In the news: 2013 – The Year of Solar Flare

Image

The sun erupted with an X1.7 class solar flare on May 12th, 2013. This is a blend of two images of the flare from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. One image shows the light in the 171-angstrom wavelength and the other show the 131 angstroms.

Are science fiction literature authors correct when they write about solar flares causing Earth’s communications to fail and causing catastrophes worldwide or is this simply a convenient plot device? The year 2013 has seen the most solar flares since 2003 because the Sun’s magnetic field cycle is reversing polarization, as it does every 11 years. This reversal causes larger and more frequent solar flares, which explains why this year has seen a large number of these impressive solar weather occurrences in many years.  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials say “the sun’s normal 11-year activity cycle is ramping up toward solar maximum, which is expected in late 2013″ (NASA News, 2013, found below).

Early in October the Earth was treated to a wonderful display of Northern Lights, illuminating the sky with brilliant dancing colors throughout the Northern United States and Canada. A solar flare directed at the Earth sent a larger than average stream of magnetized radiation at the Earth, which reacted with the Earth’s own gravity and magnetic field, creating Northern Lights. This particular flare was a class M, which was not strong enough to disrupt any satellites or space stations orbiting the Earth but is still considered impressive by NASA’s standards.

The question remains: how will these solar flares affect technology and are they dangerous to the Earth? Below are some informative links explaining what solar flares are, how they affect technology, and how they are studied.

What are solar flares and why are they important:

Solar Flare Theory Educational Web Pages (find it on the ipl2)
http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/index.htm

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in the Heliophysics Science Division offers a detailed look at solar flares, explaining what a solar flare is, why it’s important to study solar flares, and what impact solar flares have. Additionally, this site reviews current research projects in the field of solar flares, such as the RHESSI Spacecraft.

NASA News (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News060813-m5.9flare_prt.htm

On June 8th, 2013, NASA announced that a class M solar flare had occurred on June 7th. NASA explained effects such as moderate radio blackout are common with class M solar flares. NASA officials also stated that increased solar weather activities, like flares, were likely to occur more frequently in 2013, as the magnetic field was likely to reach “solar maximum.” The United States Space Weather Prediction Center with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association predicts that the solar flare activities are likely to increase late in 2013.

The Sun Also Flips: 11-Year Solar Cycle Wimpy, but Peaking (New!)
http://www.news.wisc.edu/22222

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Terry Devitt provides an in depth explanation of the solar flare and of solar maxes, explaining that the Sun’s magnetic field reverses direction every 11 years, causing sunspots, solar flares, auroras, and geomagnetic storms.  Devitt also discusses the effects of superflares and their potential global threat to the Earth.

The not-so Northern Lights: Solar Flare Slams into Earth to Display Majestic Aurora as Far South as Kansas, Maine and Donegal (New!)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2442531/Solar-flare-causes-Northern-Lights-US-Kansas-Maine-Donegal.html#ixzz2iNzp8EQf

The Daily Mail Online explains how a powerful solar flare brought the Northern Lights as far south as Kansas, Main, and Donegal (a town in Ireland). The site explains the phenomena and includes many lovely photos from Paul Cyr illustrating an Amish family experiencing the Lights for the first time. The Daily explains what a solar flare is, why it occurs, and that in December of 2013 this solar flare cycle will reach its peak, undoubtedly creating more Northern Lights.

How do they affect technology on the Earth:

The Effects of Solar Flares on Technology (New!)
http://www.ehow.com/list_7584091_effects-solar-flares-technology.html

eHow explains the Effects of Solar Flares on Technology in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. eHow explains the Sun’s 11 year magnetic energy cycle and its effect on the rate of solar flare as it changes.  The site additionally outlines the effect on the power grids, GPS technology, and mobile devices.

Could an Extremely Powerful Solar Flare Destroy all the Electronics on Earth? (find it on the ipl2)
http://science.howstuffworks.com/solar-flare-electronics.htm

In Jonathan Strickland’s article with HowStuffWorks.com, he explains the nature of the sun, solar flares, and the potential for damage for our planet when a solar flare happens. Strickland explains that the majority of flares are absorbed in our atmosphere, creating Northern Lights and leaving the majority of people unharmed, but for people in space or at high altitudes skin cancer or irritation is a risk depending of the flare’s classification; additionally Strickland explains the vulnerability of satellites and electronics. The last super-storm from the Sun happened in 1859, when a flare so powerful occurred that Cubans saw the Northern Light. Strickland explains that if a similar flare happened today, it would take months to repair the damage.

Solar Flare Warning Issued by NASA (New!)
http://www.inquisitr.com/914975/solar-flare-warning-issued-by-nasa/

On August 21st NASA issued a Solar Flare Warning as a storm hurtled toward the Earth at 3 million mph, interrupting some satellites used for GPSs and airline communications. The article from Inquisitor explains that 3 million mph is an average speed for solar storms. Additionally the Northern Lights is an extraordinary side effect of the these storms.  When the solar radiation from the the flare hits the Earth’s magnetic field, the radiation breaks up in the atmosphere creating the Northern Lights in the sky, which are brightest at the poles of the Earth where the magnetic field is the strongest.

Solar Effects (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/info/SolarEffects.html

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Space Weather Predictions Centers (SWPC) offers detailed descriptions of solar effects, including solar cycles, solar-terrestrial effects (the solar weather’s effects on earth), and a look at SWPC’s other solar weather operations. The table provided on this site is particularly helpful in laying out the specific effects that solar weather has on the Earth.

How do we study the sun:

Scientists have High Hopes for Japan’s Solar-B Mission Which has been Launched from the Uchinoura Space Port (find it on the ipl2)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5371162.stm

Here the BBC’s Jonathan Amos discusses Japan’s new mission to study solar explosions. In September of 2006, Japan sent the spacecraft Solar-B into space carrying a probe, which will find out more about the Sun’s magnetic fields that cause solar flares when their 11-year cycle changes, flinging radiation into space. Amos explains that the probe will act as magnet to study the sun, giving scientists the hope that with finer detail they will be able to predict solar flares more accurate and avoid disaster in the future.

The Classification of X-ray Solar Flares or “Solar Flare Alphabet Soup” (find it on the ipl2)
http://spaceweather.com/glossary/flareclasses.html

SpaceWeather.com gives a unique look into the science of classifying solar flares. By analyzing strength of wattage, or the measurement of light admitted from the Sun, in a measurement called an Angstrom, scientists are able to determine the classifications; for example 10^-5.5 watts measures up to a class M solar event.  The site then explains how class X could lead to lasting radio blackout and radiation, class M would cause radiation in the Earth’s magnetic field and radio blackouts around the pole, and class C are unnoticed by the public.

Strongest Solar Flare in Months Unleashed by Sun (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/strongest-solar-flare-months-unleashed-sun-8C11369482

NBC’s Denise Chow offers a clear explanation of the class system for solar flares in a report of the event on October 9th, 2013, when at 9:48pm EDT one of the strongest solar flare in two months occurred. Chow illustrates the role of Earth’s magnetic field and how the flare could disrupt communications on Earth.

Our Sun (New!)
http://www.kidsastronomy.com/our_sun.htm

This children’s site illustrates the fundamentals of solar astronomy, highlighting key points like x-ray classification of solar flares, convection, thermonuclear fusion, and sun spots and winds. This site is particularly helpful because it offers HD video from NASA and the Kids Know It Network.

NASA Canyon of Fire on the Sun (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-releases-movie-of-suns-canyon-of-fire/#.UmmFvfmsiSo

Nasa’s YouTube Channel offers look at an eruption of solar material that occurred in late September. The video illustrates how the Sun is actually made out of plasma, and as magnetic fields change cycles, eruptions, like solar flares, can happen. This video demonstrates that by analyzing the eruption at different wavelengths, as demonstrated by the multiple colors, scientists are able to study the magnetic field around the Sun.

