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Posts Tagged ‘education’

Khan Academy Will Be Ready For Its Close-Up In Idaho

January 3rd, 2013 01:20 admin View Comments

Education

theodp writes “Education officials with Northwest Nazarene University and the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation say they are arranging to have Khan Academy classes tested in about two dozen public schools next fall in Idaho, where state law now requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits. ‘This is the first time Khan Academy is partnering to tackle the math education of an entire state,’ said Khan Academy’s Maureen Suhendra. Alas, the Idaho Press-Tribune reports (alas, behind a paywall) that next fall would be too late for film director and producer Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth), who will be in Idaho in January filming The Great Teacher Project, a documentary which will highlight positives of education, like the Khan Academy pilot in Idaho. Not to worry. For the film, a few teachers will implement Khan Academy in day-to-day teaching starting in January, before the entire pilot program launches in fall 2013.”

Source: Khan Academy Will Be Ready For Its Close-Up In Idaho

With NCLB Waiver, Virginia Sorts Kids’ Scores By Race

November 13th, 2012 11:32 admin View Comments

Education

According to a story at Northwest Public Radio, the state of Virginia’s board of education has decided to institute different passing scores for standardized tests, based on the racial and cultural background of the students taking the test. Apparently the state has chosen to divide its student population into broad categories of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian — which takes painting with a rather broad brush, to put it mildly. From the article (there’s an audio version linked as well): “As part of Virginia’s waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities. … Here’s what the Virginia state board of education actually did. It looked at students’ test scores in reading and math and then proposed new passing rates. In math it set an acceptable passing rate at 82 percent for Asian students, 68 percent for whites, 52 percent for Latinos, 45 percent for blacks and 33 percent for kids with disabilities.” (If officially determined group membership determines passing scores, why stop there?) Florida passed a similar measure last month.

Source: With NCLB Waiver, Virginia Sorts Kids’ Scores By Race

MOOC Mania

November 10th, 2012 11:37 admin View Comments

Education

theodp writes “Online education has had a fifty-year road to ‘overnight’ success. MIT Technology Review calls the emergence of free online education, particularly massive open online courses (MOOCs), The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years. ‘If you were asked to name the most important innovation in transportation over the last 200 years,’ writes Antonio Regalado, ‘you might say the combustion engine, air travel, Henry Ford’s Model-T production line, or even the bicycle. The list goes on. Now answer this one: what’s been the single biggest innovation in education? Don’t worry if you come up blank. You’re supposed to.’ Writing about MOOC Mania in the Communications of the ACM, Moshe Y. Vardi worries that ‘the enormous buzz about MOOCs is not due to the technology’s intrinsic educational value, but due to the seductive possibilities of lower costs.’ And in MOOCs Will Eat Academia, Vivek Haldar writes, ‘MOOCs will almost certainly hollow out the teaching component of universities as it stands today…But all is not lost, because the other thing universities do is research, and that is arguably as important, if not more, than teaching.’ So, are MOOCs the best thing since sliced bread, or merely the second coming of 1920s Postal Course Mania?”

Source: MOOC Mania

Watson Goes To Medical School

October 31st, 2012 10:20 admin View Comments

IBM

First time accepted submitter Kwyj1b0 writes “I.B.M’s Watson is headed to the Cleavland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University for training. Clinicians and students will answer and correct Watson’s questions, in an attempt to crowdsource its education. From the article: ‘“Hopefully, we can contribute to the training of this technology,” said Dr. James K. Stoller, chairman of the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic. The goal, he added, was for Watson to become a “very smart assistant.” Part of Watson’s training will be to feed it test questions from the United States Medical Licensing Exam, which every human student must pass to become a practicing physician. The benefit for Watson should be to have a difficult but measurable set of questions on which to measure the progress of its machine-learning technology.’”

