Dec 15, 2014

The Future of Education, 2015

The Future of Education, 2015

The next few years are going to be exciting for educators. Schools and society are experiencing a rapid rate of change. This infographic shows trends that are going to have a big impact in our institutions and in our classrooms. There is a great shift toward the integration of technology, reporting, data interpretation, and curated content.

The most important element in any classroom is the trained, experienced educator. We must never lose sight of this. Digital gaming, 1:1 programs, MOOCS, and LMSs are all going to improve instruction, but we should leave the final decision to teachers on how to implement these tools.


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Nov 26, 2014

Can a Continent Turn from Loneliness and Self-Absorbtion

Can a Continent Turn from Loneliness and Self-Absorbtion

Pope Francis addressed the European Union yesterday.  In a well-crafted speech he challenged Europe to combat the divisiveness of individualism and polarization and remember its founding motto, "Unity in Diversity". The European Union formed by coming together to combat threats and build a better society. Recent crises have left nations pursuing policies of privatization of resources, placing the desires of individuals over the common good of all people, and those that create a moral vacuum filled only by extremism.

The future of Europe – added Pope Francis - depends on the recovery of the vital connection between openness to God and the practical and concrete ability to confront situations and problems

Christianity is not "a threat to secular Europe but rather an enrichment". In returning to its Christian culture, Europe will regain its "soul" and arise from its "loneliness"

Ultimately, what is good for Europe is also good and true for the United States. We are not strangers to loneliness, self-absorption, a growing disparity between wealthy and the poorest of poor, colleges that keep the poor from attending, and growing radicalism.

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Nov 14, 2014

Our National "Brand" is in Decline

Our National "Brand" is in Decline

Each year the Country Brand Index (CBI)is published. This report explores various factors to assess the "brand" 118 countries ranking them according to their strengths. The basic premise supporting the idea of country branding is that nations with a better image will inspire more people to invest and travel there, and buy products developed in that high ranking nation.  Think about corporations, if Apple's logo is on a tablet we immediately think high quality and solid construction. That is branding.



Not all counties qualify as having a brand, in fact the report shows that only 22 meet that criteria.  According the international report, the United States has dropped from an overall rank of #1 in 2009 to #7 in 2014.  Our value system, heritage, culture, quality of life are not in the top 10.  We did score #2 in business potential right behind Japan.

America's entrepreneurial spirit is still vibrant. That is part of our culture, much of this nation was settled because men and women tamed the wilderness in pursuit of progress and building a better life for their families.

The other aspect of our founding principles seems to be lacking.  According the this report our moral values and culture are in decline. Where and when did this change? Is it the media, breakdown of traditional values, lack of a two-parent household, personal technology, a relativistic philosophy, denial of freewill and belief in determinism?



Each week at Sunday Liturgy, Christians pray a creed in which we acknowledge the need for faithful unity in belief in Christ. Perhaps unity is the answer. A nation that unites under God is one where its people care for their neighbors, lives a moral life, fights corruption and greed, remembers its past, and protects its future.

PRAYER FOR UNITY
You, the one
From whom on different paths
All of us have come.
To whom on different paths
All of us are going.
Make strong in our hearts what unites us.
Build bridges across all that divides us;
United make us rejoice in our diversity.
At one in our witness to your peace,
A rainbow of your glory.
Amen.
-- Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB 
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Nov 11, 2014

Christian Service vs. Laziness and Control, What Will Win Our Heart and Mind?

Service to others is a pillar of true Christianity.  I have had the privilege to visit many Catholic School, speaking to principals, teachers, parents, students, and priests about these schools. They all stress their commitment to service.  Pope Francis delivered a recent homily in Casa Santa Marta where he focused on the unprofitable servants.

Jesus said to the Apostles: “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (Lk. 17:7-10)


Pope Francis suggested that without service a Christian “becomes ‘a Christian out for himself, to serve himself.’ His is a ‘sad life’, ‘the many great things of the Lord’ are ‘wasted’”. This “sadness of life” begins with laziness, which distances us from work and promotes ease and selfishness. Giving and serving promotes empathy and understanding, which leads to compassion and truly fruitful human connections (opposed to virtual connections), leading to a life of action and purpose.

Further distancing ourselves from service is our desire for control.  We too often desire to be masters of our own surroundings and activities. Service is acting with humility; serving, not controlling others. This often leads to sins of pride, arrogance, and an attitude which tramples on others, all of which are contrary to authentic service.




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Nov 9, 2014

Hacking The Human Brain Is Too Much Sci-fi For Me

I am not sure what is more scary human cloning, or the the the ability to control the human mind. If this were a sci-fi novel or movie we are living in the part of the story that directly precedes the story. 
 

