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Draft Version of ALA Digital Literacy Task Force Report Now Available, Comments Welcome | Library Journal

Draft Version of ALA Digital Literacy Task Force Report Now Available, Comments Welcome | Library Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The OITP Digital Literacy Task Force is pleased to share this preliminary report and is seeking feedback from across the profession on this draft. The report provides a broad overview of libraries and digital literacy. It discusses the current policy context, including digital inclusion, education, life-long learning, and workforce development.

 

The report outlines library-specific issues and opportunities. It reaffirms the need for traditional, text-based literacy in reading and writing as a foundation for other literacies.

 

Finally, the report serves as a launching point for the development of a set of recommendations to the Association and the broader library community to continue and expand libraries’ engagement and leadership to effect meaningful and sustainable change in our communities.

 

The Task Force will develop these recommendations as a companion piece to this report.

 

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Could NASA take CubeSats interplanetary? | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Could NASA take CubeSats interplanetary? | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

CubeSats, tiny satellites about the size of a loaf of bread or smaller, hold the promise of opening space up to low-budget space missions, but currently they're largely restricted to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). To broaden the scope of these pint-sized spacecraft, NASA is developing its CubeSat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE) concept, which would see the development of miniature space probes that can be sent in fleets on interplanetary missions for multi-point sampling, as opposed to the bus-sized, do-it-all probes that are currently in service.

CAPE is the brainchild of technologist Jaime Esper at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who envisions the interplanetary CubeSat as a pair of modules similar to those used on the crew and cargo ships that service the International Space Station (ISS). These would consist of two modules weighing less than 11 lb (4.9 kg) and measuring 4 in (10 cm) on a side. The first would be a service module to power the craft, and the second a Micro-Re-entry Capsule (MIRCA) for entering the atmosphere of Mars or some other planet or moon under study.

The idea is that the CAPE/MICRA spacecraft would be carried by a mothership, which would eject them before reaching the target planet or moon. The service module would then provide power from solar panels or internal batteries and make its way to its target. Once the journey is complete, the MICRA module would separate and enter the planet's atmosphere, where accelerometers, gyros, thermal and pressure sensors, radiometers, and other sensors would send data back to the mothership.


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Michelle Obama Encourages Oberlin Graduates To Seek Out 'The Most Contentious, Polarized, Gridlocked Places' | Paige Lavender | HuffPost.com

Michelle Obama Encourages Oberlin Graduates To Seek Out 'The Most Contentious, Polarized, Gridlocked Places' | Paige Lavender | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

While receiving an honorary degree at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, on Monday, first lady Michelle Obama encouraged students to get involved in civic life and "run to, and not away from, the noise."

"Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find," Obama said in her address. "Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens –- the places where minds are changed, lives transformed, where our great American story unfolds."

Obama noted there would be challenges in getting involved in civic duty, citing the difficulties faced by activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., President Franklin D. Roosevelt and others.

"Here at Oberlin, most of the time you’re probably surrounded by folks who share your beliefs. But out in the real world, there are plenty of people who think very differently than you do, and they hold their opinions just as passionately," Obama said. "So if you want to change their minds, if you want to work with them to move this country forward, you can’t just shut them out. You have to persuade them, and you have to compromise with them."


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MA: Janet Echelman Builds Ethereal Aerial Sculpture High Above Boston | HiFructose.com

MA: Janet Echelman Builds Ethereal Aerial Sculpture High Above Boston | HiFructose.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Boston based artist Janet Echelmen has created one of her most dramatic works yet, but you won’t find it in any gallery. Her latest aerial sculpture hangs half an acre above Boston’s Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Greenway.


Titled “As If It Were Already Here”, the piece weighs a whopping 2,000 lbs, made of 542,000 knots which Echelmen wove together into a colorful, graceful mesh. Most often her sculptures are lit at night and cast dramatic shadows that give off an unearthly feeling. The effect of the piece illuminated in the sky and dancing in the wind has been compared to a jellyfish or celestial wormhole. Her work sparks the imagination.


This particular work is site-specific; the striped design mimics the now former striped traffic lanes that were removed during Boston’s Big Dig. Three voids in the piece also represent hills that were later raised to create a landfill. As her piece floats over Boston through early October, Echelmen hopes it will inspire people to make these connections between the spaces that surround them.


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3 Difficult-To-Swallow Truths About The History Of Education And The Future Of Technology | Jordan Shapiro | Forbes.com

3 Difficult-To-Swallow Truths About The History Of Education And The Future Of Technology | Jordan Shapiro | Forbes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One part of the current education reform agenda argues that the internet has made the world bigger. Or, more accurately, the boundaries of our everyday experiences have expanded. Therefore, because we are more connected than ever before, the story goes, we need to think about education as the practice of cross-cultural tolerance and global awareness. Folks argue that humans have never before had to deal with so much difference.


