Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Posted: January 8, 2013 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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In the main hall of the hands-on science exhibits at the Cape Town Science Center in South Africa, a lifeless, tattered globe stands under naked fluorescent bulbs, all but ignored by children passing through on school tours.

Across a sunblasted courtyard and up a dingy staircase, another globe — a digital globe — stands in a darkened room. This globe is a shining sphere of light. Children stand awe-struck; adults of a certain age may be reminded of images like Apollo 8’s Earthrise photograph, while Tolkien fans of all ages will recall the spherical, swirling “palantír” of Saruman in “The Lord of the Rings” (forged in the days when Middle Earth was still flat).

Until recently, cost and technical limitations have largely confined these modern spheres to institutional settings like science centers. But as technology improves and prices fall, it’s growing more likely that a digital orb will someday arrive in a classroom or boardroom — even a living room — near you.

Posted: December 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Clay Shirky argues that technologies get interesting only when they’re widespread enough to become boring. In 2012, in the best way possible, e-readers became incredibly, fantastically boring. Though the year found marginal improvements to e-reader technologies, it also saw a significant reversal in the relationship between humans and the written words we use to help express our humanity: In 2012, we read books, but our books also read us. Teachers used e-readers to catch would-be cheaters among their students. Books on screens promised new frontiers of interactivity between textbooks and teaching. They transformed Shakespeare’s plays from public performances to intimate ones. We went, with our books, back to the future, rediscovering in digital texts what has always made books agents of culture and, generally, awesome: their implicit community, their fundamental sociability, their ability to capture and convene. This year, we began to learn what it will mean to have books and readers that are reciprocal. We began to understand an old insight in a new way: We shape our books, and then our books shape us.

The Year in Tech, 2012: Reading  (via courtenaybird)

Posted: December 2, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Why should art and culture suddenly become very big business like big science? The reasons are tied up with the fact that we are living in an information age. When you live in an information age, culture becomes big business, education becomes big business, and the cultural explosion, or the information explosion becomes itself culture. It knocks down all the walls between culture and business, between education and business. There is no longer any gap between the campus and Wall St. or very big business.

Marshall Mcluhan (via ebookporn)

Posted: November 28, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Between the times of Aristarchus and Huygens, humans answered the question that had so excited me as a boy growing up in Brooklyn: What are stars? The answer is that the stars are mighty suns, light-years away in the vastness of interstellar space.

Carl Sagan – Cosmos (via ikenbot)

Posted: November 27, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Plans to introduce computer science in schools are a fine thing – but it’s never too late for adults to learn to code, says Emma Mulqueeny. Michael Gove’s plan to teach real computer science in schools is a great idea. I know this because I’ve spent the last three years developing an organisation called Young Rewired State, which finds and fosters children who’ve taught themselves how to code by introducing them to open data and a community of their peers. The uptake has been fantastic and we’ve enjoyed plenty of support from business leaders, who are desperate to engage with young, innovative developers, but are all-too-often unable to find any. But who says only children can learn to code? A new survey has found 28 per cent of UK adults wish they had pursued a career in technology – citing reasons such as salary, the intellectual challenge and wider job opportunities – and yet very few are willing to attempt the career change. According to the survey – carried out by – 45 per cent won’t switch careers as they ‘don’t have a degree in IT’, 30 per cent because they ‘would need to retrain’, and 40 per cent because they feel they are ‘too old’ to change jobs. Are these people correct in thinking that moving into computers is an unachievable goal? And with over 110,000 IT vacancies in the UK, and the IT workforce expected to grow by a further 113,000 by 2015, can we afford to wait for our children to plug the gap? (via Why shouldn’t adults learn to code too? – Telegraph)

Smart phones, tablets and video game systems are often seen as distractions to school children in developed countries, which tend to adhere to a strict teacher-student educational model. At Technology Review‘s Emerging Technologies (EmTech) conference here on October 25, a panel of technologists and educators posited that it’s time to embrace students’ use of such technologies and rethink learning in both developed and developing countries. “The issue isn’t education or schools—it’s learning,” panelist Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman emeritus of M.I.T.’s Media Lab and the chairman of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation, said. “The fork in the road is the difference between knowing and understanding. We test people on what they know, but they might not understand a thing.” Not a new argument, but Negroponte’s approach to resolving it has been novel. Although OLPC’s efforts to put low-cost computers in the hands of underprivileged students has met with varying degrees of success, his latest focus is on what he says are the 100 million children worldwide without access to any formal education. While it’s impractical for a single organization to try to build schools for all of these children living in remote areas across the globe, an alternative might be giving these children tools and technology they can use to teach themselves, one another and their parents.

Educating Players: Are Games the Future of Education? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts. Samantha Gizerian, a clinical assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, saw improved test scores among fourth-grade students in South Los Angeles after students from the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science gave 10 one-hour presentations on science. “A lot of students say things like, ‘I didn’t know science was fun,’” says Gizerian, who helped with the classes while on the Drew faculty. “And because they think it’s fun, all of a sudden it’s not work anymore. It’s not homework. It’s not something extra that they have to do.” The fourth-graders in turn took home nonfiction books and showed a greater willingness to practice reading and math, says Gizerian. Test scores bear that out.

A little science goes a long way: Math and language scores improve with 10 hours of instruction