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Integrating and Managing Technology in my class | Gagan's Coetail Blog

Integrating and Managing Technology in my class | Gagan's Coetail Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Technology has flipped the entire world and with this change education is no longer boring and monotonous. With the integration of technology, education has become very interesting due to changing patterns in curriculum and teaching methods. During the 2011-2012 school year, 6th graders had an experience with 1:1 laptops and available to all grades were 2 carts of iPads, which were in high demand all the time. This school year we have launched iPads 1:1 and have had a successful 8 weeks of implementation in the Middle School with this method of educational technology. There are many applications through which teachers can get connected with their students whenever and wherever and vice versa. Classrooms can be more interactive and teachers can flip their class and what a learning experience it is!

 

Also this school year was the introduction of two major Software’s (Veracross and Gmail) in addition to the implementation of iPads. At times, MS IT was overwhelmed with all these various changes. What makes me more confident and areas where I see myself growing is learning new things and having a vision of how connectivism has transformed technology implementation and taken it to the next level.

 

I can see my school is growing and can see myself growing as well with the increasing quality of our educational programs. Educational technology plays a very important role in our development. The Internet also challenges us to change our role as educators and the way we teach curriculum to make the most of it with changes happening rapidly within the last few years. We have gone from white boards and books to a more web based learning approach.

 

Teachers and students are able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to and the technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based. Another added bonus is the availability of students to work collaboratively. The work is becoming increasingly collaborative with an abundance of resources which are Internet based.

 

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Academics to create 1,000-year evolving model of Venice as the Venice Time Machine | GizMag.com

Academics to create 1,000-year evolving model of Venice as the Venice Time Machine | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Today, Venice is regarded as one of the prettiest cities in the world. If you've ever wondered what it looked like in the past, however, an ambitious project may soon be able to show you. The Venice Time Machine wants to digitize the city's vast archive and create a 1,000-year evolving model of it.


École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is running the project in partnership with the University Ca’Foscari of Venice and support from the Lombard Odier Foundation. According to EPFL, "The diversity, amount and accuracy of the Venetian administrative documents are unique in Western history."


It is estimated that Venice has over 80 km (50 miles) of shelving that contains more than 1,000 years of administrative documents. Many of the documents are very delicate and are thought to be hand-written in a variety of languages evolving from medieval times to the 20th century.


The Venice Time Machine aims to digitize these documents and create an online repository through which individuals can search and browse. This would mean that historians would no longer need to visit Venice and its State Archive in order to view certain documents, as they must currently do.


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SpaceX releases video of powered booster landing | GizMag.com

SpaceX releases video of powered booster landing | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

During the recent Orbcomm OG2 launch, SpaceX attempted its second powered landing during a commercial mission, but this time you don’t have to take the company’s word for it. As the first stage made a controlled touchdown on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, a video camera recorded the event. SpaceX has released the video for the public to see – give or take a few ice crystals.


The two-stage Falcon 9 booster launched on July 14 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying six Orbcomm OG2 communication satellites in the second mission flight of a Falcon booster equipped with landing legs. After second stage separation, the usual fate of a first stage rocket would have been to crash into the ocean or burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, this latest version of the Falcon 9 booster was equipped with a trio of landing legs.


After separation, the booster fired its engines to slow it down from its hypersonic velocity and return it to its designated landing spot. As it approached the ground, the engines fired again, the legs sprang open, and the booster touched down vertically at near zero velocity on the surface of the ocean. Since the booster wasn't designed to land on water, the test ended with the craft falling over on its side when SpaceX says it lost its hull integrity and broke up.


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Shelter on the Moon could be the pits | GizMag.com

Shelter on the Moon could be the pits | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Moving into a new neighborhood means finding a place to live, and 45 years after Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, our largest satellite is still notoriously short on housing. However, that may be changing as NASA announces that its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has discovered over 200 deep pits on the Moon that could not only provide scientists with deeper insights into the geology of the Moon, but could also be used as sites for future Lunar outposts.


When it comes to harsh living conditions, the Moon gets top marks. There’s hard vacuum instead of an atmosphere, the temperature swings hundreds of degrees between freezing and boiling during the course of every month-long "day," the surface is blasted with cosmic and UV radiation, micrometeorites rain down to puncture spacesuits and damage equipment, and the infamously clingy and abrasive lunar dust is everywhere.