I think this is just plain wrong. The truth is that we’ve never had to deal with so much similarity. That’s the big shift we face. All you have to do is read Plato to realize that education, in its formative years, was already about geo-political conflict, growth and expansion. It was about confronting (and manufacturing) difference.


Plato, in the 4th Century BC, already saw education as a necessity for a global, connected world. Granted, his globe wasn’t as vast or as networked as ours. But still, he saw education as primarily driven by a question about how we deal with our neighbors, how we deal with others.

Plato’s Republic (Πολιτεία) is equal parts education and political theory. For Plato, these things are inseparable. The purpose of an education is to create citizens, to teach humans what they need to know to live and participate in a prosperous city-state, to prepare adults to contribute to society. This is why folks often point to Republic when arguing for civics education. But I suspect Plato would have thought that an explicit civics curriculum is a bit like considering paper making and printing to be a part of learning to read. Either that, or he would have considered it redundant. After all, the reason we teach any subject is to prepare folks for civic engagement.

What’s more, Plato understands that education is an economic necessity. But for him, it is not about how career training increases job readiness. Trades, after all, were learned through apprenticeship in ancient times, just as workplace skills are mostly learned on the job today. It is also not about creating a labor force. Nor is it about how educated citizens are more innovative and/or productive, and therefore work in ways that help to boost GDP.

No, Plato didn’t think the way you’d expect. For him, it is not that formal education leads to economic growth. On the contrary, economic growth creates the need for formal education.


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Education reformers have it all wrong: Accountability from above never works, great teaching always does | Jal Mehta | Salon.com

Education reformers have it all wrong: Accountability from above never works, great teaching always does |  Jal Mehta | Salon.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Excerpted from "The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling"


In late 2001, three months after the September 11 attacks, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) passed both House and Senate with strong bipartisan majorities and was signed by a Republican president. Promising to use the power of the state to ensure that all children were proficient in reading and math by 2014, proponents heralded the act as the greatest piece of federal education legislation since the creation of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965.


By requiring the states to set high standards, pairing them with assessments that measured whether students were achieving those standards, and holding schools accountable if students failed to do so, NCLB, in the eyes of its sponsors, would close achievement gaps and make America’s schools the envy of the world.

A decade later, the bloom is off the rose. While almost everyone today continues to share the aim of leaving no child behind, the act itself has come in for criticism from many quarters, to the point that Bush’s former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings declared that NCLB is now a “toxic brand” in American politics.


Careful studies of the implementation of NCLB have shown that it has done what less bullish observers might have predicted from the outset. It has increased the focus on the education of poor and minority students, but it has not provided schools with needed tools to create higher quality schooling for these students.


There has been improvement in some national test scores (e.g., 4th and 8th grade math), while others have remained largely unchanged (e.g., 4th and 8th grade reading ). Even accounting for the progress in math, there is no sign that the reforms have had a significant impact in closing achievement gaps or in improving America’s mediocre international educational standing.


Particularly in the most troubled schools, there has been rampant teaching to the test and some outright cheating. In-depth studies have shown that some schools now devote a large part of their year to test prep; Atlanta and DC public schools have both contended with widespread cheating scandals.


There are substantial concerns that simplistic testing is crowding out richer forms of learning. While reasonable people continue to disagree about the legacy and future of No Child Left Behind, there is broad agreement that it has not stimulated the kind of widespread improvement that we want and need for our schools.

This outcome might have been surprising if it were the first time policymakers tried to use standards, tests, and accountability to remake schooling from above. But NCLB was actually the third such movement.


In the Progressive Era, newly empowered superintendents sought to use methods of rational administration, including early standards, tests, and accountability measures, to make schools more efficient and effective.


In the 1960s and 1970s, newly empowered state departments of education sought to use state standards, assessments, and accountability to clarify goals and improve school performance. Not once, not twice, but three different times, school reformers have hit upon the same idea for how to remake American schools.


The surprise is less that results have not met expectations than that we have repeatedly placed a high degree of faith in reforms promising to rationalize schools from above. After all, how many other policies were cochampioned by George W. Bush and Edward Kennedy?

This is about these repeated efforts to “order” schools from above. It seeks to answer a series of questions about these movements. Perhaps the most important question is the most basic: Why have American reformers repeatedly invested such high hopes in these instruments of control despite their track record of mixed results at best?


What assumptions about human nature, individual psychology, organizational sociolog y, teachers, and students underlie these repeated efforts to “rationalize” schooling?


Politically, why have the recent movements triumphed despite the resistance of the strongest interest group in the arena, the teachers unions?


Why do these movements draw support from both liberals and conservatives?


In the most recent movement, why did a Republican president push for the most powerful version of this vision and in so doing buck the traditions of his own party and create the greatest expansion of the federal role in education in the country’s history?


What have been the consequences of these rationalizing movements, not just for test scores, but for the teaching profession, for educational and social justice, and for the shape of the educational enterprise as a whole?


And finally, if not rationalization of schools, then what? Is there an alternative that is more likely to yield the results that we seek?


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World of Warcraft halted an army of cheaters with a massive player ban | Abby Ohlheiser | WashPost.com

World of Warcraft halted an army of cheaters with a massive player ban | Abby Ohlheiser | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A "large number" of cheating World of Warcraft players were banned from the popular game for six months for using "bots" that allow players to automate some of their play, the popular game's maker announced this week.

Although Blizzard Entertainment's statement on the ban didn't include an exact figure, it's possible that more than 100,000 players are on an involuntary vacation from World of Warcraft. That number comes from a conversation between one player and a Game Master, an in-game employee of Blizzard. A Blizzard spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

What is clear from Blizzard's statement, however, is that many of the banned users were using the World of Warcraft equivalent of performance-enhancing drugs: "bots."

"We've recently taken action against a large number of World of Warcraft accounts that were found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay, known as 'bots,'" the statement reads. "We’re committed to providing an equal and fair playing field for everyone in World of Warcraft, and will continue to take action against those found in violation of our Terms of Use. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated."

The statement also encourages people who spot other players using a "bot, exploit, or cheat" in violation with the game's terms of service to report them to Blizzard.


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Press, University Say Study Shows Link Between Gaming And Alzheimer's; Spoiler: No It Doesn't | Timothy Geigner | Techdirt

Press, University Say Study Shows Link Between Gaming And Alzheimer's; Spoiler: No It Doesn't | Timothy Geigner | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If I've learned any single thing covering technology news it's that you can blame absolutely anything on video games. Mass violence? Games. Failure at professional sports? Pssh, games, yo. Love life not as spicy as you might like? Those games, those games. But a study that supposedly claims a link between video games and Alzheimer's Disease? Come on.

“Call of Duty increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease”, said the Telegraph. “Video game link to psychiatric disorders suggested by study”, reported the Guardian. The Daily Mail posed the problem as a question, “Could video games increase your risk of Alzheimer’s?”, reminding us that whenever a news headline asks a question, the answer is no.

We know that when science news is hyped, most of the hype is already present in the press releases issued by universities. This case is no exception - the press release was issued by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and unsurprisingly it focuses almost entirely on the tenuous link to Alzheimer’s disease.

Tenuous is being exceptionally kind in this case. The study in question, produced in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, barely focused on any link between gaming and the disease, in fact. Instead, the team of Canadian researchers were simply studying the difference in brain-wave activity with groups of gamers and non-gamers. They noticed specifically a significant difference in the activity of one type of brain-wave with gamers, N2PC, which can have an effect on attention spans. So, how did we get from that to a link to Alzheimer's? Were there clinical tests done? Was the team of researchers even in any way focused on the most famous form of dementia?


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The Robots are Coming: How a Caring Economy Is the Best App for a Shrinking Job Market | Riane Eisler Blog | HuffPost.com

The Robots are Coming: How a Caring Economy Is the Best App for a Shrinking Job Market | Riane Eisler Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The tech and automation job-quake is finally gaining attention, with predictions that nearly half of American jobs will be lost within a couple of decades. Yet too many leaders still avert their eyes, making decisions through a rear-view mirror rather than planning for a horizon already upon us. Even worse, the only "solution" floated so far is that government hand everyone an annual stipend for doing nothing at all.

Already, technology performs countless functions earlier done exclusively by people. When tablets on restaurant tables take people's orders, software guides our shopping online (while automation increasingly controls warehouses), and driverless cars presage huge job losses in the transportation sector, we see the convulsed employment markets of tomorrow.

Even now, jobs are polarized, with large numbers of people relegated to low-wage jobs that are often part-time and without benefits. And the U.S. industrial job base is predicted to shrink as radically as the agricultural job base shrank earlier. But unlike industrialization, automation does not offer large numbers of replacement jobs.

So, what are we to do with the "surplus" populations that technological advances such as apps, "sharing economy" business models, artificial intelligence systems, and automation leave in their wake? Long ago, the liberal economist Robert Theobald proposed a guaranteed annual income, and even conservative economic godfather Milton Friedman proposed a negative income tax providing people with no-or-low earnings a government stipend.

