Heres's one of the quirks of the Internet: It can make illegal activity so simple to engage in that you can forget it's against the law.
Take image-sharing. If you find a photo, via Google Image Search or some such, that you want to publish on your blog (or tweet out to your followers, or use as your Instagram profile pic, or what have you), there is an extremely simple way to accomplish this: Download or screencap the image. Upload it. Boom. The Internet has shared its riches with you once again.
If you have engaged in this process with an image that happens to be from Getty, the massive digital photo agency, however ... then you are, I am sorry to tell you, a thief. You have violated Getty's terms of service; you have stolen its stuff; you have (screen)grabbed something that was not yours to grab in the first place.
If you are one of these digital outlaws, though, your thieving days may soon be behind you. Late yesterday, Getty announced a new system for photo-sharing on its platform: embeddability. Some 35 million(!) of the agency's photos are now free for pretty much anyone to share—for, at least, noncommercial purposes. Which is big news, not only for the web publishers whose ranks are growing daily, but also for what the move says—and concedes—about the digital economy as it exists in early 2014.
Below, seven reasons why Getty's embed capability is a big deal—explained through seven Getty embeds.
Collector David Knell has another gem on his "Ancient Heritage" blog, and like the text he wrote as a response to Peter Tompa's attack on archaeology (discussed earlier here), it is refreshing to see a collector of ancient artefacts who not only actually understands what archaeology is about, but expresses his opinion in a manner that is concise, logical and articulate. More of this please. Knell's text (Wednesday, 5 March 2014, "Saving history?") addresses the views of a UK metal detectorist who had "made a frighteningly uninformed comparison of Archaeology vs. Metal Detectoring on his sadly-named TonyRobinsonsPants blog".
After stressing the tedious and lengthy procedure of archaeological excavations, he trumpets metal detecting as the winner since it is simply a matter of "Find history. Dig out history. Save history." He then comes to the equally simple conclusion that "This, is why the brats [archaeologists] have a problem with detectorists" (followed by a link to a recent criticism by archaeologists of the way some detectorists obliterated the context of a find).
Knell notes that many detectorists share the same total incomprehension of what history really is and are actively engaged in destroying it. This is why many people have problems with these metal detectorists, not any kind of "jealousy" or "elitism". The isolated artefact is not in itself a "piece of history" but "a tiny component of an assemblage that may have the potential to reveal history if the whole assemblage is meticulously recorded and investigated within its wider context - and in the modern day that involves a team of trained people":
There are some of us who remember a time, both in the US and the UK, when education seemed to be in search for humanity. In this period test scores mattered less than accomplishments, students became far more involved in, and responsible for, educational decisions, responsibility was something it was assumed children and adolescents could handle, and pedagogy began to meet students where they were. It was a time when teachers and even administrators began to rebel against the American factory schools and the British Disraeli-designed colonial education system.
Today we are taught that this period was a chaotic failure, but the truth lies elsewhere, and the reason we are told of this "failure" can be keenly instructive.
Click headline to read more, view the charts, listen to the audio of the article and watch video clipc
Soon, students will be able to prepare for the high-stakes college-entrance exam by going on an online "SAT quest," complete with custom practice problems, instructional videos, and tailored feedback offered by popular nonprofit learning website Khan Academy.
Officials from both Khan Academy and the College Board, which administers the SAT, billed the new partnership as an opportunity to level the highly competitive—and often expensive—playing field of SAT test-preparation.
"The College Board cannot stand by while some test-prep providers intimidate parents at all levels of income into the belief that the only way to secure their child's success is to pay for costly test preparation and coaching," College Board President David Coleman said in prepared remarks delivered here, where the South by Southwest education conference is taking place this week. "It's time to shake things up."
There's a conundrum of growing food in outer space: the same optimal conditions that create quick plant growth also leaves them missing a nutrient that protects human eyes from radiation, such as astronauts experience. However, scientists under the direction of Barbara Demmig-Adams at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a method of using bright pulses of light to trick plants into producing more zeaxanthin, which humans cannot produce on their own but is essential for long-term eye health and visual acuity.
