1. Stay in Touch with StudentsIt doesn't even have to be on academic terms. Staying in touch with your students can help them in a variety of ways, from learning to continue professional relationships, to offering advice and resources in a pinch, to stabilizing the lives of some students that need it most.2. Send Them Home With Books and MagazinesOn the last day of school, send students home with free books, magazines, or anything you think there might be the slightest chance that they'll read.If you've got certain students who really, really need to keep their literacy skills fresh -- and if you're worried that they may not accept your gift of free magazines -- create individual bundles for students. Personalize them based on content (automotive or sports car magazines, for example), or form (comic books, short stories, etc.).You can also invite them back to class after other students have left, or even call home to arrange a pickup or drop-off.3. Meet Students at Their Local LibraryPick one day a month to meet students at a library that's local to them. Even if you have to pick three or four libraries to get to everyone, if you spend 90 minutes at each, you're still only talking about one afternoon a month. You can use this time to meet with students from last year, or get to know students from next year's class.What should you do? Literary scavenger hunt. Young authors' meeting. Poetry hour. So many options!4. Start a Reading ProgramWhether it's a contest, a book exchange, or a team-based competition; whether or not it uses points, has prizes, or is just for pride; whether it's physical or digital -- however you do it, create even a very basic program that will make students feel compelled to read during the summer.Let them know that their reading is valued, and that it matters outside the classroom.5. Start a Digital Book ClubSpeaking of reading programs and book clubs, digital reading is now more accessible than ever thanks to free eBooks, less expensive eReaders, and more powerful smartphones. Even two- or three-year-old smartphones can handle most current reading apps, such as Kindle's reader.You can create a basic blog or Pinterest page, for example, and curate trending books that your students might like, or interesting free eBooks that they may not otherwise consider. Figure out a way to start a digital conversation about a digital book they can read anywhere, and you're on to something!6. Encourage Students to BlogAs important as reading is, writing is just as important. While you'd certainly want to limit academic writing in the summer, blogging is incredibly flexible. It can be about any topic using any form with any number of embeddable digital artifacts. It can be about pop culture, music, shopping, friendship, technology, video games -- whatever interests the student.7. Frame Simple Ongoing ProjectsGive students ongoing projects -- blogs to keep up, businesses to run, art portfolios to maintain, stories to write, community projects to be a part of. Anything will work if it keeps them feeling valued and plugged in.8. Hand-Pick MOOCsIf you want more than reading and writing, there are hundreds of quality eLearning courses from dozens of credible sources to keep students busy. And while you may be concerned with "letting kids be kids" during the summer, most MOOCs that I've seen have, at most, weekly assignments. These could be finished -- or modified to be finished -- in an hour or two per week.All of this is hardly summer-stifling stuff. If there's anything you can add to this list, please tell us about it in the comments section below.> https://www.edutopia.org
Taiwanese graduate Katie knows the power of self-belief. As COVID-19 hit towards the end of her time at university, she was worried about the prospects of getting a job and nervous going into her interviews with potential employers. In the end, it wasn’t just her technical skills that helped her get a role with Phillips Taiwan—it was her ability to explain what she offered them, something she’d learned in the Google Digital Garage training program. "There are many topics, but the one I especially remember is about building your confidence — that’s even more important with the need for online interviews during a pandemic,” Katie said. Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 was fast and effective, but the economic impact of the pandemic means that many Taiwanese share Katie’s concerns about what comes next. Having provided digital tools to help Taiwan combat the health crisis, we want to do everything we can to support its longer-term recovery. Helping job-seekers and businessesAt our Google for Taiwan event today, we spoke about our ambitions for the Digital Talent Exploration Program— a partnership with 104 Job Bank that will give more than 10,000 people the chance to learn digital marketing skills, work toward certification, and then be matched with job opportunities with more than 40 companies.We also heard from the Taiwanese government on the importance of supporting Taiwanese businesses when they need it most. One way we’re seeking to do this is through programs with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research to help exporters make the most of opportunities in overseas markets. The Taiwan Think Export Report 2.0 provides insights and advice to business owners as they plan for expansion, while Digital Trade Academy is giving hands-on training in how to apply those lessons. For tourism businesses that have been hit especially hard, Google and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications are offering courses on digital tools.Digital talent and Taiwan’s economic recovery, image #1The broader theme of Google for Taiwan was building a strong digital economy for the long-term, with