Tag Archives: sharing


What if US currency featured science instead of people?

There is a lot of news this week surrounding the usage of Harriet Tubman on the new $20 bill in the United States. But did you ever wonder what US currency might look like if it featured scientific achievements instead of people?
Well, it might actually look a little like this rendering I recently discovered on imgur.
As you can see below, the individual bills are artistically designed to showcase things like astronauts, agriculture, buildings, environmental science, and more. There aren’t a ton of explanations on each bill but there is enough information to spark an interest.
I am of course not saying that US presidents and other noteworthy figures shouldn’t be on currency, just that it might be interesting and a fun new way to educate others about scientific achievements. That being said, I imagine this might be fraught with controversy for numerous reasons. Similar to the controversy around pretty much all other large-scale decisions, this one is likely never going to happen.
But it’s nice to dream. After all, that’s how most of these scientific achievements got started in the first place!

What would YOU put on your currency if you had the choice?

Share your thoughts with @DailyGenius and we may just make a rendering for you!

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Want a successful crowdfunding campaign? You need these 5 things.

You’ll have noticed that crowdfunding is quite the thing for people and businesses looking to raise money. It’s not quite the guaranteed route to success people would have you believe, but for projects or businesses which struggle to raise cash via the ‘normal’ route, it’s a very worthwhile option.
Don’t kid yourself, though, that this is simple – load up the project onto Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Unbound or wherever, tweet out a few times and watch the cash roll in, while you (belatedly) wonder about how to source those T-shirts you’ve promised. It is, to be frank, a slog – a long haul of planning, hustling and selling to chivvy lots of people into giving relatively small amounts to reach your target.
So, if you’re considering a crowdfunding campaign, then prepare well with these tips:

Get your pitch right:

You are going to need a simple and compelling proposition for your project which will make people sit up and pay attention. Explain what your project or business is going to be about; why it’s important that it happens, and why you are just the person to deliver it. This is all about trust – trust that you’re telling the truth about your ideas and trust that you you are the person to deliver them.

A video which succinctly brings that proposition to life:

The video is a key asset – it needs to repeat the message of the pitch copy and tell who you are and why people should trust you to produce something brilliant. The video is the piece of content which ‘travels’, which can be embedded in blogs and websites the length and breadth of the internet. It needs to be a standalone piece of content which will make people reach for their wallet.

An enticing set of pledge levels:

People who pledge do so because they want to be supportive, but they also want something exclusive, something which rewards their faith. So while the odd T-shirt is nice, they want something which confirms them as the early-stage faithful. Pledge levels which give them access to your products or to your wisdom, or get them involved in creative ways will make people dig that bit deeper – and you’re chasing dollars, after all…

An up-to-date contact list:

Social media can drive high-profile crowdfunding projects, but old-fashioned emails tend to work best. So you’ll need to make sure you have an up-to-date list of email addresses, and make sure that you’ve oh-so-casually been in touch with these people in the recent past. Don’t reawaken your contacts just to ask for money, keep them ‘live’ way before you start, and keep your contacts with them as personal as possible, not a bunch of round-robins. And maintain (and polish) your social media presence too – active Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn presences will all help hugely too.

Willingness and stamina:

You may find that this doesn’t get funded in three days flat. That this takes months. To manage that process, you need first of all to calm down on your own expectations, but also to maintain the work ethic to maintain a constant stream of communication about the project – to keep people involved and excited and willing to help you find the audience, and the pledges, to make your dream a reality.

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How a robot, app, and the cloud are bringing video learning into classrooms

Using video in the classroom to impact learning is a popular trend used by many educators across all grade levels and subjects. From flipped classroom practitioners to Khan Academy enthusiasts, countless teachers around the world agree that video learning is a pedagogical tool with a lot of potential. Swivl, a promising and robust video creation platform, promises to disrupt traditional video instruction and change the way educators record, manage, and share instructional videos with their students.

What is Swivl?

Swivl can be defined as a complete video learning solution. It consists of three elements that work seamlessly with each other: a hardware device called the Swivl Robot, an app for mobile devices named Swivl Capture, and a dedicated cloud hosting service called Swivl Cloud.



