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Thursday, October 18, 2018

‘Oscars of Science’ award goes to Stanford physicist Aron Wall | Science - San Francisco Chronicle

Aron Wall, a Stanford University physicist who studies black-hole thermodynamics, believes there was a beginning of time, a singular moment of creation like the Big Bang, inform Peter Fimrite, Reporter at San Francisco Chronicle.

Physicist Aron Wall studies black and worm holes and space-time.
Photo: Nicole Egley Wall

It is a much-debated theory that essentially hinges on a question that many a gum-chewing 12-year-old has asked of parents: “If the universe had a beginning, what existed before that?”

Wall’s answer to this fundamental question — which also forces one to puzzle over the definition of nothingness — is what has made him popular in the religious community and a bit unusual for a scientist...

He will be given his award along with 20 other winners of the Breakthrough Prize, during a televised ceremony Nov. 4 at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in Mountain View. The prizes, touted as the “Oscars of Science,” honor world-changing discoveries in life sciences, physics and mathematics.

Wall is the only Bay Area resident to win a prize for the coming year.

Xiaowei Zhuang, who got her doctorate degree from UC Berkeley and conducted her postdoctoral research at Stanford, won a $3 million Breakthrough award for scientific discovery. Zhuang, now a Harvard University professor and optical imaging investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, won in the life sciences category for discovering hidden structures in cells and developing super-resolution imaging.


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Even Digital Natives Need to Learn 'Common-Sense' Tech Skills | Education Week

Today's elementary school students have grown up with devices, but they still need guidance and structure around tech use, writes Natalie Makulski, computer and STEM teacher at two elementary schools in Clarenceville School District in Livonia, Mich.

Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable

Teachers often overestimate students' ability to use technology. Students constantly have their devices in their hands to play games, interact with friends, watch YouTube videos, and complete homework assignments. Because they spend so much time with devices, students are thought to be technologically savvy. These interactions can be beneficial and help promote 21st-century learning skills, but they do not make students technology experts.

I teach computer classes at two elementary schools. This month, all students are learning how to wrap up a mouse cord instead of just throwing it in the box, making a huge, tangled mess. They're also learning about the consequences of spilling food and drinks on the keyboard...

Another misconception about using technology in the classroom is the idea that all teachers need to provide all students the same type of technology. Technology should be viewed like ice cream: Not all students are going to like the same flavor, and not all students are going to be engaged with the same technology.

When selecting a tool to use in the classroom, the teacher should always focus on its purpose.
Read more...

Source: Education Week


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Digital natives need to work on face-to-face skills | Business - Scoop.co.nz

Digital natives need to work on face-to-face communication skills, says Hays.
 


Digital natives are natural online communicators, but recruiting experts Hays warns that for many it’s come at the expense of face-to-face communication skills.


According to the recruiter, employers are increasingly vetting candidates’ skills in this area.

“Digital natives have grown up using the internet and mobile phones, and while they can quickly grasp the latest online communication tools, face-to-face communication has been the cost,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

A recent study found that globally, 65% of Gen Z and Millennials communicate with others more digitally than in person.
Read more...

Source: Scoop.co.nz


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Independence tests should ask more of seniors | Health - Medical Xpress

UCR psychology researcher says the bar is too low for "functional independence" in older adults, and should be aligned with skills younger adults must conquer. 

Photo: Pexels

The Activities of Daily Living, or ADL, questionnaire is a standard used by healthcare professionals to decide what services older adults need to remain independent. These activities include eating and bathing. The Instrumental Activities of Daily Life, or IADL, questionnaire is a stepped-up standard that also considers basic skills such as managing money and preparing meals.

But in her recent paper, "Adaptation for Growth Via Learning New Skills as a Means to Long-Term Functional Independence in Older Adulthood: Insights From Emerging Adulthood," Wu argues low expectations set by ADL and IADL questionnaires may be contributing to cognitive decline in healthy older adults...

Wu said younger people have to learn new skills and adapt, including to get and keep their jobs.

