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If you could take an online class, what would it be?

I have the unexpected opportunity to devote time to an online course of study for the next one to two years at no cost (I'll still be working my fulltime job, though). Rather than provide guidance and potentially narrow the responses, I'd like to know what specific course of study you would take in this instance and why. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on May 7, 2014 - 14 answers

Ideas for interactive physics activity for kids?

I'm looking for interactive activities that will help to teach physics for a bright 10-year old. [more inside]
posted by cincinnatus c on May 4, 2014 - 8 answers

Pool Side Social Sciences.

I'm leaving for a much deserved vacation. I will be spending a lot of time reading by the pool. I'm looking for good social science reads. [more inside]
posted by Milau on May 2, 2014 - 16 answers

How do you set a targets for user growth for a new website?

My friend's startup company is developing a new technology platform and they are trying to set 5 year targets for the number of potential users it could have. How do tech companies traditionally project user growth for a new web service? Obviously they would establish a potential target market, but then how do you determine the rate of growth from zero into that market? Are they any resources or websites online that help with this? More details- the website is an edtech platform providing online education and resources. The potential market is 18+ lower- middle class Americans, and college students. Thanks for your help!
posted by tessalations999 on Apr 30, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me find this oneoff comic about college/grad school w/superpowers

I have a memory of a one-off comic that I saw online one time about college and grad school. There was a sort of superhero or superpowers metaphor for the whole process of higher education. Black-and-white, in pencil (?), maybe some use of green. Help me find it? [more inside]
posted by gurple on Apr 30, 2014 - 3 answers

What's the big deal about Common Core?

(Why) Should I care about Common Core? Can you give me some resources to further understand it, and answer my basic questions? [more inside]
posted by peep on Apr 28, 2014 - 18 answers

Choosing between California State Uni vs. University of California

For someone who aims to continue their education through a Masters degree, then become a teacher, is there a significant advantage in attending UC rather than CSU for the undergraduate degree? Would it be different if the aim was a career in, say geo-sciences rather than teaching? [more inside]
posted by anadem on Apr 28, 2014 - 28 answers

Let's Take Some Tests!

This FPP on the Putnam math tests made me wonder: what other outside-of-school exams or tests are out there that have some kind of competitive element? And how many of them are open to the public? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 27, 2014 - 10 answers

Are the Skillcrush classes worth it?

That's basically it - I'm not finding any reviews online. Has anyone else taken it? [more inside]
posted by jrobin276 on Apr 27, 2014 - 4 answers

I am not bound to please thee with my answers...when it comes to career.

I graduated college last year with a degree in the science field. I have long had a passing interest in the healthcare field, and have had familial pressure to "become a doctor" even longer. It goes without saying that I decided to take an entry-level job related to healthcare. However, the more I see of healthcare, the less I like what I see, and the more I am reconsidering my future plans. The sources of the familial pressure, in turn, are getting more aggressive. (See inside.) [more inside]
posted by Seeking Direction on Apr 27, 2014 - 27 answers

Istanbul versus Berlin

I've been accepted to two summer programs in two great cities! I am indecisive and have only a few more days to decide which travel grant to accept. [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Apr 26, 2014 - 20 answers

Article about how America's strength is in innovation, not rote learning

I remember reading something, possible in the New York Times, arguing that while America's high-school students don't stack up very well against students of countries, our strength has always been in innovation rather than mastery of skills acquired by rote. Any idea where I saw this? [more inside]
posted by Ollie on Apr 23, 2014 - 7 answers

To read aloud, that is what I need.

I have an odd job interview coming up. I need advise on a children's book to read to a grown up audience and a two minute poem or "fun" monologue to recite. I think it'd be best if these related to the joy of learning or science. For the book, I might just read part of "Corduroy" because its beautiful and sweet, but what about the other requirement? [more inside]
posted by stormygrey on Apr 21, 2014 - 21 answers

Ideal instrument for a child to learn music?

My child (almost 5) is showing an interest in music and I would like to get him started with music lessons. Please help me pick an instrument for him. [more inside]
posted by rada on Apr 11, 2014 - 42 answers

the short way is the long way

What are real-life examples of experiences that are 'shortcuts' to accomplishing something, even though they might be very difficult because of the required intensity? For example, military training supposedly develops a kind of physical and mental discipline that would take a civilian longer to acquire. Rapid learning techniques that allow someone to learn several languages faster than most people learn one is another example. What are others?
posted by michaelh on Apr 10, 2014 - 16 answers

Why join proffesional societies or associations as a student?

I have been a member of a few professional societies as a student member. Should I continue with them? How can I better take advantage of them if I do? I am a student member of The American Psychological Association Division 52: International Psychology and The APA div 14: The Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology. They cost around $25 each annually but I don't feel I am taking advantage of them. I don't attend conferences due to the expense so I miss some of the networking benefits. There are usually forums for communication but the activity levels are fairly low. I have gotten access to some books and tons of articles and that's cool. Other than this, is it really worthwhile for me to be a member? If so, how can I better participate as an essentially online only member?
posted by Che boludo! on Apr 10, 2014 - 8 answers

Has anyone heard of a degree in "strategic intelligence"?

So I've now had two young people in the last month ask me for career advice who told me they were planning to major in "strategic intelligence." Has anyone heard of such a thing? I hadn't, and had to look it up. From what I can gather it seems to be basically a hybrid history/poli-sci degree. Is that accurate? And more than that, is such a degree worth the paper it's printed on? [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Apr 9, 2014 - 13 answers

Non-academic career options for PhDs?

My partner is finishing a PhD in a social science next year and is unsure about staying in academia. Have any MeFites been in a similar position? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Apr 6, 2014 - 11 answers

[MathFilter] Taking for-credit math classes online

For professional and academic reasons, I need to take a number of college-level math classes (mainly Calculus and Linear Algebra) in a relatively short period of time (4-6 months). They need to be online, for-credit, and I need to be able to do them at my own pace, meaning faster than a normal 1-course-per-semester flow. I've already found https://netmath.illinois.edu/, but the classes are terribly expensive, so I'd like to learn of other alternatives that don't cost as much.
posted by dcrocha on Apr 4, 2014 - 6 answers

Any idea how'd I'd recreate this artwork with my students?

Any idea how'd I'd recreate this artwork with my students? See inside for links and details. [more inside]
posted by figaro on Apr 3, 2014 - 6 answers

Practical Online Courses for a Secretary Turned IT Person

What online courses are immediately applicable to IT knowledge for a medium-small "knowledge" company? [more inside]
posted by alice_curiouse on Apr 3, 2014 - 5 answers

Studies concerning faculty perception of students.

I'm looking for a study which investigated college faculty's perception of an average student in science classrooms. [more inside]
posted by Evernix on Apr 2, 2014 - 2 answers

Help me inform my teaching with books on childhood brain development

What books/resources on childhood brain development will best inform my work as a teacher and curriculum writer for young learners? (explanation after the jump) [more inside]
posted by chickenandwine on Apr 2, 2014 - 5 answers

Switching MA programs

I'm finishing my second semester of a MA program, and am realizing that I am not happy in this program and (most importantly) it isn't fulfilling my academic and professional needs. I have identified another MA program which I know would be a good fit for me, and am considering switching. Assuming money is no object here, would I be crazy to make the switch? [more inside]
posted by schroedingersgirl on Mar 31, 2014 - 7 answers

Is a double-major in Spanish and philosophy viable and fruitful?

Is a major in Spanish a good investment? If I buckle down and commit myself to daily study and practice (and spend one semester abroad), can I attain a decent fluency in the language? What kind of career paths could I expect? More details and questions follow. [more inside]
posted by fignewton on Mar 26, 2014 - 20 answers

How are The Thunderbird School of Global Management online courses?

I’m looking at several certificate programs they offer. I am considering the certificates in Global Marketing, Global Leadership, Global Management, or Global Negotiations. Each one consists of 3 courses to be completes one at a time with 2-3 hours of content per week. I’m not sure if this means just total time spent or time going over content not including assignments. 2-3 hours total seems a bit low for an executive course, plus it’s expensive, $1980 per course for only 1.5 credit each. I also know that they have been having some financial issues and academic controversy for trying to sell their campus to a for profit education company Laureate Education Company. The deal was rejected by their accreditors, The Higher Learning Commission. I have been contacted by a recruiter several times by phone and email. She seems a little aggressive, much like I’ve heard for profit online school recruiters can be. Do you guys think these courses seem like they have value or not? I appreciate the input in advance.
posted by Che boludo! on Mar 25, 2014 - 8 answers

Introduction to Heuristics.

Searching for book recommendations. [more inside]
posted by emmatrotsky on Mar 23, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me choose a platform for delivering educational programs

I'm looking for the best online platform to deliver educational content. It should incorporate content delivery, goal setting and tracking, collaboration tools, and community engagement. Cost is not an issue. [more inside]
posted by autocol on Mar 21, 2014 - 5 answers

Getting associate's after a BA?

Does it make sense to get an associate's degree after already finishing my bachelor's? [more inside]
posted by superlibby on Mar 19, 2014 - 12 answers

Seeing inspirational and mind-blowing videos for kids

What can I show children to inspire and wow them? I teach children aged between 9 and 11. I'm looking for video clips (or other) to show the children that will blow their minds - or at least, prompt discussion, broaden their horizons and take them outside of the confines of the four walls of the classroom. [more inside]
posted by schmoo on Mar 18, 2014 - 21 answers

Trying to help a complete beginner get their bearings in web development

A relative is already a technical person (masters in electrical engineering) who is trying to switch careers and get into web development. I'm looking for good resources to get her up to speed on the building blocks of web dev. [more inside]
posted by tempythethird on Mar 18, 2014 - 7 answers

PhD-level conservation careers for maximum real-world impact

I'm in a PhD program pursuing a degree in conservation biology. When I finish (and possibly after completing a postdoc or two) I'd like to end up in a job where I can maximize my real-world conservation impact. I'd like to hear some suggestions on how I can do that; lots more detail to be found inside, as well as my reasoning on the subject so far. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Mar 18, 2014 - 5 answers

course planning classes?

I am looking for online classes about adult education course planning. I have been training groups in fundraising for a while and want to get more professional about it. Bonus if the courses are interactive.
posted by parmanparman on Mar 16, 2014 - 2 answers

Advocating for a child with a hearing loss.....

Need advice and tips about being the best advocate for my hearing impaired son at his upcoming SST... [more inside]
posted by pearlybob on Mar 14, 2014 - 9 answers

How to discourage an ill-advised marriage without alienating the person?

My partner's 18 year old sister wants to marry her boyfriend of one year. They both live at home with their respective parents, are not planning to pursue post-secondary school, and are financially insecure (she does not work, he works part time). They have recently converted to a fundamentalist version of a new faith, and their plan is to rely on her disabled mother who would lose her benefits by caring for them - the mother is against this but of course loves her daughter. Their religious community is encouraging them (but not offering financial aid). What can we do to support her but not her decision? [more inside]
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose on Mar 9, 2014 - 27 answers

Child's teacher appears to be off the rails--suggestions for a parent?

I've got a third grader in public school who's having a rough year with her teacher. The teacher is out half the time, with a rotating cast of substitutes. When she's there she's explosive and calls the kids names and told them that she starved a beloved class pet to death over the holidays. What should I be doing? [more inside]
posted by Lardmitten on Mar 5, 2014 - 31 answers

What does the evidence say about the impact of K-12 class size?

What does current research say about the impact of class-size in K-12 education? My town is debating how to address a 35% increase in the school-age population. How much do we raise taxes and do we let class sizes increase? Lots of people are throwing around anecdotes about their own experiences. I'd like to know what the people who study this have to say. [more inside]
posted by alms on Mar 5, 2014 - 7 answers

Ideas for inexpensively decorating walls and ceilings?

I started a School Beautification Club and I need ideas... [more inside]
posted by figaro on Feb 28, 2014 - 8 answers

What are the best ways to teach mathematics to elementary age children?

What do you do to teach your children math (or maths)? [more inside]
posted by mearls on Feb 28, 2014 - 9 answers

Your Theoretical Minimum

Inspired by this post on the blue, I'm interested in the most condensed and most up-to-date overview of everything in your field. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Feb 28, 2014 - 3 answers

US elementary school teachers, two history questions.

In general, which elementary school grades cover prehistory? American colonial history?
posted by Elsie on Feb 27, 2014 - 11 answers

Credentialism is the worst.

My academic background is not in computer science. I work as a developer. For professional development and logistical reasons, I would like to supplement my credentials with something computer-science-y. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by Phire on Feb 21, 2014 - 8 answers

What's more important? Parental presence or top schooling?

Okay, this may well be a false choice but I'm trying to sort this out in my mind -- I see two roads ahead of us, one in which we stay where we are currently living -- an underwater house in good shape in a middling-to-poor neighborhood (but with adjacent nicer amenities) -- which is affordable and where we are making enough money to save for all the things we need to save for (retirement, college, cash savings, etc.). OR, we can buy our way into a nicer neighborhood and school district, keeping this house as a rental. Right now my husband and I are both working at well-paying jobs and our 3-year-old is in full-time daycare. My goal, when she starts kindergarten in 3 years, is to work 3/4 or less time, so that I am home with her after school and do to this for the rest of her school years. [more inside]
posted by amanda on Feb 15, 2014 - 32 answers

Book Recommendation For Raising a Gifted Child

Looking for specific recommendations for books on raising a gifted child. [more inside]
posted by plinth on Feb 14, 2014 - 9 answers

Teach me things... awful things...

I need to learn about financial instruments and trading at an intermediate level. I have a basic, 101-type understanding of how CDOs and CDS-es work and what hedging is, but I need to get to the next level, because I'm still getting lost in conversations where people are talking about complex synthetic CDO strategies, delta hedging, correlation trading, ABCP, and similar topics. Is there a book I can read, a course I can take online, anything you can recommend I do to start getting much more comfortable with this securities stuff at a high level? Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by prefpara on Feb 13, 2014 - 8 answers

MBA, MSEOM, or other?

I'm considering further education, and I'm looking at either an MBA or MS in Operations and Engineering Management. I've already got the MSME and significant aerospace product engineering experience, and MSOEM would help give me a leg up to Engineering Manager or Chief Engineer. But an MBA would be a more business-focused curriculum, which could help me leverage my experience and knowledge into perhaps a wider field. So, which one gets your vote, and why? How much of a factor is the choice of school? What other questions do I need to ask? (Assume that tuition is not a factor.) [more inside]
posted by disconnect on Feb 11, 2014 - 3 answers

Explaining forces to a 10 year old

My 10 year old daughter (Year 6, UK) was recently given homework to "explain how the following works": a) gravity; b) air resistance; c) magnetism; d) upthrust; e) friction. My initial thought was that there is a Nobel prize in the offing if she can truly explain some of these, however, less flippantly, I struggled with how to do this in terms that a 10 year old would understand. Can anyone do any better? [more inside]
posted by oclipa on Feb 11, 2014 - 12 answers

Graphic/web design education for a returning student

I'm evaluating several options for obtaining graphic/web design training and would love to get the opinions of those in the trade (pretty similar to this past question, but a bit more specific). In a perfect world I would love to get a (second) BA, but that's probably completely insane financially. [more inside]
posted by imalaowai on Feb 8, 2014 - 5 answers

STEM Education and Mentoring Ideas for High School Girls?

Through work I am co-leading an effort to do STEM outreach at a local high school. There are several different groups as part of the effort. One group is focusing on mentoring and another is running an app building contest, etc. I am working with the group whose job it is to encourage women and girls to get involved in STEM course tracks, specifically IT. [more inside]
posted by seesom on Feb 6, 2014 - 5 answers

An equally true history of the world?

Is there a list of important historical events which are now regarded (by at least a majority of historians) as true/accurate, which are or were recently regarded as fringe theories, hoaxes, or legends, or which are viewed as unimportant and given short shrift in US / western public school curricula and popular narratives? Links to lists or individual items appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Chris4d on Feb 4, 2014 - 14 answers

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