news (external)

UT Arlington to lead $1.6 million research project focused on digital learning

by ECN Magazine

The Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Lab at UT Arlington has been chosen to lead a $1.6 million initiative to connect and support researchers across the country as they examine digital learning’s effect on higher education today and in the future The new Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN) is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. LINK Lab Executive Director George Siemens will coordinate work between UT Arlington and nine additional institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, Teachers College Columbia University, the Smithsonian Institution, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and others.

http://www.ecnmag.com/news/2014/11/ut-arlington-lead-16-million-research-project-focused-digital-learning

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Purdue offers students free online computer course

by The Associated Press

Purdue University is offering a popular introductory computer science and programming course for free to high school students in Indiana. The online course titled “Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming” offers an introduction to computer science and the Java programming language. The course will not be graded or count toward credit requirements, but it covers material similar to the computer science Advanced Placement course and could help students to test out of freshman programming classes at Purdue and other schools. Purdue says the self-paced course is available to any high school student in Indiana, including those who are home schooled. Enrollment for the spring semester is open through Dec. 1.

http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/11/18/4241007/purdue-offers-students-free-online.html

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India, US explore collaboration in online courses, community colleges, skill development

by NetIndian News Network

The India-US Higher Education Dialogue held here today explored various forms of collaboration between the two countries, especially in the fields of development of community colleges, massive open online courses, student and faculty exchange and skill development. The two sides reiterated the importance of the Higher Education Dialogue to promote enhanced opportunities for student and scholar mobility and faculty collaboration between the United States and India, including their ongoing collaboration on community colleges, improvement of workforce training, expansion of research and teaching exchanges, collaboration on education technology and innovation, and industry-academia linkages in higher

http://netindian.in/news/2014/11/17/00031457/india-us-explore-collaboration-online-courses-community-colleges-skill-deve

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MSc Computing for Educators - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 18:00
Alison Varey
(Live capture of session)

Practice based MSc from Napier aimed at teachers. Credit given for work based activities.

Also talked about student placements in schools and the the Christmas lectures they offer.

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

STEMNet

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 17:53
Gus McSkimming, STEMNet
(Live capture of session)

STEMNet seeks to enrich and enhance. To encourage young people to be excited and interested in Science, Technology, engineering and Mathematics.

There are STEM clubs in schools and STEM Ambassador programme. Examples of STEM related activities include CoderDojo. (See activities page for more examples.)

STEM Advisory Networks already work in all Scottish schools (including Independant sector?) Ambassadors come from many different sectors. There to support teachers not replace them. A free resource on offer to schools that give applications in our subject in the world outside education.

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

3D Visualisation Technologies in Medical Imaging - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 17:38
Steven Reynolds, Toshiba

Medical imaging scanners allow clinicians to look inside their patients without having to cut them open! One of the the oldest forms of this technology is the 2D X-Ray. Today, essentially all digital. It has the advantage of being cheap and fast.

Computer Tomography (CT) uses X-Ray emitter and detector on a spinning gantry to produce slices of data.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) good for looking at soft tissue (brain, fat tendons etc.

Ultrasound uses an ultra-sound transmitter. PET uses radioactive tracer to detect what is happening inside.

Realtime X-Ray can be used to guide other procedures.

Many of these techniques can generate lots of data but can be difficult to interpret 2D images to build up a model of the subject. Computer technology can help. The Toshiba team use C++, C# and many other computing tools to process the data and help doctors understand it. They render the data to generate 2D images from 3D and 4D data.

Cybercrime, the Scottish Perspective - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 17:09
Stephen Wilson, Detective Superintendent, Police Scotland
(Live capture of session)
Government rate cybercrime and cyberterrorism as a tier 1 threat, up,there with major national disasters and international military conflicts.

What does cybercrime mean? Two aspects: old crimes "enhanced" by the Internet (e.g. theft, fraud, extortion and child abuse); new crimes created by the Internet (e.g. Ddos and malware). There are regular attracts on Scottish businesses. It used to be that organised crime had to be based near their victims but not now, so Russian groups and other nationalities are targeting Scottish people.

Mikko Hypponen on TED Talk: you are more likely to be a victim of crime online than in the real world.

