Boing Boing 

Clever student uses red/blue masking to double exam cribsheet


Profcyclist told students that they could bring a 3"x5" card to an exam; a clever student wrote overlapping notes in blue and red ink and brought in gels to read them.

Delware school district wants kids to get signed permission before checking out YA library books


The Appoquinimink, DE school board is contemplating requiring parental permission slips for students who want to check YA novels out of their school library; district secondary education curriculum director Ray Gravuer came up with this silly idea in response to a parental complaint.

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Teachers describe the terrible state of American education


Teachers from across America (including a Philly elementary school with a $160 annual budget for 400 students!) wrote to Gawker to explain what the No Child Left Behind, charter movement, and the overall war on teachers and education has turned America's classes into.

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Study: Online teachers get higher ratings when students think they're male

Photo: North Carolina State University


Photo: North Carolina State University

Students who think they're being taught by women give lower evaluation scores for those teachers than students who think they are being taught by men -- no matter who was actually teaching them.

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Focus on the Family's Singapore sex-ed class promotes rape, bigotry


A plagiarized sex-ed textbook presented to Singapore junior college students by Focus on the Family volunteers left student Agatha Tan aghast, so she penned an open letter to her principal including photos of some of the more grossly offensive pages.

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FBI seizes LA school district's Ipad purchasing docs


It's not clear what they're investigating, but the DoJ subpoenaed everything related to the $70M program to give Ipads to all 650K kids in the district.

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Camp H: Maker camp for girls in Berkeley


They do a variety of year-round programs for girls aged 9-12, and teach subjects from welding, masonry, carpentry, architecture, service and leadership; the winter workshop is on game-design:

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Chicago schools lost $100M by letting Wall Street engineer their finances


In 2007, the school raised $1B, and instead of issuing bonds, it let the bankers who'd been courting it talk it into issuing a floating-rate bond that it swapped into a fixed-rate issue.

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University of Michigan makes up a bunch of non-reasons why it doesn't have to do record retention

The University of Michigan campus newspaper, Michigan Daily, is investigating a campus scandal that resulted in the athletic director resigning and a football player being expelled for sexual misconduct, but the university has engaged in blatantly illegal destruction of records to stymie the investigation.

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8th grader fundraises for school trip with minicomics instead of hustling chocolate bars


Erik writes, "My daughter is raising money to go on her school's 8th grade trip to DC. She tried doing the school-sponsored chocolate thing, butit's lot of work for a little pay-off, so now she's creating minicomics and presidential portraits on Etsy and an Indiegogo campaign...and having way more success."

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Here's the page from the biology textbook that Arizona conservatives tore out

Here's the page containing true facts that Republican senators and conservative religious leaders from Gilbert Arizona ordered to be torn out of all copies of a textbook for high school honors biology students. I wonder if teachers will be fired for sharing the URL?

Philadelphia schools have $5/student/year for supplies


"Education reform," the charter school movement (that siphons state funding for well-off kids into private hands), the racialized segregation of inner-city and suburban school districts, No Child Left Behind, and the scapegoating of teachers' unions has produced an education system that hardly even qualifies as a 12-year babysitting service.

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Indispensable BBC/OU series on cybercrime starts tomorrow

Mike from the Open University sez, "The OU and the BBC have created a new six part series about cybercrime, presented by the technology journalist Ben Hammersley."

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Profile of MITSFS, MIT's 65-year-old science fiction club


(Pronounced "Misfits") They maintain one of the finest science fiction libraries in the world, have a host of deeply, awesomely nerdy traditions, and are still going strong after influencing the lives of countless happy mutants. I've spoken at their meetings, and it's even cooler than this article suggests.

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Kickstarting another season of the outstanding Relatively Prime math podcast

Samuel Hansen's fantastic math podcast is everything a technical program should be deep but accessible, thoughtful but funny, and free for all; the new season is on Kickstarter for a few more hours! I put in $35.

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Democratic schools: trusting kids to direct their own learning


Maria writes, "Freedom and responsibility are considered two sides of the same coin at democratic schools, where students direct their own learning. Students are involved in hiring staff, deciding school rules and enforcing them."

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Tom Sawyer: the Big Read


Lucas writes, "Through Oct, the Lewis & Clark Library of Montana hosting a Big Read of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Running a vast series of events throughout the month, each will be tracked on a special adventure map to represent the experiences that shape us and our understanding of the classic novel."

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An insider’s guide to boosting your kid’s IQ

I asked my friend Rick Rosner for some IQ boosting tips, and wrote about it for Credit.com.

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John Oliver vs Miss America

It's 15 minutes that combines real investigative journalism, scathing satire, important social commentary, and, most importantly, compassion.

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Build your own working tabletop V8 engine


The Haynes Build Your Own V8 Engine ($65.62) sounds fantastic -- the lengthy selection of positive reviews confirm the manufacturer's claim that a "talented 10 year old" could assemble it, and it can be disassembled and reassembled, which makes it great for classrooms, camps and studios. (via Red Ferret)

The Red Volume: benefit anthology of stories by Clarion SF/F workshop grads

Lara Elena Donnelly writes, "The Clarion class of 2012--known as the Awkward Robots--want to tell you a story. Or, more precisely, 17 stories. About post-singularity dreamscapes, gentrified haunted houses, and redcaps in the trenches at Verdun."

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Unschooled kids more likely to go into the arts, tech, science


Maria writes, "Could 'unschooling' be the best route to an entrepreneurial STEAM career? Two new studies of grown unschoolers show that a disproportionately high percentage have gone into science, technology and creative arts careers. They are also much more likely to be self-employed."

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High-school English study guide for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother

Neil Anderson from the Association from Media Literacy (which has a great-sounding upcoming conference) has produced an excellent study guide for my novel Homeland (the sequel to Little Brother) -- Anderson's guide encourages critical thinking about politics, literary technique, technology, privacy, surveillance, and history.

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Free cybersecurity MOOC


The Open University's "Introduction to Cyber Security" is a free online course -- with optional certificate -- that teaches the fundamentals of crypto, information security, and privacy; I host the series, which starts on Oct 13."

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XKCD vs hand-wringing about what texting does to kids' literacy


It's great, and the tooltip's even better: "I'd like to find a corpus of writing writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (eg handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher's 7th grade class every year)--and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality.

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Open Intellectual Property Casebook: free, superior alternative to $160 textbook


James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, eminent copyright scholars at the Duke Center for the Public Domain, have released their 788-page Open Intellectual Property Casebook as a free, open, CC-licensed download, replacing textbooks that normally sell for $160 (you can get a hardcopy is $24); it's not just a cheaper alternative, either -- it's a better one, enlivened with sprightly writing, excellent illustrations (including comics in the vein of Boyle and Jenkins's Bound By Law).

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Citizen Maths: open, free math education for adults


Seb writes, "Citizen Maths is a new CC-BY licensed open online maths course produced in the UK for adults and college students who want to improve their grasp of maths at what in the UK is known as Level 2 (the level that 16 year old school leavers are expected to reach, though many do not)."

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Teacher who defended Little Brother against principal will keep her job!

A Florida principal broke his own rules when he cancelled a summer reading program to avoid kids being exposed to “anti-authoritarian themes” in Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother. When Mary Kate Griffith objected, she faced misconduct charges and her job was on the line.

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Brooklyn Law Clinic students scare away patent trolls

The school's clinic is run like a law office and offers free counsel based both on need and on the interestingness of the cases for law students.

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UC Riverside's world-class science fiction library under threat

Science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, a professor at UC Riverside, sounds the alarm about a change in management at the Eaton Science Fiction Collection, the largest public science fiction and fantasy in the world.

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