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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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The Future of Apps for Young Children: Beyond ABC & 123

The Future of Apps for Young Children: Beyond ABC & 123 | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Daniel Donahoo and Jim Gray

 

"The "natural" user interface that now exists on screens is cleverly designed to respond to children's core fine motor skill development. This means the tool is designed to meet the capacity of little hands and introduce them to a world of virtual objects, images and sounds that even the youngest children can manipulate as they touch, swipe, or pinch their way around the screen. Designers can even create new ways for children to play with the properties of letters, words, numbers, musical notes and other symbols fundamental to success in modern life.

 

"Interactions like these could be combined with physical world activities to create new ways of engaging children across the early childhood curriculum. While this potential is enormous, the current market of children's apps is relatively narrow. Literacy, math and collections of "early learning" topics -- letter, numbers, shapes and colors -- are the most common. Very few apps promote gross motor activities like running, hopping or jumping, or help children navigate the emotional ups and downs of playing with their peers. Even fewer provide a foundation for developing 21st century skills like network literacy and critical thinking.

 

"So what's the right way to look at potential areas for more app development? We see two major ones. First, consider the full circle of child development that encompasses cognitive, social-emotional and physical development. Second, look to the future of learning in the 21st century, and re-consider what kind of foundation will be most useful to this generation. The remainder of this blog post focuses on the first point."

 

Via EdSurge Newsletter

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ImagineK12 Summer 2012 debutants on EdSurge News

ImagineK12 Summer 2012 debutants on EdSurge News | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Inside ImagineK12  

By Jennie Dougherty 

 

"The companies participating in Imagine K12's program are building a diversity of tools to support the work of teachers and administrators. Many of the innovations being developed at ImagineK12 are currently in beta, and ready for beta testing....

 

"The companies participating in Imagine K12's program are building a diversity of tools to support the work of teachers and administrators. Those in private beta are looking for feedback. If you like what you read then click the links and sign up to shape the development of these bad @ss betas!"

 

Get in on some very cool ed-focused startups, if the spirit moves you. -JL

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Trapped girls call for help on Facebook - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Trapped girls call for help on Facebook - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

Via Tanya Duarte

 

"The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) in Adelaide says it is worrying that two girls lost in a stormwater drain raised the alert on a social networking site rather than ringing triple-0.

 

"The 10- and 12-year-old girls updated a Facebook status to say they were lost in a drain on Honeypot Road at Hackham in Adelaide's southern suburbs on Sunday night.

 

"Glenn Benham from the MFS says it was fortunate a young friend was online at the time and was able to call for help for them."

 

This account is from Australia in 2009. -JL

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18+ Videos Suggested for Back to School Faculty Meetings and other educational audiences

18+ Videos Suggested for Back to School Faculty Meetings and other educational audiences | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Jonathan Martin

 

"This post could be almost infinite: there is most certainly an extraordinary array of options for videos which expand educators’ understandings and inspire advances in 21st century learning. But curation is about choice and selection, and while I know I will leave out many, I thought I’d offer up a set of 15 of my favorites for your consideration for video screening at at back-to-school or beginning-of-the-year faculty meetings (and/or parent and board meetings).

 

"I’ve starred those that might also serve as useful and engaging videos to share with students at back to school or other assemblies.

 

"I am sure every reader will have their own opinions about the videos I’ve left off this list, and please: add them below using the comment box, or, post yourself your own set and share the link from this post to your own."

 

A wonderful list. You are sure to find something valuable here. -JL

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Getting Schooled by a Third Grader | NewAmerica.net

Getting Schooled by a Third Grader | NewAmerica.net | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

95-minute video panel discussion among experts in using digital media with young children. Presented by Arizona State University, The New America Foundation, and Slate.

 

From the website

 

"Kids love video games. And iPads. And even Twitter. But what can they learn from high-tech tools—and, perhaps more importantly, can the ways they use technology give us insight as to howthey learn?

