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Educators and parents have enough to worry about with kids going back to school. That is exactly why VocabSushi, along with 5 other education technology companies, have teamed up to give away $150,000 in free products. This will help bring quality resources to the classroom, without costing educators a dime. 

The contest is simple: just leave a reply(including information about your school) on the official post at http://www.thebacktoschoolgiveaway.com/  . Just by leaving a reply, you will be entered into the final drawing five times! If you include your Twitter handle, you will receive another entry on the house!

 

The six edtech companies being the innovators that they are, have also come up with an intriguing way for you to increase your chances of winning by using social media. You may increase your number of entries by doing things like tweeting about the contest, using the official contest hashtag #BTSG, as well as posting on Facebook, a blog, or even a school email!

Prizes include products such as VocabSushi Pro for up to 5 schools, Virtual Nerd school license for the entire school year, a $995 gift certificate redeemable for SchoolTube premium services, and up to $15,000 worth of online premium content from TestSoup!

Results will be verified and tallied on September 30, 2011, with winners being announced no later than October 5, 2011.

 

 

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Groupon University
Groupon is now offering a deal on a college education. Groupon is now offering a deal on a college education. Groupon is now offering…wait what? Groupon has teamed up with National Louis University in Chicago to offer graduate students a 57% discounted rate on an intro to teaching course. Ohhh ok…wait what?
At first glance this seems like a great idea, and perhaps it is. I am simply a bit apprehensive about this grand leap from teeth-whitening deals to deals on education. Maybe I am looking too far into this, but when I think about Groupon, I typically think about coupons for things that you never really need. Things like cupcake discounts, restaurant deals, and paddleboarding adventures are the norm from what I have seen. This goes in direct contrast to something as important as education, especially at the graduate level. Or perhaps I am just permanently scared from seeing Groupon’s effect on fitness classes. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I am talking about. That “dealfinder” who decided today he would become a professional yogi. He spends the entire class talking and messing with his phone. He feels just fine about it, because he got a good deal. I can only wonder what the translation would be to a traditional classroom. Or I am wrong and it could be a great thing. Maybe it would give those without the funds to go to school a great opportunity?
One thing is for sure, it will either be the best thing Groupon has ever done, or the worst…

Groupon University

Groupon is now offering a deal on a college education. Groupon is now offering a deal on a college education. Groupon is now offering…wait what? Groupon has teamed up with National Louis University in Chicago to offer graduate students a 57% discounted rate on an intro to teaching course. Ohhh ok…wait what?

At first glance this seems like a great idea, and perhaps it is. I am simply a bit apprehensive about this grand leap from teeth-whitening deals to deals on education. Maybe I am looking too far into this, but when I think about Groupon, I typically think about coupons for things that you never really need. Things like cupcake discounts, restaurant deals, and paddleboarding adventures are the norm from what I have seen. This goes in direct contrast to something as important as education, especially at the graduate level. Or perhaps I am just permanently scared from seeing Groupon’s effect on fitness classes. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I am talking about. That “dealfinder” who decided today he would become a professional yogi. He spends the entire class talking and messing with his phone. He feels just fine about it, because he got a good deal. I can only wonder what the translation would be to a traditional classroom. Or I am wrong and it could be a great thing. Maybe it would give those without the funds to go to school a great opportunity?

One thing is for sure, it will either be the best thing Groupon has ever done, or the worst…

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Enjoy VocabSushi For Just $15That’s right, we’re offering $10 off our regular price of $25.  Just sign up and use the promo code ILOVEVOCAB at checkout.  Find out why VocabSushi is the best way to learn vocab  and improve your reading skills for standardized tests like the SAT,  ACT, and much more.  Start school off with a competitive advantage and  leave the flashcards at home!Grab This Deal NowWe’re going  to be raising our prices for VocabSushi and VocabSushi Pro within the  next few weeks and we wanted to let you know well in advance.  So if  you’re looking to expand your vocabulary, or use VocabSushi in the  classroom, look no further.  But act now and lock in this bargain before  it’s too late.Use Promo Code: ILOVEVOCAB From The Students “Before I found this site, I had been using flashcards. VocabSushi took this study system to a whole new level.” — Maddie, 790 SAT Verbal “My  vocab level reflects my personal vocabulary, so words I already know  don’t slow me down. Seeing the word used in real-life context along with  its definition demonstrates the words are worth learning. It’s also  just fun & easy to use.” — George, AP English, favorite word is legerdemain “VocabSushi  replaced some very annoying vocab books in my school. I also enjoy  learning at my own pace. There isn’t a set standard that each person  must reach in an amount of time.” — Gabe, 29 ACT English, favorite word is schadenfruedeThanks!


