Home » Articles posted by kevinoshea

Author Archives: kevinoshea

Digital Learning Badges at Purdue

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

By in Mobile, Student Technology Kit on .

Studio by Purdue is proud to announce Passport, a digital badge learning platform developed here at Purdue University.

Passport allows instructors to create challenges that a student can complete to earn badges. Purdue’s Passport platform integrates with Mozilla Open Badges. Bill Watson, an assistant professor in Curriculum and Instruction, was instrumental in the creation behind Passport.

“Typically in courses, we have a number of very broad learning goals, and grades are given out on student assignments tied to these broad goals,” Watson says. “But really, it is more a comparison of students rather than a focus on student learning and attainment of desired learning outcomes.”

Passport provides a framework allowing students to earn badges through uploads, sharing links, taking assessments, and through instructor approvals.

Students can show what they know by displaying their digital learning badges through Passport’s portfolio app or as a  Mozilla OpenBadge. By actively sharing badges, students can display the evidence tied to each challenge, giving a clearer picture of their learned skills and competencies to potential employers.

Purdue is accepting test pilot applications for a limited number of beta users so that instructors everywhere can explore digital badges for learning. Visit http://purdue.edu/studio to find out more.

Morning Musings: Did Apple just kill the CD?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

By in Musings on Technology on .

MG Siegler over on TechCrunch has been chronicling his experience with picking up a new Macbook Air.  One of the startling revelations Siegler has proposed is that of Steve Jobs and Apple killing the CD/DVD for the computer industry with the introduction of the USB reinstall drive.  The Macbook Air does not come with a built-in optical drive and Apple found a way around packaging optical reinstall disks by placing everything onto a USB drive.

Courtesy of MG Siegler at TechCrunch

Siegler also believes that with the advent of an App store for the desktop (similar to the mobile App store) is another nail in the coffin for Optical media.

“Up until now, the vast majority of software (at least the legal variety) has been distributed by way of CD or DVD. The Mac App Store could very well change that. Every app found on that store, undoubtedly including the big ones we all know and love and use on our computers today, will be distributed over the Internet. This is long overdue.” – MG Siegler

What do you think?  Will the optical disk and drive go the way of the floppy disk and tape storage?

Morning Musings: FaceTime(beta) now available for Macs! Are you going to use it?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By in Morning Musings on .

Officially launched yesterday shortly after their ‘Back to Mac’ release keynote, Apple has launched a beta release of FaceTime for Mac computers (Snow Leopard or higher).  The popular FaceTime video chat protocol was previously available for iPhone 4 and new iPod touch users with the inception of the front facing camera on the device.  FaceTime has been a heavily marketed and hyped feature of the new iPhone that Apple hopes will be just as popular on the desktop and is promised to be the easiest “one click video chat” tool.


FaceTime for Mac is in beta so there may still be bugs or minor issues that pop up while using the software.  However, it will be interesting to see if users will flock to FaceTime.  Do you plan on using the service to chat with other Mac or iTouch/iPhone 4 users?

Morning Musings: Facebook Apps in trouble over privacy breach

Tags: , , , , , ,

By in Morning Musings on .

The Wall Street Journal has published an article detailing a new security breach with Facebook and its applications.  WSJ claims that some of the most popular applications on Facebook have been transmitting user identification data, something they are claiming affects everyone regardless of privacy settings.  The investigation from the WSJ has found that names and in some cases Facebook user id’s were passed along to third-party companies; specifically internet tracking groups and advertisers.

Some of the Apps in question are the sites most popular applications – Zynga’s Farmville, Frontierville, and Texas Hold Em Poker.  These three Top 10 apps were also mentioned in the investigation as transmitting information about a user’s friends.

“The apps reviewed by the Journal were sending Facebook ID numbers to at least 25 advertising and data firms, several of which build profiles of Internet users by tracking their online activities.

Defenders of online tracking argue that this kind of surveillance is benign because it is conducted anonymously. In this case, however, the Journal found that one data-gathering firm, RapLeaf Inc., had linked Facebook user ID information obtained from apps to its own database of Internet users, which it sells. RapLeaf also transmitted the Facebook IDs it obtained to a dozen other firms, the Journal found.” – The Wall Street Journal

Facebook has responded on their blog that the breach was a technical mistake that “inadvertently” allowed third parties to pass along UID information.  HOwever, Facebook’s Mike Vernal reports that the implications of sharing a UID have been “exaggerated”, and that access to a UID does not automatically give someone direct access to a users private information or profile.

For more information on safe web browsing check out the SecurePurdue webpage.