Artificial intelligence tells students what they’re doing right, wrong

Professors said the cloud-based system was 98 percent accurate in grading papers.

The cloud is outperforming teaching assistants in some campus lecture halls.

A cloud-based writing assignment evaluator used by a psychology instructor at Montgomery College in Rockville, Md., has largely eliminated the arduous task of grading hundreds of essays—a job that is usually left to teaching assistants in cavernous lecture halls.

Joe Swope, who has been using the program, SAGrader, for three years, said the tool evaluates students’ writing submissions by comparing the paper’s content to a predetermined answer outline designed by the instructor or professor.

The program doesn’t only search for words or phrases necessary to explain a concept, Swope said. SAGrader makes sure students are detailing how concepts are connected and demonstrate understanding of the assignment.

Swope said SAGrader wasn’t designed with English and journalism classes in mind, but rather science and social science courses. When students enter their assignment into the cloud-based system, SAGrader instantly generates a list of shortcomings they must correct before teaching assistants collect the online assignments.

“Students know exactly what they got right, what they got wrong, and what they need to do to improve,” Swope said, adding that the program’s best value is likely found in the planning time educators and their classroom assistants will have once essay grading is left to the cloud. “With all the extra time on their hands, they can make themselves available to focus on the things in class that really matter.”

More than just an educational time saver, Swope said SAGrader has helped him better engage students with common questions made clear in their written answers.

“I was getting discouraged because I could not give my students the attention their writing needed,” he said.

Leaving the grading to SAGrader allowed Lloyd Chia, a sociology professor at Spring Arbor University, to add more assignments to his syllabus. Those assignments, he said, forced students to conceptualize daily or weekly lessons in a way they had only done monthly before Chia used SAGrader.


Four Keys to Protecting Students, Staff, and Campus Property

Research shows that situational awareness is key to protecting people, property and business operations. Learn how this strategy addresses life safety, security, environmental monitoring and mass notification to save lives and property and prevent operational disruptions on college and university campuses.

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Hot-Shot Preset Camera Controller Designed for Lecture Capture Systems

Vaddio, the world leader in robotic PTZ cameras and specialty camera control systems, has once again revolutionized camera control for the classroom with the newly redesigned Hot-Shot Camera Controller. By adding control for Vaddio’s ClearVIEW HD-Series PTZ cameras, the Hot-Shot now meets both the technical and affordable requirements today’s higher education professionals demand.

“As the leader in camera control systems for education, we were given the challenge to provide a simple-to-use, low-cost single camera control system that could be deployed in not just one, but all classrooms equipped with lecture capture systems,” explains CEO of Vaddio, Rob Sheeley. “The Hot-Shot Camera Controller provides completely automated preset camera control for less than $1,000. Now schools can afford to have camera control in every classroom across campus.”

The Hot-Shot can control any of the Vaddio ClearVIEW HD-Series of PTZ Cameras and will support up to 16 presets. It’s used in conjunction with Vaddio’s preset trigger devices including the MicVIEW Mic Mixer/Switcher, StepVIEW Mats, AutoVIEW IR sensors, PresenterPOD and TouchVIEW. Triggering one of these devices will automatically send commands through the Hot-Shot to move the camera to a specified preset (wide-shot, lectern, whiteboard, etc.) When used with Vaddio ClearVIEW HD-Series cameras, setting a trigger also stores a preset inside the camera, creating a true low-cost single-camera lecture capture solution.

About Vaddio:
Vaddio is the leading manufacturer of specialty PTZ cameras and camera control systems used in the audiovisual, videoconference and broadcast industries. Your customers demand cutting-edge technology that’s simple to use. You want equipment that’s easy to install and reliable to operate. Vaddio serves integrators and operators alike – with broadcast-quality PTZ cameras and control systems that deliver the performance you need with the convenience you demand. More information can be found on the Vaddio website, or at (800) 572.2011.


Graphic: Obama vs. Romney: Future of the workforce


Obama says that the United States should lead the world in college-graduation rates by 2020. He has pushed to expand the size of, and access to, Pell Grants for students from low-income families, increasing the maximum per-student amount, the National Journal Reports. In the spring, Obama shifted his attention to student loans, advocating for legislation to prevent the 3.4 percent student-loan interest rate from doubling. He succeeded when Congress passed a one-year delay. Obama launched an aggressive campaign promoting community colleges. He has also warned universities that their federal funding could be reduced if they don’t rein in tuition costs.

Obama considers the Education Department’s Race to the Top competitive-grant program, which encourages state-level school reforms, to be one of his crowning domestic-policy achievements. His budget for fiscal 2013 includes $850 million for the program, down from its $4.35 billion level in the 2009 economic-stimulus bill…

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Watch: Are Latino college enrollment gains enough?

