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Vincent Miller
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More fun from Duncan J. Melville. The first known math homework in Mesopotamia - and maybe in the world? - goes back to about 2500 BC. It involves dividing by 7. Given that base 60 makes it easy to divide by 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, this proves that math teachers have always been sadists.

But the really cool part is that the same homework problem shows up on two tablets, and one of the students gets it wrong. One expert commented that it was "written by a bungler who did not know the front from the back of his tablet, did not know the difference between standard numerical notation and area notation, and succeeded in making half a dozen writing errors in as many lines." This proves that grading homework has always been depressing.

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Wow, new online courses at +Stanford University

Computer Science
- Game Theory
- Design and Analysis of Algorithms I
- Cryptography
- Software Engineering for Software as a Service
- Natural Language Processing
- Computer Science 101
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Probabilistic Graphical Models

- Lean Launchpad
- Technology Entrepreneurship

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Why Google Plus for my College?

Today marked the release of Google+ for Google Apps customers and CPCC has chosen to activate the service as one of the launch schools for the program. This is exciting for our College and I believe could provide a great opportunity to further enhance the learning experience for our students. We have been a Google Apps school for a number of years now. Google+ could be the glue that really brings all of the Google Apps tools together.

I am a proponent of using the social and consumer web to enhance education. I feel we can have a great impact on student success if we go to the tools they are already using in their daily life. With over 40 million users, Google+ has definitely established itself as a main-stream social network. Google+ for our school, will provide all of the same features that users receive in the consumer product, while also providing access to our community of learners.

We hope to utilize Google+ in a way to enhance the entire experience for our students and have a number of thoughts about how the tools may be used.

Students and instructors will have the ability to create hangouts, share documents, upload pictures and videos, carry out a social dialog with their classmates and more. No longer will communication be restricted to email or the LMS, limited to only a course or a section. Users will now be able to share information between friends, other students in their program, receive college wide communication and more. Students will be able to create circles that not only align with their academic interest but their social interest as well. Think of the potential for a circle of colleagues in your major, your student life club and your favorite study group. Communication and collaboration can now easily happen across multiple streams of interest.

When you look at a tool like Google Hangouts with extras, why pay thousands of dollars for a synchronous tool when Google+ has one built in? No longer is document collaboration an email attachment nightmare; with Hangouts students can actively edit a document while video chatting with one another. Online classes can now be a place where students share and collaborate over live video with Google Docs and desktop sharing instead of reading page after page of content with no interaction.

As a College administrator, I have the ability to communicate with my student body through the social web. I can host hangouts where students might ask questions about a class, registration, or other topics. I can build circles of students based on interest and major and communicate in new ways.

As the social web continues to expand it provides opportunities to enhance learning for our students, better engage our community and improve our overall effectiveness.

As our students and instructors continue to use the product I will post our experience.

As always, feel free to ask questions.

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Open Class — Online Education Game Changer?

*Since I am likely moving my blog to Google+, I thought it appropriate to re-post my most recent entry*

This week brought the announcement of a project I have been involved with for a number of months, Pearson Open Class. If not careful you might look at this new software and see yet another LMS, but you would be mistaken.
I have felt for a long time that education needs to embrace the social and collaborative web. Google Apps provides the best collaborative suite available but has not provided a “classroom” experience or LMS.

Traditional LMS systems continue to try and emulate the classroom experience by building walls around a section or instance of a course. The problem with this approach is that there are no walls online and information often must be re-built or lost from semester to semester. Traditional systems try to force students to use their tool, stay in their system and be part of their walled garden. Why?
When I was approached about CPCC joining the Open Class development project what caught my attention was the desire to break down the walls of education and provide a open, collaborative experience for both professors and students.
Open Class is providing social learning tools, Google Apps integration, content import from the open web (e.g. YouTube, other LMS system, websites and more), and is trying to transform the classroom from a walled garden to a open/collaborative forrest between students, institutions and disciplines.

I feel strongly that we can increase student engagement by going to where they are, utilizing the tools they use every day outside of school and transforming education from somewhere they go to something that is integrated into their everyday life. I feel Open Class is trying to accomplish these same goals.

It has been an exciting project. One of our instructors, Gary Ritter, was actually the first to pilot the system and has successfully been using it in his classes. The Pearson team has been amazingly organized, supportive and open to suggestions. There have been challenges throughout the process, but every challenge has been met by a great support team from Pearson.

I saw a quote today from a competitor that indicated Open Class would not “integrate” with the host College’s easily. I don’t know what project they have used, but we have been able to quite successfully integrate Open Class into our environment with the help of the Google Marketplace and the Pearson development team.

One of the best parts of this application, it is FREE!
I am excited about the future of the project, my teams involvement and the involvement of CPCC. If you want to learn more about Open Class visit the new website:

Feel free to ask any questions about the project and our involvement.

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Pro tip: if people uncover a big security hole in your software, the proper response is to patch it NOW, not "some time prior to the end of the year." I mean, I know folks have already signed a contract, but jeez.

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A look at the challenges school libraries face in meeting students' demands for e-books

Watching Marziah Karch give a presentation about Google+.
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