 

"Those were the guiding questions at this Future Tense event on technology in early education. During the introduction, New America Foundation fellow Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Child, noted that we frequently think of educational technology as the realm of middle or high school. But research currently suggests that children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years spend an average of 120 minutes a day with screens. Meanwhile, teachers—and companies producing educational software and games—are increasingly bringing technology into the classroom to appeal to kids who enter kindergarten already familiar with iPads, smartphones, and Microsoft Kinect.

 

"Guernsey was joined by the Joel Levin, a private school teacher from New York City who is creating educational versions of the blockbuster game Minecraft; Alice Wilder, co-creator and head of research and education for Super Why! on PBS; and Annie Murphy Paul, another New America fellow and author of Origins and the forthcoming Brilliant. Scott Traylor, founder of 360Kid, joined us via a prerecorded Skype interview."

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elearnspace › Open Letter to Canadian Universities

elearnspace › Open Letter to Canadian Universities | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By George Siemens

 

"For over a decade, we have watched the internet happen to many segments of society: newspapers/journalism, music, journals and academic publications, and content in general. We are not without examples of what happens. In each instance, the change has been stunning – old economic values have been rewritten. Newcomers have become kings and long-time leaders have been dethroned. In a few instances (Pearson), effective leadership and vision has resulted in success. In most instances, however, the old guard has been shaken to its core.

 

"Higher education leaders, globally, have few excuses to justify feeble responses. I’m concerned that the ossification of higher education institutions, and a complete failure to build capacity for adaptation, will produce a bonanza for educational technology startups at the expense of the university’s role in society. The current generation of leaders are overseeing the large-scale dismantling of the public university. Piecemeal outsourcing, growing prominence of adjuncts, and tendering key functions of the university (online course development), are creating a context where the university will no longer be able to direct its own fate.

 

"And it’s just starting.

 

"Add cloud computing, mobile devices, open educational resources, increased profile of universities in developing regions of the world, global competition for international students, edtech startups, greater VC interest in the education sector, reduced federal and provincial funding, changes in the federal research mandate toward commercialization, online learning, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) and we have a climate that is ripe for massive change."

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The Future Of Textbooks Is Free … And It’s Now Available | Edudemic

The Future Of Textbooks Is Free … And It’s Now Available | Edudemic | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Posted by Jeff Dunn

 

"Boundless just launched the public beta version of its brand new site. What is Boundless? It’s a way to easily turn all of the open source information that exists in the world into a simple easy-to-use digital textbook. And it’s free.

 

"This is one of the most exciting announcements that came across my inbox over the past few weeks. Boundless is shaping up to truly disrupt the digital textbook industry and the newly launched tools are robust enough to do just that. But enough hyperbole and hot air, here’s what you should know:"

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A new species of educator | SmartBlog

A new species of educator | SmartBlog | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Mary Beth Hertz

 

"My colleagues Hadley Ferguson, Mike Ritzius and I presented the conversation “A New Species of Educator” at the #140edu conference in New York City. Over the course of 20 minutes, we talked about how being a connected educator can make us feel kind of like aliens. When we talk about our friends whom we’ve never met but have talked to for years online, and explain how much we learn from them, or when we talk about things like “flipping the classroom” or letting students lead their own learning, people sometimes look at us like we’re from another planet.

 

"It’s easy for those of us who are connected to feel different from our colleagues, like we have a leg up or an advantage or that we are in some way “better” than our peers because of the connections we make and the amount of information we have access to. This cannot be further from the truth, however. For those readers who may be familiar with Rogers’ Innovation Adoption Curve, it is fairly apparent that connected educators are at the beginning of that curve when it comes to using technology to further our learning and grow professionally. However, that does not make us aliens."

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Spotflux - A more secure, private, and open internet experience.

Spotflux - A more secure, private, and open internet experience. | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Description from Internet Scout Project

 

"Spotflux uses the power of the cloud "to conduct millions of real-time checks for invasive tracking, advertisements, malware, and other bugs that pose a threat to your identity or your data." The application helps scan and protect users' connections from malware and other viruses, along with concealing the identity and location of users' devices. This version is compatible with all operating systems."

