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Education

Grammatical Ignorance Considered Support for Gay Rights in Utah

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I love a good turn of phrase. Much of the time, one can be achieved via the mastery of a word/figure of speech — like these three, for example:

Homograph (n.) – Words that have the same spelling, but different pronunciations and meanings.

Homonym (n.) – Words that have the same spelling and same pronunciation, but different meanings.

Homophone (n.) – Words that have the same pronunciation, but different spelling and different meanings.

That last one is tricky because it reminds narrow-minded people of a word that no one uses correctly: HomophobeYou see, to have a ‘phobia,’ one must be legitimately afraid of something. People who are labeled with that term aren’t scared. They’re just idiots.

Kinda like this guy in Utah who fired a blogger for using that word. No, not that one, the other one: Homophone. 

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Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsLearn how to use stories to inspire, connect, and persuade your clients! In this workshop starting September 3, you'll learn how to uncover stories in everyday life, incorporate stories into your media work, use storytelling techniques with clients, all to improve your pitch and presentation skills. Register now!

Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Raises $6 Million Thanks to ‘Viewers Like You’ (and Seth MacFarlane)

When we first told you about LeVar Burton‘s Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow in a web-based format aimed at giving classrooms and kids everywhere access to an unlimited library, the fundraising goal was to reach $1 million by the second of July. Only a few days into the campaign, on May 29th, the campaign had already exceeded that goal. Overwhelmed and inspired by the support, Burton then decided to shoot for a “stretch goal” of $5 million.

As of this writing, with five hours left in the campaign, over $5,150,000 has been raised. Factor in comedian Seth MacFarlane‘s recent pledge to donate another million all by his lonesome, and Burton is looking at well over $6 million.

So what does exceeding the goal mean for Reading Rainbow?

A colorful GIF (below) explains exactly what the extra money will allow Reading Rainbow to do, including the creation of mobile apps and free subscriptions for thousands of in-need classrooms. And since there’s still time to donate, the Kickstarter page currently has this promise posted: “We have reached our $5M stretch goal and can help 7,500+ classrooms. Now, EVERY $100K helps another 500+ classrooms!”

Is it too early in the year to call this the greatest Kickstarter campaign of 2014? Possibly. But that’s not going to stop this PRNewser writer/bookworm/library enthusiast/childhood-Burton-admirer from declaring it so.

 

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PR Education: 5 Traits of the Modern Communicator

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Today we bring you a guest post by Deirdre Breakenridge: author, entrepreneur, PR veteran and CEO of Pure Performance Communications. Follow her on Twitter.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

PR education is changing dramatically to better align with the communication challenges businesses are currently facing.  I’ve been teaching on the college/university level for 10 years. Years ago, my curriculum focused on media relations and relationship building with journalists. Today, the activities in my classroom seek to create learning experiences that aid in molding the modern communicator.

Introducing new skills and competencies prepares professionals for the communication complexities.

From my experience, there are five key traits and skills students need to develop during their PR education in order to be successful in today’s business environment:

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Adventures in Marketing: Dothraki Language Course Is a Real Thing

Living Language Dothraki_ A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones(Paperback) Book | HBO ShopHave you ever wanted to ask out the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen, but were held back only by the language barrier? Never fear: Language Dothraki: A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones is here.

A mouthful of a name? Sure. But so are most of the names in the book series and show. The new guide to Dothraki, compiled by acclaimed language and culture consultant David J. Peterson, features over 500 words and phrases, some of which were made up exclusively for the course, and will cover everything from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation and cultural notes.

Three versions of the system (the basic package, the expanded online course, and one with a companion mobile app) will be available for your educational needs on October 7th, but all three are currently available for pre-order — because the marketers are no dummies, and likely wanted to ensure the promo was announced while the current season of the show was going strong. Read more

LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ Kickstarter Already Exceeding its Goal

LeVar Burton wants the web to save reading and _Reading Rainbow_ | The Verge

Just like it always did, “Reading Rainbow” is counting on “viewers like you” to bring access to books and excitement about reading to children across America. And “you” are seriously stepping up to the fundraising plate.

By now, you’ve likely heard that the classic show’s longtime host, LeVar Burton (who may have been our childhood hero), has taken to crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to fund the resurrection of “Reading Rainbow” in a new, web-based format that would bring an unlimited library to kids everywhere and schools most in need.

Though Burton launched a successful Reading Rainbow tablet App two years ago, he points out that not every child has access to tablets, either at home or at school, but 97% of American children have web access. As the Kickstarter page explains: Read more

Haverford Commencement Speaker Uses The Podium to Criticize Protesters on Two Campuses

haverford graduation tweetRobert Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley was supposed to be the commencement speaker at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Instead, William Bowen, former president of Princeton University did the honors. Students protested Birgeneau’s selection, so he became the latest in a string of commencement speakers who backed out of the commitment. The students were fired up over the former president’s handling of students who protested on the Berkeley campus as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

According to the New York Post, 40 students and three professors voiced opposition to Birgeneau’s selection. “The group wanted Birgeneau to apologize, support payments for victims and write a letter to Haverford students explaining his position on the events and ‘what you learned from them,’” the paper writes.

“I am disappointed that those who wanted to criticize Birgeneau’s handling of events at Berkeley chose to send him such an intemperate list of ‘demands,’” Bowen said. And that’s not all.

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Florida School Stops Providing Mountain Dew Shots Before Standardized Tests

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Bottoms up, kid! Your grades count on it.

Next up in “Jacked-up Standardized Testing” News, we go to Melbourne, Fla. HELLO!

According to a story broken by Brevard County’s News 13 and later covered by NPR, some parents questioned officials at Dr. W.J. Creel Elementary School after they found out that teachers made Mountain Dew “available to the students” before they took part in the Florida Comprehensive Assessments Test (FCAT).

Oh, and this practice to get elementary school children amped up for the big test has been happening for the past 10 years. 

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Houston School Creates ‘Wall of Shame’ for State-Mandated Test … Motivation?

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We believe children are the future. Unless they are taking tests, then they’re idiots!

If you know a teacher, you have heard how deplorable some public schools are in terms of state-mandated, standardized tests. Some say that they are prejudicial. Others believe they are foolish. Overall, they put more of an edict of suckage on the teacher than the student. If the student fails the exam, the teacher gets punished.

He or she should have done better. The student may have poor study habits, apathy about whatever is in the classroom, or maybe an undiagnosed learning disability. None of that matters when it comes time to yank the teacher into the principal’s office.

And that’s why a group of teachers in Houston decided that public ridicule and shaming would be a great way to motivate students into doing better. Wait, what?

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Miss America Defends Student Suspended for Asking Her to Prom

Miss NYLast Thursday, the current Miss America, Nina Davuluri, was set to visit Pennsylvania’s Central York High School. Her purpose, as the first-ever Miss America of Indian descent, was to spread a message of diversity.

But student Patrick Farves had a different purpose in mind, and planned on utilizing the beauty queen’s presence at his school’s assembly to secure himself the holy grail of all prom dates — Miss America herself.

When administrators heard rumors of Farves’ plan, they warned him not to follow through with what would undoubtedly be a major disruption, but by that time, as Farves’ told Reuters, “my mind was already set. I was already in the zone.”

During the assembly, Farves, plastic flower in hand, approached Ms. Davuluri and asked her to be his date to prom, after which the crowd of students dissolved into laughter and cheers. The school’s administration, however, was less than amused and assigned Farves a three-day suspension. Read more

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