Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Virtual Art Library

Continuing a the theme of free online learning resources, Getty has made available over 250 art books in a new virtual library, with a promise of more to come.

Here's what James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, writes about it in The Getty Iris:

When we launched the Open Content Program last summer and released 4,600 collection images to the public (a number that has since more than doubled), I cited this quote from the most recent museum edition of the NMC Horizon Report: “it is now the mark—and social responsibility—of world-class institutions to develop and share free cultural and educational resources.” This dictum continues to inform our efforts here at the Getty, and today I am very pleased to share with you our latest project in this arena, the Virtual Library: An open, online repository of more than 250 Getty publications from our 45-year publishing history, available as high-quality scans to read online, or to download in their entirety, for free.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fast Internet or Slow Internet?

With online education becoming more and more prominent, it's important to remember the technological infrastructure that needs to be in place to make it a success. Today's Washington Post highlights this on one of their blogs, GovBeat, by showing an infographic of the fastest and slowest Internet speeds in the United States.

The really fascinating dissection of this map comes, however, from the site which posted it first (which may even have created the map): Gizmodo. That article talks more about the source of the data, and even gives the data a quick comparison against things like population density and income levels of the various areas.

The data used to create this map comes from OOkla's Net Index, which uses self-check speed sites like to collect the speed information. You can download and play with the data yourself on the Net Index site:

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Public School “In the Cloud” Opens in the UK

Photo of Dr. Mitra by
Campus Party Brazil

It is an exciting time of change in the world of education. Educational institutions of all sizes and types are exploring new technologies to engage students. Part of this trend has been to break with traditional classroom arrangements of strict rows, allowing flexibility and collaboration. You may already know Sugata Mitra as the man who carried out the “computer in a wall” experiments in India. As the next phase of experiments in creating better, more self-motivated learners, Dr. Mitra is using his TED awarded funds to create flexible learning labs that draw on a “cloud of grannies”. This is Mitra’s online cadre of retired schoolteachers, among others, who check in with students in learning centers to offer encouragement.

You can read more about this exciting experiment in education on the TED Blog: