Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Why Community Colleges Should Offer Bachelor’s Degrees | Editors' Picks - EDUCAUSE Review

California community colleges have launched baccalaureate degree pilot programs that may allay some of the concerns regarding an increase in bachelor's degree availability at two-year institutions.

In April 2019, Inside Higher Ed published an article entitled "Presidents Divided on Community College Bachelor's Degrees."1, writes Judy C. Miner, Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, headquartered in Los Altos Hills, California.  

On behalf of my California colleagues, in both two-year and four-year institutions, who believe that is it is essential for our community colleges to offer bachelor's degrees, I would like to address several concerns stated in the article. I believe there are reasonable responses that might allay some of the fears expressed not only in California but in other states as well.

Mission Creep and Increasing Competition with Four-Year Colleges California Senate Bills 850 and 769 authorized the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, in consultation with the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC), to establish baccalaureate degree pilot programs. CSU and UC are protected from competition by virtue of the legislative requirements:
  1. Programs can be offered at no more than fifteen community college districts, with only one baccalaureate per district.
  2. Programs cannot duplicate a program offered by CSU or UC.
  3. Programs must meet local workforce needs.
  4. An independent evaluation will be completed by the Legislative Analyst's Office.
  5. The pilot sunsets on July 1, 2028.
Thanks to the pilot, students can now earn baccalaureate degrees in airframe manufacturing technology, industrial automation, mortuary science, the equine industry, dental hygiene, health information management, biomanufacturing, respiratory care, occupational studies, automotive technology, interaction design, and biotechnology...

Contributing to Credential Inflation  
Credential inflation is often confused with degree inflation. A 2017 report from Accenture, Grads of Life, and Harvard Business School offers definitions to better inform discussions. Degree inflation is "the practice of seeking a candidate with a four-year college degree for a position currently held by someone with a high school diploma or an associate's degree." Credential inflation is "the decline in the value of academic credentials over time as more people obtain them." According to researchers, "As the concentration of educated labor increases, the minimum credential requirements for jobs [will rise] concurrently and irreversibly."2
Read more... 

Source: EDUCAUSE Review

Implementing Active Learning and Student-Centered Pedagogy in Large Classes | Blended and Flipped Learning - Faculty Focus

Nisha Malhotra, PhD, senior instructor for the Vancouver School of Economics  explains, There is a vast pedagogical literature spelling out the benefits of student engagement and active participation (1). 

Photo: Faculty Focus
A recent meta-analysis study of 225 active learning classes further concludes that “active learning has a greater impact on student mastery of higher- versus lower-level cognitive skills” (p. 8411). Active learning places the student at the center of a lecture’s objective and its outcome. Students in these lectures are not only engaged in learning but are also involved in cognitive processes such as comprehension and evaluation. These processes then translate into (a) improved and deeper learning, (b) better grades, and (c) lower failure rates (2, 3). Given this growing evidence, it would be beneficial to incorporate these active learning strategies into the classroom. My aim was to adopt some form of active learning to enhance my traditional lectures, and to improve my students’ class experience.  

There are wide-ranging theories of active and deep learning, and just as many applications of this kind of learning (1). So, how do we translate these theoretical frameworks into practical applications in our discipline? Not all strategies lend themselves well to different disciplines. Although bringing tactile elements to a classroom may help students in the sciences, a video case-study could be a better motivational tool for business studies. Thus, to improve learning, the game plan should be to motivate your students to participate in class with your class content.

Reducing the vast number of theories down to adaptable elements for my economics courses was honestly a process of trial and error. I struggled with time along with questions such as: How much class time should be devoted to active learning and participation? Should this be at the expense of course content? Given that first year undergraduate economics courses are mostly preparatory for advanced economics classes, the content of these courses is not up for debate, and none can be sacrificed. The solution was to use a blended learning approach: modifying the course structure, introducing online videos for review, and changing how the content was delivered in class.

In order to free up lecture time, roughly 15% of traditional lecture-style classes are now substituted with online reviews. Students watch video tutorials in order to review basic concepts before class...

