Tuesday Tip: Using Git with Google Apps Script

One of the biggest issues with Google Apps Script (GAS) is that it doesn’t have any real version control system. Last month I started using GitHub (through this course on Udacity) and was disappointed to discover that there is no way to directly integrate Git with GAS projects. If you’ve never used Git, it’s an awesome way to keep track of and merge code file versions. Without it, it can be extremely hard to try out new things or discover when bugs have been introduced. There’s a GAS ticket open for this lack of version control, so please star it if you agree that it’s a problem.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround. The Google Plugin for Eclipse 
Continue reading

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New job, new activities

Golden Gate BridgeBig news: I’m starting a new job this Tuesday. I’ll be joining Educents, an edtech startup in Oakland. Educents is sort of like Groupon for educators, with deals on the materials that teachers and administrators use regularly, at wholesale prices.

This is a great move for me, and Continue reading

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Where MOOCs are now

Earlier this week, the New York Times published an interesting piece by Jeffrey Selingo on the current state of MOOCs (“Demystifying the MOOC“). It’s an easy read, and it hits on something that I’ve been thinking myself and hearing from people working in a variety of MOOC organizations around the Bay Area.

When MOOCs (massive open online courses) sprang up a few years ago, Continue reading

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What is international edtech?

Edtech Edsurge Index categories

A few weeks ago, I noticed that EdSurge doesn’t have an international section on the Edtech Index (their listing of edtech-related products in various categories), even though they do post a lot about international education.

As I’ve written before, international education and higher ed don’t get as much attention as they deserve in the edtech world. It’s understandable — neither topic has as much social impact in the United States or as much funding as K-12. But I believe that both have the potential to develop rapidly with the right technology.

So, to answer EdSurge’s question, what would go in the international section Continue reading

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Clever Responds on Student Privacy

Private Property SignIn a sign of how prominent concerns about student privacy have become, the New York Times Opinion section this week featured a collection of viewpoints on the topic from people working in the field (“Protecting Student Privacy in Online Learning“). The most interesting (I think) perspective is from Tyler Bosmeny, co-founder of Clever.

I like Clever. They provide a platform Continue reading

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The internet of things (and of student data)

Internet of Things Venn Diagram

This week I attended a panel discussion of the Internet of Things at a design firm in San Francisco. If you haven’t heard of it, the concept refers to the so-called third wave of the internet. The first wave was a mechanism for distributing information, the second was the growth of social media and peer-to-peer communication. The newest wave, at least according to the hype, involves communication between things. For example, your car could tell your house about your recent movement, so that your house can guess when to turn on the heat before you get home.

It’s an interesting topic, but Continue reading

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Good translations (Wiktionary) and Bad (Google Translate)

Wiktionary Android app searches for

The Wiktionary Android app searches for the correct Persian word based on English-alphabet input

Quick note on further encounters with machine translations of non-European languages. I discovered yesterday that the Wiktionary Android app can search for Persian words typed in Latin letters. Obviously, it’s also possible to switch to a Persian keyboard, but it’s easier to quickly type in a word that I’ve heard in my regular alphabet.

There’s also the benefit of never mistyping letters that have the same pronunciation. In Persian, for example, Continue reading

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