“When we pamper plants in the field, they produce a lot of biomass but they aren’t very nutritious," says Demming-Adams, in describing the paradox of traditional growing methods. The very harsh conditions – such as drought or pathogens – that might make a plant unable to use all the sunlight falling on its leaves also increases the production of zeaxanthin, in anticipation of needing to absorb the extra sunlight safely.
And the very mechanism by which zeaxanthin (pronounced "zee-ah-zan-thin") absorbs light in plants makes it also essential in the human eye to absorb sunlight safety. In fact, the little circle in the center of your retina, the macula, is so orangey-yellow because of all the zeaxanthin harbored there, with light rays being focused on that one small spot.
Which us brings us back to back to space veggies, or Earth veggies grown in “ideal” conditions. While there are supplements available for carotenoids, other research has shown that uptake into the body still isn’t as good as from plant sources. Additionally, for other reasons such as astronaut morale, fresh vegetables are still desirable.
Therefore, undergraduate researcher Elizabeth Lombardi asked if an understanding of plant behavior – that is, manipulating their environment rather than their genes – could create growing conditions that would increase production and retention of this essential pigment without affecting biomass yields.
Newly-appointed director Julia Kaganskiy will be responsible for architecting, guiding, and growing this unique community. The 27-year-old is best known as the founder of #ArtsTech meetup, an events and networking community of over 4,000 Twitter-happy participants, and also served as an editor for the Creators Project, a technology series presented by Vice and Intel.
Kaganskiy comes to the New Museum’s Lower East Side as the digital-era incarnation of the neighborhood’s most famous urban organizer, Jane Jacobs. Jacobs brought the Lower East Side’s diverse resident population together over rights, rents and the beauty of neighborhood spaces; Kaganskiy convenes the information economy equivalent: an eclectic community of artists, technologists, designers and thinkers cultivating collective knowledge for a more artful and more efficient city.
With physical space (11,000 square feet of it) and generous funding, NEW INC will offer more opportunities for dedicated community growth, and more opportunities for Kaganskiy to develop what she calls “the defining aspect” or her approach with ArtsTech: bringing disparate communities together.
This year, as in years past, Bain & Company has conducted a global survey measuring how people consume culture in the form of digital media—video, music, e-books and video games. By surveying more than 6,000 consumers in Europe, the US and the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, we learned about changing preferences for how they watch, listen, read and play.
The survey results highlighted three key trends in 2013:
The rise of individual and social consumption driven by smartphones and tablets
The end of content scarcity as digital distribution achieves ubiquity
A shift away from ownership enabled by "always-on" networks
These changes occur against a backdrop of the persistent culture clash between the creative and digital worlds. Last year we noted the innovative power of digital platforms over the past seven years: iTunes is synonymous with music downloads, YouTube with streaming video, Kindle with e-books. But the rise of giants creates unease. Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook make headlines as much for the business, regulatory and cultural controversies they generate as for the new behaviors they have fostered.
The rise of digital platforms also highlights the evolving role of curation, as consumers look for better ways to find the culture they want the most. As power shifts to consumers—who can program their own content using powerful technology and simple interfaces—curation moves out of the hands of professionals and into communities, platforms and algorithms. This creates a real danger of a “tyranny of demand,” as indicated by the prevalence of franchises over original creation in increasingly risk-averse industries. Nevertheless, media players that can offer the right content—that is, not only what consumers want today, but what will surprise them tomorrow—are likely to prevail.
Click headline to read more and view charts and infographic full screen--
Remember the days when students would come to class armed with only a notebook and a textbook? In some places, that time is long gone, as laptops and iPads make their way into schools. Now a creative technology studio has come up with a platform for classrooms that makes digital textbooks look ancient.
Chaotic Moon’s immersive 3-D experience allows students to manipulate virtual objects and experience whatever they’re studying firsthand. The platform marries a Leap Motion gesture controller with an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset so that students can experience scenarios arguably more memorable than anything they’d read in a book. In [the video demo], a “student” learns about atoms and molecules by looking at the periodic table of elements in 3-D, manipulating hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and finally taking a trip under the sea to hammer home the importance of H2O.
