But how does using a different physical space have an impact on learning? Bosch argued that changing the environment helps teachers and students to break free from old habits: "One of the things you can do is create an environment where you cannot function the same way as you used to. What happens when you go out of the school into a theatre, you have to improvise. When you improvise, you start learning and developing."
For example, Kate Gorely described a project to create a library at Rosendale Primary School in London. With a roll of 700 children, the school's Victorian building was cramped and every room was being used as classroom space. Gorely, a parent at the school, had the idea of converting a disused London double-decker bus into a library. With the help of volunteers, the project was completed in nine months. The bus, surrounded by a grassy area, now sits in a previously disused corner of the concrete playground. "What we created was something really magical," said Gorely, "and it became a real focus for break time."
The children were consulted about the design and their answers to a question about where they liked to read included "sitting in a tree" or "lying on a bed". None, reported Gorely, said "I like to sit on my chair at a desk and read a book." As a result, there is only one table in the new library and the space has proved hugely popular: "The children who hadn't had much interest in reading in the classroom were coming and reading books at break time."
Think video games aren't art? This Minecraft opera begs to differ.
That's an ambitious project under construction at Virginia Tech University, where the school's music department has recruited eight high-schoolers to plot, write and build a Minecraft set for an opera to debut this December. Students are building a massive set for "OperaCraft" in the sandbox building game, and will use their Minecraft avatars to act out the opera's major roles. Voice students from the school's music department, meanwhile, will lend their voices to the project, which is set to Mozart pieces.
As the world is transfixed by a new H7N9 bird flu virus spreading through China, a study reminds us that a different avian influenza — H5N1 — still poses a pandemic threat.
A team of scientists in China has created hybrid viruses by mixing genes from H5N1 and the H1N1 strain behind the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and showed that some of the hybrids can spread through the air between guinea pigs.
Flu hybrids can arise naturally when two viral strains infect the same cell and exchange genes. This process, known as reassortment, produced the strains responsible for at least three past flu pandemics, including the one in 2009.
There is no evidence that H5N1 and H1N1 have reassorted naturally yet, but they have many opportunities to do so. The viruses overlap both in their geographical range and in the species they infect, and although H5N1 tends mostly to swap genes in its own lineage, the pandemic H1N1 strain seems to be particularly prone to reassortment.
“If these mammalian-transmissible H5N1 viruses are generated in nature, a pandemic will be highly likely,” says Hualan Chen, a virologist at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who led the study.
“It's remarkable work and clearly shows how the continued circulation of H5N1 strains in Asia and Egypt continues to pose a very real threat for human and animal health,” says Jeremy Farrar, director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Chen's results are likely to reignite the controversy that plagued the flu community last year, when two groups found that H5N1 could go airborne if it carried certain mutations in a gene that produced a protein called haemagglutinin (HA). Following heated debate over biosecurity issues raised by the work, the flu community instigated a voluntary year-long moratorium on research that would produce further transmissible strains. Chen’s experiments were all finished before the hiatus came into effect, but more work of this nature can be expected now that the moratorium has been lifted.
“I do believe such research is critical to our understanding of influenza,” says Farrar. “But such work, anywhere in the world, needs to be tightly regulated and conducted in the most secure facilities, which are registered and certified to a common international standard.”
Virologists have created H5N1 reassortants before. One study found that H5N1 did not produce transmissible hybrids when it reassorts with a flu strain called H3N2. But in 2011, Stacey Schultz-Cherry, a virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, showed that pandemic H1N1 becomes more virulent if it carries the HA gene from H5N1.
Chen’s team mixed and matched seven gene segments from H5N1 and H1N1 in every possible combination, to create 127 reassortant viruses, all with H5N1’s HA gene. Some of these hybrids could spread through the air between guinea pigs in adjacent cages, as long as they carried either or both of two genes from H1N1 called PA and NS. Two further genes from H1N1, NA and M, promoted airborne transmission to a lesser extent, and another, the NP gene, did so in combination with PA.
NEWS.com.au Blue collared workers the highest users of maths in the workplace, study reveals NEWS.com.au His results revealed that high-skilled blue-collar workers, such as those in construction trades and mechanics, were actually the highest daily...
If you love mad science, you are about to be ecstatic. In these amazing historic images of laboratories — many over a century old — you can see the crazy, brilliant scientific instruments of another age.
This is a wonderful set of fraction maths games. There are comparing and pairing games while others ask players where fractions sit along a number line. The games are fun and slowly increase in difficulty. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Maths
Studies of mindfulness programs in schools have found that regular practice — even just a few minutes per day — improves student self-control and increases their classroom participation, respect for others, happiness, optimism, and self-acceptance...
"Education and learning could look radically different in the next few years. The education foundation KnowledgeWorks has released a forecast on the future of learning, focusing on ways that technology and new teaching strategies are shaking up traditional models. Check out this snapshot of an infographic the organization created to depict a learning ecosystem that includes whole communities in education. Make sure to check out the full infographic."
In the best of worlds, design thinking is a way to structure an iterative design process for young people that is understandable and easy to accomplish. It uses the idea of creating a product, with an explicit process of brainstorming, finding out the needs of the audience, design, development, testing, sharing, and more. I’m being deliberately vague because there are quite a few models of design thinking and I’m not talking about any one in particular.
Design thinking can help students and teachers break out of the lecture/test model and showcase what kids can do, rather than tests that try to catch them at what they can’t do. It’s a place for students to use different problem-solving styles, to add their own flair to school work, and to think about the impact they could have on the world.
Now the worry. In some cases, what I’ve seen promoted as design thinking in K12 is too oriented towards planning, overly structured, and spends too much time in the pre-production phases of the design cycle. The design “thinking” takes over the design “doing”.
We learn, from the time we're little, the process of the scientific method--how to discover things--but we don't teach the parallel art of how to invent things," Stanford innovation scholar Tina Seelig told us, "That's one of the reasons creativity seems so mysterious. We don't, from the time they're young, teach people the components of what you need to invent, as opposed to discover
Creative ideas, by their very nature, invite judgment. People need to know if the value promised by the new is worth the abandonment of the old. We tend to fear change, and therefore we fear the innovations that call us to change. In organizations especially, we’re told to have fresh ideas and to think outside the box. However, in the rare cases when individuals actually do propose something unique, their idea is often rejected as being too outlandish or impossible.
It’s not enough to merely generate great ideas. Though we live in a world of complex challenges and our organizations need innovative solutions, we also live in a world biased against creative ideas. It’s not enough for an organization to have creative people; it has to develop a culture that doesn’t reject great ideas. It’s not enough for people to learn how to be more creative; they also need to be persistent through the rejection they might face. It’s not enough to have a great idea or a great product, there’s still a lot of selling left to do. We don’t just need more great ideas; we need to spread the great ideas we already have.
Key concepts. Chemistry Solubility Saturation Crystals Purification. Introduction Have you ever wondered how crystals are made? Crystals come in all different shapes and sizes. The purest and cleanest crystals, however, are ...
Screencasts record desktop actions with audio, enabling educators to easily create tutorials perfect for a "flipped classroom." (Web 2.0 platforms continue to evolve, and tools that allow users to share “screencasts” are at the...
Preparing for a test or just learning new things? This site has a group of tools to help you, including mindmapping, flashcards, multi-media notes and quiz makers. It's a great assessment resource for teachers and their classes. It is designed to work seemlessly with mobile devices. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/ICT+%26+Web+Tools
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