Scientific American released an article about a month ago that reported students are supposedly better off without technology in the classroom.
Wait, what? Isn't technology the whole point of "21st Century Learning"?
Yes, and that's the point.
21st Century Learning is a movement being pushed by the technology and wireless industries in order to increase bulk purchases from schools and educational institutes. While they usually
floor superintendents when they boast of "increased workforce preparation" and "real-world applications", these phrases are just buzzwords thrown around to make them look like they know what they're talking
about. The reality is that technology is drastically overused in the classroom and has little, if any, role in it.
Now, why is that? Well, if you read the article published by Scientific American, research
by scientists at Michigan State University shows that laptops do not enhance classroom learning. (And if laptops don't enhance classroom learning, you better believe that tablets and other mobile
devices DEFINITELY do NOT enhance classroom learning.
The reasons are varying and many. Yes, technology poses distractions. Yes, you remember things better when you write longhand. Yes, if your device is wireless, it's also beaming carcinogenic radiation
at you which is especially problematic for students with developing brains who are trying to learn. But there's a bigger reason lurking:
Technology is overused, simply because it is used where it is inappropriate to do so. For example, having students "annotate" articles on their computer, or worse, tablet, makes little sense. Students
will be much more engaged with the article if they have a hard copy and can write and highlight all over it, rather than focusing 80% of their attention on the quirkiness of the technology being used. Particularly
with mobile devices, which are not designed for education at all, students spend most of their time getting frustrated at the shortcomings of technology rather than doing the assignment.
No doubts, there are use-cases for technology. Doing research on the World Wide Web, creating a PowerPoint presentation, or typing their final revisions of an essay all come to mind. But when technology is used
to accomplish virtually all classroom tasks, even if they are better suited for doing without technology, technology becomes more of an education inhibitor than a stimulus.
There you go, "21st Century Learning" debunked in a few short paragraphs. Of course, there's a lot more to the store. Take for instance, Common Core Curriculum. What's wrong with that, you ask? Well consider that
Common Core has dropped cursive writing from their list of cirriculum and has replaced it was being able to adequately use technology. Being able to use a mouse and keyboard are now important than being able
to write, says Common Core. Can you see why today's educational programs are so broken and lacking?
Needless to say, many schools will still continue to teach cursive writing, even if it's not mandatory any longer. But you can quickly see where this has gone and where it is heading. Don't get me wrong, technology
can be used for great things. Just not in the classroom. For people who say students need to learn how to use technology, hear this: even in technology is not used in schools at all, kids will become
pretty adept at using it pretty quickly regardless. In fact, even schools that have 1:1 policies usually don't teach students how to use technology. Sure, kids know how to take pictures of their ears and noses,
but do they know how to check the print queue of a printer, save Word documents to a file share, or change their default printer? Most schools are not teaching these technology "basics", which is a problem for any school
that chooses to deploy technology.
So really, there are two problems. Technology is being used all the time when it really shouldn't be, and kids are not even learning how to use this technology correctly. Hey, erasers are great but most of the time,
pencils are better. Imagine if schools required all students to use erasers instead of pencils and used erasers shaped like spoons. Does anyone see a problem?
Limes and lemons are typically flavors found in carton drinks; for whatever reason, limes and lemons are not popular fruits for solitary consumption. I happen to like both
limes and lemons, and others who enjoy eating them can attest that limes and lemons are not the same fruit; there are differences that go beyond the color of their peels.
I was speaking the other day with someone who uses lemons, and only lemons, frequently as a cooking ingredient. I was surprised when she asserted that limes and lemons are the same fruit. Obviously,
this is not true; she backtracked and asserted instead that limes are just "unripe lmeons".
While there are nutritional differences between limes and lemons I won't disclose here, the fact remains that saying limes turn into lemons is like saying windows turn into doors. Limes and lemons are completely separate fruits.
A bit of research will turn that up. This cooking site, for example, briefs the reader about common misconceptions. The reader will learn that limes are not unripe siblings of the lemon. In fact,
the lemons we buy at the store are also unripe. Both limes and lemons are unripe fruits. If you wish to know more about these beloved sour fruits, I advise you to do some more of your own research.
