Esri today reported it's committing up to $1 billion in free accounts for its cloud-based GIS mapping software, hosted through Amazon Web Services. Amazon said it's committing AWS resources for three years to support the effort for all schools that participate.
"What insights would you gain if you asked 13 innovators (architects, artists, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and a media savvy baker) what they would urge educators and parents to do to best develop the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers?"
When Ed Drew was posted to Afghanistan he took his tintype camera. Using the 19th century techniques that created indelible images of the Civil War, Drew documented his colleagues in Afghanistan and now is chronicling a garden project for at-risk youth near his home town. Continue reading →
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Great combination of the chemistry of tin-type and the story told.
Podcast: Nolan Bushnell | video game pioneer (creator of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese). He’s on to a new start-up venture BrainRush which is on a mission to unlock the genius in each of us through smarter learning through adaptive games make learning faster, more fun, and more fulfilling.
We all dream of mastering a skill like a pro—to skate like an Olympian, sing like an Idol, or go to the hoop “like Mike.” What if we could learn to see how an artist sees? “It’s so important to move through the world with this kind of wonder,” artist Bo Bartlett says of putting on an artist’s eyes ...
Stanford University announced that it will not make direct investments in coal mining companies.
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
“Stanford has a responsibility as a global citizen to promote sustainability for our planet, and we work intensively to do so through our research, our educational programs and our campus operations,” said Stanford President John Hennessy. “The university’s review has concluded that coal is one of the most carbon-intensive methods of energy generation and that other sources can be readily substituted for it. Moving away from coal in the investment context is a small, but constructive, step while work continues, at Stanford and elsewhere, to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future.”
Productive struggle. These are the two words that come to mind when thinking of my experiences with the Common Core in my classroom. And I am not just thinking of the students. If you are anything like me, your desks are straightened between periods, your stapler and tape dispenser have a home (and they are lined -up) and your students know that you don’t “do chaos.” So, for me learning to let go of the reins and embrace the organized chaos that accompanies inquiry-based and problem-solving type learning was a struggle. Seeing what happened when I let the students inquire, speak to each other and bounce ideas around, and “steal” from other groups, I realized that my productive struggle had been worth it.
As far as the students go, their version of productive struggle was much different than mine. After all, if being social and chaotic was the goal for middle schoolers, my job would be much easier. The students’ struggle came from the assignment of rigorous tasks and complex readings; and in understanding how to transfer what they learned in a given lesson to other tasks and even assessments. I can remember spending almost a full period on one short paragraph while reading about endothermic and exothermic reactions in science class. We spent time highlighting, underlining, making connections to things we already knew, asking questions in the margins, defining words and more. The room might as well have smelled of smoke— these kids were thinking, brains-on-fire style! They were struggling…PRODUCTIVELY! I was hooked, and unbelievably, so were they. I heard several kids exclaim, “Ohhhhhhh, I get it.”
What does it take to get clean water to those who need it? According to the cofounders of Water.org, actor Matt Damon and Gary White, less than you may think—and the payback is tremendous. A McKinsey & Company article.
Here you see 30 images, each representing a daily topic associated with this year's theme of Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery. Click on today’s topic or any of the previous ones to see that day’s video and activity.
Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery Revealed!
Visit each day in April as we reveal a new topic for that day. Prior days will remain on view, but the future will retain its mystery. You can either bookmark this page or follow on Twitter to link to each new activity. Follow @MathAware
Each topic is introduced with a short video where you can witness a mysterious or magical effect. Each page also includes activities for engaging with the underlying mathematical ideas at a variety of levels, with challenge questions, written explanations, and references. We hope you enjoy these activities, share them with friends and family, and return often to experience your personal "Aha!" moments.
Contributors to the calendar include professional mathematicians and magicians of the highest caliber. Mathematics departments at the secondary and college levels will find a month full of interesting activities to use in their programs.
Mathematics Awareness Month 2014: Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery
From magic squares and Möbius bands to magical card tricks and illusions, mysterious phenomena with elegant “Aha!” explanations have permeated mathematics for centuries. Such brain-teasing challenges promote creative and rational thinking, attract a wide range of people to the subject, and often inspire serious mathematical research.
The theme of Mathematics Awareness Month 2014 echoes the title of a 1956 book by renowned math popularizer Martin Gardner, whose extensive writings introduced the public to hexaflexagons, polyominoes, John Conway’s “Game of Life,” Penrose tiles, the Mandelbrot set, and much more. For more than half a century Gardner inspired enthusiasts of all ages to engage deeply with mathematics, and many of his readers chose to pursue it as a career. The year 2014 marks the centennial of Gardner’s birth.
There are some moments where you have to sit back, look at the world unfolding around you, and realize that we are finally living in the future.
You can email someone an entire house and they can print it on-site using a 3D printer. You can wear a pair of glasses that effortlessly project the entire collected knowledge of the human race in front of your eyes without you so much as lifting a finger. You can even sit on a plane at 40,000 feet and catch up with your friends on Facebook.
In-flight Wi-Fi has become such an intrinsic part of the flight experience for so many in such a short period of time, we take it for granted. The fact that we harness such mind-blowing technology primarily in the pursuit of sharing photos of cats should not detract from the simple fact that it’s an amazing time to be alive.
It has become the new standard amenity, but how does in-flight Wi-Fi work?
With the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) encouraging colleges to incorporate green technology and a growing number of government grants awarded to universities to install solar-power solutions, campuses are looking beyond solar panel installations on buildings.
As consumers become more dependent on laptops and tablets, staying connected to a power sources has become a top priority. Smartphones may be getting smarter, but their batteries are draining faster, and so mobile tech-savvy people are looking for reliable public places to recharge electronic devices. Rather than fight over limited outlets and drive up electric bills, a few innovative companies are finding ways to offer renewable, free solar energy charging stations for community use.
Social enterprise-based d.light design manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products targeting the 2.6 billion people globally without access to reliable electricity. d.light’s small-scale, distributed renewable energy solutions designed for households and small businesses are transforming the way people all over the world can access and pay for power.StreetCharge public charging stations debuted in New York in partnership with AT&T in 2013 and have been popping up with installations across the country. Solar power systems developer Goal Zero and Brooklyn design studio Pensa joined forces for these stations topped by PV panels that charge up a powerful internal battery. Six phones can be charged at a time, but there is no seating, so practicality and comfort may be an issue.CarrierClass Green Infrastructure’s ConnecTable Solar-Charging Stations are fully engineered solar power charging and backup power systems designed to accommodate a range of table design aesthetics, surface materials, and site design objectives. They feature an uncompromising structural integrity with 90mph wind ratings, and multiple tables can be combined to form a micro grid and a backup power source during extended power outages.Sol Power LLC builds solar powered charging stations for cell phones. The safe and secure lockers are designed to charge up to 15 cell phones at once. They also offer a customizable outdoor advertising platform. The downside is a limited battery functionality that would likely go down after extended bad weather or heavy charging.SOLAQUA’s Sundog Power-To-Go allows consumers to take their power anywhere. Built to be mobile, the power station is built on a cart for easy maneuverability. Take it with you to run your laptop, mobile cooler, cell phones, power lights, and audio systems. Standard 110v 3 prong outlets assure that most common household items can be plugged in, but this device is strictly utilitarian with limited power supply over longer periods.Grid2Go Solar Mobile Charger allows consumers the freedom to charge two devices simultaneously without being tied down to outlet availability. Small and powerful, they can charge most smart phones from empty to full three times before it needs to be recharged. They can be recharged from the sun or from a wall or USB outlet and comes with cords and connectors.
These solar charging solutions are being utilized everywhere from off-grid camping facilities to universities, theme parks, sports complexes, corporate parks and public parks. As we become more technology-reliant, the demand for energy is only increasing. But we can not continue to rely on fossil fuels. Solar technology companies continue to pave the way, utilizing a free, clean resource for abundant energy.
"At a time when companies and universities that run massive open online courses arestruggling to prove their value, Columbia University professor and physicist Brian Greene thinks he has a new and potentially more effective way to teach students online: World Science U, a science education platform that offers everything from two-minute educational videos to full-fledged university-level classes.
"Greene knows a little something about creating science content that's understandable to the masses. In addition to his teaching at Columbia, he is the co-founder of the annual World Science Festival, a host of Nova science documentaries, and author of a number of popular books that explain abstract physics theories to average readers. Instead of using the Internet as a new delivery vehicle for old-fashioned teaching (as many other MOOCs do), Greene explains that his new platform "turns abstract ideas into interactives that people can play with."
I often get asked questions like these: Does peer learning really work? Don’t we need experts to learn from? Can the (proverbially) blind really lead the blind? Those are good questions and I will get back to them in a second. Then, there is another question about peer learning that doesn’t get asked very much, which I would like to talk about in this post: Could peer learning be the (only) answer to scale meaningful learning and education for a growing global population?
Let's briefly talk about the first set of questions. Peer learning works because knowledge is not poured into our heads by an expert, but constructed by ourselves. We learn by tinkering with new ideas, trying them out, practicing their application, and observing ourselves in the process. All of these steps benefit from collaboration with others. Peers can give us feedback along the way, they can support us when we run low on motivation, help us when we struggle with a particularly hard problem, and they can hold up a useful mirror in which we can observe ourselves. In fact, peers might be better at doing all those things than the experts. Peers are likely to be more similar to us than the experts. They can empathize with the problems we encounter and explain solutions they found in ways that make sense to us. They are better than an expert who often can’t remember asking the (mundane) questions that we may ask.
If you are still not convinced that peer learning works, please have a look at the Harvard Assessment Study that showed the most reliable indicator of success for a Harvard college student is her/his ability to form or join a study group. Harvard!
Recently, I have been more interested in the second question. As our global population grows, more people need access to education. We know that the traditional model of building schools and universities, and lecturing, doesn’t scale to accommodate the billions about to arrive in front of the ivory towers. Many hope that technology is the magic bullet to scaling education. Smart devices will guide every student through personalized learning pathways toward a perfect score on a standardized test. In this scenario, we (who this “we” is isn’t entirely clear) know exactly what everyone should learn, and we can improve efficiency of how they learn it. The emphasis is on efficiency. Not on learning.
Peer learning, enabled by technology, offers a more compelling alternative. To be clear, I am not at all against technology. But I am for a particular type of technology, technology that brings together people, and ideas, and that makes it easier to collaborate and connect. In other words, I hope technology can help us scale the great learning that happens naturally when people get together to work on things they find interesting.
The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) will expand its ebook program to allow free public access to titles in the GPO's Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP), a finding tool for federal historical and current publications. About 100 ebooks are now available for download, with new additions each month.
By 2024, SDC will account for 9.2% of global sales with the North American continent expected to take in 29% of that percentage. Current technology is expected to advance as is dictated by Moore's law. Under the Blueprint for Mobility (BFM), by 2050 "75 percent of the world's population is expected to live in cities, with 50 of those cities projected to have more than 10 million residents."
What is changing?
IHS Automotive has released a study claiming that autonomous cars will over-take our roadways and replace the human driver forever. Full autonomous cars, without a human at the wheel or manipulating the pedals will be a reality by 2030; leading into the "bulk of automotive sales" being autonomous vehicles. This is tantamount to 54 million self-driving cars (SDC) on the road within 2 decades.