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Posts tagged education

Michelle Rhee is just as clueless about e-books as she is about ‘school reform’
July 7, 2015 | 6:13 am

Michelle Rhee Make summer reading lists fun and educational - The Washington PostMichelle Rhee, the so-called school reformer, is a female Gradgrind who used to run the schools in Washington, D.C. Like Dickens' headmaster in Hard Times, Rhee has dedicated her life to squeezing the joy out of learning. If you want to learn more about Rhee and her ilk and the damage they've done, please read Diane Ravitch and Nikhil Goyal as well as Washington Post education writer Valerie Strauss.  Now chair of of a chain of charter schools, Ms. Rhee teems with chutzpah, and the latest example is her Post essay headlined Make summer reading lists fun and educational. Who cares that excessive prep for standardized testing, a pet cause of...

‘Nearly all American educators are using digital content’—but the news isn’t all good
July 5, 2015 | 9:29 am

Interactive white boardThe big challenge of tech in education isn't just getting the gadgets out there. It's actually using them to foster learning. And in that regard the news isn't all good. From Business Reporter in the U.K., via Ingram's Wayne Keegan on LinkedIn: "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s survey" of U.S. educators "found that 97 per cent use digital content, while more than half use apps, websites or digital games in classrooms." Yes---97 percent or nearly all American educators! "However," the article says, "two thirds say digital tools are used infrequently for learning purposes, with only 23 per cent using the most prevalent form of classroom technology on a daily basis. "And...

Morning Links: What Is a Book? Pebble Time Review
June 17, 2015 | 7:57 am

pebble tiimeA Book is a Book: What is a Book? (Dear Author) When you hear the word book, what comes to mind? TeleRead Take: It's a fair question. eBooks have been challenging the question. I think about it when I "report" finished books to Goodreads. Most of the time, I don't bother with "books" which are really short stories. I suppose it skews the numbers, but who really cares but me? Pebble Time review (Android Central) Can the Pebble Time stand against the likes of full-touchscreen Android-based watches from the big players who make our Android phones? That was my question going into things. In...

Climate-themed anthology explores ‘literature of energy’
June 10, 2015 | 10:25 am

climate-themed anthologyA new 288-page anthology of climate-themed and environmental literature is set for publication on June 15, but already the textbook is finding interest in a worldwide community of writers, readers and movie directors. It's perfect for​ the new trend in academia ​of bringing climate themes into university ​classrooms where literature and film are taught. Titled ''Currents of the Universal Being:' The Literature of Energy,'' the teaching guide has been edited by three university professors, Scott Slovic, James E. Bishop, and Kyhl Lyndgaard. Interestingly, ​Bishop andLyndgaard were earlier students of Professor Slovic. It all began during a 2006 graduate student...

Teaching STEM with stories
June 7, 2015 | 12:06 pm

STEM-logo_thumbSTEM subjects (the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are important, but can be difficult to teach. There are a lot of complicated concepts to get across to students who are just starting to learn. However, one computer science teacher has found an effective way to get through to them using stories as teaching tools. Lev Fruchter was an English teacher who was asked to take on teaching math as well—but rather than split the subjects up, he merged them into a double period, choosing stories that embodied mathematical concepts. He has carried this on in his...

Morning Links: Children in Mali reading eBooks. Digital making us dumber?
May 19, 2015 | 9:00 am

malebooks-250x80Is Digital Making Us Dumber? (GoodeReader) Since the most recent advent of digital reading and ebook proliferation, the techno format has been blamed for  a drop in reading comprehension scores among grade school students, developmental concerns over children’s screen time, and even the overturning of a time-honored pricing and value structure within the publishing industry. *** How This Tokyo Bookstore Made Me Fall Back In Love With Print (Medium) And why Tsutaya gives me second thoughts about the primacy of digital culture... *** Children in Mali Can Now Read PD eBooks, Wikipedia Thanks to MALebooks eReaders (Ink, Bits & Pixels) This project seeks to distribute ereaders packed...

National digital library endowment proposal makes Education Week
May 13, 2015 | 6:25 pm

edWeekEndowmentLibraryCity’s proposal for a national digital library endowment has now made the leading publication in the field of K-12 education---not just philanthropy (Chronicle of Philanthropy) and libraries (Library Journal). Education Week has published a 1,300-word essay with a home-page link. Also to be reproduced in the print edition, the article is a collaboration between me and Jim Duncan, executive director of the Colorado Library Consortium. Jim is offering his personal views. The beginning: As a boy, Warren Buffett is said to have read book after book on money. Thankfully, he did not live in Los Angeles and rely on the library at Roy Romer Middle...

Weekend Links: Time enough for reading? Inside the Kobo Glo HD
April 26, 2015 | 1:52 pm

kobo glo hdWhat's So Great About Young Writers? (NYT) I have an interest in the nurturing of “late blooming” writers. I have long grumbled about the conflation of the words “young” and “emerging,” and particularly about the many prizes set aside for writers in their early careers below whatever cutoff has been picked, usually 35 or 40. *** How Much Time is Enough for Reading? (Book Riot) The other day I was waiting for the bus and I found myself doing what I call “booktime math”: checking the transit schedule and quickly calculating do I have enough time to start reading? Or should I just goof...

Morning Links: Juvenile book sales drop. Reading on the bus dangerous?
April 24, 2015 | 9:00 am

reading on the busJuvenile Book Sales Plummet (PW) Industry members expected that sales in the two segments would cool this year and sales, which started to slow this spring, plunged in the week ended April 19, 2015, compared to the similar week in 2014. Unit sales in the juvenile nonfiction category fell 39% in the week and dropped 46% in fiction at outlets that report to BookScan. *** In Praise of the Digital Calendar (Unclutterer) Dave has declared his love of the wall calendar, and I agree with the points he made. I also know plenty of other people who work well with either paper wall calendars...

Morning Links: LA wants refund for school iPads. Tech and the home
April 17, 2015 | 9:00 am

school ipadsSilicon Valley Needs To Be More Willing To Talk Openly About Failures (Techdirt) This is Silicon Valley's stupid secret that really should be discussed more openly. Lots of startups fail. It happens all the time. *** LA School District Wants Refunds for Education iPads (Boing Boing) They paid nearly $1000 each for 44,000 iPads loaded with an incomplete educational curriculum they hadn't even seen. *** PEN Literary Awards Shortlist Revealed (GalleyCat) The PEN American Center has revealed the shortlists and judges for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards. *** Considering Tech and the Home (Sacha Chua) I came across an interesting exercise in Barbara Sher’s I Could Do Anythng If...

Morning Links: Sharing economy getting big. Showrooming like shoplifting?
April 15, 2015 | 9:00 am

ShowroomingThe Sharing Economy Is Getting ‘Very Big, Very Fast,’ Says PwC Study (Re/Code) Renting and borrowing will replace ownership in many industries, according to a dizzying array of new statistics from a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report. *** The Enduring Mystery of the Academic Book Market (The Scholarly Kitchen) Nature’s greatest mystery is anything to do with books: who reads them, how many there are, how much of them we read, what they cost, where we buy them, who makes money on their sale. *** Nicholls tells Digital Minds: 'Showrooming is like shoplifting' (The Bookseller) Showrooming is just a “genteel form of shoplifting” author David Nicholls told an audience...

Morning Links: Laptops for students? Adults love coloring books too!
April 6, 2015 | 9:00 am

laptopsAre Laptop Requirements a Forgone Conclusion or a Burden on Students? (Media Shift) One 2014 survey found 90 percent of students own laptops and 86 percent own smartphones, while less than half of those surveyed own tablets. *** The Internet Doesn’t Make You Smarter; You Only Think it Does (Ars Technica) After using search engines, people overestimate their ability to explain ideas. *** Writer's Events Can Strengthen Your Craft, Build Your Career (GoodeReader) Authors who are interested in establishing themselves as both better writers and as serious career-minded artists can benefit greatly from attending writers’ conferences and workshops, but the cost of attending is often pretty prohibitive....

Morning Links: Tablets in the classroom help learning? Amazon-Harper Collins face off
April 2, 2015 | 9:00 am

tablets in the classroomDo Tablets in the Classroom Really Help Children Learn? (Gizmodo) What do these mobile devices really add, though? Is there more to this tech trend than just grabbing the attention of students? Is mobile technology boosting classroom instruction, or is it all just a flashy way to accomplish the same things as analog instruction? *** Amazon-HarperCollins Negotiations Peek into Public View (Digital Book World) Amazon’s contract negotiations with HarperCollins have come to a something of an impasse, according to an anonymous source Business Insider reports as knowledgeable about the matter. *** 10 Authors Who Wrote Gritty, Realistic Fantasy Before George R.R. Martin (io9) When George R.R. Martin...

Toronto Catholic School Board Cuts Every Teacher-Librarian
March 27, 2015 | 12:25 pm

teacher-librarianIt's budget time here, and every municipality in my area is trying to balance the books. One of the more controversial cost-cutting tactics to come to light this week is the Toronto Catholic school board's decision to eliminate teacher-librarians in ALL of its elementary schools. As the Toronto Star write-up explains, teacher-librarians play a significant role in early literacy because, unlike the lesser-paid library technicians, they are both trained librarians and also certified teachers as well. Part of the problem is that teacher-librarians are allocated in the province's funding on a per-child basis, not a per-school basis. The provincial funding formula accounts...

Education alliance urges Congress to support dedicated school library funding
March 23, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Congress_large_extra_large.jpgThe American Library Association (ALA) has announced its support for "a coalition of more than 20 education businesses, associations and media groups―including Scholastic Inc., ESCO Information Services and the Association of American Publishers" which has just sent a letter to the U.S. Congress "to support dedicated school library funding in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which provides federal funding for national K-12 education programs." The coalition's letter "asks Congress to incorporate the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act in ESEA reauthorization, which would expand federal investment in school libraries in order to offer students the...

Teaching Good Media Habits for Children
March 13, 2015 | 10:25 am

media habits for childrenI featured this story in the Morning Links yesterday, and have been thinking about it all morning. Amanda Enayati writes about 'unplugging' as a trend thing, that people are finally noticing the 'stress' that their devices cause them. It seems to me that addressing that stress needs to start not just with the adults of today, but with the adults of the future; we need to teach kids how to interact more safely, and sanely, with their devices than we do. I taught a technology unit to my Grade 3 students just before the March break which attempts to address this...

Morning Links: Apple making iPads in classrooms easier. More on Little Free libraries
March 9, 2015 | 9:00 am

ipads in classroomsHow My Little Free Library Became Self-Sustaining (Book Riot) The reality of running a Little Free Library is often much less bright and cheery. A lot of the books that get put in aren’t anything anyone would want to take. *** How I Manage my Creative Process on an 11-Inch Macbook Air (GigaOM) I decided to get an Air for myself and hand down my 15-inch MacBook Pro. Wins all around. *** Self-Publishing Lets Women Break Book Industry's Glass Ceiling, Survey Finds (The Guardian) While men still dominate the traditional books world, among DIY writers women are publishing and selling more. *** Apple is Going to Make...

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