Every student should _______(fill in the blank)

Guest post by Todd Norton   (Cross post from toddnorton.me)

If there is one thing I have learned as a teacher, it is that someone outside of the classroom is always willing to tell you what the golden ticket is to fix education.  In the last few months I have sat through keynotes on the merits of having every student be a part of the makered movement.  I have heard the need for every student to learn to code.  Yesterday I read a blog post about the necessity for every student to learn robotics.  We are told, through social media and the presentation circuit, that every classroom should be a flipped classroom, students should be blogging, and we all should be moving to either a one-to-one environment or a BYOD (bring your own device) system.  Inside the system we are to focus on the common core, and now the buzz is to have every student college and career ready- whatever that means. 

What I have seen is that teachers are overwhelmed.  Teaching is a grind that can wear even the best teachers down.  It's easy to preach what needs to happen and teachers feel the pressure of trying to stay on the cutting edge- always chasing the next big thing.  Reality is, the best teachers are the ones who focus on two things; loving their students and challenging their students to think beyond themselves.  They do not have to be the most technically advanced, or even the teacher who understands the current youth culture.  For lasting impact, students need someone who is going to know their name and care about their life.  They also need someone who is going to expand their mind, and push them to think critically.

It doesn't matter what subject matter a teacher is teaching.  Any teacher has the ability to do those two things.  However, it takes someone strong enough to keep their focus on what matters.  There will be push back, criticism, and a lot of self-doubt.  I know, I've experienced it all.  There will also be great reward.  Students will see you in Walmart years from now and take a moment to thank you.  If you're lucky enough, they will write you a letter that you keep in your bag, just in case you need a reminder that you made a difference.  Teaching fads will come and go, but if you focus first on the students,  everything else will fall into place.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less

Beyond Meat announces plan to sell ‘ground beef’ in stores. Shares skyrocket.

Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.

Culture & Religion
  • Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
  • Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
  • Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
Keep reading Show less

Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

Image: Abel Suyok
Strange Maps
  • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
  • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
  • In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
Keep reading Show less

Can you guess which state has the most psychopaths?

A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

Surprising Science
  • The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
  • The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
  • The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
Keep reading Show less