Source: Watson Goes To Medical School

Free Online Education Unwelcome In Minnesota

October 19th, 2012 10:25 admin View Comments

Education

An anonymous reader sends this quote from the Chronicle of Higher Education: “[Minnesota's] Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there. It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web, but Coursera updated its Terms of Service to include the following caution: ‘Notice for Minnesota Users: Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.‘ Tricia Grimes, a policy analyst for the state’s Office of Higher Education, said letters had been sent to all postsecondary institutions known to be offering courses in Minnesota.”

Source: Free Online Education Unwelcome In Minnesota

Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

October 11th, 2012 10:05 admin View Comments

Education

An anonymous reader writes “Germany’s minister for science and education, who is currently under investigation by her alma mater for plagiarizing parts of her PhD thesis, is facing new accusations: a total of 92 alleged incidents of plagiarism (German) have been documented by a blogger, who calls “this number of violations inexcusable”.”

Source: Pressure Rises On German Science Minister In Plagiarism Scandal

Microsoft Calls For $5B Investment In U.S. Education

September 28th, 2012 09:12 admin View Comments

Education

Dupple sends this quote from ComputerWorld: “Congress should invest $5 billion in the country’s education system — particularly in math, science and technology education — over the next 10 years and pay for it with increased fees on high-skill immigration, a Microsoft executive said. The U.S. needs to push more resources into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education because technology companies are running into huge shortages of workers, said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president. With most U.S. industries relying heavily on IT systems, other companies will soon start to see those worker shortages as well, unless the country focuses more on STEM education, he said during a speech at the Brookings Institution Thursday.’We need to do something new,’ he said. ‘We need to try something different.’”

Source: Microsoft Calls For $5B Investment In U.S. Education

Why One Person Thinks Raspberry Pi Is Unsuitable For Education

September 25th, 2012 09:18 admin View Comments

Education

An anonymous reader writes “Raspberry Pi was designed for education. As any popular product is bound to, Raspberry Pi has been criticized a lot for things like lack of a box, absence of supplied charger or even WiFi. Raspberry Pi has a much more fundamental flaw, which directly conflicts with its original goal: it is a black box tightly sealed with patents and protected by corporations. It isn’t even remotely an open platform.” The author thinks that patents on ARM are a serious threat to the openness of the platform (among other things like the proprietary GPU blob needed to boot). But even the FSF doesn’t go that far. Wired had an editorial with the foundation justifying “selling out a little to sell a lot” that has a lot of info on the choices they had to make to hit their cost target.

Source: Why One Person Thinks Raspberry Pi Is Unsuitable For Education

Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek’s Charitable Donations Go?

September 18th, 2012 09:15 admin View Comments

Education

An anonymous reader writes “I’m in the position to direct (or at least suggest the direction of) a fairly large amount of charitable donation on behalf of a foundation interested in promoting education. As a lifelong geek, I’d like to see some of this money directed toward organizations involved in things geeks-like (e.g. spreading technology in education to those without it, improving the use of technology for those who have it, etc.). If it was up to you, what charitable organizations would you support and why?”

Source: Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek’s Charitable Donations Go?

Why America’s School “Lag” Has Never Mattered

September 16th, 2012 09:50 admin View Comments

Education

The Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD), a forum of the top 34 developed economies, has released an annual education report, and guess what? The U.S. has once again ranked poorly in relation to many other developed countries. An article at TechCrunch argues that we needn’t worry because it doesn’t matter: “However, the report implies that education translates into gainful market skills, an assumption not found in the research. For instance, while Chinese students, on average, have twice the number of instructional hours as Americans, both countries have identical scores on tests of scientific reasoning. ‘The results suggest that years of rigorous training of physics knowledge in middle and high schools have made significant impact on Chinese students’ ability in solving physics problems, while such training doesn’t seem to have direct effects on their general ability in scientific reasoning, which was measured to be at the same level as that of the students in USA,’ wrote a team of researchers studying whether Chinese superiority in rote scientific knowledge translated into the kinds of creative thinking necessary for innovation.”

Source: Why America’s School “Lag” Has Never Mattered

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