Academic Minute

It’s been a while since we rang the bell and invited you into history class here at TBOOK University, and given the current atmosphere in the political world, why not talk about one of the most revered politicians in American history.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, Sidney Blumenthal talks about the first volume in his massive new project exploring the history of the man who some consider the greatest President of the United States.

Science has given us a way to have our individual genomes sequenced, opening up a vault of information about our genetic makeup and possibly our future health. But if information is generated…there will be people trying to get a hold of it.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, just how private are your genetic building blocks?

Next we’ll go from science to history and find out about a newly discovered letter that may shed light on the presidential election of 1876.

A couple of weeks ago we ran a segment talking about a new report on the state of charter schools in the US. The report was released by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and though it was factual it certainly highlighted the advantages of charters. I’ve been asked to give an opposing view and realized we already had.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, my talk with former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, who calls the privatization movement a Reign of Error.

Nearly 75 years ago, a troubled young boy in Mississippi made history. He was the first person diagnosed with Autism. Since then, the scientific community has worked hard to understand the cause of the condition…while parents struggled even harder to have their children accepted in society.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the award winning journalists who wrote a comprehensive new history of Autism.

We’ll also spend an academic minute discovering a lost part of the human brain.

From technology and test scores to Common Core, curriculums and teaching techniques are changing all over the country. And a lot of different sources are weighing in on what those changes should look like. But are the students getting enough input in the process…and should they?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the question of student voice in the education system.

We’ll also meet a young man from the UK who says he’s addicted to selfies. And we’ll spend an academic minute with onomatopoeia.

Is solving a university level math problem your idea of fun? Then have I got a book for you. A professor from Oxford University in the UK has complied over 100 of these problems for people who love a good math puzzle.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at Professor Povey’s Perplexing Problems.

We’ll also listen in on a public session on Common Core in Northern New York State, and spend an academic minute building a better bridge.

GED Testing Service

A group of major employers in the US have gotten together to provide their employees with a free path to further their education. And we’re not talking about technical education or masters degrees.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about GED Works…and new program to help employees finally get their GED..

We’ll also hear how many school districts in New York State are looking to opt out of new teacher evaluation standards, find out about enriching the education of young people in paradise…and spend an academic minute studying the sturdiest part of a turtle.

NOAO/AURA/NSF

A while back we had a great discussion about cosmic voids…and how they are everywhere and take up a huge amount of space in the universe. One thing we heard about that day was Dark Energy. Now, scientists from around the country are launching a new project that hopes to expand our understanding just what the heck that is!

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to one of the researchers chosen to participate in the DESI Project.

We’ll also keep it dark by spending an academic minute learning a little more about Dark Matter.

What do you think about when you hear the name Jack London? Probably American heroes and adventure stories. But the author was also a social advocate who championed the poor and railed against income inequality. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from the author of a new book on Jack London as an adventurer and social warrior.

We’ll also spend an academic minute looking at the influence of violent video games.

So, if you were with us last week, you heard the story of Riverview High School. The school was a pseudonym for an academically successful but racially divided school in the Midwest. Today, it’s a story of a different school…Mission High, a real school in the San Francisco Bay area that by all the metrics used to measure schools today is failing. But after spending a lot of time at the school, a reporter found out there was more to Mission High than met the eye. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from that reporter who spent four years at Mission High.

Ever drive down the road and pass one of those historical markers a lot of places erect and wonder what it's all about? You can do that a lot...and if you stopped at all of them you'd never really get anywhere. Not to worry, there's an app for that. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk to the people behind Next Exit History, and learn how a stop for coffee on a road trip turned into nationwide historical database.

A recent study of business school across the country shows a consistent disparity in the gender of students enrolling in these programs. To put that in plain English: it appears there are more men than women who want to be accountants. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a leading woman in the field and see if she sees the same thing happening in real life.

We’ll also hear about a class in college survival 101, find a community college that’s giving dropouts a second chance and spend an academic minute getting into shape by taking a nap.

I had a long, very enjoyable conversation with an elementary school principal last week as she was getting ready for the new school year. One topic we kept coming back to was dealing with students who have seizures in class…which is apparently a lot more common than you’d think. And it seems not all seizures are created equal.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll listen to a conversation with two doctors who specialize in Epilepsy, and see how this condition is affecting more and more lives.

We’ll also spend an academic minute getting into some heavy metal!

Nothing about sexual assault is easy…not even talking about it. But at colleges and universities across the country, that conversation is finally starting. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how some schools are changing the rules of consent from no means no to yes means yes.

Then we’ll talk to three young women who have chosen to start a career in the military after high school…head to Afghanistan to see how refugees orphans are getting an education…and spend an academic minute with college returnees finally completing theirs.

