Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Free Math Workshop in Pennington, New Jersey

ALOHA Mind Math is conducting a free Abacus based Math workshop for children 5 to 12 years old on Sunday, January 10, 2010, at 2:00 pm. ALOHA is an after school Math program to increase Focus, Concentration, Visualization and Attention Span. visit


108 Straube Center Boulevard, Suite I-20, Pennington, NJ 08534

Email: pennington@aloha-usa.com or Call 1-732-821-0240

Saturday, December 26, 2009

PENNINGTON: Straube gives $25K to center for teens

Grant to be used to establish the Straube Learning Center within the proposed Hopewell Valley teen center
Thursday, December 24, 2009 1:36 PM EST
By John Tredrea, Staff Writer / Packet Publications, Princeton, NJ

Support to the tune of $25,000 has been given to a plan to start a teen center in the Valley.

The Straube Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Hopewell Township Youth Advisory Board. Accepting the grant on behalf of that board will be the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation.

Established several years ago, the township Youth Advisory Board confers with township government on issues pertaining to young people. Made up of Central High School students and mentored by township resident Kim Bruno, the Youth Advisory Board has been working for several years on planning a teen center with the intent of locating it near Hopewell Valley Central High School.

The grant is to be used to establish the Straube Learning Center within the proposed Hopewell Valley teen center.

”The learning center is an important part of our idea for a teen center,” explained Youth Advisory Co-Chairwoman Molly Haggerty. “The proposed teen center will encompass a variety of activities that will include educational, recreational as well as health and wellness classes.”
The Straube Foundation is based in the Straube Center — a Pennington complex including offices, stores and an independent school (the Cambridge School) — and other facilities.

Ms. Bruno said the Youth Advisory Board’s goal is “to create a teen center that will focus on fostering the healthy development of Hopewell Valley’s teens in the areas of social and emotional functioning, academic enrichment and recreational activities. An essential component of the Teen Center will be a learning center that will be used to support homework assistance, tutoring and educational classes.”

Ms. Bruno said the Youth Advisory Board is seeking possible sites for the center.

The learning center the Straube grant will fund would equip the teen center with “computers, tables and desks to create a positive learning environment,” Ms. Bruno said. The grant also will be used to fund educational programs that make use of the computers, she said.

The Straube Foundation is a federal government-approved nonprofit charitable organization established by Win Straube in 1995 for the purpose of finding and publicizing ways of obtaining quality education at little or no cost.

The teen center will be a place where Hopewell Valley youth can meet to spend time with their peers and participate in recreational and/or educational activities. It also will provide an opportunity for teens to explore new interests or to get help and advice from their peers.

”One of our goals was to have a place where teens could do homework,” said Sara Ricker, co-chairperson of the Youth Advisory Board. “We envision high school National Honor Society students tutoring middle-schoolers with homework and other academic needs.”

The Hopewell Valley Education Foundation has agreed to accept the grant on behalf of the teen center. The aim of the Education Foundation, established about 20 years ago, is to enhance the educational experience in Hopewell Valley schools through the identification and development of community partnerships and resources. Supporting ongoing educational needs for students in an after-school environment provides an educational experience that will strengthen students’ academic success, Foundation members believe.

”The Hopewell Valley Education Foundations is very excited to be the funding conduit for this grant,” said foundation President Randee Tengi. “We look for programs that extend typical learning environments and believe that the Straube Learning Center will do just that. Working with the Straube Foundation and Youth Advisory Board is a perfect example of the kind of community-based relationships we seek to develop in support of enrichment programs and activities.”

The Youth Advisory Board has surveyed its peers on the idea, visited other teen centers and made several presentations to local elected officials resulting in the formation of a task force to develop their concept. The Task Force is investigating a location for the teen center that would be within walking distance from Central High School and Timberlane Middle School.

”We want to call it the YAC, which stands for Youth Activity Center, and have it provide many things to different teens,” explained C.J. Sevilla. “It could include recreational activities like soccer, basketball and football, classes on art, music, self defense or nutrition and general health and wellness as well as educational classes.”

The Youth Advisory Board has reached out to other community members for their help with this project. The partners include the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, the Hopewell Valley YMCA, local municipalities and the Hopewell Valley Regional School District.

Community foundations like the Education Foundation and the Recreation Foundation also have joined in support of the teen center.

The Recreation Foundation of Hopewell Valley recently expressed their support with a grant of $15,000 for the teen center.

