treehouse in January. After three months with the paid service, he’s earned several dozen badges for completing programming quizzes and challenges, and watching coding-related video lessons. Arriola is one of a growing number of non-techies turning to Web-based sites to learn how to code, either for fun or in hopes of advancing their job prospects. And while the basic concept isn’t new, the execution is. The addition of video-game elements like badges and points is helping startups such as Treehouse take off.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/39926/?p1=A2

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Need for ‘STEM’ workers focus of technology talk in Bellingham

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

by KIE RELYEA – THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

The need for what are known as STEM graduates is critical, said panelists from Bellingham Technical College, Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College. And, yet, interest among U.S. students going into science, engineering, technology and math has dropped while it has climbed sharply in other countries – among them China, Korea and India. “We are losing our competitive advantage technically and scientifically,” said Jeff Wright, dean of the College of Sciences and Technology at WWU.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/03/16/2440632/need-for-stem-workers-focus-of.html

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GRRL Tech expo pushes STEM for girls

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

by Providence Business News

Thursday, the University of Rhode Island played host to 520 girls from 30 Rhode Island public and private high schools for the 11th annual GRRL Tech career expo. GRRL Tech – Girls Reaching Remarkable Levels – is a day-long science, technology, engineering and math expo for sophomore and junior high school girls. The program, a brain child of Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s industry association for information technology and bioscience, offers access to hands-on workshops and career mentoring for high school girls interested in STEM careers.

http://www.pbn.com/GRRL-Tech-expo,66108

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Apple and Samsung bury differences over iPad launch

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

by the BBC

A global legal clash between Apple and Samsung has not stopped the pair working together on the new iPad. The two firms face each other in courtrooms round the world over patents and designs for their respective smartphones and tablets. However, a breakdown of the iPad 3 shows that Samsung makes several parts crucial to its success. Around the world dedicated Apple fans queued overnight to ensure they got an iPad on the day it went on sale.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17397908

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