Urbanization Can Help the Poor

Submitted by Ahmed Bagigah on Thu, 04/17/2014 - 1:42am.
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China's urban population has risen from less than one-fifth of the total population to more than half in recent years. This means millions of people are moving and living in urban areas in China. According to reports, by 2030, up to 70 percent of China's population is likely to live in cities. This big migration into the city presents new opportunities for the poor to improve their lives. China's urbanization has supported the country's impressive growth and rapid economic transformation. This transformation has helped millions of people with less than 3% of the urban population living in poverty. However, China's investment and export driven growth model is showing signs of running out of steam. Its land-hungry urbanization has led to urban sprawls and congestion. It is also a growing source of unrest among farmers who feel under- compensated for the loss of their land.

Urbanization has exposed many more people to pollution, and thus the costs in human lives and economic loss are on the rise. The World Bank and the Development Research Center of China's State Council have just issued a joint report on a new model: more efficient, inclusive and environmentally sustainable urbanization, can become reality. If implemented, China's next phase of urbanization can make a big difference to its urban and rural poor.

 

STEM Initiatives

Submitted by Reindorf Kyei on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:36pm.
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Not only do teachers ask themselves if their students are ready for the real world or prepared to think critically and independently, businesses are also wondering if graduates are prepared for the rigors of professional life. The discourse on our nation’s future as an economic powerhouse has focused on encouraging more to pursue a career in STEM, which are often very financially rewarding. As a result, a school district in Rye is working with local private companies to offer professional development opportunities for educators who teach STEM subjects. The new will see science teachers take graduate courses right here at Teachers College.

As of February 2014, 4.8% of all professions were in STEM. But as highlighted in this article, by the year 2022, STEM jobs will increase faster than most other occupations. These jobs include computer system analysts, software developers and geoscientists/environmental scientists on top. One thing that favors future STEM graduates is the large numbers of soon to be retiring workers who contributed tremendously to NASA development.

 

Extra Sleep Improves Athletic Peformance

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:56pm.
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When a coach tells me "Malik, get enough sleep," I often wonder why they ask me that. I usually thought they were teasing me or genuinely cared about me sleeping well. This article highlights the importance of extra sleep and how it enhances athletic performance. A study was conducted with five healthy students on Stanford University womens and mens swimming teams. The athletes extended their sleep to 10 hours per day for approximately seven weeks. After this study, the performance of the athletes was measured and it was discovered that, there was a dramatic change in the performance of the athletes in terms of their sprints, turn time, kick strokes and other swimming related techniques.

My soccer coach falls under the category of coaches who encourages more sleep the night before a game. I have tried extra sleep usually a day before a game and it helps a lot. Even though this article talks specifically about athletes, sleeping well enhances performance whether you’re a student or a working professional.

 

Missing Element

Submitted by George Nantwi on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:45pm.
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In light of Ching-fu’s D&R on Tuesday about rethinking online education (and I guess education in general), I came across this piece on how students enrolled in online courses still yearn for the social experience of schooling. What implications, if any, are there for future development of online learning courses and platforms (e.g. mSchool)?

 

EdLab GroundBREAKERS in the NEWS

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 3:44pm.
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This has been a big few weeks for EdLab GroundBREAKERS (& Seminar/Demo Night) alums!

OpenAssembly
Domi Enders who presented an EdLab GroundBREAKERS interview, seminar and corresponding Spring Demo Night performance is a finalist in the prestigious (& prodigiously funded) Penn Graduate School of Education Business Plan Contest.

Busuu
Also, language learning platform, Busuu, whose founder, Bernhard Niesner, was one of my VERY FIRST GroundBREAKERS interviewees, was just awarded an exclusive deal with Pearson to support TEFL. (Note the paper backdrop in the last interview and amateur directorial efforts in the vialogue below - all me!). It is great to see companies and people who have been a part of the EdLab LaunchPad ecosystem find success!

 

Heartbleed

Submitted by Carmen James on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:08pm.
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Yesterday, when I was reading a Financial Times news article online, I got a warning about heartbleed. Since then, I have become very familiar with this potentially catastrophic virus. I think it is fascinating and I would love to learn from others and hear your opinions on this virus.

An interview with in HBS Review provides insight.

Also, here are some other additional resources:

EdSurge article.

Mindshift article

 

The Format of MOOCs is Unappealing, Probably Would Have Learned More from Reading a Book?

Submitted by Sharon Hsiao on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 9:04am.
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A CS Lecturer can not stand finishing a CS MOOC.

A story from Ohio State University. The lecturer found the format of MOOCs to be unappealing, and probably would have learned more from reading a book.

The course was presented with canned videos of the professor standing in front of a powerpoint. There was about an hour of video to watch each week. The videos had questions to answer every ten minutes or so. There were also weekly homeworks, quizzes and projects to complete.

The online forum was especially hard to navigate. Imagine 220,000 vying for attention and everyone names their posts, “Help!”.

source: here

I've heard so many of such stories. MOOCs demand more personalization and adaptive navigation support, DEFINITELY!

Ching-Fu discussed the engagement issue yesterday in D&R. However, regardless of how boring the MOOC format, there are still a number of people who cross the finish line.

 

When Everything is a Tweet

Submitted by Brian Sweeting on Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:50am.
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As I was reading this Forbes article, I noticed the site not only suggests you tweet their content, but that you share particularly social media-friendly sentences.

It makes obvious sense from a social media standpoint, but I can't help but wonder about its potential impact on writing. Could it tempt authors to start writing in attention-grabbing 140 character sentences? Would that matter? Does this reflect a desire for a more semantic web?

 

Delirious Home

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Tue, 04/15/2014 - 7:14am.
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Check out the Delirious Home Exhibit that brings together the work of interaction design students with that of industrial design students to explore the possibilities of the evolving internet of things. Some interesting ideas for the fourth floor here.

 

What Can We Do with Google Glass?

Submitted by Yudan Li on Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:16pm.
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Tomorrow at 9am, the purchase window of Google Glass will reopen. Google Glass is a new type of information access terminal other than computers, smart phones and tablets. Given its great portability, it may potentially become the most popular terminal in the long run. With its unique software and control system, applications that run on it will have a great deal of new functionality and features. I was excited to hear from Hui Soo that EdLab already bought a pair of Google Glass. It will be great if EdLabbers can think of new products or features that make use of it.

The first thing I thought about Google Glass is how we could include it in our existing products to extend their services and functionality. There can actually be many such cases. For example, we can make Vialogues support Google Glass-based video playback, real-time video streaming and even vocal-based commenting. The swiping pad on the side can be used for fast forwarding and rewinding of a video. The first-person view camera of the glass can be used for recording real time video. And the microphone can be used for vocal-based commenting. The Vialogues application for Google Glass will be able to convert the vocal data into text and post to our server.

 
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