The Scout Report
July 5, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 27
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mileage-Based User Fees for Transportation Funding
The Engineering Exchange
New York State Dental Association: Classroom/Teaching Resources
University of Wisconsin-Madison: School of Pharmacy: Resources for Teaching
Foreign Affairs: Video
Victoria and Albert Museum Teachers' Resource: Architecture
Object of the Day
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Artemas Ward House and Its Collections
POV: Special Flight
Discovery: Gear & Gadgets Videos
Downtown Toledo Associates Records, 1955-1978
Northampton State Hospital Annual Reports, 1856-1939
American Passages: A Literary Survey
Has a truly disruptive technology come to American education?
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Transit analysts and public policy folks will find much to enjoy in this 36-page report published by the RAND Corporation. The primer concerns itself with "promising and innovative mileage fee system designs and transition strategies." The first section of the report is titled, Why Mileage Fees, and Why Now? The idea is that user fees along highways and other roadways will help sustain future expansion and repair of existing transportation networks. Other sections of the report include Potential Advantages of Mileage Fees, Technical Design Choices, Innovation in Action, and Key Challenges. The report is rounded out by an Ask the Authors area, which features responses to questions like "Wouldn't mileage fees disproportionally burden rural drivers?" and "Wouldn't mileage fees be a burden on lower-income drivers?" [KMG]
Under the banner of "developed by engineers for engineers," the Engineering Exchange functions as a global educational networking community for engineers. The materials on the site are divided into eight primary areas, which include Groups, Videos, Images, Events, Blogs, and Resources. Sections such as the Top Blog Posts showcase some of the most popular insights, which include updates like Manufacturing Productivity Through Design Efficiency and technical pieces on engineering software. Moving on, the Groups area is a great way for visitors to learn from other professionals with sub-sections that include Green Engineering, Water & Wastewater, and Solar Power Development. The Videos section is another gem that features over 1400 items such as Additive Manufacturing: When will it arrive? and The Safest Key-Smart Key. Additionally, visitors can search all of the videos and create their own playlists. [KMG]
An array of groups which serve children in both formal and informal education settings will find this set of resources on dental care most efficacious. On the home page, visitors can find activity sheets in English and Spanish. Topics include Classroom Ideas, Your Child's Oral Health, and For the Dental Patient. Moving on, the Web Resources area includes sections on Oral Health, Nutrition, and Childrens' Overall Health. The materials here are uniformly excellent and they include the USDA's My Plate feature for helping people with food choices and the MouthPower site, which is designed to help people learn about the importance of good oral health. [KMG]
The University of Wisconsin's School of Pharmacy has crafted a series of resources for those seeking a thorough education in the pharmaceutical arts. These materials are from the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, which is based at the University. The site includes Book Excerpts, Pharmacy in History, and Apothecary's Cabinet. In Book Excerpts, interested parties can read thoughtful documents such as Foundations of Ethical Pharmacy Practice and Historical Hobbies for the Pharmacist. The Apothecary's Cabinet section of the site features wonderful articles from the Institute's in-house publication from 2000 to 2006. The articles here include A Note on Historical Plague Prevention and Pharmacy over the Moon. [KMG]
Foreign Affairs is a distinguished publication, founded in 1922 and published by the non-profit Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Sponsoring dozens of events each year for folks with an interest in policy matters, this section of their website brings together video from these happenings, along with interviews and other audio features. The casual visitor may appreciate looking over the Most Viewed area, with offerings such as The Promise of the Arab Spring, The Coming Arctic Boom, and The Egyptian State Unravels. One popular podcast here is The World Next Week, which features conversations about those issues that will be of great import in the coming week. Visitors can look over the videos by date, regions, or topics, or perform an advanced search combining key words and filtering. Additionally, visitors can learn about the latest updates from the CFR and also take a gander at their job board. [KMG]
Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas and culture, and it offers an original essay every weekday. The tone of these pieces is learned and conversational with recent features including, "How Medicine and Ritual Got Hopelessly Entangled in Uganda" as well as "What is it Like to be a Bird? The Science of Animal Consciousness." Visitors can also browse the collected essays by topical headings that include World Views, Being Human, Nature & Cosmos, and Oceanic Feeling. Under the Popular heading readers will discover a collection of those pieces that have found a large audience, while the Upcoming area provides a peek at future titles. [KMG]