partnerships focused on three key areas.Digital literacyAs well as combating online misinformation, Taiwan is working to ensure people of all ages can use the internet safely and confidently, and think critically about the information they see. Nonprofits the Taiwan FactCheck Center, the Association for the Promotion of Community Universities, Fakenews Cleaner and ECPAT are our partners on three new digital literacy programs aimed at community college students, senior citizens, and schoolchildren and teachers.Digital learningWhen the pandemic hit, Taiwanese schools and students quickly adjusted to remote learning. Students are now back in the classroom, but Taiwan wants to help its teachers continue to improve their ability to use digital tools through programs like the Cloud Innovation Teacher Training Program: an initiative with Junyi Academy and Taipei City to train 600 teachers from 300 schools. Junyi is also working to incorporate Google’s CS First computer science curriculum in Taiwanese primary schools, so kids can grasp the fundamentals of technology as part of their education. Advancing knowledgeTaiwan has great potential in fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a talented generation of Taiwanese developers beginning to come through. To meet their appetite for new skills, we and our partners are developing programs like AI Boot Camp — a joint initiative with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Artificial Intelligence Research Center — the ML Study Jam program, and the Google University Relations Program, which provides university scholarships. With these new and expanded efforts, we hope to contribute to a strong economic recovery from COVID-19, and continue creating new digital opportunities for all Taiwanese in the years ahead. > https://blog.google/around-the-globe/google-asia/digital-talent-and-taiwans-economic-recovery/
The global events industry is having a bit of a “Napster moment” as we move through this pandemic, and they seem to be in denial on what to do about it.Just as revenues in the music industry peaked in the year 2000, the events industry may have already witnessed its peak in 2019.New systems and technologies continue to upend the old established ones and people and institutions with a stake in current systems will resist and try to protect the status quo that served them so well, and so profitably, but to no avail.The Discomfortable Feeling of ChangeIt’s become very easy to produce a “good-enough” virtual event with a global audience, and the best part, it’s almost free.Naturally this is undercutting the economics of last year’s physical events world. All types of business events, whether they’re conferences, trade shows, or conventions, are in danger of losing income from the sale of tickets, sponsorships, memberships, vendors, and whatever other payments they’ve learned to depend on.What we still haven’t learned to replicate virtually is the in-person spontaneity of rubbing elbows with important people, physical networking, and other life-changing introductions that take place at these events.Billions of dollars have already been sucked out of the industry this year so far, with social distancing rules putting it into hibernation mode, and virtual meetings are only making up a tiny fraction of what was lost.In the past, recording artists and record producers adjusted relatively easily to technology advances as music-sharing shifted from LPs to 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs. But when Napster arrived, it changed virtually everything we thought we knew about how music should get distributed. MPEGs and MP3s made music sharing easier than sending a Word doc.Naturally this caused more than a few people to panic. Musicians and producers worried about losing control. Copyright laws seemed meaningless as Napster’s distribution systems turned it into an overnight free-for-all.Eventually a number of music industry legal teams put an end to it, but it set the stage for a number of new players to take center stage. Now Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music are duking it out for pre-eminence in the digital streaming industry, and our rapidly aging 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs are packed neatly away in our basements.Pandemics have a way of fast-tracking these types of changes as we’ve discussed previously in the recent disruption of shopping malls and the film industry. The next one to be added to that list will be the conventions and events industry, estimated at $325 billion in annual pre-COVID revenue.The Virtual Expo?In addition to the new norm of virtual meetings, we’re all starting to see virtual conferences, virtual trade shows, virtual seminars, and weirdly enough, virtual happy hours, complete with virtual scavenger hunts.Zoom stock has soared from around $75 nine months ago to nearly $300 at the end of August 2020. It’s getting to the point that regardless of which of the competing platforms are actually being used on-line, we seem to call every virtual meetings a “Zoom Meeting.” It’s a marketing company’s dream to have their branded product name, such as Bandaid and Kleenex becomes as commonplace as, “just google it.” “Let’s have a zoom call” is becoming entrenched in our daily lexicon.Covid-19 has been disrupting all types of in-person professional encounters, including annual industry get-togethers where successes are applauded, new products areintroduced, and business leads are developed. In spite of all this, some organizations are putting together some rather good attempts at virtual global expos and conventions.Where Will it Lead?The key question in my mind, will “good enough” virtual events continue to draw crowds over time? After all, without travel expenses, it becomes rather