Twenty-three percent of young people, ages 18 to 29, followed the SOPA protests. In contrast, 21 percent followed the 2012 elections, and just 10 percent tracked news about our nation’s economy, reports Pew.
Curiosity about SOPA trickled all the way down to the K–12 set. Students showed interest as educators, including librarians, spoke about the blackouts, copyright and piracy, and the bills themselves—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA)—which have since been pulled by Capitol Hill lawmakers.
Udemy, a company that allows anyone to create and sell courses through its online platform, has announced a new area of its site, called The Faculty Project, devoted to courses by professors at a number of top institutions, such as Colgate, Duke University, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia, Dartmouth College and Vassar College. While Udemy is a for-profit enterprise, the Faculty Project courses will be free.
The goal is to “elevate the brand,” according to Gagan Biyani, Udemy’s president and co-founder. The company says it has no immediate plans to monetize the Faculty Project, and would never do so without the input and permission of its faculty contributors.
The inaugural Faculty Project courses include many humanities electives normally reserved for small classrooms of undergraduates. Among them: “Elixir: A History of Water and Humans,” “Select Classics in Russian Literature” and “The Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness.” Garland and the project’s other professorial recruits are developing, pro bono, mini-lecture-based versions of courses they offer on their home campuses. Udemy says it does not require the professors to relinquish ownership of the courses.
Even with the long life expectancy of giant tortoises, an Aldabra Giant Tortoise named Adwaita blows all others away with a life lasting around 255 years. Estimates put his birth date around 1750, making him an entire generation older than the United States of America.
Library users searching for e-books will soon get to look through a much bigger catalog and help decide what their local branch might carry.
OverDrive Inc., a major e-distributor for libraries, announced Wednesday the launch of a vastly expanded list for patrons, featuring not just e-books available for lending, but hundreds of thousands of those which include a collected of Edgar Allan Poe stories edited by Michael Connelly to foreign-language titles. Viewers can look at excerpts, purchase books from a retailer or request that their library add an e-book that wasn’t being offered.
“We’re allowing libraries to be better connected with their communities,” OverDrive CEO Steve Potash said during a recent interview. “Right now, we have librarians who are trying to add books to the e-catalog but don’t always know what to add. Now, by exposing a publisher’s entire list, it becomes like crowdsourcing, where patrons can offer their suggestions.”
“Student loan debt now stands around $1 trillion. Education is often a great investment – but the proposition is more in question every day. Higher education prices increased 440% over the last 25 years – four times the rate of inflation, and twice as bad as health care. Elementary and secondary ed prices have skyrocketed, too, with not even adequate outcomes. On the other side of the ledger is the Moore’s law ecosystem, the most ruthless force in technology and the world economy. Last quarter Netflix streamed two billion hours worth of video – or 228,000 years worth in three months. In just the last week of December, smartphone and tablet owners gobbled up 1.2 billion apps – 43% by Americans. Twenty years ago, a terabyte hard drive, if such a thing had existed, might have cost $5 million. Today, you can pick one up for $69. The price of information plummets. Yet the price of education soars. These two trends cannot both continue. Guess which will crack first.”—Apple and the Education-Information Chasm - Forbes (via infoneer-pulse)
A judge on Monday ordered a Colorado woman to decrypt her laptop computer so prosecutors can use the files against her in a criminal case.
The defendant, accused of bank fraud, had unsuccessfully argued that being forced to do so violates the Fifth Amendment’s protection against compelled self-incrimination.
“I conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled Monday. (.pdf)
Rob Faludi, Kate Hartman, and Kati London has created Botanicalls, which checks the moisture level of soil and tweets to you when the plant is in need of water. No longer will people need to remember to water their plants regularly and instead rely on Twitter to tell them when to water their plants!
The next step could be a plant that will tweet about whether it’s getting enough oxygen, minerals, sunlight, and whether it is being eaten alive by pests!
OverDrive released a glimpse at its 2011 statistics today, and the Cleveland-based ebook vendor is reporting a huge growth in page views and other key metrics.
The company, which is promising more details at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference which begins Friday in Dallas, said that its library website traffic doubled to 1.6 billion page views, a 130 percent increase over 2010. In addition, 35 million digital titles were checked out in 2011 (up from 15 million in 2010), and the number of users who have installed the company’s media console has jumped to 11 million, an increase of 84 percent.
Although the company did not break out numbers on ebooks, it had previously reported that it was on a pace to exceed 16 million checkouts in 2011. Through September, ebook checkouts were up 200 percent.
As alternatives to the college diploma have been bandied about recently, one question always seems to emerge: How do you validate badges or individual classes as a credential in the absence of a degree?
One company that has been hailed by some as revolutionizing introductory courses might have an answer.
The company, StraighterLine, announced on Thursday that beginning this fall it will offer students access to three leading critical-thinking tests, allowing them to take their results to employers or colleges to demonstrate their proficiency in certain academic areas.
The well-loved education startup Codecademy is tapping into what appears to be a watershed moment for the inevitable spike in demand for computer science skills. Mashable’s Sarah Kessler offers some impressive statistics about the very recent explosion in interest:
Minutes after Kessley published her post, the student count broke the six-figure threshold and was nearing 101,000 at the time of this posting.
The first technologies have been unveiled at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Waterproof smartphone coatings, diet-aiding armbands and a social network that warns drivers of the latest police speed-traps were all on show. Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer will present his company’s last keynote at the three-day event. The firm’s pullout has led several attendees to speculate if the trade show will be a smaller event in future.
Business and technology writer Efraim Turban defines customer service as “a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction — that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”
“For the generation that I spend my days with, there’s not even any ideological baggage that comes along with appropriation anymore… They feel that once an image goes into a shared digital space, it’s just there for them to change, to elaborate on, to add to, to improve, to do whatever they want with it. They don’t see this as a subversive act. They see the Internet as a collaborative community and everything on it as raw material.”—Stephen Frailey, faculty at SVA, quoted in the NYTimes article, “Apropos Appropriation,” on the Richard Prince lawsuit and the limits of fair use (via austinkleon)
Following a 72-year wait period, The National Archives and Records will release the 1940 U.S. Census in April and make the search for photos and information about ancestors easier than ever with free online access from any computer.
Genealogists will have digital access to the 1940 Census when the report is released on April 2. This is a big step toward making the archives more accessible to the public through technology. The most recent census — which was released in 2008 and covers the 1930s — was only available through the libraries via microfilm that usually has to be reserved and ordered.
Middle-aged borrowers are piling up student debt faster than any other age group, according to a new analysis obtained by Reuters.
Educational borrowing is up for every age group over the past three years, but it has grown far more quickly among those between 35 and 49, according to the analysis of more than 3 million credit reports provided to Reuters by the credit score tracking site CreditKarma (CreditKarma.com). That group saw its school debt burden increase by a staggering 47 percent, according to the analysis.
The average student loan debt for those aged 38 to 41 was the biggest of that group — about $12,000, up from just under $9,000 in 2009. Young people still carry the biggest student loan burdens; those aged 26 to 29 have an average of $14,000 in student debt. But the increased levels in middle-aged student debt is a new phenomenon.