Virtual learning environment A virtual learning environment (VLE), or learning platform, is an e-learning education system based on the web that models conventional in-person education by providing equivalent virtual access to classes, class content, tests, homework, grades, assessments, and other external resources such as academic or museum website links. It is also a social space where students and teacher can interact through threaded discussions or chat. It typically uses Web 2.0 tools for 2-way interaction, and includes a content management system. Virtual learning environments are the basic components of contemporary distance learning, but can also be integrated with a physical learning environment which may be referred to as blended learning. Virtual learning can take place synchronously or asynchronously. A virtual learning environment can also include students and teachers “meeting” online through a synchronous web-based application. Major Components Of Virtual Learning Environment Purpose
New audio coding system solves audio latency problem A new codec (data coding system) called Enhanced Low Delay Advanced Audio Coding (AAC-ELD) developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has solved a major problem with Skype and other videoconference calls: latency (annoying sound delay between participants). Their new Enhanced Low Delay Advanced Audio Coding (AAC-ELD) allows for latency only about 15 milliseconds. In the process, they also managed to reduce the audio data to less than one-thirtieth of its original size without major loss of sound quality, thus reducing the required bandwidth. The researchers developed an algorithm that requires a certain amount of time to encode data and then decode it again at the other end of the line. The process requires data that is still in the future, as it must wait for the data to arrive. To test the new codec, they developed an app to play games across the borders of cities or countries.
Hacking Education (continued) Last fall I wrote a post on this blog titled Hacking Education. In it, I outlined my thoughts on why the education system (broadly speaking) is failing our society and why hacking it seems like both an important and profitable endeavor. Our firm, Union Square Ventures, has been digging deeply into the intersection of the web and the education business in search of disruptive bets we can make on this hacking education theme. My partner Albert led an effort over the past few months to assemble a group of leading thinkers, educators, and entrepreneurs and today we got them all together and talked about hacking education for six hours. The event has just ended and my head is buzzing with so many thoughts. We will post the entire transcript of the event once the stenographer gets it to us. But here's a quick summary of my big takeaways: 3) Students will increasingly find themselves teaching as well. 4) Look for technologies and approaches that reduce the marginal cost of an incremental student.
How to tell when someone’s lying Professor of psychology R. Edward Geiselman at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been studying for years how to effectively detect deception to ensure public safety, particularly in the wake of renewed threats against the U.S. following the killing of Osama bin Laden. Geiselman and his colleagues have identified several indicators that a person is being deceptive. The more reliable red flags that indicate deceit, Geiselman said, include: When questioned, deceptive people generally want to say as little as possible. If dishonest people try to mask these normal reactions to lying, they would be even more obvious, Geiselman said. Have people tell their story backwards, starting at the end and systematically working their way back.
Why the eye is better than a camera This graph of neurotransmitter release shows what happens when cone cells are exposed to a dark spot in a light background (top) under various scenarios, including no feedback (green trace) and only negative feedback from horizontal cells (red trace). Negative feedback to many cones enhances edges, but would decrease detail in dark areas were it not for newly discovered positive feedback that is localized to only a few cone cells (blue trace) (credit: Richard Kramer’s lab, UC Berkeley) The retina’s tricks for improving contrast and sharpening edges without sacrificing shadow detail have been revealed in experiments by neurobiologists at the University of California, Berkeley. The retina in vertebrates is lined with a sheet of photoreceptor cells: the cones for day vision and the rods for night vision. That extra boost preserves the information in individual light detecting cells (rods and cones) thereby retaining faint detail while still enhancing contrast. Ref: Skyler L.