Archive for category Education

CE#664: The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years (MIT Technology Review)

If you were asked to name the most important innovation in transportation over the last 200 years, you might say the combustion engine, air travel, Henry Ford’s Model-T production line or even the bicycle. The list goes on.

Now answer this one: What’s been the single biggest innovation in education?

Don’t worry if you come up blank. You’re supposed to. The question is a gambit used by Anant Agarwal, the computer scientist named this year to head edX, a $60 million MIT-Harvard effort to stream a college education over the web, free, to anyone who wants one. His point: It’s rare to see major technological advances in how people learn.

Agarwal believes that education is about to change dramatically. The reason is the power of the web and its associated data-crunching technologies. Thanks to these changes, it’s now possible to stream video classes with sophisticated interactive elements, and researchers can scoop up student data that could help them make teaching more effective. The technology is powerful, fairly cheap and global in its reach. EdX has said it hopes to teach a billion students.

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CE#554: Latin American schools: disconnected (Andres Oppenheimer/The Miami Herald)

By Andres Oppenheimer

Two new studies confirm what we have long suspected: Latin American companies cannot effectively compete in the world economy because their countries’ educational systems are totally disconnected from reality.

The Global Information Technology Report 2012, a 442-page report by the World Economic Forum and the INSEAD business school, places most Latin American countries far behind the world’s most technologically connected countries in its ranking of “network readiness.”

The index takes into account various measurements, including internet use and people’s ability to use it productively, from international organizations and a survey of more than 15,000 executives worldwide.

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CE#380: Top 30 Must-See Movies for Business Students (Bloomberg/BusinessWeek)

Business Through Hollywood’s Lens

By Kiah Haslett

For Hollywood, the world of business can be a vehicle for many kinds of stories, from morality tales to conspiracy theories to David-and-Goliath fables. Celluloid heroes and villains illustrate the best and worst of human nature and in the process, tell us a little something about greed, management, even capitalism itself.

With that in mind, Bloomberg Businessweek asked deans at the top 30 U.S. business schoolsto name their favorite movies with a business theme or lesson and to explain their choices.

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CE#359: The Class That Built Apps, and Fortunes (NYT)



ALL right, class, here’s your homework assignment: Devise an app. Get people to use it. Repeat.

That was the task for some Stanford students in the fall of 2007, in what became known here as the “Facebook Class.”

No one expected what happened next.

The students ended up getting millions of users for free apps that they designed to run on Facebook. And, as advertising rolled in, some of those students started making far more money than their professors.

Almost overnight, the Facebook Class fired up the careers and fortunes of more than two dozen students and teachers here. It also helped to pioneer a new model of entrepreneurship that has upturned the tech establishment: the lean start-up.

“Everything was happening so fast,” recalls Joachim De Lombaert, now 23. His team’s app netted $3,000 a day and morphed into a company that later sold for a six-figure sum.

“I almost didn’t realize what it all meant,” he says.

Neither did many of his classmates. Back then, Facebook apps were a novelty. The iPhone had just arrived, and the first Android phone was a year off.

But by teaching students to build no-frills apps, distribute them quickly and worry about perfecting them later, the Facebook Class stumbled upon what has become standard operating procedure for a new generation of entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley and beyond. For many, the long trek from idea to product to company has turned into a sprint.

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CE#333:’Don’t Fail Me’ sneak peek (CNN airs Sunday, May 15 at 8 pm ET)

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CE#326: Bill Gates talks about the Khan Academy on the Gates Notes

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CE#309: Here, Tweeting Is a Class Requirement (WSJ/Technology)

Big consumer-products companies are going back to school.

Businesses including Sprint Nextel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Mattel Inc. are sponsoring college classes and graduate-level research to get help with their online marketing from the young and hyperconnected. Sprint, for example, supplies a class at Boston’s Emerson College with smartphones and unlimited service in exchange for students working gratis on the company’s local Internet push.

Universities, in some cases, receive funding or proprietary consumer data from companies for their research. Students get experience they can display on their résumés, and add lively classes to the usual mix of lectures and written exams.

“We are helping students to go out and get hired,” says Randy Hlavac, an instructor at Northwestern University’s Medill School. “They’ve done the work.”

The partnerships are emerging as businesses are scurrying to bolster their ability to engage with their customers on the Web by using Facebook, Twitter and the like.

Of course, some parents may be surprised to learn their tuition dollars are helping to underwrite corporate marketing in addition to their children’s education.

Sprint provided students in an online marketing class at Emerson College with 10 smartphones with unlimited wireless access. In exchange, students blogged, tweeted, produced YouTube videos and posted Facebook updates about the launch of Sprint’s 4G network in Boston. “We’re teaming up with the class again this semester it worked so well,” says Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott.

On a recent Tuesday evening, the students of Emerson Social Media—or #ESM, as the students refer to it on Twitter and elsewhere online—settled on the concept of a Twitter-based scavenger hunt to help spread the word among Boston’s college population about Sprint.

“The winner could maybe get a free phone,” a student said.

“Or maybe, like, free service for life,” said another.

“We should probably check with Sprint before we offer that,” said student Caroline Richov, who explained how the students would execute the campaign by posting instructions to Twitter and Facebook. She suggested telling people to take a Sprint phone, go dance in front of Boston’s Quincy Hall, and upload a video of themselves “and we’ll tell them why it’s better to use Sprint.”

Ms. Richov says her experience using Sprint’s Evo smartphone and working for the company has changed her opinion of the brand, which she associated with “the old, clunky, Nextel phone.”

“I am certainly more likely to go with a Sprint phone than I ever was before,” she says.
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