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Okay, I wasn’t going to do a links round-up this weekend (I was going to do my math homework!) but I’ve just spent several hours poring over content so I might as well share it with you.

iSideWith.com is a pretty neat (albeit very simplistic) site that will see how you match up with various presidential candidates. If you decide to take their quiz, don’t forget to check out options besides “Yes” and “No” on issues you feel are a grey area. When you get your results, also make sure to see how your specific answers compared. Sometimes you might actually have more in common with someone, but the program isn’t perfect and won’t recognize that. Apparently the candidate I have the most in common with is Jill Stein, but the Green Party isn’t on the ballot in North Carolina (or so I’ve been told), so I might not get a chance to vote for her. Sad.

I’ve been having a lot of conversations online regarding technology’s place in education, so I was interested when I saw something called 21 Reasons Technology Works in Education. I wanted to know if maybe there was something I had overlooked, a compelling reason for me to change my current attitude about tech in the classroom. Unfortunately, all I found was a list of meaningless statistics that amount to “X% of [stakeholder group] does Y!” Okay, great. X% of students drink outside of the classroom, should beer be part of the curriculum too? Like I keep reiterating, I’m not completely anti-tech, I just feel that most of the justification for it I see isn’t convincing.

I did, on the other hand, enjoy this post about what some of the new buzzwords–“21st century skills”, for example–really mean. I was happy to read that “the [National Research Council] also makes it very clear that the research connecting these “competencies” to a successful adult life is thin,” which has been part of my “can we just think about this more carefully before we give everyone an e-reader?” stance. Even more cogent:

But until school systems start assessing their students on these more critical grounds—and valuing their “intrapersonal” and “interpersonal” development as much as their “cognitive”—these 21st-century ideas will continue to be just words.

This blog post has been circulating around, advocating that people should teach their sons that sex and an interest in sex is okay, but RAPE ISN’T and you should respect women and their dignity. Women are not there for you, they are people with their own agency. Overall a great idea, but for some reason the post made me a little uncomfortable anyway–if anyone else reads it and gets the same feeling, maybe you can help articulate why?

Pretty decent thoughtful blog post on whether we should really embrace online learning as the wave of the future (with a great comment from some lady talking about learning styles and calling the guy a narrow-minded bigot–wow).

I thought this was a fantastic post, pointing out in a very personal way that sometimes, we do end up complicit in our own oppression. Comments did point out that maybe the girl that got upset at her classmate should have engaged her in dialogue, which is fair. On the other hand, as anyone who has tried to engage people that say shit like that in dialogue knows, it’s FUCKING EXHAUSTING and feels like pounding your head against a brick wall. Either way, a good read (and ultimately, I think, a positive message for people that are still unlearning sexism).

Also related to feminism, a post that asserts “boys can’t have it all either.” Of course, as a friend and I discussed earlier today, women have been saying for years that the current system hurts men too, but since a man has now pointed this out, maybe people will actually listen. (Can you tell I’m a bit disenchanted with the world lately?)

On the topic of *isms, a REALLY great article about why so many people ignore racism and how it’s still a problem. Main idea: “It has become so easy to deny or downplay racism because so much has been invested in relegating it to the past.” The author also points out how claims of a “post-racial society” and “color-blindness” actually make things worse because they make discussions of racism off-limits for the people that actually have to face it. Research into child development indicates that parents that don’t actively discuss the idea of “race” with their children and just assume the message “everyone is equal” (one child, after being told this for the Nth time, asked her mother what “equal” meant) will get through actually end up having children with a higher racial bias. I’m not 100% sure how to approach this issue because 1)I’m a member of the privileged group and 2)I also have racial biases that I find difficult to overcome, but I think acknowledging that it’s still an issue is crucial. A lot of the arguments I see (and have admittedly engaged in) focus on the fact that class is now more of an issue, but that was before I learned about intersectionality, which makes way more sense.

Finally, very cool info about the world’s first sex survey–way before Kinsey! That link is just an overview, but the article contains a link to the full story if you’re interested. The best part–some women that didn’t enjoy intercourse blamed their partners, with one woman asserting that “men have not been properly trained.” Pretty sure quite a few of my friends have made similar assertions in the past–the more things change, the more they stay the same. XD

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