Enjoy VocabSushi For Just $15
That’s right, we’re offering $10 off our regular price of $25.  Just sign up and use the promo code ILOVEVOCAB at checkout.  Find out why VocabSushi is the best way to learn vocab and improve your reading skills for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, and much more.  Start school off with a competitive advantage and leave the flashcards at home!

Grab This Deal Now
We’re going to be raising our prices for VocabSushi and VocabSushi Pro within the next few weeks and we wanted to let you know well in advance.  So if you’re looking to expand your vocabulary, or use VocabSushi in the classroom, look no further.  But act now and lock in this bargain before it’s too late.

Use Promo Code: ILOVEVOCAB
From The Students
“Before I found this site, I had been using flashcards. VocabSushi took this study system to a whole new level.”
— Maddie, 790 SAT Verbal

“My vocab level reflects my personal vocabulary, so words I already know don’t slow me down. Seeing the word used in real-life context along with its definition demonstrates the words are worth learning. It’s also just fun & easy to use.”
— George, AP English, favorite word is legerdemain

“VocabSushi replaced some very annoying vocab books in my school. I also enjoy learning at my own pace. There isn’t a set standard that each person must reach in an amount of time.”
— Gabe, 29 ACT English, favorite word is schadenfruede


Thanks!

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Schools for Sale?

Morgan Spurlock, creator/director of the McHit Supersize Me, released his newest documentary, The Best Movie Ever Sold. I saw this flick at my local neighborhood RedBox (That’s right Netflix, you’re out!) and decided to check it out. Overall, I thought it was a great documentary, ironically detailing the use of product placement in the production of movies, TV, and well, life. The one thing that really caught my attention was when Morgan visited Broward county schools in Florida. He interviewed high school students in regards to their status as the holy grail of advertising demographics and how they feel about being targeted at school by advertisers. He then, went on to speak with the faculty, discussing some of the product placement that occurs in the school system. A faculty member escorted Morgan around the school’s campus, showing him purchased advertising banners hanging on a fence outside, as well as discussing the implications of advertising in academia.

This discussion made me feel very uneasy, as you could literally see the faculty member licking her lips as Morgan discussed purchasing ad space around the school. I was initially disgusted by the obvious desperation the woman displayed, but then was struck by a sad realization: the issue here was not ethics in advertising, it was ethics in capitalism, and where our priorities lie as a country. It is a widely known fact that the U.S is not exactly topping the charts when it comes to education, but what does it say about our nation when we have educators so desperate for school funding that they have turned to advertising to keep them afloat? Keep in mind this isn’t a television program or magazine we are talking about here, this is the future of our country. I start to feel queasy when thinking about schools having to sell out to survive.

Who knows though, maybe I am just old school, maybe this is a surefire sign that the brick-and-mortar style of education is an outdated dinosaur, and this is the future of classroom education and what is necessary for its survival. Being a company that focuses on web-based learning, we are constantly looking over the horizon and trying to innovate and plan for the future of education. At VocabSushi we specialize in web-based education, but we understand that these are merely tools for education, and like any tool, are the most useful in the hands of those skilled at the trade.

We are very curious to know what you think about all of this. Where do you think the future of education is headed?

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Are You Smarter Than a Copywriter?
Recently, Old Navy teamed up with a slew of reputable universities to release a collection of “college pride” themed t-shirts. Only one problem, apparently the copywriter slept through class. One collection was shipped to stores with the spirited slogan “Lets go [sic],” Did you catch it? The universities that were partnered with Old Navy did. Schools such as Duke, University of Texas, and Notre Dame are probably not too happy with the brand due to their obvious apostrophe oversight. One of the schools is even going so far as to investigate who approved the copy for print.
Even as I sit here writing this, JCPenny is catching heat on Fox News for releasing a shirt with the words “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” Seriously?
After seeing these two outlandish garb gaffes, it seems perhaps that we at VocabSushi would have a much more profitable strategy encouraging clothing companies to use our products, instead of foolishly wasting our time with students in the classroom (Are you smarter than a copywriter?). We have even been thinking about releasing a t-shirt line of our own! 
     “VocabSushi, learn stuff good.” Well, what do you think?

