Active Learning: Surmounting the Challenges in a Large Class

Whether online or face to face, large classes are challenging!  As always, Maryellen Weimer shares some great suggestions in this article from Faculty Focus.



After completing the assigned reading, students take a short online quiz that must be completed before class. Their answers help guide that day’s lesson.

Source: Active Learning: Surmounting the Challenges in a Large Class

4 Emerging Technologies That Will Change The World

Technology continues to expand at an exponential rate. The growth of technology has helped to improve our productivity and efficiency, which in turn helps to fuel even more advancements. New technologies are redefining almost every industry, including computing, medicine, manufacturing, transportation. There are seemingly new, amazing breakthroughs everyday, many of which have the opportunity to completely change the way we live our lives. You have probably have heard about some of these technologies before, however, these products have yet to even scratch the surface of what they will be capable of in the years to come.

Here are 4 emerging technologies that I believe will change the world over the course of the next decade.

1) Neural Interfaces

Brain-machine interface is a technology that allows communication between a human and an external technology. This technology can refer to an interface that takes a signal from the brain to an external piece of hardware such as a robotic arm, leg, or even eye! Neural Interfaces have the capacity to improve the lives of millions of people.

2) Augmented Reality / Google Glass

Augmented Reality is a live, direct, or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. Technology such as Google Glass, will completely change the way in which we interact with the world around us.

3) 3D Printing

3D Printing is the process of converting a digital file into a three dimensional solid object. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes (laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created).

4) Driverless Cars

Driverless, or autonomous, cars refer to vehicles capable of fulfilling the main transportation capabilities of a traditional car. Simply put, they drive themselves! In places such as Nevada, autonomous trucks have already been licensed to operate and will likely be on the road within the next few years. Driverless cars and trucks will make the roads a safer place and will help to improve energy efficiency of the vehicles as well.

Why the Apple Watch is flopping

Wired, as always, has a good article about many reasons why the Apple Watch isn’t selling like the iPhone or iPad did when introduced.  It’s pretty easy to see – it has been out for some time yet I’ve yet to see a person wearing one.  Unsurprising – it’s the first Apple product I haven’t wanted to use in as long as I can remember.  It will be interesting to see.  Will they continue to make new versions, or will they discontinue it?


“It wasn’t a good sign when Apple announced shortly before the Watch release that they weren’t going to be breaking out sales numbers. Now, a new report from third-party analysts Slice Intelligence not only show that Apple Watch sales are down 90% since launch—a big deal, since it implies early adopters aren’t regaling more cautious buyers with glowing word-of-mouth—but also that Fitbit is outselling Apple in the wearables space. Apple may have already crushed small time smartwatch companies like Pebble, but the Watch has failed to disrupt the larger wearable marketplace.”

via Why the Apple Watch is flopping.

Meet Amy, a Virtual Meeting Aide – will AI replace some outsourcing?

When I initially saw this article, I thought it would discuss using an outsourced assistant via a freelancing site or other application.  But it’s not – it’s about artificial intelligence.  This led me to wonder how much of the work we now outsource will be done using AI in the near future….particularly the “busy work” many of us have done on Mechanical Turk and others….

“I recently got my own personal assistant, called Amy. My new helper is amazingly attentive and diligent, but also a bit strange. For one thing, she seems completely obsessed with organizing meetings and pretty much refuses to talk about anything else.”

via Meet Amy, a Virtual Meeting Aide | MIT Technology Review.

The Price For A Videophone in 1955 Was $44,000 Adjusted for Inflation

“We’ve been imagining a future of ubiquitous videophones for over a century. And today it’s considered no big deal that we’re able to make video calls with devices that we carry around in our pockets. But it took a while to get to that point. One reason? It was incredibly expensive.”

Interesting article, but I think there were many more reasons.  Video did not have bandwidth, and it was more frustrating than it was useful.  But cost was certainly a challenge as well!

via The Price For A Videophone in 1955 Was $44,000 Adjusted for Inflation.

Internet TV’s Big Chance to Oust Cable Is Almost Here


There are so many people who have done this already, without even thinking about it.  They simply watch what they want to watch on their laptops or tablets.  A sign of things to come….from Wired.

“INTERNET TELEVISION’S TURNING point—the time when we can finally cut the cable cord—is almost here.”

via Internet TV’s Big Chance to Oust Cable Is Almost Here | WIRED.

Using Google+ and Pinterest Search for Long-Term Impact

Good social media advice from Brian Honigman on The Next Web about the long tail of social media posts.

“While there are many benefits to consistently strong content, one less obvious benefit is the continuing compounding success of old posts. Most people think that once a post is a day old it is pretty much dead, and that after a week it might as well never have happened. However, things online last forever and none of these posts actually disappear.”

via Using Google+ and Pinterest Search for Long-Term Impact.