Misinformation and disinformation: how the term fake news is meaningless

The ability for our students to determine who and what to trust is critical literacy in a nutshell. Our focus on how to analyse texts has not changed. What has changed is the media landscape in our ‘post truth’ or ‘post fact’ world. As Toby Manhire, editor of the New Zealand ‘The Spinoff’, states in his keynote to the NZ Association of Teachers of English conference, fake news is a terrible term and essentially it is used by most to define ...

The benefits of keeping a journal – advice for Language and Literature students

In the new guide for self-taught students in literature, there are three properties defining what a global issue is: It has significance on a wide or large scale It is transnational Its impact is felt in everyday, local contexts Keep a journal as you read and watch each text, focus on the four suggested fields of inquiry. This will set up your thinking for perceptive understanding in each of your assessments. These fields of inquiry are defined by the writers of the IB Language: ...

Mass extinction of insects

Up to 50% of all insects may have been lost since 1970 as a result of habitat removal, the increased use of pesticides, invasive species, climate change and light pollution. As many as 40% of the known insect species may be at risk of extinction. In the UK alone, the use of pesticides has doubled since 1995, and 23 species of wasps and bees became extinct between 1900 and 2000. The value of bees as pollinators in the UK is ...

The Indian dipole

Global warming has been called by a number of different terms in recent years: global heating, climate crisis and Hothouse Earth, for example. These terms suggest that ‘warming’ might be too ’soft’ a term and may ignore the fact that in many places, there is a significant rise in temperature, hence ‘heating’. One example is the rise in temperatures in the Indian Ocean which may be linked to the bush-fires in Australia and flooding in parts of Africa. The Indian Ocean ...

She lit up the stage

The last month or so I have been working at my local theatre helping with the lighting for 'The Railway Children' by Edith Nesbit. It is a community theatre that puts on 4-5 plays a year and I try to help out with lights at least once a year. This blog will look at what challenges we had in terms of lighting, what we wanted to achieve and how we achieved the desired effects.  Once I had committed to being a ...

ITGS – Digital Society Update

The DP course title Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) will change to Digital Society in 2022. The most recent update from the ITGS/Digital Society Curriculum Review has been posted on My IB at https://resources.ibo.org/data/d_3_itgsx_crr_1910_1_e.pdf The NEW guide will be finalised for first teaching from August 2022 and first examination in May 2024. The last examination session for the current ITGS guide will be November 2023. The update includes: The curriculum review timeline Key recommendations made for the review Key developments in the digital society ...

William Ramsey

On Wednesday 2nd October you may have seen the Google doodle with Sir William Ramsey (it was published to celebrate his 167th birthday): Image credit / copyright Google.com – if there is a problem post this image, please let me know and I will remove it. You may also have inferred from the doodle that William Ramsey had something to do with the noble gases (group 18)… more on this later. William Ramsey was Scottish and was born in Glasgow on the 2nd ...

How to use light to show the darkness

I am sure that many of you have been in the situation where you need to work out how to create a lighting effect, or have seen an effect on stage, and wondered how it was created. We can have wonderful ideas, but until we try things out we do not know how they can work in practice, or we can achieve achieve our intentions. Recently I have been doing lighting for a show at my local theatre, and it has ...

E/Z cis / trans – geometric isomers

The E/Z or cis / trans system can be used to name geometric isomers. Geometric isomers are molecules that have groups above and below the plane of a ring or double bond. It is important to consider and be aware of these isomers as even though the structural formula is the same, the molecules will have different physical properties and can have different chemical properties. So to make life easier, we have two systems for distinguishing between them. The cis trans ...

Great Mathematicians 7 – Pythagoras

Statue of Pythagoras on Samos (image from visitgreece.com) Much of what we know about Pythagoras is conjecture. We do know that he was born on the Greek island of Samos in about 570 BC and died in about 495 BC. Around about 530 BC he founded what can only be called a rather bizarre sect in Croton, in Italy: it was semi-mystical, and Pythagoras imposed strict vegetarianism, communal living, secret rites and strange rules - such as instructions to his ...