American Students Do Not Know Enough About Geography

Do you know what causes an earthquake? Or where the American Southwest is? Well, if you do, you have a much better grasp on geography than most eight graders in this country, according to a new report.

The report, which was created from the results of the 2010 National Assessment of Education Progress test,  said that fewer than one-third of American students are considered proficient in geography. High school seniors scored, on average, 56.4 percent on this test. This is unfortunate for our nation because it shows that students are not being prepared to work in a global workforce.

“Geography is not just about maps,” said David Driscoll, the chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board. “It is a rich and varied disciple that, now more than ever, is vital to understanding the connections between our global economy, environment, and diverse cultures.”

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Texas Teacher Faces Jail Time for Sleeping with 5 Students

Brittni Nicole Colleps was a teacher at Kennedale High School in Texas. Colleps is a mother of three and her husband is in the military. She seemed like your normal high school English teacher until reports that she had sex with five of her students.

It all began on April 20 when Colleps and her 18-year old student began sending explicit text messages. Six days later, the student came over to Colleps’ home and the two had sex. This set of a series of events that led to Colleps becoming sexually involved with four other students and even videotaping one of the encounters. All of the students were over 18-years of age, but it is still a second-degree felony offense for a teacher to have any type of sexual relationship with his/her students. Colleps was arrested on May 16, 2011; she was released later after posting the $125,000 bail.

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Raising Teachers’ Salaries to Improve Children’s Education

It’s no secret: teachers in the USA are not given the respect they deserve. These are the people who are shaping America’s future, but in many states, they are underpaid for their invaluable services to today’s youth. Now, with President Obama’s desire to improve the quality of education that children in our nation receive, it’s time to step back and take a look at the important role that teachers have in this process.

“Teaching in the U.S. is unfortunately no longer a high-status occupation,” said Andreas Schleicher, who monitors an international achievement test known as Pisa. “Despite the characterization of some that teaching is an easy job, with short hours and summers off, the fact is that successful, dedicated teachers in the U.S. work long hours for little pay and, in many cases, insufficient support from their leadership.”

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How Students Can Help in the Japanese Relief Efforts

On March 11, 2011, an 8.9 earthquake rocked the ocean floor near Japan, causing an enormous tsunami to wash onto the north-eastern coasts of Japan. Cars, homes, and ships were swept away when the tsunami came to land. It has been said that this is the most powerful earthquake to ever strike Japan. The death toll is expected to pass 1,000 and many more are injured, have lost their homes, and have no place to go.

What can we students in the USA do to help? Many of us would love to go to Japan and help with the relief efforts firsthand. However, if you can’t be there, you can still help. Here’s a list of several relief organizations that are accepting donations to help Japan.

The American Red Cross is accepting $10 donations through text messages. Similar to the campaign in Haiti after their earthquake, people only need to send a text message to 90999 with REDCROSS in the message, and they can donate $10 immediately to help the Red Cross’s efforts.

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Is the AT&T or Verizon iPhone Better for Students?

If you are a Verizon cell phone user, then you are probably celebrating a new piece of information the company recently released: iPhone is coming to Verizon! Currently, AT&T is the only cell phone provider who offers the Apple iPhone. However, on February 10, 2011, all of that will change.

Verizon will be offering the iPhone 4 to all users who are eligible for an upgrade for $199.99 for the 16GB model or $299.99 for the 32GB model with a new two-year agreement. Users can also purchase the phone at full price without a contract agreement for $649.99 for the 16GB model or $749.99 for the 32GB model.

The phones will require a data plan, which start at $15 for 150MB or $29.99 for unlimited data for current Verizon phones; however, Verizon has not yet announced their new data plans for iPhones.

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Use Transparent Language to Become Bilingual

Being bilingual is invaluable in the job market today. Learning a new language can be a really fun process, if you choose the right way to learn. There are many different ways to learn a language: you can spend hours in a classroom, practice with flashcards, or use a language learning software. One of the best new language learning software programs today is Transparent Language.

Transparent Language was founded in 1991. Since then, Transparent Language has helped millions of people learn a new language by using a “declarative first” approach. This means that you learn a language by learning and remembering words, phrases and short sentences. This creates a database of knowledge that you can draw from when you are speaking the language. This also helps you master the vocabulary and use the language in it’s natural context.

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Students Go on SCVNGR Hunts to Explore Their Universities

scvngrBeing a new student at a large university can be intimidating. You don’t know which building your next class is in, much less where that building is located on campus. You could wander around for hours, trying to find your destination, and end up even more lost than when you started. You could ask another student and risk them laughing at you or just ignoring you- or you could use SCVNGR to get really familiar with your new campus.

SCVNGR is a location-based social gaming app. So far, SCVNGR has partnered with 360 universities around the country to create design scavenger hunts that will help students become more familiar with their campus. Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy Breakfast Options for Non-Breakfast Students

healthy-breakfastSomehow this semester, I ended up with classes from 8:30am to 12:30pm, three days a week. I am a morning person, so this isn’t as bad as it sounds, except in one area: my tummy. I used to skip breakfast and have an earlier lunch. However, my new schedule of waiting until 12:30pm or later is killing me. So, I decided to give the experts a chance, who say we should eat breakfast every day, and try making a few breakfasts.

Here are the easiest, healthiest and most portable breakfasts I came up with for non-breakfast-eaters, like myself.

1.    Yogurt with berries. My favorite is red raspberry yogurt, covered with fresh blueberries. There is plenty of protein in yogurt, which keeps you full longer, and carbohydrates, to give you a kick of energy early in the morning. Go for fat-free or Greek yogurt to cut fat and calories.

2.    A hard-boiled egg with toast. This is really convenient because you can take it with you on your commute to classes. The egg white will give you lots of protein, and the yolk will give you fat, both of which do wonders for managing hunger, and the toast will give you the carbohydrates your brain needs for class. Read the rest of this entry »

Number of Students Needing Financial Aid Increasing

student loansYou know what it’s like: You apply to your dream school, then wait for the mail every day, hoping for that big envelope that says you have been accepted.

So what do you do if you do get accepted, but the financial aid that is offered isn’t enough? You write a letter to the financial aid office asking for more.

Sandra Oliveira is the executive director of financial aid at Providence College and has been spending the past few days reading 100 appeals from students who want to attend Providence College, but need more financial aid in order to do so. Every application for more financial aid is a heart-breaking plea for more money to “offset the impact of recent job losses, plunges in home values or other financial setbacks.” Some students submit medical bills, layoff notices, and tax forms to show how real their need really is.

How much money are these students receiving at first? It’s probably not a lot, right?

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Rice University Students Create Life-Saving Medical Equipment

Rice students' Sally Centrifuge. Image Via: Rice University

Rice students' Sally Centrifuge. Image Via: Rice University

Does it ever feel like you really are not gaining any experience from your classes that can be applied to the real world? I know I have felt that way about several of my classes.

Let’s be honest: As a journalist, when will I ever need Math for Critical Thinking or biochemistry? Probably never.

But students at Rice University are learning real life skills, and applying them to make life-saving medical technology. These students created a piece of medical equipment that can test people for anemia from a salad spinner, combs, yogurt containers, and other common household items. This type of medical equipment is usually very expensive, but the students’ approach only costs around $30.

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