Analog or Digital Learning – Your Choice

In this post Joshua Kim makes his case that analog, or paper-based learning, will never go away. He says students prefer to learn print-based materials. I’m not sure about that. Many students use their cell phones and tablets as learning devices, and my iPad is a very valuable learning tool for me that I use every day.

Learn in Your “Micro-Moments” with MIT’s WaitSuite Apps

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a suite of apps that let you learn while you are between floors on an elevator, waiting for a WiFi network to connect, or whatever. The WaitChatter instant messaging app will keep you on track, teaching you words in a foreign language related to the conversation you are having, while the Elevator Learning app will send you words to translate while your are waiting for an elevator to arrive. The team that developed the app claims that users learned about 57 new words in just over two weeks.

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Many Adult Learners Lacking in Digital Skills

The Pew Research report, Digital Readiness Gaps, found that many adult learners are not ready for online learning.

  • 33% of adults are not confident of their ability to use computers.
  • 14% are totally unprepared for online learning.
  • Only 17% of those who are prepared are confident of their digital skills.

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No Computers in Computer Lab at St. Norbert College

St. Norbert College, a private Roman Catholic liberal arts college located in De Pere, Wisconsin, renovated its computer science center. The college has started a bring-your-own-computer to school program, which requires all students to bring a laptop to school, so the new lab has no desktop computers in it. 98% of its students were already bringing their own computers to school, so computers in the new lab were not needed.

What is OTT?

I learned a new educational acronym today, OTT, for Over the Top Technologies. OTT are technologies that aid in the delivery of audio, video, and media content via the Internet, without without requiring users to subscribe to, or pay for a service such as Comcast or DirecTV. It can be delivered to every device that can be connected to the Internet. Some examples of OTT interfaces are Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon Video. Some examples of online learning via OTT are TEDEd and edX. There are three ways OTT will be critical to education in the near future:

1. AS budgets for educational providers continue to shrink, OTT will lower costs.
2. Online and blended learning are big investors in OTT.
3. OTT can support OER (open educational resources).

10 Questions for the POD Community

The Professional and Organizational Network in Higher Education (POD) is meeting in Louisville this week. Joshua Kim has ten questions for them. I have to confess that I have never heard of this group, but there are so many higher education organizations I’m sure I have not heard of most of them.

Learning in the Age of Digital Distraction

NPR reporter Eric Westervelt interviewed neurologist Adam Gazzely the co-author with Larry D. Rosen, of The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World. Dr. Gazzely says that our brains evolved mechanisms to forage for food, but now the same mechanisms in our brains have to forage for information. The authors also write about the distractions we have cope with that limit our attention span. They believe that is impossible to concentrate on one, thing, such as driving at car, while we are multitasking. I will put this book on my to read list. You can find out more about it on