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The demise of the $100 Laptop

» Still Waiting for That $100 Laptop? makes some good points about the drawbacks of Nicholas Negroponte's ambitious scheme.  [ 09/26/07 ]

How to be a more effective researcher

» Q: Question: How do I start researching? Answer: Treat research as a lifestyle not an assignment. A great approach from what appears to be an academic librarian, including a new (to me) term: The Invisible College. [Wikipedia article] Bloggers will immediately see themselves in this role, so it's worth pointing out that anyone who limits themselves to blogs will miss many other communities of interest, online and off. (1) Comments  / [ 06/01/07 ]

119 Sources for Searching the Deep Web

» Online Education Database: Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources. (via wl [ 05/09/07 ]

Teaching toddlers about anytime foods and sometimes foods

» I love this concept for teaching preschoolers good eating habits: anytime foods and sometimes foods [ 03/19/07 ]

Educators Survey for Children's Author Reading Group

» Are you an elementary school teacher? My sister (whose first book will be out this summer!) writes:

For next year, I am considering putting together an monthly online book club, which would involve multiple authors discussing a previously selected book. Students could participate in the chat, could send questions and comments ahead of time, or could simply use the chat transcripts as a conversation starter in their classrooms. If you would have an interest in this, please email me.

Librarians, you might want to weigh in, too, if this would be interesting to you. (While you're on her site, check out her latest "Piggy-gram" discussing Poem in your Pocket Day [ 03/14/07 ]

Kenya Camel Bookmobile

» The Camel Bookmobile travels through Kenya to bring semi-nomadic people in Northeastern part of the country books, many of them in English. You can donate a few of your favorite books (remember to sign it!), for only $23 postage (for a 5-pound package).  [ 02/21/07 ]

Pocket Brain Trust: Edu-blogging resources?

» Calling the Rebecca's Pocket Brain Trust: I'm looking for clear and especially useful resources on educational blogging, particularly for the Middle School to High School range. What would you recommend for a teacher who is new to blogging who wants to introduce her students to blogging? (8) Comments  / [ 10/06/06 ]

The Myth about Homework

» Time: The Myth About Homework. Homework is up 51% since 1981, but doing more than 60 to 90 min. a night in middle school and more than 2 hr. in high school is associated with lower scores.  [ 09/11/06 ]

How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice

» How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Jonah Lehrer suggests that two of the most famous child prodigies—Amadeus Mozart and Tiger Woods—are notable as much for their work ethic as for their innate talent. He references Ericsson's assertion that world-class performance requires 10,000 hours of practice. Now, most of these studies are focused on people who started their study at young ages and emerged as experts when they reached adulthood (or as accomplished practioners, which takes 7,500 hours of work). But, barring physical limits, why couldn't someone become an expert practitioner later in life? "Other golfers may outplay me from time to time, but they'll never outwork me." Tiger Woods.  [ 07/31/06 ]

Ericsson on Practice and Expert Performance

» K. Anders Ericsson: Expert Performance and Deliberate Practice.

When experts exhibit their superior performance in public their behavior looks so effortless and natural that we are tempted to attribute it to special talents. [...] The critical difference between expert musicians differing in the level of attained solo performance concerned the amounts of time they had spent in solitary practice during their music development, which totaled around 10,000 hours by age 20 for the best experts,  around 5,000 hours for the least accomplished expert musicians and only 2,000 hours for serious amateur pianists.

  [ 07/31/06 ]

Barres: Does gender matter in the sciences?

» NYT: Fascinating interview with Ben A. Barres, professor of neurobiology at Stanford. He started life as Barbara, and he has a unique perspective on sexism in the sciences.

Q. When you were a woman did you experience bias?
A. An M.I.T. professor accused me of cheating on this test. I was the only one in the class who solved a particular problem, and he said my boyfriend must have solved it for me. One, I did not have a boyfriend. And two, I solved it myself, goddamn it! But it did not occur to me to think of sexism. I was just indignant that I would be accused of cheating.
Then later I was in a prestigious competition. I was doing my Ph.D. at Harvard, which would nominate one person. It came down to me and one other graduate student, and a dean pulled me aside and said, “I have read both applications, and it’s going to be you; your application is so much better.” Not only did I not win, the guy got it, but he dropped out of science a year later.
But even then I did not think of sexism.

  [ 07/19/06 ]

Does native language or academic training determine how we do math?

