Not so irrelevant 013

My latest roundup of links and tools...

When did the IT staff get promoted above the superintendent?

Will Richardson notes:

[A] school superintendent I spoke with ... lamented the fact that his IT staff wouldn't give him access to YouTube and even Wikipedia.

See also my older post: Principal blogging not allowed.

Math and motocross

Check out this sweet series of motocross math videos at HotChalk. The brains behind the math? Former guest blogger Jason Dyer!

"I didn't know Sasquatch was real."

Fun with the Pacific Tree Octopus!

Maybe we should do this for teachers and administrators too

"Seventy-one-year-old Peggy McIntyre needs to learn as much as she can about Windows before 8 a.m. Or else."

Post-Gutenberg economics

It's now a publish-then-filter world. Clay Shirky notes that "we're clocking a singularity a week at this point."

We need to educate our educators

Seth Godin says:

It's easy to be against something you're afraid of. And it's easy to be afraid of something that you don't understand.

Open your brain, open your model of education

The Education Innovation blog has an interesting post on closed v. open models of education. [Note to self: this might be the world's longest URL]

Some good thinking going on here

Thanks to Mike Sansone, I recently discovered the Union Square Ventures blog. In Power to the People, they state:

[W]e believe that we are only at the beginning of the web's impact on the fundamental structure of education. We expect much of that change to be away from the existing educational institutions and towards empowering individuals and newly-formed groups.

In Why the Flow of Innovation Has Reversed, they note:

[T]he vector of innovation has changed. It used to be that innovation started with NASA, flowed to the military, then to the enterprise, and finally to the consumer. Today, it is the reverse. All of the most interesting stuff is being built first for consumers and is tricking back to the enterprise. . . . [O]ne reason this is happening is that the success of a web service is more often determined by its social engineering than its electrical engineering.

Students aren't the only ones missing the big picture

The Florida Department of Education is concerned that students are missing the big picture when it comes to science. A task force stated that "teachers should provide a broader focus on scientific concepts and process in a 'big picture' sense." Hmmm... I wonder if that means the Department is going to narrow down the list of required science standards and also pare down the size of approved textbooks. I'm guessing not. Download the full report if you dare.

Disempowered today = disempowered tomorrow

I left this comment at Jim Gates' Tipline blog:

Students who aren't fluid technology users today will be the low-wage workers and disempowered citizens of tomorrow.

I want it right THERE

Finally, if you're anal-retentive about your Windows taskbar like I am, check out Taskbar Shuffle.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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