Thursday, January 22. 2015
I was pleased to see a post on chronicle.com that focuses on one reason I have been promoting the idea that colleges should offer free online courses of any size: Alumni Engagement.
Monday, January 19. 2015
1. Connected Cars - Are you ready to get out of your car and then let it drive on and find a parking space, park and wait for you to call it so that it will come back to you?
Do I sound a bit sarcastic and doubtful? You bet.
Tuesday, January 13. 2015
Microsoft has also recently launched its Prezi competitor called Sway.
Do you remember the early days of PowerPoint? Did you know that it was originally designed for the Macintosh computer? The initial release was called "Presenter", but in 1987 it was renamed to "PowerPoint" due to problems with trademarks.
The idea of slides comes from what the program was designed to replace - 35 mm photo slides.
Back then, and still today, many of the best presentations using slidedecks focus on images rather than slides full of text.
When I started working at NJIT in 2000, professors were still bringing 35 mm slides to media services to be converted to .jpgs so that they could use them in PowerPoint. As you might imagine, the College of Architecture and Design had many tray of beautiful slides that they used in lectures.
There are plenty of online articles, tutorials and posts about how to make a good presentation, but I don't think that PowerPoint (or some web or app version of it) is going away.
That old phrase GIGO (Garbage in, garbage out) that came from computer science applies to presentations too. Input bad data ("garbage in") and produce bad output ("garbage out"). Just add the presenter to the GIGO mix.
Monday, January 12. 2015
Less than 30% of tech jobs are held by women, and that number is even smaller for leadership positions.
6 takeaways from smartblogs.com/education/
Wednesday, January 7. 2015
Tracy, Hepburn and EMERAC in DESK SET, 1957
I watched the 1959 film Desk Set over the holiday break. It is set within the TV network FBN, Federal Broadcasting Network (the exterior shots were done at Rockefeller Center, headquarters of NBC). Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn) is in charge of its reference library, which is responsible for researching and answering questions on almost any topic. With a secret merger pending, and anticipating a lot more demand for the department, the network boss has ordered two new computers.
Of course, this being 1959, the computers are called "electronic brains" in the film and they are huge. Richard Sumner (Spencer Tracy) is the inventor of them and they are called EMERAC. That name is some wordplay from ENIAC - the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer that was the first electronic general-purpose computer.
I also saw a new film over the break - The Imitation Game based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma. The ENIAC computer was considered to be "Turing-complete" - a term from the work of Alan Turing. In the book and film, set during WWII, Turing is trying to crack the German Enigma code and in the course of doing that, saves the Allies from the Nazis, and sort of invents the computer and artificial intelligence.
The Spencer Tracy character in the 1959 film was also trying to create a digital way of solving problems. They describe him as being an "efficiency expert" which was a new and big concern in the 1950s.
Today, predictive analytics has become a big topic in educational technology and I have written a number of posts about its use in education. It is a way of using statistics, modeling and data mining to analyze current and historical facts in order to make predictions about future events. An example of one of the desired educational uses is to monitor at-risk students and allow interventions at the proper times.
Data analytics in higher education is still in its early years and the terms have changed over the past few years as the use of the term "big data" has replaced "data mining" in popular conversations. Where I was once reading articles about using "descriptive analytics" - the analysis of historical data to understand what has happened in the past - now I'm more likely to find articles on "predictive analytics" - using historical data to develop models for helping to predict the future.
Thursday, January 1. 2015
A few other sites have posted this graph of the 20 most popular web sites every year since 1996, but I think it's interesting enough to pass along.
1996-2000 This section of the graph is the original dot-com boom era.
Looking at 2009-2013, the data (from comScore) shows the top five continues to be Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL, with Apple, LinkedIn and other mixed in with some of the "old media" companies.
see the full chart
Wednesday, December 31. 2014
Yesterday, I was writing about about differentiating mastery and competency in the light of movements such as competency-based education and degree programs.
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