To escape these problems, many scenarios for building outposts on the Moon involve bulldozing lunar soil to cover the habitat to act as insulation and a radiation shield. If NASA’s lunar pits are real, they might be a possible alternative in the form of ready-made caves where habitats could be installed away from the worst of the surface conditions.


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The Big Sort: How Chicago’s school choice system is tracking kids into different high schools based on achievement | The Hechinger Report

The Big Sort: How Chicago’s school choice system is tracking kids into different high schools based on achievement | The Hechinger Report | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This spring, at grammar schools all across Chicago, thousands of eighth graders donned caps and gowns and walked across auditorium stages to receive their elementary school diplomas. This fall, the graduates from each of those schools will scatter—to more than 130 different Chicago public high schools, and counting.


But who goes where?


Over the past decade, Chicago has opened dozens of new high schools, and will open more this fall. The school district is trying to expand the number of “quality school options” and offer students a choice of where to go to school. And in many ways, Chicago high schools seem to be improving. Graduation rates are inching up. The city now boasts five of the top ten high schools in the state.


But a new WBEZ analysis shows an unintended consequence of the choice system: students of different ability levels are being sorted into separate high schools.


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The TISP project launches the first operational guidelines to boost innovation in book publishing and ICT | Europa.eu

The TISP network (Technology Innovation for Smart Publishing), the EU-funded project coordinated by the Italian Publishers Association which gathers 25 organizations from 12 European countries, has released a set of policy recommendations, giving the publishing and technology sectors a common base at European level to foster and sustain innovation for the first time.

The recommendations address policy makers looking to secure the smooth running of the markets concerned and the satisfaction of consumers, using existing instruments at their disposal. They call for more public investment, including research and development, and the allocation of project funding to support both sectors.


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TN: Change in state law will raise school taxes in some communities | MacombDaily.com

TN: Change in state law will raise school taxes in some communities | MacombDaily.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Thousands of Macomb County residents will pay hundreds of dollars more in school taxes beginning this year as the result of tightened requirements on how schools repay funds borrowed through bond issues.


A state law enacted by a lame-duck Legislature in the waning days of 2012 changes the terms of how schools repay loans they secured through the state-financed School Bond Loan Fund.


Districts that participate in the program now must recalculate their millage rates annually to ensure the schools generate enough money to meet the new financial obligations in a timely manner.


The bottom line: higher taxes for homeowners and uncertainty when, or if, those rates will decline.


“It’s tough, especially when it’s out of our control,” said Keith Wunderlich, superintendent of New Haven Community Schools. “This is something that was done by the Legislature and is out of our hands.”


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The Myth of Having Summers Off | Heather Wolpert-Gawron Blog | Edutopia.com

The Myth of Having Summers Off | Heather Wolpert-Gawron Blog | Edutopia.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

"So you're a teacher, huh?" says the umpteenth Joe know-it-all. I know the tone, and I know what's coming. "Must be nice having summer's off," he sneers.


I don't know what mythical job this guy thinks I have, but I have never had a summer off.


I don't know who these teachers are who are supposedly laying around all summer sippin' sangrias without a thought of prepping for the year before them. But I'm not one of them.


In fact, is there really a "them?"


Bottom line is that every year since entering teaching, and you should know that I am a second career teacher, having come from The World Beyond, I have seen some of the busiest summer months of my life.


This is for many reasons:


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Cyber-Seniors meet Cyber-Mentors: Making a difference in your community | Examiner.com

Cyber-Seniors meet Cyber-Mentors: Making a difference in your community | Examiner.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It started with two sisters that recognized how the Internet transformed their grandparents lives by learning the basic skills such as emailing, Facebook and Skype.


Inspired by this realization, the sisters started the Cyber-Seniors program to help other seniors get online.


They developed a training manual and recruited their friends to visit a local retirement home twice a week to teach interested seniors how to use the Internet. The seniors all had different interests. Some were eager to get onto Facebook to see photos of their grandkids, while others wanted to play online games, and everyone wanted to use email.


The program had many unexpected and exciting offshoots, including the creation of Cyber-Seniors Corner, a YouTube Channel where student-senior teams were encouraged to upload a short video featuring a senior sharing their wisdom or humor.


