In Chile, the school year is only halfway through — and teachers are struggling
Photo credit: Pixabay, under Pixabay license.By April 1, nearly 1.6 billion learners across the world had been affected by school closures due to COVID-19. For school children in the northern hemisphere, the turbulent school year came to an end with the arrival of warmer weather, but for millions of students and teachers in the southern hemisphere the school year is only halfway through. All primary and secondary level schools in Chile have been closed since March 15, forcing teachers to move classes online. Teaching across Chile's structurally and economically diverse schooling system present...
University of Texas students' idea: Carving images on the moon
AUSTIN, Texas — Want to leave a message on the moon’s surface?A group of University of Texas students have a vision that could — at least in theory — make that a possibility someday.The 10 UT engineering students devised a business plan to turn the idea into a moneymaker — and won awards for it at a NASA competition.They pitched and provided the plan for building a rover that would carve messages or images onto the moon and capture pictures of those etchings, which in turn could be used for merchandising. While not visible from Earth, the etchings are intended to be permanent, the students sai...
Review: 'Owls of the Eastern Ice,' by Jonathan C. Slaght
“Owls of the Eastern Ice” by Jonathan C. Slaght; Farrar, Straus & Giroux (368 pages, $28)———Jonathan C. Slaght had seen just one rare Blakiston’s fish owl in his life — and that one completely by chance — before rashly deciding that he would spend five years studying the elusive bird.In 2005, Slaght had earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, tracking the effect of logging on songbirds in the remote Primorye region of far Eastern Russia. Slaght, who had also spent time in Primorye as a Peace Corps volunteer, hoped to return there for his doctoral research.For his doctorate, ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
15 minutes with Chicago-area native Taylor Zakhar Perez of Netflix's 'The Kissing Booth 2'
CHICAGO — Long before he was lauded as the internet’s new boyfriend for his guitar-playing, smooth-dancing, ab-baring role in the Netflix movie “The Kissing Booth 2,” Taylor Zakhar Perez was a star swimmer at Chesterton High School in northwest Indiana.Zakhar Perez plays Marco, who distracts classmate Elle (Joey King) from her long-distance relationship with Noah (Jacob Elordi) in the high-school rom-com, which dropped July 24. Here’s what we learned about Zakhar Perez from our 15-minute phone interview.He comes from a large family.Zakhar Perez, 28, said he has five sisters and two brothers, a...
Chicago Teachers Union will take first steps next week toward possible strike, sources say
CHICAGO — The Chicago Teachers Union is planning to convene its House of Delegates early next week to consider a process that could lead to a strike if Chicago Public Schools doesn’t agree to start the school year with full remote learning, sources said Tuesday.It’s not clear if the process would differ from the steps taken before the 11-day teachers strike last fall, but the union’s bylaws require a full membership vote to authorize a strike after the matter comes before the House of Delegates.Educator unions nationwide, including the Illinois Federation of Teachers and American Federation of...
Virtual learning means unequal learning
WASHINGTON — Karen Reyes, who teaches deaf and hard-of-hearing children in Austin, Texas, worries about her first-grade pupils who will be learning online this fall. She’s concerned that virtual learning is harder for younger, special needs children, especially those who may not have as much support at home as students in more affluent communities.“It has brought out a lot of the inequities in our district, especially in special education,” Reyes said of the distance learning program.In her school, 93% of the students are considered economically disadvantaged, according to a city estimate.“Eit...
Study: Parasitic fungus creates zombie cicadas and uses them as agents of infection
Zombie cicadas to murder hornets: Hold my beer.There has been a resurgence of cicadas infected with the parasitic fungus Massospora, which causes them to resort to trickery to entrap other victims.While murder hornets cruelly decapitate bees, fungus-infused cicadas are B-horror-movie next level, researchers say.The fungus has chemicals that include compounds similar to those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.“Massospora manipulates male cicadas into flicking their wings like females — a mating invitation — which tempts unsuspecting male cicadas and infects them,” the research team from West Vi...
New York Daily News
Balancing Act: As the coronavirus rages, families are left to decide how — not whether — it will affect their kids' right to an education
Friday is decision day for Chicago Public Schools families.With a bare-bones understanding of the two options, parents and guardians are instructed to opt into one of two learning models for the first quarter: a hybrid model that has most students clustered into small pods in school buildings two days per week and learning remotely the other three days, or 100% remote learning that has them … 100% remote learning. We don’t have any more details about the second model — last we heard they’ll arrive “soon.”I spent the weekend, like so many families, reading everything I could get my hands on to ...
Online education was a mess in the spring. As COVID-19 prompts schools to stay virtual, will it get better this fall?
CHICAGO — When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Chicago Public Schools to make a hurried switch to remote instruction earlier this year, Lidia Muro said it didn’t work out so well for her 5-year-old stepson Elijah, then a kindergartner at Marvin Camras Elementary.Some of the schoolwork he was given required logins and passwords his parents didn’t receive, she said. Communication with his teacher was lacking. And while it took Elijah a single day to finish math lessons that were supposed to stretch over months, he fell behind in reading.“The program was mostly games, I think,” Muro said. “Education...
Mark Zeigler: It's time for college sports to tell athletes take it or leave it
Eventually, and that moment draws nearer by the day, college athletic administrators need to make a choice:Are they going to continue backpedaling, or are they going to make a tackle?Are they going to stand up and stand by their product?Is enough ever going to be enough?Because apparently college athletes – or at least college football players – aren’t going to stop asking for more even as they receive concession after concession. The latest group with its hand out is Pac-12 football players, who issued a lengthy list of “demands” Sunday with the threat of boycotting the season.Here’s a sugges...
The San Diego Union-Tribune