Wolfram Alpha is one of the best kept secrets in education! It is a new search engine that can solve any type of mathematical equation. This is a essential tool for all learners to help them solve and check their work. Results of these problems are shown in different ways so that every learner can understand.
Students could use Wolfram site to gain a better understanding of various math concepts and supports the notion of multiple means of representation.
"The near earth asteroid 2012 DA14 discovered last year is not going to hit Earth next year, scientists say. Phew. And yet, it will still be coming in way too close for comfort (17,000 miles away--closer than many orbiting satellites), and may hit us the next time around, in 2020, or on another orbit in the more distant future.
This threat, which would have the impact of a thermonuclear bomb, ought to sufficiently scare us into contemplating several courses of action:
1. Watch the skies
Imagine if 2012 DA14 had been on course to hit us. We would have been caught with our pants down. There was insufficient time to build a spaceship capable of colliding with the asteroid to destroy it or bump it off course, a project that experts say would have taken two years. We need a better early warning system to detect the next gloomy discovery and give ourselves a fighting chance. Right now, when we detect an asteroid with a telescope we learn its position, but it is harder, and takes longer, to nail down its orbit. That is still the case with 2012 DA14, which astronomers are keeping a close eye on. "
"Speaking on Monday, Prof Abulafia said that writing essays involved 'making judgments' but too many pupils struggled to cope because of the emphasis on chasing decent exam grades.
He said that pupils often 'knew the mark scheme by heart and that is how you ensure you get an A.'
'That is not what education is about,' he said.
'What we've got to do is educate students and also examiners in handling the sort of work which involves making judgments, trying to say something that's slightly different about familiar topics.'
Addressing the same conference, John McIntosh, a Government adviser, said teachers were increasingly acting ike robots, teaching children the minimum they needed to pass tests.
Mr McIntosh, former head teacher of the London Oratory School, West London, which was attended by two of Tony Blair's sons, said staff were working "slavishly" to the demands of the national curriculum and the demands of league tables.
'We are where we are, partly because, I have to say, of the national curriculum,' he said.
'I find that teachers have become increasingly robotic, they have worked slavishly to the national curriculum, to the prescribed curriculum, they have worked slavishly to the demands of the league tables etc and a lot of the teaching is not very sort of, instrumental, and children are taught a lot of facts, completely out of context often, simply the minimum required for whatever the next test or examination will be.'"
"Minnesota’s largest school district has agreed to sweeping changes designed to prevent the harassment of gay students in a plan that federal officials call a national model."
"The Minnesota district and its antibullying procedures became entwined in a nationwide debate over how homosexuality and gender diversity should be discussed in schools. Conservative Christian groups, while condemning bullying, argue that singling out sexual orientation for protections or teaching tolerance of same-sex marriage amounts to endorsing sinful practices.
In response to conflicting pressures, Anoka-Hennepin officials had devised an unusual policy, directing teachers to remain neutral on any questions involving sexual orientation. But some teachers said that this hampered their ability to support gay students and that the overall climate was still hostile.
Last month, the district rescinded the neutrality policy in favor of a requirement to 'affirm the dignity and self-worth of students' regardless of race, sexual orientation, disabilities or other factors. In addition, according to the new agreement, the district will strengthen measures to prevent, detect and punish bullying based on gender or sexual orientation, hire a full-time 'harassment-prevention' official, bolster mental health counseling and identify harassment 'hot spots' on the campuses of middle and high schools. The six students who sued will receive a total payment of $270,000."
"The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today approved two pieces of legislation to rewrite elementary and secondary education law. The Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) was approved by the committee in a vote of 23 to 16. The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) was approved in a vote of 23 to 16.
'With these proposals, we aim to shrink federal intrusion in classrooms and return responsibility for student success to states and school districts. We’ll untie the hands of state and local leaders who are clamoring for the opportunity to change the status quo and revive innovation in our classrooms. And we will free states and school districts to provide every child access to the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed,' Chairman Kline said.
'The policies in these bills weren’t drawn up behind closed doors in Washington. They come from the ideas, accomplishments, and creativity of superintendents, school chiefs, principals, and parents around the country. These proposals have been written with the input of these leaders, who work with our children every day, and reflect our shared goal of providing all children access to a quality education,' Chairman Kline continued. 'I am pleased the committee took another step closer to lifting the burden of an ineffective law by approving the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act.'"
"Margaret Moore is the founder and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital. Paul Hammerness, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Together, they hope to get at the physical and psychological roots of chaos. In a recent interview, Moore told Big Think that there is a cognitive basis for chronic disorganization.
Organization, she says, is not just about a cluttered desk. It’s about self-regulation, a skill that is developed by the pre-frontal cortex--the seat of executive function in the brain. The left pre-frontal cortex regulates your attention: it evaluates, judges, makes decisions. Modern life, with its barrage of incoming emails and phone calls and texts, taxes the pre-frontal cortex, inhibiting the brain’s ability to focus. Those who have naturally strong self-regulation can handle the overload—and those who don’t are left feeling guilty and out of control.
But the plasticity of the brain means we can all learn to be better focused and more organized. 'When you can focus all of your brain on one thing, that’s when you’re at your best,' she says. 'You’re integrating all your brain. But it also consumes a huge amount of resources. You get tired. That’s really how the brain learns—when the brain is learning, it’s laying down new networks. The brain is changing when we focus. It takes a lot of energy, and when it’s depleted it isn’t able to manage the emotional brain. When your pre frontal cortex is depleted, your emotions rule all day. '"
"Active learning may overthrow the style of teaching that has ruled universities for 600 years."
"Serendipity provided the breakthrough he [Eric Mazur, Harvard's Balkanski professor of physics and applied physics] needed. Reviewing the test of conceptual understanding, Mazur twice tried to explain one of its questions to the class, but the students remained obstinately confused. “Then I did something I had never done in my teaching career,” he recalls. “I said, ‘Why don’t you discuss it with each other?’” Immediately, the lecture hall was abuzz as 150 students started talking to each other in one-on-one conversations about the puzzling question. “It was complete chaos,” says Mazur. “But within three minutes, they had figured it out. That was very surprising to me—I had just spent 10 minutes trying to explain this. But the class said, ‘OK, We’ve got it, let’s move on.’
'Here’s what happened,' he continues. 'First, when one student has the right answer and the other doesn’t, the first one is more likely to convince the second—it’s hard to talk someone into the wrong answer when they have the right one. More important, a fellow student is more likely to reach them than Professor Mazur—and this is the crux of the method. You’re a student and you’ve only recently learned this, so you still know where you got hung up, because it’s not that long ago that you were hung up on that very same thing. Whereas Professor Mazur got hung up on this point when he was 17, and he no longer remembers how difficult it was back then. He has lost the ability to understand what a beginning learner faces.'
This innovative style of learning grew into 'peer instruction' or 'interactive learning,' a pedagogical method that has spread far beyond physics and taken root on campuses nationally. Last year, Mazur gave nearly 100 lectures on the subject at venues all around the world. (His 1997 book Peer Instruction is a user’s manual; a 2007 DVD, Interactive Teaching, produced by Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, illustrates the method in detail.)
Interactive learning triples students’ gains in knowledge as measured by the kinds of conceptual tests that had once deflated Mazur’s spirits, and by many other assessments as well. It has other salutary effects, like erasing the gender gap between male and female undergraduates. 'If you look at incoming scores for our male and female physics students at Harvard, there’s a gap,' Mazur explains. 'If you teach a traditional course, the gap just translates up: men gain, women gain, but the gap remains the same. If you teach interactively, both gain more, but the women gain disproportionately more and close the gap.' Though there isn’t yet definitive research on what causes this, Mazur speculates that the verbal and collaborative/collegial nature of peer interactions may enhance the learning environment for women students."
The premise of American Digger, which is being hosted by a former professional wrestler, was laid out in a recent announcement by Spike TV. A team of "diggers" will "scour target-rich areas, such as battlefields and historic sites, in hopes of striking it rich by unearthing and selling rare pieces of American history." Similar locales are featured in National Geographic's Diggers. In the second episode, set in South Carolina, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 buttons, bullets, and coins were recovered at a former plantation.
After viewing the first two episodes of Diggers, Iowa's State archaeologist John Doershuk posted a review to the American Cultural Resources Association listserv, in which he lamented: "The most damaging thing, I think, about this show is that no effort was made to document where anything came from or discussion of associations—each discovered item was handled piece-meal."
"Live from the TED Stage in Long Beach, the 2012 TED Prize winner – the City 2.0 – spoke through the voices of world leaders, advocates, and visionaries, calling on people around the world to forge a new urban outlook.
In December, for the first time ever, the TED Prize went not to an individual but to an idea on which our planet’s future depends: the City 2.0. This is the city of the future in which more than ten billion people must somehow live happily, healthfully, and sustainably.
Today, the official “wish” of the City 2.0 was unveiled in the form of a film showing the wish’s key phrases on billboards, graffiti and stock market tickers. Its message: “I am the crucible of the future…where humanity will either flourish or fade. Dream me. Build me.”
Accompanying the wish is a new online platform that allows citizens anywhere to participate in the creation of their own City 2.0.
With context and urgency expressed through talks on the city by Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, Harvard professor and economist Edward Glaeser, and Vice Mayor of Long Beach Suja Lowenthal, the words of the City 2.0 wish called for action with these words:
“Imagine a platform that brings you together, locally and globally. Combine the reach of the cloud with the power of the crowd. Connect leaders, experts, companies, organizations and citizens. Share your tools, data, designs, successes, and ideas. Turn them into action.”"
The Media and technology resources for educators site looks really good. With free resources for use in the classroom, for parents and in professional development courses, the site focuses on digital citizenship, ie cyberbullying and related issues, the media’s influence on kids, and other topics. You can select the grade level you are interested in (it’s an American website, but the grades are similar to the UK’s year groups: just add 5 to get the approximate age), then select the topic, and you’re presented with downloadable resources to use.
For example, I looked at a Grade 9 resource on copyright. It consists of several lesson plans, handouts and a video to watch. I’m impressed, and look forward to exploring the site further.
"There's been a lot of commentary from all sides about my recently published book, “Coming Apart,” which deals with the divergence between the professional and working classes in white America over the last half century.
Some of the critiques are fair, some are frivolous. But there’s one — “He doesn’t offer any solutions!” — that I can’t refute. The reason is simple: Solutions that are remotely practicable right now would not do much good.
The solution I hear proposed most often, a national service program that would bring young people of all classes together, is a case in point. The precedent, I am told, is the military draft, which ended in the early 1970s. But the draft was able to shape unwilling draftees into competent soldiers because Army officers had the Uniform Code of Military Justice to make their orders stick.
Administrators of a compulsory civilian national service program would likewise face young people who mostly didn’t want to be there, without being able to enforce military-style discipline. Such a program would replicate the unintended effect of jobs programs for disadvantaged youth in the 1970s: training young people how to go through the motions and beat the system. National service would probably create more resentment than camaraderie.
That said, I can see four steps that might weaken the isolation of at least the children of the new upper class."
"While many in Russia’s protest movement have been searching for direction in the wake of Vladimir V. Putin’s victory this week in the presidential election, a splinter group of Kremlin opponents in Moscow has been drawing up plans for new park benches, pedestrian walkways and more efficient parking.
Inspired by the recent protests against Mr. Putin, but not content with street theater alone, hundreds of young Muscovites decided to run in municipal elections last weekend. To the shock of many, dozens won.
'It was completely surprising,' said Vera Kichanova, 20, a journalism student who campaigned for a seat on the Yuzhnoe Tushino district council in Moscow. 'Everyone looked at us as if we were not serious competition, and we won.'"
YouTube isn't just trying to emulate television on the computer, it just set a new standard for viewing video by blowing away the boring old TV with a series of features it announced.
As you’re watching a video on YouTube, you’ll be able to scan ahead and see thumbnails of what’s to come. The series of new features turn the video scrubber into a magnifying glass of sorts, letting you peek into all of the moments in a video. You can drag along to see a flipbook style of screens, or hovering over an exact moment to see what’s going to happen or what happened previously.
"Distressing new federal data on the disciplinary treatment of black students adds urgency to investigations into the treatment of minority children in a dozen school districts around the country by the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education. The agency, which is negotiating policies with some of these districts, needs to push for procedures that keep children in school.
The new 2009-10 federal data, drawn from more than 72,000 schools, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students, covers a range of issues, including student discipline and retention.
Black students made up only 18 percent of those in the sample but 35 percent of those suspended one time and 39 percent of all expulsions. Blacks, in general, are three-and-a-half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers, and more than 70 percent of the students who were involved in arrests or referred to law enforcement agencies were black or Hispanic."
"Videogames can change a person's brain and, as researchers are finding, often that change is for the better.
A growing body of university research suggests that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception. The specific benefits are wide ranging, from improved hand-eye coordination in surgeons to vision changes that boost night driving ability.
People who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy, according to a study. Indeed, the most adept gamers can make choices and act on them up to six times a second—four times faster than most people, other researchers found. Moreover, practiced game players can pay attention to more than six things at once without getting confused, compared with the four that someone can normally keep in mind, said University of Rochester researchers. The studies were conducted independently of the companies that sell video and computer games."
"Cafeteria food is supposed to be healthy -- and cheap. But it's getting harder to be both, unless you get creative."
"You can lead students to nutritious food, but can you make them bite? The answer to that increasingly relevant question is yes, if you get creative.
At Saint Paul Public Schools, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Jean Ronnei, director of nutrition and commercial services for the school district, is sharing her personal passion for fresh, healthy food with students. A few years ago, Ronnei and her staff began testing healthy recipes in the district's nutrition center, and they've been doing it ever since.
In addition to serving students only whole grains and brown rice, rather than less nutritious white bread and white rice, Ronnei and her team have come up with a few hits (a fresh corn-and-barley salad with tomato and cilantro, for instance) and some flops (kids turned their noses up at her veggie meat loaf). They recently tested teriyaki chicken edamame over brown rice, which students loved. 'I'm extremely proud of that one,' she says.
From Portland, Oregon, to Atlanta, school menus are being redone with health in mind, even as budgets shrink and parents tighten their wallets. Managers are finding more appealing types of food to serve and more appetizing ways to serve it. And part of that appeal is education. So, along with their fruits and veggies, many students are now getting a serving of nutrition smarts."
"State colleges are cutting financing for technical, engineering and health care programs as the need for training in those fields grows."
“'There has been a shift from the belief that we as a nation benefit from higher education, to a belief that it’s the people receiving the education who primarily benefit and so they should foot the bill,' said Ronald G. Ehrenberg, the director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute and a trustee of the State University of New York system.
Even large tuition increases have not fully offset state cuts, since many state legislatures cap how much colleges can charge for each course. So classes get bigger, tenured faculty members are replaced with adjuncts and technical courses are sacrificed.
State appropriations for colleges fell by 7.6 percent in 2011-12, the largest annual decline in at least five decades, according to a report from the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. In one extreme example, Arizona has slashed its college budget by 31 percent since the recession began in 2007."
PARIS—Jules Hoffman, one of last year's Nobel prize winners for physiology or medicine, was selected to become an immortal yesterday. That is the moniker given to the 40 members of the French Academy, a body established in 1635 to define the French language and ensure that its standards are maintained.
In a secret ballot among the 23 members present, Hoffman won 17 votes in the first round to earn the spot held by scholar and author Jacqueline de Romilly until her death in December 2010. The immunologist will join fellow Academy of Sciences member François Jacob, ophthalmologist Yves Pouliquen, philosopher Michel Serres, economist/novelist Erik Orsenna, and former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. But Hoffman will have to wait about a year to be formally admitted.
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