Hopefully, you'll be spared the embarrassment of ever saying limes and lemons are the same fruit in public.
Remember when telephone service was reliable, affordable, and universal? Remember when local telephone rates were low, when quality was high, and service and safety were paramount?
If not, you're probably under the age of 40. Few people who have been born in the era since the late 1970s and early 1980s remember the Bell System. But Ma Bell is still commemorated and remembered, for its great inventions,
its great service, and its maternal presence in our communities and our lives.
In 1984, the Bell System was broken up, and Ma Bell died at the age of 107. Since then, we've been saying Rest In Peace, Ma Bell, but we think it's time to do more. We think it's time to bring Ma Bell back to life.
America and the rest of the world were robbed in 1984 when the Bell System gave way to a subset of companies that provided mediocre service. Today, American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, the head of the Bell System
from 1899 until 1984, is eagerly trying to get rid of its remaining landlines. (Ironically, AT&T has not provided telegram service since 1913, when it divested of Western Union, and is trying to get out of the wireline telephone business. Perhaps AT&T should consider renaming itself, now that the T&T in AT&T are pretty much obsolete?) That's why we need a system that works as well as the old system — The Bell System, to be precise.
Join us, as we remember the Bell System and aid us in our attempts to reinstate it! Great telephone service may soon be coming to your area again!
Quartets themselves are not rare, but how many quartets do you know comprised of quadruplets?
Located in the Milwaukee area, the quadruplets that form the Vintage Mix Quartet sing standards, hymns, show tunes, barbershop, and a cappella. Whether or not you enjoy these genres,
their singing is still something special and unique to behold. Check out their website.
Were you planning on packaging a nice new laptop, cell phone, or cordless phone for someone this Christmas? If so, think twice. The electromagnetic radiation emitted by cordless phones, cell phones, smart-meters, Wi-Fi, and other wireless technologies, is a Class 2B carcinogen — the same classification given to lead and many pesticides. Those that start to use cell phones before the age of 20 are five times more likely to develop malignant brain tumors at some point throughout their life. Be a responsible parent, peer, or friend, and don't bottle cancer (or a variety of other negative health implications) for the holidays this year. Instead, spread the knowledge of how to keep people safe by
going to the Wireless Action website to learn more, download posters, and read some of this disturbing research. Want to measure the radiation in your home? Visit the Stop Smart Meters! Store today and buy an electrosmog meter for yourself and your loved ones! Stop Smart Meters! sells for less than anyone else and sets their meters to Building Biology standards so you can keep your family safe.
We do not receive any compensation for promoting Stop Smart Meters! — they simply sell for less than anyone else.
Do you use a wireless device? A cell phone? A cordless phone? Wi-Fi? Bluetooth? If so, be warned: ALL wireless devices emit ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION which has been classified
by the World Health Organization as a Class 2B carcinogen (a.k.a. something that can cause cancer). Wireless can cause extremely negative health effects — ranging from mild ones like depression to severe ones like
brain tumors, and cancer. PLEASE check out the Wireless Action website today and learn more about the risks and consequences of using wireless — be warned that children are most vulnerable to
the radiation and it penetrates their brains much further.
Sometimes, things that are obvious are often the least obvious, if you know what I mean (like how you spend
an hour looking for something and realize it was next to your telephone the whole time). Here's something you may not have known
before but probably could've figured out on your own, should you ever have cared to think about it.
In many large grocery stores and warehouse stores like Walmart and Sam's Club (particularly those two), especially older stores, you may
have seen large columns that run up to the ceiling. A few posts ago, I shared a couple funny videos with all of you. If you'll watch this one again, you'll
notice something special about where the telephones he uses are located. This is all really part of a larger scheme.
To cut to the chase, many stores like Walmart and Sam's Club, especially the older ones, color-code their poles. Have you ever noticed colored pieces of tape at the top of some of these poles? Yes, they actually mean something, as James hinted in the video. Here
is what each of the colors means:
Blue — Blue tape at the top of the pole indicates that there is a telephone at the bottom of the pole.
Yellow — Yellow indicates a spill clean-up station is located at the bottom of the pole.
Red — Red indicates that a fire extinguisher is located at the bottom of the pole. Hopefully, you'll never need to look for this one.
