Archive | July, 2012

Memo to higher ed: get ready for remote learning to rock your world

28 Jul


Like it or loathe it, web-enabled remote learning is increasingly pushing its way into colleges and universities around the world. And, according to a survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project and Elon University, a majority of technology stakeholders expect it to significantly change the world of higher education by 2020.

In a report released today, Pew and Elon University said that 60 percent of internet experts, researchers, observers and users polled said they agreed that by 2020, “there will be mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning to leverage expert resources … a transition to ‘hybrid’ classes that combine online learning components with less-frequent on-campus, in-person class meetings.” By comparison, 39 percent endorsed the contrary position that “in 2020 higher education will not be much different from the way it is today.”

The researchers acknowledged that distance learning is a polarizing issue, viewed by critics as…

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Cambridge gets greener as Hubway expands bike sharing

28 Jul


The Boston area’s push to remake itself as a bike-friendly venue, is starting to pay off at least in Cambridge’s tech-heavy Kendall Square neighborhood. And now things may get even greener as the Hubway bike-sharing project is set to expand beyond Boston into Cambridge as well as Somerville and Brookline.

The Cambridge rollout — which will include 47 new Hubway stations — starts Monday, said Scott Mullen, general manager of Hubway. The company, a unit of Alta Bicycle Share, uses solar-powered modular bike stations and RFID key fobs, to make it easy for members to use bikes for short-hauls. Smartphone apps for Android(s goog), iPhones(s aapl), and Blackberry(s rimm) pinpoint where bikes are available (or not.) The stations communicate wirelessly to central servers.

Hubway is all about short trips. The first 30 minutes of the ride is free to members who pay $85 a year to join. After that the price…

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The Economist lays it out: Europe’s entrepreneurial crisis goes back decades

28 Jul


There’s a must-read piece on the crisis in European entrepreneurship in The Economist this week. But before you go and pore over it, I’ll warn you: brace yourself, because it’s not going to leave you entering the weekend with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

It’s stuffed with factoids that may well induce depression. For example, not only were most of Europe’s biggest companies were built out of the industrial revolution but in fact continental Europe has produced just one of the world’s top 500 companies over the last 30 years (California alone, by comparison, has produced 26).

Europe produces plenty of corner shops, hairdressers and so on. What it doesn’t produce enough of is innovative companies that grow quickly and end up big. In 2003, analysing Europe’s entrepreneurial gap, the European Commission cited a study which showed that during the 1990s, 19% of mid-sized firms in America were classified as…

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