Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Facebook Conversations Used As Evidence In Exam Cheating Case

"Two Belgian college students have been flunked for cheating on their written exams, getting zero points for two courses because they had reportedly been caught exchanging responses during the tests. Notably, the determining evidence used in the case came straight from Facebook"...

Click here to read the entire article by Robin Wauters in TechCrunch.

Should Facebook conversations be used as evidence in cheating? Are these public or private conversations? Does it depend if the comments were posted to their public "wall" or not? Would an Honor Code have helped?
For more posts on cheating click here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Secure are Your Passwords?

So just how secure are your computer system passwords? ...Please, please, please don't tell me your password is "password."

I know in this day and age that we have all registered at about 1,000 or more sites and we tend to use the same password or maybe four or five passwords if you are like me.  My different passwords have varying degrees of difficulty and the two I use for my financial records and for the CareerTech Testing Center's system have length, symbols, numbers, characters, and are word free. I never write them down and I have nightmares every night that I'll forget them, especially when I go on vacation. Yes, I actually did forget after my last vacation and I spent the first hour of work drinking an entire pot of coffee and trying different combinations, saying words I don't typically say, and I seriously thought I was developing my first ulcer and then I suddenly remembered. At first I felt a sense of relief and then complete stupidity. 

As a test publisher and host for thousands of test administrations around the country each year, the CareerTech Testing Center strongly encourages you to create STRONG PASSWORDS and to not only protect your computer system, but to control access to ours as well.

I recommend that you try Microsoft's Password Checker to find out the strength of your passwords. If your password doesn’t measure up, Microsoft also offers some great advice on how to create a strong password.

Additional resources: Creating Secure Passwords and 5 Tips to Keep Your Passwords Secret

And while your at it, it's a great opportunity to teach your students about cyber security as well!  J.T.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Free Guide: "The Secret of Writing Multiple Choice Test Items"

One of the things we have learned over the years at the CareerTech Testing Center is that Subject Matter Experts are definitely experts in their field, but many aren't aware of how to design an effective test question. Therefore, we created one of our most popular posts, "The Secret of Writing Multiple-Choice Test Items." (This post led to the creation of the FREE GUIDE that you can can access below.)

We believe that these "secrets" can help any instructor or test developer, at ANY level of instruction, develop more effective test instruments. We hope you take a look!

You can download the document for FREE from Yudu. Check it out below:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mashpedia - The Real-Time Encyclopedia

Topics are 'happening' in real-time: events are occurring, affairs are advancing, nothing is static anymore. New knowledge and meaningful digital content around it is created every day, crowds are participating and collaborating online, supported on a new generation of web tools, services and networks; hence making most concepts evolve at a new faster pace, potentially revamping our interpretation of reality, to make it a more dynamic and efficient process.

According to the creators, "Mashpedia aims to serve as an effective medium for acquirement of this newly possible reality knowledge on any given topic, providing a full scope of substantive, factual, fresh and real-time information and content for millions of topics and themes. However, Mashpedia is not a search engine: Mashpedia provides articles for specific topics such as concepts, subjects, personalities, events, places, companies, products, etc., but not for broader, unspecific searches."

As an example of what Mashpedia does, I searched "2010 Yushu earthquake" and I was provided the following:
  • definitions
  • a public wall for comments
  • Wikipedia articles
  • YouTube videos
  • a live Twitter stream
  • news feeds
  • images from a different sources
  • Digg links
  • blog posts
  • Google books
  • articles from websites
You have to admit that Mashpedia offers a trendy, social network look. Kind of a one-page resource of recent developments. I hope you will take a look!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Medical Assisting Skills Standards and Assessments from the CareerTech Testing Center

I wanted to announce the new Medical Assisting skills standards and assessments being offered by the CareerTech Testing Center. The three products we offer in this series are are:
  • Medical Assisting: Clinical (aligned with AMT Registered Medical Assistant)
  • Medical Assisting: Administrative (aligned with AMT Administrative Specialist)
  • Medical Assisting: Phlebotomy (aligned with AMT Registered Phlebotomy Technician)
I also wanted to let you know that all of these skills standards have been endorsed by the Integris Physicians Services.

Please contact the CareerTech Testing Center at 405.743.5412 to order these new assessments! As always, you can access our skills standards for FREE on our website.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers

Google for Teachers -

Are you aware of many of Google's offerings like search, docs, and maps, but not really sure how to use these tools or what these tools offer beyond the obvious?

Richard Byrne, the creator of Free Technology for Teachers, has created a "Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers" that I recommend you take a look at.  He focuses on some of the lesser-used Google tools options like publishing an online quiz using Google Docs. In all there are 33 pages containing 21 great ideas and simple how to instructions for creating Google Maps placemarks, directions creating and publishing a quiz with Google Docs forms, directions for embedding books into your blog, and visual aids for accessing other Google tools. (You can check out the guide on Yudu here.)

The guide really generated a lot of ideas for me on how Google could be used in the classroom (especially the bookshelf and map functions). I even thought of using Google Maps to plot vacations or my son's baseball season with links to YouTube videos.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Using Twitter to Help Learners Retain Knowledge

I saw an interesting post on Questionmark's blog by John Kleeman that I wanted to share with you.  Kleeman asks, “What is the best way of stopping people forgetting things after learning?”  His answer is to "ask questions over time after the learning takes place."

Kleeman states, "When you learn something, you connect two or more concepts in memory. And when you are asked a question about what you have learned, you have to search your memory to find the answer. This searching makes the connection in memory stronger, so in the future you will be more likely to remember what you have learned rather than forget it. If you’re not familiar with this important idea, see these white papers by learning expert Will Thalheimer for more information: The Learning Benefits of Questions and Measuring Learning Results."

"If your learners go on to another course or go back to work, it’s not always easy to reach them to stimulate their memory with follow-up questions. Here’s where Twitter comes in: it can be a great tool for sending follow up questions.
  •  Have your learners follow you on Twitter, either on your main account, or on a subsidiary account made for each course.
  • Post short questions as tweets to stimulate people’s memory. Remember, even thinking about the answer can help reinforce the learning. You could post the right answer the next day.
  • Follow these up with quizzes (using Questionmark)."
 Read entire blog post here.
Excellent idea on an educational use of Twitter from the guys at Questionmark!
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