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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 20. June 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Education, , , , , , Sifting Skills,   

    Sifting Skills 

    Education needs to adapt to the availability of information, concentrate on sifting skills; http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 19. June 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Education, , , , , Reform, , ,   

    Education: Reinvention and Reform? 

    Are reinvention and reform of education the key to a better future? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 16:58 on 2. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Education, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Hyperconnectivity 

    Pew: What does hyperconnectivity mean today and for the future of individuals and society? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:59 on 2. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “Hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies. The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services. – Hyperconnectivity is also a trend in computer networking in which all things that can or should communicate through the network will communicate through the network. This encompasses person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication. The trend is fueling large increases in bandwidth demand and changes in communications because of the complexity, diversity and integration of new applications and devices using the network.”

      Pew: “Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts. – Many of the experts surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project said the effects of hyperconnectivity and the always-on lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive between now and 2020. But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as ‘fast-twitch wiring.'”

      Pew: “These experts predicted that the impact of networked living on today’s young will drive them to thirst for instant gratification, settle for quick choices, and lack patience. A number of the survey respondents argued that it is vital to reform education and emphasize digital literacy. A notable number expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information, and some mentioned George Orwell’s 1984 or expressed their fears of control by powerful interests in an age of entertaining distractions.

      Pew: “Some 55% agreed with the statement: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.‘”

      Pew: “This is the next positive step in human evolution: We become ‘persistent paleontologists of our external memories’ – Most of the survey respondents with the largest amount of expertise in this subject area said changes in learning behavior and cognition will generally produce positive outcomes. … One of the world’s best-known researchers of teens and young adults-danah boyd of Microsoft Research – said there is no doubt that most people who are using the new communications technologies are experiencing the first scenario as they extend themselves into cyberspace. … Amber Case, cyberanthropologist and CEO of Geoloqi, agreed: ‘The human brain is wired to adapt to what the environment around it requires for survival. Today and in the future it will not be as important to internalize information but to elastically be able to take multiple sources of information in, synthesize them, and make rapid decisions. … Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs.‘ … William Schrader, a consultant who founded PSINet in the 1980s, expressed unbridled hope. ‘A new page is being turned in human history, and while we sometimes worry and most of the time stand amazed at how fast (or how slowly) things have changed, the future is bright for our youth worldwide…’ David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet und Society, says values will evolve alongside the evolution in ways of thinking and knowing. ‘Whatever happens,’ he wrote, ‘we won’t be able to come up with an impartial value judgment because the change in intellect will bring about a change in values as well.’ Alex Halavais, an associate professor and internet researcher at Quinnipiac University, agreed. ‘We will think differently, and a large part of that will be as a result of being capable of exploiting a new communicative environment…‘”

      Pew: “Negative effects include a need for instant gratification, loss of patience – A number of the survey respondents who are young people in the under-35 age group – the central focus of this research question – shared concerns about changes in human attention and depth of discourse among those who spend most or all of their waking hours under the influence of hyperconnectivity. – Alvaro Retana, a distinguished technologist with Hewlett-Packard, expressed concerns about humans’ future ability to tackle complex challenges. ‘The short attention spans resulting from the quick interactions will be detrimental to focusing on the harder problems, and we will probably see a stagnation in many areas: technology, even social venues such as literature…‘ Masiclat said social systems will evolve to offer even more support to those who can implement deep-thinking skills. ‘The impact of a future ‘re-wiring’ due to the multitasking and short-term mindset will be mostly negative not because it will reflect changes in the physical nature of thinking, but because the social incentives for deep engagement will erode…‘ However, students who participated in the survey tended to express concerns about their peers’ ability to get beyond short-burst connections to information. … Annette Liska, an emerging-technologies design expert, observed, ‘The idea that rapidity is a panacea for improved cognitive, behavioral, and social function is in direct conflict with topical movements that believe time serves as a critical ingredient in the ability to adapt, collaborate, create, gain perspective, and many other necessary (and desirable) qualities of life…‘ Bruce Nordman, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and active leader in the Internet Engineering Task Force, expressed concerns over people’s information diets, writing: ‘The overall effect will be negative, based on my own experience with technology, attention, and deep thinking (I am 49), and observing my children and others. I see the effect of television as a primary example, in which people voluntarily spend large amounts of time in mentally unhealthy activity…‘”

      Pew: “The result is likely to be a wide-ranging mix of positives and negatives – and not just for young people – Many survey participants said always-on connectivity to global information is a double-edged sword. Dave Rogers, managing editor of Yahoo Kids, observed that there will be winners and losers as this technology evolves. ‘Certainly,’ he noted, ‘there will be some teens and young adults who will suffer cognitive difficulties from unhealthy use of the internet, Web, social media, games, and mobile technology. These problems will arise not because of the technology but because of wholly inadequate adult guidance, training, and discipline over young people’s use of the technology. But most teens and young adults will prosper as described in the first option. … The learning and cognitive development made possible by tablets is much more ‘natural,’ more in keeping with the evolutionary-driven development of young minds because it is so much less dependent upon cognitive skills that the youngest children have not yet developed…’ Computing pioneer and ACM Fellow Bob Frankston predicted that people will generally take all of this in stride. ‘We will renorm to the new tools,’ he said. ‘We have always had mall rats and we’ve had explorers. Ideally, people will improve their critical thinking skills to use the available raw information. More likely, fads will continue.‘ … Martin D. Owens, an attorney and author of Internet Gaming Law, also pointed out the dual effects of humans’ uses of technologies, writing, ‘Good people do good things with their access to the internet and social media – witness the profusion of volunteer and good cause apps and programs which are continually appearing, the investigative journalism, the rallying of pro-democracy forces across the world. Bad people do bad things with their internet access…‘ Jessica Clark, a media strategist and senior fellow for two U.S. communications technology research centers, was among many who observed that there’s nothing new about concerns over teens and evolving ways they create content and share it. ‘History is a progression of older people tut-tutting over the media production and consumption habits of those younger than them and holding tightly to the belief that the technologies of communication they grew up with are intellectually or culturally superior…‘”

