Is Handwriting Becoming Extinct?

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:00pm.

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.

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.

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.

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

#TinyBookTuesdays "The New England Primer"

Submitted by Alexandra Lederman on Tue, 01/20/2015 - 6:18pm.

It’s #TinyBookTuesdays! Today we have The New-England Primer of an Easy and Pleasant Guide to the Art of Reading. Adorned with Cuts. To Which is Added the Catechism. This tiny book was published by John Punchard and James Gay in Cornhill, Boston, 1831.

Refugee Education

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Sun, 01/18/2015 - 11:52pm.

Many refugee children struggle excessively in all aspects of their life. It is not easy living on a foreign soil, and trying to acclimate to its system and culture. Another problem is adapting to the educational system. Math, Science, and Literature are subjects that are taught globally, but every country has a method of teaching these subjects. The difference in languages and curriculums is the primary reason why a refugee student may struggle to excel.

For instance, in Syria, the turmoil that began in 2011 has forced many people to leave the country. It is estimated that more than one million Syrians have found refuge in Lebanon, a neighboring country with its own political, social and economic problems. More than half of the refugees are children and about 400,000 are of school age. These refugees may have found a new home and safer environment but Lebanon is a country with limited resources. The Lebanese curriculum is developed in English or in French, but “In Syria, even English was taught in Arabic.”

Does the term "Student - Athlete" Exist?

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sat, 01/17/2015 - 8:48pm.

Fans form an integral part of high school and college athletics. Most fans are probably even more passionate than some of the athletes. A recent poll found that fans are beginning to feel there is no need to use the term "student-athlete". They argue that schools do not provide athletes with a decent education. College athletes try to balance their academics with sports but end up leaning more towards the sports. This is largely due to dreams of going professional. However, fewer than 2% of college athletes are likely to make it to the pros. Others also believe it is the duty of the NCAA to implement policies that will monitor the academic progress of student athletes and ensure that schools recognize the need to balance academics with sports.

I believe a student's passion to play sports should be balanced with acquiring a proper education. Statistics have shown that making it to the pros is very unlikely. It is therefore necessary for college athletes to focus on academics. If a college athlete balances academics and sports and eventually makes it to the pros, the degree that was obtained in college might come in very handy after retirement.

World Conference on Educational Media and Technology

Submitted by Meredith Powers on Fri, 01/16/2015 - 10:13am.

Upcoming Event & Call for Papers

The EdMedia World Conference on Educational Media and Technology is organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). The annual conference serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the research, development, and applications on all topics related to multimedia, hypermedia, and distance education.

This year, for EdMedia 2015, the Emerging Technologies for Learning and Teaching special interest group has put out a call for papers. The SIG is looking for contributions with a strong focus on technology—specifically, they want proposals that focus on how technology-enhanced learning can be supported by innovative technologies. Selected authors will be invited to present and discuss their results with this during EdMedia 2015.

This definitely seems like it’s in our sphere, so maybe we should submit a proposal!

New York City Lifts Ban on Cellphones in Schools

Submitted by Youssouf Bamba on Fri, 01/16/2015 - 8:30am.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently lifted the city’s ban on cellphones in schools. The move will surely bring joy to the more 1.1 million students enrolled in the city’s public schools. At present, students are not permitted to bring their cellphones and other electronic devices to school. In some schools, students check their electronics to businesses outside the school for a fee. The new policy calls for school administrators, parents and teachers to set policies regarding the enforcement of student electronics. Mayor de Blasio, in his announcement, argued that the lift of the ban would make it easier for parents to contact their children, especially in case of emergencies. De Blasio also argued that the current ban has an element of inequity and unfairness as it targets students in low-income schools and schools with metal detectors.

What are your thoughts on the new policy? Will it hurt or h

Need for Economic and Educational Reforms

Submitted by Ahmed Bagigah on Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:05am.

In many countries, economic growth is only possible through economic and education reforms. A country cannot survive on one or two sources of revenue. In order to achieve economic growth, there must be an improvement in education. Education should be compulsory until the secondary school level. According to this article, improvement in education will increase the number of literacy in a country and therefore open many opportunities for young adults. Trade and vocational schools in fields dealing with electric work, construction, plumbing and health programs will help create skills and jobs for a lot of people who have not finished college or cannot find a job.

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