Interesting article in Journal of Higher Ed with Many Great Points
"The real obstacle in education remains student motivation. Especially in an age of informational abundance, getting access to knowledge isn’t the bottleneck, mustering the will to master it is. And there, for good or ill, the main carrot of a college education is the certified degree and transcript, and the main stick is social pressure. Most students are seeking credentials that graduate schools and employers will take seriously and an environment in which they’re prodded to do the work. But neither of these things is cheaply available online.
Arizona State University’s recent partnership with edX to offer MOOCs is an attempt to do this, but if its student assessments fall short (or aren’t tied to verified identities), other universities and employers won’t accept them. And if the program doesn’t establish genuine rapport with students, then it won’t have the standing to issue credible nudges. (Automated text-message reminders to study will quickly become so much spam.) For technological amplification to lower the costs of higher education, it has to build on student motivation, and that motivation is tied not to content availability but to credentialing and social encouragement.
The Law of Amplification’s least appreciated consequence, however, is that technology on its own amplifies underlying socioeconomic inequalities.
"New research suggests the amount of education a woman has along with having children later in life are key predictor’s of a child’s success in adulthood.
This is the lead in story that tells how they are trying to solve the mystery of the silk tower. I love how they did this -- read this with your students first and then the next article for the answer. Very good writing and kudos to wired. Neat.
Science teachers will love this - a mystery of silk towers in the Amazon is finally solved. These structures went viral after someone posted and asked what they were on the Internet and now it has been discovered: a spider - although no one is really sure how.
It baffled entemologists. This whole topic is very cool because it is science but it is also social media and how the two have become inextricably intertwined. This is a great one to talk about in your science classes because there are so many ways you can go with it. So cool.
An overview from the New York Times predicting the future between Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers which represents 40% of the city's workforce. For those following politics in the US, this is a situation to watch.
Through the end of the year, Discovery just sent me a note that they are offering these three common core academies at no cost. Here's the info from Steve Dembo. I've done some work with their SIEMENS STEM Academy and am a sTAR Educator and everything they do is top notch. If you can work it out before the end of the year, this is something you'll want to do.
From Steve Dembo:
"We know that implementing the Common Core can be an uphill climb.
That's why Discovery Education is proud to partner with educators to offer Common Core Academies in ELA, Math, and Leadership at no cost.
From now until the end of the school year, educators across America are invited to sign up for an Academy and receive:
practical strategies to implement CCSS
reseach-based instructional practices
best practices in using digital content
resources and digital tools for immediate classroom integration
Discovery Education Common Core Academies offer one day of immersive professional development and two follow-up virtual sessions at no cost to support educators and leaders in effectively implementing the Common Core State Standards.
Educators may choose from three Academies offering a unique combination that brings together best practices in digital integration with proven research-based instructional practices:
Literacy and the Common Core in a Digital World
Teaching and Assessing Common Core Math in a Digital World
Leadership Strategies to Support Digital Literacy and the Common Core"
Train your students in CPR. This is a great thing to share with your health classes. The curriculum is here for you.
"The easy-to-use CPR in Schools Training Kit is designed just for schools. It contains everything needed to train 10 students at once in CPR. Repeat the process to train a class, a grade - or even an entire school! The CPR in Schools Training Kit is portable, allowing for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. One CPR in Schools Training Kit can train hundreds of students!"
Students and teachers are taking the 4 liter challenge. Here's the curriculum and information to bring resources and instruction to children of all ages.
"To make the 4 Liter Challenge an even more enriching experience, we've created a free curriculum that introduces themes of water, poverty and human rights to any 7-12th grade classroom. The 4L Curriculum is multidisciplinary and designed to align with national standards. It's built on an innovative "See, Judge, Act" model and will greatly enhance your students' 4L Challenge."
FYI. Microsoft Pulled the Windows 8.1 update after it "bricked" some devices. So, if you're trying to update Windows, wait a little while longer.
More science news! A duckbill dinosaur was found with a trex tooth in it. Yes - Trex was a predator, so no rewrite of Jurassic park is needed.
"You see 'Jurassic Park,' and you see T. rex as this massive hunter and killer, as incredibly vicious. But scientists have argued for 100 years that he was too big and too slow to hunt prey and that he was probably a scavenger, an animal that feeds only on dead things," University of Kansas paleontologist David Burnham said.
Burnham and researcher Robert DePalma got what Burnham described as his "lucky break" when they found the fossil of a duckbill dinosaur's tail with a tooth in it."
Scientists confirm new element after atoms collide
New Element #115 has been announced but is not officially "approved" (which must happen before it is added to the official periodic table.)
Scientists "slammed calcium atoms into americium." Then, the element vanished quickly into a flash of radiation - but scientists could measure it. It has 115 protons at its center so that puts it at 115 on the table. This would be a great one for classes to discuss in chemistry. Neat topic.
The Google Search app on your start screen. I have Chrome but also want to have this search engine (in addition to Bing) on my Windows 8 computer start.
It is time to connect your classroom. Celly has a unique way of creating mobile social networks. Students and parents can sign up without giving out or anyone seeing their mobile number and can unsubscribe at any time. On this page, celly has a getting started guide for schools. This is a tool I'm looking to use this year in my classroom. I've got several friends who've used it and highly recommend it.
Some rules have changed as I've been reading up on having Kindles at schools. (Back in February I read a spate of posts mentioning that Amazon said that having 6 kindles share one account was just for "personal use" and that libraries can't do it.) But Amazon does have information on Whispercast which lets you handle distributing books. It is a "free self-service online tool" and I'm thinking that it is something we need to be using. It looks like you can also distribute many of the free ebooks onto Kindles.
The recent Kindle updates over the past few months have quite a few teachers. In particular, if you have a textbook on Kindle, you can collate notes by color, which is a major enhancement. This article does a nice job of summarizing the features important to educators.
"The update also brings some changes that should be especially helpful for students and teachers, like the ability to highlight long passages that span multiple pages.
In addition, the Notebook feature for textbooks has new filtering options, which should help you more quickly and easily find all your notes, bookmarks, and highlights by colour"
Click in to find related links.