AmplifyMOOC-July2013

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Also see:

Dear Kids:

First of all, why learn how to program? Why learn programs such as Scratch?

  • It is critical that you have at least some exposure to programming — as having some basic understanding of what programming is like will be very helpful for you. Coding is becoming like air and water for your futures.  That is, it’s like the modern day version of reading, writing, and doing basic math.

You will also be able to:

  • Build games that you can use to play with your friends! 🙂
  • Create/code your own website and code others’ websites to help them out.
  • Design immersive, story-driven experiences.
  • Write software for churches, other individuals, non-profits.
  • Get jobs anywhere in the world – and be highly-marketable/employable.
  • Make a solid contribution to the world via the development of software and new applications.
  • Have some basic understanding of programming so that when you have jobs later on, you will at least know what programmers do.

To get started, see:

Thanks,
Dad

P.S.  Take your time and have some fun with it; and don’t get discouraged if things don’t come easily or automatically for you. Thinking like a programmer requires a different way of thinking; so it may take some time to develop or appreciate.

 

AppleWWDC-June10-2013

 

Also see:

 

  • The Best Features Of iOS 7 — from techcrunch.com by Sarah Perez
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  • Everything You Need to Know about iOS 7 — from hongkiat.com
    Excerpts:
    iBooks is now available on the Mac, giving users access to 1.8 million books including interactive textbooks.
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    AirDrop Sharing Between iOS Devices <– potential uses in the Smart Classrooms…?
    AirDrop is now available for transfers between iOS devices via peer-to-peer WiFI connection. Turning on the Share Sheet on an app, you can find users who are nearby and tap items to share. A notification will appear on their device and when they open it, it will open to the relevent app and show the content that you shared.
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  • Apple’s WWDC 2013 Keynote: Highlights, Summary & History — from hongkiat.com by Singyin Lee
    Excerpt:
    Multiple Display <– potential uses in the Smart Classrooms…?
    Multiple Display support allow you to work on, multiple screens, even though only one device is physically connected, even if it means you are using Apple TV as one of your screens. Full screen spaces can be pulled from one display to the next and the dock and other menus will be displayed on each connected screen as well.
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TV apps: A dive into fragmentation — from appmarket.tv by

Excerpt:

Suppose you wanted to build an app for TV, where would you start? Admittedly, there is an enormous number of variables to consider for an app developer on where they might start the journey, even before that journey starts. These include areas like skill sets, funding, previous development, and relationships. This article is the first in a series that aims to shed some light on the current state of TV app development, as well as the exciting ecosystem that is forming around the connected TV. If you’ve identified an opportunity where developing a TV app makes sense, read on!

At this point, suppose you want to cover the market and develop for all devices and middleware platforms. That’s at least 72 middleware/OS, 122 devices, and 3 screen resolutions, which equates to managing over 26,352 experiences. A little overwhelming, right? Luckily, the picture isn’t quite this grim and in practice, no developer has gone to these lengths (we hope!). The next article in this series will go into how some of this fragmentation is being dealt with and some best practices that we’ve discovered along the way.

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itv-image

 

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The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

MOwayduino are mini robots designed to get kids & kidults playing around with robotics — from techcrunch.com by Natasha Lomas

Excerpt:

Fast forward a few decades and enter mOwayduino: programmable Arduino-based robot toys designed to be used in conjunction with mobile apps (e.g for radio controlling the device via the phone’s accelerometer) plus hardware add-ons — creating a rich environment for learning by playing around with hardware and software building blocks.

Or that’s the idea. At the moment, mOwayduino is at the concept/prototyping stage.  The Spanish company behind the project is apparently aiming to crowdfund the idea via Indiegogo. For now, you can register your interest via their websiteUpdate: mOwayduino’s makers say the Indiegogo campaign to fund production will launch in less than two weeks. “If we succeed, in three months, it will be on market. For people supporting the Indiegogo project, mOwayduino will be available at a special prize,” the company tells TechCrunch. “If we exceed the money we need for the production, we will develop a graphical programming App for tablets.”