The idea started as a passion project for Chaotic Moon CEO Ben Lamm, who previously had started an education technology company. He knew people at Leap Motion and happened to have an Oculus Rift sitting around for client work. “We learned over the years that people retain 10% of what they read, 50% of what they hear, and 90% of what they do,” Lamm says. “We wanted to build something that’s not e-learning, but more like i-learning–immersive learning.”
A new bill that seeks to repeal California's long-running restrictions on bilingual education may be only the most recent signal of a shifting political climate around English-language-learner instruction in that state.
California drew national attention in 1998 when voters passed Proposition 227, a ballot measure that severely restricted the availability of bilingual education for students in favor of English-only immersion programs for English-learners. The new bill, introduced Feb. 20 by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, seeks to put the issue to voters on the 2016 ballot.
Educators and policy experts in California say the bill's introduction comes as changing demographics within the state, new and robust research on the subject, and shifting political dynamics have begun to transform parents' and educators' views on multilingual education.
"This is not the same debate as it was 15 years ago," said Robert Linquanti, the project director for English-learner evaluation and accountability support at WestEd, a San Francisco-based research group.
"Bilingual education generally has always been controversial in the United States because of its association with national identity, multiculturalism, and immigration," Mr. Linquanti said.
But in recent years, acceptance of multilingualism has grown, especially in California, which educates about 1.35 million English-learners, argued Mr. Linquanti.
I've come to think that a school superintendent's main mission today is to protect teachers and kids from the ideological madness around us. If I can keep education reform from "helping" them, I'll have achieved something.
In June, I'll complete my 41st year as a school or district head. For the last 16, I've been the superintendent in Scarsdale, N.Y., just north of New York City.
Scarsdale's schools have always marched a bit to their own drummer. Some would say that's a result of elitism: Median income here is somewhere in the nation's top 100, depending on which source you use. Over 80 percent of residents hold a bachelor's degree. Students are among the country's top performers.
But reality is more complicated than the stereotype. People are people, and Scarsdale residents display an encouraging range of views on almost every subject you can imagine. One thing they do agree on is the importance of education. The school district was a model of progressive practice in the early 1900s, and it's always cut somewhat against the grain.
Still, with Scarsdale's track record—virtually every student graduates in four years; 96 percent attend four-year colleges; over 60 percent are admitted to those Barron's calls "most selective"—why am I concerned? And why should anyone care about what might seem to be my one-off view of the world, anyway?
Comcast announced Tuesday that it will enhance and extend Internet Essentials, the MSO's Internet adoption program for low-income households, beyond an initial three-year commitment that was scheduled to end this June.
Comcast will now run the Internet Essentials program "indefinitely," Comcast EVP David Cohen said Tuesday on a call with reporters. He labeled Internet Essentials Comcast’s “signature community investment priority.”
Internet Essentials, spawned from a voluntary commitment linked to Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, targets low-income households with school-age children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the federally assisted National School Lunch Program. Qualified households receive discounted Internet service from Comcast at $9.95 per month (5 Mbps downstream by 1 Mbps upstream), the option to purchase an Internet-ready PC for under $150, and access to a free Internet training.
Comast's bigger commitment to Internet Essentials coincidentally comes as Comcast seeks approval of its proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Cohen said the merger, once closed, will give Comcast an opportunity to offer Internet Essentials to 19 of the nation’s 20 largest markets, including New York City, Kansas City and Los Angeles.
Also on Tuesday, Comcast said 1.2 million low-income Americans, or 300,000 families, have connected to the program, noting that it has invested more than $165 million in cash and in-kind support through its digital divide programs since 2011. Among other milestones, Comcast said it has provided free digital literacy training and education to more than 1.6 million people, broadcast more than 3.6 million public service announcements (valued at nearly $48 million), and sold more than 23,000 subsidized computers.
Last August, when Internet Essentials entered its third year, Comcast said more than 220,000 families and 900,000 Americans were on board, estimating that new, expanded eligibility criteria to include parochial, private and homeschooled students meant that nearly 2.6 million U.S. families were eligible for the program. Comcast said it now offers Internet Essentials in more than 30,000 schools in 4,000 school districts in 39 states, and Washington, D.C.
