Friday Round-up


Happy March, all!

They’re, Like, Way Ahead of the Linguistic Currrrve

This New York Times piece discusses recent studies that linguists have done on the slang and linguistic features prevalent in girls and women in their teens and 20’s. Their findings discovered that the vocal trends these women have used (A great example: the Valley Girl voice famous in the 90’s and early 2000’s thanks to films like Clueless and Legally Blonde) are actually much more sophisticated than people realize, and that women may actually be using this speech as a “power tool for building relationships.” What like, totally interesting findings.

How Are Wikis Really Being Used in the K-12 Classroom?

Harvard PhD student and educational researcher Justin Reich just finished a study on the use of Wiki’s within our K-12 classrooms in the United States. If used efficiently, Wiki’s can be a useful tool to improve student collaboration and communication skills within the classroom. However, in this study Reich discovered that  just “1% of wikis were ‘Collaborative, Multimedia Performances of Understanding.’ Some 40%, on the other hand, were ‘failed wikis, trial wikis, or teacher resource-sharing sites without student audience or participation.” What does this mean for the future of wiki’s in the classroom? How can  students and educators make them a useful tool?

Kevin Wolfman: The White Case for Affirmative Action

Recently the Supreme Court accepted a case questioning whether or not the University of Texas at Austin has the right to take ethnicity and race into consideration when accepting students to the school. This exact issue was brought up only 9 short years ago in the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger, which deemed race-conscious admissions were constitutional. In this piece, Kevin Wolfman argues for the protection of that 2003 ruling and explains why Affirmative Action is positive for everyone, not just people of color.

Post your opinion, thoughts or awesome articles in the comments! Have a great weekend!