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how would you edit this benchmark list if at all - rsvp chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

 

 This post was written by Romane Robinson, who is currently pursuing an MA in Cognitive Studies in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. A passionate student and proponent of human development, Romane has a BS in Research and Experimental Psychology and interned at Brainscape as a CEO Relations Manager in 2014.

Education is evolving fast. Every day, we hear about some new technology that will change the world and the way we learn in it. At Brainscape, we are dedicated to improving the way you learn with our own innovative smart flashcard technology (check out our subjects here), but there are many other educational technologies that are key to improving learning around the world. Because these rapid changes offer us the chance to improve education at every level for all people, it is more important now than ever before for teachers and students to have access to the best new methods, programs, and devices in the field right away.

Luckily, many dedicated educators blog about some of the best education technologies available and the evolution of their uses. These 10 blogs are our favorites here at Brainscape. Smart, pithy, and immediately useful, these blogs will teach you plenty about the best and most up-to-date technologies for use inside classrooms, at home, and wherever there are students who want to learn.

Top 10 Education Tech Blogs

1. The Innovative Educator

If you have ever felt that school was boring or irrelevant, the Innovative Educator, Lisa Nielson, understands how you feel. Motivated by her own disillusionment with the way public schools today approach teaching, Nielson focuses on showing other educators ways that they can use freely available resources and technologies already within students’ grasps to make classes more engaging and relevant. Not only does Nielson deal with broad ideas about technology in the classroom, but also the nitty gritty details of implementation, so that teachers will be able to use her ideas without having to struggle against a budget process or other restrictions.

2. The Daring Librarian

Gwyneth Jones, the Daring Librarian herself, knows that librarians can have lots of fun. Approaching ed-tech with a sense of humor and plenty of Vines and cartoons to illustrate her stories, Jones writes a blog that entertains as it informs. Not only does she provide plenty of excellent content on new apps and ideas on how to use everyday websites as learning opportunities, but also a good measure of fun stories that will have you laughing out loud.

3. EdTech RoundUp

With weekly posts on the state of technology in education, EdTech RoundUp is the best place to go to find out the latest news related to education tech. The comprehensive coverage of news and recently released apps and devices allows you to find out the latest happenings in just one place every week. While this blog may not have as many original ideas as some other blogs in the field, the RoundUp provides you with the best place to keep informed on progress in the field.

4. Edudemic

Easily the largest hub for education content out there, Edudemic provides teachers with advice, ideas, and lesson plans to better integrate technology in the classroom. While a visit to this site may be a bit overwhelming at first due to the sheer amount of attention-grabbing content, you will always be able to find new ideas that make your visit worth your time.

5. MindShift

When you are tired of reading the same ideas over and over again written in different words on different blogs, head over to MindShift for something unique. Focusing on slightly edgier, more fringe topics within the educational technology field, MindShift opens your eyes to totally new ideas. With its wide scope and its dedication to sharing all unique opinions on education, MindShift will give you plenty to talk about with your colleagues.

6. Free Technology 4 Teachers

While ideas are great, implementation remains the biggest challenge for many teachers. A lack of resources and tools plagues many schools, making it more difficult to use technology in the classroom. Richard Byrne addresses this in his blog, Free Technology 4 Teachers. His well-organized site is a treasure trove of free apps, software, videos, and graphics that teachers can use in the classroom right away. Practical and clear, Byrne gives suggestions that even the least tech-savvy teacher can use.

7. Cycles of Learning

Who doesn’t like a good life hack? Ramsay Musallam recognized how useful hacks could be in classrooms, so he set up Cycles of Learning to share practical education tech hacks to make teachers’ lives just a bit easier. Once you see his TED Talk on sparking learning, you won’t be able to get enough of his content. By focusing on simple ways to inspire real learning in students using technology in the classroom, Musallam shows us that even learning can be hacked.

8. Edutopia

Hosted by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia has plenty of well-indexed information on how technology can be used in classrooms. Since information is filed by age group and topic, teachers can easily get practical ideas that are relevant to their current curriculum without wading through lots of ideas that won’t quite work for their individual situations. With plenty of videos and fun quizzes, Edutopia can be a fun place to browse even if you aren’t looking for anything specific. Make sure to click on their “Trending Topics” section to find out what the hottest topics are currently in education technology.

9. Steve Hargadon

Don’t let the simple design and lack of flash fool you; Steve Hargadon’s blog provides plenty of worthwhile current information on educational technologies. A true ed-tech leader, Hargadon is the director of the Web 2.0 Labs, host of the Future of Education interview series, chair of the Social Learning Summit and the Learning 2.0 Conference, and co-chair of the annual Global Education and Library 2.0 worldwide conferences. As Hargadon is one of the top experts on educational technology, you can be assured that reading his blog will give you plenty of innovative ideas.

