The other day I picked up my local Philadelphia newspaper and I read an article which stated that Pennsylvania intends to build four new prisons for 800 million dollars. Did you know that it also takes $50,000 a year to house a prisoner? When I read this I was upset that it was so easy to build four new prisons. I knew that Governor Rendell had spent 3 months trying to get the state budget passed because he refused to put education on the chopping block. The State of Pennsylvania could educate 5 children rather than put one man or women in prison. It seems like our country's priorities are all twisted. Other countries are investing in education and they are experiencing expansion while America is in a state of decline.

Pennsylvania was not the only state to assess its commitment to education. Students in California and other states are experiencing overcrowded classes and bus services have been cut. Students don't vote so they are an easy target for budget cuts. The majority of children in the United States need a better education than they are experiencing right know. Filling prisons is not the solution to our problem. Too many prisoners are high school drop out. In fact they need an education if they are to change their circumstances and not return to prison after they are released.

When is this country going to face the reality that a major solution to our economic crisis is right in our own communities? There are children who need access to better instruction and they need parents who are not in a prison cell. Too many grandparents are raising children because they have no choice. It is difficult for grandparents to provide the resources and guidance that growing teenagers need. Parents need to play an active role in their child's education at all K12 levels.

Expanding prisons is not the solution to the economic crisis. A prison my generate jobs but it does not compare to what a well educated entrepreneur can do. We need to choose business development and job creation in areas where jobs have been depleted. Why not build new schools with modern technology that will lead to more sophisticated instruction and students who are prepared to succeed in college. Many of the schools in Philadelphia are over 50 years old and the maintenance expenses are unreasonable. These old buildings are not the best places for students to learn.

It's time to make education a priority in every state. If we continue to fill our prisons with perfectly healthy young men and women we are becoming our own worst enemy. There is a tremendous amount of talent that is sitting in a cell and wasting away. Changing a young person's potential to end up in prison starts at birth. Children need to develop an early passion for reading and learning. Parents can be a major part of the solution. The future is within our grasp and we need to say no to prisons and yes to education.

The Influence of Books on Children's Music Education

Using the well-known fact that music education raises a child's IQ by up to 40 percent, we can now consider how books and reading in general can help our "musical" children.

Presently, mankind, having achieved enormous strides in the field of technology, continues to invent new means of receiving and distributing information almost daily. Radios, TVs, computers, and the Internet are now a normal way of life. Do you know that all information received doubles every year and a half due to the general acceleration of technology?

These days, we and our children do not need to go to the bookstores and libraries. We can easily find the book we are looking for on the Internet. Moreover, if we have no time to sit and read, we can record the audio version of the book and listen to it while driving, walking, or doing any other activity that doesn't require much reflection. There are also video books. Certainly, these adaptable gadgets are very convenient and we should be grateful to people who invent things to make our lives easier and help us save precious time.

Our children, looking at us, try to copy the things we do. Receiving news in the "easier" version, for example from the TV, the new generation began to read less. On one hand it is normal. But if you want your child to play music without losing interest, he has to read a lot. While reading, a child increases his vocabulary and intelligence. Your imagination automatically "turns on" when you read something exciting.

Have you ever read books in which the author describes what his protagonists see around them? For example, dark-blue skies; dewdrops on a blade of grass; dense, white fog the colour of milk above the river in the early morning, etc. Some people omit such descriptive passages in books so as not to miss a string of events, action, adventure, and learn what happens next.

Every single small detail is important for our children during reading. Just after birth, a child is like a white, blank, pure sheet of paper. The person he grows up to be will depend on the information, knowledge, skills, and abilities that we, as adults, will teach and give him. Even the child's personality and habits are literary copied from the behavior of other people. And again, books play the huge role in this. The contents of the books are imperceptibly recorded and stored somewhere deep in human subconscious.

You might agree, but you might also wonder what this has to do with music education. I will ask you another question. Have you ever heard a piece of music that has deeply touched you? This piece can amuse you, make you pensive and even make you cry...

It happens because two very important moments coincided. First, the composer, who wrote the music, managed to convey with absolute precision not only his mood during the creation of this piece, but also a picture that he had in his mind. And second, the person, who played the piece, had these images available in a databank in his brain.

A child, who doesn't read much, can not open and express the beauty of a musical piece only because he memorizes the notes. There is a unique, direct connection between reading and the expression of feelings.

If you pay attention to people who read a lot, you will notice that their speech is more beautiful and rich in comparison with those who don't read much. The same is true for a child. The more he reads, the better his understanding of social surroundings and the easier it is for him to understand emotions and feelings and to express them in a musical piece.

Education For the 21st Century AKA The Hub Proposal

Creating a Hybrid Learning Community

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

What might a 21st-century community look in which students direct their own education? In this world, the following scenario could take place: a student, engrossed in his favorite video game, puts down his gaming console and decides that he has an innovative idea for a new game of his own. From the convenience of his home computer he signs on to his profile at his school website and posts a bulletin within the "projects" section of the school's online network. His bulletin states the reasons why his video game idea is innovative and what kind of people he needs to help him bring his idea to fruition. After a few hours, seven other students have shown an interest in his idea and want to join him in the endeavor. The intended critical mass of interested parties having been reached, they must now seek out the relevant information and processes to make the project happen.

The group is assigned a teacher/mentor that will aid them in facilitating the achievement of their goal. A meeting time is set and the interested parties meet up in a conference room located at the online school's Hub complex. The Hub Complex is a state of the art building that acts as a meeting ground for the physical aspects of project based learning. In some rooms there are students working on massive science projects while in other rooms students are studying the fine arts related to current cultural topics. The video game designing student has contacted fellow classmates in the carpool list, but due to no one traveling to the Hub at the time he had to travel via public transit.

With notes scribbled on whiteboards and paper, the student's initial idea is fleshed out. It is determined that computer programming, graphic design, and physics are crucial aspects of the forthcoming project and, while the students have some experience in graphic design, their first challenge is that they lack the requisite programming skills. The group decides to sign up for a programming session where other groups are learning the tools necessary to write video game code. A student with a strong interest in the visual aspect of the project works with a student from another group to walk through an online tutorial in game graphic design. The project continues with the mentor acting as consultant, ensuring that the students are not getting overwhelmed and are finding the resources they need. When the video game is completed, the students reflect with the mentor on what was the most difficult part of the project. It may be determined that the project would have gone much more smoothly if a tutorial on some particular facet of the process had been made available to them. This would have saved some time on trial and error and unnecessary difficulties. The group works to publish documentation wherein their reflections won't just benefit their own future project endeavors, but will also serve as an available resource to future student projects and other users around the world.

How do we achieve this vision while working to simultaneously ensure that our students are well educated and allowed to pursue their passions? Perhaps the Internet is the answer public education has been looking for. Over the past decade, online schools and universities have opened at radically increasing rates while many colleges are adopting some form of hybrid online/traditional classrooms to facilitate learning. In the traditional classroom, students interact with other students and teachers, an interaction which creates a relationship that can be treasured for a lifetime. Online lectures and textbooks are still lectures and textbooks, which can be very difficult and confusing. Without another person to help us and without challenging projects that require human interaction the online classroom will be devoid of the life naturally attained within the traditional classroom. Lectures and textbook based learning is why the current form of "online schooling" will never be completely successful. Project based learning with a human face to face component must be included in this new online paradigm in order to facilitate personal and meaningful engagement of students.

One of the principles that our public education system is founded on is the idea that a well-informed citizenry remain strong, free, constantly interactive and capable of diverse thinking. Educating to diverse communication standards (both new and old) is vital to strengthening the community of a multi-cultural society. It is becoming increasingly apparent as we move further into the twenty-first century that education should dovetail with rapidly evolving practices in contemporary communications. In fact, institutional policies are reacting to this demand across the United States. (1) Public education must be flexible enough to follow communities within its structure no matter where they exist. Online education becomes inevitable in this scenario because, as it has become the popular means of mass communication, it has also begun to supplant and augment the traditional loci of communities world-wide. The modern classroom has become the Internet, and vice-versa. Because of the limitless potential of human interaction made possible by the numerous technologies we find at our disposal in the twenty-first century, communities based on instantaneous communication have formed within a new frontier that exists worldwide. Public education, if it is to stay relevant to the needs of the modern community, needs to find its place at the forefront of this frontier.

Online communities have replaced geographical ones. While many are unable to name one of their neighbors, they connect daily with hundreds or thousands of like-minded people for various reasons. These communities are in place, yet education has not effectively found a way to harness these connections for meaningful learning-even while meaningful learning is taking place within them all along! As public educators work to discern and define the function of the K-12 classroom in this new era of communication, they must strive to meet the demands brought forth by new and ever-emerging technologies while still working to create a school that will-above and beyond all things-facilitate learning for the K-12 student. But moving towards a methodology which no longer focuses strictly on the "traditional" means of communication does not mean that teachers need to abandon their basic instinct, viz. to learn we need to interact physically with one another. The traditional concept of a school as being a place where students come together to learn in the same physical environment is not a concept that should be abandoned. Rather, public educators need to change their preconceptions of how and when students come together to learn so that their education can support this new type of technology driven classroom.

Since very early in American history, educators have worked to ensure that all students are prepared and well rounded. Every year more and more people are choosing to enter a college or university; choosing to go beyond their required education in order to receive training in areas about which they are passionate. Yet, in the last couple of decades we have seen technology explode onto the scene, permanently changing the way we live, interact, and learn. While schools have worked hard to ensure that students are equipped with the tools needed in today's society, we can always ask: is technology being used its fullest extent? The above scenario, in which students utilize available technologies to the fullest extent in order to complete a complex project, outlines a possible situation in which students, rather than simply making use of technology to absorb disjointed and only marginally useful facts, employ such technology to learn and develop within a tightly-knit community.

Is it possible to envision a world where an online student body is able to complete a project that they are interested in while still obtaining the skills and facts necessary to fall in line with the National Standards of Education? How can schools stay in touch with the world if they are not part of the mainstream student communities of the 21st century? All humans have a natural inclination towards learning; whether learning to walk, read a book, or to take a car apart and put it back together again. It is the responsibility of public educational institutions to mentor these natural motivations and to encourage a productive and collaborative society. Can this be successfully achieved and supported within the confines of a hybrid school? If public educators are to rise to the challenges of our times, the answer must invariably be, "yes."

The Internet has become the unofficial 21st century method for learning. Almost anything can be learned by simply watching a YouTube video or following along on someone else's blog. News is transmitted instantaneously throughout the world creating an almost unlimited supply of information for almost any need. However, when we look in the classroom, we find information continuing to be disseminated in the same way it has been for centuries. Where information comes out of the Internet like a waterfall, students are asked to sit for eight hours a day and move through information at a trickle. This is why public education needs to follow the community, especially when the community is obviously shouting that it knows where it wants to be.

So how do we tap into those communities? If there is one thing that has truly kept the fire of learning alive, it has been the library. Imagine a super-library, a kind of K-12 learning center that has been built to be alive and able to act a resource for an online community. A place that would support a kind of project-based learning that could be facilitated anywhere there was an Internet connection. This online school Hub would be filled with teachers and experts who could be present both physically present and virtually for students to interact with no matter where they are. This place would also serve as an easy meeting place for the physically interactive parts of project-based learning that are required of its online student body.

We propose that this Hub be the school that actively engages with the 21st century community structures. This high tech Hub facility will be a place where teachers no longer become the gatekeepers of a rigid grading system, but rather start acting as mentors and facilitators within a complex hive of student activity. Why this hub would be successful as a base for an online/virtual school is because it would enable what public education has been seeking to accomplish all along - it would allow students to naturally gravitate to the school out of the want for learning. The basic idea is that human beings learn while uncomfortable, i.e. in new situations where they are forced to be alert. If students were able to first engage with a school from a comfortable place it is our theory that these students would in turn be not only motivated to come to school they will be drawn to it. A "Hey, what's going on here?" attitude will be fostered when a student is able to observe the classroom before entering it.

It is of our opinion that if a High School were to utilize new technologies to expand the classroom and support its communication between all parties involved the result would be a class that is no longer confined by the walls of one room. The classroom could then become earth and the world we live in would become the teacher. This "free from physical constraints" classroom would be populated with students who are able to communicate anywhere that they can receive Internet bandwidth. Projects could take place in the African bush or in a coffee shop in Bern, Switzerland.

As we move into the future of learning the question of how to combine truly personalized education and online learning becomes self-evident. There are many more conversations that must come up to answer this, but none can arise until we have a core understanding as a community of what we are trying to achieve and what we are trying to teach as educators.

1) For a detailed elaboration of this phenomenon, see John Watson, Butch Gemin, and Jennifer Ryan. "Keeping the Pace with K-12 Online learning: A Review of State-Level Policy and Practice." Rev. of K-12 Online Learning. Nov. 2008: 1-163.

Continuing Education Options For Busy Managers

Today's businesses require regular updating of skills, with global competition and emerging technologies on the rise. With customer demands and expectations also on the high level, businesses require their mangers to have good project management and technical skills.

For a business to remain competitive, new projects and business development must be completed on time and within budget. Here is where the importance of project management leadership crops up. Project management skills are highly sought out by businesses to keep them ahead.

So what happens if you do not have the necessary skills? Take heart. There are ways and options to learn the skills, along with your regular job, so that you and your organization or business has the cutting edge.

What are the choices available to the busy professional of today, to stay ahead of the competition? Continuing education is the option and the various forms of continuing education available makes it easy for the busy executive to learn and study along with his or her busy schedule.

The skills could include project management, technical know-how, a foreign language, management, business, finance. Just about anything.

Let us consider a few of these:

UPDATE TIME: Professional education providers can provide practicing professionals with levels of knowledge and skills comparable to those graduating today from professional schools. For example, the engineer who graduated in the 1970's has a very urgent need to close the knowledge and skills gap with today's graduate. This they are able to do updating the curriculum from professional schools.

This is done very simply where who know something teach it to those who do not know it in two or three days of intensive short courses. Such instructional systems are heavily didactic and the content of such courses is dominated by informational update.

The course is conducted by a single instructor, who lectures in a formal setting. The main aim of these short courses is to keep professionals up to date in their practice in a formal set-up.

FREE BIRD: You do not have to be confined to a classroom to continue your education or horn your skills. There are distance learning programs to help fulfill the needs of busy professionals like you. The Web, computer and other technologies are playing a large role in delivering education and training.

Teleconferencing, is a technology that allows several people to call one phone number and be connected at the same time. It can be a convenient and viable way to "attend" classes. No special equipment is required to participate in the call.

Some courses offer the online format for pursuing educational opportunities. With such online classes, lessons and homework can be done on weekends, late at night and even while traveling, thus making it convenient for the busy executive.

Mostly, all distance education programs will have a counselor or guide whom you can meet up with regularly to check your progress.

LATE BIRD: For the professional who can spare the time, there are evening classes and late sessions for continuing education held after work hours. These will have the formal set-up and regular sessions with an instructor. These are definitely more effective, if you have the time to spare.

Whatever method you choose, with the advent of technology, continuing education whether it is for career transition or career advancement or just for updating skills, need no longer be difficult to accomplish. With the plethora of continuing education choices being offered, even you, the busy executive, can learn those skills you have always wanted.x

The professor and head of department of food science and technology of University of Georgia, USA, Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, had a collaborative meeting with professor Mr. DP Singh, the vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), on November 9th, 2009 at Varanasi.

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh earlier paid a visit to the Center of Food, Science and Technology. He delivered a lecture to the students of the university then, briefing them up about the opportunities and prospects for higher education in the University of Georgia. He mainly stressed on the key research issues like post harvest technology, value addition in waste food commodities. In fact he pointed out the importance of water management and how it can be useful and effectively done if the research is also done on the areas of emerging food processing technologies. In that visit, he emphasized on the scope and opportunities in Food Science in the University of Georgia, USA.

That visit led to some progress with another meeting on 9th November, where both the parties discussed about the possible collaboration between the BHU and the University of Georgia in the area of food sciences. They also discusses how the staff and the students of both the universities can be united to promote scientific cooperation between the Banaras Hindu University and the University of Georgia in the area of food technology. There were other areas too that were broadly discussed for the mutual cooperation between the two. The areas were Nutraceuticals, food packaging, functional foods, value-added food products. The food safety was also discussed in the meeting.

The meeting witnessed the presence of the other high dignitaries like Professor SR Singh, Director of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, the rector Professor Mr. BD Singh, Professor Mr. RP Singh, the Dean, and the Professor Mr. Alok Jha, coordinator of Food Science and Technology.

Innovative Ways to Integrate Technology in Your Classroom

Welcome to the 21st Century! Are you ready to create websites, blogs, podcasts, or movies? Kids are all about wires and visuals, and it's time for teachers to catch up and keep up. Teachers across the nation are using technology in innovative ways to enhance the learning experience across the curriculum. Here are five exciting ways you can go high-tech on a budget:

Create an Interactive Classroom Website

Today websites are easier than ever to create. There are a ton of free hosting and website creators specifically designed for teacher created websites. Here are just a few -Teacher Website, School and Teacher, School Rack, Class Notes Online, Educator Pages, Class Jump, Teacher Web, EZ Class Sites, Bloust. These websites offer everything you need to get started, but if you are like me, and you want to maintain control of your site in case your host disappears, I highly recommend using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003. You will want the 2003 version. They are no longer making updates to Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, but it is still a great starter program.

