Wednesday, March 31, 2021

03/31/2021 California approves ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 schools - All You Could Ever Want to Know About the Subway Footlong

Today's Article: California approves ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 schools
From: The Los Angeles Times
Readability Score: 14.1

How do we tell our nation's story? How do we help people of all walks of life feel included in the stories told in our classrooms? California has wrestled with this issue for years, and a new curriculum that seeks to tell the history of many marginalized groups has now been approved. Is this a good idea? Discuss the proposed benefits, and some perceived perils, in today's article.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: All You Could Ever Want to Know About the Subway Footlong
Readability Score: 8.0

 

Taking AIM in Our Classrooms



By Dean Graziano 
 
I didn't have a deliberate thought process on building a cohesive classroom, for either students or educators. Like most, I assumed it was happening without my conscious planning. 
 
Then I finally spent some time thinking about it. 
 
Now, I've come up with the acronym A.I.M.=Take AIM!  
  • A- Allow time for students to think. Since questioning is at the heart of critical thinking, you want to create an environment where intellectual curiosity is fostered, and questions are encouraged. This includes building in/making time for learners (whether student or educators) to actually think. Don't rush into the next question, or rush to prompt an answer – embrace the silence after asking a question. Work on fostering an environment (face-to-face or online) where students feel safe to share and be creative. 
  • I - Investigate & invest in best instructional practices. There are a myriad of articles and professional development (see izzit.org) to increase your knowledge. This is time well spent, and I'm sure it will make a positive impact on your students' learning. 
  • M - More time for group work/presentations and opportunity for deeper dives - breadth of knowledge versus depth of coverage. When doing this, I can see if students are making connections to curriculum and have time to focus on those that do not. At izzit.org, our educational videos provide a wonderful coverage of a topic, while our Teachable Moments allow some deeper dives into the specifics of that topic. Again, the key is allowing time for students to think!
I still believe our greatest challenge is the “lag” students are experiencing by not being in an in-person classroom. I am optimistic that taking A.I.M. will help close the gap as well as building a stronger cohesive classroom wherever that may be taking place.



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

03/30/2021 Amazon Delivery Drivers Forced to Sign ‘Biometric Consent’ Form or Lose Job - COVID-19 cut pollution in 2020, warming the atmosphere

Today's Article: Amazon Delivery Drivers Forced to Sign ‘Biometric Consent’ Form or Lose Job
From: vice.com
Readability Score: 13.9

Is it big brother if your employer monitors your behavior for safety and quality assurance?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: COVID-19 cut pollution in 2020, warming the atmosphere
Readability Score: 8.0



Monday, March 29, 2021

03/29/2021 Scientists can implant false memories – and reverse them - Computer chip shortage starting to hit automakers where it hurts

Today's Article: Scientists can implant false memories – and reverse them.

From: inverse.com
Readability Score: 9.9

Are traumas repressed or do you never forget?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Computer chip shortage starting to hit automakers where it hurts
Readability Score: 9.5

 

Friday, March 26, 2021

03/26/2021 New Effort To Clean Up Space Junk Reaches Orbit - Norfolk hot dog spot offering free meals to anyone who needs one

Today's Article: New Effort To Clean Up Space Junk Reaches Orbit

From: NPR
Readability Score: 13.1

Houston, we have a problem. Growing space junk problem threatens future space operations.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Norfolk hot dog spot offering free meals to anyone who needs one
Readability Score: 6.6

 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

03/25/2021 Pentagon Considers Jetpacks - Massive $1.9 trillion stimulus coming with costs—from inflation to debt

Today's Article: Air Force Attacks Mosquitoes in Utah

From: The Salt Lake Tribune
Readability Score: 11.1

Today's Article: Pentagon Considers Jetpacks
From: Gizmodo
Readability Score: 15.7

Despite their popularity in the movies, jetpacks have been rejected by the military for their many flaws. Now, however, the Pentagon is looking for partners who can make "portable personal air mobility systems' a reality. Talk about innovation and research; then show your students how venture capital helps create a 'science fiction future' with izzit.org's Inventing the Future.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Massive $1.9 trillion stimulus coming with costs—from inflation to debt
Readability Score: 9.9

 

Where An Online Collectible is Worth $69 Million




ELAINE SCHWARTZ

Using V-bucks, Fortnite players accumulate the skins that make look alike video characters more unique. One thousand V-bucks could cost close to $9.99.

Below, you are looking at a rare skin:

Similar and yet very different, another online collectible moved far beyond $10 skins.

Online Collectible Markets

a Beeple

Starting in 2007, Max Winkelmann, who calls himself Beeple, posted a picture a day. Combined, they became (shown as our featured image) Everydays–the First 500 Days.

This is one of those pictures:

When asked to imagine an auction, most of us have a similar image of a stage, a podium, a person with a gavel asking for bids. Quite different, the Beeple auction took place online. On February 25, the bidding opened at $100. Within eight minutes, the price ascended to $1 million. By the last hour on March 11, the price moved from $14 million, to $22 million, to $27 million, $35 million, $50 million, and then $60.25 million when the final (imaginary) hammer hit. Because of assorted fees, the final price was $69,346,250. To receive the collage (I am not sure what to call it), the new owner needed no secure delivery plan. All they needed was a non-fungible token (NFT).

a Top Shot

Days earlier, in a somewhat similar online transaction, a video of LeBron James was sold for $208,000. Called a Top Shot, it recorded one moment in sports history. USA Today tells us that the clip showed LeBron dunking “all over” the Sacramento Kings’s forward Nemanja Bjelica. As the new owners, an investment group received a non-fungible token.

Like the Beeple, online collectible activity for Top Shots is soaring:

Non-Fungible Tokens

NFTs exist totally online. But unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be exchanged for each other. One bitcoin is identical to another as a commodity (or currency, whatever it is) while every NFT is unique. The token half of NFT is a deed. The deed is recorded with vital information about the online item. It identifies its owner, when it was created, sold, to whom.

By establishing the validity of an NFT through a digital deed that is recorded in blockchain (an online ledger), property rights can be preserved and thereby viably transferred.

Our Bottom Line: Markets

Trading online collectible commodities reminds us that a market is a process. As long as you have price determined by freely functioning supply and demand, and clearly defined property rights, markets do their job. Whether it’s a $10 Fortnite skin or a $69 million Beeple (or the first Tweet from Jim Dorsey that will reputedly be auctioned as an online collectible), markets are just establishing an equilibrium price and quantity.

Returning to our title, where do we that whopping and completely irrational $69 million?

The market.

My sources and more: NFTs have been popping up everywhere in the news. While the big story was the BeepleWSJ recently defined NFT and then focused on Top Shot moments, They also looked at the market for LeBron James as did USA Today. (I thank my grandson Mason for explaining v-bucks and skins to me and inspiring this post.)


Ideal for the classroom, econlife.com reflects Elaine Schwartz’s work as a teacher and a writer. As a teacher at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she’s been an Endowed Chair in Economics and chaired the history department. She’s developed curricula, was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom,” and has written several books including Econ 101 ½ (Avon Books/Harper Collins). You can get econlife on a daily basis! Head to econlife.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

03/24/2021 Air Force Attacks Mosquitoes in Utah - Elephants and Avocados

Today's Article: Air Force Attacks Mosquitoes in Utah

From: The Salt Lake Tribune
Readability Score: 11.1

Like many areas, Salt Lake City has a mosquito problem. A district official believes that having the military train pilots by spraying pesticides is a win-win; however, some residents are concerned about health risks. Today's article provides an examination of values in conflict and how we can work together to achieve common goals.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Elephants and Avocados
Readability Score: 10.1

 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

03/23/2021 Google’s Nest Adds Sleep Tracking - Butterflies use jet propulsion for quick getaways

Today's Article: People with high emotional intelligence less likely to fall for ‘fake news’

From: Studyfinds.com
Readability Score: 11.8

Are emotionally intelligent people less susceptible to fake news? What are your fact-checking methods?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Texas restaurant covered in racist graffiti after owner continues requiring masks
Readability Score: 9.2

 

Monday, March 22, 2021

03/22/2021 People with high emotional intelligence less likely to fall for ‘fake news’ - Texas restaurant covered in racist graffiti after owner continues requiring masks

Today's Article: People with high emotional intelligence less likely to fall for ‘fake news’

From: Studyfinds.com
Readability Score: 11.8

Are emotionally intelligent people less susceptible to fake news? What are your fact-checking methods?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Texas restaurant covered in racist graffiti after owner continues requiring masks
Readability Score: 9.2

 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Why Reading DOES Matter!

By Dean Graziano

izzit.org has a tremendous library of educational resources. One in particular, a Teachable Moment, titled "Reading Matters" really lays out a wonderful plan-of-action for students in ALL grade levels. As we approach the summer recess, we must remember, summer vacation should NOT be a vacation from learning! Since there is already a learning lag that takes place every summer, now more than ever our students should remain diligent and continue to work on their studies over the summer.

Hopefully this fall, we'll have less utilization of remote learning, so ensuring that students close that lag over the summer is a high priority.

One discussion question in this Teachable Moment is Do you think reading is as important today as it was when Thomas Sowell was a youngster? Why or why not? Reading is always important but, in a world where students have not really received the in-face class time or ability to “stay after” and receive additional teacher support, the summer can become the perfect time for catching up, maintaining the status quo, and even getting ahead.

Correlations to higher scores on standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, all point to students with who are solid readers achieving higher scores. Increased vocabulary and comprehension skills are important to ANY post-secondary career path. Increased creativity, concentration, and empathy are all other benefits from reading. When I recall the importance of reading from elementary school and summer reading programs, I am so lucky to have participated and had direction to do so. Upon changing careers in 2008 and attending law school, I looked up how many pages are read in the three years matriculating through law school-60,000! Having solid reading skills was so vital as I pursued this career pathway. No matter where your career path takes you, reading does matter!

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller






03/19/2021 Senate confirms Deb Haaland as Interior secretary - ‘Pint Size Protesters’ creates space to get families involved in social justice

Today's Article: Senate confirms Deb Haaland as Interior secretary

From: CNN
Readability Score: 14.4

U.S. Senate confirms first Native American to Cabinet in historic vote

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: ‘Pint Size Protesters’ creates space to get families involved in social justice
Readability Score: 8.4

 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

03/18/2021 One university's scheme to fight COVID - Daylight Saving Time returns, and so does controversy

Today's Article: One university's scheme to fight COVID

From: The Washington Post
Readability Score: 11.7

UC Davis wants its students to shelter in place for spring break. Administrators are hoping that a 'carrot' will work better than a 'stick,' and so they're offering $75 to 2,000 students who commit to not leaving campus over spring break. Brilliant or bogus? Discuss opportunity costs and the value of incentives in today's article.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: Daylight Saving Time returns, and so does controversy
Readability Score: 10.0

 

What We Can Learn From a Strawberry Contest

  

ELAINE SCHWARTZ

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

03/17/2021 Americans flock to movies, bars and ballparks after winter of worry - What a Difference a Fan Makes…Maybe

Today's Article: Americans flock to movies, bars and ballparks after winter of worry
From: Reuters
Readability Score: 11.0

Spring is in the air, and restrictions are loosening in many areas. Today's article looks at some of the movement back to pre-pandemic life. Use this story to look forward and let your students think about what comes next, and especially how we maintain a free society.

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: What a Difference a Fan Makes…Maybe
Readability Score: 7.8

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

03/16/2021 Many Americans now consider themselves germaphobes - House Armed Services chairman wants to ‘stop throwing money’ at F-35s

Today's Article: Many Americans now consider themselves germaphobes because of pandemic
From: Studyfinds.com
Readability Score: 11.5

Have you become a germaphobe due to COVID? Are you suffering COVID fatigue and taking fewer precautions?

Click here to view the entire article and classroom discussion questions:
https://www.izzit.org/events/index.php

Today's Alternate Article: House Armed Services chairman wants to ‘stop throwing money’ at F-35s
Readability Score: 7.4