Gambling Among Young People

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 03/09/2014 - 9:13pm.

Gambling has slowly found its way into most societies and there are a lot of people who have promoted gambling to a very high extent. To most people, gambling is just a fascination but in as this article highlights , there are problems associated with gambling because it affects the most vulnerable people in Australia. The most targeted group includes those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage and those suffering from depression and mental issues. It was also found that teenagers are becoming more prone to gambling than adults. However, several foundations want to educate young people on the problems associated with gambling and find ways to combat it before it balloons into a major problem.

The number of people who start gambling at a very young age is very alarming. Most commercials and sports ads primarily target young people. I think this might cause children to engage in gambling at a very young age. Aside the initiatives from the foundations, I think it would be very helpful if teachers and coaches advice young people on the problems associated with gambling.

How Effective is the iPad for Learning?

Submitted by Bismark Appiah on Sat, 03/08/2014 - 1:14am.

When the iPad was first introduced several years ago, there was a rush by consumers to get their hands on one. The iPad also offered a lot of learning and educational opportunities for students, parents and administrators. For instance, students believed that it would be an easier way to carry books without feeling the weight of the books. Additionally, students could use it to study, and browse the web, among others. Employers also believed that they could use it for work purposes.

This Vialogues portrays how useful the iPad is or has become for students in South Africa. The use of iPads in South African schools has helped enhance some students’ ability to learn. It encourages them to go to school everyday to learn because they don't want to miss using the iPad. Moreover, the iPad has helped students showcase their talents and creativity by developing their own apps.

Since the iPad was introduced at a primary school, the number of absences during the school year has decreased drastically. The idea of students using the iPad to study in school is great because technology has become a new way for students to learn. However, one thing that still baffles me is what happened to using pens, pencils, and textbooks as learning tools. In other words, can the use of technology be more effective in learning than the “old way?”

Shortage of STEM Workers in UK

Submitted by Reindorf Kyei on Sat, 03/08/2014 - 12:55am.

As is the case here in the US, the UK is also suffering from a shortage in science and engineering graduates. This shortage has taken on added importance since its economy has started to grow following the global recession. A report by the Royal Academy of Engineering several years ago noted that the UK would need about 100,000 graduates in STEM related areas by 2020. The government, fully aware of the shortage, has vowed to take steps to remedy the situation. It is also worth noting that a lot of STEM graduates remain unemployed six months after graduation. There are some critics who have argued that there is not really a STEM shortage in the UK.

It seems STEM jobs are on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic. There seems to also be a shortage of skilled employees to fill these jobs. I am concerned about this troubling trend, especially since STEM continues to be one of the few sectors that continue to grow and produce jobs for recent college graduates.

Robo Journalists... Boring, but Descriptive

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 1:05pm.

Photo Credit: Tuerkischer Schachspieler Racknitz3 from Wikimedia Commons

Regardless of what you think of singularity or how many times you've watched Terminator, AI might be highly applicable to journalism. This piece in Wired UK explores a possible robo-written news future. However, the article is sure to point-out that the study itself was too small to be definitive, yet points to possible benefits of robo-generated content. Possible benefits include articles that are both "more accurate" and "descriptive." On the "con" side AI created articles were viewed by readers as "boring."

7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Tweeters

Submitted by Brian Sweeting on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 12:45pm.

Lately I've been more cognizant of my sharing habits on social media; I'm trying to avoid the netiquette faux pas mentioned in the Inc article, The Real Reason People Unfollow You on Twitter.

For those of you also using a personal Twitter account to promote your work, you too may find it helpful to avoid these behaviors:


  1. Excessively self-promoting. Follow the 90/10 rule: 90% tweets about other stuff, 10% tweets about your stuff (I'm probably guilty of 40/60).
  2. Not promoting/complimenting others' work enough.
  3. Not tweeting regularly enough to keep your followers interested.
  4. Dropping off the grid for weeks at a time.
  5. Not retweeting enough quality links from handles you follow.
  6. Tweeting about polarizing issues (religion, sex, Gwyneth Paltrow).
  7. You tweetin' too much. Overloading followers' feeds is annoying. If you're going to live tweet an event, give followers a heads up first.

