Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota moves into the vanguard of online and mobile learning by incorporating the iPad into its online graduate programs in Project Management, Organizational Leadership, and Human Resource Management in May. Each student will receive an iPad preloaded with programs and resources and will use it to access the online learning environment, electronic resources, content-creation tools, and student services. But rather than functioning as a static device for receiving information, the iPad is deeply integrated into the curriculum of the programs, incorporating both native applications and specially designed learning activities that will enable and enhance student-to-student, student-to-instructor, and student-to-content interaction.
Last fall, Internet2 began helping colleges drive down the price of cloud computing by negotiating group deals between its members and technology companies. The collective-bargaining project is now expanding to include new partnerships with firms including Dell and Microsoft, the group announced today. The effort, known as Internet2 Net+ Services, brings together companies offering cloud services and the nonprofit consortium’s 221 member colleges. Internet2’s leaders say the program lets administrators save money by taking advantage of their collective buying power, and it gives them an organized method of selecting tools for their institutions. The first companies to sign on were the technology giant HP and the online file-storage service Box, which announced their participation in October. Today’s additions include prominent companies such as Dell and Microsoft, whose cloud platforms will support collaborative research projects on Internet2′s high-speed-network backbone.
IU School of Education professor Curt Bonk hopes to teach teachers. Bonk has pioneered an online course in online teaching. “Bonk is not a person who says, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’” said Chuck Carney, IU School of Education director of communications and media relations. “If you’re going to have a course on online education, it would seem like it would have to be online.” Coursesites, the online program Bonk uses, sponsored five free correspondence courses for online professors. Before registration opened, nearly 1,000 people had already indicated interest in the course. Bonk said the course will provide instruction on “fostering creativity, teamwork and provide the building blocks for effective learning.” “If we recognize that millions of college kids are taking at least one class on the Internet, what percent of their professors have been trained in how to teach online?” Bonk said.
Which of the following describes careers in software engineering?
A. Intellectually stimulating and gratifying.
B. Excellent pay for new bachelor’s degree grads.
C. A career dead-end.
The correct answer (with a “your mileage may vary” disclaimer) is: D. All of the above.
Although the very term “coding” evokes an image of tedium, it is an intellectually challenging activity, creative and even artistic. If you like puzzles and are good analytically, software development may be your cup of tea. You not only get to solve puzzles for a living, but in essence you compose them. The downside? Well, say you interview as a graduating college senior at Facebook Inc. (FB) You may find, to your initial delight, that the place looks just like a fun-loving dorm — and the adults seem to be missing. But that is a sign of how the profession has devolved in recent years to one lacking in longevity. Many programmers find that their employability starts to decline at about age 35.
The weekly roundup of Generation Y and student resources you may have missed. This edition of TeenTech weekly rounds up Generation Y and student news that you may have missed. This week we’ve read about teachers ‘friending’ students on Facebook, Gen-Y in the workplace and virtual high schools. Ten top news reports on computers and teens.
Online education is expanding rapidly. More and more teachers and students are demanding the introduction of online learning in K-12 as well as in higher education. Cloud-based online education helps prospective students to earn degrees more conveniently than in a traditional classroom format. Besides, a greater number of people can enroll for online courses since it permits anyone, from any part of the world, to receive education, overcoming geographical constraints. Through online university class registration and on payment of fees, a person can easily enroll in to the desired higher education course.
Sherry Turkle’s essay in Sunday’s New York Times, “The Flight From Conversation,” raised several critical questions about how our desire to be connected via technology can also be a powerful mechanism for avoiding significant human contact. Turkle, a psychologist and professor at MIT, is no technophobe. She argues, though, that the tiny “sips” of contact through social networking “no matter how valuable … do not substitute for conversation.”
Students in Karen Strader’s and Ilana Marcus’s algebra II classes at Framingham High don’t do homework, at least not the traditional kind. And that’s something the teachers were excited to tell the School Committee last night. This year Strader, Marcus and several other algebra teachers have implemented a new education approach called “flipping classrooms.” The model essentially flips the traditional classroom setup: students spend their class time doing problems and working on projects, and then review notes and learn new material at home after school. While the method has its drawbacks, Strader said the flipped classroom approach has mostly succeeded by making students take charge of their own learning.
Ashley Munroe, a senior, may be sitting in the Westerly High School library, but she is studying a course that the high school does not offer: Mandarin Chinese. “I kind of want to go into political science, so Mandarin, I think, will help eventually with it, because I want to get into a place in government,” she says. Megan Sylvia, also a senior, has completed a course in mythology, and junior Margaret Crook is taking a course in marketing and e-commerce. Using distance learning, these students can take classes and exams and interact with teachers and other students without ever meeting them in person.
While Google’s ease of use and accessibility have made it a primary tool for research, it is important for students to understand that a simple search can also lead to misinformation. While accessible information is increasing exponentially, so is the challenge of finding what is relevant. Young scholars need to learn how to discern what is reliable and what is misleading. Too many students are citing inadequate sources, and it is the role of the librarian to teach students to find reliable sources, interpret them, and evaluate the quality of the information they present. Online scientific encyclopedias such as Thermopedia or AccessScience can help students discover the content they need to develop a solid background in specific subject areas.
