Should Language Study be a Requirement?

About 300 to 400 million Chinese students are learning English. About two thirds of European adults know at least two languages. The Swiss probably know three or four. When I visited Switzerland in  1990, the TV stations alternated broadcasting for fifteen minutes in German, French, Italian and English. All the street signs are in those four languages (not part of the article). Only one in five Americans know another language. If I set Texas education policy every school student would be required to take Spanish from grades one through six, but this is never going to happen in our state. The economic advantages of a bilingual Texas would be huge. I use the Anki flashcard app and the free Cerego Spanish and French apps to study Spanish and French. These apps turn my language learning into a fun game. Learning another language engages parts of the brain that are not otherwise engaged. It is an especially good thing to do as you age.

2017 NMC Horizon Report

The NMC (New Media Consortium) has just released its Horizon Report for 2017. The key long-term (Five years out or more)are:

1. Advancing cultures of innovation
2. Deeper learning approaches
The mid-term (3-5 years out) trends are:
1. Growing focus on measuring learning
2. Redesigning learning spaces
The short-term (next 1 to 2 years) are:
1. Blended learning designs
2. Collaborative learning
You may download the report at:

Why Music Should be Part of Early Childhood Education

This article is from EdCircuit, October 28, 2016. Many studies have been published on how music helps our brains develop and stay active in our later years. According to the author, 90% of our brain development occurs during the first five years of our lives. Music forces us to use more parts of our brains and increases intellectual capacity. Speaking as someone who plays the piano – badly- I can say music is also very relaxing and great stress remover.