Study: Online classes really do work

 

.Online Classes

Online classes really can teach as effectively as traditional classroom courses.

Two years ago, a New York Times article declared it the “year of the MOOC,” short for “massive open online courses.” For the first time every, researchers have carried out a detailed study that shows that these classes really can teach at least as effectively as traditional classroom courses—and they found that this is true regardless of how much preparation and knowledge students start out with.

 

 

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17 year-old student invents device that produces clean energy and fresh water

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Cynthia Sin Nga Lam and the H2Pro

The lineup of finalists in this year’s Google Science Fair is impressive. Among the 15 inventions designed to make the world a better place, Cynthia Sin Nga Lam’s submission is definitely a major standout. Concerned about the millions of people living without energy and water, the 17-year-old student scientist from Australia built H2Pro – a Portable Photocatalytic Electricity Generation and Water Purification Unit that produces both clean energy and fresh water at the same time.

 

 

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MOOC’s beat campuses in GPA’s and diversity

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The option to learn anywhere at any time boosts community college students’ likelihood of transferring to a 4-year college.

There is some good news for massively open online courses (MOOCs) in business topics: Student GPAs are slightly higher, and MOOCs are more likely to reach students in developing countries.

 

 

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College student creates Veti-Gel that instantly stops bleeding wounds

Joe Landolina pictured on the far left created Veti-Gel.

Twenty-year-old New York University student Joe Landolina is working toward an MS in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials.  While trying to get a degree, he has created a gel called “Veti-Gel” that instantly stops bleeding wounds and starts the healing process. (Video)

 

 

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Coursera moves closer to academic acceptance

Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Stanford University computer science professors who started Coursera,

Coursera, an online-education provider is one step closer to academic acceptance, saying Thursday that the American Council on Education would recommend colleges grant credit for the successful completion of some of its free classes.

 

 

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Eight brilliant people talk about the future of online education

Online education will have an enormous transformative impact on billions of people around the world.

The single most important technological development of the millennium is the advent of massively open online classes (MOOCs).  The first reason it is so important is the enormously transformative impact MOOCs can have on literally billions of people in the world.  And the second reason is for the equally disruptive effect MOOCs will inevitably have on the global education industry.

 

 

 

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Will student loan debt be America’s next big bubble?

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Since 1999 outstanding student loan debt has grown by more than 511 percent.

“I still have student loans,” David Guard, a graduate of Gettysburg College and American University, told Fox News recently, as lawmakers and the White House bickered over the debt ceiling. “I could see an increase in those interest rates.”

 

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Students Capture Video of Disintegrating Spacecraft

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Student Videographers
Consider this awesome scenario: your science teacher assigns you to imagine a situation in which a fiery spacecraft plummeted to earth, and you had to record it for later analysis. You work on the idea, and then find out that this is not a hypothetical situation at all. You are really going to record a fiery spacecraft re-entering earth’s atmosphere! That’s what Brookline, Massachusetts high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz did to his three best students, James Breitmeyer, Brigitte Berman, and Yiannis Karavas.

For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store.

On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: “The mission is real, and you’re going along for the ride…”

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Are Your Merely Human? Wow, that is So Yesterday!

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Sergey Brin, no longer just a human being

ON a Tuesday evening this spring, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, became part man and part machine. About 40 people, all gathered here at a NASA campus for a nine-day, $15,000 course at Singularity University, saw it happen.
While the flesh-and-blood version of Mr. Brin sat miles away at a computer capable of remotely steering a robot, the gizmo rolling around here consisted of a printer-size base with wheels attached to a boxy, head-height screen glowing with an image of Mr. Brin’s face. The BrinBot obeyed its human commander and sputtered around from group to group, talking to attendees about Google and other topics via a videoconferencing system.
The BrinBot was hardly something out of “Star Trek.” It had a rudimentary, no-frills design and was a hodgepodge of loosely integrated technologies. Yet it also smacked of a future that the Singularity University founders hold dear and often discuss with a techno-utopian bravado: the arrival of the Singularity — a time, possibly just a couple decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can’t predict or comprehend in our current, limited state.
At that point, the Singularity holds, human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past.
Some of Silicon Valley’s smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to solve the world’s ills, while also allowing people to seize control of the evolutionary process. For those who haven’t noticed, the Valley’s most-celebrated company — Google — works daily on building a giant brain that harnesses the thinking power of humans in order to surpass the thinking power of humans.
Larry Page, Google’s other co-founder, helped set up Singularity University in 2008, and the company has supported it with more than $250,000 in donations. Some of Google’s earliest employees are, thanks to personal donations of $100,000 each, among the university’s “founding circle.” (Mr. Page did not respond to interview requests.)
The university represents the more concrete side of the Singularity, and focuses on introducing entrepreneurs to promising technologies. Hundreds of students worldwide apply to snare one of 80 available spots in a separate 10-week “graduate” course that costs $25,000. Chief executives, inventors, doctors and investors jockey for admission to the more intimate, nine-day courses called executive programs.
Both courses include face time with leading thinkers in the areas of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, energy, biotech, robotics and computing.
On a more millennialist and provocative note, the Singularity also offers a modern-day, quasi-religious answer to the Fountain of Youth by affirming the notion that, yes indeed, humans — or at least something derived from them — can have it all.
“We will transcend all of the limitations of our biology,” says Raymond Kurzweil, the inventor and businessman who is the Singularity’s most ubiquitous spokesman and boasts that he intends to live for hundreds of years and resurrect the dead, including his own father. “That is what it means to be human — to extend who we are.”
But, of course, one person’s utopia is another person’s dystopia.
In the years since the Unabomber, Theodore J. Kaczynski, violently inveighed against the predations of technology, plenty of other more sober and sophisticated warnings have arrived. There are camps of environmentalists who decry efforts to manipulate nature, challenges from religious groups that see the Singularity as a version of “Frankenstein” in which people play at being gods, and technologists who fear a runaway artificial intelligence that subjugates humans.
A popular network television show, “Fringe,” playfully explores some of these concerns by featuring a mad scientist and a team of federal agents investigating crimes related to the Pattern — an influx of threatening events caused by out-of-control technology like computer programs that melt brains and genetically engineered chimeras that go on killing sprees.
Some of the Singularity’s adherents portray a future where humans break off into two species: the Haves, who have superior intelligence and can live for hundreds of years, and the Have-Nots, who are hampered by their antiquated, corporeal forms and beliefs.

On a Tuesday evening this spring, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, became part man and part machine. About 40 people, all gathered here at a NASA campus for a nine-day, $15,000 course at Singularity University, saw it happen.

While the flesh-and-blood version of Mr. Brin sat miles away at a computer capable of remotely steering a robot, the gizmo rolling around here consisted of a printer-size base with wheels attached to a boxy, head-height screen glowing with an image of Mr. Brin’s face. The BrinBot obeyed its human commander and sputtered around from group to group, talking to attendees about Google and other topics via a videoconferencing system.

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More Educators Shutting Down Laptops in the Classroom

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More colleges shutting down digital distractions in classrooms.

As a culture, we’re at an odd crossroads regarding personal computers. For years, educators have been clamoring to put technology in the hands of young students through partnerships with big tech companies, best symbolized by the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

16 Year Old High School Student Discovers Microbe That Eats Plastic

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PhDs have been searching for a solution to the plastic waste problem, and this 16-year-old finds the answer.
It’s not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at last May’s Canadian Science Fair in Waterloo, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic.