Education Articles

iTunes U Downloads Surpass 300 Million

Apple has announced that it has surpassed 300 million iTunes U downloads in three years. iTunes U is an area of the iTunes store dedicated to educational content.

iTunes U includes content from Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, University of Melbourne and Université de Montréal. Users can experience university courses, lab demos, sports highlights, campus tours, and special lectures from participating universities.

Barnes & Noble Launches “NookStudy” for Students

As you may know, the digital book war between Amazon and Barnes & Noble has been heating up. Last week, Barnes & Noble announced an important move it is making, adding Nook boutiques to its brick and mortar stores across the country.

Facebook Offers Scholarship to Female Computer Science Students
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Facebook has announced a new scholarship, the Facebook Grace Hopper Scholarship, which it will award to 5 women university students excelling in Computer Science, to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference. The conference takes place in Atlanta from September 28tht to October 2nd.

Colorado and Iowa Join Oregon in Making Google Apps Available to Public Schools

Google announced today that Colorado and Iowa are now offering Google Apps to public schools. Oregon did the same back in April, and now 3,000 more schools across Colorado and Iowa will have Google Apps available to them.

YouTube EDU Celebrates First Birthday

YouTube EDU turned one year old today, and it’s now one of the largest online video repositories of higher education content in the world, according to the company. "The team’s work in the last 365 days shows," YouTube’s Chris Dale tells WebProNews.

Dale shared the following highlights of YouTube EDU’s first year:

Watch: Cookie Monster Sings About Google
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Update: Cookie Monster himself is appearing in today’s doodle at Google.com.

Cookie Monster

Survey Finds 30% of College Faculty Use Twitter
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Faculty Focus released some interesting findings from a survey about Twitter usage and trends among college faculty. They surveyed about 2,000 faculty members and found that about a third of the respondents say they use Twitter. Over half say they have never used Twitter at all.

Department of Education: Online Education Beats Classroom
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An interesting study from none other than the US Department of Education says that students using online education actually perform better than those who just learn in the classroom. The findings are all the more intriguing, considering the source.

The study examined a number of other studies on the subject to reach its conclusions. Online education programs should be pleased with the results.

Some of the key findings from the study:

Time Spent On Facebook Up 700%
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Research from Nielsen shows that time spent on Facebook is up 700% from a year ago (that’s April ’08 to April ’09). Meanwhile, MySpace has experienced -31% year-over-year growth.

Microsoft Closes the Door on Encarta Encyclopedia
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Microsoft is closing the door on its world-renowned Encarta encyclopedia. It’s not exactly slamming the door. Online versions will still be available until October 31st, and in Japan, Encarta will still be available online until the end of the year.

Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic & Twitter?
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The horrors of war and the odd perversions of the Victorian era might be a little much for an eight year old. But Twitter, blogging, podcasting, and Wikipedia might just be the 21st century ticket to learning.

Educators in Britain are mulling proposed changes to primary school curriculum that would require kids be taught modern Web-based communication and information retrieval skills instead of teaching them about World War II. War they can learn about in high school.

Searching for Answers Google Doesn’t Have
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A new way of searching is on the way, and will come under the label Wolfram Alpha. This is a "knowledge engine" built by Stephen Wolfram, which allows users to ask questions and receive a single definitive answer rather than a page of results pointing to pages that may or may not have the answers they are looking for.

Intel Gets Educational with Classmate PCs
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Intel recently began showing off its Learning Series, PCs designed specifically for educational purposes. The series includes the Clamshell Classmate PC and the Convertible Classmate PC, both of which were created with students, parents, teachers, and schools in mind.

Mike McDonald spoke with Intel’s Holly Bourne about the machines at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas earlier this month. She was kind enough to demonstrate them:

Education Through the Cloud with Google
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Google Apps for Education has had a big year, further emphasizing Google’s push for cloud computing. A push that has included a recent guarantee of 99.9% uptime on certain Google Apps. Cloud computing with Google Apps has often been discussed in the business context, and it is clearly quite relevant to the education field as well.

Google Earth Models Getting Better
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Google Earth is doing some amazing things as highlighted with their announcement the other day of the Ancient Rome layer (shown in the video below).

Top 5 Reasons YouTube is a Great Educational Tool
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Google may be frequently coming up with different ways to monetize YouTube lately, and the community may be full of silly, or dare I even say stupid videos, but there are plenty of educational ones too, and besides that, YouTube can make for a great platform for education in general. I’m not talking just about in schools, although I don’t see why it can’t apply there too.

1. Powerpoint Presentations

Universities Use Social Networks for Applicant Screening
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When you’re a kid, say in high school, you don’t always consider the potential consequences for all your actions, especially on a career level. This is even truer when you don’t even have an idea of what you’re going to do with your life. When I was in high school, I had no idea that I would eventually be writing for an online publication. I didn’t even know where I would be going to college. I’m glad social networks were not in existence yet (not that I’m admitting to any foul behavior).

Virginia Schools To Teach Internet Safety
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In an effort to prepare children and teens for the potential stranger danger on the Internet, Virginia is the first state to make Internet safety classes for all grade levels.

It’s hard being first and one might imagine all 49 pairs of eyes (assuming one set of eyes per state, of course) will be on Virginia to see how educators implement the program, the messages used, and the methods by which the program is evaluated.

Google Using YouTube To Aid Business
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Firms that want to know more about running with Google’s advertising program, AdWords, have a video option to check out now.

Students and Twitter

Ever since teaching 6th graders about blogging, I’ve paid more attention to how social media sites can enhance learning.

Blogging certainly can improve writing skills and at the same time introduce children to ideas that will make them more marketable when they hit the job force (assuming they do).

One Laptop Per Child Needs a Spreadsheet Solution
Dan Bricklin has ported the SocialCalc spreadsheet to the OLPC XO as an Open Source project. 

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