How it Works

The Swivl Robot is adjustable and can accommodate any mobile device, a phone or a tablet. All that a teacher has to do is place a mobile device on the Swivl Robot and use the marker, a sensor with a high quality microphone for audio capture that comes with Swivl. As the teacher moves around the room, Swivl will follow the movement of the marker, while the microphone captures audio. The marker is also equipped with two buttons that can be used to control the flow of slides, as well as to provide the teacher with capturing options.

See Also: The top 15 YouTube history channels for your classroom

The Swivl Capture app controls the Swivl Robot and enables teachers to manage their videos and slide presentations. Teachers can even use the app during recordings to control the timing of slides they have previously created and uploaded to the Swivl Cloud. The app will also automatically upload videos to the Swivl Cloud.

The Swivl Cloud is the place where a teacher can edit and trim a video, add slides that can be incorporated in the project, and finally produce and share the final product with their students. The Swivl Cloud works well with popular MLS’s, which makes sharing easy, and even allows students to enter comments, which stimulates discussion and encourages collective learning.


Pedagogical Implications Of Video Learning

Contrary to conventional video software and hardware solutions that require the teacher or speaker to be tethered to a specific area in front of the camera, Swivl provides the user with the ability to move around. In fact, Swivl encourages teachers to utilize movement and allows them to use slides, maps, and pictures that can be found anywhere in a classroom to improve their lessons, or just use proximity to improve the lesson’s effectiveness and increase student engagement.

Furthermore, Swivl is a tool with a huge potential for educators who are interested in the flipped classroom model, the blended learning model, or for teachers who simply want to record their lessons for absent students. Swivl’s user friendly interface and ability to capture, upload, and share the videos within one platform is something that many teachers interested in using video instruction in the classroom will find useful.

In addition, Swivl is an ideal match for teachers who are interested in the MakerSpaces movement in education. Swivl fits perfectly in dynamic learning environments that modify the teaching space on a daily basis, since it can be placed literally anywhere in the classroom and still do a fabulous job.

Finally, there is a lot to be said about Swivl’s enormous potential to be used as a Professional Development platform. The combination of the easy to use hardware with the unlimited cloud storage on the Swivl Cloud makes it ideal for educators or educational institutions who are interested in creating a bank of asynchronous PD sessions. The Swivl platform can be even used by organizers of education technology events to provide access to select sessions and content of the events to members of the educational community not able to attend.

Some Final Thoughts

Swivl is a platform that can empower educators to impact pedagogy in a dynamic way. Swivl’s 3-part instructional video creation model appears to be a complete solution that can be an attractive choice for many teachers, beginners or experienced video learning practitioners.

With so many teachers embracing video instruction it’s only natural that tools like Swivl will earn a place in many of our classrooms. It is exciting to see how educators will take advantage of the untapped potential of Swivl.

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What is a ‘Knowledge Base’ and how can it make you more productive?

Understanding what a knowledge base software (or KB software) is fairly simple. A knowledge base is a term that normally infers a database of structured and unstructured information that is kept in a computer system. Such data is useful in the daily operation of the business. This system is basically supposed to make retrieval of information easy and convenient for any of the relevant stakeholders to the data that is stored in it.

Why Use A Knowledge Base?

There are a number of situations that manifest in the organization on a day to day basis, situations that end up in lost time, lost track of resources and by the end of the day, contributing to your losses. Many organizations go through this from time to time, with the employees spending more time on mundane tasks than they are supposed to. Things that are supposed to take a few minutes end up dragging for more than they should.

3 Quick Case Studies

The following are some situations that are common in most organizations, which are a clear indication of time and resources being wasted, and hence hampering employee productivity. Discover how an employee knowledge base can help:

Case 1: A staff member has to submit a support ticket and wait for the support staff to go through it, determine where it should fall and send it to the relevant personnel to determine how to handle it, and when.

Case 2: Staff members having to go through pages of manuals to learn how to operate a particular equipment that has just been installed, while at the same time, they have to attend to customers who are waiting for feedback.

Case 3: A client is on the line, while the support staff has to go through lots of web pages looking for resources that might help them address the client’s concerns appropriately.

Some of these situations might sound so far-fetched, but perhaps only because companies hardly ever tell you what really goes on behind the scenes. The employees, and in particular support staff and customer service department guys will attest to the fact that these are but the tip of the iceberg. The challenges that they face on a daily basis are incredible.