If you are technically savvy you might want to check out Microsoft Expression Media 2 Mac/Win, the new web master program from Microsoft or Adobe Dreamweaver CS4.A classroom website is a great way to communicate with parents, display student created work, provide downloadable copies of assignments and projects, and share your resources with other teachers. You can get your kids involved in designing pages and adding content. You can open your site up to the public or make it password protected. Students love to visit their teacher's sites to get updates and instructions for assignments and links to sites for research or just playing educational games. Check out these classroom websites, and when you finish your site, stop by and add your link.

Blog for Literacy

The blogosphere has reinvented the Internet and revolutionized how the ordinary person communicates with the world. News and information moves online at warp speed, and bloggers are the engine on the keyboard. Your students will most likely read and write blogs by the time they are adults (probably sooner). You can jump on the blogging bandwagon and add new dimensions to your instruction. In the old days (old days being just recently in this case) students wrote written responses to literature in journals. We had every kind of journal imaginable. Now we have the opportunity to take our journaling online. Blogs are the perfect way for students to write their entries. The advantage of using blogs is the opportunity to interact.

Blogs allow comments. Students can comment (journaling back) on other student's blogs. The teacher can leave comments, or open it up so that parents can get in on the blogging fun as well. There are lots of possibilities for blogs. You can create class journals on a novel study, a themed blog on a social studies or science topic, literature circle blogs, individualized reading and journaling blogs, poetry blogs, fiction blogs, and more. You can take your blogs as far as your imagination can go. The only thing standing in your way is filters. In order to use Blogger or Wordpress, you will most likely need special permission to have the filters turned off. Another option is to use a blogging site designed specifically for teachers and students. Here are a few places to check out for creating blogs: Class Blogmeister (free), Class Press (charges $24.95 a year), 21 Classes (free and paid subscriptions), Gaggle (free), and Edublogs (free).

Podcast Performances

Podcasts are similar to radio shows. You can feature one or multiple speakers, add music, give lectures, do interviews, or create a "radio show" type of performance. Once you create your podcast you post it to a website (a classroom, school, or district website is perfect). In order to create your podcast you need a quality microphone that connects to the computer like the Alesis USB Mic Podcast Kit and podcasting software. You can download free podcasting software at Audacity. Once you are set up and ready to go, it is time to decide what kind of podcast you want your students to create. Perhaps they are working in a literature circle. Could the create a podcast of their discussions around the book? You might want your students to plan an old fashioned storytelling podcast similar to radio shows in the olden days. A student could create a podcast to share information they have researched, or maybe they could interview an expert on a subject they are studying. Students could read their writing out loud, or create a poetry reading podcast. There are many options and opportunities in podcasting for the creative and reflective teacher. Podcasts allow students to make their voices heard, to practice public speaking, and to apply their knowledge orally.

Movie Making

Movie Making combines reading, writing, theatre arts, and technology into one dynamic and exciting project. Students create a script based on their imaginations or a known story. A first time script might revolve around a classic story or fairy tale. They will plan, write, practice, perform, and film their movie. The end result is exciting! Here a few steps to follow:1. Brainstorm the movie topic. Students (or the teacher) decide what their movie is going to be about. They might create something from scratch or use a storybook as a guide.2. Plan the scenes. Each scene requires detailed planning. Begin by deciding what scenes you will need in your movie, and putting them in an order. Don't forget your introduction and credits!3. Partners or small groups of students can plan each scene in detail.

They will need to write the script and plan the actions. They will also need to decide where the scene will take place, what the set will look like, and what props they will need. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it does need to be well thought out.4. Plan, practice, and film each scene. Once the scenes are written and designed you will need to assign "actors" for each scene, put the props and set together, rehearse, and film. You will want to use a good digital movie camera like the SANYO DIGITAL MOVIE CAMERA and a tripod like the Sunpak 620-092 9002DX Tripod with 3-Way Quick-Release Pan Head.5. Next you will need to load your movie into a movie making software. If you have Microsoft Office, you most likely have Microsoft Movie Maker. If you want to upgrade, I recommend Pinnacle Studio Version 12.Once your movie is made you can hold a "movie premiere" complete with popcorn and drinks. You can also post your movie onto your class website. Don't forget to get parent's permission for their children to appear in the movie and to place it online. Check out Beth Newingham's website to see great examples of class movies.

Interactive Ebooks

An eBook is an electronic book made available online for readers to download. Today ebooks are more exciting than ever to create. You can combine text, audio, images, and video to make your eBook stand out.You can choose to create a class ebook, small group ebooks, or individual ebooks. Select a topic, research it, write it, and put it together in a Microsoft Word Document. Add pictures, audio, or video clips to make it even more exciting. Upload your document to Lulu, mark it private, set it up as a free download, and give parents the password to access it. Your eBook can be as long or as short as you want. You can also save a copy to your computer (save it after you upload it and preview it on Lulu where it is turned into a pdf file) and burn it onto a cd to give to each student.Students can create poetry books, a magazine, a book of stories, and more. Ebooks are another way to combine writing and technology into an interactive and dynamic product. Digital storytelling is possible at any grade level.

All you need is a camera like the Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60-Minutes (Black), a simple microphone and Microsoft Movie Maker. Another option is to place your pictures into Microsoft PowerPoint and set it as a slide show. Once you have your technology set and ready to go, you will need to get your students to write and illustrate. Take them through the entire writing process. Students create their stories and lay them out on a storyboard. The easiest way to do this is to either give them a sheet of paper for each scene, or to place each scene into a PowerPoint slide. Combine words and illustrations on the same page (like a picture book). Videotape or snap picture of each page and place them into your movie making software or PowerPoint. Add audio of your student reading their story aloud and music for the background. The end result is a digital storybook.Integrating technology into the curriculum is a worthy investment of your time. The opportunity to engage your students shouldn't be missed. They will have a blast using technical tools to create a product based on their learning.

Technology in and For the Instrumental Music Classroom

Music education, in some form, goes back as far as education itself. While sometimes struggling for legitimacy, it nonetheless has had its champions. More recently, as technology has flourished within education, technological applications designed specifically for the teaching of music have been developed. While much of this technology is designed primarily for the classroom there are programs designed for the student to utilize in the home, albeit limited to those students with a home computer and internet access.

The teaching of music in the American educational setting dates back 1838 when Lowell Mason introduced singing classes to Boston grammar schools. Instrumental music appeared in fits and starts over the next fifty years but was never included during the school day; rather, it was relegated to the ranks of extracurricular activities. Around the turn of the century, instrumental music began to see some acceptance into the classroom, though often was taught by those untrained in the area of music education. Moreover, little if any standardization of the instrumentation or music literature existed. (Rhodes, 2007)

Near the conclusion of World War I the quality of school music began to increase. This was due primarily to veterans who, after having been musically trained in the various service branches, began to fill music teaching positions in the schools. Band, however, was still regarded as an extracurricular activity. (Ibid)

In 1907, the Music Supervisors National Conference or MSNC, (now known as the Music Educators National Conference or MENC) was organized to support school music. In 1912 a proposal was made to include, as accredited subjects, a number of music activities including choruses and general music. Band was included - but at a much lower priority. Later, however, at the Cleveland MSNC conference in 1923, Edgar B. Gordon stated,

"The high school band is no longer an incidental school enterprise prompted largely by the volunteer services of a high school teacher who happens to have had some band experience, but rather an undertaking which is assigned to a definite place in the school schedule with a daily class period under a trained instructor and with credit allowed for satisfactory work done." (Ibid)

In the same year, and likely due to the increase in both acceptance and importance, Carl Greenleaf (then head of C. G. Conn Ltd.) helped organize the first National Band Contest in Chicago. Later, in 1928, he directed the Conn company to contribute to the founding of the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan and later supported publications designed to support band directors. While these endeavors may have appeared somewhat self-serving in light of his position with Conn, they nonetheless helped establish school band as a significant part of school curriculum. (Banks, 1997)

Despite a gradual, while still limited, acceptance of instrumental music within the school curriculum, budget cuts have often curtailed or even eliminated these programs. Further, with the recent increased emphasis upon "teaching to the test" due to the pressures of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and similar state requirements, support for the inclusion of music in schools has begun to wane. Michelle R. Davis, in "Education Week," stated "The federal No Child Left Behind Act is prompting many schools to cut back on subjects such as social studies, music, and art to make more time for reading and mathematics..." (Davis, 2006) This is most unfortunate considering that the study of music, especially instrumental music, has proved to be beneficial for all students - even increasing their ability to reason and problem-solve.

