edchat

“The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It’s simple: to master money, you must manage money.”

- T. Harv Eker

My students are limited in many resources at home and at school because of the low-economic area they live in. As their teacher and role model, I want to ensure my students are on a path to being successful adults. Many of my students because of their disadvantaged backgrounds have little to no opportunities to learn about financial literacy. They spend their allowance or parents’ earnings on toys or snacks without thinking about the consequences of these small expenditures can add up over time.

It is important to teach students the value of saving money early on to save for important things in the future such as a college education. The possibilities are endless when my students can use a Mac Book Air laptop to access online financial literacy activities. The students will become financial literate as they engage in games and activities that teach them about budgeting, credit/debit, and saving.

I am requesting a Mac Book Air laptop to teach financial literacy in a fun 21st century way to my students. Studies have shown that students who are financially literate become financially responsible young adults regardless of income level. 

http://www.donorschoose.org/project/teaching-financial-literacy-in-a-21st-ce/1258104/?rf=link-siteshare-2014-07-teacher_account-teacher_1562753&challengeid=254136

Thank you so much for your support. The total cost has been cut in half thanks to generous donation. For the next 7 days, EVERY DOLLAR will be matched by donors choose. So if you are donate $5, you are really donating $10. If you donate $25, you are really donating $50! Use code INSPIRE.

Every dollar helps. Please signal boost. The babies will appreciate it!

-Zellie Imani

Enthusiastic Educator

List of Universities on Tumblr

Last updated: July 1st, 2014 with University of San Francisco, Austin Peay State University, University of New Mexico, George Mason University, and University of Alberta.

This is a running list of universities and university units on Tumblr, in alphabetical order. As far as I can tell, all these blogs are official (i.e. they are directly run by the institutions). The list does not include student groups and fan-sites.

Am I missing anyone? Shoot me an email at equartey [at] gmail.com.

Full disclosure: I used to run the Yale University Tumblr.

1) Adelphi University: aupublicaffairs.tumblr.com

2) Austin Peay State Universityaustinpeayphotos.tumblr.com

3) Bennington College: benningtoncollege.tumblr.com

4) Binghamton University: binghamtonuniversity.tumblr.com

5) Brock University: brockuniversity.tumblr.com

6) Brooklyn Collegebrooklyncollegeadmissions.tumblr.com

7) Brown Universitybrown-university.tumblr.com

8) Bryan Mawr College:

9) California State University, Los Angeles: 

10) Carleton University Discovery Center: carletondiscoverycentre.tumblr.com

11) Centennial College: centennial-college.tumblr.com

12) Clark Atlanta University Admissionscauadmissions.tumblr.com

13) Cornell University: cornelluniversity.tumblr.com

14) ESCP Europe: escpeurope.tumblr.com

15) Florida International Universityfiu.tumblr.com

16) George Mason Universitygeorgemasonuniversity.tumblr.com

17) Goucher Collegegouchercollege.tumblr.com

18) Hampshire College

19) Harvard University:

20) Hofstra University: hofstrau.tumblr.com

21) Howard University: howarduniversity.tumblr.com

22) Ithaca Collegeithacacollege.tumblr.com

23) Johnson & Wales University: jwuprovidence.tumblr.com

24) Loyola University of Marylandloyolamaryland.tumblr.com

25) Marquette Universitymarquetteu.tumblr.com

26) Mercyhurst University:

27) Minneapolis College of Art and Design: mcad.tumblr.com

28) Mississippi Statemsstate.tumblr.com

29) MIT Residential Life and Diningmitreslifeanddining.tumblr.com

30) Morehouse College:

31) Montgomery County Community College: mcccpa.tumblr.com

32) New York Universityhashtagnyu.tumblr.com

33) Northwestern Universitynorthwesternu.tumblr.com

34) North Carolina Central Universitynccu.tumblr.com

35) Oberlin College: oberlin-college.tumblr.com

36) Oglethorpe University: oglethorpeuniversity.tumblr.com

37) Oklahoma State University:

