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World History TimeMap | ICT Magic

World History TimeMap | ICT Magic | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Explore World History with the TimeMap of World History, which is an interactive history atlas and timeline that lets you navigate to any era of history to visit any civilization, nation or empire.

 

Now contains over 650 history maps and over 1,000 pages of high quality supporting narrative all made easy to navigate via our TimeMap interface.

 

NEW: With the elections in mind, take a look at our mini-timemap contrasting the history of the US and Chinese government

 

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The Learning Edge of Game Design | Erin Hoffman | GlassLab Games

The Learning Edge of Game Design | Erin Hoffman | GlassLab Games | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I often tell game developers that I came to GlassLab because I believe that the worlds of learning and education represent the next leap forward in game design. My feelings are mixed: I’ve loved “entertainment” games since I was a child; I’ve made playful interactive things on computers for longer than I can remember. My life — both work and play — has been connected to games forever. But the truth is that the mainstream industry got a little boring. A couple of years ago, games took a swerve into some depressing places: AAA teams where you spend 4+ years of your life on a tiny part of a huge (if magnificent) machine, startups that were making actual slot machines for iPhones, pay-to-win stacked-deck PvP tablet games.

Even if those were my kind of games (hint: I got into the industry for multimillion-player shared worlds, immersive narrative, and simulation games), it just seemed like there wasn’t a heck of a lot there to learn from about game design. Whereas prior years had led to explosive learning about game design, recent ones flattened out, and the challenge in the space was more about acquisition and monetization than design.

Enter: education. Not only was EDM (educational data-mining) on the rise (representing a new kind of game datastream analytics), educators were finally starting to see games as allies rather than enemies. Little companies were starting to show big results, and games like DragonBox were showing us that not only could learning games be elegant, beautiful, and usable, but they had the potential to reveal brand new game mechanics.

The truth is the learning world is a thinky game designer’s dream. It’s deeply hungry for new ideas, deeply hungry for engaging kids, and completely dedicated to making a better world. With Mars Generation One, we built mechanics around argumentation — that had never been done before. With SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge, we set out to mine millions of game data points for hints about systems thinking — never been done before. At GlassLab I am ridiculously fortunate to be trying to solve problems in utterly uncharted territory every hour of every day.


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OH: School project helps lead city revitalization | Barrett Lawlis | Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

OH: School project helps lead city revitalization | Barrett Lawlis | Lancaster Eagle-Gazette | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

With no substantial setbacks because of weather, the construction of the Lancaster, OH school district’s new elementary buildings are on schedule, with one building nearing completion and two under way.

Mt. Pleasant Elementary is in the final stages of construction. The building is set to be done by the end of March, minus the kitchen. The grounds and the parking lot are on schedule to be completed by the end of June. Jerry Rainey, director of business for Lancaster schools, said the punch-out for the building is being completed at the site soon.

“Basically, the architect will go through the building to check the finishes and to see if there is anything that needs fixed,” Rainey said.

“The Gorsuch West Elementary and Tarhe Trails Elementary are at different stages of construction, with Tarhe Trails just a little further ahead,” said LCS Superintendent Steve Wigton. The buildings are on schedule to be completed by the end of July. These three buildings are set to open in August for the new school year.

Construction for Medill Elementary and Tallmadge Elementary will begin in the summer. Before construction can begin, however, the old sites will be demolished.

“In the first week of June, we will start by clearing everything out of the buildings, and then begin demolition. If everything remains on schedule, demolition will be finished by the end of July,” Wigton said. The two elementary buildings are set to open in January of 2017, after the holiday break.

The district’s new building plan has received positive reception from the community, which Wigton said was evident from an increased enrollment.

“These buildings are going to provide a better learning space for students, a more modern setting for enhanced education,” Wigton said. The curriculum has been updated for more technology-integrated learning. The new buildings also will have more flexible space for teachers and administrators compared to the present elementary schools.


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This Is How The Common Core ACTUALLY Works | Bill Barrow | HuffPost.com

This Is How The Common Core ACTUALLY Works | Bill Barrow | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the political uproar over Common Core, various myths are peddled as fact.

Do the learning standards really mean the federal government is serving as a "national school board," as Sen. Marco Rubio says? That's hard to square with the reality that the standards were developed by governors and state education leaders.

Should leaders "repeal every word of Common Core," as Sen. Ted Cruz demands? Actually there's no federal law -- or even federal program -- to repeal. Sen. Rand Paul slams "rotten to the core" propaganda forced on children by an initiative that has no curriculum at all.

Even so, the 2016 GOP presidential prospects who are criticizing Common Core have a point -- if an overstated one -- when they dispute the notion that it is strictly a voluntary initiative that bubbled up from communities and states. In complicated but unmistakable ways, the federal government does pressure states to live up to the standards.

Concerns about Common Core extend beyond the Republican politicians to many parents, some of them Democrats, who blame it for additional math homework headaches and extra time taking tests.

A quick primer on Common Core, followed by a look at the facts behind the rhetoric of some Republican hopefuls:


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Tell-All From A TFA and KIPP Teacher: Unprepared, Isolation, Shame, and Burnout | Julian Vasquez Heilig | Cloaking Inequity

Tell-All From A TFA and KIPP Teacher: Unprepared, Isolation, Shame, and Burnout | Julian Vasquez Heilig | Cloaking Inequity | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A few years ago a UT-Austin undergraduate student sat in my office and told me that she was joining Teach For America (TFA) and was going to teach in KIPP school. The essence of TFA’s pitch to her?

We recruit a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement who work to expand educational opportunity, starting by teaching for two years in a low-income community.

In 2013, The University of Texas at Austin sent more of our graduates to Teach For America than any other university. We’re #1!?! How can you not feel good about Teach For America after watching this expensive and very professional YouTube promotion video?


Apparently, a half of a billion dollars buys some slick promotional material.


Also, how can you not fall in love with Teach For America when discussing their beliefs with their very intelligent and loquacious staff and lobbyist (Factoid: Did you know TFA has embedded paid ed policy staffers in the U.S. congress?).


A few weeks ago, after I spoke on a panel at the The National Hispanic Caucus of Hispanic State Legislators (NHCSL) conference in Orlando, I had a conversation with a Nevada State Senator about TFA and he told me:


"You should visit the TFA classrooms. You will be really impressed."


Check out this Dog and Pony show featuring Spanky the Miniature Horse and Dally the Parson Russell Terrier.


Back to that student that was in my office two years ago asking about TFA and KIPP. I’ll be honest, I advised her against it. But I asked her to keep in touch because I was very interested in hearing about her experience teaching for TFA and KIPP. Well, she was back in touch last week— midway through her second year. (It is anonymous to avoid retribution from you know who). Without further ado…


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Robots: a Hands-On Approach to STEM Education | Hannah Kingsley-Ma | KALW.org

Robots: a Hands-On Approach to STEM Education | Hannah Kingsley-Ma | KALW.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

California eighth graders are ranked 45th in the country in math. That’s according to the most recent scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Meanwhile, the pool of jobs requiring math, science, and engineering experience is growing, especially here in the Bay Area. For people with the right skills, these jobs have become the latest iteration of the American dream -- steady, livable wages, and plenty of demand.

In San Francisco, a few high schools have started offering hands on tech experience to students in after school robotics clubs. George Washington High School in San Francisco’s Richmond District is one of them. They’ve entered a national robot-building competition of 3,000 teams. They have six weeks to build a robot that can lift and stack big plastic bins, for a regional contest in Davis.

Around week three, about twenty students are clustered in groups in a small classroom. They’re hunched over computer screens, with bucket-sized bubble teas on their desks. On the floor, there’s something that looks like a car battery got in a fight with a Roomba, scooting back and forth on command. The students have been working on it every day after school - all-day on Saturdays too.

“We don't come on Sundays - we would if we could,” said senior Sheldon Lau. “But they don't let us.”

