5 things to avoid saying to students suffering from anxiety

[Editor’s note: Don’t miss our companion piece, “5 things to say to students suffering from anxiety.”]

Currently, schools are being inundated with cases of anxiety in young adults. Although the dramatic increase in attention being paid to the illness has been beneficial to those suffering, the difficulty lies in the fact that everyone thinks they understand anxiety and how to overcome it.

As a public high school administrator, I lead interventions for students in poor academic standing. Although many students have logistical circumstances keeping them from being successful—homelessness, employment, learning disabilities, etc.—many of them are school avoidant because of anxiety that is, quite frankly, debilitating.…Read More

The 10 most wired colleges in the country

These days, it’s hard to imagine life on a college campus without an Internet connection. It’s no longer just a matter of having a connection for students’ laptops, they need something to hook up their tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and digital TV devices too, the Huffington Post reports. But some colleges do it better than others. And we know which ones those are thanks to a ranking of the most wired campuses from our pals at Unigo

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Clash of the Titans! Inside Microsoft’s battle to foil the NSA

After the NSA scandal broke this summer, revealing that the U.S. spy agency was eavesdropping wholesale on the most popular services on the web, Microsoft turned to five or six of its top engineers for help, Wired.com reports. One of them was Mark Russinovich. Russinovich is a Microsoft Technical Fellow — a title reserved for the company’s most respected thinkers — and he now works as one of the lead architects of its new-age cloud service, Windows Azure. Before joining Microsoft in 2006, he made his name rooting out unseen flaws in popular computer software, including more than one security hole, and it’s no accident that when the NSA revelations trickled out this summer, Windows Azure was one of the Microsoft online services that was already encrypting data to protect against the sort of snooping the NSA was practicing on a massive scale. It was only natural that Russinovich ended up on the small team of engineers who would decide how Microsoft should respond to the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden…

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How a radical new teaching method could unleash a generation of geniuses

José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the US border in Mexico, Wired.com reports. The school serves residents of Matamoros, a dusty, sunbaked city of 489,000 that is a flash point in the war on drugs. There are regular shoot-outs, and it’s not uncommon for locals to find bodies scattered in the street in the morning. To get to the school, students walk along a white dirt road that parallels a fetid canal. On a recent morning there was a 1940s-era tractor, a decaying boat in a ditch, and a herd of goats nibbling gray strands of grass. A cinder-block barrier separates the school from a wasteland—the far end of which is a mound of trash that grew so big, it was finally closed down. On most days, a rotten smell drifts through the cement-walled classrooms. Some people here call the school un lugar de castigo—“a place of punishment.”

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The godfather of Apple design spots 4 looming tech trends

Before there was Jony Ive, there was Hartmut Esslinger, Wired.com reports. The founder of the influential design consultancy Frog started working with Apple in 1982, establishing the design language that drove the look of the company’s hardware for years to come–a shift that reverberated throughout the PC industry. It was Esslinger who first pushed Apple out of a drab beige world toward cleaner, whiter hardware, and his partnership with Steve Jobs in this period helped define Apple’s core values as a user-focused, design-centric company that endure to this day. Esslinger documents this partnership in his new book Keep it Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple. “It became very clear to me that we were competing for an opportunity to help Steve Jobs create much more than a visual design language,” Esslinger writes…

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Education 3.0: Embracing technology to ‘jump the curve’

Wired.com reports: It may not be “The Winds of War.” It may not even be as exciting as “Sharknado,” but I would argue that the role of ed tech in Education 3.0 is far more important than anything Hollywood has produced (and definitely more valuable than sharks dropping from the skies?) Education 3.0 is what we can achieve when we begin to transform education. It’s the underpinning for things that we know, frameworks that we are creating, and models that we have studied for years. Education 3.0 is what I believe we can aspire to so as to educate our students, at all levels, in ways that actually promote 21st-century skills and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow (aka, the jobs that don’t exist today but which will be required in the future). It’s the coming together of creativity, outcomes, critical thinking, big data, personalization, and much more…

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Return of the borg: How Twitter rebuilt Google’s secret weapon

John Wilkes says that joining Google was like swallowing the red pill in The Matrix, Wired.com reports. Four years ago, Wilkes knew Google only from the outside. He was among the millions whose daily lives so deeply depend on things like Google Search and Gmail and Google Maps. But then he joined the engineering team at the very heart of Google’s online empire, the team of big thinkers who design the fundamental hardware and software systems that drive each and every one of the company’s web services. These systems span a worldwide network of data centers, responding to billions of online requests with each passing second, and when Wilkes first saw them in action, he felt like Neo as he downs the red pill, leaves the virtual reality of the Matrix, and suddenly lays eyes on the vast network of machinery that actually runs the thing…

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Will Bitcoin change how kids learn to count?

While some argue that a truly ubiquitous, digital currency is many years from becoming a reality, behaviorally, we’re already well down money’s evolutionary path: credit cards, direct deposits, e-transfers, micro-donations, mobile payments, Wired.com reports. And now there’s decentralized “cryptocurrency.” Bitcoin has been generating buzz — some would say hype — for a while; in the last few months alone there’s been talk about Bitcoin ATMs, bubbles, ecosystems, miners, and more…

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YouTube is developing a secret weapon against the internet’s worst commenters

Long considered home to the worst commenters on the internet — racist, cruel, idiotic, nonsensical, and barely literate — YouTube is in the process of upgrading its comment system in order to better tame its most loathsome members, Wired reports. Word of the overhaul slipped out during the Q&A portion of a YouTube developer session at Google I/O, the annual developers conference from the video-upload hub’s owner, Google. A member of the audience, which was stocked heavily with online video publishers, asked for advice on handling negative comments within his YouTube channel. Dror Shimshowitz, a YouTube “head of product,” replied that “comments are kind of the Wild West of video” and can be turned off. But Google doesn’t like it when people do that, he said, because it cuts off the community. So the company is working on fixing the system…

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Report: Teens using ‘digital drugs’ to get high

According to Oklahoma News 9, kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that allegedly induce a state of ecstasy, Wired reports. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real-world narcotics—at least, that’s what some officials believe about a phenomenon called “i-dosing,” which involves finding an online dealer who can hook you up with “digital drugs” that get you high through your headphones. And officials are taking it seriously. “Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about, and it can lead them to other places,” Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman Mark Woodward told News 9. I-dosing involves donning headphones and listening to “music”—largely a droning noise—which the sites peddling the sounds promise will get you high. Teens are listening to such tracks as “Gates of Hades,” which is available on YouTube for free. Those who want to get addicted to the “drugs” can purchase tracks that purportedly will bring about the same effects of marijuana, cocaine, opium, and peyote. While street drugs rarely come with instruction manuals, potential digital drug users are advised to buy a 40-page guide so that they learn how to properly get high on MP3s. Oklahoma’s Mustang Public School district isn’t taking the threat lightly, and sent out a letter to parents warning them of the new craze. The educators have gone so far as to ban iPods at school, in hopes of preventing honor students from becoming cyber-drug fiends, News 9 reports…

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