38) Palm Beach Atlantic:

39) Purchase College, SUNY: purchasecollege.tumblr.com

40) RISD: our.risd.edu

41) Sarah Lawrence College:

42) Savannah College of Art and Designscad.tumblr.com

43) School of Visual Arts: schoolofvisualarts.tumblr.com

44) Seattle University: seattleu.tumblr.com

45) Sierra College: sierracollege.tumblr.com

46) Simpson College:

47) Stanford Universitythatssostanford.tumblr.com

48) State University of New York at Geneseosunygeneseo.tumblr.com

49) Sweet Briar College:

50) Union College: unioncollege.tumblr.com

51) University of Alaska Fairbanks: uafairbanks.tumblr.com

52) University of Arkansas at Littlerock: ualr.tumblr.com

53) University of the Artsuartsadmissions.tumblr.com

54) University of California Researchucresearch.tumblr.com

55) UC Berkeley

56) UC Irvineucirvine.tumblr.com

57) UC San Diego:

58) University of Albertaualberta.tumblr.com

59) University of Chicagouchicagocollege.tumblr.com

60) University of Guelph:

61) University of Iowa:

62) University of Kentapplyuk.tumblr.com

63) University of Michigansocialmedia.umich.edu

64) University of Minnesota: ski-u-mah.tumblr.com

65) University of Missouri

66) University of New Mexicouofnm.tumblr.com

67) University of Oklahomauofoklahoma.tumblr.com

68) University of Pennsylvania: universityofpennsylvania.tumblr.com

69) University of San Franciscousfca.tumblr.com

70) University of South Floridausflife.tumblr.com

71) University of Texas at Austin: 

72) University of Toronto: 

73) University of Utah: universityofutah.tumblr.com

74) Virginia Commonwealth University:

75) Walla Walla University: wallawallau.tumblr.com

76) Washburn University: interactive.washburn.edu

77) Western Washington University: mywestern.tumblr.com

78) Willamette University: igotowillamette.tumblr.com

79) Yale Universityyaleuniversity.tumblr.com

Am I missing anyone? Shoot me an email at equartey [at] gmail.com.

Huge thanks to the following contributors to the list: Lisa DeLosso, Mykl Novak, Liz Stewart, Angie Cochrun, Brandon Touhey, Alana Mauger, Jessica Wheelock, Jessica Ma, Jed Sundwall, Joshua Boucher, Alison Clarke, Allie Hall, Jame Kvamme, Megan Goldberg, Anna Maria Montes, Christen Bein, Katie Vaz, Christie Pearce, Heather McAlister, Lauren Strunsee, thenotepadlife, Dana Zaverukha, secretlymagnificent, Matthew Anderson, Jediah McCourt, aromanticachilles, Kyle Davis, Matthew Martin Miller, Beth Liggett, Matthew Maez, Devin Jones, and Tuuli Mustasydan.

5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Children Are Learning In School

Below is an article from The Mind Unleashed. Feel free to discuss in the comment section your thoughts! 

Most school-aged children had the luxury of a two-week vacation over the winter holidays. Today, much to their chagrin (and probably their parents’ delight), they will be marching (In a straight line, please. Keep your hands to yourself!) back to school where they belong.

They will be back in the hallowed halls of learning, their ready brains poised to soak up education like the malleable little sponges that they are. Facts and numbers and grammar and literature and history and science being dumped continuously from now until Spring break into their minds, tamped down and packed together and ready to be regurgitated onto the test sheets required by state and federal governments for processing later in the year.

I’m cynical about compulsory education (and that might be stating it nicely).

Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions (even if one of those intentions is to get them out of their parents’ hair before someone loses their temper and permanent psychological damage is done which may take years of therapy to unravel). While parents would like to believe that their darling babies are seated in neat little rows behind neat little desks learning everything they need to be successful in life, they may not realize exactly what their children are learning during their long stints behind the closed doors of public education.

There’s a lot more being taught than the “Three Rs” That’s reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic in case you were wondering. That we are listing them as Rs is probably a commentary on the shortcomings of the system, but I digress.

There are other lessons that are taught in the public school system, and none of them will be found in the pages of textbooks or written across classroom whiteboards. Instead, these lessons are more subversive, taught through small interactions with teachers and other students, picked up through attitudes and environmental conditioning. They are lessons that may stick with your children long after they’ve forgotten state capitals and vocabulary words and the parts of a cell. (You know? The stuff they memorized just for those tests and then promptly forgot?)

What lessons? Here are just a few that most parents might not even realize (or if they do realize, don’t think to question. Maybe because of their own standard compulsory education).

1. Obedience to Authority. Blindly. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Arbitrary rules often run rampant in the classroom, but if the teacher (or principal or guidance counselor) demand it, even the child’s parents will probably back it up. This goes for dress codes, assigned seating, and how the students put their names on their papers.

My daughter told me about something that happened in one of her classes. The teacher asked the class to read a selection and then use a highlighter to mark important information. One of the students chose to underline rather than highlight. The teacher pushed the issue, insisting that she use the highlighter even though underlining achieved the same result for the student. So the child, in an obvious act of defiance with an “Ill show him” attitude (because she couldn’t respect an apparently arbitrary rule), highlighted the entire passage. Major trouble ensued with threats and lectures from the teacher about how she needed to “take her education more seriously.” (Translation: Don’t question my authority or your grades will suffer and then you won’t get into a good college or get a decent job and you’ll live the rest of your life a bum on the street… or something to that effect.)

The message is to do what you are told. The outcome isn’t important, but your obedience is.

2. Indifference. Student’s are conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to move from one task to the next when the bell rings. It doesn’t matter how interested in the current task they may be. It doesn’t matter if they are finished or not. It doesn’t matter if they are even remotely interested in the next task. When the bell rings, they are finished. They are expected to turn themselves on and off like light switches.

It’s a subtle message. But the bell system teaches children to not care too much, to not get too engaged. It teaches them that no work is worth finishing. Nothing is as important as the arbitrary class schedule. Drop whatever you are doing when the bell rings and move on. There is an amount of detachment and coolness that must be applied to every “learning experience” with the knowing that there is only 45 minutes to focus, no matter how engaging the subject.

The message is to not get too involved, to not care too much. There isn’t enough time for that.

3. Dependence and the Danger of Self-Motivation. Good students wait for the teacher to tell them what to do.  (My daughter tells a tale of a fellow student who got in trouble with the teacher for reading chapters ahead of those specifically assigned in the class-required novel.) The message drilled into our children is to wait and follow directions. Someone with more training, someone more qualified to make decisions about your lives will do it for you. Don’t try to overtly or covertly attempt to make decisions for yourselves (I’m talking to you here, Highlighter Girl!). You aren’t qualified. Let someone else decide what you will learn, how you will learn, and when you will learn it. And if it doesn’t make the authority approved list, it is insignificant and unimportant. Follow directions. Do what you are told… and only what you are told.

Self-evaluation is also deemed unimportant and discouraged. Instead a person’s value and worth is determined by test scores, grades and report cards… all handed down by some third-party observers. Children are taught not to trust themselves, or to place personal value on their own achievements. Instead, they are taught to rely on the evaluation of certified and licensed officials. People need to wait to be told what they are worth. They need to depend on those in authority to tell them they are good and valued.

4. Acceptance of Surveillance. Even aside from the new security cameras being placed in schools across the country, there is no privacy in our public schools. Each student is watched by teachers and administrators and government entities. They are constantly tracked and compared through transcripts and test scores.

Students enjoy no private time. The amount of time between classes is kept to a minimum. Hallways are monitored by faculty. Lunch periods are kept short. Socializing in class is not permitted. Students are encouraged to spy on one another and to tattle, especially in the wake of huge anti-bullying campaigns. There is no time or space for independent or unapproved interaction. Everything is monitored and kept within the tight confines of approved behavior.

To make it worse, piles and piles of homework extend the hours of school surveillance well beyond official school hours. homework ensures that there is little free time to pursue unauthorized activities. Hours spent writing boring papers and drilling math problems and memorizing useless dates can’t be spent developing passions, or learning from parents, or lost in free thought. Homework is the long arm of the school system extended into what should be private time. It’s just another way that the schools influence, manage and direct the lives of their students.

The message is to just accept invasions of privacy. Pay no attention to Big Brother. He’s been watching you since preschool.

5. Truth Comes From Authority. The right answer is the one the teacher wants. That’s the answer that will be rewarded, the answer that will keep you from public ridicule, the answer that will get you passing grades and entrance into the future of conformists’ dreams. What the student thinks (Although, it’s probably safer if he or she doesn’t think at all) is irrelevant. Besides, schools aren’t set up to teach people HOW to think but rather WHAT to think.

My daughter was finishing up some Civics homework last semester when she asked for help with clarification of a question regarding the intended purpose of the Pledge of Allegiance. We discussed it for a few minutes and then I asked her, “So what is the right answer?” She responded, “By ‘the right answer’ do you mean what I think is the right answer, or do you mean the answer the teacher thinks is right?”

Now THAT is a tough choice to make. Follow your conscience? Or get good grades?

Enough classroom squashing of independent thought makes people afraid to think thoughts other than what authorities tell them are “right”.

All of these subversive lessons make large groups of children easy to manage. But the problem is that those easily managed children grow up to be easily managed groups of adults.

Although, I suppose that’s only a problem if you aren’t doing the managing…

Credit: The Mind Unleashed

Alice Jones Webb is a blogger, homeschooling mother of four, laundry sorter, black belt, nerd, free-thinker, obsessive recycler, closet goth, a bit of a rebel, but definitely not your typical soccer mom. You can usually find her buried under the laundry and also on her blog, Different Than Average where she blogs about bucking the status quo.

“The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It’s simple: to master money, you must manage money.”

- T. Harv Eker

My students are limited in many resources at home and at school because of the low-economic area they live in. As their teacher and role model, I want to ensure my students are on a path to being successful adults. Many of my students because of their disadvantaged backgrounds have little to no opportunities to learn about financial literacy. They spend their allowance or parents’ earnings on toys or snacks without thinking about the consequences of these small expenditures can add up over time.

It is important to teach students the value of saving money early on to save for important things in the future such as a college education. The possibilities are endless when my students can use a Mac Book Air laptop to access online financial literacy activities. The students will become financial literate as they engage in games and activities that teach them about budgeting, credit/debit, and saving.

I am requesting a Mac Book Air laptop to teach financial literacy in a fun 21st century way to my students. Studies have shown that students who are financially literate become financially responsible young adults regardless of income level. 

http://www.donorschoose.org/project/teaching-financial-literacy-in-a-21st-ce/1258104/?rf=link-siteshare-2014-07-teacher_account-teacher_1562753&challengeid=254136

Thank you so much for your support. 

Every dollar helps. Please signal boost. The children will appreciate it!

-Zellie Imani

Enthusiastic Educator

12 Tips for Running Your University Tumblr

A reader recently asked the following question:

Hey! So, questions about a running a college Tumblr. I’m only one person so it can be really difficult sometimes. I’m just trying to figure out ways to make it easier on me and to also have content that students and potential students will enjoy. So got any advice?

Some ideas:

1) Be obsessive about tagging: This is the single most important bit of advice I can give you. Here’s a list of the most popular tags on Tumblr - use them liberally (where appropriate). I try to have about 3 - 8 tags per post. It’s no fun if you’re posting stuff that isn’t getting any notes. Tags will get your content seen, liked and reblogged.

One more time: only 10% of Tumblr users tag, so tagging smartly multiplies the likelihood of your content being found and shared.

2) Raid your University digital archives: All of them. There’s gold in there, which the Vintage tag will love. Additionally, archival material is a great way to tell the story of the history of your institution.

