news (external)

FutureLearn Offers a Wide Range of Free Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-07 02:04

by Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers

FutureLearn, a subsidiary of The Open University, offers a wide range of free online courses. FutureLearn offers online courses on academic topics in history, science, literature, and political science. You will also find FutureLearn courses on topics like public speaking, developing a resume, and digital marketing. Courses range in length from two weeks to eight weeks. Some of the courses, like this public speaking course, require you to submit assignments to participate.

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Bundeslagebild Rauschgiftkriminalität

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen zum "Bundeslagebild Rauschgiftkriminalität" des Bundeskriminalamtes wurden um das Jahr 2013 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Drawing a line from @elgg to @withknown: an adventure in #edtech and #indieweb

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-08-06 19:56

Ben Werdmuller, Aug 06, 2014

I personally think that the line from Elgg to Known runs through Explode!, but that's not the way Ben Werdmuller tells it. "From the beginning, it was important to us that users got to control their own space," he writes. "They could choose their own theme, and hack it, if they wanted to. Most importantly, they could choose exactly who could see each and every post: long before Mark Zuckerberg declared that the age of privacy was dead, our research indicated that students felt more comfortable with web publishing if they could keep tight reigns over who could see their work." See also:  the problem with OKCupid is not a problem with the social web.

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This poster explains Creative Commons for the rest of us

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-08-06 19:56

Sean Connor, Saylor Blog, Aug 06, 2014

This is interesting, not simply because it explains Creative Commons for non-technical people, but because it changes the thrust of the message from what you can't do to what you can do. The danger, of course, is that in licenses that state what you can do, the default is restrictive, whereas in licenses that state what you can't do, the default is permissive. Related, and also from Saylor: the care to share bar. Maybe I should add one to my site.

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Tips & Tricks for Recording Audio Narration

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-08-06 19:56

Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid eLearning Blog, Aug 06, 2014

I can't count how much bad audio I've listened to over the years (sadly, I've been the perpetrator of a lot of it). This quick guide focuses our attention to audio quality, and is a much needed instructional technology skill.

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Shots in the heather

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-08-06 19:56

Dave Ferguson, Dave's Whiteboard, Aug 06, 2014

Following up from Danieel Lemire's characterization of research (which i endorse) from yesterday: "

Is iomadh urchair tha dol san fhraoch.
(Many a shot goes into the heather.)

That is to say, research (and learning) is about missing the mark as much as it is about success. Without failure, learning doesn't happen. But failure can follow failure without observation and reflection. "If you fire indiscriminately,  paying no attention to when or why or how, not trying to figure out why you missed, and not turning to anyone else for feedback, you’ re   going to continue putting a lot of shot into  the heather."

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Rosetta hat ihren Zielkometen erreicht

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-08-06 11:33
Nach über zehnjähriger Reise hat die ESA-Sonde Rosetta heute planmäßig den Kometen 67P/Tschurjumow-Gerasimenko erreicht. Um 11.00 Uhr MEZ ist sie in ihre Umlaufbahn um ihr Ziel eingeschwenkt. Lesen Sie die ganze Meldung bei Scienceticker Astro.
Categories: Science News

Eisberg-Riesen auf Grund gelaufen

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-08-06 05:00
Die Spuren riesiger Eisberge haben Bremerhavener Forscher im Nordpolarmeer gefunden. Ein Bergrücken am dortigen Meeresgrund, heute rund 1.200 Meter unter der Wasseroberfläche gelegen, weist demnach mehrere tiefe und lange Kratzer auf. Diese müssen von Eisbergen stammen, die sehr viel mehr Tiefgang hatten als heutige Rekordexemplare.
Categories: Science News

How apps are surpassing the traditional tutor

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-06 02:09

By Gaby Arancibia, eSchool News

Deciding if you want to use a tutor, or if you’d just rather download an app to help you, is becoming more difficult these days. Technology has and will continue to amaze us with its new inventions, but when people question if professions are necessary, should we become concerned? A tutor has historically been an instructor who meets a student at their home or a library to help with assignments or a specific subject–but with apps, students often have more on-demand academic help. Learning from an app can be ideal for the new generation because it offers flexibility and little or no cost.

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5 emerging trends in today’s libraries

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-06 02:05

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Technology and digital resources are expanding rapidly in U.S. libraries, and important tech tools that serve entire communities are available at nearly all libraries across the nation. The American Library Association’s 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey makes note of the large role libraries play in education, individual engagement, as well as new programs they are developing, such as maker programming and 3D printing. Though digital resources are growing throughout libraries, the survey also found that this growth is uneven. For instance, fewer than half of rural libraries said they increased bandwidth speeds in the last 24 months, compared with 64 percent of urban libraries and 56 percent of suburban libraries.

