Jeremiah 17:7-8 — from Bible Gateway’s Verse of the Day

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

The professors who make the MOOCs — from The Chronicle by Steve Kolowich

Excerpt:

Like many professors at top-ranked institutions, Mr. Sedgewick was very skeptical about online education. But he was intrigued by the notion of bringing his small Princeton course on algorithms, which he had taught for five years, to a global audience. So after Princeton signed a deal with an upstart company called Coursera to offer MOOCs, he volunteered for the front lines.

 

Photo illustration

Dave Chidley for The Chronicle

 

 

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom
or gives the rooster understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

 

Landscape photography: 10 beautiful examples — from  creativebloq.com

Example:

 Vincent Piotrowski

On a Yellow Stripe Road by Vincent Piotrowski

From DSC:
This beautiful picture brings some scripture — Genesis 9:12-16 — to my mind:

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

 

From DSC:
Some very frustrated reflections after reading:

Excerpt:

Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.

 

This situation continues to remind me of the oil spill in the Gulf (2010), where valuable resources spilled into the water untapped — later causing some serious issues:
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From DSC:
What are we doing?!!! We’ve watched the dropout rates grow — it doesn’t seem we’ve changed our strategies nearly enough! But the point that gets lost in this is that we will all pay for these broken strategies — and for generations to come!  It’s time to seriously move towards identifying and implementing some new goals.

What should the new goals look like? Here’s my take on at least a portion of a new vision for K-12 — and collegiate — education:

  • Help students identify their God-given gifts and then help them build up their own learning ecosystems to support the development of those gifts. Hook them up with resources that will develop students’ abilities and passions.
    .
  • Part of their learning ecosystems could be to help them enter into — and build up — communities of practice around subjects that they enjoy learning about. Those communities could be local, national, or international. (Also consider the creation of personalized learning agents, as these become more prevalent/powerful.)
    .
  • Do everything we can to make learning enjoyable and foster a love of learning — as we need lifelong learners these days.
    (It doesn’t help society much if students are dropping out of K-12 or if people struggle to make it through graduation — only to then harbor ill feelings towards learning/education in general for years to come.  Let’s greatly reduce the presence/usage of standardized tests — they’re killing us!  They don’t seem to be producing long-term positive results. I congratulate the recent group of teachers who refused to give their students such tests; and I greatly admire them for getting rid of a losing strategy.)

    .
  • Give students more choice, more control over what their learning looks like; let them take their own paths as much as possible (provide different ways to meet the same learning objective is one approach…but perhaps we need to think beyond/bigger than that. The concern/fear arises…but how will we manage this? That’s where a good share of our thinking should be focused; generating creative answers to that question.)
    .
  • Foster curiosity and wonder
    .
  • Provide cross-disciplinary assignments/opportunities
    .
  • Let students work on/try to resolve real issues in their communities
    .
  • Build up students’ appreciation of faith, hope, love, empathy, and a desire to make the world a better place. Provide ways that they can contribute.
    .
  • Let students experiment more — encourage failure.
    .

 

Consumers in 2030 — from forumforthefuture.org

Excerpt:

Consumers in 2030 asks ‘what might consumers need from Which? in 2030?’  The result of a partnership between Forum and Which?, it aims to spark debate about the changing needs of UK consumers in the 21st century among policy-makers, think-tanks, regulators, politicians, consumer brands and consumers themselves.  It shares research and projections about what life might be like for UK consumers, and gives us a window into future needs, opportunities, issues and markets by imagining five products and services we could find at home.

 

 

ConsumersIn2030-WhichRptFromJan2013

 

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http://www.bibleseries.tv/

 

The Bible — Trailer / Video

 

Per YouVersion:

The Bible series, from television’s top husband-and-wife team Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, is the greatest visualization of the Bible we’ve ever seen. From Genesis to Revelation, this five-part series combines a powerful collection of stories with live action and truly amazing CGI.

We’re thrilled that the Bible App has been named the official app of The Bible series.


From DSC:
First, what prompted the questions and reflections that are listed below?  For that, I turn to some recent items that I ran across involving the use of robotics and whether that may or may not be affecting employment:


 

The work of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; for example their book Race Against the Machine

Excerpt of description:

But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines.

 

How to freak out responsibly about the rise of the robots — from theatlantic.com by Derek Thompson
It’s fun to imagine an economy where machines are smarter than humans. But we don’t need  an artificial crisis over artificial intelligence.

Excerpt:

Let’s say it upfront: Technology can replace jobs and (at least temporarily) increase income inequality. From the spinning jenny to those massive mechanical arms flying wildly around car assembly lines, technology raises productivity by helping workers accomplish more in less time (i.e.: put a power drill in a human hand) and by replacing workers altogether (i.e.: build a power-drilling bot).

What ails us today isn’t a surplus of robots, but a deficit of demand. Yes, we have a manufacturing industry undergoing a sensational, but job-killing, productivity revolution — very much like the one that took farm employment from 40 percent in 1900 to less than 5 percent today. But the other nine-tenths of the economy are basically going through an old-fashioned weak-but-steady recovery, the kind that hundreds of years of financial crises would predict.

 

America has hit “peak jobs” — from techcrunch.com by Jon Evans

Excerpt:

“The middle class is being hollowed out,” says James Altucher. “Economists are shifting their attention toward a […] crisis in the United States: the significant increase in income inequality,” reports the New York Times.

Think all those job losses over the last five years were just caused by the recession? No: “Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market,” according to an AP report on how technology is killing middle-class jobs.