The fact what his technology has already been effectively used on a mouse proves that it is possible. Do we trust technology enough to alter our very DNA, allowing an outside sources to influence our thoughts, control our actions, or change our feelings? Do we trust corporations, researchers, and governments enough that this technology would be used properly and be completely secure?

I've often said that science fiction writers are the prophets of our day. What have we witnessed in this area of fiction.  Star Trek had the Borg which used implants to strip people of their individuality connecting them to a collective consciousnesses.  Dr. Who introduced us to the Cybermen which did the very same thing. This list could grow. All of these fictional stories show the horrors that can happen when humans give control to technology.

God created us to be who we are and how we are. We should not re-make ourselves following our own design. Modern history has shown that when we deny our identity as God's creation tragedy quickly follows.  In the 20th century, two nations, Germany and Russia experimented with an atheistic governmental philosophy that stripped men and women of their dignity.  The atrocities committed by those governments in the name of science are inhuman.

God is the only architect of creation and is the only one who should modify creation. Our role in this world is steward, that is the caretaker of God's creation. To take care of this world and its wonders we must understand it and continue to learn about it, thus the need for advanced science. We can even repair what needs repair.


Altering the very design of life crosses the line into sin. Recall for a moment the story of Adam and Eve. They chose to become like God by gaining for themselves knowledge of good and evil. To "hack the human brain" is choosing to be like God in re-designing the human mind. The consequences of the first sin were quite severe, what will the consequences of this sin be? 
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Oct 11, 2014

Listen hard to the "beat of this age"

Listen hard to the "beat of this age"

Pope Francis has called his first Synod of Bishops to deal with issues facing
families.  A synod is a meeting of the minds to discuss and solve important issues.  In this case about 200 bishops from five continents are expected to participate.  For our Pope no question is taboo, but for his first synod we should not expect monumentally sweeping changes in doctrine or social teaching as this has never been his goal.  Instead, the issues to be discussed how to properly minister to average, everyday practicing Catholic who are dealing with real life issues.  It is important to remember that this meeting of minds is always in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Ultimately, it is God who guides the decisions of a synod.  Men question and God answers.

”Pope Francis urged Catholic bishops gathered in Rome to listen hard to the ‘beat of this age’”. The Pope has challenged bishops to keep their focus on the mission at hand, to avoid intellectual “one-upmanship”, and work creatively.  (The Guardian)  The Pope is expected to be active in the discussions so we will see how his ideas and leadership shape this council.

There are some opposing viewpoints that Bishops will need to tackle before addressing specific issues.

Pastoral Approach Vs Doctrinal Approach to Church Leadership
Simply put, this debate calls into question how the Church compassionately ministers to people while maintaining strict adherence to doctrine.

Bottom-up or Top-down Church Governance
Historically unprecedented is the fact that last year, Pope Francis surveyed Catholics about their concerns for the Church.  The distribution of the survey was left to each diocese to handle as they saw fit. Pope Francis is viewed as a shepherd that listens to his flock.  Many of the individual concerns of the laity are expected to be presented to the Bishops. This “bottom-up” view challenges the traditional hierarchical nature of our traditional Church.  This is an issue is centuries old.  We have tried throughout the history of the Church to strike a balance between these two polar viewpoints.


Whether “All are welcome” or if there is one proper Catholic path
These ideas are particularly challenging. On one hand, some believe that the Church should welcome all with varying viewpoints. Whereas others believe that the Church must adhere to a single viewpoint on all issues.  This debate has plagued so called “liberal Christianity” for decades.  Many the churches that have welcomed too many competing ideas have splintered and shattered, leaving to confusion in belief and schism.  In our case many have left the flock, while others have turned away from Christianity to follow where own personal path.



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Sep 24, 2014

What Christians should know about Islam

Islam means submission. Muslims submit to Allah and the word of his prophet Mohammad.  This means a submission to Sharia Law and the belief that it is Godly to force others to submit by the sword or through social and economic pressure.  This belief is grounded deeply in the Koran and supported through centuries of history.  It is important to remember that the Koran speaks of solidarity between believers and the condemnation of non-believers which it defines as Christians and Jews. This video produced by Franciscan University with Dr. Hahn and Dr. Regis is a highly interesting panel focused on what Catholics should know about Islam. 


Ultimately, we must remember that we are all created in God's image.  As Christians we are God's adopted sons and daughters who share in mission of Christ to spread the Good News with all who will listen and engage in dialog with those who will not.
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Sep 17, 2014

Grade 7 Quiz - Retake

Grade 7 Quiz - Retake

1) Who were the four evangelists and the symbols used to represent them.
2) Who did the four evangelists address their Gospels? Who was their audience?.
3) Describe how Mark portrayed Jesus.
4) Describe how Matthew portrayed Jesus.
5) Describe how Luke portrayed Jesus.
6) Describe how John portrayed Jesus.
7) Why to Catholics say the biblical authors were inspired?
8) Why are their inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible?
9) How many books are in the Catholic Old Testament and the New Testament?
10) Is the Bible true? Explain.