Larger classes are, however, a big challenge. An average class size of a first year economics course can consist of 80 to 150 students. It is, thus, not feasible to interact with every group, let alone every student in a class of >100 students. Big lecture halls with fixed seats are not designed for group work. Have you ever tried to get students to walk around in these big lecture halls and form groups? You might as well forget about teaching that day.  After much thought, I decided to rely on peer interaction and trust that students, if asked, might engage in solving posed problems. The aim was to only ‘spark’ a discussion, not a debate. I wanted students to at least question their knowledge.

Source: Faculty Focus

100 States Support Norway’s Initiative to Protect Schools | Dagsavisen - Human Rights Watch

The news this week that Ukraine has become the 100th country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration—a Norwegian initiative to make schools safer even during war—has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe by Bede Sheppard, deputy director in the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch

Damaged school in Nikishine. Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces. © 2015
Photo: Yulia Gorbunova/Human Rights Watch
They are united by a common fate, yet separated by more than 70 years: Oslo’s Sagene Primary School and “School Number 4” in Krasnohorivka, Ukraine.

School Number 4 sits in eastern Ukraine, in a town close to the front line dividing government-controlled territory and the parts of the country controlled by Russia-backed armed groups. I was shown around the school in November 2015 by a group of teachers who recounted how during the summer holidays of the previous year, anti-government fighters broke down the school’s front gate and camped inside for a week. After they left, Ukrainian army soldiers entered the school, and again used it as a base, this time for more than a year.

Students were barred from the school during its occupation, and most shifted to a distance learning program. The teachers showed me the staff room with the word “Crow” painted in red on the door, presumably some soldier’s nom de guerre. The teachers listed all the property that had been looted, but most striking was that the only school desks I could see were in the two classrooms where they were bolted to the floor...

I first learned about the occupation of Sagene school from a student’s drawing from 1944. It depicts a soldier with a swastika on his helmet, standing straight, rifle slung over his shoulder, in front of a barrier of barbed wire at the school gate. I found the picture in the Oslo city archives. If the governments that have joined the Safe Schools Declaration have their way, that’s exactly how the practice of using schools for military purposes should be treated: as a piece of history, ready to be buried in the archives.

Source: Human Rights Watch

The Digital Learning Revolution: How Classes are Moving Out Of The Classroom | Education - Entrepreneur

Every learning process has two principal stakeholders—students and teachers, or as we like to call them learners and helps—and two fundamental engagement tools, questions and answers, summarizes Michał Borkowski, responsible for Company Strategy, Product Strategy, Culture & Structure.

Learning processes essentially can be centered on either the teacher or the student, but the outcomes they result in are drastically different. The didactic learning process wherein the teacher occupied the central role and the student was merely a blank slate (Tabula Rasa) was a monotonous and regimented affair, relying solely on the transfer of knowledge from a teacher to a student. 

Opposed to it, the new-age online learning method which has its roots in the revolutionary teaching methods of Socrates, the ancient Greek logician and thinker, has turned the very nature of learning inside out. It proposes a student centered mode of learning wherein the visible demarcations of master and disciple are essentially blurred and both exist as equal stakeholders...

When students are allowed to become their own masters and be responsible for the supervision of their learning experience, it initiates the formation of an informed and empowered society that prizes questioning over obedience and intelligence over authority. Online learning platforms have indeed done away with the space-time restrictions of classrooms and empowered the primary stakeholder in learning, i.e. the learner itself, in a manner that would surely have made Socrates proud.   
Read more... 

Source: Entrepreneur 

DAR conducts competency training for supervisors | Press Releases - Philippine Information Agency

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Agrarian Reform Capacity Development Service (ARCDS) is conducting a five-day training for the agency’s managers and supervisors to capacitate them with competencies in assessing their subordinates for development and identifying their potentials by DAR. 
Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles at

This training covers skills development in using tools and mechanism to distinguish between opinions, conclusions versus behavioral observations and reduce individual biases from the assessments...