Cohen estimated that the program is approaching 9% to 10% penetration among families that are eligible for it.
These free materials are designed to empower pupils and students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. Find the lessons that are just right for your classroom.
Browse by Key Stage or Year Group, for cross-curricular lessons which address digital literacy and citizenship topics in an age-appropriate way.
NASA said today that the Hubble Space Telescope snapped what the agency called a never-before-seen break-up of an asteroid in mid-space.
The asteroid, designated P/2013 R3 has broken into as many as ten smaller pieces , each with a comet -like tail, that NASA says are drifting away from each other at a leisurely 1.5 kilometers per hour - slower than the speed of a strolling human. The asteroid began coming apart early last year, but the latest images show that pieces continue to emerge.
"This is a really bizarre thing to observe - we've never seen anything like it before," says co-author Jessica Agarwal of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany in a statement. "The break-up could have many different causes, but the Hubble observations are detailed enough that we can actually pinpoint the process responsible."
The fact that the Hubble is seeing multiple fragments of the asteroid make it unlikely it is disintegrating due to a collision with another asteroid, which would be instantaneous and violent, NASA said.
Grasonville Senior Center announced computer classes for the spring session through Chesapeake College Continuing Education and Workforce Training Program. These courses are designed for seniors, age 60 or better, with little or no computer knowledge.
Instructor James Adams will offer beginner computer, advanced computer and Internet basics courses.
Beginner computer class will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, March 12 to April 16. This class for the inexperienced student will introduce parts of the computer and their functions, terminology and proper use of the keyboard and mouse. Class will begin with the start menu and progress with each person’s comfort level.
Advanced computer class will be offered from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays, March 12 to April 16. This class will discuss the use of Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as social media websites. Practice exercises will include creating letters in Word, budgets in Excel and presentations in PowerPoint. In addition, the class will learn to create profiles, post photos, and contact friends and family members on social media websites.
For some time now, teachers, parents, and students have spoken out against the extraordinary emphasis on standardized testing that has become the bedrock of the nation’s education policies. Critics have questioned the whole idea that teaching and learning is a pursuit that can be expressed and judged by numbers and rankings, which seems to be a forgone conclusion to policy makers and economists.
While leaders of the policy establishment calling itself “education reform” have noticed the clamor, they remain unmoved. As operatives at Brookings Institute recently wrote, “The testing and accountability movement is in a bit of trouble.”
They duly noted that New York City’s new mayor Bill de Blasio wants to “put the standardized testing machine in reverse.” It’s not lost on them that Texas, a bastion of test-based education policy, recently passed “several bills with overwhelming bipartisan majorities that cut back the number and use of tests.” They see how No Child Left Behind’s false promise to make all children “proficient” in test taking by 2014 has led to the confusing bureaucratic tangle of “waivers” issued by the Obama administration. And they can’t ignore – although they clearly disrespect – the “white suburban moms” who are upset about being told their schools and their children are failures based on a new array of tests they know nothing about and had no say-so in adopting for their schools and their children’s education.
Faced with such a storm of criticism, they bizarrely conclude that the only viable way forward is “more tests.”
Clearly, what we have is a standoff over testing as the chief means to determine the fate of the nation’s schools, its teachers, and indeed the well being of the vast majority of American school children.
As in every standoff, someone eventually has to give.
The College Board is providing the first details of a newly redesigned SAT that will include major changes to the college-entrance exam, including an emphasis on citing evidence to support answers, coverage of fewer math topics, and a move to an optional essay section.
The plans offer some notable echoes of the Common Core State Standards, which College Board President David Coleman helped write.
In a March 5 speech in Austin, Texas, Coleman said the new exam, to debut in the spring of 2016, will be more "focused and useful, more clear and open than ever before"--better reflecting what students learn in high school and what they need to master in college or on the job.
"Admissions officers and counselors find the data from admissions exams useful, but are concerned that these exams have become disconnected from the work of high school classrooms and surrounded by costly test preparation," Coleman said in prepared remarks. "We've been listening to students and their families for whom these tests are often mysterious and filled with unproductive anxiety. They are skeptical that either the SAT or ACT allows them to show their best work."
