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Accountability in the Indiana school system

"I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the last 6 months." Tony Bennett, the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, had a big problem. Christel House Academy, a public charter school in Indianapolis founded by time-share magnate and major GOP donor Christel DeHaan, had come in with a C on the state's A-F grading scale, thanks to poor scores by 9th and 10th graders in English and math. "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work," Bennett wrote to a staffer. Fortunately, Bennett's team found a solution, revealed today in staff e-mails obtained by the AP -- change the state's grading scale so that the offending grades didn't count. Will Bennett be able to hold on as Indiana's top education official? Not to worry: in January, he moved on to the same job in Florida. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jul 29, 2013 - 72 comments

Does Open Access Diminish Publishing Opportunities for Grad Students?

The American Historical Association just released a statement that "strongly encourages graduate programs and university libraries to adopt a policy that allows the embargoing of completed history PhD dissertations in digital form for as many as six years." The statement is aimed at publishers who are disinclined to consider books based on dissertations that have been made freely available in open access databases. Some responses cite a 2011 survey, "Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?," that found most publishers self-reported they would indeed consider publishing such dissertations, but also suggested university libraries are refusing to buy books based on dissertations that have previously been available online. "The Road From Dissertation to Book Has a New Pothole: the Internet," a 2011 article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, quotes editors who are wary of publishing such books, and discusses the process by which students can restrict access to their work at companies like ProQuest, "the electronic publisher with which the vast majority of U.S. universities contract to house digital copies of dissertations." [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Jul 23, 2013 - 40 comments

depending how far beyond zebra you go

Why would a liberal education, the deeper acquaintance with a number of diverse modes of symbolic production, enhance our freedom? University of Chicago sociology professor Andreas Glaeser, in his 2005 Aims of Education Address to incoming students, muses: How About Becoming a Poet?
posted by shivohum on Jul 18, 2013 - 6 comments

"...we should take a close look at repealing compulsory education."

Utah State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R-South Jordan) has introduced a proposal to abolish compulsory education for children in his home state. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 17, 2013 - 188 comments

Do the Fiveish, Oorah!

Oorah is a non-profit Jewish organization providing year-round activities and educational opportunities to Jewish children and families (including funding for Kars4Kids. But they also have some amazing videos on YouTube.
posted by shakespeherian on Jul 16, 2013 - 27 comments

They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them

Malala Yousafzai, sixteen-year-old Pakistani education activist, has delivered her first public address since she was shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen in October last year. Yousafzai's speech at the UN headquarters in New York today is available in full as text or video. She has been credited with bringing the issue of women's education to global attention, a crucial concern given that a quarter of young women around the world have not completed primary school.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jul 12, 2013 - 39 comments

The Decline of North Carolina

The New York Times' lead editorial on the Moral Monday arrests (Previously on Metafilter), ending federal unemployment benefits, failing education programs, racial discrimination, and new abortion laws.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 10, 2013 - 174 comments

Practically Incomprehensible

How big is the ocean? [slyt | TED | via]
posted by quin on Jul 2, 2013 - 26 comments

Confidential:

Don't go to art school. Why it's a bad idea and what you can do with the money instead.
posted by Artw on Jun 26, 2013 - 103 comments

Ed Balls Teaches Typing

Ed Balls Teaches Typing
posted by feelinglistless on Jun 13, 2013 - 18 comments

Art And Education And Tumblr

Art History explained using Gifs (related: The true story of an art history grad student explained via gifs)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 10, 2013 - 12 comments

Being the nerd that I am, I was itching to crunch some badass numbers

Debarghya Das, an Indian student at Cornell, wanted to impress his friends by obtaining their examination marks for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination and the Indian School Certificate and, thanks to some poorly written javascript, discovers the entire database containing the grades for 200,000 Indian students, as well as potential evidence of widespread tampering.
posted by elgilito on Jun 7, 2013 - 36 comments

See you tomorrow, robot

Lexie Kinder is a nine year old South Carolinian who used to be homeschooled, due to heart and immune system problems. But this spring, her family began experimenting with an alternative — a camera-and-Internet-enabled robot called VGo that swivels around the classroom and streams two-way video between her school and house. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 7, 2013 - 9 comments

Bears. And etymology!

An animated history of the word "bear"
posted by moxie_milquetoast on Jun 7, 2013 - 27 comments

"Even the origin of the word 'Tulip' lies in the word 'Turban'."

The History of the Tulip: an educational animated short video for the Tulip Museum in Amsterdam. [via]
posted by quin on Jun 3, 2013 - 4 comments

Science doesn't teach anything; experience teaches it.

I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television--words, books, and so on--are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science. [...] Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation. What is Science?, a lecture by Richard Feynman.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 1, 2013 - 84 comments

"We are not toys. We are not going down without a fight."

Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 25, 2013 - 37 comments

Whereupon We Rediscover The Glowing Jewels of Mathematical Education

The series of Project Mathematics tapes regularly brought the house down at the annual SIGGRAPH video show; these mathematical animations were glowing jewels among the over-produced, techy-commercial animations usually shown at SIGGRAPH. -- Edward Tufte via edwardtufte.com
I wonder where these jewels might be found ... [more inside]
posted by tarpin on May 23, 2013 - 8 comments

Why Is Science Behind A Paywall?

A large portion of scientific research is publicly funded. So why do only the richest consumers have access to it?
posted by reenum on May 18, 2013 - 62 comments

Laptop U

The New Yorker takes on the MOOC: “One of the edX people said, ‘This is being sponsored by Harvard and M.I.T. They wouldn’t do anything to harm higher education!’ What came to my mind was some cautious financial analysts saying, about some of the financial instruments that were being rolled out in the late nineties or early two-thousands, ‘This is risky stuff, isn’t it?’ And being told, ‘Goldman Sachs is doing it; Lehman Brothers is doing it.’ ” Previously
posted by oinopaponton on May 13, 2013 - 149 comments

Nothing so condescending as kindness.

Call it many names, but not kindness. Nothing so condescending as kindness.

An educator on why "patience" and "kindness" miss much of what is going on in the classroom.
posted by klausman on May 10, 2013 - 14 comments

Using Game Theory to Teach Game Theory

Peter Nonacs, a professor at UCLA, let his students cheat on an exam he called "impossibly difficult", saying, "Let’s see what you can accomplish when you have no restrictions."
posted by boo_radley on May 6, 2013 - 32 comments

Photography as Technology

The George Eastman House is producing a series of nicely produced videos, each about 10 minutes long, demonstrating every major technological development in photographic process with guidance from historians, curators, and artists and illustrated by objects from their collection. There are more to come, but you can start now with The Dageurrotype, The Collodion Process, The Albumen Print, The Woodburytype, The Platium Print, and The Gelatin Silver Print.
posted by Miko on May 5, 2013 - 12 comments

Sesame Street outreach

Over the past month, the Sesame Street workshop has focused on illuminating the experience of military families, and providing resources to help them cope with their extraordinary lives.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 30, 2013 - 4 comments

OK, maybe I just have a thing for talking dogs.

"...forcing its cast to act around a Jack Russel terrier decked out in full period costume." Blogger Josh Marsfelder of Soda Pop Art explores the legacy of Wishbone.
posted by emjaybee on Apr 25, 2013 - 29 comments

"You don’t like it? Find another place to live."

"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 24, 2013 - 168 comments

It will have 10-20 failures and two successes. That's my hypothesis.

7-year old Audri builds a Rube Golberg machine to trap a monster. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 23, 2013 - 42 comments

How the Other Half Tests

"Students are told, reassuringly, that there is no such thing as failing the Accuplacer or the COMPASS. But there is: students who score below a certain number, or “cut score,” flunk the test for credit-bearing work." The consequences can be dramatic.
posted by eotvos on Apr 21, 2013 - 55 comments

Texas Gets Its Report Card

While a bit parochial, this post reveals some things worth pondering if you are considering relocating to Texas...

The Texas Legislative Study Group released its 2013 “Texas on the Brink” report at the end of last week. The report is an annual study to determine Texas’ rankings among the 50 states and the District of Columbia on health care, education, and the environment. How’s Texas doing? Not so great: The state ranks 50th in high school graduation rate, first in amount of carbon emissions, first in hazardous waste produced, last in voter turnout, first in percentage of people without health insurance, and second in percentage of uninsured kids... - via The Texas Observer
posted by jim in austin on Apr 16, 2013 - 71 comments

Michelle Rhee's "Reign of Error"

DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 14, 2013 - 72 comments

Your dog did not eat your homework

CourseSmart software enables professors and teachers to track how much of the assigned reading students have completed.
posted by reenum on Apr 11, 2013 - 80 comments

MOOCs of Hazard

Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well... [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 3, 2013 - 39 comments

Hungry for Education

Though reducing hunger in school children has been proven to lead to a "significant increase in educational opportunity and attainment", the Tennessee state legislature believes they have a better plan to improve the performance of underprivileged students: a 30 percent reduction in "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.
posted by Slap*Happy on Apr 2, 2013 - 118 comments

CS in VN

Kids In Vietnam Are Crazy Good At Programming - '11th graders in Vietnam are so good at programming that they could easily pass an interview at Google' (via)
posted by kliuless on Mar 27, 2013 - 63 comments

"Use the method of the grandmother"

Sugata Mitra's 2013 TED Prize talk argues that learning should be viewed as self-organizing and that our educational system is a relic of the victorians. His first TED talk has slightly more detail, while his blog has considerably more.
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 20, 2013 - 38 comments

instaGrok

instaGrok is a website that presents information in a mindmap-style visual interface, which allows users to learn about topics by exploring the connections between concepts and facts.
posted by Balonious Assault on Mar 11, 2013 - 19 comments

“who’s managing our fisheries?”

