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The Big Bang Project | The Big Bang Project

The Big Bang Project | The Big Bang Project | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
ONAGEB's insight:

Los jóvenes a menudo luchan con todo tipo de problemas de comportamiento, como la agresividad, la falta de motivación, problemas en la escuela, depresión y la ansiedad. Los consejeros capacitados pueden ayudar a nuestros jóvenes con problemas a resolver sus problemas y volver al camino del éxito e integrarse dentro del mundo laboral. Estos formadores están capacitados para interactuar con jóvenes y entender sus problemas, necesidades y deseos únicos. Para convertirte en un consejero y orientador de jóvenes con problemas, es necesario el entrenamiento y la experiencia de trabajo para la carrera. Para ello, estamos trabajando dentro del proyecto Big Bang con un manual formativo adaptado a las necesidades actuales. Podéis seguirnos también en twitter: @BigBangLLP 

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How To Wire Your Brain For Happiness

How To Wire Your Brain For Happiness | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

The secret to lasting happiness might be neatly summed up in a cheesy neuroscience joke: "The neurons that fire together, wire together."


"It’s a classic saying, and it’s widely accepted because it’s very true," neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science Of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, tells The Huffington Post. “The longer the neurons [brain cells] fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength –- that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable.”


But on a day to day basis, most of us don’t stay with our positive experiences long enough for them to be encoded into neural structure (meaning there's not enough wiring and firing going on). On the other hand, we naturally tend to fixate on negative experiences. Positive and negative emotions use different memory systems in the brain, according to Hanson, and positive emotions don’t transfer as easily to long-term memory.


Hanson argues that the problem is we're wired to scout for the bad stuff -- as he puts it, the brain is like velcro for negative experience and teflon for positive ones. This "negativity bias" causes the brain to react very intensely to bad news, compared to how it responds to good news -- research has even shown that strong, long-lasting relationships require a five to one ratio of positive to negative interactions in order to thrive, by virtue of the fact that the negative interactions affect us so much more strongly. The brain has evolved to be constantly scanning for threats, and when it finds one, to isolate it and lose sight of the big picture, according to Hanson.


"We've got this negativity bias that's a kind of bug in the stone-age brain in the 21st century," he says. "It makes it hard for us to learn from our positive experiences, even though learning from your positive experiences is the primary way to grow inner strength."


The way to "hardwire happiness" into the brain, then, is to take in the good -- being present to life's tiny, joyful moments.

“[Lingering on the positive] improves the encoding of passing mental states into lasting neural traits," says Hanson. "That’s the key here: we’re trying to get the good stuff into us. And that means turning our passing positive experiences into lasting emotional memories."


Hanson shared some of neuropsychology's best secrets for overcoming your negativity bias and hardwiring happiness into the brain, optimizing your potential for joy.


Take in the good.


We all encounter positive moments each day, and no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they are, they can be instrumental in changing our perspective. But in order to do so, we must take the time to appreciate these moments of joy and increase their intensity and duration by lingering on them for longer, effectively "wiring" them into our brains.


"People don't recognize the hidden power of everyday experiences," says Hanson. "We're surrounded by opportunities -- 10 seconds here or 20 seconds there -- to just register useful experiences and learn from them. People don't do that when they could."


When you appreciate and maximize the small, positive experiences, he says, “increasingly there’s a sense of being filled up already inside, or already feeling safe inside, or already feeling loved and liked and respected. So we have less of a sense of striving ... Insecurity falls away because you’ve got the good stuff inside of yourself.”


Focus on the positive experiences with the greatest personal impact.


Certain experiences will have a greater positive effect depending on your individual negativity bias at the time. For instance, if you're worried about a health scare, you need experiences that address this worry -- so rather than seeking success or praise at work, you'd want to look for things that gave you a sense of safety or a feeling of wellness.

"You want experiences that are matched to your problem, like matching the medicine to the illness," Hanson says.


We have three fundamental needs for safety, satisfaction and connection, he explains. So if you have a safety-related issue like a health scare, you'd want to seek positive experiences that boost your feelings in that sector. If the issue is connection-related, you should focus on small moments of positive interaction with others. And if you're anxious and feeling threatened, it would help to feel stronger and more protected inside.


Be on your own side.


An essential ingredient of happiness, as research has recently reaffirmed, is setting an intention for joy and then insisting upon it.

"We don't get on our own side; we don't take a stand in which we are for ourselves, and that's foundational," says Hanson. "There's a joke in the therapy world: 'How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.' It's lame, and it's profound, because right there is square one."


He explains that if someone we love is upset or worried, we try to help them move beyond that state of mind. But when we are upset or worried ourselves, we often don't help ourselves the same way. Instead, we tend to stay upset and ruminate over things longer than we need to.


Maintain a sense of wonder.


Einstein once said, "He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle." And when it comes to taking in the good, a sense of wonder is key. Experiencing moments as fresh and new, with a childlike awe, allows them to stick in the brain for longer, potentially becoming part of our lasting emotional memory.


“The more that things seem fresh and new, the more that you’re looking at them with beginner’s mind or child’s mind, that’s going to increase brain structure because the brain is always looking for what’s new,” Hanson says.


Open your eyes and look around.


The secret to bliss could be as simple (and extraordinarily difficult) as paying attention. Mindfulness -- the cultivation of a focused awareness on the present moment, developed through practices like meditation and deep breathing -- is perhaps our greatest tool when it comes to increasing our capacity for happiness.


“I think of attention as the combination of spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon, and then shuuup! It sucks it into our brain.," Hanson says. "The problem is, most people don’t have very good control over that spotlight, and they have a hard time pulling it away from what’s not helpful.”


