Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dinosaur Wars WGBH American Experience | PBS
Last night's American Experience offered a fascinating glimpse into the first days of science in America as a profession. Following the civil war, in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, two bone collectors do battle in the American West.

If you've ever explored Utah/Colorado/Wyoming/South Dakota, you wouldn't think two eastern paleontologists could even bump into each other, let alone get near enough to squabble. Yet these two fought bitterly over bones across the west.

This story should be a great entry point for youth to history and science in the US.

All I can say about the accompanying website is that it's basically a "Companion Book" to the film. That's standard again, gone are the days of the rich interactive websites.

Which is sad. And, I might add, I take much blame for this myself. I foresaw this as inevitable without a unified national effort to bring costs down and quality up. Plenty of time has passed.

Yet I have so far failed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Places and Spaces :: Browse Maps
This cool site offers maps in time and space--some spaces of the conceptual type.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Captain and the King - WSJ.com
Nothing at all about education technology, though this is a story of technology and of education.

You've all seen the tale of the US Navy Captain relieved of duties because he made videos to entertain his crew. I won't begin to go into whether this was appropriate or no, except to say that the news shows behaved ridiculously. This was the lead story on all three of the old networks nightly news shows. Was the really most important thing of the day?

That said, Peggy Noonan has a wonderful take on leadership, and eventually on what youth learn.
"But it's a great mistake when you are in a leadership position to want to be like everyone else. Because that, actually, is not your job. "

Monday, January 03, 2011

Tasty New Google Summer of Code Stats - Google Open Source Blog:
No longer new, but still compelling.

If you don't know, Google Summer of Code matches student programmers with mentor organizations to work on Open Source computing projects. Google provides $5500 per project--$500 to the organization and $5000 to the student. Pretty good deal--$5k would go a long way here, must be like instant millionaire to some of these students.

Here's the compelling point for today. Google lists the top universities of participating students:
"Sri Lanka - University of Moratuwa - 22
Brazil - University of Campinas / UNICAMP - 12
China - Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences - 11
Romania - Polytechnic University Of Bucharest - 11
Poland - Gdansk University of Technology - 10
Austria - Vienna University of Technology - 9
India - Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Goa campus - 9
Sweden - Royal Institute of Technology - 9
India - Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University - 8
Singapore - National University of Singapore - 8"

Doesn't look so good for the ole U.S.

One bright side: mine alma mater, U Illinois UC made the 2009 list with 28 student participants! (Hey, Carnegie-Mellon, what with the slackin?)

More summer of code stats.