US investigators recently tracked down the suspect of a 40-year-old murder case after uploading DNA to a genealogy website. Jordan Erica Webber weighs up the pros of finding ancestors with the cons of selling privacy
Jordan Erica Webber talks to Prof Charles Tumosa of the University of Baltimore, Prof Denise Syndercombe-Court of King’s College and Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center. This is a challenging conversation and comes back to notions of ‘informed consent’.
Maggie Koerth-Baker discusses changes in data arguing that we need to stop seeing privacy as a ‘personal’ thing:
Experts say these examples show that we need to think about online privacy less as a personal issue and more as a systemic one. Our digital commons is set up to encourage companies and governments to violate your privacy. If you live in a swamp and an alligator attacks you, do you blame yourself for being a slow swimmer? Or do you blame the swamp for forcing you to hang out with alligators?
Is instruction really necessary in schools? Just like that question, today’s conversation will make you think–maybe like you’ve never thought before. We are digging deep into the craft of teaching and what it should involve. The conversation includes our friend, mentor, and educational leader, Gary Stager, who rolls out ambitious and daring initiatives with his teacher training institutes.
Gary’s focus is on the nature of teaching. He says that since the mid-80’s, we have removed the art of teaching from teacher training, and now we have a generation of teachers who don’t know how to teach. Because of this, we need to create a productive context for learning and “bridge the gap.” How is this done? We need good projects instead of “reckless instruction.” Gary believes that deep, meaningful learning is often accompanied by obsession. He focuses on answering the question: How can we create experiences and context in classrooms where kids can discover things they don’t know they love? This is done by implementing good projects that spur creativity, ownership, and relevance.
As always, Gary Stager challenges many assumptions about learning, education and schools. Having been toone of his sessions, there is a certain magic in Stager’s deft provocation at the point of need. What he demonstrates is the importance of understanding the curriculum in order to celebrate the spread of learning, rather than using the curriculum as a guide.
Nature Based Solutions is an environmental approach that seeks to counter the negative effects of climate change by working with nature.
Often the talk about climate control is about reducing emissions. This episode of RN Future Tense captures a number of environmental approaches designed to respond to changes, such as rising water levels. It is a good example of divergent thinking.
A new audio series following Rukmini Callimachi as she reports on the Islamic State and the fall of Mosul. Times subscribers get early access to each episode. This series includes disturbing language and scenes of graphic violence.
A series investigating the promiseS of ISIS and those who volunteer to fight in places like Syria. What is amazing is the place of social media within all of this.
The Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools discusses a model that gives children personalised teaching based on their ability and achievements, rather than grouping children together according to their age.
On Focus, Nadia sets out to find out exactly what personalised learning is, how it works and what its benefits - or shortcomings - might be.
She speaks to Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research, who outlines the shortcomings in our current system and the alarming decline in the performance of 15-year-olds compared to students in other countries.
Dr Glenn Savage, senior lecturer in Public Policy and Sociology of Education at the University of Western Australia agrees that while there is a definite decline in the achievement of Australian students compared to their international peers, he is more sceptical about the recommendations made in Gonski 2.0.
He says there are better things to be spending our education dollars on than another big overhaul of the Australian education system.
He also believes several changes over the past few years have not helped stem the decline and we still have not tackled the issues of inequitable access to education funding that were identified by the first Gonski report.
Does the new report addresses the question of inequality?
Is ‘personalised teaching’ worth the money and investment?
Is the educational sector exhausted by continual reform agendas?
Do the recommendations really address what is happening in the classroom?
Glenn Savage also summarised his thoughts in a post on The Conversation. While Geoff Masters (and Ray Adams) published a post in the ACER Newsletter addressing the question of ‘inequality’ arguing that recent findings have found that equity and fairness are often more important.
In an ‘equitable’ school system, students’ special needs and unequal socioeconomic backgrounds are recognised and resources (for example, teaching expertise) are distributed unequally in an attempt to redress disadvantage due to personal and social circumstances. Here again, ‘equity’ is achieved by prioritising fairness over equality.source
Professor Terry Eagleton’s more than 40 books have explored, in consistently invigorating ways, the many and surprising intersections and confluences of literature, culture, ideology and belief. His latest book *[Radical Sacrifice]* (Yale) draws on the Bible, the *Aeneid*, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger and Henry James in a brilliant meditation on the concept of sacrifice, fundamentally reconfiguring it as a radical force within modern life and thought. Professor Eagleton was in conversation about his latest work with Daniel Soar, senior editor at the London Review of Books.
Terry Eagleton talks about all things relating to sacrifice. It is an enthralling conversation that goes in many directions. One interesting idea that he discusses is Marx as prophet: