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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
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Architecture of Participation | Diana Laufenberg

Architecture of Participation | Diana Laufenberg | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

A great thing about blogging is that the best blogs show the blogger struggling to make sense out of something important. As a terrific Social Studies teacher at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Diana Laufenberg certainly meets that definition of an excellent blogger.

 

In this piece, Laufenberg wrestles with the questions How techie should I be? and What's the goal of my instructional planning?

 

She starts out linking to 2 thoughtful pieces by Micheal Wesch, an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. Wesch has been quite a prominent advocate for technology in teaching in recent years. However, Wesch has lately started questioning his stance, in light of feedback from colleagues and students. Wesch's self-reflection, in turn, prompted Laufenberg to turn reflective in her post.

 

While Wesch seems to have selected connection and community as the themes he currently sees as important to emphasize in teacher-student interactions, Laufenberg's area of instructional emphasis has become creation of an Architecture of Participation, a phrase borrowed from Tim O'Reilly.

 

What do these two points of view represent to you?

 

To me they suggest:

1. That Wesch and Laufenberg may not be too far apart in their dynamic journeys to develop new and meaningful approaches to classroom practice in today's mixed up environment of 20th and 21st century mindsets.

2. That despite the varying levels of passion we may bring to 21st century tech and skills, we're in a consistently fluid environment that will cause us to need to revise and rethink our strategies and actions on a fairly regular basis. -JL

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International Journal of ePortfolio:: Current Issue :: Volume 2 - Number 1 - 2012

International Journal of ePortfolio:: Current Issue :: Volume 2 - Number 1 - 2012 | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

A double-blind, peer-reviewed, open access journal focused on ePortfolios. Two issues have been published and much of the material looks quite interesting. All articles are free to download.

 

Be sure to look at the Top 10 Downloads; most popular article is "Fostering Integrative Knowledge through ePortfolios." -JL

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Affordable 3D Printer Costs Less Than An iPad @PSFK

Affordable 3D Printer Costs Less Than An iPad @PSFK | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Yi Chen

 

"The MakiBox costs only $350 for the kit, or $550 for the fully assembled version and both products include international delivery fee. Buford has already received enough donations to start the first production of MakiBoxes. Watch the video below to see a demonstration of the MakiBox."

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The Human Brain in the Age of Insight: Eric Kandel Live on Big Think | Big Think TV | Big Think

The Human Brain in the Age of Insight: Eric Kandel Live on Big Think  | Big Think TV | Big Think | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"In his latest book The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present, Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel talks about the intersection between theories of creativity and brain science. He responds to viewer-submitted questions in this livestream interview, originally recorded on March 22, 2012."

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The Relationship School | New York Times

The Relationship School | New York Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By David Brooks

 

The New American Academy in Brooklyn is an exciting experiment in education reform that centers everything around the teacher-student relationship.

 

"The New American Academy takes a different approach than the other exciting new education model, the “No Excuses” schools like Kipp Academy. New American is less structured. That was a problem at first, but Waronker says the academy has learned to get better control over students, and, on the day I visited, the school was well disciplined through the use of a bunch of subtle tricks."

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NJ Spotlight | Opinion: One-Size-Fits-All Legislation Won't Solve Separate But Unequal

NJ Spotlight | Opinion: One-Size-Fits-All Legislation Won't Solve Separate But Unequal | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Interesting commentary by Laura Waters, President of the Lawrence Township School Board in NJ, and blogger on NJ education policy and politics at NJLeftBehind.com.

 

In this piece, Waters argues in favor of the Christie administration's pursuit of targeted state policies and programs for school districts, based primarily on their track records of achievement (or lack thereof). This is certainly a departure from the typical one-size-fits-all approach of many state governments' educational policy. -JL

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Lyndhurst to equip district students, faculty with iPads - NorthJersey.com

Lyndhurst to equip district students, faculty with iPads - NorthJersey.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Michael Lamendola

 

Summary by SmartBrief on EdTech

 

"A New Jersey school district has announced plans to purchase 1,400 Apple iPad 3 devices, which will be issued to middle- and high-school students. The tablet computers also will be distributed to school faculty, beginning next month, and representatives from Apple are expected to conduct training sessions for educators. "This will take Lyndhurst education to the next level," superintendent Tracey Marinelli said."

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MERISOTIS: Higher education’s Kodak moment | Washington Times

MERISOTIS: Higher education’s Kodak moment | Washington Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Description by Carnegie Perspectives

 

"Lumina President Jamie Merisotis writes in The Washington Times: The recent bankruptcy declaration by Kodak, one of the nation’s most trusted brands for consumers, which once held a market share in excess of 90 percent, is stunning. Kodak mistook America’s century-long love affair with its products as a sign of market permanency, missing the fact that camera phones, flip cameras and online sharing would erode its brand and render it irrelevant. American higher education should take heed because it is facing a similar challenge, with implications far more important than the loss of a major corporation."

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The Academies at New Milford High School

Eric Sheninger has emerged as a significant educational leader in recent years. As principal of New Milford HS in New Jersey, he has championed social media and 21st century skills as the keystones of the school's continuing transformation.

 

In Fall 2011, NMHS launched 3 academies as a kind of schools within a school -- not a new concept by any means. But read this brochure and see the nuanced ways so many elements have been built into this academy concept: badges, elevation of the status of teaching, seamless technology integration, personalization, performance assessment, and more.

 

A wonderful example of problem identification followed by creative problem solving. Without a clear analysis of what issues needed to be addressed, a prescription for change this powerful could never have been put together.

 

Great work. -JL

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A response to the crisis of our time | Education Revolution | Alternative Education Resource Organization

A response to the crisis of our time | Education Revolution | Alternative Education Resource Organization | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Ron Miller

 

A deeply thoughtful, long-form piece on many topics; not the least of which is the need to avoid proven, standardized, technocratic, specific methods and techniques in education (-JL):

 

"What I am saying is that from a holistic perspective, we need to understand all perspectives, all methods—and the ways these are implemented—within their historical and cultural context. Since we live in a civilization that worships technique and standardization, it is very difficult to put ideals into practice in a truly organic way, a way that is responsive to the unpredictable rhythms of life. The fact is that both Montessori and Steiner advised educators to pay close attention to the actual experiences and spontaneous growth of live children, and they suggested their methods as appropriate responses to the children they observed in their societies at their moment of history."

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U.S. H.S. Grad Rate Increases 3.5% | Huffington Post

U.S. H.S. Grad Rate Increases 3.5% | Huffington Post | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Kimberly Hefling

 

"Aggressive efforts to prevent students such as Burke from dropping out contributed to a modest 3.5 percentage point increase nationally in the high school graduation rate from 2001 to 2009, according to research to be presented Monday at the Grad Nation summit in Washington. The event was organized by the children's advocacy group America's Promise Alliance founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

 

"The graduation rate was 75 percent in 2009, meaning 1 in 4 students fails to get a diploma in four years, researchers found. That's well below the organization's goal of 90 percent by 2020."

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State and Local Spending on Higher Education Sank to 25-year low in 2011 | The Chronicle of Higher Education

State and Local Spending on Higher Education Sank to 25-year low in 2011 | The Chronicle of Higher Education | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Eric Kelderman

 

"As if anyone associated with public higher education needed a reminder, 2011 was a lousy year for higher-education finance.

 

"A new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers confirms just how awful it was: State and local money for higher education fell to a quarter-century low for the second consecutive year, while enrollments continued their climb to record highs.

 

"From the beginning of the recession, in the 2007-8 fiscal year, through the 2011 fiscal year, college enrollment increased nationally by 12.5 percent, to 11.5 million students, the report says. But state and local appropriations have decreased by $1.3-billion over the same period.

 

"The national average for combined state and local support is now down to $6,290 per full-time student—2.5 percent less than in 2010 and the lowest amount in the past 25 years, the report concludes."

 

"Largely to make up for the loss of state and local dollars, tuition revenue per student reached $4,774 in 2011, an all-time high, according to the report. Over the past 25 years, the percentage of educational revenue supported by tuition has climbed steadily, from 23.2 percent in 1986 to 43.3 percent in 2011."

 

(graph above for illustrative purposes only...does not reflect actual data. -JL)

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The New Digital Realism: Retina Display, Lytro and Senseg | Endless Innovation | Big Think

The New Digital Realism: Retina Display, Lytro and Senseg | Endless Innovation | Big Think | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Dominic Basulto

 

"And it’s not just Apple. Just days before the demo of the Retina Display to Apple fans, Lytro unveiled its groundbreaking new “light field photography” camera capable of capturing the world’s images at an unprecedented level of reality. This is not just about upgrading to more megapixels on your camera -- the Lytro camera takes a fundamentally new approach to photography:"

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10 Futuristic Products in Development Now | Mashable

10 Futuristic Products in Development Now | Mashable | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Christine Erickson

 

Images (in some cases videos) and brief descriptions of 10 products that may enter the marketplace soon, or not so soon. In any event, they certainly fire the imagination and are currently in active development

 

1. Hydrogen powered very low emission cars

2. Space elevator, 22 thousand miles high

3. Driverless cars

4. Robotic household assistants

5. Flying cars

6. Artificial meat

7. Moon base

8. Mind reading

9. Non-military drone planes

10. Wireless electricity

 

-JL

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Science Magazine Examines the Effectiveness of Novice STEM Teachers - NCTAF

Science Magazine Examines the Effectiveness of Novice STEM Teachers - NCTAF | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Jeff Dilks

 

"The March 2nd issue of Science includes the report “The Effects of Experience and Attrition for Novice High-School Science and Mathematics Teachers.” Gary Henry and Kevin Bastian from the University of North Carolina and Kevin Fortner from the University of Georgia examined over one million test scores taken by students of almost 8,000 teachers in North Carolina. Using a value-added methodology, the authors were able to analyze the teachers’ effectiveness in raising test scores. The study had a particular emphasis on teachers with less than five years of teaching experience. The major finding in the report is that, not surprisingly, experience matters!

 

"The authors found that teachers in science and math disciplines became more effective with more experience, although there were not uniform increases across science and math subject areas. Physics and chemistry are the two subject areas with the greatest continuing increases year over year in teacher effectiveness, while algebra and geometry teachers experienced the lowest rates of continued improvement. In addition, the effectiveness of teachers in non-STEM disciplines also showed smaller increases during their first five years in the classroom."

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Reverse Printer Erases Content on Paper | Mashable

Reverse Printer Erases Content on Paper | Mashable | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge has come up with an innovation that can “unprint” something.

 

"By using long and ultrashort pulsed lasers, the technology can remove laser-printed content, leaving the paper clean and undamaged. The paper can easily be reused and printed on again."

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Teacher Turnover Affects All Students' Achievement, Study Indicates

Teacher Turnover Affects All Students' Achievement, Study Indicates | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Stephen Sawchuk

 

Summary by ASCD SmartBrief

 

"Teacher turnover has a negative effect on overall student achievement, even among those not taught by the departing teacher, a new study finds. Researchers studied test data from fourth- and fifth-graders in New York City schools over an eight-year period and found that increases in teacher turnover corresponded with decreases in test scores, with the results being similar at schools of various types and sizes. "Though there may be cases where turnover is actually helpful to student achievement, on average, it is harmful," the study's authors concluded."

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Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas | Opinion Blog | dallasnews.com

Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas | Opinion Blog | dallasnews.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Rodger Jones

 

"Saying high-stakes standardized testing is "strangling our public schools," superintendents of several high-performing North Texas school districts have jointly signed a letter to top state officials and lawmakers warning about the deterioration of the education system.

 

"Call it open rebellion against the 25-year-old testing regimen. Wow.

 

"The letter goes out to back up Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott, according to Coppell Superintendent Jeff Turner. Scott asserted recently that emphasis on high-stakes testing in some places had become a "perversion" of the system that lawmakers had in mind. Scott's comments about testing inflamed Texas Association of Business chief Bill Hammondand put the governor's office on edge."

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Study: MRI reveals brain function differs in math-phobic children

Study: MRI reveals brain function differs in math-phobic children | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Via HealthImaging

 

Summary from ASCD SmartBrief

 

"Researchers examined the functional MRI scans of 7- to 9-year-olds and found that those with math anxiety had different brain function, compared with those who didn't have math anxiety. The scans showed children with high math anxiety had lower activity in brain regions linked to working memory and numerical reasoning, but had higher activity in the amygdala and in sections of the hippocampus tied to the formation of new memories. The study was published in the journal Psychological Sciences."

 

(Please note, images for illustrative purposes only. -JL)

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Good elementary school teachers: They really can change your life.

Good elementary school teachers: They really can change your life. | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Ray Fisman in Slate

 

"A new study suggests that a good grade school teacher can boost college attendance rates, reduce teenage pregnancy, and increase a student’s earning potential."

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Arne Duncan: Newspapers Shouldn't Publish Teacher Ratings

Arne Duncan: Newspapers Shouldn't Publish Teacher Ratings | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Stephen Sawchuck in Education Week

 

Summary by Carnegie Perspectives

 

"Publishing teachers' ratings in the newspaper in the way The New York Times and other outlets have done recently is not a good use of performance data, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an interview yesterday. "Do you need to publish every single teacher's rating in the paper? I don't think you do," he said. "There's not much of an upside there, and there's a tremendous downside for teachers. We're at a time where morale is at a record low. ... We need to be sort of strengthening teachers, and elevating and supporting them."

 

I certainly agree. Where is the upside to this? -JL

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Not #beyondthetextbook. #betterthetextbook | Bud the Teacher

Not #beyondthetextbook. #betterthetextbook | Bud the Teacher | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Bud Hunt

 

"The best textbooks moving forward are likely those that start with small building blocks from publishers, OER repositories, classrooms, websites, movie studios, and pretty much any other source for interesting information, and they become textbooks when they are hung onto a curriculum frame by a local school district. This might be done by a committee of teachers, or a small group of curriculum coordinators in a front office somewhere, but what important is that it’s not done by a salesperson seeking to please a state official in Texas or California. 

 

"The shift that I hope is coming in instructional sources is the local creation and curation of this stuff, followed by the local distribution of it to students. Some of this local curation work will be scalable and useful to other places – that is one advantage, for both business and school interests, of the Common Core State Standards. But lots of it won’t.

 

"If textbook companies want to sell us things for and in the rest of the 21st Century, they should be selling the building blocks of content. Small pieces. They should be selling expertise and guidance in how to create these local curriculum creation teams. They might sell the platforms that help us to put the pieces together and distribute them to our communities. Discovery actually does this now – and could lead in this area."

 

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Students footing more of bill for public higher ed  | ajc.com

Students footing more of bill for public higher ed  | ajc.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Justin Pope

 

"The "public" component of public higher education is rapidly eroding, with public colleges now getting more than 43 percent of their revenues from student tuition as opposed to state and local taxpayers, compared to less than 30 percent as recently as a decade ago.The figures come from a new report out Friday offering the latest snapshot of who pays the bill for America's public colleges and universities, which educate roughly 70 percent of students. SHEEO, a group representing state higher education officials, finds that amid surging demand for college, per-student state and local funding for higher education has fallen 12.5 percent over the last five years and reached its lowest point in the 25 years of the study."

 

Description by Carnegie Perspectives

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AT&T's $250 million to fight student dropout rate | SF Chronicle

AT&T's $250 million to fight student dropout rate | SF Chronicle | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Jill Tucker

 

"Telecommunications giant AT&T said it will contribute $250 million to help reverse what many see as a nationwide student dropout crisis.

 

"The initiative, AT&T Aspire, is the company's response to calls for more corporate philanthropy directed at fixing the nation's ills, said company officials.

 

"Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California, said the company chose to target student dropouts, because the problem has become a national crisis."

 

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Retracting "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory" | This American Life

Retracting "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory" | This American Life | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

PBS retracts its story about conditions at the Apple factory in China; seems that it's about as accurate as the "facts" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What a shame, all the way around. -JL

 

"This American Life and American Public Media’s Marketplace will reveal that a story first broadcast in January on This American Life contained numerous fabrications.

 

"This American Life will devote its entire program this weekend to detailing the errors in the story, which was an excerpt of Mike Daisey's critically acclaimed one-man show, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs." In it, Daisey tells how he visited a factory owned by Foxconn that manufactures iPhones and iPads in Shenzhen China. He has performed the monologue in theaters around the country; it's currently at the Public Theater in New York.

 

"Tonight’s This American Life program will include a segment from Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz, and interviews with Daisey himself. Marketplace will feature a shorter version of Schmitz's report earlier in the evening."

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