Tag Archives: teaching

WordPress upgrades to ‘intelligent proofreading’ for spelling, grammar, and style suggestions

I have to say this is pretty amazing. The WordPress blogging platform now offers artificial intelligence for proofreading, and we’re not talking any old spell checker.

Here is what this “intelligent proofreading” covers:

  • Bias language
  • Clichés
  • Complex phrases
  • Diacritical marks
  • Double negatives
  • Hidden verbs
  • Jargon phrases
  • Passive voice
  • Phrases to avoid
  • Redundant phrases

 

I bet this already exist in MS Word or Apple Pages, but I’ve never seen this on the web. It is taking my editing to a whole new level…in color:

The proofreading feature checks spelling, misused words, grammar, and style. You can tell the type of error by its color.

  • Misused words and spelling errors are red
  • Grammar mistakes are green
  • Style suggestions are blue

 

For anyone who self-publishes on the web this is “just what the doctor ordered.” There is only so many times you can proofread your own content.

A little research shows that this feature is available using the JetPack plugin and comes from the technology After the Deadline which was purchased by WordPress.

 

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Science Experiment: How fast can you react?

I love this piece from Scientific American, written in the format of a teaching lesson, instructing you how to perform a science experiment: How Fast Can You React?

Key concepts:
Reaction time
Neuroscience
Gravity

Introduction
Think fast! Have you ever noticed that when someone unexpectedly tosses a softball at you, you need a little time before you can move to catch it (or duck)? That’s because when your eyes see an incoming signal such as a softball, your brain needs to first process what’s happening—and thenyou can take action. In this activity, you can measure just how long it takes for you to react, and compare reaction times with your friends and family.

Materials
·    Ruler (inches or metric)
·    Paper
·    Pencil
·    Chart (below)

 

Keep readingHow Fast Can You React?

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Immunotherapy – teaching the immune system to fight cancer – receives new FDA approval

The concept of ‘teaching’ the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells is over a century old, but the development of immunotherapeutic strategies for cancer was slow for many decades. However, much has been learned about the immune system in the meantime, and with the recent approval of two new immunotherapeutic anticancer drugs and several drugs in late-stage development, a new era in anticancer immunotherapy is beginning.

The video takes an audio-visual journey through the different approaches that are being investigated to harness the immune system to treat cancer.

 

For more, check out the Nature Reviews Drug Discovery poster (pdf):

 

 

// Thx to Derya Unutmaz

Why I walked out on Waiting For Superman

You want know what the hardest part about being a teacher in the US is?

It’s living in a culture where everybody thinks they can teach. Which is like saying everybody can be a doctor. Yet that is exactly what happens in teaching.

Everybody knows how to teach and they all get involved. They espouse opinions and beliefs. It’s like teaching is some mystic art that no one knows how to solve.

In the documentary, Waiting For Superman, Davis Guggenheim explores teaching like it is a mystical mess. He focuses on the system and how hard parents are trying. Why tenure sometimes gets in the way, etc. Not really anything different than what’s been said for 50 years.

Here’s something different. It takes three years minimum to become just a good teacher. Five years, minimum, to become a master teacher. Including the one year of post-grad that is six years to master the skill of teaching. If you are good. If you don’t have the right mentoring or curriculum help it could be 7-8 years. How long does it take to be a doctor, or a lawyer or accountant?

What would change if we all thought about teachers as equal to doctors:

- We might give parents and the PTA’s less input into schools (they’re the reason why we have tenure and it’s issues).

- The role of an “active parent” would switch from blaming schools and “watching” teachers to reading, helping with math, and going beyond the classroom to teach new lessons.

- The “business” of teaching would be more like hospitals. With an MBA handling the money, HR executive handling the hiring/firing/development, and master teachers handling the education.

- Lastly, and most importantly, we would all understand that our 12 years of being a student in no way makes us experts. Instead it makes us biased, bitter, and unable to help (at all) until we become master teachers (or at the very least learn something about education).

I really hoped Davis would explore these problems but instead he gave an uneducated “parents view” of education. Thanks a lot bud, you used ur considerable skill and prominence to just make things worse.

—-

*I posted this in Facebook at 11:21pm on October 9th, just after leaving the theatre*