Recently Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project released their survey after interviewing 10,000 middle and high school students about what they believed matters most to their parents, the results were achievement and happiness followed by concern and caring for others.


There have been many articles since this study was revealed about how parents can instill ways of caring for others.


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Epiphany: Rep. John Conyers Realizes Mid-Hearing That His Copyright Position Contradicts His Stand Against Overcriminalization | Techdirt.com

Epiphany: Rep. John Conyers Realizes Mid-Hearing That His Copyright Position Contradicts His Stand Against Overcriminalization | Techdirt.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's hard to imagine looking at the absurdly excessive copyright penalties on the books and thinking, "Hey, maybe these should be a bit higher." But Congress has shown itself to be exceedingly imaginative when it comes to cranking up copyright, so perhaps it is no surprise that in yesterday's hearing on those penalties—covering statutory damages and criminal sanctions—a number of witnesses and Representatives alike seemed to think that those remedies are insufficient.


More surprising, though, was an unexpected moment of clarity from Michigan's Rep. John Conyers, a staple of the Judiciary Committee's reform hearing process and a reliable supporter of ratcheting up copyright enforcement capabilities. Conyers broke the first rule of copyright exceptionalism club by actually talking about the fact that this discussion would seem pretty unreasonable—even by Congressional standards—in areas outside of copyright.


Specifically, Conyers referred to the very real problem of overcriminalization, which absolutely afflicts copyright policy. This, after all, is the area of law that has made us an "Infringement Nation," routinely racking up millions of dollars in hypothetical damages throughout the course of an average day. Conyers generally pushes back against this overcriminalization, but here he is arguing for misdemeanors to be made into felonies—what gives?


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Lafayette, LA: Let education professionals handle teaching standards | Marla Baldwin Opinion | The Advertiser

Lafayette, LA: Let education professionals handle teaching standards | Marla Baldwin Opinion | The Advertiser | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

What does it say about our society when a few powerful spokesmen are more highly regarded than professional educators and parents in regard to opinions and policies governing education?


Concern is growing over a shift in educational decision-making that has left teachers and parents with little voice. Educators and parents across the country have testified to the problems associated with the Common Core State Standards, but their concerns have been disregarded.


Our educational system has fallen prey to politics; our children have become victims of special interest groups and social reformers. Meanwhile, the basis of CCSS rests firmly on rank ideology rather than on evidence.


Once financial incentives enter the decision-making process, the voices of those who have something to gain become biased. Business and special interest groups have their own agendas, which tend to trivialize democratic values and public concerns.


Nonprofit organizations also have joined the ranks of those promoting the wonders of the CCSS. The public has been led to believe that the new purpose of education should be to provide workforce training in order to prepare our students for global competitiveness.


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How the Maker Movement Is Moving into Classrooms | Vicki Davis | Edutopia.org

How the Maker Movement Is Moving into Classrooms | Vicki Davis | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Maker movement is a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship. Certainly, learning by doing or "making" has been happening since our ancestors refined the wheel.


Don’t treat making as a sidebar to an already overtaxed curriculum. As you investigate the principles behind teaching STEAM via making, you'll see sound research from many educators throughout history, including Jean Piaget who, in 1973, wrote:


[S]tudents who are thus reputedly poor in mathematics show an entirely different attitude when the problem comes from a concrete situation and is related to other interests.


In 1972, Seymour Papert predicted what many complain is the state of today's apps and programs for modern students:


[T]he same old teaching becomes incredibly more expensive and biased toward its dumbest parts, namely the kind of rote learning in which measurable results can be obtained by treating the children like pigeons in a Skinner box.


Indeed, many of us go on first our first techno-rush as kids playing with erector sets, Legos, and the Radio Shack electronic kits. In a day when everyone thinks, "There's an app for that," many educators believe that we're missing the point of technology if we think its best use is programming kids to memorize math facts. Students don't want to use apps -- they want to make them.


Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager write, in Invent to Learn, a book that some call the "Maker in Education bible":


Maker classrooms are active classrooms. In active classrooms one will find engaged students, often working on multiple projects simultaneously, and teachers unafraid of relinquishing their authoritarian role. The best way to activate your classroom is for your classroom to make something.


A new generation of inventors is surfing the tide of the Maker movement. These classrooms emphasize making, inventing, and creativity. Let's look at the terminology and trends that will help educators understand the Maker movement.