"Having a high bar for functional independence for younger adults in terms of learning, growing, and adapting means that they are more likely to achieve long-term functional independence," she said.
Read more...

Additional resources
Courtney Nguyen et al, Adaptation for Growth Via Learning New Skills as a Means to Long-Term Functional Independence in Older Adulthood: Insights From Emerging Adulthood, The Gerontologist (2018).  
DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny128

Source: Medical Xpress


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Adult education program gives students a chance to flourish | Biddeford Journal Tribune

CLASS initiative available at 11 locations in York County, as Biddeford Journal Tribune reports.

CLASS adult education programs are available at 11 locations in York County. The centers for adult education offer everything from high school equivalency tests to English language learning, ciitizenship preparation, mathematics and writing refreshers, digital literacy and access to online courses. 
PHOTO: FILE

Opportunity is knocking for those looking to continue and enhance their education through CLASS, the Consortium for Learning and Student Success.

CLASS is a program that has been running for the past five years and it confers with southern Maine adult education locations including Biddeford; York; Saco; Old Orchard Beach; Kittery; Marshwood; Massabesic; Noble; Sanford; Wells; and Ogunquit. The program is an initiative of the Maine Department of Education, and according to program coordinator Joann Sueltenfuss, it’s the hub for these adult education locations in York County.  

Sueltenfuss said that CLASS is a good program for those looking to continue or return to education because of how the program runs and what it offers. The centers for adult education offer programs such as the high school diploma and HiSet (high school equivalency test); ELL (English language learners) classes for new Mainers; Civics/Citizenship preparation; mathematics and writing refreshers; digital literacy and access to online courses...

The adult education programs are not only meaningful for students, but also for teachers that are a part of this program, such as Smithwick.

“Every morning just saying hello is like a song to hear representatives from all over the world,” Smithwiock said. “I don’t feel like I’m working, I feel like I’m on the receiving end.”

The process of returning to education relies on having the resources available for those seeking assistance to pursue better education and work opportunities.
Read more...

Source: Biddeford Journal Tribune 


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Complete your college degree through SIU’s off-campus program at NAS Pensacola | SIU News

Christi Mathis, Strategist at Southern Illinois University notes, Off-campus learning is on-target for many adult learners these days.

Kayliym Islam teaches in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s off-campus Workforce Education and Development program at NAS Pensacola.
Photos: provided
For people who are already working, these programs allow them to meet their educational and career advancement goals while still handling their daily work and life obligations.  

Off-campus learning suits busy schedules
Southern Illinois University Carbondale launched its first off-campus degree program in 1973 and today offers students the chance to earn their degrees at any one of 32 military and non-military locations – including Naval Air Station Pensacola – located in 13 states. Earlier this year, for the first time ever, all 12 people who graduated at NAS Pensacola were active-duty military personnel. With a new instructor at the helm, a new session began this week and enrollment is already underway for the next class session.

As a veteran himself, Kayliym Islam is pleased to have the opportunity to “give back to those who serve” while helping all of his students strive to achieve their educational and career goals...

Blended program offered at Pensacola
SIU’s Extended Campus offers a hybrid Workforce Education and Development program at NAS Pensacola. It incorporates a combination of online coursework and seated weekend classes and is designed to be completed by working adults in about two years.
Read more...

Source: SIU News


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These are the four adult-learning styles – Which one are you? | Learning - Study International News

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how we learn. Each of us has our own unique strengths and weaknesses. Different methods work better with different people,according to Study International News.

There are four distinct learning types. Which one are you: 
Photo: Solis Images/Shutterstock

Appreciating the value of tailored learning methods, researchers Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed a study in the 1980s to figure out the main types of adult learners.

Through a crafter questionnaire, the pair were able to identify four distinct styles in which adults learn and retain information.

Figuring out which category you fall into can help you make better use of your revision time and tailor your learning to suit you.

Which one are you?
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Photo: Pexels

The 5 top universities in China by .  

