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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

IT academy opens its doors at New College | Swindon Advertiser

"NEW College's new academy offering IT training and apprenticeships launched last week." continues Swindon Advertiser.

Launch of the new IT skills and apprenticeships academy at New College..
Pic - gv.Date 11/5/17.Pic by Dave Cox.

The risual Microsoft Academy is the only one of its kind in Wiltshire and has been developed in partnership with Microsoft and risual Education.

48 people attended the launch evening, including employees, guests and staff from New College, risual, Microsoft, Nationwide, Bath Spa University, Great Western Hospital and the University of Gloucestershire.

Amanda Walton is New College's head of marketing and customer services. She was very excited about the new academy.

She said: "It went really well, it was a very successful and interesting evening.
"The event was an opportunity to showcase this fantastic new academy we are launching."

The academy is aimed at adults and 16-to-18-year-olds.

It will offer a range of apprenticeships including software development and infrastructure technician, and other IT training and digital learning classes.

The courses are linked to industry-recognised qualifications and students will used the latest Microsoft technology during their studies. 
Read more...

Source: Swindon Advertiser


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BLADE laptop deployment almost finished in city | Cleveland Daily Banner

Photo: Saralyn Norkus
"Cleveland City Schools’ laptop deployment with the Blended Learning and Digital Enhancement Project has almost been 100 percent rolled out" says Saralyn Norkus, Education/nonprofit reporter at Cleveland Daily Banner.


A TABLE FILLED with Apple MacBook Air laptops awaited teachers as they filed into the Arnold Memorial Auditorium on Monday afternoon.
Photo: Saralyn Norkus

Teachers began receiving their new Apple MacBook Air laptops last week, and by Thursday, Cleveland High School teachers will receive theirs, thus finishing the deployment. 

BLADE is the school system’s 1:1 device initiative for both staff and students, which will “help foster an innovative culture that brings together the best methods and practices of teaching with current technologies to promote new and relevant learning opportunities for students.” 

“The BLADE Project will allow our teachers to personalize learning to the individual student. In no way will a technology device ever replace a teacher, but the idea is to provide the teacher will the tools necessary to continue with innovative practices in the classroom,” said Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer.

“In reality, our students are already living in a digital world. Our job is to harness that digital world, and help our students to be positive digital citizens.”

Students will be receiving Google Chromebooks, beginning at the middle school level in January 2018. Ultimately, every single CCS student will have a Chromebook for classroom and home use. 

“The BLADE Project is all about giving teachers and students the tools they need to accomplish the educational goals of Cleveland City Schools,” said Andrew Phillips, BLADE Project coordinator and director of technology. 

“With new Apple laptops for teachers, Chromebooks for students, and software tools that personalize learning, the BLADE Project will prepare our students for life after graduation.”

Teachers at Arnold Memorial Elementary School received their MacBooks on Monday afternoon. 

Principal Mike Chai, who was a part of the BLADE team, is excited about the rollout, but is also looking forward to the training portion.
Read more...

Source: Cleveland Daily Banner


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Westford ‘Classroom of the Future’ project builds momentum | Westford Eagle

"What will the jobs of the future look like? How do we prepare students to be innovators when they are in high school, middle school and even as young as elementary school?" writes


That is the focus of the “Classroom of the Future” initiative, one of three key 2016-2017 goals that Westford School Superintendent Everett “Bill” Olsen reviewed at the May 22 School Committee meeting. The committee was preparing for its annual assessment of Olsen’s job performance.

The two-year Classroom of the Future mission is “to establish a conceptual model of what educating students in Westford will look like over the next 5-10 years,” Olsen said.

“We know we prepare them well for college,” said Olsen. “We also want to make sure that we prepare them well for work-life.”

System-wide committee
Westford’s Classroom of the Future committee of 26 includes representatives from each school, the central office, and guests Anita Greenwood, dean of the School of Education at UMASS Lowell, and David Birnbach, professor of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

“We had five excellent meetings,” said Olsen. The superintendent challenged the committee to determine how Westford could educate students “based on current and projected global jobs and labor needs.”

“We wanted to look at short-term and long-term changes we could make to the school system,” he said.

The committee also reached out to an educational consultant associated with High Tech High School in San Diego, California, who will be involved during the 2017-2018 school year.