It can be very difficult to pull our attention away from the negative, which can take the form of rumination, self-criticism, obsession and anxiety, according to Hanson. But one way to change this, and to create more lasting positive memories in the brain, is to make a concerted effort to notice those little, everyday pleasant encounters: A smile from a stranger, a small gesture of caring from a friend or a little personal victory.


"Mindfulness is a great way to get control over your spotlight," explains Hanson, who is also a longtime meditation teacher and author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. "It can help you stay with -- for 10 or 20 seconds at a time -- these positive experiences, and it can help you be present in your own life, so that you're showing up for the good experiences that are here for you."

Via Jim Manske
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25 Of The Wackiest Souvenirs From Around The World

What’s the weirdest souvenir you have ever bought? Arguably one of the most iconic things about traveling is acquiring mementos by which to remember the traveling experience. Some souvenirs are your typical t-shirt, magnet, or statue. However, there are some souvenirs that break the mold of conventionality and offers the traveler a unique keepsake that can be as memorable if not more than the trip itself. From Troll dolls to Kangaroo Scrotum bottle openers (seriously), these are 25 Of The Wackiest Souvenirs From Around The World.

25 Stuffed Cane Toad

A full-size stuffed cane toad can be used as a “Good Luck Toad” or “Money Frog” which is rumored to bring good fortune. You can find these in Australia.

24 Voodoo Dolls

In most Western countries these creepy-looking dolls usually scare children and adults alike, but in Haiti you see them everywhere since they are one of the country’s most popular souvenirs.

23 Used Race Horseshoes

Where can you find muddied and used race horseshoes as souvenirs? At the Louisville airport in Kentucky of course, where the most famous horse race (The Kentucky Derby) takes place every May.

22 Tuttuki Bako

Straight from Japan, Tuttuki Bako is the perfect toy souvenir for people of all ages. All you have to do is stick your index finger into the device’s hole which will enable you to poke the little creature inside, virtually.

21 Troll Dolls

Coming from beautiful Scandinavian countries these guys are the perfect mementos…if you enjoy nightmares.

20 Old-school Communist Gas Mask (Soviet model)

Since the late 1960s a factory in Bulgaria has been producing these gas masks and currently sells them as souvenirs to visiting tourists. Who doesn’t want a set of Soviet model BSS-MO-4u gas masks in their house, right?

19 Old Testament Harp

In Israel you can have a piece of old testament history with these beautiful biblical harps. Fashioned in the likeness of the same harp used by King David while playing for the ailing king Saul. Don’t get too excited though because they are kinda pricey.

18 Communist-Era Posters

You have to give credit to the Russians for finding a way to make money from these classic, unusual posters that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Well, maybe in Cuba and North Korea a few decades from now.

17 Pink Ushanka Hat

The authentic Russian fur hat with ear flaps, known as Ushanka, has been widely used in Russia from times past to today. It is very practical and utilitarian in that the hat protects you well from the cold climate. You will definitely not wear it if you’re from a warm country, but it will serve you as a unique souvenir that will always remind you of Mother Russia.

16 Merino Possum

Merino Possum clothing is a New Zealand souvenir that friends and family will be grateful you brought back for them. Possum fur is known for being extremely soft and eco-friendly.

15 Llama Fetuses

On Bolivian streets the tourists amble up and down buying woven bags, hammocks, and alpaca sweaters at extremely cheap prices. But if you look closely you’ll find something more than the usual tourist fare: llama fetuses. Llama fetuses are one of the most important parts of an offering to Pachamama, Mother Earth, who has a tremendous following in Bolivia. It is also believed they bring good fortune to everyone who buys one.

14 Handcrafted Devil Puppet

The art of Czech marionette and puppet making goes back to the eighteenth century. They are traditionally hand-carved from wood or made from plaster. They usually represent all kinds of characters from devils, witches, and wizards to clowns, kings, and princesses.

13 Green Tea Kit Kats

Green Tea Kit Kats have quickly become the most sought-after snack from Japan. These epic treats have a sweet matcha flavor mixed with creamy white chocolate on a crispy wafer that Nestle has perfected. Next time you’re in Japan, you know what to buy.

12 Gold Bars

If you’re rich enough and happen to vacation in the United Arab Emirates pretty often then you’re probably aware of this super-rich souvenir that you can find in the Dubai airport. So, if you can afford it then you should spoil yourself and spend a few thousand dollars on twenty-four carats of pure gold as a souvenir.

11 Elephant poop

You read that right. Good ol’ 100% natural elephant poop is available for a most memorable keepsake of your trip to the Natural History Museum in London. It even comes with ten sunflower seeds!

10 Elephant Dung Coffee

But wait! There’s more! In the beautiful hills of northern Thailand, a herd of twenty elephants is excreting some of the world’s most expensive coffee. Trumpeted as earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung. Such an exquisite souvenir.

9 Elephant Dung Beer

And you thought we were done with elephants…we’re not. Straight from Japan (shocker) Japanese brewery Sankt Gallen has gifted the world with Un, Kono Kuro, an expensive (and surprisingly popular) brew made from coffee beans that have passed through an elephant. Yes, just like the ones we just talked about. OK, now we’re done with elephants…moving on.

8 Deep Sea Water

MaHaLo Hawaii Deep Sea drinking water comes to you from the island paradise of Hawaii; three thousand feet below the ocean surface, where the water is naturally clean, pure, cold, and filled with healthy minerals and nutrients. They say it has magical effects on the human body.

7 Scorpion Lollipops

These sugar-free lollipops, which you can find all over Arizona, feature a 100% real scorpion. Don’t worry though; it won’t bite back.

6 Scorpion Chocolate

If a scorpion-featuring lollipop is not thrilling enough for you, visit Thailand and try this “delicious” chocolate candy that includes oven-roasted scorpions covered in delicious dark chocolate. Mmmmm, no thanks!

5 Snake Wine

Do we really need to explain why Vietnamese bottles of wine are weird and strange? These bottles include pickled snakes (often a cobra) inside!

4 Canned NYC Air

The idea of paying ten bucks for some of the free stuff that keeps us alive may seem like a ludicrous waste of money (and it probably is). But we’re talking about New York air here. If you’ve been to this marvelous city you know there’s just nothing quite like it.

3 Male memorabilia

This whole penis fascination thing in Greece goes back to ancient times when the Greeks honored the phallus and celebrated phallic festivals. Nowadays most souvenir shops in Athens follow the tradition and sell wooden penises for various uses such as bottle openers, little statues, and more. Satyrs with boners are considered the best-selling pieces, but you can also find penis-shaped glass bottles that “pee” ouzo.

2 Alligator Head

Savannah, Georgia, is known for its swamps and vicious alligators. A large number of tourists have a crush on these wildlife creatures for some odd reason and so the locals came up with a boutique that sells various items shoppers can take home, such as the jaw-clenching reptile itself (its head at least).

1 Kangaroo Scrotum Bottle Opener

This is a great gift for a friend who has pretty much everything or just likes to drink beer. This genuine product is harvested and processed in accordance with Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service rules and regulations so don’t worry, they don’t kill kangaroos just to make bottle openers.

Via Daniel Kelley
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Henrietta Rose-Innes About Winning the François Sommer Literary Prize for Ninive, the French Translation of Nineveh

Henrietta Rose-Innes About Winning the François Sommer Literary Prize for Ninive, the French Translation of Nineveh | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
Henrietta Rose-Innes’ Ninive, the French translation of Nineveh, was recently awarded the François Sommer Literary Prize. Books LIVE’s Jennifer Malec chatted to the author about the award, the process of translating Ninive – and its very classy French cover – as well as her eagerness to see the – and we quote – “animatronic, French-speaking, taxidermied albino boar-head” at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, where the award ceremony will be held.
Rose-Innes also reveals a little about her forthcoming novel, Green Lion, which will be launched at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May.
Books LIVE: Congratulations on winning the François Sommer Literary Prize. How did you hear the news?
Rose-Innes: Thanks! I got an email from my French-language publisher, Caroline Coutau of Editions Zoé, a few days before Christmas. It was a wonderful present and a complete surprise – I’d never heard of the prize and was not aware that my book was up for anything.
The prize is awarded to novels and literary works that explore the relationship between humans and nature and support “the values of humanistic ecology”. It seems a perfect fit for your work …
The relationship between humans and other parts of nature has been the focus of my writing for a while. It is a strong theme in Nineveh, which revolves around the insect infestation of a housing estate: a way of looking at how humans and non-humans interact, and infiltrate each other, and change the world around them. In the current ecological crisis, I’m pleased that Nineveh is seen to contribute something to the discussion of human/non-human coexistence. And yes, how lucky for me, a prize for precisely this!
The French translation of Nineveh is part of the écrits d’ailleurs imprint, along with other Commonwealth writers Imraan Coovadia, Ivan Vladislavic, Tendai Huchu, among others.
I am in great company. I’m very fortunate in my French-language publisher, Editions Zoé, whose several imprints include the Commonwealth-focused écrits d’ailleurs. They are a small Geneva-based publisher who bring out really thoughtfully chosen, beautifully produced literary books. They have a strong commitment to world literature, and their list of African writers is impressive – I’m delighted to be there. I’m also very happy that Nineveh is available to a broader French-speaking readership. There seems to be a strong, serious and well-informed interest in African literature, and an appetite for more translations of Anglophone African writers into French.
What was the François Sommer Foundation’s involvement?
Oh, the nicest kind: they appeared out of the blue to give me a large pile of Euros! [15 000 of them, to be exact - Ed.] By far the least stressful way of entering a competition. They also award very generous prizes in the sciences, in the areas of biodiversity and sustainable development.
The foundation was founded by a wealthy French couple who were both conservationists and keen hunters – they also established a museum with a focus on hunting through history. Although these days it seems the emphasis of the foundation is firmly on ecology, this hunting aspect did give me pause, as I don’t endorse recreational hunting and think it is cruel. But the foundation’s approach is nuanced and critical. (One previous winner used the opportunity to reflect on, for example, his personal decision to give up hunting.) I do think the hunt is a deeply fascinating and primal subject, central to our relationships with nature; it certainly has informed my work. Indeed, Nineveh itself was partially inspired by the Assyrian lion-hunt frieze in the British Museum, a remarkable artwork that encapsulates all the pain, ritual, grandeur, excitement and tragedy of the hunt. Green Lion, my novel coming out in May, deals in part with hunting culture and animals hunted to extinction. I am looking forward to visiting the museum and the thoughts it will inspire.
Did you work closely with your French translator? Were there any interesting problems for you to puzzle through in the process?
No, it was quite an arm’s-length process. It was a relief to have someone else take the book off my hands, really: by the time the translation was done, it had been out in English for a while, and I was already well into the next project and didn’t want to plunge back too deeply into the world of Nineveh. I also know about a dozen words of French, and anyway feel that translators should be left to their own creative process and choices, unless they have specific questions. There were hardly any in this case – in fact, I think just one small back-and-forth about the nuances of that lovely phrase, “informal settlements”. Elisabeth Gilles is a hugely respected translator and by all accounts has done a wonderful job with Ninive. I am sure this prize is substantially due to her efforts.
The cover of the French edition is quite beautiful. Did you have a hand in the design?
I saw it when it was complete. I really love it, and was happy that the designer had read the material carefully enough to pick up on the ill-fated frog, one of my favourite characters. This cover was pleasingly different to the bug-heavy South African one (which I also absolutely adore). As I understand it, continental book design is traditionally much more restrained than what we are used to here – lots of white space, immaculate typography, no blurbs or shouts. Classy!
You’ll be travelling to France to accept the award in January. Can you tell us a bit about that?
The award ceremony will take place at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris, which I mentioned earlier. I am excited about this because the museum looks eccentric and amazing: a vast collection of historic hunt-related items (such as a collection of gold hound-collars), as well as what sounds like a pretty extravagant collection of modern art relating to our place in nature. In one room there is apparently an animatronic, French-speaking, taxidermied albino boar-head. Clearly this needs my attention.
It will also be interesting, no doubt sobering, to see what the mood in Paris publishing circles is right now, given recent traumatic events.
I’ve been asked to give a short address at the ceremony, although not, I trust, in French.
Changing topic a bit, I heard on the grapevine recently (ie Facebook) that the writing of your new novel, Green Lion, is officially finished. More congratulations!
More thanks! Yes, it’s pretty much done. We’re in the last stages of editing now, and I’m happily in the stern but benevolent hands of my editor Martha Evans. Still some polishing to do. It will be launched at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May. The book is also an exploration of human relationships with the natural world, even more explicitly so than Nineveh. At the heart of the book is the figure of a black-maned lion, one of vanished sub-species that used to be common in the Cape. It’s a book about extinctions, and loss, and the impossibiity of bringing things back from oblivion; and also about the mythic importance of animals in human lives.
Finally, you’re a third of the way through the first year of your PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. How’s the experience been so far?
Living the student dream. I have a T-shirt and a coffee mug with “UEA” written on them! 2014 was a really turbulent year for me personally, in all sorts of ways, and the calm of the Norwich campus is a balm. It is a famous creative writing department, and inspiration is everywhere. Some of my literary heroes – Ishiguro, Sebald – passed through this school, and I’ve already heard some wonderful writers speak here. I also have such interesting classmates, each absorbed in their own fascinating literary projects, all so welcoming. It is an astonishing luxury to have all this time set aside for writing. I hope to return to Cape Town quite regularly, though, especially during the launch and promotion of Green Lion.
Thanks Henrietta. I can’t wait to get my hands on Green Lion.
Book details
Nineve by Henrietta Rose-Innes
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EAN: 9782881829147
Nineveh by Henrietta Rose-Innes
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EAN: 9781415201367
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Homing by Henrietta Rose-Innes
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EAN: 9781415201343
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The Rock Alphabet by Henrietta Rose-Innes
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EAN: 9780795701931
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Shark’s Egg by Henrietta Rose-Innes
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EAN: 9780795701153
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Via Charles Tiayon
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Living on Earth: Singing with Belugas

