With Planet eBook, teachers can access more than 80 free eBooks to download and use in the classroom. Students can access these books on their tablets and use them inside and out of the classroom. -education world
edX recently commissioned a study of nearly 1,000 videos, segmenting them out by by video type and production style, and discovered this among their other findings:
Shorter videos are more engaging. Engagement drops after 6 minutes.Videos with a more personal feeling are more effective than high-fidelity studio recordings. Videos in which the instructor speaks quickly and with high enthusiasm are more engaging.Khan-style tablet drawings are more engaging than power point slides.
Via Dennis T OConnor
When we first heard about the new LMS that Google was developing there was a widespread state of excitement – hoping that those who use Google Apps for Education and Google Drive would be rejoicing in the seamless integration of their services with a learning management system interface. Well, now that people are getting access […
Moodle is a magnificent free product and has the potential to enable schools and teachers to build wonderfully unique interactive online learning courses in which learner interaction can be tracked, measured and responded to. Despite this the vast majority of Moodle courses I see are a long list of Word and PDF documents with at best a few forums that enable a minimum of human social interaction.
Nik makes some great points about Moodle - or really putting any content online - there has to be instructional design training, online teaching training or blended teaching training and how to select content for online delivery. technical training alone is not enough.
Zoom's Head of Product Marketing, Nick Chong, discusses our growth tactics.
Donna Farren's insight:
This is seriously one of the easiest and best videoconferencing desktop solutions I have used. It has a mobile app and works on every platform. It is easy to use and it just works. You can do content sharing, desktop sharing and videoconferencing. If you are looking for ease of use and great quality - try Zoom.
With the recent announcement of Google Classroom, school districts and educators across the country that are currently integrating Google Apps for Education into their classrooms are awaiting the opportunity to gain access to Google’s workflow solution. While there are currently a number of workflow solutions and approaches within Google Drive that classroom teachers can take that range from manual organization and file / folder sharingto advanced automation with tools such as Doctopus, Google Classroom provides a viable option that strikes a balance – blending tight integration with Google Drive, an intuitive interface and advanced features that experienced Google Drive users are looking for.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.
The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user’s finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.
Reading is as easy as pointing the finger at text. Special software tracks the finger movement, identifies words and processes the information. The device has vibration motors that alert readers when they stray from the script, said Roy Shilkrot, who is developing the device at the MIT Media Lab.
For Jerry Berrier, 62, who was born blind, the promise of the FingerReader is its portability and offer of real-time functionality at school, a doctor’s office and restaurants.
“When I go to the doctor’s office, there may be forms that I wanna read before I sign them,” Berrier said.
He said there are other optical character recognition devices on the market for those with vision impairments, but none that he knows of that will read in real time.
New Wharton research examines the impact that massive open online courses (MOOCs) will have on business schools and MBA programs.
Donna Farren's insight:
This is one of the most exciting interviews I have read/watched about education in a while. I read the original article and may have even posted it. But they are talking about an entire new model of online education - of education really. It is what we were talking about when I started elearning in the late 90's and then everyone started re-creating traditional education online. They expose the high drop out rates of MOOC's as the "red herring" they are - measuring new inovations with old measurements. They talk about new models of delivering education on-demand. It is exciting stuff! Well done!
A common joke among college teachers is that our students “get younger every year.” This fall we will marvel that our students were born in the year Bill Clinton ran for a second term, Madeleine Albright was appointed the first female secretary of state, the Unabomber was arrested and Dolly the cloned sheep was born. …
Leave it to NPR to get me thinking. I recently heard a story that asked whether some images or videos, like that of the recent execution of journalist James Foley, should be censored by media outlets such as social media sites. The New York Post was vilified for running a picture taken of Foley just before he was murdered, while Twitter and YouTube both scrambled to remove videos of the event and suspend user accounts. Should social media sites have the right to censor content like this or any content at all?
Donna Farren's insight:
Super interesting thoughts on censorship - especially on reviews. Working in education we are always looking for ways to add reviews to classes and people are always terrified of the bad review. Interesting thoughts on handling poor reviews and censoring them as well.
