UCD technology to mine more than 300k articles and 4 million blog posts a day

Posted in Research on December 2nd, 2009 by steve

“Technology developed at UCD’s School of Computer Science and Informatics will be used to power one of the most powerful media intelligence tools on the planet, and will mine its way through 300,000 news articles and 4 million blog posts on a daily basis …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 2 December]

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Email as we Know it, is Dead

Posted in Life on December 2nd, 2009 by steve

“Email is losing effectiveness as a standalone communications medium, according to international expert Erik van Ommeren of IT services company, Sogeti. Organisations today also need to harness collaborative technologies and cloud computing. Speaking at a SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management) Northern Ireland event recently, Erik van Ommeren explained how collaboration and cloud computing are a natural fit for communications in the new global business environment …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 2 December]

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Technology, students and universities

Posted in Governance and administration on November 11th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“There are some – related – articles in today’s Irish Independent on themes which have featured on this blog. A report published yesterday by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) shows that the number of students going to college has hit a record high (the Irish Times ran the same story under the headline that there are more students than farmers in Ireland) and that courses in science and computing are now back in favour …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 11 November]

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Scientists hope to network Facebook-style

Posted in Research on October 25th, 2009 by steve

USA“Cornell University and six other institutions will use a US$12.2 million federal stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a Facebook-style professional networking system to link biomedical researchers across America. Participants say by making it easier for scientists to find each other, researchers will be able to improve their ongoing studies and forge collaborations that could lead to new discoveries. The new network will be called VIVOweb …” (more)

[William Kates, University World News, 25 October]

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Online Education’s Great Unknowns

Posted in Teaching on October 25th, 2009 by steve

USA“Distance learning has broken into the mainstream of higher education. But at the campus level, many colleges still know precious little about how best to organize online programs, whether those programs are profitable, and how they compare to face-to-face instruction in terms of quality. That is what Kenneth C. Green, director of the Campus Computing Project, concludes in a study released today in conjunction with the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications …” (more)

[Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, 22 October]

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Academic Libraries, Publishers, and Digital Books

Posted in Teaching on October 20th, 2009 by steve

USA“The future will judge academic librarians by how well they were able to build coalitions across institutions and negotiate with publishers to bring digital books into a co-equal status with physical books. This is a hard problem to solve, but leaders will be judged on how well they solve the hard ones …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, October 19]

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University offers course on computer hacking

Posted in Teaching on October 10th, 2009 by steve

Scotland“A Scots university is offering high school pupils the chance to learn how to hack into computers. Edinburgh Napier University is holding the two hour course – entitled Computer Hacking for Dummies – as part of its school half-term programme. The institution claims that the aim of the lesson is to teach kids how to protect their computers against attacks over the internet, but they are promising that students can ‘practice their hacking skills’ …” (more)

[Cara Sulieman, Deadline Scotland, 9 October]

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Problems with Online Research

Posted in Research on October 9th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“The act of finding and reading published research has changed so much in the last 10-20 years. Ask any old-timer – anyone over 30 😉 – and they’ll tell you how literature searches used to involve looking up abstracts in hardback paper indexes and CD-ROMs; trying to find missing print journal issues from library shelves and waiting weeks for interlibrary loans from the British Library. Now you can do everything from your desktop in your office or at home …” (more)

[Jack Hyland, Read Around Research, 9 October]

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Posted in Research on October 4th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Tyler Cowen started an interesting discussion on the potential utility of Twitter. I am sceptical enough about its utility for people involved in academic research, but I am going to give it a try again particularly following Cowen’s eloquent defence …” (more)

[Liam Delaney, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 4 October]

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Forward Into the Cloud

Posted in Governance and administration on September 30th, 2009 by steve

USA“While a number of colleges and universities devote resources to keep campus e-mail grounded on their own servers, they are finding it difficult to coax students out of the cloud. Students are increasingly arriving at college already managing multiple e-mail addresses with ‘cloud’-based e-mail services – such as Gmail and Hotmail – which are hosted remotely by third-party companies. These students are often reluctant to use the e-mail client provided to them by their institution. ‘We did a survey several years ago, and the overwhelming majority of incoming students said they had between three and four e-mail accounts’, said Beth Ann Bergsmark, director for academic information technology services at Georgetown University …” (more)

[Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, 30 September]

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Structured Interactions and Research Productivity

Posted in Research on September 27th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Anybody who has worked on large scale projects that involve, for example, large scale survey design, data collection, development of policy reports on top of the development of academic papers and intellectual development will know that there are a lot of challenges involved. One key issue is how communication is structured in the group. Some of this is ‘soft’ in terms of good personal relations, day-to-day interactions but the use of technology is almost essential once one goes through a certain scale …” (more)

[Liam Delaney, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 27 September]

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Computers to mark English exams

Posted in Teaching on September 25th, 2009 by steve

UK“The owner of Edexcel, one of England’s big three exam boards, is introducing the artificial intelligence-based, automated marking of exam essays in Britain next month. Pearson plans to launch the Pearson Test of English Academic next month. It is a computer-based English language test designed to help English-speaking universities assess pupils’ use of grammar and vocabulary, according to the Times Educational Supplement …” (more)

[Chris Irvine, Daily Telegraph, 25 September]

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Science and the Internet

Posted in Research on September 25th, 2009 by steve

EU“The Internet gives everybody the chance to become a publisher. It is now possible for science to reach large audiences, with the potential to eliminate the role of established filters and gatekeepers, such as the traditional peer reviewed scientific journal. This also means that science can be easily reviewed, assessed, rated and commented upon by anybody, reinforcing scientific democracy. Poor research might thus be identified more quickly and debunked. The challenge is to create open access systems and ensure that old gatekeepers are not simply replaced by new ones …” (more)

[John Wood, Science Business, 23 September]

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A Virtual Revolution Is Brewing for Colleges

Posted in Teaching on September 20th, 2009 by steve

USA“Students starting school this year may be part of the last generation for which ‘going to college’ means packing up, getting a dorm room and listening to tenured professors. Undergraduate education is on the verge of a radical reordering. Colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the Internet. The business model that sustained private U.S. colleges cannot survive …” (more)

[Zephyr Teachout, Washington Post, 13 September]

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iPhone app for fresher students

Posted in Teaching on September 19th, 2009 by steve

UK“A university is offering a free iPhone application it has developed to help students starting their first term. The University of Central Lancashire in Preston says the mobile phone service will provide maps and details of entertainment and local transport …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 18 September]

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Tech addiction ‘harms learning’

Posted in Teaching on September 16th, 2009 by steve

UK“Technology addiction among young people is having a disruptive effect on their learning, researchers have warned. Their report concluded that modern gadgets worsened pupils’ spelling and concentration, encouraged plagiarism and disrupted lessons …” (more)

[BBC News, 15 September]


New E-Textbooks Do More Than Inform: They’ll Even Grade You

Posted in Teaching on September 13th, 2009 by steve

USA“The earliest electronic textbooks simply offered the text of the printed book on a computer. Today’s newest models, though, come with an array of features, including software tools that automatically grade homework for professors or let students share their margin notes with friends online. A new line of e-textbooks scheduled to be unveiled on Tuesday by McGraw-Hill Higher Education, for instance, comes bundled with ‘lecture capture’ software, so professors can use the built-in microphone and camera on a laptop computer to record their lectures for students, as well as with other features that are new for textbook publishers …” (more)

[Jeffrey R Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 September]


‘The World Is Open’

Posted in Teaching on August 25th, 2009 by steve

USA“Technology is changing higher education in more ways than can be counted. Distance education has become common. Leading universities are putting course materials or even entire courses online – free. The Obama plan for community colleges envisions free online courses that could be used nationwide. Curtis J. Bonk, a professor of instructional systems technology at Indiana University, surveys this landscape in The World Is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 25 August]

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Laptops4Students Programme Launched

Posted in Life on August 20th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Laptops4Students is a new initiative aimed at providing affordable, high-spec laptop solutions to students and families in Ireland. Working closely with many third-level colleges throughout the country and with endorsement from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Laptops4Students programme offers college-approved laptops at discounts of up to 45% off regular retail prices. David Byrne, General Manager of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) commented: ‘At a time when the costs of going to college have increased, the Laptops4Students programme is a welcome reprieve for cash-strapped students as they prepare to go to college …’” (more)

[Mike Lynch, Irish Press Releases, 19 August]

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Pupils to lose out on top jobs

Posted in Life on August 10th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Tens of thousands of Irish students are being left behind in the digital revolution, and are losing out on skills to score the top jobs of the future, according to a confidential new report. Years of under-investment has meant that Ireland has been ‘leapfrogged’ by other countries as young people face a new era of fierce global competition for hi-tech jobs. Government plans for a ‘smart economy’ are being hindered by the shortcomings, according to a confidential draft report …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 10 August]

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