Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Books are my favorite things, and librarians are some of my favorite people (which is why I hope to be joining their ranks soon…wish me luck!) So I seem to read quite a few articles like this one from today’s Boston Globe about how libraries are becoming more like Starbucks, and less like the more traditional library of my college days.

But is it really an either/or proposition? I found this statistic about library use at UMass most interesting:

With 149,859 people walking into the library last month, use is up 27
percent over October 2005. More students are taking out books as well.
Circulation as of June 30, the end of the most recent fiscal year, was
up 84 percent to 435,524 from the same time the year before.

Coffee’s on, dusty books are out at UMass library – The Boston Globe

Thanks to Sabrina Pacifici of the always extraordinary beSpacific blog for the heads up on the article!

As the father of a sixth-grader who attends (and loves) a charter school, I’m in favor of school choice. But this article makes me think that maybe too much choice is not necessarily the best thing for these kids.

Home Schoolers Content to Take Children’s Lead – New York Times

As the number of children who are home-schooled grows — an estimated
1.1 million nationwide — some parents like Ms. Walter are opting for
what is perhaps the most extreme application of the movement’s ideas.
They are “unschooling” their children, a philosophy that is broadly
defined by its rejection of the basic foundations of conventional
education, including not only the schoolhouse but also classes,
curriculums and textbooks.

In some ways it is as ancient a
pedagogy as time itself, and in its modern American incarnation, is
among the oldest home-schooling methods. But it is also the most
elusive, a cause of growing concern among some education officials and
social scientists.

U.S. Copyright Office issues new rights – Yahoo! News

All told, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington approved six
exemptions, the most his Copyright Office has ever granted. For the
first time, the office exempted groups of users. Previously, Billington
took an all-or-nothing approach, making exemptions difficult to justify.

“I am very encouraged by the fact that the Copyright Office is
willing to recognize exemptions for archivists, cell phone recyclers
and computer security experts,” said Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with
the civil-liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Frankly I’m
surprised and pleased they were granted.”

I love my iPod and use it all the time. I've tried to convince my wife and son that they each need one, but so far they have resisted the hypnotic pull of Cupertino's bestselling product.

According to this post from Engadget "iPod has new role as educational tool" Pearson Education plans to start making downloadable study guides and audio review notes available for iPod users.

From today's Washington Post:

"It's odd to hear Vinton Cerf, regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Internet, to gush over ink-on-paper books.

The electronic pioneer and computer scientist, who now works as Google's chief Internet evangelist, is also a bibliophile who has a collection of about 10,000 hard-copy volumes lining shelves at his home in McLean.

These days, Cerf is busy promoting Google's plan to marry his two passions — books and the Internet — by digitizing millions of library books."

Read the whole thing here.

Bush challenges hundreds of laws

President cites powers of his office

WASHINGTON — President Bush has quietly claimed the
authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office,
asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by
Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/

Money Magazine has released a survey of the 50 best jobs in America. As someone who  is both a college professor and a lawyer, it was nice to see both jobs make the Top 50, but in terms of quality of life I would agree that being a college prof is the way to go.  

“You have no idea what they have here. I’m not the college-educated guy. I’m the street-educated guy. This has been my college.”

Mr.
Sabol, 49, is one of more than 63,000 entrepreneurs, investors and
small-business owners who have been trained at the business library to
search its thousands of print and electronic resources for real-life
business applications. The library is one of four specialized research
centers operated by the New York Public Library.

The $100
million library, planned with New York’s businessmen and women in mind,
opened a decade ago with a research collection of 1.2 million books,
millions of patent documents and more than 110,000 periodicals. Since
then, it has evolved into a dynamic, industry-focused learning center
that takes advantage of modern technology with databases and classes
tailored to New York industry sectors, said Kristin McDonaugh, the
director.

All You Need Is An Idea, and Good Connections“-from Sunday’s NY Times

It is the time of year where you have to fill out your annual financial aid forms. The free website you want to use to help you through this process is:

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ (yes, the government does good things)

Any other site with FAFSA in the title is a fee-based service that YOU DON’T NEED!

Thanks to Betsy McKenzie of Out of the Jungle for highlighting this issue.