      Pew: “This could have a significant impact on politics, power and control … Jesse Drew, an associate professor of technocultural studies at the University of California-Davis, echoed Braman. ‘My fear is that though their cognitive ability will not be impaired, their ability to think critically will be, and they will be far more susceptible to manipulation…‘ John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, observed: ‘The world is becoming more complex, and yet both old media (e.g., cable TV news) and new media (e.g., Twitter) are becoming increasingly simplistic. What passes for politics is increasingly a charade detached from actual governance.‘ – Paul Gardner-Stephen, a telecommunications fellow at Flinders University, said the underlying issue is that people will become dependent upon accessing the internet in order to solve problems and conduct their personal, professional, and civic lives. ‘Thus centralised powers that can control access to the internet will be able to significantly control future generations…’ … Fernando Botelho, an international consultant on technology and development, expressed concerns about humans’ tendencies to sort themselves in ways that may cause friction. ‘Humanity needs no additional help in dividing itself into groups that exclude more than include,’ he wrote. ‘The best way to unite millions and divide billions is nationalism, but the reality is that religion, politics, and so many other mental frameworks can do it just as effectively, and the internet enables much more narrowly targeted divisions so that we are not divided anymore into less than 200 national territories or three or four major religions, but into thousands or even millions of subgroups that challenge us to avoid the tragedy of the commons at a global level.'”

      Pew: “Many argue that reinvention and reform of education is the key to a better future – Respondents often pointed to formal educational systems as the key driver toward a positive and effective transition to taking full advantage of the fast-changing digital-knowledge landscape. … David Saer, a foresight researcher for Fast Future, said he’s a young adult who predicts a positive evolution but, ‘education will need to adapt to the wide availability of information, and concentrate on teaching sifting skills.’ … Larry Lannom, director of information management technology and vice president at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, said, ‘People must be taught to think critically and how to focus. If they are, then the network is a rich source of information. If they aren’t, then it will be a source of misinformation and mindless distraction…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, estimates a slow movement to try to adapt to deal with the likely divide. ‘After 2020,’ he predicted, ‘more-enlightened educators will start developing curricula designed to tap a post-internet era. After 2030, educational systems, primarily private ones, will demonstrate superior outcomes on a wider scale. After 2040, governments will start realising this problem, and public examination systems will emerge.‘”

      Pew: “Teachers express many concerns; you can feel the tension in their words – A number of people who identified themselves as teachers answered this question as anonymous respondents and most of them expressed frustration and concern for today’s students. Several noted that they have seen things ‘getting worse’ over the past decade. Is this at least partially due to the fact that they are still trying to educate these highly connected young people through antiquated approaches? Perhaps those who have argued for education reform would think so.

      Pew: “Widening divide? There’s a fear the rich will get richer, the poor poorer – Teens expert Danah Boyd raised concerns about a looming divide due to the switch in how young people negotiate the world. ‘Concentrated focus takes discipline, but it’s not something everyone needs to do,’ she wrote, ‘unfortunately, it is what is expected of much of the working-class labor force. I suspect we’re going to see an increased class division around labor and skills and attention.‘ – Barry Parr, owner and analyst for MediaSavvy, echoed boyd’s concern about a widening divide. ‘Knowledge workers and those inclined to be deep thinkers will gain more cognitive speed and leverage,’ he said, ‘but, the easily distracted will not become more adept at anything. History suggests that on balance people will adapt to the new order. The greatest negative outcome will be that the split in adaptation will exacerbate existing trends toward social inequality.‘ … Alan Bachers, director of the Neurofeedback Foundation, said society must prepare now for the consequences of the change we are already beginning to see. ‘The presence of breadth rather than depth of cognitive processing will definitely change everything – education, work, recreation…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, noted: ‘The smart people who can adapt to the internet will become smarter, while the rest, probably the majority, will decline. Why? The reason is simple. Current educational methods evolved to their current state mostly pre-internet. The same goes for a generation of teachers who will continue to train yet another generation of kids the old way. The same goes for examination systems, which carry out assessment based on pre-internet skills. This mismatch will cause declension in a few generations of cohorts. Those who are educated and re-educable in the internet way will reap the benefits of the first option. Most of the world will suffer the consequence of the second. The intellectual divide will increase. This in turn fuels the educational divide because only the richer can afford internet access with mobile devices at effective speeds.'”

