The steady rise of tuition rates, class sizes and student debt combined with the decline in the number of teaching assistants, courses and programs has pushed education into the spotlight over the past year. Many schools have begun to turn to technology for answers, and higher ed institutions are now moving online at a breakneck pace to meet changing student behavior.
While this resurgence of education technology can be a boon for our beleaguered education system, the implementation of new technologies can come with high costs. Thus, as schools begin moving into uncharted territory, they need guidance. EdReach launched in 2012 to help shine a light on the changes in education and help schools find the tools they need to make the transition.
Through podcasts, articles and commentary, EdReach aims to provide a platform through which entrepreneurs can discuss innovations in education, while giving teachers, schools and everyone else a place to go for news and criticism on the most pressing topics of the day.
The broadcasting network’s daily programming has been downloaded by more than 40,000 teachers since launch, and today the company is looking to expand that reach with two new partnerships. EdReach has partnered with Stitcher, a startup that my colleague Josh Constine recently called the Pandora of talk radio, to help bring increased distribution and exposure to its educational programming.
Stitcher offers over 15,000 podcasts on-demand across a range of subjects, which can be streamed directly to mobile devices. With its new partnership, EdReach will become one of Stitcher’s main sources of educational content and news, allowing teachers to tune into its podcasts while making their morning drive.
This follows on the heels of its partnership with PBS NewsHour and Student Reporting Labs, which brought the company’s content to EdReach under a new channel and saw them team up to form a new social reporting movement via Whatisyoureduwin.com. Combined, says EdReach founder Daniel Rezac, the partnership aims to create a portal for news and success stories, allowing anyone to report on in innovation in education.
But the real goal of both EdReach and this partnership, the founder continued, is to re-brand education in the media. Both EdReach and EdSurge want to help bring the spotlight to trends in education and help teachers, students and schools make sense of the flurry of new EdTech products and tools. A valuable mission to be sure.
EdReach at home here.
Read more from the original source: EdReach Teams Up With PBS And Sticher As It Looks To Become The Go-To Online Broadcast Network For Education
Eric Schmidt has kicked off a mini Asia tour in India by calling on the government to stop pursuing control of the Internet and instead focus on how technology can help the population and local businesses.
Google has confirmed that Schmidt, who is scheduled to visit Myanmar in addition to other unnamed countries across the continent, is already in India as he prepares to speak at The Guardian’s Big Tent Activate India event in New Delhi on March 21. In a byline posted to the Times of India, the Google Executive chairman appealed to the Indian government to change its focus and be positive about the Internet.
India has invested considerable energy trying to police the Web in the past eighteen months or so. A proposal to introduce real-time content monitoring drew controversy in late 2011, while its legal system has housed a number of cases against Internet firms like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter. The companies stood accused of allowing unsuitable content to exist on India Web space.
Avoiding any direct mention of the cases and the conflict between maintaining Indian culture while allowing freedom of expression, Schmidt focuses his editorial on the choice between the open or closed Web:
Almost one billion of [the world's new Internet users in the next ten years] will come online in India. They will have different needs from people online today and expect different things from the internet. Now is the moment for India to decide what kind of internet it wants for them: an open internet that benefits all or a highly regulated one that inhibits innovation.
The past 10 years show that the safest economic, social and political bet is on openness. Where there is a free and open Web, where there is unbridled technological progress, where information can be disseminated and consumed freely, society flourishes.
He provides examples of of this benefit, citing specific Google programs in India — the Google+ Hangout with the country’s finance minister, and Women Entrepreneurs on the Web, a program being piloted in India — and the benefits of long distance learning, video communication, and more.
Equally, Schmidt argues, the Internet can enable local businesses — and startups in particular — to flourish. The Web gives them a platform to take their businesses international, and explore vast potential that an offline world simply cannot offer provide:
The most striking Indian internet innovations won’t come from big institutions or companies moving online, however. They will come from Indians solving local problems. We know that India’s internet infrastructure allows Indian engineers to solve the problems of small businesses in other countries. If India plays its cards right, we’ll soon see Indian engineers and Indian small businesses tackling Indian problems first, then exporting the solutions that work best.
In a similar vein to his comments about the potential for greater access to technology in North Korea — which is clearly a more extreme example than India — Schmidt says that the Internet can only improve the situation and society in a country:
India could reap a huge dividend from the Internet’s growth — the same one other countries have realized, or are about to. In all the places I’ve traveled to, I’ve yet to see a country whose situation worsened with the arrival of the internet.
That’s an important point since Indian courts and politicians have previously voiced their keenness to introduce a Chinese style censorship policy to keep negative influences away. Schmidt does acknowledge that not every aspect of the Internet is good, but his parting comment warns that ”in seeking to control all of [the Internet, India authorities will] stop good Indians from doing great things”.
You can read the full byline here.
Headline image via Spencer Platt / Getty Images
NeroKwik, the cloud photo organization service from the makers of the leading disc-burning software of old, is officially debuting its iPhone and iPad app today. The iOS clients join its existing Android and online products, offering users the ability to pull in all the photos they’ve uploaded to Facebook and Google+, organize them by metadata and other criteria, and view them in ready-made presentations called “Tapestries.”
The iOS launch of the NeroKwik app means it now reaches the vast majority of mobile users, meaning a much broader potential audience for the company’s cloud photo play. Nero isn’t the first digital media company to identify this trend, of course: Adobe offers Revel, a similar product, to try to keep up with users as they move to cloud storage and web-based photo album sharing, but Nero’s approach is unique in that it lets others handle the heavy lifting of actually storing pics, and in that it offers its services to users for free.