That these measures are being proposed again makes no sense. Neither gives recipients the opportunity to do meaningful work, robbing us of necessary contributions to our socio-economic life. Nor do they reward positive behaviors and discourage harmful ones, address irresponsible economic policies and business practices, take into account the damage to our health and natural habitat of such policies and practices, or address the power imbalances that lie behind chronic economic inequity and inefficiency.

In starkest terms: the Baltimore riots may have relaunched conventional discussions about economic opportunity for communities in crisis, but we've heard nothing new as entire segments of employment careen towards crisis.

Yet an effective response is available to the challenges of the postindustrial world: economic policies that support and reward activities that machines and high-technology devices, no matter how sophisticated, cannot perform: being creative, flexible, and caring.

A caring economy is the best app for solving the looming jobs crisis.


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NV: School, dealership continue Intern partnership | Keith Trout | Reno Gazette-Journal

NV: School, dealership continue Intern partnership | Keith Trout | Reno Gazette-Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The partnership between Yerington High School and Wild West Chevrolet for an internship is reaching its second year with three Yerington seniors participating.

A new aspect this year is a pickup truck obtained by Wild West in a trade-in is being refurbished this year for a drawing to benefit the continuing the internship program.

This year, two students, Galen Moore and Matt Phillips, are sales interns, while a third, Carlos Rodrigues, is a service technician intern. They come every Tuesday and Thursday to Wild West.

The truck needed work, so the students began working on it while Wild West had the 1988 Chevy Silverado 4x4 painted as well, with new tires and wheels and a bed liner coating.

Jerry Bryant, Internet marketing manager at Wild West Chevrolet, said fixing the truck was assigned to the students.

"Here's your project; dig in," he said.

Now the students and the dealership are selling raffle tickets to win the pickup truck. Tickets are $5 each or 12 for $50. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Yerington High Senior Recognition Night on May 20.

Bryant said the pickup will be displayed around town at different locations, including last week at Financial Horizons Credit Union, so people can get a good look at it.

Yerington High officials said they were pleased with the intern partnership.


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Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google | Amien Essif | AlterNet.org

Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google | Amien Essif | AlterNet.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again.

Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation, charge your phone, use the bathroom, check your email, find the address of a hotel or homeless shelter. Of all the institutions we have, both public and private, the public library is the truest democratic space.

The library’s value isn’t lost on us. A Gallup survey from 2013 found that libraries are not just popular, they’re extremely popular. Over 90 percent of Americans feel that libraries are a vital part of their communities. Compare this to 53 percent for the police, 27 percent for public schools, and just 7 percent for Congress, and you’re looking at perhaps the greatest success of the public sector.

James Palfrey, in his new book BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, gives some truly bummer statistics on what’s happening to this beloved institution. A government report showed that while the nation’s public libraries served 298 million people in 2010 (that’s 96 percent of the U.S. population), states had cut funding by 38 percent and the federal government by 19 percent between 2000 and 2010. “It seems extraordinary that a public service with such reach should be, in effect, punished despite its success,” writes Palfrey.

Of necessity, he cites these tough economic times as a reason for this “punishment.” But according to Palfrey, one of the greatest threats to libraries is nostalgia—the way that we, the loving public, associate libraries with the pleasures of a bygone era, and assume that the growth of the Internet is slowly draining libraries of their usefulness.

“Nostalgia is too thin a reed for librarians to cling to in a time of such transition,” Palfrey writes. “Thinking of libraries as they were ages ago and wanting them to remain the same is the last thing we should want for them.”

In our heartfelt but naïve fondness for “quiet, inviting spaces” full of books and nothing else, we fail to realize that libraries are becoming more important, not less, to our communities and our democracy.


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The first Memorial Day was Black | James DeWolf Perry | BayView.com

The first Memorial Day was Black | James DeWolf Perry | BayView.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As we pause to remember the nation’s war dead, it’s worth remembering that Memorial Day was first celebrated by Black Union troops and free Black Americans in Charleston, South Carolina at the end of the Civil War.


As historian David Blight recounts in his masterful book, “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” (2001), Charleston was occupied by Union troops in the spring of 1865, most white residents having fled the city. In this atmosphere, the free Black population of Charleston, primarily consisting of former slaves, engaged in a series of celebrations to proclaim the meaning of the war as they saw it.

The height of these celebrations took place on May 1, 1865, on the grounds of the former Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, an elite facility which had been used by the Confederates as a gruesome prison and mass grave for unlucky Union soldiers. Following the evacuation of Charleston, Black laborers had dug up the remains of Union soldiers, given them a proper burial, and built the trappings of a respectful cemetery around the site to memorialize their sacrifice.

To dedicate the cemetery to the Union’s war dead, Black and white leaders came together to organize a parade of 10,000 people, described in a New York Tribune account as “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.” At the front of the parade were 3,000 Black children, laden with roses and singing “John Brown’s Body,” while bringing up the rear were a brigade of Union troops, including the Massachusetts 54th Regiment and the 34th and 104th United States Colored Troops. (The commander of the 21st United States Colored Infantry had been the one to formally accept the city’s surrender.) Following the parade and dedication in the cemetery, the crowd settled down to picnic, listen to orators and watch the troops march.


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These Women Get IT | Frank McCoy | Black Engineer & Black Entrepreneur

These Women Get IT | Frank McCoy | Black Engineer & Black Entrepreneur | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The digital transformation is revving up. Information Technology (IT) is a field that must hire millions of well-prepared undergraduates, and recent grads, that can work with, on, and for the emerging digital world.

In 2013, Maria Barragan was hired as an Area Manager by Amazon.com. Previously, she worked for PepsiCo from 2009 until 2013 in areas of increasing responsibility. These in ascending order were Operations Manager Trainee for Pepsi Beverages Company, Production Supervisor, Product Availability Supervisor, and Supply Chain and Logistics Associate. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the recipient of more than $50,000 in academic funding for undergraduate and graduate study by the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship. Barragan learned of the Gates scholarship from the non-profit Path to Scholarships program.


In 2014, Apple hired Connie Bustillo away from eBay. She had been with the global ecommerce company for six years and rose to Manager - Talent Acquisition. Previously, she had worked for Intel, eBay, 3Com, and StarMine. Before hiring engineers, Bustillo worked as one at Apple for six years. To get a sense of how she views STEM hiring, check out two articles Bustillo wrote for SourceCon. They are: Strategic Sourcing: Should I Wear a Lab Coat or Deerstalker?, What is required to successfully source strategically, and Fast Track Sourcing: Does it make sense to always seek the low-hanging fruit? When should we reach for that high-hanging fruit? Rocky Torres is a Talent Acquisition Recruiter/Partner at eBay Inc. Torres worked with Bustillo for three years and says "in this time frame, she was a sourcer, lead, and manager. Her contributions to the eBay Marketplaces team will echo far beyond her departure."


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Broadband in Education: A Roadmap to 21st Century Learning Environments | Frank Gallagher | NCTA.com

Broadband in Education: A Roadmap to 21st Century Learning Environments | Frank Gallagher | NCTA.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It seems like everyone, from the President, the Secretary of Education and the Chairman of the FCC to local newspapers, is saying schools need more broadband. And prestigious panels like the Aspen Institute and LEAD Commission are calling for a different kind of learning environment in schools to foster new 21st century skills.

As the nation’s largest broadband provider, the cable industry certainly appreciates the value of a robust broadband network and quality digital content for education, but we also realize that simply pumping up capacity, or dropping a bunch of laptops into students’ hands isn’t going to fundamentally change what happens in the classroom or create that new learning environment.

That’s why Cable Impacts, the industry’s foundation dedicated to corporate social responsibility, teamed with two leading education organizations, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning and the State Educational Technology Directors Association, to create an new resource for schools and educators, Building Your Roadmap to 21st Century Learning Environments, www.roadmap21.org.


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Thousands of Scorers Take On the Common-Core Tests | Catherine Gerwertz | EdWeek.org

Thousands of Scorers Take On the Common-Core Tests | Catherine Gerwertz | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's the middle of spring testing season, and a bevy of accountants, technology geeks, lawyers, unemployed corporate executives—and oh, yes, teachers—are scoring the PARCC exam.

The room has the generic feel of any high-volume office operation: Seated in front of laptop computers at long beige tables, the scorers could be processing insurance claims. Instead, they're pivotal players in the biggest and most controversial student-assessment project in history: the grading of new, federally funded common-core assessments in English/language arts and mathematics.

The PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments aren't the only tests that require hand-scoring, but the sheer scope of the undertaking dwarfs all others. Twelve million students are taking either the PARCC or the Smarter Balanced assessments in 29 states and the District of Columbia this school year. Large portions of the exams are machine-scored, but a key feature that sets them apart from the multiple-choice tests that states typically use—their constructed-response questions and multi-step, complex performance tasks—require real people to evaluate students' answers.

