Here you will find ideas for students who wish to self study and for teachers who are looking for some inspiration. If you would like to see a special topic included then let us know and we will try to find something for you.
In a conversation, when completing a research survey, being interviewed for a job or working on a homework assignment, you might find yourself presented with a series of closed-ended or open-ended questions. Close-ended questions are those which can be answered by a simple "yes" or "no," while open-ended questions are those which require more thought and more than a simple one-word answer.
If you can answer a question with only a "yes" or "no" response, then you are answering a close-ended type of question.
Examples of close-ended questions are:
Are you feeling better today?
May I use the bathroom?
Is the prime rib a special tonight?
Should I date him?
Will you please do me a favor?
Have you already completed your homework?
Is that your final answer?
Were you planning on becoming a fireman?
Should I call her and sort things out?
Is it wrong to want to live on my own at this age?
Shall we make dinner together tonight?
Could I possibly be a messier house guest?
Might I be of service to you ladies this evening?
Did that man walk by the house before?
Can I help you with that?
May I please have a bite of that pie?
Would you like to go to the movies tonight?
Is math your favorite subject?
Does four plus four equal eight?
Is that haunted house really scary?
Will you be going to Grandmother's house for Christmas?
Did Dad make the cake today?
Is there a Mass being held at noon?
Are you pregnant?
Are you happy?
Is he dead?
Close-ended questions should not always be thought of as simple questions that anyone can quickly answer merely because they require a yes or no answer. Close-ended questions can also be very complicated. For example, "Is 1 in binary equal to 1 in counting numbers?" is a close-ended question that not everyone would be able to quickly answer.
Open-ended questions are ones that require more than one word answers. The answers could come in the form of a list, a few sentences or something longer such as a speech, paragraph or essay.
Here are some examples of open-ended questions:
What were the most important wars fought in the history of the United States?
What are you planning to buy today at the supermarket?
How exactly did the fight between the two of you start?
What is your favorite memory from childhood?
How will you help the company if you are hired to work for us?
What do you plan to do immediately following graduation from college?
What types of decorations do you plan to have for your friend's birthday party?
What was your high school experience like?
How did you and your best friend meet?
What sites do you expect to see on your vacation?
How do you go about booking tickets for a flight?
What were the major effects of World War II for the United States?
How do you go about purchasing a home?
What is it like to live in the capital of Morocco?
What is the quickest way to get to the pet store in town?
Why is it that every time I talk with you, you seem irritated?
In what way do you feel I should present myself?
How do you manage to raise those children alone?
What is the matter with the people in that class?
Where are you going to find the time to write all those letters?
Why can't I come along with you?
What makes the leaves change color?
How exactly does one replace the screen to a cellular phone?
Although open-ended questions require lengthier responses than do close-ended questions, open-ended questions are not always more complicated. For example, asking "What are you planning to buy today at the supermarket?" may simply require the respondent to read off of a list.
Read more here:
Essential Additional Information:
100 Open-Ended Questions for Groups and Classrooms
Open and Closed Questions
BC: Asking Questions
What are 20 examples of open ended questions?
If Josh Kaufman had gone to business school, he probably would have graduated this year with an MBA from Harvard or Stanford. But Kaufman, a 28-year-old entrepreneur who had worked as an assistant brand manager for Procter & Gamble, thinks business school is pretty much a waste of time and money.
MBA programs, he says firmly, have become so expensive that students “must effectively mortgage their lives” and take on “a crippling burden of debt” to get what is “mostly a worthless piece of paper.” Kaufman believes that MBA programs “teach many worthless, outdated, even outright damaging concepts and practices.” And if that’s not bad enough, he insists that an MBA won’t guarantee anyone a high-paying job, let alone turn a person into a skilled manager or leader.
“Business schools don’t create successful people,” insists Kaufman. “They simply accept them, then take credit for their success. With heavy debt loads and questionable returns, MBA programs simply aren’t a good investment—they’re a trap for the unwary.”
Founder of PersonalMBA.com and the author of the forthcoming “The Personal MBA,” Kaufman is a passionate advocate for what he calls self-education. Instead of paying up to $350,000 in tuition and forgone earnings to go to Harvard, Stanford or Wharton, Kaufman says a better way to learn business is to open the pages of classic business texts and learn on your own.
Through the economic meltdown, of course, MBA bashing reached new heights. Eager to find a scapegoat, critics happily assigned blame to business schools for teaching MBAs the merits of financial manipulation that led to a global financial crisis.
Much of Josh Kaufman’s argument rests on a study published eight years ago by Stanford Business School professor Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University and Christina T. Fong of the University of Washington. The pair analyzed 40 years of data and studies and came up with a provocative and startling conclusion: “There is scant evidence that the MBA credential, particularly from non-elite schools, or the grades earned in business courses are related to either salary or the attainment of higher level positions in organizations.”
As Kaufman quotes the study, he is almost giddy. “It’s the first and only systematic study I’ve seen,” he says. “They crunched 40 years of data on job rates, positions, and salaries. They asked whether getting an MBA provides benefits or not. Their answer was no. It does effectively nothing. It had no impact.”
“There’s the general impression that getting an MBA puts you on a pedestal in terms of your knowledge and experience and what you’re able to contribute to a business. But I was able to walk into a boardroom and hold my own [having been self-taught] with people who had graduated from Stanford and Wharton. It was very exciting.”
Read more here:
Read more here:
Essential Supporting Material:
If MBAs are useless ... we’re all in big trouble
The MBA Debt Burden
A Smart Investor Would Skip the M.B.A.
Has The MBA Become A Worthless Degree?
There Are Officially Too Many MBAs
Grueling Hours on the Job: Stressful, Dangerous, Useless
7 Reasons why MBA’s suck for entrepreneurs
Lot of Useless M.B.A.’s
Why an MBA Is a Waste of Time and Money
The Economist Suggests MBA’s Are Worthless
Are MBA Programs wasting our time?
The end of the affair or Falling out of love with business
The Great MBA Bubble
Confessions of an MBA Student
Hey Entrepreneur – Please Don’t Get an MBA
If you can't get into a top 5 MBA program, don't even bother
M.B.A. = Master of Bullshit Administration
MBA Degree Branded as Baloney by Economist; Search Thrives
The New Finance Bill: A Mountain of Legislative Paper, a Molehill of Reform
How to use SWOT analysis in MBA Application
End of Evidence.
'At the end of the day it is more important who you know than what you know' (G)
Summer is the time when the outdoors beckons. We go to the beach in droves, have picnics and barbecues, paddle and fish and swim. Some hike, others bike, and a few do both — although not at the same time. But these good times in the out of doors are really an exception to the rule, which is that most of us spend the vast majority of our time inside. According to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out.
When we do, there's a gantlet of precautions: slather on the sunscreen; take it easy — or head indoors — if air quality is bad; watch out for ticks, mosquitoes, and other creatures that might bite. It's all very well-meaning but it also reinforces indoor ways.
So it's back into the bunker — but that might not be good for you. The study results are ticking up: spending time outdoors seems to have discernible benefits for physical and mental health. Granted, some are merely by association and can be achieved by other means, perhaps while indoors, but often only with a good deal more trouble and expense. Here are five potential benefits of spending more time outdoors:
(Text Source: Harvard Health ... a link to the full article provided below)
1. Your vitamin D levels will go up
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because sunlight hitting the skin begins the circuitous process — the liver and kidneys get involved — that eventually leads to the creation of the biologically active form of the vitamin. Over all, research is showing that many vitamins, while necessary, don't have such great disease-fighting powers, but vitamin D may prove to be the exception. Epidemiologic studies are suggesting it may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke. Even by conventional standards, many Americans don't have enough vitamin D circulating in their bodies. The good news is that you'll make all the vitamin D you need if you get outside a few times a week during these summer days and expose your arms and legs for 10 to 15 minutes. Of course, it has to be sunny out.
Please Explore These Essential Additional Articles:
Constantly Tired? Here Are 10 Herbs To Increase Energy, Vitality, And Adaptability
Early Years Outdoor Learning
CHILDREN AND NATURE WORLDWIDE: A Shared Vision
“WHY I PRESCRIBE NATURE” — In D.C., Pioneering Pediatricians Offer New Hope and Health Through Park Rx
Health Benefits of Going Outside and What Happens if You Don't
Richad Louv: The Last Child in The Woods
What does the research say about Outdoor Learning?
More on: The Last Child in The Woods
A Fit Body Means a Fit Mind
Exercise Helps Students in the Classroom
How Exercise Can Help Us Learn
How Does Physical Activity Affect Academic Performance?
How Exercise Jogs the Brain
Getting a Brain Boost Through Exercise
How Phys. Ed Helps Students Learn
How Physical Fitness May Promote School Success
Physical Exercise Beefs Up the Brain
Scientists Discover Why Exercise Makes You Smarter
Studying the link between exercise and learning
Lifestyle changes in diet and exercise show promise for learning, depression in teens
Phys Ed: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter?
Case closed ... so get outside ... more links may be added as i come across them. (G)
This was a British comedy television series which premiered on ITV in late 1977. Produced by London Weekend Television and directed by Stuart Allen, the show is set in an adult education college in London and focuses on the English as a Foreign Language class taught by Mr Jeremy Brown, portrayed by Barry Evans, who had to deal with a motley crew of foreign students.
The Series was commissioned by Michael Grade, LWT Director of Programmes in 1977,although the series was attracting some 18 million viewers, the programme was cancelled in 1979 by Grade, who considered the stereotyping offensive.
The series was sold to other countries, including Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Singapore. It was also one of the first British TV programmes shown in South Africa after the end of the boycott by the British Actors' Equity Association.
Quotes From The Series:
Further Opinions & Information:
This was posted simply because it made me smile. (G)
Some classic episodes are available online here:
More Examples of Classic British Comedy:
Monty Python's Flying Circus:
British Films Forever: Documentary
One Foot in The Grave
Derren Brown is a British illusionist, mentalist, trickster, hypnotist, painter, writer, and sceptic. He is known for his appearances in television specials, stage productions, and British television series such as Trick of the Mind and
Trick or Treat. Since the first broadcast of his show Derren Brown: Mind Control in 2000, Brown has become increasingly well known for his mind-reading act. He has written books for magicians as well as the general public.
