One unexpected benefit of my Google Alerts: academic papers randomly pop up. Like this one: A Twitter-based Recommendation System for MOOCs based on Spatiotemporal Event Detection. “Nowadays, students utilize MOOCs (e.g., Coursera, edX) and SNS services (e.g., LINE, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) in courses for learning. This paper presents a Twitter-based recommendation system to search and communication, and it is associated with a web page by detecting spatiotemporal events such as opinions, questions, or impressions about courses on Twitter. Through it, users can grasp popular courses or avoid crowded courses referring to time periods while they browse any web pages. Moreover, the system also enables users to communicate with others browsing the similar pages or users’ locations about the similar pages. For this, the system extracts relevance between different pages by detecting tweets of each page in each time period with machine learning algorithms and the number of unique Twitter users. Thus, the system presents a ranking of recommended pages, a tag cloud of tweets and a list of tweets which are related to recommended pages to help users obtain the latest information about recommended pages.” This is a short read for an academic paper (4 pages), but it’s got plenty of interesting ideas.
Quartz: 200 universities just launched 600 free online courses. Here’s the full list.. “If you haven’t heard, universities around the world are offering their courses online for free (or at least partially free). These courses are collectively called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. In the past six years or so, close to 800 universities have created more than 8,000 of these MOOCs. And I’ve been keeping track of these MOOCs the entire time over at Class Central, ever since they rose to prominence.” This is a giant list.
Chronicle of Higher Education: New Venture Will Offer Free Courses That Students Can Take for College Credit. “The venture, being formally unveiled on Wednesday [This was last Wednesday -TJC], includes a catalog of online courses in more than 40 subjects that were developed by academics affiliated with major universities across the country. Leaders of the Modern States Education Alliance, the New York City philanthropy behind the project, call it an “on ramp” to college. The courses are free to anyone who wants to use them, but were designed especially for students who can use this alternative approach to earn traditional academic credits through the Advanced Placement or College Level Examination Program exams, administered by the College Board.”
TechCrunch: Google Earth comes to the classroom with new educational tours and lesson plans. “In April, Google introduced a revamped, reimagined version of Google Earth, which included a number of new features that go beyond visualizing the planet through the use of maps and satellite imagery, to also allow users to explore the world through tours, and learn about its many wonders. Today, Google announced it’s bringing Google Earth to the classroom.”
Salon: 11 online summer camps to keep kids busy (and learning) while school’s out. “Virtual summer camps — where kids head to the computer instead of the pool or park — are a thing now. But don’t worry: These aren’t the solitary, sedentary, screen-centered experiences you fear. Plenty of virtual summer camps offer kids the chance to make projects, investigate ideas, and explore the world. And many are free.”
Indy Star: Incoming Notre Dame safety taught himself how to play football on YouTube. “Jordan Genmark-Heath didn’t grow up playing Pee Wee or Pop Warner football. He didn’t have coaching gurus or skills academies. Stockholm, Sweden isn’t built to cultivate football talent.”
MakeUseOf: 11 Best Sites for Free Online Computer Programming Courses. “We’re living in the golden age of programming. Not only is there a healthy number of in-demand computer programming jobs, but there is now an abundance of free online courses. These days, you can become a master coder without picking up a traditional computer science degree.”