Ed News Ticker #4
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Google Drive officially launches with 5GB free storage, Google Docs integration
Google Drive officially launched yesterday. The service soffer 5GB of storage space for documents, videos, photos, PDFs and other files, and Google Docs is built-in to the service. Users can upgrade to 25GB of space for $2.49 a month, 100GB for $4.99 a month, or 1TB for $49.99 a month, and upgrading to a paid account will expand your Gmail storage to 25GB.
Google Docs functionality within Google Drive will allow users to work with others in real-time (as you can currently do in Google Docs), and includes the ability to share content with others, add and reply to comments, and receive notifications for new comments on documents or files. Google says you can also search everything in Drive by keyword, or filter by file type, owner, and other criteria. The service can also recognize text in scanned documents.
Source: The Verge
FBI: Hundreds Of Thousands May Lose Internet In July
After the FBI took down an advertising scam ring from Estonia that infected computers with malware, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down because it is too expensive to keep it running.
The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner, http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.
Source: Huffington Post
Khan Academy Partners Up With 23andMe To Make Learning About Genetics Fun
To celebrate National DNA Day Khan Academy has announced a partnership with personal genetics testing company 23andMe to “promote the importance of genetics education.” Specifically, this means that Khan Academy’s website now has educational videos produced by 23AndMe on topics such as Genetics 101.
Adobe Creative Suite 6 priced at $29.99 for students and teachers
Adobe Creative Suite 6 products and Adobe Creative Cloud are scheduled to be available end of May. The Student and Teacher Edition of Adobe Creative Cloud is available for US$29.99/month. Volume licensing for Creative Cloud “team-ready” is available via the Adobe Transactional Licensing Program. Adobe is also offering a new Adobe K-12 Enterprise Agreement designed for the needs of school districts in the United States and Canada.
Adobe announces $1 million scholarship for high-school seniors pursuing creative careers
CEO Shantanu Narayen announced that the company is committing $1 million to establish the Adobe Foundation Creativity Scholarships – a new global initiative intended to unlock the creative potential of students.
The scholarship will be offered to high-school seniors who participate in the Adobe Youth Voices program, and will help students continue their education, pursue creative careers and find innovative ways to improve their communities.
Source: The Next Web
President Barack Obama To Urge Congress To Maintain Lower Stafford Loan Interest Rates At CU Boulder
Continuing on his topic for this week’s presidential address, the President used his speaking events Tuesday and Wednesday to urge Congress to hold the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans at their current 3.4 percent. The federally-backed loan program helps make college more affordable for low- and middle-income undergraduates. But if the law cutting the interest rates for the program expires, the rates will double July 1 to 6.8 percent, or the current rate for unsubsidized loans.
Source: Huffington Post
Education reform protests pick up steam
In Texas, New York, Illinois and other states, protests by parents and educators are getting louder against school reform that insists on using standardized test scores as the basis for evaluating students, educators and schools.
Researchers have repeatedly warned that this evaluation method is not reliable — and doesn’t take into account all of the out-of-school reasons that could affect how a student does on a test — but the Obama administration has pushed it and states have been adopting new teacher accountability systems that are heavily weighted to test scores.
Source: Washington Post
How Governor Rick Scott is Sabotaging Florida’s Universities
An interesting piece by David DiSalvo on Forbes discusses Rick Scott’s decisions in the education sector. For example, governor Scott signed the 2012 state budget at a Jacksonville elementary school, presumably to emphasize the budget’s inclusion of an additional $1 billion for education. That would be impressive, if not for the fact that last year he cut the state’s education budget by $1.3 billion.
University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department
As a reaction to governor Scott’s education planning, the University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million. The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments.
At Virginia Tech, computers help solve a math class problem
In the Math Emporium instructors are reduced to roving guides. Lessons are self-paced, and help is delivered “on demand” in a vast, windowless lab that is open 24 hours a day.
Eight thousand students a year take introductory math in a space that once housed a discount department store. Four math instructors, none of them professors, lead seven courses with enrollments of 200 to 2,000.
Source: Washington Post
Concerned academics set up ‘free’ university in Lincoln
The group, which includes lecturers from the University of Lincoln, argues higher education has become “highly commercialised and profit-oriented”. Calling themselves the Social Science Centre, the 40 academics will teach students to the equivalent of BA, MA and PhD levels.
The university will open in September and all students will be part-time, and will be taught in evenings and weekends.
The most expensive copyright insurance policy in Canadian history
Last week, the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, which represents dozens of Canada’s leading universities, signed up for one of the most expensive copyright insurance policies in Canadian history. The policy comes in the form of a controversial model copyright licensing agreement with Access Copyright, a copyright collective that licenses copying and distribution of copyrighted works such as books, journals, and other texts. Should AUCC members sign the agreement – it falls to each individual university to decide whether to do so – they will pay $26 per full time student per year for the right to copy works from the Access Copyright repertoire.
Source: The Star
Harvard Now Spending Nearly $3.75 Million on Academic Journal Bundles
Harvard may be the second-wealthiest nonprofit institution in the world (right behind the Catholic Church) but even so the price tag for its collection of academic journal bundles lining its libraries’ shelves is too high: close to $3.75 million, according to a memo from a faculty committee released last week. Some journals cost as much as $40,000 (more than one year of tuition!) and many cost thousands or tens of thousands. In response, the committee is recommending that faculty consider publishing their work in open-access publications.
Source: The Atlantic
Over 50% of graduates are jobless or underemployed
According to a report by AP about 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed.
Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.
Want to live near a good school? It will cost an extra $205,000
It costs a whole lot more to buy a house in a good school district. A new report by Jonathan Rothwell of the Brookings Institution has the numbers:
Across the 100 largest metropolitan areas, housing costs an average of 2.4 times as much, or nearly $11,000 more per year, near a high-scoring public school than near a low-scoring public school.
Source: Washington Post