Are You Smarter Than a Copywriter?

Recently, Old Navy teamed up with a slew of reputable universities to release a collection of “college pride” themed t-shirts. Only one problem, apparently the copywriter slept through class. One collection was shipped to stores with the spirited slogan “Lets go [sic],” Did you catch it? The universities that were partnered with Old Navy did. Schools such as Duke, University of Texas, and Notre Dame are probably not too happy with the brand due to their obvious apostrophe oversight. One of the schools is even going so far as to investigate who approved the copy for print.

Even as I sit here writing this, JCPenny is catching heat on Fox News for releasing a shirt with the words “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” Seriously?

After seeing these two outlandish garb gaffes, it seems perhaps that we at VocabSushi would have a much more profitable strategy encouraging clothing companies to use our products, instead of foolishly wasting our time with students in the classroom (Are you smarter than a copywriter?). We have even been thinking about releasing a t-shirt line of our own! 

     “VocabSushi, learn stuff good.” Well, what do you think?

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It’s a First-Generation-Out-of-State-Early-Applying-College-Student’s Time to Shine!

A recent article in Forbes let the cat out of the bag.  The article details the monetary backache universities are feeling these days, and then what they are doing about it.
Universities are giving precedence to out-of-state students. They do this simply because it costs these students more to go to school.(They also want to increase diversity…really, they swear).
Students who apply early with “rolling admission” will also have an advantage, because the school will evaluate the student’s credentials as soon as they apply. This has been whispered about in the past, although a new and frankly progressive trend that caught our attention is the fact that universities are also favoring first-generation students. Students who are the first in their family to go to college will have a better chance of being accepted to the school of their dreams. This focus seems like a great way for people to progress, but how do you feel about the out-of-state preference?
focusing on out-of-state students seems like a great idea at first glance, but does this offer better out-of-state opportunities for students, or create a glass ceiling for students who do not have the finances to pay for out-of-state tuition plus all the other expenditures?

It’s a First-Generation-Out-of-State-Early-Applying-College-Student’s Time to Shine!

A recent article in Forbes let the cat out of the bag.  The article details the monetary backache universities are feeling these days, and then what they are doing about it.

Universities are giving precedence to out-of-state students. They do this simply because it costs these students more to go to school.(They also want to increase diversity…really, they swear).

Students who apply early with “rolling admission” will also have an advantage, because the school will evaluate the student’s credentials as soon as they apply. This has been whispered about in the past, although a new and frankly progressive trend that caught our attention is the fact that universities are also favoring first-generation students. Students who are the first in their family to go to college will have a better chance of being accepted to the school of their dreams. This focus seems like a great way for people to progress, but how do you feel about the out-of-state preference?

focusing on out-of-state students seems like a great idea at first glance, but does this offer better out-of-state opportunities for students, or create a glass ceiling for students who do not have the finances to pay for out-of-state tuition plus all the other expenditures?

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The Power of Words: Google + Adds Ignore Button.
Recently Google + announced it would give users a polite way to get rid of bothersome people on the site. Using an ignore button, users can say “no thank you, not right now.”
This is in contrast to the much harsher and more serious “Block” feature, in which users will cut the other person off completely.
This is certainly an advancement on the social media front, as it adds to the dynamic nature of the Google + platform. Giving users a larger online ‘vocabulary’ could enhance online communication as a whole, giving users a larger social media vocabulary to work with.
So the question is: Will you use this new ‘Ignore’ feature? More importantly what kinds of behaviors/communication warrants an ‘ignore’ as opposed to a ‘Block’ ?

The Power of Words: Google + Adds Ignore Button.

Recently Google + announced it would give users a polite way to get rid of bothersome people on the site. Using an ignore button, users can say “no thank you, not right now.”

This is in contrast to the much harsher and more serious “Block” feature, in which users will cut the other person off completely.

This is certainly an advancement on the social media front, as it adds to the dynamic nature of the Google + platform. Giving users a larger online ‘vocabulary’ could enhance online communication as a whole, giving users a larger social media vocabulary to work with.

So the question is: Will you use this new ‘Ignore’ feature? More importantly what kinds of behaviors/communication warrants an ‘ignore’ as opposed to a ‘Block’ ?

