Monday, July 25, 2016

No more updates!

Starting September 2016 this blog will no longer be updated.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Open Syllabus Project

The Open Syllabus Project (OSP) 'maps' or 'indexes' what we all put into our course syllabi in terms of textbooks or required readings. You can then browse and search using the Open Syllabus Explorer and explore patterns and connections on the Citation Graph/Map (which reminds me a bit of The Internet map).

If interested: share your syllabi with OSP because it's in the syllabus!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Smartphone Addiction and GPA

Well, it's 'official' now: smartphone addiction makes you dumber.

Read Hawi and Samaha (2016) To excel or not to excel: Strong evidence on the adverse effect of smartphone addiction on academic performance for the details and - most importantly - the limitations of their study.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Learning Is Earning!

Introducing Edublocks and The Ledger:

Welcome to the year 2026, where learning is earning. Your ledger account tracks everything you’ve ever learned in units called Edublocks. Each Edublock represents one hour of learning in a particular subject. But you can also earn them from individuals or informal groups, like a community center or an app. Anyone can grant Edublocks to anyone else. You can earn Edublocks from a formal institution, like a school or your workplace. The Ledger makes it possible for you to get credit for learning that happens anywhere, even when you’re just doing the things you love. Your profile displays all the Edublocks you’ve earned. Employers can use this information to offer you a job or a gig that matches your skills. We’ll keep track of all of the income your skills generate, and use that data to provide feedback on your courses. When choosing a subject to study in the future, you may wish to choose the subject whose students are earning the most income. You can also use the Ledger to find investors in your education. Since the ledger is already tracking income earned from each Edublock, you can offer investors a percentage of your future income in exchange for free learning hours. Our smart contracts make these agreements easy to manage and administer. The Ledger is built on blockchain, the same technology that powers bitcoin and other digital currencies. That means every Edublock that has ever been earned is a permanent part of the growing public record of our collective learning and working. (source)

If the excerpt above is not nauseating/scary or interesting/exciting enough for you - here's the full video:

Other similar efforts include OTLW and BadgeChain, especially when combined with something like Knewton.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Course Video Trailers

Can't fill your courses? Stressing about low enrollment in your classes? Need to promote a new course? Sure, you could create yet another flyer and post in the hallways.

Or, you could create a video trailer for your course, upload it to YouTube, and share it with the rest of the Millennials via social media. This, of course, would be a great application for one of these new 360 degree video cameras.

Laura Guertin has a nice post over on GeoEd Treck: Course video trailers: Coming soon to a classroom near you.

Example below: First-Year Chemistry by Carleton University.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality for STEM Labs

Why build a dedicated science lab building/addition in the real world when we instead could use Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality for our science labs at a much lower cost?

Potkonjak et al. (2016) Virtual laboratories for education in science, technology, and engineering: A review present a comprehensive review and assessment that makes it clear the technology is not there just yet - but I would expect the for-profit, competency-based higher education industry to lead the way. Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything provides a nice compilation of resources for using Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Classroom.

Want more? Heradio et al. (2016) Virtual and remote labs in education: A bibliometric analysis presents a literature review on the role of virtual and remote labs in STEM education.

One interesting example is the remotely-operable electron microprobe (EMP) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) at Florida International University.

Other examples:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spherical Photos and Videos

Are your students bored with your flipped classroom? Impress them instead with 360 degree videos (example) using the Ricoh THETA series that they can watch on Facebook.

Kathy Schrock offers some nice examples and a simple way to host your spherical panoramic images:

Times Square in United States - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Another option: the Orah 4i by VideoStitch.

Or, try the Samsung Gear 360 and associated hardware and Virtual Reality experience (example):

This is just simply cool: Space X rocket landing as a 360 video.