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[Anyone in the world]

http://lifestyle.publico.pt/adolescer/350208_nao-sou-um-genio-da-fisica-ou-da-quimica


Adolescer 

Rui Gaudêncio

Não sou um génio da Física ou da Química

Ouvem-se os sinos da igreja a tocar o “Avé Maria” de Fátima. “A 13 de Maio…” Mas hoje é dia 18 de Junho e há meia hora que começou o exame de Física e Química (FQ) que eu, entretanto, já terminei. E não, não é por ser um génio da Física ou da Química que ocupei duas páginas com 15 respostas de escolha múltipla – por responder ficaram 14 que não sei resolver… Nem uma? Nem uma.

A culpa é minha, mas não é só minha. Não sou nenhum génio a FQ e, na minha opinião não preciso de o ser; mas é isso que, aparentemente querem de mim. Na verdade, eles não querem génios da FQ, mas gente quadrada que não pense mais alto do que elesEles – os senhores que mandam no mundo, os que decidem, os que fazem as regras, mas também os que as cumprem cegamente –, querem quadrados que trabalhem de acordo com o paradigma corrente e que, de preferência, não o questionem.

Se é um desses eles que querem quadrados, se é um desses quadrados ou se os apoia, pode parar de ler porque este é um texto com o qual vai discordar ou, muito provavelmente, não vai compreender.

Peço desculpa por não ser das Ciências Exactas. Bom, na verdade, não o lamento nem um pouco. Lamento terem-me obrigado a escolher uma área aos 13 anos. Acreditavam mesmo que eu ia fazer uma escolha acertada? Se o leitor que me lê não sabe quem é – e se pensa que sabe, muito provavelmente está a enganar-se... –, como é suposto uma criança, que ainda não acabou de o ser, saber?

Já eles deviam pedir desculpa pela sua falta de compreensão. No fundo, eles sentem-se miseráveis. Nem sequer gostam de crianças ou de adolescentes – têm demasiada vida, as suas cabeças ainda não são quadradas. Somos apenas caras jovens que lhes passam pela frente, todos os anos. Não nos vêem e quando nos vêem, invejam-nos ou, pior, ignoram-nos. Somos um número ao qual corresponde uma avaliação. Não somos seres humanos a quem se pode estender a mão. “Por quê ajudar-vos?”, pensam eles. Por quê, se nem sequer sabem quem somos, com o que sonhamos. Eles não querem que sonhemos.

Somos números e, por isso, somos tratados como números. E, por isso, podemos ser prejudicados sem que eles percam o sono, porque não nos vêem. Eles têm pequenos mas grandes poderes e, estupidamente, têm a nossa vida nas mãos.

Eu faço parte de uma minoria, aquela que procura ser diferente, fazer a diferença. Pode ser em vão… Eles já se esqueceram que os paradigmas mudam. Esqueceram-se que há mudança quando se torna difícil chutar para debaixo do tapete tantas pequenas anomalias, como eu.

Ainda tenho mais uma hora e um quarto dentro desta sala, onde escrevo nesta folha de rascunho com o carimbo da escola no canto superior direito e a assinatura da professora vigilante. Muito tempo sem nada para fazer, sem a possibilidade de preparar-me para o exame seguinte, Biologia e Geologia.

Uma hora e um quarto… Em dez anos de escolaridade nunca tive um lugar à janela. Hoje, encosto o queixo ao parapeito e olho através do vidro. Um vento leve faz os ramos mais altos dançarem. A cruz no cimo da torre da igreja sobressai de entre os telhados das casas. Um céu azul tão limpo e o sol a bater nas janelas do outro lado da rua. Parece um quadro a que apenas o voo dos pássaros dá vida.

Quase que consigo abstrair-me do nervosismo sufocante que enche a sala. A ânsia domina as canetas que correm nas folhas do ministério. Os dedos impacientes teclam com força as calculadoras, à procura de respostas. Um movimento que nada me diz e não posso sair daqui.

Não sou a única perdida na intenção de resolver o enunciado. Mas sou a mais perdida… Não sou nenhum génio da Física ou da Química, já o confessei, mas acredito que sou capaz de fazer muito mais coisas interessantes e fascinantes do que responder a 16 páginas de exame.  

Já tive a minha quinzena de Outonos e por mais que deseje que o Verão não acabe, este termina e chega mais um aniversário. Sou a Leonor Castelo, tenho 15 anos, vivo em Lisboa e ando à procura!

 
[Anyone in the world]

PLOS
  • Published: June 10, 2015
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127502 

Abstract

The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013. It shows that in both natural and medical sciences (NMS) and social sciences and humanities (SSH), Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of the published output, especially since the advent of the digital era (mid-1990s). Combined, the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. Disciplines of the social sciences have the highest level of concentration (70% of papers from the top five publishers), while the humanities have remained relatively independent (20% from top five publishers). NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics. The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact. It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing.


 
Fotografia de Vitor Teodoro
por Vitor Teodoro - Domingo, 14 Junho 2015, 21:20
[Anyone in the world]

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.


http://go.ted.com/bVeG

[ Modificado: Domingo, 14 Junho 2015, 21:20 ]
 
Fotografia de Vitor Teodoro
por Vitor Teodoro - Quinta, 11 Junho 2015, 08:49
[Anyone in the world]

http://interactivepython.org/runestone/static/thinkcspy/index.html


How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

Learning with Python: Interactive Edition 2.0 

Welcome! Take a tour, experiment with Python, join more than 850,000 other readers in learning how to think like a computer scientist with Python.

[ Modificado: Quinta, 11 Junho 2015, 08:50 ]
 
[Anyone in the world]



http://www.publico.pt/sociedade/noticia/o-velho-e-bom-habito-de-escrever-a-mao-1698213



CRÓNICA 

O velho e bom hábito de escrever à mão

Tenho cãibras nas mãos e o esforço é inconsequente.

  • "Isto não vai ser fácil, eu sei. Vocês não imaginam quantas vezes já comecei e apaguei estas linhas. A caneta treme e a minha caligrafia, que é péssima, está pior. Estou a escrever à mão, num autocarro."

  • (...)


"Redigir à mão é que é o cabo dos trabalhos. O autocarro pára e arranca, é impossível manter a escrita direita, como nos impingiram na primária. Aí vem uma rotunda. Não dá, a caneta escorrega para o lado errado. O arroz de peixe também. Estou um bocado agoniado."


http://www.publico.pt/sociedade/noticia/o-velho-e-bom-habito-de-escrever-a-mao-1698213

[ Modificado: Segunda, 8 Junho 2015, 10:21 ]
 
[Anyone in the world]

http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/rt/printerFriendly/5641/4575#p1


E-books: Histories, trajectories, futures by Michael M. Widdersheim




Abstract
This essay traces the historical trajectory of e-books in the U.S. and imagines their possible futures. Legal, economic, and technical developments that led to contemporary e-books reveal a tension between commercial and non-commercial programming. Commercial e-book designs control end uses, reduce production and distribution costs, stimulate consumption, and monitor user behaviors; however, alternative producers and users on the periphery continue to challenge these centralizing tendencies.

Contents

Introduction
Technological stirrings of e-books
Pre-millennial U.S. publishing industry
Commercial strengths and weaknesses for online e-books
Managing digital rights
Deregulating new e-book markets
DMCA: Helping the invisible hand
1999 and the turning point for commercial E-books
E-books and hyper-commercialized reading
E-books and the student surveillance economy
Open access counter-imaginaries
Conclusion

 


 
[Anyone in the world]

http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Technology-Will-Never-Fix/230185/



Why Technology Will Never Fix Education

Why Technology Will Never Fix Education 1

James Yang for The Chronicle

Enlarge Image

In 2004, I moved to India to help found a new research lab for Microsoft. Based in Bangalore, it quickly became a hub for cutting-edge computer science. My own focus shifted with the move, and I began to explore applications of digital technologies for the socioeconomic growth of poor communities. India struggles to educate its billion-plus population, so during the five years that I was there, my team considered how computers, mobile phones, and other devices could aid learning.

