All posts by Carol

* Blackboard

Heartbleed – What it is and what you need to do about it

There’s been a lot in the news recently about the Heartbleed bug. This article gives you the low down on what it is, how it affects you and what you need to do about it.

The video below is fairly typical of what came out inthe news this week:

So as you can see the issue is not on your computer but in Open SSL, a piece of  software which sits on servers on the Internet.

By now most of the sites which this affects will have installed the fix.

Once a site has the patch (fix) in place you need to go and change your password. This is laborious, but essential for any site where you might lose money or anything important. So start with your bank accounts and work out from there.

Many of us use the same password over and over of different sites. After all who can remember 100 plus highly secure passowrds? I know I can’t.

What I do is use a password manager. I only need to remember one very secure password to access my password manager and then it remembers all the others. Password managers can usually generate secure passwords for you as well.

There are a number of password managers around and many web security packages also include a password manager. They can be accessed from any browser and oftern have mobile versions as well.

Here is a round up of the ones I have used at some time.

eLearning News 13 Apr 2014

Round up of the news this week:

Upside Learning celebrates 10th anniversary – Training Press …

http://www.trainingpressreleases.com Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:16:03 GMT

Upside Learning, a leading provider of learning technology solutions, announced today that April 2014 marks the company’s 10 year anniversary of its founding.

Read more …


UEW to increase study centres | citifmonline

http://www.citifmonline.com Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:02:34 GMT

The University of Education, Winneba (UEW) will soon establish three new study centres in Ho, Sunyani and Somanya in line with efforts to increase enrolment on its distance learning programmes. This will increase its …

Read more …


eLearning Africa Conference kicks-off end of May, to focus on innovation – Ventureburn

http://news.google.com Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:14:02 GMT

VentureburneLearning Africa Conference kicks-off end of May, to focus on innovationVentureburnIn an effort to unite developers, researchers, techies and teachers, the eLearning Africa Conference will be taking place from 28 to 30 May in Kampala, Uganda. An annual event, this year the conference will run with the theme of Opening Frontiers to …

Read more …


The Rising Power of MOOCs: Now, everyone can learn at Harvard (or Yale, or…)

MOOCs
Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org

The Rising Power of MOOCs: Now, everyone can learn at Harvard (or Yale, or…)

3 years ago, MOOCs were an idea. Now….
5 million: number of students signed on to MOOCs, around the world
33,000: the average number of students that sign up for a MOOC

The Dream: MOOCs Can:
• Offer Ivy League Courses at non-Ivy League prices (free), thus….
• Lifting people out of poverty
• Unlock billions of brains to solve the world’s biggest problems

And yet
1 in 4: Americans don’t even know what a MOOC is.
They are: Massive Open Online Courses.

Who Takes MOOCs:

• 37% have a B.S. degree
• 28% have a Master’s degree or profession
• 27% high school

Majority of those taking MOOCs tend to be young, male and employed, from highly developed countries.
• Over 40% of students are under 30 years old
• Less than 10% over 60
• 88 % of MOOC students are male
• 62 % are employed
• 13% are unemployed…or retired

Comparison of geographic location of students, by self identification and IP address
• U.S. 34% of MOOC students
• India: 7.28 %
• Brazil: 4.37 %
• Great Britain: 3.89%
• Canada: 3.4%
• Spain: 2.7 %
• Russia: 2.5%
• China: 2%
• Australia: 2%
• Germany: 1.7%

Employment:
• Student: 17.4%
• Part time employed: 6.9%
• Full time employed: 50%
• Self employed: 12.4%
• Unemployed: 6.6%
• Retired: 6.8%

Why do students Participate in MOOCs?
• Gain knowledge to get degree: 13.2%
• Gain specific skills to do job better: 43.9%
• Gain specific skills to get a new job: 17%
• Curiosity: 50%
[Those surveyed could pick more than one answer]

Requirements for successful online learning:
• Quality of material covered in the course
• Engagement of the teacher
• Interaction among students

Accredited Online (only) Schools offer MOOCs

edX: Courses from:
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Harvard
• University of California Berkeley

Coursera: Courses from:
• California Institute of Technology,
• University of Washington,
• Stanford University,
• Princeton University,
• Duke University
• John Hopkins University, and many others.

