Wednesday, September 30, 2009

San Jose Mercury News: Road to College

Road to College by San Jose Mercury News

Our new special section has tips and stories to help you navigate the path to higher education.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

100 Banned Books
In honor of Banned Books Week, Gottesman Libraries proudly presents The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1900-2000.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009--Part 2

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009
The magazine's education edition looks at challenges and changes in the way we learn.

The Way We Live Now

The College Calculation By DAVID LEONHARDT
How much does a college education — the actual teaching and learning that happens on campus — really matter?

Consumed: Trash Talk By ROB WALKER
Attracting consumers by educating them on the value of their junk.

Questions for Mark Yudof: Big Man on Campus By DEBORAH SOLOMON
The president of the University of California system talks about the cost of education.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009--Part 1

New York Times Sunday Magazine: The School Issue 9.27.2009
The magazine's education edition looks at challenges and changes in the way we learn.

Preschool: Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control? By PAUL TOUGH
Can imaginary play teach children to control their impulses — and be better students?

Junior High: Coming Out in Middle School By BENOIT DENIZET-LEWIS
How 13-year-old kids are dealing with their sexual identity — and how others are dealing with them.

High School: The Inner-City Prep School Experience By MAGGIE JONES
At the SEED School, the assumption is that inner-city students will learn more if they spend the school week living away from home. But can you leave the neighborhood behind?

College: When Your Dorm Goes Green and Local Text by CHARLES WILSON and Photographs by SAMANTHA CONTIS
Students at Warren Wilson College are taking higher education back to nature.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sân Khấu Việt Cali: “Dream and Life”

Based on true stories of once successful immigrants suddenly facing financial insecurity, divorce and suicide in the current economic crisis, SKVC performers stage the bilingual Vietnamese-English drama “Dream and Life” on Saturday, September 26, at 2:30 pm. Playwright /Artistic Director Van Pham Mai and Consultant Director Dr. Victoria Rue want the play “to provide hope and help in the midst of cultural and economic upheaval.” Since the drama is reality-based, each actor contributes to the script by writing their own scenes.

Dream and Life is presented as part of ARTiculate! Expressions of Global Arts and Cultures at Evergreen Valley College, September 21-26. Check their Events Schedule for further details. Teacher Jennifer's note: as an EVC aluumni, I am proud to support this festival.

Dream and Life
Evergreen Valley College Arts Theater
3095 Yerba Buena Road,San Jose, CA 95135
Driving Direction:
Saturday, September 26, at 2:30 pm.
Tickets: $10/Student & Senior
$15 General Admission

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Videos Created on the Meaning of Democracy

Democracy Video Challenge

What is democracy? That is the question more than 900 people from 95 countries answered by submitting original, short videos to the first Democracy Video Challenge. The competition was sponsored by several private groups in the United States as well as the U.S. State Department. Six winners were selected from different regions of the world.

Democracy Video Challenge on YouTube

2009 Winning Videos:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

California University Cuts Protested

California University Cuts Protested By MALIA WOLLAN, NYTimes
Rallies and job actions are planned for Thursday by students, faculty and employees at all 10 campuses to protest budget cuts and tuition fee increases.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Video Games Promote Peace and Democracy

VOAVideo: Video Games Promote Peace and Democracy

Video games are fun, but besides providing entertainment, some of them actually teach people how to resolve global conflicts without violence. Several organizations are using video games and other virtual simulations to promote peace, build democracies and support for disaster relief. VOAs Deborah Block has more.

  • FOOD FORCE - by WFP The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) hopes the game "Food Force," in which players direct aid workers trying to help the poor.
  • A Force More Powerful teaches the methods of influencing or changing the political environment using nonviolent methods.
  • Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where users can socialize, connect and create using free voice and text chat.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Answers From Harvard’s Dean of Admissions

Answers From Harvard’s Dean, NYTimes' The Choice Blog

William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard's dean of admissions, answers reader's questions on the importance of the college essay.
  • Answers: Part One » Q/A about about affirmative action, legacy admissions, the escalating costs of an elite college education and just how Harvard decides whom to let in, and whom to turn away.
  • Answers: Part Two » Q/A about standarized testing, and so-called “helicopter parenting.”
  • Answers: Part Three » How the admissions committee considers extracurricular activities (as with anything in admissions, there is no one-size-fits-all approach), as well as the importance of teacher and counselor recommendations.
  • Answers: Part Four » How the admissions committee weighs the essay portion of the application, and tracks admissions decisions long after the applicant in question has graduated Harvard.
  • Submit a Question »

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is the Internet melting our brains?

