by Lawrence Biemiller, Chronicle of Higher Ed A study comparing traditional and “flipped” versions of a pharmacy-school course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that students much preferred the flipped course and got better grades. ..
If you have a current-gen Kinect, you could soon be the owner of your very own selfie statue. In concept, Shapify.me's service is similar to Germany's Twinkind, which set up a photo booth for your portrait, but Shapify's a little more DIY (and a little more lo-res).
Using Kinect for Windows or Kinect for Xbox 360, you can scan in your own image. First, you need to download and install the Shapify.me app and the Microsoft Kinect SDK.
Then you connect the Kinect to your computer and press the "capture" button to start scanning. This is when you need to get into position -- about 3 feet away from the Kinect, which should be at about chest height -- and strike a pose, turning slowly in a circle, stopping at 45-degree intervals for eight shots.
As you can see by the sample image above, it's not perfect, but at a flat rate of $59, a lot cheaper than Twinkind's booth, it's not a bad deal. Currently, the service ships to the US, Canada, and Europe, and the company says it will be extending its services worldwide soon.
Jeremy Swider doesn’t believe in out-of-body travel. But when the music instructor worked with orchestra students in Grand Rapids this week, he was 175 miles away.
Swider is part of an experiment that brings professional musicians from Minnesota’s oldest music school — the nonprofit MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis — to classrooms in rural Minnesota through real-time video instruction. Think video conferencing, but with excellent audio and visual capacities on a 40-inch screen.
Launched in 2011 to help cash-strapped rural school districts boost their music programs, it’s grown from a pilot project in one school to 17 school districts and 1,500 students. And the numbers keep growing.
The program is one of the first of its kind in the nation, said MacPhail President Paul Babcock. While a handful of the nation’s premier music schools for advanced students have tapped the technology, it’s never been available to ordinary — and often lower income — students in small-town bands and orchestras.
With the holidays approaching, music directors across the state are getting guest teachers to help prepare for their December concerts.
“For me, it gives another perspective on how to teach [music] concepts,” said Dan Alto, director of instruction for the Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program, which was working with Swider this week on the big screen.
“It’s really nice to do something different,” added Rachel Hagen, a viola player at Grand Rapids High School who is part of his group. “You learn new techniques.”
The instruction, so far, has been free to participating schools and students, thanks to underwriting from the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Legacy funding, the National Endowment for the Arts and foundation grants.
Nobody told eighth-grader Cassidy Williams that computer programming isn’t for girls. Williams overheard a schoolmate talking about the website he was making, and decided she wanted one, too. So she built one.
Like a tourist who arrives in Paris barely able to say “Bonjour,” Williams expanded her coding vocabulary by surmounting new challenges. Before long, she could flow graphic elements and text on the colorful, “silly” Web pages she cobbled together. A photo gallery came next, and a chat room followed. When Williams invited her schoolgirl chums to the site, a lively social community blossomed within her creation.
“This was before Facebook, and they were all embracing it just as much as I was,” Williams recalls. At the time, no one mentioned the words “geek” or “nerd.” No one told her that girls don’t code. That would come later.
Few girls and women learn computer programming skills in the United States, and the number who do is falling. In 1990-91, 29 percent of all undergraduate computer and information science bachelor’s degrees went to women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Now, only 18 percent do. A growing band of experts say those numbers must change — not only to give women better opportunities, but to strengthen the U.S. economy. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million open jobs in fields related to computing, and at current U.S. graduation rates for computer science degrees, two-thirds will go unfilled by Americans.
When technology boomed inside the territories of the global hemisphere, all aspects of human life were vastly affected. Especially, the educational sector brought in huge wonders. Students were shoved off the heavy burden of following the same boring conventional educational methods.
“Classroom flipping” was a hit, resulting in wide smiles on the murky faces of students and revival of new spirit of teaching in teachers.
To begin with, classroom flipping requires that you reach to every student effectively. Listen to their queries, do on-the-spot mentoring and get them to pursue the rest of the class activities with enthusiasm. This process is successful only when instructions are moved from group learning space to individual learning space. Now what the hurdle here could be:
What happens when you get an entire audience to stand up and connect with one another? Chaos, that's what. At least, that's what happened when Jane McGonigal tried to teach TED to play her favorite game.