10. My Paperless Classroom

Sam Patterson, K-5 tech integration specialist, talks about his own experiences trying to implement tech ideas in classes in My Paperless Classroom. Not only does Patterson have some excellent ideas on how to effectively use technologies less commonly allowed in classes, including MineCraft worlds, toys, and video games, but he also candidly reveals some of the challenges and pitfalls of these technologies. Be prepared to learn what tech integration really means in the classroom.

*****

While all of these favorites are worth bookmarking in our opinion, every day more creative education tech blogs pop up with new approaches and unique ideas. At Brainscape, we love reading any education technology blog we happen upon, because we always learn something new. Do you know any excellent education technology blog we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below, because we’d love to hear from more brilliant educators. Education technology never stops changing, but by following some of the leaders in the field, we can make sure that we are in the know about the best ideas out there to help our students. And if you’re interested in education technology, make sure to check out all the smart, adaptive flashcards from Brainscape!

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Alibaba founder Jack Ma unveils ambitious plan

Mission: 100 million new jobs

By Dana McCauley


He already runs the world's biggest online shopping company, but Alibaba founder Jack Ma is not satisfied.

The Chinese billionaire has unveiled an even more ambitious plan to expand the company's reach across the globe, creating 100 million new jobs and transforming the global economy to create a more equitable world.

It may sound pie-in-the-sky, but the goal forms part of mission statement of the US$261 billion company's visionary executive chairman.

In a letter to shareholders, Ma outlined Alibaba's achievements of the past financial year - including a gross merchandise turnover of more than $195 billion (1 trillion RMB), an "unprecedented" figure - before looking to the future.

"We have more than 430 million annual active buyers, which means one out of every three individuals in China has made a purchase on our retail marketplaces," Ma wrote.

But, he said, while proud of Alibaba's online shopping achievements, "we want to do far more", saying that the benefits of globalisation had not been spread evenly, but that "digital disruption will bring us closer to a level playing field for young people and small businesses".

"We are not merely trying to shift buy/sell transactions from offline to online, nor are we changing conventional digital marketing models to squeeze out a little additional profit," he wrote.

"We are working to create the fundamental digital and physical infrastructure for the future of commerce, which includes marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing, big data and a host of other fields."

The Alibaba group of companies, founded in 1999, accounts for 60 per cent of all Chinese online sales, and this year overtook Walmart as the world's largest retailer.

 

It has made Ma the second richest man in Asia, with a net worth of US$28.5 billion.

THE NEW 'NATURAL RESOURCE'

It's through cloud computing that Alibaba aims to expand its reach, and the company has been investing in the technology as part of a strategy that sees shoppers' data as the contemporary equivalent of mineral riches.

"Over the next 30 years, with computing power as the new 'technology breakthrough' and data as the new 'natural resource,' the landscape of retail, financial services, manufacturing and entertainment will be transformed," Ma wrote, forecasting a decades-long period of transformation.

"The internet revolution is a historical inflection point, much like when electricity was introduced, and it may have an even greater impact," he predicted.

Alibaba's mission, he said, was to "empower merchants with the ability to transform and upgrade their businesses for the future" and "help companies all over the world to grow".

"We believe, the commerce infrastructure we have created in China - marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data, all working in concert - can be applied on a global scale to lift up small and medium businesses and ordinary consumers around the world."

Eight years after launching, Alibaba Cloud hosts 35 per cent of Chinese websites, while delivering cloud computing and big data services.

'100 MILLION NEW JOBS'

Ma said Alibaba was constantly adapting to the changing e-commerce environment, as staying at the forefront of innovation was key to its continued success.

"In the coming years, we anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain," he said.

"With e-commerce itself rapidly becoming a "traditional business," pure e-commerce players will soon face tremendous challenges."

A shift to mobile revenue was one such change, he said, with mobile climbing from a single-digit percentage to three-years of total revenue from Alibaba's Chinese retail marketplaces, in the space of two years.

"This is why we are adapting, and it's why we strive to play a major role in the advancement of this new economic environment," Ma said.

Innovations like Alibaba's Qianniu app, which helps online businesses to improve sales and marketing while enhancing efficiency, were an example of the type of projects the company aimed to focus on.

"In 20 years, we hope to serve two billion consumers around the world, empower 10 million profitable businesses and create 100 million jobs," Ma said, adding: "This will be an even more difficult journey than the one behind us."

news.com.au

 
 
LISTEN : Newstalk ZB Political Editor Barry Soper speaks to Andrew Dickens on KPMG Early Edition

Mr Ma - who's worth around $50 billion - met with John Key in Beijing late yesterday. He made his money through founding the online commerce platform Ali Baba.

Standing alongside the Prime Minister, he heaped praise on the country, which he says is loved by many Chinese.

"At least 20 of my colleagues retired from Ali Baba. They're all very young, in their 40s, they all go to New Zealand."

"I asked what they do apart from the golf and green things and they say it's the people there."

It wasn't all social, with the Chinese billionaire also talking business.

Jack Ma told the entrepreneurs luncheon Kiwi businesspeople find it difficult to access the Chinese market.