All answers must be in complete sentences.

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Scotland, Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

Tomorrow the people of Scotland will vote on a referendum on Scottish independence. Here are a few videos on the issue.  The first is a quick video explaining the difference between United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England.


Edinburgh News published a list of 10 reasons for and against Scottish independence.  Here is their list, for a more detailed explanation, check out the article.




  1. Decisions about Scotland are best made by the people who live here
  2. Scotland can be a successful country in its own right
  3. An independent Scotland would make decisions that reflected Scottish priorities.
  4. Independence would be a declaration of confidence in ourselves and our nation
  5. Scotland could set its own welfare priorities
  6. Scotland could get rid of Trident
  7. Scotland would not get dragged into illegal wars
  8. North Sea oil revenues would be put to good use
  9. Scotland could adopt a different immigration policy
  10. Scotland will continue to have good relationships with England, Wales and Northern Ireland but on a more equal basis

  1. The UK is a successful union dating back 300 years
  2. Being part of the UK offers more economic security
  3. Jobs could be lost
  4. Major projects could be frozen
  5. Prices could rise
  6. Scotland benefits from UK research funding
  7. No-one knows what currency Scotland would use
  8. Scotland would have less influence in the world
  9. The BBC should not be put at risk
  10. Security is better handled on a UK-wide basis

What do you think?


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Sep 12, 2014

Sep 11, 2014

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Aug 15, 2014

Admiring a house and want to know more about it? Take a picture!

Admiring a house and want to know more about it? Take a picture!

Its like Shazam for houses.

Using the Homesnap app (available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices) you can snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to find out all about it. For listed homes, you may be able to see interior photos too! When you’re ready to buy or sell real estate, you can contact a real estate agent within Homesnap to schedule a showing or list your home in the MLS.


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Aug 10, 2014

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Aug 3, 2014

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Jul 30, 2014

Do You Waist Too Much Time on Email?

Do You Waist Too Much Time on Email?

How many emails to you get a day? Do you check your email every time you get a notification? How often does this break your concentration. Thenextweb.com recently published a post on this topic and concluded that if we email less we increase productivity. According to the article, approximately 28% of our work time is spent on email, that is 650 hours a year.

Every time hear a notification chime or get a popup saying that a new message has arrived in your inbox, you must make a decision. This breaks your concentration. The study concluded that

The point here is to understand that we should be focusing on our primary tasks at work and when we don’t, we end up distracted, less happy, and less productive. The key, no matter what your job, is to find flow.

What is "flow"? This is the balance between challenge and skill, or in simpler terms when we seem to be working effortlessly while remaining satisfied. Too little skill or challenge and we become bored or anxious.  The solution, is to eliminate all distractions to maintain the "flow". For some that may be to put email in its place. If email is your business, then set goals, such write responses in two minutes or less. Your goal should personal and productive.


When I teach my students about setting goals I stress that they must be "SMART".  That is specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and timely.



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Jul 27, 2014

Not All Triglycerides Are Created Equal

Unsaturated fat is better that saturated fat. "0 grams of fat" means there is no fat in the product.  There is no way to truly know if the food you eat has unhealthy fat.  These are all false statements.  Watch this video to learn what fat is. 


"Partially hydrogenated" 
is the key term to remember at the grocery story.
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Jul 26, 2014

Jul 25, 2014

Is a Pre-Approval Letter Better?

When purchasing a new home many people often begin online looking at homes they like.  This is followed by visiting open houses and perhaps talking to a real estate agent. It involves a lot of dreaming and wishful thinking. Many people do not want to talk about taking a loan until they find the right house. This can be a costly and emotional mistake.

Home buyers should begin by contacting a lender and get pre-qualified.  This will determine how much home you can afford. The loan officer will look at income, assets, and sometimes your credit report. Pre-qualification is not a binding agreement.  How important is this step? Well, about four months ago I met a couple at an open house who wanted to place an offer. They hadn't spoken to anyone about a loan. They rushed and worried. Ultimately, they did not qualify. It would have been nice to know their limits before being ready to place an offer.

A pre-approval is a bit more serious. When a lender issues this it is because they have verified your income, assets, debt, credit history and issues you a letter stating that your mortgage is approved for a certain amount. This also is not binding.

