Capstone Announcement 2013 heaThe 2013 New Media Night opens tonight from 6-8pm at the University of Maine to celebrate the unveiling of a new center for whiz-bang art and innovation.

Funded by a $3.9M bond in 2009, IMRC (pronounced “immerse”) is chock full of cutting-edge toys, from 3d printers and laser engravers to 360-degree projections and moveable walls.

This opening show is the 8th annual New Media Night, where our best students exhibit their visions of the future. This year’s crop ranges from walk-in immersive videogames to autonomous shadows to social networks for gardeners and boulder climbers.

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Why lose $20 reselling that engineering book or Shakespeare reader, when you can pay Amazon $5 and keep your notes in the cloud when you’re done?

Amazon Lets Students Rent Digital Textbooks http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/07/18/1654246/Amazon-Lets-Students-Rent-Digital-Textbooks

“Amazon has unveiled a new digital textbook rental service, allowing students to choose how long they’d like access to an eBook-version of a textbook via their Kindle or app — with the retailer claiming savings as high as 80%. Kindle Textbook Rental will let students use a text for between 30 and 360 days, adding extra days as they need to. Any notes or highlighted text will be saved via the Amazon Cloud for students to reference after the book is ‘returned.’ Amazon said tens of thousands of books would be available to rent for the next school year.”

While iPads have been getting the headlines, there are plenty more e-readers to choose from.

Study This: E-Textbook Readers Compared

The iPad was supposed to wipe out standalone e-readers, but they’re still here, and they’re a big deal on campus.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/koZon8SFfJA/

Well, not exactly–but Steve “Woz” Wozniak did recently argue that American education should focus more on sustained long-term projects. The UMaine New Media department is doing its part by showcasing senior capstones at the Collins Center for the Arts on Tuesday 19 April from 7 to 9pm.

Press on this year’s capstones:

http://newmedia.umaine.edu/feature.php?id=957

A complete list:

http://nmdprojects.net/student_work/capstone_2011/

The word from Woz:

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/04/08/1927218/The-Dying-DVR-Box-and-Woz-Wisdom?utm_source=rss1.0&utm_medium=feed via Byline

“At SNW in Santa Clara this past week, a diverse group of techies shared insights into their industries….Steve Wozniak attacked the American education system, saying students should be graded on a single, long-term project rather than a short learning/testing cycle. ‘In school, intelligence is a measurement,’ he said. ‘If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you’re intelligent.’”

If you haven’t already bought this term’d textbooks, here are a dozen sites ready to sell them cheap.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=868bf541f0ff969aa049c14b9bdf7534 via Byline A look at the long list of Web sites that help college students find the cheapest textbooks available.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=21c0e6da1ab7be6b447910b9959a1abc via Byline

… psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite. In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics.

The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.

“What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, the senior author of the two-room experiment.

Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.

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Anna Chapman has nothing over on zealous exam proctors. When will universities learn it’s much easier just to design unique assignments tailored to each student?

Bruce Schneier’s blog highlights a New York Times piece on high-tech methods for detecting student cheating. Schneier notes, “The measures used to prevent cheating during tests remind me of casino security measures.” “No gum is allowed during an exam: chewing could disguise a student’s speaking into a hands-free cellphone to an accomplice outside. The 228 computers that students use are recessed into desk tops so that anyone trying to photograph the screen — using, say, a pen with a hidden camera, in order to help a friend who will take the test later — is easy to spot. Scratch paper is allowed — but it is stamped with the date and must be turned in later. When a proctor sees something suspicious, he records the student’s real-time work at the computer and directs an overhead camera to zoom in, and both sets of images are burned onto a CD for evidence.” The Times article quotes from research published a few months back suggesting that the more you copy homework, the lower your grades.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/sFGUOpVUygc/Colleges-Stepping-Up-Anti-Cheating-Technology via Byline

Anna Chapman has nothing over on zealous exam proctors. When will universities learn it’s much easier just to design unique assignments tailored to each student?

Bruce Schneier’s blog highlights a New York Times piece on high-tech methods for detecting student cheating. Schneier notes, “The measures used to prevent cheating during tests remind me of casino security measures.” “No gum is allowed during an exam: chewing could disguise a student’s speaking into a hands-free cellphone to an accomplice outside. The 228 computers that students use are recessed into desk tops so that anyone trying to photograph the screen — using, say, a pen with a hidden camera, in order to help a friend who will take the test later — is easy to spot. Scratch paper is allowed — but it is stamped with the date and must be turned in later. When a proctor sees something suspicious, he records the student’s real-time work at the computer and directs an overhead camera to zoom in, and both sets of images are burned onto a CD for evidence.” The Times article quotes from research published a few months back suggesting that the more you copy homework, the lower your grades.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/sFGUOpVUygc/Colleges-Stepping-Up-Anti-Cheating-Technology via Byline

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A timely story, given two recent NMD student projects that exposed sports-related cost at a time of cutting university departments.

A new study documents a growing stratification of wealth across America’s system of higher education….

American colleges are spending a declining share of their budgets on instruction and more on administration and recreational facilities for students, according to a study of college costs released Friday.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c9ae4f88bd985f6c122b6aed3c186434 via Byline

A timely story, given two recent NMD student projects that exposed sports-related cost at a time of cutting university departments.

A new study documents a growing stratification of wealth across America’s system of higher education….

American colleges are spending a declining share of their budgets on instruction and more on administration and recreational facilities for students, according to a study of college costs released Friday.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c9ae4f88bd985f6c122b6aed3c186434 via Byline

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