Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Digital Pilot Program from Internet2 and EDUCAUSE

Photo courtesy of velositor,com

Photo courtesy of velositor,com

A new pilot program has been put into place to allow more universities and higher education institutions to work within the online media model for student learning. This program, developed by EDUCAUSE and Internet2, includes over fifty publishers, notably the CourseSmart platform. GoodEReader spoke with Cindy Clarke, Senior VP of Marketing for CourseSmart, about the goals for this program.

“The spring pilot was very well subscribed and we’ve had feedback that more institutions are very keen to take part in the fall term,” explained Clarke, speaking of the original rollout which involved five schools and about eight hundred students.

While the offering will remain largely the same for this new fall 2013 program, there are some key differences based on that feedback. “One of the things that we’re adding to the subscription pilot is a faculty access program, giving those faculty members direct access to CourseSmart through their faculty access program. They can use CourseSmart for finding and evaluating textbooks for their adoption cycle.”

CourseSmart has learned from the original pilot program that both the students and the teachers were in favor of the subscription model, which affords students a significant savings over purchasing stand-alone titles while also giving them nearly limitless portability and access to their course materials. The savings through the subscription pack gives students twelve individual spots on their bookshelves that they can rotate their books through; the findings of the survey indicate that students tend to keep about five titles on that bookshelf at any given time, so the subscription model allows them to rotate their selected books through their bookshelves.

Of the large numbers of publishers who are participating in the fall pilot, McGraw-Hill, who has proven itself to be an educational publisher who stays at the forefront of digital textbook innovation, will once again be on board. In a press release on the fall pilot, McGraw-Hill’s spokesman explained the importance this type of program can play on the educational landscape.

"McGraw-Hill is excited to partner with Internet2 and EDUCAUSE to offer a pilot option that will deliver cutting-edge adaptive learning tools that take full advantage of the digital learning environment to enhance teaching and learning," said Tom Malek, vice president, McGraw-Hill Higher Education Learning Solutions. "We're looking forward to working closely with a select group of institutions and faculty that are interested in assessing the impact of these digital-first tools on teaching and learning."

New Digital Pilot Program from Internet2 and EDUCAUSE is a post from: E-Reader News

Results of Credo Survey Suggest Students Unprepared for Digital Literacy

Photo courtesy of english.sxu.edu

Photo courtesy of english.sxu.edu

A survey compiled by Credo has found some disturbing news about the skill set that students are bringing with them to the higher education setting: while many are proficient in information gathering, they lack the ability to process that information for application. In the survey, the results showed that students with this level of disconnect between digital processes may be unprepared for the technological demands of the workforce upon graduation.

"These results are eye-opening," commented Credo CEO Mike Sweet in a press release. "This is clear evidence that many students are not learning the basics of how to research, skills that transfer beyond the classroom to ensure success in the workforce and beyond.  At Credo, we have the innovative learning technology and the collaborative relationships with librarians and educators that will ensure that the 'Fourth R' is covered both earlier and more often so students can be more successful."

While the full results of the survey will not be presented until April at the ACRL Conference, some of the data already shows an alarming trend. According to the release on the upcoming survey report, most of the more than 1500 survey respondents demonstrated that they were adept at locating some form of information but less than half of the students reported that they could cite the information source as being reliable. More than half of the students responded that they were unfamiliar with the purposes of standard scholarly journals.

This survey was actually compiled by librarians, so the level of questions for the respondents were focused on information gathering, especially via technology and digital catalog. Unfortunately, the early results of the survey show that it is the students who have a false sense of security and confidence when it comes to perceiving their own abilities with digital information; students had far more confidence in their research skills than the data actually demonstrates.

Results of Credo Survey Suggest Students Unprepared for Digital Literacy is a post from: E-Reader News

Asus Downgrading Newer Tablets Instead of Upgrading Them

This past week Asus released a new mid-range 10″ Android tablet called the Asus MeMo Pad Smart 10. The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but as far as specs to price ratio it looks like it could be a solid 10″ tablet for someone who doesn’t want to spend over $300. There’s only [...]

Podcast: New and Featured Content for March

This month's collection development podcast focuses on multimedia content, spotlighting a variety of audio and video titles that are newly available or coming soon to Content Reserve. Tune in to OverDrive's Learning Center to find out about acclaimed movies by Music Box Films, genre-bending "audio movies" by AudioComics, language-learning courses by Mango Languages and Univerb Publishing House, audiobook classics from Cherry Hill Publishing, and New Age albums from Paradise Music.


Devoted readers, never fear: This month's podcast also features a broad range of newly added and upcoming eBooks, including content for young readers, health-conscious foodies, romance and suspense fans, time-crunched employees, and more.


As always, our podcast also rounds up this month's sales to make sure you never miss a great deal.


Access the March collection highlights podcast on OverDrive's Learning Center.


Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.


March 5, 1904: Tesla’s Having a Ball

Physicist Nikola Tesla attempts to explain the phenomenon of "ball lightning."

Win a pre-production camera board!

We’ve sent the first camera boards to production, and we’re expecting to be able to start selling them some time in April. And we’ve now got several pre-production cameras in the office that we’re testing and tweaking and tuning so the software will be absolutely tickety-boo when you come to buy one.

Gordon is in charge of things camera, and he’s got ten boards to give away. There is, however, a catch.

The reason we’re giving these cameras away is that we want you to help us to do extra-hard testing. We want the people we send these boards to to do something computationally difficult and imaginative with them, so that the cameras are pushed hard in the sort of bonkers scheme that we’ve seen so many of you come up with here before with your Pis, and so that we can learn how they perform (and make adjustments if necessary). The community here always seems to come up with applications for the stuff we do that we wouldn’t have thought of in a million years; we thought we should take advantage of that.

So we want you to apply for a camera, letting us know what you’re planning to do with it (and if you don’t do the thing you promise, we’ll send Clive around on his motorbike to rough you up). We want you to try to get the camera doing something imaginative. Think about playing around with facial recognition; or hooking two of them up together and modging the images together to create some 3d output; or getting the camera to recognise when something enters the frame that shouldn’t be there and doing something to the image as a result. We are not looking for entries from people who just want to take pictures, however pretty they are. (Dave Akerman: we’ve got one bagged up for you anyway, because the stuff you’re taking pictures of is cool enough to earn an exemption here. Everybody else, see Dave’s latest Pi in Space here. He’s put it in a tiny TARDIS.)

So if you have a magnificent, imaginative, computationally interesting thing you’d like to do with a Raspberry Pi camera board, email iwantacamera@raspberrypi.org. In your mail you’ll need to explain exactly what you plan to do; and Gordon, who is old-school, is likely to take your application all the more seriously if you can point to other stuff you’ve done in the past (with or without cameras), GitHub code or other examples of your fierce prowess. (He suggested I ask for your CVs, but I think we’ll draw the line there.) We will also need your postal address. The competition is open worldwide until March 12. We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with!