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Oregon Trail: How three Minnesotans forged its path

Rawitsch, a lanky, bespectacled 21-year-old with hair well over his ears, was both a perfectionist and an idealist. He started dressing as historical figures in an attempt to win over his students, appearing in the classroom as explorer Meriwether Lewis. By now he’d made it through to the western expansion unit, and he had in mind his boldest idea yet. What he had so far was a board game tracing…

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Open Source College Math Book

One day last year, David Lippman got an interesting Google Alert. 1,300 miles away, fellow math professor James Sousa had created free video tutorials for almost every example question in David’s basic math textbook. James did all of that without asking for David’s permission: David had already given permission by licensing his work under a Creative Commons license. David loves getting that kind of news. He’s dedicated his career to…

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High Schooler’s Fake Story of Stock Riches Fools New York Editors

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” In the most recent edition of New York, its annual Reasons to Love New York issue, the magazine published this story about a Stuyvesant High School senior named Mohammed Islam, who was rumored to have made $72 million trading stocks. Islam said his net worth was in the “high eight figures.” As part of the research process, the magazine sent…

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Major benefits for students who attend live theater, study finds

I wonder what additional measurable benefits come from *performing* in live theater? Field trips to live theater enhance literary knowledge, tolerance and empathy among students, according to a study published this week by researchers in the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform…. “What we determined from this research is that seeing live theater produced positive effects that reading a play or watching a movie of the play does not…

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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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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,…