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Wharton professors say online learning adapts to student needs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-06 02:02

By ARIEL SMITH, Daily Pennsylvanian

Two Wharton professors think that online learning may provide benefits absent from traditional classroom learning environments. In their study titled “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star? The Threat and Opportunity of MOOCs for Full-time MBA Programs,” Co-director of the Mack Institute of Innovation and Management Christian Terwiesch and Vice Dean of Innovation Karl Ulrich said that the technology embedded in massive open online courses is beneficial to the learning process, but doubt it will displace the traditional classroom system. MOOCs utilize a system of technology — which Terwiesch and Ulrich coined SuperText — featuring three main components: videos, online learning platforms and a social network that creates a sense of community. Both professors believe that SuperText has the potential to be more reactive to a student’s needs than a professor in a traditional, in-person classroom.

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Quantum Vacuum Virtual Plasma - Wed, 2014-08-06 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Meldepflichtige Infektionskrankheiten

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2014-08-06 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus dem Bereich "Meldepflichtige Infektionskrankheiten" des Robert Koch-Instituts wurde um das Jahr 2013 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Dialogue and discussion: critical for 21st century skills development

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Aug 05, 2014

According to Tony Bates, conversation is essential in learning as students (and people generally) struggle consciously to find meaning in the phenomena they experience, and this will change the structure on online learning in the future. "Over time, as more experience is gained, MOOCs are likely to incorporate  and  adapt  for large numbers some of the findings from research on smaller group work. Indeed, MOOCs are likely to develop  new ways to manage  discussion effectively in very large groups. In the meantime, though, there is much work still to be done if MOOCs are to provide the support and structure needed to ensure deep, conceptual learning where this does not already exist in students."

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The insanity of research grant proposals

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Daniel Lemire, Aug 05, 2014

Short cynical commentary (and a secret formula) on funding for research. Daniel Lemire writes, "I do not care what kind of research you do: a predictable breakthrough is no breakthrough at all. The good scientists always have speculative ideas. Sometimes these ideas come out of nowhere, in the moment. Most of these ideas are very bad… but a few represent the real breakthroughs. And that is what research is really about. Trial and error on a massive scale." Related, an  Ottawa Citizen column calls for a refocus of research funding priorities, and Academica reports, that despite an increased focus on government financing for corporate research in Canada, we're seeing "a decline from 9.6% in 2000-01 to 8.1% in 2012-13."

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The Rise of New Institutional Models and Architectures

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Amie Colquhoun, Don Tapscott, Aug 05, 2014

Don Tapscott (or his writer Amie Colquhoun) argues that companies are now encouraging cooperative organization both inside their structures and among competitors. "Smart organizations are encouraging, rather than fighting, the heaving growth of massive online communities, many of which emerged from the fringes of the web to attract tens of millions of participants overnight. Even ardent competitors are collaborating on path-breaking science initiatives that accelerate discovery in their industries." I'd like to believe this but I really need more evidence.

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Mobile Internet Explorer's New User Agent

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Alex Chitu, Google Operating System, Aug 05, 2014

It's ironic. It's sad. And once again, it's an example of corporations that just don't play well together, no matter what it costs their customers. "Google doesn't want to make Windows Phone more popular, so it doesn't release apps for Windows Phone. Google also serves inferior versions of its mobile apps in Internet Explorer Mobile. Gmail's mobile site for Windows Phone has a lot in common with Gmail's site for feature phones."

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How a 20 Year Old Patent Application Could Up-End Canada’s Biggest Trade Deal

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Michael Geist, Aug 05, 2014

Opponents of free trade legislation have long argued that these mechanisms subvert the rule of law in the contracted countries. This has now apparently been proven to be the case in - where else? - patent law. "If the pharmaceutical giant succeeds, it will have effectively found a mechanism to override the Supreme Court of Canada and hold Canadian taxpayers liable for hundreds of millions in damages in the process. The cost to the health care system could be enormous as the two Eli Lilly patents may be the proverbial tip of the iceberg and claims from other pharmaceutical companies could soon follow."

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No More 'Collective Begging'

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 05, 2014

Hard to disagree: "Unless and until faculty, including part-time faculty, hit the streets and occupy the classrooms," said Stanley Aronowitz, a tenured professor of sociology and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center, "there won’ t be any change of substance." Of course, there's a fundamental contradiction where the person juding your academic progress is aalso your employer paying you below-subsistence wages.

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Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno, Mark J. W. Lee, Aug 05, 2014

Nice. 190 page PDF. I'll just quote from the email at length: "The Handbook includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). It also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross-case analysis.

"For those who are interested, the BlendSync Final Report and External Evaluation Report are also from the OLT website at the following URLs: here and here.  A list of academic papers and links to recordings of presentations that have arisen out of the project is posted  here . The project team would also like to take this opportunity to invite all those with an interest in area to join the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network to abreast of events and updates in the future. Instructions on how to do this can be found at"

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