Technology News: June 2011

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Sibal focuses on IIT

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said faculty of any academic institution is not responsible for a vacuum in research.

Talking to reporters, Sibal highlighted the need for giving more attention to the post-graduate courses in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and cited how the lack of opportunity for research among post graduate students has prompted them to go overseas to pursue research and further studies.

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“To say this that research has not been done because of the faculty, we need to think about this. Secondly, we always gave the importance to undergraduate courses in IITs not in post-graduate courses and what the outcome of that was that the good student in IIT from B.Tech background didn't find the proper research facility available in India so they shift to America. Then he used to pursue his post graduation from America only, since he got more opportunism there,” he said.

Questioning India's funding credibility to spend on research, Sibal said that the US spends 250 billion dollar on research whereas China spends approximate 50 billion as compared to India where the figure is in the range of 8 billion.

$900,000 for iPads at schools

The Hillsborough County School Board approved spending US $900,000 to put an iPad in the hand of every student and teacher at the district's two new single-gender schools.

The board also voted, despite requests from parents opposing the move, to renew a contract with Collier Enterprises for placing cell phone towers on school grounds.

The hefty expenditure comes as school districts across the state, including Hillsborough, are grappling with budget shortfalls. And at least one member of the audience questioned why there weren't more details about the proposal on the school board's published agenda.

Software uses auditory methods to boost language acquisition

Computer programs are playing a more active role in language acquisition, and many include features that let English as a Second Language (ESL) students and those learning a foreign language have conversations with their computers or hear a computer read aloud sentences that the students struggle to write.

The program spans grades 1-12, and it focuses on terms that will let users better grasp English for use in all subjects. English in a Flash also covers what is known as cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), which moves beyond basic conversational fluency.

Students learn lawmaking with e-congress

For the first time, Emily Nole felt that she was more than just a middle school student. Thanks to a government class at South Warren Middle School, the 14-year-old now feels like she has a voice.

The class was the only group of students in the Warren County district

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