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February 27, 2017

Dousing Flames with Low-Frequency Sound Waves

A new type of extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out fires has been built by two engineering students in the US. Both chemical- and water-free, the invention offers a relatively non-destructive method of fire control, which could find applications in fighting small fires in the home, and the researchers now hold a preliminary patent application for their device.

While the concept of using sound waves to extinguish flames is not new, previous attempts to realize the principle – including efforts by teams at West Georgia University and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – had not been successful.

Undeterred by this, as well as initial [...]

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April 14, 2015

Information Technology Will Lower the Price of College, or Else…

It's no secret that the inflated cost of American higher education is a major problem that needs to be addressed. The cost of college cannot be allowed to continue to rise at three times the rate of inflation for another 30 years. That is simply unsustainable. In this video, journalist Fareed Zakaria addresses three key points related to the true cost of American higher education. First, it's still a good investment despite the price. Second, it's a myth that there's a huge difference in the lifetime earnings of an engineering graduate and a non-engineering graduate.
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April 7, 2015

Teaching Science in the 21st Century: Innovation Leadership in Schools

There's been incredible progress in the past few years with individual, cutting-edge teachers making some incredible gains in innovations like #geniushour, project-based learning, design thinking, the maker movement, and more more more. But how do we SCALE those kinds of innovations wider throughout our schools and throughout the education system? Starting from discussions on Twitter and in our GOA course on Coaching Innovation, Maggie Powers and I have been on a kick about supporting innovation leadership in education...When our SXSWedu core conversation on exactly that topic - Scaling Innovation in Schools - was accepted, we knew we had our work cut out for us... We co-moderated two [...]
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March 30, 2015

Free Technology for Teachers: Dozens of Alternatives to YouTube

Over the last few years I’ve seen more schools opening up access to YouTube, at least to teachers, than I had in the past. YouTube for Schools has partially contributed to that trend. Tools like ViewPure and Watchkin have made using YouTube videos in schools a little less scary too. All that said, there are still lots of schools that block access to YouTube. That’s why a few years ago I started to maintain a list of alternatives to YouTube.

This week I updated my list of alternatives to YouTube. I removed some options that have disappeared and edited information about sites that have changed. The updated list and video search engine can be found [...]

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March 30, 2015

12 Must-Read Books on Education for 2015

Few things are more satisfying than finally getting your hands on a book you've been meaning to read. In 2015, you're going to want to make room in your
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March 29, 2015

5 Great Educational Apps For Children

Of course we don't want them always playing games. But, with these 5 great educational apps for children, you can trick your kids into learning with ease!
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January 2, 2015

A Fifth-Grader Discusses Common Core

On Saturday my granddaughter and I were making latkes for the family Hanukah celebration. After peeling ten pounds of potatoes and grinding them up with three pounds of onions, we took a break and talked about school. This is the interview with my granddaughter, a fifth-grader discusses Common Core.

Where do you live? I live in Brooklyn, New York.

How old are you? Ten-years-old.

What grade are you in in school? Fifth grade.

What subjects do you have in fifth grade? Some subjects I have every day. Reading, writing, social studies, and math. Some subjects I have only one day a week. Monday I have art. On Tuesday I have acting. On Wednesday I have science. [...]

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January 2, 2015

Long Island High School Forum on “Policing in America”

On December 17, 2014 I participated in a forum at Uniondale High School in Uniondale, New York on “Policing in America: Should Uniondale Care about Ferguson?” It was organized by social studies teacher Adeola Tella-Williams and students in her Participation in Government class. The student population at Uniondale High School is almost 100% Black and Latino, and as it became clear at the forum, students felt the death by police of Michael Brown, an eighteen-year Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, on a very personal level. Ms. Tella-Williams is a former master’s student at Hofstra University and a cooperating teacher in the Hofstra teacher education program. [...]

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January 2, 2015

We Did Not Start This Fire

I hesitated to write about the December 20 murder of two New York City policemen. I needed more information, to see how political events played out, time to think, and as Cardinal Timothy Dolan so eloquently stated in his homily the next day, it was time to “mourn the brutal and irrational execution of two young, promising, devoted police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.” While mourning continues, I need to weigh in with my thoughts. At the end of this post I include a lesson idea designed for high school classes about policing in the United States.

Prior to the deaths of the two New York City police officers, in an opinion essay in the Daily News, Cardinal [...]

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December 17, 2014

Common Core: It Really Is All About the Tests (and Corporate Profits)

In response to my recent Huffington Post blogs critical of Common Core, some commentators have defended the Common Core and blamed opponents of high-stakes testing for distorting the public’s understanding of the benefits of the national standards. But when you look at the history of the push for national standards you realize Common Core is all about testing.

On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Education Bill at Hamilton High School in Ohio. In a speech at the signing ceremony, Bush laid out the basis for what would become Common Core. He also made clear the connection between his goals for education in the United States [...]

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December 17, 2014

Common Core and the Death of Reading

Regular readers of my Huffington Post columns have seen my position on the national Common Core Standards change during the last two years. At first I opposed the standards as mandates but thought they could be useful as guidelines. When the standards were paired with high-stakes assessments, both for students and teachers, my opposition intensified. As a teacher and teacher educator, and as a parent and grandparent, when curriculum was rewritten and instruction became constant test prep, I was angry. In this and my next post I directly challenge the Common Core approach to teaching younger children to read and older students to better comprehend sophisticated written material. The [...]

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