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Arts town in Hamburg, Ngqushwa Local Municipality / EC | The South African LED Network

Arts town in Hamburg, Ngqushwa Local Municipality / EC | The South African LED Network | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Emthonjeni Arts is aimed at regenerating the area and turning it into a niche tourism destination with a central focus on art and the development of local artists. The artist retreat is now nearing final completion. The site for the residency was chosen as part of the development of a spatial development framework for the whole town.

 

It is on a north-facing brow of a hill overlooking the Keiskamma River and estuary and slightly shielded from the prevailing winds from the sea. Its location has been strategically chosen to promote further development around it and around developing Hamburg as an Arts town.

 

The vision of the retreat is to provide a creative space for local and international artists to develop and perfect their craft in a special environment. The retreat periods will be linked to other major art events such as the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

 

Sustainability of the retreat will be ensured through strategic partnerships with stakeholders by, among other things establishing an endowment fund, scholarship or bursary sponsors to ensure residencies for artists, and the establishment of an Artists' Ambassadorial Network.

 

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CA: Some doctors will no longer see patients who refuse vaccinations | Faith Gardner | DailyKos.com

CA: Some doctors will no longer see patients who refuse vaccinations | Faith Gardner | DailyKos.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Since the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in December (and news is now saying originated overseas), the virus has spread to several states and Mexico.


Recently, unvaccinated high school students in Huntington Beach were temporarily banned from school. This week, 70 unvaccinated students in Riverside were also temporarily banned from school to prevent the outbreak from spreading. In Marin County, a father asked an elementary school to ban unvaccinated students from attending to protect his son who is recovering from leukemia and can't be vaccinated.

Now it appears come doctors are beginning to refuse to see patients who will not vaccinate.

With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vaccinated.

"Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they're not just putting their kids at risk, but they're also putting other kids at risk — especially kids in my waiting room," the Los Angeles pediatrician said.

Recently 30 Bay Area babies were put under isolation after being exposed to measles. One Alameda County woman named Jennifer Simon, a mother of one of those isolated babies, voiced her anger to the press about this issue. Her baby was exposed in a waiting room due to an unvaccinated child who contracted the disease.


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Washington educator testifies on ESEA reauthorization | Colleen Flaherty | Edutopia.org

Washington educator testifies on ESEA reauthorization | Colleen Flaherty | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Rachelle Moore has been teaching first grade in Seattle for the past five years in a high-needs school and has seen what can make the difference in her classroom.

“I have a wide range of learners, kids from all different backgrounds, a number of which are minority students, live in poverty and lack early educational experiences, as well as students who have been afforded more opportunities that help them prepare to be successful students,” said Moore.

“Being at my school, I’ve learned how important it is to kids who maybe don’t have the same opportunities that I had growing up be given really high quality teaching and be seen as an individual, a whole child, and feel like they’re a valuable part of our classroom.”

To share her experiences and an educator voice with Congress, Moore traveled to Washington D.C. to testify before the Senate Committee on Health, Educator, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to discuss what should be included in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“I’m here today to share a teacher’s vision of what’s happening in our schools, and hopefully help them shape education policy,” said Moore. “There is no ‘average’ student. Each student is shaped by individual experiences, and those experiences must be taken into consideration when shaping policies geared towards improving student success.”


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WI Gov. Scott Walker among 2016 GOP hopefuls plugging into Koch network | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

WI Gov. Scott Walker among 2016 GOP hopefuls plugging into Koch network | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For years EdVotes has covered how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has made life tougher for public school students and educators, not to mention working families.

Just days after his re-election in November, Walker promised more of the same with his pledge to expand the private school voucher scheme used to funnel more than $300 million in taxpayer money to unaccountable private schools.

Now we’re forced to imagine the devastation to our nation’s public schools and workers’ rights if Walker held the highest office in the land: Gov. Walker was one of four GOP presidential hopefuls invited to speak at a closed-door meeting of the Koch network in Palm Springs this weekend.


Walker shared the spotlight with thee other high-profile invitees with presidential aspirations: Sens. Marco Rubio(R-FL), Tex Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY).


Walker’s campaign manager confirmed late last week that the governor intended to speak at the meeting.


