Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

On a recent afternoon in Helsinki, a group of students gathered to hear a lecture on a subject that is far from a staple in most community college curriculums.Standing in front of the classroom at Espoo Adult Education Centre, Jussi Toivanen worked his way through his PowerPoint presentation. A slide titled “Have you been hit by the Russian troll army?” included a checklist of methods used to deceive readers on social media: image and video manipulations, half-truths, intimidation and false profiles.Another slide, featuring a diagram of a Twitter profile page, explained how to identify bots: look for stock photos, assess the volume of posts per day, check for inconsistent translations and a lack of personal information.The lesson wrapped with a popular “deepfake” — highly realistic manipulated video or audio — of Barack Obama to highlight the challenges of the information war ahead.The course is part of an anti-fake news initiative launched by Finland’s government in 2014 – two years before Russia meddled in the US elections – aimed at teaching residents, students, journalists and politicians how to counter false information designed to sow division.

Source: Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint


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In a quest to rapidly advance its scientific depth and breadth, China is recruiting scientists from around the world. Some from the U.S. say the greater funding for school and research is freeing.

Source: China Pours Money Into Research, Luring U.S. Scientists And Students : Shots – Health News : NPR

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California parents who do not vaccinate their children would have to home-school them under a bill passed Thursday by the state Senate, the latest move in a battle between public health officials and “anti-vaxxers” who fear vaccines are dangerous.

via California Senate votes to end beliefs waiver for school vaccinations | Reuters.


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I know so many parents who agonized over this decision for their summer born children, especially if the child was a boy. This from the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.

Delaying the start of school for a year for children with summer birthdays or those born prematurely may lead to worse academic performance later, new British research suggests."Our study shows that delaying school entry has no effect on Year 1 teacher ratings of academic performance. But it is associated with poorer performance in age-standardized tests of reading, writing, mathematics and attention as the children get older," the study’s corresponding author, Professor Dieter Wolke, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick, said in a university news release.Due to the study’s design, the researchers can’t say that delaying the start of school was what caused poorer performance later, only that there was a link between these factors.The study was published recently in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.



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Vocabulary instruction in the early years is not challenging enough to prepare students for long-term reading comprehension, argues a study led by a Michigan State University education researcher.

kindergartenThe study, which appears in Elementary School Journal, analyzed commonly used reading curricula in U.S. kindergarten classrooms. It found that, generally, the programs do not teach enough vocabulary words; the words aren’t challenging enough; and not enough focus is given to make sure students understand the meaning of the words.


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The University of North Carolina’s administration may have pressured Melinda Manning, the former assistant dean of students, to underreport cases of sexual assault on UNC’s campus in 2011. Manning, three current students, and one former student filed a compliant this week alleging the university has violated federal law by mishandling sexual assault incidents — and ultimately “facilitating a hostile environment” for students attempting to report sexual crimes.

Manning resigned from UNC last month over the administration’s poor treatment of rape survivors. She told the Huffington Post it was “absolutely heartbreaking” to watch victims of sexual assault being asked inappropriate questions about their experiences, and sometimes even being blamed for their own rape, as they attempted to seek help from the university’s judicial system.

via http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/01/18/1468911/unc-sexual-assualt-complaint/

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July 18, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration unveiled plans Wednesday to create an elite corps of master teachers, a $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students’ achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.

The program to reward high-performing teachers with salary stipends is part of a long-term effort by President Barack Obama to encourage education in high-demand areas that hold the key to future economic growth — and to close the achievement gap between American students and their international peers.

Teachers selected for the Master Teacher Corps will be paid an additional $20,000 a year and must commit to participate multiple years. The goal is to create a multiplier effect in which expert educators share their knowledge and skills with other teachers, improving the quality of education for all students.


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