How These Public School Teachers Made $4.4 Million Selling Lesson Plans Online

How These Public School Teachers Made $4.4 Million Selling Lesson Plans Online

Megan Rose Dickey | Apr. 19, 2013, 9:13 PM | 30,041 | 33


Teaching is by no means a very financially rewarding profession. Even though teachers are doing one of the most important jobs in society, full-time public school teachers make a mere $56,069 per year on average. That’s where Teachers Pay Teachers comes in. The online marketplace for course materials and lesson plans has attracted 1.8 million teachers, whom have collectively sold more $30 million worth of materials online. The top 10 sellers on the platform have generated more than $5 million in sales, netting around $4.4 million in total. Deanna Jump, pictured above, currently earns more than $80,000 a month. Teachers Pay Teachers features course materials for grades ranging from preschool to the collegiate level. But Teachers Pay Teachers Head of Product John Yoo says they have seen the strongest interest in the K-12 sector. On the high school level, Yoo says Tracee Orman’s material on how to integrate “The Hunger Games” into the classroom has been widely popular. “She’s not only become seen as the expert in using the Hunger Games in the classroom,” Yoo says. “She’s done what I think all good teachers do, which is marry the things that kids are interested in and turn it into really good curriculum. You know, use what they’re interested in to draw them into the classroom.” Yoo notes that not all teachers have found the same success as the top 10 sellers. In order to be successful on the platform, Yoo says they encourage teachers to leverage social media to get their name out there. “Teachers by nature need to share with each other,” Yoo says. “That’s part of what it means to be on the job. […] Whether you’re experiences or new, you need to figure out how to teach things in ways that resonate with kids.” Business Insider got in touch with many of Teachers Pay Teachers’s most successful teachers to learn more about their experiences. Read more of this post

Marc Andreessen: The World Would Be Much Better If We Had 50 More Silicon Valleys

Marc Andreessen: The World Would Be Much Better If We Had 50 More Silicon Valleys


posted 4 hours ago

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, delivered a keynote speech at the she++ conference today, sharing what technology is exciting him right now, what he thinks about current startup culture, and how Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, affected his view of Silicon Valley. Andreessen described Google Glass as “potentially transformative for the entire industry. ” “You put it on and you’re like ‘Oh my God, I have the entire internet in my vision. Where have you been all my life?,’” he said. “I like to tell people that I’m beta testing the new Google Contact Lenses,” he joked to moderator Ruchi Sanghvi, VP of operations at Dropbox. He added that Facebook and Google are taking search in very different directions and opined “There’s a lot more to be done with search.” “New Facebook Graph Search capability I think is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen…It makes me wish a little bit that I was single again,” he said to laughter. Andreessen said he switches phones every six months (between Android and iPhone) and he’ll get Facebook Home next week. Sanghvi turned the discussion to Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In. “Before Sheryl’s book, for 20 years, the answer has been, ‘Be gender blind,’” Andreessen said. “’Be gender blind.’ It’s not important; in fact, it’s not to be discussed. It certainly should not be brought into the hiring criteria and certainly should not influence how people manage. And basically have a straight meritocracy and ignore gender. Sheryl has provided a very, very provocative set of arguments that 1) That’s not actually working and 2) That managers, both female and male, actually have to take gender on squarely.” “We’ll have to completely retrain managers and executives of all kinds to be able to do this,” he continued. “[Sandberg] argues very persuasively that it’s necessary, but it’s like landmine central with the way employment law works these days.” “I think her book has been a wake up call that the current approach to solving the problem of gender imbalance— number one it’s not working, which is fairly obvious, and number two, it requires a rethink of basic communication and basic management. I think it’s a very good thing to be talking about this and debating this. I think that it’s going to take quite a while,” he said. “Startups as a general category are probably highly overrated,” he said, responding to Sanghvi’s question about Stanford students graduating and deciding between starting companies and finding jobs.

“Basically its an irrational act,” he said, explaining the right reason for starting a company. “This idea was so powerful and compelling that if I didn’t do it I’d hate myself for the rest of my life.” “I think that’s the part that’s getting lost,” he continued. “I think the cult of startups, and of course Stanford’s ground zero for this…Those startups are miserable experiences.” Andreessen argued that far too many entrepreneurs have an “incredible blind spot” to distribution, sales, and marketing in Silicon Valley right now, and shared his thoughts on immigration and innovation. Read more of this post

As Cancer Rates Rise in China, Trust Remains Low

April 17, 2013

As Cancer Rates Rise in China, Trust Remains Low


BEIJING — Living in China these days, we’re bombarded with scary accounts of rising cancer rates that are partly linked to some of the world’s worst pollution. The slogan this year for National Cancer Prevention and Care Week, which began Tuesday, spells it out: “Protect the Environment, Keep Cancer Away.” That even the Chinese state is highlighting a link between the poor environment and cancer reflects an atmosphere of deep concern, verging on panic, over public health, as more and more people ask: Is China killing itself in the pursuit of spectacularly fast, very dirty, economic growth? Of course, there are other, important reasons for rising rates, like an aging population and changing diet and lifestyles, as the Shanghai cancer specialists Guo Xiaomao and Long Jiang recently wrote in The Xinmin Evening News. And China’s cancer rate is still below that of the United States. About 3.5 million people are diagnosed with cancer yearly, the Zhejiang Science and Technology News Net reported Tuesday, citing a 2012 report by the National Cancer Registry. (Other news accounts put the figure at 3.12 million. Statistics in China often vary.) In the United States, with a population less than a quarter of China’s 1.35 billion, more than 1.6 million people are expected to receive a diagnosis of cancer in 2013, according to the American Cancer Society.