3) Establish a relationship with other communications teams around the University: Most universities have independent schools, departments and cultural institutions that have their own communications team. Befriend these people. Seriously. Take them out to coffee, remember their birthdays, heck - agree to take care of their kids! Why? Because chances are that amazing things come across their desk all day, and you want to create a culture of sharing, so that they often pass on interesting content.

4) Have a student on your team: It’s worth hiring a student photographer, videographer or researcher. Not only do they help with content creation, they have an ear on the ground and a finger on the pulse of the institution. Additionally, since many of them live on campus, they’re available to document some of the great shows/events/performances that happen in the evenings - i.e. during a time when the university photographer might already be home with his/her family.

5) Create an email address where members of the community can send in photos and tips about things happening across campus: Make frequent announcements encouraging people to send in stuff. You’ll be stunned by the quality of stuff that can come in. You want to create a culture where anytime something cool is happening, people know to ping you.

6) Showcase student work: Does your school have a publicly searchable portfolio of student work? If so, take a page from the School of Visual Arts Tumblr and mine that collection to highlight student work on your blog (SVA shares content from the SVA Behance page). Is there a calendar of student performances? Have someone on your team go down and take pictures of your kids in action. Let everyone know how amazing they are.

7) Timing can be important: As this graphic shows, activity is up on Tumblr during the evenings (note that the times are in Central Time Zone).

8) Post topical content: Keep an eye on the news and post content that relates with an issue happening out in the world.

9) Set a posting schedule: But don’t be too brutal on yourself. I shoot for 2-5 posts at about the same time each a day, depending on how much content I have available. Sometimes, I’ll skip posting for a few days in order to work on creating something.

10) Use tag search to search for the name of your university and track it. That stream might offer up ideas for content, and provide relevant posts for you to reblog, which counts towards your post quota! ;)

11) Repurpose content: remix it as a video, a quote, an infographic or even an infocomic.

12) Be human: Keep your tone light, kind, and familiar. Don’t be afraid to show that there’s a human being behind the account!

In summary, love your fandom. Once more, with feeling: love your followers, and the people who bother to tag, reblog and like your stuff. Obsess over ways to delight them, and treat them with respect, and good humour.

Have any more ideas to add to this list? Kindly share them with me at emmanuel[dot]quartey[at]yale[dot]edu. Thank you!

Six Emerging Technologies in Education

Six Emerging Technologies in Education 

It certainly is an exciting time to be involved with learning and technology.  Because of the great advances we are making in educational technology, new doors of opportunity are opening in classrooms.  The Horizon Report has identified six technology disciplines that are emerging within classrooms across the United States. Some of these will take some time to implement, but others you can start using today if you want.

1. Cloud Computing - If you are using some form of web-based tools, then you are enabling further student-educator collaboration.  One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is that it saves schools time, money, and resources.  Virtual learning environments are one example of cloud computing. Many Michigan schools are using Google Apps for email and document collaboration.

2. Mobile Technology - There are an increasing number of K-12 schools that are seeing the potential in mobile devices. The devices are less expensive than most laptops, and they need less infrastructure to support them. One example is a group of K-12 students using an iPhone to gather and track GPS-tagged bird sightings for a WildLab proram.

3. Gaming - Using game-based learning scenarios allows for experimentation, the exploration of identities, and even failure in a safe environment. One example of gaming in education can be found in Palm Beach Gardens high school, where they are using a web-based game show format in their language arts program.

4. Open Content - Open content producers have evolved as well. The first major one to hit the scene was Wikipedia, but this concept has been expanded upon in different areas in education.  Today there are many textbooks that are being created for schools and universities using the open content concept.

5. Learning Analytics - The use of learning based analytics takes advantage of data mining, interpretation, and modeling to improve our understanding of teaching and learning. New APIs,such as TinCan (Experience) API is a major tool that lends itself to the gathering of meaningful, real-time learning analytics that is device agnostic.

