Why We Need to Teach Our Kids to Code

Why We Need to Teach Kids to CodeHere’s one good example: Brittany Wenger
Brittany Wenger’s success and innovation demonstrate the reason we need to incorporate coding into the American education curriculum, I think, as early as elementary school. While we wait for our education system to catch up, here are some “Learn to Code for Free” resources:

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Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen Music Video

The lyrics came from an essay written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997.

This song was looped on the radio in 1999 and well into 2000. No doubt it was for the classes of 1999 and 2000. Although it’s over 10 years old, the advice is timeless and applies to every graduating class. Here’s the original essay from the Chicago Tribune.

How to Compare Your Facebook Page With the Competition

How to Compare Your Facebook Page With the Competition

Are you wondering how your Facebook Page compares to competitors?

What can you do to improve your performance?

Insights into how your competitors are using Facebook can help you better understand your audience on Facebook and how they use Facebook.

Read more on Social Media Examiner‘s review 5 different tools that can be used to help you compare your Facebook Page against competitors and identify tactics to help you improve your Facebook marketing.

What If Money Was No Object?

Alan Watts: What do you desire? from Omer K on Vimeo.

Please pause for three minutes and listen to some great advice from British philosopher and writer Alan Watts, (1915-1973). Then ask yourself and decide: What do you truly desire?

Cool New Features To Google Maps

Yay Google Maps!

Drink Tea Be Social

new google mapsHere’s what I like about Google and its new Maps. You know the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” by Bert Lance? The current Google Maps doesn’t really have much of problem, to me anyways. However, the new design and integrated features into the new Maps is a good sign that Google is continually trying to improve itself.

That’s a good thing for us users – until Google makes a mistake and everyone starts hating on it. Just take a look at how Microsoft and the Windows 8 commotion.

So what’s new on the latest Maps? Here’s a list of it:

No more side bars – Here comes the floating search bar. 


It’s something new and different to the whole entirely look of Maps but it isn’t tacky or disgusting. So lets say you’re searching for a certain location, the results of the search will just be…

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Who is Benefiting from Charter Schools?

Caroline Sweet, 2011 AISD Teacher of the Year speaking with POTUS in Austin, TX, on May  9, 2013

Last week PBS broadcast an Education TED Talk during Teacher Appreciation Week. While I was glad that the talk focused on teachers, I was surprised that Bill Gates, American business man, was one of the presenters and that Dianne Ravitch, historian of education and Research Professor of Education at New York University, was not a featured speaker. Aside from promoting vaccines in 3rd world countries, the Bill Gates Foundation has been a big proponent of education reform in the form of charter schools. With so much positive mainstream news coverage, social media shareable pretty graphics and a movie on the benefits of charter schools, I have to say that I also drank the Kool-Aid on charter schools. Who wouldn’t? The press that public schools have been receiving hasn’t been the greatest over the past few years. Pedophiles, low test scores, failed school discipline policies and bullying horror stories – Who is hearing anything good about public schools?

Parents are desperate to get their children the best education and it’s no surprise that parents with limited funds are opting for charter schools that promise a somewhat private education without the price tag. What the general public doesn’t know is that many charter schools aren’t fairing any better than their public school counterparts. Another detail that most parents aren’t aware of is that charter schools are largely funded by private corporations whose intentions are not really in the best interest of the children. One school in particular has a budget of over $350,000 to spend on marketing alone, while the neighboring public school has a budget of $50 to spend on marketing. Guess which school gets great press?

My message? Ask questions: Is privatization of our education system a good idea? Who is benefitting from charter schools? Do they really provide a better education than the public schools? Do people become teachers because they want job security and to join a union? Ask Matt Damon, Jon Stewart or Ed Schultz how their mother’s made out like bandits as public school teachers and sat on their laurels with job security. What is the motivation of teachers? What is the motivation of private corporations? Ask a teacher what they think can be done to improve our education system. I think they care about what matters most here, the children.


AlterNetWho Is Profiting From Charters? The Big Bucks Behind Charter School Secrecy, Financial Scandal and Corruption

Policy MicEducation Reform: Are Charter Schools Or Public Schools the Best Choice?

Washington PostCharters vs. public schools: Behind the numbers

NY TimesMore Lessons About Charter Schools

AlterNetCorporations Advise School Closings, While Private Charters Suck Public Schools Away

AlterNetWhy Sending Your Child to a Charter School Hurts Other Children

Democracy NowStriking Teachers, Parents Join Forces to Oppose “Corporate” Education Model in Chicago

Education CEO Blog: Dear Celebrities: Public education needs your ‘celebrity’ 

Labor Video Project: Who Is Behind The Privatization Of Education

R. Gary ValiantSchool Reform is School Privatization

Diane Ravitch’s BlogHow Charters Compete

NBC NewsWhy there’s no simple solution to charter schools

Schools Serve Junk Food to Children


Companies profiting from serving low quality food to schools might be no longer safe.  A 9-year-old Scottish girl, Martha Payne, started posting pictures of the food they get served in her school.  I believe that the ubiquity of cameras in phones will really help denounce things like this that have been hidden from parents so far.  It’s mind-blowing to see what  they serve to kids, but adding insult to injury,  it’s easy to see what the strategy is.  They give junk food that kids tend to like:  pasta, hamburger, ice lolly, pizza…   all with a very obvious intention, not to get the kids complaining. In the meantime they can make a good profit with collateral damage of making future unhealthy and obese children.

I also searched for a tray from a prison and truth is that it looks better than this girl’s (see bottom pic).  Maybe inmates are tougher…

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