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Information literacy – long list of resources

Information literacy – long list of resources | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I’ve been looking at information literacy resources over the last few weeks, and have emailed a number of stakeholders drawn from my research and identified nominations and recommendations from networks. I hope this has helped me to build a ‘long list’ that may be useful. Those responsible for these long list resources have been sent a form (see previous post) in order to gather evaluation criteria for this research, and to help narrow down the long list into a short one.

 

Here’s the long list, with links to information about the resources in question. If you spot any major omissions or wish to query any inclusions, please drop me an email: inskiprilads@gmail.com. I am keen to make this as comprehensive, relevant and useful as possible and I am happy to add to the list, which is not set in stone.

 

In alphabetical order by name of institution:

 

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FL: Whistleblower in Lake County schools class-size scandal out of teaching job | WFTV.com

FL: Whistleblower in Lake County schools class-size scandal out of teaching job | WFTV.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Channel 9 has learned Lake County Public Schools got rid of a teacher who exposed a massive class-size scandal.

Last year, Simone Maduro-Ferguson filed a complaint, saying she was being told to lie about how many students were in her class. Reporter Kenneth Craig has since learned the whistleblower was let go from her position.

While school leaders told WFTV the teacher didn't lose her job for speaking out, others believe that's exactly why the teacher is no longer employed.

Ferguson exposed the class-size scandal that cost the district nearly $1 million in fines. She sent a letter to the Department of Education revealing students were secretly removed from her roster even though they were sitting in class.

"For a teacher to do that, that means they've got some major integrity," said teachers' union president Stuart Klatte.

This year, however, Ferguson never returned to Lake Minneola High School. She was on an annual, probationary contract and because of that, the district can decide not to rehire her without giving a reason.

Channel 9 discovered Ferguson's case after reporting on several other employees who claim they were demoted or fired after they publicly criticized the district.

"It basically says you do what the principal says," said Klatte. "You don't rock any boats. You don't talk out about any issues if you want a job."

In Ferguson's case, the district said she was certified to teach English, but was teaching out of field in intensive reading.

The district said she was given a year to meet certain requirements but didn't.


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CO: Teacher sick-out: Golden and Jefferson high schools closed Monday after teachers call in sick | Anica Padilla | TheDenverChannel.com

CO: Teacher sick-out: Golden and Jefferson high schools closed Monday after teachers call in sick | Anica Padilla | TheDenverChannel.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A teacher sick-out at Jefferson and Golden High schools on Monday canceled classes and stretched the contentious fight between teachers and the Jefferson County Board of Education into its third straight week.

Jeffco Public Schools confirmed that the two high schools in Edgewater and Golden were closed after a high number of teachers called in sick after 8 p.m. Sunday.

More than 80 percent of teachers at Golden High School called in sick, Lynn Setzer with Jeffco Public Schools said.

"We were working proactively over the weekend to try to avoid the situation this morning. Last night, at about 10:45 p.m. one of the buildings, Golden High School, spiked - I think there were 36 teachers who called in after 9:00 last night. The majority of those calls came either last night or very early this morning," Superintendent Dan McMinimee said Monday afternoon. "It did not allow us the opportunity to secure the staff to make sure the kids would be safe in the building."

While the Golden High School campus was empty on Monday, a handful of students were outside the school, holding signs to show support for their teachers.


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Lafayette, LA: School systems have the real impact on student achievement | Nancy Mounce | The Advertiser

Lafayette, LA: School systems have the real impact on student achievement | Nancy Mounce | The Advertiser | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The consensus of most current research is that classroom teachers have a significant effect on student performance and achievement. Until recently, however, there was little data available to determine the effects that superintendents have on student performance.

That changed when the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institute undertook a study using a decade of information on student achievement and superintendents in Florida and North Carolina.

The conclusion of the research was that, "In the end, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement. Superintendents are largely indistinguishable. In general, school district superintendents have very little influence on student achievement in the districts they serve."