And that means that 42,000 people will be scoring 109 million student responses to questions on the two exams, which were designed by two groups of states—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC—to gauge mastery of the common core. That unprecedented scoring project is testing the capacity of the assessment industry and fueling debate about what constitutes a good way of measuring student learning.


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Addressing Digital Literacy in a World Where 6 Billion People Are Connected | Social Media Week

Right now, 3 billion individuals in the world are connected to one another via the Internet, mobile communications and social media. 3 billion more will come online by 2022. This means, with just a few clicks or taps, someone in New York can instantly connect with someone in Sydney, and everywhere in between. But, as more and more individuals come online, how is society changing? Will our lives improve? Will we be inspired and equipped to take on more of the world’s biggest problems? What are the challenges the next 3 billion connected citizens will face?

One that we have identified is “digital literacy”. Digital literacy is the knowledge, skills, and behaviors used on a broad range of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, all of which are seen as network rather than computing devices. For example, if a school in a developing country is equipped with laptops and Internet, what’s next? How do students acquire the skills to understand how to access the tools and information on the web? Just as important as it is for individuals to have access to the hardware, it’s just as necessary to provide context and knowledge for using the technology. If digital literacy is not addressed, we will likely see our world’s innovation, connectivity, and progress severely hindered in many ways.

Technology impacts the way we live, work and create in a connected world, as well as how new ideas, innovations and break-through technologies will lead to meaningful changes in our lives. For technology and humans to progress together, we need the next 3 billion connected individuals to become digitally literate online. If more people can connect, share, and exchange information with each other, this connectivity will positively impact our daily lives, our habits, and our global connection to humanity.

Access and connectivity has led to a democratization in the way we bring ideas to life and creatively collaborate with people regardless of geography, culture, and language. With a new group of digitally literate individuals, the speed at which ideas spread, and perhaps transform the way we work, can come from anyone and anywhere. Digital literacy also allows us to learn from each other, our cultures, the various perspectives, and lessons from how people live, work, and create in our digitally connected world. Digital access is the first step, but digital literacy is next, and it will ease our communications, no longer limiting us by time or distance.


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Does Your Classroom Cultivate Student Resilience? | Marilyn Price-Mitchell Blog | Edutopia.org

Does Your Classroom Cultivate Student Resilience? | Marilyn Price-Mitchell Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Over 100 years ago, the great African American educator Booker T. Washington spoke about resilience:

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.

Research has since established resilience as essential for human thriving, and an ability necessary for the development of healthy, adaptable young people. It's what enables children to emerge from challenging experiences with a positive sense of themselves and their futures.


Children who develop resilience are better able to face disappointment, learn from failure, cope with loss, and adapt to change. We recognize resilience in children when we observe their determination, grit, and perseverance to tackle problems and cope with the emotional challenges of school and life.


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Upgrade Curriculum Through Globally Connected Learning | Silvia Tolisano | Langwitched.org

Below you will access a slide deck, I shared with an Elementary School during a webinar a few weeks ago addressing challenges and examples of globally connected learning. 


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If you’re on the beach, this map shows you what’s across the ocean | WashPost.com

If you’re on the beach, this map shows you what’s across the ocean | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The map above shows the countries that are due east and west from points along the coasts of North and South America. Many small island nations are (perhaps unfairly) excluded for ease of reading. Many thanks to Eric Odenheimer for sharing the map with Know More.


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This is a fun map for some geography analysis - Why are Argentina and Chile the countries due east/west of...Argentina and Chile?  

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CA: Cardinal Studios seeks to combat lack of on-campus film production | Will Ferrer | Stanford Daily

CA: Cardinal Studios seeks to combat lack of on-campus film production | Will Ferrer | Stanford Daily | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You come to Stanford to play football. You come to Stanford to study computer science. You come to Stanford to be the next big thing in Silicon Valley.


You do not come to Stanford, however, to make films.


It’s an unfortunate truth, though one that has always been reflected in the construction of the University’s recently conceived Film and Media Studies program.


Launched back in 2005 by Kristine Samuelson, then-director of Stanford’s renowned graduate department for documentary filmmaking, the goal of Stanford’s Film and Media Studies program is not, nor was it ever, to provide students with a complete education in film and video production.


“This won’t be USC North,” said Samuelson in a 2005 Art History newsletter describing her original vision for the university’s first curriculum for the study of film. “In addition to fundamentals in film and video production, our majors will delve into cinema history, narrative analysis and screenwriting, film criticism and aesthetics, and film and media theory.”


The newsletter also described the University’s desire to oversee the development of an MFA program, which would be launched in autumn of 2006, the following year. This program, which would be grounded in production and would provide undergraduate students with the chance to engage with graduate-level fiction filmmakers, never came to fruition.


