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MIT Partners With Khan Academy, Developing Short Videos to Fuel K-12 STEM Education
The Institute’s launched an initiative encouraging its students to produce their own lessons in science and engineering aimed at students in grades kindergarten through high school.
The videos will be accessible through the new MIT + K12 site, as well as a dedicated YouTube channel. A subset of the videos will also be made available on Khan Academy, adding to their library of over 3,000.
The MIT + K12 project was developed in collaboration with MIT alum and Khan Academy Founder Salman Khan, according to MIT News.
2,500 volunteers across the Middle East are compiling a Web 2.0 dictionary in Arabic
With an increasing demand for online content in Arabic, and the language seeing impressive growth rates on sites like Twitter and Wikipedia, a new project aims to do its part to bridge the gap between Arabic and English content in social media and technology.
2,500 volunteers from across 28 countries are in the process of putting together a dictionary of technological and social media-related terminology like ‘spam’, ‘retweet’ and ‘phishing’ that have emerged but have no equivalent in Arabic.
The dictionary will be taking a standardized approach by sticking to formal ‘classical Arabic.’
Source: The Next Web
Falling Bear Fallout: Student to Sue School Paper over Viral Photo
A University of Colorado Boulder student took a picture for his school paper CU Independent on Thursday. Within hours, the photo was famous. One day later, the student is planning on suing the paper. According to Poynter, the rights to the viral photo have been purchased by the Denver Post, The Colorodo Daily, and Poynter but CU Independent refuses to pay Duann royalties. Duann wrote in an email that “We are going to write a letter to inform them not to use the photo any more, and we will take further action to collect the money from them.”
Common Core standards driving wedge in education circles
A high-profile effort by a pair of national education groups to strengthen, simplify and focus the building blocks of elementary and secondary education is finally making its way into schools. But two years ahead of its planned implementation, critics on both the right and left are seizing upon it. A few educators say the new standards, supported by the U.S. Department of Education, are untested, and one Republican governor wants to block the measure, saying it’s a federal intrusion into local decisions.
Source: USA Today
Obama: Some schools prey on veterans
President Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday that a new executive order will crack down on schools that try to take advantage of returning veterans.
“They bombard potential students with e-mails and pressure them into making a quick decision,” Obama said. “Some of them steer recruits toward high-interest loans and mislead them about credit transfers and job placement programs.”
Under the order that Obama signed Friday, troops will be provided information about financial aid, while schools are required to provide counselors to veterans.
Source: USA Today
Newest Ed Reform Leader is a 12-Year-Old Opt Out Hero
The newest heroes of the ed reform movement are the students who opt out and speak out. Their voices are both loud and proud. They are against tests that they know do not benefit them, and in many cases actually do them harm. Our latest hero is 12-year-old Joseph Dougherty who did his best to opt out of the standardized tests. He knows they are useless for children in general, but he has also discovered they are harmful to him in particular.
They cause stress and anxiety, which leads to emotional and physical distress. As a result Joseph’s mom informed his school principal that he would be opting out of the test and asked that he be provided with alternative activities during all the days of testing. Against the wishes of this young man and his mother, his principal, Thomas Capone, forced Joseph to take the test.
Source: The Innovative Educator
Bank Forgives Dead Student’s Loan; Family Fights to Change Law
Six years after the death of Christopher Bryski, a 23-year-old student at Rutgers University, Key Bank has agreed to forgive his student loan. But Bryski’s family is not stopping there: It’s now fighting to change the laws in the hope of sparing others the trauma it endured as lenders continued to hound it for payment on its dead son’s debts.
Because his father had co-signed his student loan from Key Bank, he was obligated to continue to make payments under the terms of the private loan agreement. He paid more than $20,000 of the $50,000 debt, coming out of retirement to make the monthly payments, according to Ryan Bryski, 34, Christopher’s brother.
Source: ABC News
Does handwriting have a place in today’s tech-driven classrooms?
There is still a clear emphasis on maintaining those building blocks within the education system. Berninger and her colleagues conducted a study that looked at the ability of students to complete various writing tasks — both on a computer and by hand.
The study, published in 2009, found that when writing with a pen and paper, participants wrote longer essays and more complete sentences and had a faster word production rate.
In a more recent study, Berninger looked at what role spelling plays in a student’s writing skills and found that how well children spell is tied to how well they can write.
‘Free-Range Learners’: Study Opens Window Into How Students Hunt for Educational Content Online
The preliminary results of a multiyear study of undergraduates’ online study habits, presented by Ms. Morgan at a conference on blended learning here this week, show that most students shop around for digital texts and videos beyond the boundaries of what professors assign them in class.
Students seem most favorably inclined to materials from other universities. They mention lecture videos from Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology far more than the widely publicized Khan Academy, she says. If they’re on a pre-med or health-science track, they prefer recognized “brands” like the Mayo Clinic. Students often seek this outside content due to dissatisfaction with their own professors, Ms. Morgan says.
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education