 

After last week's epically disastrous hack of Mat Honan, a senior staffer at Wired (see about 7 panels below), I became a lot more security conscious. It seemed like a wise step to install Spotflux, and I consider the Internet Scout Project quite a reliable source, so I installed it today. -JL

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Reading, Writing, and Good Digital Citizenship: A Future Tense Event Highlights the Promise of Tech in Elementary Education | Slate

Reading, Writing, and Good Digital Citizenship: A Future Tense Event Highlights the Promise of Tech in Elementary Education | Slate | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Torie Bosch

 

"It’s easy to think of educational technology as just another route to the status quo: drilling facts into kids. However, the experts at “Getting Schooled by a Third Grader” said that when it’s done right, educational technology is a different beast altogether. By the end of elementary school, according to Guernsey, many kids are “deadened” by education and have lost their intrinsic love of learning. Engaging technology may help inoculate kids against this troubling outcome. None of our speakers believe that computers alone can—let alone should—impart knowledge. Teachers must be there as guides. But they are all excited by its potential."

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Classifying K-12 blended learning | Innosight Institute

Classifying K-12 blended learning | Innosight Institute | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Heather Staker and Michael B.Horn

Summary from the Innosight Institute website

 

"Innosight Institute’s report, “Classifying K-12 blended learning,” introduces a refined definition of blended learning and distinguishes blended learning from other education practices. It highlights four blended-learning models and sub-models that are appearing across the K-12 field and provides examples of schools and districts that have implemented them. As educators begin to converge on a shared language about the emerging phenomenon of blended learning, they will be better able to advance the pace and quality of the innovation."

 

Innosight Insitute is the homebase of a number of the floks behind 2009's very influential book, "Disrupting Class." This white paper is their latest publication. -JL

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My Brain On Apps! - Infographic from AvatarGeneration | AvatarGeneration

My Brain On Apps! - Infographic from AvatarGeneration | AvatarGeneration | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Ever wondered what the top Educational App is in iTunes? What's the most popular subject? Well look no further. We've put together an Infographic about the educational apps in the ITunes store for August 2012!
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GSV Advisors | American Revolution 2.0: How Ed Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the US Economy

GSV Advisors | American Revolution 2.0: How Ed Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the US Economy | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

This afternoon, I received a message, via Linked In, from Deborah Quazzo, Founder and Managing Partner of GSV Advisors. GSV's website describes the company as follows:

 

"GSV Advisors is dedicated to helping education entrepreneurs and growth companies connect with value-added, strategic investors and partners to enable their ideas to become the next market-leading businesses.

A key part of our mission is to re-imagine what education is—with a bias toward innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and others who look at learning differently.

The concept of learning has been transformed. The traditional notion—classrooms and instructors, books and schedules, papers and tests, kids and grades—well, they've grown up."

 

I don't know about you, but when I read language like the above, it makes me nervous. I've been in education for a long, long time. Most of my colleagues view me, I think, as an advocate and activist for the transformation of traditional education. But, my B.A. is in Political Science, and  I  have difficulty associating the term "revolution" with "entrepreneurs" and "investors". When someone tries to make this association, it just makes me nervous.

 

Ms. Quazzo invited me to download the company's latest white paper - "American Revollution 2.0". So I registered on the website and downloaded the paper.

 

I was expecting the typical corporate white paper, which is usually about 15-30 pages long, with acres of white space on each page. This paper is 333 pages.

 

I haven't read the whole thing yet, in fact I've only scanned the table of contents and the first 10 pages or so. But I can tell these folks have done their homework and they are as serious as death and taxes. Just this much reading is a chastening experience.

 

If you want to know what the short-to-medium-range future of educational policy and practice is likely to look like, I suggest you consider accepting Ms. Quazzo's invitation too. This paper lays it out in pretty graphic detail.

