Tsunami-damaged nuclear reactors, Twitter -fueled political uprisings, a possible violation of Einsteinian physics--these and other highlights defined this year in science and technology...
Via Gust MEES
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|Rescooped by Jim Lerman from Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks|
Next September, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will be replaced by a flexible curriculum in computing, designed with the help of universities and industry. But will teachers – particularly those working in primary schools – have the necessary skills and expertise to deliver the new subject? What role should industry play in the implementation of the new curriculum? And how can we ensure young people have the right skills for the jobs of the future?
These were some of the questions raised at a recent debate hosted by the Guardian, in association with Microsoft, ahead of the introduction of the new computing curriculum in schools.
In the opening part of the discussion, participants were asked to explain why having computing on the curriculum is important. "The old ICT curriculum was about digital use," said Ian Livingstone, cofounder of Games Workshop. "In terms of the games industry, it's like someone being able to play the video game Angry Birds, but having no idea how to make Angry Birds. So the old ICT [curriculum] was, effectively, teaching kids how to read, but not how to write."
Paul Curzon – professor of computer science at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London – agreed, adding: "It's like a toddler being able to jump and land. He can do it without knowing any physics. But actually understanding why when you jump, you land – that's learning the physics. And computing is the equivalent."
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Image is of Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of Udacity
Summary by Carnegia Perspectives
"Two years after a Stanford professor drew 160,000 students from around the globe to a free online course on artificial intelligence, starting what was widely viewed as a revolution in higher education, early results for such large-scale courses are disappointing, forcing a rethinking of how college instruction can best use the Internet "
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"As grantmakers and nonprofits are looking for ways to collaborate more effectively, many are experimenting working with and through networks to achieve greater impact. Because networks are by definition loosely controlled and emergent, understanding how to effectively support them feels like a mystery to many grantmakers.
"GEO's newest publication sets out to crack the code behind the network mystique. In fact, there is a method to working more efficiently and effectively through networks, and a critical first step for grantmakers is adopting a network mindset, which may require dramatic shifts in attitude and behavior for some.Cracking the Network Code outlines four principles that comprise the network mindset, illustrates the principles with a range of examples of networks that have achieved real results, and offers practical questions and recommendations to help grantmakers achieve the benefits and avoid common pitfalls of working through networks."
Jim Lerman's insight:
Do not be misled by the title of this whitepaper; it is not just for grantmakers. In my view, it as a guidebook for anyone on how to thrive in the new organizational space of nodes and hubs. "Those who embrace the network mindset see their organization as one part of a larger web of activity directed toward a cause, not as the hub of the action....The network mindset is about advancing the mission even before advancing the organization."
If you have been influenced by ideas such as Connectivism, or authors such as Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi (Flow) or Carol Dweck (Mindset) or Clay Shirkey (Here Comes Everybody), or people such as Gandhi, King, or Mandela, then you will be right at home with Cracking the Network Code. It is about how to get things done through maximizing the power of networked collaboration.
via The Scout Project
Steve Hargadon announces in his most recent Learning Revolution Newsletter:
We are excited to announce that the keynote sessions from the following conferences can now be watched on YouTube: School Leadership Summit 2013, Homeschool Conference 2013, STEMxCon 2013, Library 2.012 and 2.013, and the Global Education Conference 2012 and 2013. Visit each of the conference sites to see all of the session recordings.
Jim Lerman's insight:
What a treasure trove of resources. Hargadon is a master organizer.
by Timothy Pratt
"A single public school counselor in the United States has a caseload of 471 students, on average,according to the American School Counselor Association, or ASCA. In high schools, where counselors are often the primary source of information about college — especially as increasing numbers of students become the first in their families to consider it — each one is responsible for an average of 239 students, the ASCA says. In California, the ratio is an even more unwieldy 1-to-500. AGeorgia School Counselors Association survey puts the number in that state at 1-to-512.
"To make matters worse, budget cuts are forcing counselors to perform more duties unrelated to their traditional roles, such as monitoring the school cafeteria or proctoring exams, says Eric Sparks, the ASCA’s assistant director.
