Google Fiber Makes Internet Faster for Students and Residents of Kansas City

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Google Fiber Makes Internet Faster for Students and Residents of Kansas City

After months of anticipation, on July 26 Google announced the launch of its own ultra-fast Internet and TV service, Google Fiber. Google said that the Internet would be one hundred times faster than what most Americans have today, promising a lightning-fast 1 GB access speed. Want to download a movie? Download it in one second, flat. Google Fiber TV lets users instantaneously download, record, and store television programs as well as stream shows online with no wait time.

The service is currently only offered in Kansas City as the company tests its development. Kansas City competed with hundreds of other cities vying for the bid from Google for this distinction. Only neighborhoods where enough people pre-register for the service will be hooked up to Google’s own fiber cables that they have spent months running through the city, bypassing local Internet and cable providers. Google hopes to expand its service to other cities if Kansas City’s service goes well. In its first week of signing up customers, seven thousand households had registered. Read the rest of this entry »



The Waldorf Schools Reject Technology in Favor of Hands-On Teaching Methods

student writing with a pen on lined paperWhat do the chief technology officer of eBay and important employees of various other Silicon Valley companies such as Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo have in common? The first answer would probably be that they are all technology-gurus. The second answer is that they all send their children to a school that uses pens, knitting needles, and mud as learning supplies but bans computers from school grounds.

Wait a second, doesn’t that seem counter-intuitive for these children to not be using computers in their classrooms? They live in Silicon Valley, their parents make a living by working with computers, and the world is becoming more and more reliant on computers. However, at Waldorf School of the Peninsula,  the ideology is that computers don’t mix well with schools.

There are 160 Waldorf schools in the USA that follow the philosophy that children should learn through physical activity and hands-on tasks. They also believe that computers are bad for children who are learning because the machines limit creative thinking, human interaction, movement, and attention spans.

“I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school,” said Alan Eagle, a parent of two children who attend Waldorf schools. “The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.”

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Google Offering Chrome Laptops to Students for $20 a Month

For years, students complained about the cost of textbooks. Textbooks are notoriously expensive and make a major dent in many students’ wallet each year. Recently, textbook stores and websites began renting their books to students at a cheaper price. The result: students rejoiced and used that extra money for fun things like shopping or going out to eat (or was that just me?). Anyway, in addition to textbooks, now students can rent something else that is expensive and practically essential for success on a college campus these days: laptops.

Google announced its plan today to rent its Chrome laptops to students for $20 a month. In addition to the computers, Google will also rent its Google Apps, a product that is similar to Microsoft Office, to students. Unfortunately, you must be connected to the Internet to use Google Apps, so this might cause problems for students who are using their computers on campus. At my school, the Internet goes offline for a few minutes on a somewhat regular basis. I can only imagine the terror I would experience if I was using Google Apps to write a paper and the Internet went down before I had saved my work. Luckily, you could remedy this situation by saving your work on a regular basis. And for only $20 a month for the hardware and software, I’d be more than willing to back-up my work more often.

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School District Sued For Influencing Votes on High School Field Trip

VoteEverywhere you look today in America, there is pressure or encouragement to vote.

Facebook.com, the popular social networking page has an application on the homepage asking if users have voted today. Google.com has a map option to see where the nearest voting facility is. Twitter is trending #govote. MTV is still sponsoring their political involvement campaign ‘Vote or Die’.

It seems political activist groups and parents at a Cincinnati high school are not happy about the one place they feel students should not be discussing politics: their school.

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Two Useful Study Websites for Students

booksSchool is officially back in full swing, and that means that homework is also back, plaguing students on a nightly basis. Sometimes homework is pretty simple and only takes a little while to finish but other times, it can turn into a long, painful ordeal. When you are suffering through your homework (instead of breezing through it), these two websites can really cut down on the time you spend on it, as well as help you better understand the material.

