Free interactive professional learning suite

IBM AI Education:mindSpark Learning and IBM partnered to create this free, interactive professional learning suite of online experiences to guide educators through AI’s foundational concepts and K-12 classroom connections. Participants will learn how to infuse their content and curriculum with the knowledge, skills and values driving innovation in AI today.

More information visit the mindSpark Learning and IBM site.

ECHO: an online series for educators, school administrators and other professionals that directly work with K-12 children who are committed to improving the lives and educational disparities of children and families in underserved and rural communities.  This ECHO series was created by mindSpark Learning in collaboration with the University of  Denver Morgridge College of Education. The Spring Semester begins April 8 – and addresses how we can equitably and sustainably strengthen teachers’, students’, and parents’ social-emotional intelligence.…Read More

CUNY, IBM to open unique school in New York City

The City University of New York and IBM will open a unique school that merges high school with two years of college, allowing students to earn an associate’s degree, reports the Associated Press. Those students will be “first in line for a job at IBM,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his Sept. 27 announcement. The mayor also renewed a proposal to do away with automatic teacher tenure and instead ensure it’s linked to classroom performance. And he said the city would work with the state to end “seat time”—requiring students to spend a certain number of hours at their desks learning every subject—and would try to change a state law that requires schools to buy printed textbooks rather than use digital content. “That may be good for the business textbook industry but it’s really a bad deal for our students in this day and age,” Bloomberg said. The mayor also said the city will use a $36 million federal grant to enlist highly skilled teachers to work in low-performing schools and mentor fellow instructors. He said the city wants to use a four-tier rating system to determine whether a teacher gets tenure, and that beginning this year, only teachers rated “effective” or “highly effective” will be awarded lifetime job protection. The partnership with IBM for a high school-college hybrid will build on work the company is already doing in community colleges, said Stan Litow, vice president of corporate affairs for IBM…

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IBM to open infrastructure lab at Carnegie Mellon

Computer giant IBM is teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University on a research lab to develop technologies to help governments better manage their infrastructure, BusinessWeek reports. The collaborative lab announced July 29 is part of the Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator and is expected to open in the fall at the Pittsburgh school’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. IBM Vice President Wayne Balta said university researchers and graduate students will work with IBM experts and “be at the cutting edge of the way people are going to run their infrastructures.” The goal is to develop technologies, including real-time digital sensors and advanced computer systems, that government officials can use to more efficiently maintain and manage infrastructure, like road and sewer systems, Balta said. A sewer system, for example, might be equipped with sensors and computers that can analyze patterns of sewage flow, so that the system could be maintained more intelligently to avoid costly repairs or renovations…

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Feds turn to ‘crowdsourcing’ for educational innovation

Since the portal opened in February, 4,000 people have already signed up.
Since the Open Innovation Portal opened in February, more than 4,000 people have signed up.

Education technology advocates hope that a new national online community will inspire entrepreneurs and educators to team up in developing and funding innovative solutions to some of education’s most persistent challenges.

The Open Innovation Portal, launched by the U.S. Education Department (ED) with help from IBM’s cloud-computing solutions and Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovations (STCI), aims to address educational challenges ranging from high school dropout rates to low reading, math, and science scores.

The initiative is part of a new White House effort to encourage innovative collaboration across all industry sectors. To do this, federal officials are turning to a process known as “crowdsourcing,” in which officials tap the collective wisdom of a large group of people through the power of the internet, to inspire new practices and creative solutions to systemic problems.…Read More

Universities save much-needed cash with the help of technology

UC officials said IBM analytics have helped save money for the university system, which has 228,000 students and 180,000 faculty.
UC officials said IBM analytics have helped save money for the university system, which has 228,000 students and 180,000 faculty.

An analytics system designed to manage risks and improve security has saved the University of California’s 10 campuses and five medical centers more than $160 million since 2006, officials announced March 25—helping the university system cut costs during an economic crisis that has crippled campus budgets.

The universities in the UC system have used IBM’s analytics software since 2006 to better aggregate massive amounts of data from the 228,000-student system and help administrators target wasteful spending and isolate dangerous areas on campus that result in injury or operation failure.

Using IBM’s Enterprise Risk Management System program, UC officials said decision makers at every campus and medical center have been able to mine the system’s database and spot trends, such as pushing and pulling injuries at medical centers.…Read More

IBM, universities target easy-to-use cell phones

Teaming up with international universities, IBM has started a two-year research program that aims to make cell phones easier to use for groups including the elderly and the illiterate, Reuters reports. IBM said that software developed in the program, which also involves the National Institute of Design of India and Tokyo University, will be made available on an open-source basis, and other materials developed will be made publicly available for governments and businesses. Telecom industry watchers said the IBM program addresses a genuine need. “As the population in Europe and North America ages, the need for specialized mobile devices will become acute,” said Ben Wood, research director at British consultancy CCS Insight…

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