Not only do these students have to build and design a robot from scratch, they have to write code to make it perform specific functions. Taxi Situ described the first time they made the robot move. “Everyone was cheering, everyone was taking their phones out and taking pictures of it,” said Situ. “SnapChat was a thing.”


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From Siberia with size: 'New species' of big dinosaur found, scientists claim | Chris Matyszczyk | CNET

From Siberia with size: 'New species' of big dinosaur found, scientists claim | Chris Matyszczyk | CNET | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's a little like fracking. The more we dig, the scarier our findings.

And now, it seems, something terribly scary has been dug up, according to Russian scientists in the heart of Siberia.

My chillingly irregular reading of the Siberian Times tells me that bones boffins at Tomsk State University have unearthed what they believe is a new species of dinosaur.

The fossils were originally dug up in 2008. Having carefully extracted them from the rocks of Siberia, scientists have tried to piece them together and decided that this is a dinosaur of the Titanosauriformes, a group of sauropod dinosaur.

These were creatures with small heads and massive bodies. Perhaps they were the politicians of their day.

The Siberian Times quotes researcher Stepan Ivantsov, who said: "It was the first scientifically described dinosaur from this group in Russia. Now after work on the extraction of all the remnants and the restoration [of the bones] are almost completed, we can confidently say that we have found a new species, and maybe even genus."


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Scientists find brightest night light circling impossibly huge black hole | Eric Mack | GizMag.com

Scientists find brightest night light circling impossibly huge black hole | Eric Mack | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Astronomers have discovered a distant, massive and ancient black hole that calls into question current models for the early expansion of the universe. A team of scientists from China and Arizona spotted the brightest quasar from the early universe, named SDSS J0100+2802, centered on a black hole 12.8 billion light years away and as bright as 420 trillion suns.

Quasars are celestial objects that are essentially very bright clouds of material being swallowed by a black hole. The material accelerates toward the black hole and heats up in the process, causing it to glow brightly.

The existence of such a powerful and ancient object presents something of a puzzle for scientists because it formed less than a billion years after the Big Bang, when the universe was relatively young.


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ESA offers CubeSats a deep space ride on asteroid mission | David Szondy | GizMag.com

ESA offers CubeSats a deep space ride on asteroid mission | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

CubeSats offer a way to get into space on the cheap. They're compact, inexpensive, and they can piggyback on larger launch payloads to get into orbit. The trouble is, this piggybacking is often like trying to hitchhike cross country on a ride that only goes to the edge of town. The European Space Agency (ESA) is widening the scope a little by opening a competition for CubeSats to ride into deep space on its Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM).

The ESA competition is open to scientists and companies of its member nations member and is intended to provide room for six CubeSat units. A particular CubeSat could be made up of two or three units, so the ESA mission might for example carry two CubeSats of three units each.

According to ESA, the competition isn't just for a launch spot, but also to seek new sensors and other technologies that can complement the AIM mission, which is part of the international Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA), which is tasked with investigating how to deflect asteroids that might pose a hazard to Earth.


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Watch the Film That Earned an 18-Year-Old Director a Trip to the White House | Indian Country Today Media Network

Watch the Film That Earned an 18-Year-Old Director a Trip to the White House | Indian Country Today Media Network | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Last Friday, Keanu Jones' short film "Giving Back the Navajo Way" was one of 15 that screened in the 2015 White House Film Festival. Jones, an 18-year-old high school senior at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, was on hand at the screening, and got to meet President Obama and rub elbows with celebrities like actress Hilary Swank and director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave).

“I’ve never really thought that making a simple three-minute film would even take me to the White House or to see Obama,” Jones told Cronkite News.

Below, you can see Jones' film, which covers a number of topics, including caring for elders and water management; all 15 of the selections are viewable on the Festival's page at the White House website.


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“Help! My boys were stopped three times by police for being outside unsupervised” | Lenore Skenazy | Salon.com

“Help! My boys were stopped three times by police for being outside unsupervised” | Lenore Skenazy | Salon.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Recently, I got a letter that made me want to scream: A kid was stopped by the cops for riding his bike on a three-house street! But this exchange ends with … well, you’ll see. I learned something. Maybe we all will.