Some poles may have more than one piece of tape. For example, a pole may claim a blue piece of tape and a yellow piece of tape. That means both a telephone and a spill clean-up station
are located at the bottom of the pole. From what I've seen, some poles may have just one piece of tape, while others may have two or even all three. It all depends on location. In addition, blue tape
is less common than yellow or red tape, so if you need to make a prank telephone call, your choices are more limited.
Obviously, these poles are color-coded so you can quickly find what you are looking for by scanning the ceiling — kind of neat when you think about it. So if the guy next to you starts having a heart attack at the store,
make sure you check the ceiling for some blue tape (some yellow tape wouldn't hurt either) so you can call 911. And you may save the day just because you knew this interesting tidbit about color-coded poles!
Here's a cool trick I ran across online the other day — one that involves your telephone number. Ready to try it out?
This trick is designed to work with any 7 digit number. Perhaps you've seen this before — but then again, perhaps not. If this is your first time trying
out this nifty trick, prepare to have your mind blown!
You will want to use a calculator (just a standard one is fine) to assist you with these calculations.
First, pick any 7-digit telephone number. For example — 567-1234
Now, punch in the first 3 digits of the number you chose. In the example above, I would punch in 567
Multiply the number by 80
Add 1 to the result
Now, multiply that answer by 250
Now, add the last four digits of your telephone number (1234) to the result from Step 5
Add the last four digits of your telephone number again
Subtract 250 from your result
Now, divide the number by 2
You should now end up with the number you chose (567-1234). Cool, huh?
Millions of people listen to the radio on a daily basis. But do you know exactly what happens when you listen
to an AM or FM radio station? AM stands for Amplitude Modulation, while FM stands for Frequency Modulation. AM is an older standard
than FM, and is easier to implement. AM is subject to more distortion from weather conditions than FM is, but AM travels much farther
than FM — AM Radio signals can travel between 100 and 300 miles (that's why you can pick up the news from two states away!), while
FM signals are limited by the curvature of the Earth, which gives FM signals a maximum distance of about 50 or 60 miles. While AM signals
fade with distance, FM is consistent within the receiving area. All of these traits make AM ideal for news broadcasting and information
that needs to traverse long distance, and does not need to sound perfect when it reaches the receiver, while FM is ideal for music
and audio that needs to sound crisp and clean.
Now that you know what the differences between AM and FM are, do you know how the numbers work? You'll notice that all FM radio stations
end in an odd number (88.3, 96.1, etc ). While this purely conventional and is regulated by the FCC, the rest is much more straightfoward. AM
radio frequencies are measured in kilohertz, while FM frequencies are measured in megahertz. AM stations range
from 520 kHz to 1710 kHZ, with stations spaced 10 kHz apart, while FM stations range from 88 mHZ to 108 mHz. 1 megahertz is equal to 1,000 kilohertz, so AM stations
can actually be picked up with an FM receiver, and vice versa — the AM stations range from FM 0.520 to FM 1.7 while FM stations range from AM 88000 to 108000. Remember, all radio
waves are part of the same electromagnetic spectrum — AM and FM are just different ranges of that spectrum. In theory, tuning to AM 99100 is the same as tuning to FM 99.1. Cool, huh?
Because you tune your radio to a specific radio station,
this is what allows you to pick up nearby channels on an empty frequency. For example, you can probably pick up the radio station FM 100.1 on the FM 100.3 frequency. Likewise,
you can probably pickup AM 600 on AM 610. But do these numbers mean anything? Are some numbers better than numbers?
Recently, I found out that the answer to that question was YES, and the answer surprised me as much as it will probably surprise you. To transmit a signal, one simply
broadcasts audio at a specific frequency. Here's the deal — lower frequencies require less power and travel farther, but are lower quality. Higher frequencies require more power, and do not travel as far, but are higher quality. Sound confusing?
What this really means is that the frequencies that will be transmitted farthest are at the lower end of the spectrum. In other words, the 520 kHZ and FM 88.1 frequencies will travel the farthest from the broadcast station, and have the lowest quality.
