The Week That Was: GOOD Education

NBC's Education Nation summit, how online lectures are changing education, and which college rankings are actually useful.

The Week That Was.

Waiting for "Superman" continues its charge into theaters across the country. Piggy-backing on the occasion, NBC held its Education Nation summit, which discussed many of the issues brought up by the movie, such as whether teachers are under attack and how parents can find out how their local schools are performing.

We told you about how one can get an education via YouTube, a $25 projector that is revolutionizing adult education in Mali, and IBM's high school-college hybrid for breeding the next generation of its workforce.

We also shared five infographics based on teacher-survey data. They looked at how they think student achievement should be measured, their impressions on technology in the classroom, what they need to be better instructors, whether they're willing to go the extra mile for their kids, and how they would fix education, respectively.

Anya Kamenetz wrote a piece that helps demystify college rankings—identifying the publications that can actually help college-going students pick a school.

Josh Barkey discussed how TED talks and other online lectures are offering young people new options for learning in their free time.

Emily Hanford, who produced the radio documentary Testing Teachers took a hard look at how we evaluate teachers and attempted to define what "good teaching" is.

Zoe Burgess asked how we should go about teaching students the skills to think critically and creatively.

Finally, we posted our first video from the recently concluded GOOD Education Event Series. The topic was enabling creativity. If you're not in L.A. or were unable to make it out to any of the events, we'll have two more videos to help give you a taste of what you missed.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user Special KRB

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less