Living on Earth: Singing with Belugas | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

March 9, 2012 Living On Earth

The numbers of Beluga whales are dramatically down. But at their resting place in Hudson Bay, Canada, writer Mark Seth Lender was lucky to have a close musical encounter with a group of Beluga whales, and one in particular...



National Geographic: All You Need to Know About Beluga Whales




                                             --- WATCH ---


National Geographic


August 9, 2013 Take Part




August 20, 2013 CBC News


Jan 19, 2013



October 26, 2012 Orlando Sentinel



August 20, 2013 Care2
The Georgia Aquarium issued a statement calling the news “deeply disappointing” and stated that the rejection “places the long-term global sustainability of an entire species in limbo. The animals in question would help to ensure the sustainability of beluga whales in human care in the U.S. for the purposes of education, research, and conservation.” ...











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B2B Social Media: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why [Infographic] « Sysomos Blog

B2B Social Media: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why [Infographic] « Sysomos Blog | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

Social media isn’t just for consumer brands. In fact, more and more B2B brands are waking up to the power that comes from being able to connect with their customers and potential customers through social media. More importantly, they’re seeing results from it.


Did you know that 83% of business marketers say that they’re using social media? Or that 75% of customers of B2B business customers plan on using social media to connect with and learn more about vendors? With numbers like that, it’s hard to ignore.


So where does one start when using social media for the B2B space? Well, lucky for you, we’ve put together an infographic to help you get started.

Below you’ll find our infographic with three tips to get get started in B2B social media, along with some pretty interesting facts about the space.

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Infographic Of The Day: All About The Mobile App Market | Co.Design

Infographic Of The Day: All About The Mobile App Market | Co.Design | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

Everything you hear about these days is mobile-app this and mobile-app that. But what does the mobile-app market look like? What do people want from apps? And what does the competitive landscape look like when you compare iPhone to Windows to Android?

Lucky for you, we have answers, thanks to James West of GDS Infographics, who created this superb collection of facts and figures for the iStrategy conference. Let's dive in.

Via Carisa Kluver
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Five Ways to Win Over your Subject Matter Experts

Five Ways to Win Over your Subject Matter Experts | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
Learn to manage your Subject Matter Experts in the best possible way with these five tips.