Creativity and innovation
According to the committee findings, increased student engagement is critical for Westford’s Classroom of the Future. The committee brainstormed strategies to increase engagement by focusing on the “4Cs”: collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking.
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Source: Westford Eagle


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Friday, May 19, 2017

How this NGO is tapping into music to enhance learning capabilities of underprivileged children | YourStory.com

Photo: Hema Vaishnavi
Music Basti has worked with hundreds of children through community music projects with an aim to create learning and exposure opportunities, summarizes Hema Vaishnavi, Contributor from Hyderabad.

Photo: YourStory.com

The relation between music and learning has long been established. The popular Mozart Effect, which indicates the improvement in learning abilities when exposed to a certain kind of music, has been proved by various scientific studies.

While there are numerous studies conducted over the decades on the effect of music on learning and the cognitive processes, most education systems around the world haven’t taken extensive efforts to incorporate music into teaching and learning.

Faith Gonsalves, a 27-year-old from Delhi, who believes in the use of music and arts learning as subjects and as pedagogical tools, founded Music Basti, a music education programme for children from marginalised communities.

Music Basti 
Music Basti was set up as a small artiste-led initiative in 2008, by Faith, a then student at Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi, along with a team of musician-volunteers. The project’s team shared vision for every child to have inspiring learning opportunities.

In its initial years, Music Basti’s programme was largely volunteer-driven through a series of short-term projects, with a focus on creating learning and exposure opportunities for hundreds of at-risk children in institutionalised child-care organisations.

Today’s children need much more than to just be taught how to learn and remember facts. Students need content knowledge about language, math, science or civics, but equally, they need learning and innovation skills or ‘life-skills’, such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity for success in today’s world.

“Music is more than just about performing or entertaining. It builds practical, transferable and applicable skills in areas of school, work, or social development. Every child has the ability and right to excel if given the opportunities and encouragement,” says Faith.

Since 2008, Music Basti has been teaching a mixture of musical training, songwriting, and performing to the under-privileged and young kids. The team believes that children from lower socio-economic groups are extremely disadvantaged in their access to quality learning and opportunities in and out of school, to learn, be encouraged, and excel. The only thing separating them from their more affluent peers is opportunity.
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Source: YourStory.com


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Music program helping improve learning for Danville preschoolers | WSLS

Photo: Colter Anstaett
"Around 100 preschoolers graduated from Danville's head start program Thursday and now have a Head Start on the rest of their education thanks to the new program they participated in called Growing Up Musically." reports Colter Anstaett, Southside Bureau Reporter. 

Watch the Video

"Last year, we began a partnership with Averett University (for GUM), Growing Up Musically program, that enriched our students' musical knowledge and experience," said Head Start education director Jion Word.

Part of that enrichment includes incorporating music in different subjects.

"I have seen a great impact on their learning through music. They use music now to learn letters," Word said.

The program is funded by a donation from local residents Ben and Betty Davenport.

The donation pays for Averett assistant music professor Dr. Janet Phillips to work with students in the Head Start program using a curriculum developed from programming from Averett's music department.

"There's more and more research showing that music helps us learn, retain, even grow our brains," Phillips explained.

Averett education majors also work with the students and help teach other educators how to implement the program.
Read more...

Source: WSLS


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Social-Justice Math Class: ‘Math Has Been Used as a Dehumanizing Tool’ | National Review

‘Teaching Social Justice Through Secondary Mathematics’ was developed by Teach for America. 

Follow on Twitter as @KatTimpf
"A new online course instructs math teachers how to incorporate social-justice ideology into their lessons by discussing how mathematics has historically been used to oppress people" according to Katherine Timpf, National Review Online reporter.

Photo: Andrey Popov/Dreamstime
The class — titled “Teaching Social Justice Through Secondary Mathematics” — was developed by Teach for America and is being offered through edX, according to an article in Campus Reform.

“Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local social justice issues within your mathematics classroom?” the course overview asks. “This education and teacher training course will help you blend secondary math instruction with topics such as inequity, poverty, and privilege to transform students into global thinkers and mathematicians.” 

The idea behind the class is that many students are into the whole social-justice thing and that “setting the mathematics within a specially-developed social justice framework can help students realize the power and meaning of both the data and social justice concerns.”