I changed the names to keep the author and her town anonymous.

Dear Lenore:

Here’s a situation that has been ongoing for several months, and we’re in shock. We’re fortunate that so far, nothing worse has happened to us than a few uncomfortable conversations with cops, and the fact that now our kids are afraid to go past the boundaries of our (very tiny) yard without an adult for fear of being accosted again. Here’s the rough outline:


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Where in the World is your Food From? | Kid World Citizen

Where in the World is your Food From? | Kid World Citizen | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It seems that in our busy life of fast food and convenience, many people have become so disconnected from their food, they don’t know where their food actually comes from (or what it is made of!). This is the first article in a series to help kids understand more about our food system.

Today we’re mapping our fruits and vegetables: with a little research in the supermarket, the kids are discovering where our food was grown and how long it traveled to get here!


We recently packed a notebook and pen with us during a trip to the supermarket, on a quest to see where our fruit and vegetables were grown. Luckily, most of the supermarkets near us label the origins of the produce, and my kids were able to gather their data quite independently.


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Marco Zwahlen's curator insight, Today, 8:23 AM

We are what we eat. We should not forget to get a healthy diet everyday, we should just take time for ourselves, our bodies and minds will be grateful. Just save a little time to be less stressed out!

Keep it up :-D

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GOP plan in Congress: Cut programs for students, protect breaks for the wealthy | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

GOP plan in Congress: Cut programs for students, protect breaks for the wealthy | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Two years ago, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Deal of 2013, which temporarily reversed the sequester cuts that eroded opportunity for students and protections for hard-working families.


It was quite an accomplishment given the political climate. Many hoped it signaled the end of the era of extreme austerity, and that lawmakers would restore investments that help the middle class thrive and ensures that students receive essential supports.

Instead, GOP members in the House and Senate have proposed to cut trillions in investments over the next decade, further threatening the well-being of the middle class and our most vulnerable students.

The GOP budget proposal would:


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When it comes to ESEA, educators should lead their profession | Colleen Flaherty | NEA.org

When it comes to ESEA, educators should lead their profession | Colleen Flaherty | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Allyson Chick is a Board-certified elementary school teacher from Memphis, Tennessee, and even at a Senate briefing discussing the teaching profession and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization, she is a teacher first.

“I’m on the front lines of education as a teacher, and this is something I know about learners—you can’t really absorb anything more than ten minutes at a time,” said Chick. As the fourth educator to speak that day, she led the room in some classroom exercises. “I need you to stretch, wiggle your fingers and wiggle your toes because I want to be heard desperately.”

Chick was joined by four fellow educators from who discussed their own experiences on teacher-led initiatives to evaluate and improve the teacher profession in hopes that Senators would learn from their example in the ongoing ESEA reauthorization.

As someone who represents new teachers, Chick refers to teachers who get through the first few years as survivors.

“Teachers are not always supported in the first five years. If you make it through five years, you are absolutely a survivor,” said Chick. In her school, colleagues got together on their own to help each other through evaluations and improving their practice.


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Dancer Bends Light in Stunning Projection-Mapped Performance | Jordan Backhus | The Creators Project

Inside a cube fashioned from translucent veils, a dancer takes a visual journey into a 3D space between dreams and reality. Hakanaï is a digital solo performance from Adrien M / Claire B that made its debut at BAM’s Fishman Theatre on March 17, 2015.


The choreographed performance installation combines video projection mapping, CGI, and sensors to dynamically respond to the movements and proximity of its performer. Its visuals and sounds are generated and animated live, offering a uniquely different performance for each and every iteration.


Its appeal lies in the one-on-one exchange that takes place between performer and complex programming. Though Mondot and Bardainne, who in the past set a performance of 11 breakdancers against a digital backdrop, often mine theoretical and mathematical sources for inspiration for their work, they rely on the empirical study of the world around them as their guide.


We spoke to the artistic duo about the visual inspirations and computational approaches they took to Hakanaï, as well as their thoughts on bridging the gap between technology and art.