What we see here is a situation where ineffectiveness is constantly propagated in the business, to the point where the members of staff accept it and welcome it. It becomes a way of life, something that they get used to and have to live with every other day.

Knowledge base systems are built to put an end to this perpetual appreciation of failure. Business systems are supposed to be dynamic, presenting customers and your staff with a new and better way of doing things.

The case scenarios that we have seen above are issues that can easily be addressed by installing and implementing a good knowledge base system in the workplace. In all the instances that we have seen above, there is a lot of time wastage.

In the first instance, the knowledge base system would simply prompt an error report to the relevant department and someone would act on the issue immediately.

In the second scenario, the user only needs to open the manual page in the system and use Ctrl + F and within a short while they will have all the information that they need.

For the third scenario, access to the FAQ section on your website is all the client needs and you might probably have to deal with less calls from customers, unless they have pressing issues which have not been addressed in the FAQ section.

What’s Next

Over the years we have addressed the need for improving employee productivity, and through knowledge base systems, this is possible. Lots of companies have worked around this for years and are now reaping the benefits.

Improving employee productivity is one of the most important things that a lot of businesses focus on, and the results are evident in the nature of customer relations and interactions with your staff.

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Education Work

Why you shouldn’t do those Facebook quizzes – and how to disconnect from them

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have see the online quiz that creates a ‘word cloud’ from all the words you use most regularly on the platform. It has gone viral – and its a classic example of why you shouldn’t hop on those ‘harmless’ quizzes that your friends seem to have so much time to do.

Time To Ask Yourself A Simple Question

So whether you’re asked ‘what is your signature pop song’, ‘what historical figure you are’ or ‘what literary figure you most resemble’, just ask yourself why the quiz-makers have bothered.

After all, it’s not up to them to decide how you pass your time. Those tacky adverts down the side aren’t going to pay their bills.

The UK-based VPN comparison site (yes, there are such things) Comparitech looked into the information the word cloud quiz ‘needed and discovered it asks for your name, birthdate, hometown, education details, all your Likes, photos, browser, language, your IP address and even your friends list if you link it with Facebook.

That’s quite a lot to ask when creating something from your public utterances.

Many quizzes and games ask for similar amounts of seemingly superfluous information. They may also ask you to authorize the connection to the social network, to make sure you share your results in the hope that the quiz goes viral. If you don’t allow the sharing, the chances are that the quiz doesn’t function.

It’s About Control

The big issue with all this is that once you’ve handed your data over, you can’t control what is done with it, even if you never use the quiz again.

These games are simply data harvesters and, buried deep in the privacy policy you ‘sign’ when you connect, is often the permission to continue to use your data even after you disconnect from whatever tempted you in the first place. And that often means sharing your data with third parties – clicking that permission button has already allowed that.

The only safe way to deal with such things is to never use them in the first place, but you can alter what the quiz/game app can access.

How To Get Rid Of Facebook Apps

To get rid of older apps you already authorized, simply click the lock icon on the top right corner of your Facebook page and go to “See More Settings.” You can see the “Logged in with Facebook” list under the Apps section — click “x” to remove any application that you don’t trust or recognize.

There’s an element of watching a sprinting horse as you close the stable door about that approach. Abstention is your best policy – because even if you don’t worry too much about your own privacy, by sharing the app and your data, you could be making your friends more vulnerable too.

Want to stay connected to the author? Follow Jimmy on Twitter

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The Teacher's Guide to Content Curation

Last fall, I whipped up this handy little infographic on great tools to use for content curation. I still think the tools there are relevant, but obviously, you’ll need to pick one. And which one is best for what you need? You could always go for the ‘pick one that looks fairly good and just go for it’ method, but there’s a better way to figure out what one will work best for you and your classroom.
content curation
Keeping in mind that using a tech tool for the sake of using it isn’t a great idea, so before you delve into which tool is best, figure out what learning outcome you’re looking for. Once you have that in mind, you can identify some of the most important functions your content curation tool should have.

Content Curation: Questions to get you started

If you’re not sure what you want to get out of curating content beyond having a basic digital place to ‘stash stuff’ to think about later, we have a few thoughts to get you started:

  • How do you wish to organize your content?
  • Is publishing content to your curated space easy?
  • Will you need to search through your curated content later, or browse?
  • What about images? Are they easy to capture, and search?
  • Who can curate and share?
  • What type of interaction do you want to happen around the content you curate?
  • What type of sharing capabilities do you need?
  • What about tagging – can anyone tag content, or only the original user that adds that particular piece of content?
  • Is cost (for a content curation tool) an issue?
  • What type of presentation do you require for your content?

Further Explorations

Once you have gathered some basic ideas of what you need from a content curation tool, you can add a little more depth to your explorations of content curation itself. Many of us use tools like Pinterest to save things for later, but content curation can offer so much more than that. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to get you started. Do you have favorite uses for content curation in your professional life? Share your best uses by leaving a comment below, visiting the Daily Genius Facebook Page, or mentioning @DailyGenius on Twitter – we want to hear what you think!

  • Use curated content to spark discussions in class on topics of interest, and use the tool you choose to encourage ongoing discussions to evolve, with additional related content being added on an ongoing basis.
  • Organize and disseminate reading materials for students
  • Have students create a newspaper or magazine on a specific topic using curated content, content they create, and a tool designed for presenting the content in a visually pleasing manner
  • Design a sharing project, having your students curate content, and learning to track sharing, etc.

Featured image via Flickr

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Got a blog or newsletter? Get more leads after taking this (discounted!) course

Whether you run a personal blog or oversee a major organization, you likely want to discover new ways to bring in customers, subscribers, clients, etc. So if you have a blog or newsletter in particular, here’s the deal:
You need an outstanding landing page that works.
What’s a landing page, you ask? Quite simply, it’s a relatively simple web page (not an entire website) that directs people to perform a desired action. You don’t want to make it too cluttered and you certainly don’t want it to be confusing. A powerful landing page must be professional, efficient, and clear.
If it works well, you’ll get more leads and grow your community with relative ease.
So how should you set up a landing page if you’ve never done one before? What tools out there work best? How do they work? All these questions and many more are answered in one of my first-ever courses that I thought might be useful to those in education, non-profits, civil service, the military, and more. That’s the goal of Skills Genius: to help those who serve.

Get 50% Off The Course Just For Reading This Article!

The course I’m excited to share with you today is called ‘How To Build A Landing Page That Really Works‘ and I wanted to give the Daily Genius community the first opportunity to check it out. To say thanks for checking out the $29 course, use the coupon code DGHALF to take, you guessed it, half off! Hit the link to the course above and enter that code at checkout. You’ll be good to go.

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20 popular apps and web tools made by students

We talk about the importance of bringing technology into education on a regular basis. But why? What’s the end goal here? Is it to improve learning outcomes, unlock new learning opportunities, or to perhaps equip students with the ability to change the future?
I think education technology can actually do all those things and more. That is, of course, if properly used and handled by a tech-savvy teacher who is willing to help nurture and guide students along the way.
One of the ways education technology integration has changed the future is through teaching students how to code. There are countless online schools and web-based platforms that can help students (and you!) learn how to code. But what happens when students and teenagers around the world take this newfound knowledge and start building apps and web tools?
They create something special. As you can see below, this list of popular apps and web tools comes from the always fun Product Hunt which details a little bit about each app as well as a link to learn more.
I hope you use this list as a jumping off point for trying your hand at coding and learning how to build something that might become incredibly useful and popular. All I ask is that, when you make it, you let Daily Genius know about it so we can check it out!

Flickr image via hackNY.org cc

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Just how big is the US education market?

Whether you’re a teacher, student, parent, or tech startup, you probably should know the answer to this question: just how big is the US education market? Is it a billion dollars? A trillion dollars? Somewhere in between? More importantly, you should know the size of the different grade levels within the US market if you’re looking to get involved in just about any way, shape, or form.
So we thought it might be a useful time to highlight the answer to this tough question since it’s relevant to just about anyone living in the United States. The question pops up at education conferences, tech conferences, parent-teacher conferences, and everywhere else education is the topic of conversation.

