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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunspots 370

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Humor:  One of National Public Radio's best shows, Car Talk, will cease producing new broadcasts in a few weeks. Too bad!

Sports: Congratulations to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are in the finals of the National Basketball Association championships, for the first time as the Thunder (the franchise used to be located in Seattle). This is the only major professional sports team in Oklahoma. There are several states with no such franchise, including South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, New Mexico, Montana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada, Idaho, and others.

The Arts: (sort of) National Public Radio reports on grading student writing by computer.

(and manufacturing, and computing) A blog post about the artistic possibilities of 3-D printing.

Politics:  NPR also has explained the European financial crisis, with help from George Soros.

Image source (public domain)


Fred said...

I am not surprised that Educational Testing Service has their own program. It would make those AP tests so much less expensive to grade than having the traditional readings. Looked for the total number of AP tests given but did not find that data. (From NPR link on grading student writing by computer)

Martin LaBar said...

No, I'm not surprised, either. But, as indicated, computer testing of essays is far from reliable.

Thanks, Fred.

atlibertytosay said...

I'd say computer testing is unfair.

When I was in AP English, the tests were graded by County teachers that taught the AP English classes. They came to an agreement about what they taught and even encouraged.

Not all teachers taught strict sentence structure. My AP English teacher even said, Hemingway followed no rules - base your writing on how you think you can get your message across clearly and that would make people say "Wow, that was a good story.!"

I also think AP English tests may err on spell checks more easily.

Martin LaBar said...

Unfair? Perhaps. It depends on what you mean by fair.

But I don't think it's ready for prime time yet, if ever.

If we really want to teach good writing, whether for a budding Hemingway or a blogger, intelligent human instruction is needed. So far, anyway.