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Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology | Forest Lake Elementary School | Edutopia.org

Ten Tips for Personalized Learning via Technology | Forest Lake Elementary School | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At Forest Lake Elementary School, in Columbia, South Carolina, the student population grows more diverse by the day. Income levels, ethnicities, family structures, first languages, interests, and abilities now vary so much, that a traditional teaching approach, with a uniform lesson targeted to the average-level student, just doesn't cut it. (Sound familiar to you educators out there?)


To challenge and support each child at his or her own level, the Forest Lake teachers and staff are deploying a powerful array of widely available digital-technology tools. Each classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and a Tech Zone of eight Internet-enabled computers. Plus, teachers have access to gadgets including digital cameras, Flip cameras, remote-response clickers, and PDAs.


More important than the gadgets themselves, of course, is how the teachers use them to create personalized lessons and a productive environment where each child is engaged. Here are Forest Lake teachers' top tips on how to do it.


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CCSS resources for elementary classrooms, PLCs, etc.

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Why Do Americans Stink at Math? | NYTimes Magazine

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? | NYTimes Magazine | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When Akihiko Takahashi was a junior in college in 1978, he was like most of the other students at his university in suburban Tokyo. He had a vague sense of wanting to accomplish something but no clue what that something should be. But that spring he met a man who would become his mentor, and this relationship set the course of his entire career.


Takeshi Matsuyama was an elementary-school teacher, but like a small number of instructors in Japan, he taught not just young children but also college students who wanted to become teachers. At the university-affiliated elementary school where Matsuyama taught, he turned his classroom into a kind of laboratory, concocting and trying out new teaching ideas. When Takahashi met him, Matsuyama was in the middle of his boldest experiment yet — revolutionizing the way students learned math by radically changing the way teachers taught it.


Instead of having students memorize and then practice endless lists of equations — which Takahashi remembered from his own days in school — Matsuyama taught his college students to encourage passionate discussions among children so they would come to uncover math’s procedures, properties and proofs for themselves.


One day, for example, the young students would derive the formula for finding the area of a rectangle; the next, they would use what they learned to do the same for parallelograms. Taught this new way, math itself seemed transformed. It was not dull misery but challenging, stimulating and even fun.


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Project Tango smartphones prepare to explore the ISS | GizMag.com

Project Tango smartphones prepare to explore the ISS | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Last week, Orbital Sciences' second commercial resupply mission delivered two Project Tango Google smartphones to the International Space Station (ISS). The sensor-filled phones will be used to create a detailed 3D map of the spacecraft, which will then help two soccer ball-sized, free-flying satellites autonomously navigate through some very tight spots.


Back in 2006, three Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) free-flying robots boarded the ISS to perform experiments on satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and flying formations. Each satellite is only about the size of a soccer ball, but it is still able to autonomously and precisely navigate its surroundings in micro-g environments.


Autonomous navigation is important when you consider that relaying instructions from the ground faces the problem of delays in the order of several seconds. So NASA is using these robots as a testbed for visually guided autonomous robotic exploration, hoping that its future robots will be able to make good use of the SPHERES technology.

Crucially, each robot is also able to interface with a wide range of electronics, from stereoscopic goggles to smartphones. For instance, in 2011 a Nexus S smartphone was interfaced with one of the satellites in order to test vision-based navigation in a spacecraft of such a small size.


With its latest resupply mission, NASA has now sent the astronauts two Project Tango smartphones that will put the two remaining SPHERES to good use. The prototype phone under development by Google will interface with the robots and raise their capabilities through the addition of cameras, special-purpose computer vision processors, and depth and motion tracking sensors.


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Powerful hybrid polysynth marries analog goodness with digital reliability | GizMag.com

Powerful hybrid polysynth marries analog goodness with digital reliability | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Though still in demand, classic analog synthesizers from decades past can be a bit of a nightmare to keep in good working order. Many modern digital emulators do a decent enough job of recreating the epic sounds of artists like Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and Soft Cell, but some believe that they just don't have the same iconic sound qualities.


Such is the thinking of a team of designers and engineers led by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, which has created a next gen music synth named Modulus.002. The boutique polyphonic sound machine mixes classic analog sound creation techniques with some digital magic to give musicians access to the kind of sounds made famous by vintage instruments of yesteryear.


