Thanks so much for visiting me here on my newly revised website. Along with an altogether new look, the changes allow me to more readily offer you timely, informative articles, websites to visit, and even quotes to use in your teaching. There’s also, of course, my free, monthly The School-Wise Newsletter, keeping readers up-to-date on all that’s happening in education.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping you’ll check out my blog from time-to-time and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to visit me on examiner.com, too, where you’ll find numerous articles on education, parenting, and family life. You’ll also find me at bizymoms and ezinearticles.

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The Measles Outbreak, Pennsylvania, and the Need for Immunization

23/02/2015   |   No Comments »

Fotosearch_Measles_k21294763On February 7th, the Times Herald headlined with “Case of measles suspected,” about a teen-aged boy right here in Montgomery County. Naturally, worrying kicked in. Had the virus traveled here all the way from California, where 103 cases had already been confirmed? Philly’s news station KYW was all over the story, too, and seven-year-old Harry heard the report as he sat in the back seat of the family car on the way to basketball practice.

His question was immediate: “What’s measles?” followed up with, “Can it make you die?”

After explaining a bit about the disease, he finally settled down when his mom ended with, “You don’t have to worry about it; you’ve been vaccinated.”
And that, of course, makes all the difference, not just for Harry, but the rest of us, too.

Writing for USA Today, Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, explained that back in 1990, four diseases, measles among them, were responsible for the deaths worldwide of almost 2 million children, five years and younger. Thanks to immunizations, however, by 2013, that number has been reduced by 70% to 600,000.

Hotez then goes on to posit that lots of children are still at risk in part because of the media’s silence about these advances. This, he concludes, has allowed “fringe groups to disseminate false claims about vaccines and their alleged links to autism …. despite a total absence of scientific credibility or even plausibility given what we know about the genetics of autism …”

The result: While back in 2000, the CDC was able to announce that measles had been eradicated in the U.S., that’s no longer true. In fact, Read the rest of this entry »

Education Data Mining, Kids’ Privacy Rights, and Protective Measures Being Taken

08/02/2015   |   No Comments »

123rf_Eye_17948517Obama recently took to the bully pulpit again, this time proposing what he called the Student Digital Privacy Act, saying, “If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected.” The act’s purpose is “to prevent companies from selling sensitive student information collected in schools and using such data to engage in targeted advertising to children.” In other words, all that information being collected about our kids should be used for educational purposes only, not exploitation and marketing..

After all, says Alison DeNisco, news editor at District Administration Magazine, “When students use technology in the classroom, every keystroke creates a trail of digital information.”

And, unfortunately, Read the rest of this entry »