Last year, I received a tweet from a colleague... something along the lines of "wanna learn some code?". Of course I did! I thought it would be some kind of web experience, much like Lynda.com or CodeAcademy.com. But my friend gave me an address for a physical, geographical location. I showed up to a beautiful open space at Bathurst and Bloor in Toronto, and found myself witnessing the birth of a social and educational movement. Today, this organization is called Ladies Learning Code, and I later came to realize that ...
There have been several recent stories of mobile publications and platforms expanding (retreating?) into the browser. Today Overdrive announced “Overdrive Read” a browser-based platform based on their recent acquisition of Australian e-book publisher Booki.sh. The new interface will launch later this year after demoing at Book Expo America and ALA. Mobile magazine app
In the midst of its various upheavals, the Harvard Library system has produced some good perspective on the evolving role of libraries and their changing relationship with content providers. Today the Harvard Innovation Lab released something a little more hopeful, in the form of a sweet note of librarian/developer harmony. Paul Deschner, applications developer at the Lab wrote of good old-fashioned cataloging:
The expertise which catalogers bring to the task of
comprehensive bibliographic description has proven crucial to me as a
reference resource in my work of designing software to harvest and
process bibliographic information. At the Law Library, the catalogers
are a few hallway steps away, and are as crucial to my being able to
create smart software as anyone on my development team.
The solidarity may not serve to change much of the reorganization plan, which includes cuts for technical services teams in the university, but it's a charming testimony to the innovation and synergy of an interdisciplinary team and an appealing argument for technology in libraries and librarianship in technology.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's been making news lately, not all of it good. The educational publisher announced a move last week into bankruptcy process and reorganization to eliminate $3.1 billion in debt. They also recently
Joe Klein has an article in Time magazine on vocational education, an idea that seems to be gaining momentum. Klein points out that although vocational education is a “tough sell” (costs too much money for the Republicans, Democrats would prefer to send everyone to college), the potential gains are not limited to the direct on-the-job training vocational education provides. By teaching students through the far more motivating lens of hands-on learning, Klein argues, vocational training also improves general st...
An intriguing idea has been floating around the library blogosphere inspired by Overdrive's recently announced plans to expand into a new, $5 million headquarters and the potential implications for content and service. Amongst librarians miffed at Overdrive's fund allocation in li...
Lynda.com is part of an emerging trend, but draws heavily from analog business. While Salman Khan was but a student, Lynda was already producing solid, sustainable video tutorials on a variety of subjects. The most popular videos on the site are aimed at adult education, with a stunning catalog of detailed tut...
A recent article from the New York Times depicts the consequences of trying to remove your child from a private school. The article describes two scenarios where parents had to pull their children out of private school. The first was because the parents could not afford the school; the second was because the family was moving to a different city. Both scenarios had the same response from the private school when the parents tried to remove their children: they were told that they had to pay the remaining tuition for the rest of the year. The parents had expected that they would lose their deposits— they didn't consider the possibility that they would end up owing the schools, despite the fact that their children would no longer be receiving an education from their institution. In both situations, the parents and the private school battled in court and the parents did not have to pay the tuition.
So there's a moral to this story... if you're going to enroll your child into private school, make sure to keep them there. Private schools are sort of like the mob where you can get in, but it's hard to get out. Parents should be aware of this and they should always read their contracts and assume that the school will enforce the terms at all times. Though, it should be noted that private schools enforce the contract for a reason: to prevent parents from quickly switching between schools. If a child drops out of a private school, tuition money, which would go towards paying teachers and running the school, is lost. Even so, sometimes events happen that are out of the parents' control. Even in those circumstances, should private schools still force parents to pay for education their child will never receive?
It's not every day that I get to say nice things about the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, but their new “umbrella license” is a slam dunk for libraries. A workaround for what used to be a tedi...
This infographic shows the future trends in scientific fields, claiming that of all the STEM degrees awarded in 2009, nearly half of them were awarded to women. It is true that in the past decade, the STEM gap in America's workforce has been steadily closing. But interestingly, there's still a significant unbalanced gender divide for engineering, physics, and computer science fields.
(A small clip of the infographic. LOOK at all that blue!)