      Pew: “Some say the use of tech tools has no influence in the brain’s ‘wiring’ – Well-known blogger, author, and communications professor Jeff Jarvis said we are experiencing a transition from a textual era and this is altering the way we think, not the physiology of our brains. ‘I don’t buy the punchline but I do buy the joke,’ he wrote. ‘I do not believe technology will change our brains and how we are ‘wired.’ But it can change how we cognate and navigate our world. We will adapt and find the benefits in this change.‘ … Jim Jansen, an associate professor of information science and technology at Penn State University and a member of the boards of eight international technology journals, noted, ‘I disagree with the opening phrase: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35.’ I find it hard to believe that hard wiring, evolved over millions of years can be re-wired. We can learn to use tools that impact the way we view things, but to say this is wiring is incorrect.‘ … Some analysts framed their arguments in more general terms and argued that there will not be significant cognitive change.”

      Pew: “Questioning the idea of multitasking; some define it to be impossible – Multitasking is a common act among today’s teens and 20s set. The semantics of the word have been argued, with many saying it is not possible to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. … ‘Regarding the word ‘multitasking,’ cognitive, behavioral, and neurological sciences are moving toward a consensus that such a state does not actually exist in the human brain,’ observed emerging technology designer Annette Liska. ‘We may make many quick ‘thoughts’ in succession, but human performance in any activity that is done without focus (often termed ‘multitasking’) is of significantly lower quality, including an absence of quality and consciousness. The word unfortunately perpetuates a false ideal of the human capacity to perform and succeed.’ … ‘I agree with all of those who say that multitasking is nothing more than switching endlessly from one thought to another-no one can think two things at once – but I don’t agree that this kind of attention-switching is destructive or unhealthy for young minds,’ added Susan Crawford, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and formerly on the White House staff. ‘It’s just the way the world works now, and digital agility is a basic skill for everyone…’ Gina Maranto, a co-director in the graduate program at the University of Miami, said information multitasking is not a new phenomenon. ‘My father, a corporate editor, used to watch television, read magazines, and listen to the radio at the same time long before computers, cellphones, or iPads,’ she said. ‘On the whole, I believe access to information and to new techniques for manipulating data (e.g., visualization) enhance learning and understanding rather than negatively impact them…‘”

      Pew: “Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital wizards – David Ellis, director of communications studies at York University in Toronto, has a front-row seat to observe how hyperconnectivity seems to be influencing young adults. He said it makes them less productive and adds that most of them do not understand the new digital tools or how to use them effectively. ‘The idea that Millennials have a cognitive advantage over their elders is based on myths about multitasking, the skill-sets of digital natives, and 24/7 connectedness,’ he commented. ‘Far from having an edge in learning, I see Millennials as increasingly trapped by the imperatives of online socializing and the opportunities offered by their smartphones to communicate from any place, any time.‘”

      Pew: “Hello! AOADD (Always-On Attention Deficit Disorder) is age-defying – Rich Osborne, senior IT innovator at the University of Exeter in the UK, said his own life and approaches to informing and being informed have changed due to the influence of hyperconnectivity. ‘As I am in possession of just about every technical device you can name and I am using just about every cloud service you can think of, you’d think I’d be all for this,’ he observed. ‘But I’ve started to wonder about how all this use of technology is affecting me. I strongly suspect it’s actually making me less able to construct more complex arguments in written form, for example – or at the very least it is certainly making such construction harder for me. Of course it might be other issues, stress at work, getting older, interests changing, any number of things – but underlying all these possibilities is the conscious knowledge that my information-consumption patterns have become bitty and immediate.’ … Heidi McKee, an associate professor of English at Miami University, said, ‘Nearly 20 years ago everyone was saying how teens were going to be wired differently, but when you look at surveys done by Pew, AARP, and others, older adults possess just as much ability and desire to communicate and connect with all available means.‘”

      Pew: “No matter what the tech, it all comes down to human nature – Human tendencies drive human uses of technology tools. Many of the people participating in this survey emphasized the importance of the impact of basic human instincts and motivations. – Some survey respondents observed that all new tools initially tend to be questioned and feared by some segment of the public. Socrates, for instance, lamented about the scourge of writing implements and their likely threat to the future of intelligent discourse. In his response to this survey question, Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor from Texas AundM whose research specialty is technologies’ effects on human behavior, noted, ‘The tendency to moralize and fret over new media seems to be wired into us.Societal reaction to new media seems to fit into a pattern described by moral panic theory. Just as with older forms of media, from dime novels to comic books to rock and roll, some politicians and scholars can always be found to proclaim the new media to be harmful, often in the most hyperbolic terms. Perhaps we’ll learn from these past mistakes?‘”

      Pew: “The most-desired skills of 2020 will be… Survey respondents say there’s still value to be found in traditional skills but new items are being added to the menu of most-desired capabilities. ‘Internet literacy‘ was mentioned by many people. The concept generally refers to the ability to search effectively for information online and to be able to discern the quality and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well. … Collective intelligence, crowd-sourcing, smart mobs, and the ‘global brain’ are some of the descriptive phrases tied to humans working together to accomplish things in a collaborative manner online. Internet researcher and software designer Fred Stutzman said the future is bright for people who take advantage of their ability to work cooperatively through networked communication. ‘The sharing, tweeting, and status updating of today are preparing us for a future of ad hoc, always-on collaboration,’ he wrote. ‘The skills being honed on social networks today will be critical tomorrow, as work will be dominated by fast-moving, geographically diverse, free-agent teams of workers connected via socially mediating technologies.‘ … Jeffrey Alexander, senior science and technology policy analyst at SRI International’s Center for Science, Technology und Economic Development, said, ‘As technological and organizational innovation comes to depend on integrating and reconfiguring existing and new knowledge to solve problems, digital and computational thinking will become more and more valuable and useful. While digital thinking may lead to excessive multitasking and a reduction in attention span, the human brain can adapt to this new pattern in stimuli and can compensate for the problems that the pattern may cause in the long run…’ Barry Chudakov, a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, said the challenge we’re facing is maintaining and deepening ‘integrity, the state of being whole and undivided,’ noting: ‘There will be a premium on the skill of maintaining presence, of mindfulness, of awareness in the face of persistent and pervasive tool extensions and incursions into our lives…‘”