Growth in ransomware (e.g. the heartbleed virus). But cyber attacks are not always about the money. There is state sponsored attacks as well as hacked sits are a growing threat. We need to educate people about basic safety. Problems with social networking, for example cyber-blackmailing or cyber-bullying which has led to suicides.

Hacktivism: question was asked, what are we doing wrong that people with outstanding computing skills would rather cause chaos and get involved in crime rather than use their skills in well-paid employment.

Crime as a service: people selling credit card details, or offering Denial of Service attacks et. As a service you can buy.

The police know they need highly trained and computer skilled people coming into the police, or partnering with them, to tackle these problems. But Stephen thinks we need to start educating children from primary up to take care of their own personal cyber safety. We need to encourage young people to move into tertiary education to study and research cyber security issues. There is an opportunity to grow cyber security as a business in Scotland.

As people spend more time in the virtual world, the police need to work to promote safer virtual communities. Does cyber security have enough prominence in school curriculum. Can pupils go and help parents and grandparents to be safer online?

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

Introducing Arduino - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 15:58
Frank Greig, Napier University and friends
(Live capture of practical session)

Arduino: System on a Chip, Microcontroller (MCU) and Single Board Computers

Cost of an Arduino <£20. Tools such as Processing and Fritzing are free. Components (e.g. Breadboards, LEDs etc.) are cheap. Community support abundant. Should be up and running in 20 minutes.

Fritzing allows you to draw the diagrams to set up exercises. Open source, free download. Code development: can get a version of Scratch for Arduino which acts as a good transition into Arduino C code.

During session, I did manage to get blinking LED within a few minutes. This what I like about control. You write some code (software that exists in the magical world of the computer) but control technology makes stuff happen in the real world. Somehow I find this stupidly exciting! (And that's a good thing!)

We added a resister to the breadboard but good advice was to solder the resistor onto the LED.

Moved onto switching an LED on and off by covering up a photocell sensor. When it got dark, a light came on. Again, stupidly satisfying! After this, we saw a Bluetooth modem attached to an Arduino and a Bluetooth terminal app that can send serial data over Bluetooth. The chap from Napier then controlled a line of LEDs from his phone - phone controlled Christmas tree lights.

Some really nice video lessons on what you can do with sensors (e.g. £1 range sensor used to measure colour and position).

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

HTML & CSS - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 13:19
Colin Maxwell, Adobe Generation

From the blurb: Big Picture, Little Picture – A different approach to teaching coding with HTML, CSS and Javascript, with examples you can take away and use in your own classroom. Includes an introduction to Adobe Brackets, the brand new and totally free code editor.

{Live capture}

(Colin is doing an online JavaScript programming course and has invited us to leave him details so we can join.)

The stuff he is talking about is on his blog.

Good source of information is Adobe Education Exchange; codeacademy (partnered with Education Scotland to produce material inline with Scottish curriculum - coming soon); webmaker (from Mozilla - can save and share work); Code.org (hour of code activities etc.).

Colin also recommended Brackets - an open source code editor which supports live HTML development, code hinting, JavaScript debugging, extensions for Python... And it runs from a pen drive (no problems with installing on school machines). He introduces HTML with a simulated hacking exercise - guess a four digit PIN. Showed how brackets highlights the HTML code when you click on the elements in the web page. First form just hardwires the PIÑA into the HTML. Second iteration uses CSS, so PIN not in HTML, it is in a file. Introduces external files and style sheets. Again, you can click on the code and the web page changes. For example, click on a colour code, change it and the web page changes.

Colin says he got the idea from a Micro Adventure book e.g. Space Attack, where you read a story where you had to write code to solve problems and move to the next bit of they story. Colin keen on the idea of using stories to move learning along. Another example is a CSS zombie/drone game. CSS positioning is used to place objects. One person has to write CSS a to position objects in a room. Second person then blocks the windows and doors - about 12 minutes for the whole exercise.

Offline activity from the webmaker site. Web page includes some simple elements, a story, perhaps a table and some CSS. Cards contain HTML elements which are dealt out to pupils who then have to play them in order to build up the page.

