Weird Wednesdays

Submitted by Dana Haugh on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 5:03pm.
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This week's Weird Wednesday involves a scantily clad young boy gesturing confidently toward an unseeable something while peering smugly over his glasses. What message is this photo sending? Is there a reason why he's shirtless? What does it all mean?

I would date this photo somewhere in the 1950s, given the crew-cut and sick glasses.

This image courtesy of Pocket Knowledge. A surprise in every pocket!


Effective Program for College Bound Students

Submitted by Sarpong Adjei on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:46am.
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It is a quite evident that many children of low-income families do no breeze through their education. Many researchers point to socio economic status as one of the most important factors in student achievement. Students from low-income families are often hindered by their misfortune and those from high-income families often have a head start in their education. This piece highlights the efforts of two Harvard researchers to buck this trend. They did a pilot program where they sent text messages to high school seniors from low income neighborhoods to remind them about college requirements such as filling out FAFSA, deposit deadlines, etc., They focused especially on the summer months when students tend to lose interest in college and forget to register for classes and take care of other requirements.

The researchers saw a drastic change in the number of students applying for college.


#TinyBookTuesday “A New Pictorial Scripture Alphabet”

Submitted by Alexandra Lederman on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:40pm.
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#TinyBookTuesday presents A New Pictorial Scripture Alphabet for the Assistance and Amusement of Very Young Learners by F. Clarke in 1848! This tiny book was published by Gates & Stedman, 116 Nassau Street, New York.


Robots (not the internet) Will Save the Future

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 10:55am.
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For many years tech gurus have expressed certainty that the internet would be the saving grace of productivity and ultimately lead us to a more fruitful future. However, now, robotics, and not cyberspace are seen as the key to a more nimble, fast-paced society. This recent article in The Telegraph nicely lays-out this argument for robotics as the main driver of progress over the coming decades. The author, Matthew Lynn, even states, "With the possible exception of social networks, the web modifies existing products, rather than creating new ones." Bold words. However, I would argue that the two must work in lock-step and that internet technologies have paved the way and created a bridge to an explosion in robotics. It is after all a bit reductionist to say, as Lynn does, that "Email is useful, but doesn’t do much a phone call couldn’t do." Right. Regardless, of where you stand on internet-based technologies versus a robotic revolution, it is a fascinating time to be a human!


Oscars iPad Air Ad Showcases Learning

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:09am.
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At last night's Oscars ceremony, more than fancy dresses, awkward moments and enviable acting talent were on display. Apple debuted their new iPad Air ad and the value of mobile learning took center stage. With audio from director, Martin Scorsese's recent graduation speech at NYU, the short piece further put learning front and center as high schoolers showed the world how (apparently?!) easy it is to make a movie with an iPad. Scorsese points-out:

Every step is a first step. Every brush stroke is a test. Every scene is a lesson. Every shot is a school. So let the learning continue.”

Beautiful sentiments and ones that reminded me of the ethos of our Seen in NY content. Every ~2 minute video is a fully immersive learning experience highlighting a unique opportunity to gain new skills in NYC. What did you think of Apple's latest ad? Would Steve Jobs approve? Why or why not?


Education for Girls

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:16am.
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Through her research to find the reasons behind the school enrollment among girls in rural Zimbabwe, Ann Cotton, a British educator and philanthropist discovered that poverty was the main cause. For instance, in the homes of many poor families in Africa, parents have no problem spending the little they have on the education of their sons. They believe the boys are more likely to land jobs. Unlike the boys, many poor families in Asia and Africa prefer to have their daughters marry early to alleviate some of their financial burden. This realization provoked Ms. Cotton to establish Camfed.

Since the organization was founded, it has helped millions of young girls in countries such as Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Over a million students have benefited from the organization. Additionally, those who were at the point of dropping out have remained in their various schools.


Technology at First Sight

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 02/22/2015 - 6:50pm.
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There is a universal notion that technology has made education easier and faster. The quality of education in some parts of the globe is very troubling. When you consider the low pace of technological advancement in countries such as Kenya, it is very evident that education in those places is also affected. The vialogue below shows a Canada based organization that organized sports events for school children in Kenya. As part of their mission, they exposed most of the students to computers for the very first time. It is a very good initiative in the sense that the program uses sports to educate the students about the influence of technology on their education.


Effects of Energy Drinks on Children

Submitted by Frank Obeng on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 8:36pm.
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Children who drink energy drinks are at high risk of hyperactivity. This results in them not paying attention in class, which affects their academic performance. Energy drinks contains guarana and taurine. This becomes the main cause of hyperactivity when you mix it with caffeine. Some of the side effects of mixing guarana and taurine include nervousness, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Although sodas are bad for children, study shows that energy drinks are more deadly as compared to sodas because of the presence of caffeine.


Freaky Friday (Just this once)

Submitted by Dana Haugh on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:42pm.
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Weird Wednesday mysteriously disappeared, so I wanted to share this lovely PK find (kudos to Alex!) with all of you.

Happy weekend!


Remote Control

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:06pm.
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(Image: Wikipedia)

Remote controls are a ubiquitous part of the tech landscape. From Apple TV's to apps on your phone (and everything in-between), there are very few electronic things that are not controllable remotely. But, where did this insistence on controlling from a distance come from? (Apparently Tesla invented the first remote-controlled boat in 1898!!!!) Caetlin Benson-Allott an Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University and guest columnist takes us to the "remote" heart of the matter in this fascinating historical and cultural perspective. As we explore technologies to test and prototype in the 4th floor Learning Theater, what role will remote control play?

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