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Teacher Innovation, Making, and Underwater Mood Robots | edUpgrade

Teacher Innovation, Making, and Underwater Mood Robots | edUpgrade | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Beth Rabbitt (blog post dated May 17, 2012)

 

"We’re planning to profile a few extraordinary teacher innovators on the blog. In the spirit of this week’s Maker Faire, we wanted to share a profile of teacher-preneur Karl Wendt (he’s presenting today and Saturday). As a physics and engineering teacher, Karl created a pretty amazing projects-based learning program and is now working to support other teachers in doing the same. Check it out to learn about Wendt and the work!– Beth"

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Syllabus [an online journal of selected college syllabi]

Syllabus [an online journal of selected college syllabi] | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

A new, free, peer-reviewed, online quarterly journal that states its purpose this way:

 

"College professors should take their teaching as seriously as scholarship, and many do. This new peer-reviewed journal will provide feedback and encouragement to college instructors, and recognize their work as a legitimate form of scholarship. When we think seriously about teaching, our students benefit."

 

This first issue contains a very interesting selection of remarkably well-written and well-considered syllabi. As the publication accumulates an archive of issues, it should serve as quite a valuable resource. -JL

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10 iPad apps for the writer - ZDNet

10 iPad apps for the writer - ZDNet | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

 

"Contrary to popular belief tablets can be quite capable tools for writers. Whether used with an external keyboard or by tapping on the onscreen keys, with the right apps the writer can work when the muse dictates with the iPad using these 10 apps."


Via Jon Samuelson
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Teachers Love the Video Game Minecraft. But It’s Taking Over My House. | Slate

Teachers Love the Video Game Minecraft. But It’s Taking Over My House. | Slate | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Lisa Guernsey

 

Quite an informative article about Minecraft and how it has taken over the out-of-school life of the author's two elementary-aged daughters. While acknowledging the game's outstanding appeal and capacity for intellectual engagement, as well as its emerging potential as a classroom learning environment, Guernsey explains her motherly challenges as she tries to insure her daughters lead balanced lives. -JL

 

via SmartBrief on EdTech

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Power games in a house with digi-savvy kids 

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Four Concepts For The Future That Could Create A More Sustainable World

Four Concepts For The Future That Could Create A More Sustainable World | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, Sony teamed up with the Forum of the Future to brainstorm four scenarios of what life will be like in 2025.

Via Wildcat2030, ddrrnt
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Texas Studies Suggest Test Design Flaw in TAKS | NY Times

Texas Studies Suggest Test Design Flaw in TAKS | NY Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Morgan Smith

Summary by PEN Weekly NewsBlast

 

"In research that shakes the foundation of high-stakes test-based accountability, Walter Stroup of the University of Texas at Austin and two colleagues believe they've found a glitch in the DNA of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) that renders it "virtually useless" at measuring the effects of classroom instruction, The New York Times reports. The flaw stems from a statistical method used to assemble the tests. Pearson, which has a five-year, $468 million contract to create the state's tests through 2015, uses "item-response theory" to devise standardized exams, as other testing companies do. Using I.R.T., developers select questions based on a model that correlates students' ability with the probability they will get a question right. That produces a test Mr. Stroup said is more sensitive to how it ranks students than to measuring what they have learned. That design flaw also explains why students' scores on the previous year's TAKS test were a better predictor of performance on the next year's TAKS test than the benchmark exams were. Benchmark exams are developed by districts, the TAKS by the testing company. Gloria Zyskowski of the Texas Education Agency said Mr. Stroup's comments reflect "fundamental misunderstandings" about test development, and saw no evidence of a flaw in the test. "

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Our journalists are failing us | Dangerously Irrelevant

Our journalists are failing us | Dangerously Irrelevant | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Scott McLoed

 

"Malcolm X said:

 

 'If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are  doing the oppressing.'

 

"What an apt quote for media coverage of today’s ‘educational reform’ movements."

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International Center for Leadership in Education - 2012 Model Schools Conference - Handouts

International Center for Leadership in Education - 2012 Model Schools Conference - Handouts | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

2012 marked the 20th annual Model Schools Conference conducted by the International Ceneter for Leadership in Education. Willard R. Daggett and Raymond J. McNulty are the top leders of ICLE.