Udacity: Partner companies include:
• Google
• Facebook
• Bank of America

Udemy Free courses from:
• Dartmouth,
• the University of Virginia
• Northwestern and others….

iTunes Free Courses
• Apple’s free app. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.

Top Universities offer MOOCs:

• Stanford Free Courses - from Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet.
• Stanford’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23,000 reportedly completing.
• UC Berkeley Free Courses. Check out Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS feeds.
• MIT Free Courses: MIT’s RSS MOOC feed, and MIT’s Open Courseware.
• Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU.
• Harvard Free Courses: Get a free Harvard education. No application required.
• UCLA Free Courses
• Yale Free Courses – Check out Open Yale
• Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – “No instructors, no credits, no charge”

Pros and Cons of MOOCs:

Pros: By design, MOOCs are….
Incredibly flexible
Diverse in their range of subjects
Open to anyone
Free.

And Downs:
No credit for completion
Lack of hands on learning
100,000 or more to 1, student to teacher ratio
High dropout rates of up to 90%

* world of social media

More and better maths: Khan Academy announces partnership with creators of SAT exam

mooc logo

Institutions in the U.S., Rwanda, France and many other countries are partnering with MOOCs and elearning platforms in order to fulfill their mission to provide education to the masses. Now, Khan Academy prepares a new set of “state-of-the-art, interactive learning tools” to help students prepare for the SAT exam. They are partnering with the College Board and are actually going to help them redesign the exam.

MOOCs to learn and grow: online education news bulletin #10 – 28th of March, 2014

Quote of the week: “Let’s level the playing field for SAT prep
The SAT, according to Wikipedia, is a standardized test for most college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a private, nonprofit organization in the United States.
Elizabeth, Content Lead at Khan Academy, announced on the 20th of March that “Khan Academy is partnering with the College Board so that all students who want to go to college can prepare for the SAT at their own pace, at no cost. The College Board just announced that they’re redesigning the SAT for 2016, and we’re partnering with them to make free, world-class prep materials.”
More information is available on the Khan Academy site.

In other news, Cornell Report Notes Promise of Distance Learning but Cautions Against Overtaxing Faculty. Said report is available here and is worth a read if you are an academic involved in MOOCs.

* New courses due to start on Coursera on the 31st of March – 6th of April week:
High Performance Scientific Computing (University of Washington via Coursera)
Organizational Analysis (Stanford University via Coursera)
Introduction to Systems Biology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai via Coursera)
Dynamical Modeling Methods for Systems Biology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai via Coursera)
General Game Playing (Stanford University via Coursera)
Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) (University of California, San Francisco via Coursera)
Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing (Northwestern University via Coursera)
Introduction to Public Speaking (University of Washington via Coursera)
Globalization and You (University of Washington via Coursera)
Poisonings in the Home and Community: Assessment and Emergent Response (University of California, San Francisco via Coursera)
Common Core in Action: Literacy Across Content Areas (New Teacher Center via Coursera)
Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change (University of Chicago via Coursera)
The Science of the Solar System (California Institute of Technology via Coursera)
International Human Rights Law: Prospects and Challenges (Duke University via Coursera)
Cryptography I (Stanford University via Coursera)
AstroTech: The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery (University of Edinburgh via Coursera)
Developing Your Musicianship (Berklee College of Music via Coursera)
Everything is the Same: Modeling Engineered Systems (Northwestern University via Coursera)
Re-Engineering Your Science Curriculum (Exploratorium via Coursera)
Perceived Education Value: many positions in most fields require good communication skills. For this reason only, Introduction to Public Speaking seems to provide an excellent opportunity for learning skills useful in all kinds of situations. Teachers or salesmen, for example, need to master public speaking.

Do you need more ideas of courses to follow? Check our MOOC dictionary, updated weekly.

Copyright : Starafrica.com

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A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom

Is Social Media Relevant? Take the Quiz

Before we talk social media, let’s talk about the relevance of social media by taking a quiz. Which of the following is most likely to be true?

