Thursday, January 30, 2014

Drug-resistant Tuberculosis from Russia Is Spreading More Easily - Bacterial 'superbugs' are getting ever more potent. Tuberculosis (TB) strains in Russia carry mutations that not only make them resistant to antibiotics but also help them to spread more effectively, according to an analysis of 1,000 genomes from different TB isolates — one of the largest whole-genome study of a single bacterial species so far. TB, which is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis , exploded in Russia and other former Soviet nations in the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its health system.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Schools monitoring online bullying with slang translation software - The software scans communications for acronyms such as ‘gnoc’ and ‘dirl’ as well as conventional vocabulary used in bullying. Photograph: redsnapper/Alamy More than a thousand British schools are monitoring pupils' online communication for bullying and self-harm using software that analyses and translates slang for teachers. The software uses a constantly updated dictionary which includes words that most adults would not understand.

The 25 most international universities in the world - Most major research universities view their international standing as a vital part of their strategic plans. With powerful global networks universities can find the best academic talent, attract the brightest students and produce collaborative, innovative research that exploits the resources of multiple institutions and tackles matters of global concern. Times Higher Education has compiled a list of the top 25 most international universities using the “international outlook” indicator from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings .

Monday, January 27, 2014

World Economic Forum Launches "Forum Academy" MOOC Portal Using edX Platform - For decades, the World Economic Forum has enabled leaders in business, policy and academia to meet and learn from one another at events held in Davos, Switzerland and many other locations around the world. These gatherings have provided the setting for an exchange of ideas that have helped set the direction for solutions to critical global problems. Now, with the creation of Forum Academy , the World Economic Forum (WEF) will provide a much wider audience with the opportunity to participate in a discussion addressing global, regional and industry challenges through courses created using the cutting-edge platform and tools innovated by edX.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Australian government launches emergency smartphone app - Minister for Justice Michael Keenan launched the Emergency+ app last month that allows users to give emergency call operators their exact location by longitude and latitude. According to Australian Federal Police , over 66 per cent of callers to emergency numbers are from mobile phones. Many callers are unable to tell officers their exact location. Moreover, many people use the Triple Zero (000) number when they should really be calling other numbers, such as the Police Assistance Line (131444) the State Emergency Service (132500), Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000), the National Relay Service (106) and Health Direct Australia (1800 022 222).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Epidemiologist uncovers new genes linked to abdominal fat - Excess abdominal fat can be a precursor to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. A person's measure of belly fat is reflected in the ratio of waist circumference to hip circumference, and it is estimated that genetics account for about 30-60 percent of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Kira Taylor, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, and her research team have identified five new genes associated with increased WHR, potentially moving science a step closer to developing a medication to treat obesity or obesity-related diseases.

New Microsoft centre in Brussels aims to help to close ICT skills gap - Speaking at the launch of the centre this week, Brad Smith, Executive Vice President for Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, said the company is committed to participating in the development of skills for the ICT sector and pointed to the increasing number of ICT positions that remain unfilled. Between 2006 and 2010 there was a 10 per cent fall in the number of ICT graduates across Europe – and this at a time when youth unemployment was increasing rapidly.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Heart attack damage can be reduced with a simple injection, say experts - Australian scientists have stumbled upon a "simple" way to dramatically reduce the damage caused by a heart attack. They say the new method could transform the treatment of heart attack patients, and could also help people with multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. The key to the treatment is for doctors to inject synthetic microparticles into the patient's bloodstream within 24 hours of a heart attack.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Toddlers and Tablets - A relative recently told me about her year-old granddaughter's first three words. "She can say 'mama,' 'dada' and 'iPad', "she reported. Have iPads become the new "babas"? Certainly iPads and similar tablet devices has become far more ubiquitous in young children's lives than ever. In a Fall 2013 study, Common Sense Media reported that while only 8% of American families with children between the ages of 0-8 had some kind of tablet in 2011, just two years later about 40% did.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vietnam's 'cyber troops' take fight to US, France - HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Working on her blog in California one day, Vietnamese democracy activist Ngoc Thu sensed something was wrong. It took a moment for a keystroke to register. Cut-and-paste wasn't working. She had "a feeling that somebody was there" inside her computer. Her hunch turned out to be right. A few days later, her personal emails and photos were displayed on the blog, along with defamatory messages.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Skin Cancer Drug Used to Cure Leukaemia Patient Within Days - A skin cancer drug has been used to completely cure a rare form of leukaemia in a patient in just days, doctors confirmed. Scientists from the University of Leicester, publishing their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine, show how a patient suffering from Hairy Cell Leukaemia had a complete clinical recovery after taking Vemurafenib, a drug approved for treatment of advanced melanomas.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

'Design thinking' fuels engagement, learning - From wire service reports Read more by staff and wire services reports These Kentucky schools have embraced a new approach called “design thinking”—and it’s paying off with higher achievement At Eminence Independent School in Henry County, Ky., elementary students walk through halls painted like Disney storefronts and, during lunch, glide through a tube slide that drops down into the cafeteria. Half the high school students travel to Bellarmine College in Louisville two days a week to take college classes.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Yahoo's Comeback Is All Smoke and Mirrors - The appointment of Marissa Mayer as Yahoo CEO has been a godsend for those in the media. If nothing else, the photogenic, enigmatic and workaholic chief executive has made people interested in the company again. In 2011, Yahoo was never mentioned in the same breath as Google or Facebook . But now, Mayer has propelled the company into the top tier of Internet Companies That Tech Writers Like to Cover.

Robots Can Now Teach Other Robots, Thanks To The Robo Internet - Robots are getting quite a bit smarter: Earlier today, in a mocked-up hospital room in the Netherlands, one robot taught another how to serve a patient a drink in bed. While some might see this burgeoning robotic intelligence as an early sign of the robo-apocalypse, it also might be the beginning of much greater roles for robots than their current status assembling car parts at factories or vacuuming your floor.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

LinkedIn Adds Search for Volunteer Opportunities - LinkedIn added a new Volunteer Marketplace on Wednesday, allowing users to search for volunteer opportunities that require particular skill sets like open board seats at non-profits. In August, LinkedIn allowed users to openly express interest in these types of opportunities on their profile page, but until Wednesday, these people could only be contacted for positions and couldn't actively search for them.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Deeper Learning: A Definition And A Free Course For Teachers - The following is an edited transcript of an interview with Laura McBain and Ryan Gallagher of High-Tech High, a public charter school based in San Diego, on their upcoming MOOC, “Deeper Learning”, hosted by P2PU starting January 20, 2014. Interview by Charlie Chung of Class Central , a comprehensive MOOC listings directory. Laura McBain, Director of External Relations, has been with High Tech High 10 years and runs an online hybrid program for adults and external schools, using online technology to bring educators together to talk about their practices.

Monday, January 13, 2014

4 Key Considerations For Student Tablets - It’s common to see students bringing along their tablets when they go to school. These devices have become powerful that they are now preferred over the good ol’ laptop and netbook. This is the reason why parents are thinking hard on whether it is a good investment to give their kids this gadget even when they are just in high school. It is indeed a good investment because aside from being a multimedia device, these tablet PCs have become a tool for them to make their homework, take down notes and even record their teacher’s lectures.

Babies Know What Makes a Friend - Babies as young as 9 months old know that friends usually have similar interests, new research suggests. The new study, published online January in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, shows that babies who are too young to talk still have a set of abstract expectations about the social world. "Nine-month-old infants are paying attention to other people's relationships," said study co-author Amanda Woodward, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago.

Big data analysis reveals the top trends and brands at CES at a glance - What will be hot in consumer electronics and computing in 2014? Read our full coverage of International CES 2014 to find out. Big data analysis from Kontera reveals what everybody talked about when it comes to the 2014 International CES. Kontera, a big data analytics and marketing platform, sifts through millions of sources to find out the buzz on an event or topic. Here’s the results of their study of the last three days of CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

OLPC Still Bringing Tech 'Dreams' To Needy Kids With Very Cool Green Gadgets - One Laptop Per Child, launched in 2005 by Nicholas Negroponte out of MIT’s Media Lab, continues its mission to help impoverished kids through low-cost laptops and connected devices. And as always, proceeds from sales of the XO laptops it released in 2007, designed by Yves Béhar, and new tablet are used to help fund devices for even more needy kids.

Would You Sell The Right To Complain About Your Old Job? - Shortly after Will Blythe got let go from his job at Byliner, the writer got an innocent looking email. The termination agreement outlined his last date of employment, the vesting options, and if he'd have to return the iPad he got as a gift for Christmas. Then came much less amenable clause. As he details in the New York Times : What brings me up short is clause No. 12: No Disparagement. “You agree,” it reads, “that you will never make any negative or disparaging statements (orally or in writing) about the Company or its stockholders, directors, officers, employees, products, services or business practices, except as required by law.