Chances are however, the stations on the ends of the spectrums are not commonly used. Why is that? Well to be honest, the difference is fairly nominal and is hardly noticable or discernable. But at least now you know. While in practice, the difference
is hardly there, in theory, stations at lower frequencies transmit further and have the worst quality. For more information, see this article online.
Although lower freqency stations are poorer quality, we recommend using the lowest frequency possible if you choose to broadcast as the tower will emit slightly less radiation (which has been proven to be dangerous) into the nearby community. Your signal will also travel further.
The science discuss here is not specific to radio waves — it is applicable to the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Lower frequencies have larger wavelengths and are less powerful and lower quality. Higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths, are more powerful, higher quality, and are often more dangerous.
Are you looking for something nice and cool to do this summer? How about something really cool that's also cool? Confused? Don't be — although you should
probably plan for next year's summer vacation rather than this year's. A popular getaway among numerous people, Churchill in Manitoba, Canada is a favorite destination for a variety of reasons.
Dubbed the "Polar Bear Capital of the World", it is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world for viewing polar bears in their natural habitat. Booking for tours are often done a year
in advance, so start thinking about next summer or autumn to secure a deal and avoid paying hundreds in extra last-minute fees.
What makes Churchill so unique? First off, you can't reach Churchill by road at all. Nestled in northern Manitoba along the southwestern portion of the frigid Hudson Bay, there are no roads
connecting this town of just under 1,000 to the rest of Canada. This can be a problem, especially since Churchill's tourism population is ten times its permenant resident count. The only two ways to reach
Churchill are by air, which is fairly expensive, or by train, which is cheaper but is a 50 hour journey. Churchill also has a port, but unless you're commanding
a vessel through the bay ice, we recommend you don't sail there. We recommend you fly or drive to Winnipeg, or Thompson, and then catch the train there.
The beauty of Churchill is truly being immersed by nature, free of the plague of urban sprawl. The landscape in Churchill outside town is relatively deserted and unmodified by man. Churchill is a great spot to watch the Northern Lights,
and it's also a great spot to come see the polar bears, the main driver for Churchill's tourism economy. You can go out on the ice in a great tundra buggy and truly immerse yourself in polar bear
country. For more details, please see the blog post on "Save the Polar Bears".
Going to Churchill is a top bucket list item for numerous unique people, including myself. While you may not realize it, losing yourself in nature, especially in the age of global connectivity, is one
of the greatest gifts you can get. A remote town that is truly off-the-grid, Churchill is a must-see for anyone looking to connect with nature.
Greetings all! Earlier today I posted about some initiatives you can take to save landlines. But there is something else you can do that doesn't involving picking up
the telephone and screaming in your governor's ear. You can take a quick, fun and easy survey that we have put together to drive research and back proposals. Whether or not you support the bills being passed,
you can let us know how YOU feel about landlines, and how you propose America take on this challenge. Let's face it — we're not going to get anywhere by bickering. We need to work together.
We need to cooperate. And we need results. If you have a couple minutes, please fill out a quick survey in order to send us in the right direction. Your data will be used in combination with other participants
in order to grasp the bigger picture of the situation we face. Better yet, unlike elections, your opinions are actually heard and used and every participant makes a different. Plus it's easier with no strings attatched. Please feel more than free to share the link
to this blog post with others so they can take the survey as well — every piece of data we can get really helps! Take some time out of your day to do some good for the community and give back by providing
an invaluable resource to us — data!
To access the survey, please visit our Landline Survey webpage. As usual, you can learn more about the cause on our official Landline Project page, and
let us know what you think by filling out the survey above or letting us know through the Contact page. Thanks again for your time and have a wonderful day — we really appreciate it!
Search engines have revolutionized how we acrue information, but let me ask you all one question — are you still using Google? No really, are you still using
Google? Dude, that's so 2000s right now, and it's not even cool. We upgraded from typewriters to Microsoft Word to write essays; shouldn't we make the same switch when it comes to search engines?
Don't get me wrong — Google was a pioneer of its time. For many years, it was the king of search, leading to phrases like "google it". But face it — times have changed. Remember what happened
when Microsoft stopped trying with Internet Explorer? It was the best browser of its day until IE6 hit, and then all hell broke loose. Even today, there is still lingering animosity over IE6, 15 years
after its release. (And by the way, Internet Explorer is a great browser again, with a few exceptions, so go on and give it a try if you haven't yet. We're on IE11 folks!) Well, to be honest, Google has
stopped trying. It has turned from an innovator into a follower. No, it's services aren't terrible, but they could be much better. So what search engine should you be using?
