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John Turner

John Turner's Public Library

Mar 25, 15

"On PCs, the lack of support for HTML5 means that Flash will likely remain popular for complex apps and games for at least some years to come. It will probably be replaced completely with HTML5 in other areas such as for advertising and animations. For mobile devices and tablets, Flash is supported in certain non-free web browser apps but is not likely to see widespread use. Instead it's future is in the form of apps. It is already a popular platform for building mobile apps because it can be distributed relatively easily across different platforms, including Apple's Mac OS X, iOS on iPads and iPhones, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows and even TVs. Many people have apps on their iPhones and other devices developed using a Flash development platform without realizing it.

By the time that HTML5 becomes more widely supported on PCs than Flash, which may be around five years from now, it is very likely that Flash to HTML5 conversion tools will have become sophisticated enough to convert more complex Flash apps. HTML5 will need to evolve to be able develop the kind of complex apps that can be built with Flash today, and the evolution of conversion tools will go side by side with the evolution of HTML5 itself. Although many Flash developers consider HTML5 to be a step back, I see this as a small step back that will lead to a giant leap forward. It is too early to tell what the possibilities will be, but the future of interactive media looks as promising as ever."

Mar 19, 15

n a Harvard Initiative in Learning and Teach (HILT)-sponsored presentation by UCLA cognitive psychologist Dr. Robert Bjork, he concluded his talk by discussing the merits of designing a course that would optimize student learning versus designing a course that optimizes course ratings.

Even if the courses covered identical content, their end products would look vastly different. What I am trying to convey is that instructors can design courses that get good ratings and still have optimal learning, but the latter needs to be driven by the students themselves rather than the instructor.

We can expose students to effective and empirically supported study strategies and behaviors such as the research on note-taking, but it is up to the students to incorporate those behaviors into their own habits.

If students go against or ignore those recommendations and their achievement suffers for it, then that feedback can motivate students to change their behaviors and figure out what works for them – an important facet of a college education.

In the current landscape where blended and online courses are becoming increasingly common, the need for students to self-regulate and optimize their own learning is now more important than ever.

Michael Friedman is a research fellow at the Harvard Initiative for Learning & Teaching (HILT) and a member of the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) at Harvard University.

Mar 19, 15

"Karl Popper observed that there are clock problems and cloud problems. Clock problems can be divided into parts, but cloud problems are indivisible emergent systems. A culture problem is a cloud, so is a personality, an era and a social environment.

Since it is easier to think deductively, most people try to turn cloud problems into clock problems, but a few people are able to look at a complex situation, grasp the gist and clarify it by naming what is going on.
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Such people tend to possess negative capacity, the ability to live with ambiguity and not leap to premature conclusions. They can absorb a stream of disparate data and rest in it until they can synthesize it into one trend, pattern or generalization."

Mar 18, 15

"A study of nearly 100 countries across a range of income levels has revealed large gaps in students' skills -- not only in areas such as language arts, math, and science but also in areas such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and curiosity."

Mar 17, 15

"the following higher order skills and abilities emerged as critical:
Meta-Cognition
Critical Thinking
Diversity and Inclusion
Relationship Building
Community Participation
Courage Zone

Mar 16, 15

"Children are creative, imaginative and innovative. It takes years of serious education to squeeze the wonder out of them and make them dull."

Mar 12, 15

""Apple plans to simplify app distribution by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID this fall, reducing the number of steps needed to set up an iPad," according to the report, by eliminating the need to set up a generic ID to load the devices.

Other changes include:

The ability to block students from making purchases without approval;
The ability for schools to create and manage Apple IDs for students under 13;
Password reset functionality for system administrators; and
Unifying multiple deployment programs."

