Improving Learning Through Costumed Assessments

Submitted by Khalil Abubakar on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 11:09pm.
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Teachers tend to follow the school curricula and other administrative tools to evaluate a student’s learning outcomes. Every teacher has their own style of teaching and has a goal for what he or she wants their students to learn. Organizations in states like Ohio are training teachers to make customized assessments.

This article suggests three ways teachers can provide purposeful and effective assessments to students. One is to give exams with an aim of clarifying specific information. Second, analyze test results to pinpoint areas your students need explanation. Finally, collaborate with colleagues as this will help see student’s flaws and confusions to better improve their understanding of materials.


The Dangers of Football

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 9:18pm.
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In most schools, sports remain an essential tool that is used to promote teamwork, collaboration and tolerance. However, there have been numerous reports about the dangers involved in tackle football. Students tend to be too physical and end up with very risky injuries. Some parents have begun to consider whether to allow their children to play football in school. The vialogue below highlights some of the reasons why parents would not want their children to play football. Do you think these reasons are tangible enough to label football as a "dangerous sport?"


Teachers Teach and Students Learn

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 7:24pm.
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A student’s ability to perform well, for the most part, depends on the teacher. In any institution, it’s the responsibility of teachers to help students learn. A teacher’s performance is reflected in students’ learning. However, teachers are not always to be blame when students are performing poorly. For instance in Pakistan, a normal classroom consists of 70 students and two teachers. Every teacher will struggle to get the best performance out of his or her students in this kind of condition.
Thus, quality is a major contributing factor for poor teacher performance. Ironically, 90% of Pakistan education budget goes toward paying teacher salaries, yet student-learning outcomes are mixed. I believe the education system in Pakistan can improve if teachers are provided with pre-service and in-service training that has up to date teaching methods. Additionally, classroom sizes should also be reduced to a reasonable number.


Importance of Infrastructure

Submitted by Ahmed Bagigah on Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:55am.
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Metropolitan areas throughout the United States are facing difficult challenges in keeping up with economic and environmental demands. The need for efficient and reliable infrastructures is needed to keep up with growing populations and societal changes. Infrastructure provides the important building blocks and leads to efficient business outcomes and a productive society. Investment in infrastructures such as communications, energy, transportation, buildings and parks could be the driving force behind a healthy economy. According to an analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 million people work in fields related to infrastructure. These jobs vary from construction, engineering, and energy and makes up about 11% of the work force. Infrastructure connects people to their jobs and creates other opportunities in many communities. It also shapes all the basic necessities in a city. It supports the supply and demand of goods and services, opens new opportunities in education and health care, provides better transportation, energy and network systems.


Developing Learning Skills with Video Games

Submitted by Youssef Ballo on Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:51am.
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Video games help reinforce important learning and social skills, especially for children with developmental problems. Video games also assist children in setting goals, providing feedback, and keeping records of behavioral change. Video games enhance classroom performance, behavior, academic achievement and skills. Low performing students can benefit from the use of games because they built different type of skills such as language, basic math and reading. Most teachers believe that games have the ability to motivate struggling and special education students.


The Brain

Submitted by Frank Obeng on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:44pm.
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The brain is one of the most important parts of the human body. Study shows that the brain has the capability to store vivid information of little significance or value that might be useful later. The brain also has the capability of updating information that you’ve stored and might need in the future. One of the most frequently asked questions is where exactly are memories saved? The brain has a part that function similar to the RAM in computers. It has an electrochemical neutron where memories are saved. For your brains to function efficiently, you need to work your brains out by playing mind games such as word puzzles and chess.


Is Handwriting Becoming Extinct?

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:00pm.
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The speed with which technology has made our lives easier means some things are slowly becoming irrelevant. When you look at a work environment where almost everything is digitized, a classroom with numerous computers and a home with several electronic devices, it begs the question of whether we need to write anything down with a pen. Handwriting used to be a very effective art but according to several studies, the art of handwriting is slowly becoming outmoded. We mostly document information with our computers and phones. Information that was regarded as very essential and handwritten in the past is simply saved in our emails or cellphones now.

Numerous studies have highlighted that it is important to ensure that the art of handwritten remains in existence. Unlike typing, handwriting improves the creativity of individuals. Studies have shown that adults and preschoolers learn "foreign alphabets" better when they write them out instead of learning them on the computer. This explains why there is a widespread belief that handwriting helps our memory.


What's NLT's Job?

Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:35pm.
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My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and I’m like.... this is not why I bought this milkshake. Please get off my property.

So why did I buy the milkshake? Famed Harvard Business School professor (and author of Steve Jobs’ favorite business book) Clayton Christensen can help answer that one. He developed the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory to reframe a question product owners have been wondering since the dawn of the free market: instead of asking a customer why they bought a product, ask them what job the product was hired to do. Switching to this line of questioning returned surprising insights for Christensen and his team as they wondered why, in the very early morning, were people buying so many milkshakes from a fast food restaurant?

Watch this short (<5 min) clip of Christensen telling the story in his own words to find out the answer:


Artful Concealment

Submitted by Gonzalo Obelleiro on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 4:32pm.
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Things change. King Ashoka converted to Buddhism after witnessing mass death by the army he commanded at the Kalinga War. After years of supporting the policies of No Child Left Behind, Diane Ravitch grew disillusioned and became a vocal critic.

Room 105 of Russell Hall used to be beloved glass case by the library front desk where patrons would go to scan their documents. Now, it houses the productivity powerhouse that is the Gottesman Libraries digitizing team. The sheer intensity of work taking place in room 105 now calls for some shielding from public view. Not only to conceal the disarray of paper and books, but also to protect patrons from the guaranteed embarrassment of judging their own work in light of the comparatively superior and more efficient work happening inside 105.

So Min and I dressed the windows of 105 with a beautiful pattern. It's artful concealment. Check it out.


Cognitive Load & Presentations

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 3:23pm.
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Great round-up of research (Richard Mayer, Multimedia Learning Theory, 2001) and best presentation practices to reduce cognitive load for your audience. What are your thoughts re: these tips and tricks? Will you modify your personal presentation style as a result? As with MANY things, old habits are hard to break, but, I will try to integrate a few of these into my presentation game!

Findings summarized & a great video included in the article:

  • Images without text are much better presentation support than text that mirrors content you are sharing verbally
  • Explain topics in your own words
  • Use "I" and "You" to personalize your presentation material
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