Believe it or not, that search engine would be Bing. That's right! Once an amateur engine, Bing has quickly evolved and innovated where Google has fallen short — and today it is one of the top search
engines in the world. Google's market share has been dropping dramatically while Bing's usage has exceeded 20% now, and for the first time in many years, it's even turning a profit for Microsoft. Not bad, eh?
Here are some things you need to know: first, Bing provides more relevant content. Not only that, it provides a consistent UI. It's not just Bing Search, but Bing Maps has also triumphed Google Maps, providing
detailed floor plans of every major mall and airport in the United States. Tell me that isn't cool!?
Still not convinced? Well, you should still switch to Bing. Why? Because Microsoft will pay you.
I switched to Bing a year ago and I haven't looked back since. Whenever I accidentally end up at Google, I ponder at the ugly interface and the chaotic conglomeration of results before realizing that it
isn't Bing. There must be a catch, you say. Well, there is — Microsoft will pay you to use Bing. That's right! It's the real reason I switched to Bing — I won't mind telling you that, but they more
than compensate for the switch. In the year since, they have innovated beyond all expectations. In the past year alone, I've racked up over $50 in Bing Rewards, Bing's virtual currency which you can redeem for gift cards
at places like Amazon, making them actually useful. I don't even use the mobile app — using the mobile app will rake in an extra 30% in earnings per day. True, $65 per year isn't a lot. But it's $65 extra in your
pocket for doing the exact same stuff you would be doing at Google. But Google won't pay you — instead they Scroogle you, target you with ads based on keywords from your searches, and then hand your data
over to 3rd parties. I don't know about you, but I'd rather just say 'No Thanks'. Overall, the Bing interface is friendlier, more energetic, colorful, and just plain awesome. I can guarantee that if you use Bing for a month, you won't go back.
Trust me on this one, alright? In two years time, you do not want to be caught using Google, unless you're a senior in which case people might give you some leeway. If you're ready to signup for Bing Rewards, you can register using this link. We'll
both earn some extra credits, and how awesome is that? Got questions? Hey, you can either ask me, or you can "bing it". How 'bout that for a change?
Do you still have a landline? Whether you do or not, landlines offer numerous advantages over cell phones, etc, etc... But you've heard all that before. What you may not know
is that telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon are trying to pass bills that would no longer require them to provide landline service to everyone. It's an American right that's we've secured for over
100 years now — and the descendants of Ma and Pa Bell are here to dismantle their handy work all in the name of money. If you've got a moment, visit the Official
Save Landlines website to learn more about the cause. Don't forget to visit our Landline Project page to learn why you need a landline and what's being done about
it. I strongly encourage all of you to take action. This small group recently prevented a bill passing in California — imagine what your efforts could do for your county or state!
Someone once said that laughter is the best medicine. Even if you're not sick right now — I'm sure we could all use a little laugh right now. Well, I wanted to take a minute and share
out some videos I've seen in the past that are guaranteed to get you laughing. If they don't well, let me know and we'll
chat. This first video addresses the notion that desktop computers are stationary and stay in one place — all the time.
Well, in this video, some students have decided to attend a lecture and they bring their
desktops with them. In this second video, you'll witness what happens
when the code to get on the Walmart intercom becomes public knowledge. Don't try this at home kids!
