"A mother of five children in Bath, Me., admitted on the New York Times’s Motherlode blog earlier this year that she and her husband had no college savings. Their son, a high school junior, was about to leave for a college tour with some leftover Easter eggs for food, a tent and his one good pair of pants. • The essay, by Meadow Rue Merrill, struck a nerve. Many commenters blamed her and her husband for spending money on after-school enrichment instead of saving for college. With an income in the mid-five figures, however, there was never going to be much excess. • I wondered what the Merrills would say to their children about the lack of funds, and I wrote my own post with some suggestions. But there is a different tactical question that faces this family and many others like it now: What should they actually do once senior year arrives and there are no college savings?"
"'The meals were the bright beacons in those cold and stormy days. The glow of warmth and comfort produced by the food and drink made optimists of us all.'" • So wrote Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton of his 1914-1917 Endurance Expedition, a disaster-riddled attempt to make the first land-crossing of the continent. During a horrendous journey in which his ship sank after being crushed by ice, forcing him and his 28 men to camp for months in the snow, food provided one of the few sources of respite from the bleak surroundings. See Shackleton's ode to salty, waterlogged crackers: • "'A few boxes of army biscuits soaked with sea-water were distributed at one meal. They were in such a state that they would not have been looked at a second time under ordinary circumstances, but to us on a floating lump of ice, over three hundred miles from land, and that quite hypothetical, and with the unplumbed sea beneath us, they were luxuries indeed.'"
"Maps, says Great Maps author and historian Jerry Brotton, are more than a geographic object, a tool to get us from point A to B. From the ancient Greeks to Google Earth, all human cultures have had an innate urge to map. • But historically, maps were inherently shaped by the people who create them — and used to accomplish geopolitical ends. Brotton's Great Maps, a visual overview of the history and politics of geography, teases out this goal. In Brotton's mind, you can examine the history of how the world viewed itself by looking at our maps. • 'Every time I hear someone say 'Middle East,' it's hugely offensive because it's a Western concept,' Brotton told Mic. Technically, any world map is a distortion because mapping the shape of the globe is mathematically impossible."
"Google Classroom is a new tool in Google Apps for Education that helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and easily communicate with their classes. Google Classroom was officially launched last summer and since then several new interesting features have been added to it. Check out this guide to learn more about the 6 things you can do with Google Classroom in your class."
All times are EDT. Direct links to presentations will be added as the presentations are published each day at 8:00 AM EDT. Presentations links will also be published to Twitter, Facebook and our conference video podcast channel in iTunesU.
In an energy-hungry world, nuclear fission and fusion are often mentioned as alternatives to fossil fuels. But which one is better? In this episode, Scientific American's Michael Moyer melts down the facts to get at the core of the issue.
It's closer than you think. By containing the power of the sun in a small magnetic bottle, we are on the fast track to developing nuclear fusion reactors to serve the world’s ever-growing energy needs.
Proficiency standards used by states to measure student progress vary widely – with the gap between states with the highest and lowest standards amounting to as much as three to four grade levels, finds a new study by the American Institutes for...
"Over this past school year my wife and I have slowly been watching a change in the way her Middle School students communicate with her. It has me thinking that we no longer get to decide the communication tool for a conversation. • It started back in September when my wife received an e-mail from Facebook via a student. My wife is not friends with any students on Facebook but that didn’t and hasn’t stopped them from sending her messages about school. The first time it happened we laughed and my wife was a bit freaked out. But over the course of the year it’s been happenings more and more. Kids, who are always on Facebook, and using it like e-mail decided it was OK to contact their school counselor that way…and is it?"
"A study published this week brilliantly debunks myths about the brain that pervade the education system" "If you want to make a neuroscientist’s head explode, all you need to do is confidently and triumphantly tell them that humans only use 10% of their brains. Or that right-brained people are more creative than left-brained people. Or that jiggling your head around gets more blood to the brain so you can think more efficiently. These are myths about the brain that have now been around for so long, it’s a wonder they haven’t had a congratulatory message from the Queen. • Unfortunately, because they’ve been around for so long, neuromyths have taken hold in a broad range of aspects of everyday life. Nowhere is this more problematic than in the education system. A new article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience this week has cast a critical eye on the issue, and reveals some worrying statistics about the extent to which brain baloney have infiltrated the beliefs of teachers around the world."
This month is a particularly exciting time to be or become a “connected educator!” Monday officially kicked off the FREE 2014 K-12 Online Conference, and I’m honored this year to serve as the pre-conference keynote speaker. If you have not already, please set aside 40 minutes and check out the keynote video which you’ll find on k12onlineconference.org as well as on YouTube. The 12 contributor videos included in the keynote area also available on this YouTube playlist, and I’m adding conference participant videos shared in response to the keynote video challenge. For more details about how I created the keynote video entirely on my iPhone, see my August post, “Create an iOS iMovie Video Collage with YouTube Contributions.”
"Lockheed Martin aims to develop compact reactor prototype in five years, production unit in 10 Fusion Frontier • Hidden away in the secret depths of the Skunk Works, a Lockheed Martin research team has been working quietly on a nuclear energy concept they believe has the potential to meet, if not eventually decrease, the world’s insatiable demand for power. • Dubbed the compact fusion reactor (CFR), the device is conceptually safer, cleaner and more powerful than much larger, current nuclear systems that rely on fission, the process of splitting atoms to release energy. Crucially, by being 'compact,' Lockheed believes its scalable concept will also be small and practical enough for applications ranging from interplanetary spacecraft and commercial ships to city power stations. It may even revive the concept of large, nuclear-powered aircraft that virtually never require refueling—ideas of which were largely abandoned more than 50 years ago because of the dangers and complexities involved with nuclear fission reactors."
I don’t know if this is of any use to anyone, but below is an attempt to compile a complete list of active UK education blogs. These should all be education blogs by people in or from the UK. I have missed out ones that are probably more to do with journalism than blogging. I have missed out ones that I knew haven’t posted for over 6 months. That said, there are no doubt still plenty of errors, so please let me know if I should be adding or removing anything. I suspect this will be the first of several attempts.
Whether you only want to send out a couple tweets or perhaps would like to own a bigger piece of the pie, there’s a way for both organizations and individual supporters to get involved during Connected Educator Month.