Jumping to the present day, Stanford’s film and media studies program is currently fully operational. With a staff that includes Professor Scott Bukatman, Associate Professors Jean Ma and Pavle Levi, Senior Lecturer Adam Tobin, and Lecturers Laura Green and J. Christian Jensen, Stanford’s young film program has just begun to find its feet. Yet, despite the program’s successful inception, the department continually struggles to meet student demand for production-based coursework.


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The Reason America Adopted Race-Based Slavery | Peter Wood | Slate.com

The Reason America Adopted Race-Based Slavery | Peter Wood | Slate.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

During the second half of the 17th century, a terrible transformation, the enslavement of people solely on the basis of race, occurred in the lives of African Americans living in North America. These newcomers still numbered only a few thousand, but the bitter reversals they experienced—first subtle, then drastic—would shape the lives of all those who followed them, generation after generation.

Like most huge changes, the imposition of hereditary race slavery was gradual, taking hold by degrees over many decades. It proceeded slowly, in much the same way that winter follows fall. On any given day, in any given place, people can argue about local weather conditions. “Is it getting colder?” “Will it warm up again this week?” The shift may come early in some places, later in others.


But eventually, it occurs all across the land. By January, people shiver and think back to September, agreeing that “it is definitely colder now.” In 1700, a 70-year-old African American could look back half a century to 1650 and shiver, knowing that conditions had definitely changed for the worse.

Some people had experienced the first cold winds of enslavement well before 1650; others would escape the chilling blast well after 1700. The timing and nature of the change varied considerably from colony to colony, and even from family to family. Gradually, the terrible transformation took on a momentum of its own, numbing and burdening everything in its path, like a disastrous winter storm. Unlike the changing seasons, however, the encroachment of racial slavery in the colonies of North America was certainly not a natural process.


It was highly unnatural—the work of powerful competitive governments and many thousands of human beings spread out across the Atlantic world. Nor was it inevitable that people’s legal status would come to depend upon their racial background and that the condition of slavery would be passed down from parent to child. Numerous factors combined to bring about this disastrous shift—human forces swirled together during the decades after 1650, to create an enormously destructive storm.


By 1650, hereditary enslavement based upon color, not upon religion, was a bitter reality in the older Catholic colonies of the New World. In the Caribbean and Latin America, for well over a century, Spanish and Portuguese colonizers had enslaved “infidels”: first Indians and then Africans.


At first, they relied for justification upon the Mediterranean tradition that persons of a different religion, or persons captured in war, could be enslaved for life. But hidden in this idea of slavery was the notion that persons who converted to Christianity should receive their freedom. Wealthy planters in the tropics, afraid that their cheap labor would be taken away from them because of this loophole, changed the reasoning behind their exploitation. Even persons who could prove that they were not captured in war and that they accepted the Catholic faith still could not change their appearance, any more than a leopard can change its spots.


So by making color the key factor behind enslavement, dark-skinned people brought from Africa to work in silver mines and on sugar plantations could be exploited for life. Indeed, the servitude could be made hereditary, so enslaved people’s children automatically inherited the same unfree status.


But this cruel and self-perpetuating system had not yet taken firm hold in North America. The same anti-Catholic propaganda that had led Sir Francis Drake to liberate Negro slaves in Central America in the 1580s still prompted many colonists to believe that it was the Protestant mission to convert non-Europeans rather than enslave them.


Apart from such moral concerns, there were simple matters of cost and practicality. Workers subject to longer terms and coming from further away would require a larger initial investment. Consider a 1648 document from York County, Virginia, showing the market values for persons working for James Stone (estimated in terms of pounds of tobacco):


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Passion, need to contribute drive millennials | James OMalley | Times Leader

Passion, need to contribute drive millennials | James OMalley | Times Leader | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The millennials have arrived. And by all accounts, it looks like they’re here to stay.

Generally defined as the 73 million adults who in 2015 will be between the ages of 18 and 34, the millennial generation edged out Generation X this year to become the nation’s largest generation currently working, according to the Pew Research Center.

Pew analysis indicates the 53.5 million working millennials represent more than one third of the American workforce.

The development is in step with an October report from the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers, which found millennials to be the most populous generation, making up about one third of the national population.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, millennials are gradually becoming the people who, among other things, provide your healthcare and make your laws. And they refuse to be rivaled in their passion for what they do.

Soon-to-be obstetric nurse Taylor Wasilewski, 21, of Kingston, said passion is exactly what drove her into her chosen profession.

“It’s the kind of career that if you don’t have a passion for it, you should seriously not do it,” she said.