"And if that wasn’t cause enough for concern, what little time counselors have to advise students about college is not as productive as it could be, since most get scant training in the subject before taking on the job, reports Alexandria Walton Radford, a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education who has studied the issue.
"The result is an overtaxed system in which many students fall through the cracks and either never go to college, go to institutions that are the wrong matches for them, or never learn about financial aid for which they may qualify."
From the Introduction to the Report (issued in late Nov. 2013)
"In his charge to the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, MIT President L. Rafael Reif asked “that this Task Force be bold in experimenting with ideas that would both enhance the education of our own students on our own campus and that would allow us to offer some version of our educational experience to learners around the world.” This preliminary report of the Task Force on the Future of MIT Education is intended to communicate evolving themes and to describe opportunities to strengthen the Institute’s global leadership in education. It represents the exploration of a wide range of ideas that have emerged over the past six months. The possibilities for experimentation contained in this report reflect the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and staff who brought their experience and knowledge to this work. With the guidance of advisory groups and input from the broader MIT community through the Idea Bank and group discussions, this work also reflects MIT’s unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and service to the world."
Jim Lerman's insight:
For those interested in the future of higher education, this is a very important document.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:
No quick fix. That should be the title of this article because these educators remind us that changing something as large and diverse as education takes time. Professional development takes time. Parents, politicians, administrators, and teachers need to realize that good education takes time.
But we believe that education policy makers and mathematics educators should resist the common wish for a quick fix and stay the course, modifying goals and efforts as results suggest such actions.
I believe that education policy makers, administrators of schools and districts of all sizes and types, and ALL educators need to take a deep breath and crowd out all of the noise.
As I repeatedly tell educators: You know your kids, your teams, your parents, and your community better than anyone else. While other schools or districts may have similar problems, they're only similar problems. What works there may not work precisely the same way if at all in your classrooms. Have a vision with clear outcomes so you everyone knows what they are trying to accomplish and why. Yes, better education but, precisely, what and how knowing that the solution for your K-3 classrooms may not be the same for your middle schools, etc. Clearly define your criteria for success, and stay the course. Don't settle for less. You can do this!
"Mainstream education has traditionally put an emphasis on mastery of core academic content, particularly since the inception of "No Child Left Behind." Emerging research is demonstrating that other, non-content skills and competencies are important to success in school and career. Variously referred to as non-cognitive competencies, social emotional skills, and/or 21st century skills, these skills find themselves represented in StriveTogether's Student Roadmap to Success. This plenary brings together experts in the domains of policy, practice, and research to share their experiences in this emerging field and how Cradle to Career partnership can capitalize on building these competencies in their students and workforce."
"According to Code.org, 90 percent of U.S. schools are not teaching any computer science. Eyebrows have been raised this year as the U.K. passed a plan to educate every child how to code. In my opinion, parents of every student in every school at every level should demand that all students be taught how to code. They don't need this skill because they'll all go into it as a career -- that isn't realistic -- but because it impacts every career in the 21st century world. Any country recognizing that will benefit in the long term. Here's how you can start."
by Ben Schiller
"Where is life best? Traditionally, the answer to this question has mainly been to ask another question: Where is the economy best? But recently economists have started to focus on how people are experiencing life, and everything that goes into making that better or worse, instead of just peering at the latest economic output reports.
"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's How’s Life? report is one of the most comprehensive efforts. It looks at 11 factors that affect well-being--from income and employment, to work-life balance and personal safety--creating a rounded perspective that goes well beyond GDP. The OECD just released the 2013 edition.
To accompany the report, the OECD has an interactive Better Life Index, which allows readers to compare countries themselves, using any of the 11 criteria. Here are a few charts we came up with, starting with all factors weighted equally [this is the one displayed above]
Jim Lerman's insight:
Interesting to compare this to the Corruption Index here.
by Jim Edwards
"Google has become so big that sometimes it's difficult to understand just how big it is. It's on course to do $60 billion in revenue this year, almost all of that from advertising. But how big is that in terms of the media it competes against for ad dollars?
"To answer that, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget presented this slide in his keynote at Ignition 2013 this morning. It shows that Google alone is now bigger than either newspapers and magazines."
by Dan Rowinski
"To date, there are still more installed PCs in the world than there are smartphones or tablets. Next year, that's likely to change.
