Tag Archives: education

Coursera adds 12 more prestigious universities – free online education grows

As we wrote back in April, there’s no doubt that the Internet is revolutionizing education, as more and more companies continue to emerge and alter the way we learn. We’ve kept a close eye on edX, Khan Academy, Academic Earth, P2PU, Skillshare and Codecademy, and rounding out that list is Coursera, one of the youngest of the bunch, which recently raised $16 million to launch with 37 undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

Now, since starting off with the likes of Princeton and Stanford, Coursera is announcing 12 new university partnerships, $3.7M in equity investments from Caltech, Penn and existing investors, and a total of 1.5M student users from 190 different countries.

More specifically, here’s a list of the company’s 12 new partnering universities, following Coursera’s original four launch partners (Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania):

  • Georgia Tech
  • Duke University
  • University of Washington
  • Caltech
  • Rice University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Toronto
  • EPFL – Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Johns Hopkins University (School of Public Health)
  • UCSF
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Virginia

 

If you’re interested, these courses are free and here’s a list of all the new classes available:

The Next Web - Education startup Coursera partners with 12 new universities, raises $3.7M and hits 1.6M enrollments

 

 

Continue reading

The Millennium Development Goals – wiping out disease, famine, and poverty on Earth

By Bill Gates

People sometimes say that the United Nations doesn’t do enough to solve the big problems of the world. I’ve never really agreed with that point of view, but if anyone is looking for evidence of the UN’s impact, a good place to start is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

They were agreed to in 2000 by all 193 UN member countries and 23 international organizations. Creating that kind of consensus is—by itself—a significant achievement.

The great thing about the MDGs is that they provide clear targets and indicators of progress in key areas, including:

  • Ending poverty and hunger
  • Universal education
  • Gender equality
  • Child and maternal health
  • Combatting HIV/AIDS
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Global development

Although a number of countries won’t be able to achieve all of the goals by the target date of 2015, the MDGs have been helpful in getting everyone to really think about their part, the progress they’re making, and what they can learn from others. The goals have focused political attention in developing countries, encouraged UN groups to work together, and inspired wealthy and fast-growing donor countries to coordinate their efforts.

In February, the World Bank announced that the MDG goal of cutting extreme poverty by half had been achieved five years early. A week later, UNICEF and the World Health Organization announced that the goal of halving the number of people without access to safer drinking water was also reached five years early.
Source: The Gates Notes - A Report Card on Helping the World’s Poor

 

 

Continue reading

Science Experiment: How fast can you react?

I love this piece from Scientific American, written in the format of a teaching lesson, instructing you how to perform a science experiment: How Fast Can You React?

Key concepts:
Reaction time
Neuroscience
Gravity

Introduction
Think fast! Have you ever noticed that when someone unexpectedly tosses a softball at you, you need a little time before you can move to catch it (or duck)? That’s because when your eyes see an incoming signal such as a softball, your brain needs to first process what’s happening—and thenyou can take action. In this activity, you can measure just how long it takes for you to react, and compare reaction times with your friends and family.

Materials
·    Ruler (inches or metric)
·    Paper
·    Pencil
·    Chart (below)

 

Keep readingHow Fast Can You React?

Continue reading

America’s Best High Schools 2012

 

This year, our ranking highlights the best 1,000 public high schools in the nation—the ones that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads.

The list is based on six components provided by school administrators:

  • Graduation rate (25 percent)
  • College matriculation rate (25 percent)
  • AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent)
  • Average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent)
  • Average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent)
  • AP courses offered  per student(5 percent).

 

Search for your own school or find the best in your area:

America’s Best High Schools 2012

 

The top 10 schools:

Continue reading

Google launches Student Search with lesson plans, live trainings, & daily challenges

Google has launched a free tutorial website, Search Education, which will help students learn how to better use Google Search for learning and academic research. The site is aimed at both at teachers and at individual users.

The company knows that while its many tools can be useful, not everyone understands how to use them. Student Education seeks to solve this by providing live training that anyone can access as well as lesson plans that teachers can use to teach their students about Google’s many services. There are even “A Google A Day” challenges that can be used to reinforce search skills in students.

Teachers will be pleased to find that the lessons plans are comprehensive. They include beginner, intermediate and advanced versions covering five different topics:

  • Picking the right search terms
  • Understanding search results
  • Narrowing a search to get the best results
  • Searching for evidence for research tasks
  • Evaluating credibility of sources

There are also ten challenges, each of which covers a specific academic topic (such as history, biology and even math).

via Make Use Of

 

 

// Thx – Ricardo Blanco

UNESCO World Heritage Map

This large format full-color map features the World Heritage sites and brief explanations of the World Heritage Convention and the World Heritage conservation programmes, as well as superb photos of World Heritages sites with explanatory captions.

 

Learn more and view past mapsWorld Heritage Maps

144 places to educate yourself online for free

The most extensive listing of free online education I have ever seen. Bookmarking for later.

12 dozen places to education yourself online for free

All education is self-education.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.

Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years.

  • Science/Health
  • Business/Money
  • History/World Culture
  • Law
  • Computer Science/Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • English/Communications
  • Foreign/Sign Languages
  • Multiple Subjects/Miscellaneous
  • Free Books/Reading Recommendations
  • Educational Mainstream Broadcast Media
  • Online Archives
  • Directories of Open Education

Click to start browsing

 

// Photo – Ed Yourdon

Enroll in free online in courses from top institutions – Princeton, Stanford, Michigan

Online educational marketplaces are on the rise, with tools like Udemy and Khan Academy allowing people of all ages to become an expert in any topic.

New company Coursera is targeting higher education by offering university-level courses from top institutions to students all over the world, all for free.

The company launched with $16 million in Series A funding and is announcing partnerships with four schools:

  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan.

Coursera will offer over 30 courses from its partner schools across a variety of disciplines, including computer science, sociology, medicine, and math.

 

A selection of the classes:

 

Classes typically last for five to ten weeks, and during that time students commit to watching the lectures, and completing interactive quizzes and assignments, which are auto-graded or graded by peers. Upon completion, the student receives a statement of accomplishment, a letter from the professor, and a score, but the course doesn’t count for any actual credit with that specific institution. The site also features a Q&A forum where students can ask questions about the course material and get answers from fellow students.

via Betakit

 

Screenshot of Coursera offerings

Infograph – homeschoolers are growing rapidly with better scores and graduation rates

We’ve all heard about the troubles in our public schools and maybe even know a few parents brave enough to homeschool their kids. But what are the effects of doing so?

Is it only for the wealthy or those with teaching experience, and does it make your kids weird?

A new infograph from college@home answers these questions, starting with GPA:

 

Continue reading

iTunes University – free online education – is booming with 100s of millions of downloads

This month both Stanford and Open University reached 50 million downloads of their iTunes U content, a major milestone for online education.

Altogether, the service from Apple reached 700 million downloads in January 2012.

 

Stanford News:

In subjects ranging from human behavior to linguistics, Stanford lectures…have been downloaded a whopping 50 million times.

The milestone, reached March 14, comes nearly seven years after Stanford became the first university to offer public access to campus lectures, concerts and courses through iTunes U.

“It shows there is a huge appetite for high-quality educational content,” said Brent Izutsu, the senior program manager for Stanford on iTunes U. “And that will only grow as more people look online to supplement their education.”

The most popular offerings are in engineering, where students can learn to build an iOS app or study quantum physics under one of the fathers of string theory, Leonard Susskind.

 

The Open University:

Open University is the first in Europe to reach more than one million active subscriptions through the iTunes U app since it launched back on 19 January. The University’s 52 courses add to the University’s extensive material on iTunes U which has now seen more than 50 million international downloads, with over 40,000 new downloads each day.

Our most popular course on the iTunes U iPad app The New Entrepreneurs has over 100,000 active subscribers, with another six of our courses having over 50,000 subscribers each. Last week we released a new course Moons: An Introduction which incorporates the University’s first Multi-Touch iBook Moon Rocks: An Introduction to the Geology of the Moon, created using Apple’s iBooks Author.

 

Thx to Pando Daily