The Link: Standardized Testing

In recognition of the ending school year, we’re looking at standardized testing this month. In many places around the world, moving on to the next grade, to the next institution, or to the next level of professional achievement means scoring well on some sort of standardized exam. Many accept this, but others think there are better ways to encourage educational and professional success.

This month we will take a look at the pros and cons of legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act, explore the difference between college prep tests and graduate/professional tests, and compare standardized testing in the U.S. with the required tests around the globe.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

No Child Left Behind: Pros and Cons of K-12 Standardized Testing

President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act. Photo by the Executive Office of the President of the United States, public domain.

No Child Left Behind Act – U.S. Department of Education (find it on the ipl2)

http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml

No Child Left Behind was an act of Congress signed in 2002 with the intention of establishing goals and criteria for students to meet. The act requires that all states assess students at specific points within their education in order to receive federal funding. The U.S. Department of Education’s website provides information on the initial act, the changes made with No Child Left Behind, and the more recent additions and changes made by President Obama. U.S. Department of Education’s main purpose is to “promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” Their website serves as a portal of information about the department’s policies, goals, and information to the public.

The Inevitable Corruption of Indicators and Educators Through High-Stakes Testing – NEPC (find it on the ipl2)

http://epsl.asu.edu/epru/documents/EPSL-0503-101-EPRU.pdf

This study, conducted by the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University in 2005, examines the effects of standardized testing with the principle of standardized testing. According to the study, Campbell’s law is: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” This study is a part of the National Education Policy Center whose mission is to produce quality research which helps inform education policy discussions. The NEPC is composed of academic staff including nationally recognized education researchers.

Standardized Testing – ProCon.org (find it on the ipl2)

http://standardizedtests.procon.org/

ProCon.org is a nonprofit public charity whose goal is “to provide resources for critical thinking and to educate without bias.” The page on standardized testing includes arguments both for and against standardized testing as well as information on the history of testing, and interesting facts about standardized tests.

FairTest.org (find it on the ipl2)

http://fairtest.org/

FairTest.org or The National Center for Fair and Open Testing “works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally.” FairTest’s resources provide information for parents, teachers, and students. Information that can be found include a list of universities that no longer require SAT/ACT scores, data on the link between standardized testing and educational corruption, and discussions on high stakes testing.

College Prep Tests

The first standardized college entrance exam was given in 1901, and ever since the tests have gained prominence as a larger percentage of students plan to further their education at colleges and universities. Although these exams are only part of the college application process, some high school students prep years for the SAT and ACT tests in order optimize their chances for getting into their first choice school.

SAT vs. ACT: Choose Wisely – Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-mallory/sat-vs-act-choose-wisely_b_830093.html

The areas of popularity in the country is not the only difference between the two tests; did you know that the SAT and ACT also differ in test style and time length? Since colleges and universities accept either, make sure you take the one that best suits you.

Test Prep – Petersons (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.petersons.com/college-search/test-prep.aspx

Whether you choose the SAT or ACT route, it’s good to have an idea of what to expect before you actually take the exam. Peterson’s offers both full-length ACT and SAT free practice tests on their website (registration is required).

Graduate and Professional Tests

For students looking to go on to pursue their Master’s or even Doctoral Degree, even more standardized testing lies in your future: from the PRAXIS for teachers, GRE for general, MCAT for doctors, and LSAT for lawyers, an aptitude for the field needs to be shown before you can be admitted to a graduate program.

World’s Would-Be Grad Students – Inside Higher Ed (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/02/21/ets-releases-data-gre-averages-country

Educational Testing Service recently released data that illustrates “why foreign talent is so important to American graduate programs, especially in math, science and technology fields.”  The results allow colleges to understand the different contexts in which the scores are examined.

