Archive for September, 2015

NASA News Conference – Evidence of Recent Flowing Water on Mars

Here is a link to the live news conference; an abstract of the article detailing the findings is at Nature Geoscience, while another version is found at the EPSC Abstracts. Reportage at The New York Times; The Guardian (with an interactive feature); and NPR.


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NJCU Graduates Make Well Above the National Average

The College Scorecard, a massive data repository, has a great deal of information on NJCU as well as other institutions of higher education in the country. For example, NJCU grads make on average $41,900 as compared to the national average of $34,343. This indicator, combined with NJCU’s lowest tuition in the state and the lowest student debt load in the state (by thousands of dollars), make for an excellent return on investment.

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Computer Use and Student Achievement

Students, Computers and Learning from the OECD examines, inter alia, the digital divide in various countries as well as stipulating that basic literacy and numeracy skills must be in place before technology can make a difference. The document also focuses on some countries; the United States is represented with this observation: “In 2012, schools in the United States serving 15-year-olds had about five school computers available for every nine students. The students-per-computer ratio of 1.8-to-1 is one of the lowest among the 34 OECD countries.” The executive summary contains important charts on ICT use at home and at school; the entire report is populated with figures and graphs. One of the key international findings is: “Over the past 10 years, there has been no appreciable improvement in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science, on average, in countries that have invested heavily in information and communication technologies for education. In 2012, in the vast majority of countries, students who used computers moderately at school had somewhat better learning outcomes than students who used computers rarely; but students who used computers very frequently at school did a lot worse, even after accounting for the students’ socio-economic status.” Please peruse this Wall Street Journal article: Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Education Results, OECD Says. The LA Times has: The surprising thing about schools with lots of technology.

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Live – Pope Francis Addresses A Joint Session of Congress

He will deliver his speech at 10am; it can be viewed here. It will also be permanently archived and a transcript should also be available.

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Drought Watch Issued for Hudson County and Eleven Other NJ Counties

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has just issued a drought warning calling for voluntary water restrictions. Information on the drought conditions in New Jersey is available as well; the U.S. Drought Monitor has our area in the “moderate drought” category. Please read Moderate drought is wilting North Jersey from The Bergen Record.

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New Jersey Creates “Teacher Leader” Designation

On September 18. Governor Christie signed into law S 165 that calls for a new level of teacher – the “teacher leader” who will have to show experience in instruction that is bolstered by additional study as well as being a mentor to colleagues and an advocate for students. Here is the NJEA position on this new endorsement. This organization’s sponsoring of Taking Back the Profession a year ago acted as a catalyst for this unanimously-voted-for bill.

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Two Recent Reports on Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

Both of these documents highlight current thinking on the role of digital technology as a major player in scholarship: Considering the Scholarly Edition in the Digital Age: A White Paper of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Scholarly Editions and the American Historical Association’s  Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians.  Also, read this informative discussion from September 2008 hosted by the Journal of American History – The Promise of Digital History.

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