Friday, January 10, 2014

E-social Astuteness skills for ICT-supported equitable prosperity and a capable developmental state in South Africa - Authors: Zoran Mitrovic, University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Wallace J Taylor, The Information Society Institute, South Africa; Mymoena Sharif, e-Skills Institute, South Africa; Walter T Claassen, Research Network for e-Skills, South Africa; Harold Wesso, e-Skills Institute, South Africa

Over 350 national and international delegates at the 2nd e-Skills Summit and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global ICT Forum on Human Capital Development have agreed that the e-skilling agenda in South Africa is making a “profound difference” but still not sufficient to build a capable developmental state.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Can e-learning promote participation of female students in STEM disciplines in higher learning institutions of Tanzania? - Authors: Camilius A Sanga, M Magesa, E E Chingonikaya and K K Kayunze Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

The recent development of ICTs has brought many changes in different sectors. In Higher Learning Institutions, there are a number of positive changes. ICTs have brought efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy in the provision of the core functions namely: teaching, outreach, research and consultancy.

5 Social Networks For Students To Get Academic Help 



With the growing use of social networking sites like Facebook and twitter, the methodology of education for students is finding new and improved ways. Students are getting more prone to the commodities these platforms offer. Therefore this advancement in social networking platforms is providing students with much better options to engage with their contemporaries, enhance their skills and access a wide variety of academic tools and resources which will most definitely add up to their convenience.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LG HomeChat allows you to text your refrigerator - Home automation is gradually creeping closer to being a reality. LG has just shown off its new HomeChat service at the Consumer Electronics Show that allows you to send natural language text messages to your home appliances. This means you can use your smartphone or tablet to communicate with your LG refrigerator or washing machine. Why would you want to? Well, the example LG provides is sending your fridge a text saying “I’m going on vacation;” thanks to HomeChat, it will reply “Should I convert to vacation mode?

The utility of the UTAUT model in explaining mobile learning adoption in higher education in Guyana 

Authors: Troy Devon Thomas, Lenandlar Singh and Kemuel Gaffar, University of Guyana, Guyana

In this paper, we compare the utility of modified versions of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model in explaining mobile learning adoption in higher education in a developing country and evaluate the size and direction of the impacts of the UTAUT factors on behavioural intention to adopt mobile learning in higher education.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

You'll Enjoy This Picture Of An IBM Hard Drive Being Loaded Onto An Airplane In 1956 - We quickly get used to the latest technology and forget how fast things are moving and how amazing everything is. So it's helpful to occasionally be reminded. This is a picture of an IBM hard drive being loaded onto an airplane in 1956. According to @HistoricalPics , which tweeted the picture, it's a 5 mega-byte drive, and it weighed more than 2,000 pounds. To put that in context, 55 years later, the weakest iPhone 5S has a 16 gigabyte drive, about 3,200-times as big.

Plant used in Chinese medicine fights chronic pain - A plant used for centuries as a pain reliever in Chinese medicine may be just what the doctor ordered, especially when it comes to chronic pain. A key pain-relieving ingredient is a compound known as dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) found in the roots of the flowering plant Corydalis , a member of the poppy family, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on January 2.


A study of the tablet computer’s application in K-12 schools in China -
Authors: Taotao Long, The University of Tennessee, USA 
Wexin Liang, Center for Distance Education, Beijing Institute of Education, China 
Shengquan Yu, College of Educational Technology, Beijing Normal University, China

As an emerging mobile terminal, the tablet computer has begun to enter into the educational system. With the aim of having a better understanding of the application and people’s perspectives on the new technology in K-12 schools in China, a survey was conducted to investigate the tablet computer’s application, user’s perspectives and requirements among K-12 students, teachers and educational administrators in developed areas in China.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Factors enabling the use of technology in subject teaching - Photograph by Trent Deberry

Author: Begum Cubukcuoglu, Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus

The importance of information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning process has been proven by many research studies to be an effective way of supporting teaching and learning. Although many teachers do not use new technologies as instructional tools, some are integrating information and communication technologies innovatively into their teaching. There are a number of factors which encourage these teachers to use information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning environment. This article discusses the factors that encourage Turkish Cypriot teachers to integrate technology into the classroom. 