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Research questions about technology use in education in developing countries

Research questions about technology use in education in developing countries | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
let's investigate this systematically ... Back in 2005, I helped put together a 'quick guide to ICT and education challenges and research questions' in developing countries. This list was meant to inform a research program at the time sponsored by the World Bank's infoDev program, but I figured I'd make it public, because the barriers to publishing were so low (copy -> paste -> save -> upload) and in case doing so might be useful to anyone else. While I don't know to what extent others may have actually found this list helpful, I have seen this document referenced over the years in various funding proposals, and by other funding agencies. Over the past week I've (rather surprisingly) heard two separate organizations reference this rather old document in the course of considering some of their research priorities going forward related to investigating possible uses of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to help meet educational goals in low income and middle countries around the world, and so I wondered how these 50 research questions had held up over the years. Are they still relevant? And: What did we miss, ignore or not understand? The list of research questions to be investigated going forward was a sort of companion document to Knowledge maps: What we know (and what we don't) about ICT use in education in developing countries. It was in many ways a creature of its time and context. The formulation of the research questions identified was in part influenced by some stated interests of the European Commission (which was co-funding some of the work) and I knew that some research questions would resonate with other potential funders at the time (including the World Bank itself) who were interested in related areas (see, for example, the first and last research questions). The list of research questions was thus somewhat idiosynscratic, did not presume to be comprehensive in its treatment of the topic, and was intended meant to imply that certain areas of research interest were 'more important' than others not included on the list. That said, in general the list seems to have held up quite well, and many of the research questions from 2005 continue to resonate in 2015. In some ways, this resonance is unfortunate, as it suggests that we still don't know answers to a lot of very basic questions. Indeed, in some cases we may know as little in 2015 as we knew in 2015, despite the explosion of activity and investment (and rhetoric) in exploring the relevance of technology use in education to help meet a wide variety of challenges faced by education systems, communities, teachers and learners around the world. This is not to imply that we haven't learned anything, of course (an upcoming EduTech blog post will look at two very useful surveys of research findings that have been published in the past year), but that we still have a long way to go. Some comments and observations, with the benefit of hindsight and when looking forward The full list of research questions from 2005 is copied at the bottom of this blog post (here's the original list as published, with explanation and commentary on individual items). Reviewing this list, a few things jump out at me:

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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High School Dropout Rate: Solutions for Success

High School Dropout Rate: Solutions for Success | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
This week I've been blogging about the bleak numbers that surround the national high school dropout rate and examining more closely the underlying causes.

Via Maria Lopez Alvarado, MBA, Dr Gutierrez
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The 5 Top Education Facts From 2013

The 5 Top Education Facts From 2013 | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
The overall black male dropout rate has declined appreciably from 12.5% in 2003 to 8.3% in 2011. Unfortunately, the Hispanic male dropout rate remains too high. In 2011, 14.6% of eligible Hispanic males did not finish high school. That was down from 26.7% in 2003, but, still, completely unacceptable in an advanced capitalist democracy, where failure to graduate high school is often a pathway to poverty, crime, malnutrition and substance abuse.

Via Education
Education's curator insight, April 2, 2014 4:19 PM

The current situation regarding dropout rates and how they relate to incarceration and crime, higher education cost, financial aid, etc.


- Michael Fontana

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Dropout Prevention, Indicators, and Early Warning Systems

This National High School Center guide and tool can help schools and districts collect early warning indicator data to identify students at risk of dropout.

Via Joe Ridgway
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High School Dropout Sells Social Networking Giant Tumblr To Yahoo! For $1.1 Billion - CBS New York

High School Dropout Sells Social Networking Giant Tumblr To Yahoo! For $1.1 Billion - CBS New York | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
If you're a social media junkie, you and a few million others know what Tumblr is. If not, you might be wondering why Yahoo! would pay a king’s ransom for it.

Via Alberto Acereda, Ph.D.
Alberto Acereda, Ph.D.'s curator insight, May 20, 2013 9:05 PM
He’s a high school dropout who started the social networking site Tumblr six years ago. On Monday, New Yorker David Karp officially sold the site to Yahoo! for more than $1 billion.
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Report: Personalized Tech-Based Learning Can Be a Reality

Report: Personalized Tech-Based Learning Can Be a Reality | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
A report comprised of over 100 educators' and experts' insights outlines how education technology can lead to real personalized learning.

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green coffee bean supplement shed your current fat easily and also makes you attractive sensible

green coffee bean supplement shed your current fat easily and also makes you attractive sensible | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

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Via wallace king
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Rescooped by ONAGEB from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream!

Free WiFi is a selling point in NoMa, but why isn't the Internet free wherever we'd want it? | Washington Post

Free WiFi is a selling point in NoMa, but why isn't the Internet free wherever we'd want it? | Washington Post | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

Utopia announces itself in magenta and margarita green.


“Free Outdoor WiFi,” say the placards shellacked to the sidewalks of First Street NE. Their cheery color scheme and matter-of-fact wording makes WiFi seem like both an amenity and a necessity, at least when pondered to the sound of water cascading over the stone facade of a nearby palace of swank apartments (sorry, residences). NoMa claimed this month that it’s the first D.C. neighborhood to connect the air we breathe to free Internet, and maybe it is, if you’re particular about the definitions of “first” and “neighborhood” and “Internet.”


But the livelier, whinier point of contention is this: Why, more than a decade into the proliferation of WiFi networks, is free wireless Internet not available everywhere all the time, especially in the capital of the free world? Why must we purchase and set up our own individual hotspots, or linger in coffee shops, or siphon connectivity from unsecured networks, or make do with our phones?


Why in 2014 is a neighborhood stoked to offer a service that for some has become as elemental as clean air, as sacrosanct as a universal human right?


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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The New Modesty in Literary Criticism

The New Modesty in Literary Criticism | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
By Jeffrey J. Williams

Literary criticism once had an outsize reach, influencing the terms and concepts of disciplines like art and legal studies. With it came an outsize ego. During the 1970s and 80s, the heyday of literary theory, scholars aimed to explode the foundations of Western metaphysics, foment a revolution of the sign, overturn gender hierarchies, and fight the class struggle.

The battles weren’t just in their imagination. In 1991 the columnist George Will declared Lynne Cheney, then chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, "secretary of domestic defense" for staving off literary theorists who were threatening the canon and traditional cultural values.