According to Campus Reform, the class identifies five principles of “intersectional mathematics,” including “mathematical ethics:”
Mathematical ethics recognizes that, for centuries, mathematics has been used as a dehumanizing tool. Does one’s IQ fall on the lower half of the bell curve? Mathematics tells us that individual is intellectually lacking. Mathematics formulae also differentiate between the classifications of a war or a genocide and have even been used to trick indigenous people out of land and property
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Source: National Review


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New Summer Workshop Introduces High School, Undergraduate Students to Statistics and Related Careers | UKNow

Photo: Mallory Powell
"From May 22 through June 7, a new summer workshop will introduce high school and undergraduate students to statistics and careers in the field." inform
Flyer for Statistics Facts and Snack 2017 summer workshop

At “Statistics Facts and Snacks,” students will learn about what a statistician does, requirements to pursue higher education in statistics, and introductory statistical programming techniques. 

The workshop will meet daily from Monday, May 22 through Wednesday, June 7 (excluding Memorial Day), from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the University of Kentucky Multidisciplinary Sciences building, room 333.

Participants must register to attend, and participants under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian register for them.

The “Statistics Facts and Snacks” summer workshop is presented by the UK College of Arts and Sciences Applied Statistics Lab and the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Kristen McQuerry, PhD, director of the Applied Statistics Lab, will lead the program.

For any questions about the workshop, please contact asl@uky.edu.

Source: UKNow (press release)


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Gain an affordable international degree | Borneo Bulletin Online - National

"MALAYSIA has become an important higher education destination for international students from all over the world." continues Borneo Bulletin Online

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Malaysian Government has led considerable efforts over the last few years to make Malaysia an education hub for the region and beyond.

Bruneian students recognise the quality and choice that Malaysian institutions offer and Malaysia now attracts a significant proportion of Bruneians studying overseas.

Students will have the opportunity to find out about the exciting range of study options available in Malaysia at the StudyMalaysia Exhibition on May 21 at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

The biggest draw for Malaysian institutions is the opportunity to gain a world-class qualification at a fraction of the cost. Malaysian private universities and colleges have set up strategic partnerships with leading institutions in the UK, US, Australia, France etc to offer foreign qualifications in Malaysia.

The student therefore has the assurance that the programme has gone through a rigorous quality control.

One of the options is the ‘3+0’ degree format whereby the student completes the entire degree in Malaysia but is awarded with a foreign degree qualification from the partner university overseas. The syllabus and assessment are the same as the partner university and the qualification will be identical to that obtained at the overseas institution.

Another attractive and cost-effective option is to enter a twinning degree programme – this is a transnational ‘2+0’ or ‘1+2’ degree programme whereby the student completes part of the course in Malaysia and then continues the studies at the twinning partner university. The student saves considerable money by doing part of the degree in Malaysia and also fulfils his dream of studying in a western university.

Malaysia has become a country of choice for reputable foreign universities to set up their branch campuses – currently there are 10 such campuses. Students have the option of completing their full degree in Malaysia or can spend one or two semesters at the main campus.


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

It’s easier to get a place on a law degree than a European languages, history or philosophy degree | Legal Cheek

Exclusive: Law is the eighth most competitive university course.

Photo: Katie King
Katie King, reporter at Legal Cheek says, "Research into the percentage of UCAS applications that end in acceptances has shown law is not the ultra competitive course you might think it is."

Photo: Legal Cheek

Last year, 125,230 applications were made to study law at degree level. One fifth of these, 25,050, ended in an aspiring lawyer accepting their place at a higher education provider.
While it’s tempting to assume this means only one in every five law school applicants is successful, this isn’t the case.

UCAS users are able to submit applications to up to five universities (four for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science). This means the number of applicants will be closer to the number of acceptances, rather than the number of applications actually received by UCAS.

For some time, the myth that law is a super competitive course has begun to be dispelled. LLB places have gone up and up in recent years, to the point where some universities are struggling to fill their courses. Last year, almost a week after A-level results day, there were still places available at the likes of the universities of Leeds and Reading.
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Source: Legal Cheek (blog)


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Really long many words: week 7 | Honi Soit

"We ask students to explain their theses in 200 of the 1000 most common English words" summarizes Stephanie White,  Honi Soit.

Last year Steph White wrote a History and Philosophy of Science honours thesis on the problem of Underdetermination of theories by evidence as it applies in Bayesian and simple deductivist models of theory choice.

In science we try to find the truth, but we usually have many theories that work with the evidence we have. This means we do not know which one is true. This is bad because everyone thinks science knows what the truth is. In this long paper I explain how this problem exists in the theory of chance worked out in numbers, and show that it is the same problem as when you model science as a yes or no question.

If we think of science as a series of choices between theories then science may have forward movement to the truth. In this long paper I explain why this forward movement can happen in a good way, and will lead us to an end point of a theory about the world that is true. This would be good for science.

Source: Honi Soit 


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