So what does such an invitation mean? The opportunity to court some of the richest donors and influencers in U.S. politics. It is estimated that in the 2014 midterm elections, four Koch groups ran more than 12,000 TV ads, at a cost exceeding $25 million.


It was Koch money that fueled Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst’s successful bid for a U.S. Senate seat.


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NH Supreme Court decision says educators’ retirement benefits can be changed at will | Brian Washington | NEA.org

NH Supreme Court decision says educators’ retirement benefits can be changed at will | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A significant blow has been dealt to the retirement security of educators, fire fighters, police officers and other state workers who serve their communities in New Hampshire.

The State Supreme Court has ruled that those public servants–including teachers and education support professionals–who pay into the state retirement system can have their benefits changed or diminished by the legislature at any time. The court ruled that retirement benefits are not a contract.

The court’s ruling, released earlier this month, follows so called pension reforms enacted by the state legislature last year.

The NEA-NH, which represents more than 17,000 active, retired, and future educators across the state, released a statement about the court’s ruling. Bottom line: the legislature can change the terms of retirement benefits at will.


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The 5 questions you need to ask about charter schools | Brian Washington | NEA.org

The 5 questions you need to ask about charter schools | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Education activists across the country are being put on alert to help raise awareness about the need for higher standards and more accountability for charter schools to protect the public’s investment in these schools and ensure that students’ needs are being met.

Next week charter school industry insiders will kick off what they call “School Choice Week,” a campaign to promote unaccountable charter schools—which are at the center of several reports concerning waste, fraud, and abuse—as an alternative to traditional public schools.

However, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) is asking pro-public education activists to use this time to demand answers from politicians and charter school proponents about what it calls “essential gaps in accountability and fraud looming over the charter sector.”


5 Questions to Ask During School Choice Week

CPD’s “5 Questions to Ask During School Choice Week” will help public education advocates demand answers to the critical issues surrounding charter schools and their impact on students and public education. The questions include the following:


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Teacher: I see the difference in educational privilege every day. I live it. I am disgusted by it. | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com

Teacher: I see the difference in educational privilege every day. I live it. I am disgusted by it. | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Here is a post by a Colorado teacher who vividly explains the difference in the lives of fortunate students and the less fortunate students whom she teaches.


Her last post on this blog was a nuanced look into the psyche of some students of color who live in poverty, which you can read here.


This public school teacher often blogs anonymously under the name Shakespeare’s Sister at Daily Kos. She teaches 11th grade AP Language and Composition in the Denver area.

Here is Shakespeare’s Sister newest post for this blog:


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Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job | Andy Baio | The Message | Medium.com

Never trust a corporation to do a library's job - The Message - Medium

As Google abandons its past, Internet archivists step in to save our collective memory

Google wrote its mission statement in 1999, a year after launch, setting the course for the company’s next decade:

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

For years, Google’s mission included the preservation of the past.

In 2001, Google made their first acquisition, the Deja archives. The largest collection of Usenet archives, Google relaunched it as Google Groups, supplemented with archived messages going back to 1981.

In 2004, Google Books signaled the company’s intention to scan every known book, partnering with libraries and developing its own book scanner capable of digitizing 1,000 pages per hour.

In 2006, Google News Archive launched, with historical news articles dating back 200 years. In 2008, they expanded it to include their own digitization efforts, scanning newspapers that were never online.

In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google’s management left these archival projects in limbo, or abandoned entirely.

After a series of redesigns, Google Groups is effectively dead for research purposes. The archives, while still online, have no means of searching by date.

Google News Archives are dead, killed off in 2011, now directing searchers to just use Google.

Google Books is still online, but curtailed their scanning efforts in recent years, likely discouraged by a decade of legal wrangling still in appeal. The official blog stopped updating in 2012 and the Twitter account’s been dormant since February 2013.

Even Google Search, their flagship product, stopped focusing on the history of the web. In 2011, Google removed the Timeline view letting users filter search results by date, while a series of major changes to their search ranking algorithm increasingly favored freshness over older pages from established sources. (To the detriment of some.)

Two months ago, Larry Page said the company’s outgrown its 14-year-old mission statement. Its ambitions have grown, and its priorities have shifted.


