Not so irrelevant 010

My latest roundup of links and tools...


By now we should be thinking about the Internet like we do water and electricity

Slate Magazine notes that

Camp McCain . . . fundamentally does not see the Internet as essential infrastructure. . . . Instead, Camp McCain dreams of a competitive market in Internet services, and so if Obama sees the Internet as a road, McCain takes it as a car: something that consumers will buy if they want it. In fact, in 2001, Michael Powell compared the Internet to a luxury car: 'I think there is a Mercedes divide. I would like to have one, but I can't afford one.' Any too-ambitious government project to put a fiber cable in people's homes, thinks Camp McCain, is likely doomed to failure.

All I have to say about this is that any country that doesn't see the Internet as essential infrastructure for driving forward its national economy and societal well-being is doomed. Doomed, I tell you! [hat tip to Will Richardson]

Speaking of which...

  • The Partnership for 21st Century Skills just issued a new report on education and global competitiveness. Lots of yummy statistics in there about the changing American workplace. a plum reading choice for school leaders. Visit www.tinyurl.com/jobsarechanging
  • Huh?

    • It's easy to find examples of why we need people to translate the world of educational research for practitioners. To most K-12 educators, for examples, paragraphs 5 through 7 of this study summary (which purports to report the instructional value of using interactive whiteboards) are complete gibberish.
    • The power of transparency

      • I love being able to peer into the innards of Dan Meyer's mind and instruction. How many other teachers do we know that would even be comfortable with the thought of opening up their entire classroom curriculum for critique and discussion?
      • The power of the aggregator

        • A couple of weeks back, Doug Johnson had a great post about the power of RSS aggregators. I've been introducing our new principal cohort to Google Reader. Comment from last night's class: There's a whole world out there that I didn't know about!
        • The power of prefetching

          • I like the fact that FeedDemon, the software I'm using as my primary aggregator, lets me read stuff offline.
          • Do you know the way to San Jose?

            • The ILC conference is coming up... So is the Online Teaching & Learning Conference (which, by the way, happens to be online!).
            • Smackdown!

              • Finally, make sure you read the responses of Karin Chenoweth and Ben Wildavsky to Charles Murray's latest book, Real Education. If you've forgotten, Murray is the guy who wrote The Bell Curve and believes that poor kids should just be slotted into menial (but somehow emotionally-fulfilling) educational tracks and jobs so that our schools can go back to their business of educating the elites to run the world. [hat tip to Eduwonkette]
              • China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

                In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

                Credit: EAST Team
                Surprising Science
                • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
                • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
                • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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                Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

                Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

                Flickr user Tommy Truong79
                Politics & Current Affairs
                • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
                • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
                • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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                Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

                The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

                (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
                Politics & Current Affairs
                • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
                • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
                • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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