But in the past decade, we’ve seen a new modesty. Literary critics have become more subdued, adopting methods with less grand speculation, more empirical study, and more use of statistics or other data. They aim to read, describe, and mine data rather than make "interventions" of world-historical importance. Their methods include "surface reading," "thin description," "the new formalism," "book history," "distant reading," "the new sociology."

... What We Read
When we cease distinguishing between the great and the good, literature loses its spine.

At times it seems as if each year brings the next new thing, but those methods add up to more than that. Together they augur a change in the basic assumptions of literary studies.

Since the 1950s, the dominant practice in academe has been "criticism"; not the dusty excavation of facts about literature that had marked the field before that—the linguistic and historical background on Elizabethan England or Norse verb forms, or whether Chaucer traveled to France to hear his tales—but analysis and interpretation. Critics became seers who uncovered the special significance of texts, or warriors who critiqued society. Today they are still interested in "reading" texts, but their approach to what they read is different.

In part, the shift represents a generational turnover, and dispensing with some of the overblown assertions of literary theory is refreshing. But it also seems to express the shrunken expectations of academe, particularly of the humanities, and a decline in the social prestige of literary criticism.

The change has crystallized around "surface reading." The term comes from Sharon Marcus, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, and Stephen M. Best, an associate professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley. Marcus broached it in her 2007 book Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England (Princeton University Press), and elaborated on it in the introduction she wrote with Best to a 2009 special issue of the journal Representations on "The Way We Read Now." (They had been colleagues at Berkeley in the late 1990s and early 2000s.) Surface reading, they suggest, characterizes the work of a rising generation.

A good deal of contemporary criticism has performed "symptomatic reading," a term that conveys looking for the hidden meaning of a text, using, for example, Marxian, Freudian, or deconstructive interpretation. Fredric Jameson has been one of its most influential practitioners, codifying the approach in his 1981 Political Unconscious to look for "a latent meaning behind a manifest one." Surface reading instead focuses on "what is evident, perceptible, apprehensible in texts," as Best and Marcus put it. Thus the critic is no longer like a detective who doesn’t trust the suspect but more the social scientist who describes the manifest statements of a text.

Between Women shows how this works. Marcus examines female friendships in Victorian society, but rather than exposing the secrets underneath normative family life—as much of queer theory, for example, has done—she shows how women’s relations were openly affectionate and sometimes sexual, but not secret, suppressed, or hidden in a closet. Surprisingly, she writes, the companionship among women provided a model for heterosexual marriage. While Marcus gathers her argument from the surface, she casts a wide scholarly net, drawing from Victorian fiction, fashion, domestic treatises, political debates. Marcus calls her approach "just reading."

In their Representations essay, Best and Marcus make clear that surface reading is a big tent, and the special issue includes essays on the history of the book, a field that focuses on the creation, production, and use of books; renewed attention to basics like literary language and form; sociological description of institutions that mediate literature, like writing programs or book awards; and identifying patterns reflected in literature, like female friendship. They also note that surface reading speaks for those trained in the 1980s and after (Marcus and Best were born in the mid-1960s, so are post-boomers), who are familiar with theory, study noncanonical as well as canonical texts, and might consult anthropological or political theory alongside literature. They don’t dismiss symptomatic reading but state that "now we do things a bit differently than they did back then."

Perhaps the key difference is politics. Symptomatic reading, usually associated with the sixties’ generation, often assumes that it performs "politics by other means." Best and Marcus point out that such a stance makes the critic a kind of glamorous hero who does work "more akin to activism and labor than to leisure." They propose "a sense of political realism about the revolutionary capacities of both texts and critics."

Though avoiding a polemical tone, the article on surface reading has touched a nerve, with responses from many prominent critics and, according to Google Scholar, 175 citations in just a few years (most academic articles in literary studies are lucky if they get six or eight). Best and Marcus told me that they had been surprised at the prolific and sometimes vehement response.

Their opponents complain that they discard the political vista of symptomatic reading too easily. And some question the theoretical premise that one can readily determine the surface of the text. In a riposte in PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association, Crystal Bartolovich, an associate professor of English at Syracuse University, defends criticism as an emancipatory project. Among examples, she cites the work of Edward Said, who used the tools of criticism, focusing on literary and other representations of the Middle East, to make serious political comments.

It is not that Best and Marcus advocate quietism. As Marcus writes in Between Women, "symptomatic reading is an excellent method for excavating what societies refuse to acknowledge." Moreover, she has made a foray into the public sphere, notably co-editing the online review Public Books. Affiliated with the scholarly journal Public Culture, it tries to redress the lack of forums for book reviews, covering work in the humanities and social sciences, as well as contemporary fiction. However, it doesn’t necessarily assume a politics; as its mission states, it focuses on "the brainy, bookish, or insatiably curious, who share our passion for connecting to the world through ideas."

As Marcus remarked in a talk at Carnegie Mellon University this past fall, if your aim is activism, literary criticism may not be the best way to do it.

"Reading" as we know it has a relatively short history. Before 1950, literary commentary was more likely to be appreciative than was detailed analysis. Midcentury critics developed a method of "close reading," paying attention to the details of literary works, especially poetry: As biologists studied cells under a microscope, scholars of literature examined literary language, particularly its images and metaphors. With the advent of theory, literary scholars continued that close attention, but reading became more allegorical, finding encoded meanings in texts. In the theory years, you were what your reading was—Marxist, feminist, deconstructionist, queer. It was an era of manifestoes more than mere commentary.