Though his performances of mind-reading and other feats of mentalism may appear to be the result of psychic or paranormal practices, he claims no such abilities and frequently denounces those who do. Brown states at the beginning of his Trick of the Mind programmes that he achieves his results using a combination of "magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship".
Text Source Wikipedia:
Let's take a look at some of his skills.
[Note: Links are external and if they cease to function then please use a search engine]
The Shopping Mall
Advert Agency Task
Trains of Thought
How to Fool a Businessman
An Evening of Wonders
Those of you familiar with techniques of hypnosis will notice the clever use of language and neuro-linguistic techniques in his work. For further references on this complex issue i would guide you to the research of Milton Erickson, Frans Mesmer or George Estabrooks (see the links below) who all explored this topic much more deeply. In time, their work led to a huge growth in psychological cultural experimentation which culminated in the now infamous CIA MK Ultra tests. But that subject is for another day.
Please remember to never underestimate the power of language and it's ability to alter personal opinions, societal behaviour and our everyday habits.
Further articles of interest and useful links:
(A) Derren Brown: 'I get kicked out of casinos'
(B) The Derren Brown Personal Blog
(C) Derren Brown: for my next trick I will make a straight man gay
(D) Derren Brown on why he no longer wants to control your mind - but improve it
(E) Derren Brown slams 'hurtful' accusations
(F) Derren Brown's Experiments: have you been entranced?
(G) Milton H. Erickson
(H) Perspectives on The Masters (Presentation)
(I) George Estabrooks
(J) Franz Mesmer
(K) Hypnosis in History
EXTRA ESSENTIAL VIDEO:
State of Mind: The Psychology of Mind Control
Autism is a disorder, theoretically of neural development, characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.
It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum (ASDs), the other two being Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (commonly abbreviated as PDD-NOS), which is diagnosed when the full set of criteria for autism or Asperger syndrome are not met.
However, the focus of this article is simply about how to improve the conditions of children who have Autism using available practical examples of successful cases. Further research, which will be presented here, suggests that there are direct links between diet and disease and that with the right environmental situations children can be made much more comfortable, although complete reversal of the disease is very rare though not unknown.
Let's look at some true stories and solutions:001. Dietary secrets for autistic children
002. Foods for children with Autism
003. A Holistic Approach For Autism
004. Treatments for children with autism or autism spectrum disorders
005. Holistic Health Counselor: Blog Stories
006. Courts Rule MMR & Thimerosal Containing Vaccines Caused Autism & Brain Damage
007. Boy Recovers From Autism By Removing Dairy & Gluten.
008. The Ultimate Guide to Autism Home Therapy
009. Practical Autism Resources: Printables
010. Homeschooling with Autism: Pinterest Board
011. Italian court rules MMR vaccine did trigger autism
Now, Lets look at some video evidence.
(A) The Doctor's Videos - Autism - Can Diet Reverse Effects
(B) The AutismOne & Generation Rescue 2013 Congressional Panel
(C) Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (Part 1)
(D) Dr. John McDougall Diet & Autism Connection (Part 1)
(E) Mother of Autistic Children: Interview
(F) Dr. Cowden shares his Top-Ten list to improve autism
(G) Reversing Autism with Classical Homeopathy
If you have any other information that you would like to send to me so that i can post it here then just let me know. I wish you a healthy and happy day.
The Best Sites For Learning About Nutrition & Food: (Massive List)
The Ultimate Healing Foods Reference Database
Back in 2011 i was asked by two organisations to give a presentation to EFL teachers on an aspect of the English Language. The vastness of a language being quite a broad spectrum to cover i decided to share some insights into how we could better visualise grammatical perspectives as they are taught to students. The inspiration for this was simply that when i presented this information to my students they were for the first time able to create a mental map to self-navigate through common methodological problems.
Further research led me to realise that the recognition of this need was not a new phenomenon. Yet, despite this clear and present recognition of a need for further visual stimulus there were, and still are, very few examples of constructive language models that educators had, or even have, access to.
Following the presentations of these Verb Map Systems I put the information on a shelf and ignored it. Since then i have added to these ideas through my own teaching style and have extended the ideas of planning a route through learning and teaching the English Language to several other grammatical areas.
However, here i leave you with the basics of the original presentation which, of course, still has room for improvement.
I hope that you found something either of interest or of use in the presentation.
Graham. W. Hendrey
Founder & Director,
Native Speakers Academy,
Center for Educational Theory & Development,
A copy of the slides used can be found on our Documents page HERE
We need to say a thank you to the workhorses at Edudemic for making this great list and very inspiring post. Bringing multimedia into the classroom is a great way to engage students
in learning. Supplementing lessons, opening up new interests, and
offering inspiration, online videos make for an incredible teaching
tool. Read on, and you’ll be able to check out the very best sources for educational videos on the web.
Please note that the following information has been copied from the website of Edudemic (link provided at the bottom) and has been done for the purpose of providing a back-up archive of this essential information for educational purposes only. Please visit and support the Edudemic homesite.
Educational Video Collections
Specifically designed for education, these collections make it easy to find video learning resources.
This YouTube for teachers is an amazing resource for finding
educationally-focused videos to share with your classroom. You can find
videos uploaded by other teachers or share your own.
- Edutopia: An awesome place to find learning ideas and resources, Edutopia has videos, blogs, and more, all sorted into grade levels.