  • Should we teach letter-writing in the classroom? Kids need to write letters and mail them. But what if they send mail to a bad person or someone in prison? What if it gets lost in the mail and the wrong person opens it? Are we opening up a whole dangerous world to our students once they mail letters to others? Surely students will send thousands of letters through the mail in their lifetime.
  • Should we teach email in the classroom? Kids need to email other people and should know how to title a subject. But what if they email someone bad? What if they accidentally send it to the wrong person? What will we do? And are we opening up a whole dangerous world to our students once they email others? Surely students will send thousands of emails in their lifetime.
  • Should we teach (dare we say it) social media in the classroom? I mean, they don’t have to learn microblogging on Twitter — you can do that in Edmodo, right? You can have a private blog or put them on Kidblogs or Edublogs instead of letting them post long status updates on Facebook, right? Are we opening up a whole dangerous world to our students once they are writing online and posting comments to each other? Surely students will post thousands of status updates, pictures, and blogs in their lifetime.

The Social Media Answer

☑ There’s one form of writing that can arguably get someone fired, hired or forced to retire faster than any other form of writing.

☑ There’s one form that will most likely be read by college admissions offices and teams of student “stalkers” hired to vet students before they receive scholarships.

☑ There’s one form that will prevent some people from running for political office and get others elected.

One form of writing is that powerful.

If you guessed social media, you’re right.

More A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom | Edutopia.

Teachers still needed with self-paced blended learning

Some teachers initially view self-paced blended learning as a process where the “computer does the teaching” and the role of the teacher is diminished. Practical experience with this style of learning with middle school students over several years indicates that this is not the case.

The teacher is still very important; however, the role changes. In short, this change could be described as a teacher moving from a lecturer to a facilitator, explainer to intervener, generalist to specialist and thus from content focus to content skills and mind-set focus.

Some evidence now supports this view.

Students involved in these middle school courses have been surveyed over the past few years. Results of the surveys have been consistent. The classes were operated by some teachers experienced in a blended learning classroom and some who were not. A recent survey produced varying results. The most significant differences in results were investigated further.

more Teachers still needed with self-paced blended learning | eSchool News | eSchool News.

Successful eLearning begins with well-prepared teachers

*Apple on keyboard
Gardner-Webb University began delivering its new online curriculum using Teachscape’s professional learning system in fall 2013.

 

Preparing future teachers for success helps drive the success of the students they will teach.

When the state of North Carolina dramatically reduced textbook funding, yet decided it would implement the Common Core State Standards, our School of Education at Gardner-Webb University decided to fast-track a program to make all teacher preparation courses textbook-free.

We did this with the goal of preparing our students for the environment they would experience when they enter the teaching field, as well as to better equip them to meet the digital expectations that will be asked of them once they graduate.

In addition to going textbook-free, we also wanted to find a way to better capture student data in order to track student progress and focus on accreditation and continuous improvement.

To address the needs of this two-pronged initiative, we chose Teachscape’s online, video-based tools, because they would allow our student teachers to access courses online, view best practices of teaching in action, and reflect on their own teaching—all of which are essential in preparing future teachers for success in the field.

More Successful eLearning begins with well-prepared teachers – eCampus News | eCampus News.

Just Google It: How Google Has Changed Research for Grad Students

Google It
Source: GradSchoolHub.com

94: percentage of U.S. students who equate research with using Google, or other search engines.
75: percentage of students who use Wikipedia and online encyclopedias.
87: the percentage of all US adults using the Internet who also use search engines.

2 billion: Or nearly 30 percent of all humans, use the Internet

A history of online research

1962: J.C.R. Licklider of MIT has “Galactic Network” concept, a globally interconnected set of computers where everyone could access data from any site.
1989: Demonstration of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.
1990: Public release of the World Wide Web.
1990: First search tool for the web (Archie) was created.
1993: First web crawler (Wanderer) was created.
1993: First graphical browser (Mosaic).
1994: Netscape browser launched.
1994: Development of first popular search engines (Alta Vista, Lycos, Excite and Yahoo)
1995: Internet Explorer launched.
1995: First public video-conference took place.
1996: Instant messaging services launched.
1997: Google released
1997: First weblog (blog) is attributed to Jorn Barger’s Robot Wisdom Web site.
1997: SixDegrees.com is launched. Often seen as the first social networking site.
Paid placement ranking: Goto morphed into Overture and Yahoo. Ranking depended on how much you paid.
1998 +: Link based ranking pioneered by Google
• Blew away all search engines except Inktomi; meanwhile, Goto/Overture’s annual revenues were nearly $1 billion.
2000: 400 million people across the globe use the internet.
2001: First commercial launch of 3G (Third Generation) mobile phones.
2001: First Access Grid developed at the University of Manchester.
2003: Myspace launched.
2003: Yahoo acquires Overture (for paid placement) and Inktomi (search)
2004: Mozilla Firefox web browser released (the 2nd most popular current browser after Internet Explorer).
2004: Facebook launched.
2006: Twitter launched.
2007: iPhone launched.
2008: Google Chrome browser launched.
2010: iPad launched.
2011: Number of internet users estimated as 2 billion world wide.