Wasilewski said nursing started calling her at a young age, when a nurse first taught her to help treat a family member’s wound. After toying with other options early on in college, she dropped out of Penn State University and applied to Luzerne County Community College the last possible day.

She’ll graduate this week with a nursing degree, and in June will start a job as a graduate nurse at the hospital where she’s worked for three years as a nurses’ aide.

Wasilewski said realizing the social contributions she was making as a nurses’ aide shuttered any uncertainties she had about her career choice.

“Sometimes people look at nursing as a trade,” she said. “Actually, it becomes your life.”

And Wasilewski isn’t alone in wanting to contribute. According to the economic advisers report, millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to cite contributing to society as a “very important” life goal.


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Identify the Essential in Classroom Management | Alex Shevrin Blog | Edutopia.org

Identify the Essential in Classroom Management | Alex Shevrin Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When making classroom policies, rules, or guidelines, it’s essential to be able to answer the question: what’s the bottom line? When we go beyond our content, curriculum, or instructional methods: what is truly important about this space and this community as a place of learning?

The bottom line can be framed in a few different ways:


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School-as-Studio Immerses Students in Creative Problem Solving | Suzie Boss Blog | Edutopia.org

School-as-Studio Immerses Students in Creative Problem Solving | Suzie Boss Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

What might students accomplish if they could spend part of their K-12 education on challenges that took them outside the regular classroom? How might teaching and learning change if school became the place to interact with experts, use professional-grade tools, and immerse yourself in collaborative problem solving and prototyping?

Some interesting answers are emerging from NuVu Studio, a break-the-mold school that occupies an inconspicuous spot on a busy street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Launched in 2010 by a trio of bold thinkers from MIT, the school initially attracted students from independent schools and from families that could afford enriching experiences for their children.

But with public schools starting to recognize NuVu as an ally, and with replication of the studio model cropping up around the globe, the ideas incubated in this creative space have a chance to move from the edges of education to the mainstream. Here are a few takeaways from a recent visit.


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The cliche of the lone male gamer needs to be destroyed | Keith Stuart | The Guardian

The cliche of the lone male gamer needs to be destroyed | Keith Stuart | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

“The new video-game world encourages doing and acting and not really thinking. Video games are not so attractive to girls.”

The American psychologist Philip Zimbardo has a new book out. It is called Man (Dis)connected: How Technology Has Sabotaged What It Means To Be Male. In Saturday’s Guardian, he spoke to Stuart Jeffries about his fears for young men who – he asserts – are increasingly withdrawing from real life and from sexual relationships with women, into an online world of games and pornography.


“This thing with boys is really getting me down because I can’t think of a solution that is easy to entrain, that’s easy to realise,” he said. “It’s painful for me because I’m an optimistic person. Boys are in a mess.”

His book cites anecdotal evidence from teachers who are concerned about boys who play games into the night then turn up at school unable to learn. There is research from various academic institutions linking unregulated gaming with attention and behavioural problems.


I don’t doubt the veracity of these studies and I don’t question that they highlight problems that our increasingly technological society will have to deal with. Parents have some serious work to do when it comes to gating pervasive devices like games consoles and smart phones. But I take huge issue with the projection of minority cases into a societal norm. I don’t recognise the gamers that Zimbardo is worrying about.

Over the last ten years there has been a profound change in the way people play video games. The cliche of the teenage boy hunched alone over a console, competing in solitude against computer foes, is outdated.


The rise of broadband connectivity has engendered a new culture of shared experiences and co-operative play. These days, a game lives and dies by its ability to attract and maintain a talkative and engaged community. The whole meaning and purpose of video games has shifted: for many players, they have become venues for social interaction rather than solitary confinement.


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Technology’s Transformative Impact on Education | USTelecom.org

The rise and integration of technology in education is visible in many classrooms across the U.S. as teachers and students utilize a variety of online tools, resources and applications as part of the learning experience.


According to an advanced preview of the 2015 K-12 Horizon Report (link is external), 16 advanced technologies are key to shaping and transforming education and the classrooms of tomorrow.

An overarching pattern noted in the report is the shift from a less subject-driven approach to a greater embrace of multi-disciplinary methods of teaching. The classroom experience is becoming increasingly focused on student-centric learning, allowing more time for pupils to connect with projects through individual inquiry and challenged-based learning.


In addition, educators are creating a hybrid/blended learning environment that combines traditional classroom interaction with student-sanctioned digital tools such as tablets and smartphones.


This teamwork approach and interactivity is also encouraging more project collaboration, and strengthening engagement, hands-on learning and performance as students move from being simply consumers to content creators.


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