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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Upcoming free Webinar from Education Week

Education Week invites you to this free, live webinar.


Forging the Technology-Curriculum Link
Thursday, March 1, 2012,
2 to 3 p.m. ET.

Educators are accustomed to putting an emphasis on developing the most challenging and engaging curricula for their students and many are also now comfortable with the use of technology in their classrooms. But it’s important for educators to be thoughtful and deliberate in aligning both technology and curriculum to develop the most successful programs for students.
Register now

Presenters:
Noreen M. Walton,
director of learning support services for the 33,000-student Poway Unified School District in San Diego

Mark Hofer, associate professor of educational technology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Upcoming free Webinar from Education Week

Education Week invites you to this free, live webinar.


Forging the Technology-Curriculum Link
Thursday, March 1, 2012,
2 to 3 p.m. ET.

Educators are accustomed to putting an emphasis on developing the most challenging and engaging curricula for their students and many are also now comfortable with the use of technology in their classrooms. But it’s important for educators to be thoughtful and deliberate in aligning both technology and curriculum to develop the most successful programs for students.
Register now

Presenters:
Noreen M. Walton,
director of learning support services for the 33,000-student Poway Unified School District in San Diego

Mark Hofer, associate professor of educational technology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

EON Reality Releases EON Creator 4.7 Software for Creating 3D Lessons

EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive 3D software provider, today released EON Creator 4.7, an easy-to-use eLearning authoring tool that integrates 3D concepts with the web, PowerPoint, videos, sounds, animations and more into complete, blended learning environments.

Photo: www.eonreality.com

With EON Creator 4.7, users can create unique educational 3D Lessons and interactive scenes using high-quality 3D components from the EON Experience Portal and blend them together with their own 3D content. The Portal contains thousands of models and scenes accessible directly from inside the EON Creator authoring tool. Once content is downloaded into EON Creator, users can add contextual knowledge to any 3D object in their scene. Users can also link multiple 3D scenes together to create continuous learning environments.
Read more...

Related link
EON Blog

About EON Reality

EON Reality is the world's leading interactive 3D solutions provider for business and education based on Virtual Reality technology. A customer centric culture, global presence, innovation and integrity are the pillars of EON Reality’s success story.
We have been supporting customers since 1999 with 3D visualization solutions that improve communication and knowledge transfer – from simulation based learning and safety training to the creation of Interactive 3D sales and marketing materials that provide realistic authentic experiences anytime, anywhere.
We deliver versatile productivity to the energy, education, aerospace/defense, industrial and medical sectors. Organizations use EON’s solutions to increase sales, better communicate product functionality, decrease cost of training and travel less.

Source: 3Droundabout


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

EON Reality Releases EON Creator 4.7 Software for Creating 3D Lessons

EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive 3D software provider, today released EON Creator 4.7, an easy-to-use eLearning authoring tool that integrates 3D concepts with the web, PowerPoint, videos, sounds, animations and more into complete, blended learning environments.

Photo: www.eonreality.com

With EON Creator 4.7, users can create unique educational 3D Lessons and interactive scenes using high-quality 3D components from the EON Experience Portal and blend them together with their own 3D content. The Portal contains thousands of models and scenes accessible directly from inside the EON Creator authoring tool. Once content is downloaded into EON Creator, users can add contextual knowledge to any 3D object in their scene. Users can also link multiple 3D scenes together to create continuous learning environments.
Read more...

Related link
EON Blog

About EON Reality

EON Reality is the world's leading interactive 3D solutions provider for business and education based on Virtual Reality technology. A customer centric culture, global presence, innovation and integrity are the pillars of EON Reality’s success story.
We have been supporting customers since 1999 with 3D visualization solutions that improve communication and knowledge transfer – from simulation based learning and safety training to the creation of Interactive 3D sales and marketing materials that provide realistic authentic experiences anytime, anywhere.
We deliver versatile productivity to the energy, education, aerospace/defense, industrial and medical sectors. Organizations use EON’s solutions to increase sales, better communicate product functionality, decrease cost of training and travel less.

Source: 3Droundabout


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

European perspectives on e-learning by Dr. Morten Flate Paulsen

Photo: Morten Flate Paulsen
Take a closer look at Morten Flate Paulsen presentation on European perspectives in e-learning at ICDE's workshop in Oslo.

It is A 10-minutes presentation at a seminar organized by the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) and the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR), in cooperation with Norway Opening Universities (NOU).


