Thursday Links

July 7, 2011 @ 2:46 pm | Filed under:

Mapping (Almost) Every Tree In Central Park : NPR

The idea behind this project makes me swoon.

“As a birder, Chaya says, he thought it wouldn’t be a hard task to map trees—unlike birds, they don’t move. But as he became more involved in the mapping project, the park changed.

“It was like learning how to see new colors, or textures,” Chaya says. “The park never looked the same again once I began to discover the many, many species of trees.”

Teaching the Physics of Angry Birds | GeekDad |

“It seems the natural laws of the popular Rovio game’s world do not entirely correspond to real-world physics, and the differences make for some interesting study opportunities.”

ETA two more Angry Birds links:

Here’s one on using Angry Birds to teach math, history, and science.

And this Angry Birds-themed birthday party from GeekMom knocked my socks off the other day.

Typing Beats Scribbling: Indiana Schools Can Stop Teaching Cursive

I was wondering when this would happen. Keyboarding skills are more vital these days. I’m pretty sure Scott hasn’t used cursive since fourth grade…

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. scott (the other one) says:

    I’m pretty sure Scott hasn’t used cursive since fourth grade…

    The Man couldn’t beat me into submission. Even when, technically, The Man was Sister Mary Guadiosa, and she actually beat me on a fairly regular basis.

  2. adie says:

    Blogs need a comment like function, I reckon.

    I’m nervous to see cursive discarded like this. Typing is extremely important, but cursive has its value also. So often these days companies ask for hand-written CVs so they can judge education and character from an applicant’s penmanship. I don’t say cursive is better than tidy printing, but wonder if it’s the first step towards devaluing penmanship completely in favour of keyboard skills.

  3. Betsey says:

    My niece, in KY, wasn’t taught cursive in school. It was optional for the teacher, but now some of the teachers use cursive in class and she can’t read it. A bit of a problem.

  4. Tabatha says:

    I think it’s nice to be able to know how to read it! I like writing in cursive — it’s faster and, when I do slow down, it looks attractive.

    Mapping trees sounds like a neat project.

  5. Lisa says:

    Off to listen to the NPR story!! I always find such good stuff here!

  6. Lindsay says:

    My 19 year old son ran across the article on cursive writing this morning and couldn’t believe it.

    First, what is going to happen to these kids when they have to take the SAT essay portion? No typing allowed there, and cursive is much faster than printing.

    Second, altho’ I guess it should be first, there are lots of BOYS out there, slightly disgraphic, or maybe just not ready to write. Suddenly when they start writing in cursive lots of problems get solved. Because the letters are linked together it is suddenly much harder to reverse letters, and much easier to consistently make them correctly. I had always bought into the whole “printing is easier,” and “boys prefer to print” line that one hears everywhere, and I couldn’t believe it when another mom told me how much easier life got when her son switched to cursive from printing. Then my son was the same way! He still complains when filling out forms, “Do I have to print?!” I have no idea how many girls fit this same pattern. So I wonder how many kids are going to be crippled by this new “educational advance.”

    Nothing wrong with learning to type (and while I’m haranguing, why can’t we just do “typing” instead of the oh so PC “keyboarding.”) But tossing cursive out completely does not sound like a great idea to us (DS and myself)

    Just to change topics and let you know I’m not always an old grump, I just loved the article on the trees in Central Park. Maybe it will inspire me to go back and re-read “Red-Tails in Love” about Red-tailed Hawk “Pale Male” and his courting and fathering success in Central Park.