CARPO for Learning and Development Division Angelita D. Tonogbanua said the objective of this activity is to come up with a competency dictionary, competency-based position profiles, competency-based job descriptions, and competency levels of positions in the land tenure service sector.
Read more... 

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Friday, November 29, 2019

Music as an educational tool | Islander - Times Colonist

Geoff Johnson, former superintendent of schools explains, In most African cultures, music is for dancing, not for listening to quietly while seated in a chair.

Students from Spectrum Community School take part in the Victoria Day Parade. It might be time for music education to move back into the curricular mainstream, Geoff Johnson writes.
Photo. ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist
Sociologists call this evidence of a participatory culture, where individuals don’t just act as consumers, but also as contributors or producers.

In many European cultures as well, music is for sharing. Walking down a street in France, I had stopped to admire a duet — a guitar player and an accordionist. “Do you play?” I am asked in faltering English. “Sure,” I reply, “but … ” and the guitar is handed over. “Alors, rejoinez nous” — please join us, and now I’m playing three- or four-chord songs I’ve never heard before, but which have patterns which make sense to a musician’s ear, with new friends I’ve never met before.

Late at night in a street in a small beachside village in Mexico, a group of men, possibly assisted by a touch of “contrabando,” the local illegal tequila, are singing ranchera songs — in two or three harmony parts...

...New research is shedding light on how the brain interacts with music.

“Music is very subjective,” says Dr. Daniel Levitin, a professor of neuroscience and music at McGill University in Montreal and author of the bestselling book This is Your Brain on Music, adding that there are more researchers studying the neurological effects of music now than ever before...

“As a little girl,” Albert Einstein’s second wife Elsa once remarked, “I fell in love with Albert because he played Mozart so beautifully on the violin. He also plays the piano. Music helps him when he is thinking about his theories. He goes to his study, comes back, strikes a few chords on the piano, jots something down, returns to his study.”

Recommended Reading

This Is Your Brain on Music:
The Science of a Human Obsession
Source: Times Colonist

When Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Collide | Frontiers - Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman.

The two greatest achievements of modern physics — quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity — share one serious problem: They don’t agree, argues Rick Robinson, writer and blogger.

Photo: Getty Images
As a result, physicists find themselves in the awkward position of seeking to explain the universe using two theories that are not quite able to explain or account for each other.

In fact, these two theoretical frameworks differ not just in their abstruse mathematics, but in the basic ways in which they view the world. As puts it, general relativity treats the universe as fundamentally smooth and curved. What looks like sharp edges are simply zones of more rapid change, like musical notes recorded on tape or old-fashioned vinyl.

In contrast, quantum mechanics treats the universe as essentially lumpy and sharp-edged, like a digital music recording. Even transitions that appear smooth, if closely examined, resolve into a series of tiny but abrupt changes.

The Large and Small of It
Most of the time, these very different approaches to nature do not get in each other’s way. Einstein’s relativity theory, in spite of its popular association with nuclear energy, is mainly used to explain how the universe works at large scale: the physics of baseballs, planets, galaxies. Quantum mechanics, in contrast, deals with the very small scale: atomic nuclei and smaller, down to the most fundamental building blocks of matter, quarks...

Misadventures in Renormalization
When the mathematical technique called renormalization is used to demonstrate how this unity is applied to gravity, it doesn’t work. In the quantum mechanics framework, gravity should be associated with theoretical particles called gravitons. But gravitons, by reshaping space, render renormalization calculations endlessly complicated, says 


Source: Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman.

Musicians and scientists talk ‘Music and the Mind’ at Yale Center Beijing | Arts & Humanities - Yale News

Soprano Renée Fleming, Yale music Dean Robert Blocker, and researchers Bin Hu and Kunlin Wei discussed music’s role in wellness during an Oct. 29 panel, continues Yale News

Renée Fleming at Yale Center Beijing on Oct. 29
A packed audience of over 150 Yale alumni and friends gathered at Yale Center Beijing on Oct. 29 to hear from renowned soprano Renée Fleming, a four-time Grammy Award winner, National Medal of Arts recipient, and a member of the Schwarzman Center Advisory Board. But on this evening, the audience wasn’t gathering to hear her sing. Instead, they were there to hear her and a panel of experts discuss “Music and the Mind,” exploring the power of music in relation to health and neuroscience.

Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music at Yale, moderated the panel discussion, which also featured Dr. Bin Hu, a professor at the University of Calgary who specializes in Parkinson’s research, and Kunlin Wei, a professor of psychological and cognitive sciences at Peking University, who works on sensorimotor control and learning.

At the beginning of the event, Fleming discussed her own interest in connecting music and physical health by looking back at when she suffered from stage fright, which sometimes even presented as physical pain. But the moment she started singing, she said, the pain would go away. This experience sparked her interest in the brain and how the brain and music interact, which in turn made her curious as to why scientific researchers were also becoming so interested in music...

The Yale Center Beijing, Yale’s first university-wide center outside of the United States, is a convening space and intellectual hub that advances Yale’s mission to improve our world and develop leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society. Founded in 2014, the center acts as an activity space for Yale’s collaborations in China, enables the university to expand existing activities and form new partnerships, supports research and study from each of the university’s schools and divisions, and serves as a gathering place for alumni from throughout Asia.

Source: Yale News

Lifelong learners over 50 invited to sign up for Vanderbilt Osher winter classes | Releases - Vanderbilt University News

Ann Marie Deer Owens, VUMC Reporter says, Winter 2020 classes offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt include the history of Fort Negley, memoir writing, brain disorders and a Shakespeare production. 

Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning classes are open to everyone 50 and above
Photo:John Russell/Vanderbilt University
Significant Civil War battles around Middle Tennessee, six American novels spanning the 20th century and the causes of brain disorders are among the topics offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt for its 2020 winter term.

For the first time, Osher is offering the opportunity to sing in a chorus this term led by the director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Other classes will focus on U.S. history from the women’s perspective, organizational tools and tips for writing a memoir, upcoming productions by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and OZ Arts Nashville, and more. 

“Our mission is to help adults over 50 rediscover the joy of learning through our noncredit classes and build community with others who share similar interests,” said Norma Clippard, program director for the Osher Lifelong Institute at Vanderbilt. “One of the benefits of the Osher membership is the opportunity to form new friendships.”

Class registration is open now and continues through Jan. 3. ...

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt is housed within the Division of Government and Community Relations.
For more information, call 615-343-0700.


Source: Vanderbilt University News

5 things parents can do to keep their children in music classes longer | K12 Schools - Study International News

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Music lessons for children often stop when they turn 11, denying them the benefits of music. Here are five steps... by Study International Staff.
Boring lessons are one of the main reasons children want to stop music lessons.
Photo: Shutterstock
The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows children are mostly likely to start studying music between the ages of nine and 11.

Researchers in a 2009 UK study suggested the dramatic drop in music tuition after age 11 was linked to children starting high school.

The study also revealed the main reasons for children ending music lessons were boring lessons, frustration at a lack of progress, disliking practice and competition from other activities. Some children regretted stopping music lessons.

Stopping as soon as a child experiences difficulty or expresses frustration denies that child the benefits of music and reinforces the message that, if something is hard, it’s not worth doing. But continuing lessons for someone who has come to resent them is futile.

Fortunately, there are some things parents can try which might keep kids in music class longer. And if that doesn’t work, it’s OK to stop.

Source: Study International News

Thursday, November 28, 2019

UiTM’s Actuarial Science degree gains the highest accreditation from IFoA, UK | Asia - QS WOW News

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) was the first university in Malaysia to offer a degree program in Actuarial Science in 1996, inform Siti Meriam, Author at QS WOWNEWS.

Photo: QS WOW News
Today, the Centre for Actuarial Studies has successfully produced thousands of graduates who are sought after in the industry. Holding a graduate employability (GE) rate of more than 90% in 2017, most of the graduates are mainly working in the insurance and banking sectors. Recently, on 7th November 2019, the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Actuarial Science achieved another milestone when it got accreditation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), United Kingdom.