Answer This Question Before Scrolling

So before you scroll down for the answer, ask yourself if you know the answer? Do you know how big (financially) the US education market actually is? Do you know the market size of the different grade levels?
A trillion dollars? That much? Think again.
It’s actually higher than that, believe it or not. According to Jeff Silber and a slew of other online research, the current education market is roughly $1.3 trillion dollars. That’s because it includes more than 100,000 schools, salaries, chairs, desks, tables, pensions, etc. It makes up about 9% of the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is second only to healthcare.

Identify The Size Of These Markets

Ok, so you weren’t completely correct on the overall number. Let’s try to get a bit more granular. What are the sizes of the different grades that comprise the US education market? Write your answers on your computer screen or smartphone screen in permanent market right here: ________________

  • The Early Childhood Education Market
  • The K-12 Education Market
  • The Higher Education Market
  • The Adult Learning Market
  • Tutoring / Test Prep
  • Online Education
  • Textbooks (print and digital)

Really? You think that’s the estimated size of the K-12 market? Interesting. Anyway, let’s look at the best numbers I could find while doing a little poking around with Dr. Google:

Answers: The Size Of The US Education Market

  • The Early Childhood Education Market is valued at roughly US$70 billion
  • The K-12 Education Market is valued at roughly US$670 billion
  • The Higher Education (universities, colleges, etc.) Market is valued at about US$475 billion
  • The Adult Learning Market (continued education) is about US$55 billion.
  • The Tutoring and Test Prep market is only about US$1 billion. Pretty small, really.
  • The Online Education market is about US$20 billion. A bit bigger than expected.
  • The Print and Online Textbook market is about US$8 billion. Quite sizable.

Let’s Put It Into A Larger Context

So the US education market is huge. But how big is it in your state? Here is a handy interactive guide from U.S. News and World Report that will help clarify the size of the education market on a state-by-state basis.

Curious About International Education?

You should be! Here’s a handy chart that explains the per-pupil spending among many countries based on GDP.

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5 ways to truly create a culture of innovation in your school

Schools and organisations which say they are looking to innovate and find new models for education are just as often to be found resorting to re-naming their head of IT as ‘Head of Innovation’ and sticking motivational posters on the staffroom wall which talk about ‘impossible is nothing’, but offer nothing more than flim-flam.

5 ways to truly create a culture of innovation in your school

So, when you’ve still got to deliver high grade exam results, how do you start to create a culture which delivers new ideas and new ways to implement them? Well, you could do worse than follow these:

1) Be obvious about innovation

Start demanding of your team that they look for ways to innovate. Make finding new routes to educational excellence part of the core of the organisation. Talk endlessly of reinvention and even, if you must, talk of disruption. Just never stop banging on about it – and make sure everyone knows you mean it.

2) Set aside time

Google, famously, set aside time in their workers’ schedules for them to think about things other than their jobs. Easier said than done in education, but it’s vital to set aside thinking time to find ways to do things better – even if its only finding 15 minutes at the end of a staff meeting for one of the team to showcase a new response to an old problem.

3) Don’t micro-manage innovation

Creating the space for innovation is great – but don’t dive in too early and try and make it part of your school’s brand. Adopting new ideas for the sheer kudos of it, without thinking about how they can be properly integrated can kill an idea for ever. Staff will grunt ‘we tried that once’ every time an idea even vaguely similar crops up. So allow time to test theories and think through ideas and the ways in which they can be adopted.

For ideas as to how to deliver that, try Intuit’s Catalyst Toolkit, a guide that was made available to all employees and the public and which includes self-serve ingredients for cooking up innovation.

4) Measure success

As Tony Blair used to say, ‘What’s right is what works’. The only true test in this environment is educational outcomes – and that’s playing a long game. Measure the improvements that new ideas are supposed to bring. In the end, that’s how well students do, but there’s lots of things to measure ahead of that (consumption, understanding, attendance) which are pretty strong indicators as to whether you’re on the right track.

5) Give rewards

Rewarding innovation is vital, but financial incentives will create division in the staffroom. Give ‘worthless’ rewards insteads – have ceremonies where you note the strides individuals have taken, but reward them with low-grade prizes. Validate their invention, but don’t create disharmony amongst those who are still at the coalface and delivering your core work every day.

If you can get some of these embedded, you’ll be on the way to new approaches to old problems, and modernising the way you improve students’ prospects.

rethink innovation

Source: Mia MacMeekin

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