"According to projections from mobile analyst Ben Evans, the number of smartphones in use around the world will pass that of PCs for the first time next year. According to a chart from Evans, the estimate of installed PCs in the world is a little north of 1.6 billion. The global install base of smartphones is near 1.3 billion and growing at a much faster clip than PCs. If you add tablets into the equation (with a tick more than 200 million installed across the world) then mobile devices are almost on par with PCs already.
by Ella Delany
"In the global marketplace of higher education, the humanities are increasingly threatened by decreased funding and political attacks.
"Financing for humanities research in the United States has fallen steadily since 2009, and in 2011 was less than half of one percent of the amount dedicated to science and engineering research and development. This trend is echoed globally: According to a report in Research Trends magazine, by Gali Halevi and Judit Bar-Ilan, international arts and humanities funding has been in constant decline since 2009."
by Joshua Bolkan
"The UTeach Institute, a teacher preparation organization launched by theUniversity of Texas at Austin, has launched a program designed to help aspiring teachers use mobile devices to encourage student learning and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
"Dubbed the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Higher Education program, the initiative pairs "math and science majors pursuing secondary teaching certification through UTeach programs [to] work with K-12 students, integrating mobile technologies into inquiry-based lessons," according to a news release, in an effort to expand "the resources and instructional tools available to teachers to engage students in relevant and exciting applications of math and science."
"The initiative will also develop lesson plans and resources for integrating mobile technology into STEM education to be inclused with UTeach curriculum at the organization's 35 participating universities."
Adam Penenberg's new book, Play At Work, reveals how big companies are increasingly using gaming technology to gain a competitive edge.
By Caroline Fairchild
"In fact, harnessing the power of games can tackle problems even larger than worker productivity and engagement. Penenberg writes about the multiplayer online game Foldit that was created to advance science and solve real-world problems. As a result of the highly interactive game, a self-described "lowly lab technician" and her team discovered in 10 days the key to a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus in rhesus monkeys -- a problem that eluded scientists for more than 10 years
"Ultimately, writes Penenberg, when roughly 97% of 12-to-17-year-olds play computer games and some 70% of the heads of American households admit to being gamers, games are simply too popular and too effective for companies not to incorporate them into the daily lives of their workers. By next year, research firm Gartner projects that 70% of 2,000 global organizations will use gamified applications for training, health care, marketing, and employee performance.
"Toward the end of the book, the author posits that in the future companies very well may turn an entire job into a game. He outlines an example of a call-center employee named Jennifer who works from home. She logs in every day to a pirate ship computer game along with several co-workers on her team. Jennifer's team is competing against other teams, and as she successfully answers calls her team's virtual ship moves closer to an island. The first group of employees to get to the island is rewarded with a real prize like free holiday travel. Jennifer is not only motivated, but the game gives her a sense of accomplishment and community."
by Danny Nicholson
"Moovly is a free online tool that lets you create interesting presentations and animations. You can incorporate both the hand-drawn style of apps such as VideoScribe and the hand-moved objects style that you’ll have seen in videos such as CommonCraft.
"Moovly lets you add voice, sound and music and synchronize everything using the simple timeline interface. Animations such as “hand drawn”, “drag on” and “drag off” can be added via the timeline. Some of the clips from the library also have their own animations attached to them, such as globes which spin or chickens which feed.
"Videos can be published via YouTube or Facebook, or can be downloaded for offline use as Flash or Movie files. Free videos are watermarked with a Moovly Logo. There doesn’t seem to be a way to embed them directly from the Moovly website. Downloading may well be the best option for schools – but you might have a class YouTube account which could be used for sharing presentations."
by Maria Popova
“Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind,” I offered in one of my 7 lessons from 7 years of Brain Pickings. Indeed, nothing stunts growth more powerfully than our attachment to the familiar, our blind adherence to predetermined plans, and our inability to, as Rilke famously put it, “live the questions.” Keats termed the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with ambiguity“negative capability” and argued that it’s essential to the creative process; Anaïs Nin believed thatinviting the unknown helps us live more richly, and even psychologists confirm that embracing uncertainty is essential to creativity. And yet we cling so vigorously to our comfort zones, our plans, our knowns — why?
