civil disobedience

Encrypted chat app Telegram reverses stance, bans 78 ISIS accounts

Telegram is an encrypted chat service that lets users create anonymous channels that can be followed by hundreds of users.

In addition to Telegram, Twitter and YouTube have also removed ISIS-affiliated content, with hacker organization Anonymous having taken down more than 6,000 Twitter accounts following the Paris attacks.

Meanwhile, Telegram said it only takes steps against confirmed ISIS channels. “For example, if criticizing the government is illegal in a country, Telegram won’t be a part of such politically motivated censorship,” the company said. “While we do block terrorist (e.g. ISIS-related) bots and channels, we will not block anybody who peacefully expresses alternative opinions.”

More on this topic in this IMS blog:

bullying at school

Resources to Fight Bullying and Harassment at School

visit the web site: for more…

More about cyberbullying in this blog at

transparent curriculum

The Unwritten Rules of College

a grass-roots assessment project of 25,000 students at 27 institutions in seven countries. Results showed that a simple approach can yield big results. Making the process of teaching and learning explicit to students — especially those who don’t know what to expect

Professors who have signed on to the project consider three questions when creating assignments: what, exactly, they’re asking students to do (the “task”); why students have to do it (the “purpose”); and how the work will be evaluated (the “criteria”).

Inquiry, Openness and Trust

How to Design a Classroom Built on Inquiry, Openness and Trust

Many teachers have likely engaged in some type of inquiry or project-based learning, but with frustrating or dismal results.

Two of the best resources I’ve found for creating an inquiry classroom are Carol Kuhlthau’s work and Alberta Learning’s Guide to Inquiry Learning.



4 Benefits To Using Badges In Online Learning

greater autonomy for students, greater levels of feedback, and a variety of assignments.

More on badges in this blog:

In each of the classes for which I use badges I have 24 different badges that students can earn. Each one is a “micro-assignment” which asks students to apply some concept or set of concepts we are covering in the class. Students submit their responses and if they meet the badge criteria they earn the badge. When they earn a badge they receive the points for that in their grades and also receive a badge graphic uploaded to their own personal profile which only they can see. One feature I would like to incorporate is the ability to share these badges via their social networks but I am not sure about how this would work with regard to FERPA requirements. More research on my part is needed regarding this.

If the student does not earn the badge, they are provided with detailed feedback and allowed to resubmit to try and earn the badge. They can submit as many times as they want or need to in order to earn the badge. Students need to earn a minimum of 14 badges to earn a C in the course and 18 badges to earn an A.

instaGrok: An Education Search Engine

instaGrok: An Education Search Engine for Students

instaGrok is a next-generation research engine intended for academic settings to allow students to research any subject and see results in an interactive concept map, or “grok.” The grok features key facts, concepts and their relationships, images, videos, quizzes, and a glossary. Students can pin the information that they want to use to their grok and keep a bibliography or research notes in an integrated journal.

What makes instaGrok indispensable to teachers is its ability to facilitate self-directed learning of several critical skills, including researching and integrating discrete concepts.

My note: App for Android and iOS tablets is NOT available for smartphones and iTouch

Periodic Table with videos

Periodic Table with videos

TED-Ed launched a clickable periodic table with videos on every element. This work is a fruit of a partnership between TED-Ed and Brady Haran, the creator of the popular YouTube channel Numberphile. The purpose behind this period table is to provide students with both a refresher and a study aid to help them better understand the different chemical elements and their properties.

30+ QR Code Resources

30+ QR Code Resources

How Open Badges Could Really Work In Education

How Open Badges Could Really Work In Education

Higher education institutions are abuzz with the concept of Open Badges. The concept was presented to SCSU CETL some two years ago, but it remained mute on the SCSU campus. Part of the presentation to the SCSU CETL included the assertion that “Some advocates have suggested that badges representing learning and skills acquired outside the classroom, or even in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), will soon supplant diplomas and course credits.”

For higher education institutions interested in keeping pace, establishing a digital ecosystem around badges to recognize college learning, skill development and achievement is less a threat and more an opportunity. Used properly, Open Badge systems help motivate, connect, articulate and make transparent the learning that happens inside and outside classrooms during a student’s college years.

Educational programs that use learning design to attach badges to educational experiences according to defined outcomes can streamline credit recognition.

The badge ecosystem isn’t just a web-enabled transcript, CV, and work portfolio rolled together. It’s also a way to structure the process of education itself. Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world.