The first time most of heard the word disobedience was probably in the classroom.

Speaking from personal experience, it was usually directed at the most interesting, or at least fun, members of the class. Obedience is an important part of classroom management for teachers, but there are times when disobedience can not only be helpful…it’s almost mandatory.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the author of a new book on intelligent disobedience.

Looks like summer’s in the home stretch and soon the Friday and Saturday night lights will be fired up all over the country and another football season will be underway. Student athletes of all ages from Pee Wee to Division One will be doing their best to be their best on the field. But for athletes of any age or experience level, that sometimes means taking performance enhancing drugs.

Rosewell Park Cancer Institute

If you have an important topic to teach a particular audience…it helps to not only know your audience, but to also know how to talk to them.

This culturally tailored educational approach is being used around the country to bring important information about health to a racially diverse population. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the director of one of these programs in western New York State, which just received two major grants to continue their work.

If you go by the raw numbers, it looks like children of minority families are more likely to end up in special education programs. But if we’ve learned anything over the years it’s that number don’t nearly tell the whole story. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the co-author of a new study on minorities and special ed and learn why most preconceived notions are probably really wrong.

We’ll also spend some time yawning at an academic minute…and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Anyone paying attention to the news of the day can see there are calls to limit the right of free speech in the US for various reason ranging from national security to racial unrest. You might think these calls are unprecedented. You’d be wrong. In the very early days of our republic, back in 1798, there were calls to make criticizing the government a crime.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’re going to return to history class and discuss those early calls for restricting free speech in the US

There are interesting stories about Common Core and standardized testing all over the country, but if you want real entertainment, you have to look closely at Florida. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how developing education standards and valid evaluations has been a comedy of errors in the Sunshine State.

We’ll also see how another southern state, North Carolina, is trying to find ways to pay its best teachers. And we’ll spend an academic minute matching the personalities of students and teachers for better early education.

University of West Florida

Let’s start off with an important definition. A phage is a virus that preys on and feeds off bacteria. They are found, among other places, in the soil.

Stanford University

I love road trips! Last month I hit the road and ended up in Silicon Valley at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference where I had the chance to speak with educators and authors about the latest in medical education.

fredricklane.com

How did we ever get along without the internet? 

I’m sure you’ve heard that line more than a few times over the last decade or so. The amount of information on line has been a great tool for educators. But there are also cyber traps that more and more teachers are falling into. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge we’ll talk about the new book “Cyber Traps for Educators”.

Then we’ll meet a student from the UK who has overcome cyber-addiction and is trying to help others do the same.

University of West Florida

Through the years some artists have gotten their inspiration through science.

Scientists getting inspiration through art is another thing all together and could, perhaps, create a whole new discipline. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge we’ll hear from an art professor who uses art as an exo-discipline.

Then we’ll try to find out why an overwhelming majority of students in Veterinary School are woman. And we’ll spend an academic minute exploring the coral reefs.

Arizona passed a law this month that made it the first state in the nation to mandate high school students pass a test in civics. we've been hearing about the decline of civics education for years...and one issue keeps arising: is it possible to keep politics out of civics?

For that matter, is keeping politics out of the classroom a good idea at all?

You may have noticed that as he approaches his final two years in office, President Obama is trying harder to put his imprint on life in the US…and with his recent proposal on making two years college available to everyone, he has started a whole new conversation on the importance of school beyond grade 12.

Today on The Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the president’s plan for universal community college.

We’ll also open up the political science classroom and talk about the situation in France with a professor who specialized in European politics.

Princetown University Press

It takes a lot to survive a zombie apocalypse: speed, endurance, cunning…and apparently a working knowledge of calculus.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the author of the new novel Zombies and Calculus and see why surviving a zombie attack takes brains.

We’ll also hear an essay about running away from your school bully straight into adolescence. I’ll talk to a Florida ROTC teacher who recently wrote a book about how to get into the college of your choice…and pay for it.

University of West Florida

For a political science professor, following the recent vote on Scottish independence was the Olympics and World Cup rolled into one.

And when you start a conversation on the topic…it’s likely the subject will drift a bit. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a professor of political science to learn the history and the teachable moments from the vote in Scotland.

We’ll also spend an academic minute with a refreshing walk in the park.

The Academic Minute for 8.11-8.15

Aug 15, 2014

Monday, August 11
Alyssa Crittenden - University of Nevada Las Vegas  
Microbiota of the Hadza Tribe

E-Cigarettes are rapidly gaining popularity.

Lauren Dutra, post-doctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco's School of Medicine, is studying the correlation between usages of these different tobacco products.

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