"That’s the pattern Dani Shapiro seeks to decondition in Still Writing (public library) — her magnificent memoir, which previously gave us her wisdom on the pleasures and perils of the creative life. "
"REPORTING TO the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at length for the first time since he was appointed vice provost for advances in learning last September, Peter K. Bol highlighted shifts in the landscape for the much-publicized massive open online courses (MOOCs). At the December 3 faculty meeting, Bol noted that:
"His remarks came shortly after MIT’s November 21 release of the 109-page preliminary report of the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, which advanced sweeping ideas for transforming residential teaching and learning, undergraduate study, and indeed the campus itself—all, at least to some degree, in response to the potential of online education.
"Together, Bol’s statement and the task-force report suggest rapid evolution in thinking about MOOCs and teaching technology in the 19 months since Harvard and MIT unveiled edX, their joint online-learning venture."
The Journal of Learning for Development provides a forum for the publication of research with a focus on innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content includes interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity.
JL4D publishes research and case studies from researchers, scholars and practitioners, and seeks to engage a broad audience across that spectrum. It aims to encourage contributors starting their careers, as well as to publish the work of established and senior scholars from the Commonwealth and beyond.
John Daniel: What Learning for What Development?
Colin Robert Latchem: Informal Learning and Non-Formal Education for Development
Jonathan Paul Baggaley: Bridging Fields at a Critical Time
Caroline Seelig: The Role Distance Learning Has to Play in Offender Education
Narend Baijnath: Curricular Innovation and Digitsation at a Mega University in the Developing World – The UNISA “Signature Course” Project
"This report offers compelling evidence that
the public school innovation envisioned
by New Tech Network can, and does,
lead to success for students from diverse
backgrounds, in rural, urban and suburban
schools across the U.S.
"New Tech Network Students:
• Graduate at a rate 6% greater than the
• Enroll in college at a rate 9% greater than
the national average.
• Persist in 4-year colleges at a rate 17%
greater than the national average and in
2-year colleges at a rate 46% greater than
the national average.
• Grow 75% more in higher order thinking
skills between freshman and senior years
than comparison groups."
FREE WEBINAR - DEC. 11, 2013 - REGISTER BY DEC. 9
INTEGRATIVE PORTFOLIOS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE COMMUNITY ACTION SOCIAL CHANGE MINOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
"Key Webinar Take-Aways: In this webinar, we will discuss the CASC minor and detail its integrative learning capstone course and how it uses eportfolios to drive learning. We will also explore examples of eportfolios and some lessons learned from the process. We will address next steps for eportfolio use and research around portfolios in a social justice and social change context. This webinar will include some best practices for engaging students with eportfolios and how to leverage eportfolios to achieve learning outcomes."
|Rescooped by Jim Lerman from Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks|
Increasing a community's access to and use of information technology requires collaboration among libraries, local government, non-profits, and business. This is a fundamental basis of Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action (The Framework), a resource that helps communities chart a course toward digital inclusiveness. For the past year, we at WebJunction have been providing support to and documenting the work of communities piloting The Framework.
Milwaukee is one of the communities piloting The Framework. Milwaukee is taking all the right steps: they have a local leadership team consisting of the City, the library and a leading non-profit; they partnered with a university to conduct an information technology access and use survey (analysis and report in process); they gathered an initial group of stakeholders into a digital inclusion advisory group; and they are planning a digital inclusion stakeholder summit to share results of the survey and define the digital inclusion goals and needs of the community. Then they asked a really good question – Who are the trail-blazing digital inclusion communities?
We researched the answer to their question and are happy to now be releasing the briefing report "Trail-Blazing Digital Inclusion Communities". The report is a resource for all libraries (and other community leaders) who want to establish sustainability for their digital inclusion work.
Click headline to access hot link to download report--
by Ben Williamson
"The idea that young people should learn to code has become a global educational aspiration in the last few years. What kinds of questions should digital media and learning researchers ask about these developments? I want to suggest three approaches: first, to take a historical look at learning to code; second, to consider it in political and economic context; and third, to understand its cultural dimensions."