How Higher Ed Can Up Its Game: 3 Big Ideas
1. Doing more for low-income, high-achieving students
recent op-ed in the Times
2. Teacher training programs need to change
Relay Graduate School of Education
3. Raising graduation rates
“unicorn” companies — startups that reach a $1 billion valuation before their IPO. IPOs: Initial Public Offerings
Evernote, the first dead unicorn
But unicorns are no longer so rare, and failure is part of a healthy economy’s means of turning over into new ideas and new leadership. With tech in the midst of a wide-ranging boom, there are other, more financially-stable and innovative companies hungry to hire away talent into positions better suited to the employees and the economy as a whole.
Aside from anecdotal stories like the Zirtual mess, unicorns don’t simply vanish over the weekend like Bear Sterns. Unicorns die a slow death as their core products lose relevance, new product initiatives fail, user growth slips away, costs mount, and key employees and talent drain from the system.
After a multi-year period of what can only be described radio silence from Evernote, the company made a change at CEO in late July of this year. Phil Libin, a member of the founding team who had repeatedly talked about building Evernote into a ‘100 year company,’ was departing and handing the role over to Google Glass executive Chris O’Neill.
Aside from Evernote’s success in China, the Evernote of 2012 sounds little like that of 2015. The short-term market conditions that Evernote of 2012 worried about failed to materialize
Evernote competes with Dropbox, Box, iCloud, and Google Drive in cloud storage, Instapaper and Spool in web clipping, and Photoshop and Gimp in image editing as Evernote acquired image annotator Skitch last year. The wealth of established competitors indicate a challenge for Evernote, but also a clear need for its products. Libin tells me he doesn’t see competitors as Evernote’s biggest threat, though.
Most business customers are using other products already that more than adequately address the need of a note taking application. Many customers have long converted to Google Apps, which bundles document sharing (and spreadsheets, and ‘power point’) into a larger, more valuable suite of products centered around Gmail. Microsoft’s OneNote is available for free, and its collaboration tools are available already for organizations running Microsoft’s Office 365.
The most interesting shift away from an Evernote-like model is Slack, which has seen its own meteoric growth into the unicorn club. Slack’s power is not just as a messaging platform; it’s a real, live, categorized and searchable history of business happenings sorted by channel.
Copping a ’copter
In the hands of criminals, small drones could be a menace. Now is the time to think about how to detect them and knock them down safely
In March, it [the French Government] held trials of anti-drone “detect and defeat” systems.
DroneShield’s system is centred on a sophisticated listening device that is able to detect, identify and locate an incoming drone based on the sound it makes
Polls and surveys tools for education
SCSU faculty asked for help with Kahoot.it Great tool. Especially the reward system, which most likely might engage students in the learning process. However, Kahoot is very “synchronous.” It assumes that the faculty is in a synchronous environment (F2F or online). At least the free version.
In 2012, six SCSU faculty members worked together and recommended “heavy duty” survey/polling options also known as Classroom Response Systems (CRS):
Among the considered vendors were Turning Technologies, which have both hardware and completely online option and integrate with D2L (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/09/10/crs-clickers-turning-technology-instructions/) and TopHatMonitor (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/04/10/clickers-documentation/), which is completely online, no hardware solution.
Here are additional free resources, as recommended for use in education:
1- Kwiqpoll (my note: seems out of business)
This is a simple poll making tool. It does not require any registration. Just visit the homepage and start creating you poll right away. You have the choice to provide multiple choice answers. You will also be provided with a generated URL to use when sharing your polls.
This is another great simple poll tool. It is very easy to use and resembles Kwiqpoll in that it does not call for any sign up. Just head over to its main page and start working on your poll. You can add as many answers as you want to your poll. Again , you can embed your polls in your blog, wiki or website
3- Urtak (my note: dead – server not found message)
This tool allows users to create polls using yes or no multiple questions.
4- Vorbeo (my note: seems out of business)
This is another free and simple to use poll tool. Teachers can use it to create their own polls and customize them the way they want by adding colours, adjusting width and many more before sharing them on their blogs or websites.
