chris.hamby + education   24

Welcome to the Massively Minecraft Community for Educators | Massively Minecraft!
You are invited to join Massively Minecraft, a professional community of educators preparing to explore a new game suitable for children as young as 4 years of age, yet expansible enough to still stir the imagination and interaction of late teens and adults.
minecraft  education  videogames  from delicious
june 2011 by Chris.Hamby
Higher Education And Class Stratification
An excellent column by David Leonhardt notes that America’s elite colleges and universities are much more a driver of class stratification than an engine of opportunity:

The truth is that many of the most capable low- and middle-income students attend community colleges or less selective four-year colleges close to their home. Doing so makes them less likely to graduate from college at all, research has shown. Incredibly, only 44 percent of low-income high school seniors with high standardized test scores enroll in a four-year college, according to a Century Foundation report — compared with about 50 percent of high-income seniors who have average test scores.

“The extent of wasted human capital,” wrote the report’s authors, Anthony P. Carnevale and Jeff Strohl, “is phenomenal.”

This comparison understates the problem, too, because SAT scores are hardly a pure measure of merit. Well-off students often receive SAT coaching and take the test more than once, Mr. Marx notes, and top colleges reward them for doing both. Colleges also reward students for overseas travel and elaborate community service projects. “Colleges don’t recognize, in the same way, if you work at the neighborhood 7-Eleven to support your family,” he adds.

This is in part something we can try to improve on through better public policy. But another channel I would urge people to consider is simply social norms. Fancy colleges and universities are largely funded by charitable donations. People make these donations in part because doing so is a socially esteemed undertaking. If we, as a society, shift our idea of what kinds of activities should be valorized then donor behavior will shift and schools will find ways to be more credible ladders of opportunity.
education  from google
may 2011 by Chris.Hamby
State of Play by Mike Deri Smith - The Morning News
Does your minor want to be a miner? How about a McNugget cook? MIKE DERI SMITH considers KidZania, a revolutionary theme park coming soon to the U.S. that lets kids play at corporate-sponsored employment.
education  Kids  business  capitalism  world  from delicious
april 2011 by Chris.Hamby
The Center for Land Use Interpretation
Dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived
design  art  architecture  planning  urbanism  history  culture  photography  maps  geography  reference  urban  mapping  space  community  research  landscape  environment  museum  california  education  geo  losangeles  cartography 
september 2010 by Chris.Hamby
Is KIPP Racist?
It’s difficult to obtain unimpeachable statistical data on how to improve life outcomes for children. But as best we can tell, the average charter school performs about the same as the average public school. Some charter schools, however, are much better than average. And the best research available indicates that the schools affiliated with the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) are extremely successful at improving outcomes for poor kids.

Part of how this came about is that KIPP’s founders and leaders are specifically trying to teach poor kids in cities, which results in the outcome that KIPP schools, much like traditional public schools located in low-income urban neighborhoods, have an overwhelmingly minority enrollment. Meanwhile, though KIPP has consistently increased the number of students it serves, serious questions remain about how far its model can be scaled up. Consequently, KIPP strikes me as a very worth recipient of money from the Obama administration’s now-controversial “i3″ program, which is supposed to bolster educational innovation.

Jeffbinc at OpenLeft not only disagrees, he says that thanks to i3 “tax dollars are being spent on racist education policies,” specifically KIPP.

This is total nonsense. It’s true that, as he says, part of KIPP’s philosophy is that KIPP students need to receive explicit instruction about proper classroom conduct. The allegation that this means teaching them to “act like white kids” seems to me to be the racist contention here. They’re not teaching black kids to “act white,” they’re teaching black kids to act like kids who are going to succeed in school. It’s true that, statistically speaking, an extremely high proportion of successful students in America are non-Hispanic whites but the goal is to change that, not to transmogrify black kids into white ones. You might as well argue that they’re teaching kids to “act Asian.” Whatever. They’re teaching them to be disciplined about schoolwork, which is exactly the way successful students of all ethnicities act.

For a non-silly treatment of why low-SES children may benefit from explicit behavioral instruction that strikes high-SES people as odd, I would recommend Duncan, Kalik, Mayer, Tepper, and Payne “The Apple Does Not Fall Far from the Tree” (PDF) which presents evidence for the hypothesis that role modeling of parental behavior is an important determinant of outcomes. In this case, kids whose parents did well enough in school to go to college learn from them the kind of behaviors that help one do that. Kids whose parents have little education and who live in communities full of adults with little education, by contrast, don’t learn that stuff unless someone explicitly teaches and emphasizes it.
education  KIPP  from google
august 2010 by Chris.Hamby
Demand for Better-Educated Workers Increasing
A lot of people out there seem to have the impression that there’s some kind of glut of college educated workers out there and that too many people are going to college. The steady increase in the wage premium paid to college graduates seems to say otherwise, as does the fact that in the depths of the current recession the unemployment rate for college graduates is dramatically lower than the unemployment rate for those with only a high school degree. And the trend is projected to continue:

The number of jobs requiring at least a two-year associate’s degree will outpace the number of people qualified to fill those positions by at least three million in 2018, according to a report scheduled to be released Tuesday by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

The story of America for the bulk of our history has been one of steadily increasing educational attainment, which has driven broad-based growth. For the past thirty years, however, we’ve tended to level off:

This is a multi-faceted problem, but also a quite urgent one. And it needs to be tackled along a number of dimensions. Measures to make college more affordable will help with much of it, but obviously won’t help us increase our too-low high school graduation rate. Conversely, improving the high school graduation rate at the margin probably doesn’t do much to help the people who are currently entering college but not graduating. And as this latest report indicates, we need to make sure we’re providing viable options short of a full bachelor’s degree for people who need some education beyond the high school level.
education  from google
june 2010 by Chris.Hamby
Trade School – Barter goods, services and knowledge in our pop-up storefront in New York City.
Take a class every night with a range of specialized teachers in exchange for basic items and services. Secure a spot in a Trade School class by meeting one of the teacher’s barter needs.
art  design  nyc  inspiration  webdesign  newyork  community  ideas  howto  diy  artists  economy  education  barter  trade  concept  make  classes  class  school 
february 2010 by Chris.Hamby
Metagames and Containers – Sleepover
“In simple terms, [metagaming] is using out-of-game infor­mation, or resources, to affect one’s in-game decisions.
design  inspiration  web  webdesign  blogs  article  gaming  writing  reading  information  ideas  layout  interesting  lists  games  toread  metagames  complexity  containers  usability  ux  metagame  education 
february 2010 by Chris.Hamby
Channel One News In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics...
Channel One News

In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that research indicated that children who watched Channel One remembered the commercials more than they remembered the news.
Buzz Andersen told me once about this thing he remembers from high school where every day during class, the teacher had to turn on the TV and everybody had to watch some news programming which had been heavily subsidized by corporate interests and was supported by advertising and product placement. And this was in public school. I was incredulous, but it turns out to be true, and so beautiful in an Infinite Jesty kind of way. From the wiki:

Channel One was founded in 1989 and began with a pilot program in four high schools before its national rollout in 1990…It was founded by Christopher Whittle, a business executive based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Primedia purchased Channel One for approximately $250 million from Whittle in 1994.
Another choice bit:

Channel One’s contract with schools requires that the 15-minute program must be shown on 90% of all regular school days. The teachers are also instructed to make sure students watch the complete program and leave the volume at an audible level throughout the whole program, including the advertising content.
Today, I was reminded of this by the uproar over the Department of Education’s plan to distribute Obama’s upcoming address to students. I’ll add no editorial commentary to this.

UPDATE: ADM saw this and wrote a fantastic response recounting how he learned to deal with Channel One as a high school teacher in the Bronx five years ago.

While Channel One’s means of delivery is entirely suspect and arguably corrupt, the quality of the programming is quite good. They know their audience well, and they also know how to do real reporting.

On a couple of occasions early on, I tried to engage my kids in a discussion about the ethics of Channel One, their being a captive audience to the commercials, and so on. This was early in my teaching career and I didn’t really know what I was doing teaching-wise yet, and/so/but the conversation never got off the ground: the kids had literally no idea what I was talking about or why it was something I thought they should possibly be concerned about. Their frames of reference were, for the most part, entirely different, and I was unsuccessful in changing that in that would-be dialogue.

Later on, I had a much more successful conversation with them about biases in the media, and I got them talking about the impact that, for example, an oil company advertising in the newspaper could have on the stories about the oil industry in that newspaper. I can’t quite remember, but I think I turned this into something like, “So what if Channel One was running ads about video games, and then ran a story about how video games are good for kids?” I can’t recall the specifics, but I do remember being happy when the kids began understanding and discussing the concept of media bias.
Infinite_Jest  advertising  education  media  news  nostalgia  _exterhanl  _p3  from google
september 2009 by Chris.Hamby
How Realistic Are Obama’s College Graduation Targets
One very interesting portion of Obama’s speech last night was when he took note of how the United States has started to fall behind other countries in terms of college graduation rates. He vowed to turn this around: “By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That is a goal we can meet.” What would that actually entail? As Kevin Carey explains it depends what you’re talking about:

If we want to be #1 in the percent of adults age 25-64 with a bachelor’s degree, that won’t be too hard, because we currently trail only Norway, 31% to 30%.

