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Joshua Williams

What We Learn From School Tests - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com - 1 views

  • The relentless gaze on high-stakes tests and the culture spawned by No Child Left Behind is blinding us to the educational demands of the 21st century.
  • But first we need a national conversation on what the 21st century will require of our ever more diverse student population. There’s no doubt that an education that promotes life-long cognitive, behavioral and relational engagement with a complex and interconnected world is key. This means we’ll need intellectually curious and cognitively flexible workers comfortable with ambiguity, able to synthesize knowledge within and across disciplines and work collaboratively in diverse groups.
  • Moving forward, we need to go beyond the mastery of facts and rules. Instead, we should nurture interpersonal sensibilities in children and teenagers so that they learn to work in groups, within and across disciplines and cultures. In short, we need to educate, not test.
Andrew McCluskey

Teachers - Will We Ever Learn? - NYTimes.com - 182 views

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    I get very tired of having people point to Singapore as a good model for education. Singaporeans score well on tests because their life depends on it. Doing poorly on the PSLE taken at the end of sixth grade virtually guarantees you will never attend university and will limit your income for the rest of your life. Parents in Singapore spend thousands every year on private tuition, the sole goal of which is to produce high test scores. Singapore also recognizes that they are not producing creative students. In fact they wish they were more like the US.
Chai Reddy

Teaching for America - NYTimes.com - 24 views

  • 75 percent of young Americans, between the ages of 17 to 24, are unable to enlist in the military today because they have failed to graduate from high school, have a criminal record, or are physically unfit.
  • Tony Wagner, the Harvard-based education expert and author of “The Global Achievement Gap,” explains it this way. There are three basic skills that students need if they want to thrive in a knowledge economy: the ability to do critical thinking and problem-solving; the ability to communicate effectively; and the ability to collaborate.
  • Wagner thinks we should create a West Point for teachers: “We need a new National Education Academy, modeled after our military academies, to raise the status of the profession and to support the R.& D. that is essential for reinventing teaching, learning and assessment in the 21st century.”
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  • All good ideas, but if we want better teachers we also need better parents — parents who turn off the TV and video games, make sure homework is completed, encourage reading and elevate learning as the most important life skill.
Margaret FalerSweany

Living With Less. A Lot Less. - NYTimes.com - 17 views

  • Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me. My circumstances are unusual (not everyone gets an Internet windfall before turning 30), but my relationship with material things isn’t.
Tracy Tuten

A guide to online educational resources. - NYTimes.com - 90 views

  • Richard Ludlow started the nonprofit Academic Earth two years ago after M.I.T.'s OpenCourseWare helped him pass linear algebra as a Yale undergraduate. His site offers the courses of 10 elite universities — 130 full courses and more than 3,500 video lectures. Viewers can turn the tables on professors and grade courses. Other guidance includes "Editor's Picks" and "Playlists," lectures selected around a theme like "First Day of Freshman Year" and "You Are What You Eat."
  • Daniel Colman is a curator of sorts. He sifts through the vast amount of free courses, movies and books offered online to find what he considers the very best in content and production value. Then he features them on Open Culture, the Web site he founded in 2006. It's a task in keeping with his mission as associate dean and director of Stanford's continuing education program.
  • Connexions, started at Rice University 10 years ago, debundles education for the D.I.Y. learner. Anyone can write a "module," the term for instructional material that can be a single sentence or 1,000 pages. Connexions hosts more than 16,000 modules that make up almost 1,000 "collections." A collection might be, say, an algebra textbook or statistics course.
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  • At last count, the site had 2,700 audio and video lectures from more than 25 universities; 268 audio books; and 105 e-books. Dr. Colman says he looks for lectures that "take ideas and make them come to life." And so you can learn 37 languages on Open Culture, or stream Jane Austen audio books, Hitchcock films and a John Hopkins biology lecture.
  • Why pay for test prep? M.I.T. OpenCourseWare has culled introductory courses in physics, calculus and biology, along with problem sets and labs, to help students prep for the Advanced Placement exams. (Not to miss an opportunity, there’s a link to the admissions office.)
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    Thousands of pieces of free educational material - videos and podcasts of lectures, syllabuses, entire textbooks - have been posted in the name of the open courseware movement. But how to make sense of it all? Businesses, social entrepreneurs and "edupunks," envisioning a tuition-free world untethered by classrooms, have created Web sites to help navigate the mind-boggling volume of content. Some sites tweak traditional pedagogy; others aggregate, Hulu-style.
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    Amazing online resources for education
Maughn Gregory