"In his new book, “How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens,” author Benedict Carey informs us that “most of our instincts about learning are misplaced, incomplete, or flat wrong” and “rooted more in superstition than in science.”
A 2013 ruling by the Department of Labor established a baseline for federal contractors to have 7% of their workforce be individuals with disabilities. Additionally, passage by the U.S. House and Senate of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) demonstrates a growing emphasis on hiring more individuals with disabilities. However, for this trend to be successful for businesses, they must improve their recruitment and retention of these individuals.
This is really interesting stuff - the information we have waiting for from MOOCs and all their data. Although even though they said the videos should be shorter than 10 minutes and they said the average was 6 - I was surprised it was that long. When I see an hour or two of lectures just divided into 10 - or even 6 minutes - segments it is hard for me to push through. But I am optimistic that as MOOC's mature there will be a move away from the lecture format. Interesting stuff here and a link to the paper as well!
"Save a life, perhaps even yours. Virtual driving simulation curriculum, complete with accident consequences, such as having to visit a judge or pay for a ticket, are taking student driver’s education to a whole new level. "
As of January 2014, nine out of 10 Americans own a cell phone, with almost half using a smartphone (Pew Research, 2014). Given the ubiquity of mobile devices, it makes sense for instructors to leverage this technology to improve communication with students.
Donna Farren's insight:
This is a pretty cool idea, I may try it with my next class!
A few weeks ago, a colleague emailed me about some trouble she was having with her first attempt at blended instruction. She had created some videos to pre-teach a concept, incorporated some active learning strategies into her face-to-face class to build on the video, and assigned an online quiz so she could assess what the students had learned. After grading the quizzes, however, she found that many of the students struggled with the concept. “Maybe,” she wondered, “blended instruction won’t work with my content area.”
Donna Farren's insight:
This is a great article about formative assessment - all kinds, not just tests and quizzes - and it's role in blended learning. I really like how the author asks what do YOU learn from your students that is missing when you take a blended approach? In their excitment to "flip" a classroom people forget so much of what they know about good teaching. This is a great reminded not to leave steps out!
The DiRT Directory is a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use. DiRT makes it easy for digital humanists and others conducting digital research to find and compare resources ranging from content management systems to music OCR, statistical analysis packages to mindmapping software. [ Link at: http://dirtdirectory.org/ ]
One “dog year” supposedly equals seven human years. But does one year feel like seven years to a dog? Evidence suggests that distinct species do indeed experience passing time on different scales. A recent study in Animal Behavior reveals that body mass and metabolic rate determine how animals of different species perceive time.
Time perception depends on how rapidly an animal's nervous system processes sensory information. To test this ability, researchers show animals a rapidly flashing light. If the light flashes quickly enough, animals (and humans) perceive it as a solid, unblinking light. The animal's behavior or its brain activity, as measured by electrodes, reveals the highest frequency at which each species perceives the light as flashing. Animals that can detect the blinking at higher frequencies are perceiving time at a finer resolution. In other words, movements and events will appear to unfold more slowly to them—think slow-motion bullet dodging in an action movie.
The scientists who ran the new study gathered data from previous experiments on the rate at which visual information is processed in 34 vertebrates, including lizards, birds, fish and mammals. The scientists hypothesized that the ability to detect incoming sights at a high rate would be advantageous for animals that must perform the equivalent of bullet dodging—responding to visual stimuli very quickly to catch elusive prey or escape predators, for instance. These animals tend to be lighter and have faster metabolisms. The data bore out the hypothesis: species that perceived time at the finest resolutions tended to be smaller and have faster metabolisms.
These findings show that differences in how a mouse and an elephant sense time are not arbitrary but rather are finely tuned by interactions with their surroundings. A link between time perception, body structure and physiology suggests that different nervous systems have developed to balance pressures from the natural environment with energy conservation. Rapid perception might be essential for a hawk but would waste a whale's precious energy. As for Fido, a year really does seem longer to him than it does to you, but probably not by a factor of seven. Dogs can take in visual information at least 25 percent faster than humans—just enough to make a television show look like a series of flickering images.