      Pew: “It is difficult to tell what we will see by 2020, as people and tools evolve – Duane Degler, principal consultant at Design for Context, a designer of large-scale search facilities and interactive applications for clients such as the National Archives and Verisign, said we’re already witnessing a difference in cognitive abilities and perceptions dependent upon the information/communication tools people are using, and not just among the under-35 set. ‘One thing these scenarios don’t speak to,’ he noted, ‘is the degree to which the tools themselves are likely to recede further into the background, where they become a part of a fabric for how people carry out tasks and communicate. This is likely to be a result of both technology (pervasive computing, context-aware interactions) and a settling in of personal/social habits. As a result, the dominant social and information behaviors are likely to be influenced by other factors that we can’t yet see, in the same way current social and information behaviors are now being influenced by capabilities that are predominantly five years (or at most ten years) old.’ … New York-based technology and communications consultant Stowe Boyd noted, ‘Our society’s concern with the supposed negative impacts of the internet will seem very old-fashioned in a decade, like Socrates bemoaning the downside of written language, or the 1950’s fears about Elvis Presley’s rock-and-roll gyrations. As the internet becomes a part of everything, like electricity has today, we will hardly notice it: it won’t be ‘technology’ anymore, but just ‘the world.’‘”

  • Gerrit Eicker 15:02 on 25. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Education, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Mobile! 

    Pew: 87% Americans own a cell phone, 35% own a smartphone, 19% a tablet, 19% an eReader; http://eicker.at/Mobile

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:03 on 25. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Currently, 87% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an e-book reader, and 19% have a tablet computer; about six in ten adults (63%) go online wirelessly with one of those devices. … Among cell phone owners, 42% own a smartphone as of May 2011. This means that 35% of all American adults own a smartphone. … The financially well-off and well-educated – 59% of adults living in a household earning income of $75,000 or more are smartphone owners; 48% of those with a college degree own smartphones. Those under the age of 45 – 58% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 now own a smartphone as do 49% of those ages 18-24 and 44% of those ages 35-44. … 87% of smartphone owners use their phones to access the internet or email, with 78% of these users saying that they go online using their phone on a typical day. … As of August 2011, half of U.S. adult cell phone owners (50%) now have apps on their phones. … The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period. … Texting and picture-taking are the most common mobile phone activities – 73% of cell owners engage in each of these – followed by sending photos or videos to others (54%) and accessing the internet (44%).”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Education, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Tablets and eReaders 

    Pew: Tablet and eBook reader ownership nearly double over the holiday gift-giving period; http://eicker.at/TabletseReaders

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period. – The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18% in December to 29% in January. … These findings are striking because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers. However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted. In the tablet world, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices than other tablets. In the e-book reader world, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.

      Pew: “The surge in ownership of tablet computers was especially notable among those with higher levels of education and those living in households earning more than $75,000. More than a third of those living in households earning more than $75,000 (36%) now own a tablet computer. And almost a third of those with college educations or higher (31%) own the devices. Additionally, those under age 50 saw a particularly significant leap in tablet ownership. … The story with the growth in e-book readers was somewhat different from the story with tablet computers. Ownership of e-readers among women grew more than among men. Those with more education and higher incomes also lead the pack when it comes to e-book ownership, but the gap between them and others isn’t as dramatic.

      NYT: “The holiday season spawned a huge marketing and advertising push for the Nook Tablet, Barnes und Noble’s latest color device, and the Kindle Fire from Amazon. While many consumers bought the costlier Apple iPad at $500, tablets from Barnes und Noble and Amazon cost less than $250, a more tempting price for a Christmas gift. Some black-and-white e-readers cost less than $100. – ‘Publishers are putting a lot of effort into e-books; apps developers are cranking out more and more tools for tablets; libraries and tech companies are making e-books easier to borrow,’ Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, said in an e-mail. ‘So the ecosystem of these devices is making them more valuable.'”