Zimbabwe: With a Radio Ban, Mugabe Sharpens the Old Enemy's Weapon - Harare — Even 33 years after Zimbabwean independence, President Mugabe remains a harsh critic of the white colonial government's system. But through the latest radio ban, he is imposing the same oppressive tactics that he himself once fought against to liberate his people. As I write, Zimbabwe's statutes are still being starched with the state oppression that Mugabe himself once fought against. A case in point is the state's latest ban of small wind-up radios with a short-wave dial.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Technology, teachers, and training: Combining theory with Macedonia’s experience 

Laura Hosman, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Maja Jagev Cvetanoska, YES Network Project, EDC/USAID Macedonia

Numerous developing countries are currently planning or executing projects that introduce technology into their educational systems. This article asserts that such projects will have limited long-term success or impact until they are reconceptualized to incorporate three transformative concepts: teachers play the key role in determining the success or failure of such projects; change is a years-long process and not a one-time event; and teachers need ongoing support to adopt the technology and should be treated as stakeholders in the innovation-adoption process.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Africa: Laser Scanner Detects Malaria Infections in Seconds - Researchers had developed the first non-invasive method of detecting malaria infection using a laser beam scanner. The painless test appears to be 100 percent accurate and does not require using any blood. Currently, the gold standard of malaria testing is examining a blood smear under the microscope for evidence of the deadly parasite. A diagnosis requires trained technicians, expensive equipment and time, things that are not always available in poorer and more remote parts of the world.


Using multimedia technology to build a community of practice: Pre-service teachers’ and digital storytelling in South Africa - Article by: Agnes Chigona, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Employing the theory of Community of Practice (CoP), this paper shows how the use of multimedia led a group of pre-service teachers to build a community of practice in the process of completing their individual digital stories for assessment. The paper is focused on a group of diverse pre-service teachers doing their final year at a teacher education institution in Cape Town.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Trials to begin on new degradable surgical implant - By Adam Brimelow, Health Correspondent, BBC News

Researchers in Oxford have developed a degradable implant which they say has huge potential to improve surgical success rates. The protective patch, which wraps round soft tissue repairs, will be trialled in patients with shoulder injuries. It is hoped in time this approach could help patients with other conditions including arthritis, hernias and heart defects.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The prospect of animated videos in agriculture and health: A case study in Benin - Woman from Kobli, Atakora. Photograph by: Jacques Taberlet

Article by: Julia Bello-Bravo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Elie Dannon, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Benin 
Tolulope Adebimpe Agunbiade, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA 
Manuele Tamo, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Benin 
Barry Robert Pittendrigh, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA

Cell-phone ready educational videos, translated into local languages, are a very recent phenomenon in developing nations. One of the reasons for the emergence of this approach is due to the scarcity of other forms of educational materials with appropriate content for low literate learners. Additionally, the World Wide Web (WWW) has very little to offer in regards to audio-visual training materials that could be used to educate people in their own local languages without the need for literacy. Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) creates and works with local groups to deploy educational videos in local languages facilitating access to information and knowledge to individuals in the developing world. This paper is based on a survey conducted with 83 individuals on the perception of three SAWBO educational animations – neem extracts for insect control, cholera and malaria prevention; and their potential as training tools for health and agricultural extension in Benin. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Artificial intelligence to help disaster aid coordination - The “fragmented” coordination between relief actors in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan last month underscores the need for artificial intelligence to streamline disaster response, says a team behind such an effort. The ORCHID project — a consortium of UK universities and private firms — aims to make this possible by combining human and artificial intelligence into an efficient complementary unit known as a Human Agent Collective (HAC).

The computer systems being developed can assume tasks such as directing surveillance drones, resource management and search planning, says David Jones, head of Rescue Global, the disaster response organisation responsible for testing the software next year.

“Coordination of such a large response [after a disaster] is so challenging without technological assistance that makes data more accessible,” he tells SciDev.Net while on mission in the Philippines. “Bringing humans and artificial intelligence together is the only way to get the job done better.”

The usage and impact of internet enabled phones on academic concentration among students of tertiary institutions - Ibadan street scene. Attribution: Dassiebtekreuz

Article by: Emeka K Ezemenaka, Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique (IFRA), Nigeria

The usage of Internet enabled phones has been a 21st century phenomenon that spreads for different purposes and functions. This study looks into the usage and perceived effect implications internet enabled phones have on the academic performance of the tertiary students using University of Ibadan students in Nigeria as a case study.

William's on his way – and Cambridge should be ashamed - After graduating from Cambridge this summer, I temped in a diesel factory to save money for my Master's. They were used to students in the factory, but they didn't get many from Cambridge. Telling people where I'd studied usually resulted in a bit of a double take and a question along the lines of: "What, the posh one?" Yes, the posh one.