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European perspectives on e-learning by Dr. Morten Flate Paulsen

Photo: Morten Flate Paulsen
Take a closer look at Morten Flate Paulsen presentation on European perspectives in e-learning at ICDE's workshop in Oslo.

It is A 10-minutes presentation at a seminar organized by the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) and the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR), in cooperation with Norway Opening Universities (NOU).


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Treating Higher Ed's 'Cost Disease' With Supersize Online Courses by Marc Parry

Photo: Marc Parry
"Oh my God, she's trying to replace me with a computer.

That's what some professors think when they hear Candace Thille pitch the online education experiment she directs, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University." summarizes Marc Parry.

Photo: Candace Thille
The Chronicle

They're wrong. But what her project does replace is the traditional system of building and delivering introductory college courses.

Professors should move away from designing foundational courses in statistics, biology, or other core subjects on the basis of "intuition," she argues. Instead, she wants faculty to work with her team to put out the education equivalent of Super Bowl ads: expensively built online course materials, cheaply available to the masses.

When Ms. Thille began this work, in 2002, the idea was to design free online courses that would give independent novices a shot at mastering what students learn in traditional classes. But two things changed. One, her studies found that the online system benefits on-campus students, allowing them to learn better and faster than their peers when the digital environment is combined with some face-to-face instruction.
Read more...

Candace Thille (Opening Up Education) 


Related link
Candace Thille leads an overview of Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education


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Treating Higher Ed's 'Cost Disease' With Supersize Online Courses by Marc Parry

Photo: Marc Parry
"Oh my God, she's trying to replace me with a computer.

That's what some professors think when they hear Candace Thille pitch the online education experiment she directs, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University." summarizes Marc Parry.

Photo: Candace Thille
The Chronicle

They're wrong. But what her project does replace is the traditional system of building and delivering introductory college courses.

Professors should move away from designing foundational courses in statistics, biology, or other core subjects on the basis of "intuition," she argues. Instead, she wants faculty to work with her team to put out the education equivalent of Super Bowl ads: expensively built online course materials, cheaply available to the masses.

When Ms. Thille began this work, in 2002, the idea was to design free online courses that would give independent novices a shot at mastering what students learn in traditional classes. But two things changed. One, her studies found that the online system benefits on-campus students, allowing them to learn better and faster than their peers when the digital environment is combined with some face-to-face instruction.
Read more...

Candace Thille (Opening Up Education) 


Related link
Candace Thille leads an overview of Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Top 4 Ways to Save Money on Online Courses

Today I have Katheryn Rivas as guest blogger. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

Many online learners choose to pursue distance education because of the significant cost savings. But even veteran distance learners can benefit from paying attention to whether or not they are throwing money away on online education expenses and learn about the top ways to avoid doing so.

1. Research Costs to Gain Perspective

Before you enroll in any online program, whether it be one course or an entire semester's worth, the least you should do is see how much you are paying compared to similar programs. Even if you don't mind paying more for a program you love, it is always good to have perspective on the market and know when there might be an opportunity to cut your costs. Check out things like tuition rates, student fees, course material costs, and financial aid packages, and try to research at least five programs that could work for you. No matter what program you go with, you will know that you made an informed financial decision.

2. Read the Fine Print on Financial Aid

Financial aid can be a complicated process. It's almost like working with an insurance company. Sometimes you feel like all the aid is there and secured, and then the semester ends and you're presented with a bill for the remaining costs. Make sure this doesn't happen to you and speak directly with financial aid officers at several different schools to know exactly what you may be potentially responsible for covering. Factor that in to the total cost of your education when comparing programs.

3. Don't Buy Course Materials from the School

This is true at traditional colleges, as well. You can almost always find a less expensive copy of a textbook online through a private vendor, rather than at your school book store. There are many sites that sell used copies of textbooks; probably the biggest is Amazon.com. You can also rent a book from sites like Bookrenter.com. If you're in a rush, do a simple Google search to see if you can automatically find the text at a lower price.

4. Watch Out for On-Campus Requirements

The thing about online classes that really saves you money is the fact that everything is online. You never have to pay for travel to and from class, or the meals and miscellaneous expenses associated with the commute. Some online courses are held in a blended format, and students meet regularly at a central location, just much less frequently. There is nothing wrong with a blended online course, just factor in the added cost before you enroll in the program.

This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities advice.
She welcomes your comments at her email.

Many thanks to Katheryn.
Enjoy your reading!