      VB: “Leading the pack is Amazon, which sells a slate of Kindle e-readers and tablets. The online retail giant claimed to have sold units in its Kindle lineup at a rate of one million e-readers per week during the holiday push. … However, money still plays some role in whether or not a given consumer decides to spring for a tablet. – While some demographic factors such as race and gender showed little or no statistically significant variations among tablet owners, education and correlating factors such as income showed strong proportional relationships to tablet and e-reader ownership.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Education, , , , , iBooks 2, iBooks Author, , , , , , , iTunes U, iTunes U App, , , , Kno, , , , , , , , ,   

    iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U 

    Apple wants to reinvent textbooks and eBook publishing: iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U; http://eicker.at/iBooks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “iBooks Textbooks for iPad. – Introducing an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive. A textbook created by publishers using a new authoring tool from Apple. A textbook brought to life by iPad. … For hundreds of years, textbooks have put a world of knowledge in the hands of students. But while the way people learn has changed dramatically, the traditional textbook has stayed the same. … Today’s students have grown up completely immersed in technology. iPod, iPad, computer – these are the ways they interact with their world. They need a textbook made for the way they learn. … A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

      GigaOM: “Textbooks in iBooks 2 also incorporate highlighting, note-taking, and interactive Q&A sections at the end of each chapter, which also provide immediate feedback; no more hunting for a key in a separate book or appendix to see how you did. Notes and highlights are automatically turned into flashcards for study purposes. In short, it looks like Apple has taken a lot of the best aspects of services like Inkling and Kno and integrated them into its own product. – The new textbooks reside in a dedicated iBookstore category, and will offer free samples before you buy. The iBooks 2 app is free, and is available today via the App Store. Textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less, and initially be aimed at the high school market. That’s some seriously competitive pricing, and Apple’s initial partners are Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which together are responsible for 90 percent of textbooks available, according to Schiller.”

      TC: “This move is centered around reinvent the textbook. Schiller explained today that Apple sees textbooks as amazing devices, but they’re heavy, not searchable or durable. According to Apple the iPad is the perfect counter. It’s portable, durable, interactive, searchable, current and capable of containing even richer content. … This announcement puts Kno in a bad position. iBooks 2 packs many of Kno’s prime features into a native iPad app. Kno might have the edge with content, though. The company has long worked with the top education publishers and has an impressive library of textbooks. Kno, as a 3rd party app, has the advantage of being able to embrace other platforms like the web and Android where iBooks 2 will likely remain only on the iPad.

      Apple: “iBooks Author.Available free on the Mac App store, iBooks Author is an amazing new app that allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks – and just about any other kind of book – for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. … No need to let the blank page scare you. Just start with an Apple-designed templates. Each template has a variety of page layouts to choose from – or create one of your own. … iBooks Author makes it simple to flow in text, graphics, movies, and more, so your book looks exactly the way you want. Drag and drop a Pages or Microsoft Word document to the Book navigator to add it as a new section. Then, when you drag and drop in images, your type automatically flows around them. … iBooks Author has everything you need to create a great-looking book. Add text, shapes, charts, tables, and Multi-Touch widgets anywhere on the page with a single click. Mask images, use alignment guides – even add reflections and shadows. It’s as easy as using a word processor, but powerful enough to design more advanced layouts. … As you’re building your book, check out how it looks by previewing it on your iPad. When it’s just the way you want and you’re ready to publish, iBooks Author helps you submit to the iBookstore for purchase or free download. You can also export it in iBooks format to share on iTunes U or to give to anyone with an iPad.

      GigaOM: “iBooks Author comes with a template choose to help you get started quickly, and then you can click and drag your own media to add images, video, audio and other content to your book. You can even add things like 3-D models, which we saw demoed in the iBooks 2 unveiling earlier, as well as interactive elements like image galleries. … Amazingly, Apple’s iBooks Author is free, and is available today on the Mac App Store. This will definitely help attract content creators to the iBooks platform, and could also seriously impact the ability of competitors to sell publishing suites aimed at doing similar things.

      TC: “All the magic happens in a new OSX application called iBooks Author, which gives users a simple way to integrate different types of media in order to create iBooks of any stripe. What’s more, iBooks Author will be available today for free, so all you aspiring iBook creators can get started post haste. … That’s all well and good, but the real meat here is the ability to add interactive elements to an iBook with minimal headaches. Presentations created in Keynote can be dragged directly into iBook Author for inclusion as an interactive widget, and those who have worked with HTML and JavaScript can create more robust widgets on their own. Also included are a nifty glossary creation tool (essentially a two-click process), and the ability to publish the iBook directly into the store.

      Apple: “iTunes U – If you’re an educator at a university, college, or K-12 school, now you have an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content. And students and lifelong learners can experience your courses for free through a powerful new app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. … The free iTunes U app gives students access to all the materials for your course in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations. See a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they’re completed. And when you send a message or create a new assignment, students receive a push notification with the new information. … The iTunes U app integrates with iBooks, iCloud, and other apps to make it easy for students to keep up with your course. For example, new iBooks Textbooks2 and other books for the course are available right from the app, where students can tap them to start reading the assigned chapter. Notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app. If an assignment includes watching part of a video, one tap goes straight to a specific spot in the video. And iTunes U keeps documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date across multiple devices.

      VB: “I can’t remember the last time anyone was so interested in education technology, but leave it up to Apple to whip up excitement. The company held an ‘education related’ event at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum today, where many expected it to take on the textbook industry with new, interactive e-books. … But Apple isn’t done yet. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, came on stage to discuss how the company is going to help teachers ‘reinvent the curriculum’ with iTunes U, a service that lets students download lectures and other materials from iTunes. Cue says Apple has seen over 700 million downloads from iTunes U, and that it has mostly been used for lectures. … All of this is very exciting, but it’s strange that Apple made no mention of how students can more easily get a hold of iPads in the classroom. While cool, Apple’s plans to reinvent education could leave a lot of students out in the cold.

      NJL: “The day the bookshelf shook: Four lessons for news orgs from today’s Apple iBooks announcements – The focus was on education, and Apple faces some significant hurdles in getting their products into actual schools (where textbook and technology purchasing are constricted by forces bureaucratic, fiscal, and otherwise). But in truth much of what Apple announced was squarely aimed at further disruption of the publishing industry – in this case, the book publishing industry, already facing disruption from Amazon and ebooks more broadly. … How will news organizations react to that newfound ease of publishing? … In the print book era, deciding to try one of these ideas would involve estimating the potential audience, deciding whether it’s worth investing the time to design it, guessing at a print run, figuring out how to get it in the hands of local retailers, and a host of other complications. But with ebooks – if publishing those ebooks is uncomplicated, just a few more steps than hitting File -> Save As…, built around common templates – what kinds of value could be unlocked? … Once books stop being only finished, whole things – when they can also be works in progress, works in development – the possibilities for journalists open up. … I can’t imagine news organizations need any further evidence that reading is going to keep moving from big screens to smaller ones, from stationary to mobile. But judging by a lot of news sites’ abysmal mobile experiences, maybe they do. So here’s one more data point: Apple’s investing big in a creating a new kind of reading experience for a new kind of content, and they’re completely ignoring every desktop and laptop computer in the universe.

      RWW: “In his official biography of Apple’s late cofounder, Walter Isaacson revealed that in addition to television and photography, one industry Steve Jobs was hoping to revolutionize next was textbooks, which he saw as being ‘ripe for digital destruction.’ – Today’s demonstration very much echoed Jobs’ vision for textbooks, which he saw as cumbersome, heavy and slow to update. … This is not an all together shocking direction for Apple to move into, considering its somewhat recent foray into e-books with iBooks and how the iPad is already being used for educational purposes. That the tablet form factor makes for a potentially excellent educational tool is not at all a new concept, and it’s one that Apple has already been using to help sell the iPad pretty much since day one.

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:31 on 20. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      RWW: “It’s hard to wrap my brain around the cold cynicism of Apple’s releasing a new tool to democratize the publishing of eBooks today, only to include in the tool’s terms and conditions a prohibition against selling those books anywhere but through Apple’s own bookstore. There’s just something so achingly awful about it. … Here’s section 2b of the End User License Agreement of the new iBook Author program. ‘B. Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows: (i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means; (ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.'”

      GigaOM: “It’s possible that Apple is planning to open up its new iBook textbooks, either by embracing the ePub standard or making it easy to move texts out of its system and into another, so that iBooks can live alongside Inkling textbooks or CourseSmart books or Kno books — but if it is planning to do that, we didn’t hear anything about it on Thursday. All we heard was how Apple wants to do the same thing to the textbook market as it has done to recorded music and mobile gaming: that is, own and control it.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:43 on 3. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Confidentiality, Crystal Cox, , Editing, Education, , , , , , , , Journalistic Practices, Journalistic Protection, Journalistic Standards, , , , , , , , , Professional Standards, , , Qualification, , , , , , ,   

    Bloggers: Journalists? 

    Are bloggers journalists? The case of Crystal Cox heats up the never ending story; http://eicker.at/BloggersJournalists

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:44 on 3. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      CP: “On November 30, United States District Judge Marco A. Hernandez of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division, ruled against a blogger, Crystal Cox, who had represented herself before the court in a defamation case in which she was the defendant. In the end, the judge ordered Cox to pay $2.5 million in damages to the plaintiffs. …Judge Hernandez suggested that bloggers could only sometimes count as journalists, based on a multi-factor test he set forth. … Judge Hernandez also ruled that, under Oregon law, Cox did not have the right to protect her sources. … In sum, Judge Hernandez should have taken a functional approach, and read the terms of the two statutes to encompass methods of publication that were closely analogous to those listed in the statute. Doing so would have meant that blogs, including Cox’s, were included. … On one hand, Judge Hernandez was surely reasonable to include factors referring to practices such as fact-checking… But on the other hand, it may not be fair to include the factors of journalism education, institutional affiliation, or proof of credentials… Yet, to establish such a credentialing body might prove to be a double-edged sword. One of the very points of blogging is that anyone can do it, and that is also one of its great virtues. Thus, this issue may be one in which either bloggers’ independence will be sacrificed a bit, or the legal protections journalists enjoy will continue to be withheld from bloggers.

      Hernandez: “Defendant fails to bring forth any evidence suggestive of her status as a journalist. For example, there is no evidence of (1) any education in journalism; (2) any credentials or proof of any affiliation with any recognized news entity; (3) proof of adherence to journalistic standards such as editing, fact-checking, or disclosures of conflicts of interest; (4) keeping notes of conversations and interviews conducted; (5) mutual understanding or agreement of confidentiality between the defendant and his/her sources; (6) creation of an independent product rather than assembling writings and postings of others; or (7) contacting ‘the other side’ to get both sides of a story. Without evidence of this nature, defendant is not ‘media.’

