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Posts tagged education

Warwick Report exposes systematic divides in UK culture
February 24, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Unsurprisingly from the country that gave the world the concept of philistinism, the 2015 Report by the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth - otherwise known as the Warwick Report - has found that "the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and...

Review: Steampunk LEGO by Guy Himber
February 23, 2015 | 10:25 am

steampunk legoI got a package in the mail this week---a gorgeous hardcover book from No Starch Press! When I wrote earlier about this publisher, I mentioned that one of the things which intrigued me about them was their print-plus-eBook bundles. They graciously agreed to let me try one out, and while I was able to download the PDF copy of [easyazon-link asin="1593275285" locale="us"]Steampunk LEGO[/easyazon-link] right away, I wanted to wait to write the review until I had the paper copy for comparison. Well...it's here! And is a beautiful book. Even the Beloved, who is not particularly a book fan in either format, remarked...

Quick Reads finds snack-reading between meals can refresh the synapses other opiates can’t reach
February 6, 2015 | 12:25 pm

UK reading advocacy program Quick Reads - operating in partnership with Galaxy Chocolate - has shared a new research study revealing "that those who read for just 30 minutes per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives." Dr. Josie Billington at The University of Liverpool produced research to help demonstrate that "readers are 21% less likely to report feelings of depression and 10% more likely to report good self-esteem versus non-readers, equipping them with a greater ability to cope with everyday life." The research has been produced in conjunction with the release of the 2015 Galaxy® Quick Reads’...

Want a Humble Bundle for Geeky Kids?
February 4, 2015 | 2:19 pm

humble bundleHere's an interesting theme for a Humble Bundle. Brainiac kid's books, including books on coding, physics, website design and, of course, LEGO. Heck, that sounds like something this self-proclaimed geek adult might be interested in. The line-up looks quite intriguing. Customers can pay any amount of money and receive: Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things The Manga Guide to Electricity Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids The LEGO Adventure Book, Volume 1: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs & More! Customers who pay more than the average user will also receive: LEGO Space:...

UK National Literacy Trust appoints Frank Lampard as reading ambassador
January 25, 2015 | 2:48 pm

UK NGO the National Literacy Trust has appointed Frank Lampard, star footballer and currently mid-fielder for Manchester City Football Club, as a new ambassador for the Trust, "supporting our ongoing work to raise the profile of literacy in the UK and motivate disadvantaged children to read – an ambition he shares in his work as an author." Lampard said: "I am delighted to take up the role as an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and help to further their work in supporting disadvantaged children across the UK to discover the joy of reading and develop their literacy skills. Reading should be a...

The K-12 and economic cases for a national digital library endowment
January 24, 2015 | 11:00 am

President Obama wants expanded broadband, as indicated in his State of the Union address---a laudable goal. But what to use it for, beyond such purposes as, say, the faster downloading of YouTubes? Here's the latest version of LibraryCity’s call for a national digital library endowment and intertwined public and academic library systems online. Short of time? Read an executive summary. – D.R. The average 15-to-19-year-old in the U.S. spends only six minutes a day reading for fun, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, a just-released report from Scholastic, discussed later in this commentary, warns that the number of...

Sad news for Egmont as US operation closes without buyer
January 23, 2015 | 4:25 pm

Sad to say, Egmont Publishing has had to close its US business after trying but failing to find a buyer. The official Egmont statement said: Egmont Publishing, which at $900 million is the largest division in the Denmark-based Egmont group, employing 2,400 people across 30 countries, has a new strategic focus, which is to invest in books and magazine businesses where Egmont can hold a leading market position. One of the outcomes has been the decision to exit the standalone position in the US market, which they entered in 2008. Attempts to sell Egmont USA since October 2014 have not resulted in...

Morning Links: Netflix wants to expand to 200 countries. Doctorow wants to end DRM
January 21, 2015 | 9:00 am

drmNetflix Wants to Expand to 200 Countries Within the Next Two Years (GigaOM) Netflix wants to complete its global expansion within the next two years, the company announced as part of its Q4 2014 earnings release. *** License Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond (David Nickle) So here's a funny story: in 2015, and only in Canada and a few other countries, James Bond entered the public domain. *** Cory Doctorow to Push for Ending DRM (Techdirt) This is Copyright Week, in which various people supporting more reasonable copyright laws highlight some of the problems with existing laws and important concepts that should be in copyright reform efforts....

Lib Dems make late, paltry promise to tackle UK’s obscene illiteracy levels
January 20, 2015 | 10:25 am

Clegg The UK Liberal Democrats, coalition partner and fellow-traveler with the current Conservative-led government, have made a public commitment "to end child illiteracy by 2025," according to a weekend announcement by party leader Nick Clegg. "The plans mean that every child born in 2014, who will leave primary school in 2025 will be able to read and write at a standard identified to lead to success in secondary school and beyond," the announcement claims. "Unlike the Conservatives and Labour, the Liberal Democrats have a clear plan to protect the education budget from cradle to college." There's already considerable skepticism abroad over the details, the...

Morning Links: Awesome bundled productivity pack. Welcome to 2015
January 14, 2015 | 9:00 am

productivityKids Exercising More Autonomy in Digital Content (Digital Book World) In 2013, 89% of parents chose what digital content to buy for their kids, according to new research from PlayCollective and Digital Book World. But kids are now weighing in much more actively to determine what they read. Those purchasing decisions between kids and parents are now close to 50/50. *** Get Evernote, Pocket, LastPass and Wunderlist in One $60 Bundle (GigaOM) This is a good deal: Evernote, password manager LastPass, to-do-list app Wunderlist and read-it-later service Pocket have bundled premium subscriptions to all four services in a single “Productivity Pack” for $59.99 *** Welcome to...

Morning Links: Publish and they will come? Industries ripe for disruption
January 9, 2015 | 9:00 am

disruptionPublish and They Will Come...Right? (Digital Book World) Creating awareness is the most fundamental and crucial step in the book discovery process–and it is a process; discoverability does not end there. *** How Middle School Reading Lists Have Evolved Since 100 Years Ago (GalleyCat) Annie Holmquist over at BetterEd.org dug up the curriculum manual from a 1908 middle school reading list to compare it with modern reading lists. *** Libraries Loan Out 105 Million eBooks in 2014 (GoodeReader) Libraries that do business with Overdrive loaned out 137 million digital assets in 2014, which is a 33% increase from 2013. *** Industries That Are Ripe for Disruption (The...

Chromebooks take another bite out of the Apple, get official in New York City schools
November 19, 2014 | 12:25 pm

The recent news on strong K-12 takeup of Chromebooks for education received solid confirmation via the Google for Education official blog, where Hal Friedlander, Chief Information Officer at the New York City Department of Education, posted an item on the recent decision by the New York City Department of Education Division of Instructional and Informational Technology to approve the Google Apps for Education productivity suite as a supported tool for NYC public schools - and the Chromebooks to run it. Friedlander said of the decision: We saw that many schools wanted to use Chromebooks, and in our assessments, found them to be an...

Open Culture puts 110 free philosophy books online
November 13, 2014 | 6:25 pm

plato3.jpgThe website Open Culture, offering "the best free cultural and educational media on the web," has announced the release of a collection of 110 works of philosophy, "from Aristotle to Nietzsche & Wittgenstein," for free access online. And although, despite the wording of Open Culture's announcement, not all are available to download rather than to read online, this is still a collection worth browsing and, well, learning from. "The list will keep growing at a steady clip," writes Open Culture. "But if you see any crucial texts missing, please let us know, and we will try to get them added ASAP....

UK Education Secretary warns against arts, reading, thinking …
November 13, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Reading, speaking, and thinking in general apparently can damage your career choices, according to the UK Conservative-led government. Their Education Secretary, no less, has got up to warn British schoolkids that arts subjects "will hold them back for the rest of their lives." UK Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan was speaking at the launch of the Your Life campaign, which in itself has the laudable objective of encouraging British students to focus more on the STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering, maths. The campaign aims "to raise participation in science maths and physics A levels by 50 per cent...

Morning Links: eBooks in schools. Defining clickbait.
November 13, 2014 | 9:00 am

clickbaitGift Books Can be a Big, and Tough Business (PW) A number of publishers in the religion category offer gift books with spiritual or religious themes, some just a few per year or a lone title here and there. Others are in the gift book business in a big way, with whole divisions or imprints devoted to them. *** eBooks Take Hold in Schools---Slowly (The Digital Shift) Sixty-six percent of schools nationwide offer ebooks, up from 54 percent in 2013, and overall, the figure is steadily growing, according to School Library Journal’s fifth annual “Ebook Usage in U.S. School (K–12) Libraries” report. *** Barnes & Noble...

Chromebook K-12 popularity implies changes for ereading?
November 12, 2014 | 4:25 pm

New figures from IDC and the UK's FutureSource Consulting, shared by Education Week and elsewhere, indicate that Chromebooks are getting a lock on the U.S. K-12 market, helped by the cheapness of the devices, the Chrome Os's suitability for cloud-based scalable deployments, and Google's free Apps for Education suite. "Schools tell us that Chromebooks fill three big needs: they’re easy for students and teachers to use, they’re easy to share, and they’re easy to manage," says the Google Official Blog. "That’s critical for schools that often want to give their students the best technology, but don’t have a large IT department...

New words are better than sex?
October 31, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Scholarly research recently published in Current Biology under the title "The Role of Reward in Word Learning and Its Implications for Language Acquisition" suggests that the pleasure principle is a key factor in language learning - with the relevant areas of the brain both linked to pleasurable rewards (including sex) and using those linkages to increase brain integration and function. "Our results showed that adult participants exhibited robust fMRI activation in the ventral striatum (VS)—a core region of reward processing — when successfully learning the meaning of new words," the summary of the research stated.  "Moreover, the VS showed enhanced functional and structural...

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