Robin Hood Foundation Announces $5 Million "College Success Prize" & NYEdTech Meetup Helps Spread the Word

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 2:18pm.
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NYEdTech Meetup recently announced their partnership with Robin Hood Foundation for the $5 Million, College Success Prize. The prize was developed to help encourage community college students to graduate in a timely manner. The prize will reward submissions that propose highly scalable tech-based solutions that are designed to be used by individual students.

From the Robin Hood Foundation site:

The "College Success" Prize is designed to empower students and arm them with the tools they need to graduate in a timely fashion (2-3 years). With the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty, Robin Hood hopes to spur the development of an innovative, scalable and technology-enabled tool to improve the academic performance of underprepared college students.

Thanks to NYEdTech Meetup for sharing this news and we look-forward to attending your Meetup tomorrow evening.


Outreach Event: NY EdTech Meetup/Knewton Startup Showcase 03.18.14

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 11:05am.
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Hi Everyone!

Tomorrow night 03.18.14 Knewton & NYEdTech Meetup will host their next panel event at Knewton's headquarters near Union Square featuring (note the EdLab Seminar alums):


• MakerState (Check-out the founder's EdLab Seminar & GroundBREAKERS Interview)

• MarcoPolo (I can't find any info, can you?)

Mediathread (our colleagues across the street at CCNMTL

Pear Deck

Please be sure to check-in with Hui Soo before registering as there is a $5 fee! I am really excited to learn more re: MarcoPolo & PearDeck!


Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Goggles

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 9:54am.
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This weekend I was listening to an NPR reporter describe her experience with Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles from Oculus VR at SXSW (Here is the corresponding article on NPR). I was intrigued as she described the immersive experience and shared how the company has pushed-forward 3D content experience. For example, she points-out:

A helper at the exhibit assists you in putting on the Oculus Rift, which is about the size of a pair of ski goggles. But, inside it are sensors and screens. The helper puts you in a booth and adds an audio headset. The next thing I knew, I felt as if I was going up the elevator and looking out to the snow-capped mountains. There's a fan in the booth that makes it feel as if the wind is blowing. I am afraid of heights and I started to tremble as I gazed out across the landscape.


Linux to Offer $2,400 Course for Free on edX

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:15pm.
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EdX has successfully expanded it's membership structure to include large organizations and not just ed institutions (read the EdSurge linked announcement here). (Also, this ArsTechnica piece). Linux Foundation will be one of the first pilot groups, offering their $2,400 "Intro to Linux" course for free (here is a description of the edX version).

What are your thoughts re: this ability for large institutions like the Smithsonian to add courses to the edX platform?


Twitter Teaches us How to (best) #

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:47am.
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Do you #? I certainly do, however, some of us are apparently doing it wrong. So wrong in fact, that Twitter has released the following infographic via this Twitter Ads blog post in the hopes of educating a # confused public/marketers/advertisers. I found this resource as a part of my Twitter for Professional Development course on mSchool. Please enroll in this course if you are at all Twitter curious or have not yet taken the social media plunge.


Robo Journalists... Boring, but Descriptive

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 1:05pm.
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Photo Credit: Tuerkischer Schachspieler Racknitz3 from Wikimedia Commons

Regardless of what you think of singularity or how many times you've watched Terminator, AI might be highly applicable to journalism. This piece in Wired UK explores a possible robo-written news future. However, the article is sure to point-out that the study itself was too small to be definitive, yet points to possible benefits of robo-generated content. Possible benefits include articles that are both "more accurate" and "descriptive." On the "con" side AI created articles were viewed by readers as "boring." Next Evolution of Online "Discussion?"

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:40am.
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Do you think that could have implications for learning and the future of social Q&A/discussion boards? Has anyone tried this new social platform? I have yet to try the technology myself, but imagine that "fans" could be broadly interpreted? I know we are looking for interesting new forms of "discussion boards" in online communities, e.g. mSchool, etc., and thought I would share!


Museums Trade Data for Membership

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 03/04/2014 - 4:51pm.
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Photo Credit: "Museum Brandhorst" by Digital Cat

In an interesting twist on the classic museum membership model, institutions like the Dallas Museum of Art (featured in this Bloomberg Businessweek article) have offered patrons the option to trade their personal data for a free membership. Additionally, patrons are incentivized to visit more frequently and invite friends via related "perks" programs.

Bloomberg BW explains:

Free membership is available to any DMA visitor willing to enter their name and e-mail address or phone number on iPads that greet them at the entrance. (Admission is now free for everyone, whether or not they join the program.) Members are given a card that they can scan when they enter galleries, earning points toward such perks as free parking and gift shop discounts. They can earn additional points by identifying works of art they like or bringing friends along to the museum.


Library Makerspace @ New Milford H.S.

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:00am.
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I don't generally dedicate a whole blog post to a single "big box" news piece, however, this video and short article are worth sharing (though sadly not extractable for Vialogues) in relation to our 4th floor reno plans.

New Milford H.S. Library Media Specialist, Laura Fleming (I will pitch her for a NLT Profile), has created a makerspace within her H.S. library. In the video it is clear that this open-ended "space" has inspired at least a few learners to pursue careers in STEM and spawned many interesting "DIY/Maker" projects (fruit-based video game console etc.).

This particular makerspace is interesting for a few reasons:

1) Costs were lowered by soliciting donated 3D printers & maker materials
2) The space will be completely reconfigured every year
3) Learners can visit at any time and are free to explore at will


Could Slime Mold be the Next Great Data Viz Tool?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:27pm.
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Slime?! Really?! Yes. Researchers interested in transportation efficiency are using a particular species of mold to map the most effective routes between transport hubs. describes this process read more here:

As the creature uses its tentacles to explore for nearby food sources, and then thins out those part that do not contribute, it is able to find the most effective way of linking together scattered sources of food, or even find the shortest path through a maze.

Do you feel that the highly efficient design of nature and biomimicry-based modeling could hold more insights in other fields such as learning management and social networks?

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