easy to book celebrity speakers like Dwayne Johnson, Paul Krugman, Steve Wozniak, Malcolm Gladwell, and Robert Kiyosaki when all they have to do is patch in from their home office.However, face-to-face conferences, trade shows, and conventions won’t goaway because there are a number of intangibles related to those events like side-bar conversation, schmoozing, change of scenery, building rapport over cocktails, people watching, and face-to-face networking. Many of us already miss it! And yes, I’m certainly one of them!So just as there are diehards who’ll continue to play their music the old-fashioned way (yes vinyl is making a comeback) extended business events are not ready to be replaced, at least not just yet.It may take a while for them to become mainstream again because of lingering concerns over virus transmission and the short-term efficiencies companies are enjoying from closed offices and limited travel. Eventually though, employees will run out of clever backdrops for their zoom sessions, and staring at someone’s chin and ceiling for 30 minutes gets old really, really fast.Will Zoom become the Napster of the Events Industry?, image #3Future PossibilitiesBut no doubt, more of these business events will shift online. I have confidence that the Meetings and Convention industry will learn to adapt. But it took Spotify nearly 15 years to get their interface right and for the music industry to adapt to the change. It’s important to think through what a multi-day, virtual set of “interpersonal encounters” would even look like? Take a moment and see if you can picture lifelike holograms of people engaged in cocktail banter, chatting around the buffet line, or sitting across a conference table adding bullet points to the latest strategic plan. Next see if you can imagine your life-like hologram hiking or having a beer with another famous person life-like avatar? Over time, many new service niches will emerge, and some will eventually become important new companies leading new industries.Final ThoughtsYes, the year 2020 is shaping up to be a decade of massive transition. We seem to be fitting enough change into this year’s 365 days to last us for another ten years. It’s an exciting moment in time for a futurist, though, and I hope you’ll join me with that mindset. Just remind yourself to be open to new ideas, philosophies, and technology instead of instinctively pushing back against change and pining for the good old days. Remind yourself, too, that change doesn’t always wipe out the things we’re familiar with. A familiar brand will often just put on a fresh new set of clothes, and they’ll be ready to reengage with us again sometime in the future. > futuristspeaker.com
To keep children of local traders off the streets of Johor Baru, Rayhan Ahmad started a ‘school’JOHOR BARU, Sept 5 — Twenty-seven-year-old Rayhan Ahmad and several of his friends have been holding evening classes for children of traders in Johor Baru’s popular Bazaar Karat since 2017.
“We started out on a volunteer basis... most of these children are considered homeless or have parents who work as traders at Bazaar Karat.
“The idea started as we want to discourage these children from being exposed to unhealthy activities as they will often be seen roaming the streets at night as their parents are busy working, while the homeless kids will be begging for money,” said Rayhan.
Today, classes are conducted upstairs in a pre-war shophouse that is called Sekola Baroka in the city centre.
The former executive assistant at a state government agency decided to quit his job and do this full-time.
The founding member of Sekola Baroka said the first two years teaching the children, mainly aged between three to 12, were not easy.
“The makeshift school attracted a fair amount of children from lower income families as well as traders’ children.
“We taught them the 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) on a fully volunteer basis,” said Rayhan, adding that the friends who assisted him came from varied backgrounds with some being former teachers as well as lecturers.
Rayhan said after two years of operating from the streets, he and his friends finally were offered the first floor of a shophouse located in the middle of Bazaar Karat that operates daily from 7pm to midnight.
He explained that he pays RM2,000 per month for the current premises.
“However, the floor is also shared with a traders’ association office where the rental is split with the school having to pay 75 per cent while the remainder is paid by the association.
“Being the main tenant, we also pay the water and electricity bills. Basically, the school needs about RM2,000 to run our classes for the children,” said Rayhan, adding that some of the monthly commitments were offset through fee payments of between RM30 and RM70 a month by parents.
However, Rayhan made it clear that the school will still accept children of parents who can’t afford the fee.
He said what mattered most was the children’s well-being where they able to be in a much safer environment while learning or picking up a skill.
Rayhan said the school also has skills and crafts workshops where interesting activities such as sewing and also soap-making are held.
He said most of the raw items needed for the projects are donated by business owners nearby.
“Since Sekola Baroka is not a profit-making enterprise, we depend on donations and also grants to help us continue the projects.
“We run a cafe from late mornings to the afternoons as a means to assist in our daily operations,” said Rayhan who added that community-focused urban regeneration organisation Think City Sdn Bhd assisted with grants for the past two years.
“Currently, we have 27 children between the ages of three to 12 years coming to the school,” he said.
