Browse Category: Inspiring

MIT OpenCourseWare

With a noble nod to the Internet’s ability to spread knowledge, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has made most of its course material available on the Web- for free that is! The Website for the project, MIT OpenCourseWare, includes material such as lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, and assignments for each course. Over the next few years, the project expects to provide materials for more than 2,000 courses spanning MIT’s entire curriculum–in architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences, management, and science.

“With the content posted for all to use, it provides an extraordinary resource, free of charge, which others can adapt to their own needs,” said MIT President Charles M. Vest, in a statement. “We see it as source material that will support education worldwide, including innovations in the process of teaching and learning itself.”

The project began as a pilot program for just two years, starting with the design of the necessary software and services, and the design of protocols to monitor and assess performance. By the end of the two-year period, MIT materials for more than 500 courses were available on the OpenCourseWare (OCW) Website.

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Mastering Tips English

After six or seven months, Adel began to master English and make friends with American students. Her turbulent background has made her particularly grateful for the help she received at the High School Law, Advocacy and Community Justice. “The teachers really have this desire to help students… When I arrived I couldn’t say anything, but the teachers were always there helping me, which I really appreciated. In my country, if you don’t speak French they wouldn’t help you.”

Adel, whose favorite subject is math, now lives in Brooklyn with her siblings and mother, who works at Whole Foods. Life is still hard, she says, but “I love it here as I have a lot of opportunities to do well in the future.” The strife in the Congo region – which suffered a long civil war and continuing turmoil – forced Adel not to attend school for more than a year. “You could get shot at in the street,” she adds. Continue Reading

A Passion For Art

Klokke works out of a bright, spacious art studio at I.S. 392 in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Student artwork, neatly matted and hung, covers every wall. “If you frame and mount it, the kids feel good about it,” he says. “It means the art is worth something.”

Each year, Klokke selects several students to participate in a special enrichment activity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students “adopt” a piece of artwork and do a semester’s worth of research about the piece. Then the students return to the museum to present their research and field questions from other students and museum staff. Continue Reading

Inspiring school librarian

Each morning at 6:30, Peter flips the sign on his library door to “Open.” Within minutes, the first students appear and by 8:00 a.m. there are as many as forty students packing the room – reading, studying, or using the computers.

“If you can get the kids to come in early, it’s a great way to get their day off and running,” says Kornicker. His book-jammed library is open all day, and he usually spends his lunch period at his desk to serve more students. Continue Reading

The Value of Mentoring a Student

Their first event together was a cook-off at Ernst and Young for all the mentor-mentee pairs which Miller, 23, likened to a junior high school dance. “Everyone was nervous, and nobody wanted to mingle. But we hit it off right away.”

Through their shared experiences, Martha introduced Zuleika to a world she hadn’t experienced and has helped to overcome her shyness. Most memorable was a trip that several of the mentors and mentees took to a dance studio in Manhattan, where the pairs learned to salsa. “I’m used to salsa dancing. In my culture we do it all the time,” Zuleika says. “So I felt like I was helping to teach Martha.”

Lately, Martha and Zuleika have been working on ways to balance the competing pressures of family and school. Zuleika’s mother is in cosmetology school, and since she is the oldest child, she often needs to babysit for her younger brothers. Martha is helping Zuleika come up with a plan for managing her time.

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