This recognition provides students who graduate in BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Science from UiTM to get professional exemptions on a few subjects such as Actuarial Statistics, Actuarial Mathematics, Business Finance and Business Economics based on the IFoA new curriculum effective March 2020 intake.

Source: QS WOW News

The artificial skin that allows robots to feel | Tech - CNN

Robots are one step closer to gaining a human sense that has so far eluded them: Touch. 

Professor Gordon Cheng with the H-1 robot, covered in 13,000 sensors that enable tactile sensation
Scientists last month unveiled an artificial skin that enables robots to feel and respond to physical contact, a skill that will be needed as they come in increasingly close contact with people.

In 2017, manufacturers worldwide used roughly 85 industrial robots per 10,000 employees, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics. The same report predicts the global supply of industrial robots to grow 14% per year until 2021...

Some scientists are skeptical of its scalability. The high cost of each sensor and its fragility is a major barrier for mass production, Etienne Burdet, a professor of human robotics at Imperial College London, tells CNN Business.

For years, scientists have been scrambling to develop technology that enables tactile sensation — both for robots and humans. Last week, a team at Northwestern University unveiled a wireless and battery-free smart skin that could add touch to virtual experiences, such as a Skype call.  

Source: CNN

Researchers use machine learning tools to reveal how memories are coded in the brain | Mind & Brain - Science Daily

NUS researchers have made a breakthrough in the field of cognitive computational neuroscience, by discovering a key aspect of how the brain encodes short-term memories, notes Science Daily.

These findings indicate that stable short-term memory information exists within a population of neurons with dynamic activity.
Photo: National University of Singapore
The researchers working in The N.1 Institute for Health at the National University of Singapore (NUS), led by Assistant Professor Camilo Libedinsky from the Department of Psychology at NUS, and Senior Lecturer Shih-Cheng Yen from the Innovation and Design Programme in the Faculty of Engineering at NUS, discovered that a population of neurons in the brain's frontal lobe contain stable short-term memory information within dynamically-changing neural activity.

This discovery may have far-reaching consequences in understanding how organisms have the ability to perform multiple mental operations simultaneously, such as remembering, paying attention and making a decision, using a brain of limited size.
The results of this study were published in the journal Nature Communications on 1 November 2019...

The researchers are currently extending these studies to explore of how multiple brain regions interact with each other with the objective of transferring and processing different types of information.
Read more... 

Additional resources  
Journal Reference:
  1. Aishwarya Parthasarathy, Cheng Tang, Roger Herikstad, Loong Fah Cheong, Shih-Cheng Yen, Camilo Libedinsky. Time-invariant working memory representations in the presence of code-morphing in the lateral prefrontal cortex. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1)  
  2. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12841-y 
Source: Science Daily

Top 15 Deep Learning Applications In 2020 | Deep Learning -

Machine learning applications have gained popularity over the years and now, incorporated with advanced algorithms has been introduced, deep learning applications, as reports. 

Photo: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay
It may have evolved quickly but deep learning applications have been getting more attention compared to other machine learning applications. But what sets it apart from a machine learning application?

What Is Deep Learning? 
Deep learning is an artificial intelligence that mimics the workings of a human brain in processing different data, creating patterns and interpreting information that is used for decision making. It is a subfield of machine learning in artificial intelligence. Its networks has the capability to learn, supervised or unsupervised, from data that is either structured or labelled...

Types Of Deep Learning
There are two types of deep learning, supervised and unsupervised. Supervised learning is when you give an AI a set of input and tell it the expected results. Basically, if the output generated is wrong, it will readjust its calculation and will be done repeatedly over the data set until it makes no more mistakes. Unsupervised learning is the process of machine learning using data sets with no structure specified.

Applications of deep learning have been applied to several fields including speech recognition, social network filtering, audio recognition, natural language processing, machine translation, bioinformatics, computer design, computer vision, drug design, medical image analysis, board games programs and material inspection where they need to produce results that are comparable to or superior to human experts.

Let’s go over more details on applications of deep learning and what can deep learning do.