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A grandmother’s trove of Civil War photos goes to Library of Congress | Michael Ruane | WashPost.com

A grandmother’s trove of Civil War photos goes to Library of Congress | Michael Ruane | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Ill., draped in black-and-white mourning cloth, following his assassination. African American mothers holding their babies, likely the first generation born into freedom. A battlefield in the Virginia wilderness a year after the war, with trees stripped of bark by musket fire.

Snapshots from the era of the Civil War, they are among hundreds of rare images gathered over four decades by an 87-year-old Texas grandmother. Now, partly through a family tragedy, they are the property of the Library of Congress.

The library announced Friday that it has acquired more than 500 stunning images from the collection of Robin Stanford of Houston. They depict a United States marked by the scourges of war, slavery and assassination.

And in some cases they show life before the war. One shot shows South Carolina slaves worshiping in a spartan, plantation church, in what may be the only prewar photograph of its kind.


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April Fool's Day in the Classroom: 8 Resources for Teachers | Matt Davis Blog | Edutopia.org

April Fool's Day in the Classroom: 8 Resources for Teachers | Matt Davis Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I still remember April Fool's Day when I was a fourth grader. A reading comprehension worksheet went out to the class, and in minutes, we were all dumbfounded. The story and questions were incomprehensible, written in complete gibberish. But our teacher went along with the joke. We had a half hour to finish it, and it was going to be worth a substantial amount of points.

I don’t remember how long the gag lasted exactly, but I do remember all of us sitting there, mouths agape, wondering if the assignment was serious. Then, once we’d all thrown our hands up, our teacher let us in on the joke: “April Fools!”

April Fool's Day is the perfect time to play some light-hearted pranks on your friends, family, and co-workers; and if you’re a teacher, pulling an unexpected fast one on your students can be entertaining -- and memorable -- for everyone. So if you’re looking for ideas for classroom pranks, or you’re hoping to bring a humor lesson into the classroom, these are a few of our favorite April Fool's Day resources and teaching ideas. Plus, we've also added some more general resources for using humor to reach students.

Do you have other ideas for classroom pranks? What resources are you using to bring April Fool's Day into your class?


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10,000 Film Clips Now Available for Free in New Public Domain Database | Beckett Mufson | The Creators Project

10,000 Film Clips Now Available for Free in New Public Domain Database | Beckett Mufson | The Creators Project | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For filmmakers, designers, photographers, and just about any kind of creatives, the public domain is an important resource, full of copyright-free materials that can be used and remixed to create new art. The legal intricacies of copyright and public domain, however, can be daunting, and finding specific pieces of footage, for example, from organizations like the US National Archive can be a tedious and user-unfriendly experience.


Today, royalty-free video marketplace Pond5 launches the Public Domain Project in order to solve this problem, opening up to the public a massive, thoroughly-organized treasure trove of about 80,000 copyright-free video clips, photos, sound recordings, and 3D models.

The project includes digital models of NASA tools and satellites, Georges Méliès' 1902 film, A Trip To The Moon, speeches by political figures like Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr., recordings of performances from composers like Beethoven, and a laid-back picture of President Obama playing pool (below).


Since they existed solely in physical form within the National Archives, about 5,000 of the film clips had been nearly impossible to access for most filmmakers. The Public Domain Project directly digitized the footage themselves and combined it with 5,000 more copyright-free clips, making an easy-to-use marketplace that unifies a huge portion of the country's historical resources.


Artists can pick and choose from the helpfully labeled and tagged files to find just the right picture or clip to give their work some historical context, or to create a whole new artwork with its own unique meaning.


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NASA's Opportunity runs marathon on Mars, only takes 11 years | Amanda Kooser | CNET

NASA's Opportunity runs marathon on Mars, only takes 11 years | Amanda Kooser | CNET | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Last year, NASA's Opportunity rover broke a 40-year-old record by passing 25 miles of exploration on Mars. Not content with this accomplishment, the rover rolled on, eventually crossing the finish line of a Mars marathon. On March 24, Opportunity topped 26 miles of driving distance, a mark of pride familiar to many a long-distance runner.

