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Friday, May 19, 2017

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

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.


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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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.

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

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

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


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.

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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Would Credentials Make the Higher Education CIO a "Professional"? | EDUCAUSE Review

Without generally recognized professional credentials, can the higher education CIO be called a "professional" leader in information technology? Or should we consider the job as descriptive rather than a career stage in a recognized profession? Does it even matter?

Photo: Kyle Johnson
"What skills does a CIO in higher education need, and what evidence might demonstrate possession of those skills?" notes Kyle Johnson, Dean for Information Technology & Services, Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Photo: EDUCAUSE Review

A recent discussion on an e-mail list I follow (yes, I still subscribe to and participate in e-mail lists) caused me to think about this question anew. With permission, here's part of what a colleague wrote:
"A related question that I sometimes ponder is whether CIO-hood is a genuine profession. As professionals (doctors, lawyers, librarians, and others) often remind me, a 'professional is someone who has completed extensive and rigorous training in order to obtain generally recognized credentials to practice in a specific field.' CIOs, on the other hand, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and, while there are graduate programs that provide concentrations in IT management, there is no widely accepted credential for CIO-hood. I've known CIOs with doctoral degrees, master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, and no degrees whatsoever. And, at least in my experience, degrees don't seem to be correlated with CIO success. So I guess my question back to you is, *should* there be a generally accepted training program and credential for CIO-hood?"
My first experience with a professional certification was in 1993 when I became a Certified Apple Repair Technician. I was one of two CARTs in my location, and this allowed the company to do Apple warranty repairs. I later also became a Certified Novell Administrator (CNA), mostly because my company needed a certain number of CNAs to get a reseller status they wanted. So by 1994 I was a two-time professional — and everything "professional" about my career has been downhill since.

After moving to higher education IT, I had a track record of continuous growth and improvement that helped the organization succeed and thrive, attended conferences that expanded my knowledge and network exponentially — and garnered absolutely no professional certifications. My professional downward spiral continued for over a decade until I landed my first CIO appointment in 2007, at which point I had evidently hit rock bottom and joined the amateur ranks permanently.

I have served as CIO at three different institutions, each of which has required a different set of skills. Some CIO positions are technical: you work right next to the other IT staff on much of the day-to-day technical work. Others are general: you set direction and mentor staff, but the staff members do most of the operational work. Some are utility oriented: you keep the network running and the servers on. Others are partnerships with the "business" side of the house: these are process and mission driven. Most are some combination.

While I long to be considered a professional, I'm hard pressed to say what a CIO certification in higher education would look like. If it covers only the core things that every CIO position probably has in common (leading an organization, managing staff, etc.) then it seems too watered down to call a CIO certification. If it covers more, certification as a CIO risks having multiple different specializations (large public, small public, R1 private, religiously affiliated private, community college, etc.).

At the end, if I were putting together a certification program, I would want to make sure that people in the CIO role (or interested in it) have:
  • a good core of leadership, management, and communication skills;
  • a broad enough understanding of IT to listen, ask good questions (and understand the answers), and evaluate impacts of decisions;
  • a passion for learning new things (and a tolerance for failure while learning them);
  • a social presence and a desire to contribute to the profession; and
  • the self-awareness to understand what kinds of institutions will match what they're looking for in a CIO role and the ability to figure that out during the interview process.
Of those, the last is perhaps the most important and most overlooked.
Read more... 

Source: EDUCAUSE Review

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Where to Find Free Online Digital Marketing Training | Business 2 Community - BrandViews

"Whether you are new to digital marketing or want to expand your marketing skill set, there is sure to be a free course available online" continues Business 2 Community.

A local plumbing contractor trying to get his business found online.

A recent college grad who just accepted a marketing position in a manufacturing company and is in charge of increasing the brand’s social media reach.

A digital marketing agency content manager who is tasked with creating a content strategy for her clients but has no background in search engine optimization.

What do all of these people have in common?

They all need to learn the skills that it takes to be successful in digital marketing.

A recent article by HubSpot, 5 Essential Skills Marketers Need to Succeed This Year, included an infographic from TEKsystems listing the skills that are in demand by marketing leaders. Organizations investing in their marketing strategy are seeking knowledge and experience in key areas of digital marketing.

