Data Mining in Education

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 4:27pm.
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Check out this article on data mining in education from Ed Week. There are a number of implications for the systems we are building as well as systems we are using.


Successful Online Publishing

Submitted by Jeff Frank on Mon, 12/13/2010 - 1:37pm.
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I enjoyed reading this NY Times article about the revitalization of The Atlantic. While a number of factors went into this process, two elements--from an editorial perspective--were key: attracting people to the site using (1) high profile bloggers (most notably, in this case, Andrew Sullivan and (2) a page that aggregates material (in this case, The Atlantic Wire).


Trends in Ed: 12.13.2010-US Students Lagging Behind Their Global Peers

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 12/13/2010 - 1:36pm.
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A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveals 15-year old US students are lagging behind their counterparts in other countries when it comes to science and math. The OECD is a 34-member body composed mainly of Western nations and a few nations in the Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. Their math, science and reading assessments are measured on a scale from zero to 1,000. The report revealed that 15-year US students ranked 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading among the 34 nations of the OECD. Shanghai, arguably China’s most affluent and developed city, ranked first in math, reading and science. Shanghai was included in the study as a non-OECD educational system. Among OECD nations, Hong Kong finished second in science (behind Finland) and reading and placed third in math (behind South Korea and Finland).



Submitted by Gary Natriello on Mon, 12/13/2010 - 9:12am.
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This piece
in the Chronicle is a reminder of just how important it is for all of the online tools and resources we develop to be designed for maximum accessibility.


Design vs Data

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 12/12/2010 - 10:04pm.
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Several pieces from Fast Company do a nice job of describing the tension between the engineers and the designers at Google in the way they approach the design of user interfaces.

One piece discusses the role of data in the design of the homepage.

A second piece addresses the data vs design issue in the development of the interface for instant searching.

A third article presents the overall approach of putting designers and engineers in groups where they work together - but again the data drives the final decision making.


The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 1:17am.
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Several commemorations were held across the globe to honor former Beatle John Lennon, who was shot and killed outside his apartment on Central Park West 30 years ago. Known for his staunch and sometimes radical stance on the need to address some of the world’s pressing humanitarian issues, Lennon used his music as the medium to derail his opinions and message to the world. His Vietnam War protest song, “Give Peace a Chance” is still a rallying cry for many anti-war activists.

It is in Lennon’s spirit and contributions to music with which the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus was created over a decade ago. The bus is equipped with the latest video and audio recording machines and criss cross the country at various events and venues. The bus is primarily aimed at providing students with a chance “to play music, write songs, engineer recording sessions and produce video projects using the latest audio, video, and live sound equipment.” The organizers of the bus work in conjunction with schools and youth programs across the country to provide youth in those areas a chance to experience and work with the equipment on the bus. Directors of schools and youth programs must submit a request through the website if they want the bus to make a stop in their city or town.


Violence in Schools Throughout the US

Submitted by Sheick Wattara on Wed, 12/08/2010 - 6:16pm.
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Nearly two weeks ago, a high school student in Wisconsin held 23 students and a teacher hostage for five hours before officers decided to bust open the doors after hearing three gunshots. The student, Sam Hengel, shot and wounded himself and was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local medical center. According to news media reports, Hengel “refused to communicate with officials during the standoff and did not make any demands.”This is not the first time most Americans have witness such events in our schools. The massacres at Columbine High School in Colorado and the Virginia Tech Massacre received a lot of public attention. The perpetrators of these massacres were often bullied and lashed out as a result of the bullying and isolation.

This is why I feel like acts like bullying and violence in schools should be eradicated or minimized to reduce the chances of school shootings and suicides among students. New York is one of the top three states when it comes to bullying behind California and Texas. Ironically, these three states are also the three largest states in the country, and highlight the need to address the issue on a more national scale. I have personally experienced and have seen acts of violence in and outside of my school. Most of these acts of violence, in and out of school, are mostly related to street gangs, which in turn have caused some students to demand safety transfers in which they change schools for fear of safety.


Visualizing Statistics

Submitted by Melanie Hibbert on Wed, 12/08/2010 - 2:59pm.
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This is an interesting piece from BBC that combines statistics, video, and data visualization.


Designing Media by Bill Moggridge

Submitted by Julia Martin on Wed, 12/08/2010 - 1:15pm.
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A new book by Bill Moggridge discusses the connections and conflicts between old and new media through a series of interviews with participants in these various types of media.

Video of some of the interviews are available online through the Designing Media Website.

Via SwissMiss

Per Amazon:
Mainstream media, often known simply as MSM, have not yet disappeared in a digital takeover of the media landscape. But the long-dominant MSM—television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and books—have had to respond to emergent digital media. Newspapers have interactive Web sites; television broadcasts over the Internet; books are published in both electronic and print editions. In Designing Media, design guru Bill Moggridge examines connections and conflicts between old and new media, describing how the MSM have changed and how new patterns of media consumption are emerging. The book features interviews with thirty-seven significant figures in both traditional and new forms of mass communication; interviewees range from the publisher of the New York Times to the founder of Twitter.

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