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Rescooped by Rodrigo Penna from Learning Technology News
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Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education

Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education | Languages | Scoop.it

Teaching in an environment where the internet and discussion are allowed in exams would be different. The ability to find things out quickly and accurately would become the predominant skill. The ability to discriminate between alternatives, then put facts together to solve problems would be critical. AThat's a skill that future employers would admire immensely.


Via Nik Peachey
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Library Staff's curator insight, June 17, 2013 11:53 PM

Reinventing schools -  today's educational challenge -  from TED 2013 prizewinner Sugata Mitra.

William Hanna's curator insight, June 18, 2013 8:25 AM

Wow!  Allowing internet access and discussion during exams???  As bizarre as it sounds, I think it's awesome!  Instead of teaching our kids to memorize everything, we could teach them to THINK!  A good thing indeed.

 

Jacqui Cooper's curator insight, June 18, 2013 11:14 AM

Well as employers in the UK (and I suspect elsewhere) are complaining about students leaving school without the right skills, the schools should be looking at this seriously.

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Do Geography and Altitude Shape the Sounds of a Language?

Do Geography and Altitude Shape the Sounds of a Language? | Languages | Scoop.it
Languages that evolve at high elevations are more likely to include a sound that's easier to make when the air is thinner, new research shows

Via Seth Dixon
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PatrickHance's comment, September 2, 2013 9:33 PM
Recently, a University of Miami linguist named Caleb Everett made a surprising discovery about how geography influences language. Previously, it was assumed that how languages developed sounds was random. His findings show that languages with ejective consonants have a strong tendency to be in high-altitude regions. Ejective consonants are made by suddenly releasing an intense burst of air, and about 20% of the worlds languages have them. By sampling 567 of the 6909 known languages, Everett found that 87% of languages with ejective consonants are found in areas above 1500 meters. Only 43% of languages originating in high altitude areas were without ejectives, and just 4% of languages developed far from high altitudes had ejectives. Everett also found that as the altitude of a language's origin point grew, so did the chance of it containing ejectives. Assuming that his findings hold up when the rest of the world's languages are analyzed, this would be the first time geography was proven to change the sounds of a language.
PatrickHance's comment, September 2, 2013 9:56 PM
I feel that this is a very important article. If his analysis remains true for all the other remaining languages in the world, then it'll be a major discovery. This research may open up a whole new branch of linguistics, regarding how languages are shaped by geography. Soon, we could be discovering how dry, mountain air could help you make clearer sounds, and so on. From there, we could be studying how factors like socioeconomic status change your speech. The prospects for a big discovery like this are amazing.
PatrickHance's comment, September 2, 2013 10:02 PM
Stromberg, Joseph. "Do Geography and Altitude Shape the Sounds of a Language?." Surprising Science. Smithsonian, 12 Jun 2013. Web. 1 Sep. 2013. <http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/06/do-geography-and-altitude-shape-the-sounds-of-a-language/>.