» Brain scans have revealed that Chinese speakers rely more on visual regions than English speakers when comparing numbers and doing sums [ 06/28/06 ]

New Study: 'Boy crisis' greatly overstated

» A new study finds that widespread reports of U.S. boys being in crisis are greatly overstated, and may "derive from inadequate research, sloppy analysis and discomfort with the fact that although the average boy is doing better, the average girl has gotten ahead of him".   [ 06/27/06 ]

Using comic book heros to teach science

» Neat: The California Science Center in Ontario, CA is hosting a Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition, which aims to teach kids science through the biology and physics of their favorite superheroes. "We're not strong as a bear, as fast as a cheetah or as indestructible as a cockroach. Our superpower is our intelligence and when we don't use it we are in trouble—and the forces of evil are everywhere." James Kakalios, physics professor at the University of Minnesota whose freshman seminar "Everything I Know About Science I Learned From Reading Comic Books" was one inspiration for the exhibit.   [ 06/02/06 ]

Comparative Table of Languages

» The Comparative table of languages(3) Comments  / [ 05/05/06 ]

Bellingham school closes for 'sun day'

» Solar Power: Bellingham Christian School recently closed school for the first warm, sunny day of the year(1) Comments  / [ 04/27/06 ]

The Bookman of San Diego

» Irwin Herman rounds them up and gives them away — 8 million and counting. "To jails alone we give 100,000 paperbacks yearly. Juvie Hall is separate. They find me, God bless 'em. I never say no to anybody. Mental health services. St. Vincent. East Mesa Detention Center. AA group for teenagers. Anybody who calls me and says, 'I need books for such-and-such group,' I say, 'Come on over. And bring empty boxes.'" Irwin Herman, the Bookman of San Diego. (via dm [ 04/25/06 ]

The Phoebe Hearst Elementary School Inventor's Showcase

» Forget the Science Fair. What young people want is a showcase for their inventions. "Would you be bored if you were stuck having to swim in a bowl all day?" Fourth grader Lexee Hutchens, explaining her invention, the Fishtastic Maze.  [ 04/25/06 ]

Reflect Circles for Participatory Community Development

» This is neat: In 60 countries around the world, Reflect circles are providing members of poor communities with a structure to cooperatively tackle development projects and in the process, to advance their education. It's participatory community development! "In the Reflect methodology, a group identifies a community problem — AIDS, sexual violence, poverty, or some other ill — and then decides how to help solve it. The education comes subtly. Maybe the group decides it wants to improve members' writing ability to draft petitions. Or perhaps it aims at better math skills to run the business side of a community garden."  [ 03/22/06 ]

Innovative uses of iPods in Education

» Georgia College & State University, a small, rural liberal arts college, has initiated a program to devise innovative uses of the iPod across campus. One professor asks students to screen required films on video-enabled iPods before class; another produces a weekly podcast of the most-asked questions from her office hours; and the school has created an "iVillage" to help freshmen adjust to life on campus.   [ 03/22/06 ]

Academic lectures for sale and for free

» Last fall, Productive Strategies compiled a sampling of Academic Lecture Podcasts from several universities. And my pal Jeremy Cherfas is raving about the lectures available from The Teaching Company [ 03/22/06 ]

Italic Handwriting

» Appalled at the terrible handwriting that surrounds them, a handwriting expert/former teacher and calligraphy expert have invented a new hybrid of printing and cursive that promises to give practitioners fast, legible handwriting. Their book is Write Now: The Complete Program for Better Handwriting. Listen, I'm all for this. I can't read notes I've written to myself even 5 minutes later. "We have a national affliction, and it's called cacography — that means 'illegible handwriting.' "That's why we're a 'Please print' nation. Nobody says, 'Please write in your lovely cursive handwriting.'" Barbara Getty, handwriting expert, former elementary-school teacher and co-creator of the Italic method of handwriting. (via dm)

Thanks to Shelly for providing the URL for the updated version of the book (corrected above). (3) Comments  / [ 03/15/06 ]

Modding RPGs to teach journalism

»  Jesse and I have been talking about this kind of thing for a long time: Two University of Minnesota professors have modded the world of a medieval role-playing computer game into an American small town — and are using it to teach journalism. "As the class instructor, Hansen has access to the log of each student's movements through the game; students must also turn in their reporter's notebook and their stories so she can see the type of notes taken by each student, and how those notes were used in generating each story." (via rw [ 02/28/06 ]

Religious leaders reject Intelligent Design

» Protestant and Catholic leaders are speaking out against the Intelligent Design movement, joining scientists who have been battling to remove the ideology from science classes across the United States.  [ 02/22/06 ]



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