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Google I/O App Updated For 2016 With A Map, Schedules, And More

io

With just a few weeks left until Google I/O 2016 kicks off, Google has dropped a new version of the I/O app into the Play Store. It includes a schedule of events, notifications, a map, and more. The mobile website has gotten very good this year, but the app still provides a few benefits.

You don’t need to actually be at I/O to use the I/O app. It will ask on startup if you’ll be attending the conference or following it remotely—the former will add a map item to the navigation menu.

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Google I/O App Updated For 2016 With A Map, Schedules, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Waze Auto-Tunes Your Ride With New T-Pain Navigation Voice Option

T-Pain

It’s one thing to hop behind the wheel and go where life takes you. It’s another thing to go where T-Pain takes you. But now you have that option.

Waze has added T-Pain as its latest navigation voice option. His distinctive sound comes a few weeks after drivers started choosing to hear their instructions from Shaq.

To choose a voice, head to Sound > Voice Language under settings. There you will see that Colonel Sanders, too, is an option.

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Waze Auto-Tunes Your Ride With New T-Pain Navigation Voice Option was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Facing Challenges in the Classroom: Crystal Davis

We asked applicants for the NCSE Grand Canyon Teacher Scholarship to explain, in 500 words, how they’ve addressed challenges to the teaching of evolution, climate change, and related issues. Here is part of scholarship winner Crystal Davis’s description of an exercise she uses to help her inner-city high school students connect to the science of climate change, and the ways it affects people all over the world. Davis and Brandon Haught will receive an all-expenses-paid trip down the Grand Canyon, thanks to generous donations from NCSE supporters.


Crystal DavisIn my biology class, evolution and climate change are overarching themes that we constantly touch on. I start my year with ecology, teaching students about biomes, food webs, relationships and the effect humans have on each of these. Towards the end of this unit my students mimic a research project being conducted by the San Diego Wild Animal Park on the hearing range of polar bears. They then research polar bears and current issues that affect them, keeping in mind that this needs to tie back to the hearing test. Eventually they concluded that the noise from oil drilling affects the polar bear moms nursing. Students are then given identities to assume, such as American citizen, oil baron, politician, IPCC member, environmentalist, etc. They then determine how “they” are affected and split into community groups where they decide what to do about drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This activity gets them thinking about the various sides of the issue and leads them into climate change as they discover more about this issue as they conduct their research.

I have another activity where they examine the evolution of stickleback fish in the Arctic (by analyzing the fossil record) and look at what caused its evolution over time. They then see if there is any evidence of climate change or current human activities that might impact its evolution. These are only a few examples of how I integrate evolution and climate change into my classroom, but they are themes that are continually touched on throughout the year. It is my goal to come up with memorable activities that give my students a sense of ownership over their knowledge. I don’t want to tell my students what to think about climate change, because they will simply memorize the information for an exam and promptly forget it. My lessons are designed to have my students come to their own conclusions.

Integrating both climate change and evolution is necessary. We live in a world that is rapidly changing due to human activities but most people either don’t believe in climate change or don’t believe they can do anything to change it. Yet if we sit passively by doing nothing, then we are causing the continued extinction of species and eventually ourselves. Therefore it is my goal to have my students think critically about these issues and believe that they can do something about them. Although their journey begins in my classroom, they will share it with their friends, family and out into the world.

From The Canyon to the Classroom: Crystal Davis

We asked applicants for the NCSE Grand Canyon Teacher Scholarship to explain, in 500 words, what lessons or knowledge they expected to gain from rafting the Grand Canyon, to enrich their students’, colleagues’, and neighbors’ understanding of evolution, deep time, climate change, and the natural world. Here is part of scholarship winner Crystal Davis’s explanation of how her time with NCSE in the Grand Canyon will benefit students in her Los Angeles-area high school. Davis and Brandon Haught will receive an all-expenses-paid trip down the Grand Canyon, thanks to generous donations from NCSE supporters.


Crystal DavisI am an avid outdoors-woman and aspiring mountaineer, as well a member of the Sierra Club. These are important aspects of my life that I bring into my classroom at every opportunity. This is of particular importance in my classroom since I teach in the inner-city. The majority of my students have never left the city and immersed themselves in nature because they haven’t had the opportunity and therefore the desire to. That’s why I take my students out into nature—or bring it to them—whenever I can. I make sure that my students participate in a yearly conservation program from the National Park Service. Last year my students removed crayfish (an invasive species) from the Santa Monica Mountains; in years prior we have planted native plants in Malibu. Although these activities are modest, they’ve had a great impact on my students.

After one of these trips, two of my students were able to convince their parents to take them to Yosemite on family trips. Their families had never been to a National Park before and in taking this first step, they were embarking on something new that would change their lives. Other students are hiking in their free time and dragging family members along with them. I have students now in college that are pursuing environmental science as a major, because they’ve seen close up what it will take to preserve the environment for themselves and future generations.

In spite of these successes, it is a struggle to take my students out of the classroom. There is much push-back from my district office due to potential lawsuits and trips must be planned a year or more in advance. Even then, many trips are not approved. For example, I formed a partnership with a woman from the Pacific Crest Trail Association to have my students maintain trails and camp overnight. Two years later, my district still has not decided if legally this is a good idea. However, I keep trying because I know immersing my students in this is important. And I have found other ways to accomplish what I can from the classroom. My students regularly Skype with rangers from Yellowstone to learn about the conservation of the grey wolves in the National Park and how they have shaped its biodiversity. We also Skype with other conservation organizations protecting marine life.

Participating in NCSE’s Grand Canyon trip will provide me with an experience I can bring back to my classroom for my students. This will be something they can share with their parents as well. I will also share my experience and knowledge with staff members in professional development and colleagues from other schools that I work with.

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