Some who were in that camp, with its suspicious habits, began moving away from it by the late 1990s and early 2000s. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose influential Epistemology of the Closet (1991) forged queer theory by exposing the ways that sexuality was hidden in our culture, came to see symptomatic reading as corrosive, similar to paranoia. Instead she advocated "reparative reading," in the essay "Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading: or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Introduction Is About You." Other scholars also began to worry about the effects of theory. In a much-discussed 2003 essay, "Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?" the sociologist of science Bruno Latour worried that the relativism and social constructionism of postmodern theory had discredited good science. While Latour had made a career studying how facts are constructed by scientists, he didn’t mean they are fictional. When we talk about climate change or creationism, we need some sort of ground for our arguments.

In literature, one of the first forays away from the deep drilling of symptomatic reading was Franco Moretti’s "distant reading." Moretti, a professor in the humanities and founder of the Literary Lab at Stanford University, pointed out that we study only a minuscule sampling of literary texts from a relatively narrow part of the world. He proposed a "distant" perspective, which initially meant tracking the birth and trajectory of the novel around the world. Since then, his work has drawn on quantitative methods, and the term "distant reading" has come to designate the general drift toward Big Data and "machine reading." Distant reading tacks to an empirical account of literary work in all its guises.

In the past few years, several scholars have aligned themselves with the general direction of Best and Marcus’s initiative, embracing empirical description, shedding a suspicious stance, and looking for methods from other places. Notable among them are Heather K. Love, an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, and Rita Felski, a professor of English at the University of Virginia and editor of the journal New Literary History.

Love looks to the postwar sociology of Erving Goffman and others, recounting cases of "microanalysis," or intensive observation of an object. Empiricism has come to seem rudimentary, she argues, but we need a "better empiricism." In "Close Reading and Thin Description," in Public Culture in 2013, she argues that microanalysis can "challenge narrow hermeneutic definitions of reading," concluding that "such practices might help us reframe reading as a social science."

Felski calls for a renewed interest in phenomenology and the experience of reading. Along with Marcus and Love, she advocates for description, though evoking a somewhat different tradition, that of the pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty and his concept of "redescription." Rorty held that the goal of philosophy was not to attain absolute truth, a false ideal, but better descriptions of the world. Felski similarly suggests that we leave behind "Suspicious Minds," the title of one of her essays, and redescribe the experience of literature. Felski has also co-edited a special issue of New Literary History on "The New Sociologies of Literature," which features essays by Love and others borrowing from a range of sociological methods.

In some ways, surface reading and allied approaches seem to return to an older orientation of criticism, one that sees its mission as more scholarly than political. The politicization of criticism is sometimes blamed on theory, but it is not foreign to American literary criticism. The theory generation may have been immodest about the claims it made, but our literary culture has always been an "adversary culture," as Lionel Trilling remarked in Beyond Culture (1965). "Any historian of the literature of the modern age will take virtually for granted the adversary intention, the actually subversive intention, that characterizes modern writing ... detaching the reader from the habits of thought and feeling that the larger culture imposes."

Indeed, the embrace of politics in academic criticism stems not from the 1960s but the 1930s. In "Thoughts on Being Bibliographed" (1944), Edmund Wilson, often taken as an exemplar of the public intellectual, recalled that after magazines dried up during the Great Depression, critics migrated from journalism to campuses, resulting in "the curious phenomenon—which would have been quite inconceivable in my college days—of young men teaching English or French at the most venerable schools and universities at the same time that they hold radical political opinions and write for ‘advanced’ magazines."

That created a tension in academic literary studies. In the 1935 essay "History Versus Criticism in the Study of Literature," the University of Chicago critic R.S. Crane advocated for what was then the underdog of criticism, which had little traction as an academic pursuit and was overshadowed by historical scholarship. By 1957, however, Crane, who was a scholar of 18th-century British literature, reported that the swing toward criticism had gone too far: "There was a time, in the early and middle 30s, when the problem of criticism, as it imposed itself more and more insistently on American departments of literature, seemed a fairly simple one. The great thing was to make criticism respectable. …"

"What is surprising now, when one remembers the dust and heat engendered by that effort, is the relative ease with which the political victory of criticism was brought about."

With the new generation, we may be seeing the balance tilt back. "Surface" suggests superficial, but if you look at the work of Marcus and Best themselves (which most of their respondents have not done), it is deeply erudite. Marcus’s first book, Apartment Stories: City and Home in Nineteenth-­Century Paris and London (University of California Press, 1999), for instance, is thoroughly versed in the history of French and English housing and architecture, as well as literature. And Best’s book, The Fugitive’s Properties: Law and the Poetics of Possession (University of Chicago Press, 2004), is a careful study of legal and political history as well as literature and popular culture, showing how the status of slaves helped shape legal ideas of property in the United States.

It remains to be seen, though, whether surface reading and allied approaches re-embrace a more cloistered sense of literary studies. I’d like to think that criticism has more to do than accumulate scholarly knowledge, at the least to explain our culture to ourselves, as well as serving as a political watchdog.

Today’s modesty may not bode an academic withdrawal from public life. It may simply register an unsettled moment, as past practices cede and a new generation takes hold. The less-optimistic outlook is that it represents the decline of criticism as a special genre with an important role to investigate our culture. While realism carries less hubris, it leaves behind the utopian impulse of criticism.

Jeffrey J. Williams is a professor of English and literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University and an editor of The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. His most recent book is the collection How to Be an Intellectual: Essays on Criticism, Culture, and the University (Fordham University Press).

Via Charles Tiayon
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Rescooped by ONAGEB from visualizing social media!

Top 20 Social Networks [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top 20 Social Networks [INFOGRAPHIC] | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

This infographic from Silverpop takes a look at the major players in social media – including those lucky enough to find themselves in the 100+ million user club – and provides some key statistics and growth data for twenty different channels.

Aside from the global leaders, Asian social networking sites such as Weibo, RenRen and Badoo are not being left behind when it comes to the total number of userbase. While Facebook may have the highest number of userbase, the micblogging site, Twitter, has gotten the highest growth in the last 3-4 years.