"It’s well-known that China hosts the world’s biggest pool of outbound international students, with the Chinese Ministry of Education recording 608,400 learners leaving to study overseas on 2017 – a record number for the country."

Source: Study International News


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Saturday, October 13, 2018

People who grow up with books have better math and digital communication skills | Fast Company

Large in-home libraries have benefits beyond the obvious, explains Michael Grothaus, novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter represented worldwide by Marjacq Scripts Ltd
.
 

Photo: Christin Hume/Unsplash

That’s according to a new study by Australian National University, Pacific Standard reports. In the study, researchers looked at 31 countries and the average household’s book-buying habits and found that the more books a home contained the better math, literacy, and digital communication skills children had when they reached adulthood.

In the study, participants stated how many books were in their house when they were children, ranging from “less than 10” to “more than 500.” It turns out those who said they had 80 or more books had much higher literacy skills (as could be expected), but also higher numerical and IT skills. And having more than 80 books was even better, as people who reported that they had 150 or 300 books scored even higher on math, literacy, and IT skills than did people who reported having 80 books (however, these improvements plateaued after the 350-book-mark).
Read more...

Source: Fast Company


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MSU Music celebrates the work of Richard Strauss | Campus - MSUToday

The Michigan State University College of Music is proud to present an evening of works by the last of the German romantics, Richard Strauss.

Photo: MSUToday
This first concert of the 2018-19 West Circle Series features Strauss — a daring composer and conductor — who was born into a musical household in 1864. Following in his father’s footsteps, young Strauss dedicated his life to music, and at the age of 18 had already composed over 140 works including various vocal, chamber and orchestral works. Two years later he made his conducting debut with the Meiningen Orchestra with his premiere piece “Suite for 13 Winds.”

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium, and will feature MSU faculty artists and students.
Read more...

Source: MSUToday


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Musician wants to make sure Cape Breton traditional music continues | TheChronicleHerald.ca

“Remember now, we’re the Prime Brook Philharmonic.” according to Elizabeth Patterson, Reporter/Editor at Cape Breton Post.

Fiddler Dwayne Cote, left, gives Joan Roach of Glace Bay a few pointers on hand position during Cote’s “Fiddle From Scratch” sessions being held at the Brooks Haven Seniors Recreation Centre in Prime Brook this week, as part of Celtic Colours International Festival.
Photo: Elizabeth Patterson
Fiddler Dwayne Cote may be smiling as he speaks to eight people who have never picked up a violin before but he’s not joking. They’re students of his “Fiddle From Scratch” sessions being held at the Brooks Haven Seniors Recreation Centre in Prime Brook this week, part of the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Generally acknowledged as one of Cape Breton’s top players, Cote, 48, is on a mission. He wants to make sure Cape Bretoners keep loving, appreciating and playing Cape Breton fiddle music. He and his wife Lisa White Cote have developed the sessions to make learning how to play as easy as possible. The sessions began several years ago near St. Peters but have since moved to Prime Brook, since they live there now.

For a mere 35 bucks, anyone can take part. Cote even supplies the instruments so first-timers can get a feel for it before buying anything. According to first-time player Joan Roach from Glace Bay, it’s money well-spent.

“I’ve never played it before,” she said after completing the lesson. “I just thought it would be a neat thing to try. I love it.”

During the class, Cote patiently explains how to hold the instrument and bow. Within an hour, everyone in the class is playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in unison. Considering the violin is not the easiest instrument to learn, the accomplishment is startling but never tell Cote it can’t be done...

Cote has been performing professionally since he was 13 years old. While he’s best known as a Cape Breton traditional fiddler, he’s also a Celtic guitarist (in addition to the fiddle workshops, he also teaches guitar workshops during Celtic Colours), as well as a composer. 
Among his accolades, he won the 2011 East Coast Music Award for best jazz recording for his work done with Duane Andrews, an album that saw Cote compared to the legendary Stephane Grappelli. He occasionally plays classical violin as well.
Read more...

Source: TheChronicleHerald.ca


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