ENT - The Ed News Ticker

Ed News Ticker #5 for April 27th 2012

ENT - The Ed News Ticker

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Mathalicious launches Kickstarter project Math52

Math52 will create a short video exploring a unique application of math in everyday life every week for one year. Episodes will include:

  • How far would you have to run to burn off a Big Mac?
  • Do people with small feet pay too much for shoes?
  • Is it ever a good idea to buy AppleCare…
  • …And what can this tell us about health insurance?

Each Math52 video will be accompanied by a lesson to help teachers recreate the conversation with their students. With your help, we can put teachers in a position to teach math more effectively while engaging their students to become smarter, healthier and more curious.

Source: Kickstarter


Coursekit changes its name to Lore

According to the nicely animated explanation, the change reflects how students and educators use the platform. It is not so much about courses, it’s about building communities and sharing.

Source: Lore


Evernote Raising $50 Million To $100 Million At A $1 Billion+ Valuation

Cloud note and storage app Evernote is raising a massive fifth round of funding of between $50 to $100 million at a valuation that tops $1 billion, according to multiple sources close to the company. To date, Evernote has raised $95.5 million from angels and its Series A through D rounds, the latest of which was a $50 million Series D in July 2011.

Source: TechCrunch


Rosetta Stone Launches New Language-Learning Solution for K-12 Market

Rosetta Stone’s classroom programs have been used by more than 20,000 schools. Rosetta Stone’s newest educational solution TOTALe PRO combines interactive software with live online coaches who are native speakers, online educational games and activities, mobile apps for tablets and smartphones, adaptable administrative tools and proactive support services. The new solution was designed with a high degree of flexibility and scalability to accommodate programs focusing on English Language Learners and foreign languages, whether in an individual classroom, a district or an entire state.

Source: MarketWatch


Rosetta Stone Acquires Kid-Focused Language-Learning Startup GoGo Lingo

Rosetta Stone announced the acquisition of Los Angeles-based language learning startup, GoGo Lingo. Founded back in 2008 by Afsoun Yazdian, who developed GoGoLingo’s proprietary “Playful Immersion” method while at Stanford, a language learning method designed to help kids ages 3 to 7 learn Spanish through implicit absorption.

Rosetta Stone’s acquisition of GoGo Lingo gives it access to the startup’s characters, games, activities, and its digital infrastructure, which the company plans to incorporate into the assets of its future language learning solutions, according to its statement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source: TechCrunch


Social Collaboration Platform For Students Wiggio Hits 1M Users, Launches Paid Version

Wiggio has been slowly and steadily growing its user base, and now reaches over 2,000 universities and 120,000 students groups around the world with more than 1 million users. Founder and CEO Dana Lampert describes Wiggio as the “anti-SharePoint”. Therefore Wiggio’s focus group are 4th grade students in the Boston area. If they can figure out a new feature, then it’s ready to go. If they get confused, then Wiggio makes adjustments until it’s even easier to use. Wiggio raised $2.1 million in spring 2010.

Source: TechCrunch


Even after bankruptcy, trapped by student debt

Virtually any other kind of debt – including medical bills, mortgage, credit cards and car loans, even gambling losses- can be discharged in bankruptcy, allowing the “honest but unlucky” a chance to restore their footing through an arduous restructuring overseen by a court.

But under a 2005 law passed by Congress to protect lenders, private student loans fall under the same nearly-impossible-to-clear category as child support payments and criminal fines.

Source: Charlotte Observer


TED-Ed platform launched

TED-Ed is designed to enable teachers to create unique lesson plans around its video content. As TED’s curator Chris Anderson wrote in March, the platform is not meant to build an exhaustive online university, with entire curricula on video. TED-Ed aims to harness the talent of the best teachers around the globe by giving them tools that spark and facilitate learning. The new site, which launches in beta, will initially only contain a few dozen videos, as it’s really intended for illustrative purposes, says TED-Ed “Catalyst” Logan Smalley.

Source: TechCrunch


The Problem with TED Ed

Shelly Blake-Plock writes on TeachPaperless that the problem with TED-Ed is the lack of “doing”. TED — in the form it is presented online to the masses — is not about doing. It is about watching. Listening. Consuming. Maybe leaving a comment or sharing a link to improve your TEDCred score. He thinks that we desperately need a platform that exists to help us learn lessons by doing and asks if TED Ed evolve into that? Will MITx? Will any of the current rage of MOOCs?

Source: TeachPaperless


Inside Harvard B-school’s startup boot camp

With $3,000 of seed capital from Harvard Business School, around 150 MBA teams were tasked with developing their very own micro-businesses in short order.

The startup exercise is part of a new yearlong course for first-year students layered on top of Harvard’s required core of 10 courses. The only guidelines set by Harvard were that there could be no companies that created or sold weapons, pornography, alcohol or tobacco, and none offering financial advice.

Source: Fortune


Heavy editing on textbook publishers

The Senate Education Committee approved two more bills aimed at lowering the cost of textbooks from elementary school through college and moving them more quickly into the e-book era. In all, seven bills dealing with textbooks are making their way through the Legislature.

Publishers would have to provide, in one place, information on the differences between editions, how much the books cost in all their forms from hardcover to paperback, and a list of other texts on the same subject and their prices.

Source: SVE Foundation


Interest in Math and Science Careers sparked in Classes where Learning is directed by students and supported by technology

Nearly one-third of high school students who experience math and science classrooms where instruction is led by teachers, learning is directed by students and where technology is used to support both, express a strong interest in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career, according to the latest findings from the 2011 Speak Up survey. Nationally, just nine percent of students described their most recent math or science class this way.

Only 20 percent of students in traditional classrooms, where the instruction is teacher directed and the use of technology is limited, expressed the same interest in STEM careers.

Source: Tomorrow


‘Holistic’ Research or ‘Quackery’?

Aberdeen’s governance and nominations committee is considering whether to establish a chair in “integrative health care and management,” to be funded primarily by an anthroposophical clinic. One example for anthroposophical medicine is the use of mistletoe to treat cancer, which is based on the observation that, like cancer, mistletoe is a parasitic growth that eventually kills its host. Describing anthroposophical medicine as “pure quackery,” Ernst said there was no robust evidence for its effectiveness, with some reports suggesting that mistletoe treatment offered “considerable potential for harm.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed


How Blogs, Social Media, and Video Games Improve Education

Brookings released a new paper covering the impact of social media and games in education. According to the report the appearance of collaboration tools such as blogs, wikis, social media, and video games has altered the way individuals and organizations relate to one another. Alan Daly, at the University of California at San Diego, predicts that education innovation “will shift away from experts and capacity building to focus on networks” and that education “is moving away from large-scale prescriptive approaches to more individualized, tailored, differentiated approaches.”

Source: Brookings

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Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.