"School is almost back in session, and high school juniors and seniors are looking at colleges, trying to find the best fit. Families often turn to rankings, like US News and World Report. But this year, Washington Monthly magazine is out with a different kind of college ranking, one where neither Harvard nor Stanford come out on top. Editor Paul Glastris calls it the 'Bang for the Buck' list. "
I’ve published a few posts about the question of playing background music in the classroom, along with info on the practice of listening to music when studying. • I thought I’d bring them together in one post, and invite readers to contribute their own ideas and experiences, too. • I’ll be adding this 'Best' list to The Best Resources On The Dangers Of Multitasking. • Here goes: • This is a reprint of my first post on the topic. It’s worth looking at the original post because of the comments readers left:"
"The following article is reprinted from the book Music and Learning by Chris Brewer, 1995. This book includes chapters on each method of integrating music in the curriculum. Music suggestions are included. • RESONATING WITH OUR LEARNING • 'Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.' --Ludwig van Beethoven • We all know how greatly music affects our feelings and energy levels! Without even thinking about it, we use music to create desired moods-- to make us happy, to enjoy movement and dance, to energize, to bring back powerful memories, to help us relax and focus. Music is a powerful tool for our personal expression within our daily lives-- it helps "set the scene" for many important experiences. • Throughout time, people have recognized and intentionally used the powerful effects of sound. In the 20th century the western scientific community has conducted research to validate and expand our analytical knowledge of music. This research supports what we know from personal experience: Music greatly affects and enhances our learning and living!"
"To improve your odds of a high-quality marriage, try not to have too many sexual partners before you meet “the one.” And when you do find him or her, consider inviting at least 150 people to your wedding.
That’s just some of the practical advice offered by a pair of psychology researchers from the University of Denver who have studied 418 people who participated in the Relationship Development Study. All of them were single and between the ages of 18 and 40 when they joined the study in 2007 and 2008, and all of them had tied the knot by the time the researchers checked in with them five years later.
The goal was to identify patterns of behavior that tended to set people up for successful and fulfilling marriages. The researchers asked study volunteers questions about 'marital happiness, confiding in one another, believing things are going well in the relationship, and thoughts of divorce,' according to their report published this week. Those who ranked in the top 40% were considered to have 'high-quality marriages.'
In an icy lake half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists have discovered a diverse ecosystem of single-celled organisms that have managed to survive without ever seeing the light of the sun.
"'I wasn't surprised to find life under there, but I was surprised how much life there was, and how they made a living,' said Priscu, who teaches at Montana State University. 'They are essentially eating the Earth.'
Priscu and his team report the discovery of close to 4,000 species of microbes growing in the cold, dark environment of Subglacial Lake Whillans in western Antarctica. Each quarter teaspoon of the tea-colored lake water that they brought to the surface had about 130,000 cells in it, they write."
"Google Drive has some wonderful features that enhance collaborative and group work. The video below by Andrew Boan walks you through the different collaborative features in Drive and shows you how to use each one of them."
Reformers misunderstand how central human relationships are to the educational process.
"Marketplace mantras dominate policy discussions. High-stakes reading and math tests are treated as the single metric of success, the counterpart to the business bottom line. Teachers whose students do poorly on those tests get pink slips, while those whose students excel receive merit pay, much as businesses pay bonuses to their star performers and fire the laggards. Just as companies shut stores that aren’t meeting their sales quotas, opening new ones in more promising territory, failing schools are closed and so-called turnaround model schools, with new teachers and administrators, take their place.
This approach might sound plausible in a think tank, but in practice it has been a flop. Firing teachers, rather than giving them the coaching they need, undermines morale. In some cases it may well discourage undergraduates from pursuing careers in teaching, and with a looming teacher shortage as baby boomers retire, that’s a recipe for disaster. Merit pay invites rivalries among teachers, when what’s needed is collaboration. Closing schools treats everyone there as guilty of causing low test scores, ignoring the difficult lives of the children in these schools — 'no excuses,' say the reformers, as if poverty were an excuse."