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DSC’s comments on “Four Reasons Why Kids Should Learn Programming” — from tynker.com by Jolie O’Dell

.I like this blog posting and others have discussed this topic before…but I respectively disagree with one of the assertions: Programming is not easy — at least it wasn’t for me.  I think that’s true for others, as why else is it so hard to find good programmers and why are they paid so well?  Most people I know do not think like programmers do — it’s a different way of thinking. I’ve tried a couple different languages (albeit at a beginning level!), and while I greatly appreciate what programmers do, I am the first to tell you that I am not a programmer.   At least within web design and development types of tasks/careers, people tend to either gravitate towards the front end OR the back end — though there are exceptions to this rule of thumb who can do both types of tasks well.

So while I agree that students should learn some type of coding, we need more tools/services like this that aim to make programming fun, enjoyable, understandable, and relevant.

 

Tynker-April2013

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About
Tynker is a new computing platform designed specifically to teach children computational learning and programming skills in a fun and imaginative way. Tynker is inspired by Scratch from MIT. It is a completely browser-based implementation written using Open Web standards such as Javascript, HTML5, CSS3 and does not use Flash.
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Also see:

The tech industry’s massive marketing problem — from readwrite.com by Matt Asay

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The Tech Industry's Massive Marketing Problem

 

Excerpt:

The US has a skilled developer shortage, and it’s one of its own making. While Silicon Valley wrings its hands over H1B visa caps on skilled foreign workers, the bigger issue remains the U.S.’ inability to educate its own citizens. Actually, it may be worse than this: while we may educate a surplus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students for traditional STEM roles, we seem to fail to entice enough of them to get into technology.

Which is bizarre, if we stop to think about this for even a nanosecond.

 

Comments/reflections on this from DSC:

I think that the shock waves are still being felt from the decades’ worth of how the corporate world handled IT-related personnel and projects — that and the Dot Com crash.

A member from our CS department mentioned a while back that many of the high school career counselors were encouraging students not to go into a technology-related field such as programming.  I think they were basing such a perspective on how quickly the tech-related projects and personnel were dropped when the economy started heading south.

Another tough thing about the tech-side of the house…
With the pace of technological change, choosing which technologies to invest one’s time in is very difficult. One can easily choose an incorrect path or a product line or a programming language that didn’t turn out to be the one in demand.

 

The connected TVs are here… interactive programming & native apps will follow— from venturebeat.com by Habib Kairouz

 

The connected TVs are here… interactive programming & native apps will follow
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Excerpt:

Innovative devices have always fueled new application ecosystems. The software industry was enabled by the WinTel PC platform; and hundreds of thousands of websites were built once the PCs became “connected.” In the last few years, we have witnessed the same trend in mobile; more than 700,000 apps have been created for Web-enabled phones. We’ll soon see connected TVs fueling a similar ecosystem of interactive programming and native apps. With nearly a quarter of all U.S. households currently using connected TVs (according to eMarketer), we have reached the tipping point of mass adoption.

As opposed to the disastrous impact the Internet had on the print industry, I see the innovation of the connected TV market as a tremendous, yet accretive, evolution as opposed to a threat. Here’s why:

My reflections on “MOOCs of Hazard” – a well-thought out, balanced article by Andrew Delbanco


From DSC: Below are my reflections on MOOCs of Hazard — from newrepublic.com by Andrew Delbanco — who asks:  Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well…


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While I’m not sure that I agree with the idea that online education will dampen the college experience — and while I could point to some amazing capabilities that online education brings to the table in terms of true global exchanges — I’ll instead focus my comments on the following items:

 

1) Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are recent experiments — ones that will continue to change/morph into something else.
They are half-baked at best, but they should not be taken lightly. Christensen, Horn, Johnson are spot on with their theories of disruption here, especially as they relate to innovations occurring within the virtual/digital realm.  For example, the technologies behind IBM’s Watson could be mixed into the list of ingredients that will be used to develop MOOCs in the future.  It would be a very powerful, effective MOOC indeed if you could get the following parties/functionalities to the table:

  • IBM — to provide Watson like auto-curation/filtering capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, as well as data mining/learning analytics expertise, joined by
  • Several highly-creative firms from the film/media/novel/storytelling industry, who would be further joined by
  • Experts from Human Computer Interaction (HCI)/user interface/user experience design teams, who would be further joined by
  • Programmers and interaction specialists from educational gaming endeavors (and from those who can design simulations), joined by
  • Instructional designers, joined by
  • The appropriate Subject Matter Experts who can be reached by the students as necessary, joined by
  • Those skilled in research and library services, joined by
  • Legal experts to assist with copyright issues, joined by
  • Other specialists in mobile learning,  3D, web development, database administration, animation, graphic design, musicians, etc.