Business Schools Know How You Think – Wall Street Journal (find it on the ipl2)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324582004578456770420379666.html?KEYWORDS=gmat

A trend among business schools is starting to take more than GMAT scores and academic achievements into account. Emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), a tool used by companies to assess top talent, is becoming a standard part of the business school application process. “While a low EQ won’t outright ruin someone who otherwise dazzles on paper, Mr. Garcia says, a high EQ—in certain cases, at least—can offset mediocre performance elsewhere.”

The G.R.E. vs. the GMAT – New York Times (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/education/edlife/strategy-t.html?_r=0

“The Educational Testing Service administers the G.R.E. and used to do the same for the GMAT before losing the rights two years ago to ACT Inc. and Pearson. Now it is trying to get some of that business back, lobbying business schools to accept the G.R.E. as an alternative to the GMAT: more than 115 have agreed, including at Stanford, M.I.T. and Johns Hopkins. What’s the difference between the tests? Both assess verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and writing. “Contrary to what people might think, there are no business or finance aspects of the GMAT that make it specialized,” says David G. Payne, an associate vice president of E.T.S.”

Standardized Testing Around the Globe

New! Action Canada Task Force on Standardized Testing

http://testingillusion.ca/

The Action Canada Task Force Project is comprised of young, educated Canadian citizens with brought together by Action Canada (www.actioncanada.ca), a national fellowship program that builds practical leadership skills and policy development experience. Three Action Canada three task force teams are formed each year and are given the challenge of selecting a policy research topic. This Task Force chose to focus specifically on standardized testing because of the importance that this accountability measure has taken during the past two decades in Canadian context.

Could You Pass the 11-Plus? – BBC News (find it on the ipl2)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7773974.stm

BBC News gives its readers an opportunity to test their academic skill by taking a timed, 15-question sample of the formally required standardized test given to all U.K. schoolchildren in their final year of primary school. Are you smarter than an English 5th grader was expected to be 40 years ago?

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) – OECD (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/

PISA is an international study that was launched by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1997. It aims to evaluate education systems worldwide every three years by assessing the competencies in the key subjects such as reading, mathematics and science of 15-year-old children all over the world. Over 70 countries and economies have participated in PISA. The OECD’s website provides several comprehensive videos on the benefits of this assessment.

New! Testing and Assessment – U.K. Department of Education

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/assessment

The U.K. Department of Education uses this site to break down the National Curriculum assessments, or “the statutory assessments at the end of each Key Stage” of public education. This site links to official documentation on the material covered in standardized exams and other FAQs about administration of them. It also provides information on “optional tests.”

Thank you for visiting the ipl2!

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Link: The Quest for Science

The shortest and best definition of the term ‘science’ can be summed up in one short phrase, “science is life.” In one way or another, science plays a vital role in the lives of everyone, everywhere. Science often widens and enhances our lives and can challenge our misconceptions about the world in a systematic way. According to the European Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, (ERASMUS) the true purpose of science is to create helpful models of reality in order to better understand the universe.

The French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher of science Henri Poincaré stated that, “[t]he scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.”

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

Applied Sciences 

A Sightseer’s Guide to Engineering (find it on ipl2)
http://www.engineeringsights.org/
This travel guide from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) highlights engineering achievements throughout the United States. The database may be searched by keyword, engineering discipline (such as automotive, civil/environmental, or mining), category (such as amusement park, bridge, tunnel, or monument), or geographically by clicking on the image map of the United States. Contact information, hours of operation, engineering details, a photo, and a “fun fact” are given for each sightseeing destination. 

