Technology Double Shot!

A Double Shot of Technology Information Every Tuesday

This Week's Barista: Sara Ballon

September 29, 2015

On this day in 1913, Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the engine that bears his name, disappeared from the steamship Dresden while traveling from Belgium to England. He was on his way to England to attend the groundbreaking of a new diesel-engine plant–and to meet with the British navy about installing his engine on their submarines.


Conspiracy theories began to fly almost immediately: “Inventor Thrown Into the Sea to Stop Sale of Patents to British Government,” read one headline; another worried that Diesel was “Murdered by Agents from Big Oil Trusts.” Over 100 years later, more conspiracy theories are flying around...Last week, Volkswagen admitted using the same fake emissions test in Europe as it used in the US.

First Shot: Have you met TED?

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TED-Ed is a free educational website for teachers and learners. They are a global and interdisciplinary initiative with a commitment to creating lessons worth sharing. Their approach to education is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of lessons, you will find carefully curated educational videos. There are two types of TED-Ed lessons:


Original Lessons: These represent collaborations between expert educators, screenwriters and animators. Each collaboration aims to capture and amplify a great lesson idea suggested by the TED community.


Educator-created Lessons: These may involve adding questions, discussion topics and other supplementary materials to any educational video on YouTube.


Some cool examples:

The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

The physics of playing guitar

¿Cómo trabaja ... el trabajo?

What are trees made of?

Facebook is building free educational software

From USA Today: At the beginning of the month, Facebook became the latest technology company to enter the national debate over how to best educate children with the announcement of a partnership with a network of charter schools to build educational software that will be offered for free to public schools.


Summit Public Schools, a non-profit organization that runs charter schools in the state of California and Washington, offers students a "personalized learning plan," essentially software that allows students to learn at their own pace. Feedback from the Summit pilot program will be used to improve the software so it can eventually be offered for free "to any school in the U.S. that wants it."


Read more on Facebook's official site.

See you next Tuesday!