Add accurate NC or GCSE grading to Yacapaca assessments

It is now 10x easier to have your courses report results as either GCSE grades, or National Curriculum levels, with more grading schemes to follow.

It took me a while to realise that the runaway popularity of our ICT Baseline scheme, (with over 1,000,000 quizzes served per year) is because it returns reliable NC levels. Once I did, we got to work reprogramming the whole system.

Now you can convert any course you authored to grade reporting, by simply choosing the relevant grade scheme from a menu. Here’s how.

Google ChromeOS will kill textbooks stone dead next year

I have been predicting for some time that a class set of computers will soon be cheaper than the equivalent pile of textbooks. Now I’ll put a date on it. Christmas 2010.

Today Google announced ChromeOS, an operating system for netbooks and other small, cheap devices. They are showing it off now, but make it clear that they have another 12 months of work before it will be ready for sale giving away to the general public.

Why is this such a big deal? Because it’s designed from scratch for computers with tiny processors, no hard drives, very little memory and therefore a very low price. It will simply become so much cheaper to supply information to students in an online format than a paper one; something you might bear in mind if you have been thinking of buying into a new textbook scheme next year.

Update December 2012: Well I got that wrong! First it took until 2012 before cheap Chromebooks came out. Second, they have been completely eclipsed by tablets. We can now see that iPads, in particular, are killing textbooks and the rate of slaughter will increase sharply this year.

Drugs education: science vs. orthodoxy

galileo

When Galileo challenged religious orthodoxy with science, he was shown the rack. When Prof. David Nutt did it, he was merely shown the door. So that’s progress then.

I don’t normally use this blog to promote Chalkface products, but I think I might be permitted a small boast on this occasion. We have by policy always produced drug-education materials that educate in a balanced way that respects your students’ intelligence and does not fall for the government’s Daily Mail-inspired hysteria. See for yourself.