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Top 4 Ways to Save Money on Online Courses

Today I have Katheryn Rivas as guest blogger. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

Many online learners choose to pursue distance education because of the significant cost savings. But even veteran distance learners can benefit from paying attention to whether or not they are throwing money away on online education expenses and learn about the top ways to avoid doing so.

1. Research Costs to Gain Perspective

Before you enroll in any online program, whether it be one course or an entire semester's worth, the least you should do is see how much you are paying compared to similar programs. Even if you don't mind paying more for a program you love, it is always good to have perspective on the market and know when there might be an opportunity to cut your costs. Check out things like tuition rates, student fees, course material costs, and financial aid packages, and try to research at least five programs that could work for you. No matter what program you go with, you will know that you made an informed financial decision.

2. Read the Fine Print on Financial Aid

Financial aid can be a complicated process. It's almost like working with an insurance company. Sometimes you feel like all the aid is there and secured, and then the semester ends and you're presented with a bill for the remaining costs. Make sure this doesn't happen to you and speak directly with financial aid officers at several different schools to know exactly what you may be potentially responsible for covering. Factor that in to the total cost of your education when comparing programs.

3. Don't Buy Course Materials from the School

This is true at traditional colleges, as well. You can almost always find a less expensive copy of a textbook online through a private vendor, rather than at your school book store. There are many sites that sell used copies of textbooks; probably the biggest is Amazon.com. You can also rent a book from sites like Bookrenter.com. If you're in a rush, do a simple Google search to see if you can automatically find the text at a lower price.

4. Watch Out for On-Campus Requirements

The thing about online classes that really saves you money is the fact that everything is online. You never have to pay for travel to and from class, or the meals and miscellaneous expenses associated with the commute. Some online courses are held in a blended format, and students meet regularly at a central location, just much less frequently. There is nothing wrong with a blended online course, just factor in the added cost before you enroll in the program.

This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities advice.
She welcomes your comments at her email.

Many thanks to Katheryn.
Enjoy your reading!


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MentorMob helps teachers aggregate online content into a learning ‘playlist’

Here's what's new on eSchool News site today.

Site of the Week
Dennis Pierce, Editor writes, "Our Site of the Week, MentorMob, is a free new platform that help teachers create educational "playlists" from online content."

http://www.mentormob.com

Materials for teaching and learning exist everywhere online: in YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations, and published articles, for example. MentorMob is a free new platform that helps teachers collect, or “curate,” this content in one simple place for their lessons.
MentorMob organizes the best content for a specific subject, called a “mob,” into an engaging learning playlist to bring the sense of discovery and fun back into learning, the company says.
Read more...

Source: eSchool News


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MentorMob helps teachers aggregate online content into a learning ‘playlist’

Here's what's new on eSchool News site today.

Site of the Week
Dennis Pierce, Editor writes, "Our Site of the Week, MentorMob, is a free new platform that help teachers create educational "playlists" from online content."

http://www.mentormob.com

Materials for teaching and learning exist everywhere online: in YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations, and published articles, for example. MentorMob is a free new platform that helps teachers collect, or “curate,” this content in one simple place for their lessons.
MentorMob organizes the best content for a specific subject, called a “mob,” into an engaging learning playlist to bring the sense of discovery and fun back into learning, the company says.
Read more...

Source: eSchool News


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

45 Inspiring Career Blogs for College Students

Carol Brown has been in touch to remind us about this recent published article below.


College, ostensibly, prepares participants for their chosen career paths, but tracking down the right entry-level positions comes burdened with its own set of protocols, strategies, and insights, all of which might seem impregnable to the recent graduate.

Fortunately, blogs exist to help demystify the overwhelming amount of information applicants have to process. Whether looking for tips on crafting the snazziest resume around or succeeding after scoring a great position, the following resources make for some of the best places to start seeking professional, experienced advice.

Photo: Online College.org

1. Lindsey Pollak
Because this career expert and consultant specifically concerns herself with Generation Y, her official blog will be particularly useful to college students about to hit the job force.
Read more...

Related link
Take a closer look at Online Colleges blog

Many thanks to Carol.
Enjoy your reading!
  


Source: Online College.org


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

45 Inspiring Career Blogs for College Students

Carol Brown has been in touch to remind us about this recent published article below.


College, ostensibly, prepares participants for their chosen career paths, but tracking down the right entry-level positions comes burdened with its own set of protocols, strategies, and insights, all of which might seem impregnable to the recent graduate.