What is it that we talk about when we talk about architecture with young people? It can be anything from I-beams to the design of public interiors. This website from the Victoria and Albert Museum brings together a wonderful brocade of lesson plans, interactive activities, fact sheets, and links to helpful sources. New visitors could begin in the Explore Skylines feature. Here they can read an article about how young people can learn about the built environment through a close reading of the various buildings that make up the landscape of large urban areas. Some of the other items here include Plant motifs, Jainism and art & design, and Exploring image & identity through posters and photographs. Additionally, the site includes hundreds of images that can be used in conjunction with these helpful activities. [KMG]
The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum is closed for renovation until 2014. Until then, visit this website to "Discover a different object from the Museum's collection every day of the week!" Items range from a 1938 catalog of linoleum and cork flooring, The Armstrong Pattern Book, to scratch and sniff wallpaper designed by Michael Angelo and produced by Flavor Paper in 2007. Information about each object is presented blog-post style, with a short essay, images, and tags that link to related information. For example, the entry for Saturday June 22, 2013, titled Two Rooks, is about a a ceramic tile made at Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, Ohio between 1903 and 1913. There a short essay about the tile by Cynthia E. Smith, one of the curators, and clicking the author's name retrieves all of her posts. Other tags include the subject area Arts and Crafts, the style of the piece, and Cincinnati, where it was made. There's also a link to click through to the full collection record for the tile, with the object's location, acquisition information, and color palette.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is committed to providing a high-quality comprehensive plan for future growth and development in the Chicagoland region. It's a tall order, and this website provides great information about their long-term development plan, which is called GO 20 2040. In the About area, visitors can learn more about CMAP, its staff members, budget, and their annual reports. The primary section of the site is the GO TO 2040 area. Here visitors can read the complete full-length plan and also consider the much shorter plan that is meant for general audiences. The report contains sections such as A Pivotal Moment, Livable Communities, Human Capital, and Efficient Governance. The Multimedia section contains profiles of residents in the service area for this plan, along with information about how the plan might be adopted. Programs & Resources contains mission statements on various thematic programs, including transportation, energy, water policy, and a very thorough gallery of maps. [KMG]
How has college been transformed by digital technologies and online learning? It's a question that has intrigued policymakers, documentary filmmakers, and countless others. This radio documentary from America Radio Works' Stephen Smith asks "whether these innovations can help more people get access to higher education and bring down the cost of college without sacrificing learning." New visitors should click on the introductory essay by Chris Farrell which looks at how universities and colleges have (seemingly) been immune to the forces that have affected so many other industries. Continuing on, the documentary is divided into five sections, including The World-Wide U, The Data-Driven Classroom, and A School of Clicks, Not Bricks. Additionally, visitors can listen to the entire program and also download a complete transcript. [KMG]
Located in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, the General Artemas Ward House was the home of General Artemas Ward, who was the first commander-in-chief of the patriot forces in the American Revolution. His descendants lived in the property until 1909, and then it became a house museum until 1925. This digital collection from Harvard University gives the public access to over 6000 images of the house, furnishings, manuscripts, photographs, and related published sources. It's an amazing way to learn about this important historical figure and about the world of a prominent 19th century farm family. Visitors can use the subject index to look around for particular items of note, and they will find some excellent contemporary views of the home's interiors and grounds photographed in 2007. Additionally, visitors can view a number of papers that deal with various renovations performed on the house over the past century. [KMG]
The POV series on PBS has been bringing a range of compelling documentaries to curious viewers for years. This recent installment from their talented crew presents the story of undocumented immigrants at a detention center in Geneva, Switzerland. Visitors can watch the entire program here and the website features interviews with the filmmakers, extra conversations with others involved in the production, and a teachers' guide. Interested parties will learn about the situation at Frambois prison and they can also watch a special interview with the film's director, Fernand Melgar. This moving film would be a wonderful addition to a class in human rights, international relations, and any number of related disciplines. [KMG]
Do you want to learn about soy surfboards? How text messages might save lives? Or about how a therapeutic war game might help veterans? All of this and much more is available on the Discovery Channel's Gear & Gadgets website. Each video is a few minutes in length, and visitors can search through the collection of 31 videos by name or subject. Users can use the Show Me toolbar to look for clips, existing playlists, and full episodes. The Tech videos are informative, and visitors would do well to look at Underwater Turbines Pump Out Energy and Truckin' From Diesel to Veg Oil. Finally, the site also includes updates from other Discovery video channels, including clips on new medical technologies and aerospace innovations. [KMG]