HTML 5/JavaScript game coding webinar starts this Tuesday2 December from 7pm-8pm. Starting with a simple platform game - give them it complete and let them hack it!

How do we talk about Computing? - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 12:46
Quintin Cutts
{Live capture}

We have things and processes and we try to work out what are the key characteristics. The key characteristics is information. We use this information to model the process and then there is reasoning: how well does the model match the process?

Things
Processes
Characteristics
Information
Modelling
Reasoning

Almost any computing activity fits into these levels. For example, a plan for a program is in one sense a model.

In science, we are encouraged to model and test. Newton saw the apple fall and developed a model which has been tested and developed ever since. But in school, we assume the model and teach it as true. In comparison, in Computing when we build and test a program, we are doing real science - just like Newton. Could argue that school Computing does more real science than school Science does!

Quintin then told us a story... Talked about the Industrial Revolution where people made machines to to replace a specific task, usually replacing something that people used to do. (Replacing muscle power with machine power.) Different machine for each task. If you didn't have a machine, your industry died. (For example, linen was more important than cotton but the cotton chaps worked out how to mechanise the production.) Digital Revolution replacing general purpose brain with general purpose programmable machine. The machine stays the same the software changes.

Other Sciences are beginning to see the value of Computing: the breakthroughs are coming from computational modelling rather than mathematics.



Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

Keynote 2 - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 11:34
Kirsty McFaul, HMIe
{Live blog}

Look out for Technologies Impact Review (TIR) report due to be published soon. Loads of reports, forums and evidence: we have to use this evidence to move forward successfully. Professional Leaning (e.g. PLAN C) is key to moving forward. Need to look at how research can be embedded in practice. How do we gather data on the impact of interventions in classrooms? Personal learning should be... "technologically ubiquitous". {Sounds interesting but I will need to think though what it means.}


Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

Keynote - C@SS Conference

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 11:16
Elizabeth Montgomery - HMIe
{Live capture}

Computing Science: realising the potential

Why do people think Computing Science is only about ICT? Is the only defining element programming? If Computing is about transforming the world, why are numbers taking Computing falling?

Inspection and Review
May not be inspected by a Computing specialist but idea is to support self-evaluation. (Up to us as Computing specialists to explain what we are doing and why?) HMIe use a package called insight (spelling?) which is a great example of Computing Science in action - creates a virtual school that makes comparison and contrast easier.

The Future Of Computing
Vision of Computing Science is growing and developing. Google Computational Thinking and you will be overwhelmed by the academic research in this area ("Not just doing a bit of programming."). Real potential to grow and develop. Need to look at our unique selling point.

Change Management
Looking Inwards - Looking Outwards - Looking Forwards
How do we hook children into Computing. Example given of a school where the hook was animation and gaming but need to look for what works in our school. Computer Science can change the world... but there is a decline in Computing in schools. A decline in presentations at the senior level. What column is Computing placed in? How is it valued in schools? How is it valued by universities?

Time of austerity and funding of Computing is problematic given drop in education funding. Evidence that children, particularly in Primary, are not getting their entitlement. HMIe report about to be published will highlight these issues and make suggestions about how to move forward.

Looking for Computing Science to be valued and well understood. Not just valued for Computing industry but across many areas. Computing industry contributes £3 million to Scotland's economy.

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

C@SS Conference Welcome - Welcome

EdCompBlog by David Muir - Sat, 2014-11-22 10:53
Quintin Cutts, University of Glasgow
{Live unedited capture}

Wider picture:
PLAN C - funding coming to an end but plans afoot to keep the contacts going and growing;
Draft Education Policy - looking to develop a policy for 3-18;
International interest - other countries are looking to Scotland;
Review of Assessment practices;
Scottish Forum for Computing Science Education;
And more.

Still issues, for example falling numbers of Computing Teachers. The places are there but universities finding it difficult to fill the places.

