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What the best education systems are doing right

What the best education systems are doing right
In South Korea and Finland, it’s not about finding the “right” school. Fifty years ago, both South Korea and Finland had terrible education systems. Finland was at risk of becoming the economic stepchild of Europe. South Korea was ravaged by civil war. Yet over the past half century, both South Korea and Finland have turned their schools around — and now both countries are hailed internationally for their extremely high educational outcomes. What can other countries learn from these two successful, but diametrically opposed, educational models? The Korean model: Grit and hard, hard, hard work. For millennia, in some parts of Asia, the only way to climb the socioeconomic ladder and find secure work was to take an examination — in which the proctor was a proxy for the emperor, says Marc Tucker, president and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy. The Koreans have achieved a remarkable feat: the country is 100 percent literate. “A key to that is education. Indeed. Related:  Odds and sods

Look-ahead 2015: Fly into the future and other predictions 2 January 2015Last updated at 10:12 ET By Fiona Graham Technology of business reporter, BBC News This is a not uncommon reaction to reading the Technology of business predictions for the coming year The tree might still be up, but I wouldn't advocate finishing off the last of the turkey unless you're keen to have a good reason to call in sick on Monday. Never fear! Things to be cheerful about include the annual Technology of business lookahead. Grab the last of the Turkish delight and tuck in. In the first part, our experts are predicting cyber attacks, ubiquitous drones, spooky smartphones and the continuing rise of wearable technology. Although possibly not all in one day. One of the trends to watch out for in 2015 is that your smartphone will get smarter - possibly so smart that it's almost spooky, in fact. Already, phones are getting better at predicting what information you might need, or what actions you might want it to perform. What do I mean by that? Google Glass. Deloitte's Paul Lee

Scientists Build A Supercomputer From PlayStations To Study Black Holes Government funding for research is becoming increasingly difficult to come by due to ongoing global economic instability, which is why many scientists are forced to look elsewhere to keep their research projects alive. Some are turning to crowdfunding, which is now allowing the UK to explore the moon, whereas others are practicing being thrifty. Dr. Khanna, a black hole physicist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, began his budget supercomputer endeavor back in 2007. Gravitational waves decrease in strength as they move away from the source, meaning that by the time they reach Earth they are extremely weak, which is why scientists have struggled to detect them. Supercomputers are useful tools because they can crunch massive numbers and solve calculations that are too big for a single processor. Khanna contacted Sony for help with his endeavour, who gladly donated four consoles. [Via NYT]

Stunning, psychedelic images where art and science collide In his TEDGlobal 2013 talk, Fabian Oefner shares breathtaking images at the nexus of art and science, which beautifully capture unique moments of physical and chemical drama. Formally trained in art and design, Oefner says that he has always been interested in science. Though he can’t pinpoint the exact moment when he became interested in pairing his two loves, he views both pursuits as inextricably linked by a crucial bond: “The most important quality of science or art is curiosity,” Oefner tells TED. “That’s what keeps me going and always finding something new.” On the TED stage, Oefner demonstrates the science at work behind three of his photographs. As he explains his process, the mystical quality of the images gives way to understanding. For an imagination-friendly, explanation-free viewing of Oefner’s work, watch the first 45 seconds of his talk. Morton Bast is TED’s Community Mentor and Editorial Assistant.

How to Study Abroad in Europe Without Breaking The Bank by Robert Montenegro Studying abroad is awesome. Anyone who has the opportunity to do so yet opts not to is really missing out. I personally believe immersing yourself in another culture makes you a better, more empathetic person. It's the whole "seeing the world through other people's eyes" thing. Across the pond in the UK, the British Council supports its exchange students in Europe through the Erasmus+ program. My program in Germany was designed so that independent travel around the continent was encouraged. Another thing that should almost go without saying is that your travel accommodations should always be low budget hostels. Take a look at Lacey's full article (linked below) and let us know your thoughts. Read more at The Guardian Photo credit: Andreas Zerndl / Shutterstock

Something surprising happens to your body when you freedive Featured image: Photo of freediver Hanli Prinsloo by Annelie Pompe. In 1949, a stocky Italian air force lieutenant named Raimondo Bucher decided to try a potentially deadly stunt off the coast of Capri, Italy. Bucher would sail out to the center of the lake, take a breath and hold it, and free-dive down one hundred feet to the bottom. Waiting there would be a man in a diving suit. Bucher would hand the diver a package, then kick back up to the surface. If he completed the dive, he’d win a fifty-thousand-lira bet; if he didn’t, he would drown. Scientists warned Bucher that, according to Boyle’s law, the dive would kill him. Boyle’s law, which science had taken as gospel for three centuries, appeared to fall apart underwater. Bucher’s dive resonated with a long line of experiments — most of them very cruel and even monstrous by modern standards — that seemed to indicate that water might have life-lengthening effect on humans and other animals.

Take college and university courses online completely free In recent years massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become a trend in online education. The term was coined in 2008 by David Cormier, manager of web communications and innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island. The first MOOC was created the previous year, at Utah State University. MOOCs are designed like college courses but are available to anyone anywhere in the world, at no cost. Coursera is perhaps the most well-known of the online education facilitators. EdX is another non-profit course site created by founding partners Harvard and MIT and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has their own open courseware, where most of the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT's subjects are available on the Web, free of charge. European institutions are also getting in on the act. For those looking to learn a language Duolingo offers completely free language education. Other sites, like Open Culture, are not affiliated with tertiary institutions.

Photographs taken inside of instruments There’s something other-worldly about these shots by Mierswa Kluska for the Berlin Philharmonic, which take a fascinating perspective from within the acoustic instrument. The internal landscape draws parallels to the architecture of buildings, and with a bit of imagination you can almost feel the unique tone and life of each acoustic instrument just by looking inside them. Inside instruments

mechanisms-steampunk-armored.html?fb_action_ids=10151937692971805&fb_action_types=og Vladimir Gvozdeff's illustration series Mechanisms depicts a wonderful bestiary of armored, mechanical creatures in steampunk style, surrounded by the detritus of contrafactual Victorian inventorship. Some of my favorites after the jump: владимир гвоздев & gvozdariki (via Pipe Dream Dragon) Meet the 20-Year-Old Who Built a YouTube Product Review Empire Robyn Twomey Marques Brownlee is a YouTube sensation. The tech-review prodigy has 1.8 million subscribers—more followers than Kanye West, Marvel, or Disney Animation. Under the username MKBHD, he tests everything from cameras and headphones to Google Glass and the latest Tesla. Brownlee started making review videos almost six years ago, though it's only in the past few that he developed his affable persona and slick filming style. Brownlee is currently balancing this one-man production with his senior year of college and—of course—playing professional Ultimate Frisbee for the New York Rumble.