A few days ago I took a look at a house with a client. The agency that is listing that particular property has instituted a policy requiring that buyers submit a pre-qualification letter along with an additional letter standing that the lender has verified specific information.



I'm sure this letter would be not necessary if the buyer had a pre-approval letter.  Ultimately, it is best to begin an house search by first visiting a loan officer or a Realtor who can help you begin the process and avoid mistakes.
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Do You Know Your Hotel's Wifi Strength?

Planning a trip isn't always the easiest task. You need to coordinate schedules, decide on transportation, budget, pack, and know where you are staying. My biggest concern is cleanliness. For some it may be wi-fi strength.
Hotelwifitest.com is a website that does exactly as its name suggests, serving you search results for hotels which are ranked on the quality of their internet service. Hotel WiFi Test aims to go beyond merely crowd-sourcing information thanks to its “state-of-the-art” machine learning technology which can predict the quality of on-site wireless.
The site claims to cover over 100,000 hotels worldwide.You search based on city, and the results rank the hotels while showing a range of expected WiFi speeds, alongside all the usual metrics that matter: such as price, address and ratings from Hotel.com. 
Original article found at thenextweb.com "This website ranks hotels based on the quality of their WiFi"
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Jul 20, 2014

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Jul 19, 2014

Jul 13, 2014

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  • Quizlet privacy policy highlights the fact that the company respects personal identity, is eTrust Children Certified, and offers a special edtit for children under the age of 13.

    tags: Quizlet privacy_policy

    • This privacy statement describes how Quizlet LLC ("Quizlet") collects and uses the personal information you provide on our Web site, quizlet.com, and the two official Quizlet iOS and Android mobile applications. It also describes the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.

           	TRUSTe Children privacy certification    

      Quizlet LLC ("Quizlet") has been awarded TRUSTe's Children’s Seal signifying that this privacy policy and practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe's program requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information. The TRUSTe program covers information collected through this Web site, quizlet.com, and our mobile applications. TRUSTe's mission, as an independent third party, is to accelerate online trust among consumers and organizations globally through its leading privacy trustmark and innovative trust solutions. If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy policy or practices, please contact us at quizlet.com/feedback. If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact TRUSTe here.

    • For children under 13, Quizlet offers a limited feature set and web site experience. We require consent from a parent when children under the age of 13 want to register on Quizlet and offer a limited version of the website that removes certain social features. The only identifiable information we collect from children under 13 is a parent’s email address.
    • Quizlet does not accumulate personal information about any child or family for distribution, sharing, or selling except as described in this privacy policy. We only keep an email on file for notifying parents of their child's wish to join Quizlet.
  • Interesting trivia about the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

    tags: moon nasa history Apollo_11

  • One day, we will get HD in space. Lost no more, with Google Maps.

    tags: wireless broadband moon wired

  • tags: college_funding

  • K-LOVE Contemporary Christian Music - K-LOVE tags: christian music radio in the front seat: Independence Day under 6 min. tags: inthefrontseat July 4 History Crash Course Independence Day Education MyPhysicsLab – Physics Simulation with Java ...

    tags: inthefrontseat

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Jul 6, 2014

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Jul 4, 2014

Jun 29, 2014

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Jun 15, 2014

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      • God is the one true living God
    • Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there  is one true and living God, creator and lord of heaven and earth, almighty, eternal,  immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection
    • Since he is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance,  he must be declared to be in reality and in essence
      • God protects and governs all that He has caused into being
    • Everything that God has brought into being he protects and governs by his  providence, which reaches from one end of the earth to the other and orders all things  well [11]. All things are open and laid bare to his eyes [12], even those which will be  brought about by the free activity of creatures
    • n  the good things of God that utterly surpasses the understanding of the human mind;
    • Since human beings are totally dependent on God as their creator and lord, and  created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield to God  the revealer full submission of intellect and will by faith.
    • Catholic Church professes  to be a supernatural virtue, by means of which, with the grace of God inspiring and  assisting us, we believe to be true what He has revealed
    • ecause of the authority of God  himself, who makes the revelation and can neither deceive nor be deceived
    • . The  appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either  the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the  Church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason.
    • God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth
    • herefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith  is totally false [34]
    • If anyone denies the one true God, creator and lord of things visible and invisible:  let him be anathema.
    • If anyone is so bold as to assert that there exists nothing besides matter: let him  be anathema.
    • If anyone says that the substance or essence of God and that of all things are one  and the same: let him be anathema.
  • tags: St._Thomas_Aquinas Aquinas Catholic_Theology Theology Catholic

  • tags: Ontology philosophy research

  • tags: research academia

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Jun 8, 2014

Jun 1, 2014

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May 25, 2014

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May 18, 2014

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May 11, 2014

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