Sadly, what we found was that even when technology tested well in experiments, the attempt to scale up its impact was limited by the availability of strong leadership, good teachers, and involved parents — all elements that are unfortunately in short supply in India’s vast but woefully underfunded government school system. In other words, the technology’s value was in direct proportion to the instructor’s capability.

Over time, I came to think of this as technology’s Law of Amplification: While technology helps education where it’s already doing well, technology does little for mediocre educational systems; and in dysfunctional schools, it can cause outright harm.

When I returned to the United States and took an academic post, I saw that the idea applies as much to higher education in America as it does to general education in India. This past semester, I taught an undergraduate course called "IT and Global Society." The students read about high-profile projects like One Laptop Per Child and the TED-Prize-winning Hole-in-the-Wall program. Proponents argue that students can overcome educational hurdles with low-cost digital devices, but rigorous research fails to show much educational impact of technology in and of itself, even when offered free.

My students — all undergrads and digital natives — were at first surprised that technology did so little for education. They had a deep sense that they benefited from digital tools. And they were right to have that feeling. As relatively well-off students enrolled at a good university, they were all but guaranteed a solid education; being able to download articles online and exchange emails with their professors amplified the fundamentals.

But their personal intuition didn’t always transfer to other contexts. In fact, even in their own lives, it was easy to show that technology by itself didn’t necessarily cause more learning. To drive this point home, I asked them a series of questions about their own experience:

"How many of you have ever tried to take a free course on the Internet?" Over half the class raised their hands.

"And how many completed it?" All the hands went down.

"Why didn’t you continue?" Most students said they didn’t get past two or three online lectures. Someone mentioned lack of peer pressure to continue. Another suggested it wasn’t worth it without the credits. One student said simply, "I’m lazy. Even in a regular class, I probably wouldn’t do my homework unless I felt the disapproval of the professor."

In effect, the students demonstrated an informal grasp of exactly what studies about educational technologies often find. So, if my tech-immersed undergraduates could intuit the limits of educational technology, why do educators, policy makers, and entrepreneurs keep falling for its false promise?

One problem is a widespread impression that Silicon Valley innovations are necessarily good for society. We confuse business success with social value, though the two often differ. Just for example, how is it that during the last four decades we have seen an explosion of incredible technologies, but America’s poverty rate hasn’t decreased and inequality has skyrocketed? Any idea that more technology in and of itself cures social ills is obviously flawed. Yet without a good framework for thinking about technology and society, it’s easy to get caught up in hype about new gadgets.

The Law of Amplification provides one such framework: At heart, it affirms that technology is a tool, which means that any positive effects depend on well-intentioned, capable people. But this also means that good outcomes are never guaranteed. What amplification predicts is that technological effects follow underlying social currents.

MOOCs offer a convenient example. Proponents cite the potential for MOOCs to lower the costs of education, based on the assumption that low-cost content is what is needed. Of course, the Internet offers dirt-cheap replicability, and it undeniably amplifies content producers’ ability to reach a mass audience. But if free content were all that was needed for an education, everyone with broadband connectivity would be an Ivy League Ph.D.

The real obstacle in education remains student motivation. Especially in an age of informational abundance, getting access to knowledge isn’t the bottleneck, mustering the will to master it is. And there, for good or ill, the main carrot of a college education is the certified degree and transcript, and the main stick is social pressure. Most students are seeking credentials that graduate schools and employers will take seriously and an environment in which they’re prodded to do the work. But neither of these things is cheaply available online.

Arizona State University’s recent partnership with edX to offer MOOCs is an attempt to do this, but if its student assessments fall short (or aren’t tied to verified identities), other universities and employers won’t accept them. And if the program doesn’t establish genuine rapport with students, then it won’t have the standing to issue credible nudges. (Automated text-message reminders to study will quickly become so much spam.) For technological amplification to lower the costs of higher education, it has to build on student motivation, and that motivation is tied not to content availability but to credentialing and social encouragement.

