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Here's where we keep you updated about what's going on at Einztein and some of the latest ideas that we're kicking around…
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Marco Masoni, Dec. 22, 2011

I guest posted on Edukwest. Here’s an excerpt:

Educate Me, Television
by Marco Masoni

My kids (twin 2 ½ year olds and a 4 year old) watch a fair amount of TV, certainly more than I did when I was their ages, growing up in a household with a black and white television that barely got 5 channels. While it’s still far less than the average child watches in the U.S., I’m pretty sure that they’re getting more TV time than many of my progressive neighbors and friends in Santa Monica, California, allow their children. Does this bother me? Nope, not really.

I’m in the camp of people who believe that TV is not the enemy. At least, not in my household. But that’s stating things as a negative. Instead of being somewhat defensive about TV viewing, what if I could positively encourage my kids to watch TV because it is a truly educational medium? What if TV became a friend and educator, not only for my family, but for households throughout the world? What if the ubiquity of TV could be turned into an educational asset?

YouTube for Schools: Wild Wild West Tamed?

I get YouTube on my television, as many people increasingly do through their Internet connected televisions. At one point, my kids were obsessed with garbage trucks. Showing them YouTube videos, via TV, of plain old garbage trucks picking up cans of refuse and recyclables was the only way we could get them to sit still and eat. Eventually, we moved on to YouTube videos that were in Italian, since I speak Italian and am trying to get my kids to learn it, also. The problem is that finding quality, age appropriate educational videos is a grind. For some time, I had been asking myself why YouTube didn’t offer curated selections of educational videos? Enter, YouTube For Schools. They compile playlists according to topic and age level, screening out all of the inappropriate stuff, so that schools can get right to the educational content. And if you thought it was just for schools, I’ve got a little secret for you. Go to You Tube For Teachers and you’ll get access to many of the same educational videos. To get you started, here’s a playlist I found on “long vowels.”

CLICK LINK FOR FULL EDUKWEST POST

http://www.edukwest.com/educate-me-television-can-tv-be-a-positive-force-for-education-beyond-well-crafted-shows/
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Dec. 19, 2011

Einztein is pleased to be joining the Learning Registry, an open source technical system designed to facilitate the capturing, sharing, and analyzing of learning resource data to broaden the usefulness of digital content to benefit educators and learners.

That’s pretty heady stuff. It boils down to this… we’re going to work together to make “learning resource data” useful.

http://www.learningregistry.org/
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Marco Masoni, Dec. 9, 2011

I started researching the various ways that education has been and can be delivered via TV. It occurred to me that I let my kids watch a heck of a lot more TV than I was ever allowed to when I was their age (bad daddy!). But they’re watching TV shows that are educational and stimulate cognitive responses (rationalizing…). Also, because they are accustomed to interacting with games, stories and characters from TV shows via our iPad/iPhones, their approach to TV tends toward the interactive, whereas mine was (and still is!) almost entirely passive. Where all this will lead, both in terms of my research and future developments in “teaching through television,” I’m not quite sure. Stay tuned :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wineghost/6282547786/
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Marco Masoni, Dec. 6, 2011

Longish but incredibly insightful ;) interview about Einztein by Kirsten Winkler @EduKwest. For some reason, the lights on my end made everything look extremely yellow. That aside, it pretty much captures what Einztein is about. The only thing I would add is that, while we want to bridge classroom learning and “real” learning, we are definitely not for classroom learners, only.

http://www.edukwest.com/edukwest-85-with-gian-marco-masoni-of-einztein/
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Marco Masoni, Nov. 28, 2011

We talk a lot about “How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education” but this infographic via onlineeducation.net really drives it home.

A choice stat: “67% of colleges are unable to meet demand for online courses.”

A choice excerpt: “Higher education is no longer only for the elite; anyone with an Internet connection can educate themselves.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/61668055@N05/6419506231/
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Marco Masoni, Nov. 22, 2011

Exciting news! Wish us luck, as Einztein and Inquiry to Insight have jointly submitted an entry into the Digital Media and Learning (“DML”) badge competition.

