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DeviantArt’s Muro Drawing App

DeviantArt’s new drawing app Muro works in all modern browsers. You can directly start drawing on a blank canvas using different brushes, all without Flash or any other plug-in. Several brushes are available to everyone, some of the advanced features are reserved for registered users. The image above was created by DeviantArt user loish using the new tool. It’s fascinating to see how new technology can help to liberate online creativity, which is no longer restricted to writing texts, but open to a much wider range of expression. If you ever wondered what HTML5 is good for, here is the answer.

www.deviantart.com/muro/

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H.

How to Do Research for Kids

In libraries and on the internet, you can find answers to almost any question you can think of. If you know how to do research, it can be much more fun… and faster too!

This is a very good, board game like online-introduction on how to do research for kids. The award-winning site site was created in 2003 by the Kentucky Virtual Library Kids and Teachers Workgroup, with design and animation by Shere Chamness. Thanks to its clever focus on the essentials of research (plan, search, take notes, use the information, report, evaluate), it is still extremely helpful. Nevertheless, I was wondering if there is any newer version of something like this out there “in the known universe”? I should do some additional research, but now I know exactly how to do.

www.kyvl.org
Realart

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C.

Crossing the Universe on a Logarithmic Scale

Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames.

“Powers of Ten”, a 1968 short film by Charles and Ray Eames, is a quite impressive application of the logarithmic scale. The film is an adaptation of “Cosmic View”, a 1957 book by Kees Boeke. Both the book and the film deal with very short and very long distances and the relative size of things in the universe. Although Einstein wouldn’t agree with the trip, because very soon the camera travels faster than the speed of light, you should have a look at what it means to cross the universe on a logarithmic scale. Every ten seconds you will add a zero to your distance and stride away from earth by the factor ten: from meters, to 10 meters, 100 meters, 1000 meters and so on. Some minutes later and lightyears away you pass the nearest star. The way back is even faster and leads you through the skin and the DNA to the subatomic scale. Impressive! Enjoy the trip!

Cosmic View by Kees Boeke

www.eamesoffice.com

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T.

Technology and Change

Stewart Smith provides an interesting comparison: Take a doctor from the early 19th century and ask him to take over an operation in an up to date operating theatre where somebody is undergoing an open heart surgery. The 19th century surgeon would probably not be able to continue the operation. Take a 19th century teacher and ask him to continue a math lesson until the end, the reverse is probably true.

In four videos Stewart Smith presents some experience based ideas about how change management and technology integration in schools are possible. You can watch these videos here: Part 1 (2:45), Part 2 (5:19), Part 3 (8:48) and Part 4 (1:42).

Stewart Smith is Director of ICT Strategic Leadership at the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and ICT Advisor for the London Borough of Brent. On a recent visit to Australia, he outlined the opportunities and challenges of ‘Next Generation Learning’, a program about leading and managing change in London schools.

Web resources: Next Generation Learning, London Grid for Learning, Roar Educate.

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T.

The Inconvenient Truth of School Reform

In America right now, a kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. These drop-outs are 8 times more likely to go to prison, 50% less likely to vote, more likely to need social welfare assistance, not eligible for 90% of jobs, are being paid 40 cents to the dollar of earned by a college graduate, and continuing the cycle of poverty.

Will “Waiting for Superman” become the “Inconvenient Truth” of school reform? In his new film Oscar winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows five families, from the Bronx to Los Angeles, as they search for better schools for their kids.

This week, the film team released an infographic offering a visual narrative around some eye-opening numbers behind the movie.

Waiting For ‘Superman’ – An infographic-driven teaser

Some people are disappointed with the movie as Guggenheim seems to cast the choices for families as good charters or nothing ignoring numerous public school success stories. The director said it was never his intention to demonize teachers or unions but to make a film that was “tough on adults.”

However, “Waiting For Superman” illustrates the dysfunction of a system by giving some well known education statistics a human face and story. It may be a good starting point for a wider discussion.

Not a question of race, a question of the education system! (c) OECD/PISA

Further reading:

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