The Social Media I Use
by Nancy White
Aug. 12, 2009, Full Circle Associates
“Recently I wrote a post that received a lot of attention – more than I would have expected: How I use social media. At the end of the post, I promised to write about WHAT social media I currently use. So here it is. I tend to think of the constellation of tools a person uses as their configuration of tools. It is both what they use, how they use them, and how they fill the range of needs as a whole. I have saved a few delicious tags about individuals’ technology configurations if you want to browse with they use.
I started making a list of all the social media I use. I realized there is an important distinction between the media I use regularly, and the media I try, dabble and experiment with. Part of my work requires me to do a lot of experimentation, so I have accounts on scores of social media sites – more that are forgotten than are used. So I want to focus on the tools I use regularly, the tools that make a difference in my work. Now some of you may say a few of these don’t qualify as “social media” – old school things like email. I’m including them because I think social media predates the label.”
How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education
by Anya Kamenetz
September 2009, Fast Company
. . . “ ‘Colleges have become outrageously expensive, yet there remains a general refusal to acknowledge the implications of new technologies,’ says Jim Groom, an ‘instructional technologist’ at Virginia’s University of Mary Washington and a prominent voice in the blogosphere for blowing up college as we know it. Groom, a chain-smoker with an ever-present five days’ growth of beard, coined the term ‘edupunk’ to describe the growing movement toward high-tech do-it-yourself education. ‘Edupunk,’ he tells me in the opening notes of his first email, ‘is about the utter irresponsibility and lethargy of educational institutions and the means by which they are financially cannibalizing their own mission.’ “
“The edupunks are on the march. From VC-funded startups to the ivied walls of Harvard, new experiments and business models are springing up from entrepreneurs, professors, and students alike. Want a class that’s structured like a role-playing game? An accredited bachelor’s degree for a few thousand dollars? A free, peer-to-peer Wiki university? These all exist today, the overture to a complete educational remix.”
“The architects of education 2.0 predict that traditional universities that cling to the string-quartet model will find themselves on the wrong side of history, alongside newspaper chains and record stores. “If universities can’t find the will to innovate and adapt to changes in the world around them,” professor David Wiley of Brigham Young University has written, ‘universities will be irrelevant by 2020.’ “ . . .
Talking Back To Your Device Has Never Been Easier
by Joshua Brockman
Aug. 11, 2009, National Public Radio
“If you’re tired of having a one-way conversation with your screen, relief is in sight. It’s been more than a decade since consumer versions of voice recognition software came on the scene, but there were many stumbling blocks — including limited vocabulary and the need to spend an excessive amount of time training. But the technology has advanced to a new level and is changing how we interact with computers, cell phones and cars. And the integration of voice features could have a dramatic impact on making technology more accessible and ergonomically sound by changing the way consumer electronics are designed.”
. . . “Nuance’s speech recognition software for PCs is called Dragon NaturallySpeaking (the Mac version is called MacSpeech Dictate and is sold through MacSpeech, which licenses Nuance’s software). The company offers a variety of versions of the software, including ones tailored to the legal community for use with court transcriptions and for medical professionals who use it to dictate notes.” . . .
Read a review of Dragon NaturallySpeaking: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2009/08/beyond_talk_voice_recognition.html?ps=rs
Major Carriers Shun Broadband Stimulus – Funds Would Come With Tighter Rules
by Cecilia Kang
Aug. 14, 2009, Washington Post
“The Obama administration made a national priority of spreading high-speed Internet access to every American home and offered stimulus money to help companies pay for it, but the biggest network operators are staying away from the program. As the Aug. 20 deadline nears to apply for $4.7 billion in broadband grants, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are unlikely to go for the stimulus money, sources close to the companies said.”
“Their reasons are varied. All three say they are flush with cash, enough to upgrade and expand their broadband networks on their own. Some say taking money could draw unwanted scrutiny of business practices and compensation, as seen with automakers and banks that have taken government bailouts. And privately, some companies are griping about conditions attached to the money, including a net-neutrality rule that they say would prevent them from managing traffic on their networks in the way they want.”
“We are concerned that some new mandates seem to go well beyond current laws and [Federal Communications Commission] rules, and may lead to the kind of continuing uncertainty and delay that is antithetical to the president’s primary goals of economic stimulus and job creation,” said Walter B. McCormick Jr., president of USTelecom, a trade group that represents telecoms including AT&T and Verizon. Yet those firms might be the best positioned to achieve the goal of spreading Internet access to underserved areas, some experts say.” . . .
Short name: oercourse (you may use this as the tag in all course related things). This course with an online class of ten weeks started on March 3, 2008 and ended May 5, 2008. If you want to join the next cycle, please add yourself here.
You may follow the progress of the course from the participants’ blogs or from the facilitators’ course blog. Free and open educational resources have become one of the most discussed topics in the field of education. Projects such as MIT Open courseware, Open Access, Wikipedia, Wikibooks and Wikimedia Commons have challenged traditional methods of delivering education resources and also the methods of creating them.
The free software movements idea of developing free, libre and open source software, as well as the Creative Commons search for alternatives to traditional copyright, have had an everlasting effect on the ways we think about education and educational resources.
The course readings and the assignments in this course will familiarize participants with the main concepts related to open education resources and to the historical and philosophical ideas behind them. The participants will also do their own projects where they will learn to create and participate in projects producing free and open educational resources.
Education Secretary Duncan Discusses Administration’s Higher Education Agenda During ACE Webinar
Aug. 11, 2009, American Council on Education
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan participated in an American Council on Education (ACE) webinar on Friday, Aug. 7, during which he fielded questions about the Obama administration’s higher education agenda from more than 1,000 participants nationwide. Also participating were Under Secretary Martha J. Kanter, Deputy Under Secretary Robert Shireman, and ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. ACE Senior Vice President Terry W. Hartle moderated the hour-long session, where the primary topics were the state of economic stimulus funding, along with the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221) and the steps that the Department of Education will take to implement the legislation once it is approved by Congress.
10 Tips on How to Think Like a Designer
by Garr Reynolds
Aug. 10, 2009, Presentation Zen
“Most people do not really think about design and designers, let alone think of themselves as designers. But what, if anything, can regular people — teachers, students, business people of all types — learn from designers and from thinking like a designer? And what of more specialized professions? Can medical doctors, scientists, researchers, and engineers, and other specialists in technical fields benefit in anyway by learning how a graphic designer or interaction designer thinks? Is there something designers, either through their training or experience, know that we don’t? I believe there is.”
“Below are 10 things (plus a bonus tip) that I have learned over the years from designers, things that designers do or know that the rest of us can benefit from. When I speak around the world I often put up a slide that asks people to make as many sentences as they can beginning with the word “Designers….” The goal of this activity is to get people thinking about thinking about design, something most of us never do (it also gets people in the audience talking, loosening up a bit; always a good thing). The sentences they generate range from “Designers wear black” to “Designers use creativity and analysis to solve problems” to “Designers make things beautiful,” and so on.” . . .
These organic chemistry labs from the University of Calgary demonstrate various techniques used in laboratory settings, including: handling chemicals, melting point determination, recrystallization – single solvent, recrystallization – two solvents, thin layer chromatography (TLC), filtration, reflux, distillation, distillation at reduced pressure, using a rotary evaporator, using a separatory funnel, special reaction conditions, and column chromatography (information only). The films are available in Quick Time, Movie Player and Windows Media. The site also includes interactive tutorials that introduce students to spectroscopy, separation and isolation, and the world of “Detective O-Chem,” which asks students to take on a fictional avian flu outbreak.