"As we head back into another school year, we’re excited to kickstart the 2014 Edublogs Teacher Challenge! • Whether you are new to blogging, or want a refresher on all of the features that blogging can offer you or your students, come join us for our four week crash-course to get your blog up to snuff as the school year begins. • Choose The Track That Is Best For You • We’ve set up two Teacher Challenge series: one to help guide you in your personal blog, and the other to help guide you through blogging with students. • We encourage you to join whichever teacher challenge is most relevant to your needs – you can sign up for both courses if you’re interested!"
"For the 16 million American children living below the federal poverty line, the start of a new school year should be reason to celebrate. Summer is no vacation when your parents are working multiple jobs or looking for one. Many kids are left to fend for themselves in neighborhoods full of gangs, drugs and despair. Given the hardships at home, poor kids might be expected to have the best attendance records, if only for the promise of a hot meal and an orderly classroom. • But it doesn’t usually work out that way. According to the education researchers Robert Balfanz and Vaughan Byrnes at Johns Hopkins, children living in poverty are by far the most likely to be chronically absent from school (which is generally defined as missing at least 10 percent of class days each year). • Amazingly, the federal government does not track absenteeism, but the state numbers are alarming. In Maryland, for example, 31 percent of high school students eligible for the federal lunch program had been chronically absent; for students above the income threshold, the figure was 12 percent. • Thanks to groundbreaking research compiled by Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, the director at Attendance Works, we have ample proof that everything else being equal, chronically absent students have lower G.P.A.s, lower test scores and lower graduation rates than their peers who attend class regularly."
"WASHINGTON — The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday.
The West has long accused Russia of supporting the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, but this is the first time it has said it had evidence of the direct involvement of the Russian military.
The Russian move represents a significant escalation of the Kremlin’s involvement in the fighting there and comes as a convoy of Russian trucks with humanitarian provisions has crossed into Ukrainian territory without Kiev’s permission."
Not having produced a best seller by 23 (or 36 or 54) is the least of your worries.
"Failure in writing is not like failure in business, where you lose money and have to fire everyone and remortgage your house. When you’re a writer, most of the time, people don’t depend on you to succeed. Although you may starve if your books don’t sell, or your agent might yell at you for producing something that three people will read, failure in writing is more of an intimately crushing day-to-day thing. O.K., minute-to-minute. Measured against your ideal of yourself."
- What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
- Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations? - What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward? - What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? - Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership? - Perhaps using ISTE’s Standards for Administrators (formerly the NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?What strengths and deficiencies are present in ISTE’s Standards for Administrators? - What are some of the biggest challenges and barriers to administrators being better technology leaders (and how do we address them)? - What are some of the lessons that we have learned over the past year(s) regarding technology leadership? - What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)? - What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? - What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders? - How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders regarding technology? - How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment? - When it comes to P-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research? - What are (or might be) some successful models of technology leadership training for school administrators? - How might preservice preparation programs for administrators better incorporate elements of technology leadership? - When you think of (in)effective P-12 technology leadership, what comes to mind?"
"One of the biggest problems you need to solve if you work for yourself is how to make yourself do work.
The best entrepreneurs have figured it out and just pound out the work they need to do.
But many others put off their dream careers, or stay in jobs they like, because they’re afraid to figure this out. Being in a job, or staying in college, means that you have someone else imposing work and deadlines on you, and you’ll get fired (or dropped from school) if you don’t do the work. So you put off doing the work until you can’t anymore because of the fear of being fired.
What does this say about us? It’s saying that we can’t trust ourselves enough to figure out how to motivate ourselves. I know, because I was in this boat for many years. It wasn’t until I started to learn to solve this problem that I found the courage to work for myself.
"The persistent financial demands of Wall Street have trumped the informational needs of Main Street. Print has become too much of a drag on earnings, so media companies are dividing back up and print is being kicked to the curb." "So whose fault is it? No one’s. Nothing is wrong in a fundamental sense: A free-market economy is moving to reallocate capital to its more productive uses, which happens all the time. Ask Kodak. Or Blockbuster. Or the makers of personal computers. Just because the product being manufactured is news in print does not make it sacrosanct or immune to the natural order. • It’s a measure of the basic problem that many people haven’t cared or noticed as their hometown newspapers have reduced staffing, days of circulation, delivery and coverage. • Will they notice or care when those newspapers go away altogether? I’m not optimistic about that."