How much time do students spend in classrooms worldwide?

Student watching the clock in class

Does a greater number of years in school mean more learning?

When you compare education systems around the world to see what’s working and what isn’t, one of the metrics we often see is ‘school life expectancy.’  This is known as how many years students go to school. We most often assume that students go to school for at least 13 years (K-12), plus “some” college or post high school education in the U.S. In  schools in developing countries, we hear about children who can’t go to school past a young age (sometimes around 8 years old) because they need to make money for their family’s survival, because they don’t have the opportunity to do so, because of their gender, or because it would be dangerous or prohibitively expensive to do so.



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Obesity rates soar in developing countries

Fat consumption remains a concern among developing countries.

The extent of the obesity epidemic worldwide has been thrown into stark reality as a report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) puts the number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries at more than 900 million.



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138 million people worldwide want to live in the U.S.

138 million people want to live in the U.S.

Gallup released new data on migration this week.  Around 630  million people – 13% of the world’s adults – say they would like to move to another country permanently.  An estimated 138 million people would like to relocate to the United States. The second-most popular destination was the United Kingdom with 42 million potential migrants.  The U.S. and U.K. were followed by Canada, France and Saudi Arabia.



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The broadband future is faster, but still not distributed evenly

Broadband connections over 10Mbps dubbed high broadband.

The number of broadband connections over 10 Mbps — dubbed “high broadband,” has grown by 73 percent from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012, according to the latest data from Akamai.  The U.S. has also see a 20 percent overall increase in average speed  to 7.2 Mbps over the past year, but the number of people who have adopted broadband (measured at anything above 4 Mbps) was 62 percent, which puts the U.S. at No. 12 in the worldwide rankings when it comes to adoption and No. 9 when it comes to average speeds.



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Mobile phones will soon exceed the human population

mobilegrowth1-615 copy

A World Bank report details the astounding growth of mobile since the year 2000.  Just 12 years ago there were less than a billion mobile subscriptions worldwide. Today, there are more than 6 billion and the count will “will soon exceed that of the human population,” according to the Bank (it is common in many countries for one person to own multiple SIM cards). Three-quarters of the world population now has access to a mobile phone.

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Dementia cases expected to triple by 2050


Treating and caring for people with dementia currently costs the world more than US$ 604 billion per year.

Nearly 35.6 million people live with dementia worldwide. By 2030 this number is expected to double (65.7 million) and more than triple by 2050 (115.4 million). Dementia affects people in all countries, with more than half (58%) living in low- and middle-income countries. By 2050, this is likely to rise to more than 70%.

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75% of people worldwide use their cellphones for text messaging

texting globally

Have you seen the Apple commercial showing Santa asking the iPhone’s Siri for guidance?  Well, it’s not far off the mark. Seventy-five percent of cellphone users around the globe use their phones for text messaging, in wealthy countries as well as poor ones, according to a new study.

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Digital movies to replace film worldwide by 2015


The majority of cinema screens in the U.S. are expected to go digital in 2012.

We are used to seeing the standard 35 mm film in movie theaters but that will be replaced worldwide by digital technology in the next few years, and the hit blockbuster film “Avatar” is to blame for the shift, according to a new report.


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