The College Board's announcement on the redesigned SAT comes two years after the college-entrance exam's reach was first eclipsed by the rival ACT. For the class of 2013,1.8 million students took the ACT, compared with 1.7 million taking the SAT.
Five international teams are moving forward from a field of 33 proposals with the goal of performing a robotic landing on the moon, followed by a short drive and high-quality video mooncast. It's all part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition to incentivize a new, low-cost era of lunar exploration.
Last month, 11 submissions from the five teams were chosen as finalists for so-called "Milestone Prizes", which recognize technological achievement in three sub-categories of innovation – landing system, mobility subsystem and imaging subsystem – that are required to win the grand prize by successfully landing on and then roving and broadcasting from the surface of the Moon. The prizes also come with some cash to keep the projects moving forward.
The five finalists are Astrobotic (US), Moon Express (US), Hakuto (Japan), Part-Time-Scientists (Germany), and Team Indus (India).
The teams now move forward to what's called the "accomplishment round" where they must actually implement the technical capabilities outlined in detailed documentation and plans that they had to submit for judging to advance this far. This will be ongoing, with milestone prizes awarded along the way, until September.
Click headline to read more and view pix gallery--
The Linux Foundation will offer a Linux development course on edX, the massive open online course (MOOC) platform developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The move is part of an edX effort, announced Thursday, to expand its course offerings to include content from nonacademic institutions. All edX content previously came from the nonprofit's 32 member schools, which include the University of California, Berkeley; Dartmouth College and McGill University.
The foundation's MOOC will offer the same material taught in its introduction to Linux class, which is designed for people with little to no experience with the open-source OS. People can start taking the MOOC this summer; the exact date will be disclosed next month. The Linux class will be free and available to anyone with a Web connection. The foundation normally charges US$2,500 for the course, which is already taught online and in person through authorized training partners.
The need for Linux professionals is outpacing the talent supply, said Jim Zemlin, director of the Linux Foundation, noting that the OS helps run stock exchanges, Android smartphones and many cloud computing services. EdX courses offer an affordable and easy way to help solve the Linux talent shortage, he said.
Click headline to read more and view infographic full screen--
The program will equip students across the nation’s second biggest school district with iPads that include the Pearson Common Core System of Courses delivered via a new app as part of the integrated solution. Additionally, each iPad will come preloaded with Apple’s iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand) suites in addition to a range of educational third-party apps. Apple notes that the $30 million commitment is only the first phase of a larger roll out for Los Angeles Schools.
“Education is in Apple’s DNA and we’re thrilled to work with Los Angeles Unified public schools on this major initiative as they plan to roll out iPads to every student across 47 campuses this fall,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Schools around the world have embraced the engaging and interactive quality of iPad with nearly 10 million iPads already in schools today.”
There is a nationwide trend in manufacturing, and Muncie should be paying attention. As a city formerly known for large scale manufacturing, we might have just the right character and available real estate to position ourselves on the leading edge. This new world consists of smaller scale entrepreneurs including inventors, designers, technology innovators, and craftspeople, as well as artists, performers, and those working in the culinary trade. Cities are beginning to recognize the economic benefits of encouraging what is being termed the “Maker” society.
The “Maker” movement is attracting young risk takers along with seasoned inventors who share passions for handiwork and invention. This DIY attitude is fueled by crowd source investing, creating start-up companies and bankrolling entrepreneurs.
Muncie Arts and Culture Council in partnership with Ball State and other community groups, is hosting the first “Muncie Maker District Symposium” four weeks from today on April 3.
Sessions will be led by national leaders in the movement including a keynote address by Helen Davis Johnson, program officer on the Arts and Culture team at The Kresge Foundation; a presentation by Bill Taft, executive director of Indianapolis Local Initiatives Support Corporation; an address by Brian Payne, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and an evening plenary by Mike Pyatok, principal of Pyatok Architects in Oakland, Calif.
