Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

Submitted by Luke Malone on Sun, 11/21/2010 - 12:49pm.
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NY Times seemingly weekly article about kids, technology and education. I thought this was a good one on the struggle, concessions and compromises educators are struggling with:

“It’s a catastrophe,” said Alan Eaton, a charismatic Latin teacher. He says that technology has led to a “balkanization of their focus and duration of stamina,” and that schools make the problem worse when they adopt technology.

“When rock ’n’ roll came about, we didn’t start using it in classrooms like we’re doing with technology,” he says. He personally feels the sting, since his advanced classes have one-third as many students as they had a decade ago.

Vishal remains a Latin student, one whom Mr. Eaton describes as particularly bright. But the teacher wonders if technology might be the reason Vishal seems to lose interest in academics the minute he leaves class.

Mr. Diesel, by contrast, does not think technology is behind the problems of Vishal and his schoolmates — in fact, he thinks it is the key to connecting with them, and an essential tool. “It’s in their DNA to look at screens,” he asserts. And he offers another analogy to explain his approach: “Frankenstein is in the room and I don’t want him to tear me apart. If I’m not using technology, I lose them completely.”


Trends in Ed, 11.19.2010: Adventures in Ed Ventures

Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 2:44pm.
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If ever EdLab should have been at an event! On November 16th, MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) held a sold out panel entitled, “De-Classifying Education.” Panelists and presenters included the following educational entrepreneurs: Osman Rashid, CEO and Co-Founder of Kno, Inc; Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy; and Glen Moriarty, Chief Exec. Officer and Co-Founder of NIXTY.

Some questions that were addressed were:

  • Can programs initially funded by grants establish strong enough business models to make them sustainable and ultimately profitable?
  • Can online education be as engaging as the physical classroom?
  • Are these claims a new line of the "same old rhetoric" or will entrepreneurs be able to change a seemingly “hopeless” industry and finally be able to make lasting changes
  • How to be profitable while revolutionizing the field of education?
  • According to RWW, When the topic of “disruption” in ed came up, both Moriarty and Khan argued that the future of educational content will be free and open. Contrast this with Rashid’s zeal to jump into the $88 billion market for ed tech and you can start to see why the future of ed as an enterprise is murky.

    What will happen to that plump and primed market if educational content is made free and open?


    The Next Generation of Puppets

    Submitted by Erin Murphy on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 11:32am.
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    This link comes from Julia. Some puppeteers have figured out a way to use the new Box Kinect to make puppets.

    I am thinking this should be the next generation of puppets at the lab!

    Interactive Puppet Prototype with Xbox Kinect from Theo Watson on Vimeo.


    Challenges Facing the Deficit Commission

    Submitted by George Nantwi on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 9:17am.
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    This Q&A with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria notes both the challenges and potential facing President Obama’s committee to cut the national deficit. The deficit forms a key part of the UFR curriculum and even the NY Times has devoted an entire project to it, aptly titled “The Deficit Project,” of which readers are asked to engage in the debate by trying to “Fix The Budget”.

    In the piece, Zakaria notes that the proposed budget cuts by the committee presents a starting point to begin the national dialogue about the deficit. The proposed budget could cut the deficit by $4 trillion in the next decade. Thus far, the proposed cuts have been met with stiff opposition from both the left and right. The left, led by new House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, argues the cuts will heavily affect entitlement programs while the right are vetting their anger at the tax increases in the proposals.


    Bookstores Evolving

    Submitted by Gary Natriello on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 8:54am.
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    This article
    from the Chronicle reports on some of the ways that College bookstores are rethinking their services as more and more students find alternative ways to purchase textbooks.


    20 Things I learned about Broswers and the Web.

    Submitted by Patrick Carey on Thu, 11/18/2010 - 3:32pm.
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    The Google Chrome team and the illustrator Christoph Niemann created this online book about the basics of how browsers and the Internet work. It's very playful and looks great, also it is made just using HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript.


    UFR Professional Development at 2010 NCSS Conference

    Submitted by Ching-Fu Lan on Thu, 11/18/2010 - 2:04pm.
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    Last weekend, Yana and I had this great opportunity to work with Understanding Fiscal Responsibility (UFR) curriculum authors at the 2010 National Council for Social Studies Annual Conference in Denver to video document the UFR curriculum workshops for social studies educators. The workshops went very well and the UFR project received great support and feedback from social studies educators. The first workshop started at 8:00 am on Saturday morning and the room, with capacity for around 50 people, was packed and some late comers sat on the floor to participate in order to participate in this session (I admire these workshop participants!). UFR project leader Maureen Grolnick and professor Crocco gave a great overview of the UFR project and two featured UFR U.S. history lessons—social security and medicare —that illustrated how to teach U.S. fiscal challenges in regular U.S. history class. Some audience members also suggested the possibility of teaching UFR in other historical periods in U.S. history (e.g. Alexander Hamilton). The UFR team is on the right track and are now developing U.S. history lessons for different historical periods.


    Marketing Strategy Class - 11/16/2010

    Submitted by Pranav Garg on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 8:14pm.
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    Growth means
    - Moving market into a direction where it's moving from selected to broad.
    - Improve features, values whats in it for the customer.

    There are different kinds of strategies.
    - Niche
    - follower
    - Market leader - revenue leader

    Objective of leader - to be the leader

    Showing what the competition offers and what you are great at - would help capture the audience of your competitor if they agree with you.


    My College Search

    Submitted by Duncan Asiedu on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 7:44pm.
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    As a current high school junior, I am currently researching colleges and universities I am aiming to gain admittance come next year. In doing so, I have followed certain criterion which now has me looking at nine colleges of immense interest to me. This number seemed unimaginable during the very beginning stages of my search. As we all know, the sheer number of colleges and universities in this country can be seen both as a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that there are various options for one to choose from and a curse in that the strenuous task of narrowing or choosing the few to apply to can be daunting.

    With this in mind, I began my search using the search tool on College Board’s website. My search initially returned over 3,500 colleges but I gradually narrowed it down based on certain factors. These factors include location/region, size, cost, private or public, degrees offered, and extracurricular activities among others. Upon my observation, I’ve noticed there is no such thing as a “perfect” college: one that meets all of my preferences. I prioritized as to which factor (s) was most important to me. The two primary factors in my college search is the size of the school and the degrees they offer. My preferred size is a mid-level size school ranging from 15,000 and below and my degree of interest is international business and/or mathematics. Although it is possible that I might do a complete U-turn on what I want to major in, at the moment I am very settled on pursuing a degree in the aforementioned programs.


    Fix The Budget

    Submitted by George Nantwi on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 3:23pm.
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    This past weekend, the NY Times allowed its readers to “Fix the Budget” as part of its Deficit Project. The figures in Fix The Budget come directly as a result of the work of economists Alan Auerbach and William Gale. As a result of their work, they were able to estimate the amount of saving the government need to start making by 2015 in order to keep the deficit at just 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the level many economists believe its sustainable for the deficit. 2015 is also the year President Obama and the deficit commission set to cut the deficit to 3% of the GDP.

    Fix the Budget asks readers to come up with a series of cuts to reduce the deficit by 2030, the year when the “boomers start to weigh heavily on the budget, and it’s the latest year for which experts have estimated costs for budget items.”

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