Mr Ma said he wants to make that easier with his multi-platform organisation.

"We have Ali Baba University. We would either have courses in New Zealand or invite the entrepreneurs in New Zealand to stay in China for two weeks for training."

"The second is that we're going to open an Ali Baba business embassy next year in New Zealand."

John Key is in China meeting business and political leaders.

 

 


Innovation "Made in China" - The Case of Alibaba and the role of Net-based Small Business

Innovation is a key driver for economic development and social progress and small business is one of the best ways for people to express their willingness and capability to innovate.  Pervasive business ownership has, therefore, been the foundation in many societies for the continued improvement of people’s economic wellbeing. In the People’ Republic of China, however, private business ownership was prohibited between 1957 and 1978. Productive innovations were extremely restricted and as a consequence, China’s economy was on the verge of collapse by the end of 1978. The Chinese people had suffered a historic setback.

Alibaba’s growth, driven by unleashing grassroots entrepreneurship, has become an exemplar of China’s innovation in the 21st century.  Started by 18 young people in 1999, Alibaba has grown into a giant global internet platform and has made many invaluable contributions to China’s progress. Highlighting the importance of pervasive small business ownership in unleashing grassroots innovation and improving economic wellbeing, Professor Lowrey will discuss Alibaba’s innovative strategies and explain the economic theory behind its inspiring success.

 

 

 

Dr. Ying Lowrey is Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University and Deputy Director of the Tsinghua Research Center for Chinese Entrepreneurs, and a member of the Academic Committee for Alibaba Group Research Institute. Her teaching and research interests include economics of innovation and entrepreneurship in the internet and platform economy, the modern microfinance market, business demographics, characteristics of business owners, and the role of free enterprise and competition in the macroeconomy. 

She received her economics Ph.D. from Duke University, economics MA from Yale University and mathematics BS from Wuhan University. Before joining Tsinghua University in 2012, she served as senior economist at the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration and has taught economics at George Washington University and San Diego State University.

 

Selected publications 

 

 100millionjobcrisis

100millionjobcrisis

Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepren…chris macraeNov 23, 200950 views

Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepreneur jobs in 2010s - who else would you vote at the centre of 100 million job creation leagues?
=====================update sumer 2016:
unlike oiher years spent with bangaldeshi inspired youth, i spent 2015-2016 mainly with a class of chinese female students - what brilliant minds and tirelss sources of human energy - i hope this summary of why the whole world can celebrate what jack ma is doing is near to the mark - but as always look forward to editing any errors which are mine alone
chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk washington dc text 240 316 8157
======================
was english language tutoring

In 1995 he was sent to the usa on an exchange mission and encountered the worldwideweb - then unknown in China. He determined the www would be the biggest job creating innovation of his (or his generations) life and hopefully of every Chinese entrepreneur he could valuably link into.

Over the next 15 years his wizard coding teams went from something that was little more than an electronic yellow pages for small businesses to conceiving sustainability generation's 2 greatest retailing platforms china or the world may ever have seen..

the taobao platform is the most valuable job creating concept retailers have ever mediated because it reverses the western trend of globalisiation of retailers, bankers and big corporations squeezing out local and small enterprises from having a market; how taobao did that is an extraordinarily detailed story but note how Ma was concerned to ensure even the most cut-off of Chinese villagers could start up on tao bao (rural ecommerce is one of the innovations that Ma has led the www purpose to linkin)

His other mall was pitched at the more usual high cost fashions of big global merchandisers. Because of complex property laws in chinese cities, most expensive retailers are not much of a joy to shop in. So ali baba created a lifestyle -eg celebrate singles day 11/11 shopping virtually rather than the physically exhausting interaction in The West's biggest shopping days of the year)

SO 365/24/7 consumers of ali baba can choose who they value developing most with their purchasing power as well as searching merchandise with global image or local cultural joy

Alibaba has become china's and probably the word's largest retailing channel. It does this with next to no merchandise but brilliant coding so that every store front on its platforms delivers with equal reliability. Hunting out exactly how Ma forms partnerships so that big data analysis benefits the smallest enterprises and most local consumers ought to be a job of whomever is sustainability goals greatest economist.

Intriguingly to ensure he could compete with the chinese internet companies that raced to co-create the www that Ma had opened space for in china, Ma IPO'd Alibaba through a process 2010-2015 while developing his secret sustainability weapon under private ownership. AlIpay is china's number 1 financial inclusion delivery system and maybe global youth most humanly productive coding achievement to date.

Comparing china's top 10 internet properties with the west's is very interesting. Are the consuming behaviours on ali baba more sustainable than those on amazon or ebay or paypal? Are the learnng behaviours on baidu more sustaining of youth than on google or coursera or microsoft's linkedin. Time will tell but note how speaking english, chinese and coding (as well as mother tongue) are probably what educators anywhere on planet earth should NOW be most valuing their global youth's future freedom to thrive entrepreneurially around.

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