NEW! Engineers without Borders
http://www.ewb-usa.org/
Find information on current projects and overseas development and relief from Engineers without Borders, a community-driven network of volunteers committed to making a difference around the globe. Engineers without Borders aims to use engineering to apply solutions in disaster and development scenarios directly for the good of mankind. Locate information on chapters across the United States, how to become a volunteer, and community projects you can become involved in.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (find it on ipl2)
http://www.eere.energy.gov/
This searchable site serves as “a gateway to hundreds of Web sites and thousands of online documents on energy efficiency and renewable energy,” including information about buildings, transportation, industry, bioenergy, hydrogen, solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, and geothermal power. The site features consumer information, an “energy lab” for children, and information about the various other programs of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The Archaeology Channel (find it on ipl2)
http://www.archaeologychannel.org/
This site from the Archaeology Legacy Institute (ALI), explores “the human cultural heritage through streaming media,” which allows users to travel through time to discover the diversity of the human experience. Visitors can watch videos about archeological sites, read news about research, and explore further great finds. 

NEW! Society for American Archaeology: Archaeology for the public
http://www.saa.org/publicftp/PUBLIC/home/home.html
This site from the Society for American Archaeology provides information on archaeology including news and events; educational resources for educators and archeologists; and an interactive explore archaeology section that provides information on visiting an archaeology site or an archeology museum exhibit. The site strives to not only provide information for those interested in the field of archaeology, but for archaeologists wanting to know more about working with the public.

Physical Sciences

NEW! Chemical & Engineering News
http://cen.acs.org/collections.html
Did you know those trick candles on your birthday cake use magnesium powder? Check out these collections for everything from the chemistry of everyday items (“What’s That Stuff?”), science in movies, how chemistry affects living things (“Critter Chemistry”), green chemistry, chemistry news on topics ranging from the effects of oil spills to chemicals and the economy, and more.

Physics.org (find it on ipl2)
http://www.physics.org/
Ever wonder how 3-D films work, or whether you can really levitate a frog with a magnet? The Institute of Physics, an England-based scientific society with roots going back nearly 150 years, has put together this site to answer these questions and more. They offer explanations of the physics of everyday things, cartoons explaining physics experiments you can do at home, articles on physics topics, physics news, information about careers in physics, and links to other physics-related websites. 

University of California Museum of Paleontology (find it on ipl2 – Science and Technology – Paleontology)
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/index.php
Come for the dinosaurs, stay for the science! These online exhibits from the University of California, Berkeley, cover even more than special exhibits about dinosaur and mammoth fossils (though those alone are worth the virtual visit). You can read about Earth’s biomes, try to identify a “mystery fossil,” tour Earth’s geological and biological past, examine the evidence for evolution, get resources for teaching science, and read up on what exciting research the Museum of Paleontology’s scientists are working on right now. Be sure to check out their section on “Understanding Science.”

Faultline: Seismic Science at the Epicenter (find it on ipl2) – Science and Technology – Earth Sciences)
http://www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/index.html
The San Francisco Exploratorium, a museum for exploring science and art, is located in a city known for its earthquakes. Their “Faultline” exhibit covers more than the history of the famous 1906 and 1989 earthquakes: check out this site to learn about what causes earthquakes, how earthquakes affect buildings (and what we can do to make the buildings more earthquake-proof), activities to demonstrate earthquake principles, and links to real-time data on where the earth is shaking now.

Social Sciences

NEW! 100 Top Library Sites
http://www.100toplibrarysites.com/
This site provides the 100 most relevant web sites for each major category, selected, edited and ranked by professional editors.

NEW! Online Dictionary
http://lu.com/odlis/
This glossary of library terminology contains thousands of definitions, with words in the definitions hyperlinked to more definitions. Maintained by Joan Reitz, librarian at Western Connecticut State University. An excellent source for librarians and librarianship!

NEW! Cultural Studies Research
http://www.uel.ac.uk/ccsr/index.htm
Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East Londonwas established to serve as an international centre for research in contemporary cultural studies, cultural theory and cultural production. The centre supports research into political and theoretical issues in cultural studies and cultural practice.”

NEW! Culture Machine
http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/cm
Culture Machine is a series of experiments in culture and theory. The aim of Culture Machine is to seek out and promote the most provocative of new work, and analysis of that work, in culture and theory from a diverse range of international authors. Culture Machine is particularly concerned with promoting research which is engaged in the constitution of new areas of inquiry and the opening of new frontiers of cultural and theoretical activity.”

