Showing posts from February, 2012

Win a teacher adventure to Costa Rica

Does an all-expense-paid tropical getaway to an amazing international destination sound too good to be true? It's not.

Discovery Student Adventures invites you to enter Discovery Education's sweepstakes for your chance at a trip to Costa Rica. The lucky winner will spend 5 incredible days exploring this beautiful country where they will: Soar high above the rainforest on a zipline and spot exotic wildlifeSaddle up and experience the country's diversity on horsebackRelax and unwind on a sunset cruise and snorkel with sea lifeThis trip is exclusively for teachers. Educators from across the country recently returned from Costa Rica. Check out the unforgettable time they had by visiting our teachers adventure blog

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Seven Ways Online Students Can Prepare for School This Summer

For many online students, summer break isn’t exactly a break. Plenty of online students are not exactly your typical college student. They’re likely to have families and full-time jobs to deal with in addition to classes. 

So as an online student, maybe you’re not spending your summer break sitting by the pool. But even if you’re busy, there are a few things you can do to prepare for school in the fall that will make your life easier once the semester starts up again.

Get a dedicated Internet line

If you don’t already have Internet at your house, get it. This is absolutely necessary for online students. What good is the flexibility of an online degree program if you have to worry that the internet connection you’re “borrowing” from a neighbor will fail at the wrong time, or go to a library or café to study? Go with an Internet service that can handle the demands of delivering your online classes
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Classroom-Based Assessment Should Replace 'No Child', Experts Say

Image by Getty Images via @daylife
President Barack Obama announced last week that 10 states will be exempt from the requirements of the highly-criticized No Child Left Behind legislation. In exchange, those states will have to agree to a series of reforms. But some experts say the law should be scrapped completely for models that don't rely on standardized tests. "It behooves us to take a careful look at the policies at the heart of NCLB, because they have not worked, [and] if they are not working, we need to change them," said Monty Neill, chair of the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA), at the FEA House Briefing on Assessment last Thursday.

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Affect Versus Effect

Grammar Girl here.This is an expanded show based on the original episode covering when to use affect with an a and when to use effect with an e.I get asked whether to use affect or effect all the time and it is by far the most requested grammar topic, so I have a few mnemonics and a matching cartoon to help you remember.What Is the Difference Between Affectand Effect? Before we get to the memory trick though, I want to explain the difference between the two words.It's actually pretty straightforward. The majority of the time you use affect with an a as a verb and effect with an e as a noun. Thanks to Randall Munroe from who drew the stickman cartoon.

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New analysis makes case for higher ranking for U.S. schools

The idea that U.S. public schools are falling behind the rest of the world is widely accepted, but a new analysis of international data suggests that using rankings to sort global winners from losers is often misguided, exaggerating tiny differences between countries that may be producing nearly identical results.  In other words, maybe U.S. schools are not as bad as you might think. "Sometimes rankings can make small gaps appear big and vice versa," says researcher Tom Loveless of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution think tank. Loveless, whose analysis is out Thursday , looked at statistics showing that the United States in 2007 ranked 11th among 36 countries in fourth-grade math. Re-examining the data, he found that when nations with "statistically indistinguishable" scores were grouped, the U.S. group — which includes Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands — was essentially in fifth place worldwide. Enlarge By Rich Pedroncelli,, AP U.S. public schools may not be as…

Would you miss your school staff room?

Mikey Matthews Guardian Professional, Saturday 25 February 2012 08.15 GMTArticle history
These days staff rooms are emptier than they used to be, but can you imagine not having a space to have a laugh or much needed moan with colleagues? Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian
When I was at school, the staff room held an almost mystical station within the school. Along with the head's office, it was the one place that you hoped you would never be sent to. Being sent there was a frightening experience; that long walk down the corridor, the smell of Woodbines filled the air. By the time you arrived you were overcome with the heady scent of nicotine and coffee. On the opening of the door it was like being smacked in the face by Mr Nick O'Teen, only I didn't have Superman to save me (I fully understand that anyone under the age of 30 won't get this obscure reference). I'm sure this never happened but I have a vague memory of a teacher actually opening the door with a l…

Can you take a guess?

