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Gareth Jones

Looking in the Wrong Places | Edge.org - 5 views

  • We should be very careful in thinking about whether we’re working on the right problems. If we don’t, that ties into the problem that we don’t have experimental evidence that could move us forward. We're trying to develop theories that we use to find out which are good experiments to make, and these are the experiments that we build.   We build particle detectors and try to find dark matter; we build larger colliders in the hope of producing new particles; we shoot satellites into orbit and try to look back into the early universe, and we do that because we hope there’s something new to find there. We think there is because we have some idea from the theories that we’ve been working on that this would be something good to probe. If we are working with the wrong theories, we are making the wrong extrapolations, we have the wrong expectations, we make the wrong experiments, and then we don’t get any new data. We have no guidance to develop these theories. So, it’s a chicken and egg problem. We have to break the cycle. I don’t have a miracle cure to these problems. These are hard problems. It’s not clear what a good theory is to develop. I’m not any wiser than all the other 20,000 people in the field.
  • I’m still asking myself the same question that I asked myself ten years ago: "What is going on in my community?" I work in the foundations of physics, and I see a lot of strange things happening there. When I look at the papers that are being published, many of them seem to be produced simply because papers have to be produced. They don’t move us forward in any significant way. I get the impression that people are working on them not so much because it’s what they’re interested in but because they have to produce outcomes in a short amount of time. They sit on short-term positions and have short-term contracts, and papers must be produced.
  • The field that I mostly work in is the foundations of physics, which is, roughly speaking, composed of cosmology, the foundations of quantum mechanics, high-energy particle physics, and quantum gravity. It’s a peculiar field because there hasn’t been new data for almost four decades, since we established the Standard Model of particle physics. There has been, of course, the Higgs particle that was discovered at the LHC in 2012, and there have been some additions to the Standard Model, but there has not been a great new paradigm change, as Kuhn would have put it. We’re still using the same techniques, and we’re still working with the same theories as we did in the 1970s.
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  • That makes this field of science rather peculiar and probably explains why there hasn’t been much progress. But it’s not like we don’t have any questions that need to be answered. There are a lot of questions that have been around for decades. For example, what is dark energy? What is dark matter? What are the masses of the Standard Model particles? And what’s up with the foundation of quantum mechanics? Is a theory that's fundamentally not deterministic, where we cannot predict outcomes, the last word that we have, or is there something more to it? Is there maybe another underlying structure to reality?
  • but we haven't reached the fundamental level. Maybe we will never reach it. Certainly, the theories that we have right now are not all there is. The question is, of course, if we don’t have any guidance by experiment, how do we make progress? And are we doing the right thing?
  • We’ve reached this point where we have to carefully rethink if the criteria that we’re using to select our theories are promising at all. If one looks at the history of this field in the foundations of physics, progress has usually been made by looking at questions that, at least in hindsight, were well posed, where there was an actual mathematical contradiction. For example, special relativity is incompatible with Newtonian gravity. If you try to resolve this incompatibility, you get general relativity.
  • There are various similar examples where such breakthroughs have happened because there was a real problem. There was an inconsistency and people had to resolve it. It had nothing to do with beauty. Maybe beauty was, in some cases, the personal motivation of the people to work on it. There’s certainly some truth to this, but I don’t think it’s good to turn this story around and say that if we only pay attention to this motivation that comes from ideals of beauty it will lead to progress.
  • If we are working with the wrong theories, we are making the wrong extrapolations, we have the wrong expectations, we make the wrong experiments, and then we don’t get any new data. We have no guidance to develop these theories. So, it’s a chicken and egg problem. We have to break the cycle. I don’t have a miracle cure to these problems. These are hard problems. It’s not clear what a good theory is to develop. I’m not any wiser than all the other 20,000 people in the field.
  • The way that research is funded in foundations of physics and in many other fields just puts a lot of things at a disadvantage that are not pursued anymore. Typically, everything that takes longer than three years to complete, no one will start it because they can’t afford it. They can literally not afford it.
  • Who makes the decisions about the funding? Superficially, people say that it's a funding agency, so it’s the university who get to hire people. But that puts the blame on the wrong party. In the end it’s the community itself who makes the decisions. What do the funding agencies do if they get a proposal? They send it to reviewers. And who are the reviewers? They're people from the same community. If you look at how hiring decisions are being made, there’s some committee and they are people from the same community. They have some advisory boards or something, which contains people from the same community.
  • Even if that wasn’t so, what the people in these committees would be doing is looking at easy measures for scientific success. Presently, the most popular of these measures are the number of publications and the number of citations. And maybe also whether the person has published in high-impact journals. So, these are the typical measures that are presently being used. But what do they measure? They primarily measure popularity. They indicate whether somebody’s research is well received by a lot of people in the same community. And that’s why once a research area grows beyond a certain critical mass, you have sufficiently many people who tell each other that what they’re doing is the good thing to do. They review each other’s papers and say that that’s great and it's what we should continue to do. It’s a problem in all communities that grow beyond a certain size.
  • I later came to the United States and then Canada, and that gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about quantum gravity. I also figured out that much of what goes on in quantum gravity is very detached from reality. It’s pretty much only mathematics. Yes, the mathematics is there, but I still don’t know if it’s the mathematics that describes reality.
  • That’s the very reason why we don’t normally think of gravity as a weak force. It’s the only force that is left over on long distances, and the reason for this is that it adds up. It gets stronger the more mass you pile up. More precisely, we should say that the reason we find it so hard to measure quantum gravitational effects is that we either have a particle that has very pronounced quantum properties, like, say, a single electron or something like that, but then it’s so light that we cannot measure the gravitational field. Or we have some object that is so heavy that we can measure the gravitational field, but then it doesn’t have quantum properties. Okay, so that’s the actual problem.
tthomasuscu