The Law of Amplification’s least appreciated consequence, however, is that technology on its own amplifies underlying socioeconomic inequalities. To begin with, the rich will always be able to afford more technology, and low-cost technology in no way solves that. There is no digital keeping up with the Joneses.

But even an equitable distribution of technology aggravates inequality. Students with poor high-school preparation will always find it hard to learn things their prep-school peers can ace. Low-income families will struggle to pay registration fees that wealthy households barely notice. Blue-collar workers doing hard manual labor may not have the energy to take evening courses that white-collar professionals think of as a hobby. And these things are even more true online than offline. Sure, educational technologies can lower costs for everyone, but it’s those with existing advantages who are best positioned to capitalize on them.

In fact, studies confirm exactly this: Well-educated men with office jobs disproportionately complete MOOC courses, while lower-income young adults barely enroll. The primary effect of free online courses is to further educate an already well-educated group who will pull away from less-educated others. The educational rich just get richer.

So what is to be done? Unfortunately, there is no technological fix, and that is perhaps the hardest lesson of amplification. More technology only magnifies socioeconomic disparities, and the only way to avoid that is nontechnological: Either resolve the underlying inequities first, or create policies that favor the less advantaged.

Kentaro Toyama is an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and the author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology, published this month by PublicAffairs. 

[ Modificado: Sexta, 5 Junho 2015, 11:48 ]
 
Fotografia de Vitor Teodoro
por Vitor Teodoro - Segunda, 1 Junho 2015, 11:52
[Anyone in the world]

http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/05/childs-play-charlie-charlie-challenge-is-same-old-same-old/


The precarious perched pencil is easy moved by a breeze, a breath, or a vibration. No mystery here. But watch the kids overreact because of the peer situation:


The kids are freaked out. What fun. But what silliness. It’s so easy to fake such movement. This is basically a paper fortune teller. Such divination games are so VERY old, they were banned by the Puritans. Now, all the One Direction/Justin Bieber fans are on board! And, there are the hand-wringers who warn of fooling with the occult, the exact same attitude as those who think the Ouija board opens a portal to hell (also false).

Tip for this story goes to Jeb Card who has never heard of the “Mexican demon” angle (and likely would have if it was real) and suspects (and we agree) that this is a form of “fakelore”. It has no basis in actual folklore from what we can tell. Pencils.com also repeats the story with a bit less drama. This is dated January of this year. It took a few months to catch on and for the videos to go viral.

[ Modificado: Segunda, 1 Junho 2015, 11:53 ]
 
Fotografia de Vitor Teodoro
por Vitor Teodoro - Segunda, 1 Junho 2015, 11:52
[Anyone in the world]

http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/05/childs-play-charlie-charlie-challenge-is-same-old-same-old/


The precarious perched pencil is easy moved by a breeze, a breath, or a vibration. No mystery here. But watch the kids overreact because of the peer situation:

The kids are freaked out. What fun. But what silliness. It’s so easy to fake such movement. This is basically a paper fortune teller. Such divination games are so VERY old, they were banned by the Puritans. Now, all the One Direction/Justin Bieber fans are on board! And, there are the hand-wringers who warn of fooling with the occult, the exact same attitude as those who think the Ouija board opens a portal to hell (also false).

Tip for this story goes to Jeb Card who has never heard of the “Mexican demon” angle (and likely would have if it was real) and suspects (and we agree) that this is a form of “fakelore”. It has no basis in actual folklore from what we can tell. Pencils.com also repeats the story with a bit less drama. This is dated January of this year. It took a few months to catch on and for the videos to go viral.

 
Fotografia de Vitor Teodoro
por Vitor Teodoro - Sábado, 30 Maio 2015, 12:55
[Anyone in the world]
"(...) our challenge (...)"


Adam Rutherford

"Here’s our challenge: celebrate science when it is great, and scientists when they deserve it. And when they turn out to be awful bigots, let’s be honest about that too. It turns out that just like DNA, people are messy, complex and sometimes full of hideous errors."

Para saber mais: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/01/dna-james-watson-scientist-selling-nobel-prize-medal




[ Modificado: Sábado, 30 Maio 2015, 21:07 ]
 
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