Defend Civil Liberties in Scotland

December 11, 2007

Sister defends Atif Siddique on Bebo

 

Ayesha Siddique has turned to the social networking site Bebo to campaign in support of her brother  Mohammed Atif Siddique. Atif was jailed for 8 years at Edinburgh High Court in October for “terrorism” offences connected to his use of the internet. Following media interest, the Bebo page has been made “Friends only”. Full report in today’s Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1928872007.

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Democratic Education: Summerhill receives glowing report

December 2, 2007

 So, kids, anyone for double physics? (But no worries if you don’t fancy it)

Official approval at last for school where almost anything goes

Jessica Shepherd
Saturday December 1, 2007
The Guardian

It is halfway through mid-morning science class and there is still only one seat occupied – that of the teacher, David Riebold. “It’s my first no-show in a while,” Riebold says wistfully, looking at the test tubes he has laid out. “Ah well, there’s always lesson preparation to do.”Skipping class is no big deal at Summerhill, Britain’s most progressive school, where pupils set the rules and can miss lessons to play or pursue their own interests. Today Riebold’s class of 12- and 13-year-olds may well be out celebrating, if they’ve heard the news. For after a long battle with the government that has included threats to close the Suffolk independent boarding school, Ofsted has delivered its first endorsement in Summerhill’s 86-year history.

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Free online materials could save schools billions

November 23, 2007

Since March, Dixon Deutsch and his students have been quietly experimenting with a little website that could one day rock the foundation of how schools do business.

A K-2 teacher at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., Deutsch, 28, has been using Free-Reading.net, a reading instruction program that allows him to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues.

He can visit the website and comment on what works and what doesn’t. He can modify lessons to suit his students’ needs and post the modifications online: Think of a cross between a first-grade reading workbook and Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia written and edited by users.

More: USA Today

Free-Reading.net


Open Access Journals: Principals of copying and using research

November 12, 2007

Interesting article on open access journals

New principals for re-using open access published scientific material have been laid out by the UK PubMed Central Publishers Panel. The Statement of Principals will allow scientists and researchers to use published material themselves in databases and linking, which could lead to further scientific discovery.

Under the terms of the statement of principals open access published articles can be copied, and the text data mined for further research, as long as the original author is fully attributed. Re-use of the material must be for non-commercial purposes and cannot alter the moral rights of the original authors.

Source


Computer literacy better self-taught or schooled?

October 2, 2007

I heard a vice-president of IBM tell an audience of people assembled to redesign the process of teacher certification that in his opinion this country became computer-literate by self-teaching, not through any action of schools. He said 45 million people were comfortable with computers who had learned through dozens of non-systematic strategies, none of them very formal; if schools had pre-empted the right to teach computer use we would be in a horrible mess right now instead of leading the world in this literacy.

Probably most people working in IT learned most of what they know on their own.  Is it possible that creating fixed lessons could damage this enthusiasm?  I remember I was a huge technology geek, but found the Computer Studies standard grade so dull, I didn’t go on to do the Higher.  It was only later I returned to University to Study Computing and got very bored in the first year where compulsory classes explained what a mouse was.  The rest of the article is also very interesting, do we have the PhD because of a lost war?

The Public School Nightmare:
Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?
by John Taylor Gatto
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Yahoo Presents Yahoo Teachers At TechCrunch40

September 30, 2007

Delivering the first major company presentation at TechCrunch 40, Scott Moore and Bill Scott from Yahoo presented Yahoo Teachers, a new research focused service aimed at making life easier for teachers. Yahoo Teachers is a clip to database style service; users utilize the “gobbler” that is an online clipping service with a desktop interface client where they can drag research and reading materials when formulating lessons. Where it becomes an even more appealing service for teachers is with the sharing capabilities: think Wikipedia but written by school teachers with a focus on delivery to children.

Full: Yahoo Presents Yahoo Teachers At TechCrunch40 


School of Everything quietly launches alpha site

September 30, 2007

School of Everything, designed to connect anyone who can teach with anyone who wants to learn, has quietly launched an early public alpha version of its site.

The site is set up to serve the thousands of people in the UK who now work as independent, self-employed teachers. (Thanks Rick)

Tech Crunch: School of Everything quietly launches alpha site