8 EdTech Tools for Teachers to Try in 2017

In no particular order of preference or quality or anything, they are:

1. Coursera
2. iTunes University – I have watched some great courses there.
3. Wolfram Alpha
4. Google Knowledge Graph
5. Prezi
6. Plotly
7. Edmodo – I used to have an account there. I dropped it when it became a site you had to pay to use.
8. Schoology

The Vanishing No-Digital Academic

A sort of amusing post from Joshua Kim. I know some teachers at my college who would like to use no digital technologies in their teaching and their daily lives. All of them to use email. Most of them type documents in Microsoft Word. A few of them still use overhead transparencies in the classroom instead of PowerPoint slides. We had one teacher I know of who was still playing cassette tapes in his classes just a few years ago. Every year it becomes hard to live a no-digital life.

Declining Base of Speakers of Other Languages in US

This article is based on a report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. According to it, language education is dwindling at every level. Summary of some of the important findings of the study:

  • About 20% of the US population speak a language other than English at home, but just 10% of the population is proficient in a language other than English.
  • Nearly two thirds of foreign language speakers speak Spanish, but about 350 languages are spoken in this country.
  • By the third generation  descendants of immigrants only one in ten can speak their heritage language fluently.
  • The share of secondary schools teaching other language is steadily declining.
  • At the college and university level Spanish is the most commonly studied world language, accounting for 54% of all student enrollments in 2013.
  • The study of languages from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia has grown since the early 1990s.

    Personal Note: The improvements in Google Translate and apps such as Anki, Cerego, and DuoLingo make it fun and much easier than ever to learn a foreign language. I am constantly looking up a word on Google Translate.

Virtual Reality and Education – 2025-Style

In his latest post Joshua Kim reviews Robert Scoble’s  and Shel Israel’s new book The Fourth Transformation. The first transformation was from mainframe computers and typewriters to personal computing. The second was from typing to clicking. The third transformation, the one we are in now, was the shift to mobile phones and tablet computers. The authors say the fourth transformation will be to virtual and augmented reality glasses. They say that by 2025 these glasses will be as small and light in weight as a pair of eyeglasses like the ones we wear today. I hope these glasses will not make their wearers dizzy and disoriented by then. I agree with Joshua Kim: I don’t see virtual and augmented reality glasses ever replacing the keyboard for typing.

Review of Steve Johnson’s Wonderland

Another interesting book review by Dr. Joshua Kim. I have not read this book yet, but I have read several books about the value of play and gamification in learning; I put it on my list of books to read. You can read more about this book on the Amazon.com website:

Dr. Joshua Kim’s 6 Rules for Online Learning

I will just list them and not discuss them:

1. Don’t rely on online learning programs to make lots of money.
2. Don’t follow the market.
3. Don’t try to go to scale.
4. Don’t separate online learning from residential learning.
5 Do treat online learning as a disciplined experiment.
6. Do prioritize economic sustainability – not growth.

How Snapchat is Revolutionizing Social Networks

I have to issue a disclaimer here because I have never used Snapchat, or even checked out the website. I suppose I need to set up an account and see how it works.