6. Personal Learning Environments - A personal learning environment (PLE) is not just a technology, but also an approach/process that is designed with the individual in mind, and therefore different from one learner to another.

Source: LearnDASH

Please help fund!!!

21st Century Technology for 21st Century Students! 

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.”

In the upcoming school year, we hope to mold and build our students character and reward them for their positive behavior and actions.

Our school uses Positive Behavior Support in Schools (PBSIS) to teach kindergarten through 8th grade students about behavior and rules in a school setting.

We are teaching our students rules, positive behaviors and ways to correct negative behavior in a positive way.

Our students are limited in many resources at home and at school because of the low-economic area they live in. Some of our students are English Learners and need visual and auditory aids to better learn math concepts.

These resources will be used as a reward to 2 students who exhibited positive behavior in the school year. Supplied with the iPod touch, students will be able access the school’s apple account and gain access to all the educational apps the school as purchased. One of the most successful programs for intervention have been the Splash Math series, which the student will now have access to at their homes!

Your donations will make a huge impact in the success of PBSIS in my school. My students will learn to be positive, maintain positive relationships and provide positive words when speaking.

The lucky students will also have increased access to resources in a technology driven society, giving them a better chance to succeed in life.

Thank you so much for your support. The total cost has been cut in half thanks to generous donation. For the next 7 days, EVERY DOLLAR will be matched by donors choose. So if you are donate $5, you are really donating $10. If you donate $25, you are really donating $50! Use code INSPIRE

Every dollar helps. Please signal boost. The babies will appreciate it!

-Zellie Imani

Enthusiastic Educator

http://www.donorschoose.org/project/21st-century-technology-for-21st-century/1250151/?challengeid=254136&rf=link-siteshare-2014-07-teacher_profile-teacher_1562753

Source: Images on a school employee’s Facebook page are causing controversy with the district. Ralph White is a local activist in the Central Valley, and he spoke out at Tuesday’s Manteca Unified School District School Board meeting. “That’s the most racist stuff I’ve seen in this valley,” White said. The stuff White is talking about is on a Manteca Unified employee’s Facebook page.

Debie McLarty has several pictures on Facebook, but two parents were disturbed by the opinions exhibited by some of them. McLarty, the head clerk at Walter Woodward Elementary, has a picture showing a bullet going through President Barack Obama’s head, as well as pictures of her entire family wearing in Confederate Flag gear.

FOX40 reached out to McLarty, who simply replied, “No comment. It’s my business.” However, Sam Fant, the school board’s vice president, says it’s not that simple, he says it’s the district’s business too. The school district has policies in place for employees’ social media, and will begin investigating the matter Wednesday. “Those photos absolutely reflect aggression, oppression and slavery,” Fant told FOX40.

While Debie McLarty did not speak with FOX40, her son Jeff spoke out. “That’s someone’s opinion, and if you don’t like it, don’t read it,” Jeff McLarty said. Debie McLarty’s Facebook page was public, but after FOX40’s report aired the page was deleted.

TAKE ACTION: Contact the school by calling the number above, or write/email the school below:

Pin this on Pinterest. Reblog on WordPress.

flockofstars asked:

The more I think about this, the angrier I get. 'Autism is not always Sheldon Cooper'? Who the actual SHIT are you? You think we don't know that? You think we are not fucking aware that Sheldon fucking Cooper is not an accurate representation of autism? This is the thing, you neurotypicals are so sure you know better than us, even about OUR OWN FUCKING LIVES, that you feel entitled to LECTURE US on what autism is. Do you really, really not see a problem with that? Jesus Christ.

The reality of Autism!!!

While you are able to blog, a good day in my classroom is having my student with echolalia express his needs without just repeating what everybody says! While you are able to blog, I have a student who works hard to hold up a card that says “I have to use the restroom” instead of going all over himself. While you are able to blog, my team works hard to prevent a student from stimming himself into a bloody mess because he likes to slam his head against the wall!

While you get to blog, the kids, the parents, and I get to to celebrate if a student reads one sight word! EVERY small success is a BIG DEAL with the student’s I work with and it makes it worth it.

So because of people with Autism like yourself and Temple Grandin, we have more insight into what is going on with people who aren’t able to communicate at all… You should do something more positive with your insight!

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
- John Dewey 

It is a new week, a new day and a relatively new year for our students. As teachers lets break out of our natural way of teaching and teach our students something new and interesting. Don’t stick to the boring lesson plans you’ve used day in and day out. Do something new, fun and wild! If we can engage our students today, tomorrow they’ll be able to conquer the world! 

Let’s go get ‘em! 

iPads and Schools

I’ve been using an iPad st school for about 3 months now, and one thing is becoming painfully obvious. The iPad is the best student computer that’s ever been made. I’ve been bringing a computer with me to almost every class for about 4 years now, but never has one so completely and naturally fit into my workflow the way the iPad does. So much so, in fact, that given the hard choice between an iPad and a “real” laptop as the sole choice for your soon-to-be college student, I’d recommend the iPad.

The iPad is a more natural note taking computer, as it doesn’t put a big screen between you and the teacher, and the multitude of drawing apps mean that it’s easy to add a custom chart or diagram on the fly- drawn naturally right on the screen. I’ve also found that because I can’t type as fast on the ipad as I can on a keyboard, I can’t try to type everything. Instead I have to choose what to write down and synthesize it a bit more, like I did when I took notes by hand. Now, however, those notes remain permanently legible and searchable. I can even include an audio note if I feel the desire. I’ve found it gives me all the advantages of paper notes and digital notes in one. 

The iPad is also much better suited to digital textbooks than computers are, as well as the multitude of digital readings I’ve seen increase significantly over the last 4 years. I find that long digital articles that never held my attention when I tried to read them on the computer are easily digestible on the iPad. Perhaps because it’s more like holding a book, or perhaps because the screen can be rotated, pinched, and zoomed to no end to make whatever I’m reading easy on the eyes, but reading on the iPad is a transcendent experience after doing this type of work on a computer.

There are a few caveats, though I think within a few years none of these will be any type of issue whatsoever. The first is the terrible required software that sometimes comes bundled with textbooks. It’s usually java-based and only works on a computer browser. If you go with the iPad instead of the computer and need to use this software, you’re kind of out of luck. However, the textbook market will respond to demand and professors hate getting lots of emails about how that software won’t work because I have an iPad, so they’ll be gone soon.

The second, and possibly major, concern is Microsoft Office. The technorati have been declaring it dead for about 5 years now, but it’s still very much alive and well in the education world. Teachers will send to you and expect to receive from you, documents for Microsoft Office, usually Microsoft Word. Sometimes this isn’t a problem- after all, Apple’s pages reads and writes the .docx format just fine. However, it can cause some gnarly formatting errors which are the last thing you want your professor to be dealing with when he’s grading your term paper. Most professors do seem to be warming up to the idea of Google Docs in my experience, but it’s kind of a crapshoot.

The final caveat is Dropbox. It’s not a problem now, but if Dropbox goes away, the usefulness of the iPad diminishes greatly- Usually I can hop on a campus computer for 5 minutes and get things working on my iPad through Dropbox (including those Microsoft Word files) but without dropbox this becomes a much more laborious process.

Overall, though, the iPad feels like the computer that should have been in school all along. We’re going to see them take over in education, and it’s not going to take long.

The #education tag: Tumblr's social network for teachers

While Tumblr is often described in terms of its community of artists, the platform is home to many other thriving subcultures. For instance, Tumblr’s huge community of educators. 

Education is one of 55 specially featured tags, with an ecosystem of editors and top contributors, which gives some sense of its importance. What do the members of this community talk about?

You can eavesdrop by tuning into the education tag. You’ll find a lot of love, and incredibly hard-working men and women who’re doing the best they can in impossible situations.

One more thing: I find it interesting how Twitter and Tumblr differ in the way they’re organised around tags. On Twitter, hashtags tether ideas, while on Tumblr, tags tether people.