Items tagged with education

It seems as though officials at the Maine Department of Education are finally coming to terms with something that many in the tech community have been saying for years: tablets can often be a poor substitute for full-fledged computers in the classroom, especially in higher grades. Instead of being used as educational tools to help supplement traditional classroom lessons and aide in completing assignments, iPads in the classroom are being used for gaming while at the same time serving as a poor replacement for laptops when it comes to productivity. The Auburn School Department decided to survey... Read more...
Apple released the first beta for its upcoming iOS 9.3 update and with it is a new website that lays out the new features and functionality. One of the more intriguing ones is "Shared iPad," which like it sounds allows for multiple users to log in to an iPad tablet, much in the same way that Mac OS X and Windows allows for more than one account to share a single device.It's a long overdue feature for the iPad, though unfortunately it appears this will only be a feature for students and teachers, not home consumers. The way it's worded on Apple's new preview website, students will have their own... Read more...
When I was in grade school, one of the things I looked forward to was playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II machine. I also remember printing out "Do not enter" signs with skull and crossbones on an attached dot matrix printer. But that was a lifetime ago and these days Chromebooks have become the go-to computing device for many schools. Surprise, surprise, Apple CEO Tim Cook is dismissive of the trend.One of the biggest appeals of Chromebooks is pricing. They're low cost PCs that connect to the Internet and allow kids to run a variety of programs, everything from productivity apps to lightweight... Read more...
Epic Games has selected 10 individuals in the education sector to receive $75,000 each in Unreal Dev Grants. It's the first round of funding to academic and educational recipients, with the grants intended for developers working on "promising early-stage projects." Those who receive funding can use the money however they wish -- there are no strings attached, Epic Games says. "The talented educators and developers recognized today are receiving the first Unreal Dev Grants for education thanks to their tireless contributions to the UE4 community," said Luis Cataldi, education evangelist at Epic... Read more...
Move over Raspberry Pi, there’s a new micro computer in town, and it’s geared [for now] primarily at British schoolchildren. We first brought you news about the Micro:bit in early March as a part of the BBC’s “Make it Digital” campaign. At the time the device was still in the prototype stage, but the device is now being shown to the public in its final production form. The Micro:bit measures just 2-inches by 1.6-inches and is powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 processor. You’ll also find two push buttons for input, a microUSB connector, Bluetooth connectivity, an accelerometer, a compass, and 25... Read more...
The White House is putting into motion a plan to increase educational opportunities for low-income children. During a visit to a public library in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Washington, President Barack Obama talked about the plan, which involves working with publishers and libraries to give low-income children access to 10,000 e-books.President Obama's plan is part of a broader strategy to tackle inner city problems through educational opportunities for children. It's also a well timed one, with the recent riots and protesting in Baltimore bringing attention to poverty stricken areas... Read more...
Amazon on Tuesday announced a version update to Whispercast, the company's free and fast growing content delivery platform that allows organizations to discover, procure, manage, and distribute digital bits like electronic books and textbooks to nearly any device. It's an especially appealing platform for schools, where hundreds of thousands of devices are already deployed -- what student doesn't own a smartphone or tablet these days? The platform is gaining steam. Since launching, Whispercast has been picked up by more than 130 of the 250 largest school districts in the United States. In addition,... Read more...
In June of 2013, the Los Angeles Unified School District approved a deal with Apple and Pearson that would see curriculum filled iPad tablets in the hands of every student regardless of income level, along with every teacher and administrator. However, the $1.3 billion effort (around $500 million for the iPads with curriculum and $800 million to improve Internet access at schools) hasn't come close to expectations, and now the school district is threatening legal action.Let's backtrack a moment. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Unified was sold on the idea after seeing samples... Read more...
At long last, Pixar has finally made good on a promise they made last year to release Free Non-Commercial RenderMan. The software is a full-feature version of the company's RenderMan software that anyone can install and use for purposes of research, education, evaluation, plug-in development, and personal projects that do not generate a commercial profit. And Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is without limitations, too, such as watermarking, time limits, data volume, or any other such restrictions. Pixar's RenderMan software release features the company's new RIS rendering paradigm,... Read more...
If your goal is to provide nearly every person in your school district with a tablet, it might not be the best idea to go with one of the most expensive models on the market. That's a lesson the Los Angeles Unified School district is finding out, although there's more to this story than immediately meets the eye.As part of a massive $1.3 billion plan, iPads were to be distributed to students, teachers, and administrators. Perhaps not that surprisingly, the plan fell short, and the tune changed to, "I don't believe we can afford a device for every student". That sucks on... Read more...
If Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler gets his way, phone bills will go up by 16 cents a month, or $2 per year, as part of a plan to fund faster Internet access in schools. This would apply to the E-Rate fee that appears on phone bills, which is a program to fund Internet access to schools and libraries. Wheeler and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) fielded a conference call to introduce the proposal. Both are in agreement that the current program needs rebooted, stressing that there's a growing divide between schools in well-to-do neighborhoods and those in lower-income, rural... Read more...
Apparently, people are using the Internet for more than streaming Netflix and looking at cat videos. Research by Highspeed Internet.com suggests that the states that have the highest ACT scores are also the ones that have the fastest Internet connections. Obviously, upgrading your Internet connection (or living in a state with fast connections) isn’t going to ensure academic success, but the correlation between Internet connectivity and academics makes a certain amount of sense: much of education is based on communication, and the better your communication tools (and the better your access... Read more...
Give Google credit for sticking with its Chromebook platform despite a somewhat slow start and initial lukewarm reception. Over time, consumers are starting to see the value in these cloud-oriented systems, and they're proving particularly popular in schools. According to Google, schools bought more than 1 million Chromebook systems in the second quarter of 2014. David Andrade, CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools district, explained in a guest blog post on Google's Enterprise portal that the low cost of ownership and easy maintenance clinched the decision to stock up on Chromebook systems. "We... Read more...
In a world where for some reason there are schools think that outfitting students with delicate and expensive iPads is a good idea, Intel Education has designed a rugged tablet that may actually survive the toughest test there is: kids K-12. The Android-based Amplify Tablet was built specifically for “the K-12 environment” with Corning Gorilla Glass, ruggedized edges that can survive drops, some level of waterproofing, and a tethered stylus. (The key there being “tethered”.) The tablet runs on a dual-core Intel Atom chip (2GHz) and also features a 10.1-inch touch display... Read more...
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