This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
In 2011 the two developers launched Toca Tea Party. The game is not all that different from a real tea party. The iPad functions almost like a tea table without legs, and the kids have to invent the rest by, for example, seating their own plushies or dolls, one on each side, and then setting the theater in motion. First, choose one of three tablecloths. Then choose plates, cups, and treats. The treats are not what your mom would feed you. They are chocolate cakes, frosted doughnuts, cookies. It’s very easy to spill the tea when you pour or take a sip, a feature added based on kids’ suggestions during a test play (kids love spills, but spilling is something you can’t do all that often at a real tea party, or you’ll get yelled at). At the end, a sink filled with soapy suds appears, and you wash the dishes, which is also part of the fun, and then start again. That’s it. The game is either very boring or terrifically exciting, depending on what you make of it. Ovemar and Jeffery knew that some parents wouldn’t get it, but for kids, the game would be fun every time, because it’s dependent entirely on imagination.
Prior to the internet, the last technology that really reorganized teaching was the microphone. Without a microphone, manageable class size tops out at about 50. With a microphone, the sky’s the limit—you can have huge lectures with expensive profs, and lots of sections taught by cheap TAs and adjuncts. What’s not to like? The microphone was a way to lower our cost per student, without lowering the price we charged
Google+ Hangou…is used by the Kolhapur-based non-profit organization, Helpers of the Handicapped, in its classrooms. Professionals in remote locations take classes via the two-way audio-visual medium. The video from the laptop is projected on a whiteboard. Students make use of the laptop mike to ask questions to the teachers.
Of the 2,000 people who registered for the course, Cairo and Alves say around 800 remained active through the six-week period. Cairo estimates around 10 to 15 percent of the students completed all the work, with 7 percent receiving a certificate
At Stanford, just under 21 percent of undergraduate CS majors… are women.
“Most of the female students were unwilling to go on in computer science because of the stereotypes they had grown up with,” said Zachary Dodds, a computer scientist at Mudd. “We realized we were helping perpetuate that by teaching such a standard course.”
To reduce the intimidation factor, the course was divided into two sections — “gold,” for those with no prior experience, and “black” for everyone else. Java, a notoriously opaque programming language, was replaced by a more accessible language called Python. And the focus of the course changed to computational approaches to solving problems across science.
“We realized that we needed to show students computer science is not all about programming,” said Ran Libeskind-Hadas, chairman of the department. “It has intellectual depth and connections to other disciplines.”
A former recreational bodybuilder from Bulgaria, Ms. Popova is the unlikely founder of the exploding online emporium of ideas known as Brain Pickings…. Her paternal grandmother was a rabid biblio and had a collection of encyclopedias, Ms. Popova said, and she credits the act of randomly opening volumes and happening upon entries for her passion to discover old knowledge. “The Web has such a presentism bias,” she said, with Facebook updates, tweets and blog entries always appearing with the latest first. By contrast, flipping through the encyclopedia was “an interesting model of learning about the world serendipitously and also guidedely.
In the US, an undergraduate education used to be an option, one way to get into the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And if some of the hostages having trouble coming up with the ransom conclude that our current system is a completely terrible idea, then learning will come unbundled from the pursuit of a degree just as as songs came unbundled from CDs. If this happens, Harvard will be fine. Yale will be fine, and Stanford, and Swarthmore, and Duke. But Bridgerland Applied Technology College? Maybe not fine….
edX, the nonprofit start-up from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has 370,000 students this fall in its first official courses… Coursera, founded just last January, has reached more than 1.7 million — growing “faster than Facebook,
With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens….
The devices involved are Motorola Xoom tablets—used together with a solar charging system, which Ethiopian technicians had taught adults in the village to use. Once a week, a technician visits the villages and swaps out memory cards so that researchers can study how the machines were actually used. After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.” The experiment is being done in two isolated rural villages with about 20 first-grade-aged children each, about 50 miles from Addis Ababa. One village is called Wonchi, on the rim of a volcanic crater at 11,000 feet; the other is called Wolonchete, in the Great Rift Valley. Children there had never previously seen printed materials, road signs, or even packaging that had words on them
For example, the Getty has a new youth-oriented application for smartphones through a game it calls Switch, in which an evil genie has wreaked havoc at the museum. The paintings in an app are not the exact duplicates of the paintings on the wall, so players must find the differences. The challenge is to correct details in a copy of the museum painting on the iPhone so that it matches the actual image. In the first test, there were a series of details including the absence of a brooch in an oil painting of Leonilla, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. The player has to figure out and correct what is inaccurate.
When he is not volunteering as a computer science instructor four days a week, Mr. Edouard works at Microsoft. He is one of 110 engineers from high-tech companies who are part of a Microsoft program aimed at getting high school students hooked on computer science
PAGE 116: almost half of all Internet users say they use the Internet for formalised educational activities (Figure 3.17). There is a large variation across OECD countries: more than 70% of users in Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg and Portugal report using the Internet for formal learning, while in four countries the number of users is lower than 30%
PAGE 118: Across the OECD, 39% of citizens use the Internet to obtain information from the public authorities’ websites in 2011. These numbers are significantly higher in the Nordic countries, reaching more than two thirds of the adult population in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (Figure 3.20)
YouTube is looking to give some much-needed celebrity status to the most engaging teachers in the world. They’re conducting an Internet-wide competition of the best video lessons