Strange as it may seem to older generations of computer users who grew up maintaining an elaborate collection of nested subfolders, thanks to powerful search functions now being the default in operating systems, as well as the way phones and tablets obfuscate their file structure, and cloud storage, high school graduates don’t see their hard drives the same way.
For decades, China’s growth was driven by shifting workers from agriculture to manufacturing. As the country started to approach the so-called Lewis turning point, when such shifts no longer raise overall productivity, the government made an increasingly concerted effort to build the scientific base to provide another vector for growth. The results of those efforts are showing up in both the rankings of Chinese universities (11 of the top 100 globally) and in scholarly output.
Our private cloud configuration allows our CIOs the luxury of not focusing on bandwidth because it always works. We’ve been able to layer value-added services on top of it — more traditional services like bandwidth as a service, software as a service, backup as a service, and virtual data centers as a service. Our institutions now can focus on students and the value they add to our schools, not on IT as a standalone commodity.
A recent analysis of 200 colleges and universities published in the Teachers College Record found that 43 percent of all letter grades awarded in 2008 were A’s, compared to 16 percent in 1960. And Harvard’s student paper recently reported that the median grade awarded to undergraduates at the elite school is now an A-.
“That allowed me to look directly at the influence of course grades on student evaluations,” Johnson said. “As you might expect, the effect of either expected course grade or received course grade is very powerful in student evaluations of teaching. If a student was getting a C in a course, he or she was very unlikely to rate the instructor highly. If they were getting an A in the course, they’re more likely to rate the instructor highly. I think this provides quantitative evidence for something most instructors know: If they grade easier, they will tend to get better course evaluations.”
This tablet was always intended to go into schools, and that is why it was supposed to have been built with a layer of Gorilla Glass over the screen. This was in the contract that GCS signed, and it was also mentioned prominently in the early news coverage of this tablet. According to the school district, none of the Amplify tablets that they bought had that protective layer, which might help explain why so many tablets broke.
Or to put it another way, the absence of Gorilla Glass is a sign that someone cut corners on the build quality for this production run. Given that there were also complaints about misfitted cases and defective power supplies, I am not terribly surprised.
As I reported when the Amplify tablet debuted in March of this year, this tablet is NewsCorp’s “solution” to the “problem” of education:
“It suggests, falsely, that ideas are property and that building on others’ ideas always requires permission,” Stoltz says. “The overriding message of this curriculum is that students’ time should be consumed not in creating but in worrying about their impact on corporate profits.”
A three-year study examining student performance in a “flipped classroom” — a class in which students watch short lecture videos at home and work on activities during class time — has found statistically significant gains in student performance in “flipped” settings and significant student preference for “flipped” methods.
“And with this,” she said, “you actually have to do reading or watch the [lecture modules], you actually have to prepare for the class.”
The company plans to cash in on education with custom-made tablet computers and curricula, as American classrooms move ever closer to complete digital integration. It began by purchasing a company called Wireless Generation, rebranding it as Amplify and pouring in more than half a billion dollars.
To parse the simultaneous claims of both a shortage and a surplus of STEM workers, we’ll need to delve into the data behind the debate, how it got going more than a half century ago, and the societal, economic, and nationalistic biases that have perpetuated it. And what that dissection reveals is that there is indeed a STEM crisis—just not the one everyone’s been talking about. The real STEM crisis is one of literacy: the fact that today’s students are not receiving a solid grounding in science, math, and engineering.
EdX, the nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer courses on the Internet, has just introduced such a system and will make its automated software available free on the Web to any institution that wants to use it. The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks.