We Here to Stay

Submitted by George Nantwi on Sun, 03/30/2014 - 11:19pm.

According to a recently published study by the Pew Research Center, it seems the immediate demise of public libraries might be greatly exaggerated. The study was conducted over a three year period and polled 6,224 Americans ages 16-24. It found that more than two-thirds of Americans “actively engage” with public libraries. The authors of the report noted that access to information is the driving force behind engagement in our public libraries. Though we tend to associate public libraries with books, the study found that individuals who engaged with their local libraries were more tech savvy. This same group was also more active in their communities.

What do you think about the findings of the study, especially in light of the ongoing discourse about the redesign of the 4th floor?

Should College Athletes Major in Sports?

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 03/30/2014 - 10:33pm.

One of the hardest things for some college students is choosing a major. Students are usually confused as to what their heart desire and what major would provide them with career and financial security. This article sheds more light on this current discourse. As expected, a large majority of student athletes aspire to turn professional in their respective sport. As a result, parents and friends of student athletes heavily support them and always want to see them make it to the professional level.

One of the main issues is that these students are not provided the same opportunities as students who major in fields of their interests such voice, theater and music. According to the aforementioned piece, college athletes should also be able to major in courses that have to do with their respective sports. Colleges have to make an effort to design academic programs that will enable college athletes to major in courses related to their respective sport. This way after college or after playing at the professional level in their respective sport, they can still work in the field in another capacity.

Race to the Top

Submitted by Reindorf Kyei on Sat, 03/29/2014 - 12:20am.

Four years ago, President Obama started a new program to improve education called Race to the Top. The program is a competition between state and local school districts competing for federal funds. Schools that receive the grants are able to use the money to help their students become better prepared for college and professional life. According to a director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Race to the Top proves that federal government, educators, parents and students can work together in providing the right education that today’s youth need and deserve. According to this article, the District of Columbia will be soon creating a learning network to help STEM educators as a result of Race to Top.

As for now, the states involved in the Race to the top are: Hawaii, which boosted its college diploma and career readiness; Tennessee, which contributed grants to address performance gaps in different schools. Other states such Delaware, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Georgia, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Ohio were also able to provide assistance to their educators. I like Race to Top because the whole idea is to improve schools and providing choices to state governments is better than the federal government controlling everything.

Fearless Culinary Expeditions: What Would You Dare to Eat?

Submitted by Carmen James on Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:13am.

If EdLab's Seen in New York video on the NY Explorers Club peaked your interest, learn more about the wild culinary inventions at their annual dinner.

From the first cocktail to the last bite of dessert, ever concoction challenges and dares the individual to try what they might never have wanted to--and enjoy it!

Read the NYT article "With Your Goat’s Eye Martini, a Taste of Muskrat"here.

InnovateNYC Hosts their First Parent-focused #SharkTankEDU

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 03/28/2014 - 9:27am.

Last night I attended the first parent-focused #SharkTankEDU event (there is no URL associated) hosted by Innovate NYC & the DOE. It was an intimate evening of demos and discussion with a segment of the ed population (parents) that doesn't usually have an adequate voice in the edtech conversation. Please see my my thoughts & takeaways in Twitter format embedded below. Overall, it was an interesting forum for close discussion between both presenting company's (who included Alex Weinberg, the subject of one of my first #GroundBREAKERS interviews & his new co. Upraised Math - see below) and the parent panel.

Parent Sharks
The parent panel (this follows on the tails of a student panel event), was an innovative approach, picking parents to share their concerns and needs with presenting company's who are seeking DOE contracts, however, I would have liked to see more audience members. Next time, I am sure the event will draw more spectators! However, on the flip-side the space at ThoughtWorks was really inviting, fun to explore and their hospitality and food was a step above most edtech events! Overall, I am better for having attended and look-forward to sharing key leads with the NewLearningTimes.com editorial team!

Secondary Level Education in Bangladesh

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 11:20pm.

All levels of education are important because every level is a building block to the next level. However, I believe that secondary level education is very important because this is the time when students are lectured about real life situations. In other words, at this stage in every student's educational life, all the things they have been taught since kindergarten are thoroughly expanded and the materials become more challenging as they prepare for college. For this reason, the government of Bangladesh has signed a $265 million additional financing agreement with the International Development Association (IDA) to improve the secondary education.

The purpose of the agreement is to provide at least $4.5 million in funding to poor rural children another chance to continue their secondary level education. The deal also provides targeted stipends and tuition to poor students. As a result, many children will be able to stay in school. So far, since the introduction of the Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project in 2008, 1.8 million disadvantage secondary school students have been enrolled. As a result, enrollment in secondary school rose from 30% in 2008 to 38% in 2012. This is a sign that the project has been effective.

News Consumption Patterns

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 8:23pm.

According to McKinsey and Company, "when you measure news consumption in the U.S. by time spent, rather than raw audience numbers, digital platforms are getting only 8 percent of the action."

For the full story click here (thanks Manav for sharing this).

Can someone provide a review and/or critique of the McKinsey report? Here are some questions I have:

1) What counts as news?

2) How does time spent on news consumption compare to time spent on others activities?

Overview on My First Year of College as an Engineering Student

Submitted by Kafoumba Doumbia on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 12:55pm.

It is really astonishing how fast my freshman year in college is flying by. After I spent my first semester at the University of Maine-Farmington, I decided to transfer to SUNYIT since their curriculum was more rigorous in my field of study: computer and electrical engineering. The transfer has gone smoothly due in large part to the fact that some of my high school friends and former soccer teammates are already students at SUNYIT. As expected, having fun is very limited because all my free time is spent doing homework, projects and test prep plus spring soccer practice.

Though my classes are very challenging, I am learning a lot about data structure and other aspects of computer and electrical engineering. My experiences in these classes has reinforced my belief that it is important for students interested in computers to take as many STEM classes as possible in high school. It will prepare them well for the rigors of college life. In my calculus class, I am working on a project to create a color-tracking robot.

Adolescents and Mental Health

Submitted by Sarpong Adjei on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:53pm.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that four million American children and adolescents suffer from some form of mental illness. Surprisingly, the study also found that mental illness among this demographic increased by 24 percent between 2007 and 2010. Additionally, nearly 1 in 10 hospitalized children have a mental health diagnosis. The one thing I found most interesting in the study is that mental health hospitalization is so common for children and adolescents.

The study showed that depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis are among the most common conditions for children and adolescents who are frequently hospitalized for mental health. According to this article, hospitals charge as much for treating children who are hospitalized for depression, about $1.33 billion per year, as they do for the inpatient care of children with asthma.

Educational Video Games

Submitted by Youssef Ballo on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:49pm.

Today’s students live in a media saturated environment as they spend an average of 10 hours per day engaging with different media. To accommodate this trend and use it to benefit students, educators are increasingly utilizing the power of games to teach their students. Playing video games enhances student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills. This article highlights five lessons for educators who are interested or are utilizing video games in their classroom.

  1. Give frequent and detailed feedback
  2. Test before going live
  3. Narrative can answer the question "Why are we learning this?"
  4. Don't be afraid of fun
  5. Not every subject works as a game

Is there anything else missing from the list that educators should take into account when introducing video games in the classroom?

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