Friday 5: High-Tech, Low-Tech, and ‘Oregon Trail’ In-Between

Buzzfeed, the internet king of list-making, offers “15 Things We Did At School That Future Students Will Never Understand.” This is a serious trip down educational memory lane. I have to admit that I really do miss chalk, but I certainly don’t miss overhead projectors. I once accidentally obliterated one in the 6th grade. Don’t ask me. I don’t want to talk about it. However, I’m ALWAYS willing to talk about ‘Oregon Trail,’ which is saying a lot because I always ended up dying of dysentery.

These commutes to school probably feel like the Oregon Trail, and some of them might actually be uphill both ways. Bored Panda’s “25 Of The Most Dangerous and Unusual Journeys to School In The World” shows us that in some parts of the world, one must be part billy goat in order to learn the 3 R’s. These make the yellow school bus look positively luxurious.

One teacher in British Columbia takes an outside-the-box and insightful approach to addressing issues around the BC teachers’ union strike. Things are dicey for schools in British Columbia, where the school year hasn’t started yet due to a strike over classroom size, education specialists, and wages. In “Dear Parent of the Average Child: One BC Teacher’s Confession,” 1st grade teacher Genevieve Hawtree describes a hypothetical but representative day in which she faces dealing with students’ countless social, behavioral, and educational challenges–and the average, well-behaved, and ready-to-learn student gets lost in the fray.

Recognizing that women are a huge untapped pool of talent in the tech sector, Google is stepping up with a massive new investment. Mashable’s story “Google Is Putting $50 Million Toward Getting Girls to Code” outlines the company’s plan over the next three years to get girls interested in coding by showing them how influential and all-encompassing the field of technology is. At the “Made With Code” project kickoff event, hosted by Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Clinton, the tech giant made its case for just how cool, fun, and trendy technology can be. The article also includes the project’s web links to services like online coding tutorials and forums for girls that code to meet up with other girls in their area. You can find the link to the Made With Code website here.

Scholarships can launch people to do great things, as we see from Liz Powers’ story in “Rotary Scholar Helps The Homeless Through Art.” Liz used her Rotary scholarship to earn a master’s degree through creating social change documentaries and promoting forums for homeless artists to display their artwork. Now she and her brother run a nonprofit that provides gallery space for homeless artists and artists with disabilities, thus helping them earn a living and gain independence. Read more of what she has to say about her important work here.

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