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This ad (shown above) by Nivea For Men is being featured in the September issue of Esquire, and has drawn a considerable amount of negative attention.
Bloggers, tweeters, and Facebookers have taken to their laptops to attack the company, Nivea, and accuse them of racist advertising.
The issue revolves around the fact that they posted a photo of an African-American man throwing away a mask of himself with an afro-style haircut and beard, with the caption “Re-civilize yourself” in the advertisement. Readers attacked the racist nature of the advertisement claiming the ad portrays the natural hair of an African-American man as “uncivilized.”
Parent company Beiersdorf AG has subsequently withdrawn the ad and issued an apology. The question is - too little too late? Was this too large of a gaffe to be fixed with a simple apology?

Images courtesy of Adage and GOOD

This ad (shown above) by Nivea For Men is being featured in the September issue of Esquire, and has drawn a considerable amount of negative attention.

Bloggers, tweeters, and Facebookers have taken to their laptops to attack the company, Nivea, and accuse them of racist advertising.

The issue revolves around the fact that they posted a photo of an African-American man throwing away a mask of himself with an afro-style haircut and beard, with the caption “Re-civilize yourself” in the advertisement. Readers attacked the racist nature of the advertisement claiming the ad portrays the natural hair of an African-American man as “uncivilized.”

Parent company Beiersdorf AG has subsequently withdrawn the ad and issued an apology. The question is - too little too late? Was this too large of a gaffe to be fixed with a simple apology?

Images courtesy of Adage and GOOD

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Google +1’d Facebook with New iPad App.  
Google has just released a Google+ app for the iPad. Although the app is currently just a larger  version of the iPhone app, one can imagine that a version formatted specifically for the iPad is right around the corner. This will undoubtedly shift the Facebook vs. Google + debate into overdrive as Facebook has yet to release an official iPad app.
Do you prefer Facebook or Google+? Will the release of a Google+ iPad app make the difference or be lost in the Buzz? (pun intended)

Google +1’d Facebook with New iPad App. 

Google has just released a Google+ app for the iPad. Although the app is currently just a larger version of the iPhone app, one can imagine that a version formatted specifically for the iPad is right around the corner. This will undoubtedly shift the Facebook vs. Google + debate into overdrive as Facebook has yet to release an official iPad app.

Do you prefer Facebook or Google+? Will the release of a Google+ iPad app make the difference or be lost in the Buzz? (pun intended)

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Today’s Awesomely Awesome Word: Boulderize (Verb)
 
Remove  material that is considered improper or offensive from (a text or  account), esp. with the result that it becomes weaker or less effective.
- a bowdlerized version of the article.

Today’s Awesomely Awesome Word: Boulderize (Verb)

 

  1. Remove material that is considered improper or offensive from (a text or account), esp. with the result that it becomes weaker or less effective.
    • - a bowdlerized version of the article.
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Old Professor Scrooge at it Again.

John Stewart always has a way with words, and this time he has turned his verbal ferocity on education reformers. With the recent onslaught of these education reformers, many teachers have come under scrutiny. The press have been very harsh on teachers and have placed the blame on the instructors themselves, as opposed to the system at large. What do you feel are the real issues here? Are teachers to blame or are they simply caught in a flawed system?

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Shark Week Vocab from VocabSushi!

Now that shark week is coming to a close, we will reflect back on some of the vocabulary used during this infamous week. 

Migration-(in the Shark Week sense of the word) The seasonal movement of a complete population of animals from one area to another. Migration is usually a response to changes in temperature, food supply, or the amount of daylight, and is often undertaken for the purpose of breeding. Mammals, insects, fish, and birds all migrate.

We want to know, what did you think of this year’s Shark Week? Did it live up to your expectations?

(Source: http)

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Matt Damon Attacks Education Issues Head on….Alright, Maybe Just the Cameraman.

(Source: tnr.com)

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LinkedIn CEO Bashes Google +, saying it cannot coexist with other social media.
Check out this article from Digital Trends and let us know what you think. Does Google + have a place in social media? What is your social media channel of choice? Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Maybe even MySpace?

LinkedIn CEO Bashes Google +, saying it cannot coexist with other social media.

Check out this article from Digital Trends and let us know what you think. Does Google + have a place in social media? What is your social media channel of choice? Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Maybe even MySpace?