A friend who teaches at Umass Lowell was on campus yesterday attending the AMCOA Regional Conference. I sat in on the last session of the day and was impressed at the level of discussion around creating clear assessment standards at different Umass Cc, State and universities so that credits can be transferable. The panel I attended said that they were adopting the Value Rubric developed at American College to evaluate student writing in their English courses. For more info about AMCOA visit their web site:
Ten years ago, Jack Valenti was at EDUCAUSE defending the rights of the Motion Picture Industry of America to step in and shut down peer-to-peer file sharing activity at universities. Yesterday many sites showed their unified opposition to new laws that are aimed at curtailing movie piracy and other violations of copyright via the Internet. Many of us noticed either the shut down of entire media sites,or sites that turned black–Google for one–as a sign of concern and disapproval of governmental oversight. Most of the sites in question are overseas. But bills like the Protect IP Act and Stop Online Piracy tread into some controversial territory. It just goes to show you that the media and entertainment business are still that: business.
For more, see “New, Old Media Battle Over Net Rules” in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.
I listened in to this Berkman Center event yesterday, Jan 17th. The presenter examined 255 public K-12 educational wikis from pbwiki’s from 2008 to 2011 and analyzed the data evaluated with a tool that he created to examine wikis that contained content that lead to the development of 21st century skills in K-12 students and whether these wikis were from high income or low income schools.
Take aways from the study he presented include:
- Material that is shared in OER’s is more likely to be used in higher income schools. Data driven design will be driven by interests, reactions, needs of higher income folks.
- Ed tech raises demands – raises the bar on schools and teachers
- Rising Tide raises all boats – After a lag where tech is adopted in higher income schools it will eventually trickle down to lower income schools – social programs that have been successful benefit everyone rather than just one group. The first job of OER is to address the needs of the people who are likely to vote for them. A correlation is equity is a result of investing in systems that benefit all students.
- Open ed resources are not harming lowering income schools
The event was recorded and the archive is available here: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2012/01/reich
A new Wikispaces feature makes it easy to comment on page contents, similar to the Microsoft Word. This amazing new tool not only allows in-page commenting anchored to specific text, but integrates these comments with the page’s own discussion tab!
Read more about it at the official Wikispaces Blog.
Flip cameras are all the rage, and for a good reason. They put cheap, easy-to-use HD video in your pocket. Super-portable and very useful. But, their Achilles heel is their audio recording. A built-in microphone only goes so far, and in the "real world" that’s not far enough!
Kodak’s Zi8 is a great flip alternative with lots to love. Some say the video quality is better, but it’s in the same league as all quality pocket video–though you’ll always get better video from a higher-end camera with a good lens.
The Zi8′s secret sauce? It’s got a microphone jack! The built-in mono microphone is already decent, but the external jack means you can use it with a wired reporter’s mic, a lavalier for your interview subjects, or even a wireless RF mic. I’ve used it with all of these and it’s so easy to do, and the improved sound quality is worth it. I’ll post samples shortly.
This makes the Zi8 a great camera for recording interviews in cafes, outdoors, any place you can’t control the sound completely, or even indoors when you’re recording at any distance. This also helps when recording a demonstration which requires a wider stage.
This week, Kodak is having a sale: $129 for the Zi8.