Common Educational Misconceptions on Climate Change

How can we say that global warming is really happening when Antarctica is getting colder?

The term “global warming” is confusing because not all places on our planet are getting warmer. The truth is that our average global temperature is on the rise (see graph). To reduce confusion, scientists use of a more accurate term—global climate change— to reflect the idea that climate is the earth’s energy management process that is balanced by all earth’s systems.

Not only is there a change in our average global temperature, but also changes in precipitation and more intense storms as well as changes in our oceans, ice and biological systems on the planet. We encourage teachers to use the term “climate change” and help students correctly understand the term so they grasp the bigger picture.

 

Climate Change and the Ozone Layer

Students often associate the hole in the ozone layer with climate change. Either they think that carbon dioxide depletes the ozone layer, or that the hole in the ozone layer “lets in more heat.” Let’s clear these issues up one at a time. The major gases that deplete the ozone layer are CFC’s and halons, not CO2. While the ozone hole high up in the stratosphere is still a concern, we’ve seen significant improvement since 1987, when nearly 200 countries agreed to reduce the use of these chemicals.

The ozone layer (up high) protects us from harmful UV rays. The greenhouse effect refers to the earth absorbing visible light and then giving off infrared radiation (heat). That heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases and re-radiated back to earth. Although ozone depletion can contribute to climate change, it is not the primary cause. Ground level ozone is a greenhouse gas and an air pollutant however. The primary ingredient in smog, ground-level ozone is largely produced by emissions from automobiles. Pollution is one of the important risk factors of heart disease, high LDL cholesterol & various cancers.

 

Climate vs. Weather

Weather is often confused with the climate. We’ve heard many people – even the meteorologists on TV – jokingly write off climate change when two feet of snow fell this year before winter had officially started.

Let’s go back to the basics:

Weather is what’s happening outside at a particular place, in a particular time. Perhaps it’s sunny, 22F, and windy. This may be common weather for early January, but that’s all it is, weather.

Climate refers to the typical weather patterns for a specific region which is a result of interactions between all earth systems. It’s a measure of average weather over a period of several years. Average rainfall and average temperature range are two common measures of climate.

Recent large snowfall amounts are symptomatic of climate change due to a change in the water cycle. Higher global temperatures result in more water evaporating into the atmosphere, and that water has to come down somewhere. Lucky for us, this year it came down in the form of snow.

Find out more on:

http://www.changeipaddress.net/

www.epa.gov/climatechange/

Community College Instead of High School

When I was 15 years old, I took the ” homeschool” option at my high school and instead of learning typical high school classes, I started taking classes at a community college instead.  Because I was so young, I mainly took online classes until I turned 17 and felt comfortable taking classes with other community college students.

This option was relatively new in my day, however online learning has become a serious option for virtually all levels of study now.  It’s mainly to do with the growth of MOOC (massive open online courses) which now cover virtually every subject and at every conceivable level right up to Harvard degrees!  Some still have restrictions but it looks like education will be a truly global opportunity as these course develop.  The restrictions can be bypass though – for example use an England proxy to access UK only online courses.

It was amazing how much I learned in my two years at community college.  In fact, it was in community college that I first heard about a power of attorney form.  That little form, as simplistic as it is, started my fascination with the legal world and started me down the path of a paralegal education.  Once I finished up my two years at community college, I headed to a four-year college in my community to receive the remainder of my education.  Of course with the increased online options now, I actually might go that route because even if you invest in  the most secure VPN service you can find it’s a huge saving being able to study from home.

It was amazing how much money I saved by starting at a community college first.  As touched upon in a previous blog post, starting at a community college and then transferring really is the way to go.  You save money, you still get a great education, and you still can get a degree from a prestigious four-year school.  I never felt like I missed out on the college experience by starting at a community college – in fact, I felt smarter than my peers for going the less expensive route!

Educational Resources for Students Online

There are so many more education resources available to students today than a few years ago. Most of these are based on the internet and in many ways the playing fields have been levelled for students everywhere. It used to be the case that the better the University or College, the better the educational resources available. If you’ve ever visited the Bodleian Library in Oxford, or perhaps the impressive Widener library in Harvard it would be very apparent of the advantages.

But really the internet has changed all these advantages, of course there are still huge positives in prestige, teaching and opportunities afforded to pupils at the best universities. But access to knowledge and research materials is pretty much available to anyone in academia.

It gives students a great chance to conduct research on their own, most academic institutions post most of their material online. If you need to get access and it’s not available publically don’t be afraid to contact a college via email and just ask for access. The dispersation of knowledge is a core aim of any University or college they’ll normally help you out.

Don’t just use other colleges though, if you search online you’ll find most organisations put a huge amount of resources online. Most are easily accessible and again if they’re not just ask. I remember my friend who was studying a very basic introduction to astronomy in technical college showing me how he could submit requests online to a real observatory in England!  The jobs would be queued for the telescope and the results emailed when processed.

Foreign language students for example could invest in VPN connections which allow them to watch the TV online in the language they are studying. You can use them to watch BBC Iplayer Abroad or a French student could watch their favorite American comedies on M6 Replay in French to practice.  To find out how it’s done – check this out.

So ensure you explore the options that the internet can give you in your chosen subject. You research doesn’t have to be limited to Google and Wikipedia – find where the experts in your field are publishing material. Of course you should still validate sources, many students make the mistake of copying false information from the internet. Check and research, use the internet fully but don’t neglect other sources.