Gun Culture Is My Culture. And I Fear for What It Has Become. - The New York Times - 15 views

    • tthomasuscu
       
      Very clear imagery. He opens the essay with his personal anecdote to set the scene for this discussion. It also lets the reader know right away that he is a gun owner.
  • What I was doing was perfectly legal. In North Carolina, long-gun transfers by private sellers require no background checks.
    • tthomasuscu
       
      Should this be changed to prevent criminals from buying guns from private sellers? How is something this dangerous allowed to take place?
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  • so long as the buyer has a purchase permit or a concealed-carry license.
  • I felt uneasy
  • He liked the rifle. I needed the cash. We shook hands, and off we went.
  • There is rarely a moment when I’m not within reach of a firearm.
  • We don’t touch the guns or draw them from their holsters. They are unseen and unspoken of, but always there.
  • Rarely do we mention what we carry
  • I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew the rules: Always assume a firearm is loaded. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Know your target and what’s beyond it.
  • Guns were often a bridge between father and son.
  • or my family, guns had always been a means of putting food on the table. My father never owned a handgun. He kept nothing for home defense.
  • had a gun put to my head
  • I can remember that
  • steel
  • I can remember
  • In the end, what happened was swept under the rug. My parents said the school was probably trying to keep the story off the news.
  • surrounded myself with the people I did as a form of protection.
  • I dropped to the ground as gunfire rang from a car at a bonfire party.
  • I pushed friends behind the brick foundation of a house as a shootout erupted over pills. There were times when someone could have easily been shot and killed.
  • his service weapon pushed into the base of my skull.
  • I stood there trembling while they apologized.
  • Jackson County
  • I found a community that reminded me of my grandmother, where folks still kept big gardens and canned the vegetables they grew. They still filled the freezer with meat taken by rod and rifle — trout and turkey, dove and rabbit, deer, bear, anything in season.
  • hared passion for wilderness and time spent in the field with gun in hand.
  • Those types of things are rare now, even in places like Appalachia.
  • A few weeks later, the boy took that .30-30 lever action into the field and killed his first deer with it — the same as his uncle, his grandfather and great-grandfather.
  • centuries of experience gathered around the campfire each night
  • the .308 blew apart the morning.
  • There is a sadness that only hunters know, a moment when lament overshadows any desire for celebration
  • Life is sustained by death
  • the killing is not easy, nor should it be.
  • would feed me for a year
  • I asked if there was anything I could’ve done differently to make him more comfortable when he first approached the truck.
  • He smiled and told me: “But this is South Carolina. Most every car I pull over has a gun.”
  • As I headed toward the mountains, all I could think about was Philando Castile,
  • situation was re
  • All I could think about was how things might have been different if the
  • versed and that young black state trooper with braces had been behind the wheel, a white trooper cautiously approaching the car.
  • It was impossible not to recognize how gun culture reeks of privilege.
  • Ruger 10/22s and Marlin Model 60s, the .22LRs
    • tthomasuscu
       
