The Scout Report -- Volume 23, Number 12

The Scout Report -- Volume 23, Number 12
March 24, 2017
Volume 23, Number 12

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In the News

If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to support The Scout Report and the work of Internet Scout, please visit our donation page.

Research and Education

Back to Top
Hall of Human Origins for Educators
Science

The American Museum of Natural History offers a variety of helpful resources to aid K-12 educators teach human origins and evolution. Educators may want to start by downloading the Educator's Guide and one of three activity guides, divided by grade level (K-4, 5-8, and 9-12). Here, instructors will find a variety of "pre-visit" activities designed to help students prepare for a museum visit; however, many of these activities can also be adapted for use in any science classroom around the globe. Meanwhile, the More Resources for Educators section of this website offers materials that can be used to enhance classroom instruction or as study resources for use outside of the classroom. These resources include a number of hands-on activities, a useful human origins glossary, a list of recommended books (for both children and adults), and links to teaching resources from other institutions. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

The Prague Spring Archive
Social studies

From the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, comes the Prague Spring Archive, a collection of digitized materials related to the four month period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia between January and August 1968. Those unfamiliar with the Prague Spring may want to start by exploring the site's Key Figures section and multimedia Timeline. Together, these sections provide an overview of Alexander Dubcek's proposed reforms and the brief political changes that occurred in the country in 1968, only to be crushed by Soviet occupation in August. Next, the Key Documents along with the Guide and Finding Aide reveal more about what can be found in the Texas ScholarWorks online repository. Some of these items may be explored in the Box 179 and Box 180 sections. A few of the many items of interest here include complete State Department booklets on Czechoslovakia and the USSR; an August 22, 1968 memo to President Johnson from W.W. Rostow, deputy special assistant for National Securities Affairs; and Johnson's subsequent statement regarding the admittance of Czech refugees into the United States. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Art History Pedagogy & Practice
Arts

Art History Pedagogy & Practice is an open access peer reviewed journal published by three partnering organizations: Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR), the Office of Library Services of the City University of New York; and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. This journal, which published its first issue in 2016, features a range of essays and articles about teaching art history, a topic that, according to the journal's editors, has often gone underexplored. This first issue includes a team-authored article that offers a variety of perspectives on the importance of challenging and expanding the traditional art history canon; an exploration about how to introduce students to "the transferability of the skills and strategies of visual analysis to other contexts and courses outside of the discipline [of art history]"; and a piece about reevaluating art history learning outcomes via a consideration of Bloom's Taxonomy. The second issue of Art History Pedagogy & Practice will be published later in 2017, so stay tuned. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Math Arcade on Funbrain
Mathematics

Elementary school mathematics teachers and tutors, along with parents, youth librarians, and after-school teachers, may be interested in this collection of 25 online educational math games. Arranged by grade level and topic, these games provide an engaging way for youth to practice and review a number of math skills and concepts. These skills include recognizing numbers, calculating equivalent fractions, and understanding the four basic operations. Each of these games is designed for young learners to play on their own, making this website a possible option for students who finish assignments before their classmates. This website is created and maintained by Funbrain, a children's educational website that is part of the Family Education Network. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

PLOS Collections: Dementia Across the Lifespan and Around the Globe
Health

PLOS Medicine recently compiled this special collection of PLOS articles dedicated to research on dementia. This collection may be of interest to researchers and health care professionals, as well as those who know someone personally affected by dementia. This special collection is guest edited by Dr. Carol Bryane, director of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, and Dr. Bruce Miller, director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco. Featured articles include a synthesis of available medical research for Alzheimer's disease; an analysis of different kinds of rehabilitative therapy for individuals with dementia; and an investigation of dementia diagnosis in the Netherlands over a course of 22 years. In addition, Eric B. Larson and Kenneth M. Langa's article, "What's the 'Take Home' from Research on Dementia Trends?", offers a helpful analysis of the Dutch study's significance for members of the general public. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Reading Tutorials at GCFLearnFree
Language Arts