Percentage of people who go online, then use a search engine:

Millennials, age 18-33: 92 %
Gen X (34-45): 87
Younger Boomers (45-55): 86
Older Boomers (56-64): 87
Silent Generation (65-73): 82
G.I. Generation (74 plus): 72
All online adults (18 plus): 87

The battle of the Search Engines (as of 12/13)

Google: 66.7 percent of all searches
Microsoft sites (Bing): 18.2 percent
Yahoo: 11.2
Ask: 2.6
AOL: 1.4

Number of searches (worldwide: 18.3 billion in Dec. 2013)
Google: 12.3 billion of the 18.3 (or 66.7 % see above)
Microsoft (Bing): 3.3 billion
Yahoo: 2 billion
Ask: 452 million
AOL: 234 million

Online research tools used by students

• Google or other online search engine: 94% of those surveyed
• Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias:75 %
• You Tube, or other social media sites: 52%
• News sites of major news organizations (i.e. NY Times): 25%
• Textbooks, electronic: 18%
• Databases, such as EBSCO, JSTOR: 17%

Google Research tools

Google Scholar (www.scholar.google.com) : for search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.

Google App Engine: Google funds projects that create tools, applications and curriculum that can be used by other educators in their own teaching environments.

Google Book Search: (www.books.google.com) Search the latest index of the world’s books. Find millions of great books you can preview or read for free.

YouTube EDU: Resources for learning, from English lessons to real-life math.

Chrome’s FlashCards extension: to learn languages faster, prep for exams

Google Earth: with thousands of aerial and satellite photos, dozens of layers of information: city names, country borders, airport locations, road maps.

Google Play: has millions of FREE books readily available

Google-Changed-ResearchThumb

Sources:

https://theconversation.com/us-study-shows-google-has-changed-the-way-students-research-and-not-for-the-better-3087
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/08/22/erial_study_of_student_research_habits_at_illinois_university_libraries_reveals_alarmingly_poor_information_literacy_and_skills#ixzz2pd2IXJBX
http://searchengineland.com/teachers-say-students-equate-research-with-using-google-138542
http://searchengineland.com/search-number-2-online-activity-58927
http://www.stanford.edu/group/mmds/slides/raghavan-mmds.pdf
http://www.lightspeedaheadnewsletter.com/?p=317
http://www.bloomsburyacademic.com/view/What-Is-Online-Research/chapter-ba-9781849665544-chapter-002.xml?print
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2014/1/comScore_Releases_December_2013_US_Search_Engine_Rankings
The Pew Reseach Center’s Internet and American Life Project Online Survey of Teachers
http://www.teachthought.com/technology/52-google-tips-for-college-students/
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flashcards/diejjofgldkjkhmfjagdjdodjebpglhb?utm_source=en-social-na-us-social-gplus-post
http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2012/08/back_to_school_with_google_earth.html

How Tablets are Changing the Face of Education

Tablets and Education
Source: Accredited-Online-College.org

Tablets on Campus: The Changing Face of Higher Education

2010: iPad is launched by Steve Jobs. Life will never be the same.
4 years later: a projected 103 million tablets (iPads and others) are projected to be sold

The Amazing growth in sales of tablets
• 2011: 19.5 million sold
• 2012: 54 million
• 2013: 103.4 million
• 2014: 103 million (projected)
• 2015: tablets will account for 23 percent of the global personal computer market.
Tablet ownership among college students and college-bound high school seniors has more than tripled from a year ago.