Blood and Brains - can vampires survive a zombie apocalypse? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 9, 2013 - 7 comments

Student Data to Be Legally Given (and then Sold) to Capitalist Ventures

via Reuters A joint venture sponsored in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a vast student database including personal information on students grades K through 12 will be shared with corporations selling "personalized" educational software. Information can include social security numbers, presence of learning disabliities, or anything else school officials choose to share with any companies involved in this venture.
posted by DMelanogaster on Mar 6, 2013 - 88 comments

The TFA insurgency and its uses

[Teach for America's] goals derive, in theory, from laudable—if misguided—impulses. But each, in practice, has demonstrated to be deeply problematic. TFA ... underwrites, intentionally or not, the conservative assumptions of the education reform movement: that teacher’s unions serve as barriers to quality education; that testing is the best way to assess quality education; that educating poor children is best done by institutionalizing them; that meritocracy is an end-in-itself; that social class is an unimportant variable in education reform; that education policy is best made by evading politics proper; and that faith in public school teachers is misplaced.
Teach for America's hidden curriculum: neo-liberalism, union-busting, and the teacher as cultural tourist. [Via.]
posted by Sonny Jim on Feb 19, 2013 - 76 comments

A Warning to College Professors From a High School Teacher

A Warning to College Professors From a High School Teacher
posted by SkylitDrawl on Feb 10, 2013 - 119 comments

OMG SCIENCE!

Henry Reich of Minute Physics shares his favorite science blogs, video channels, and other resources on the web. (Minute Physics previously) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 8, 2013 - 5 comments

Twelve Mintue Chunks Of White Hot Knowledge!

John And Hank Green (previously), amusing youtube teachers of world history and biology have finished the first cycle of their educational series Crash Course (previously) and have wrapped up mini lessons on Literature and Ecology. Now they've just started two brand new series on U.S History and Chemistry (to come). Outtakes.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 6, 2013 - 19 comments

Great Big Ideas: One-hour lectures by experts summarizing entire fields

In the Fall of 2011, The Floating University assembled a video course entitled Great Big Ideas. Each of its dozen lectures is the product of a challenge given to an eminent authority and expert teacher to take "everything a non-professional needs to know about your subject in less than 60 minutes" and to bake the result into "a multi-media presentation, produced with the highest quality video and graphics." The lectures cover topics as varied as psychology, demography, physics, political philosophy, and more. During its initial offering at Harvard, Yale, and Bard during the Fall 2011 term, GBI quickly became the most popular course at all three universities.
posted by shivohum on Feb 5, 2013 - 27 comments

Massively Open Online Course on Planning Online Courses Collapses

A MOOC on planning and running MOOCs run by a leading MOOC company has spectacularly collapsed [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Feb 4, 2013 - 57 comments

Bleak stuff

Educational Attainment and Underemployment "The number of college graduates is expected to grow by 19 million, while the number of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree is expected to grow by fewer than 7 million. We are expected to create nearly three new college graduates for every new job requiring such an education. Currently, more than 20 million college graduates are underemployed—working in jobs requiring less education than they have, but that number will likely soar to nearly 30 million in the coming decade as a consequence of the number of graduates growing by 12 million more than the number of jobs."
posted by bookman117 on Feb 2, 2013 - 106 comments

If education were free and non-instrumental, what would it look like?

Reading Plato on Death Row (and a follow-up: Capital Punishment and the Specter of Reason)
posted by anotherpanacea on Jan 28, 2013 - 7 comments

Learners Rights and the MOOC Wars

The Learners Bill of Rights, a set of “Principles for Learning in the Digital Age,” is the outcome of a twelve-person meeting held in Palo Alto last week to explore the voice of the educated in online learning discussions:
As we begin to experiment with how novel technologies might change learning and teaching, powerful forces threaten to neuter or constrain technology, propping up outdated educational practices rather than unfolding transformative ones.

All too often, during such wrenching transitions, the voice of the learner gets muffled.

For that reason, we feel compelled to articulate the opportunities for students in this brave electronic world, to assert their needs and--we dare say--rights.

We also recognize some broader hopes and aspirations for the best online learning. We include those principles as an integral addendum to the Bill of Rights below.
[more inside]
posted by migurski on Jan 28, 2013 - 66 comments

class and privilege in science

Lack of resources, benign discouragement from well meaning adults, active exclusion by powerful gatekeepers: a classroom scientist discusses things that kill opportunity for inner city youth. [more inside]
posted by el io on Jan 25, 2013 - 24 comments

"...redbrick, linoleum-­tiled perdition."

"Most American high schools are almost sadistically unhealthy places to send adolescents." Does the "worst of adult America looks like high school because it’s populated by people who went to high school in America?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 21, 2013 - 176 comments

CIL-CCDB

A curated repository of cellular microscopy data [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 19, 2013 - 2 comments

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