Higher Ed Technology Field Notes

  1. ☛ Excel: The Last Microsoft Office Stronghold


    I actually prefer Google Spreadsheets over Excel. That said, I’m predominately using Excel for Mac OS X, which is horrible. Google Spreadsheets doesn’t have as many esoteric features, but it does have Google Apps Script, which lets you do all sorts of crazy stuff with the other Google Services.

    (via stevekinney)

  2. eddietg:

Fox 9
Help a teacher out and SHARE this pic — with wonderful idea.

Yup. This.


    Help a teacher out and SHARE this pic
    — with wonderful idea.

    Yup. This.

    (via monkeyfrog)

  3. Apps that the teens said they were obsessed with were YouTube, Netflix, Dots, Circa, Flipboard, and, strangely, Fresh Direct (“I like to let my mom know when I’m hungry”).
  4. sunfoundation:

    From The Atlantic:

    Two researchers, Mark Graham and Stefano De Stabbata, at the Oxford Internet Institute have depicted the world’s “Internet empires” in a map, [above]. The map shows each nation’s most popular website, with the size of nations altered to reflect the number of Internet users there.

    The map makes for a brief, informative look at how geographic—and universal—certain web tastes and habits are.

    (via journo-geekery)

  5. ☛ Big Data in Education on Coursera


    The emerging research communities in educational data mining and learning analytics are developing methods for mining and modeling the increasing amounts of fine-grained data becoming available about learners. In this class, you will learn about these methods, and their strengths and weaknesses for different applications. You will learn how to use each method to answer education research questions and to drive intervention and improvement in educational software and systems. Methods will be covered both at a theoretical level, and in terms of how to apply and execute them using standard software tools. Issues of validity and generalizability will also be covered, towards learning to establish how trustworthy and applicable the results of an analysis are.

    This course seems pretty awesome. I might have to break my tradition of signing up for MOOCs and never actually completing them.

    I may actually have to join you.

  6. If I could change one thing about engineering education — well, actually, all education — it would be to center it around solving real problems and making things. In other words, we ought to be creating innovators and inventors at our engineering schools. They need to be able to do something more than solve theoretical problems when they leave us. In other words, they should learn how to be an applied problem solver, which is not the same thing as being a fantastic book-based equation solver. None of us learned how to do anything well by being talked at — it’s boring. We learn best by doing — getting our hands dirty and making our own mistakes.
  7. I had an interesting conversation with a faculty member last week that went something like this: “Brian, I want you to know that it’s getting harder for me to get students to use the library— especially the databases— anything beyond three clicks is just too many.” In some disciplines this would not really shock me, but it was a historian. This is someone who is passionate about the library. This is someone who advocates for primary resources and through research. This is someone—who from what I can tell—is a very sophisticated database user. If our super users are frustrated with database interfaces – what does that mean? Many of us spend a lot of time promoting library resources to students, but if faculty stop encouraging (or requiring) usage—what then?
  8. ☛ In Lieu of Money, Toyota Donates Efficiency to New York Charity


    Mona El-Naggar:

    Instead of a check, it offered kaizen.

    A Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement,” kaizen is a main ingredient in Toyota’s business model and a key to its success, the company says. It is an effort to optimize flow and quality by constantly searching for ways to streamline and enhance performance. Put more simply, it is about thinking outside the box and making small changes to generate big results.

    I know of another sector that could use healthy dose of kaizen.

  9. I think there are certainly many different ways of using Twitter. But I think one thing that newsrooms do is only use Twitter for promotion, to say, “hey, look at my story.” Because ultimately, if you are only talking about your own stories, you’re missing part of the equation, to talk with other people, to see what other people are saying, and using that as feedback or possible story ideas. You aren’t going to see the same follower growth, you’re not going to see the same engagement, retweets and things like that if you’re only concentrating on what you bring to Twitter.

    Mark Luckie, creative content manager for Twitter, in interview about whether Twitter is getting into the news business

    (This guy gets conversational journalism)

    I think this goes for education too (even though I’m personally not good at using it that way).

    (via journo-geekery)

  10. timeshaiku:

A haiku from the article:  Archivists Bringing Past Into Future Are Now Less Cloistered

Penultimate day of poetry month. I hope the NYT keeps this project going.


    A haiku from the article: Archivists Bringing Past Into Future Are Now Less Cloistered

    Penultimate day of poetry month. I hope the NYT keeps this project going.