Websites That Will Enlighten and Entertain You - Issue 6

Issue 6

World Wide Web
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The list of Web sites for December 2015 is a short one - but it's a good one. It provides you with some interesting information and some practical tools for teaching, which can be useful if you are homeschooling - and even if you're not.

How Game Theory Helped Improve New York City’s High School Application Process

I'm far from an expert on Game Theory, but I find the theory fascinating. Those who are familiar with Game Theory are better able to achieve their maximal outcome when they are interacting with others.

It's a rather complex theory with many bits and pieces and it can be found everywhere, even in novels and television shows. (If you're a fan of "Game of Thrones," you can see how Game Theory fits in the story.)

The best outcome for everyone is one in which each person gets the best he or she can get. For New York City students, that means each will get the one of his top five choices of a high school to attend. The match rate had been quite poor with 31,000 students not getting any match at all. But then three experts in Game Theory and market design came up with a solution based on Game Theory, and the first year it was used, only 3,000 students went unmatched. Students are also now more likely to be paired with their highest-ranked school that also wants them - an optimal outcome for both the students and the schools.

Ever felt a ghostly presence? Now we know why

Scientists have discovered that the FoP (feeling of presence) is the result of something of a disintegration of internal bodily signals.

It explains why the feeling occurs most often when the brain is susceptible to altered states of consciousness, such as the case with mountaineers who may experience FoP in high altitudes when they are fatigued, oxygen deprived, and surrounded by a uniform environment (no other humans, no animals, all whites and grays.

Essentially, people are experiencing a mismatch between sensory and motor signals, and one need not go mountain climbing to experience it.

Neuroscientists Break into the Brain to Expose Its Workings

This is the stuff we expect of science fiction, only it's real. It is now possible to insert an implant into a person's brain, which once connected to a computer, will allow the person to control a robot, moving its arms and hands. This can eventually lead to paralyzed people regaining control of their own limbs. But it is also helping scientists understand how the brain works, particularly how it learns to perform motor tasks.

New Bloom's Taxonomy Sheet with Over 80 Web Tools to Try Out

Are you familiar with Bloom's Taxonomy? If so, you know it can be a useful way to create lesson plans. If you are homeschooling or planning to homeschool, you definitely want to become familiar with this taxonomy, keeping in mind that the amount of time a gifted child should spend on different cognitive skills is the reverse of the amount of time other kids spend.

Gifted kids will spend the least amount of time on lower level skills, like memorizing, and more time on the higher level skills that require more critical thinking. This site describes and provides a link to a spreadsheet that gives you more than 80 tools that you can find on the Web and that you can use for the different stages of the taxonomy.

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