Sanford Arbogast's insight:
become a Legendary Grand Master in under 1 minute!
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The concept of Gamification is easy to understand, and hard to carry out at the same time. Basically it’s about applying game design techniques and elements into reality. With it various goals can be achieved.
50+ Ways to Use Twitter in Your Classroom ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning on New Ed Tech and Online Education Developments curated by WebTeachers (Have you seen: 50+ Ways to Use Twitter in Your Classroom ~ Educational Technology and...
Classrooms have had computers for decades, but in the past few years the buzz about “education technology” (or edtech) has become persistent, especially in America. This is because of new generations of learning software, free online tutorials and better connectivity.
Students are also getting ever more gadgets, as iPads and other tablets are handed out in schools. Adaptive learning software is starting to show great promise. These tools offer personalised education for every child, so that they can learn at their own pace.
Free online courses such as the KhanAcademy’s mathematics classes are allowing schools to take a more selective approach in acquiring learning resources. (Why buy a digital maths textbook when you can use an online course free?)
Tony Wan, a staff writer at Edsurge, predicts that 2014 will see a big push to making coding and computer science part of the curriculum, with children encouraged to be producers rather than consumers of technology.
Jason Tomassini, a spokesperson for Digital Promise, a non-profit that works to spur innovation in education, predicts that 2014 will see less emphasis on one-to-one devices and more on educational outcomes. To that end, Mr Tomassini's group is offering a new initiative in 2014, with funding from the Gates Foundation, called Teacher Wallets.
Three hundred teachers will receive $6,000 each. With this they can buy digital courseware, and make their own decisions about the technology they use in the classroom. Connectivity in schools will continue to improve in 2014 but will not be as fast or cheap as it should be.
Edtech has also arrived in higher education. Universities are offering many new online classes to registered students, as well as to members of the public. These free degree classes have become more widely known as “massive open online courses” (MOOCs), and will continue to cause much debate in 2014.
A team of European astronomers has discovered a second planetary system, the closest parallel to our own solar system yet found. It includes seven exoplanets orbiting a star with the small rocky planets close to their host star and the gas giant planets further away. The system was hidden within the wealth of data from the Kepler Space Telescope.
KOI-351 is “the first system with a significant number of planets (not just two or three, where random fluctuations can play a role) that shows a clear hierarchy like the solar system — with small, probably rocky, planets in the interior and gas giants in the (exterior),” Dr. Juan Cabrera, of the Institute of Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center, told Universe Today.
Three of the seven planets orbiting KOI-351 were detected earlier this year, and have periods of 59, 210 and 331 days — similar to the periods of Mercury, Venus and Earth.
But the orbital periods of these planets vary by as much as 25.7 hours. This is the highest variation detected in an exoplanet’s orbital period so far, hinting that there are more planets than meets the eye.
In closely packed systems, the gravitational pull of nearby planets can cause the acceleration or deceleration of a planet along its orbit. These “tugs” cause the variations in orbital periods.
They also provide indirect evidence of further planets. Using advanced computer algorithms, Cabrera and his team detected four new planets orbiting KOI-351.
Science teacher Vance Kite spent most of the 90-minute lesson on genetic mutations at City of Medicine Academy circulating the room, talking to students, answering their questions and drawing diagrams of chromosomes.
Absent from this Advanced Placement biology class was a formal lecture. Students arrived in class already having watched Kite’s graphics-rich genetics lecture online.
This is the second year Kite has “flipped” his AP biology class. Students watch his recorded 10-minute lectures for homework, and class time is devoted to discussion, questions and experiments.
Flipping classrooms is a growing national trend in public schools and universities, even though extensive evidence that this teaching method is more effective than traditional lecturing is sparse.
Research into student performance in flipped classrooms is ongoing, but educator Lodge McCammon says they are more efficient. McCammon developed a training program for teachers who want to flip classrooms while at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation in Raleigh.
Flipping, he said, improves learning because students spend more time on activities and less listening to lectures.
“You get to the activity quicker, and it’s the activity where the students really learn,” McCammon said.