How to Fix Our Math Education - NYTimes.com - 63 views

  • the assumption that there is a single established body of mathematical skills that everyone needs to know to be prepared for 21st-century careers. This assumption is wrong. The truth is that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers, and our math education should be changed to reflect this fact.
  • Today, American high schools offer a sequence of algebra, geometry, more algebra, pre-calculus and calculus (or a “reform” version in which these topics are interwoven). This has been codified by the Common Core State Standards, recently adopted by more than 40 states. This highly abstract curriculum is simply not the best way to prepare a vast majority of high school students for life.
  • A math curriculum that focused on real-life problems would still expose students to the abstract tools of mathematics, especially the manipulation of unknown quantities. But there is a world of difference between teaching “pure” math, with no context, and teaching relevant problems that will lead students to appreciate how a mathematical formula models and clarifies real-world situations.
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  • For instance, how often do most adults encounter a situation in which they need to solve a quadratic equation? Do they need to know what constitutes a “group of transformations” or a “complex number”? Of course professional mathematicians, physicists and engineers need to know all this, but most citizens would be better served by studying how mortgages are priced, how computers are programmed and how the statistical results of a medical trial are to be understood.
  • Imagine replacing the sequence of algebra, geometry and calculus with a sequence of finance, data and basic engineering.
  • Traditionalists will object that the standard curriculum teaches valuable abstract reasoning, even if the specific skills acquired are not immediately useful in later life. A generation ago, traditionalists were also arguing that studying Latin, though it had no practical application, helped students develop unique linguistic skills. We believe that studying applied math, like learning living languages, provides both useable knowledge and abstract skills.
  • In math, what we need is “quantitative literacy,” the ability to make quantitative connections whenever life requires (as when we are confronted with conflicting medical test results but need to decide whether to undergo a further procedure) and “mathematical modeling,” the ability to move practically between everyday problems and mathematical formulations (as when we decide whether it is better to buy or lease a new car).
jcurtis4082

Lives - The Tire Iron and the Tamale - NYTimes.com - 50 views

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    life
Javier E

Primero Hay Que Aprender Español. Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen. - NYTimes.com - 15 views

  • Hispanics made up 16 percent of America’s population in 2009, but that is forecast to surge to 29 percent by 2050
  • Spanish is easy enough that kids really can emerge from high school with a very useful command of the language that they will retain for life, while Mandarin takes about four times as long to make the same progress.
  • In effect, Chinese is typically a career. Spanish is a practical add-on to your daily life, meshing with whatever career you choose.
farrell40

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/technology/pinterest-ipo-stock.html?emc=edit_th_190418&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=482594680418 - 17 views

  • The price valued the digital pin board company, which lets people save images and links from around the web, at $12.7 billion. That is a little above its last private fund-raising round, which had pegged the company at $12 billion.By selling at $19 a share, Pinterest raised $1.6 billion from big investors
  • In its I.P.O. prospectus, Pinterest emphasized its differences from some of those services. Pinterest is not a social media app for hanging out with celebrities or broadcasting one’s life, the company said. It is meant to be personal. The company’s 250 million monthly active users, called “pinners,” come to the site to plan their lives, including home projects, weddings and meals.
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    Pinterest
Steve C