Location:Colinton Road,Edinburgh,United Kingdom

U Oklahoma’s Janux Flips the MOOC

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-11-22 01:06

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The University of Oklahoma’s Janux learning platform makes the university’s online courses available to students all over the world for free. Courses have covered computer science, history, political science, chemistry, education and earth and energy; however, not all of them are necessarily run-of-the-mill college offerings. The most popular Janux class has turned out to be Chemistry of Beer, taught by a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. OU students earn one credit for the beer course; the number of credits given for other courses varies. For example, the same faculty member, Mark Morvant, is also teaching a General Chemistry class, which is worth five credit hours. The classes last for 16 weeks — the same length as the standard semester — and some have a set schedule, where the instructor and students interact in real time.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/17/u-oklahomas-janux-flips-the-mooc.aspx

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Time-Starved Managers Turn To Innovative Mini-MBAs Online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-11-22 01:02

by Seb Murray, Business Because

“It acts as a complement,” says Peter Methot, managing director of executive education at Rutgers Business School, which runs up to 18 “mini MBAs” on topics such as entrepreneurship and digital marketing. “The mini-MBA also serves the purpose of focusing on a specific subject matter in a condensed period of time,” he adds. Where MBA degrees are expensive, mini courses cost as little as $5,000 and have relaxed entry requirements. They are targeting middle-managers, according to Alan Middleton, executive director of the Schulich School of Business’ Executive Education Centre. “The mini-MBA tends to get people later on in their careers,” he says, who want to move into broader responsibilities or more senior roles. “They don’t really have time to go back [to business school] for a year or an 18 month program,” Alan adds.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/2914/time-starved-managers-to-to-innovative-mini-mbas-online

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We Want Linux say 300,000 edX Students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-11-22 01:01

by Barb Darrow, GigaOM

In case anyone doubted that Linux is the OS king among modern-day software programmers (or would-be programmers), here’s a tidbit: Some 300,000 people signed up for an edX course on Linux that kicked off in August, the largest turnout for any of edX’s 350 courses this year, according to edX president Anant Agarwal. “This Linux course has been one of the top two MOOCs we’ve ever had,” Agarwal said in an interview. (MOOC stands for massive online open course.) It’s been apparent for a decade that startups and older companies alike look for expertise in Linux (in particular) and open-source technologies (in general).

https://gigaom.com/2014/11/18/we-want-linux-say-300000-edx-students/

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For some students, virtual labs replace hands-on science experiments

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-11-21 01:09

by Carla Rivera, LA Times

Cal State L.A. biology students are breeding fruit flies to learn how mutations, such as white eyes or curved wings, are passed to future generations. On other campuses, subjects on treadmills are monitored for changes in blood pressure and heart rate. These are fairly common lab experiments, except for one thing: They are being conducted via computer. At colleges and universities across the country, students increasingly are using online simulations, animation and other technologies to replicate — and, some say, improve upon — the hands-on experience of a typical lab.

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-college-labs-20141115-story.html

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How This 25-Year-Old Made $66,000 In A Month By Teaching An Online Course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-11-21 01:05

by LIBBY KANE, Business Insider

Nick Walter spent four days reading Apple’s documentation of the newly-released programming language Swift, “kind of translating into English and giving some extra examples.” Apple announced its release on June 2, and four days later Walter posted 50 videos, or one full course, to the online education site Udemy. It was an introduction to Swift for beginners, called Swift By Examples. That first month, his course earned him $45,000. Udemy charges students a set price — in this case, $99 — to access the online course as many times as they want. If these students find the course through a link sent by Walter, he gets 97% of the money. If they find the course through Udemy, he splits the money 50/50 with the company.

http://www.businessinsider.com/man-made-money-teaching-online-apple-course-2014-11 Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_12713') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_12713') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_12713') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_12713'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_12713') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

Experts See Traditional Campus, Online Education Mix Becoming the Norm

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-11-21 01:02

by Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse Education

When it comes to making higher education more affordable in the future, the question of whether to go to school online or to a traditional campus won’t be an either-or proposition—it will be a question of how much of which. That was one of the major points made during a panel discussion on college access and affordability Thursday at a National Education Week “Thought Leader Summit” held at the National Press Club. As competency-based credentials and online courses become more common on the landscape of higher education, students will have to decide whether football, fraternities and other things to be found on traditional campuses are worth thousands of dollars more than less costly alternatives, one of the panelists suggested.

http://diverseeducation.com/article/67922/

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AI-Box Experiment

xkcd.com - Fri, 2014-11-21 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

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