Data-free Messaging App Jott becomes popular with US teens

jott teenTexting remains the most popular communications method among US teens and many are now turning to Jott. If you haven’t heard of Jott, go ask a teenager.

Jott, a messaging app that works without a data plan or WiFi connection, has become increasingly popular  among junior high and high school students. Co-founder Jared Allgood revealed that the app is adding 15,000-20,000 user per day.

So how does it work? Teens who don’t have smartphones or a data plan can now message each other using their iPods and iPads. It has to be on a closed network within a 100-foot area within school limits. Additional features of the app include disappearing messages and screenshot detection similar to Snapchat. Know more about Jott here.


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School Gardens Help Kids Learn Better But Why Aren’t They Everywhere?

school gardenGarden-based learning is a proven teaching strategy that supplements learning through school gardens. This encourages kids to learn from programs, projects and activities that has a personal meaning to them and at the same time allows them to reconnect with nature. But with the growing demands in teachers’ time and lack of financial support, not every school can implement this strategy.

Jane Hirschi discussed both the challenges and possibilities of garden-based learning in her book, Ripe for Change. Hirschi is also the founding director of CitySprouts, an initiative based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that seeks to establish gardens as learning tools in public schools nationwide...

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The Teenage Brain: Spock Vs. Captain Kirk

Spock_KirkA teen’s body grows through radical changes during puberty. What parents do not notice are the complex but vital changes that are taking place in the brain. Ever wonder what’s going on in a teenager’s head?

This story from nprED takes us into a closer look at how a teenager’s brain respond to decisions and influences. It discussed that while a teenagers always gets a bad reputation for making impulsive behavior, they actually know the right decision from the beginning. But when their peers are present, things get a little different.

To find out what happens, click here.


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NASA’s Climate Kids: Dream of a Green Career

nasa climate kidsThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) website is already full of fun things that kids can explore about space and the Earth that we live in. Their Climate Kids website brings the exciting science of climate change and the sustainability of life to kids. The site is full of full of interactive games, hands-on activities, and engaging articles that make climate science accessible, informative and fun.

Their “Dream of a green career” section allows kids to explore exciting careers in this field. Discover how you can  control a spacecraft that measures water in Earth’s soil. Learn the importance of recycling and how it benefits the environment. Study different ways on how families can save energy in their homes.

Check out NASA’s Climate Kids website and share it to your...

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‘The Lady Gaga Of Mathematics,’ Wants To Bring The Joy Of His Discipline To Everyone

Cedric VillaniFrench Mathematician Cédric Villani is a fervent advocate for Mathematics — and spider brooches. Although he looks like he just wandered in from the 19th century, Villani is shaking up the world of algebra and geometry.

Aptly nicknamed, “the Lady Gaga of Mathematics”, his interest on “regularizing effects of grazing collisions in kinetic equations” is both eccentric and fascinating. His memoir, Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure, tells how as a kid he was more interested in “hanging exponents on functions like baubles on a tree, and I’m matching factorials like candles” instead of opening Christmas presents.

Villani hopes to break the misconception of people about mathematics and open their eyes to the endless possibilities of the discipline...

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A Look at English Language Learners Across the U.S.

ELLDo you know what is the number 1 native language for English language learners (ELL) in every state? The answer is not always Spanish.

Whether you teach English in the classroom, have friends in class who are not native English speakers or an ELL student yourself, there are a lot of online tools available that can support you as you learn more about English and other ELL students.

This infographic is something you can share to your teaching colleagues or classmates.

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Teaching Empathy to Kids Through Empathy Cards

150506_EYE_EmpathyCards5.jpg.CROP.original-originalWhen Emily McDowell was battling Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she endured nine months of intense chemo and radiation treatments. She recalled some friends didn’t really know what to say or do about her condition. Now in remission, McDowell was inspired to create the Empathy Cards.

Children can demonstrate empathy in their own way and this is great activity for them to learn. They can design and create their own personalized cards to give to a family member or a friend who is sick. They can write wonderful lines of plain spoken words that will help the recipients of the cards to feel seen, understood, and loved. Empathy is a very powerful way to communicate.

No well-meaning parent would discourage their child from expressing empathy...

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Better World Education: Stories Without Border

better educationbetter education humanityImagine a world of storychangers. Stories without borders, without limits. For schools, educators and students who are interested in a global perspective in changing what and how we teach, you need to check out the Better World Education website.

The Better World Education aims to change the story of our world for the better. Their approach is composed of 5 layers and each layer adds on a “new level of depth around what to teach and how to teach it” — to equip you in the classroom no matter the circumstances are. Their feature, Story on Humanity, is explored with big questions (What does it mean to be human? Do we face an empathy gap?) that can be integrated well with academic needs.

Check out more stories in their Youtube channel as well.

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The Tragic Past Of The Man Behind Big Bird Has Made Him An Anti-Bullying Icon

I-Am-Big-Bird-The-Caroll-Spinney-StoryFew people people know the name Caroll Spinney, but almost everyone know Big Bird from Sesame Street. And while ‘Big Bird’ may be a happy character, Spinney have one of the saddest stories in life. The new documentary, called ‘I Am Big Bird’, painted a loving picture of a man who have been inside the giant bird suit ever since Sesame Street started in 1969.

“I Am Big Bird” details how Mr Spinney had that period of his life where he was consistently bullied and was cheated on by his wife. He was depressed and considered suicide. This became a powerful turning point in his life.

Get to know more about Caroll Spinney here.

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The Awful Science of the Comment Section

commentDespite the warning sign, “Do Not Read Comments”, people do read comments and often take them seriously. Forums, blogs and social media all have ways to encourage their readers to speak their minds. The sad truth is, it is the hateful comments that are sometimes get stirred up, sensationalized and leaves a lasting impression.

This post by Upworthy curator Poebe Gavin takes us in-depth why reading comments will almost always leave us feeling awful and unproductive. The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania figured out what gets people’s attention and what motivates us to share. The results are compelling.

So, is it still worth reading the comment section? Find out here.

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