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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 01/17/2012



  • A very nice guide for beginners of Twitter. Written in December 2010, it is still very current and helpful.

    tags: twitter news socialmedia

  • These are my personal guidelines for Twitter. It kind of gives you my own philosophy. We all have our own take on Twitter and you need to do what works for you. This has worked well for me. Hope it helps.

    tags: education news socialmedia twitter

  • This is a great article on how this librarian in New Zealand is using QR codes in their library.

    tags: education qrcode news library

  • This information on Finland (although from a few years back) gives a good description of Finland's world class education system.

    tags: education news curriculum

  • This helpful page from the British Council explains the differences between the UK and US educational systems. They have had a national curriculum since 1992.

    tags: education curriculum news information uk edu_newapp

  • A marvelous pondering on the place and meaning of lectures. There are times when my students are fascinated with a topic and I'm passionate about the topic where a powerful story can stick with them for years. There are other times the topic doesn't interest them. This is a great post to read and think about.

    "So, lectures are not the problem. Their context is. How can we change our teaching so students want and need the information we give them in lectures? Why would we even want to lecture them on information they do not need? "

    tags: education lecture news

  • If you're interested in writing a book, you'll find a lot of nuggets of truth in this article.

    tags: writing authoring author book news advice inspiration composition

  • A video discussing the semantic web (as some call Web 3.0) - this is still being discussed, however, with personal assistants (Siri) and the ability to communicate to increasingly intelligent devices that access the web, it is likely that some of the technologies we have today are transitional technologies that are transporting us from Web 2 to Web 3 as we speak. Remember, however, that although we are moving ahead, that the characteristics of previous "webs" are still there. We can still search like we did in Web 1 and we are certainly seeing explosive growth in social media (Web 2) but Web 3 is here. I think this video is a nice explanation.

    tags: education news web3 web 3.0 edu_trends

  • An excellent ebook on integrating collaborative writing into college teaching from the William and Mary Collaborative Writing Project.

    tags: education writing collaborativewriting news

  • An open resource from the University of Colorado about writing across the curriculum (WAC.)

    tags: education news writing oer

  • "QuikScan: Formatting Documents for Better Comprehension and Navigation," Technical Communication, 57 (2), May 2010, pp. 197-209.

    A research report that I'm reviewing to understand how formatting a document can improve comprehension. Thought some readers would like reviewing this.

    tags: education news writing

  • Quikscan is a formatting method proven to improve reading comprehension of documents. This website was created to explain the method to accompany the resource paper about this topic. I am looking at this to understand if these methods can be used to improve online writing.

    tags: education writing news

  • Teenagers need iron and the elderly sometimes need less. We should discuss the health needs of students as we consider what they eat in our schools.

    "“We found that healthy brain wiring in adults depended on having good iron levels in your teenage years,” said Thompson. "

    tags: news health health_teacher

  • Things haven't settled down at Penn State where the new president wants to talk about academics and most alumns seem to want to talk football and the firing of Joe Paterno.

    tags: education news

  • Meta analysis on charter school data still doesn't point to whether it really improves student outcomes. Julian Betts and Richard Atkinson just published research in the Journal Science and summarized here in the Washington Post.

    "They wrote in their study, “Better Research Needed on the Impact of Charter Schools,” that charter schools have been embraced by the Obama administration — and by the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations before it — as “the saviors of a broken educational system.” But, they said, researchers still can’t answer the question: Does attendance at a charter school improve student outcomes?"

    tags: education news

  • If you want to understand open badges, read Doug Belshaw's post and his experience.

    "I found P2PU.org a fantastically easy way to setup a study group and would certainly do so again. I think that the semester of learning helped point people towards certain resources that they may not otherwise have seen and, perhaps more importantly, engage with other people they may not have come across. It was great to see, given some of the superficiality and shallow reading evident from those reacting in various backchannels during the announcement, that those who were part of the group were committed to going away to think and read.

    What did we learn? Well, I think I can speak on behalf of us when I say that talking of ‘badges for lifelong learning’ sounds simple but actually contains a lot of nuance and hidden complexity around assessment. I’m very much looking forward to continuing the conversation both on Twitter (using the hashtags #openbadges and #dmlbadges) and within the new HASTAC group. "

    tags: education news openbadge hastac

  • Lead is still all around us.

    "The study, which looked at four large American cities – Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Birmingham – suggests that automotive traffic turbulence plays a significant role in re-suspension of contaminated roadside soils and dusts. The research revealed that atmospheric soil and lead aerosols were correlated and that atmospheric solid and lead aerosols are about three times higher during weekdays than weekends and Federal Government holidays."

    tags: education news

  • Good teachers have always known that empty praise produces empty results. Praise students for the work they do as well as for producing results. There is a fine line here, but the truth is, not everyone deserves praise in every classroom. Just know that students should be given genuine praise from honest observations. Great article for all teachers and principals to read. Glad to see we're having more common sense in this area.

    "Now, an increasing number of teachers are weaning themselves from what some call empty praise. Drawing on psychology and brain research, these educators aim to articulate a more precise, and scientific, vocabulary for praise that will push children to work through mistakes and take on more challenging assignments. Consider teacher Shar Hellie's new approach in Montgomery County, Md.

    To get students through the shaky first steps of Spanish grammar, Hellie spent many years trying to boost their confidence. If someone couldn't answer a question easily, she would coach him, whisper the first few words, then follow up with a booming "!Muy bien!"

    But on a January morning at Rocky Hill Middle School, the smiling grandmother gave nothing away. One seventh-grade boy returned to the overhead projector three times to rewrite a sentence, hesitating each time, while his classmates squirmed in silence.

    "You like that?" Hellie asked when he settled on an answer. He nodded. Finally, she beamed and praised the progress he was making -- in his cerebral cortex.

    "You have a whole different set of neurons popping up there!" she told him.

    A growing body of research over three decades shows that easy, unearned praise does not help students but instead interferes with significant learning opportunities. As schools ratchet up academic standards for all students, new buzzwords are "persistence," "risk-taking" and "resilience" -- each implying more sweat and strain than fuzzy, warm feelings."

    tags: education news teaching

  • There is no doubt that caffeine poisoning is on the rise. Doctors in Australia are ready to recommend that something be done. Energy drinks are consumed by students in massive amounts (look in your school trash can.) Do students really know what is in these drinks?

    "The Australian Medical Association is calling for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-18s.

    New research shows that the average age of someone calling a poisons information line about caffeine toxicity is 17 and there's been a significant increase in the number of calls over the past seven years. "

    tags: education health nutrition medical news

  • With this announcement come a torrent of ethical and personal questions. If I'm likely to get a disease, do I really want to know? Are humans capable of handling that sort of thing, particularly if nothing can be done to prevent the problem?

    "A new DNA sequencing machine from Ion Torrent, a unit of Life Technologies Corporation, makes it possible to analyze a person’s entire genome in just one day for $1,000. Previously that would take weeks and cost about $10,000, making it an impractical diagnostic tool.

    Now that the cost and time have decreased, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Yale, and Baylor will study whether the technology can be put to practical use.

    “Ultimately the idea would be that you could have a system that a physician would feed your personal genome sequence into and it would tell you things like whether you’re likely to get diseases or if you do get a particular disease you’re likely to respond to one treatment or another,” said Robert Murphy, professor and head of the Lane Center for Computational Biology in Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science."

    tags: education news

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