Notes from the Classroom: Ebooks in France, Educator Grants, and a Physics Teacher on a Bed of Nails PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Michael Blanford   

Welcome to this week's installment of Notes from the Classroom, a brief review of education news from the JREF.

The JREF works to bring the message of skepticism to wider audiences through new technologies like mobile apps and digital publishing. Over the last year, we have released new digital editions of some of James Randi's most popular and important books for the iPad, Kindle and Nook platforms. We are pleased to announce that Kindle versions of Flim-Flam!, The Faith Healers, and The Truth About Uri Geller will now be available for the first time in France, Belgium, and Monaco. If you live in one of the countries, download the books from Amazon France.

All of us at the JREF know it would be impossible to advance our educational mission without the hard work of the many brilliant and committed teachers using skepticism to nurture the intellectual growth of their students. The JREF supports these teachers by offering workshops, promoting educator networking, and increasingly, through the creation of standards-focused teacher's guides and modules to enhance curricula. Many may not know that we also support educators though financial assistance.

Right now, the JREF has a limited number of educator grants (up to $500 each) available to help offset the cost of developing or improving critical thinking and scientific skepticism programs in the classroom. Preference is given to projects aimed at creating educational content related to science or critical thinking through examination of the paranormal and pseudoscience.

Funded projects can include (but are not limited to) working with JREF educational modules (and related media) or developing new content to be made available to the educational community through the JREF.

If you're interested in working with us to better share the skeptical perspective with your students at a time when it matters most, contact me at mblanford@randi.org. I'm happy to answer any questions you have, discuss your ideas for projects, and explain the simple grant application process.

While on the topic of amazing teachers, I'll leave you with this very fun video from this year's Dragon*Con. This physics demonstration, presented by our good friends Matt Lowry, Pamela Gay, and Jerry Hester, highlights some innovative approaches for the high school physics classroom. Enjoy!