'Summer Retreat' - The Animated Life Blog - Life.com - 1 views

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    The end of summer folks.
Katt Blackwell-Starnes

Blogs vs. Term Papers - NYTimes.com - 56 views

  • We don’t pay taxes so kids can talk about themselves and their home lives.”
    • Katt Blackwell-Starnes
       
      Do they really think the only purpose of a blog in the classroom is to talk about home life? Do they think educators are incapable of designing blog assignments that further the learning of the course and help students better understand the importance of audience and exigency in writing?
  • Her conclusion is that students feel much more impassioned by the new literacy. They love writing for an audience, engaging with it. They feel as if they’re actually producing something personally rewarding and valuable, whereas when they write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.
Brianna Crowley

The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction - NYTimes.com - 6 views

  • The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto (and a published novelist), has proposed that reading produces a vivid simulation of reality, one that “runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers.” Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. Indeed, in one respect novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings.
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    Science is supporting the idea of descriptive, narrative passages as providing different brain stimulation from simply nonfiction or informative reading. 
MIchael Heneghan

Economic Scene - Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers - NYTimes.com - 19 views

  • Early this year, Mr. Chetty and five other researchers set out to fill this void. They examined the life paths of almost 12,000 children who had been part of a well-known education experiment in Tennessee in the 1980s. The children are now about 30, well started on their adult lives.
  • Just as in other studies, the Tennessee experiment found that some teachers were able to help students learn vastly more than other teachers. And just as in other studies, the effect largely disappeared by junior high, based on test scores. Yet when Mr. Chetty and his colleagues took another look at the students in adulthood, they discovered that the legacy of kindergarten had re-emerged.
Roland Gesthuizen

City Teacher Data Reports Are Released - SchoolBook - 36 views

  • The rankings stem from a desire by policy makers to find an objective way to distinguish between effective and ineffective teachers, untainted by the subjective judgment of individual evaluators, like school principals.
  • Critics also say there are aspects of a child’s life — or distractions on test day — that the numbers cannot capture: supportive parents, a talented principal, the help of a tutor, allergies or a relentlessly barking dog outside the classroom.
  • there are schools where students are taught by multiple teachers, making it difficult to figure out the weight of their individual contributions
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  • The union has warned that the result will be sweeping, with good teachers steering clear of grades that have standardized tests, parents’ attempts to switch their children to other classrooms, low morale among teachers and worse.
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    After a long legal battle and amid much anguish by teachers and other educators, the New York City Education Department released individual performance rankings of 18,000 public school teachers on Friday, while admonishing the news media not to use the scores to label or pillory teachers.
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?
Sharin Tebo

Building Attention Span - The New York Times - 75 views

  • ou toggle over to check your phone during even the smallest pause in real life. You feel those phantom vibrations even when no one is texting you. You have trouble concentrating for long periods.
    • Sharin Tebo
       
      This is a connection for me to the technology and devices article we read today and did a quotation mingle around during our Disciplinary Literacy Institute. No kidding that we get a shot of dopamine or 'high' when our phone goes ding, or it vibrates. 
  • Online life is so delicious
  • You live in a state of perpetual anticipation because the next social encounter is just a second way.
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  • xpert online gamers have a great capacity for short-term memory, to process multiple objects simultaneously, to switch flexibly between tasks and to quickly process rapidly presented information.
  • Fluid intelligence
    • Sharin Tebo
       
      I've never heard this before!
  • Research at the University of Oslo and elsewhere suggests that people read a printed page differently than they read off a screen. They are more linear, more intentional, less likely to multitask or browse for keywords.
  • Crystallized intelligence
    • Sharin Tebo
       
      Something else i have never heard of.
  • Crystallized intelligence accumulates over the years and leads ultimately to understanding and wisdom.
    • Sharin Tebo
       
      So maybe this kind of intelligence, then, is the "learning is a consequence of thinking"?
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