Smart sheep

Sheep smarter than we think
Armidale sheep put to the test in a complex maze
Sheep are smarter than we think. They can learn and remember according to CSIRO researchers from Armidale in NSW. The team is working to identify and breed smarter sheep as part of their work to improve animal welfare and production.   Article continues
Watch the maze test – Video of sheep going through the maze (10 Mb)

Einstein versus Newton

Einstein versus Newton
Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are regarded as two of the greatest, if not the greatest, scientists who ever lived. The Royal Society is seeking to find out who scientists and the public think made the bigger contribution to both science and to humankind through a national poll of the general public and a poll of the Fellowship of the Royal Society, representing the UK and Commonwealth’s leading scientists.
The results of the polls will be announced on 23 November 2005 at a Royal Society public debate: Einstein vs Newton.  Read the background to this issue

Discovery Health Connection

Discovery Education Announces Discovery Health Connection Updates

Discovery Education has announced a complete update and redesign of Discovery Health Connection—its digital health and prevention education resource that incorporates K-12 classroom curriculum programs covering nine critical topics of youth health and prevention education. Discovery Health Connection now includes 16 curriculum programs, three Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Model Programs, correlations to every state’s educational standards, and more than 100 new literacy lessons, according to the announcement.

Testing technology skills Partners with Districts to Help Test Technology Skills has announced partnerships with key school districts across the country as they pilot TechLiteracy Assessment, its online authentic assessment of the technology proficiency of elementary and middle school students. The pilot programs are designed to help districts demonstrate that both state and national education technology standards are being met. Along with the national mandate stating that every student should be technologically literate by the eighth grade, many states have also aggressively adopted and implemented their own technology standards.

Free videos

Free Resources: ScienCentral, Inc. Video Stories
“ScienCentral, Inc. recently contacted us about their videos on the latest research and developments in science and technology. They are currently providing their video stories free to educators who wish to use them as teaching tools or in presentations, and they are working further with educational publishers to provide their science content.
You can get a sense of ScienCentral’s content by visiting the site <>, browsing or using various search features to find stories that interest you/your students, and viewing them online. (A sampling from today’s home page: Remote Control Flies, Defeating Dyslexia, Spider Silk Strength, Alzheimer’s Eye Test, and Living to 100.) There are nearly 1,000 stories archived on the site.
A ScienCentral spokeswoman wrote us: “If a teacher sees our site and wants to use our videos for educational/classroom purposes, they usually contact us by phone or e-mail and we provide the video clips free of charge. We can provide them in QuickTime, Real Media, Windows Media or on VHS/DVCam/Beta. The teacher just signs our license form allowing permission to use.””

Multimedia music curriculum

NEA jazzes things up with new multimedia music curriculum “Jazz in the Schools” is a new web-based, multimedia curriculum from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) that explores jazz as an indigenous American art form and as a means to understand American history. The five-unit, web-based curriculum and DVD toolkit are available free of charge to high school teachers of social studies, U.S. history, and music.  Article continues

Video game violence

Punishing video game violence: Does it reduce aggressive behavior?
Carmageddon 2 (source: Gamespot) is a gory racing game where players control drivers with names like “Max Damage” as they tear through city streets mowing down pedestrians and forcing competitors into bloody collisions. The game settings can be adjusted so that running down innocent bystanders actually increases a player’s point total. Surely, if there’s any video game that might raise a parent’s ire, Carmageddon 2 is one of them.
Studies have shown that violent video games are more likely than non-violent games to induce aggressive behavior, even after very short playing sessions. But more recent research (by Dmitri Williams and Marko Skoric) has suggested that violent game play does not always lead to aggression.  Article continues


Chatrooms: help needed

Parents are showing an alarming level of ignorance and indifference towards their children’s participation in Internet chat rooms, with boys in particular being left to their own devices.  Article continues

Literacy world wide

Literacy: a right still denied to nearly one-fifth of the world’s adult population
09-11-2005 1:50 pm Governments and donor countries are curtailing progress towards Education for All (EFA) – and broader poverty reduction – by according only marginal attention to the 771 million adults living without basic literacy skills, says the fourth edition of the EFA Global Monitoring Report, “Literacy for life”.* “Literacy is a right and a foundation for further learning that must be tackled through quality schooling for all children, vastly expanded literacy programmes for youth and adults, and policies to enrich the literate environment,” says Nicholas Burnett, the Report’s director.  Article continues

Virtual cafeteria for good eating habits

‘Virtual cafeteria’ teaches good eating habits To improve student health and enhance parent understanding, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District (ISD) in Carrollton, Texas, has put $95,000 into developing a program to give parents, students, and other community stakeholders a new way to learn about the foods offered in its schools: a virtual cafeteria.  Article continues