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Comment: Re:Ditch the smartboard (Score 1) 96 96

Try OneNote with the smartboard. It sounds like others have done it successfully: http://shc-edutech.hct.ac.ae/p...
http://blogs.office.com/2014/0...
http://emrefirat.edublogs.org/...

One problem that I have read is that OneNote's hand-writing recognition is not as good on smart boards as it is on a tablet (especially one with a Wacom pen), but it still works relatively well. Set OneNote to automatically index all handwriting, photos, and audio, and it can make it easy for students to search the notebooks if they are looking for a specific topic that was discussed. You insert your existing Word/Writer/othertextfile into the Notebook before class and have students go to the board to answer the questions, etc (my brain thinks from the Mathematics/Sciences, but if you have another subject, I'm sure you can still come up with novel ways to utilize the technology.

Comment: Re:Ditch the smartboard (Score 1) 96 96

I'm a OneNote convert myself. I find it useful to embed photos and audio directly into lecture notes, and you can synchronize audio with the notes and post them online easily. This allows students to reference not only the notes from within class, but the context of the notes from the audio spoken in class. You can also record video in OneNote and embed it within the notebooks.

I personally use a tablet (Samsung Ativ 500T) and screencast to a projector. If for some reason something is done on someone's pen/paper or the physical whiteboard, just take a quick photo and add it to the notebook. When the lecture is finished, it's automatically synchronized to a shared OneDrive notebook that the students can view in browser or via their own OneNote desktop, Android, iOS, or WP applications. The only big thing they need to fix is that viewing OneNote in the browser can cause hand-writing to not be perfectly aligned with photos, so it can make it annoying on my Linux box if I have too many photos in the page (the effect amplifies the further down the page you go).

I would be interested to see someone do a smartboard setup with OneNote, but I've not researched to see how well it works. Mostly, you just need cursor tracking and some way to know when contact has been made.

Comment: Re:"I run the planetarium" (Score 1) 201 201

Digitalis Education Solutions (yes, I work for them) has sold around 500 fully digital planetarium systems in the last decade alone. About 65% sold are portable planetariums with most of those costing between $10k and $70k depending on model and when we sold them. We also develop the open source project called Nightshade which is used by dozens if not hundreds of DIY planetariums out there.

If you include the old and busted Starlabs still out in the world (old cylinder based planetariums that did little more than spin the same starfield over and over) and the other vendors, you're looking at probably 2,000-5,000 planetariums in the world.

Comment: Informal Education (Score 1) 416 416

I have an undergrad in Mathematics, and planetarium, museum, and other informal education opportunities are great. I've been teaching in planetariums for 7yrs, and I absolutely love the lack of bureaucracy compared to K-12. Community college teaching is also a viable option.

Power

+ - Wind Power Without the Blades-> 1 1

Warmlight writes: "Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi. Atelier DNA’s "Windstalk"project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition a contest sponsored by Madsar to identify the best work of art that generates renewable energy from a pool of international submissions."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804 804

It takes a bit of digging, but if you look at those test scores, you'll see some major biases there. Take China and India for example: their scores on international tests are not for the country as a whole, but only the rich metropolitan areas.

Same goes for many other countries which track students into trade schools before ever getting to these tests.

If we only tested our best performing schools, we'd look like the cream of the crop, too!

Comment: Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804 804

College/University professors, at least in the US, have no training in how to teach. It's appalling that our higher education centers do not require the professors to take courses in HOW to teach, as many of them are piss poor teachers.

We require certification to teach up through high school, but once you hit college, we don't care about your teaching abilities as long as you are a subject area expert.

Comment: Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804 804

"Banning laptops is not the answer here. If one student is a problem, address that student directly and respectfully resolve the issue. Don't make capricious rules against everyone because of a few students who are an issue."

How about I quote my above statement for you:

"Banning laptops in the classroom is absurd. It's hitting a nail with an anvil. Establishing proper etiquette protocol and disciplinary procedures for students who disrupt a classroom is a much more sensible solution to outright bans. Computers are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives, and students need to learn to be able to use them in a professional manner. Just as you don't see people staring at porn in the classroom or in a business meeting (typically), we shouldn't see people staring at their friend's FB page."

Classroom disruption procedures are already in place in almost every student handbook (every one I've looked at both on the student and the instructor side). This is simply accepting that laptops, cell phones, and other media/internet devices can and do disrupt the classroom. They need to be treated like Walkmans, drum sticks, and naked people.

If someone is quickly checking a fact online or is typing an a word processor, it's no more a distraction than a pen and paper being held upright. If someone is playing a flashy game or flipping screens regularly, its no different than excessively tapping a pencil on a desk or jumping up and down saying, "the power of Christ compels you!"

Use the procedures in place to address the issue, and if necessary, simply add the couple words in the handbook to ensure the idiots out there can't run around the rules claiming it isn't explicitly spelled out that their distraction of choice isn't covered.

Comment: Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804 804

You seem to think that a disciplinary process means no personal responsibility. As with all disciplinary issues, I subscribe to the reliable "chain of command" principle in which you always confront the offender first. Should that fail, there is an escalation process to resolve the issue through someone with more authority and capability to resolve the issue be it through punitive or persuasive means.

To achieve that end, one needs established rules governing what is considered a violation.

Comment: Re:What's a good alternative? (Score 1) 764 764

The issue is not finding a device free of working with DRM, but rather a store that sells DRM-free works.

If you want an ebook reader built on open source software, look at the Nook. Many have even rooted them to allow for custom installations. It allows for a variety of DRM and DRM-free formats to be used (should you find those DRM-free stores).

The market is in its infancy, and until one store gains a good monopoly (like iTunes with music), you're not going to see real competition (like DRM stripped books).

Comment: Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 2) 804 804

Personally, I say let them filter certain websites on the academic networks with the ability to request per-account authorizations when a student is doing a research project dealing with social networking. It's not going to stop anyone from SD, but it will at least stop the casual classroom infringer (for a while). Granted, soon everyone will just have CDMA or GSM laptops capable of getting online from anywhere, and school wifi networks will be bypassed completely. It's a tricky subject, and students will have to familiarize themselves with the network regulations to decide what campus to go to.

Banning laptops in the classroom is absurd. It's hitting a nail with an anvil. Establishing proper etiquette protocol and disciplinary procedures for students who disrupt a classroom is a much more sensible solution to outright bans. Computers are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives, and students need to learn to be able to use them in a professional manner. Just as you don't see people staring at porn in the classroom or in a business meeting (typically), we shouldn't see people staring at their friend's FB page.

Comment: Re:funny and ironic (Score 1) 446 446

Being a learned scholar in the English language, I'm sure you, as an learned scholar, would agree that a word's meaning can only be gaged with context.

For example: I have five bucks.....am I a hunter? What about an American with a little cash in my pocket? Maybe, five of my children have attended OSU.

In the context of "zoom" when relating to photographic arts, Zoom Lens, the accepted meaning is, "a mechanical assembly of lens elements for which the focal length (and thus angle of view) can be varied, as opposed to a fixed focal length (FFL) lens (see prime lens). They are commonly used with still, video, motion picture cameras, projectors, some binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, telescopic sights, and other optical instruments."

"magnification: the ratio of the size of an image to the size of the object"

These are two very different uses. Magnification and zoom are very different in photography. They refer to entirely different concepts and are not equatable.

I'm sure you are an excellent optical designer, but your expertise is in the optical (and from what I read of you, microscopic) arts, not photographic arts. Please, like the previous posters before you, stick with your expertise area, advise on it, but do not speak as an expert in a subject in which you have minimal qualifications. It's dangerous for people like yourself to make policy.

So long, and I'm glad you liked the fish :-).

Comment: Re:funny and ironic (Score 1) 446 446

Absolutely love it! If I had $45,000, I'd sadly spend it on something else, but if I had a few million, I'd grab that lens in a heartbeat.....well, not correct. I'd have that money invested, and anything on top of that investment would go into an account to buy that lens :-D.

Props on finding a mirror lens designed for a camera, not an eyepiece!

Now, if we could just use that to get 10mm on the wide end, we'd have that "easy" 500x zoom lens ;-). Good thing we've got regulations from the above poster that would limit this lens to a 1000-5000mm Zoom....otherwise, we might just have a problem! :-D

"Poor man... he was like an employee to me." -- The police commisioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard

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