But cancer rates in the United States are falling, whereas in China they are rising, doctors and officials say. And China’s death rate from cancer is far higher — about 2.5 million people yearly, compared with the 580,350 expected to die in the United States this year. Complicating things further, some doctors are wondering: Is China facing a double health whammy as rising disease rates challenge a troubled medical system?

At the top of the list of reasons China may be facing a cancer crisis is the crucial issue of mistrust between patient and doctor. A new article in the Journal of Oncology Practice, published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, illustrates this problem. The lack of trust, reflected in regular accounts in the Chinese news media of patients and their families venting anger or even physically attacking physicians, is rooted in a perception that doctors are out for personal gain and may be incompetent or corrupt. But according to the article — written by two oncologists, Dr. David H. Garfield of the United States and Dr. Harold Brenner of Israel, and a Chinese oncology nurse, Lucy Lu (who in 2011 were in a group that set up the first of several planned outpatient cancer centers in China, the article said) — doctors are afraid of being blamed by hospital administrators for “bad outcomes,” or deaths, and may act in ways that may protect themselves but may not be in the patient’s best interests. Read more of this post

Specialists See Tools to Treat Pain in Video Games

April 20, 2013

Specialists See Tools to Treat Pain in Video Games



Danica Zimmerman, 14, playing a game to measure her range of motion and pain triggers at Children’s National Medical Center.

WASHINGTON — Fifteen-year-old Reilly woke up one morning with a sharp, stabbing pain in his left leg that soon spread to other parts of his body. The pain, which started early last year, forced him to quit soccer, and he spent the next four months being poked, prodded and scanned by doctors.

The test results were inconclusive. “No one could tell him why he was in a ball on the floor unable to function,” said Nina, his mother, who agreed to be interviewed only on the condition that the family’s surname be withheld.

Finally, last June, Dr. Sarah Rebstock, a pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s National Medical Center, gave Reilly a diagnosis of chronic regional pain syndrome. The nerve disorder is characterized by chronic and severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch.

Recently, Reilly stood in a half-lighted room of the hospital’s new Pain Medicine Care Complex, playing a video game called TubeRunner as part of his physical therapy routine.

The sight of the teenager reaching in the air and shuffling from side to side as his on-screen avatar hurled down an intergalactic tube racking up rings and gems seemed unremarkable. After all, game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s Wii have become ubiquitous in American households, and many hospitals and clinics use them to add an element of fun to physical therapy.

But TubeRunner is one of four of galaxy-themed video games created specifically for this complex, where pain specialists and game developers are piloting an approach to measuring pain. Dr. Julia Finkel hopes that using technical data from games and interactive activities to objectively identify and monitor pain can help determine how to evaluate the techniques used to treat it. Read more of this post

Companies are using Big Data analysis to help find and nurture successful employees

April 20, 2013

Big Data, Trying to Build Better Workers


BOSSES, as it turns out, really do matter — perhaps far more than even they realize.

In telephone call centers, for example, where hourly workers handle a steady stream of calls under demanding conditions, the communication skills and personal warmth of an employee’s supervisor are often crucial in determining the employee’s tenure and performance. In fact, recent research shows that the quality of the supervisor may be more important than the experience and individual attributes of the workers themselves.

New research calls into question other beliefs. Employers often avoid hiring candidates with a history of job-hopping or those who have been unemployed for a while. The past is prologue, companies assume. There’s one problem, though: the data show that it isn’t so. An applicant’s work history is not a good predictor of future results.

These are some of the startling findings of an emerging field called work-force science. It adds a large dose of data analysis, a k a Big Data, to the field of human resource management, which has traditionally relied heavily on gut feel and established practice to guide hiring, promotion and career planning.

Work-force science, in short, is what happens when Big Data meets H.R. Read more of this post

China bond executives arrested in probe into alleged skimming; Relaxed quotas could give Asian central banks taste for China bonds

China bond executives arrested in probe into alleged skimming

Thu, Apr 18 2013

* Executives from CITIC, two other firms arrested

* Alleged profit skimming via complex trading practices

* Investigation could involve other institutions

* Regulation lags bond market’s explosive growth

By Gabriel Wildau

SHANGHAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Three Chinese financial industry executives have been arrested for allegedly using complex bond trading practices to skim client profits for personal gain, state media reported this week.

Executives from state-owned CITIC Securities , China’s largest brokerage by assets, unlisted fund management company Wanjia Asset Management and Qilu Bank, a small lender 20 percent owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia , are under investigation by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, the official Securities Times reported on Wednesday. Read more of this post

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