All Things E Weekly Roundup

Here’s what you may have missed…

TechPresident: World Bank’s New Website Lets Countries Compare Data on Education – The World Bank launched last week an open data portal called the Systems Approach for Better Education Results or SABER, which has so far collected data from 100 countries on education policies and institutions. Officials can use the tool to gather and analyze information on their own education systems and compare them with those of other countries.

Nextgov.com: Have Presidential Speeches Gotten More ‘Tweetable’? – The White House regularly tweets sentences from key speeches on its various feeds. Which made Yahoo’s News …read more

Tinkers: How Technology Brings Out the Scientist in Everyone

This summer, I took a friend on a drive through beautiful Cape Elizabeth, Maine. After devouring a lobster roll, we hopped on some large rocks and sat down, staring into the beautiful, crackling waves. I have always harbored a healthy love and fear of the deep ocean. I want to learn its secrets.

I shared this thought with my friend. “I wish I had a science-brain,” I sighed. “But I don’t.”

My friend, who is both a mathematician and science enthusiast, laughed. “I think everyone already has science-brain. We all want to discover things. Scientists are just the people who …read more

How To Use Padlet For World Domination

One of the most aggravating road blocks to successful world domination is the pop-up window asking for an email address. Nothing makes us shut down faster than being asked to create yet another username and password combination.

Enter Padlet, a browser-based blank slate. The tool-formerly-known-as Wallwisher lets users create a virtual bulletin board with very few layout constraints. The best part? You don’t need an account to contribute content.

While Padlet is a great tool for personal use (and may be responsible for naming your baby), community go-getters are utilizing this site to mobilize the masses. Here are four ways …read more

The War on Obesity?

It’s no secret that Americans are experiencing higher rates of obesity than ever before. According to the CDC, 35.7% of American adults are currently obese. There have been numerous efforts to take on this obesity issue, for example the ‘Let’s Move’ initiative championed by Mrs. Obama, and New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial 16-ounce cap on sweetened beverages.

Last week the obesity story was that of news anchor, Jennifer Livingston, who fired back at a viewer who sent her an e-mail chastising her for being overweight and not a “suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular.” Ms. …read more

Phone Home

What do you do when you can no longer go home for family dinners? This is the question our family recently faced when my sister and I relocated to Maryland this June, moving 588 miles away from our dad and our hometown in Lansing, MI.

Family dinners are important to the three of us and we were able to recreate the experience with Skype, an online video calling platform that allows you to call anyone, anywhere, for free. Every other Sunday my sister and I sit down for a Skype dinner with my dad. We each cook the …read more

Social Media’s Killing English?! Or, is it?

Social media can be an easy target, but is it really killing the English language?

 

Three points to ponder:

A 2010 report by Clarion University says social media and text messages are “consistently associated with the use of particularly informal written communication techniques, along with formatting problems, nonstandard orthography, and grammatical errors.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, English professor Terry Thaxton says “Social media has certainly brought attention to the poor and declining writing, communication, and critical-thinking skills that teachers have seen for a long time. But it’s also helping writers develop experimental ways of writing narrative while …read more

Long Live Fun

Video games aren’t just for nerds, they can be great tools to train, build awareness and inspire social change.

Games have long been used to teach complex topics in a rewarding way. Kids reared in the 90’s might fondly recall days in the classroom playing Oregon Trail designed to teach students the realities of nineteenth century life. Anyone who spent class time playing that game won’t forget the hardships on the road to the West. Dysentery, broken axels, and rattle snake bikes still haunt us into our adulthood. It’s a great example of the way games can make learning both …read more

How Can You Change Opinions By Changing Your Approach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoT13m8-Kxo&feature=youtu.be

Troy, Michigan couldn’t afford to sustain its library, so it scheduled a vote for a tax increase. A strong anti-tax group waged a dominating campaign against it. To combat this campaign a group posed as a political group, posted signs around town that said, “Vote to close Troy library Aug 2, book burning party Aug 5.” A facebook page, twitter page and Foursquare location was created, want ads, flyers and more where posted to drive engagement. The campaign became international news as outcry over the idea of burning the library’s books drowned out the opposition and galvanized support for …read more

Do You Have Something to Teach?

Skillshare thinks everyone has something to teach and things to learn. Skillshare’s platform is a community marketplace where you can find online or in-person classes to take or post your own course. For example in Washington, DC you can take a class on writing an RFP for $25 dollars or take a crash course in CSS for $100. Courses range from arts and crafts to technology. This is a great way for individuals or companies to show their expertise and gain new clients.

Would you be interested in learning from community members in your field? Do you have something you …read more

How to Bring Technology to the Classroom

Students are now in charge of creating content with StrataLogica at their fingertips. Students in social studies classes from sixth to eighth grades have begun using StrataLogica, a mapping and layering software that allows students to create custom maps of any place in the world at any point in history, to learn, explore and create. Google Earth powers StrataLogica’s mechanics, but the real power comes from the students, who can engage more when it is taught to them via technology.