National / International News

The Learning Curve story

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 00:38

Technology is transforming education.

It’s a big statement, and we’ve heard big statements before. Remember the early predictions about Apple computers? Or how educational television would be the future of learning?

But this time, things look different. Technology really may change the way teachers teach and children learn. The digital revolution, fueled by billions in private and public investment, is full of promise. The promise of making kids better learners by letting them direct their own learning, of making teachers better teachers by giving them more and better information about their students, of bringing down costs, and of getting more kids across the college finish line with less student debt.

Simply put, educational technology is the New Right Answer.

Or so its proponents would have us believe.

But for all the promise of online courses, flipped classrooms, personalized learning, tablets, laptops, apps, MOOCs and the rest of it, there’s an equal amount of peril. The peril of having kids, who already spend seven hours a day with electronic media, spend even more time in front of a screen. The peril of taking teachers out of the center of the class, and into the role of technology advisors directing kids to the best app. The peril of letting the feedback loop created by collecting data on everything students do, determine their futures.

This will be our territory.  Over the next year, the LearningCurve team will explore the expanding role of educational technology from preschool through college. We will take you into the digital classroom, and the hotbeds of EdTech innovation. We will ask the big questions about whether all this technology is actually making kids any smarter, or better prepared for the workforce of the 21st century. We will follow the money as it pours into the classroom.

We will bring these stories to you over the air and online. We will get behind the numbers that tell the deeper story . We will keep you up to date with a podcast and newsletter. We will let you test your knowledge with our daily quiz.

And we want to hear from you as we do it. Parents. Teachers. Students. Comment on our stories. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Humor us with your Tumblr posts. Join us in Google chats with experts. Tell us what you like and what drives you nuts about learning and teaching today. Join us in an ongoing conversation about one of the most important issues of the day. The education of the next generation.

About Learning Curve

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 00:38

Technology is transforming education.

It’s a big statement, and we’ve heard big statements before. Remember Apple computers? Or how educational television would be the future of learning?

But this time, things look different. Technology really may change the way teachers teach and children learn. The digital revolution, fueled by billions in private and public investment, is full of promise. The promise of making kids better learners by letting them direct their own learning, of making teachers better teachers by giving them more and better information about their students, of bringing down costs, and of getting more kids across the college finish line with less student debt.

Simply put, educational technology is the New Right Answer.

Or so its proponents would have us believe.

But for all the promise of online courses, flipped classrooms, personalized learning, tablets, laptops, apps, MOOCs and the rest of it, there’s an equal amount of peril. The peril of having kids, who already spend seven hours a day with electronic media, spend even more time in front of a screen. The peril of taking teachers out of the center of the class, and into the role of technology advisors directing kids to the best app. The peril of letting the feedback loop created by collecting data on everything students do, determine their futures.

This will be our territory. All of it and more. Over the next year, the LearningCurve team will explore the expanding role of educational technology from preschool through college. We will take you into the digital classroom, and the hotbeds of EdTech innovation. We will ask the big questions about whether all this technology is actually making kids any smarter, or better prepared for the workforce of the 21st century. We will follow the money as it pours into the classroom.

We will bring these stories to you over the air and online. We will get behind the numbers that tell the deeper story . We will keep you up to date with a podcast and newsletter. We will let you test your knowledge with our daily quiz.

And we want to hear from you as we do it. Parents. Teachers. Students. Comment on our stories. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Humor us with your Tumblr posts. Join us in Google chats with experts. Tell us what you like and what drives you nuts about learning and teaching today. Join us in an ongoing conversation about one of the most important issues of the day. The education of the next generation.

Troubled arts venues get £14m rescue

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 00:34
More than 50 theatres, galleries and other arts organisations have received emergency grants totalling £14m from Arts Council England, it is revealed.

Syria refugees vote in election

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 00:14
Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan are being given the chance to vote on Wednesday in the presidential election due to be held on 3 June.

Gunnery Sgt. Holtry, United States Marine Corps

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 00:03

My drill instructor's name was Gunnery Sgt. Holtry, United States Marine Corps. That wasn't his given name, of course.

It was Jerry. Jerry W., to be more specific.

But lord help any of us if we ever were caught referring to him as anything but Gunnery Sgt. Holtry, United States Marine Corps.

That's him, by the way, fourth from the right in the picture above, just about the time I was in Officer Candidate School down in Pensacola, Florida.

It only lasted 14 weeks, but it's kind of telling that that's still how I remember him, almost 30 years on.

Why am I telling you this? Well, a couple of reasons, not necessarily connected but all of a piece somehow.

Item 1: On Tuesday, President Obama laid out his timeline for leaving Afghanistan. The official combat mission ends this year, 4,500 or so troops in-country by the end of next year, and by the end of 2016 what the White House calls "a normal embassy presence." According to the website icasualties.org, 2,322 Americans have died there since 2001.

Item 2: CNN anchor Jake Tapper's Twitter timeline this past weekend was, in honor of Memorial Day, a steady stream of remembrances of America's war dead. Makes you think.

SPC Casey Sheehan, 24, of Vacaville, Ca., was killed by RPGs/small-arms fire 4/4/2004 in Baghdad. #MemorialDay pic.twitter.com/PWaGaGRwM6

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 27, 2014

Item 3: This past week or so having been, in addition to Memorial Day, graduation week at a lot of colleges, this commencement address by Adm. William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, stuck.

That's it. That's all I've got today. No Marketplace angle. No business, no economics.

I never served in combat. Not even close. But for some reason, Memorial Day this year hit me harder than usual.

VIDEO: Researchers seek to print body parts

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:49
Researchers at the University Medical Centre Utrecht are experimenting using stem cells in 3D bio-printing.

After Private Pilots Complain, Customs Rethinks Intercept Policy

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:35

A crackdown by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents on drug smugglers is causing trouble for private pilots. Pilots say they are sometimes enduring hours of questioning by police searching for drugs.

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Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:33

In professional sports, it's the players who get all the attention. But commentator Frank Deford says referees, who so often go unnoticed, bring their own style and artistry to their craft.

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Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:31

After nearly 50 years of tight regulations, farmers in some states are now allowed to grow hemp seeds for experimentation. But it's still illegal to import viable seeds — which are in high demand.

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Want Your Cheese To Age Gracefully? Cowgirl Creamery's Got Tips

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:29

The co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery were among the first American cheesemakers to be recognized by the prestigious French cheese guild. So they know a thing or two about storing and using old cheese.

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How To Shop For Long-Term Care Insurance

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:27

Buying insurance is always a gamble — weighing the total cost of monthly premiums against the chance that you'll need pricey care. So how can you tell if long-term care insurance is right for you?

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In Buddhist-Majority Myanmar, Muslim Minority Gets Pushed To The Margins

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:25

As Myanmar has opened up its political system, it has unleashed long suppressed tensions. The Rohingya Muslims have been hard hit, with many driven from their homes and now confined to camps.

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VIDEO: Pharrell Williams on popularity surge

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:23
Pharrell Williams is the man behind some of the catchiest tunes of the past year - he spoke to BBC Breakfast about his success.

Iron history told in game app

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:23
The history of Merthyr Tydfil's role in the industrial revolution is being told to children in a game on their mobiles and tablets.

VIDEO: South Korea hospice fire kills many

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:21
At least 20 people been killed in a fire at a hospice in Janseong county, South Korea.

Farm drugs being used like 'sweets'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-27 23:17
The use of antibiotics on farms without medical supervision has been condemned at a meeting of the world animal health organisation.
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