The symposium will also feature a morning panel moderated by Adam Thies introducing Indianapolis Makers, and an afternoon panel moderated by Warren Vander Hill, introducing Central Indiana Makers. An additional afternoon panel discussion will focus on the role of community players in the making of a special district.
Seeking to help schools protect students' privacy without inhibiting the use of digital technologies in the classroom, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidance last week on the proper use, storage, and security of the massive amounts of data being generated by new, online educational resources.
"This can't be a choice between privacy and progress," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told a gathering of privacy advocates and ed-tech leaders who gathered for a "summit" on the hot-button issue.
The guidance comes amid a flurry of activity around student-data privacy. Also in recent weeks, a leading technology trade group issued its own recommendations for protecting such data; major state legislation was proposed in California; U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., announced that he will soon introduce a federal bill; and the San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media hosted the high-profile "School Privacy Zone" summit here.
James P. Steyer, the CEO of Common Sense Media, said the confluence of efforts is a good sign.
At Fresh Meadows Elementary School in New York City, 1st grade teacher Courtney Horan hands her student, six-year-old Wenika, a copy of the children's book Surprise Moon, by Caroline Hatton. Horan listens carefully as Wenika starts reading; this assessment will determine whether Wenika moves on to the next reading level.
The test isn't timed, but Wenika starts rattling off text like she's got somewhere to be. Recognizing that her student might be thrown off by the presence of a reporter, Horan tells Wenika to calm her nerves, slow down, and start again.
Wenika isn't the one to watch, however. That would be Horan, rapidly checking each word the child reads off a book transcript. When Wenika self-corrects, Horan marks that, too, while also watching to see if Wenika reads using syntax or visual cues.
The oral-reading portion requires a 96-percent accuracy rate as a prerequisite to advancing, but students aren't penalized if they self-correct. After the first 100 words, Horan instructs Wenika to read the rest silently.
When she finishes, Wenika is asked to retell the story as best as possible and answer a set of reading-comprehension questions. In the end, she nails the test, and advances to the next reading level. Even so, Horan walks her through a couple trouble spots from the selection and offers feedback.
Horan is using a performance-assessment practice known as running records—in this case, a version designed by the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City. The practice is designed to give young students a chance to demonstrate their reading skills and understanding as a teacher interacts with them and gauges their progress.
Google Drive is a powerful productivity suite from Google. The potential of Google Drive in education is immense and, in fact, has already started transforming some key and fundamental notions of learning including, collaborative team work and the principles of the writing workshop as theorized by teacher researchers like Lucy Calkins, Donald Murray, Donald Graves, Nancie Atwell, to mention but a few.
For instance, using Google Docs, student writers can benefit from the features of synchronous chat, instant syncing across multiple devices, peer feedback, and collaborative editing, and finally publishing. I am actually working on a paper on the integration of Google Drive into the writing workshop and will soon share it with you here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. You can also check our Google Drive section for more resources on how to tap into the educational potential of this platform.
Today, however, I want to re-share with you this wonderful graphic created by our colleague Susan Oxnevad and which features a plethora of ways to use Google Drive in learning. Have a look and share with your colleagues.
Click headline to view the interactive infographic full screen
Boston schools are moving to boost competition for teaching jobs and recruit new teachers for as many as 1,000 positions by freeing principals from having to hire current teachers who bid on the openings.
The district announced yesterday that it is allowing principals to open up eligibility for 1,000 jobs — many of them opening due to attrition or expiring provisional teaching terms — to candidates from outside the district through the website teachboston.org. Instead of posting the jobs to an internal “transfer pool,” as had been the district practice, principals can now “open post” the jobs to outside candidates.
Ross Wilson, assistant superintendent of human capital for Boston schools, said the initiative extends to all schools a hiring flexibility that certain troubled schools have now.
“Our superintendent is very clear that all schools should have that ability to enter into the competitive hiring process and choose their own team,” Wilson said.
Wilson added that the aggressive recruitment will allow the district to be more competitive with suburban and charter schools, who traditionally hire teachers several months earlier than Boston. Wilson said Boston schools lose about 300 teachers a year due to retirements and attrition.