Click Here to Install Windows 10

I haven't clicked the link yet to install Windows 10 for a free year trial, but I will in the next week or so. I keep thinking that some enormous holes in the new OS will appear and I'll be able to avoid them. But Microsoft has been testing and people having been using Windows 10 for months and it looks stable.

This is Microsoft's shot at a device-agnostic platform that could be reinvented whenever and however the company wanted on any given day. CEO Satya Nadella said, "It’s not just another release of Windows, it’s the beginning of a new era" and that is their intent.

A few thoughts about 10 so far.
  • Windows 10 is delivered as a service and is automatically updated with new features and security updates
  • Think of this operating system not as a new release but as the final release. 10 will just keep evolving. Not that someone won't have to keep track of versions. What version of are you using? Right. You don't know.
  • Should we think of it more like Google Chrome which stopped back in 2010 from pushing updates every few months to releasing them every six weeks and fixes could be updated whenever they were ready.
  • Microsoft wants 10 to be a universal operating system. One experience across PCs, tablets, phones and many other devices like Raspberry Pi, Xbox One, and their HoloLens. Microsoft says they are testing more than 2,000 devices for compatibility.
  • Can Microsoft deliver big updates without affecting Windows’ daily performance? There will still need to be times when it will require Windows 10 to do an automatic restarts so that updates can take effect.
  • Being that they can push updates and features to you, how often will those be things that you would NOT have chosen to download or update? Will you ever be able to reject a change?,
  • What happens after a year if I don't like 10?

For some nostalgic chuckles and grimaces, check out this Windows 95 commercial.

From Rubrica To Rubric To Grading Papers With a Red Pen

I will doing another rubric workshop for faculty next month and I like to include a slide in my presentation and just touch on the origin of "rubric" as we use it in academia today.

the word has origins in late Middle English rubrish which was the original way to refer to a heading, section of text. Earlier Old French rubriche had the same meaning and came from the Latin rubrica (terra, red clay or ink as in the red ocher/ochre color).

Medieval printers had few ways to give emphasis to text on headings and the first character of a paragraph. Illuminated manuscripts could be quite elaborate and beautiful, but fonts were not standardized and there was no italic or bold.  That left them to use color.

Ochre is a naturally occurring pigment from certain clay deposits containing iron oxides, used since prehistoric times to give color to dyes, paints and inks. Ochre colors are yellow, brown, red and purple. The most common in printing colored text was red ochre. In Latin, red ochre is rubrica and that is the origin of the word rubric as these red emphasized headings.

Take this a bit further in the many religious texts that were reproduced. Those texts, used by clergy, included a kind of "stage directions" for the clergy reading. These were printed in red while the text for the congregation was printed in black ink. This gave an additional meaning to the red rubric writing as instructional text.

As universities are created and books become more commonly used, scholars grading student papers would use red ink to leave instructions, suggestions and corrections on student papers. The practice has survived, although in some educational settings it is frowned on.

You'll often see a rubric used in academia as a guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests. That is the focus for my presentation and I have collected some information and links on rubric use on my NJIT website.

Macro-Level Learning through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Strategies and Predictions for the Future

My wife, Lynnette, and I contributed a chapter to the new book, Macro-Level Learning through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Strategies and Predictions for the Future

Our chapter is titled "MOOCs: Evolution and Revolution."
This chapter introduces the evolution of the MOOC, using narratives that are documented by research generated from the educational community. It concentrates on the history and progression of distance learning and its movement toward online education. The authors' perspectives focus on their own anecdotal evolution, from traditional classroom teaching, infusing distance and online learning, to designing and teaching in a MOOC setting. In examining whether the MOOC is more of an evolution or a revolution in learning, they explore questions that have emerged about MOOCs including what distinguishes this model from other online offerings, characteristics of learners who succeed in this environment, and debates regarding best practices. Critical reaction and responses by proponents of this learning format are presented and acknowledged. The research, perspectives and debates clearly impact what the future of the MOOC appears to offer. This continues the discussion within the book section ‘RIA and education practice of MOOCs,' aligning to the discussion on the topic of ‘educational training design.'

Because it is a big (and expensive) book (tell your librarian to order it!), I did a 3-part article about some of the ideas in our chapter on my Serendipty35 blog.

In Part 1, I write about the MOOC as revolution and an evolution.

In Part 2, I cover some of the path Lynnette and I followed in teaching and learning face-to-face, then online and finally in a MOOC environment, which probably parallels many other educators development.

The third part covers the pre-history of the MOOC, which is a backstory that encapsulates how distance education developed into online learning.