Is the Internet melting our brains? By Vincent Rossmeier,
No! The author of "A Better Pencil" explains why such hysterical hand-wringing is as old as communication itself

Teachers in a tizz - is texting destroying the English language? By CAMERON BROADHURST, Times Online NZ
PLEASE TRANSLATE: R U LIKE THIS 2? Some teachers say the influence of texting on students' English is a real concern. Photo supplied.Following a recent cell phone survey, Telecom denied claims that texting has negative effects on English ability. Yet some local schools spoken to by the Times show that for many students the issue is a significant problem.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Foreign Languages Fall as Schools Look for Cuts

Foreign Languages Fall as Schools Look for Cuts By WINNIE HU, NYTimes

Suburban districts struggling to balance their budgets are reducing the language instruction they had expanded into the elementary grades.

Friday, September 18, 2009

California Students Return to Bigger Classes, at Higher Tuition

California Students Return to Bigger Classes, at Higher Tuition By Rebecca Cathcart, NYTimes Blog: The Choice--Demystifying college Admissions and Aid,

College students arriving on hundreds of campuses in the University of California, California State University, and state Community College systems this month will find bigger class sizes, fewer campus services, and less accessible faculty members, all at sharply rising prices.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Constitution Day!

Some interactive games in honor to Constitution Day!

Interactive Constitution
The U.S. Constitution, including detailed explanations of the text is just a click away. (One of the coolest widgets on the net).

Seize the Vote!
Test your knowledge of voting rights and gain the right to participate in the ultimate act of citizenship for your characters!

Citizenship Timeline
This online experience highlights some of the key dates and events that mark more than 200 years of U.S. constitutional history.

Lincoln’s Crossroads
What would you have done in Abraham Lincoln’s shoes?

Bill of Rights Game
Help restore the Bill of Rights!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

API scores bring both joy, disappointment for Silicon Valley schools

API scores bring both joy, disappointment for Silicon Valley schools By Dana Hull and Sharon Noguchi, SJ Mercury News

Public schools in Silicon Valley continued to rank among the highest in California, according to the latest round of testing data released by the state.

Many Shareworld students go to these schools:

Full API rankingsDatabase:
Search for your school, compare schools to each other

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Los Gatos-Saratoga Union school district disagrees with most of grand jury report findings

Los Gatos-Saratoga Union school district disagrees with most of grand jury report findings By Brian Babcock, SJ Mercury-News 09/14/09

Local school districts have begun responding to the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury's reports on the spending of education dollars and inventory practices, and there seems to be little the school districts agree with . . . The report, "Who Really Benefits From Education Dollars? Hint: It's not the students," analyzed the pay packages, perks and legal fees paid by the 34 school districts in the county . . . [Full Story]

Monday, September 14, 2009

At Your Fingers, an Oxford Don

At Your Fingers, an Oxford Don By STEVE LOHR, NYTimes

SINCE the 16th century, the ideal of education has been the tutorial system pioneered at Oxford and Cambridge, nurturing young minds one to one, inquiring, prodding and encouraging. The tutorial method, research shows, is a proven winner . . .Today, though, 21st-century technology carries the potential to nudge mainstream education back toward the 16th-century vision of one-to-one tutoring.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

thisibelieve: Lessons From Our Parents

thisibelieve: Lessons From Our Parents

What do parents hope to teach their children? Not the “sit up straight” or “eat your vegetables” messages, but the deeper lessons for a life well-lived. Click the links below to read the messages these parents are passing from one generation to the next.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

President Obama's Conversation with 9th Graders

HINT: The sound quality is poor--turn on the captions. President Obama's Conversation with 9th Graders

President Obama holds a discussion with 9th graders before his major speech to students nationwide at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. September 8, 2009. (Public Domain))

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Research: Pupils don't aim high enough for college

Research: Pupils don't aim high enough for college By JUSTIN POPE Associated Press Writer

Sep 8th, 2009 Four years ago, two of the most influential researchers in higher education dove into a huge pool of data hoping to answer a bedeviling question: Why do so many students who start college fail to graduate?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Guidance Office: Submit Your Questions to Harvard’s Dean of Admissions

The Choice Guidance Office: Submit Your Questions to Harvard’s Dean of Admissions By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

William R. Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions and financial aid at Harvard, is seeking reader questions. Mr. Fitzsimmons’ first answers are scheduled to appear Thursday, and continue through Sept. 15. To submit a question, go to Harvard Admissions.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President Obama's Message for America's Students

