What Teens Really Want To Know About Sex


ideas.ted.com

Remember how weird it was to ask questions about sex as a teenager? High school teacher Al Vernacchio answers his students’ questions about everything from DIY birth control to how to tell when a guy really likes you, in an excerpt from his new book.

On the first day of my Sexuality and Society class, I don’t pass around anatomy drawings. I don’t hand out pamphlets about safer sex, although those are stacked on a table near the door. Instead, the first thing I do is establish ground rules. People should speak for themselves, laughter is OK, we won’t ask “personal history” questions, and we’ll work to create a community of peers who care about and respect one another. Only then can we get to work.

I’m all about context. Talking about sexuality, intimacy, relationships, and pleasure can’t be done in a vacuum.

In the back corner of my classroom is an…

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What 3D Printing Is Like When You’ve Never Done It Before


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I thought it would be as easy as hitting print. Then, voila a miniature robot! A pencil holder! A pair of stunner shades! A Bulbasaur planter!

3D printing has the potential to change everything in our world: the Army is considering using it as an easy way to replace parts during war, and NASA even just sent a printer to space. So when I was given the chance to try printing an object for the first time, of course I wanted to try it.

Then I opened the lid on the 3D printer and saw a wet tangled mess of lasered plastic. Oh. 3D printing, it turns out, is not the perfect life-changing tool I had imagined.

While my colleague Signe Brewster can tell the difference between objects that came off a really great 3D printer and those produced by a mediocre one, I looked down at a lump of…

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What The Best Education Systems Are Doing Right


ideas.ted.com

In South Korea and Finland, it’s not about finding the “right” school.

Fifty years ago, both South Korea and Finland had terrible education systems. Finland was at risk of becoming the economic stepchild of Europe. South Korea was ravaged by civil war. Yet over the past half century, both South Korea and Finland have turned their schools around — and now both countries are hailed internationally for their extremely high educational outcomes. What can other countries learn from these two successful, but diametrically opposed, educational models? Here’s an overview of what South Korea and Finland are doing right.

The Korean model: Grit and hard, hard, hard work.

For millennia, in some parts of Asia, the only way to climb the socioeconomic ladder and find secure work was to take an examination — in which the proctor was a proxy for the emperor, says Marc Tucker, president and CEO of the National Center on…

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