"Most modern designs of polyphonic synthesizers are pure digital and just don't have the same iconic sound qualities, in our opinion," says Taysom, co-founder of the Bristol, UK-based startup behind the Modulus.002. "What we have created in the Modulus.002 is a fusion of these iconic analog and hybrid sounds of the 70s and 80s synthesizers with the reliability of the latest electronics plus Internet connectivity to share sounds, settings and work collaboratively on music without relying on painfully slow serial/MIDI connections to do so. This is the first synthesizer designed for the interconnected 21st Century."


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E-rate Reform: Making the Conversation (Wi-Fi) Accessible | Lindsey Tepe | EdCentral | NAF.org

E-rate Reform: Making the Conversation (Wi-Fi) Accessible | Lindsey Tepe | EdCentral | NAF.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Sitting in Atlanta International Airport, the terminal is brimming with travelers connecting to the airport’s free wireless Internet. Upon connecting, passengers are greeted with the message “Wi-Fi Before You Fly” across the homepage. This isn’t an anomaly. Free public Wi-Fi has rapidly expanded from coffee shops to an increasing share of businesses, parks, and dozens of other public spaces—so why shouldn’t public schools have Wi-Fi too?


The proposal from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler—passed this past Friday on a 3-2 party-line vote—tries to move our schools one step closer to that ideal by prioritizing Wi-Fi investment for this modern update of the E-rate program.


The approved changes to the E-rate program will phase down support for telecommunications services like telephone service, while dialing up support over the next five years for wireless connectivity (Wheeler has reassured stakeholders that this will not crowd out funding for basic connections to schools). The first two years will be paid for through $2 billion in funding that the FCC has already identified—and those last three years will be filled in with savings from phasing out old telecommunications services and cost-savings from increased program efficiencies.


The two Republican members of the Commission seem skeptical of Wheeler’s funding plan and voted against the proposal (for the record, the two other Democrats seem a bit skeptical on parts of the plan as well). To his credit, Wheeler has indicated that later this fall (most likely after midterm elections) the Commission will revisit the issue of sustainable program funding through a new public notice. Funding aside though, the simpler message of “Wi-Fi to the Schools” may obscure larger structural challenges for schools and libraries of providing high-speed Internet service.


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Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush's reading rule loses ground | POLITICO.com

Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush's reading rule loses ground | POLITICO.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It was one of Jeb Bush’s signature initiatives as Florida governor: Require third-graders to repeat the year if they flunked a reading test.


Bush promoted the policy aggressively, and, within a decade, 15 states and Washington had adopted it. Ever since, tens of thousands of 8- and 9-year-olds across the country have been treading water at third grade, some for as many as three years.


But now, political pressure to dilute the policies is building — in part, because new, more-challenging Common Core exams will be rolled out in many states next spring. In states that have already tried Common Core exams, as many as 70 percent of students failed, raising fears of mass retentions among teachers, parents and children.


Lawmakers are scrambling to respond. In Oklahoma, the Legislature just tweaked the state’s law to let students who have failed the reading test advance to fourth grade if a team of parents and educators approves. In North Carolina, lawmakers softened the retention law to give districts more flexibility. In New Mexico, Democratic legislators have repeatedly thwarted the governor’s attempt to enact a Florida-style policy.


And in Ohio, the law has even become a campaign issue being used against Republican Gov. John Kasich.


Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien was instrumental in pushing the Colorado READ Act, which passed in 2012. She said she worries the retention policies will get caught up in anti-Common Core and anti-testing fervor.


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Tea Party support linked to educational segregation, new study shows | Notre Dame News | ND.edu

Tea Party support linked to educational segregation, new study shows | Notre Dame News | ND.edu | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In January 2009, Barack Obama assumed the U.S. presidency in the midst of the most severe recession since the great depression of the 1930s. While many Americans hoped the new administration would take an active role in providing relief for those harmed by the economic collapse, a “Tea Party” movement emerged to oppose Obama’s agenda.


University of Notre Dame political sociologist Rory McVeigh, whose study “Educational Segregation, Tea Party Organizations, and Battles over Distributive Justice” was recently published in the American Sociological Review, says, “The political polarization that we witness today is linked to the way in which Americans live in segregated worlds.”


