I was very excited when I saw the announcement for Google’s new Course Builder platform. Education is such a big part of libraries but they’re all on their own, constantly reinventing the wheel from scratch. A free, consistent platform librarians could build on and share the way they have other technologies could make life a lot easier for librarians in the public and special sectors as well as academics.
So I went digging for information.
- It looks like you can limit registration to your course using Google’s Apps for Education service so that only people from your school try to access restricted resources.
- It’s a hosted app so the URL is “theappname.appspot.com.”
- It won’t work for most educators I know.
The last is disappointing. Course Builder’s webpage describes several of the same options included in Blackboard except with more flexibility, making for a promising alternative. However, the problem is in the backend. These courses aren’t products of an application, they’re apps themselves.
I don’t know many educators with these kinds of skills or the time to acquire them.
Course Builder is definitely in beta with several features already requested. It’s possible it’ll become more user-friendly in the next year but Google doesn’t have a very good track record with that.
In short, join the community to provide much-needed feedback if you can, or check back next year to see if it’s still around.
Whats really interesting is how the Mootha Lab did it. Sure, there was plenty of traditional wet lab work involving pipettes, beakers, and chemical reagents – but techniques like these had failed to identify MCU for close to fifty years. The difference was the Mootha labs strategic and creative searching of publicly-accessible biological databases.
via How database searches solved a 50-year-old medical mystery.
He says we need to move to more student-centric learning, using the strengths of technology to help students learn in their own ways (you remember Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences?). For instance, instead of assessing students at the end of a unit, we should test them daily, using technology to capture and record data, thus allowing the teacher to more efficiently help students learn at their own level and speed.
via Disrupting Class: Honoring Multiple Intelligences through a Student-Centric Approach | Technology Teacher. via @mstephens7
I hated the U.S. educational system when I was in it, mostly because I spent most of my time locked up in classrooms bored out of my mind. I was a perfect example of someone who needed a different approach, I got good grades but I wonder how much more I could have learned if I had been involved.
How Children Fail: angry lessons from failures to teach – Boing Boing
…The valiant and resolute band of travelers I thought I was leading toward a much-hoped-for destination turned out instead to be more like convicts on a chain-gang, forced under threat of punishment to move along a rough path leading nobody knew where and down which they could see hardly more than a few steps ahead. School feels like this to children: it is a place where they make you go and where they tell you to do things and where they try to make your life unpleasant if you don’t do them or don’t do them right…
So many people have said to me, “If we didn’t make children do things, they wouldn’t do anything.” Even worse, they say,
If I weren’t made to do things, I wouldn’t do anything.
It is the creed of the slave …
I felt like this all through school, even grad school. I read an article a couple of years ago where the author stated that the American school system was built to process corporate drones. No creativity needed. Now that corporations are becoming more automated, that system is breaking down. My aunt home-schools her children because the system isn’t challenging enough for them.
TED | Talks | Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law (video)
From an educational point of view. I wound up having to download it but it was worth it.
swissmiss: Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. With ample anecdotes and witty asides, Robinson points out the many ways our schools fail to recognize — much less cultivate — the talents of many brilliant people. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. The universality of his message is evidenced by its rampant popularity online. A typical review: “If you have not yet seen Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, please stop whatever you’re doing and watch it now.”</blockquote
Accessify: latest news / Teach a Man to Fish (or How to Resize Text)
It got me thinking, maybe it would be best to show the user how to change the font size rather than simply describe it. With that in mind, I put together some video clips, joined them together in iMovie and did a voice-over to explain how itâ€™s possible. Hereâ€™s the end result (actually, this is version 2, which takes on board some of the comments in this post)
Iâ€™m interested to hear your feedback. Is this useful? Could you see people wanting to embed this on their accessibility page?
Personally, I find parts a little confusing but I’m pretty far from the intended audience. Still, I love the idea.