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Saturday July 20th 2024

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Little Bit of Learning Resources; Little Bit of News

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By Linda Dobson

Greetings, Parent at the Helm! Finally back from a terrific 20th Anniversary Conference for HSC in Sacramento, California. This state homeschooling support group really has its act together, particularly with regard to putting on a conference that is both fun and useful at the same time. It was terrific to see old friends and, as always, to make new ones (waving to Meghan Anderson Coates who I originally “met” on Facebook and who, IRL, was super-kind enough to get up at 5:00 a.m. to get me to the airport on time!

GrandparentandchildAs if this wasn’t all cool enough, my granddaughter was among those waiting for me at the airport to pick me up!! We’ll be chillin’ together for a bit, so I won’t be as active on PATH as I usually am, but I know my readers will understand that’s what “Grandparents at the Helm” do. [g]

But there’s a bit of info I wanted to share with you, so here it comes!

50 Open Source Learning Apps

Discovery’s Educator Network – Pennsylvania” shared a nice collection of 50 open source tools that replace popular education apps. Topics covered include:

  • Astronomy
  • Art
  • Chemistry
  • Educational Games
  • Foreign Language
  • Geography
  • Library
  • Logic/Debate
  • Math
  • Music
  • Physics
  • E-Learning
  • Religion

Check them out to have some new tools available as you set about a re-entry into a new homeschooling year!

Facebook Laying Claim to “Book” as a Suffix

A teacher’s helper website with 20 members that hasn’t even started yet, has been sued by Facebook for calling itself “Teachbook,” according to an article at From the article:

Facebook is arguing that the suffix has made the site distinctive, and that sites like Teachbook would be unfairly riding Facebook’s coattails by using it. Teachbook managing director Greg Shrader contends—somewhat bewilderdly, according to the Tribune—that a site of its size and scope can’t possibly inflict harm on the Facebook brand.

The irony, of course, is that neither of these is actually a book. But the reality is that if Facebook never existed, Teachbook would be named something else.

And to think I almost named this site Parent at the Helm Book – whew!!

New Jersey’s Multi-Million Dollar Mistake

Another interesting article from Education Week called “Race to the Top: More on New Jersey’s Costly Goof” describes how the state’s grant application – over 1000 pages – asking for a cool $400 million or so was out of the race due to a typo on page 261.

That mistake cost the state five points in the competition. It appears to have been a crucial, since New Jersey scored 437.8, just behind Ohio, which earned a score of 440.8 and was the 10th and final state that qualified for funding.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie, whose office submitted the application, said his administration took responsibility for the mistake. But he also blasted the application reviewers—and the Obama administration directly—for not being willing to overlook what he called a “clerical error” and seek the correct information from the state.

“If you are a normal, thinking, breathing human being, you pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey, you sent this one wrong paper, can we get the information?’ ” Gov. Christie said at an news conference. “Does anybody in Washington, D.C., have a lick of common sense? Pick up the phone and ask us for the number.”

But New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, a Democrat, said the governor’s administration was to blame, and vowed to hold a hearing to examine why the mistake occurred. And the U.S. Department of Ed doesn’t appear to be having any of Christie’s argument, judging from a spokesman’s pithy response.

“Our application requirements were very clear and a state that wanted to compete had to give us the correct information by the application deadline,” ED official Justin Hamilton told Politico. “At some point, you have to say: Time’s up, pencils down.”

Can’t help but wonder how much it will cost NJ taxpayers “to hold a hearing to examine why the mistake occurred.” If they just hire 10 proofreaders for every grant application they send out, that should keep them from making a similar typo in the future.

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One Response to “Little Bit of Learning Resources; Little Bit of News”

  1. Meghan Anderson-Coat says:

    Aww, thanks for the thanks Linda . It was my pleasure to drive you to the airport, and get to chat a little more with you 🙂

    Glad you made it home safe and sound and with your lovely granddaughter waiting for you.

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