Paging Dr. Robot: Artificial intelligence moves into care | Artificial intelligence - Missouri Lawyers Media

The next time you get sick, your care may involve a form of the technology people use to navigate road trips or pick the right vacuum cleaner online by Associated Press.

In this file photo from May 2, 2019, Cadet Cheyenne Quilter works with a virtual reality character named “Ellie” at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Artificial intelligence is spreading into health care, often as software or a computer program capable of learning from large amounts of data and making predictions to guide care or help patients.
Photo: AP Photo by Seth Wenig
Artificial intelligence is spreading into health care, often as software or a computer program capable of learning from large amounts of data and making predictions to guide care or help patients.

It already detects an eye disease tied to diabetes and does other behind-the-scenes work like helping doctors interpret MRI scans and other imaging tests for some forms of cancer.

Now, parts of the health system are starting to use it directly with patients. During some clinic and telemedicine appointments, AI-powered software asks patients initial questions about their symptoms that physicians or nurses normally pose.
And an AI program featuring a talking image of the Greek philosopher Aristotle is starting to help University of Southern California students cope with stress...

The team that developed Ellie also has put together a newer AI-based program to help students manage stress and stay healthy.

Ask Ari is making its debut at USC this semester to give students easy access to advice on dealing with loneliness, getting better sleep or handling other complications that crop up in college life.

Source: Missouri Lawyers Media

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why Alan Turing Will Appear on UK Currency | International Monetary Fund

Finance & Development, December 2019, Vol. 56, No. 4 PDF version.

Mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing will appear on UK currency by Melinda Weir, Staff Assistent at International Monetary Fund.


One Monday last July, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney strode onto the stage at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester to reveal the next face of the United Kingdom’s £50 note, one that the bank had earmarked for science.

The honor, he announced, would go to Alan Turing (1912–54)—mathematician, World War II code breaker, and father of computer science.

Turing was a visionary as well as a revolutionary, in Carney’s words, and an outstanding mathematician whose work has had a considerable impact on how we live today.
Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers” imagined the very concept of modern computing. His code-breaking machine is credited with shortening World War II. And his revolutionary postwar work helped create the world’s first commercial computers and articulated philosophical and logical foundations for artificial intelligence...

A photo of Turing, along with a composite image representing some of his groundbreaking ideas and inventions, will appear on the reverse side of the new £50 notes, scheduled to be issued in late 2021.

Last redesigned in 2011, the £50 bill will be printed on polymer for the first time: it’s much harder to counterfeit and more resilient and has a lower carbon footprint than paper, according to John. (The £5 and £10 notes have already come out on polymer, with the polymer £20 set to be issued in 2020.) 

Source: International Monetary Fund

Big data, big deal: what a career in data science really takes | Monash University - The New Daily

When we talk about big data we picture the giant tech companies: Facebook, Amazon, Google by Monash University.

Photo: Screenshot from Monash University's Video
But skills in statistics, business analytics and data science are increasingly sought-after across a range of organisations and industries you may not have thought of, such as retail, healthcare, the environmental sector and not-for-profits...

Professor Rob J. Hyndman, an internationally known statistician at Monash Business School, uses the power of large data sets to address forecast demand for electricity and estimate expenditure on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, among other research topics...

Professor Dianne Cook, one of the world’s top statisticians and the third woman globally to be elected to the R Foundation, a body which supports the open source programming language ‘R’, is Course Director and one of the lead course developers

“The Master of Business Analytics is developed to train the next generation of data scientists. There are a lot of new and exciting job prospects in this field,” says Professor Cook...

Ready to transform the world of business through data?

Find out more about Monash Business School’s Master of Business Analytics.

Source: The New Daily

Queens Community House launches family literacy initiative | Politics - ValueWalk

Queens Community House (QCH) is a multi-service settlement house serving more than 25,000 children, youth, adults and older adults every year. Our mission is to provide individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. Through a broad network of programs operating out of 32 sites in 14 neighborhoods, we offer Queens residents a needed support system at every stage of life, helping them to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to change their lives for the better and become active participants in their larger community.

Anna Peel, professional writer reports, Queens Community House Chief Strategies Officer, Dennis Redmond, illustrates the series of events that made it possible for us to provide critically-needed family literacy initiatives to thousands of Queens families. A warm and inspiring story, just in time for the holidays.

Queens settlement house launches family literacy initiative thanks to a local volunteer, a U.S. Treasury Secretary, and a private equity firm
Photo: smpratt90 / Pixabay
Almost 20 years ago, Rebecca Lew came into Queens Community House (QCH) to take a free computer class. Rebecca came to QCH because learning to use computers had been hard for her and, although middle-aged, she wanted “to keep up with the times.” I taught that computer class, and very much enjoyed getting to know her. Her self-deprecating sense of humor, her kindness, and her openness to learning charmed me and many others in our class. Once the course had ended, Rebecca returned as a volunteer assistant for the next cohort. She openly laughed about her own very-real struggle with computers, which helped to relieve the anxiety of the incoming students

Over the years, Rebecca and I would occasionally bump into each other around the neighborhood and catch up. She still grappled with computers, she would tell me, but was undeterred and continued to take classes.  

Source: ValueWalk

Prioritizing STEM and coding won’t fill one of the biggest gaps in education | Engineering The Future - Quartz question is often on my mind, says Tara Chklovski, founder and CEO.

Teaching our kids STEM and coding won’t prepare them for the future.

Like a lot of working parents, when I’m walking my daughters to school or listening to them recount their days at the dinner table, one question is often on my mind:

What should I be doing to prepare them for the world they’ll enter as adults?...

The response from schools so far has been to promote STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math—education and to teach students to code. But will these skills really equip our kids to find success in the future world of work?...

I’m inspired by computer scientist Seymour Papert’s belief that it’s possible to leapfrog traditional learning pathways using technology. Almost 40 years ago, Papert predicted that children could develop programming skills, such as debugging, even earlier than literacy skills, through his example of a three-year-old who couldn’t read but could verbally and logically query a computer program to learn about bears.

Source: Quartz

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A New Book Explores the Connection Between Movement and Music | Off the Shelf - Columbia University

Why do we tap our feet or dance in time to the beat? by Eve Glasberg, Senior Public Affairs Officer at Columbia University. 

Professor Mariusz Kozak says that one of the most basic functions of music is to provide a sonic template for the enactment of bodily movements and associated emotional states.
In a discussion with Columbia News, Mariusz Kozak, a professor in the music department, sheds some light on how his academic research is enriched by his teaching and how living in New York affects his work. He also reveals why we move when we hear music, which he explores in his new book, Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music.

Recommended Reading

Enacting Musical Time:
The Bodily Experience of New Music
(Oxford Studies in Music Theory)
Source: Columbia University

58 New Skills You Can Now Learn on LinkedIn Learning | New Courses - The Learning Blog

Zoë Kelsey, Learning Supporter at Linked reports, Gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving. 

Photo:  Learning Blog - LinkedIn Learning

By expressing gratitude in the workplace you can increase trust and engagement, while also improving mental and physical health. How can you spread gratitude this holiday season? Watch a course and share a course. 

Each week, we add to our 15,000+ course library. This past week we added 58 courses. Whether you, a friend, or colleague is looking to stay up to date on these latest trends, learning how to humbly inquire, or learn Revit, we’ve got you covered. Check out one of the 58 new courses this week.

The new courses now available on LinkedIn Learning are:

Source: The Learning Blog

Thomas Kuhn and the paradigm shift – Philosopher of the Month - November | Arts & Humanities - Oxford University Press

Thomas S. Kuhn (1922–1996) was an American historian and philosopher of science best-known for his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), which influenced social sciences and theories of knowledge. He is widely considered one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century by OUP Philosophy.

Photo: “Pink and purple plasma ball” by Hal Gatewood via Unsplash.

