Pearson's Free OpenClass LMS for Google Apps

I have just started toying with OpenClass, a free LMS (learning management system) from Pearson, which is a Google Apps for Education tool. It's quite capable, yet basic at the same time. It reflects a certain structured class setup, without much obvious room for flexibility. There seems to be some social features like the class wall, but it's difficult to assess how collaborative students will be able to be. It seems like Google Docs are well integrated, which could help, but what about discussion boards, wikis, etc?

I think this is a useful free tool to start with, but is likely yet to compete with Moodle, Blackboad, HaikuLMS, and the like.

Apple (and I/you) remembers Steve Jobs

Apple's front page today is dedicated to Steve Jobs. They also have a site where you can read their statement as well as send your thoughts in.

Mr. Jobs left a legacy on the world that is difficult for me to even wrap my head around. My first computer (my dad's first computer) was a Mac 512k, and without it I don't think I would set off down a path that let me to educational technology which led me into my latest work, helping build a high school and evolving the curriculum of a JK-12 school.

Steve, thank you.

Google serves inappropriate ads for education


We are using Google Apps for Education at my school. Here's the ad I was just confronted with when I logged in to my e-mail. This after we have opted out of ads. You are unable (to my knowledge) to opt out of web clips.

It is frustrating that we don't have better control of this.

update: it seems that each user can turn off web clip under mail settings - web clips. I don't imagine that most would ever make it that far.

Teagueduino: Learn to Make Robots, Simply

Coming out of a Kickstarter campaign, Teaguduino looks like a great way to get kids (or adults) started with real programming and robot building. It seems a lot easier to get started that Arduino, but easier isn't always better. Just different. I'm pretty compelled by their work, though. Will you or your school be an early investor? They have a great price points for a 5 piece set - $650.

Mendeley, the world's largest, crowdscourced library

Mendley, a powerful resource for academics. Upload your papers into the software and it extracts relevant data like journal, title, authors, and more. Use others work to help you connect to other related research. Powerful, and worth looking into if you are doing research or reading a lot of research.

Via ProfHacker

YouTube lets you access "free" music (via Creative Commons) for your videos

In wonderful news YouTube announces a partnership with Creative Commons to let people use Creative Commons licensed music easily in any uploaded videos. They have an online editor to let you do so. This is great for teachers and students creating video projects. I often find myself helping students and teachers walking about of copyright traps when they just slap an iTunes song on a video and want to upload them to the web. People can also elect to share their end-product videos back into the commons allowing others to use their work. Talk about creating a useful video!

A Windows 8 Preview

Microsoft previews the highly touch-centric Windows 8 operating system. I like the idea of tiles, but wonder if that is the ideal interface metaphor for the next shift. I'm already victim of app fatigue, I wonder if tile fatigue is next. I don't mean to be a doubter, this looks quite beautiful. Just keeping up with the change right now seems to be overwhelming for technologists, let alone users.

via @rcuza