HuffPost Live’s Alicia Menendez sets the stage to a great conversation by framing the issue of Latino educational achievement in its proper context: this is an American issue, the Huffington Post reports. For the U.S. to meet President Obama’s ambitious goal of producing the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, Latinos must graduate from college at much higher rates than currently taking place. As reported earlier this week, Hispanic college students now number 2 million, the largest minority on campuses across the country. But is growing Latino college enrollment enough? Questions of demography, bilingualism, income generation, and affordability of a college education are all discussed in the HuffPost Live video, but the panel seems to agree that the most important issue is the completion issue. Despite the growing enrollment rate, Latino college graduation rates continue to lag

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Romney will be President, CU professors’ model predicts

Two University of Colorado professors, one from Boulder and one from Denver, have put together an Electoral College forecast model to predict who will win the 2012 presidential election and the result is bad news for Barack Obama, the Huffington Post reports. The model points to a Mitt Romney victory in 2012. Ken Bickers from CU-Boulder and Michael Berry from CU-Denver, the two political science professors who devised the prediction model, say that it has correctly forecast every winner of the electoral race since 1980.

“Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble,” Bickers said in a press statement.

To predict the race’s outcome, the model uses economic indicators from all 50 states and it shows 320 electoral votes for Romney and 218 for Obama, according to The Associated Press. The model also suggests that Romney will win every state currently considered a swing state which includes Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Colorado

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The role of smartpens in the flipped classroom

Six in 10 students in a recent survey said flipped learning has proven effective.

In a perfect world where students always do their homework and come to class completely prepared, flipping the classroom would be the ideal solution for keeping students engaged in class.

However, one of the challenges of teaching is that some students do not always come to class completely prepared. Maybe flipping the classroom would be easier in a high school setting, where parents can enforce homework time. But college students have a choice — they’re adults.

No one is standing over their shoulders and making them do their homework.

When I decided to flip my classroom last year, I was faced with the challenge of engaging both my already highly-motivated students, and those who were slightly less motivated.

I teach mathematics at Mesa Community College, the largest community college in Arizona. I have been a math teacher for more than 25 years and have gained a considerable amount of experience in teaching current and future educators, blended math classes, and using technology to teach both inside and outside the classroom.

Read more about flipped learning in higher education…

Flipped learning: Professor tested, student approved

Is professorial ego driving opposition to flipped learning?

I’ve always loved technology and am constantly looking for new tools that will help my students.

One of the problems I had in the past involved students eMailing me with math questions that were difficult to answer over eMail–which is not exactly an ideal format for answering questions about graphing, for instance. So, about three years ago, I asked my kids to buy me a Livescribe smartpen for Mother’s Day to use with my students.

Smartpens captured what I said and wrote, so I could explain math problems while sketching them out. Instead of answering my students’ questions through eMail, I started sending them pencasts (the digital version of notes tied to audio) and then uploaded the pencasts to my class website for other students to access.

Students found the pencasts easier to understand than my eMails, which gave me the idea to start teaching a blended course. During online days, I’d have my students watch pencasts instead of using their textbooks, and instead of lecturing during precious class time, I had them work in groups so I could help them tackle harder problems one-on-one.


University of South Carolina notifies 34,000 of computer records hack

The university has had six security breaches since 2006.

The University of South Carolina has started notifying 34,000 people with ties to its College of Education that their personal information might have been accessed in a computer intrusion discovered nearly three months ago.

The data-security breach is the largest of six that USC has reported since 2006. Almost 81,000 records belonging to USC students and employees have been exposed during the past six years.

“That’s a dreadful track record,” said Beth Given, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a San Diego, Calif.-based consumer rights group that tracks breaches.

The latest USC computer intrusion exposed the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of students, staff and researchers at the College of Education dating back to 2005, said Bill Hogue, USC’s vice president for information technology. No transcripts were accessed.

USC is unclear when the breach, which emanated from overseas, occurred. The hacking was discovered by an alert on June 6, the school said. The school’s security procedures were followed before the breach, Hogue said.

USC has found no evidence that the hacker or hackers accessed or used any information on the College of Education computer server, but school officials decided to send notices to everyone in the database so individuals can place fraud alerts to notify them of suspicious activity on their credit reports.

Consumer rights advocate Given said USC should offer to pay for credit-report monitoring for two years. Monitoring usually costs $10 to $20 a month, she said.

The school has hired Nashville-based Kroll Advisory Solutions to assist those affected for a year with posting fraud alerts and analyzing credit reports to detect problems, USC spokesman Wes Hickman said. He said he did not know if the cost of monitoring was included in the service.

Given also questioned why USC took 11 weeks to warn people about the breach, a period that would give criminals plenty of time to use the information for identity theft, to open credit cards or obtain a driver’s license.

“I question how they would know with 34,000 people that no one had their information accessed,” she said.

Hogue said USC officials made a judgment call, not wanting to be too alarmist until they could examine the severity of the breach and the information that was vulnerable.

“We favored being as accurate and comprehensive as possible,” he said. “If someone wants to take us to task (for the notification delay), I can understand.”