      Forbes: “In case involving self-described ‘investigative blogger’ Crystal Cox, Judge Hernandez ruled that in order to qualify for basic First Amendment protections like state shield laws, freelance journalists have to meet a rather stiff set of criteria. … On page 9 of a 13-page ruling, Judge Hernandez last month set out these requirements to qualify as a journalist… ‘Without evidence of this nature, defendant is not ‘media,” the ruling says. Obviously, the judge – an Obama appointee – doesn’t understand either media or the First Amendment. His ruling also went much farther than the case before him required. … Hernandez’ qualifications suggest that only ‘news reporting’ is journalism. … Does this mean I think everyone who publishes a blog qualifies for whatever ‘journalistic protections’ exist? Hell no. My opinion is that Crystal Cox isn’t committing journalism on the two blogs I’ve seen associated with her – this one and this other one. I am not taking sides, but her writing and sites would get most ‘real’ journalists fired. This is an example of where journalism and pornography are both hard to define, but I know them when I see them. … Judge Hernandez missed the point in several ways, but he is right that no single attribute can define who qualifies for special journalistic protection and who does not. The First Amendment applies to all, but the law can help journalists in cases of slander and libel, protection of sources and access to news events.

      NYT: “Everyone knows that you no longer need to buy ink by the barrel to be considered a publisher. Your grandmother can do it with a laptop. But can anyone be considered a journalist? That is the focus of the Cox ruling. It suggests that a journalist may need to act on a set of professional standards to be recognized as a protected member of the tribe. – So who is a journalist? A journalist – good or bad – possesses a hunger to pursue the truth and to share it in compelling ways. Yet some of the best journalists have had no academic training in the field. – Blogs compete with mainstream media every day. In some cases, they have become more trustworthy as sources of information than some old school practitioners. … The First Amendment is not just for journalists. It affords all Americans the right to unfettered speech. We should celebrate how technology lets us express more speech than ever before – without discriminating against the ‘non-journalists.’ That doesn’t mean that online publishers should not be judged according to an evolving set of standards and practices.

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:29 on 17. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Education, Gastronomy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Local Business 

    Pew: The Internet is the source that people most rely on for material about local businesses; http://eicker.at/LocalBusiness

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:29 on 17. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Where people get information about restaurants and other local businesses – The internet is the source that people most rely on for material about the local business scene and search engines are particularly valued. Newspapers and word of mouth also rank high as sources. … The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 12 to 25, 2011, among a sample of 2,251 adults, age 18 and older.”

      Pew: “People looking for information about local restaurants and other businesses say they rely on the internet, especially search engines, ahead of any other source.Newspapers, both printed copies and the websites of newspaper companies, run second behind the internet as the source that people rely on for news and information about local businesses, including restaurants and bars. – And word of mouth, particularly among non-internet users, is also an important source of information about local businesses. … 51% turn to the internet, including: search engines (38% rely on them), specialty websites (17% rely on them), social media (3% rely on social networking sites or Twitter) … People who seek out information and news about local businesses and restaurants are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. As distinct populations, they are more likely to live in relatively well-off households – those earning $75,000 or more – and have college educations. – In addition, the 55% of adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are more likely to be women, young adults, urban, and technology adopters. – The 60% of adults who get information about other local businesses are also more likely to be tech users.”

      Pew: “The 55% of all adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are disproportionately young, female, tech adaptive and upscale in educational attainment, urban. … Those who get news and information about local restaurants, bars, and clubs are also likely to be avid local news consumers who enjoy following the local scene, pay for local news in some form, and use multiple platforms to get the local information. … Those who are heavy local news junkies are considerably more likely than others to get material about local restaurants. We asked people about their use of 14 different kinds of sources to get local news and their frequency of using those platforms. When it comes to restaurant information, 71% of those who used at least six platforms monthly got news and information about local restaurants, compared with 34% of those who relied on just one or two sources.”

      Pew: “Those who get information about local businesses that are not tied to eating or socializing are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. Those who get this information are more likely to have college or advanced degrees, live in relatively high-earning households, use the internet and own cell phones. They are not distinct by gender or race and ethnicity. … They are also likely to be local news and information junkies. Those who get news and information from at least six different local news platforms monthly are considerably more likely than others to get material about local businesses. … Those mobile consumers were also more likely than others to get material about local businesses: 65% of mobile local news consumers got information about local businesses, compared with 55% of others.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Creative Kit, , +Ripples, , , , , , , , , Education, , , , , , , , , , , Google Apps Administrators, Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, , , Google Plus Creative Kit, Google Plus Data, , , Google Plus Migration, Google Plus Notifications, , Google Plus Ripples, , Google+ Creative Kit, Google+ Data, , , Google+ Migration, Google+ Notifications, , Google+ Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Playback, , , , , , Sharing History, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Apps 

    Google Plus is now available with Google Apps, adds sharing history with Google+ Ripples; http://eicker.at/GoogleAppsPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. – Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days. … Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can’t be in the same room. … Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today… For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. … It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience.”

      RWW: “The day has finally come. Google Plus is now available for Google Apps customers. Apps administrators can now manually turn on Google Plus for their organizations. The welcome change will roll out in the ‘next several days.’ … Google Apps users have been crying out for Plus access since the beginning. These are the customers who actually pay Google to use its Web services for their organizations, and yet the Apps versions of Google’s tools routinely lag behind the free versions. … But ever since the public launch, Plus has had this killer feature with no clear user base: Google Docs in Hangouts. It’s an ideal way to collaborate on a project. But how often do casual friends collaborate on projects? Google Plus has had an obvious institutional use case for over a month. Now, at last, Google Apps users in college or the office can use these tools to get things done.

