Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 07/14/2010

  • "For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong - and how we can fix it."

    tags: education creativity innovation

    • 1990 is when the overzealous drive for standardized testing and curriculum began. Go figure. - post by Jeffrey Fuller
    • We say that we do the same as far as problem based learning, but our problem is how to get kids to pass a standardized test. In truth, other countries are taking on learning methods that we discarded in the late 1980s, we are taking on a learning approach that they have abandoned after 1000 years of practice. Our own educational leaders are all in denial about this. - post by Jeffrey Fuller
    • Edutainers, don't get your hopes up for synchronized dance interpretation of math problems. Using creativity is great, but it must also be relevant. - post by Jeffrey Fuller
    • The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests. There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).
    • What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers.
    • The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.
  • This iTunes app is free an dteaches the rewards of saving. From Mass Mutual, this is a game designed for kids.

    Here is the information they E-mailed me:

    "Springfield, Mass., June 23, 2010 – Children’s habits are formed at an early age, and a 2009 study by Forbes Consulting Group for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) revealed that two-thirds of parents think financial education should start then, too. That’s one of the reasons why MassMutual is now offering a free downloadable interactive game, Save! The Game, to help kids learn the value of separating wants from needs when it comes to spending. "

    tags: education banking money saving games

  • If you're a science teacher, this could be a great project and video to take a look at. You may also want to host a screening of the film.

    "Dear Vicki,

    I wanted to make you, and hopefully your members and network of affiliates,
    aware of our newly-released film, "A Simple Question." It is winning awards
    at film festivals around the world and moving audiences both to tears (of
    joy) and to action.

    In 1993, after showing a sobering film on endangered species to her 4th
    grade class, one of Laurette Rogers' students asked the simple question that
    would change their lives: "What can we do to help endangered species?" They
    decided they would devote the year to saving a local, endemic species: the
    California freshwater shrimp. Thus, began an amazing journey that would link
    this classroom of kids with farmers and ranchers, scientists, journalists,
    politicians, and agencies in a quest to make a positive impact on the
    environment. What resulted was a program to restore habitat on private lands
    where the shrimp dwells, that now, seventeen years later, provides a
    hands-on science learning experience each year to hundreds of school
    children and their teachers. To date, the kids have restored 20 miles of
    riparian habitat, expanded the range of the shrimp, and brought back more
    than 20 species of endangered birds. All this, while bringing together a
    disparate collection of strangers to forge lasting community --- starting
    from "a simple question.""

    tags: education science

  • Civil War Augmented Reality project -- just in my inbox. You civil war buffs and history teachers may really get a "kick" out of this. Speaking of "kick" they are trying to get a grant that requires people to vote for them. Take a look:

    "This message is from a group of educators in Pennsylvania who have
    developed a Social Studies project that is in the process of raising a
    modest amount of money to build prototypes for gathering additional
    Our project, the Civil War Augmented Reality Project, is intended to
    enhance the experiences of students visiting Civil War sites. It is
    also intended to increase attendance and revenue for historic sites by
    offering both “high” and “low” tech experiences to best reach the
    majority of the population.
    We feel that our project is fulfilling a need that educators, park
    workers, technology enthusiasts, and Civil War enthusiasts have
    discussed in the past: How can historic sites both raise educational
    value and public interest in their institutions though technology,
    while not alienating the non-technical history fans?
    We have worked hard on the answer, and are interested in promoting our
    creative solutions.
    We would like to make clear that the project is not intended solely
    for Pennsylvania. It is our hope that the project will expand to other
    venues, as we feel that we have the ability to use our ideas to
    enhance the experiences of all students at historic sites."

    tags: education history learning

  • Blog about the future of education and win an iphone.

    tags: education learning blogging

  • Another site for education news in a "digg" like format.

    tags: education news bookmarking

  • If you are a blogger, you should have ethics. Fully disclose.

    I've had someone ask to pay me to insert their link into a blog post I wrote. NO!

    Ethical disclosure means that if I do anything or am affiliated with ANYTHING that I will fully disclose it, period. Does it mean that less people may click on my Amazon links if I say I'm an affiliate - yes. However, my first debt is the content of my blog and the integrity of what you'll find here on Cool Cat Teacher. It is what I think without any influence of any kind unless it is fully disclosed. If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look on this link.

    tags: education blogging

  • You could perhaps use this to discuss college opportunities with students. This is an interesting take on the NBC show "Community" and relating it to what it is like to go to college.

    tags: education learning video

  • If you live near the Chesapeake Bay in the USA< you'll want to look at this incredible resource! (Or if you're just studying about it!)

    From the founders:

    "Chesapeake Bay Education Website BayBackpack.com Launched

    Check out our new website Bay Backpack, www.baybackpack.com, which provides educators with the resources they need to engage students in hands-on learning about the Chesapeake Bay. This site is an online resource for teachers and environmental educators to engage students in hands-on learning about the Chesapeake Bay and its local waterways.

    Bay Backpack provides educators with the necessary resources to give their students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE), which are extensive projects that allow students to gain a deep understanding of environmental issues in the Chesapeake Bay and its local streams and rivers. Bay Backpack houses over 380 teaching resources on issues like pollution, development, farming and many other environmental topics.

    To learn more about Bay Backpack, visit www.baybackpack.com. Interested educators can also follow Bay Backpack on Twitter @baybackpack or become a fan on Facebook. Please help us spread the word by forwarding this to anyone that may be interested."

    tags: education science

    • Pretty insightful post. Never thought that it was this simple after all. I had spent a good deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you’re the only one that ever did that. Kudos to you! Keep it up....


      - post by tamisha bruna
  • JUst in my inbox - a new bookmarking site for academics.

    My name is Andrew Cullison. I'm an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at
    SUNY Fredonia. I just launched a social bookmarking site for academics, and you seem like someone who might be interested in playing around with it.

    You can check out the site here - http://www.sympoze.com

    I love social bookmarking sites like Digg, but I was always disappointed with the academic content that was promoted. I thought it would be great if there were a site like Digg that only allowed academic philosophers to vote up links. That way, I would know
    that the philosophy content that was voted up would definitely be up my alley. So two years ago, I started that site.

    Just two days ago, I expanded the site to all areas of academia. We are in beta testing now, but the idea is to eventually set everything up so that grad students and professors only vote up links in their area or a variety of general interest categories.

    It should be a quick and easy way for academics to find out what is popular in their area with their professional peers.

    tags: education bookmarking socialbookmarking

  • This lets you generate a favicon to go in the address bar of your website.

    tags: education blogging

  • This is the code I've added to my blog to optimize for mobile access. I've been spending some time "under the hood" of my blog as some of you will notice."

    This is a great website for those who use blogger. Whatever you use, investigate how to make your blog accessible to mobile devices!

    tags: education blogging mobile

    • <meta content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/>

      <b:if cond='data:blog.isMobile'>

      <meta content='width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, user-scalable=0' name='viewport'/>


      <meta content='width=1100' name='viewport'/>


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