This post has two videos. The first video from shows Obama's entire speech. The second video from VOAVideo shows a summary from Obama's speech, Hilary Clinton's speech, and some of the controversy around the speeches. President Obama's Message for America's Students

The President gives a speech directly to Americas students welcoming them back to school. He emphasizes their hope and potential but makes clear they will need to take responsibility for themselves and their education to reach that potential. September 8, 2009. (Public Domain)

VOAVideo: Students Get Encouragement from Obama

When the White House revealed President Obama's plan to give a welcome-back speech to returning school children, along with lesson plans on how students could help the President, some Republicans were irate. They attacked the President for what they said was an attempt trying to indoctrinate children. But Tueday's speech at a high school near Washington, DC stayed clear of politics. VOA's Laurel Bowman has more.

In School Speech Obama Avoids Political Issues

In School Speech Obama Avoids Political Issues By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

In a speech that drew fire even before he was to deliver it on Tuesday, President Obama planned to urge schoolchildren to study hard for their own sake and for their country’s.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Economix: Oh What a Time to Be Young!

VOANews: Young Workers: Decline in Living Standard

Economix: Oh What a Time to Be Young! By Catherine Rampell, NYTimes

Pity the unemployed, but especially pity the teenage unemployed. According to today’s job report, the overall unemployment rate (the percentage of people in the labor force not working but looking for work) in August rose to 9.7 percent, its highest level in 26 years. Graph

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009 is a festival of art, performance, sound, workshops, demos, and lectures featuring cutting-edge artistic experiments created with and related to technology. This vibrant showcase of local, national, and international artists working at and across boundaries celebrates technological experimentation, open source methodologies, collaboration, accessibility, and interactivity. Bringing together established and emerging talent in the fields of new media, digital culture, mixed reality, tangible interfaces, robotics, gaming, sonic sculpture, experimental music, activated objects, physical computing, and electronics, creates a platform in San Francisco for a dynamic locus of exchange within a thriving global community of innovators.

Friday, September 4 - Sunday, September 6, 2009

Exhibiting artists include: Javier Sánchez, Aaron Oldenburg, Bryan Von Reuter, Rob Ray, Alex Potts, Luther Thie, Jonathan Grover, Peter Foucault, Shawn Wallace, Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, Retronyms, Olle Essvik, Justin Hoover

Friday, September 4, 2009

Three from

Making Geeks Cool Could Reform Education By Daniel Roth ,, 08.24.09

"The best schools," Grodd told me later, "are able to make learning cool, so the cool kids are the ones who get As. That's an art." It's an art that has, for the most part, been lost on educators. The notion itself seems incredibly daunting—until you look at one maligned subculture in which the smartest members are also the most popular: the geeks. If you want to reform schools, you've got to make them geekier. "Geeks get things done. They're possessed. They can't help themselves." Back to School Gift Guide 2009

While you’re kicking back this weekend, soaking up the last rays of summer, remember that school is starting up again soon.

Education 2.0: Top Online Learning Resources By Jose Fermoso,, 08.10.07

Want an education? Open up a browser. With the information available online, you could probably get a complete education without ever leaving your house.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kalman: ‘I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door’

Kalman: ‘I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door’ a NYTimes Art Essay/Slide Show--utterly beautiful! More from Maira Kalman:

The artist Maira Kalman begins a new illustrated column about American democracy with a chronicle of her visit to Washington for President Obama's inauguration.

Inside a Lincoln archive, the illustrator finds herself entranced by the fragile pieces of a monumental life.

After a visit to the Supreme Court, and the office of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maira Kalman thinks about law, decision-making and women breaking barriers.

After a visit to the Supreme Court, and the office of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kalman thinks about law, decision-making and women breaking barriers.

On visits to Fort Campbell, Ky., and the Pentagon, the artist considers the soldiers who prepare for war and the contradictions that surround them.

If you want to understand the United States and its people, says Maira Kalman, you need to visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia.

How Benjamin Franklin turned America into the land of invention.

Maira Kalman explains how everyone got to America.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like

The Future of Reading: A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like By MOTOKO RICH, NYTimes

The experimental approach is part of a movement to revolutionize the way literature is taught in U.S. schools.

Also in the Series:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

For $6,000, Restoration of Canceled College Class

For $6,000, Restoration of Canceled College Class By TAMAR LEWIN NYTimes

When times get tough, the tough get sponsors.

The City College of San Francisco has taken a fund-raising approach to try to restore $5 million in budget cuts and hundreds of classes.