Fortunately, blogs exist to help demystify the overwhelming amount of information applicants have to process. Whether looking for tips on crafting the snazziest resume around or succeeding after scoring a great position, the following resources make for some of the best places to start seeking professional, experienced advice.

Photo: Online College.org

1. Lindsey Pollak
Because this career expert and consultant specifically concerns herself with Generation Y, her official blog will be particularly useful to college students about to hit the job force.
Read more...

Related link
Take a closer look at Online Colleges blog

Many thanks to Carol.
Enjoy your reading!
  


Source: Online College.org


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making movies with mobiles by Bob Tedeschi

Powerful programs like Adobe’s Premiere and Apple’s iMovie often come preinstalled on desktop computers, but many people never use them. Mobile software could change that.

Photo: Deccan Herald

Apps like VidTrim (free on Android), Avid Studio for iPad ($5) and the mobile version of iMovie ($5 on Apple) are less ambitious than the desktop programs, so they’re easier to learn. And with mobile devices quickly replacing camcorders, you can shoot, edit and share your video with others within a few minutes.

I found iMovie the easiest and most versatile video-editing app for Apple products. People who own both iPhones and iPads can buy iMovie once, and it’ll work on both devices.

The app is designed for people who want to shoot and immediately edit and export their videos, without fussing with too many postproduction special effects. It is slightly difficult to understand at first, but there are a few tricks that can help flatten the learning curve.

The first trick is finding the tutorial.
Read more...

Source: Deccan Herald 


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Making movies with mobiles by Bob Tedeschi

Powerful programs like Adobe’s Premiere and Apple’s iMovie often come preinstalled on desktop computers, but many people never use them. Mobile software could change that.

Photo: Deccan Herald

Apps like VidTrim (free on Android), Avid Studio for iPad ($5) and the mobile version of iMovie ($5 on Apple) are less ambitious than the desktop programs, so they’re easier to learn. And with mobile devices quickly replacing camcorders, you can shoot, edit and share your video with others within a few minutes.

I found iMovie the easiest and most versatile video-editing app for Apple products. People who own both iPhones and iPads can buy iMovie once, and it’ll work on both devices.

The app is designed for people who want to shoot and immediately edit and export their videos, without fussing with too many postproduction special effects. It is slightly difficult to understand at first, but there are a few tricks that can help flatten the learning curve.

The first trick is finding the tutorial.
Read more...

Source: Deccan Herald 


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

International conference on mobile learning, Berlin, Germany

An international conference on mobile learning will take place from 11 to 13 March 2012 in Berlin, Germany.


Since the advent of mobile learning, developments in its practice and research have been carried along by technological innovation and advancement. Laptops, for example, have given rise to new models of technology integration and accessibility within the classroom and freed technology from the 'imprisonment' of computer rooms. In the same way, handheld devices have made it possible contextual outdoor learning and freed learners and technologies from the confinement of a building.

With developments seemingly speeding up, there is an increasing relevance and need for mobile learning research focused on pedagogically meaningful approaches to mobile learning and systematically evaluated with appropriate data collection and analysis tools.

This event will be a forum for the presentation and discussion of mobile learning research which illustrate developments in the field. The overall programme will consists of invited talks and oral presentations.


Authors of the best published papers in the Mobile Learning 2012 proceedings will be invited to publish extended versions of their papers in the "International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning.

For further information, please visit: http://www.mlearning-conf.org/


Source: Cordis News


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

International conference on mobile learning, Berlin, Germany

An international conference on mobile learning will take place from 11 to 13 March 2012 in Berlin, Germany.


Since the advent of mobile learning, developments in its practice and research have been carried along by technological innovation and advancement. Laptops, for example, have given rise to new models of technology integration and accessibility within the classroom and freed technology from the 'imprisonment' of computer rooms. In the same way, handheld devices have made it possible contextual outdoor learning and freed learners and technologies from the confinement of a building.

With developments seemingly speeding up, there is an increasing relevance and need for mobile learning research focused on pedagogically meaningful approaches to mobile learning and systematically evaluated with appropriate data collection and analysis tools.

This event will be a forum for the presentation and discussion of mobile learning research which illustrate developments in the field. The overall programme will consists of invited talks and oral presentations.


Authors of the best published papers in the Mobile Learning 2012 proceedings will be invited to publish extended versions of their papers in the "International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning.

For further information, please visit: http://www.mlearning-conf.org/


Source: Cordis News


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

Innosight's Michael Horn on How 'Blended Learning' and Technology Can Bridge the Education Gap

Photo: Michael Horn
In less than a decade, half of high school courses in the U.S. will be online, according to Michael Horn, author and co-founder of The Innosight Institute. The Internet will improve how people learn, Horn tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, and will be key to reforming the educational system of the future. He sees the advent of 'blended learning,' a system of customized, student-centric learning paired with supervision, which would allow educators to adopt more specialized roles. Across the globe, he adds, mobile devices will be crucial to help bridge the education gap in developing countries.

Photo: Gestures

Horn co-wrote the bestselling book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen. He and Christensen later co-founded The Innosight Institute, a non-for profit think tank devoted to applying the theories of disruptive innovation to problems in the social sector.

In the future, Horn predicts the majority of students will be engaged in what he calls "blended learning" where they'll learn online with control over the pace of their learning in schools with teachers providing guidance. As new technologies and applications are introduced into schools, he also predicts the future of teaching shifting into three roles: Teachers who act as mentors and motivators; content experts; and case workers that help students deal with non-academic obstacles to learning. Horn sees such changes creating a more student-centric education system where each child can learn at a customized pace and path.

An example Horn cites is the Khan Academy, launched in 2006 by Salman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American with a mission to provide high quality and free education to anyone in the world through an online platform. An MIT and Harvard Business School graduate, Khan came up with the idea after tutoring his cousin in mathematics using Yahoo!'s Doodle notepad.
Read more...

Source: Knowledge@Wharton


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Innosight's Michael Horn on How 'Blended Learning' and Technology Can Bridge the Education Gap

Photo: Michael Horn
In less than a decade, half of high school courses in the U.S. will be online, according to Michael Horn, author and co-founder of The Innosight Institute. The Internet will improve how people learn, Horn tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, and will be key to reforming the educational system of the future. He sees the advent of 'blended learning,' a system of customized, student-centric learning paired with supervision, which would allow educators to adopt more specialized roles. Across the globe, he adds, mobile devices will be crucial to help bridge the education gap in developing countries.

Photo: Gestures

Horn co-wrote the bestselling book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen. He and Christensen later co-founded The Innosight Institute, a non-for profit think tank devoted to applying the theories of disruptive innovation to problems in the social sector.

In the future, Horn predicts the majority of students will be engaged in what he calls "blended learning" where they'll learn online with control over the pace of their learning in schools with teachers providing guidance. As new technologies and applications are introduced into schools, he also predicts the future of teaching shifting into three roles: Teachers who act as mentors and motivators; content experts; and case workers that help students deal with non-academic obstacles to learning. Horn sees such changes creating a more student-centric education system where each child can learn at a customized pace and path.

An example Horn cites is the Khan Academy, launched in 2006 by Salman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American with a mission to provide high quality and free education to anyone in the world through an online platform. An MIT and Harvard Business School graduate, Khan came up with the idea after tutoring his cousin in mathematics using Yahoo!'s Doodle notepad.
Read more...

Source: Knowledge@Wharton


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Monday, February 20, 2012

Swinburne's online resources commended

Swinburne University of Technology’s innovative MathsCasts teaching project has been recognised in the prestigious NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition.

About MathsCasts

MathsCasts is part of an international research collaborative between Swinburne, the University of Limerick in Ireland and Loughborough University in England.

The joint project produces high quality resources aimed at supporting first-year undergraduates, online tutorial videos that explain how to solve various mathematical problems.

Photo: Professor Gilly Salmon
Swinburne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformations) Professor Gilly Salmon said Swinburne was the only Victorian university, and one of very few Australian universities, included in the US edition of the report.

This year a special NMC Horizon Report will be produced in Australia and Professor Salmon will serve on the national panel.

MathsCasts resources are available from:
Read more...

Related link
Professor Gilly Salmon takes up new post in Australia       

Source: Swinburne University Media Centre


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Swinburne's online resources commended

Swinburne University of Technology’s innovative MathsCasts teaching project has been recognised in the prestigious NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition.

About MathsCasts

MathsCasts is part of an international research collaborative between Swinburne, the University of Limerick in Ireland and Loughborough University in England.

The joint project produces high quality resources aimed at supporting first-year undergraduates, online tutorial videos that explain how to solve various mathematical problems.

Photo: Professor Gilly Salmon
Swinburne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformations) Professor Gilly Salmon said Swinburne was the only Victorian university, and one of very few Australian universities, included in the US edition of the report.

This year a special NMC Horizon Report will be produced in Australia and Professor Salmon will serve on the national panel.

MathsCasts resources are available from:
Read more...

Related link
Professor Gilly Salmon takes up new post in Australia       

Source: Swinburne University Media Centre


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates!

New brain connections form in clusters during learning

New connections between brain cells emerge in clusters in the brain as animals learn to perform a new task, according to a study published in Nature on February 19 (advance online publication).

Illustration by Logan Parsons.
Photo: UC Santa Cruz

Led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study reveals details of how brain circuits are rewired during the formation of new motor memories. The researchers studied mice as they learned new behaviors, such as reaching through a slot to get a seed. They observed changes in the motor cortex, the brain layer that controls muscle movements, during the learning process. Specifically, they followed the growth of new "dendritic spines," structures that form the connections (synapses) between nerve cells.

Initial results of the spatial analysis showed that one third of the newly formed synapses were located next to another new synapse. These clustered synapses tended to form over the course of a few days during the learning period, when the mouse was repeatedly performing the new behavior. Compared to non-clustered counterparts, the clustered synapses were more likely to persist through the learning sessions and after training stopped.

In addition, the researchers found that after formation of the second spine in a cluster, the first spine grew larger. The size of the spine head correlates with the strength of the synapse. "We found that formation of a second connection is correlated with a strengthening of the first connection, which suggests that they are likely to be involved in the same circuitry," Zuo said. "The clustering of synapses may serve to magnify the strength of the connections."

In addition to Zuo and first author Min Fu, the coauthors of the paper include UCSC graduate student Xinzhu Yu and Stanford University biologist Ju Lu. This research was supported by grants from the Dana Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Read more...

Source: Eureka! Science News and University of California - Santa Cruz,


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New brain connections form in clusters during learning

New connections between brain cells emerge in clusters in the brain as animals learn to perform a new task, according to a study published in Nature on February 19 (advance online publication).

Illustration by Logan Parsons.
Photo: UC Santa Cruz

Led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study reveals details of how brain circuits are rewired during the formation of new motor memories. The researchers studied mice as they learned new behaviors, such as reaching through a slot to get a seed. They observed changes in the motor cortex, the brain layer that controls muscle movements, during the learning process. Specifically, they followed the growth of new "dendritic spines," structures that form the connections (synapses) between nerve cells.

Initial results of the spatial analysis showed that one third of the newly formed synapses were located next to another new synapse. These clustered synapses tended to form over the course of a few days during the learning period, when the mouse was repeatedly performing the new behavior. Compared to non-clustered counterparts, the clustered synapses were more likely to persist through the learning sessions and after training stopped.

In addition, the researchers found that after formation of the second spine in a cluster, the first spine grew larger. The size of the spine head correlates with the strength of the synapse. "We found that formation of a second connection is correlated with a strengthening of the first connection, which suggests that they are likely to be involved in the same circuitry," Zuo said. "The clustering of synapses may serve to magnify the strength of the connections."

In addition to Zuo and first author Min Fu, the coauthors of the paper include UCSC graduate student Xinzhu Yu and Stanford University biologist Ju Lu. This research was supported by grants from the Dana Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Read more...

Source: Eureka! Science News and University of California - Santa Cruz,


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

iNACOL Webinar to Explore Online Learning for Extending Learning Opportunities in the Community

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) will host a webinar on Wednesday, February 22 to explore how online learning can support extended learning opportunities and after-school programs in community-based organizations.

 


The webinar, called "Digital Learning in Class and Beyond," is based on a report by The After School Corporation (TASC). The webinar will describe the report's findings on how out-of-school programs can use online learning resources to expand educational opportunities. It will highlight examples of after-school programs actively utilizing digital learning to expand learning opportunities for students.

Presenters will include Jennifer Siaca Curry of TASC; Barry Joseph of Global Kids; David Lowenstein of Public Broadcasting Service and Pam Johnson of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, February 22 at 2:00 P.M. Eastern.

To register, please visit: http://www.inacol.org/events/webinar/index.php


Digital Learning Beyond School from The After-School Corporation on Vimeo.

About iNACOL

iNACOL is the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership association based in the Washington, D.C. area with more than 3,800 members.

iNACOL is unique in that its members represent a diverse cross-section of K-12 education from school districts, charter schools, state education agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities and research institutions, corporate entities and other content and technology providers (www.inacol.org).

iNACOL is host to the annual Virtual School Symposium (VSS). VSS 2012 is scheduled for Oct. 21-24, 2012, in New Orleans, LA (www.virtualschoolsymposium.org).

Source: Sacramento Bee


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