Science Learning Network (find it on ipl2)
http://www.sln.org/
If you are a science teacher or a parent who wants to link your child to excellent science resources on the Internet, this site is for you! “The Science Learning Network (SLN) is an online community of educators, students, schools, and science museums”. Going deeper into the above link you will discover more links that further address information that pertains to science, education, and cultural topics. Also, this source has an educational Hotlists link to online resources that science educators and enthusiasts may find useful.

 NEW! 100 Best Websites for Science Education
http://www.forensicsciencetechnician.org/100-best-websites-for-science-teachers/
This is a great collection of the 100 best websites for science education. Click on the Educate tab for teaching tools and activities.

Museum of Science (find it on ipl2)
http://www.mos.org/
The Museum of Science contains extraordinary exhibition of Egyptian antiquities and numerous exhibits and films for all grade levels and subjects.

NEW! American Studies
http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/richard.robbins/legacy/anth_on_www.html#cultural
This is a must-visit site for professional anthropologists and students. It has numerous links to visual record of current and former Indian groups from the Northern Great Plains.

Formal Sciences 

Fractal Geometry (find it on ipl2IPL — Science and Technology — Mathematics — Calculus and Advanced Mathematics)
http://classes.yale.edu/fractals/
This site provides an “introduction to fractals for students without advanced math skills” and allows all students to understand their presence without an extensive scientific or arithmetical background. While employing mathematical principles, this site involves students outside of mathematics with practical applications of fractals within the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Game Theory.net (find it on ipl2)
http://www.gametheory.net/
Game theory (also known as decision theory), a method for calculating circumstances based on others’ choices, has become a popular formal science discussion and research topic and this website provides teaching, learning, and strategic materials for its application. Many of the resources provided are from educators’ notes or student experiences and are intended to “demonstrate [game theory] concepts in a fun, interactive way.”

The History of Computing Project (find it on ipl2IPL – Science and Technology – History of Science and Technology)
http://www.thocp.net/index.html
Built by global partners, this site is a compilation of biographies, hardware, companies, games and software which comprise the history of computing and computer science. The extensive computing timeline serves as the center of the site and provides a year-by-year history of computing since 300 BC, beginning with simple calculations and traveling into the 2000s with the invention of the smartphone. Historical hardware, software, persons, and contributors to the history of computer science are indexed and highlighted as well.

NEW! The Polymath Blog
http://polymathprojects.org/
Polymath projects, or “massively collaborative mathematical research projects,” are hosted by this blog which is administered by mathematics professors, writers, and analysts. The problems proposed to the blog are collectively documented and worked on by administrators and contributors and polymath rules, many taken from the site’s associated wiki, and theories are tested and re-worked in the open space of this weblog.

Cognitive Sciences

AskPhilosophers (find it on ipl2Arts and Humanities – Philosophy)
http://www.askphilosophers.org/
Most people have not studied philosophy and “AskPhilosophers aims to bridge this gap by putting the skills and knowledge of trained philosophers at the service of the general public.” Here you can ask philosophers questions and receive answers. Previous questions are also archived by category.

Psychology.com (find it on ipl2Social Sciences – Psychology)
http://www.psychology.com/
This site provides a therapist directory, articles by therapists on mental health, and general information about various mental health topics. It also has free tests for self discovery, including career interests, personality, and depression and anxiety scales.

NEW! The Sociological Cinema
http://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/index.html
Geared towards sociology instructors, this site provides video clips helpful for learning about different sociological themes. Each video clip has a description of the major topics addressed in the clip as well as how to incorporate them into your lessons.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Link: A Different Type of Back-to-School

In many regions of the world, it is the last month of summer vacation before children and youth head back to school. Others have been in school all summer and are not familiar with the beloved summer vacation. Back-to-school may have different meanings to different people. There are many types of students including homeschoolers, college and graduate students, ESL students, adult and continuing education students, and more. Consider the ways in which life can be enriched through lifelong learning. This month’s newsletter is full of resources for all types of students!