Nero Chief Product Officer Martin Stein took me through the app and explained how it was different. “It’s a photo sharing application,” he said, explaining that the primary focus is making sure that NeroKwik handles not only social aspects, but also organization into galleries beforehand so that you don’t have to curate before you share. And since users already upload their libraries to existing services like Facebook and Google+ (much of which is now handled automatically via smartphone library syncing tools), there’s no need to reinvent the wheel with a brand new cloud storage service. Instead, why not just use existing services like a source directory and work from there?
Other services like MyShoebox do similar things when it comes to NeroKwik’s automated gallery generation tools, which organize photos into “Tapestry” galleries based on minimal input from a user, but they also require you to upload images to the service to begin with. The hosting aspect is where all the cost lies in most of these cases, which is why they generally go with monthly subscription plans (Adobe Revel does this too) to compensate for server load costs.
NeroKwik will eventually offer paid plans, too, Stein told me, but those will come in the form of allowing access to the service on more devices, or unlocking premium features. The basic service, the one offered currently, will remain free. But allowing other companies to hold the reins when it comes to actually storing photos could be a double-edged sword, since it’s conceivable they could change their access rules. Still, Stein and company think this is the right approach, since it simplifies the world of a user’s cloud photo storage, rather than adding yet another dimension of complication.
Sharing options allow you to share entire Tapestries or just single photos with friends and family, who don’t need the app to view it. You can also share to Facebook and Google+, and edit Tapestries on the fly, and have those changes automatically flow out to all other devices. The browsing interface is attractive, and there are options for changing how much data is actually transferred from the cloud for when you’re on 3G.
Overall, Nero has done a very good job with NeroKwik. It’s a smart effort from a company that is wisely investing in new initiatives to help it stay relevant in a changing digital world, and if you store most of your photos on one of the major social networking platforms, it’s well worth your time to check out.
Read the original here: NeroKwik Brings Its Cloud Photo Collection And Sharing App To The iPhone And iPad
In short, once you settle into the new SwiftKey, your typing speed will go up.
SwiftKey has had its continuous typing feature in beta for some time, but it is not the reason that the application has found wide adoption on the Android platform. Instead, SwiftKey has built its fanbase on the power of its predictive text feature.
To put in perspective how powerful the predictive capabilities of SwiftKey can be, here is Walt Mossberg on the new Blackberry 10 devices, which use SwiftKey technology to power their soft keyboards:
The Z10 keyboard is the best and fastest out-of-the-box virtual keyboard I’ve used. [...] This is partly because it features predictive typing. It displays words that are likely to come next right above the rows of letters, and lets you flick these words upward into the text you’re composing. It learns what mistakes you typically make in hitting letters, and adjusts. And it learns words and abbreviations you frequently use, even proper names.
In its newest version SwiftKey has combined both its rapid and precise input models into a single engine; the keyboard will not only place longer words into place when they are overwhelmingly probable. In its latest version, word correction has been made simpler, allowing for a single tap to yield several options for quick fixes.
Also in the fourth version of SwiftKey, new languages have been added, including “Albanian, Bosnian, Javanese, Sundanese, Thai and Vietnamese.”
Before digging into a review copy of SwiftKey 4, I hadn’t modded my Android unit to support a third-party keyboard. I had tested the new software before, but never ‘in the wild’ of daily use.
Launching the app you select a language that will be your primary input lingo, and then link up your social and email accounts so that the service can dig through your writing style. This helps it better predict what your next word will be. It’s akin to black magic. Simply tapping on suggested words in succession can lead to comical sentences, such as phone suggesting that I email myself the following “I’m sorry, but you are not the one.” Ouch.
Matrix jokes and romantic faux pas aside, the new build of SwiftKey is a breeze to set up and in fact does exactly what it claims: allow you to type in a fluid swipe, and predict what you will type next, allowing you to sling copy like a trained courtroom stenographer. It’s an impressive experience.
Here’s a clip of the new build in action:
60 total languages are supported, and you can have up to three turned on at once. You can thus type, and enjoy correction, in several languages concurrently. The years that SwiftKey has poured into building the backing algorithms of its product are quite apparent when you use the service.
You can’t use SwiftKey on your iPhone, as Apple doesn’t allow for such modding. It’s a shame: SwiftKey is a material advantage for the Android platform over iOS.
SwiftKey 4 is a free upgrade for all current users, or can be purchased for $1.99.
Top Image Credit: John Ward
See the original post: SwiftKey updates Android keyboard alternative to add multiple-word swiping and new languages
Last year Etsy, the marketplace for hand crafted goods, was powering ahead with 20 million members in nearly 200 countries and had passed the $700 million mark for sales in 2012 (compared to $525 million for all of 2011). By the end of the year, over 100 million items had been sold in Etsy’s history. And as she explains in this video shot at the recent DLD conference in Munich, now Europe is a big opportunity according to Caroline Drucker, Etsy’s country manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Although it faces local competitors like DaWanda, it appars there remains plenty of room for growth.
Indeed, for international expansion Etsy has raised $40 million in funding last May from Accel Partners, Index Ventures, and Union Square Ventures. It also acquired the team behind Mixel, the iOS app for creating photo collages.
Since its launch in June 2005, Etsy, which focuses on allowing makers to sell handmade and vintage items, as well as art and craft supplies. The items include art, photography, clothing, jewelry, edibles, quilts, and toys. Etsy is modeled after open craft fairs that give sellers personal storefronts where they can list their goods. The company charges users a flat listing fee (of 20 cents per items), and takes a commission of 3.5% off all items sold.
Here is the original post: In Europe Etsy Sees Opportunity, Says Caroline Drucker [TCTV]