Reading instructors, including those who work with English Language Learners (ELLs), may want to check out this collection of resources from the Goodwill Community Foundation's LearnFree website. Here, readers will find a number of multimedia tutorials and practice problems, including useful guides that outline major grammar rules and interactive practice problems where users may test their ability to properly apply these rules in sentences. Moving along, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) may be interested in the Learning English section, which features tutorials in seven non-English languages, including Spanish, Arabic, and French. Meanwhile, the Practice Reading section allows learners to make their own choices about practice exercises by selecting a topic (e.g. government, geography, and people) and a practice activity (e.g. letters, texts, and videos). Topics and activities are both represented by picture icons to make this section accessible to a wide variety of reading levels. Finally, the Reading Activities section provides more interactive practice options. One strength of this collection is the integration of sound and text, helping learners build their comprehension skills along with their knowledge of phonics. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Frontier to Heartland: Making History in Central North America
Social studies

Today, the midwestern region of the United States is colloquially referred to as the "heartland" of the country. How has this region changed over the years? This project from the Newberry Library's Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture allows visitors to explore this question via various critical essays and engaging primary documents. Visitors who are looking to learn more about the history of the midwest themselves may want to start with the five essays in the Perspectives section. These essays cover topics like Making Sense of Historical Maps and Two Visions of the Frontier (which considers how white settlers created two myths, one of the "empty" frontier and one of "heroic" white settlers) and are accompanied by select primary documents. Meanwhile, visitors can explore an extensive collection of historic photographs, maps, pamphlets, and more in the Galleries and Images sections. The visual format of these primary documents offer an especially appealing instructional aid for K-12 classrooms. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

AAC&U: On Solid Ground: VALUE Report 2017
Educational Technology

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently released its first ever Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) report. A collaboration between AAC&U and a number of other higher education organizations in the United States, this evaluative report "represents the first attempt to reveal a landscape of student learning on key learning outcomes - critical thinking, written communication, and quantitative literacy - that both educators and employers agree are essential for student success in the workplace and in life." This report is drawn from faculty assessments and rubrics developed and tested by faculty. In this 52-page report, college instructors can explore these rubrics and the results from a number of higher educational institutions that participated in the the pilot assessment. These institutions include both two- and four-year colleges from a handful of states including Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

General Interest

Back to Top
Consortium of Midwest Herberia
Science

The American midwest is home to a rich variety of plants, thanks to the diversity of habitats in the region. The Consortium of Midwest Herberia, which includes a number of universities and natural history museums, in collaboration with the SEINet North American plant network, has created this extensive index of midwestern plant specimens. Visitors can explore this collection in a number of ways. Those looking to investigate the herbaria in a particular area can do so via Specimen Search, which allows visitors to search using a variety of geographic criteria (including latitude and longitude; elevation; and county). Visitors can also search for species on a map located in the Interactive Tools section. Meanwhile, visitors may also browse the Consortium's extensive collection of photographs via the Images tab. Here readers may look up a specific species of interest as well. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

The Conversation
Social studies

Originally launched in Australia in 2011, The Conversation is an online publication that provides investigative reporting and analysis about a wide range of contemporary news stories and issues. Authored by university scholars, the publication strives to provide "academic rigor" as well as "journalistic flair." The U.S. version of the publication, linked above, was launched in 2014. (Readers interested in the original Australian edition or other international editions, can explore these publications via the Edition dropdown menu at the top of the page). Readers may browse articles by theme (e.g. Arts + Culture, Ethics + Religion; Health + Medicine) or by more specific topic (e.g. Trump administration; Affordable Care Act; Cybersecurity). Recent articles include an article by Steven Demorest, professor of music education at Northwestern University, about the importance of encouraging all children to sing (inspired by the new documentary film Sing); an investigation of U.S. voter representation via the Electoral College by Dale Duran, who teaches applied mathematics at the University of Washington; and an analysis of the cost of repairing the U.S. electricity infrastructure by Joshua Rhodes, a postdoctoral energy research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

British Library: Georgians Revealed
Arts

Britain's Georgian Era (marked by the reigns of King George's I-IV) ran from the early eighteenth century into the early nineteenth century. This period was marked by numerous artistic developments: Romantic poetry, unique architecture and design, and flamboyant fashion among others. With this collection from the British Library, visitors can explore a number of items that illustrate the aesthetics of the Georgian Era. Perhaps the highlight of this collection are the paintings, which visitors can zoom in on in order to explore in detail. These paintings include Robert John Thornton's Temple of Flora and Quadrangular Passion-Flower, John Nash's The Royal Pavilion at Brighton series, and a number of works by George Cruikshank. Other items of note include historic maps, sketches of dresses, and sheet music from George Handel's Messiah. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Elucidations
Philosophy

