Friday, May 29, 2009

Banning Scientology doesn't make Wikipedia more credible

"Our students, whether they are Googling, Bing-ing (just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?), or digging through Wikipedia should be able to identify sources of limited credibility. This isn’t just a web skill, either. It’s a matter of critical thought. Is there bias in a source? How much of a source is news and how much is personal spin?"

One of the major things that I find I have to fight to get through to my students - it's not on the radar. Especially in Trinidad and Tobago, I hear far too often - "but it was in the papers", or "it was on the Internet" as if once it is in some sort of distribution medium, it is gospel truth and papally infallible.

The text books are equally problematic - we don't see print as able to be wrong.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Google Unveils Google Squared

Technology Review: Blogs: TR Editors' blog: Google Unveils Google Squared: "

Google today showed off a forthcoming service called 'Google Squared' that creates tables of numerical data culled from searches of websites. In the example given, a search for 'small dogs' created a table on different breeds, including data on such things as the breeds' heights and weights, placed inside boxes. Once an initial table is created, users can click on individual entries to check the source and--if the number was erroneous--they can correct the numbers through new searches. Finally, they can save their customized table for future reference."

Friday, May 08, 2009

How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood: Scientific American

How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood: Scientific American

Really interesting article. Discusses the influence of room design in the way the brain processes information.

One very useful point for education was:

"Over eight weeks and more than 50 lessons, the researchers rotated a class of fourth-grade students between two seating arrangements: rows of desks and a semi­circle of desks around the teacher. The semicircle configuration increased student participation, boosting the number of questions pupils asked. Other studies suggest that putting desks in rows encourages students to work independently and improves classroom behavior."