As DML describes it:

The “Badges for Lifelong Learning” Competition will gather leading organizations, learning and assessment specialists, designers and technologists to create and test working badge systems in the wild. Together, competition participants will contribute to a robust badge ecosystem, where traditional and 21st century skills and achievements are inspired, recognized, translated across contexts, and displayed and managed across the web. The result for learners: new learning and knowledge, real-world outcomes like jobs, credit for new skills and achievements, and whole new ways to level up in their life and work.

Check it out (and scroll down to “like” us): http://www.dmlcompetition.net/Competition/4/badges-projects.php?id=2835

http://www.flickr.com/photos/61668055@N05/6384694751/
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Marco Masoni, Nov. 17, 2011

Einztein tip: USING SLIDESHARE FOR DOCUMENT SHARING ON EINZTEIIN

Let’s say you have a PDF or Word doc that you’d like to share with other Einztein members. No problem. Just go to Slideshare.net and sign up for a free account. Then follow these steps:

(1) upload your document to your SlideShare account
(2) copy the link to the SlideShare presentation that you just created
(3) start writing a post on Einztein (for example, describe the document you want to share)
(4) paste the SlideShare presentation link into the “enter link” box of the Post module
(4) finish writing your post and then click “Post”

There you go. The document will show up inside the post and anyone who wants to take a closer look at it can either enlarge it in the post or click on the SlideShare logo on the bottom left of the slide. If you want to see what I mean, experiment with the SlideShare presentation that I embedded below.

http://www.slideshare.net/AmitRanjan/quick-tour
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Nov. 13, 2011

OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTORS SHIFTING TO COLLEGE CAMPUSES

On 11/13/2011, Malia Wollan and Elizabeth Harris reported in the New York Times that:

As city officials around the country move to disband Occupy Wall Street encampments amid growing concerns over health and public safety, protesters have begun to erect more tents on college campuses.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/us/occupy-wall-street-protests-shifting-to-college-campuses.html?_r=1

I’m wondering if this is what will finally get us talking seriously about the state of US higher ed and student debt.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/campusgrotto/6235272007/
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Nov. 8, 2011

Einztein TIP: INSERTING AUDIO, VIDEO AND PHOTOS INPOST

Remember that you can insert audio, video and photos in a post. Where it says “Enter Link”, you can insert a link from sites like YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo (along with the other content providers on this list: http://embed.ly/providers) and the content found at that link will be automatically embedded in your post.

Working on a group project? You might want to create a Flickr account, for instance, and use it to store your photos. This will enable you to share photos in that Flickr account via Einztein.

Just to give you an idea, I selected a photo on Flickr and embedded it in this post by inserting the Flickr link below.

[for more tips, go to the Einztein FAQ at http://bit.ly/v4QOQV]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/typographyshop/2969813722/
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Nov. 1, 2011

A year ago, the ideas that are at the foundation of Einztein’s approach to “disrupting” the ed space were laid out in a Mashable article about “Why Online Education Needs to get Social.” Below, you’ll find an excerpt. For the full article, go to: http://mashable.com/2010/08/06/online-education-social/

What’s required are innovative approaches to course design that set aside old models of instruction where theory often trumps actuality. Online course providers must embrace the web’s potential to match students with the kinds of timely knowledge and skills that address current issues head-on, and enable them to thrive in the global marketplace.

It’s not enough for a course to be accessible online, it must also be designed in a way that keys into the digital pulse of current events, trending topics and insider knowledge endemic to the web. The three-quarters of 18 to 29 year-olds who have profiles on social networks are likely wondering why online course offerings aren’t nearly as enticing as the content that they find on their favorite social websites.

To attract and retain the typical college-age demographic, as well as the larger population of adult learners in search of relevant and engaging educational content, the next generation of online education must be characterized by courses that build in the social, real-time information capturing components that have made the web such a dynamic medium for sharing information and knowledge.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/61668055@N05/6303483398/
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