From the University of Chicago comes Elucidations, a monthly podcast featuring interviews with contemporary philosophers. Each interview is hosted by University of Chicago graduate students in philosophy. On this website visitors can explore and download all current and past podcasts (as of this write-up, 93 in total) and check out suggested related readings. One recent episode features a conversation with Kristie Dotson of Michigan State University about how we access the veracity of information and how larger social forces, such as political oppression, can impact our ability to make these assessments. In another episode, Asta Sveinsdottir of San Francisco State University discusses the social construction of our identities and argues that each aspect of our identity, such as our gender, sexuality, or race, "makes..[us]..susceptible to certain special entitlements, while also putting you under certain special obligations." [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

YouTube: Healthcare Triage
Health

How much TV is too much for small children? How effective are fitbits in helping people lose weight? Is there a shortage of doctors in the United States? Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University's School of Medicine, hosts Healthcare Triage, a series of short videos on YouTube that provide succinct answers to common questions about healthcare and health policy. Healthcare Triage is created in collaboration with "the people who make Crash Course, mental_floss on YouTube, and The Art Assignment," and employs a similar style to these other series, employing infographics, charts, and other visuals to share relevant research and facts in an engaging manner. In addition, this YouTube channel features Healthcare Triage News, a five minute round-up of recent developments in the healthcare world. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

The Bowes Museum Blog
Arts

The Bowes Museum in North East England is an art museum that features decorative art (including pottery, textiles, stained glass, and furniture) as well as a number of paintings. Established as a public art gallery in the late nineteenth century, the museum features works that span across several centuries. For those who can't visit the museum in person (or who want to be extra prepared for their next trip), the Bowes Museum also hosts this engaging blog about the museum's permanent collections and special exhibitions. For example, one recent post explores the furniture and architecture that appear in Dieric Bouts's St. Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, a fifteenth century Flemish painting that the museum acquired last year. Another recent post highlights the museum's Shelf Life exhibition in which contemporary artist Mark Clarke assembled sculptures from a variety of familiar found objects. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

cornishmemory.com
Social studies

The Azook Community Interest Company is an organization dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Cornwall, England. One of their projects is cornishmemory.com, a website that hosts over 30,000 digitized photographs, postcards, and other items that highlight a variety of aspects of life in Cornwall over the past two centuries. This extensive collection can be browsed in a number of ways. Those familiar with Cornwall may want to browse items via the Map, where items are marked by pins. Alternatively, visitors can browse images by Collection, where items are arranged by photographer, historical organization, or theme. Collections include the Clive Carter Collection, which includes almost 2,000 images taken by photographer Clive Carter, who documented Cornish shipping and shipwrecks. Meanwhile, the Mac Waters Collection includes over 5,000 photographs collected by Waters, "a Cornishman who is imbued with ceaseless enthusiasm and energy for all things Cornish and the preservation of Cornish heritage." In addition, the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty collection features work by BBC's Planet Earth photographer, Ted Giffords, that document the gardens of the Tamar Valley region. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Jule Eisenbud collection on Ted Serios and thoughtographic photography
Arts

The papers of Jule Eisenbud, a psychiatrist, author, and researcher who lived from 1908-1999, were donated to UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) in 2002. A large component of the collection documents Eisenbud's work with Ted Serios, a Chicago bellhop who claimed to be able to produce "thoughtographs," photographic images generated from his thoughts. Eisenbud wrote a book about Serios, The World of Ted Serios, that was published by William Morrow & Company in 1967. UMBC has digitized over 250 items from the Eisenbud collection and made them available online. Most of the images date from the mid-1960s, and show Serios' face, although there are also ghostly views of buildings. Many were made during experiments conducted at the Colorado Psychopathic Hospital in an attempt to measure Serios' paranormal abilities. More information about the collection is available in the finding aid and the web gallery created for the the 2011 exhibit, Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions: Paranormal Photographs from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios. [DS]

