Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 11/26/2013

Starting up in today's technology news, there are rumors flying about an iPad Pro to be released next year, computers are making headway in object and picture recognition, and plans for the Chinese to land on the moon with a probe have US space agencies in an uproar. (Please listen to teacher Kaci Heins talk about how she teaches about space in her classroom.)

On the lighter side, this is a week that many United States educators look forward to. We've been teaching so hard for quite some time and we're exhausted. But, if you're like me, you might be wanting to tinker with apps and tools. Here are suggestions:

Learn More about Twitter: If you're still trying to understand Twitter, use the Twitter lingo infographic. If you want to read about Twitter, my go to book for years has been Twitter Power 2.0 by Joel Comm.

Play with New Tools: Then, we've got 20 tools that we should all know about (but I don't) from Edudemic.

Download Podcasts for the Trip: The message on the news this week is “expect travel delays.” If you need some podcasts to listen to, there's a great one about the STEM crisis (or myth) from PBS or you could find a show or two of amazing teachers and students from my Episode guide for Every Classroom Matters (updated yesterday.)

A New Viral Trend around School Lunches: As you look at your succulent Thanksgiving meal, you might not want to look at the 7,000 pics of US school lunches traveling around the Internet like a moldy piece of baloney thrown across the lunchroom. Take a look at your lunches and realize that appearance might not be everything but if your lunches look awful, you might get called on it sooner than later. It really is upsetting what some kids are eating.

Write a Blog Post to Nominate your faves for the Edublog Awards: Thank you for reading my blog and for the nominations some of you have made of this blog and my podcast, Every Classroom Matters for the 2013 Edublog Awards. These are both precious to me and I want them to be helpful.

Take time to nominate your favorites, especially if your favorite is a newcomer and has been fantastically helpful to you. The Edublog awards have made a difference in the lives of many of us, including me because real classroom teachers don't have the budget (or time/money) to spread word of their blog like people who leave the classroom do. Please nominate practicing classroom teachers if you know about them and remember, you can't nominate yourself.

Finally, I've set this website to be upgraded to new servers to improve the load times and bandwidth needs. I'm so blessed that so many of you are reading and linking to coolcatteacher.com since my move from Blogger to Wordpress around a month a go. It will happen around 11pm Eastern tonight but hopefully the site won't go down.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I get out of school at noon on Tuesday but will start scrubbing about 30 sweet potatoes as we prepare to feed 80 of our closest family members out on the farm Thursday. I'm so ready to see all my cousins, aunts, and uncles, but can't help but be a bit misty eyed for the amazing generation that we've lost over the last 15 years.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.  – Vicki

Technology News

  • Apple to launch 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro' in 2014? – Tech News – Digital Spy Rumors of an iPad Pro abound for 2014.tags: education news ipad ipadchat
  • BBC News – Computer uses images to teach itself common sense Visual recognition and intelligent identification of objects is making progress. Soon, just a picture of a child could tell everyone that child's name if simple facial recognition is used. This is more than just facial recognition but is rather, trying to teach a computer to learn. This is an interesting article.”The aim is to see if computers can learn, in the same way a human would, what links images, to help them better understand the visual world.

    The Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL) program is being run at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.

    The work is being funded by the US Department of Defense's Office of Naval Research and Google.

    Since July, the NEIL program has looked at three million images. As a result it has managed to identify 1,500 objects in half a million images and 1,200 scenes in hundreds of thousands of images as well as making 2,500 associations.”

    tags: education news computers technology

  • China's moon landing next month is trouble for NASA | Fox NewsYes, it is time to explore space. It may just take a political competitor to wake up the United States to the space-age advantage it has had for decades as the Chinese plan to land a robotic probe on the moon. We need to be talking about space.
    “China's mission to robotically land on the moon next month is sure to stir up lunar dust, but it may also cause a political dust up, too.China is in the final stages of preparing its robotic Chang'e 3 moon lander to launch atop a Long March 3B rocket, slated for liftoff in early December. The ambitious mission is built to first orbit the moon, then propel down to a landing site, after which a small, solar-powered lunar rover will be unleashed.”

    tags: education news space

Twitter Infographic to Print out and reference

Some Apps to Try Out

Podcasts to Download and Listen to as you Travel

  • If you want to understand why STEM jobs are such a big deal, then this NPR interview really helps us understand why so many people are talking about STEM even though it makes up only 7% of the jobs. Read (and share) this NPR interview or download it for a listen as you travel.
    “That is, a technical education now allows you to do anything. And anything, for most workers, means having a job that's fairly focused as a STEM worker, but then moving on to management or into a regulatory roll or into a government job. So STEM has become the place where you go if you want to have a lot of alternatives 10 years down the road.”

    tags: education stem news

  • My favorite quotes from the show:
  • Some education experts and policymakers argue that if the U.S. does not boost the number of workers in those jobs, that America will lose its competitive edge as a global innovator. But others say that there is no STEM crisis at all, that this is actually a myth and that colleges should integrate STEM and the humanities into a broader education.

    • You have to remember that STEM makes up only about 7 percent of the jobs in the American economy. On the other hand, we know that anybody who majors in STEM often doesn't stay in STEM. For instance, by the time most STEM majors are 35 years old, they're in management. They leave. They no longer work on the bench in the lab. So we need to produce a lot more STEM workers than we actually use initially because we lose so many of them along the way because their careers are relatively successful.
  • That is, a technical education now allows you to do anything. And anything, for most workers, means having a job that's fairly focused as a STEM worker, but then moving on to management or into a regulatory roll or into a government job. So STEM has become the place where you go if you want to have a lot of alternatives 10 years down the road.

Making fun of the school lunch is going viral

  • 7,000 photos of school lunches are being passed around the Internet. Be aware that your school might be next as this is a hot topic (and has been for years.) Before you know it, you might find that your school has a pic.

    My school is blessed with amazing lunchroom staff who work hard to serve up great meals. In fact, for their Thanksgiving meal, there are people in town who come to the school to eat it is so good. It is hard with the money they have to make the meals, but we can do better. Delicious lunches are one way to make everyone's day brighter and school to be a place people want to go.

    tags: education news school lunches

Before you indulge, start thinking about your health

  • With 1.4 billion adults over age 20 who are obese, these are things we should educate everyone about. Great information for a health or biology class and also for teachers to read as we think about our own health in a very high pressure job.

    “High blood pressure, serum cholesterol and blood glucose explain approximately 50% of the increased risk of heart disease and three-quarters of the increased risk of stroke among overweight or obese individuals, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet.”

    tags: education news health all_teachers

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere