For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong? Can we fix it? 'Nobody would argue that Torrance’s tasks, which have become the gold standard in creativity assessment, measure creativity perfectly. What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University recently reanalyzed Torrance’s data. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.' [more inside]
(Late) Friday Flash Fun: CellCraft. Build and improve a cell, learn how real cells work, and save the Platypus species!
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
Best of History Web Sites (from EdTechTeacher,) is a resource of annotated and rated-by-content links to over 1200 history web sites across a broad range of related topics. The site also offers links of special interest to educators: hundreds of K-12 lesson plans, teacher guides, activities, games and quizzes and more.
What's the most unique video game to be released in the past five years? Guitar Hero? Nah. DJ Hero? Uh-uh. Ribbon Hero. [more inside]
Ever wanted to know how you would do on the SAT verbal? Feel like showing off at cocktail parties that you know the capitals of Africa and the Middle East? Now you can! [more inside]
The Calculus Lifesaver lectures -- videos available here in streaming (Real Player), mp4 and wmv formats -- were originally given as "review sessions for the Princeton introductory calculus courses MAT103 and MAT104 during the 2006/7 academic year". Each lecture is about 2 hours.
The Polar Discovery team has documented science in action from pole to pole during the historic 2007-2009 International Polar Year, and covered five scientific expeditions. The science projects explored a range of topics from climate change and glaciers, to Earth’s geology, biology, ocean chemistry, circulation, and technology at the icy ends of the earth. Through photo essays and other multimedia, they explain how scientists collected data and what they discovered about the rapidly changing polar regions. From the awesome folks at WHOI.
grumblebee's post about cell size and scale the other day was quite fascinating. Pulling back to the home for that site, the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah delivers educational materials on genetics, bio-science and health topics ranging from stem cells to gene therapy, and from epigenetics to heredity. Explore the neurobiology of normal and addicted brains and the genetic contribution to this chronic disease.
"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
How do you spread your genes around when you're stuck in one place? By tricking animals, including us, into falling in love. Orchids — Love and Lies [more inside]
Children Full of Life - grade 4 students in Kanazawa, Japan learn deep life lessons from their incredible teacher and from each other. I strongly recommend this as awesome, but one caveat: keep tissues handy. (5 parts, 40 minutes total, English)
Howcast shows engaging, useful how-to videos and wiki guides. A few examples include: How to Do Polyphasic Sleeping, How to Make a Fried Onion Blossom, or How to Do a Frontside 180 Ollie. Founded by veterans of Google and Youtube.
TotLol is a video website designed specifically for children. It is community moderated Youtube. The videos are submitted, screened and rated by parents. Some samples include: Bassett Hound Beat Box, Guitar Tips for Kids, and a Children's Book on India. Educational and fun.
Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
There are times when having a fully developed brain can almost seem like an impediment. Are babies more aware of the world around them than adults are? Can "thinking like a baby" lead us to be more in tune with our creativity and our ability to learn? Scientists have taken a new look inside the baby mind, which is "unfocused, random, and extremely good at what it does."
Touch screen. Awesome graphics. Online community. No, I'm not talking about the latest handheld device to hit the market, I'm talking about Control Data's PLATO system. [more inside]
A bald, child-like creature dangles its legs from a chair as its shoulders rise and fall with rythmic breathing and its black eyes follow movements across the room. It's not human -- but it is paying attention. (via)
Microscope Imaging Station opens a door to the wonder of the microscopic world and allows the layman to explore it. They seek to recreate some of the excitement and wonder that the earliest biological researchers found. Features include cells with potential as well as bad oogy. The microscopic Galleries are inhabited by zygotes and organelles.
"Ready, aim ... fail, why setting goals can backfire."
SmARThistory is an edited online art history resource to augment or replace traditional art history texts. For a given artwork, smARThistory brings together podcasts, video clips, images, links to other resources, and commentary, providing a rich context for the work. Indexed by timeline, artistic style, artist and theme.
In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation. From The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture [prev], more than 16,500 pages of text, 8,300 illustrations, and 60+ maps. [more inside]
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?" ― Winston Churchill, 1935. The World War II Database connects people, events, photographs, and other elements of history in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
Guitar Noise is a free guitar lesson website with hundreds of articles, tips and reviews for students of this versatile instrument. Whether you are a beginner, a lefty, a bass player or a singer, Guitar Noise has lessons on nearly everything and anything to do with the guitar. There are many talented musicians out there. The artist profiles section includes interviews with dozens. The forums, blog and podcasts help you keep up with this thriving community.
World of Science contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy, scientific biography, chemistry, and physics. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by internet encyclopedist Eric Weisstein with assistance from the internet community. MeFi visited Weisstein's Mathworld a couple years ago.
Star Viewer ― merging Google Earth (Sky) with Hubblecast videos to learn more about what you're seeing in the night sky. [more inside]
FreelanceSwitch covers many of the topics freelancers need to know about with their daily articles and tips. They run a freelance job board and have regular podcasts so you can learn a little something while you work or commute. Check out the FreelanceSwitch forums for support and advice from other freelancers, or check out their resources section. [more inside]
Sal Khan likes explaining things, and he's really good at it. Here he is on CNN giving an excellent explanation of the financial crisis. And here's a great explanation of Newton's Law of Gravitation. His YouTube channel has over 700 lectures and you leave understanding everything he talks about no matter the subject.
On Truth and Reality. Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) it is actually very simple to work out how matter exists and moves about in Space. The rules of Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) and Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) require that reality be described from only one single source existing, as Leibniz wrote: "because of the interconnection of all things with one another." [more inside]
A visualization of all the nouns in the English language arranged by semantic meaning. [NSFW words included!] [more inside]
Tech publisher O'Reilly editors discuss the role of hard work and practice in programming and learning in general. "One aspect of learning programming that often eludes both students and teachers alike is the importance of practice, of actually working through all of these formal structures we teach. Most of our books, in a way, offer a promise of learning that avoids the slow repetition of practice."
John Taylor Gatto's newest book, Weapons of Mass Instruction, is out today. Gatto, a former New York State "Teacher of the Year" (1991), is a critic of state education and compulsory schooling in general: "When you take the free will out of education, that turns it into schooling." [more inside]
EclipseCrossword is a powerful windows tool for automatically creating crossword puzzles. You can create multiple puzzles from the same word list; print the puzzles in assorted formats; or export interactive puzzles for web pages. [more inside]
At One Minute Languages you can learn greetings, talking about names, counting, and more in Catalan, Danish, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian.
Mammals | Natural History Museum. From fascinating bats to enormous whales, mammals are the most diverse group of animals on our planet. Equipped with wings, fins, horns and spines – they have evolved to fill many niches and roles. Discover more about this complex group, which of course, includes us. [more inside]
EduChoices offers some good free stuff online: 25 Places to Read Free Books Online l 50 Online Writing Websites for New Writers l Ranking of 20 Universities that Offer Free Courses Online (with links to the free courses), as well as information about university courses etc. l Great Reference Sites Other Than Wikipedia l Free Linux Tutorials for Beginners l Useful Online Calculators For Almost Every Educational and Life Need. [more inside]
Boys and Girls: A Short Book about Choosing If and When to Have Sex. (Narrated by a sweet sounding lassie.)
GetBodySmart.com is a wonderful and remarkably complete resource to learn about the systems that keep our body running, including the skeletal , nervous and even urinary systems. What's more amazing is that it's all created by one man in his spare time and for no gain of his own. Read his mission statement here.
Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth. How children learn (or: don't learn) math today. [more inside]
A lot can happen in 60 seconds. Such as podcasts of one minute how to's, or technology tips, or even one-minute vacations[previous & ongoing] from the life you are living.
SoundJunction is all about music. You can take music apart and find out how it works, create music yourself, find out how other people make music and how they perform it, you can learn about musical instruments and voices, and look at the backgrounds of different musical styles. Over 40 musicians talk on film about their experiences. [more inside]
A New State of Mind. "New research is linking dopamine to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
Yobler. A video repository and community for instructional learning. Also includes still developing audio and article directories.