Many educators–as well as the feds and plenty of state governments–believe that the solution to high textbook costs lies with a shift to digital content. After all, if you eliminate the printing, the trucking, the warehousing, and all the other hassles related to physical inventory, you’re left with only the writing, production, development, and marketing. Surely that will bring down the prices students have to pay for curriculum? But if that were true, why hasn’t the digital-content pilot at Florida’s Daytona State College shown far greater savings? According to a report by the pilot’s researchers, “during three of the project’s four semesters, students enrolled in some of the e-text pilot sections paid only $1 less for rental of their e-texts than students who bought a printed book, due to publisher pricing decisions.” Worse, these students couldn’t sell their e-texts back to the campus bookstore like the owners of print books could, “which increased their disappointment.”
Under the auspices of the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project, a hundred thought leaders from 20 countries gathered last January to list the most important metatrends and global challenges facing education in the next 10 years. Their collective insight will help inform a special metatrends edition of the NMC Horizon Report being released this spring. The January discussion referenced 28 metatrends, but NMC identified the 10 most compelling in a communiqué issued about the meeting. “What’s interesting is that the list is not really about technology, per se,” CEO Larry Johnson tells CT. “It’s about how people expect the world to work–such as how they collaborate, or openness as a value.”
Technology teaches us to forget the past. Last year’s tech news seems like it has no use whatsoever. Thankfully, historians beg to differ, and they have begun to preserve the history of the tech industry as it becomes more and more important to the evolution of our lives and world. Those who understand the history of technology and the people who made it happen can probably figure out more quickly how to build on the shoulders of giants and advance technology further. Here’s some books that are great fun to read because they either relate great ideas that influenced a generation of technologists or because they chronicle the lives of people who changed the world. This list includes books that have stood the test of time and are worth a look for the history lover. And it includes new books, such as Walter Isaacson’s tome on Steve Jobs, that are likely to be the new classics. It doesn’t, however, include any tech textbooks. My focus is on books that deliver not just a technical understanding of how something works today, but hard-earned wisdom.
Two years after Apple introduced the iPad, the tablet is becoming increasingly popular with educators of students with special needs, especially learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. These teachers and administrators are repeatedly turning to iPads, which cost between $300 and $800, and other tablets to improve communication, reading and math skills, to virtually dissect animals or to give students an easier way to take notes. Results, they say, are promising. “I feel like it’s a much more powerful day” for students, said Katherine Schantz, head of the Lab School, which has about 100 iPads for approximately 350 students. “We’ve reduced
Whether you want to use it as a study tool for your own education or bring it in as an alternative way for students in your classes to learn a subject, it’s simple and free to get started with Khan Academy. This is perhaps a large part of the reason why it’s proving so popular nationwide. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the many schools that are using Salman Khan’s instructional videos to teach, learn, share, and grow from elementary school to high school. You may just find inspiration to start using Khan Academy on your own!
During a recent visit to a local Apple retail store with my children, who are in elementary and middle school, I noticed a mother holding her 2-year-old son at the iPad tablet display. The young toddler was intently and intuitively tapping at the icons on the screen and opening software applications (apps) on his own. The mother said that her son uses the iPad just as much as she does at home. She downloads apps specifically designed for babies to learn numbers and letters. This is the wired generation. Kids seem to instinctively know how to navigate computer screens and learn new programs quickly and easily, from a young age. Electronic devices are a natural part of growing up now.
Should students and teachers ever be friends on Facebook? School districts across the country, including the nation’s largest, are weighing that question as they seek to balance the risks of inappropriate contact with the academic benefits of social networking. At least 40 school districts nationwide have approved social media policies. Schools in New York City and Florida have disciplined teachers for Facebook activity, and Missouri legislators recently acquiesced to teachers’ objections to a strict statewide policy.
Yale University will offer nine online courses as part of its Summer Session program. Each class is offered entirely online for Yale College Credit. What’s more, students learn directly with Yale University Professors, using innovative virtual classroom technology. This brief video takes you inside the Yale online classroom.
In every district, in every school, in every grade, there is that great teacher who all parents want for their children. So, parents cross their fingers that their child is among the lucky ones to end up on that teacher’s roster. What if that terrific teacher could reach two, three or even five times as many students? That is one of the promises of online learning, said Bryan Hassel, co-director of Public Impact and a speaker on the webcasted Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s panel on Education Reform for a Digital Era.
In this video, science fiction master Isaac Asimov (who died in 1992) describes a future world where self directed, online learning allows individuals at any age to learn about whatever truly fascinates them. For a young company committed to disrupting education, it’s enormously encouraging that such a famous futurist foretold the coming of specific features MentorMob is providing. Technology is crushing barriers to education left and right, and in Asimov’s words, soon, “everyone can have a teacher in the form of access to the gathered knowledge of the human species.”
Princeton, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Michigan, and Stanford are now offering online courses…for free. The classes will open doors to people who wouldn’t have had them opened otherwise. Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson is pooling $25 million to start an online “Ivy League,” The Minerva Project.