- YouTube EDU:
A YouTube channel just for education, you can find primary and
secondary education, university-level videos, and even lifelong
- Classroom Clips: Classroom Clips offers media for educators and students alike, including video and audio in a browseable format.
- neoK12: Find science videos and more for school kids in K-12 on neoK12.
- OV Guide: Find education videos on this site, featuring author readings and instructional videos.
- CosmoLearning: This free educational website has videos in 36 different academic subjects.
- Google Educational Videos: Cool Cat Teacher offers this excellent tutorial for finding the best of Google’s educational videos.
- Brightstorm: On Brightstorm, students can find homework help in math and science, even test prep, too.
- Explore.org: Explore.org shares live animal cams, films, educational channels, and more for your classroom to explore.
- UWTV: Offered by the University of Washington, UWTV has videos in the arts, K-12, social sciences, health, and more.
With Videolectures.net, you’ll get access to browseable lectures
designed for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, offering videos in
architecture, business, technology, and many more categories.
From a site that’s long been known for big ideas, you’ll find TED-Ed,
videos specifically designed to act as highly engaging and fun lessons.
- Zane Education: Zane Education offers resources for visual learning, including the very popular on demand subtitled videos.
- Backpack TV: In this educational video library, you’ll find a special interest in math, science, and other academic subjects.
- MentorMob: Featuring learning playlists, MentorMob is a great place to find lessons you want to teach.
- Disney Educational Productions: This resource from Disney is a great place to find videos for students at the K-12 level.
General Video Collections
Network TV, inspiring talks, and more are all available in these
collections. Check out special categories and searches to find videos
that will work in your classroom.
- Hulu: A great
place to find the latest TV shows, Hulu is also a source of educational
videos. Documentaries, PBS, even Discovery videos are all available on
- Internet Archive:
Find so much more than videos in the Internet Archive. Images, live
music, audio, texts, and yes, historical and educational videos are all
available on Archive.org.
- TED: Share seemingly endless inspiration with your students through TED, a fountain of talks based on compelling ideas.
- MIT Video:
Online education giant MIT has an incredible video collection, offering
more than 10,000 videos for science, technology, and more.
- TVO: TVO is a really fun and useful online TV station, with great ways for kids, parents, and educators to learn about the world.
- Big Think: Much like TED, Big Think offers videos (and more) from some of the world’s top thinkers and learners.
- @Google Talks:
On this YouTube channel, you’ll find talks from creators: authors,
musicians, innovators, and speakers, all discussing their latest
- Metacafe: Find free video clips from just about anywhere, offering educational videos, documentaries, and more.
- Link TV: On
Link TV, you’ll find videos and broadcasts meant to connect you and your
students to the greater world through documentaries and cultural
Featuring higher-level learning, these video sites are great resources for finding education that’s fit for teachers.
- Academic Earth: Learn about science, justice,
economics, and more from some of the world’s great universities. You can
even earn a degree from this site!
- Teacher Training Videos:
Specifically created to teach educators, Teacher Training Videos is a
great place to find online tutorials for technology in education.
- Classroom 2.0: Check out Classroom 2.0′s videos to learn about Web 2.0, social media, and more.
- Atomic Learning: Visit Atomic Learning to find resources for K-12 professional development.
- iTunesU: Find university-level learning and more from iTunesU.
- Videos for Professional Development:
An excellent collection of professional development videos, Wesley
Fryer’s post shares some of the best teacher videos available.
Annenberg Learner offers excellent teacher professional development and
classroom resources for just about every curriculum available.
- MIT Open CourseWare: The leader in Open CourseWare, MIT has free lectures and videos in 2,100 courses.
Put together your lesson plans with the help of these useful video sites.
- Teachers’ Domain:
Join the Teachers’ Domain, and you’ll get access to educational media
from public broadcasting and its partners, featuring media from the
arts, math, science, and more.
- Meet Me at the Corner:
A great place for younger kids to visit, Meet Me At the Corner has
educational videos, and kid-friendly episodes, including virtual field
trips and video book reviews by kids, for kids.
WatchKnowLearn is an incredible resource for finding educational videos
in an organized repository. Sorted by age and category, it’s always
easy to find what you’re looking for.
- BrainPOP: On
this education site for kids, you’ll find animated educational videos,
graphics, and more, plus a special section for BrainPOP educators.
- The KidsKnowIt Network: Education is fun and free on this children’s learning network full of free educational movies and video podcasts.
- Khan Academy:
With more than 3,200 videos, Khan Academy is the place to learn almost
anything. Whether you’re seeking physics, finance, or history, you’ll
find a lesson on it through Khan Academy.
- Awesome Stories:
Students can learn the stories of the world on this site, with videos
explaining what it was like to break ranks within the Women’s Movement,
the life of emperor penguins, and even Martin Luther King, Jr’s “We
Shall Overcome” speech.
Cap off lessons about Nobel Prize winners with videos explaining their
work and life, direct from the source on Nobelprize.org.
- JohnLocker: JohnLocker is full of educational videos and free documentaries, including Yogis of Tibet and Understanding the Universe.
Science, Math, and Technology
You’ll find special attention for STEM subjects on these video sites.
