Conflicts and Crisis Affecting Education

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Sun, 11/09/2014 - 9:24pm.

The different kinds of ongoing conflicts around the world have resulted in the shut down of many schools in those territories. For instance, the war in Syria, endless conflict in the Gaza strip, Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, ethnic conflict in Central African Republic (CAR), and the occupation of Ukraine are some of the ongoing conflicts that have affected education. While children in the United States, England, France and other non-conflict zone attend school regularly; about 30 million children are out of school, most of them in conflict zones. Millions have been moved from their schools and homes. Additionally, some schools are attacked or occupied by military forces.

In CAR, a third of schools were struck by bullets, set on fire, or occupied by armed groups. Likewise, during the Gaza conflict, more than 100 schools were used as shelters for more than 300,000 people. In Nigeria, students and teachers have been killed and abducted in the northeast region where Boko Haram reigns. These are some of the reasons why 30 million children are not in school. Unfortunately, even teachers who are willing to help students are being killed. Due to the fact that these issues demand a long-term solution, an alternative solution is needed to prevent children from staying home.

Changing Lives with a Soccer Ball

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 11/09/2014 - 12:19pm.

Sports are a way of life for a lot of people around the globe. Most children in developing countries are not exposed to sports or any physical activity at a young age. There are several organizations that are devoted to ensuring all children, regardless of their socio-economic background, have access to sports. These organizations note the benefits of sports in developing children. It is quite unfortunate that some children actually want to participate in sports but are not allowed due to reasons such as a disability.

This article highlights the work of one such organization: Just Play Foundation. It is changing the lives of children with the help of a soccer ball. The Just Play Foundation is focused on using soccer to achieve four main goals:

  1. To reduce the risk factors of Non-Communicable Diseases
  2. To promote children’s rights and fight against child abuse

Like what you see on Meetup? There's a Team You Should Thank for That

Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Fri, 11/07/2014 - 7:00pm.

What's better than a meetup on usability? Meetup's usability meetup!

I stumbled on their philosophy of testing by happenstance but the more I read about it, the more impressed I became. Meetup doesn’t just have a usability team, it has a usability lab. It takes Nielsen’s rule of 5 to the extreme: 5 (or more) testers every week of the year. In 2013, they tested over 400 people! They practice lean UX, so they are able to do numerous testing/dev cycles super efficiently. They want to learn what users think of their site as quickly as possible so they can iterate and maintain a pleasant user experience.

I found a brief explanation from Meetup itself of how it does user testing. But I think the more educational and thorough artifact is the vialogue I’m embedding below (sorry I got a little comment-happy).

In this presentation, VP of Strategy, Product, and Community Andres Glusman and then-usability lab leader Brenna Lynch lend great insight into the usability practices at Meetup. Their talk includes how they recruit all of those users, what their testing environment looks like, and how they incorporate user feedback into product development.

New Learning Method

Submitted by Khalil Abubakar on Fri, 11/07/2014 - 2:04am.

Most of us find it very difficult to recall or remember new things we have learned. This piece shows some of the easiest and most efficient ways to learn new things without memorization. Researchers from University of Texas proved through brain scans that the part of the brain responsible for learning is rejuvenated when we rest. Resting helps reflect what we have studied. It shows how resting is a crucial part of our life, and more rest means strengthening of memories of events and retention of new information.

Additionally, when learning totally new things, we should try to link it to older things we already know. This will make it easier to memorize and recall new information. For example, when solving problems in trigonometry, we always tend to go back to what we learned in algebra and add the new information to our previous knowledge.

Extra seminar! 3:30pm today

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 11/06/2014 - 1:53pm.

Join us for a talk by Claus Nygaard about Learning Space Design with Denmark's Institute for Learning in Higher Education.

Talk about a Digital Native

Submitted by Jackie Heltz on Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:52am.

Tech addiction is beginning in the womb...well, not exactly but possibly the crib. Dutch designer and recent Design Academy Eindhoven graduate, Laura Cornet, released the biggest thing to happen to your child's nap time since the mobile: a toy that allows infants to snap selfies and instantly upload them to social media. What started as an artistic attempt at social commentary is now turning into a highly demanded product adoring parents can buy which will send baby's first photos directly to mom and dad.

Takeaways from NYTech Meetup's Women in Tech Event Last Night @ HBO

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 11/06/2014 - 10:37am.

Last night I had the last-minute privilege (long wait-list!) of attending a NYTech Meetup (NYTM) and HBO hosted "Women in Tech" event Held at 1100 Avenue of the America's the event was top-notch from start to finish. From efficient check-in (2 dedicated staffers at security bypassed the usual bottleneck) and innovative name tags (Name, Twitter handle & favorite HBO character) to a comfortable theater for the main event, this was a night of innovation and example of fantastic planning.

The evening kicked-off with an intro video montage of key moments from recent HBO original programming (Orange is the New Black, Girls etc.). Next, the CTO of HBO Technology who also hosted the event gave a touching off-the-cuff speech re: gender equality in STEM subjects and in particular, his wife's negative experiences.

The event then officially started with a quick introduction of NYTM's head of programming who has a background in leadership with the Girl Scouts. (She may make a great Profile for Who moderated the evening's presenters.

Football, the Newest Partisan Divide

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Wed, 11/05/2014 - 10:38pm.

There have been several cases about the deaths of high school football players in the news. This understandably has raised public concerns. There is an ongoing debate about reducing the intensity of physical contact, especially during practice. As a result, a lot of parents are not enrolling their children in football. This article explores how the highly educated families from "democratic-leaning areas" are refusing to let their sons play football in high school. New York, California, Colorado, Minnesota and Maryland are all considered highly educated states according to the stats presented in the article. In the last two presidential elections, each of these states voted Democratic.

I believe this article makes a very great point about how certain people might not allow their sons to play football. It is necessary for the governing body of high school football to set aside measures that will make the sport safe enough for every player.

Literacy and Girls' Education

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Wed, 11/05/2014 - 9:37pm.

Every aspect of education is very important fin order for students to succeed. However, two elements that is very crucial for student success is reading and writing. These are widely considered the foundation of learning, including numerical skills. However, reading and writing requires more attention as a result of its regulations.Illiteracy has become a major concern for many schools across the globe. In fact, according to the World Literacy Foundation, 67 million children still do not have access to primary school education.

In terms of gender, girls are more likely to be illiterate than boys. Many girls simply do not have access to education. Every human should have the right to be educated, regardless of gender, race, color, or nationality if we are to eliminate the rate of illiteracy across the globe. At the annual International Literacy Day, UNESCO, national governments and international organizations discussed the importance of literacy and the challenges facing across the globe.

EdLab Seminar: LessonFace, 11.05.14

Submitted by George Nantwi on Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:54am.

Add your thoughts to the vialogue below!

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