It won’t be long before this type of powerful team gets pulled together — from some organizations(s) with deep pockets — and the content is interacted with and presented to us within our living rooms via connected/Smart TVs and via second screen devices/applications.

2) The benefits of MOOCs
  • For colleges/universities:
    • MOOCs offer some serious marketing horsepower (rather than sound pedagogical tools, at this point in time at least)
    • They are forcing higher ed to become much more innovative
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They move us closer to team-based content creation and delivery
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  • For students:
    • They offer a much less expensive option to go exploring disciplines for themselves…to see if they enjoy (and/or are gifted in) topic A, B or C
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They provide a chance to see what it’s like to learn about something in a digital/virtual manner

3)  The drawbacks of MOOCs:
  • MOOCs are not nearly the same thing as what has come to be known as “online learning” — at least in the higher ed industry. MOOCs do not yet offer what more “traditional” (can I say that?) online learning provides: Far more support and pedagogical/instructional design, instructor presence and dialog, student academic support services, advising, more student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction, etc.
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  • MOOCs are like drinking from a firehose — there are too many blogs/RSS feeds, twitter feeds, websites, and other resources to review.

4) It would be wise for all of us to be involved with such experiments and have at least a subset of one’s college or university become much more nimble/responsive.

 

Also see:

How the internet is making us poor — from qz.com by Christopher Mims

Excerpt:

Everyone knows the story of how robots replaced humans on the factory floor. But in the broader sweep of automation versus labor, a trend with far greater significance for the middle class—in rich countries, at any rate—has been relatively overlooked: the replacement of knowledge workers with software.

 

 

Also see:

 

From DSC:
So…what courses aren’t we teaching in K-12 and in higher ed that we need to be teaching to help our students get prepared for this quickly-changing situation in the workplace? Now? In the near future? 

What’s some good career advice (or resources) out there?

Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind is one resource that comes to mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Desktop PCs less popular than ever — from Scott Martin and Jon Swartz, USA TODAY — with thanks to Mr. Rick DeVries at Calvin College for this resource

 

DesktopPCsLessPopThanEver-Feb2013

3 demos available now from socraticarts.com — per Roger Schank (@rogerschank)

 

Excerpt from SEO module:

How is this course different than most university courses?

This course differs from a typical university course in many ways. It is based on a story-centered, learn-by-doing approach, rather than lectures and exams. The context in which you work is not a classroom but a job, with task assignments similar to those done by professionals in the real world. Unlike the real world, we are here to help you as you move through the scenario.

  • Our support resources, which include books and links, have been carefully selected to be directly relevant to the tasks you need to accomplish. They are appropriate for beginners, and aligned with the current professional standards of best practice.
  • Our mentors will give you detailed, informative critiques of your solutions, pointing out how your solutions can be dramatically improved.

The net result of the above is that if you successfully complete this course, you will achieve not just basic understanding of key concepts, but actual mastery of the skills needed in the real world.

 

Most popular programming languages of 2013 — from CodeEval.com with thanks to brian k (@iEducator) for posting this on twitter

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The new basis of competition and the superiority of ecosystem economics — from visionmobile.com by Michael Vakulenko

Also see:

The changing landscape of app discovery — from visionmobile.com by Andreas Pappas

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VisionMobile - The changing landscape of app discovery

 

Also see:

 

DeveloperEconomics-Feb2013

 



Also see the following infographic from
OnlinePhDPrograms.com

Making Money with iOS Education Apps

From DSC:
My dad sent me this in an email — I’ll include it here as a graphic to insure that I get the layout correct:

 

ResearchFromCambridgeUniversity-PowerOfMind

 

Another excerpt from the email:

If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid, too.

Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

 

From DSC:
What amazed me about this was in the meta cognitive processes of my mind I sensed my mind struggling to make sense of the first couple words…but then, as I moved forward, my mind went back and filled in the gaps and moved forward with understanding what the words were saying.  Then it occurred to me how amazing the human mind is — glory to God!  Humans can pick up patterns much quicker than computers and algorithms. Not that algorithms can’t be tweaked over time, but humans are key in getting them headed in the right direction in the first place!

P.S. I also saw this type of thing at Jimmy Johns; but that’s even one step further outside the academic realm than even an email from someone’s dad!  But thanks Dad if you are reading this!  I found it to be an amazing exercise.   🙂

 

 

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