At InterLinked, we pride ourselves in compiling interesting projects that help to make the world a better place. A new feature, the InterLinked Code Dump, launched recently
just a few weeks ago. While we've uploaded a few things there already, our first large-scale project, "Windows Through the Ages", is now underway. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Are you bored? Are you up for a real challenge? Take some time to solve the World's Hardest Math Problem! Prove to your classmates and friends that you're an all-out genius. Maybe this
won't help you get into college, but a little extra fame doesn't hurt. If you've solved the problem and want to know if you have the correct answer, simply — Click here to read the full post
We've all seen that person — perhaps they're waiting at a bus stop or perhaps they're in line at the drycleaners to pick up their beaver-pelt coat. Yet, there they are looking down at a miniscule little screen, their fingers tauntingly trained to
remain invisible with motion to make their life as a recluse complete. How did we get here? Has technology gone too far? How much technology is too much, and how do we know when and where to draw the line? If for some reason, you are not already subjectively guilty to the nature depicted beforehand,
then I congratulate thee for remaining rooted in discpline, a humble member of society serving in and of itself. Unfortunately, the number is fewer and fewer with each passing moment, a warning to those who are adimant in social interaction and the traditional code human values that their time has passed. Is there
any way to reverse this tragedy? Is it too late? And how can you avoid being percieved as a hermit in an increasingly technologically connected world? The answers are so simple that it's difficult to — Click here to read the full post
Today, I'd like to acknowledge the fact that despite the vast number of Internet users in the world, a good majority of them are stupid. Not stupid in general, but not especially smart about the way
they approach things. For those of us who were around in the 80s and 90s, confusing computer networking technology would be a disgrace, but for the unlucky generation born after 2000, not much can be said for them. Let's look at a few ways
that young people today, especially teenagers and college students, manage to screw things up. First off — Click here to read the full post
When you think of cute and cuddly pets, polar bears may not come to mind first thing. But polar bears are one of the most affectionate creatures
that roam this planet, and the loss of such a wonderful species to global warming (yes, it's happening), would be beyond catastrophic. Do your part to help save these amazing creatures before
it's too late, and help make the world a better place! By simply — Click here to read the full post
Are you always broke? Do you want to earn extra money in the easiest way possible without getting a job? If so,
do NOT pass this blog post up! In just a couple of steps you can be on your way to earning an extra $1,500 in just — Click here to read the full post
Today, almost every successful business has an online presence. While social media might be increasingly relevant today, a website is the ultimate go-to for your customers. Even if you're just one person
with a story to tell or you just want to offer small commodities, a website will automatically improve the credibility of your business by 900%. If you don't know how to make a real website by yourself, we can help. We've decided to
offer you a chance to get your own custom website — Click here to read the full post
Steve Jobs is regarded by many as one of America's technology pioneers, credited with his success at Apple. Nobody will deny that his legacy is a great one or that he didn't innovate
constantly, but some of the deepest and darkest secrets of Steve Jobs may turn some of his biggest fans against him. Steve Jobs has throughout the years, maintained a close bond with Bill Gates, founded of
Microsoft, the world's largest software company and the most powerful technology company of all-time. Jobs dreamt of stealing that title from Microsoft, and although it failed and is unlikely to ever do so in the future,
Apple has uncovered a niche of its own under the leadership of Steve Jobs. What few people realize is the malicious nature and evil sense of humor that Steve Jobs was sometimes known to possess and the lack of empathy
for others in the tech sector. Unlike Bill Gates, Steve Jobs didn't — Click here to read the full post
A couple years ago, I recieved an angry email from the CEO of Walmart. Yes, you heard that right. But was this email really from the CEO of Walmart, or was it an impostor
eager to wreak havoc by submitting support tickets? This question has bothered me ever since I receieved this message from the "CEO of Walmart", and looking back at it, it seems unlikely that this
email was sent from the actual CEO of the world's largest superstore. However, until anyone offers to step forward as the sender of this email, I will continue to — Click here to read the full post
Are there SMART-Boards or other interactive whiteboards at your school? If so, let me ask you a question? Do you use them? Does anyone use them? How often are they used?
Do teachers actually use the SMART-Board in their room, or do they just use it as a white canvas for their projector? These are some of the questions that I have been forced to ask myself as
changing practices at many schools in the School District of Waukesha have started to render these little marvels fruitless. Once the center of attention and the focal point of the room, many
don't even realize that — Click here to read the full post
Don't even think about giving up your landline. Yes, you still need it — same goes for your desktop. This concept
is one I've been preaching for a long time now, but recently this past Tuesday an event occured that made me want to reiterate my point.
Recently at Waukesha West High School — Click here to read the full post
TeamViewer Downloads are now available. We've compiled portable installations of your favorite free remote-access software. You
can find them on our TeamViewer webpage where you'll see download options for both PC and Mac.