It took the rover 11 years and 2 months (or 3,968 Martian days) to pull off the feat of endurance. A day on Mars is equivalent to about 24 hours and 37 minutes on Earth.


"This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded the distance of a marathon on the surface of another world," said Opportunity project manager John Callas. The rover team plans to complete a marathon-length run relay at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Earth to celebrate the accomplishment.


Opportunity isn't resting on its laurels. The rover continues to explore the rim of the Endeavour Crater, looking for clues to Mars' early environment and whether it could have supported microbial life.


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Scars on Mars: NASA finds landing blasts fade inconsistently | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

Scars on Mars: NASA finds landing blasts fade inconsistently | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

After a few years of watching over NASA’s Mars Curiosity landing site the space agency has found that blast marks made by the initial decent vehicle have not faded away as one might expect.

Rather, NASA said, after fading for about two years, the pace of change slowed and some of the scars may have even darkened again.

+More on Network World: 15 reasons why Mars is one hot, hot, hot planet; What is so infinitely cool about Mars?+

NASA employs the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to make the observations which the space agency says it will use to model the fading and predict how long it would take for the scars to disappear.

The idea is to help do prep work for NASA's next Mars lander, InSight, which could launch in March 2016.


NASA said the InSight mission will deploy a heat probe that will hammer itself a few yards, or meters, deep into the ground to monitor heat coming from the interior of the planet. The brightness of the ground affects temperature below ground, because a dark surface warms in sunshine more than a bright one does.


Spacecraft that land in dusty areas of Mars create dark blast zone patterns where bright dust is blown away by the landing. Monitoring with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows these dark patterns fade over time in a surprising way, NASA said.


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NASA's colossal crawlers mark half a century of service | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA's colossal crawlers mark half a century of service | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Two veterans of the US space program have marked 50 years of service with in appropriately sedate style. In 1965, a pair of gigantic crawlers were built to move the Saturn V moon rockets to the launch pad. Half a century later, they are still in service and being upgraded to handle NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and other launch vehicles. To celebrate, the 6 million lb (2.7 million kg) Crawler-Transporter 2 (CT-2) made a rollout for a visitor and media day at less than one mph.

Once the largest land vehicles ever built and still the largest self-powered vehicles, NASA's crawler-transporters have had one of the greatest supporting roles in history, moving every Apollo, Skylab and Apollo Soyuz mission and all the Shuttle missions to Launch Pad 39 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

They were built by the Marion Shovel Company in Marion, Ohio to transport the giant Saturn V boosters from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) because the inclement Florida weather precluded assembling the rockets on the launch pad. Measuring 131 ft by 114 ft (40 m x 35 m), the machines supported on eight tractor treads are driven by 16 electric traction motors run by two AC generators and two DC generators powered by diesel engines.


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Tech demo lets you visit the International Space Station in VR | Richard Moss | GizMag.com

Tech demo lets you visit the International Space Station in VR | Richard Moss | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Wondrous as today's technology is, there remains no feasible way to put ordinary people in space. Except, it seems, through virtual reality. Australian multimedia company Opaque Multimedia has combined an Oculus Rift headset with Microsoft Kinect 2 motion tracking to make it possible for every Tom, Dick, and Sally on the planet to get a first-hand (virtual) taste of life on – or rather just outside – the International Space Station. The comapny's new tech demo, Earthlight, lets players explore in first person around the outside of the ISS as it orbits the Earth, safe in the comfort of their living room.

Earthlight may not capture every element of the real experience, but it was designed to get as close to it as possible. Move your hands out in front of you and you'll see in your headset a space-gloved hand exactly where you'd expect it to be. Similarly, reach out to a handle or bit of scaffolding and give it a tug and your virtual self will begin to float forwards. And as you explore you might just see the Earth as it looks from 431 kilometers (268 miles) above.

It was difficult to make this work from a technical standpoint because even a millisecond delay or minor deviation between your movement and your avatar's movement can make the experience more horrifying than exhilarating. Project lead Norman Wang says that to keep it running smoothly they had to push both the software and hardware to their limit.