Comment on or rate this resource

Network Tools

Back to Top
Anecdata
Science

Citizen science projects are becoming an increasingly popular way for scientists to gather data while also engaging members of a broader community with their research. Science researchers interested in conducting such projects may be interested in Anecdata, a free online portal for environmental-related citizen science projects. Through Anecdata, researchers can share data from Excel, Google Earth, or ArcGIS. Users can then invite others to create online profiles and help with data collection. Anecdata is designed to allow group members to communicate easily with one another during the data collection process. There are also tools to help researchers search the collected data with ease. Those interested in using Anecdata may want to start by checking out the Projects section, which features current Anecdata projects from around the globe. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Wildfire
Educational Technology

Wildfire is a free Google Chrome extension that allows users to track and record their internet activity. For example, users can check out how many times they open a new tab, switch between tabs, used their mouse to click on something, or copied text. Once the extension is installed, users simply click on the Wildfire icon to begin recording their actions. Clicking on the icon again will pause the recording and users can view their actions as either a list (Event Log) or a flowchart (Workflow Editor). Users can also adjust which actions are recorded via the Settings section. So why use Wildfire? This extension may be of interest to those looking to track their productivity, or looking to identify ways to speed up a repetitive work task. [MMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

In the News

Back to Top
University of Cambridge Researcher Proposes a New Dinosaur Family Tree

Shaking Up the Dinosaur Family Tree
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/science/dinosaur-family-tree.html

A 130-Year-Old Fact About Dinosaurs Might Be Wrong
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/dinosaur-family-tree-saurischia-ornithischia-childhood-shattered-what-is-real-anymore/520338

Radical shakeup of dinosaur family tree points to unexpected Scottish origins
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/mar/22/scottish-fossil-may-cause-radical-shakeup-of-dinosaur-family-tree-saltopus

A new hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v543/n7646/full/nature21700.html

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Volume 43
https://books.google.com/books?id=zQMWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA164-IA3&dq=On+the+classification+of+the+fossil+animals+commonly+named+Dinosauria

Thomas Henry Huxley and the Dinobirds
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/thomas-henry-huxley-and-the-dinobirds-88519294

This past Wednesday, University of Cambridge graduate student Matthew Baron, along with Cambridge professor David B. Norman and Paul Barrett of Britain's Natural History Museum, published an article in Nature that reconsiders the structure of the dinosaur family tree. Prior to this publication, paleontologists categorized dinosaurs into two major groups: Ornithischia, a group with hip-bones that resembled birds, and Saurischia, a group with hip bones that resemble those of lizards. Under this classification, first proposed by paleontologist Henry Seeley in 1888, dinosaurs on the Ornithischia branch included the stegosaurus and the triceratops, while Saurischia dinosaurs included both herbivorous sauropods as well as meat-eating theropods. However, Baron proposes that theropods, a group that includes the tyrannosaurus, actually comprise a third distinct branch of the dinosaur family tree - one that is actually more closely related to the Ornithischia branch. Baron reached this conclusion with the aide of a computer program called TNT, which he used to analyze no fewer than 457 distinct triads collected from 74 dinosaur fossils housed at museums around the world. If confirmed by future studies, this revised family tree challenges current assumptions about the origins of dinosaurs as well as the presumed physical characteristics of individual dinosaur species. Notably, this new tree suggests that dinosaurs may have emerged from the Saltopus,a cat-sized creature found in what is now modern-day Scotland. If confirmed, this finding relocates the origins of dinosaurs from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. [MMB]

The first three links reveal articles about this new shakeup of the dinosaur family tree. These articles are authored by Nicholas Wade of the New York Times, Ed Yong of The Atlantic, and Hannah Devlin of The Guardian. Devlin's article focuses especially on the possible significance of the Saltopus. Readers interested in checking out the original research paper in full, complete with a number of diagrams, can do so via the fourth link. Moving along, historians and scientists alike may like to browse Henry Seeley's original proposition of the dinosaur family tree in the 1887 Proceedings of the Royal Society. Finally, readers will find a Smithsonian article about Thomas Huxley, an early evolution proponent who actually suggested a theory similar to Baron's in an 1869 lecture.