McVeigh and his coauthors, Kraig Beyerlein, Burrel Vann and Priyamvada Trivedi, examine why certain U.S. counties are conducive to the establishment of Tea Party organizations. Their statistical analyses show that even after accounting for many other factors, Tea Party organizations were much more likely to form in counties with high levels of residential segregation based on education levels, and that college graduates were more likely to indicate support for the Tea Party if they resided in a county characterized by high levels of educational segregation.


“Acceptance or rejection of the Tea Party’s views on the government’s role in redistributing wealth is shaped, to a large degree, by the extent to which those who have benefited from higher education are set apart in their daily lives from those who have not,” says McVeigh, who specializes in inequality, social movements, race and ethnicity. “As the article explains, the commonly held view that individuals and families who are struggling to get by are undeserving of government assistance is reinforced when the highly educated have limited contact with those who have been less fortunate.”


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The Teacher Dropout Crisis | Ed--How Learning Happens | NPR.org

The Teacher Dropout Crisis | Ed--How Learning Happens | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Worried about your teenager dropping out of school? You might also want to worry about his teacher.


"Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either ," reads a new report from the , an advocacy group. And this kind of turnover comes at a steep cost, not only to students but to districts: up to $2.2 billion a year.


There were more than 3 million full-time teachers in 2013, , meaning nearly 15 percent of the workforce is moving or leaving every year. And, the study says, at-risk students suffer the most.


Nearly 20 percent of teachers at high-poverty schools leave every year, a rate 50 percent higher than at more affluent schools. That's one of every five teachers, gone by next September.


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Poll: 70 percent of voters support federal preschool expansion | WashPost.com

Poll: 70 percent of voters support federal preschool expansion | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Seven in 10 voters, including six in 10 Republicans, support a plan for the federal government to expand quality early childhood programs for low- and middle-income families, according to a national poll sponsored by the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group.


The bipartisan support was underscored by two prominent political strategists from both major parties during an event Thursday at the National Press Club.


“This is an issue that has calcified in many people’s minds as something that’s important,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican political campaign strategist and former press secretary for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Voters believe this is a critical investment at a critical time.”


Jim Messina, who managed President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, agreed: “There is a national consensus around this issue except in the 10-mile square, logic-free zone that we call Washington, D.C.,” he said.


State governors and mayors from both political parties have made strides in expanding preschool in recent years, but Obama’s proposal to increase federal funding to help states improve access to preschool has stalled in Congress, floundering amid a pervasive deadlock in the legislature.


Both political strategists agreed that the strong support for early childhood investment is a reflection of the deep anxiety people are feeling about the economy and the future direction of the country. They said that given the widespread support among voters, early childhood education is likely to continue to be part of candidates’ platforms in the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race.


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Education 'Reform' Loses The Netroots | Education Opportunity Network

I wrote on the blogsite OpenLeftback in 2010, the Netroots Nation event seemed “generally in denial about issues of race and class that are at the heart of” problems in public schools. Instead, all the conversation was about “reform.” And teachers’ unions fought for attention on the agenda by addressing the worsening conditions for the nation’s public school teachers as a “labor issue.”


“Lots of lip service was paid to ‘saving teachers’ jobs,’” I recalled. But “not much of anything on the agenda addressed the destructive education policies of the Obama administration.”


News that Michelle Rhee, the public school chancellor in Washington, DC that year, had fired another 241 teachers was completely overlooked in any of the panels and speeches. Instead, as I reported, “As the news broke, an attendee I was having coffee with was absolutely gleeful. ‘There are too many bad teachers,’ she explained to me while coolly scrolling through the headlines on her Blackberry, ‘And they’re never made accountable for anything.’” Those around nodded in agreement.


Certainly no one of any prominence at the meeting pointed out the blatant unfairness of the Obama administration’s push to evaluate teachers on the basis of students’ scores on standardized tests. And during the conference’s education caucus, when National Education Association vice president Lilly Eskelsen warned of the rapidly expanding charter school industry that was spreading corporate influence and privatization of public schools, attendees defended “wonderful charter schools.”


The following year, at Netroots Nation 2011 in Las Vegas, I led a panel that included Eskelsen, U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Sabrina Stevens (who now leads Integrity in Education), and Kevin Welner, an education professor from the University of Colorado, Boulder and co-director of the National Education Policy Center.


