- The Best iPad Tips and TricksThis handy set of tips for the iPad is one to share with students and teachers who are just getting their device. There are many great pointers from arranging apps to syncing and tweaking fonts. I use the autotext feature a lot as it can save time typing long text. Pass it along.
- Definition of MOOC in EnglishOne of the co-originators of the term “MOOC” takes issue with the definition as inserted into the Oxford dictionary. I agree with Stephen Downes, the definition as cited is sorely lacking in understanding. Surely definition writers can do better.
- How 4 states are gearing up for online assessmentsAs many move to “online assessment” of Common Core – here is my issue. From talking to teachers this summer, the main issue for teachers in schools where kids don't use technology is this. THE ONLY TIME KIDS ARE USING TECHNOLOGY is when they are TESTED. That is it. They say their kids don't even know how to scroll down or click. They say the technology is an encumbrance because it is never used except for the test. For students, the test should be about content not about how the test is administered. To test students online or via computer when they use the computer infrequently is grossly unfair and downright educational malpractice. Now, I do have a word or two for schools who don't have technology but in their defense, some of them are very short on funds and in uber-restrictive districts and states. But if a state is unfriendly to tech for teaching, it shouldn't be the first thing they run to for assessment. Students should be tested in a native environment. If their environment is predominantly paper and they aren't fluent on the computer – test time is not the time to learn hard lessons about how to click and scroll. Don't interpret this to mean that I think we shouldn't all move towards paperless and technology-rich environments – WE SHOULD. But we must be fair to students – how can they show what they know when they don't know how to use the computer used to administer the test. What we're really testing in that case is computer skills, not common core anything.
- Skype is working on 3D video call capability, is held back by current technology's limitationsNot sure why everyone is 3D. While I do think holograms and virtual presence are likely next, I'm not so sure about the type of 3D that is really an optical illusion. It just seems like an intermediate step to me. What is the purpose of 3D — to make things seem more real. Honestly, seeing my son's face on facetime is more than enough for me — if I could just get him to take my calls! ;-)
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