 

Technology and the employment challenge — from project-syndicate.org by Michael Spence

Excerpt:

MILAN – New technologies of various kinds, together with globalization, are powerfully affecting the range of employment options for individuals in advanced and developing countries alike – and at various levels of education. Technological innovations are not only reducing the number of routine jobs, but also causing changes in global supply chains and networks that result in the relocation of routine jobs – and, increasingly, non-routine jobs at multiple skill levels – in the tradable sector of many economies.

 

 

Man vs. robot — from macleans.ca by Peter Nowak

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industrial-robots

 

 

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Secondly, some reflections (from DSC)


I wonder…

  • What types of jobs are opening up now? (example here)
  • What types of jobs will be opening up soon? How about in 3-5 years from now?
  • Should these trends affect the way we educate and prepare our kids today? 
  • Should these trends affect the way we help employees grow/reinvent themselves?

Again, for me, the answer lies at least partly in helping people consistently obtain the knowledge that they need — i.e. to help them build, grow, and maintain their own learning ecosystems — throughout their lifetimes.  We need to help people dip their feet into the appropriate streams of content that are constantly flowing by.

Perhaps that’s one of the key new purposes that K-12, higher ed, and the corporate training departments out there will play in the future as they sift through the massive amounts of information coming at us to help individuals identify:
.

  • What are the most effective tools — and methods — that people can use to connect with others?
    (Then allow folks to pick what works best for them. Current examples: blogging/RSS feeds, Twitter, social bookmarking.)
    .
  • Who are some of the folks within each particular discipline/line of work that others (who want to learn about those disciplines) should know about?
    .
  • What trends are coming down the pike and how should we be preparing ourselves — and/or our organizations — for those changes?
    .

 

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A new class of Knight News Challenge winners focuses on mobile in the developing world — from niemanlab.org by Joshua Benton
The common thread through several of the eight winners: turning underpowered phones into information engines.

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From DSC:
My dad sent me a link to this piece by Bill Moyers called The ‘Crony Capitalist Blowout’.  If you aren’t angry, sad, and/or depressed after watching it, you either don’t have a pulse or you run and live in the circles that Bill Moyers is talking about.

But before we become too discouraged with our situation here in the United States, take solace in one of the most dreaded verses in all of scripture — to be dreaded, at least, by those who:

  • are arrogant, proud, and/or wicked
  • think that the LORD doesn’t see or care what happens on the Earth
  • think that they will never be held accountable for their actions

It’s from Psalm 73 (specifically verse 17)  and it says:

…till I entered the sanctuary of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.

 

In other words, there will be justice.

 

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AmandaRipley-AskTheKids2012

 

Description:

Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist who writes about human behavior and public policy. For Time Magazine and the Atlantic, she has chronicled the stories of American kids and teachers alongside groundbreaking new research into education reform. “Kids have strong opinions about school. We forget as adults how much time they sit there contemplating their situation.”

 

From DSC:
I post this now, because I just saw this via a post that Patrick Larkin made over the weekend —
Amanda Ripley’s intriguing talk on education reform that contains the following excerpt (bolding/emphasis DSC):

The video concludes with the following takeaways from these conversations:
.

  • In the top performing countries in the world school is harder.
    .
  • No country is like the US with its obsession of playing sports.
    .
  • Kids (in schools in these other countries) believe there’s something in it for them.
    .
  • Kids believe that what they are doing in school impacts their futures.

 

The power of the business matchmaker — from management.fortune.cnn.com by John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Matchmakers can connect millions of people looking to pair talent with jobs, buyers with vendors, tenants with landlords, etc. The Fortune 500 should take note.

From DSC:
Makes me wonder how many MOOCs will morph into matchmakers…and I continue to wonder if the corporate world will develop/use their own MOOCs and use them as pre-screening/filtering mechanisms…

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The Power of Online Exchanges -- graphic by Daniel Christian on 1/13/09

 

CalvinsJanuarySeries2013

 

Calvin College: The January Series
Presentations begin 12:30 p.m. EST (11:30 a.m. CST, 10:30 a.m. MST, 9:30 a.m. PST)
NOTE: Due to contractual restrictions, a few of these presentations will not be recorded or archived.

More details here, but a listing of the speakers/topics include:

Thursday, January 3
Jeremy Courtney – “Restoring Hearts in Iraq”

Friday, January 4
Sheryl WuDunn – “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”

Monday, January 7
Roberta Green Ahmanson – “Dreams Become Reality: Inspiration through the Arts”

Tuesday, January 8
Jenny Yang – “Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate”

Wednesday, January 9
Richard J. Mouw & Robert Millet – “Evangelicals and Mormons: A Conversation and Dialogue”

Thursday, January 10
Peter Diamandis – “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think”

Friday, January 11
Captain Scotty Smiley – “Hope Unseen”

Monday, January 14
Jeff Van Duzer – “Why Business Matters to God”

Tuesday, January 15
Rebecca Skloot – “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Wednesday, January 16
Cokie Roberts – “An Insider’s View of Washington DC”

Thursday, January 17
W. Dwight Armstrong – “Feeding the World and the Future of Farming”

Friday, January 18
Garth Pauley – “Rituals of Democracy: Inaugural Addresses in American History”

Monday, January 21
Robert Robinson – “Celebration through Gospel Music” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 22
Mike Kim – “North Korea-China: A Modern Day Underground Railroad”

Wednesday, January 23
Chap Clark – “Sticky Faith”in partnership with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

40 free world flags icon sets — from hongkiat.com by Michael Poh

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