:: The 4th Era ::
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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Human Beings are Information-Seeking Creatures | Humanizing Technology | Big Think

Human Beings are Information-Seeking Creatures | Humanizing Technology | Big Think | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Megan Erickson

 

"Is the Internet making us stupid? Will our capacity for contemplation be fried by the minute-to-minute updates of Facebook, Twitter, and instant messaging? Actually, no, says James Gleick, author of The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood.

 

"The Internet has revolutionized the way we connect and the way we think, speeding up the rate of virtually everything. At times, having so many facts at your fingertips can feel less like an upside and more like a deluge. (There's a reason why Gleick's book is subtitled "a flood.") But fundamental cultural and technological shifts in our relationship to information are hardly unprecedented. They're "part of the evolution of the species," he says."

 

Includes a video of James Gleick. -JL

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Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Spring 2011 | MIT

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Spring 2011 | MIT | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website:

 

"This subject is aimed at students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems. It also aims to help students, regardless of their major, to feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class will use the Python programming language."

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Texas honor student jailed for missing too much school

Texas honor student jailed for missing too much school | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By CBSAtlanta.com

 

"An honor student in Texas was thrown in jail after she missed too many classes at her high school.

A judge issued Diane Tran, 17, a summons Wednesday for her excessive truancy after she missed class. She was arrested in open court.

Last month, Tran was issued a warning by the judge for missing school.

Tran said she works both full-time and part-time jobs, in addition to taking advanced and college level courses.

But the judge said Tran's case was bigger than the individual situation of one student.

"If you let one run loose, what are you gonna' do with the rest of 'em?," said Judge Lanny Moriarty. "Let them go too? A little stay in the jail for one night is not a death sentence."

But Tran's classmates said she had a lot more to juggle than the average teen.

"She goes from job to job from school. She stays up until 7 a.m. in the morning doing her homework," said Devin Hill, a classmate and co-worker.

On top of that, Tran said her parents spilt up and moved away, leaving her to support her younger sister.

The judge admitted that he wanted to make an example of the teen.

Tran had to spend 24 hours in jail and had to pay a $100 fine."

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Teaching English through Film and Screenwriting… | Langwitches Blog

Teaching English through Film and Screenwriting… | Langwitches Blog | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Stephen Wilmarth on Silvia Tolisano's blog, Langwitches.

 

Wilmarth describes (and provides ample video samples of) a very rich project in which students at his middle school in Wuhan China exchange videos with an all-girls Catholic high school in Liverpool, Australia.

 

The basic idea of the project is that students at one school create a video with images and audio and prepare to send it to their partner school. Before doing so, however, the audio track is stripped out. Then the students at the receiving school create their own audio track. Then students are asked to analyze both versions of the films for cultural, language, and creative differences and similarities.

 

As Wilmarth describes the project further, "I’m interested in finding “evidence” of learning. How does making a movie, including storyboarding, scripting, filming, directing, and producing help to improve language and communication skills? Is there evidence here that language teaching objectives are being met?"

 

This is a great project and the videos Wilmarth provides are wonderful resources to be considered from numerous perspectives. While the project was designed originally as an ESL project, certainly native speakers can benefit significantly from the analytical and communcation skills the exchanges incorporate.  -JL

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Pathways in Technology Early College High School / Homepage

Pathways in Technology Early College High School / Homepage | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website:

 

"As the first school in the nation that connects high school, college, and the world of work through dynamic partnerships, P-TECH is pioneering a new vision for college and career readiness. With a unique 9-14 model, the goal for our diverse student population is 100% completion of an associate degree within six years. Through an emphasis on technology and work readiness skills, P-TECH has the power to transform generations."

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Digital Futures: Innovations in Mobile Learning

Nicely put together powerpoint on some of the meanings and questions surrounding mobile learning. Effective use of visuals. Can't wait till Mr. Wheeler  uploads the audio to go with it; will be even better. -JL


Via Maria João, michel verstrepen
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5½ Timeless Commencement Speeches to Teach You to Define Your Own Success

5½ Timeless Commencement Speeches to Teach You to Define Your Own Success | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Maria Popova

 

"It’s that time of year again, the time when cultural icons and luminaries of various stripes flock to podiums around the world to impart their wisdom on a fresh crop of graduating seniors hungry to take on the world. After last year’s omnibus of timeless commencement addresses by J. K. Rowling (“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself. But poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”), Steve Jobs (“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”), Robert Krulwich (“You will build a body of work, but you will also build a body of affection, with the people you’ve helped who’ve helped you back. This is the era of Friends in Low Places.”), Meryl Streep (“This is your time, and it feels normal to you. But, really, there is no ‘normal.’ There’s only change, and resistance to it, and then more change.”), and Jeff Bezos (“Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice.”), here are five-ish more packets of timeless wisdom."

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Prophetic Animation: Douglas Adams Predicts eBooks in 1993

Prophetic Animation: Douglas Adams Predicts eBooks in 1993 | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Maria Popova

 

"In 1968, Arthur C. Clarke predicted the iPad; in 1991, Francis Ford Coppola predicted YouTube; in 1993, Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, recorded a short piece of audio for his then-publisher in the U.S. — Bob Stein of Voyager Expanded Books — tracing the evolution of the book from rock to silicone and predicting its transition into the digital age with astounding accuracy. This year, The Literary Platform hosted an international competition titled “Getting the Book Invented Properly,” inviting visual storytellers to animate Adams’s prophecy in interesting ways — a fine complement to these short videos on how books were made over the ages."

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My Daughter in the Huffington Post!

My Daughter in the Huffington Post! | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Constance Valis Hill

 

"Tap dance, our first American vernacular dance form, is an intricate musical and dance exchange that evolved Afro-Irish percussive step dances like the jig, gioube, buck-and-wing, and juba to the work of such contemporary low-heeled tap luminaries as Gregory Hines, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, Jason Samuels Smith, and such hard-hitting high-heeled women as Chloe Arnold, Michela Marino Lerman, Michelle Dorrance, and Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards."

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New Shifts in Rhetoric as Education Reformers Come to Rule the Roost | New Republic

New Shifts in Rhetoric as Education Reformers Come to Rule the Roost | New Republic | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Summary by Carnegie Perspectives

 

"Thomas Toch writes in The New Republic: Some school reformers said it would never happen. But after spending nearly two decades launching thousands of charter schools to challenge traditional public school systems, the Teach for America generation of social entrepreneurs who poured out of the nation’s best colleges bent on transforming urban education are now moving into leadership positions in the very school systems they sought to replace. Not surprisingly, they’re working hard to introduce a new performance-driven brand of public schooling into often-dysfunctional government bureaucracies. But they’re also speaking candidly about the downsides of charter schools and openly questioning the reach of a charter-centric reform strategy—unlikely commentary from leading voices within the entrepreneurial wing of school reform even a few years ago."

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Richard Riley to Lead New Commission on Regulating Distance Ed in Higher Ed

Richard Riley to Lead New Commission on Regulating Distance Ed in Higher Ed | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website:

 

"Former U. S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and 20 other leaders have been invited to explore the regulation of postsecondary distance education on a new national commission organized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). (List of members is below.)

 

"The Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education will invite testimony and information and develop recommendations to address the regulatory costs and inefficiencies faced by postsecondary institutions that must comply with multiple and often inconsistent state laws and regulations when providing educational opportunities in multiple state jurisdictions. A۰P۰L۰U President Peter McPherson and SHEEO President Paul Lingenfelter will both serve on the Commission and will assist Secretary Riley in leading its work. The Commission’s first session will be June 12, 2012 in Washington, DC."

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The World Is My School: Welcome to the Era of Personalized Learning | World Future Society

The World Is My School: Welcome to the Era of Personalized Learning | World Future Society | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Maria H. Anderson

 

"Mass education is adequate, as long as students are highly motivated to learn and get ahead of their peers. In developing countries, a student who is successful in education will be able to climb the ladder of personal economic prosperity faster than those who are not successful. But in industrialized countries, where prosperity is the norm, an education does not necessarily translate into a significantly higher standard of living. In these countries, there is no longer a large economic incentive to learn, so the motivation to learn must become intrinsic. As we redesign en masse education, we must address learners’ intrinsic motivations, which means that education must circle back to being personal again.

 

"The vision of a modern education built around personalized learning is not new, but it is definitely tantalizing. Neal Stephenson’s novel The Diamond Age (Spectra, 1995) shares a vision of personalized learning in the future via an interactive book that possesses a conversational interface (CI) and “pseudo-intelligence,” a kind of artificial intelligence (AI) that is inferior to human intelligence. It’s likely that we’ll see decent conversational interfaces within the next decade, and certainly applications like Google Voice are moving us much closer to this reality. AI that is capable of directing the learning needs of a human will take much longer, developing in the next 20–50 years, but we can’t wait that long for the technology to catch up with education. The need for personalized learning exists in the here and now. So how does one bridge this vision of the future with the realities of the present?

 

"...A system for personalized learning will not grow from inside formal education. Education is like a field that’s been overplanted with only small patches of fertile soil. Too many stakeholders (parents, unions, administration, faculty, etc.) compete to promote various ideas about how to change, acting like weeds or plagues that choke off plant growth. The fresh and fertile soil of the open Web can foster the quick growth of a personalized learning system. Then, like a good fertilizer, it can be used to replenish the soil of formal education and help us to reach that “Holy Grail” of education: personalized learning for all."

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Machine Beauty and Our Bionic Future | Endless Innovation | Big Think

Machine Beauty and Our Bionic Future | Endless Innovation | Big Think | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Dominic Basulto

 

"A paralyzed woman completing the London Marathon using a bionic exoskeleton suit. A quadriplegic woman using a brain-computer interface to move objects in 3D space. Men and women opting to amputate entire limbs in order to replace them with a new generation of “beautiful” prosthetics. Welcome to the brave new world of Machine Beauty, where our new willingness to replace our limbs with superior prosthetic devices hints at our technological future as a species. Maybe futurist Ray Kurzweil was right after all when he predicted the merging of man and machine within our lifetime as part of the great Singularity.

 

"Versions of these human enhancements have been around a decade or more, thanks to mind-blowing advances in fields such as robotics. What’s changed now is how we – as a society – view these enhancements. Are we somehow becoming "more than human"? If, in the past, we made every effort to salvage our human limbs, we now are making a different type of cost-benefit analysis: whether we might be better off with beautiful, life-like prosthetics. The New York Times profiled an extraordinary number of men and women making the unthinkable choice – they are choosing to amputate entire limbs in order to have access to the next generation of prosthetics from companies like iWalk. Whereas before they may have tried to salvage part of a leg, they are now opting to amputate the entire limb and replace it with a full prosthesis."

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Scholarship Funds, Meant for Needy, Benefit Private Schools | NY Times

Scholarship Funds, Meant for Needy, Benefit Private Schools | NY Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Stephanie Saul

 

"The exchange at Gwinnett Christian Academy, a recording of which was obtained by The New York Times, is just one example of how scholarship programs have been twisted to benefit private schools at the expense of the neediest children.

 

"Spreading at a time of deep cutbacks in public schools, the programs are operating in eight states and represent one of the fastest-growing components of the school choice movement. This school year alone, the programs redirected nearly $350 million that would have gone into public budgets to pay for private school scholarships for 129,000 students, according to the Alliance for School Choice, an advocacy organization. Legislators in at least nine other states are considering the programs.

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Rules Proposed for District Race to Top Contest | Education Week

Rules Proposed for District Race to Top Contest | Education Week | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Michele McNeil

 

Excellent summary of the first draft regulations for the district-level Race to the Top grant compentition. The comment period on these regs is open until June 8. A second draft will be issued in mid-July and final applications will be due in October. -JL

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In Praise of Linda Darling-Hammond

In Praise of Linda Darling-Hammond | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Diane Ravitch

 

Ravitch bashes Value Added Measures (VAM) of teacher evaluation, using the research of Linda Darling-Hammond.

 

A well-argued piece that says VAM

 

-Is Highly Unstable

-Teacher Ratings Are Significantly Affected by the Students Assigned to Them

-Cannot Disentangle the Many Influences on Student Progress

 

She concludes: "This is no way to improve education."

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Evaluating Apps with Transformative Use of the iPad in Mind | Langwitches Blog

Evaluating Apps with Transformative Use of the iPad in Mind | Langwitches Blog | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Silvia Tolisano has developed an excellent rubric for assessing educational apps from the point of view of their efficacy in promoting transformative uses of the iPad. Within her description of how she arrived at the rubric, Silvia provides links to a number of additional powerful resources. Great blog post and looks like a great tool. -JL

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LessonNote - A lesson study classroom observation app for iPad

LessonNote - A lesson study classroom observation app for iPad | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website. This is a FREE app.

 

"Designed for lesson study, LessonNote lets you trak who is talking to whom, when, and for how long, and lets you jot handwritten notes about what is being said and what students are doing. iPad 2 users can also record photos of student work (iPad 1 users can import photos afterwards). 

 

"Record observations by tapping anything on the classroom. Drag from one entity to another to record interactions.

 

When you review your notes, the classroom highlights whom a note was about, while a timeline provides a bird's-eye view of the lesson, showing when events occurred and how long they lasted."

...


Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Jim Lerman
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The 5 big mistakes in virtual education | #eLearning #edutech #learning

 

Gust MEES: A MUST READ ===> I love it as it reflects reality!

Jim Lerman: Also an excellent example of how to use PowerPoint effectively, even over the web.


Via Lia Sant, Paulo Simões, JoelleYalin, Gust MEES
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Advice on Living the Creative Life from Neil Gaiman

Advice on Living the Creative Life from Neil Gaiman | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Maria Popova

 

"On the heels of last week’s timeless commencement addresses by icons like David Foster Wallace, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ray Bradbury comes this fantastic speech by Neil Gaiman, addressing the 2012 graduating class of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. (Which happens to be the technical birthplace of Brain Pickings as we know it today — it’s there that I took my first web design night class in early 1800s and transformed what began as a tiny email newsletter into a tiny website.) Gaiman himself never graduated from college — in fact, he never even enrolled in college — yet he earned his place in literary culture as one of the most celebrated and prolific writers working today. Here, he imparts several pieces of life-wisdom on young people beginning a career in the arts, summarized below."

 

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The Art of Chance-Opportunism in Creativity and Scientific Discovery: A 1957 Guide

The Art of Chance-Opportunism in Creativity and Scientific Discovery: A 1957 Guide | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Maria Popova

 

"What a magical Rube Goldberg machine of discovery literature is — the original “inter-net,” if you will, with the allusions, citations, and references in one work opening doors to countless others. One such Rube Goldberg chain reaction began in last month’s Dancing About Architecture: A Little Book of Creativity, which first led me to the 1939 gem A Technique for Producing Ideas, and then to The Art of Scientific Investigation (public library; public domain) — an absolutely fantastic treatise on creativity in science and, by extension, in all endeavors of the mind, originally written by Cambridge University animal pathology professor W. I. B. Beveridge in 1957 and published with an appropriately open to interpretation all-black textless cover. Using a wealth of anecdotes and case studies of legendary scientists and watershed discoveries, Beveridge synthesizes insights on what makes successful science. But with entire chapters exploring subjects like serendipity, intuition, and the imagination, he goes far beyond the scope of science to deliver a potent prescription for the mental techniques that best prepare us for discovery and creativity in any discipline — because, after all, as John Cleese once put it, “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.”

 

Besides being a great article, this is a wonderful collection of links to more resources on creativity. -JL

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Technology Will Lead to De-Urbanization | Experts' Corner | Big Think

Technology Will Lead to De-Urbanization | Experts' Corner | Big Think | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Charles Dearing

 

"Since the industrial revolution, humanity has flocked to the cities, where jobs are plentiful and centralized services make inhabitants' lives easier. However, technology is gradually beginning to reverse this trend. People who have always dreamed of escaping the city for the country life, but who have been held back by a lack of employment opportunities in rural areas, are starting to find that the transition is possible due to recent advances in technology.

 

"Continuing improvements in communications technologies are making physical location less important when it comes to conducting business. Businesses now operate on a global playing field; for example, a head office in New York can easily communicate with employees in remote locations by using online communication solutions. Modern cloud computing platforms allow documents to be hosted in an online workspace, where they can be edited by a team of employees from anywhere in the world. Colleagues can also hold meetings online using web conferencing software. With the demand for this kind of technology growing all the time, online workspaces are likely to become increasingly easy to use and better at encouraging communication and teamwork."

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Grockit Wants to Build a Pinterest for Learning | Mashable

Grockit Wants to Build a Pinterest for Learning | Mashable | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Sarah Kessler

Summary by SmartBrief on EdTech

 

"A new product, Learnist, allows users to take educational content from websites such as YouTube and Wikis and post them to a board -- similar to Pinterest. The format of the site, according to its creators, helps to prevent against misinformation found on websites, such as Wikipedia, and still give users access to the resources they need."

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Report: U.S. Students Get Serious About High School | Education Week

Report: U.S. Students Get Serious About High School | Education Week | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Summary by Accomplished Teacher

 

"Today's high-school students are more focused on school than students were a generation ago, according to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report found that although the current high-school population is poorer and more diverse than ever, truancy and dropout rates are lower than they were in 1992 and on-time graduation rates have increased. The analysis also found that while many courses and assessment standards are more rigorous, students' standardized test scores have not noticeably improved."

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Teacher uses technology to solve classroom split | Jacksonville Journal Courier

Teacher uses technology to solve classroom split | Jacksonville Journal Courier | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Jake Russell

Summary by SmartBrief on EdTech

 

"Jeremy DeGroot turned to technology for help when he learned he was going to teach a combined fifth- and sixth-grade class at Washington Elementary School in Jacksonville, Ill. Almost all of DeGroot's lessons this year had a technology component. In social studies, students created Facebook pages for historical figures and chatted about field trips on the classroom Wiki space."

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