A City of the World


I thought I’d share this video, which was posted on YouTube by reallifelore, that answers the question how big would a city have to be to fit the entire human population? It’s a really quite fascinating discussion, which uses examples of large scale population densities that exist in the world today and use these as possible average densities for the human city. It helps put into perspective just how many people are on the planet.


The Gender Pay Gap via @johngreen


In Social Studies 1211, an important topic of study is citizenship and activism around issues of social injustice. One such issue is the gender pay gap, a reality worldwide. In a nutshell, the term refers to phenomenon where women get paid less than men for equivalent work. The causes for it are complex and range from levels of education of men and women, to traditional gender roles, to power and privilege, to full blown discrimination. What’s odd, however, is that there are many who doubt its existence even though it directly influences of the lives of millions. The first step towards activism is awareness – if any change is to occur for the better, awareness must be raised about what the issues are.

John Green, author and YouTube success, has a video on just this issue. In it, he touches on what the gender pay gap is, how it is measured, and anwers the question Is the gender pay gap real? This is primarily from an American perspective, but the point is still just as relevant to us here in Canada. Absolutely worth a look.

Video: Explaining the Refugee Crises via @WEF


I referenced the refugee crisis recently in another post, where I discussed some of the concerns receiving countries have, but primarily looked at the benefits of receiving new immigrants into Canada and other developed nations. I think in our part of the world it’s easy to forget or ignore just what has been happening in Europe and the impact this is having on refugees and receiving countries alike. There’s a sense of desperation among many as they flee their home country seeking a place that is more accepting. Here’s a video from the World Economic Forum that flashes some quick facts about the crisis. Compare Canada’s pledged acceptance of 25,000 refugees by the end of February to the numbers that have already been taken in by other countries.

Video: What Standardized Tests Don’t Measure


Here’s an interesting TEDx video, in which Nikki Adeli, a high school junior in Philadelphia, talks about the benefits of not “teaching to the test”. This has become a large part of the educational discussion in recent years, as standardized testing has become so widespread and accepted as a gateway to student success and potential. Many argue these tests destroy student creativity and critical thinking as it narrows what must be learned to whatever fits a particular exam and places too much weight on this kind of evaluation. What skills are students actually learning, and are we really preparing them for 21st century challenges? Is there a better way? Adeli argues that project-based learning without the constraints of pen and paper tests have great benefits.

Amanda Todd’s Story


I had just posted earlier today about the Cyber Safe Girl website that aims to protect young girls from the dangers of the online world and bullying in general, and today I first read about and then viewed this video made by Amanda Todd. The British Columbia teen took her own life after making a video detailing the terrible things she suffered at the hands of bullies and those who take advantage of others. Do view this, it’s eye-opening.