"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." - Henry Ford

UK students switch to US universities

BBC News - UK students switch to US universities: "Students wanting to apply to US universities can take the SAT common entrance test in the UK - and the College Board which runs the test reported a 30% increase in such UK candidates. The introduction of higher tuition fees at UK universities, up to £9,000 per year, is pushing students to think much harder about their options. It's also changing the balance of what is affordable. Dr Seldon says that universities in the UK are going to have to take more care about what they're offering in terms of contact hours, subject options and pastoral care. The competition is now global. He says that for the price of UK fees, students are being offered courses in Hong Kong, with change for the air fares home. There are also pupils looking at universities in Canada, Australia, China, South Africa and in continental Europe, he says. . . ."

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New York schools enter the iZone

BBC News - New York schools enter the iZone: " . . . The iZone project is a living experiment in how to confront some of the big questions facing school systems in major cities around the world. In intensely diverse cities, with pupils from such a wide spectrum of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds, how can a school serve individual pupils? There are few more extreme examples of the global city than Manhattan in New York. Among the schools taking part in the iZone is the NYC Laboratory School for Collaborative Studies, a secondary school in Manhattan's Chelsea district.What are the skills that are going to be needed in an unpredictable, fast-moving modern economy? And when teenagers' lives are so suffused in information and technology, how should a lesson be delivered? . . . " read more here

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Classroom on the Screen

BBC News - Screen test for the online classroom: ". . . .The combination of broadband, cheaper laptops and iPad-style tablet computers is putting such online teaching services into the mainstream. Shantanu Sinha and the Khan Academy team are teaching 3.5 million students. The Khan Academy has thousands of step-by-step videos explaining topics in subjects such as maths and science. It's also interactive, allowing individual students to test themselves again and again and then chart their own progress. On tablet devices, students can write directly on to touch screens. It's a deceptively simple concept - YouTube meets trigonometry meets an interactive whiteboard - with 85 million videos downloaded so far. It's free to users, but has some very wealthy friends. And with its Californian base and its instant growth, it's more like a digital start-up than an education initiative. Bill Gates has hailed the Khan Academy as the "start of a revolution". He says that he uses the bite-sized tutorials himself and with his children. . . . " Read more here

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Downward mobility a reality in US education

 The US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older.
BBC News - Downward mobility haunts US education: "The idea of going to college - and the expectation that the next generation will be better educated and more prosperous than its predecessor - has been hardwired into the ambitions of the middle classes in the United States. But there are deep-seated worries about whether this upward mobility is going into reverse. Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says the US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older. "It's something of great significance because much of today's economic power of the United States rests on a very high degree of adult skills - and that is now at risk," says Mr Schleicher. "These skills are the engine of the US economy and the engine is stuttering," says Mr Schleicher, one of the world's most influential experts on international education comparisons. The annual OECD education statistics show that only about one in five young adults in the US reaches a higher level of education than their parents - among the lowest rates of upward mobility in the developed world.For a country whose self-image is based on optimism and opportunity, the US is now a country where someone with poorly-educated parents is less likely to reach university than in almost any other industrial country." Read more here

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Teaching American English - Resources

About Us | American English: "American English is a resource center for teaching and learning about American English language and culture. This website provides a variety of engaging materials and resources for teachers' professional development and for students in the classroom. Both teachers and students will find new ways to practice English and learn more about the United States." http://www.americanenglish.state.gov

Learning English Online
The Hindu
The Office of English Language Programmes in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State launched an American English website www.americanenglish.state.gov last week. It provides material for students of English, teachers' ...

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US student loans are a trillion dollar debt trap

Student debt -- the next bubble?

BBC News - US student loans: The trillion dollar debt trap: " . . . The federal government has strong tools to help recover debt from delinquent borrowers, including garnishing 15% of their take-home pay, and retirement income, according to education finance expert Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of the FinAid and Fastweb sites. "It's like a trip through hell with no light at the end of the tunnel," he says. Borrowers in default cannot get a mortgage or a car loan. And their credit will be ruined, which can affect their ability to rent a flat or even get a job. "We are at a tipping point," says Anne Johnson, director of Campus Progress, an advocacy group. The long-term impact of heavy debt on young people is overwhelming, says Ms Johnson. "It's changing their entire economic outlook for their future," she says. "It's a huge challenge." She says that the rising cost of higher education is a large part of the problem. In the past 30 years, tuition costs have risen by about 1,000%. A four-year degree from a private university can cost close to $150,000. . . " Read more here

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Colleges, Universities and Corruption

Amid Ranking Scandal, George Washington Official Steps Down - Businessweek: "One commenter on the Dec. 3 editorial fumed: “I think GW’s response has been outrageous. The university continues to maintain that this 10-year inflation of admissions data was a ‘mistake.’ This is obviously ridiculous—but they persist in saying it. They are lying to the students and the public. It shows how deep corruption is ingrained at GW and in higher education in general. As a college education has gotten more and more expensive, the corruption has grown. It’s pathetic.” GWU was the third school this year found to have falsified data reported to ranking organizations. On Aug. 17, Emory University issued a statement saying it had intentionally misreported data on SAT and ACT scores and class rank since about 2000. In January, Claremont McKenna College, ranked No. 10 by U.S. News among top liberal arts schools, admitted to reporting false SAT scores for the past six years. Neither school was stripped of its U.S. News ranking."

Wonder how many universities "falsify data"?

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Teachers through 12/21 can get up to 30 Chromebooks - $99 each

Chromebooks available to teachers for $99 through 12/21: "Through 12/21, Google is providing an exclusive opportunity for public school teachers to request the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook for the heavily discounted price of $99 each. See the full details from Google. The Chromebook is a new type of web-based computer designed to make learning with technology easier. Chromebooks work in classrooms that have reliable wi-fi access and use web apps for student learning. Watch this video to learn more about using Chromebooks in the classroom. To take advantage of this opportunity: Create a DonorsChoose.org account (or log into your account if you have one.) Fill out this 3-question form to let us know you’re requesting discounted Chromebooks. We’ll email you information within 24 hours to help you get started. Once you hear back, create a project request through your DonorsChoose.org account. Submit your project by 12/21 to request up to 30 Chromebooks for $99 each. Your project will be posted on our site, where anyone can make a donation to help you reach your goal.."

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Converting schools to charters in Florida

Florida wants more charter schools--

Converting schools to charters a simmering issue in Miami-Dade - Schools - MiamiHerald.com: " . . . Charter schools receive tax dollars but are run by management companies instead of the locally elected school board. If a public school becomes a charter, the district loses state funding for those students — about $6,120 in 2011-12 in Miami-Dade. The state Board of Education wants to increase the number of charters in Florida by 60 percent over the next six years. Currently, Florida has more than 500 charters, with just over one in five of those in Miami-Dade County. Only 20 current charters in Florida — none of them in Miami-Dade or Broward — were converted from traditional public schools. The parent trigger law, which failed in the last legislative session, would have enabled parents at underperforming schools to create a turnaround plan, with charter conversion as an option. State Rep. Michael Bileca, R-Miami, filed the bill, called Parent Empowerment in Education. . . . "

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FL Gov. Scott challenge to universities: Offer degrees for $10,000