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Geologists May Have Just Discovered A New Layer Of Earth | Jacqueline Howard | HuffPost

Geologists May Have Just Discovered A New Layer Of Earth | Jacqueline Howard | HuffPost | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Have geologists just discovered a new layer of Earth's interior?

A new study suggests that a previously unknown rocky layer may be lurking about 930 miles beneath our feet -- and evidence suggests that it's significantly stiffer than similar layers, which could help explain earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

“The Earth has many layers, like an onion,” study co-author Dr. Lowell Miyagi, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, said in a written statement. “Most layers are defined by the minerals that are present. Essentially, we have discovered a new layer in the Earth. This layer isn’t defined by the minerals present, but by the strength of these minerals.”

The pressure is on. For the study, the researchers used a device known as a diamond anvil to simulate how the mineral ferropericlase reacts to high pressure. Ferropericlase is abundant in the Earth's mantle, the layer that's sandwiched between our planet's core and the thin crust on which we live.


What did the researchers find?


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GA: Morehouse College Makerspace Exploration Center | DiversityComplete.com

GA: Morehouse College Makerspace Exploration Center | DiversityComplete.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A makerspace is defined as a cooperative laboratory workspace where students and faculty can make things, conduct research and collaborate. In makerspaces, students gain practical hands-on experience with new technologies while engaging in applied formal and informal learning.

The maker culture at Morehouse is one that seeks to engage our students, faculty, and community in STEM-related, do-it-yourself activities that foster creativity, ingenuity, and leadership development. Our goal is to provide a physical and intellectual infrastructure that allows our students and stakeholders to express their creativity, solve problems and explore opportunities through making.


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Controversial York, PA charter school plan hits huge road block–a new governor | Brian Washington | NEA.org

Controversial York, PA charter school plan hits huge road block–a new governor | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The last time we heard from David Meckley–who was hand-picked by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to improve York schools financially and academically–he was trying to ram through a plan to turn all the district’s public schools into privately-run charter schools.

The proposal Meckley put forth as the city’s chief recovery officer proved overwhelmingly unpopular with the community and triggered protests involving educators, students, parents, and neighborhood leaders.

But what a difference a new administration can make. After Corbett suffered a resounding loss to the state’s new governor, Tom Wolf, in November, the city of York now finds itself looking for a new chief recovery officer.

Meckley, much to the delight of pro-public education activists throughout the city, resigned earlier this month—claiming Governor Wolf and his opposition to converting public schools to charters made it “impossible” for him to move forward.


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New report: charter school fraud could be costing CA taxpayers $81 million | Jeremy Deaton | NEA.org

New report: charter school fraud could be costing CA taxpayers $81 million | Jeremy Deaton | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

According to an audit report by California’s Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team, Ben Chavis, founder of Oakland’s American Indian Model Charter Schools, steered an estimated $3.7 million in school funds to his own businesses. The audit also listed thousands in unauthorized credit card purchases: charges for meals, flights, hotels and tickets to see the San Francisco Giants.

While these audit findings suggest the misuse of public funds at one California charter school, this is not an isolated case. Another audit by the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team found that Kendra Okonkwo, founder of the Wisdom Academy of Young Scientists in Los Angeles, reportedly engineered $2.6 million in payments to herself, her relatives and her close associates. Steven Cox, founder of the California Charter Academy, was indicted for allegedly misappropriating $5.5 million in public funds, leading to the collapse of his school. Emilio Vazquez, executive director of Santa Ana’s Albor Charter School, allegedly funneled more than $12 million to his family, friends and businesses.

A new report released by the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) charges that, to date, fraud, waste and abuse at California charter schools have drained more than $81 million from the public coffers. The report indicates this may just be the tip of the iceberg. In a state with roughly 1100 charter schools serving more than half a million students, ferreting out fraud presents a significant challenge to overseers. Under the current system, countless abuses are bound to fall through the cracks. CPD highlights three fundamental flaws in California’s oversight scheme.


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