It was an eye-opening look at the vast array of skills needed to pull together a complete digital marketing strategy. The marketing subsets of digital advertising, social media, content development, web design and mobile marketing top the list of the most prized skills. Like many of the readers who commented on the article, I was left wondering, “so where do we go from here?” We now know what organizations want but where do we get those skills?

According to TEKsystems’ research, here is a list of the skills that marketers need to succeed.

Digital Advertising:

  • Digital business analytics
  • Digital project management
  • Graphic design
  • Pay-per-click analytics

Social Marketing:

  • Social media management
  • Digital business analytics
  • Content strategy
  • Creative direction

Website Design/Development

  • UX design
  • Front-end development
  • Web development
  • Content creation and management
  • Consumer/behavioral analytics
  • Product management

Content Development

  • Content management
  • Digital project management
  • Web/traffic analytics
  • Content creation and management

Mobile Marketing

  • Mobile design
  • Mobile development
  • Web/traffic analytics
  • E-commerce analytics
You’ll notice that some skills are important in more than one subcategory of digital marketing, for example, analytics, project management, and content creation and strategy. If you are working for a small agency or local business, you may have responsibilities in several areas of your firm’s marketing department and will need a broad range of skills.
Read more... 

Source: Business 2 Community

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Entrepreneurship courses available to campuses through Digital Learning Co-op | Penn State News

"Three core courses required for students enrolled in the Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) are now available to all Penn State campuses through the Digital Learning Cooperative, an administrative system that assists campuses and colleges in the sharing of online, hybrid and video courses" inform Penn State News.

Three core courses required for students enrolled in the Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) are now available to all Penn State campuses through the Digital Learning Cooperative.
Photo: Penn State

Through the use of the cooperative, any campus can now expect regular access to the 9 credits that form the core of the ENTI minor curriculum: MGMT 215: The Entrepreneurial Mindset; ENGR 310: Entrepreneurship Leadership; and MGMT 425: New Venture Creation.

No transfer of funds from campuses will be required for access to these courses, as the regular credit-hour fees for the Digital Learning Cooperative have been waived.

Photo: Anne Hoag
Anne Hoag, ENTI minor director and associate professor of communications, applauded the collective work across units in support of the initiative. “This was a complex and collaborative effort, with the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, Office of Undergraduate Education, Smeal College of Business, and World Campus stepping up to defray expenses and donate services and expertise,” said Hoag. “The result is removal of a major barrier to entrepreneurship education at smaller campuses."

In fall 2017, faculty from Penn State Abington, Berks and University Park will teach the three ENTI core courses online.

Dan Goldberg, a lecturer in business at Penn State Abington and successful business owner, will teach ENGR 310, and knows first-hand the impact this type of education can have. “Our country, which was founded in the Commonwealth, is based on entrepreneurship and innovation. Small business is the backbone of America. Since almost all businesses started off as a small business, it's important for our students to know how to create and build successful enterprises that help Pennsylvania, and the rest of our country, to grow and prosper.”

According to Goldberg, the ENTI minor has been quite successful at Abington, as the campus ranks second in ENTI enrollment next to University Park. One of the students it counts among its successes is Dylan Weisman, a 2016 graduate in business management and marketing with a minor in the ENTI New Ventures cluster.

“The ENTI minor had a profound effect on me,” said Weisman, currently an MBA student at Penn State Great Valley. “You learn a lot of macro concepts in business and marketing classes, and ENTI allowed me to take all those concepts and apply them to a small business.”

Weisman, who described himself as a serial-entrepreneur, is using his entrepreneurial skills to run an event and entertainment business, Flare Event Group, that he founded in 2011. He credits his ENTI professors for making the minor’s classes stand-out amongst others. “The professors are all business owners and have real-world experience to back their knowledge. That makes a huge difference.”

For Weisman, completing the minor paid immediate dividends, and he hopes to use what he’s learned by giving back to the entrepreneurship community at Abington. “The whole reason I’m getting my MBA is so I can come back to Abington to be an adjunct professor in the ENTI minor,” said Weisman.

Source: Penn State News

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