James Carwin

http://www.theninjaproxy.org/ninja/change-ip-address-region-free-smart-dns/

The Community College System Is New To Me

I find the school system in the USA very interesting. This is the first time I have heard of Community Colleges, public schools and universities yes, but not Community Colleges. Here in the UK we have different schools, and these generally depend on the political history of the county or local area. Some counties have grammar schools, entry to which is dependent on passing an examination. Those who fail or who don’t take the exam go to other state schools. Or, if the parents can afford it, their children attend public schools – these are fee paying and not at all like the public schools in the USA.

Once in college hard work is essential. It helps of course if the course is interesting. My favourite subject at school was history. We studied the medieval period when knights went into battle attired in suits of armour. I had a big picture on my wall of a knight in armour with his shield decorated with a coat of arms. The weight of carrying all that armour, the shield, and his weapons must have taken a lot of his strength and not left much over to actually fight!

Whichever system you attend: a Community College or university; work hard. The effort you devote to your studies then will pay dividends later in life.

Be Aware Of Student Loans-They Could Spell Trouble!

Many budding young scholars are often keen on getting themselves student loans to put themselves through school.  While there are many people who simply have no other choice but to get student loans, there are many who could go through school without getting stuck in debt.  Because that is precisely what a student loan means, you will be stuck in debt.  What makes student loans even worse is that they are akin to a bad tattoo; there is simply no way to get rid of them other than paying them in full.

Most people will instantly think well “I’m going to pay it off in full, when I get my nice plush high paying job”.  However the stark reality of today’s economy is that it’s no guarantee to get a job upon graduating, even if you have an advanced degree.  Millions of American college grads wind up with no job and huge bills with no way to pay them off.  And there is no debt relief program that can help to alleviate the student loan debt and neither can it be discharged through bankruptcy. So heed the warning and if there is any way to put yourself through school without getting a loan please do so, it’s for your own good.

Wine on a College Campus

Wine doesn’t naturally seem like a perfect fit on a college campus, especially a community college where the average student might not even be 21 yet, but the wine industry is certainly thriving.

While most Universities have some kind of  wine club associated with their business school, quite a few community college’s within California are taking their wine curriculum a step further. Perhaps embolden by the success at UC Davis, community college’s are adding wine tasting courses by the hundreds while others are taking the extraordinary step of instituting winemaking classes themselves. These winemaking courses can vary from the incredibly complex to the most basic depending on the community college, all of them do give their students a general idea about what it might be like for them to spend a few years learning to make wine in Napa Valley.  Of course, it isn’t nearly as fun and glamorous as many tend to think as wine is at its core, a farming activity!

If you’re looking to learn more about making wine, or how to taste wine like a pro we hope you’ll have a look around your local community college to see if they have a program to fit your needs, I’ll bet that they do!

American Community Colleges — What Can You Study?

American Community Colleges have been at the forefront of education in the communities where they are needed the most for almost 100 years now. They are basically open to anyone who is interested in applying, regardless of financial background, social status or previous academic experience. There are over 1600 public and independent institutions and campuses where you can study in the country at the moment.

Who can study at an American Community College?

Basically anyone can study at a community college in the United States. Almost half the total undergraduate students in the United States are studying at some sort of a community college. These schools are extremely attractive to people who know exactly what they want to study in a special interest program. On the other hand, community colleges are also an entry point to post-secondary education for many low income, minority and first-generation post-secondary students.

Another major percentage of the community college population are adults who are returning to study. In fact, the average age of all students in these colleges is 29! Additionally, almost all of the students attend part time.

There is also a significant contingent of high school students completing extra courses at community colleges to diversify their baccalaureate studies and complement it for special entry to certain university programs they are interested in.

Financial aid at community colleges

As costs for education have risen significantly in recent years, many students are checking out the Federal Financial Aid Program to partially or completely pay the cost of their studies. Education should be available to anyone who wants it, without financial barriers, so many institutions have been set up to facilitate this purpose. Apart from grants and scholarships, some students also choose to take out loans which they will pay back when they are working.

The rise of internet based learning will hopefully help this and enable more people access to a US education.  There are often restrictions based on location but these can be bypassed by hiding your IP address, there’s an example on this page – Indian IP proxy online where the user routes their internet connection through a server in New Delhi.

What can you study at a community college?

You can study many subjects in community colleges, in a variety of fields. Business, Media, Industry, Education, Arts, Entertainment, Health, Politics, Science, Military and Sports are just a few of the major topics that can be covered. Some very prominent people, such as Astronaut Eileen Collins and Baseball Player Nolan Ryan also completed their studies at community colleges in the country.

In short then, you can study anything you want at community colleges. If all your life it was your dream to become a guy who puts up greenhouses for sale, then your wish can come true at a community college.

Gardening is not something that anyone can just do, although if you have plenty of spare time and don’t need to worry about money you can learn it yourself. On the other hand, if you go to a community college to study horticulture, then you can already start working once you have finished your studies in a variety of areas. You can work in garden greenhouses, botanical gardens, parks or you can even open your own business to do with gardening or breeding rare flowers.

Description: If you want to be a gardener and work in garden greenhouses, but you have no background in gardening, then you should consider an American Community College. Read on to find out the basics.