Kuhn was born in in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Samuel Lewis Kuhn, an industrial engineer, and Minette Stroock Kuhn. He obtained his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and PhD in physics from Harvard University. While completing his PhD, he worked as a teaching assistant for Harvard President James B. Conant, who designed and taught the general education history of science courses. This experience allowed Kuhn to switch from physics to the study of the history and philosophy of science. From 1948 until 1956, Kuhn taught a course in the history of science at Harvard. Subsequently he taught at the University of California at Berkeley, then at Princeton University, and finally at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) where from 1982 until the end of his academic career in 1991 he was the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy and History of Science.
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn challenged the prevailing philosophical views of the logical empiricists about the development of scientific knowledge and introduced the notion of the scientific paradigm. He argued that science does not progress in a linear and consistent fashion via an accumulation of knowledge, but proceeds within a scientific paradigm – a set of fundamental theoretical assumptions that guides the direction of inquiry, determines the standard of truth and defines a scientific discipline at any particular period of time. He used the term “normal science” to describe scientific research that operates in accordance with the dominant paradigm...

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions became an influential and widely read book of the 1960s and sold more than a million copies. It had a profound impact on the history and philosophy of science (and also brought the term “paradigm shift” into common use). It was also controversial since Kuhn challenged the accepted theories of science of the time.

Source: Oxford University Press 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

8 Local and Independent Book Shops You Need to Visit in Hawaii | Shopping -

Photo: Catherine Toth Fox
Catherine Toth Fox, Editor at Hawaii Magazine inform, You don’t have to be a bookworm to appreciate these locally owned treasures.

Talk Story Bookstore in Hanepepe, Kauai is one of several beloved locally owned, independent book shops in the Islands.
Photo: Mry Roe
It doesn’t matter where I’m visiting—Kenosha, Wisconsin or Kyoto, Japan—I seek out independent bookstores. I love browsing the shelves, running my fingers along tattered spines or finding something unexpected in the not-always-organized rows of books. And you can learn a lot about the place you’re visiting from these locally own shops, too, which often showcase staff picks and boast curated sections of local books. 

So next time you’re in the Islands, check out one of these indie bookstores—and find that book you’ll get lost in while lounging on the nearest beach.
Read more... 


In the Jersey Suburbs, a Bookstore Whose Vibe Is Pure Narnia | Books Territory - The New York Times

Montclair Book Center is 9,000 square feet of nooks, alcoves, labyrinths and warrens. “It’s like a time machine,” one customer says, according to Dana Jennings, The New York Times.

Co-managers Maureen Disimile and John D. Ynsua at Montclair Book Center in New Jersey.
Photo: Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
Montclair Book Center is 35 years old, going on eternity.

A ramshackle throwback to a funkier, more literary time, the store has shelves handmade from raw lumber. And its customers and clerks are often just as eccentric as the shelves.

I’ve been shopping and snooping there since 1995 and still haven’t exhausted all of this biblioscape’s labyrinths and warrens — some of which, I suspect, lead to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia or Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast.

Stuffed with hundreds of thousands of best sellers, worst sellers and everything in between, the store is a haven where you can ferret out that certain book (or vinyl record) you don’t know you need until you see it. I’ve stumbled across Italo Calvino limited editions, a hardcover of William Burroughs’s “Naked Lunch,” and a stash of musty, black-and-white comics magazines from the 1960s and ’70s that included Eerie, Creepy and Savage Tales.

The store, which sells both new and used books, is three floors and 9,000 square feet of nooks, alcoves and cul de sacs. Wooden floorboards creak and groan, and the owners have preserved the tin ceilings from the building’s decades as a hardware store...

John D. Ynsua, a co-manager and owner, says the store has hundreds of regulars, including many “who come from far away.” But some are more memorable than others. There’s the customer, for example, who anchors himself at the checkout and mutters in what sounds like heavy-metal vomit vocals. On one visit, he’ll ask for the Christian Bible; on others, the Satanic Bible.

More often, customers are like Fabrice Nozier, a senior at Drew University in Madison, N.J. “I like the feel of this place,” he said as he sat on the floor and pored over filmmaking volumes. “It’s like a time machine, coming here.”

Source: The New York Times