If we want to be #1 in the percent of adults 25-34 with a bachelor’s degree, it will be much harder. We’re still at 30% on that measure–educational attainment in the U.S. has been steady for a long time–but Norway is at 40%, the Netherlands 34%, Korea 33%, Denmark 32%, and Sweden 31%, Israel 30%. This is the trend that has everyone so worried–the difference between the two age cohorts shows that we used to be much better than everyone else (we’re far ahead in the 55-64 age bracket), but other countries have since caught up and moved ahead.

In terms of the percent of adults 25-64 with a bachelor’s or associates degree, we’re #3 at 39%, behind Canada (47%) and Japan (40%). In the 25-34 cohort, however, we’re 12th (also 39%), and some countries like Canada, Japan, and Korea are so far ahead (55%, 54%, 53%) that catching up in eleven years is unrealistic.

When Obama said this, I immediately turned to my girlfriend and started complaining. It’s part and parcel of a thread of social policy nationalism that runs through a lot of Obama’s rhetoric and that I don’t particularly care for. Mark Kleiman and Andrew Sabl debate it a bit here. I don’t, personally, like the implication that the problem with our stagnating college completion rate is that Norwegians are doing better. After all, given the actual capabilities and social structure of the United States, it would be a lot easier for us to just bomb Norway into oblivion than to undertake systematic improvements in high school seniors’ level of preparation for higher education. More generally, it’s actually good for us that Canada, Japan, and Korea have such well-educated populations. It’s even better for them, but ultimately it’s good for everyone. The positive-sum nature of the global community is an important strand in Obama’s rhetoric about foreign policy, but it tends to go missing on social policy.

At the same time, if invoking the spirit of competition is what it takes to get Americans excited about better schools and new investments in clean energy, I’m not sure that’s all that terrible.
education  Higher_Education  from google
february 2009 by Chris.Hamby
Camera Lens Illustrator Tutorial
Vectortuts has a step-by-step tutorial on creating a camera lens in illustrator, this might pedestrian for some but given the number of devices that now include a camera, it's a useful skill to master. There's also a great article on maintaining rhythm and flow in character design when translating sketches to vector art.
Education  from google
august 2008 by Chris.Hamby
Ettore Sottsass Doesn't Like Paper Cups
We got a little package from Alessi this week -- a small, carefully designed book with accompanying dvd. Described as "What is Design? The answers are provided by five masters in the 'Design Interviews' collection," it naturally was popped into the 'ol disk drive with hesitation. Another boring PR stunt?

Not at all.

For 20 minutes or so, this "volume" featured Ettore Sottsass' musings on design - why he does it, what it means, where it belongs in the world -- many of his thoughts, listened to in the midst of an overly-produced, overly-disposable world, rang of timely pertinence.

Drinking from a paper cup is totally different than drinking from a glass. If people drink out of a glass, it's because it is a little heavier than a paper cup, because it's more fragile and you have to respect this fragility, because the fragility makes you hold it in a different way. And because when you lift it to your lips, it has no taste that might adulterate the taste of water and so on. Therefore you experience all sorts of minor sensorial emotions, so when you drink from a glass you are aware of drinking because the object encourages you to realise that you exist...when you drink from a paper cup you drink quickly and throw the cup away, your life did not exist in that moment. You consume it without knowing it.

I have always been concerned with not being aware that one is living, and I want to feel that I am really living, dramatically living.

Sottsass' got tons more juicy quotes in there. And since this dvd isn't available to the public yet, it may just be worthy of a quote-a-day. on the lookout.

Education  from google
august 2008 by Chris.Hamby
Three rendering tutorials
Nitty gritty ID: let's take a look at some drawing and rendering tips from the pros, on three different levels: 2D analog, 2D digital and 3D.

For those of you who, bless your little hearts, still like to hand-sketch with God-honest pencils, Allan Macdonald's latest tutorial on designertechniques shows you how to draw "the kind of lines that have so much tension it is almost like they could snap." Hint: your wrists and elbows, consider those gifts.

For those of you who like mixing old- and new-school by rendering 2D sketches up in PhotoShop (gotta love them layers), over at Concept Salad Miroslav Dimitrov runs through a six-step process that'll take three hours, or seven episodes of 30 Rock. Put the TiVo down and pick up the Wacom.

Lastly, for those of you who swear by actual 3D renderings, Stryker over at 3DM3 shows you how to set up pro quality virtual lighting. If you've ever spent days or weeks modeling something only to run into the brick wall of a crappy lighting set-up on your render, you'll need to check this one out; Stryker seamlessly duplicates the lighting of a pro-level car photography studio in 3DS Max.

Education  from google
february 2008 by Chris.Hamby

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