Gov. Scott challenges universities: Offer degrees for $10,000 | TBO.com: "Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who this month told a panel overseeing the state's 12 public universities that he wants them to keep tuition rates down, issued another challenge: Offer four-year degrees for $10,000. Scott, appearing Monday morning on News Channel 8 prior to an appearance at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, said that rising tuition costs are preventing too many students from enrolling in universities and pursuing the "American dream." "Think about your family," Scott said during an interview with WFLA-TV's Gayle Guyardo. "What you want is to make sure you can get a job, you want to make sure your child can get a great education so they can live the American dream, and we've got to keep the cost of living low. "So today, what I'm doing is challenging our state colleges: Can they come up with $10,000 degrees?" Scott told the state Board of Governors that he considers tuition a "tax" and noted that a majority of Floridians earn less than $50,000 a year. On Monday, he reiterated that tuition costs – which cause students to incur massive amounts of debt – are too prohibitive. Scott made his proposal in the form of a challenge before an audience of elected officials and college and community leaders at SPC. . . ."You should be able to work and go to school and not end up with debt," Scott told News Channel 8. "Yet those degrees cost so much money and tuition is so high that that's not going to happen. So I put out this challenge to our state colleges."

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US Sailing Launches Educational REACH Program for Youth

US Sailing Launches Educational REACH Program for Youth: "US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, today announced the launch of the REACH Program, an initiative that utilizes sailing as a platform that enables middle school aged youth of all backgrounds to embrace education, establish a love of learning and explore productive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based careers. The REACH program connects educators, sailing instructors, engineers, scientists with today’s youth to provide them with a one of a kind authentic learning experience, giving students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a cooperative work environment. . . "Sailing is a great platform for building self confidence and leadership and it’s a natural partnership with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Community Sailing Centers are the perfect place to launch this type of programming.”. . . “Students will apply classroom learning in the field, collect real time data on wind, current, and water quality. They will analyze the data and become innovators by designing new solutions to the current problems in boat design environmental issues, wind energy, and underwater exploration,” said Jessica Servis, REACH Program Manager at US Sailing. Phase one of the REACH program includes 10 lesson plans that range from wind and simple machines to robotics and marine science. The modules tightly align with Common Core Standards and the K-12 Framework for Science Education for middle school students. Five programs across the nation administered the program during the fall of 2012, including Community Boating Center (RI), Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center (VT), Life Sail (CA), Edison Sailing Center (FL) and New England Science and Sailing (CT). Phase two will be project based, including a national competition engaging middle school students in the engineering by design process.  For more information on the REACH program, visit us at http://reach.ussailing.org/."

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How Pearson Shifted from a Reliance on Textbook Publishing

How Pearson Shifted from a Reliance on Textbook Publishing to Become an All-Purpose Education Technology Provider | MIT Technology Review: "Pearson is the world’s largest book publisher. Now it wants to be a one-stop shop for digital education. . . . California State University, the nation’s largest four-year university system, with 427,000 students, hired Pearson to launch some distance-learning course options in 2013. Professors will use Pearson’s system to post class material for students who can’t make it to the lecture. The company, not the university, will field technical questions from students. The Cal State system, which has seen budgets cut by 40 percent in the past few years, is betting that technology will let it stretch its resources. Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the chancellor’s office, says that by putting courses online, the California schools might reduce dropout rates and eventually admit more students. Pearson can also make money from online education even when it doesn’t have anything to do with the underlying technical infrastructure. For example, students in MOOCs offered by Udacity and MIT’s edX will be able to affirm their mastery of a subject by taking proctored exams in physical testing centers run by a Pearson unit known as Pearson VUE. Pearson oversees more than 4,000 such centers around the world. . . . "

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Apple Sells Four Million iPads per Year to Schools

Apple Sells Four Million iPads per Year to Schools | MIT Technology Review: "High schools, grammar schools, and kindergartens are a large and growing market for Apple’s iPad. , , , The excitement among tablet makers is almost as great. Research firm IDC says global shipments of tablets will reach 177 million this year, and 11 million of them were purchased by businesses or government agencies rather than consumers. Of those, IDC analyst Tom Mainelli says, the “vast majority” were sold to schools. Mainelli thinks that within a few years all U.S. students will have some access to a tablet at school. With 55 million students in the country’s elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, that’s a lot of potential sales. And it’s not just a one-time product push: beyond selling tablets to schools and districts, tablet makers see a chance to set up future sales by establishing brand loyalty with young users. . . "

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