This mosque in Algeria was built underground in 1940 when colonial French was demolishing mosques in the area
Scientist warns over staff-to-staff transmissionTeachers have been warned that theyare spreading Covid-19 after a leading government scientist said they were far more likely to transmit the virus than children.New research from Public HealthEngland revealed that two thirds ofoutbreaks arose from staff-to-staff transmission, or staff-to-pupil. In June the number of schools open was between 20,500 and 23,400, withpupil numbers increasing from 475,000 to 1,646,000. In June and last month 200 children and staff were affected by the illness. Over the same period 25,470 cases were recorded across England as a whole. Thirty outbreaks, defined as two or more linked cases in one school, were recorded between the start of June and the end of last month. These represented 0.01 per cent of preschools and primary schools in England.The figures will encourage those whohave argued that school is a safe placefor children during the pandemic.Shamez Ladhani, a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at PHE, wholed the monitoring of England’s schools, said: “We need to educate the educators. There’s a clear need for aduty of care outside the school setting,so staff need to protect themselves andin turn other staff and pupils.“Staff are very good at social distancing and infection control in the classroom, but upon leaving the school environment these measures are more likely to be broken, potentially putting themselves and their colleagues at risk.”Last night Boris Johnson exhorted parents to send their children back to school next week, declaring that a return to the classroom was “vitally important” to their life chances.The prime minister paid tribute to staff who had spent time over the summer devising plans to ensure that their schools were “Covid-secure”. He has previously emphasised the moral duty to reopen schools safely.Ministers now understood more about the virus, Mr Johnson said, with evolving guidance from medical and scientific experts. “As the chief medical officer has said, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and well being to be away from school any longer.“This is why it’s vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with theirfriends. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.”In a joint statement, the UK’s chief medical officers said that the evidence “reinforces the need to maintain social distancing and good infection control inside and outside classroom settings, particularly between staff members and between older children and adults”. The study also found that outbreaks in schools were more likely in areas that had a high rate of cases in the community — raising the chances that shops or restaurants may need to close in such areas to allow schools to remain open.#thetimesUK
Ancient Greek philosophy extends from as far as the seventh century B.C. up until the beginning of the Roman Empire, in the first century A.D. During this period five great philosophical traditions originated: the Platonist, the Aristotelian, the Stoic, the Epicurean, and the Skeptic.Ancient Greek philosophy distinguishes itself from other early forms of philosophical and theological theorizing for its emphasis on reason as opposed to the senses or the emotions. For example, among the most famous arguments from pure reason we find those against the possibility of motion presented by Zeno.Early Figures in Greek PhilosophySocrates, who lived at the end of the fifth century B.C., was Plato’s teacher and a key figure in the rise of Athenian philosophy. Before the time of Socrates and Plato, several figures established themselves as philosophers in small islands and cities across the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Parmenides, Zeno, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Thales all belong to this group. Few of their written works have been preserved to the present day; it was not until Plato's time that ancient Greeks began transmitting philosophical teachings in text. Favorite themes include the principle of reality (e.g., the one or the logos); the good; the life worth being lived; the distinction between appearance and reality; the distinction between philosophical knowledge and layman’s opinion.PlatonismPlato (427-347 B.C.) is the first of the central figures of ancient philosophy and he is the earliest author whose work we can read in considerable quantities. He has written about nearly all major philosophical issues and is probably most famous for his theory of universals and for his political teachings. In Athens, he established a school – the Academy – at the beginning of the fourth century B.C., which remained open until 83 A.D. The philosophers who chaired the Academy after Plato contributed to the popularity of his name, although they did not always contribute to the development of his ideas. For example, under the direction of Arcesilaus of Pitane, began 272 B.C., the Academy became famous as the center for academic skepticism, the most radical form of skepticism to date. Also for these reasons, the relationship between Plato and the long list of authors who recognized themselves as Platonists throughout the history of philosophy is complex and subtle.AristotelianismAristotle (384-322B.C.) was a student of Plato and one of the most influential philosophers to date. He gave an essential contribution to the development of logic (especially the theory of syllogism), rhetoric, biology, and – among others – formulated the theories of substance and virtue ethics. In 335 B.C. he founded a school in Athens, the Lyceum, which contributed to disseminate his teachings. Aristotle seems to have written some texts for a broader public, but none of them survived. His works we are reading today were first edited and collected around 100 B.C. They have exercised tremendous influence not only upon the Western