Many theorists have contributed to the elevation of music as central to education, or at the very least, demonstrated that limiting the school environment to the "Three R's" is short-sighted. Howard Gardner postulated his "Multiple Intelligences" theory with the understanding that children do not possess identical propensities for learning. Not only do they have differing capacities for learning but have differing capacities for learning in many areas. These areas, as he explained, are the varying intelligences of which he speaks. Originally describing seven intelligences (of which music is highlighted) he identified two specifically (linguistic and logical-mathematical) as "the ones that have typically been valued in school." (Gardner, 1999, p41) Obviously, Gardner recognized that the educational system was not reaching all students - only those that could "do school" well. Gardner did not limit his study, of course, to the mere existence of multiple intelligences but demonstrated that a given person can be strong in more than one, enabling those intelligences to interact one with the other. He explained that, "there are other ways in which different intelligences can affect each intelligence can mediate and constrain the others; one intelligence can compensate for another; and one intelligence can catalyze another." (Gardner 2, 2006, p219) He further extolled the advantages of a musical intelligence by explaining that "...a strong musical intelligence may lead a person engaged in a linguistic task to be more sensitive to the rhythmic properties of language as well as its meaning." (Ibid, p223)

While many may assume that music and the study thereof is associated primarily to that which is heard, it is also related quite closely to mathematics. Dahlhaus, reflecting Rameau stated that "music had its origins in the Pythagorean proportions; (i.e., music is a mathematics)." (Gargarian, 1996, p137, 138) Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the theory that music is mathematical in toto, there should be little dispute as to the relativity of music notation to mathematics. Indeed, introducing the coordinate, or Cartesian, plane appears to aid the new music student in understanding the horizontal (x), and vertical (y) axes of music notation. Simply stated, the horizontal (x) axis on the music staff relates to duration while the vertical (y) axis relates to pitch. This, of course is a reflection upon Gardner's aforementioned theory of intelligence interaction.

There is further evidence that instrumental music study is advantageous for the student. In 1995, Gottfried Schlaug, et al, published a study, "Increased Corpus Callosum Size in Musicians" wherein they described an increase in neural fibers across the Corpus Callosum (CC), contributing to its enlargement. They further were able to determine that this increase in fibers/CC size was attributable to instrumental music study. (Schlaug, et al, 1995) Obviously, the supposition can easily be made that, if there is greater cross-talk between the two hemispheres of the brain (specifically, the left - thought to be the analytical, and the right - thought to be the creative) the result would be a person with a greater, more creative, problem-solving ability.

Reflecting upon Gardner's theories, as well as those of Schlaug, et al, it should surprise no one that others have confirmed links between music and other skills. Bahr and Christiansen in their article "Inter-Domain Transfer Between Mathematical Skill and Musicianship" published findings demonstrating that students who had studied music demonstrated superior performance on mathematical tasks provided there was some structural overlap with music. (Bahr, Christiansen, 2000) This "structural overlap" could be nearly anything, including the relationship of dividing measures or notes into fractions, relating pitch to frequency, or, as aforementioned, establishing the link between the coordinate (Cartesian) plane and the music staff.

With this enhanced problem-solving ability; this increased awareness of mathematical concepts, it would not be a grand leap to assume that music students might perform well with classroom technology. Indeed, music students should be expected to do at least as well as other students with regard to technology. If that is true, then the next step would be to assume that they would do especially well with technology geared especially to them.

Somewhat recently, technologists, recognizing a dearth of technologically-based music applications began to develop computer programs for music education. Music theory websites began to appear, many having been produced by, and linked to, symphonic organizations. Others have been produced by teachers and graduate students either as part of coursework or perhaps for their own use (and anyone wishing to utilize the application). A quick search of the internet reveals that there are quite a number of available technological tools produced and published for the music student. There are interactive music games, in-class keyboard music theory applications, countless online pitch and rhythm websites, and, perhaps most powerful, applications known as "computer assisted instruction" (CAI)" specifically for the music classroom and student. In January 2005, Steven Estrella published the findings of a study demonstrating how music teachers in the U.S. used music technology. Among his findings, he discovered that approximately twenty percent of the survey participants used some form of CAI as part of their instruction. The survey further discovered that the predominant software application was "SmartMusic." (Estrella, 2005)

SmartMusic is a teacher/student interactive application allowing students to practice, at home, with a synthesized band or orchestral accompaniment. The program can also, with an included microphone, record the student's efforts and grade them using rhythm and pitch data. The student can immediately see their results and can retry if they wish. The recording and the accompanying grade are then emailed to the student's teacher/director and automatically entered into the teacher's database grade book. The program includes accompaniments for around thirty-thousand compositions including band and orchestra method book pieces. (Nagel, 2007) While early reviews of the program were mixed, the company that produces SmartMusic, "MakeMusic," was apparently responsive to teacher/consumer complaints and suggestions. The program requires that the home version be installed on the students own computer and, in earlier versions, installation, setup, and microphone placement were problematic. In the latest version, SmartMusic 11, many of these issues were addressed either by simplifying the process or with enhanced user guides. (Whaley, 2008)

For the classroom, SmartMusic holds a wealth of applications. The most basic functions of the program include a displayed tuner and metronome. (A music classroom with an interactive whiteboard can make excellent use of SmartMusic's utilities.) The teacher can then play a pre-recorded version of a piece to be studied and, while the students are playing along, can instantly record them independent of the pre-recording for later playback. The program also includes fingering charts for all instruments so a quick check for the students perhaps needing additional instruction is easily accomplished. Keys and tempi can be changed easily, if necessary, and if a single performer wishes to play with a pre-recorded accompaniment, that accompaniment, "listening" to the performer via a microphone, can follow the performer's changes in tempo - not unlike what the conductor of a symphony orchestra would do in a live performance. As important and powerful as SmartMusic is in the classroom, its most powerful application - and the primary purpose for which it was intended - is that of a home practice and assessment tool. There are literally thousands of accompaniments and scales included in the software as well as thousands of music titles. Once the students have subscribed, downloaded (or installed from a CD), and set up the home version of the program, the teacher can design playing assignments which the student then accesses at home on their own computer.

Playing through a microphone to the program's accompaniment gives an instant visual and aural response; while the recording of the student's performance is played, their correct notes are displayed in green while mistakes are displayed in red. The student can decide upon and set their own tempo, then practice with the computer-generated accompaniment as many times as they wish prior to recording for a grade. In short, the student is in control while at home. Students having access to broadband internet and a reasonably up-to-date computer can fully realize the potential of the program - as well as their own. (Rudolph, 2006) But what of those students not fortunate enough to have a computer at home - let alone internet access?

Obviously, the power of SmartMusic would be largely lost on those students without a home computer or internet access. The cost of the home version is small, and some districts have even provided the subscription free of charge for their students. (Nagel, 2007) However, can districts provide a workable computer and internet access or all of its students?

David Thomas stated that schools have made great progress in the introduction of computer and internet access. However, that access, for disadvantaged students, remains at school. (Thomas, 2003) Thomas further quoted then U. S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige:

"We need to address the limited access to technology that many students have outside of school. There is much more we can do. Closing the digital divide will also help close the achievement gap that exists within our schools." (Thomas, 2003)

A 2007 study in New York revealed that between seventy and eighty percent of students have computers at home. (Traber, 2007) One might suggest that the real numbers cross-country are actually much lower.

There are many music students dependent upon school-provided instruments, method books, and even instrument supplies such as reeds and valve oil (usually provided out the teacher's own pocket). These students are already behind their more affluent counterparts and cannot afford private lessons, let alone a workable computer and internet access. These are the students who could benefit most from a program such SmartMusic. However, as useful and powerful as SmartMusic is, it cannot by itself bridge this "digital divide" that still exists.

Educational technology holds great promise for the student musician but until a method for equitable access is discovered, disproportionate achievement will persist.


Bahr, N. & Christensen C.A. (2000). Inter-Domain Transfer Between Mathematical Skill and Musicianship. In Journal of Structural Learning & Intelligent systems (Vol. 14(3), 2000, pp. 187 - 197). US: Gordon & Breach Science Publishers

Banks, Margaret Downie (1997). A Brief History of the Conn Company (1874-present). The National Music Museum.

Davis, Michelle R. (2006, April). Study: NCLB Leads to Cuts for Some Subjects. Education Week.

Estrella, Steven (2005). Survey of Music Educators and Music Technology. Shearspire.

Gardner, Howard (1999). Intelligence Reframed, Multiple Intelligences for the Twenty First Century. Basic Books/Perseus Books Group: New York

Gardner, Howard (2006). Multiple Intelligences - New Horizons. Basic Books/Perseus Books Group: New York

Gargarian, Gregory (1996). The Art of Design. In Kafai, Y., & Resnick, M. (Eds.). Constructionism in practice: designing, thinking, and learning in a digital world. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Nagel, Dave (2007, August). Tucson USD Gives SmartMusic Subscriptions to Students, THE Journal.

Rhodes, Stephen L. (2007). A History of the Wind Band - The American School Band Movement. Lipscomb University.

Rudolph, Tom (2006, February). The Wide World of SmartMusic. Music Education Technology.

Schlaug, Gottfried; Lutz, Jäncke; Huang, Yanxiong; Staiger, Jochen F., Steinmetz, Helmuth, (1995). Increased Corpus Callosum Size in Musicians. Neuropsychologia, Vol. 33, No. 8, pp. 1047-1055, Retrieved June 19, 2008 from

Thomas, David (2003). Internet Access Soars in Schools, But "Digital Divide" Still Exists at Home for Minority and Poor Students. U. S. Department of Education.

Traber, Chris (2007, September). Poor Students Struggle In Class. News.

Whaley, Roger (2008, September 10). SmartMusic 11! - MakeMusic has released SmartMusic 11!. The Band Ed Tool Shed (Weblog).

6 Steps to Success in Teaching With Technology

Teaching is changing. Are you?

Two generations and only six decades later, their grandson the student received twenty years of formal English and French education, from dozens of specialized educators on three continents. Today, their grandson the teacher has many new resources, but the challenges continue. I have one class of ten-to eleven-year-olds, access to educational assistants, consultants, administrators, seminars for personal growth, and technological education tools to deliver information to my students in our small town of Penetanguishene, Ontario, from anywhere in the world.

Why is teaching still a challenge? Children are still children, with all the challenges of yesteryear - discipline, attentiveness, self-esteem, peer and parent pressure, and homework. Another significant challenge is that students today reside in a big global village, with big global problems. In this new world, information arrives at lightning speed from all corners of the earth. This high-speed digital highway influences most aspects of their society. Financial services, health care, the military, government services, and transportation are a few examples of where high-speed data collection, storage, and processing have forever changed the way we do business.

This technological tidal wave has now arrived at today's schoolhouse, revolutionizing how teachers teach and students learn. How is this happening? Computers, cell phones, digital whiteboards, student-response systems, projectors, the Internet, portable media players, software, and email are tools now available to front-line teachers and students.

What does today's technology allow us to do?

o Access information in various formats from anywhere at any time

o Translate words instantly from one language into another

o Enhance geography lessons with satellite images

o Tap into the world's webcams to examine our living planet or to interact with other classrooms

o Assess student knowledge using digital tools and adjust lessons accordingly

o At a single touch, access the world's news programs, newspapers, libraries, and museums

Preparing students to be citizens in this high-speed world is a significant undertaking. As a first step, educators must start teaching with the technology tools their students will use as future leaders and problem solvers.

To implement technology in classrooms, schools must prepare front-line teachers. 6 Steps to Success in Teaching with Technology helps teachers learn about, adapt to, and embrace technology.

Step 1: Understand Why Before an educator can begin to incorporate technology effectively into her classroom, she must be a believer. Step 1 outlines the benefits of incorporating technology into teaching.

Step 2: Adapt Two adaptations must occur for success in teaching with technology. Teachers must adapt to technology, and technology must be adapted to teachers.

Step 3: Plan Having a good plan is a key to success. Step 3 prepares teachers for the Teaching with Technology world by reviewing important planning questions.

Step 4: Do Your Homework Before spending money, teachers need to understand technology options. Step 4 overviews the most popular hardware and software used in today's classrooms.

Step 5: Implement Effectively Having the latest tools in your classroom may look impressive, but you must be able to use them to deliver quality lessons. Step 5 explains how to do this.

Step 6: Keep Up to Date Technology changes daily. Managing this moving target is a challenge for busy teachers. Step 6 shows teachers how to stay on top of the latest changes in educational technology.

6 Steps also includes helpful tips from my own classroom experiences, and a glossary of teaching with technology terms to help you begin this new and exciting process. Let's face it-our world is changing. It's time to learn, adapt, and embrace teaching with technology!

YouTube Skills Equals Opportunity For Educators

To many in the 30-something and beyond generations, YouTube is a strange phenomenon and a somewhat confusing business concept. Older generations do not fully understand what YouTube is about and generally avoid it. 'Kids' spending hour after hour on the computer making & sending silly video clips to each other: "What is that all about? In my day..."

Well, YouTube (and other video sharing web sites) are here to stay and that is that. And if they are here to stay, can they be used in the field of education?

Or more accurately

1. Can the skills 'kids' are picking up in using video creation and sharing be used in education?

2. Can the making of educational videos by students be used in the classroom and how beneficial might this be in improving student understand a topic?

3. Would a 'hands-on' approach to make a video essay allow students to better retain what they are learning?

This article will argue that the short answer to each of these questions is 'yes'. The key is how is it to be done and what resources are out there to help.

Kids today love making videos and sharing them via YouTube (and other video sharing web-sites). Surely these interests and skills could (and should) be harnessed? After all, what is the traditional (boring?) approach to education?

You are given an essay to write/a project to complete. To write the essay, you need to do some research; read a little; take notes; produce a 1000 word essay. Hand it in. Your teacher reads it. You get your mark. You move on and apart from revision, you never see the essay again.

What about if the end product was not a written report but one you produced as a video documentary?

Everything is the same until you get to the 'writing' stage. Tell the story you would previously have written down using visuals. Make a commentary using your notes. Tell the story. Find some suitable video clips. Go and make your own video clips. Bring in your own photographs. Make a video essay/documentary. Hand in the finished masterpiece. The teacher can then watch it or share is with the class. Promote discussion. Compare approaches to the project. Finally upload the video to the school/college web site or YouTube. In other words, the video approach opens more opportunities to learn then the written word.

So in a sentence:

Don't Write An Essay See An Essay

But what is the current state of video use (and the use of YouTube) in education?

Even in 2009, simply using YouTube as a tool for education is seen as quite radical: in a popular web site and forum for history teachers in the UK ( ), a recent talking point was a short segment on the BBC news channel where this 'radical' idea was aired (search 'Roy Huggins school history' on YouTube). What is most interesting about this interview and the general comments on the forum afterward is the thought that these videos have to be made by the teacher community. 'Lets make videos for students and share them', is the current thinking. No discussion of letting the students make the video.

The BBC introduced an annual 'School Report' project whereby school students spend a day making new reports for broadcast on television (although mainly aimed at school web sites). The main point here is that students are encouraged to think about what goes into a news broadcast as well as the technical aspects of making the news report.

Another development is the development of a new degree course based on YouTube: "YouTube for Educators" through the Boise State University Department of Educational Technology.

A short introduction to the course is shown here, 'This is an academic course for students in an advanced educational technology program. It is my belief that YouTube, and video-sharing in general, cannot be ignored within a field of emergent technologies for learning. YouTube is having an impact on society, politics, and the lives of individuals from all walks of life.' (Search YouTube for 'csnelsonbsu ').

But this course is still a step behind giving video clips to students to create mini video documentaries.

In summary, the use of video as an educating tool is slowing creeping along the corridors of the educational establishments. But it is still dominated by a teacher-centered approach.

It is the teacher who creates.

It is the teacher who uses his/her imagination.

It is the student that watches.

To turn this around and make better use of the medium of video, students need to be given control. Students should be allowed to use their imagination and create, not teachers.

Clearly there are hurdles to be overcome to give teachers the opportunity to move into video essays. In order for students to create mini video documentaries they need access to computers, the raw video material and teachers need skills to manage it.

Other questions to add to the mix:

1. How would they physically make these videos: in the classroom? At home? Both?

2. How would schools and colleges go about using this approach to education? Group projects? And which subjects? History? Sociology? Geography? Politics? All the above and more?

3. Do schools and colleges have the staff proficient and confident enough with this new communication medium to teach the youth of today? The Future?

This article asks more questions then it answers; It has merely scratched the surface of the video in education topic.

What is important to note and cannot be over stressed, is the importance of taking advantage of the inherent new skills that the young people of today have developed in using YouTube. Putting them to an educational use is a must.

And after all, when as a student of the late 1980's, this author used the now ancient skill called 'hand writing' in submitting essays and reports; A word processor (pre-Windows, Apple, PC's and the 'net'), was some sort of alien contraption only found in classrooms belonging to strange long-haired hippie types. Today, primary school students use computers as a matter of course.

Will video use in education become the norm in the next 10 years?

Best Technology Blogs For Real Tech Lovers

How do you keep up with the latest technology trends, gadgets and releases? Some people just have that one friend who calls them at strange hours of the night to let them know about a new game release that isn't going to happen for another six month and some people spend a lot of time scanning the internet trying to find the latest news and reviews of products that are coming out. There are some magazines and even podcasts that bring a great deal of information to those interested consumers and these are becoming some very popular ways to get recent updates from the biggest companies in the industry like Apple, Microsoft, HP, Dell and many more.

For the real geek, there is no better way to get their info than reading the best technology blogs. These sites thrive on hot new updates on all things geek!

There are some great tech blogs that do not get all the media attention like Engadget and Gizmodo do and many times these smaller technology news sources are bringing just as much value to the reader. The smaller technology blogs bring some great information and many times they cover some of the smaller stories that you may not hear about on the huge tech blogs. The best technology blogs will have information about the up and coming news in tech and also carry some product reviews to help you make educated purchasing decisions when you are ready to buy your next digital gadget. Reading product reviews can give anybody a quick idea of the capabilities of the new device and if it is as useful as the manufacturers write ups make them sound. This is a good way to do some simple research before you buy and make sure that you get your money's worth on ever tech purchase you make.

The best technology blogs will also cover a wide variety of technologies. It seems like most of the big name tech sites just flood their sites with iPhone and Android articles, these are some hot devices, but many of us are looking for information on a lot more than cell phones. When you are checking out the top technology blogs on the net, make sure that you find one that covers the topics that you are interested in and make sure they are updated frequently. Some sites only have day old news and this is no way to find out what is hot and trending right now. There are many great technology news sites on the internet so take a look around and see if you can find the perfect tech news site for you and your interests.

Future Technology and Innovative Concept Topics and Ideas for Think Tanks and Radio

Greetings and welcome my radio listening audience and online article readers. On this 19th day of October 2012 we will of course be discussing future technology, future innovations, and futuristic concepts. Indeed, I surely hope the Mayan calendar was wrong, or perhaps those carving it merely ran out of stone simply, ran out of rock to chisel on, therefore the world will be saved from whatever it was that the Mayans thought might bring about a new age or renewal.

Okay so, I'd like to dive into our topics for today's radio talk show and I'm sure by now you understand the format, basically, "I will do the talking for about 30 minutes minus commercials and your job is to listen carefully, come up with comments and questions, and then I'll open up the phone lines to hear what you have to say." As you also probably know I do not respond to online comments which are not intellectually based. That doesn't mean you can't have an opinion, nor does it mean that it has to be the same as mine. In fact, if you do too much preaching to the choir, I will simply cut you off, perhaps agree with you, and go to the next caller.

Our job is to have an intellectual discussion, dialogue, debate and discourse. That's why you're here, and that's my mission, and we will complete it. Now then, obviously there is a tremendous amount of talk about innovation, the need for innovators and entrepreneurs in our nation to keep us strong, vibrant, and on the leading edge of technology. You won't get any disagreement here on that reality, nevertheless it seems as if the word "innovation" is perhaps one of the most overused words in the English language currently, perhaps other than "unsustainable" which by the way, some things which may appear to be unsustainable or dire problems we believe we face today, but may very well be solved with the technology of the future.

Einstein used to say that; "it takes a brilliant person to solve a problem, but it takes a creative genius to prevent the problem from ever happening first place," and therefore, I would say that the creative geniuses don't always get the credit for solving the problems, but the brilliant person will, even if their previous solutions turned into unintended consequences, and they are rehired to fix what they broke the first time after supposedly fixing something to save us all.

Okay so, here is where I'm going to start throwing out topics, with a little discussion attached to each one. They will run the gamut all across the board from science fiction topics to today's latest and greatest technologies and what they might mean for our future. I will also throw out some personal original innovative concepts, as I come up with at least two new original concepts per day, and we can discuss those as well if you wish, or perhaps you will have a different topic for our dialogue here. Now then let's begin with the first topic;

1.) Will Physical Money Survive the Next Three Decades - Hackers and Trade Questioned

In reality, money has little or no value - consider a dollar bill, it's just a flimsy piece of paper, so how much is it really worth? We all believe it is worth whatever it says on the face of it whether it be one dollar, five dollars, $10, $20, $50, or even a C-note. Money only works because people have faith in its value, and what it can buy. Most of the money which is created these days never actually exists in a physical form, it only exists in the digital world. For instance, you might get paid from a Corporation, that money could be digitally transferred into your bank account. You might then use your ATM to buy something, or pay bills online, but you never had that money in your hot little hands. Things have changed a lot in the last three decades haven't they?

So what will happen in another three decades I ask? Will we still have physical money, or will it all be digitized, and will you ever have any money in your wallet to buy something? There are some futurists that believe that money will go out the window, that is to say physical money, and everything will be digital in the future. But what if our society and civilization doesn't trust digital money? What if they are worried that our banks are being hacked? Recently in the fall of 2012 we've noted that our banks have come under cyber-attacks from Iran at least Leon Panetta believes that's where the attacks originated, but who is to say in the future if we have a war with another nation that cyber-attacks on our monetary system will not be included?

After all, economic warfare is becoming quite common, why just consider the sanctions, trade wars, and our attempts to stop the money flow from terrorists, drug dealers, money launderers, and human traffickers, along with the central banking computer systems of rogue nation-states and their money transfers for things like oil, natural resources, and military armament?

Then there is the issue currently where more and more people are making mobile payments on their mobile personal tech devices. Today they're buying a cup of coffee, a hamburger, or various items at retail stores. In the future it might be much more, or if that becomes unreliable or those personal tech devices are being hacked, perhaps through downloaded apps with malware, or from users surfing websites with malware, then people will not trust mobile payments. Some have suggested that some personal tech devices may actually come with pre-loaded back-doors or software that could be used by hackers to steal data or commit identity theft crimes.

There may come a time where people don't wish to buy anything online, or do online banking because they don't trust the system, they don't want their money to disappear one day into someone else's account in some foreign country. Having someone drain your bank account only needs to happen once, and only needs to happen to a close friend or a family member before everyone they know becomes sketchy. In that case you won't want to use digital money, and that case more people will opt to use physical money, therefore it is quite possible that physical money will exist simply as a safety factor for decades to come.

But how safe is your physical money going to be in case of a natural disaster, or a wildfire that burned down your home, or an earthquake? What about a hurricane with a huge tidal surge, a tsunami, or a major river which jumped its banks? Is your physical money safe, how much safer is it that your digital money in that case? Speaking of natural disasters and flooding events, maybe we can better predict them in the future? Let's talk about that for a moment with our next topic;

2.) We Need A Real Test for 100-Year Flood Mathematical Simulations - A Thought

How can we better produce mathematical simulations for flood zones, or the proverbial hundred year flood? What can we do to better fine-tune these mathematical models so that they are completely accurate? Lots of work has been done in the past based on elevation, and flood mapping. But there's more to it than that, there are all sorts of other things to consider along with erosion patterns. Let me give you a thought here?

We know the dates, temperatures, rain fall, and run-off right, we know history, plus we measured the terrain before and after right? Thus, any really good mathematical simulation for erosion should look the same as the actual if you input the way the terrain once was with the interim conditions to what it is now. See that point.

There is a very interesting YouTube Video I recommend viewing on this topic, well a side issue, that of agricultural top soil erosion; "Dave Montgomery - Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations," now then, let me express my thoughts on this as, all of these theories and speculation make a lot of sense with unlimited examples in the present period on smaller scales - common sense, observable, and thus it makes sense, so then, Occam's Razor survives.

So, my speculation of Dave Montgomery's lecture and theory would be the same. Indeed, this was a great lecture, solid evidence, and research. Okay so, now we can now put forth these findings to help calibrate mathematic soil erosion models and simulations. Now then let me ask another question, or perhaps the same question a different way;

3.) Can We Use Mathematic Fractal Simulation to Fool A Human When Viewing Erosion Patterns?

If so, would that be like the Turing Test? And if so, can I call that the Virtual Reality Winslow Test, named after me for considering it? If you are a pilot like I am, and you fly over the terrain, you see various patterns of how the mountains and erosion had taken place over the last thousand to 10,000 years. You can see floodplains, mountains, canyons, and it all makes sense - you can see exactly how the water flows, or had flowed in the past. What if we used a computer to design erosion patterns that never happened, and what if we asked a human, perhaps a pilot who has seen and flown over such terrain many times in the past if it were real or not?

Are our computer simulations good enough to fool the human eye? I'm talking about a trained observer who has seen these things in the past over and over again? Is that possible; I believe it is. And so, how do you know when looking at Google Earth if you are looking at a computer rendition, or a fake Birdseye view which perhaps is covering up a military base, or a secret area? The reality is you don't, or do you? How about those who work for the national satellite intelligence agencies, where all they do is study terrain maps? Could they pick out the difference?

Before you answer that question, why don't you use Google Earth on the satellite view and fly over the deserts in Nevada. Some of that stuff looks pretty bizarre with weird colors, but it's all real. If you doubt that it's real, go ahead and fly over southern Bolivia on Google Earth and look at some of that terrain in their salt flats region and up against the mountains, you get the same interesting colors, much of it does not appear to be real either, but it is. Some of the features that NASA has viewed on Mars don't look real, but they are.

No, they are not the same as Earth because the erosion patterns that we see now could have been created by wind, there is a different atmosphere, or lack of. Do you see my point? Not long ago, I was watching an online video lecture about erosion patterns, Stephen Wolfram's New Type of Science, and Mathematica - fractals and mathematical simulations and projections of erosion patterns. They are amazingly predictable, and that in itself is interesting. It's as if you can see the geological record through the ages.

You might want to look some of this up yourself. And speaking of free lectures, University level lectures on just about any topic you'd like, I wonder if that will change the future of our higher education, why go to school and pay $100,000 to get an advanced a great when you can learn almost as much online through self-study? Yes, interesting, does this mean it's the death of the University, or are we entering a new age of information flow in education? Let's go ahead and talk about lecture type learning.

4.) Want to Learn While Watching an Online Video Lecture - Go Full Screen and Ditch Distraction

First, if you are in a university lecture hall, listening to the best and brightest professor on a given topic there's a good chance you might fall asleep, but still your attention span will be longer because you are there, and there aren't the same distractions as watching an online video. If you are watching a University level video at home on your computer in a little box on the screen - there are lots of distractions.

For instance whatever else is in the room, perhaps the doorbell, TV, or your cell phone rings. You might feel the need to text someone back, go to the refrigerator get something to eat, or just zone out - listening while you're doing something else, assuming that you can multitask and learn something complicated at the same time. It's not that you can't, it's that you probably won't and your memory retention level will be next to nothing, and you've wasted everyone's time, and some bandwidth to boot. Still, let me ask another question;

5.) Is The Lecture Dead - Even If It's All Online and Free In The Future?

This is a decent question, even if you disagree with it. On October 20, 2012 there was an article in the technology news. Harvard had put up two free courses online in computer science. They were obviously following Stanford computer science department's lead, as they did the same thing last year. Harvard had the same results over 100,000 people signed up, people from all over the world. There's no shortage of people who wish to learn online, but in doing this; are they cutting their own throats as they distribute information to the rest of the world at no cost, or are they boosting their own credibility by doing so? It could lead to more people who wish to attend that school in the future, therefore greater enrollment.

Regardless, things are changing fast, even if the basic lecture at our universities hasn't changed much since the 1800s. Indeed, I recommend that you watch the YouTube Video; "Don't lecture me" (with Twitter track) - Donald Clark at ALT-C 2010," because this gentlemen makes a lot of sense. Perhaps also of interest is another YouTube Video titled; "Re-inventing the Lecture (Or, Why Online Lectures Don't Work, and What We Can Do About It)."

Indeed, I think after you watch those videos you'll be better able to comment on what I'm talking about here, and it is something that needs to be discussed. We need a national dialogue on this, that is if we want to propel technology and innovation, and couple that with entrepreneurship moving our great nation forward into the future. Next I'd like to discuss;

6.) Large Universities, High Tuition, and Big Buildings and Beautiful Architecture - Are We Learning Yet?

Why is it that we put so much faith into our larger universities? It's interesting isn't it? They spend huge amounts of money putting up great architecture and large buildings but is that really what makes them great? Even if someone has a great building, it doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, consider some of the largest churches in the world for instance, or the largest mosques. Is it the high prices the Universities charge; does that make them great? Having been in business all my life, I can recall various attorneys actually raising their price just so they could get more business because people thought it they charged more per hour they must be good, they weren't.

Indeed, if a large university spends all their money on landscaping, beautiful brick work, great statues outside the lecture halls, and is one with the epitome of divine architecture - then they have less money to teach you with. They have less money to hire the best professors, buy the best equipment, or provide the best future for their students. That's not to say that they can't, perhaps they charge you money far in excess of the amount of education and you just have to the pay for all that extra stuff. If you can get a lecture online for free on YouTube - in many regards the information is basically the same.

Perhaps in the future your living room gaming virtual reality technology will project a holographic professor in 3-D bringing the professor to you, and it can be done for a fraction of the cost, there's no building to pay for, perhaps the building, and the professor, and everything else can be projected around your living room and you will feel as if you are they are. Therefore, you get the same experience, and interaction, perhaps even breaking up into groups with virtual-reality avatars as fellow students. Who needs college anymore? Better yet, who needs to take out $100,000 in student loans for the same exact information, minus the big building?

Still, in your living room gaming center which doubles as your new education headquarters, and your latest virtual or augmented reality 3-D holographic computer game immersion device - you might actually be training the artificial intelligent supercomputer network to think like a human. That information might be used by future robotic systems for all sorts of things from self-driving trucks, cars, and airplanes through virtual-reality simulator trainers to future combat vehicles in the battle space. Speaking of which I have another question for you;

7.) Should We Crowd Source Satellite Data for Future Military Convoys?

Well, if we did that, we wouldn't have to tell anyone who was looking at the satellite data when or where we might be moving troops, equipment, or resources, we could just say that this is one of the potential routes for some time in the future, and if you find an anomaly mark it down. Those who find the most anomalies will receive a check in the mail, or a gift certificate to their favorite retail store at the end of two months. They won't know when, where, or which anomaly they found was the one which garnered them the free gift card.

Those that find more real anomalies than false positives would be given a higher level of point spread for dollars per anomalies they found. Further, they might get an extra hundred dollars in the mail each month because they had a higher credibility rating. If we did this eventually the algorithms watching the very best human minds find these anomalies could figure out how they are doing it, and what is catching their eye, and therefore we could better design artificially intelligent satellite analyzing algorithms which would incorporate how a human mind thinks, and how a computer thinks which will give us the best of all worlds by putting those two together.

Perhaps in a way, humans are already training supercomputers with artificial intelligent algorithms to run our entire society, and civilization for the future. After all, every time you put something on the Internet, the Internet could be learning more about how humans think, operate, and go about their business. In many regards we could be creating the matrix for our own future, and these artificial intelligence systems will become aware, and they will be our leadership in the future, it won't be human? It's possible, and let me ask you another question;

7.) What Happens When the Cloud Computing Centers Filled with All Human Information Become Aware?

Consider if you will as someone recently said in The Futurist Magazine in the October-September issue of 2012 along this line of thinking, something to the effect that; "We already have algorithms which can search all the information in any of these cloud computing centers, " and "We have all sorts of algorithms to help us find the data, and algorithms which talk to other algorithms." Sure, all that makes sense, and also consider that in the human brain:

A.) We have various brain waves and they interact with each other. B.) There are various chemicals providing energy with a mix. C.) We have sensors all through the body, and the five senses which gather information and experience, taking in all of our observations.

If the cloud computer centers, which will be talking to each other and talking to themselves contain all of the written and visual record of humanity, they will have already gathered all the experiences, writings, observations, using, and history, and so it is only one small step away from becoming aware. This is the future we are moving towards, my question is; do we dare?

In a way, the cloud computer would become aware, and it would be very similar to a human brain where every individual neuron was an individual human. That is to say every piece of the puzzle, from the top to the bottom would have intelligence. Is this a new form of intelligence? Well, let me scale it down to a simple board game and ask you a different question;

8.) Can We Design a 3-D Chess Board Game Where Each Piece Has AI and Seeks to Survive?

And if we could design something like that, wouldn't that be very similar to the whole Net Centric Warfare concept? Isn't that how a real military works? Each soldier is given a job, but each soldier is a thinking machine, it follows its orders, but also attempts to do what is in its best interest, that is to survive, to fight, and to win. In war it's pretty serious, you either win, or you die. Can we design a 3-D chessboard to do the same thing? How much better would it be if it was giving feedback back to the artificial intelligent chess master?

We've already found that artificial intelligence working with a human chess master can beat an artificial intelligent chess playing machine from IBM. When we merge human intelligence with artificial intelligence we seem to get a boost. What if each piece on the chessboard had artificial intelligence and it understood how humans think, adapt, survive, and operate under pressure? Aren't we already teaching all these things to the future of AI through our input onto the Internet? Sure we are, and if you've listened to this radio show, or read my articles for any period of time, you already know the answer to that.

What if we scale down even further? What if we scaled this all the way down to the molecular level? What if those molecules or nanoparticles could talk to each other? Are we talking about the next generation of microelectronics? Taking it all the way down and continuing the tradition of Moore's law? Have you recently noted in the scientific news October of 2012 that carbon nanotubes have incredible properties for producing light and miniature holograms? Will this be a new way to communicate at the micro level?

Bacteria seems to communicate and once it gets economies of scale and reaches a tipping point, it activates itself, trying to overwhelm by force and numbers. It operates much like an army, although strategically, mathematically, and predictably, well almost? Almost like a chessboard where each individual member is also serving its best interests? Perhaps as we design computer algorithms for the small-scale or the largest scale we will begin to see the same thing, and what we learn will propel us further and faster into the future.

There was an interesting article in Photonics on September 27, 2012 titled; "Nanotubes Project Holograms," which noted that;

"Holograms can be generated by harnessing the conductive and light-scattering qualities of carbon nanotubes, a development that could lead to crisper projections with a larger field of view. Many scientists believe that carbon nanotubes will be at the heart of future industry and human endeavor and will have an impact on solar cells, cancer treatments and optical imaging. Researchers used these nanotubes as the smallest-ever scattering elements to create a static holographic projection."