- Green Energy TV:
On Green Energy TV, you’ll find learning resources and videos for the
green movement, including a video version of the children’s book Living Green: A Turtle’s Quest for a Cleaner Planet.
Find free videos and other resources for teaching “ahead of the
textbook” from BioInteractive, part of the Howard Hughes Medical
- ARKive: Share
images and videos of the world’s most endangered species with your
students, thanks to ARKive. These wildlife films and photos are from
some of the world’s best filmmakers and photographers, sharing stunning
images that everyone can appreciate.
Students who need extra help with math can find support on MathTV. This
site offers videos explaining everything from basic mathematics all the
way to trigonometry and calculus.
- The Vega Science Trust:
A project of Florida State University, The Vega Science Trust shares
lectures, documentaries, interviews, and more for students to enjoy and
- The Science Network:
Check out The Science Network, where you’ll find the world’s leading
scientists explaining concepts including viruses and the birth of
- PopTech: Bringing together a global community of innovators, PopTech has videos explaining economics, water, and plant-based fuels.
- PsychCentral: Students can learn about what makes people tick through PsychCentral’s brain and behavior videos.
- How Stuff Works: The video channel from How Stuff Works offers an in-depth look at adventure, animals, food, science, and much more.
- Science Stage: Find science videos, tutorials, courses, and more streaming knowledge on Science Stage.
- Exploratorium TV: Allow students to explore science and beyond with Exploratorium TV’s videos, webcasts, podcasts, and slideshows.
- SciVee: SciVee makes science visible, allowing searchable video content on health, biology, and more.
- The Futures Channel:
Visit the Futures Channel to find educational videos and activities for
hands-on, real world math and science in the classroom.
- All Things Science:
For just about any science video you can imagine, All Things Science
has it, whether it’s about life after death or space elevators.
- ATETV: Check out Advanced Technological Education Television (ATETV) to find videos exploring careers in the field of technology.
History, Arts, and Social Sciences
Explore history and more in these interesting video collections.
- The Kennedy Center: Find beautiful performances from The Kennedy Center’s Performance Archive.
- The Archaeology Channel: Students can explore human cultural heritage through streaming media on The Archaeology Channel.
- Web of Stories:
On Web of Stories, people share their life stories, including Stan Lee,
writer, Mike Bayon, WWII veteran, and Donald Knuth, computer scientist.
- Stephen Spielberg Film and Video Archive: In this archive, you’ll find films and videos relating to the Holocaust, including the Nuremberg Trials and Hitler speeches.
- Culture Catch: Students can tune into culture with Dusty Wright’s Culture Catch.
On Folkstream.net, a national preserve of documentary films about
American roots cultures, you’ll find the best of American folklore
- Digital History:
A project of the University of Houston, Digital History uses new
technology, including video, to enhance teaching and research in
- History Matters:
Another university project, this one is from George Mason University.
Sharing primary documents, images, audio, and more, there’s plenty of
historic multimedia to go around on this site.
- Social Studies Video Dictionary: Make definitions visual with this video dictionary for social studies.
- The Living Room Candidate: From the Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate features presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2008.
- Video Active: Find Europe’s TV heritage through Video Active, a collection of TV programs and stills from European audiovisual archives.
- Media Education Foundation:
The Media Education Foundation offers documentary films and other
challenging media for teaching media literacy and media studies.
Make it easy to find, share, and view videos with these tools.
- DropShots: On DropShots, you’ll find free, private, and secure storage and sharing for video and photos.
- Muvee: Using Muvee, you can create your own photo and video “muvees” to share privately with your class.
- Tonido: Tonido
makes it possible to run your own personal cloud, accessing video files
on your computer from anywhere, even your phone.
- Vidique: On Vidique, you’ll find a video syndication system where you can create your own channel of curated content for the classroom.
- SchoolTube: On SchoolTube, you’ll find video sharing for both students and teachers, highlighting the best videos from schools everywhere.
Network and Program Videos
Check out these sites to find public broadcasting and other educational programs.
- PBS Video: Watch and share PBS videos online with this site.
- National Geographic: Find some of the world’s most amazing videos of natural life on National Geographic’s online video home.
- NOVA Teachers:
NOVA shares highly organized videos for teachers, with 1-3 hour
programs divided into chapters, plus short 5-15 minute segments from
- Discovery Education: Use Discovery Education’s videos to inspire curiosity, bringing the Discovery channel into your classroom.
- C-SPAN Video Library: Find Congressional and other political programs and clips in this digital archive from C-SPAN.
- NBC Learn:
Check out NBC Learn to find excellent resources for learning from NBC,
including the science behind just about everything from the summer
Olympics to hockey.
- History.com: Watch full episodes, clips, and videos from the History channel.
- Biography: Get the true story behind peoples’ lives from these videos from the Biography channel.
- BBC Learning:
BBC offers an excellent learning site, including learning resources for
schools, parents, and teachers. One of BBC’s most impressive resources
is a live volcano conversation discussing the world’s most active
volcano in Hawaii.
Free Movies and Clips
Documentaries and other educational movies and clips are available on these sites.
- Free Documentaries: On Free Documentaries, “the truth is free,” with a variety of documentary films available for streaming.
- SnagFilms: On SnagFilms, you can watch free movies and documentaries online, with more than 3,000 available right now.
