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Cardinator - free flashcard maker

PebbleRoad Labs launches Cardinator app - The easy way to create double-sided flashcards for your site. You can use it to create quizzes, show procedures and guidelines and much more. Check out the demo.

Study: Dumb Robots Cause Students To Learn More Quickly

Interesting study reported by Techcrunch

In the study, simple humanoid robots teach English by drawing shapes and translating their meaning. The experimental study found that 19 children, between the ages of 4 and 8, learned best when the Nao toy robot didn’t always make the correct translation, and could learn from students’ corrections.


Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education

Graduating with Technology

An interesting infographic on the changes in the classroom because of technology.

“The proliferation and sheer breadth of accessibility that the Internet offers has in many ways redefined the process of “growing up” — this graphic explores this redefinition and provides insight into not just how we learn stuff, but also what we learn from a young age now that we have computers.”

Hands-On With iBooks Author

Check out what it is like to author textbooks using iBooks Author.

Everything feels very fluid and it’s obvious that the same team that worked on iWork was also responsible for this product. This isn’t iPhoto for books, by any means, though. While it’s not Adobe InDesign or a complex design tool like either, it’s clearly meant for users who are willing to put in a bit of time to create the best possible product…

Wolfram Education Portal

From the Wolfram Education Portal:

Wolfram has long been a trusted name in education—as the makers of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, we’ve created some of the most dynamic teaching and learning tools available. We are pleased to offer the best of all of our technologies to you here in the Wolfram Education Portal, organized by course. In the portal you’ll find a dynamic textbook, lesson plans, widgets, interactive Demonstrations, and more built by Wolfram education experts.

Can Technology Transform Education Before It’s Too Late?

Another TechCrunch article on Education:

We are in a time of convergence: teachers are incorporating technology from their everyday lives to increase student engagement, while visionary administrators are using the momentum of grassroots digital learning movements to move our institutions forward. Hopefully education will catch up before the Singularity arrives.

Vinod Khosla on Education

Vinod Khosla on Will we need teachers or algorithms?

We have focused so much of our education system on children attending primary school, then middle school, then high school, all with the objective of attending university. This is a progression that still remains unchanged and largely unchallenged. Yet, this system is completely linear and, most tragically, unwaveringly standardized not only through instruction methods, but also through testing. Worse, it is mostly what I call “fixed time, variable learning” (the four-year high school) instead of “fixed learning, variable time” to account for individual students’ capabilities and status.

Vinod goes on to discuss decentralization and gamification as two trends to watch out for.

Steve Jobs on Higher Education

Interesting to see what Steve had in mind for higher education when making plans for NeXT Computer. Simulations and the learning experience were high on his agenda.

How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education

Brilliant post listing down the things that are changing education. A great read and a whole lot of links to follow.

The new culture of learning

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown take on a new challenge - to tell people that it’s time to embrace a new culture of learning.

I am reading this book now and I am already excited by the possibilities—possibilities that we can achieve together if only we realize soon enough that “[t]he world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter and shorter life”.

One beautiful aspect that the authors highlight is the importance of learning “how to learn from others”. ‘Others’ here refers to peers and the community at large. The reason I find this beautiful is because I’ve come across people who think that teaching is the only way to learn and teachers are the only people who can teach. They seem to gloss over opportunities that lay in normal everyday conversations they have with peers—they don’t pay attention to or build on these interactions.

This book should be a must read for managers and leaders—this is where both the challenges and the opportunities lie.

Bill Gates: In Five Years The Best Education Will Come From The Web

Gates believes that in five years time you’ll able to find the “the best lectures in the world”. You can now, but its “unevenly distributed”!

“One particular problem with the education system according to Gates is text books. Even in grade schools, they can be 300 pages for a book about math. ‘They’re giant, intimidating books,” he said. “I look at them and think: what on Earth is in there?’”

On education

Dennis Littky writes about a new approach to education in the lastest issue of Interactions magazine. (Subscription required).

“The school was broken down into advisories, with a teacher and a group of students who spent four years together. Each adviser, parent, and student developed an individual learning plan. The school had broad goals of reading, writing, applying math, empirical reasoning, communication, and personal qualities. Every student would have his or her own way of reaching those goals with high standards. The teacher—also acting as adviser—would help the student identify his or her interests and then find a mentor and workplace to help make the learning real.”

Sounds like “Gurukul” to me.

Computers at Home: Educational Hope vs. Teenage Reality

NY times reports that there is no evidence of improved educational performance with having computers at home.

“Economists are trying to measure a home computer’s educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households. Taking widely varying routes, they are arriving at similar conclusions: little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts.”

Too Cool for School: What the Valley Is Missing in Online Education

Sarah Lacey writes about the education and training opportunities in the developing world:

“But in emerging markets, modern education is still developing on an elementary, collegiate and vocational level. Burgeoning populations who want better opportunities are struggling under the confines of what young democracies can provide, giving a huge opportunity for private, for-profit education systems to play a bigger role than they’ve played in the West historically. And obviously, the Web and mobile is a big part of this. It’s not just about access, it’s about breaking learning down into affordable, consumable chunks—the same way the Web has broken music and media down into sell-able, bite-sized pieces of the song and the blog post. Some of this is happening inside the classroom and some is redefining what a “classroom” is.”

Dan Mayer shows ho to teach math

Great piece on teaching math that is fun and memorable by Dan Mayer. His blog has more.

Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge

When will this infection catch on worldwide? These are the small pockets of hope that we have left. Brilliant stuff Kiran!

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