Weekly News Roundup

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  • The American Library Association spoke out this week about the Department of Education's withdrawal of funding for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program. The only federal library program that's dedicated solely for the nation's libraries, it was zeroed out under the Department of Education's 2011 funding.
  • The Horizon Report released its 2011 K-12 edition this week. As usual, the report assesses the dominant trends in education technology, positing the amount of time until their broad adoption. According to this year's report, cloud computing and mobile computing will be broadly used in one to three years. In two to three years, we'll see the adoption of game-based learning and open content. And in four to five years, personal learning environments and learning analytics will see widespread adoption.
  • Social learning startup Sophia has acquired Guaranteach, an educational video site boasting a library of more than 22,000 short videos as well as accompanying assessment tools. The acquisition will give a boost to the content on Sophia's site, as well as offer more pieces for the startup's social learning platform.
  • The New York Public Library released a free iPad app entitled Biblion: The Boundless Library. A re-launch of the library's Biblion journal, the app has been specifically designed for the tablet. It is a beautiful discovery and browsing experience as you scroll through the library's collections from the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. The app lets you explore the library's "stacks" -- documents, images, essays, film, audio.
  • Technology author Dan Gillmor has released his latest book Mediactive under a site-wide license for universities. "The university will pay a discounted rate from the list price for the first 40 copies. For each copy beyond that, up to 250, the rate will be lower yet. And after 250, the license will be free for anyone else at the university who wants to download the book."
  • Google announced the winner of its Doodle 4 Google contest: seven year-old Matteo Lopez. His doodle will appear on the Google website today, and he'll receive a college scholarship as well as a technology grant to his school, Monte Verde Elementary School in South San Francisco.
  • One of the most popular professors in the world, MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin, delivered his last lecture on Monday, after teaching at the university for more than 45 years. As part of MIT OpenCourseWare, Lewin's course materials have been available online, and his YouTube videos have been watched by 5 million people.