FactMonster.com’s The Homework Center is an awesome resource aimed at students in grades K-8 and is customizable for age and gender. This site features study tools, information, and other resources on a wide variety of subjects, including history, language arts, mathematics, sciences, and many more. The Homework Center offers an interactive guide to the periodic table, daily historical facts, flashcards, and language arts quizzes so students can have fun while getting homework help. Read the rest of this entry »



SortFix Makes Internet Searches Easier and More Personalized

Searching for information on the Internet can be easy, especially if you are searching for something that is currently popular or in the news. For example, if you Google “Justin Bieber,” you are going to get pages and pages of useful information. However, if you search for something more obscure on many of the most popular search engine websites, you might not find anything relevant to your actual question. This becomes very frustrating.sortfix

A new search engine, SortFix, is here to help. SortFix was created in 2007 to do “all the hard work [of searching for information] and leaves you only the easy part.” Wow, what a concept: a search engine that actually finds the information you are searching for.

SortFix works by imitating a professional searcher. First, SortFix examines the results and compares them to the search query. This allows SortFix to determine the specific keywords that will help the user find the information he/she wants. Then, the user can modify his/her keywords to create a precise search question because “when you ask a precise question you usually get the right answer.” Read the rest of this entry »



Best 10 Internships

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Vault recently released a list of the country’s top ten internships based on the 785 internship programs profiled in their Vault Guide to Top Internships.

The rankings were based on internships that offer the best mentorship and career advancement opportunities, internship role involvement throughout the entire company, the programs with the most preeminent compensation, past intern experience testimonials, and the programs overall unique and interesting appeal.

After releasing statements that the Vault editors recognize that every program has the potential to grant its participants with invaluable experiences, they chose to award the following programs as their top ten list:

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Google Application Education Edition to be Used in Oregon Public Schools

Google AppsOregon’s Department of Education  recently announced that they will now offer the Google Application Education Edition to all of the public school districts in the state budding from an effort to save the schools $1.5 million dollars annually.

The application allows teachers to access Gmail, Google Docs, and programs for spreadsheets, presentations, calendars, and video hosting remotely, specifically from their classrooms, computer labs, homes, city libraries and other places.

One looming problem however is the potential of server failures or power outages that could potentially result in inaccessible data.

Despite that potential drawback, analyst Melissa Webster says, “the growth in adoption of Google Docs should worry Microsoft. Google’s momentum could indirectly threaten some of Microsoft’s Office 2010 upgrade revenue by providing buyers some negotiating leverage. And in the longer term, the two are on a collision course.”

Recently, the city of Los Angeles also announced that the city’s 30,000 employees will be switching from Novell GroupWise to the Google App as well.

Via PCWorld



Google Docs Benefits for Students

Financially strapped college students spend enough time worrying about how to put gas in the car or even how to pay for lunch. Making sure you have the proper tools to get your education shouldn’t be one of those concerns, and often, software costs are prohibitive to the dorm budget.google docs for students

However, the brilliant minds at Google have offered Google Docs for sometime as part of their Gmail service. Within Google Docs you have free access to create spreadsheets, documents and slideshow presentations. And better than the software you’d have on your desktop, you can access them from anywhere you access your Gmail – so no worries about computer crashes or leaving a paper at home.

These free programs come with all the functionality you’d expect from purchased software programs, plus a lot more accessibility. The interface is incredibly simple to use, as is sharing files with group members for shared contribution. Read the rest of this entry »



The Evolving Google Library

Google is underway in its enormous book digitization project, collaborating with university libraries in what is said to be the “ultimate combination of technology and scholarship.” It will make millions of volumes and journals available to audiences that would otherwise be unable to visit these major research libraries in person. To some, the project represents a “dangerous centralization and corporatization of content.”

www.google.com

Complicating the debate has been uncertainty about how Google would make the new library available. Google is pledging free “preview” access to all books in the collection, inexpensive ways for individuals to purchase digital access to a full book, and pricing that would make it possible for colleges to buy site licenses to the collections. Read the rest of this entry »





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