The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, a task the San Francisco-based nonprofit has tirelessly done since 1996, two years before Google was founded.


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Roscosmos video replaces our Sun and Moon with well known stars and planets | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

Roscosmos video replaces our Sun and Moon with well known stars and planets | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At some point in their lives, who hasn't looked up at the sky and gazed in wonder at Earth's closest companion? Hanging a dizzying 384,400 km (238, 606 miles) above us, the Moon has stood like a silent sentinel throughout our species' short existence. It has enticed some to visit and inspired others to look to the universe beyond. The Russian space agency Roscosmos recently released series of videos shot from the perspective of Earth, showing us what it would look like if other planets and stars took the place of our Moon and Sun.

In many ways the Moon has encouraged the most noble part of the human spirit, that which drives us to exploration and inspires us to push back the boundaries of human understanding. On the other hand, Roscosmos has taken a less philosophical view, recognizing that the moon is a massive rock in the sky that we've all just got a bit used to, and asks, what would it look like if it was something else?


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Smithsonian Institution may be headed to London | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

Smithsonian Institution may be headed to London | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For the first time in its 168 year history, the Smithsonian Institution may be "coming home," in a manner of speaking. Originally founded with funds from British scientist James Smithson, it has never established a longterm exhibition outside the United States. But recently unveiled plans for a new culture and arts center to be built at London’s Olympic Park site in the UK.

The plans make up part of a larger £141 million (roughly US$210 million) scheme to turn the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which was site of the 2012 London Olympics, in to a 4.5 acre (1.8 hectare) cultural hub with the unfortunate title of Olympicopolis. Olympicopolis will also contain universities, a museum, and dance theater, and is expected to host over 1.5 million visitors per year.

Details are scant at this stage, but Smithsonian plans for a 3,700 sq m (40,000 sq ft) gallery that will feature permanent and rotating exhibits, and a series of programs and activities. Entry will be free of charge, and costs will be covered by private philanthropy, temporary-exhibit admission fees, and retail income.


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Prynt case turns your phone into a Polaroid-like instant camera | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com

Prynt case turns your phone into a Polaroid-like instant camera | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A new prototype instant camera case promises to let you print photographs directly from your Android or Apple smartphone, and in just 30 seconds. Dubbed Prynt, the modular unit acts as both a phone case and printer, and boasts an all-in-one ink and paper refill pack that claims to make reloading on the go a breeze.

Inspired by the original Polaroid instant camera, the Prynt team wanted to recreate the experience of sharing physical photos like people did in previous generations – only this time using the smartphones as the brain. Given that these handsets are becoming our ubiquitous and constant companions, the Prynt creators thought it made the most sense to make a gizmo that attaches to the device that's already living in your pocket.

In this vein, the Prynt is designed to wrap around and encase your phone, so you don’t have to fiddle with connections or plugs: just point, shoot and print. The Prynt case also holds 10 sheets of photo paper, with drop-in refills priced at just US$5 per pack and available through the Prynt app.

Though still under development, the Prynt team hopes to have a companion app up by mid-year, along with a greater range of smartphone compatibility.


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IA: 665 W.D.M. students to be part of Gates Foundation-backed program model | Christopher Pratt | Des Moines Register

IA: 665 W.D.M. students to be part of Gates Foundation-backed program model | Christopher Pratt | Des Moines Register | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

West Des Moines will be the first school district in the state to launch a new non-traditional classroom model backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The New Tech Network program will enlist 665 students in project-based learning that combines multiple subject areas and stresses collaboration amongst students and teachers.

The program began in California in 1996 and is active in more than 150 schools, most of them public schools, in 25 states. But it has not found a home in Iowa until now.

This week the West Des Moines school board approved a $1.3 million plan to implement the program at four schools starting in the fall.

The first students enrolled will include all fourth- through sixth-grade students at Clive and Crestview elementary schools, and about 220 of the district's approximately 660 seventh-graders at both Indian Hills and Stilwell junior high schools.

The goal of the program is to get young students more actively involved in day-to-day learning through collaborative projects, and build the knowledge and skills needed to succeed after their school years.

It also includes a focus on technology. All students enrolled in the program will be assigned either and laptop or a tablet.

"We really wanted to start thinking about other possibilities of how we could start helping kids feel engaged — and really prepare them — whether they are going into college, a career, military, whatever path they are planning to take," West Des Moines Superintendent Lisa Remy said.

She led five group visits to New Tech Network sites across the country. Those trips included teachers and school board members, but also West Des Moines city officials and business leaders.


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How To Choose A Learning Game | Jordan Shapiro | Mind/Shift | KQED.org

How To Choose A Learning Game | Jordan Shapiro | Mind/Shift | KQED.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Many teachers are excited about trying games in the classroom but don’t know where to begin. The landscape of learning games is vast and confusing — and it’s growing and changing rapidly. Moving at the pace of the software industry, games are often updated and iterated so that new versions replace familiar ones before you’ve even had a chance to implement them in your classroom routine.

And teachers have busy schedules. We have barely enough time to complete our prep or even to provide students with as much written feedback as they deserve. Exploring such unfamiliar territory as games for learning takes a considerable investment of time and energy. For over-scheduled and underpaid teachers, available time and energy is already scarce and face-to-face classroom time is our top priority.

On the other hand, not exploring, updating and reinventing our teaching strategies can cause us to miss valuable opportunities to reach students. We all chose teaching because we love it, and a good teacher is constantly motivated to improve the classroom experience. Games are a great tool that can add a spark of new vitality. But how do you go about choosing the right game? What criteria should you use to pick a game for your classroom?

Selecting the right game can be like walking the teachers’ tightrope. Both engagement and academic rigor need to be priorities, but there is often tension between them.


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High School Teacher And His Students Re-Create 'Uptown Funk' Video In One Take

High School Teacher And His Students Re-Create 'Uptown Funk' Video In One Take | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This is a great example of how a bunch of technology students let go of their fears, trusted their teacher, and got down to some "Uptown Funk!"

This could become the next "Happy" viral video idea where everyone starts creating their own version.


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Kideville Aimed at Bringing 3D Printing and Urban Planning Skills to Students | TE Edwards | 3DPrint.com

Kideville Aimed at Bringing 3D Printing and Urban Planning Skills to Students | TE Edwards | 3DPrint.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It’s all about the children at Kidesign, an ed-tech startup aimed at building educational kits and bringing 3D printing into school curricula.

Alberto Rizzoli and Dejan Mitrovic say they decided to turn the workshops they ran for 4 years into scalable projects that would allow teachers to build a kit composed of a term-long series of lessons.


Mitrovic, a London-based design entrepreneur from Belgrade, Serbia, graduated from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London with an MA+MSc in Innovation Design Engineering before founding Kidesign. He also works as a tutor in design enterprise at the Royal College of Art, Ravensbourne College, and Imperial College London.


“We needed something that allowed children to learn all the skills to 3D print something from scratch, so we mixed everything into a city-planning project called Kideville,” Rizzoli says.


Made up of 12 to 14 lessons, Kideville begins with 8-to-12-year-old students. The students all receive individual tool kits which serve as the jumping off point of their personal projects.


Each tool kit contains a brief card which is categorized around something each student might be passionate about like science, sports, or food, and the briefs contain simple requirements on how the students can build an architecture and position objects.


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What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning? | Heather Wolpert-Gawron Blog | Edutopia.org

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning? | Heather Wolpert-Gawron Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You know the hardest thing about teaching with project-based learning? Explaining it to someone. It seems to me that whenever I asked someone the definition of PBL, the description was always so complicated that my eyes would begin to glaze over immediately. So to help you in your own musings, I've devised an elevator speech to help you clearly see what's it all about.


An elevator speech is a brief, one- or two-sentence response you could give someone in the amount of time it takes to go from the first floor to the second floor in an apartment building. I like this visual, and I use it with my students because getting to the point and encapsulating the gist of something is vital in today's speaking- and writing-heavy world.

So the elevator opens up, a guy walks in and out of the blue asks you, "What the heck is project-based learning anyway?" I don't know why he would ask that, but for the purposes of this fantasy, it seems that any Joe-off-the-street is fascinated by your response.

You respond accordingly: "PBL is the act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. Kids show what they learn as they journey through the unit, not just at the end."

"That's it?" the guy asks.

"Well, no," you reply. "There's more to it than that, but this is your floor, and we're out of time." He gives you a brief nod of thanks and departs, leaving you to think of all the richness that this definition does not, in fact, impart.

After all, if we just look at that definition, it doesn't state certain trends in PBL.


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"It's Not What's Wrong with the Children, It's What's Happened to Them" | Jennifer Ng'andu Blog | Edutopia.org

"It's Not What's Wrong with the Children, It's What's Happened to Them" | Jennifer Ng'andu Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It has been said to me many times that it's the child who is acting out that needs you the most. And yet, all too often, the systems that are most likely to deal with young people in crisis do more damage than good.

A recent report from the Juvenile Law Center on how to improve outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems underscores this point. The report, which was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), points out that the juvenile justice system relies heavily on a strategy of harsh punishment when its real goal should be helping and healing young people who are struggling.

When young people have behavioral challenges, the system usually asks, "What is wrong with this child, and how do we stop it?" Instead, they ought to be asking, "What happened to this child, and how do we help them?"

We see the same problems in our education system as well. For example, children who are exposed to traumatic events in early childhood are more likely to act out in school. Preschools all too often respond to that behavior by suspending or expelling children. Children of color are especially vulnerable to harsh discipline. Consider recent data (PDF, 2.1MB) from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which shows that children of color are far more likely to be suspended or permanently expelled from preschool. For example, black children account for 18 percent of the preschool population, but represent 48 percent of suspensions.

These preschool suspensions are particularly troubling because of how they might shape a child's future pathway. A suspension may or may not change a child's behavior, but what is certain is that it provides the first touch of punishment that may latch on and follow that child throughout his or her education and life experiences.


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Sculptor Transforms Maine Fishermen's Trash Into Treasure | Tom Porter | MPBN.net

Sculptor Transforms Maine Fishermen's Trash Into Treasure | Tom Porter | MPBN.net | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A New York-based artist has become an unlikely source of revenue for a lot of Maine lobstermen. Internationally-renowned sculptor Orly Genger makes massive works of art using rope - particularly discarded lobster line.


Genger's latest project is a monumental sculpture to be installed in South Korea next year, utilizing more than 3 million feet of rope. And to craft the piece, she's prepared to pay fishermen good money for outdated trap lines they don't have much use for.


There's a saying back in England - "Money for old rope" - meaning to get payment for something which is seemingly worthless. Easy money, in other words. Well, that phrase is now a reality for many Maine lobstermen, thanks to the world of modern art.


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'The Queen of Code' Gives The Lowdown On Grace Hopper | Jackie Dove | The Next Web

'The Queen of Code' Gives The Lowdown On Grace Hopper | Jackie Dove | The Next Web | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Considering the scandalous lack of women entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, and the debased treatment some receive in the industry, it can be hard to remember that women helped form the backbone of computing when it mattered most.

‘The Queen of Code,’ a brand new 16-minute film from actress Gillian Jacobs, serves up a humorous and inspiring reminder that there is indeed a Mother of Computing. Her name was Grace Hopper: mathematics professor, US Navy Admiral, instrumental in creating the first compiler and the COBOL programming language, popularizing the terms “bug” and “debugging” and much more in her long career.

Starting in World War II, the US government famously recruited women into both the workforce and the war effort as the men were sent off to the front. Many of those women became “human computers,” working in teams to hand-calculate ballistics trajectories.


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Creating Characters with Music | Gaetan Pappalardo Blog | Edutopia.org

Creating Characters with Music | Gaetan Pappalardo Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

“You want to write a great story? Create a character. Make everyone fall in love in him. Then get him in trouble.” -- Bruce Coville

While a great story will keep an adult “with the writer,” a great character is what children crave. And usually it begins with a graphic of some sort, a character sketch. That’s why the illustrations are so integral to a great picture book. I’ve heard many authors admit that a cover can make or break the book, and most of the time the cover of the book showcases one or more of the main characters. And why not? That character, proudly displayed on the cover, was probably the reason the book was written in the first place. So, heck, why not teach kids to begin with a character when they’re frantically searching for a storyline?

When I was a wee-little music fan, you could find me huddled around a record player singing about rock-n-rollin’ all night and partying every day. KISS just fascinated me. And for good reason–– they are all characters. They have nicknames like Starchild and Spaceman, breathe fire, and launch rockets off the ends of their guitars (At 60+ years old, they are still doing this stuff). I would sit for hours staring at the album covers imagining painted faces singing the songs. Then the radio became my primary method of listening to music. The images disappeared and so did my visual connection with the artist. I didn’t get to see them as much. Late night TV was, well… too late for me and I was too young to attend concerts. Then, BOOM!

I want my Mtv!

Videos flooded the television! I prayed for my favorite song to morph into a music video, and then waited up all night to see it through droopy eyelids. Then, “What? I had no idea that person looked like that!” I see you nodding your head. How many times have you listened to your favorite song over and over again, then one day you finally see the artist perform on TV (nowadays it’s YouTube) and you say, “Huh?” The singing voice rarely matches physical characteristics, I know. I can vividly remember listening to Nirvana, then finally catching a glimpse of Curt Kobain. I had no idea that big, scratchy-screamy voice would come from a mousy-blonde-wearing-a-cardigan type of guy. Right?


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4 Easy Steps to Transmedia Screenwriting | Dr. Chester Elijah Branch | Media Shift | PBS.org

4 Easy Steps to Transmedia Screenwriting | Dr. Chester Elijah Branch | Media Shift | PBS.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

So you are a film student or filmmaker and you’re interested in telling a story that will stay with your audience beyond the “fade out.”


Let’s say you want a webisode to go viral. Or, a couple of years ago, you heard Disney and Fox talking about transmedia.


Now you’re wondering how to stay on trend with these big distribution companies. How would you even begin to write, shoot and produce a story that is “transmedia” ready?

There are four key elements you can pay attention to when creating your work that makes it easier to transition into something interactive and cross-platform.

The first tip is to be sure the story you’re telling has what it needs to be transmedia.


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New Dawn Ceres image outdoes Hubble | David Szondy | GizMag.com

New Dawn Ceres image outdoes Hubble | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The dwarf planet Ceres has come into sharper focus with NASA's Dawn spacecraft sending back the best images yet of the asteroid. Shot on January 25 from a distance of 147,000 mi (237,000 km) as the unmanned probe closes in for its March rendezvous, the resolution was 30 percent better than the best images obtained by the Hubble space telescope.

The 43-pixel-wide image may still be a bit blurry, but NASA says that it's already presenting scientists with new insights into the nature of Ceres. The new images provide a better look at the white spot discovered on January 13, as well as hints of craters and other features.

Dawn was launched on September 27, 2007 atop a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. After making a flyby of Mars on February 4, 2009 in a slingshot maneuver, it went into orbit around the protoplanet Vesta on July 16, 2011, where it carried out a 14-month survey of its surface.


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Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Prize winners announced | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Prize winners announced | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Back in December, we learned that the final deadline for the prestigious Lunar XPrize had been pushed back to 2016, giving the teams a little more time to perfect their creations. We also heard that up to US$6 million in funding would be awarded to the most promising teams. The results are now in and the front runners are beginning to emerge.

First, a quick recap. The Lunar XPrize is a competition being run in partnership with Google that promises a grand prize of $30 million for any team that can successfully land a custom built robot on the Moon, and have it travel at least 500 m (1,640 ft) before transmitting HD footage back home.


To help the teams achieve those lofty goals, several prize purses were available to teams whose creations showed promise in certain areas. Actual testing and analysis was required for the awarding of the Milestone Prize funds, $5.25 million of which has now been awarded, spread over three categories.


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California dad asks grade school to ban unvaccinated kids to keep his son safe | Faith Gardner | DailyKos.com

California dad asks grade school to ban unvaccinated kids to keep his son safe | Faith Gardner | DailyKos.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Since the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland, California and six other states (and Mexico) have seen patients infected with the disease. If you read the comments in a lot of these articles in the major news networks (which I don't really advise, unless you enjoy the feeling of beating your head against your keyboard) people ask, why does this matter? Aren't only unvaccinated people affected? As long as you yourself are vaccinated, this shouldn't be an issue, right?

Wrong. Take Rhett Krawitt in Marin County, for example. He's a six-year-old kid who has been battling leukemia for over four years. That's over three years of chemo treatments. Now that he's in remission, he can't receive vaccinations. And this new measles outbreak poses a serious threat to him and other similar cases.

Rhett cannot be vaccinated, because his immune system is still rebuilding. It may be months more before his body is healthy enough to get all his immunizations. Until then, he depends on everyone around him for protection — what's known as herd immunity.

But Rhett lives in Marin County, Calif., a county with the dubious honor of having the highest rate of "personal belief exemptions" in the Bay Area and among the highest in the state. This school year, 6.45 percent of children in Marin have a personal belief exemption, which allows parents to lawfully send their children to school unvaccinated against communicable diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and more.

Although no measles cases are known at Rhett's school currently, 30 babies have been isolated in the Bay Area in the past few days to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Rhett's oncologist, Dr. Goldsby, says, "It's not just Rhett. There are hundreds of other kids in the Bay Area that are going through cancer therapy, and it's not fair to them. They can't get immunized; they have to rely on their friends and colleagues and community to help protect them."

Rhett's father Carl Krawitt is concerned for the safety of his child, and is trying to change the policies at Rhett's elementary school.


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The 2015 submarine cable map is here! | TeleGeography.com

TeleGeography is pleased to announce that our 2015 Submarine Cable Map, sponsored by PCCW Global, is now available!

This year’s map pays tribute to the pioneering mapmakers of the Age of Discovery, incorporating elements of medieval and renaissance cartography. In addition to serving as navigational aids, maps from this era were highly sought after works of art, often adorned with fanciful illustrations of real and imagined dangers at sea. Such embellishments largely disappeared in the early 1600s, pushing modern map design in a purely functional direction. TeleGeography’s newest map brings back the lost design aesthetic that vanished along with these whimsical details, to provide a view of the global submarine cable network seen through the lens of a bygone era.

While the design is vintage, the data are fresh: the map depicts 278 in-service and 21 planned submarine cables. TeleGeography’s latest data on submarine cable latency and lit capacity by route appear alongside ornate illustrations depicting common causes of submarine cable faults, steps in the cable laying process, and mythical sea monsters.


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Fantastically Wrong: The Bizarre Mirages That Once Scared the Bejesus Out of Sailors | Matt Simon | WIRED

Fantastically Wrong: The Bizarre Mirages That Once Scared the Bejesus Out of Sailors | Matt Simon | WIRED | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Jesuit priests aren’t especially known for their heavy drug use, but it would seem that Father Domenico Giardina was tripping pretty hard on August 14, 1643. Looking out over the sea from Messina, Sicily, Giardina saw “a city all floating in the air, and so measureless and so splendid, so adorned with magnificent buildings, all of which was found on a base of a luminous crystal.” The metropolis suddenly transformed into a garden, and next a forest. And then in a flash it all descended into chaos. Huge armies sprang forth, as did the towns they had laid waste to, before the whole mess disappeared.


Father Giardina, you see, was high on life. The “great and marvelous theater” he had witnessed was the mysterious fata morgana, an incredibly complex mirage that has historically both fascinated and scared the hell out of sailors and landlubbers alike. Whether it be the work of necromancers or fairies or a god, few phenomena have captivated humankind quite so thoroughly as fata morgana.

It was Jesuits like Father Giardina, argues Marina Warner in her brilliant book Phantasmagoria, who made the first “careful” observations of fata morgana, that is, not freaking out about them and instead beginning to apply a dash of science to the matter. The good Father claimed, writes Warner, that the minerals and salts in the region “rise up in hot weather in vapours from the sea to form clouds, which then condense in the cooler upper air to become a mobile specchio, a moving, polyhedrical mirror.” It was wrong, but it actually wasn’t that far off.


At work here is some basic physics. When the sun heats up the atmosphere above the ocean, it creates a gradient of temperatures: Near the surface, it’s still relatively cool because the water is chilling that air, but sitting above that is a layer of warmer air. Now, light doesn’t always travel in a straight line. When it hits a boundary between two layers of the atmosphere that are different temperatures (and therefore different densities), it bends and travels through the new layer at a different angle. This is known as refraction. The change in the light’s angle of travel depends on the difference in density between the two layers.


How does bending light create a mirage?


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