”The Youth Activity Center is an excellent example of the community coming together to solve an issue,” said Kim Bruno, adult advisor to the Hopewell Township Youth Advisory Board. “We are proud to have the Straube Foundation join us in our efforts to provide a center that is designed by teens, for teens, and appreciate their generosity with this grant.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Learning for Free Online: The OpenCourseWare Movement

Submitted by G.A. Admin

Learning Online
The internet is giving birth to a revolution in learning that is changing the way we educate ourselves in and beyond the classroom. E-learning initiatives such as OpenCourseWare (OCW) projects are aimed at making university-level course materials available online at no charge whatsoever. The driving philosophy behind this project is parallel to that of open-source software; by making education accessible and open to everyone, we can ultimately increase innovation and share the global benefits. The OCW movement was spearheaded by MIT’s OpenCourseWare program in October of 2002, which continues to offer OCW course materials under the Creative Commons license.

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is one of the major contributors to the OCW movement which partners with educational institutions to extend the reach and impact of opencourseware, ensures the long-term sustainability of opencourseware projects, and fosters the development of additional opencourseware projects.

For organizations looking to share knowledge online, Utah State University has released a free open-source content management system that allows you to develop and manage an open access collection of course materials.

Since 2002, a number of universities across the world have created OCW projects, here are a few:

North America
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Carnegie Mellon
John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
Utah State University OpenCourseWare
Tufts University OpenCourseWare
Capilano University OpenCourseWare (Canada)

China Open Resources for Education (NGO)
Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium
United Nations University (Japan)
Tokyo Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare
National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (India)
Korea University OpenCourseWare
National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan)
FETP OpenCourseWare (Vietnam)

ParisTech Libres Savoirs (France)
Grenoble Ecole de Management (France)
OpenCourseWare Universia (Spain)
Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)

Latin America
Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico)
Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Learning by Doing

The oldest and easiest way of learning is not via instruction in a classroom setting, but by observation and copying. That’s how babies learn such complicated things as walking on two legs, and languages. The human mind is programmed this way. It works extremely well, given a chance.

The original intent of classroom teaching was economies of scale and increased efficiency in spreading knowledge among larger numbers of people. Teachers in lecture halls are a rather modern introduction of production line techniques in the learning environment, of exerting power over the learning subjects, through regimentation of practice and thought.

Before modern classroom teaching was introduced, there was the family’s or the tribe’s “telling story” time, which meant parents, siblings, and friends sharing their experiences. By design, humans’ receptors for learning are automatically set on full absorption when they are listening to, maybe watching, shared experiences, or whatever the story is being talked about tonight. If we need to be instructed, an additional effort on our part is needed, i.e. that we WANT to learn about the subject and pay full attention. It’s a lot more exhausting, too.

It seems that we’ve come a long way since then, in fact full circle.
Paradoxically, that one-to-many teaching method in a controlled setting via regulated procedures has become a purpose in itself, a self-perpetuating education machine which is run at tremendous cost, forever rising. While technology has advanced to the point where the dissemination of information costs are exorbitantly low, and still dropping.

Of course, to be utilized, we need to give up cumbersome classroom teaching and replace it with individual teaching and learning relationships which can, essentially, go from any place to any location in the world, including one’s home, tent or under a tree on the beach. Yes, learning can be that easy and inexpensive for almost all forms of learning, up to and including Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Far removed from studying Einstein’s theories, but as a practical example, I suggest that, if you are so inclined, you have a look at a less than 100 seconds movie clip of my popular “Tai Chi Win” course, which in its entirety consists of 150 movements and takes up to 53 minutes, depending on the exercising speed. As a side benefit, if you were to practice Tai Chi every day, your body and mind will be put in close-to perfect balance, steeled against the stress onslaughts of the day.

Again, merely as an example of how easy it is to learn from individual demonstration and individual participation, you can download free of charge how I am doing my Tai Chi Chuan form, slowly. All you need to do is follow along. Not a single word is spoken. No directions are given. Nobody talks at you. There is no one trying to sell anything. The presentation is for you alone, from me alone. You can just watch, enjoy, follow along if and when you wish, come back to it and play it again. Learning and practicing was never easier. Coming to you from Hawaii with Aloha! By Win Straube

P.S.: The purpose of this story is not to create interest in learning tai chi, but to realize that in this time and age any form of teaching can and truly needs to come back to the method which works best: Learning by observation and copying. Also that nowadays this is possible at vastly reduced cost compared to what presently are thought of as conventional teaching methods. Yes, if you can, do pick up a copy of QGE=A Quality Generic Education is the Answer, University Press of America, 2007, for keys to the solution.