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Google overtakes Apple in the US classroom

Google in US schools, with Chromebook laptop computers overtaking iPads for the first time as the most popular new device for education authorities purchasing in bulk for students. Google shipped 715,500 of the low-cost laptops into US schools in the third quarter, compared with 702,000 iPads, according to IDC, the market research firm. Chromebooks, which sell for as little as $199, have gone from a standing start two years ago…

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What Does Children’s “Obsession” With Technology Tell Us About What They Really Need?

Wise thoughts. When we look at children spending what appears to be excessive amounts of time watching television and using smartphones, tablets, and other devices, we are often looking through the lenses of our own experiences—memories of reading, playing outside, socializing with friends and family, and seemingly long stretches of time in which we didn’t have anything to do. We may even have a tendency to think that childhood was…

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Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophy

In one of the most compelling chapters, “‘Others play at dice’: Friendship and Dungeons & Dragons,” Jeffery L. Nicholas offers several examples of friendships between characters and players in D&D (as well as friendships from Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, A Song of Ice and Fire, and his own life. “One reason Aristotle believes people need friends is that only through friendship can one exercise certain virtues that…

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‘A Klingon Christmas Carol’ Translates Dickens’ Scrooge Fable to ‘Star Trek’ Universe for Fifth Chicago Season

Be still, my nerdy heart. (The other heart can go on beating.) Written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Warren, A Klingon Christmas Carol is the first play ever to have been performed entirely in the Klingon language. The made-up tongue was developed for the Star Trek universe by Marc Okrand from basic elements created by actor James Doohan (“Scotty”) for the first Trek film, 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.…

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Important University of Virginia Messages Regarding Sexual Assault

University of Virginia president takes an important first step in addressing serious allegations of sexual violence. I gained no personal benefits from the fraternity/sorority culture at UVa, and while I understand not all fraternities are party-first houses, I would not shed a tear if the whole fraternity system shut down permanently. Beginning immediately, I am suspending all fraternal organizations and associated social activities until January 9th, ahead of the beginning…

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Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

Completing a humanities degree is a good marker for economic success. I regularly tell my students that their liberal arts degree will make them competitive for internships, and that it’s the internships (plural) that will get them their entry-level jobs. The present value of the extra earnings that graduates in humanities majors can expect over their lifetime is $302,400 for drama majors, $444,700 for English majors, $537,800 for history majors,…