After World War II, many American cities asked the question: What's next? These were difficult times and city planners were exploring new solutions to the problems of economic decline, neighborhood transition, and a mass exodus of middle class residents. This remarkable collection from the University of Toledo Libraries brings together dozens of documents from the city of Toledo, including primary documents related to urban renewal, transportation, parking, and related matters. There are records of the Downtown Toledo Associates, proposed freeway additions, and discussions of creating new intermodal transit centers. It is an intriguing collection and one that will be of great interest to urban historians, architects, and those with a penchant for the recent history of American cities. [KMG]
Over the centuries, there has been a paradigm shift in thinking about how to deal with persons with mental illness. A number of innovations in this area came about in Massachusetts, including the innovative work of the social reformer Dorothea Dix. This digital collection brings together annual reports from the Northampton State Hospital, which was opened in 1858 to provide moral therapy to the "insane" and was under the superintendency of Pliny Earle, a contemporary of Dix. Here visitors can look over annual reports from the hospital from the 19th century to 1939. First-time visitors should look over A Brief History of the Northampton State Hospital on the homepage and then move on to read a few of the reports in question. The documents were digitized by librarian Leonard Adams, and the reports containe extensive commentary on the conditions of mental health care provisions in the commonwealth. Taken as a whole, these documents provide interested parties with a fantastic introduction to the history of mental health treatment in the United States. [KMG]
What is most important about the world of American literature? It's an important question, and some would argue for the works of Twain, while others might speak eloquently about Richard Wright, and so on. This inventive 16-part series for college students deals with the foibles of American literature through a "diversity of voices" in a way that is eminently accessible and interesting. This series was created in 2003 by Oregon Public Broadcasting and it features segments like Exploring Borderlands, Native Voices, and Regional Realism. Each program is also accompanied by a number of lesson units, plans, and additional classroom activities. Visitors can also read detailed program descriptions, and look over a list of Related Resources. [KMG]
What was that thing you were supposed to do? This might happen more than occasionally, so why not check out the Notable application? Visitors can use Notable to create notification reminders on the go and it's quite easy to use. The site for the application includes screenshots, a FAQ area, and an easy shortcut. This version is compatible with devices running Android 2.1 and newer. [KMG]
The MailFred application lets users temporarily archive and set reminders for Gmail, which can be quite handy. Visitors can use the program to get trip information reminders, notes on project management, and follow-up reminders for emails from clients or leads. This version is compatible with all computers utilizing Google Chrome. [KMG]
Catching On at Last
It's Time For Technology to Disrupt Education
Why American Education Fails And How Lessons From Abroad Could Improve it
Read 180: What Works
Share My Lesson
Throughout the ages, many have thought that new and emerging technologies would transform the world of education. Some thought CD-ROMs might do it, while others placed their abiding faith in online videos. This week, the Economist offered some thoughts on adaptive technology being used in classrooms around the United States that might prove to be game-changers. These teaching programs can effectively monitor a child's progress by providing immediate feedback for teachers and the students. Of course, there are also other online resources (such as wikis and podcasts), and the thought is that these programs can be used in tandem with a variety of other materials. The cost of providing access has dropped dramatically in recent years, broadening access to more educators, but even with more adoption it may be too early to understand the consequences of these new technologies and their place in education history. In past decades, the same halcyon promises were made for everything from typewriters, motion pictures, and the presence of educational television programs in every classroom. [KMG]
The first link will lead to the piece from the Economist which includes observations from schools in Chicago and other venues that have adopted a range of new educational technologies in their public schools. The second link will take interested parties to a recent editorial from Forbes contributor Larry Magid on how truly disruptive technology might transform education across the United States. The third link leads to a piece from Foreign Affairs on how the American education system might absorb lessons learned abroad. The fourth link will lead visitors to a report on the transformative possibilities of the Read 180 reading program, courtesy of the Institute of Education Sciences. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Khan Academy, which offers thousands of lessons for teachers across dozens of disciplines. The final link leads to the Share My Lesson homepage, which offers many classroom activities for K-12 teachers at no cost.
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