      This guy knows his guns. Even though his essay doesn't cite research, you can see his ethos through his personal experience and his use of precise jargon.
  • There were always guns, but nothing like the assault weapons that line the shelves today.
  • firearms whose sole purpose would be to take human life if I were left with no other choice.
  • I’ve witnessed how quickly a moment can turn to a matter of life and death. I live in a region where 911 calls might not bring blue lights for an hour. Whether it’s preparation or paranoia, I plan for worst-case scenarios and trust no one but myself for my survival.
  • they joke about the minute hand of the doomsday clock inching closer to midnight.
  • as they wait for the end of the world.
  • they own them because they’re fun at the range and affordable to shoot. They use the rifles for punching paper, a few for shooting coyotes. E
  • step as close to Title II of the federal Gun Control Act as legally possible without the red tape and paperwork. They fire bullets into Tannerite targets that blow pumpkins into the sky.
  • None of them see a connection between the weapons they own and the shootings at Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland. They see mug shots of James Holmes, Omar Mateen, Stephen Paddock, Nikolas Cruz — “crazier than a shithouse rat,” they say. “If it hadn’t been that rifle, he’d have done it with something else.”
    • tthomasuscu
       
      Where is the fault in this logic? It just doesn't add up.
  • They fear that what starts as an assault-weapons ban will snowball into an attack on everything in the safe.
  • I understand what’s at stake
  • I think about that boy picking up that AR in Cabela’s, and I’m torn between the culture I grew up with and how that culture has devolved.
  • changes I know must come, changes to what types of firearms line the shelves and to the background checks and ownership requirements needed to carry one out the door.
  • an unrelenting fear of what could be lost
  • a subsistence culture already threatened by the loss of public land, rising costs and a widening rural-urban divide; the right of individuals to protect their own lives and the lives of their families.
  • He cut a look in my direction as if I’d absolutely lost my mind.
  • I’d be fine with an assault-weapons ban
  • question is irrelevant, that the reason doesn’t supersede the right.
  • Despite everything we have in common, despite the fact that he’s my best friend and we were going squirrel hunting in a few days, the two of us fundamentally disagree
  • As sad as it is to say, the silence is easier
  • there were kids on the television in the background, high school survivors who were willing to say what we are not, and I was ashamed.
  • ne of those pretty, late-winter days with bluebird skies when the trees are still naked on the mountains and you can see every shadow and contour of the landscape.
  • The muzzle was pointed in our direction. Ashley was terrified.
  • The truth is, there are guns I feel justified in owning and guns I feel belong on battlefields.
  • I know that part of what they’re missing or refusing to acknowledge is how fear ushered in this shift in gun culture over the past two decades.
  • Fear is the factor no one wants to address — fear of criminals, fear of terrorists, fear of the government’s turning tyrannical and, perhaps more than anything else, fear of one another.
  • I recognize this, because I recognize my own and I recognize that despite all I know and believe I can’t seem to overcome it.
  • I don’t buy into that only-way-to-stop-a-bad-guy-with-a-gun-is-a-good-guy-with-a-gun bravado.
  • I have no visions of being a hero. Instead, I find myself looking for where I’d run, asking myself what I would get behind. The gun is the last resort. It’s the final option when all else is exhausted.
  • we walked, I could feel the pistol holstered on my side, the weight of my gun tugging at my belt. The fear was lessened by knowing that there was a round chambered, that all it would take is the downward push of a safety and the short pull of a trigger for that bullet to breathe. I felt safer knowing that gun was there.
    • tthomasuscu
       
      How does fear drive so many of us to distrust and hate our fellow Americans? How does the Gun Lobby and the NRA use this fear to their advantage? What role does fear play in racial prejudice? How do we combat and address this fear?
Martin Burrett

Book: How to be an Outstanding Primary School Teacher by @HeadTeachDunn - 9 views

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    "With so many expectations, requirements and scrutiny of primary school teachers, it is easy to become formulaic in your practice. This is a shame, as the initial enthusiasm for the job gets waned, and giving young students the opportunity to shine becomes less focused on whole-child development. However, to become an outstanding teacher demands consistency, focus and dedication. Outstanding teachers are always on the lookout for new ideas, but sometimes the tried-and-tested classroom activities and techniques can offer a strong system to help your pupils shine, despite curriculum restraints imposed."
Martin Burrett

School librarians helping children become independent learners with parental support by @elizabethutch - UKEdChat - 13 views

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    "As a parent, I have always been able to help my children find good sources of information in order to do their homework. How do I know where to find the best information? Do I have some inside knowledge that most parents don't? Yes! How? I am a librarian… I have long believed that if parents knew about the resources available from their school library to support their children's homework they would be relieved and happy. They would be able to guide them to use these good tools without worrying about quality or reliability. Many of our resources go unused for two reasons, firstly, many teachers and students do not know about these resources, how easy they are to use and reference and secondly, parents don't know they exist."
Dallas McPheeters

Learning and earning: Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change | The Economist - 34 views

  • Today robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution
  • working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers.
  • lifelong learning that exists today mainly benefits high achievers—and is therefore more likely to exacerbate inequality than diminish it.
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  • a burst at the start and top-ups through company training—is breaking down. One reason is the need for new, and constantly updated, skills.
  • The 19th and 20th centuries saw stunning advances in education. That should be the scale of the ambition today
  • It is easier to learn later in life if you enjoyed the classroom first time around: about 80% of the learners on Coursera already have degrees. Online learning requires some IT literacy, yet one in four adults in the OECD has no or limited experience of computers. Skills atrophy unless they are used, but many low-end jobs give workers little chance to practise them.
  • Lifelong learning starts at school. As a rule, education should not be narrowly vocational. The curriculum needs to teach children how to study and think. A focus on “metacognition” will make them better at picking up skills later in life.
    • Dallas McPheeters
       
      Lifelong learning begins at home. Otherwise, it's an anomaly to the student's mind and may not be adopted.
  • Pushing people into ever-higher levels of formal education at the start of their lives is not the way to cope.
  • WHEN education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality.
    • Dallas McPheeters
       
      Inequality was there long before high-tech innovations. The only gap produced by tech is between those with access to networks and devices and those without. two thirds of earth still without access to internet. 
Dan Bench

Process vs Product in Maker-centered Learning - The Learner's Way - 42 views

  • by ‘Making Thinking Visible’ (MTV) can help here. MTV strategies offer two advantages to teachers and learners. Importantly they provide structure to thinking and encourage a deeper engagement with concepts and ideas. They also allow the thinking that is occurring to be made visible and thus a part of the assessment process
  • mastery of the process that students are utilising as they solve the problems they encounter in their making. How do they deal with obstacles? How did they plan their solution? How effectively do they collaborate? What did they do to understand the problem and how did they monitor their progress?  
  • Students move through phases of thinking that include empathy, needs analysis, ideation, planning, prototyping and evaluation in patterns both linear and non-linear as needs require.
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  • Failing is a part of the process and failing disrupts output based assessments. At the core of the maker philosophy is a process of ideation, iteration and emergence.
  • their Personal Passion Projects. Many of the projects fit neatly into the description of maker-centered learning. These are the projects where the students have identified a need and the solution is a product which they design and then prototype.
  •  
    The maker movement and with it maker-centered learning brings new possibilities and challenges into the classroom. It has spawned makerspaces and students are busy designing and making products. The danger with all this frenzied making is that it is very easy to miss the point, to focus on the product and not the journey.  
Martin Burrett

Prisma - 6 views

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    Apps which change photos into art-like creation which use filters are easy to find. This astounding app uses artificial intelligent which makes choices adapt how to adapt the image to produce amazing results. There are currently over 30 styles to choose from… the AI allows you to do that bit!
Glenn Hervieux

TeacherCal Google Calendar for Teachers Who Use Google Apps - EduSync - 86 views

  •  
    Nice visual lesson planner that syncs with a student planner, as well. Integrates with Google Drive, Calendar, and Google Classroom. The training video shows how easy it is to use.
Glenn Hervieux

How To Enable Chrome's Hidden Tab Mute Feature - 70 views

  •  
    Easy way to mute tabs you want to stay open but are playing sound. Nice step by step instructions with screenshots.
Scott Vonder Bruegge

join.me - Free Screen Sharing and Online Meetings - 108 views

shared by Scott Vonder Bruegge on 17 Sep 10 - No Cached
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    Easy and simple way to share your screen with others.
  • ...1 more comment...
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    Great way to help instruct students or fellow teachers on how to use a program or just to quickly and easily share information with others.
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    Get everybody on the same page, when they're not in the same room, instantly. Review documents and designs. Train staff. Demo products or just show off. join.me is a ridiculously simple screen sharing tool for meetings on the fly.
  •  
    project your screen to any device
Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 9 views

  •  
    "AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY. ISSIE LAPOWSKY DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15. 05.04.15 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM. 7:00 AM INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION Click to Open Overlay Gallery Students in the youngest class at the Fort Mason AltSchool help their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar, compile a list of what they know and what they want to know about butterflies. CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED SO YOU'RE A parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend's neighbor's sister. It's prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference room overlooking a classroom, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools-with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classrooms, and antiquated approach to learning-just aren't cutting it. At the same time, you're thinking: this school is kind of weird. On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the room. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can't quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about. Then there's the guy who's standing at the front of the conference room, the school's founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he's unlike any school administrator you've ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say. And so, if you are truly fed up with the school stat
Roland Gesthuizen