Ownership of college students
• 82% own Computers (Desktop/Laptop)
• 80% own Smartphone
• 52% own MP3 Player
• 47% own Digital Camera
• 18% own Tablets
• 14% own E-Reader

90: percentage of all tablet owning college students that say tablets are valuable for educational purposes

35: percentage of college students owning both a tablet and an e-book reader.

46: percentage of tablet owners who say that they intend to buy another tablet within the next 6 months

6 in 10: college students say tablets help them study more efficiently — and better in class.

63%: Of College students believe tablets will replace textbooks within the next 5 years.

83: percentage of students think tablets encourage them to buy digital textbooks instead of print textbooks.

8 in 10: college students say tablets make learning more fun.

7 in 10: Have read digital textbooks. One year ago, it was 6 in 10.

Tablets vs. Smartphones

75 percent of reading sessions occur on tablets
23 percent occur on smartphones.
2 percent occur on E-readers and game consoles
3X Users read three times as many pages on tablets as they read on smartphones

Best Tablets, 2013

1. iPad Air
2. iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display
3. Google Nexus 7
4. Sony Xperia Tablet Z
5. LG G Pad 83

Did You Know?:

The Brazilian government bought 500,000 tablets for local teachers.
94: percentage of the educational market for tablets held by Apple…says Apple

What’s so cool about an iPad

• Driving Games and Super Monkey Ball are awesome on it!
• It’s the world’s best digital frame
• it’s nice to touch
• it’s nice to play with.
• The iPad Air is lighter and faster than the iPad 2, with a better screen to boot.

Why students Use tablets.

Accessing educational apps
77.1%
Web browsing/checking e-mail
77.1%
Accessing online courses
75.9%
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
73.5%
Reading ebooks
67.5%
Taking notes, tracking data, events or observations
67.5%
Productivity tools (reminder, calculator)
57.8%
Recording audio/video
49.4%

Tablets-Changing-CollegeThumb

Sources:
http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2012/06/5-reasons-tablets-will-change-higher-education-next-5-years
http://pearsonfoundation.org/downloads/PF_Tablet_Survey_Summary_2012.pdf
http://emergingtech.tbr.edu/10-apps-every-college-student-should-have-android-tablets
http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/08/how-smartphones-and-tablets-are-changing-higher-education
http://tabtimes.com/education
http://emergingtech.tbr.edu/10-apps-every-college-student-should-have-android-tablets
http://www.imore.com/best-iphone-and-ipad-apps-college-students-evernote-notability-itunes-u-and-more
http://android.appstorm.net/roundups/20-awesome-android-apps-for-students/
http://www.itcnetwork.org/resources/itc-newsletter/769-tracking-the-use-of-tablets-in-community-colleges.html
http://android.appstorm.net/roundups/awesome-android-tablet-apps-you-wont-find-on-the-ipad/
http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2010/01/ask-the-monger-is-the-ipad-as-cool-as-it-looks.html
http://www.policymic.com/articles/71339/ipad-air-review-some-cool-new-features-but-it-s-not-worth-the-cash

10 Social Media Tips for Reaching World Language Learners

* world of social media

Feeling outdated, not connected, or even totally lost in the digital age? Well, let me assure you, droning on and on about grammatical structures is a surefire way to quickly lose student interest in the world language classroom. Instead, embrace something which truly interests the millennial student: social media. Utilizing it in the classroom will give your students practical, engaging ways to communicate in the language you teach. The 21st century learner is not wired to memorize; instead, her or she is inclined to create, connect and collaborate. Social media is the perfect medium for us, their teachers, to reach them.

Here are ten ideas to get you started on your journey toward not becoming the classroom dinosaur you have always feared becoming.

more 10 Social Media Tips for Reaching World Language Learners | Edutopia.

Tips on technology integration for apprehensive educators

* ABC

In my new role this year as a technology coach for the high school in which I work, I have found myself primarily involved in two separate but equally important activities: reflecting on and learning from my past challenges and successes with technology in my classroom and trying to motivate skeptical teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms.

Consequently, the following suggestions garnered from my recent experiences will hopefully provide some general ideas and guidelines to clarify the process for reluctant teachers, so they will be motivated to embrace educational technology and all of its inherent benefits.

via Tips on technology integration for apprehensive educators SmartBlogs.