 

The 2012 conference, held over 5 days at the end of June in Kissimmee, FL, consisted of over 100 presentations by practitioners, consultants, teachers, and administrators. Nearly all of the handouts and powerpoints from these sessions are posted on this site (or will be shortly).

 

This page houses links to numerous case studies and front-line accounts of schools that are succeeding, many with detailed accounts of how they planned, implemented, and evaluated their work. More theoretical presentations were also made that provide useful frameworks for strategies and tactics.-JL

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2012 Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference - August 20 - 24 - Classroom 2.0

2012 Learning 2.0 Virtual Conference - August 20 - 24 - Classroom 2.0 | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

THIS ONLINE CONFERENCE IS FREE OF CHARGE

 

From the website

 

"The Learning 2.0 Conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet. Subject strands include changes in the classroom (social media, 1:1 computing, "flipped classrooms," digital literacy, maker spaces, gaming, open educational resources, digital textbooks), in student learning (individualized learning, student-directed learning, "hacking" education, personal success plans, ePortfolios, and building a digital presence), in teacher personal and professional growth (lead learning, personal learning networks, peer / open / self-directed PD), in schools (virtual and online schooling, mobile learning, blended learning, MOOCs, immersive environments, learning spaces, entrepreneurship, school leadership, big data, assessment models), and in pedagogy (from teaching to learning, social learning, social / educational networking, passion-based learning, learning how to learn, brain-based learning).

 

"Keynote Sessions: Julie Evans, Gina Bianchini, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Lee Rainie, Angela Meiers, Sugata Mitra, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Marc Prensky, Audrey Watters, Yong Zhao."

 

"Keynote Panel on Technology and Librarians: Gwyneth Jones, David Loertscher, Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller, and Joyce Valenza."

 

"Pre- and Post-Conference Special Interviews: David Deubelbeiss, Lee Rainie, Alfie Kohn, Gary Stager, Stephen Downes, Howard Gardner, Rudy Crew, Roger Schank, Paulo Blikstein, Rob Fried, Gordon Dryden, Tony Wagner, and Michael Strong."

 

Lead organizer of this conference is Steve Hargadon. -JL

 

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Blended-Learning Profiles | Innosight Institute

Blended-Learning Profiles | Innosight Institute | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

 

"The following profiles provide brief case studies of organizations that are beginning to blend online learning with supervised brick-and-mortar settings. The profiles do not evaluate the programs, nor do they represent an endorsement. Instead, they are purely descriptive in an attempt to provide a clearer picture of the emerging field. All numbers reflect data from the 2010–11 school year unless otherwise indicated."

 

24 profiles developed by the Innosight Institute and 8 contributed by readers. All in all, the list of 32 provides a rich landscape of how slected institutions are approaching blending learning. -JL

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Algebra Curriculum for Apple® iPad® Stimulates a Near 10% Boost in Math Scores | AvatarGeneration

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Algebra Curriculum for Apple® iPad® Stimulates a Near 10% Boost in Math Scores | AvatarGeneration | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

 

"Year-long pilot study in Edison Township School District illustrates the benefits of HMH Fuse: Algebra I

 

"Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the results of a year-long pilot of HMH Fuse: Algebra I, the world’s first full-curriculum Algebra app for the Apple iPad, involving the Edison Township School District in Edison, NJ. Educators in the school district selected HMH Fuse in hopes that it would raise the overall math aptitude of its students. Once the pilot had finished, research showed that average test scores of HMH Fuse users rose nearly 10 percent over their textbook-using peers."

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25 Awesome Virtual Learning Experiences Online | Ace Online Schools

25 Awesome Virtual Learning Experiences Online  | Ace Online Schools | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
25 websites featuring awesome virtual learning experiences.

 

Just because you’re online doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the world first-hand — or as close to first-hand as possible. Here are websites that feature virtual learning experiences, exposing online visitors to everything from history to geography, astronomy to ana


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