Emma Zahren-Newman

Emma Zahren-Newman

Richmond now has the highest Hispanic dropout rate in Virginia. According to Vilma Seymour, many latino students fall through the cracks because the system is not set up in their favor. This is why we need to always question the power structures that exist...

Rajat

Rajat How does one confront the power structures? One at a time.. by becoming mentors. But how does one effect large scale change?

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Emma Zahren-Newman

Emma Zahren-Newman On a few fronts, one might be to broaden the school system's concept of "education". Being an informed citizen is more than just being able to memorize answers for a test

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Rajat

Rajat

As MOOCs continue to experiment with delivery models to achieve better student outcomes in order to bridge the gap between user intent and user behavior ( as reflected in low completion rates). One could perhaps think of two broad approaches:

1)Data/AI driven: As laid out in this Berkley piece on a machine learned approach "(by).... both tracking learners’ behaviors in real-time and dynamically adapting content based on each learner’s individual clickstream history." A variant of this approach is already seen in likes of Khan Academy.


2) Human driven : By populating an online classroom with adequate number of mentors and close involvement of professors or TA's along with cohort driven peer evaluations to effectively deal with the fundamental problem of lack of feedback and collaboration in an asynchronous learning environment.

Anju Sharma

Anju Sharma

Heard the poem below being recited by a very emotional Princeton University student, and have not been able to let go of it since then. Have read it multiple times and would like to share it here. For you, to ponder on..

Home, by Warsan Shire (British-Somali poet)

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.
your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.
no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly.
it's not something you ever thought about
doing, and so when you did -
you carried the anthem under your breath,
waiting until the airport toilet
to tear up the passport and swallow,
each mouthful of paper making it clear that
you would not be going back.
you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.
who would choose to spend days
and nights in the stomach of a truck
unless the miles travelled
meant something more than journey.
no one would choose to crawl under fences,
be beaten until your shadow leaves you,
raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of
the boat because you are darker, be sold,
starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,
be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,
make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten,
stripped and searched, find prison everywhere
and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side
with go home blacks, refugees
dirty immigrants, asylum seekers
sucking our country dry of milk,
dark, with their hands out
smell strange, savage -
look what they've done to their own countries,
what will they do to ours?
the dirty looks in the street
softer than a limb torn off,
the indignity of everyday life
more tender than fourteen men who
look like your father, between
your legs, insults easier to swallow
than rubble, than your child's body
in pieces - for now, forget about pride
your survival is more important.
i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home tells you to
leave what you could not behind,
even if it was human.
no one leaves home until home
is a damp voice in your ear saying
leave, run now, i don't know what
i've become.

Anju Sharma

Anju Sharma

Astrophotography: Exploring the Universe from Below

Looking up at the sky, we often see distant moonlight faded by light pollution from cities. Even on the clearest days, our vision of the night sky is an incomplete version of what it really holds. Deep space objects, such as star clusters and nebulae beyond our solar system, are almost impossible to see without aid from specialized equipment.

So proud of the curiosity, integrity, sincerity, and grit with which you live your life, dear Vanita. Amazingly well written article, and beautiful picture of the moon through the telescope- something I tried myself but could never get one without a shadow!!!

Rajat

Rajat

Nature's basket

With every passing day, we hear more horror stories about our environment: air is unbreathable, water undrinkable, food poisonous; piles of garbage stare at us everywhere like works of modern art. Our cities cannot survive unless pipelines bring them water from hundreds of kilometres away. We have certainly perfected the fine art of unsustainability.

While we are still debating whether Climate change and environmental destruction is man made, let's visit the practices of the ancient Indian past of who are known more as cow and tree worshippers rather than anything else!
"Manusmriti (11.64) prohibits the ‘cutting down of green trees for firewood’, while Kautilya’s Arthashastra stipulates various fines and punishments for maiming ‘fruit trees, flower trees or shady trees in the parks near a city’ and prescribes forest sanctuaries where wildlife is to be protected from slaughter (3.19). Shastras, too, proscribe the unnecessary killing of animals, while Ashoka in his edicts prohibits hunting, even ordering medical treatment to wild animals when necessary.
...the 4,500-year-old Harappan city of Dholavira, in Gujarat’s forbiddingly arid Rann of Kutch, which dedicated some 20 to 30 per cent of its fortified area (48 ha) to a vast network of interconnected reservoirs, some of them cut in sheer rock; the whole system was fed by carefully harvested rainfall."

Rajat

Rajat

Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity
YouTube l https://www.youtube.com/

Thought provoking Ted talk by Harvard professor Linda Hill on leadership and collective creativity. According to her innovation is not about solo but collective genius. Creative organizations are characterized by 1) Creative abrasion 2) Creative agility and 3) Creative resolution. Hear it to learn what she means.

Rajat

Rajat

Phubbing: A Word is Born
YouTube l https://www.youtube.com/

What does a "Sapien" Do?.. Phub

Emma Zahren-Newman

Emma Zahren-Newman

After the Election: Ideas for Teachers of ELLs

As they have been throughout the entire presidential campaign, teachers are on the front lines when it comes to answering students' questions about the election and its results, giving them an opportunity to discuss what they see in the news, helping them think about how big decisions may affect their lives, and managing interactions among students representing different points of view and backgrounds.

Some resources for ESL/ELL teachers in light of the recent election: