Required Readings

In UK: Creationism Takes One More Kick to the Groin, Teach Your Daughters to Code, S. Africa Transitioning to Digital Textbooks: Required Readings 06.22.14

Some would claim a recent ban on creationism in UK public schools is a win for the British Humanist Association, who has been campaigning for such a ban since 2011, but really its a win for all humans (who, by the way, share a common ancestor with chimpanzees).  The UK government released a new funding agreement that explicitly banned the teaching of pseudoscience, and specifically creationism, as science.  Hooray!

A bit further south, one province in South Africa is planning to make textbooks obsolete, by providing digital textbooks and other resources on tablets.  One model school in the district has already taken the plunge.  I hate the textbooks in my high school chemistry classroom, and look forward to the day where a more adaptive and interactive text is available to each student on a tablet.  Textbooks require lockers, or at least sturdy bookbags and a strong back.  Textbooks get lost, and inventorying them every June is a nightmare.  Textbooks are no longer current as soon as the newest edition arrives in my classroom.  Textbooks are expensive, and need to be replaced frequently.  You get it, right?

Forget Home Economics, hell forget Law School.  You want your daughter to be a rockstar?  Teach her to code.  There is a large wave of resources surging into our public schools to encourage students to learn how to code.  I attended the AP conference in Las Vegas last year, and the college board is offering a second, more fundamental computer science class centered around the skills and logic needed to code.  I’m sure by now you’ve heard of, well now Google has announced a $50 million initiative targeted at getting girls to learn how to code.  I have been impressed with Google’s involvement with computer science education and STEM in general.  Full disclosure, they gave my school a $9,000 grant to start an AP Chemistry program there, so I may be a bit enamored.  

Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!

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Keith is a high school Chemistry and Biology teacher for an urban public school district in an area of the country where pants are called “britches.” Though he has a degree in Percussion Performance, he teaches science because he thinks that a well honed skeptical toolbox is necessary for a more informed citizenry and a more just and prosperous society. When he’s not in the classroom, he spends all his time with his wife and two children, attempting to become the first person in the world to be both a perfect husband and father.

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