Educators and government workers help drive cloud adoption in their organizations, a 2013 State of the Cloud Report shows. In a CDW-G survey of 1,242 IT professionals across six sectors, 73 percent say their employees’ personal use of cloud apps has somewhat or significantly influenced their organizations’ decisions to move toward cloud computing. On top of that, 68 percent of IT professionals said employee requests for cloud services have increased over the last two years.
By Patrick Seitz, Investors.com
Google’s (GOOG) augmented-reality eyewear, Google Glass, could be the most exciting new consumer technology to hit the market since Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. But it also could turn out to be the next Segway Human Transporter. Like the overhyped Segway, Google Glass raises societal and legal concerns about its use. After Segway debuted, questions quickly arose about whether it was legal to drive the self-balancing scooter on roads and sidewalks. That ended up hindering adoption of the Segway. Now consider Google Glass. If cellphones are illegal for drivers to use in many places because of distracted driving, what about Google Glass and their eye-level computer display? Maybe that’s one reason why Google is also working on self-driving cars.
Google is giving more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing. The product, dubbed “Google Glass,” will be offered to “bold, creative individuals” selected as part of a contest announced Wednesday. Participants must live in the U.S. and submit an application of up to 50 words explaining what they would do with the Google Glass technology. Entries must include the hash tag “ifihadglass” and be submitted through Google Plus or Twitter by next Wednesday. Google did not say how many glasses it will sell this way. Winners will receive the “Explorer” version of Google Glass, a forerunner of the product that is expected to be released to the mass market next year. Google Inc. already sold an unspecified number of the glasses to computer programmers who also paid $1,500 apiece at a company conference last June.
Microsoft’s mission to connect its consumer and business communications services is running later than many expected, according to the latest Lync roadmap. Microsoft provided an updated roadmap for its Lync unified-communications platform on February 19, the opening day of the company’s first Lync Conference in San Diego. The biggest piece of new news is that Lync-Skype connectivity/federation is coming later than many expected. The first piece of that connectivity — sharing of presence, instant messaging (IM) and voice across the two services — will be available to all Lync users as of June 2013. Video connectivity between Skype and Lync isn’t coming until some time in the next 18 months, officials confirmed today.
Internet anonymity is being eroded by desires to streamline online transactions and the demands of web businesses to know more about us. But is this new world of bring-your-own-ID a good thing? And our social media identities are becoming valuable beyond the boundaries of the website where they were created. “Social media as a source of identity is already being used widely,” said Bob Tarzey, analyst with Quocirca: Facebook users, for example, can use their identity to sign into services such as Spotify, or other websites to post comments. Tarzey sees these identities being used more broadly in the future, which he describes as ‘bring your own identity’ or BYO-ID. According to Quocirca research sponsored by CA Technologies, increasing numbers of organisations are using social media identities as a way of recognising customers and staff — leading to increased interest in identity and access management technologies. “Is it even possible in future that your Facebook or Google identity could be the basis for your access to online banking?” the research asks.
Forget post-PC. Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth envisions a future where the smartphone is the brain of your tablet as well as your laptop and even your TV set, all connected to the cloud. Specifically, Shuttleworth believes that the smartphone of the future will be the single device at the center of the end-user’s universe. In summary, it will act as a “brain” for the tablet, laptop, and even TV sets, which will simply be just modular display and peripheral extensions of the handheld device. In the future, according to the video, smartphones will contain the CPU, storage, and wireless connectivity “core” of the user experience, running on a unified mobile operating system — in this case, Ubuntu running on the ARM architecture.
President Obama has stated that all children should be introduced to computer programming in schools. In a recent Google+ Fireside Hangout interview – via Polygon – Obama said that introducing required computer programming studies in schools “made sense”, given the popularity of gaming among children. He suggested that the move would also help make more kids ‘job-ready by the time they wrap up their education. Citing Mark Zuckerburg as an example of someone who made their riches off the back of a love for gaming, Obama continued, “Part of what I’m trying to do here is make sure that we’re working with high schools and school districts all across the country to make the high school experience relevant for young people, not all of whom are going to get four year college degree or advanced degree.
With government cuts to technology funding for schools over the past few years making it increasingly difficult for educational institutions to raise the standards of IT teaching, the Open University is now looking into the possible benefits of introducing the bring your own device (BYOD) trend into schools. University lecturer Peter Twining, who is heading up the Your Own Technology Survey, says allowing students to bring their own internet-connected devices into the classroom could help schools provide better IT education by removing much of the financial burden associated with purchasing equipment.
The University of London has been in the distance learning business since 1858 Adrian Smith, the university’s new vice chancellor, reminded his audience. Pointing out that there are 52,000 students enrolled in the university’s international programs — who take the same exams as their counterparts in Bloomsbury and receive a University of London degree — Mr. Smith said “there has been an incredible amount of hype” about the online courses. “However, you ignore them at your peril,” he said. “The challenges they pose to the traditional classroom model of knowledge transmission are obvious. The question is no longer whether we should consider MOOCs, but how quickly to get involved.” William Lawton, the director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, the British research group that organized the conference, said that MOOCs had grown out of the movement for open educational resources. “Originally, the ideal was about widening access to elite courses,” he said. “But can it still be about widening access when it’s increasingly about finding new business models and competitive advantage?”
Technology plays an integral part in all aspects of school life: From its use to engage students, to a vehicle to connect teachers from across the district, to streamline administrative tasks such as payroll, to conduct assessment testing, and as an efficient way to communicate with parents and the community. Education technology leaders are unique among IT professionals. Not only must they know all the current and emerging technologies, they must have a deep understanding of how this technology can be used to transform education.
Research analyst Vanessa Vega, a researcher with the Center for Learning in Informal and Formal Environments at Stanford University, has put some thought into this. Writing for the George Lucas-funded website Edutopia, Vega identifies three key principles that aid successful technology integration into teaching and learning. These are situations in which students play an active role in their learning and receive frequent personalized feedback, where students learn to both critically analyze and create media of their own, and where teachers connect classroom activities to the world outside. Successful classroom technology integration is achieved, she suggests, when the technology is routine and transparent, accessible and readily available for the task at hand, and supportive of both curricular goals and also providing multiple paths for students to reach those goals.
During social studies class, eighth-grader Elliott Headden sketches timelines on his iPad 3. While in math class, he writes math problems using his finger on the iPad screen and shows his teacher the calculations and solutions. In science class Headden uses a search engine app to look up quick facts, such as the sugar content in bananas or the population of the world. The Episcopal School of Knoxville student carries the iPad his parents gave him for Christmas to each of his classes as part of a new FLEx 1:1 Middle School Technology program. FLEx 1:1 refers to the free-platform learning exchange ESK’s Technology Director Julie King created to support the integration of technology into the school curriculum. The aim of the program is to allow digital devices to be used by students in class to collaborate and learn in more innovative ways.
What some may call an ‘unsurprising’ 71% of 16 to 24-years-olds own smartphones, so why aren’t teachers utilising these in the classroom or campus? Is the use of these devices going to detract from the learning process or contribute to future workplace skills? Should teachers be using techniques such as augmented reality (AR) to engage students and develop their skills for the modern world? Well, I say ‘yes’. I believe we should be embracing these opportunities. For instance I see AR as a real opportunity for colleges and universities, not only as a way to market and promote themselves, but as a way to communicate with learners and improve the student experience.
Samsung may be working on a smart watch to complement its Galaxy line of phones, according to screenshots found by Slashgear Thursday. The watch, allegedly named the Galaxy Altius, runs an OS titled “AltiusOS beta2,” so though it follows the Galaxy path, it’s unclear whether the watch will be part of the Android family. The screenshots from the watch are black and white and 500×500 pixels in size (though it’s unclear if any post-processing took place) and according to one of them, the watch packs 235MB of internal storage space. One screenshot shows selection panels for music, e-mail, and maps. The watch also appears to tell time.
Should bands be allocated through bidding for exclusive licenses – as with TV channels and cellular phone service – that transmit sound, data and video in a particular geographic area? Or should bands remain unlicensed for shared use among many players? To meet the goals of accessibility, affordability and continued innovation, it is time to free up more spectrum for unlicensed use. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in a 2012 report highly recommends this major change: “the norm for spectrum use should be sharing, not exclusivity.”
In an unplanned series of sorts, we’re showcasing a couple of posts about the 2013 NMC/EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Horizon Report for Higher Education. We’ve already talked about the key trends in the report and some challenges we face in implementing education technology, so we’re ready to take a look at the six technologies highlighted in the report as being game-changers for education. Since MOOCs were at the top of the list (identified as part of the ‘first horizon’, or entering mainstream use in a year or less), we’ll start with that.
With the explosion of the Internet into the classroom and the ever-growing confidence of our children and teenagers at navigating websites, social networks and online forums, there is every reason for teachers and parents alike to guard vigilantly against the problem of cyber bullying. But with the help of fantastic sites and initiatives like these, there’s also brilliant support out there to help us tackle it and give our students and children the tools they need to counter it too!
‘I am a student of Bangalore University pursuing an online correspondence course from California University.’ A few decades ago a phrase like this would have been quixotic in nature. The world was a bigger place to be in and it was beyond a common man’s reach to explore all parts of it in his lifetime. Today a person, be it a child or a full grown adult has full access and variety of choice regarding the kind of education he/she wants to pursue. Along with assistance to current education system, it has also provided the youth with fresh ideas and practices prevalent in other nations that it could take inspiration from. Another student says “With time, I realised its not just merely getting a certificate but this course has introduced me to a new kind of learning.
American Honors charges community college rates for top-notch courses, sets students up to transfer into a respected bachelor’s degree program. What if you, or your college age child, could earn a degree from a big-name university without the big-name sticker shock that goes with it? Changing the formula for college affordability is the goal of the American Honors program created by startup Quad Learning. The idea is to combine the cost structure of a community college, and two years of courses taught online by community college professors, with a rigorous academic curriculum that sets students up to transfer into a traditional on-campus program at a respected four-year university.
Online classes have exploded in popularity, with more than six times as many students enrolled in electronic K-12 courses now as compared to a decade ago, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Advocates say online classes offer a more flexible and personalized form of education, allowing students to progress at their own pace and on their own time. Supporters also tout online education as a way to dramatically expand course offerings, particularly at rural schools. But the rapid growth of online education is raising concerns—especially as more for-profit companies launch online programs. While unscrupulous or incompetent online educators may be rare, there are enough of them that many states are considering ratcheting up their oversight.