The title of that panel was “Engaging Progressives in the Fight for Public Education,” and we warned attendees of the dangers of current education policies and urged attendees to get involved in the growing movement to take back our public schools.


Both Eskelsen and Chu cited a Stanford study of charter schools nationwide that found most charter schools fail to outperform comparable neighborhood schools. And they decried the application of business models to education because business is designed to create winners and losers and stratify opportunities.


Stevens spoke eloquently and passionately of her experience teaching in a Denver public school where a reform agenda imposed by the state had stifled teachers’ practice, turned teaching into rote test-prep, and sapped the joy of learning from the students.


At one point during the session, Welner asked if there was anyone in the audience from the Center for American Progress. Two attendees raised their hands, which prompted Welner to chide, “Your organization is as bad as the American Enterprise Institute on education,” noting the groups that generally represent the range of the political spectrum – from left-leaning CAP to ardent right wing AEI – actively colluded in the campaign for corporate education reform.


Both CAP staffers promptly walked out. Based on what transpired in 2014, it’s now clear they – and the agenda masquerading as “education reform” – never really came back.


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Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Exploring Electronic Music in South Africa: "The Future Looks Awesome" | Think Africa Press

Exploring Electronic Music in South Africa: "The Future Looks Awesome" | Think Africa Press | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Township tech’ is an intriguing juxtaposition. It was first coined a few years ago by DJ and rapper Spoek Mathambo, who appointed himself the "prince" of it in the process, and the phrase injects a sense of freshness into one of South Africa’s most misunderstood creative hubs.


“A setup can cost as little as 1500 Rand [$140],” says Mathambo of the basic materials needed to create a track. “Some of the biggest songs this country has ever produced − ‘Township Funk’ by DJ Mujava, for example − were produced on a very simple home computer set-up.”


He is speaking to Think Africa Press ahead of the release of his new documentary, Future Sounds of Mzansi. The film is Mathambo's feature-length debut, directed in partnership with filmmaker Lebo Rasethaba, and it explores South Africa’s upcoming electronic music scene as it ventures beyond Mathambo's stomping ground of the townships of Johannesburg and across the whole country.


Mathambo had already proven his talent for visuals. In his live sets, for instance, flamboyant stage and light shows bridge the gaps between music, dance, theatre and film, clearly influenced by the powerful aesthetics of Nollywood's 'spiritual thrillers'. “It freaks out his family and I can’t argue with that!” says Mathambo of one of his previous producer’s reactions to the horror-film aspects of his work. It seems to be no coincidence that Spoek means ‘ghost’ in Afrikaans.


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Could This Chicago Teen Cure Colon Cancer Someday? | DNAinfo.com

Could This Chicago Teen Cure Colon Cancer Someday? | DNAinfo.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Keven Stonewall iikes to say "innovation doesn't have an age," which makes sense considering the 19-year-old could be on his way to curing colon cancer.


Working at a Rush University lab while still in high school, the Ashburn native revealed a critical age-related drawback in an experimental vaccine aimed at preventing colon cancer in mice.


A vaccine that could work on seniors is now being developed.


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UK: Google backs creative coding classes for children | Telegraph.co.uk

UK: Google backs creative coding classes for children | Telegraph.co.uk | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Google has partnered with the Barbican and interactive artists in a series of classes designed to teach schoolchildren how to code creatively.


The DevArt Young Creators course is a 3 week series of workshops lead by interactive artists Zach Lieberman, Karsten Schmidt and duo Varvara and Mar created to teach pupils about the creative possibilities of code.


The sessions, held between 7-25 July at the Barbican, will take groups of 9-13 year-olds through how to code a piece of music, a digital butterfly and a 3D-printed piece of art.


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The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning | Judy Willis, MD | Edutopia.com

The Neuroscience Behind Stress and Learning | Judy Willis, MD | Edutopia.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The realities of standardized tests and increasingly structured, if not synchronized, curriculum continue to build classroom stress levels.


Neuroimaging research reveals the disturbances in the brain's learning circuits and neurotransmitters that accompany stressful learning environments.


The neuroscientific research about learning has revealed the negative impact of stress and anxiety and the qualitative improvement of the brain circuitry involved in memory and executive function that accompanies positive motivation and engagement.


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