How To Sync Files and Folders on the Mac - ChrisWrites.com - 37 views

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    On the Mac, it's easy to synchronise any numbers of files and folders; the most common methods are:
Tim Cooper

Gami-Bot « Howtoons - 44 views

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    Amazing site with easy maker how to's.All simple projects with easy to obtain parts to bring the maker Revolution to your kids. Listed by discipline.
Matt Renwick

Principal: What I've learned about annual standardized testing - The Washington Post - 36 views

  • the Department of Education should not be “a national school board.
    • Matt Renwick
       
      Quote from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)
  • to think that first-graders fluently reading would “cure poverty” is not only indefensible, it trivializes the great economic inequities that are the root cause of our nation’s greatest challenge.
  • I have witnessed schools move from progressive practices such as inclusion, to the grouping of special education students with ELLs and other struggling learners into “double period” classes where they are drilled to pass the test.
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  • There is now minimal support from the research community for the use of annual test scores in teacher evaluations, often referred to as VAM.
  • When teachers begin losing their jobs based on test scores, how easy will it be to attract excellent teachers to schools with high degrees of student mobility and/or truancy? Who will want to teach English language learners with interrupted education, or students with emotional disabilities that make their performance on tests unpredictable?
Wayne Holly

10 Easy Ways to Learn Online in 2015 - 82 views

  •  
    . . .here is a list of ways you can take advantage of the vast knowledge available online, allowing us to appreciate how willing people are to innovate and share.
Peter Beens

EasyBib: Free Bibliography Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago citation styles - 17 views

    • Steve Madden
       
      Choose the type of source you want to cite.
    • Josh Flores
       
      It's easy to overlook the great Citation Guide. There's an especially helpful guide for evaluation websites! Worth sharing with students.
    • Ms. Nicholson
       
      Thanks for the tips! I loved this site in college and now I get to share it with my students. 
    • Luv2ride
       
      The subscription for schools is sooo worth the money. The notebook feature is incredible and allows the user to practically write the paper as s/he takes notes. Awesome!
    • Jody Conrad
       
      How about teach them how to cite? Easybib is like the kid in the group who doesn't always do the best work. It's a good resource, but our students must learn to be smarter than an algorithm.
Glenn Hervieux

This Teacher Taught His Class A Powerful Lesson About Privilege - 124 views

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    Great, easy lesson on how to teach the power of privilege to young people in the school environment (and other settings, as well).
Deborah Baillesderr

Free Screen Sharing and Online Meeting Software | Screenleap - 81 views

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    Free screen sharing from any device, including smart phones and tablets. Hmm ... does this replace reflections or Apple TV in presentations?
  • ...1 more comment...
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    I like this one but could someone comment on how their experiences was when using it, and what did they use it for. This would be helpful.
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    Mary Vaughn writes:  Want to share and collaborate across the classroom?  How about across the state or further?  http://www.screenleap.com/ is the perfect tool to do that.  Easy to use, all you have to do is download the java applet and you're ready to share your screen with anyone at anytime.  This works in tandem with apple devices or any device that has internet connection.  Unfortunately, right now it's a one-way deal - you'll have to use a pc or mac to share.  It gives a simple code or website you can share with others to see your screen.  There's a little lagtime but not terribly so.  So, if you have teachers who have data projectors going on the fritz, want to do a PLC with other colleagues, or whatever collaboration you're working with, this could be the perfect tool.  Hint:  use the tabs to open up different websites - you have to keep the original screenleap up and running.
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    Instantly share your screen with a join code.
Matt Renwick

What Reflects a Great School? Not Test Scores - Education Week - 79 views

  • These gains often turn out to be an achievement mirage
  • Three interconnected factors are as essential for whole-school achievement as knowing how to teach well: trust, collaboration, and authenticity.
  • professional learning is ongoing and embedded
  • ...6 more annotations...
  • They let parents know through social media, a phone call, or an email when a child has done something well
  • observe, coach, and co-teach
    • Matt Renwick
       
      Teacher Rounds/Peer Observations
  • rich and extensive classroom libraries
  • students choice and easy access to books
  • they partner with teachers to ensure that all resources and texts used in the classroom are well written and are crafted by notable authors
  • the quality of relationships within the school and across the community
Deborah Baillesderr

TitanPad: Easy Classroom Management and a Powerful Learning Environment in One iPad Tool - 92 views

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    Just watched a webinar on OTUS Moblile Learning Environment and I just might have to start using this instead of Edmodo. Here are some tutorials on how it works http://otusplus.com/tutorials/
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