- Top Documentary Films: Watch free documentaries online in this great collection of documentary movies.
- TV Documentaries:
This Australian site has excellent documentaries about child growth,
historic events, and even animations about classical Greek mythology.
Satisfy students’ desire for knowledge and hands-on learning by sharing how-to videos from these sites.
- 5min: If you’ve
got five minutes, you can learn how to do something on this site. Check
it out to find instructional videos and DIY projects.
- Wonder How To: Learn everything about anything from Wonder How To’s show and tell videos.
This community of doers shares instructions (often, video) for doing
just about anything, from making secret doors to tiny origami.
- Howcast: Find some of the best how-to videos online with Howcast.
- MindBites: Check out MindBites to find thousands of video lessons, how-tos, and tutorials.
- W3Schools: Through W3Schools’ web tutorials (video and otherwise), you can learn how to create your own websites.
- Videojug: Videojug encourages users to “get good at life” by watching more than 60,000 available how-to videos and guides.
Government and Organizations
Offered as a service from government organizations and other groups,
these are great places to find top-notch educational videos and often,
- US National Archives: Explore US history in this YouTube channel from the US National Archives.
- National Science Foundation: From the National Science Foundation, you’ll find a wealth of multimedia, including instructional and educational videos.
- NASA eClips: NASA offers a great way for students and educators to learn about space exploration, with clips divided by grade level.
- NASA TV: Tune in to NASA TV to watch launches, talks, even space station viewing.
- Library of Congress: Through the Library of Congress, you can find videos and other classroom materials for learning about American history.
- American Memory Collections:
Search America’s collective memory to find videos and other multimedia
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''[I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books. The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.''
Albert Einstein in response to not knowing the speed of sound as included in the Edison Test: New York Times (18 May 1921)
The physical, spiritual and psychological wars inherent in modern society would not be possible without a docile and stagnant general public. This is achieved by means of a scientifically managed system of schooling that trains people, from as early an age as possible, in conformity and obedience, and punishes individuality and constructive creativity. Devoid of any real life experience and personal responsibility the students lose their personal identity as the values of the state education institution are forced on tomorrows generation. The most fundamental and absolutely essential element of this meaningless form of psychological child abuse is the incessant classroom test.
There are, sadly, as yet, no qualifications for virtue and wisdom. There are no real grades for personal improvement in an area of personal interest, assisting a friend with a complex math problem or helping your mother prepare the dinner after a long day. This is, of course, not by chance. It can not be. Yet we have the best educated minds in the business working night and day to solve the present problems of government education departments and create paths to future solutions. Or so we are told. This is the subtle manipulation of our present analytically abstract society that has completely lost it's direction and knows not which way to turn.
These are, excuse the tediously obvious pun, testing times and also times in which, if you attend any high school, you will be unable to avoid tests. On an almost daily basis there will be some form of assessment designed to mark your progress and check that the well oiled schematic machine that is the modern timetabled school system is doing it's methodical mechanical job, churning out students with few practical skills of any use and a schizophrenic collection of irrelevant facts about outdated memes. Of course there are exceptions to this rule but in time these beacons of success are either weeded out of the system or drowned in a sea of paperwork that nobody really reads.
So, why do we have so many tests? I could answer that now, at the beginning but I will leave that to a later date as a more important fundamental question would be: Are these tests of any use at all? I suggest not, and there are many good reasons for this opinion that we should, and will, explore. Tests are of course a complex, taken for granted, issue that effect almost everyone I have ever met and so there is a simple need to at least probe the logic involved in their almost universal application. From the perspective of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to what happens if I remember the answer to a question 5 minutes after the exam, there is a lot to consider that often passes by unconsidered.
So, let's begin.
A: Tests are all about the past
They are no measure of future success or ability. They focus on a retroactive skill that requires the recall of recent information for a limited period of time only. Besides this, who really knows what skills you will need tomorrow. You may, in effect, prepare and plan for your test in advance, but what next. Correspondingly, the high volume of tests negates any need to consider the future and it's not as if students have a measure in saying which tests could be done when. Where is the student's ability to choose on what they would like to be tested? After all, they, alongside their parents, are the consumer of the education product. And, as has been repeated by thousands of test takers through the ages, all too often It's just a test of memory and not a practical application of real data or real life skill. Furthermore, we can only marvel at the abject ridiculousness of being constantly told what to learn without any instruction as to how to learn.
At certain times your whole future depends on a percentage written at the top of the page by somebody you barely know. If this does not have any negative side effect on the mind then I don't know what does. If adults were put through such a rigorous testing process surely they would complain. So why is it deemed acceptable to do this with our children. Dare i mention the 'I had to so you have to' attitude too often expressed by parents. With such a strong focus on academic success which is solely graded in assessment results can we be surprised that students search for more creative ways to obtain good results. Essentially, regular tests, where it is obvious that more emphasis is placed on the end result than the actual process, encourage cheating, by both pupils and teachers. After all, a piece of paper is very important. Right? And we all want to do our best. Right?