This is another popular polling service that allows users to create free polls and surveys containing up to ten questions.
Micropoll allows users to instantly create a poll using a set of questions and answers then one email address. It also provides embed codes to share polls online.
This is a great utility for creating instant surveys. It is dead simple, just visit its main page , type in your questions and answers using their text editor and there you go.
9- Kwik Surveys
This is another great polling service. It allows users to design their own surveys, form, polls and feedback forms. It is free but it does require a sign up.
This is a great polling tool. It has different pricing plans and also has a free plan but very limited and allows for just 40 responses per poll.
12- Poll Junkie
This is a simple free service for creating instant polls. It lets users specify an expiry date for their polls and also opt for email notification to be notified each time there is an answer to the poll.
This is another easy and simple poll creating tool. It basically allows users to create their own surveys or online invitations. It does not require any registration.
- Regardless of the technology, what’s the most important lesson for students to learn?
- Why do I need to use technology in my daily curriculum?
- How are these tech tools enhancing what we’re doing?
- What will the students do with these tools – during and after class?
Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations
1) Learn How Students Are Using Technology at Home
2) Don’t Use Technology for the Sake of Using Technology
3) Focus on Just One Tech Implementation
4) Utilize the SAMR Model
The SAMR model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, represents the stages of tech integration: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. This model challenges us to assess and reflect on not only how we integrate technology into our curriculum, but also how we modify, redefine and transform our classrooms through its use.
5) Actively Seek Out Professional Development Opportunities
- Younger students utilizing QR codes to add a challenging yet fun element to learning to spell.
- Older students creating digital books or movies to demonstrate a deep understanding on a topic, rather than simply discussing or assessing it.
- Video conferencing with other schools in your area or network to research, discuss, debate and develop potential solutions to globally significant problems.
- Skyping with local leaders and guest speakers on specific topics such as coding or programming, networking and composing music.
Integrating technology into the classroom can be exhilarating, fun, and at times a little scary. That said, I’ve often found that teachers are hungry for more information, and welcome the chance to bring new ideas to the classroom.
In the end, if teachers and their administration are ready to embrace the messiness and the risks that sometimes come with technology, the reward is that your school’s curriculum – which must be strong to start – can truly be taken to the next level, and beyond. Otherwise, we’ll all be still left trying to figure out how an abacus works.
“The relationship between IT and the institution really needs to change if we’re going to use technology to address the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in higher education,” Grajek said. “Higher education leaders need to not just let their IT leaders do their own thing, help them fund some initiatives, but they really have to understand the potential of IT.”
Colleges and universities are searching for new talent in part to answer demands for new technologies while simultaneously offering core services such as user support, which Grajek described as the “new normal” for higher education IT offices.
“The CIO has grown from a hardware- or software-focused person in the basement of a building to a higher education executive who is expected to not only understand technology and be able to lead a large, complex and expensive department, but who also should be a first rate communicator who understands the business (and higher education) and can build relationships while implementing all of these projects,”
What To Look Out For In Tech In 2015
Here’s a handy list of where and how you can get rid of unwanted gadgets.
Please share your ideas for environment-friendly handling of gadgets
typology is a statistical analysis that clusters individuals into groups based on certain attributes; in this case, those are people’s usage of, views toward, and access to libraries.
Public library users and proponents are not a niche group: 30% of Americans ages 16 and older are highly engaged with public libraries, and an additional 39% fall into medium engagement categories.
Americans’ library habits do not exist in a vacuum: Americans’ connection—or lack of connection—with public libraries is part of their broader information and social landscape. As a rule, people who have extensive economic, social, technological, and cultural resources are also more likely to use and value libraries as part of those networks. Many of those who are less engaged with public libraries tend to have lower levels of technology use, fewer ties to their neighbors, lower feelings of personal efficacy, and less engagement with other cultural activities.
Life stage and special circumstances are linked to increased library use and higher engagement with information: Deeper connections with public libraries are often associated with key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student, and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision. Similarly, quieter times of life, such as retirement, or less momentous periods,