      VB: “While enabling Google+ for Google Apps customers is certainly a big move for the company, eventually Google plans to bring Google+ functionality to all of its various services (Gmail, search, shopping, etc.).”

      TNW: “Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data – If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature: ‘Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.’ … The fact that an administrator has access to your accounts under Google Apps is nothing new, but this is the first time that Google has had a social network among its Apps offerings, so the privacy implications are a bit more severe.”

      Google: “Whether it’s breaking news or beautiful photos, you just don’t want to miss anything. With this in mind, we’re launching ‘What’s Hot’ on Google+, a new place to visit for interesting and unexpected contentGoogle+ Ripples: watch how posts get shared – There’s something deeply satisfying about sharing on Google+, then watching the activity unfold. Comments pour in, notifications light up, friends share with friends [who share with their friends], and in no time at all there’s an entire community around your post. … Google+ Creative Kit: have more fun with your photos – Now you can add that vintage feel to your vacation photos. Or sharpen those snapshots from the family barbeque. Or add some text for added personality. With the Creative Kit, all you need is an idea…”

      TC: “Google+ Resurrects Playback Feature From Wave, Renames It ‘Ripples’ – Last August, Google asked us all to say good-bye to Google Wave. Some said Wave was ahead of its time, some said that the platform had enough features to sink the Titanic. … And one of these features launched today on Google+ seems a throwback to one now-defunct feature of Google Wave, called ‘Playback’. … Yes, today, Google launched its new Google+ Ripples, which will let users ‘re-live’ the conversations, comments, and sharing that’s taken place over the history of their use of Google+. … In other words, Ripples is a ‘visualization tool for public shares and comments‘, which users can access by simply selecting the ‘View Ripples’ option in the drop down window to the right of the public post.”

      TNW: “Google not only wants to show you what’s hot, but wants to show you how it got hot by showing you how a post was shared. The name also brings back memories of a previous Google product, ‘Wave’. … This is a pretty drastic upgrade for Google+, as until now, the only way to find posts that interested you was through its search function, or when your friends re-shared a post.”

      VB: “Perhaps more interesting for the visually oriented is Google+ Ripples, a new way to watch how posts travel across the company’s set of social features and through various user’s circles. You can view the ‘ripples’ for any public post; this feature will show you all of that post’s activity. You can zoom in on specific events, check out top contributors and more.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:09 on 29. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Civic Life, , , Community Events, Community Information, , , , Crime, Cultural Events, , , , , , Education, , , , Government Activities, Housing, , , Job Openings, , , , , , Local Information Ecosystem, Local Information Environment, , , Local News Ecosystem, , , , , , , Local Subjects, Local Topics, , , , , , , Media Platforms, , Mobile Connections, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Events, , , , , , , , , , Popular Local News Topics, Popular News Topics, Popular Topics, , , , Real Estate, , , Schools, , , , , , , Social Services, , , , , , , Tax Issues, , , , , Transportation, , , , , , , Zoning   

    Localisation 

    Pew: How people learn about their local community. Topics, Newspapers, TV news, Internet; http://eicker.at/Localisation

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:10 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Contrary to much of the conventional understanding of how people learn about their communities, Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies considerably depending on the subject matter and their age… Most Americans, including more tech-savvy adults under age 40, also use a blend of both new and traditional sources to get their information. Overall, the picture revealed by the data is that of a richer and more nuanced ecosystem of community news and information than researchers have previously identified.”

      Pew: “The local news and information environment is changing in ways that most people believe makes it easier for them to get the specific information they want about their communities. More than half of Americans (55%) say it is easier today to get the local information they want than it was five years ago. … Top Popularity of Different Local Topics: Weather (89%), Breaking News (80%), Politics/Campaigns/Elections (67%), Crime, Arts/Cultural events, Local Business, Schools/Education, Community/Neighborhood events, Restaurants/Clubs/Bars, Traffic/Transportation, Taxes/Tax issues, Housing/Real estate, Government activities, Job openings, Social services, Zoning/Building/Development”

      Pew: “The survey indicated that newspapers play a far more complex role in the civic life of communities than many Americans believe. … Younger adults, age 18-29, were especially unconcerned. Fully 75% say their ability to get local information would not be affected in a major way by the absence of their local paper. … [W]hen asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites.

      Pew: “Local TV (which for the purposes of this survey includes both televised broadcasts and local television websites) is the most popular source for the two topics that almost everyone is interested in – weather and breaking news.”

      Pew: “The internet has already surpassed newspapers as a source Americans turn to for national and international news. The findings from this survey now show its emerging role as a source for local news and information as well. … Among the 79% of Americans who are online, the internet is an even more significant source for local news and information. Looking just at this group, the internet is the first or second most important source for 15 of the 16 local topics examined.”

      Pew: “Two other factors seem to drive people to the internet when it comes to getting information about local subjects: mobile connections via smartphones or tablet computers and participation in the digital environment by sharing or creating local material themselves.”

      Pew: “In addition to the three biggest media platforms – newspapers, television and the internet – the local news and information ecosystem involves a complex mix of other sources as well. And for several local topics, citizen-based systems such as word of mouth (which does not include online social networking), print newsletters and bulletins, and the local government itself make appearances as sources that some residents rely upon.”

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