Young Adults and E-Cigarettes

Submitted by Sarpong Adjei on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 12:04am.

Since its inception, e-cigarettes have been hailed as a step in the right direction in the fight to stop smoking. However, a recent study has found that when it comes to middle and high school students, e-cigarettes might actually do more harm that good. The study concluded that youth who smoke e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke real cigarettes and less likely to quit than their peers who do not. Some are questioning the findings of the study, arguing that students who smoke e-cigarettes might have been heavy smokers anyway and would have picked up smoking at some point. The argument of the accuracy of the study highlights the debate over the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a serious deterrent to smoking.

The news is not all grim for youth and their smoking habits. A recent large federal study (2011-2012) on middle and high school students smoking habits found that most of them who use e-cigarettes are actual smokers. Though the rate of youth smoking e-cigarettes increased, the number of youth who smoked actual cigarettes reached an all-time low last year.

Flawk.to... Next Evolution of Online "Discussion?"

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:40am.

Do you think that Flawk.to could have implications for learning and the future of social Q&A/discussion boards? Has anyone tried this new social platform? I have yet to try the technology myself, but imagine that "fans" could be broadly interpreted? I know we are looking for interesting new forms of "discussion boards" in online communities, e.g. mSchool, etc., and thought I would share!

Rethinking Urbanization in the 21st Century

Submitted by Ahmed Bagigah on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 2:52am.

One measure of sustainable development for countries is on how each country plan, build and mange their cities. The City We Need is a document by the UN Human Settlements Programme and which provides a foundation of how a city in the 21st century should look. The document tackles various problems such as climate and affordable housing by outlining the vision of a city for the 21st century. Moreover, the document also aims to draw attention to major global development challenges such as climate change and poverty. To address these issues, there needs to be a rethinking on what urbanization is by shifting from old principles to new ones. According to the document, 80% of the world's economical growth and wealth is generated in urban centers. This means that a more socially inclusive city, that is more efficient, better organized and resilient is needed to care for a growing population.

Compulsory Sports in South African Schools

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:17am.

Several countries around the world have different ways of developing sports programs in schools. In America and several other countries, sports are mostly optional and are often regarded as extra curricular activities for students. However, in most developing countries students who want to participate in sports are often denied the opportunity due to lack of sports facilities or sports programs in their schools. This article gives a brief overview on how the Department of Education in Johannesburg, South Africa is on the verge of making sports compulsory in schools.

One of the reasons for this new regulation is that there are a lot of students in South Africa who are very talented in a variety of sports. By making sports compulsory, schools can nurture their talents and help them reach the highest levels in sports and academics. On the other hand, questions might be raised as to why these children are forced to play sports in school. The article added that, with physical education being compulsory as well, children would learn about health related issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Advancement of STEM in Egypt

Submitted by Reindorf Kyei on Wed, 03/05/2014 - 12:15am.

When the Arab Spring fever swept through Egypt three years ago today, there was a sense of optimism and hope for all aspects of life there. Today, that sense of optimism has been replaced with pessimism as Egyptians continue to struggle to form a consistent government, among other problems. Despite the uncertainty, USAID and the Egyptian Ministry of Education recently awarded a group of organizations, led by World Learning, a STEM based program, Consortium for the Advancement of STEM in Egypt (ECASE). The purpose of the program is to “harness the potential of its [Egypt] youth.”

The project, slated to last around four years, plans to develop a network of STEM specific schools all across Egypt. The program will provide all support services to teachers, students and administrators, among others. The hope is that through this initiative, Egypt’s future government leaders, employees and innovators will be able to lead the country to new heights.

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