Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Copper surfaces might reduce exposure to "super bugs"

Here's an item from TheNewsCocktail (an online compedium of items).

I’m suggesting this for schools.  It’s being used in some hospitals right now — copper bed railings and some instruments.  Copper kills germs.

  1. Consider Copper Kitchen Fittings. On a larger scale, making door handles, taps, and light switches from copper can help defeat antibiotic-resistant super bugs, according to scientists. Researchers have discovered that copper fittings rapidly kill bugs in hospital wards, succeeding where other infection

    control measures fail. Lab tests show that the metal can effectively kill off MRSA along with other dangerous germs, including the flu virus and the E. coli food poisoning bug. Steel and aluminum surfaces, on the other hand, were shown to increase bacteria colonization over time.

a recommendation from JK MCCrea, editor of

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"They light up like Christmas trees" ... Teachers: Ask students to work on another language. If the student speaks five langues, what will be that student's sixth language? Here are some comments by the owner of a Language Learning software company.

Here's what I wrote about

There are four billion people on the planet who want to speak with the American accent.  They want to practice speaking English.  If you walked into a language school in France or in India, and said, “I’m here to volunteer two hours a week to help a local person with their accent,” you would be embraced by most language schools.  You could meet dozens of people who would want you to help them with their accents.   This is a program that I’ve encouraged in Fort Lauderdale to introduce U.S. teenagers to people from other countries.

Here's what the Language Expert (Wes Green) wrote to me:

Now that's interesting. I know, for example, that only British (or International) English is taught in schools in the EU for political reasons. And, if fact,
The creator of this language company
wrote these comments to me
it is widely taught worldwide. Of course, with advances in technology—social media, increased access to foreign papers, TV shows, etc.—many of the distinctions between the two "dialects" are now starting to disappear. Still, British English continues to "box above its international weight."  But ironically, I always tell people that obsession with accent can be a distraction when learning a foreign language. As adults, most people are simply incapable of mastering a foreign accent. "Learn the lexicon," I always say. "Learn the syntax and grammar fundamentals." And most importantly, "Learn to intuit." As a non-native speaker, there will always be words you don't understand. So learn to guess intelligently, based on context." You don't need to know 12,000+ words needed for 95+% comprehension. Two-three thousand will work just fine as long as they're the words people use most often—the core lexicon. You'll probably guess the correct meaning of the other 20,000+ words in a well-educated native speaker's lexicon 80% of the time." As for accent, it's usually a vanity. Like bodybuilding—meant to impress. Yes, you need to be fit. And yes, you need to be intelligible to other speakers of your foreign language. And yes, good impressions can come in handy when, say, applying for a job. But as far as being able to communicate, you don't usually need to flex linguistic quads. Still it's true: I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody has said to me, " You know, people have told me I have a native French/German/Italian accent." It's an international avatar of sophistication. For what it's worth, I always compliment non-native speakers who have good accents. They light up like Christmas trees.

"FREE IMAGES" ( -- Another tool for the curious teacher and students

Photo courtesy
of Stock
I know that the next generation uses images more than words to communicate.  

Seth Godeiin recommends a striking image and no more than 6 words per powerpower slide.
Photo courtesy of

When I need a photo to illustrate or perk up a book or a sheet that I'm sharing with my students, I look to wikipedia for "wiki images."   
Photo courtesy of

But every now and then, isn't it nice to have an unusual image?

The copyright notice and author/agency credit must be added next to each image used within editorial purposes. The credit line format, HTML format included, is provided on the download page. Suggestive examples: "© Photographer name /", "© Username /", "Photo courtesy of".

Look at these stunning closeup images of ferns?

I want to write about the forest, now, because I just saw these images of ferns.

That's the power of a stunning photo.    ... it appears to be a nice collaborative and cooperative and it looks like a place for students to post their photos for sharing.   It's a place to practice sharing and benefiting from other people.  It's another example of "we are here to serve each other."

Photos courtesy of

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Here's another "Survival Skill" for students: how to format a hard drive for use on mac and pc (use those search terms)

Here's what I found when I searched "how to format a hard drive for use on mac and pc"

  • How to Share an External Drive Between a Mac and a PC ...
    PC World
    Feb 21, 2012 - Want to use a single external drive with both a Mac and a WindowsPC? ... Panel, System and Security, Create and format hard disk partitions.
    You've visited this page 2 times. Last visit: 4/23/14
  • The best ways to format an external drive for Windows and ...
    Mar 22, 2012 - If you need to expand your storage space with an external hard drive and you use both Mac and PC, you'll likely run into a few obstacles. Hard ...
  • Guide: How to format an external drive to work seamlessly ...
    Jan 24, 2011 - The problem is that by default Windows uses NFTS, and Macs use HFS. ... Pros: Works natively with all Macs and all PCs. ... Select the drive you wish toformatmac select the drive you want to format ... mac · mac and going to sleep · how to erase hard drive mac · how to wipe a mac · tether android to mac.
  • Format Hard Drive for Use on Mac AND PC - YouTube
    Sep 2, 2011 - Uploaded by OSXLionTech
    I show you how to format a western digital (or any brand)hard drive for use on any device be it a MacPC ...
  • How to Format a Hard Drive on Mac to Work on Mac and PC ... › ... › Operating Systems › Mac
    Since PCs and Macs have different operating systems, the procedure for formatting ahard drive on each computer varies greatly; however, you can use the File ...
  • External hard drive use for Mac and PC - Tom's Hardware › Forum › Storage
    Tom's Hardware
    Apr 26, 2013 - April 26, 2013 3:34:13 PM. Share. Hi, You have to reformat your disk, here is a link with the format options and i would use Option 2
  • How can I use a Mac's formatted external Hard Drive in my PC ...
    I have a Western Digital external HD, that I want to use in my PC but the only thing I have is the H...
  • How to Format a Drive for Mac & PC Compatibility - OS X Daily
    Apr 22, 2012 - Format a hard drive for Mac & Windows compatibility ... If you wish to boot the drive on a PC or use it with older versions of Windows, you may ...

  • I encourage students to learn this skill.  It's fun to go from one operating system to another...
  • You might need FAT format

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014

    The birthplace of a book -- my favorite classroom in Broward College

    Broward College has a variety of classrooms.

    Here is the birthplace of the book about PERT


    I hope I get this classroom again some day...  Every student gets a computer!

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Teachers: Make time to collect the reflections of a near-peer for your students. Here's a procedure for gaining a Virtual Mentor for your students

    I have written about the importance of virual mentors -- adults who can have impact on students without visiting the class.  More than two dozen students have read words by John, who cooperated with submitting materials for the Virtual Mentor book... and John never visited that school. 

    1. How to Become a Virtual Mentor: Helping school ...
       Rating: 5 - ‎1 review - ‎$3.80
      How to Become a Virtual Mentor: Helping school personalize the learning [Steve McCrea] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. We know that ...
      You've visited this page 2 times. Last visit: 12/5/13

    2. ======================  

    3. Here's the procedure:  Look for a university student who can explain a decision, such as "Why I decided to study vet medicine and become an animal doctor."
    4. This young fellow has turned his back, at least for now, on university. He's just not ready.

      I heard that a fellow (19 years young) wanted to leave university...

      On Apr 22, 2014, at 9:00 PM, David C. Lloyd wrote:
      Good to hear from you Steve, below should be all that you need and if there's anything else just let me know.

      Audio Script:
      Hi, my name is David Lloyd and at the end of this year I will be leaving university to serve in the United States Coast Guard

      What were you doing when it suddenly hit you that you could do something else besides university at this moment?
      Since the start of college I had changed my major many times, according to what I couldn't do, what others thought I could do, what might help pay for school, and what I thought I might want to do

      What helped you make the decision?
      The thing that drove me to this ultimate decision was two fold, the first and most pressing was that economically I felt as if college was not a good path to be taking as secondly, I wasn't entirely sure of what I wanted to do and was just wasting precious time and resources maturing in a setting which may not have been right for me.

      What did you read or see on TV that gave you the balls to be true to yourself?
      What got the ball rolling was when payment for second quarter came rolling by and I just thought to myself, "my lord, I can't keep doing this"

      How scary is it to be on a path that is not traditional?
      Although it may feel scary at first, Im the type of person that enjoys having a plan laid out for me and now that I know what Im doing and where im going, for a few years at least, it puts me at ease.

      David Lloyd
      E-1 DEP USCG

      That's what teachers of the future do...  we get "near peers" to give a mini-lecture.

      Here's what I wrote to David:

      I love what you’ve written.

      I took a gap year between high school and college and then, even at 19, I wasn’t sure.  I did the same as you, changing focus, so at 20, after one year of college, I went to learn French in Provence.  Oh, yes…  many delays after that … I was 29 before I got my bachelor’s degree.  

      Thank you.

      Would it be possible to give your email address to my students?

      I will tell them “No more than one email per month, only one question per email."

      It is so cool to see USCG...

      I encourage you, reader, to send me a letter addressed to David and I'll forward it to him.

    6. a.  ask questions
    7. b.  post the response on a blog (so that students can find the information)
    8. c.  collect the questions and mail them as a group to the near peer mentor (so he can sit and answer the group of questions in one sitting).
    9. I'll chronicle here the types of questions that they ask David.