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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Editor's Hand Picked Headline News

Don't hang up on students' futures by Ira David Socol

In a classroom with 60 future teachers I tried an experiment. "Everybody have their mobile phones?" I asked. They looked surprised. "OK," I told these Michigan State University students, "you have 15 minutes to receive a text message. The message must say (1) where the person is, (2) what they ate for lunch today, and (c) when they were born."
I offered extra credit if the response came from outside the United States, or if it was in another language. The room was filled with fingers flying across tiny keypads, and quickly we had more responses than students. "What could we do with this information?" I asked. "Graph it? Map it? Analyze it? Translate the French, German, Spanish and Urdu messages?"


ProfCast Lecture Capture Software Adds Logging to Podcast Manager by Dave Nagel

ProfCast has released a new version of its eponymous software designed for capturing and distributing classroom lectures as enhanced podcasts. ProfCast 2.2.0pb4, a public beta of the presentation capture software, includes fixes and enhancements to previous 2.2 releases and is available now for Mac OS X.
ProfCast provides for the recording of live presentations and screen captures. It supports audio playthrough, export to GarageBand, and sharing via iWeb, as well as URL linking and ID3 tags for iTunes U, Apple's university-centric space within iTunes. It also includes an integrated Podcast Manager, which generates and publishes the supporting RSS feed for the podcasts.
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More students learning online by Stephanie Takach

Almost 3.5 million American students took at least one online course during the fall 2006 term, about a 10 percent increase over the number reported in 2005, according to the Sloan Consortium.
For the fall term at Drexel, almost 4,000 courses have capability of Blackboard Vista, the Drexel online learning service.
"I think that we're safe to say that we're more than just getting our feet wet; [we're] well established to experience online education at Drexel," Associate Vice President of IRT Jan Biros said.
Online education has become increasingly popular on college campuses, and Drexel is taking advantage of these developments in technology. According to Michael Scheuermann, the director of Online Learning, nearly 70 percent of all Drexel students are in at least one section this fall where the professor is actively using Blackboard Vista in their teaching and learning.

Source: The Triangle

Hardware and Software Essentials

Members of the Education World Tech Team share their must-have tech tools for educators. What’s on your list?

Four years ago, we asked members of the Education World Tech Team to tell us about the hardware and software they considered essential to their teaching and/or professional lives outside the classroom. The responses were published in the article Learn to Accessorize: Hardware and Software Essentials. Recently, we wondered how many of the technology tools our experts identified in 2003 were essential in today’s classrooms, and how many new tools our experts had added to the list. So once again, we asked our Tech Team: What hardware and/or software do you consider essential -- or invaluable -- for today’s educator?
Discover what they told us.

Online learning experience suits some students better than sitting in class by DAVID STEINDORF, Ph.D.
I applaud the Times Union's Dec. 2 editorial on the value of an online college education. The point of the editorial was, it seems to me, that establishing universally accepted criteria for evaluating the various online degree programs would greatly assist in debunking the myth that "a degree earned in the virtual world is inferior to a sheepskin obtained in the real one."
I couldn't agree more and, in fact, would humbly suggest that, in certain respects, an online academic experience can, for many individuals, be superior to classroom learning.