Tuesday, January 26, 2010

VIdeo Series Teaches Science of the Winter Olympic Games

A free video series from NBC and the National Science Foundation uses the Winter Olympics and athletes to explain scientific principles and could be used as a resource for teachers interested in incorporating the games in Vancouver, Canada -- broadcast from Feb. 12 to 28 -- into their lessons. The videos include a look at how angular momentum allows figure skaters to perform, the role of Newton's Three Laws of Motion in speedskating and other principles

Check it out at:

Friday, January 22, 2010

California Physical Fitness Test Results

Posting of Final 2009 Results to DataQuest ***

The final 2009 Physical Fitness Test (PFT) results are now available on the California Department of Education DataQuest Web site at http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/ as well on the Educational Data Systems PFT Web page at http://www.eddataonline.com/fitness/ (Outside Source).
Please feel free to forward this listserv message to staff you feel could benefit from this information.
If you have any questions regarding the announcement, please contact Linda M. Hooper, Education Research and Evaluation Consultant, at 916‑445‑9449 or by e-mail at PFT@cde.ca.gov.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Opinion: Virtual schools are a critical piece of education’s future

Educational technology expert credits Florida lawmakers for seizing on the promise of virtual academies

By Michael Simonson, Contributor

Technological innovations might be categorized along a continuum from sustaining to disruptive. In education, a sustaining technology might be a SMART Board, which in most applications is a way to present information dynamically and efficiently—a sustaining upgrade to the chalkboard and overhead projector—while a disruptive technology would be a virtual school.

As a matter of fact, most attempts to integrate instructional technology into the traditional classroom are examples of sustaining technologies: data projectors, DVD players, eBooks—all which improve the performance of established products.

Read more

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fitness Testing

More public schools are using FitnessGram tests to replace the Presidential Physical Fitness test, which they say can be embarrassing for some overweight or less-fit students and does little to motivate students to choose a healthier lifestyle. FitnessGram tests were developed in 1982 by a nonprofit health-research center and track individual students' progress toward fitness goals rather than compare students' fitness with that of their peers -- the basis of the presidential test. From Omaha World-Herald (Neb.)

Sony PS3 Motion Controller delayed until Fall 2010

Last official word we had on the launch of Sony's PS3 Motion Controller was Spring 2010. However, we just received a press release from Sony Japan with a revised availability of "Fall 2010." The calendar push affects Japan, Asia, North America, and Europe. In the statement, Kaz Hirai avoids using the "d" word saying only:
"We have decided to release the Motion Controller in fall 2010 when we will be able to offer an exciting and varied line-up of software titles that will deliver the new entertainment experience to PS3 users."

Read more

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

iPhone/iPodTouch Update

A new report Monday from FoxNews.com cites an anonymous source to claim Apple will introduce its tablet, "iPhone 4" and iLife 2010 at next week's event.

Read more

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Online Learning Study Looks at Research

Online learning is one of the fastest growing trends in educational uses of technology, according to the recently-released report Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html).

The impetus for the analysis was the need to develop research-based insights into online learning for K–12 students. A broader set of fields was studied to assemble sufficient empirical research for meta-analysis.

The research literature (1996 to July 2008) found more than 1,000 empirical studies of online learning. On average, students of online learning performed better than those with face-to-face instruction.

Read more

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pedal Brain iPhone Kits Smartens Up Your Bicycle

Cyclists already have a range of dedicated devices to choose from that will help them with their training, and it looks like they'll soon have an iPhone app / accessory kit to call their own as well. While the folks behind it are apparently still working on the finishing touches, they've nonetheless decided to get official with their so-called Pedal Brain kit, which more or less promises to be a Nike+ alternative for cyclists. That means it comes with an accessory (a case) that relies on the ANT+ wireless protocol to relay all the necessary information form your bike, which in turn is processed and analyzed by the Pedal Brain app (all of which will also work with an iPod touch). Pedal Brain also goes one step further with a coaching component, which will actually let you make your own training plans and sell them through the app (you'll also be able to determine the price, but Pedal Brain will apparently take a $4 a month cut). No word on an exact price or launch date for the kit itself just yet, but it will apparently sell for somewhere between $130 and $200 (or more if you want the spiffy carbon fiber case).

Read more

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Samsung announces two PMPs, one for fitness gurus, one made of glass

We expect there to be no shortage of hot new PMPs announced this week, so manufacturers are looking for something -- anything -- to differentiate theirs from the rest. Samsung has two interesting angles for its latest players, the first being the MyFit, an 8GB model with integrated sensors to detect fat and stress, plus the typical accelerometer to measure your activities, and apps that can help you keep hydrated and even stop smoking -- assuming you ever started. Oh, and it plays music, too. Then there's the Ice Touch, a 16GB model with a two-inch AMOLED screen that's transparent, much like the Xperia Pureness, but with more colors and fewer stunned looking models. The device itself is said to have a case made of tempered glass, which should make those accidental drops onto concrete a little more exciting, and it packs support for a wide variety of audio and video formats, lossless and high-definition, respectively. No pricing on either, but we'd expect the glass one to cost more than the healthy one.

Read more

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

E-Books to Replace Textbooks

Skyrocketing textbook costs and the migration to all things digital are conspiring to usher in an era of digital textbooks.

The average estimated cost of books and supplies for a first-time, full-time student at a four-year public institution was $898, or 26 percent of the cost of tuition and fees, according to a 2005 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. At community colleges, the estimated cost of books and supplies was a whopping 72 percent of the cost of tuition and fees.

Read more

ESPN 3D Launch

Need any more proof this is the year of 3D? USA Today is reporting ESPN 3D will start broadcasting this summer with a World Cup soccer match, with additional content coming from the Summer X Games (we won't have to wait for the flick to hit theaters this time) NBA games, and college basketball & football. DirecTV still hasn't confirmed its rumored plans for 3D, but CableLabs CEO Paul Liao is quoted calling the level of engagement 3D sports presents viewers as "unprecedented." More details on exactly how 3D in the home will happen are sure to come throughout the week -- we've already been blown away by 3D sports, it looks like everyone else will have their chance in just a few months.

Read more

Apple Tablet

Apple later this month will preview its long-awaited touch-screen tablet before shipping the device to consumers two months later, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Echoing claims of an early 2010 launch of the 10-inch device first reported by AppleInsider last July, the financial paper cited "people briefed on the matter" as saying that Apple has been experimenting with "two different material finishes" for the hardware.

Read more

Friday, January 1, 2010

Xbox 360 Natal Half-Life 2 Video Leaked?

Is the following clip of someone ostensibly playing Valve's Half Life 2 on an Xbox 360 with their arms and fingers a glimpse of things to come from Microsoft's Project Natal?

In the grainy, jerky video noticed by Gossip Gamer, a player gesticulates not unlike Tom Cruise in Minority Report, signaling with his arms and flexing his digits to pan his view around the rebel research lab visited toward the beginning of the dystopian sci-fi shooter. He holds his right arm rigid, almost like a breakdancer about to do the robot, swinging it left or right and slightly up or down to maneuver the camera in turn. His index and middle fingers appear extended, gun-like, while the other fingers curl under. The motion capture device itself--presumably (though not verifiably) the Natal camera--rests on a tripod below the screen just a few feet in front of him.

Read/see more