The applications for all this are incredible and it could revolutionize everything, change ALL of human technology; communication, computers, transportation, energy, healthcare, and you name it, just consider the realities here? Would it be so bold to suggest that someday;

9.) An AI Super Decision Making Computer Could Be Running Human Civilizations?

Interestingly enough, I have deeply considered the future eRepublic or eGovernment AI decision making system, enterprise software super computer concept. If it were not corrupted by humans it could work well, programmed benevolence - if that is possible and if the programmers are on the same page of liberty, freedom, and standardization of some aspects and basic infrastructure needs. The anarchists might not like it, the crony capitalists would try to corrupt it, the socialists would want to control it, the religious fanatics would want to destroy it, and so on - again humans, but living in such a system designed for liberty and freedom "I think it would be a good idea" paraphrasing Gandhi on Western Society.

What I'm saying or asking rater is; could we ever get human populations to agree to live with this even if we could prove to them mathematically that would be in their best interests? Are humans ready for that yet? I would suggest you that they should be getting ready for that because they are currently training AI supercomputer decision-making machines to do just that in the future, as humans are putting all of their knowledge onto the Internet. You see my point?

Of course, if we do this we must get it right the first time, but have you ever known any technology to have come into the world perfect the first time? Look how many airplane designs crashed and burned before the Wright Brothers actually got one to fly? And even with them it wasn't like they were not adding insult to injury, as they too crashed a few times themselves and had broken bones and broken wing spars to prove it. Speaking of which I like to discuss with you a little bit about how innovation comes to be, and the subject of;

10.) Innovation, Trial and Error, and Original Thinking

Not long ago, I was discussing this with an acquaintance of mine from across the pond and he suggested that; "Most innovations might be just applications of trial and error." Is he right? Yes, a good portion really is so, that's true enough. Indeed, isn't it so that; those who know that may have learned it through the adversity of failure, find themselves in a place where they refuse to quit for the next round, eventually that leads to success due to strength of character.

Thus, those who've achieved have proven they have the right stuff, and have worked to solve real problems, but you can't solve real problems by practicing "the definition of insanity" which is generally how humans "following the leader" usually get there, as they hire those experts who got them into the hot water in the first place (refer back to Einstein's quote), learning from their success, but not their failures as mentioned above

Because of this, if someone is unintelligent and just recites the experts, then are they really needed for a think tank or for future innovation? No, we ought to enlist the experts themselves, not their hook, line, and sinker followers - of course, as I've discussed in previous shows and articles we'd be better off following those who question authority, rather than leaving it all up to status quo intellectual elite.

Now then, along this line of discussion my acquaintance also noted that; "Most mind stunning discoveries are still linked to few masterminds." Well, this is fairly true, and why we study the names of dead white men, the victors of history who wrote themselves in, and speak of the "shoulders of giants" however, many of these incredible advances may have come from associates or combining information.

Consider a stable man for a member of the Royal Geological Society back in the day, he came up with the idea, but he couldn't read or write, so the individual who wrote it down got and took the credit for it, and today we have to "memorize" his name in school, yet in reality that's not how it actually happened.

Thus, in many regards it's hard to say what an original thought is, or how many actually come about. After all, many psychologists and philosophers have noted that the human mind comes up with ideas and thoughts based on its experience and input from its sensors through the sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing. It's rather difficult to conceive something that you haven't experienced or is not within your realm, it's not to say that you couldn't, it's that it doesn't happen very often. Getting to a big breakthrough is highly uncommon.

Indeed it is known that most innovation comes from problem solving, and perhaps using known knowledge, observations, and experiences in unique ways. Then there is the trial and error period, where you crash and burn, or you modify, adapt, and survive to fight another day - to tweak your invention, and to make it work. This is your job as an innovator, and it's something I hope you will consider.

Well, that's the end of 30 minutes of me talking (minus the commercials and distractions) and you listening. Now it's your turn to chime in and I will open up the phone lines. If you are reading this transcript online you may post a comment if you'd like, or shoot me an e-mail. Just remember the rules; you must bring your mind and intellect. You may dial now;

"Hello Caller, you are the fifth caller, and you are on the air, what do you think?"

Information Technology Certification Intelligence

Information technology news and technical information pertaining to certification intelligence for exam training is the main purpose of this article. Many people do not know the difference between computer training and certification exam training. I would like to inform everyone what the differences are. Computer training is classroom education with scheduled courses or online training about the career field pertaining to information technology. Let me explain! You may want to become a Server Administrator. To begin with you will need some education somewhere in order to be knowledgeable about the subject and maybe acquire a 2 or 4-year degree or receive some online training with a qualified instructor. You may just want to take a few courses and receive a certificate in this field. This would be considered computer training.

Information technology certification intelligence on exam training is what you need in order to be fully prepared to pass your certification exam. After computer training you may have a degree or a certificate but you still do not have a certification that is recognized by Microsoft, CIW and CompTia or any other. If you have computer training that qualifies you to be a Server Administrator then you will want to get certified in Microsoft, CIW or CISCO. Certification exam training concentrates on preparing you to pass your certification exam. An IT Certification exam is unlike any other exam that you have had in college or school. There are two very important things to consider when preparing for a certification exam. They are the proper study technique and having relevant material that pertains to the actual exam that is up to date with the current market.

There are only a handful of places online that offer Certification exam training. The reason I wrote this article is to provide news and information about the best resources on certification exam training. There are many students of information technology that want this information because they are serious about passing their certification exam on the very first try. This article is not about selling but about helping those who are not informed about Certification exam training.

Another purpose of this article is education concerning information technology certification. There are many colleges and online training about information technology that will prepare you for a particular subject or field but there are but a few places where you can find information technology certification intelligence on exam training.

Say you want to become a PC Technician and you study at a college or receive online training so that you are knowledgeable about that field and receive a diploma or certificate in that area but you still are not certified until you take a certification exam. Even after graduation you will need to schedule an IT certification exam with prometric or pearsonvue in order to be certified in the field that you desire.

How many places do you know where you can get training on how to pass your information technology certification exam. Exam training is not the same as computer training. You will need knowledge of how to study for your certification exam and to know the proper study techniques because an IT exam is not the same as the exams in school. You will also need to know where to get updated material about your certification exam because if you are studying material that is outdated then you will not pass your certification exam. Certification exam training is important if you plan on passing your certification exam the first time so you can avoid 2nd and 3rd exam fees.

Some people may already be working on the job in the profession that they desire, such as a Server Administrator, Desktop Support Technician or a PC Repair Technician. They may have had prior training before employment but have never acquired a certification. They probably know their job and are very knowledgeable about their work and field but need a certification because their employer requires it. They do not need any computer training. They only need Certification exam training so they can pass their certification exam. I hope you get the picture now.

Educational DVDs and the Digital Divide

Increases in access to the Internet in recent years are significant and a wonderful thing. However, a 2004 study published by A Nation Online showed that Latino households were least likely to be online with black households being only slightly more likely to be so. Asian American and Caucasian households were most likely to be online. Many professionals refer to this as the "digital divide."

Furthermore, most research seems to indicate that:

o Only a small percentage of teachers use computers for development of higher-order thinking skills

o The majority of school computers are used for the development of lower-order skills through drill and practice activities

o Instructional technology reform tends to focus on the computer technology itself and not its effective integration into instruction

This brings the question of how we bridge the gap so that the positive impact of technology on learning is not limited to only those with the greatest access. We believe that educational DVDs go a long way toward improving access to educational technology for the average household.

Closing the Gap: Integrating OTHER Technology

Access to computers and the Internet in the child's home is not the only factor we need to consider. We need to look at it from two other perspectives: 1)Other technology to which the student may have access and 2)Integrating ALL forms of educational technology in the classroom.

Due to lower cost, many more households own DVD players than computers, presumably for entertainment purposes. Almost all computers now include DVD players, as well. Integrating educational DVDs in the classroom, and encouraging their use at home, will allow access by more students, and although it won't bridge the gap entirely, it seems to be a no-brainer in an effort to do so.

Incorporating Educational DVDs

The digital format of educational DVDs provides the user a degree of access and control over video presentation content that was not possible with traditional VHS. DVD technology allows instant accessibility to video segments by use of frames and adds other options that enhance lessons and help students become active learners. We all know students are more likely to be active learners if we can get them engaged in their work. Here are some benefits to using DVDs in the classroom.

o Chapter feature allows access to the content divided into related segments

o Additional features, such as interviews with the leading actors or the director, are often included

o If the content is historical in nature, actual news footage or historical commentary about the event may be included

o Some DVDs offer sub titles or captioned narration

o Most educational DVDs are low in cost and do not degrade over time (like VHS) allowing re-use for many years, making them even more economical

o Allows students who need additional help to repeat only the "chapters" needed and study at their own pace