Image via Wikipediatree of life (Photo credit: drwhimsy)
Sunday 26 February. Everything is ready for another edition of the famous Oscars, but do you think you'd be able to bet on the winners?
Well, let's try! Here you are some trailers of some nominees for Best Picture; actually, these are the movies I think stand a chance, but let's see if you can take a  guess and choose the winners. Your comments are always welcomed, of course!
The Descendants 
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Teaching For The 21st Century

This online course will introduce participants to various tools that allow students to communicate, collaborate, and create with one another and make their thinking visible.  The course consists of six lessons, with one new lesson every other week. The lessons are conducted asynchronously, so participants can complete their lessons at any point during the week, and each lesson is design to take approximately 45 minutes. Each lesson will include an introduction to a new tool, a chance to try out the new tool, and then an opportunity to discuss ways the tool might be useful in your classroom.

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World-class bronze casting

Patchana Sangket, managing director of Rocla Fine Art Co Ltd, poses beside one of her most celebrated works of avoluptuous woman. PHOTOS BY WIPAWAN THAITHANAN AND PRADYA WUTTHITHUMRONG
Artist in a mould all of her ownNauvarat Suksamran A bronze work depicting a sitting girl. "Thai people's skills are comparable to those of westernartisans or may even surpass them. Our works are delicate,ornate and most importantly, labour costs are far cheaper," says Patchana Sangket, a highly successful bronzecastingartist from Lop Buri.

On This Day: President Andrew Johnson Impeached

Image via Wikipedia
On Feb. 24, 1868, Andrew Johnson became the first U.S. president to be impeached; the Senate subsequently acquitted him by a single vote. House Impeaches President JohnsonAndrew Johnson was sworn in as president afterPresident Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865. Lincoln, a Republican, had chosen Johnson, a Democrat who served as military governor of Tennessee, as his running mate for re-election in 1864 because he was a southerner who supported the war and was loyal to the Union.

The main issue facing Johnson was how to readmit the Southern states that had seceded. He opposed military rule over Confederate states, pardoned rebel soldiers and returned property to rebels. He also vetoed two bills passed by the Republican-controlled Congress that established rights for freed slaves.
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Happy Birthday, Steve Jobs, Creator of Apple Computers

Born to a machinist father and accountant mother in a pocket of northern California now known as Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs was quickly drawn to the wealth of technology and innovation that surrounded him, going to work for Hewlett-Packard on summer breaks during high school.

There he met a college dropout named Stephen Wozniak, who worked as an engineer, but was drawn to creating electronic gadgets. The two would meet again after Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Oregon, when they both worked as game designers for Atari.

Far from content with following another’s path, Jobs proposed that Wozniak help him build a personal computer of his own, providing a hands-on alternative to the massive machines that had defined the field until then.

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Thailand's newest province

Bung Kan, Thailand's newest province, has a lot to offer visitors. Here are a few facts to get you started.

A Phu Thok is a northeastern word meaning lone mountain. It is actually a twin sandstone mountain—Phu Thok Yai and Phu Thok Noi —in Ban Kham Khaen of Si Wilai district. Nestled 715km northeast of Bangkok is Bung Kan – Thailand's newest province. It was part of Nong Khai before beingcarved out and declared the country's 77th province on March 22, 2011. Covering around 4,300km2, this provincecomprised of eight districts is full of mountains and waterways and rich in Thai and Lao culture since Laos is just across the Mekong River. Related articlesMekong River hydropower assessment wins int'l award ( on my Maiden Trip to Bangkok, Thailand ( 3 suspected militants killed in southern Thailand ( fire at Burma refugee camp in Thailand ( - Nong Khai, Thailand ( from Tha…