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

The Year-Round School Debate
Summer break is as American as apple pie and the flag, but some people are suggesting that it might be time to end American schoolchildren’s summer vacation. Officials at a few school systems are advocating for American schools to adopt year-round schedules. Some schools are already trying it; others say it will cost too much money. It is an issue that shows no sign of going away – especially as year-round school advocates argue that summer vacation has negative effects on children’s education.

Research Spotlight on Year-Round Schools (find it on ipl2)
http://www.nea.org/tools/17057.htm
This article contains an introduction to the topic from the respected education group National Education Association. The article includes several links to research about year-round school.

Year-round school gains ground around us. (find it on ipl2: Reference – News and Current Events)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39748458/ns/us_news-life/t/year-round-school-gains-ground-around-us/
This news article takes a look at the year-round school debate from a news perspective. It includes a video of President Barack Obama speaking in favor of extending the school calendar.

School’s out, but should it be? (find it on ipl2: Education – Education News)
http://www.educationnews.org/ednews_today/91927.html
Education News looks at the issue of summer vacation and year-round school. The news article also discusses the possibility of adding summer enrichment to children’s schedules. Local officials discuss the effect that year-round school would have on budgets that are already stretched thin.

Higher Education
College can be a big adjustment for students, but that does not mean it has to be stressful. The resources below will help take the stress out of financial and study woes no matter what part of the world students choose as their classroom.

Learning APA Style (find it on ipl2: Reference – Style and Writing Guides – APA)
http://www.apastyle.org/learn/
Find free tutorials, FAQs, and learning resources on American Psychological Association style, straight from the official homepage of the APA.

Howtostudy.org  (find it on ipl2: Education – Higher Education)
http://howtostudy.org/
Howtostudy.org provides students with comprehensive advice for developing successful study habits. From organizing study time to stopping procrastination and developing good note taking skills, HowToStudy has all the tools students need.

Student Financial Assistance: Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education  (find it on ipl2: Education – Higher Education – Financial Aid, Scholarships and Fellowships)
http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/index.jsp
The U.S. Department of Education provides information on grants, loans, and work-study assistance. Students can apply for a loan, sign a promissory note, and even find information on interest rates and repaying loans.

English As a Second Language (ESL)
Many people learn English as adults or outside of U.S. grade schools. The resources below are for self-study online and to aid ESL students in finding classes in their communities.

VOA Learning English (find it on ipl2: Reference – News and Current Events)
http://www.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/
VOA Learning English is a resource for learning American English produced by The Voice of America, the United States’ government’s news agency for the international community. This resource offers Special English programming with transcripts and a wide variety of multimedia educational resources. Also included are resources for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers.

America’s Literacy Directory (find it on ipl2)
http://literacydirectory.org/
America’s Literacy Directory is a directory of literacy programs in the United States and its territories that was created by the National Institute for Literacy.  It is searchable by zip code and can be narrowed by limiting to help with reading and writing, study for GED or other high school program, official GED test center, Learning English (as a second language), help with math, and citizenship.

Adult and Continuing Education in the United States
Educational opportunities are available for adults whether they are completing a degree, looking to advance their careers, or simply interested in learning. Returning to school as an adult can be challenging for many reasons. The resources below offer a variety of tools and information to help non-traditional students make decisions about which school to attend, how to apply for financial aid, and how to balance life’s competing priorities.

Education Center Online (find it on ipl2: Education – Adult Education)
http://www.educationcenteronline.org/
This resource provides information about online degree programs, distance learning, and continuing education for adults. Search by school location, degree, program, or subject.

Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education (find it on ipl2: Education – Adult Education)
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/index.html
This resource advocates for adult education and provides information resources to meet the needs of adults who are returning to or considering returning to school. Information about financial aid, selecting a school, government-sponsored programs and initiatives, current news, and more is available.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 774 other followers