Monday, August 25, 2008

Phone a friend — welcome to the new face of exams

Phone a friend — welcome to the new face of exams

by Margaret Cook and Anna Patty

It's safe to say i'm fascinated by what impact technology is going to have on education, in particular it's use on young adults.

I firmly agree with Cook and Patty's view that the internet has expanded our resources and shifted power away from teachers, and some find this threatening. I for one am always interested in ways that educators are looking outside the square to conduct assessments.

They highlight that the nature of the world today is that people want information quickly, however they are quick to point out that the credibility of the information should be questioned and cited appropriately!

"What they will need to do is access information from all their sources quickly and they will need to check the reliability of their information."

Could this assessment be transferred into a work / TAFE environment where business information would often be on hand with a colleague or on the company intranet?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital futures report: the internet in Australia

Digital futures report: the internet in Australia

Julian Thomas, Scott Ewing, Julianne Schiessl

This report presents findings from the first survey undertaken by the Australian component of the World Internet Project. This survey is a major piece of research undertaken by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Innovation at Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research.

This report provides an overview of our work, presenting results for each of the questions asked. We will also be publishing work that examines relationships between our key variables exploring, for example, differences between users with broadband access at home and those on dial-up connections and the differences that age, gender and education levels make to people’s use and experience of the internet.

Analysis we have already conducted shows that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet. The internet is more highly valued by those with broadband connections and they use the internet for longer and for a greater variety of purposes. Younger people have been quick to integrate the internet into their lives, they use the internet more and particularly for entertainment.

I have to say, I'm really not surprised by this article at all... it's common knowledge that Australian broadband due to the geographical make up the country is well behind the rest of the first class nations.

It therefore comes as no surprise that people who actually have access to a decent internet connection value the internet higher than those who don't. With Telstra very much the monopoly when it comes to the phone lines used for ADSL either through their private ownership of the bulk of the lines required for high speed broadband.

I therefore have to agree that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet for more people to be able to integrate the internet into their daily lives the government is going to need to come in and take a stand in Australia. Or those in the City and large regional areas will continue to enjoy the luxury, while those already struggling to stay in touch in remote communities will be stuck on dial-up and other slow connections.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Google enrolled for schools email deal

I found the article above particularly interesting when it comes to formal educational institutions, my girlfriends university recently were swapped over to Windows Live email. With it comes the obvious repercussions, that although some students may be obvlious to, she was quick to point out that she now has to deal with advertising and the other unwanted invasions that comes with having a "free" account.

"If the vendors can get students to sign up for email accounts, the hope is they will then use those accounts for life," Mr Cain said. "Students, alumni, staff and faculty all represent a highly desirable demographic that advertisers will pay top dollar to reach."

Students previously had 35 megabytes of memory on their account previously, they now have six gigabytes.... but at what price?