More social media facts and statistics at the infographic link...

Via Lauren Moss
DigiCom 's comment, November 28, 2012 4:35 AM
Buena aportación!!!gran trabajo
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8 Must-Have Apps for Geography Class

8 Must-Have Apps for Geography Class | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

"Ask a student what the capital of Burkina Faso is and most will give you a blank stare. Most would be lucky to even tell you the continent the country is a part of. With these 8 must-have apps for geography, not only will students learn the capital of Burkina Faso (it’s Ouagadougou by the way), but they will learn a lot of geographical facts, as well as information that will help them navigate and better understand the world."

Via John Evans
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Rescooped by ONAGEB from Arqueología, Historia Antigua y Medieval - Archeology, Ancient and Medieval History byTerrae Antiqvae (Blogs)!

Descubren una nueva especie de homínido: el «Australopithecus deyiremeda»

Descubren una nueva especie de homínido: el «Australopithecus deyiremeda» | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

La llamaron Lucy por la canción de los Beatles (Lucy in the sky with diamonds) que sonaba en el campamento poco después de su descubrimiento, en 1974. Esta famosa homínida de 1,20 metros de altura, que caminaba erguida, vivió en el territorio que hoy es Etiopía hace 3,2 millones de años y cuyo esqueleto constituye uno de los grandes hallazgos de la paleontología, perteneció a una especie bautizada como Australopithecus afarensis. Y según sostiene una investigación publicada esta semana en la revista Nature, Lucy y el resto de miembros de su especie, de la que se cree que proviene el género humano, no estaban solos. Convivieron en el mismo espacio y tiempo con, al menos, otra especie distinta de Australopithecus, cuyos restos han sido encontrados a unos 30 kilómetros de distancia de Hadar, el lugar donde el equipo de Donald Johanson desenterró el esqueleto de Lucy hace cuatro décadas.

Via Terrae Antiqvae
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Direct stakes in bright ideas - Financial Times

Direct stakes in bright ideas - Financial Times | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

Since 2009, private schools catering to low-income communities in India have been able to secure credit when they want to hire teachers, increase classroom space or buy computers.

Via W. Robert de Jongh
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School dropout rates double - City Press

School dropout rates double - City Press | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
School dropout rates have more than doubled since 1995, the SA Institute of Race Relations has said.

Via Sara Shokoohi
Sara Shokoohi's curator insight, March 25, 2014 5:35 PM

This brief article talks about some statistics about dropping out. The numbers help to understand reasons. The rates have doubled since 1995. Every year, though there are more students in school, fewer graduate. The numbers get worse every year and are a cause for concern. Some reasons talked about include financial lack, family problems, and work conflicts. Also, many students say that school is not useful for them, so they quit.

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Succeeding from Anywhere: 5 Trailblazing Communities for Digital Nomads - Huffington Post

Succeeding from Anywhere: 5 Trailblazing Communities for Digital Nomads - Huffington Post | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
They are software developers from Silicon Valley and lifestyle gurus from Sydney. They are freelancers and crowdfunders, engineers and artists, MBAs and high school dropouts. The stories of individual "digital nomads" are as unique as their...

Via Jordan Queior
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Rescooped by ONAGEB from high school dropout!

Examining High-School Dropout Statistics

Guest Opportunity: Dr. Clete Bulach- Education Expert and author of Creating a Culture for High Performing Schools: A Comprehensive Approach to School Reform and Dropout Prevention, and Bullying Behavior The dropout rate in many large city school...

Via Dr Gutierrez
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Rescooped by ONAGEB from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream!

George Packer: A Reply From Silicon Valley: Apple, Taxes, and Tech Libertarianism | The New Yorker

George Packer: A Reply From Silicon Valley: Apple, Taxes, and Tech Libertarianism | The New Yorker | Youngs at risk-unemployment |

The same week as my piece in The New Yorker on the political culture of Silicon Valley came two big stories from the tech world: Tumblr, a blogging platform founded by a high-school dropout (now all of twenty-six) named David Karp, was bought by Yahoo for $1.1 billion; and a Senate report revealed that Apple has pushed tax avoidance to its most creative outer limits, incorporating three ghost subsidiaries in Dublin to hide billions of dollars—almost a third of Apple’s profits over the past three years—from the United States Treasury.


Together, these stories tell us that Silicon Valley continues to create hugely popular products that generate fantastic wealth at the top; and that there is no such thing as tech exceptionalism. The technology industry remains another special interest, as intent as the oil and pharmaceutical sectors on maximizing profits and minimizing its obligation to pay taxes.


Why is this surprising? Because, as I wrote in the piece, millions of people seem to take technological innovation for a social and political revolution (“Think Different”), a confusion encouraged by many tech leaders. Even Senator John McCain, after chiding Apple’s C.E.O. Tim Cook for doing his best to cheat America out of its share of the company’s patents and intellectual property, gushed to Cook, “You managed to change the world”—thereby echoing a common Silicon Valley mantra, as well as the title of my piece.


(By the way, other Senate Republicans, such as Rand Paul, actually praised Apple for starving the public sector of revenue—more evidence of the institutional collapse that’s at the heart of my new book “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.”)


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Rescooped by ONAGEB from Family-Centred Care Practice!

‘This isn’t right’ — Alberta school boards unite in objection to provincial budget

‘This isn’t right’ — Alberta school boards unite in objection to provincial budget | Youngs at risk-unemployment |
Trustees representing 19 districts and two-thirds of Alberta students stood shoulder-to-shoulder Monday to collectively object to a provincial budget they believe will damage instruction quality, cripple supports for vulnerable students, and lead to a rise in high-school dropouts. The showing…

Via Velvet Martin
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