tradition but also upon the Indian (e.g. the Nyaya school) and the Arabic (e.g. Averroes) traditions.StoicismStoicism originated in Athens with Zeno of Citium, around 300B.C. Stoic philosophy is centered on a metaphysical principle that had been already developed, among others, by Heraclitus: that reality is governed by logos and that what happens is necessary. For Stoicism, the goal of human philosophizing is the achievement of a state of absolute tranquility. This is obtained through the progressive education to independence from one’s needs. The stoic philosopher will not fear any bodily or social condition, having trained not to depend on bodily need or any specific passion, commodity, or friendship. This is not to say that the stoic philosopher will not seek pleasure, success, or long-standing relationships: simply that she will not live for them. The influence of Stoicism on the development of Western philosophy is hard to overestimate; among its most devoted sympathizers were the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the economist Hobbes, and the philosopher Descartes.EpicureanismAmong philosophers’ names, “Epicurus” is probably one of those that is most frequently cited in non-philosophical discourses. Epicurus taught that the life worth being lived is spent seeking pleasure; the question is: which forms of pleasure? Throughout history, Epicureanism has often been misunderstood as a doctrine preaching the indulgence into the most vicious bodily pleasures. On the contrary, Epicurus himself was known for his temperate eating habits, and for his moderation. His exhortations were directed towards the cultivation of friendship as well as any activity which most elevates our spirits, such as music, literature, and art. Epicureanism was also characterized by metaphysical principles; among them, the theses that our world is one out of many possible worlds and that what happens does so by chance. The latter doctrine is developed also in Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura.SkepticismPyrrho of Elis (c. 360-c. 270 B.C.) is the earliest figure in ancient Greek skepticism. on record. He seems to have written no text and to have held common opinion in no consideration, hence attributing no relevance to the most basic and instinctive habits. Probably influenced also by the Buddhist tradition of his time, Pyrrho viewed the suspension of judgment as a means to achieve that freedom of disturbance that alone can lead to happiness. His goal was to keep each human’s life in a state of perpetual inquiry. Indeed, the mark of skepticism is the suspension of judgment. In its most extreme form, known as academic skepticism and first formulated by Arcesilaus of Pitane, there is nothing that should not be doubted, including the very fact that everything can be doubted. The teachings of ancient skeptics exercised a deep influence on a number of major Western philosophers, including Aenesidemus (1st century B.C.), Sextus Empiricus (2nd century A.D.), Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Renè Descartes, David Hume, George E.Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein. A contemporary revival of skeptical doubting was initiated by Hilary Putnam in 1981 and later developed into the movie The Matrix (1999.)
The Scots College
School fees. Distance from home. Private or public. Religious denomination. As a parent, you would naturally consider all these factors when choosing a school for your child.But what about a school’s education philosophy?The common perception is that a school’s philosophy is generic and bears no standing on the desirability of a school — so how important is a school’s education philosophy? The fact is, it should be one of the first things you consider. Here’s why.A school’s education philosophy differentiates a school from its competitorsSure, a school aims to educate its students to achieve their full potential; but how? What principles underlie this education? What qualities do its pupils embody when they graduate? Perhaps like Phillips Exeter Academy in the United States the school’s education is focused on collaboration and community. Or maybe it is similar to Diocesan School for Girls in New Zealand which emphasises empathy, confidence, integrity, curiosity and excellence. Its these underpinning values that differentiate schools form their competitors and that you, as a prospective parent, need to look out for.A school’s education philosophy gives a school clear strategic directionThis is important to prospective parents for several reasons. A clear strategic direction means that the principal, teachers, support staff and students know what to expect and what is expected of them. As a result of this, all of their efforts are likely to be aligned and therefore more successful in achieving their goals. Without a clear strategic direction, staff may be driven by their own personal philosophies. In this scenario, the school risks becoming a jack of all trades and master of none.A school’s education philosophy helps make sense of decisions madeIf you know what a school’s education philosophy is, you can understand and rationalise certain decisions that are made. For example, why a school chooses to allocate a large budget towards developing their leadership program instead of a new swimming pool. The more a school’s decisions make sense to you, the more confidently you can choose the school.A school’s education philosophy is a benchmark to assess school effectivenessDoes the school align with its education philosophy? Are efforts made to ensure its philosophy is integrated throughout the entire school? If it doesn’t, this could be an indication of disorganisation, internal discord or simply a lack of care for the direction of the school. A school’s education philosophy is a great way to regularly assess its effectiveness.Before you select a school for your child, it’s vital that you consider its education philosophy.