Mar 12, 15

" Gartner. In "Top 10 Business Trends Impacting Education in 2015"
1. Student Success and Engagement
2. Reinventing Credits
3. Competition for Students
4. Rethinking Business Models
5. Retreating Political Responsibility
6. Competency-Based Education
7. Learning Analytics
8. Data-Driven Decisions
9. Consumerized Expectations
10. E-Research


Mar 12, 15

"Institutions should be teaching students about the importance of context in online communications, the fluidity of privacy, awareness of nuance, and the power of community-building through social media."

Mar 12, 15

"The seven elements of digital literacies model from Jisc represents a useful visual/model for those of us who teach, speak, and write about all things digital."

Mar 11, 15

"Future learning models must be built around the purpose and application of education rather than the attainment of knowledge aimed at satisfying examiners, an internationally renowned expert says.

Speaking at the Future Schools conference taking place in Sydney from today, UK-based innovation and strategy consultant Charles Leadbeater argued that modern education models appeared to have lost sight of their goals and called for a greater focus on fostering creativity, engagement and collaboration.

Citing the example of his own son, whom he had been helping work through his General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations, Leadbeater said fascinating discussions between the two on aspects of renaissance medicine – sparked by a general topic in the curriculum – had been shut down by the teenager on the basis that they were not closely enough related to what the examiner would be looking for in his responses.

“My son would say, ‘That is completely pointless – this is an analysis question, they are looking for these key points and you have to mention these key words,’ ” Leadbeater told delegates. “What is alarming is how education for them is at that point where it has become simply reduced to getting what your examiner is looking for and the better [you reflect that] the better your result.

“That … was upsetting because we are not thinking hard enough about purpose.

Leadbeater, who has previously served as an adviser to the British Department for Education’s Innovation Unit, said it was far more important to focus on ensuring students had the skills to “reassemble and reapply knowledge creatively” in unfamiliar situations and contexts.

From this perspective, he reasoned, a violin could arguably be equally useful as a computer to a child’s education, as it had the capacity to help the student simultaneously develop confidence, persistence, collaborative skills, creativity and communication.

Education can’t just be about “providing an answer, getting a mark and moving on”, he concluded. “Start with the purpose … if we ask the ‘why’ we get to the future of learning much sooner.”

The Future Schools conference has been organised by Association and Communication Events."

Mar 10, 15

"1. Students should be connected through a social network with other people in their field of choice.
2. Students should have a digital portfolio.
3. Students should have an “about.me” page.

Mar 10, 15

"17. Assessment doesn’t have to mean “test.” All student work has a world of “data” to offer. How much you gain depends on what you’re looking for."

Mar 09, 15

" Inquiry involves, I guess, learning how to take on a question, or an issue, or a tension, a problem or a challenge and learning how to work through a process where, through that investigation, you come to a deeper understanding, or a mastery of skills, or a resolution of the problem. So it’s, in essence, a process that really gets the learner doing the heavy lifting of working through that process of investigation, much like a researcher does. In many ways, I think inquiry mimics what researchers do every day. Inquiry involves kids being really active. I don’t just mean physically active, although there is a bit of that too, but very cognitively active. The teacher kind of helps them [build a toolkit of strategies] that they can use to identify, gather and analyse information and then later on apply it and come to deeper understanding."

Mar 04, 15

" Gartner. In a new report, "Top 10 Strategic Technologies Impacting Education in 2015," the business IT consulting firm ranked 10 innovations and tech trends that it believes the education CIO should plan for in 2015."

Mar 03, 15

"According the Facebook-led initiative Internet.org, there are expansive gaps in connectivity throughout developing parts of the world."

Mar 03, 15

"In an era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter, we’re all required to do several things at once. But this constant multitasking is taking its toll. Here neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin explains how our addiction to technology is making us less efficient"

Mar 03, 15

"As explained by Google themselves, Google Chrome Extensions are “applications that run inside the Chrome browser and provide additional functionality, integration with third party websites or services, and customized browsing experiences.” While there is some grey area between Google apps, extensions, and simply shortcuts to websites, the right extensions can turn your browser into a Swiss-army knife of utility and efficiency."

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