C: School itself should not be a science laboratory
The techniques of Ivan P. Pavlov and John B. Watson interlaced thought a curriculum planned by Burrhus F. Skinner might be, in some rare cases, justifiable for crude and cruel experiments on animals but we really need to set higher values on the children in our communities. Science, now laced with the fervour of religious fanaticism, has always had a close relationship with means and averages but is this a suitable way to approach the development of young minds which, when regularly, are left to themselves, prove to be highly diverse and flexible with ample innate ability to solve problems. Students, like animals, are being sorted, or even farmed, into horizontal groups of knowledge where nobody can help anybody because they are all at the same level and as a result will progress at the pace of only the slowest in the group. Learning is a vertical process.
D: Tests have no relationship with the real world
There is a rather large dis-connect between the conceptual application of tests in a controlled learning environment and communication and survival in the real world. When the average student graduates, does he really feel that school examinations have prepared him for careful navigation of the labyrinth of social, societal, legal and financial rules that dominate our everyday decision making processes. How prepared are they to negotiate the fine print of business contracts, mortgage legalese or interminable changes to accounting regulation. Random historical factoids do little to help us with the important choices in life. Such as: who to marry, which insurance company to use, or how to: rebuild the garden fence, rewire our home electricity circuits or fix an overflowed toilet. We do not ask the local librarian for her results in school nor the mechanic at the local garage whether or not he passed his final school exams. Furthermore, who really cares?
E: It simply takes up too much time
Between the in school preparation for both educator and student, the in class delivery and the marking and follow up reviews, which too often tend to consist only of a glance at the result followed by a brief emotional response, we could be forgiven for thinking that tests were the be all and end all of life. The whole year seems generally focused and planned around the testing process. Just think of the time lost, to the management as well as the managed, that could have been much better spent in the observation of something new. Let's not forget the homework that eats into any free time a young person might have. In addition, there is also the fact that way deep down inside we know we will only be required to hold the data for a limited short term period of time, and so, in many students with whom I have discussed this issue, the brain appears to psychologically dump all the data right after the exam. Just try testing a student on the data at a different time in a different place. Few students can remember after summer what happened before summer? Then, there is also the artificial concept that school is the only place where we are allowed to learn and that has knock on effects as well.
F: All true learning comes from inside the individual
Either from the outside looking in or the inside looking out it is hard to be objective about the learning process. Science, that great bastion of infinite redefinition, would, at the drop of a hat, have us believing that we have come to a great understanding of the world around us, yet it seems to constantly rewrite the book of knowledge, adding and removing where is sees fit. The plain truth is that the more we study the world around us the deeper the rabbit hole appears to be. And the less we are prepared to admit our own shortfalls. This, of course, is just a simplification of the unquestionable reality that, no matter how much we learn, we are left with the inevitable conclusion that 'All we know is that we don't know'. Perhaps we should apply this concept to the idea of tests, which are of course an external application and review over an internal process, and that, if we are to be truly honest, is no measure of any real value.
This information forms a collection of reasoned conclusions from observations of the effects of tests on students over many years. Modern school tests are little more than an attempt to command and control a complete element of society that, in the worst cases, has the effect of removing all free will from the individual. Not to even get started on their effects on creativity, motivation and self determination. Is it not simply amazing how much of what we automatically consider to be an inevitable process on our journey through life has very little real positive effect on our quality of life.
Long form written tests, which required more complex cognitive processes and once held some value, have long since been replaced, in many areas, with a multiple guess scenario. What does that teach the next generation? Teaching itself, is to learning as speaking is to listening: there is a symbiotic relationship between the two and they can work in harmony but yet they also may disconnect and have little in common, as is the case here. Learning, which is actually a natural process, is not a process which can be forced, as that will only lead to the application of resistance in return. Children are not horses to be broken but they are prototype re-modelings of ourselves, flaws and all, to be loved and nurtured in a caring environment.
There is still a fundamental princip in society that schools could not exist without testing and that itself proves the one or uni dimensional perspective we have overlayed into the foundations of our modern education systems. It is a focus which is out of date, irrelevant and harmful to present and future generations. True education is not really that complicated as it begins and ends with the universal language of love and is elevated with wisdom, not intelligence.
As with those long forgotten first days of mass education where students were marched military style by soldiers at gun point from their home to the school house (yes, that did happen), not only have we lost the very means of true reason in education but also we have replaced a natural method with a prescribed madness that does not and is never going to work in it's present form. And unfortunately, for the majority of tired teachers, we have misguidedly turned a once noble profession into a relentless daily lost cause. It is far beyond time to stop, rethink and move on.
Anytime the destination becomes more important than the process we are in a race to the bottom. Enough is already more than enough. Let's not perpetuate the tragedy of history and make the same mistake as our forefathers by placing blind belief in a system that has consistently let down the faithful. Let us make a wiser choice for future generations. Remembering, of course, those words of John F. Kennedy that ''an error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it''.
So, If a student, up to the age of 18, freely wishes to take a test then, of course, let them. Otherwise, how you choose your friends, how you love and are loved, and how you live your life are the only tests that you really need to pass.
Finally, let us bookend these ideas with a few more words from Albert Einstein: ''Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts''. Graham W. Hendrey Founder & DirectorNative Speakers Academy Slovakia
(Written in May 2013)
(For links to research information please scroll to the bottom)
Don't worry. The irony of a somebody, who prepares students to pass tests, writing an article about the evils of testing in the school system is not lost. At least, not on me.
ESSENTIAL QUOTES on TESTING & EXAMS
“In school we learn things then take the test, In everyday life we take the test then we learn things.” Admon Israel
"Believing we can improve schooling with more tests is like believing you can make yourself grow taller by measuring your height." Robert Schaeffer of FairTest
"Standardized tests equal standardized students" Amanda Parsons, a sophomore from Boulder, CO wearing red arm bands and a student ID sticker number 142337 at a protest of nearly 200 students
"I don't think there's any way to build a multiple-choice question that allows students to show what they can do with what they know." Roger Farr, professor of Education at Indiana University
"Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud." Sophocles
"It was not until I was long out of school and indeed after the (first) World War that there came the hurried use of the new technique of psychological tests, which were quickly adjusted so as to put black folk absolutely beyond the possibility of civilization." W.E.B. DuBois, 1940
"Anyone can confirm how little the grading that results from examinations corresponds to the final useful work of people in life." Jean Piaget
"Education is not a preparation for life...education is life itself". John Dewey
"To exploit us, they measure us. To control us, they measure us." Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatistas
"There were times I'd be reading a paper every ten seconds…you could put a number on these things without even reading the paper." Anonymous worker at test scoring company in North Carolina that gives a $200 bonus to workers after 8000 papers
"Americans are taking as many as 600 million standardized tests each year in schools, colleges, and universities, and the workplace." Peter Sacks
"Every hour spent on such exam preparation is an hour not spent helping students to become critical, creative, curious learners." Alfie Kohn
"What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge and not knowledge in pursuit of the child." George Bernard Shaw
"Only on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' can people rise to the top by rote memorization and answers to multiple-choice questions. The FINAL ANSWER to improving education is more than memorizing facts for a multiple-choice test. Children today need critical thinking skills, creativity, perseeverance, and integrity - qualities not measure on a standardized test." Dr. Paul Houston
"I did not take the test, because I find no benefit in it." Hanna Bellini, 11, Santa Monica, CA
"Testing improves education the same way that bombing promotes democracy" Steve Cohn, Education professor at Tufts University
"Those born into less privileged social and economic circumstances are punished at least twice: first, when they start life already behind their more privileged peers; and second, when the testing game's sorting, labeling, and screening of children begins." Peter Sacks
"Too often, however, hasty judgments about test scores result in superficial responses to real educational issues." Kurt Landgraf, President of ETS
"If social engineers had set out to invent a virtually perfect inequality machine, designed to perpetuate class and race divisions, and that appeared to abide by all requisite state and federal laws and regulations, those engineers could do no better than the present-day accountability systems already put to use in American schools." Peter Sacks
"Education ceases to be learning when the 3 R's are read, remember, and regurgitate." "Boston Public" character of student protester
"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it." Henry Ford
"'Teaching to the test' [is] a practice likened to memorizing an eye chart. With enough drill and rote work, even a person with 20/150 vision can rattle off 'E-F-P-T-O-Z'. Of course this doesn't mean that person can truly see." Meredith Scrivner
"One must learn by doing the thing. For though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try." Sophocles
"Standardized tests can't measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure and count are isolated skills, specific facts and function, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning." Bill Ayers
"Standardization of our educational systems [which includes testing]is apt to stamp out individualism and defeat the very ends of education by leveling the product down rather than up." Harvey Cushing (1869-1939)
"No single test score can be considered a definitive measure of a student's knowledge." National Research Council Report, High Stakes
"As a true believer in public education, I cannot be a participant in its demise" Lynn Spampinato, Denver principal, who resigned in protest over the governor's report card ranking of schools
"Would a child who spent every day doing basketball drills without ever having the joy of playing a game of basketball enjoy basketball enough to become good at it?" Lalia Kerr
"In fact the very best schools may be doing the most harm because they are accomplishing what they are setting out to do." James Skeen
"Learning and teaching is messy stuff. It doesn't fit into bubbles. I don't think a simple pencil-and-paper test is going to capture what students know and can do." Michele Forman, named "USA Teacher of the Year"
"Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization stagnate and die." Chief Justice Earl Warren, Sweezy v. New Hampshire '57
ESSENTIAL ADDITIONAL READING, LISTENING & VIEWING
Alfie Kohn: Articles
Testing Companies are Robbing Your Children of an Education
Bombshell reports show at least 100 cases of teachers cheating
Corruption in Atlanta Schools
Teachers At Seattle School Refuse To Give Standardized Test
All school children in Britain should be tested for mental health
I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate (Spoken Word)
Public Schools = Private Hell - by Stefan Molyneux
The Fear Factor: How It Affects Students
Pleasure derived from challenge & the effects on receiving grades
Self-esteem that's based on external sources has mental health consequences
Without a diploma, does the Scarecrow have a brain?
The Case Against Grades
The Dark History of Multiple Choice Tests
Meeting Testing Goals By Lowering Standards
Tests Scores are a Poor Tool
As the stakes go up, the validity go down
NSA Special Research Articles:
Understanding Weapons of Mass Instruction
The 13 Principles of Elite Schools
Have you heard about Finland?
(To be continued)
Noam Chomsky on Tests in Education: 'Teach to the test (is the) worst possible way of teaching. It is a disciplinary technique.' Source: Truthout Interview 2013