All posts by Jie Jenny Zou


Textbook Developer Adds YouTube Videos to E-Books

A set of educational videos made by a nonacademic in his bedroom closet are now part of a line of college e-textbooks.

The upstart textbook publisher Kno Inc. announced on Friday that its digital textbooks will incorporate links to videos by Khan Academy, a nonprofit video library that grew out of Salman Khan’s popular instructional Youtube videos (produced in his home “studio”). That collection has grown to more than 2,400 free videos online, featuring Mr. Khan’s voice with accompanying notatio…


QuickWire: Former IT Director at Southern U. Pleads Guilty to $157,000 in Fraud

A former Information Technology director at Southern University pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to making fraudulent computer purchases that cost the university more than $157,000. Scott D. Woodall admitted to setting up shell companies with Parviz Sharifrazi, an engineering professor at Southern, in a scheme that began in early 2008 and continued throughout December 2009. According to Mr. Woodall, the men conspired to order high-cost equipment for the university that they substitute…


QuickWire: MIT to Open Center on ‘Mobile Learning,’ With Google’s Backing

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab has announced the creation of the New Center for Mobile Learning, with start-up support from Google. The research center, to be led by three professors at MIT, is focused on building innovative mobile technologies in education, such as interactive games for children that use GPS. The first project involves creating new features and versions of Google’s App Inventor for Android, which allows programmers to easily build applications for the com…


Cornell U. Student Leads Petition Against Bandwidth Cap

More than 200 students at Cornell University have signed an online petition calling for the end of the university’s Internet bandwidth policy, which charges fees to students who exceed a monthly cap. Though the policy has been in place for nearly a decade, students argue that they now need more bandwidth than ever to take full advantage of the Internet, considering the popularity of video-streaming services like Netflix and video-conferencing systems like Skype.

Cristina A. Lara, a sophomore at …


Dance Notation for the iPad? There’s an App for That

An app being developed at Reed College will allow dancers to read and write dance notation such as the score shown here. The dance is "Possession," notated by Rachael Leyva in 2003.

When Reed College in Oregon invited faculty members last fall to submit app ideas for the iPad tablet, Hannah J. Kosstrin immediately thought of what she knew best—dance.

Ms. Kosstrin, a visiting assistant professor of dance at Reed, is now working with the college’s chief technology officer, Martin Ringle, and Oh…


QuickWire: Sony Encourages Researchers to Experiment With Video-Game Controller

Sony wants students and professors to use its motion-based video-game controller in their research projects. Last week the company released an application for the controller, called Playstation Move, that is free to anyone with a .edu e-mail address (others must pay $99.99). Developers will be able to use the free software, called, to create tools in education and health by hooking up the console and a computer to the motion controller and camera. (Microsoft, meanwhile, released software…


Your New Campus Guide: A Small Patterned Square That Talks to Your Smartphone

When scanned, QR codes such as the one shown above, for Wired Campus, quickly direct users to Web pages on their smartphones.

When scanned, QR codes such as the one shown above, for Wired Campus, quickly direct users to Web pages on their smartphones.

Students touring Wittenberg University, in Ohio, can hear campus history come alive with help from their smartphones and little squares with black-and-white patterns affixed to buildings on the 100-acre campus.

Universities like Wittenberg have begun using these QR codes, which can be printed onto any flat surface, as a way to market themselves to a generation of smartpho…


Stanford U. Offers Free Online Course in Artificial Intelligence

A prominent robotics professor and a Google executive are opening up admission to their popular Stanford University course on artificial intelligence this fall to anyone online, and they have even promised to issue grades and certificates to those auditing virtually.

The course—which is taught by Sebastian Thrun, a computer-science professor at Stanford, and Peter Norvig, director of research at Google—is among the largest at the university, with nearly 200 students typically enrolling each…


Universities Start Effort to Extend Broadband to Local Communities

Twenty-nine universities across the country have started a project to extend their high-speed networks to surrounding communities. The effort, called Gig.U , seeks to spread Internet connections that are several hundred times faster than the typical residential connection.

By working with commercial Internet-service providers to bring advanced networks to communities abutting campuses, Gig.U hopes to provide tech start-ups and the public with the connectivity needed to innovate in fields like te…


QuickWire: Chinese Professor Is Criticized for iPad Requirement

A Chinese professor has been criticized for requiring that his students purchase iPads and recommending that they take on extra summer jobs to finance the tablet if they cannot afford one, according to a report in Shanghai Daily. Henry Liang, who teaches finance in English at Shanghai Maritime University, notified students on his personal blog last week that all course materials, including tests and PowerPoint presentations, would be in iPad format only. He then wrote: “If you cannot earn mere…