Hogue said school officials will examine whether to change when they tell those affected by any future breaches and they will ensure school officials understand how long they should keep records on computer servers.

The school is hit with an average of 280 attempts a day to hack or infect its computers, almost all generated by automated systems known as bots, Hogue said.

As many as 55,000 devices — including smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and servers — are connected to USC’s computer systems daily, he said.

“We’re not done with our investigation,” Hogue said.

(c)2012 The State (Columbia, S.C.)

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VITEC Enhances its Family of Professional-Grade Optibase Portable IPTV Appliances with New Compact IP Encoding and Decoding Platforms

The high-performance MGW Nano is a rugged, professional-grade HD H.264 encoding and streaming appliance featuring low-latency encoding and real-time ISR metadata support. The MGW Micro Premium Decoder is a professional IP Decoder with wide range of output interfaces including HD-SDI, HDMI and Composite video, packaged as a portable, fan-less appliance optimized for mobile application.

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–VITEC, a worldwide leading provider of powerful digital video, announced the introduction of two new portable Optibase IPTV appliances – the MGW Nano Encoder and the MGW Micro Premium Decoder. VITEC will showcase the new products at the IBC Show in Hall 7, #J31 from September 7 to 11 in the Amsterdam RAI convention center.

VITEC’s Optibase MGW Nano is an industrial-grade, small form factor MPEG H.264 encoding and streaming appliance for portable and stationary applications with minimal space availability. It is designed for low latency dissemination of HD and SD video sources, while retaining critical ISR metadata necessary. The MGW Nano packs a hardware-based encoding and streaming engine offering superb video quality in an ultra-small footprint (36mmH x 139mmW x 118mmD). The unit’s powerful hardware-based VITEC video compression engine encodes and streams HD/SD sources in under 65 mili-seconds, making it the most compact, professional-grade H.264 AVC encoder in the market, optimized for HD streaming from the field for sports/news/live events, tactical video and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions (Full-Motion-Video (FMV) streams MISB/STANAG validated).

VITEC’s new Optibase MGW Micro Premium Decoder is a professional-grade, compact IP decoding appliance for SD and HD MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 H.264 streams. The IPTV decoder features a flexible selection of output interfaces including HD-SDI, SDI, HDMI and Composite video in a fan-less, rugged design suitable for any mission critical application.

Since 1988, VITEC has been a worldwide leading provider of powerful digital video products supporting end-to-end media solutions for Broadcast, Corporate, Education, Government, Industrial, Medical, and Military. By integrating world famous brands including Optibase, Focus, Proxsys, Stradis, Extensor, and Sylon, VITEC now controls the complete video chain with professional-grade products for acquisition, encoding, management, and delivery.


Pavtube Studio announces release of its iPad Video Specials Page

Aug 22, 2012 – Pavtube Studio announced the release of a new page called iPad Video Specials on their official website at on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The purpose of iPad Video Specials Page is to present complete and universal solutions for beginners to enjoy movies and TV shows on iPad 3, iPad 2 as well as the original iPad.

The iPad Video Specials Page mainly consists of six parts:
Part 1: Watch Movies Online – This part explains how to use iPad built-in apps to watch online movie and how to get more iPad movie and TV Apps from App Store.

Part 2: Transfer Local movies to iPad for watching – The second part elaborates the detailed step-by-step procedure on how to put local movies to iPad and how to sync iTunes movie to iPad.

Part 3: Encode MKV/AVI/WMV to iPad compatible video – This section displays iPad 3 and iPad 2 supported video formats in detail, and tells what to do if the source files are in iPad unsupported file types, such as MKV, AVI, WMV, TiVo and VOB.

Part 4: Turn DVD and Blu-ray into iPad Movies – The fourth part mainly presents how to rip and copy Blu-ray and DVD movies to 1080p, 720p and 480p video in H.264 (*.mp4) and MPEG-4 (*.mp4) format to fit iPad viewing.

Part 5: iPad Video Mirroring and Streaming – If users would like to watch iPad movies on a bigger screen, this part would be really useful. It gives solutions concerning how to mirror iPad Screen to HDTV and projector, how to stream iPad movie via AirPlay, how to enable Home Sharing and how to enable iPad movies with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Part 6: Useful iPad Tips and Tricks – This part offers additional tips and tricks for iPad, including how to watch Flash videos on iPad without jailbreaking, top 10 Adobe Flash Player for the new iPad (iPad 3), top 20 free Apps for iPad, and top 15 really essential iPad tips and tricks.

About company
Pavtube Studio aims to be a world pioneer and leader in the field of digital entertainment and multimedia solutions, and deliver the first class products & services to customers throughout the world. Pavtube Studio creates expert multimedia software applications that help consumers simply access, transfer and share their digital contents(BD/DVD, iTunes movies, camera videos or other media contents)across different devices that range from PC, Mac, tablets, smartphones, to HD media players, game consoles, and home theaters.

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