Some of the study's findings with respect to school superintendents include:


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Fair Use Question of the Month: Showcasing Media Literacy Assignments Outside the Classroom | Anuj Gupta | CMSimpact.org

Fair Use Question of the Month: Showcasing Media Literacy Assignments Outside the Classroom | Anuj Gupta | CMSimpact.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Dear CMSI,

I teach media literacy in my 8th grade English class, and one of my assignments is to find examples of different media saying the same thing or carrying the same message. The students produce a multi-media work, and some of them are quite impressive. We’d like to showcase them at the school fair and on the school website, but the principal says that we’d be infringing copyright, since it’s outside the classroom.

Best,

Monique

Dear Monique,

Thank you for your question, and congratulations on an innovative assignment. Your principal is voicing a common concern; we think it comes from the fact that specifically educational exemptions are quite broad, for the face-to-face classroom environment, and you lose those exemptions once you step outside the classroom. But other rights still apply, most importantly fair use--both for you and for your students.

But how to apply fair use?


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Annorney General and Class Apple E-books Settlement | ebooklawsuits.com

This is the official website for State Attorneys General and Class Counsel Apple E-books Settlement. On this website you can find details about the Settlement and your options. A federal court has approved the notices and forms on this site, and the Claims Administrator who runs the site operates under the supervision of the State Attorneys General and Class Counsel.

The Court granted preliminary approval of the Apple E-book Settlement on August 1, 2014. You may have already received an email from your E-book retailer directing you to this website for more details. If you have come to this site on your own, you should check your inbox or spam/junk mail filter to see if you have received an email from your E-book retailer.


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LA: Teachers' group sues over charter school funding | EdWeek.org

LA: Teachers' group sues over charter school funding | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.

The Louisiana Association of Educators said the spending is illegal because the charter schools are created and operated outside of parish and city school systems. The lawsuit, filed in state district court in Baton Rouge, alleges the Louisiana Constitution limits the funding formula to pay for the parish and city systems.

"These types of charters are siphoning away resources from our city and parish school systems," said LAE President Debbie Meaux.

Charter schools are publicly funded but run with broad autonomy from state and local education officials.

At issue in the lawsuit are 33 charter schools that are authorized by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE. Also targeted are charter schools that could be authorized by local education nonprofits, as allowed under a 2012 law.

Supporters say the schools offer more educational opportunities to students. Public school systems say they take needed dollars away from their schools, forcing them to increase class sizes and lay off employees.

In addition to the LAE, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine of the union's local affiliates and residents of Lafayette, Madison and East Baton Rouge parishes. Named as defendants were the state, BESE and the Louisiana Department of Education.

Superintendent of Education John White panned the lawsuit, saying the union is putting money over the desires of parents.

"The goal of this lawsuit is to stop taxpaying parents from choosing the school they think is best for their children. It's a money grab. More money for unions and school boards, less for public schools not overseen by unions and school boards," White said in a statement.

Meaux said the union doesn't oppose charter schools, but she said they should be created in collaboration with the local school systems.


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du-touch combines controller, synth, sequencer and music learning system | Paul Ridden | GizMag.com

du-touch combines controller, synth, sequencer and music learning system | Paul Ridden | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A few years back, mathematician and musician Jules Hotrique combined two passions to develop a new arrangement of musical notes called the dualo principle. After creating a number of keyboard instrument prototypes based on this patented geometric model, he joined forces with his computer engineer and musician friend Bruno Verbrugghe to form the Dualo Company in 2011. Last year, the startup sold 40 pre-production twin keyboard prototypes, and now the first market-ready du-touch controller (for computer-based or MIDI instruments), synthesizer, multitrack looper/sequencer and follow me song learning devices have started shipping.

"We aimed to build an instrument that's as portable as a guitar and as powerful as a synthesizer, and which also includes some features popularized by music on computer," Verbrugghe told Gizmag. "Many musicians say it's a true new instrument because of the layout of keys, which propose something different than a synthesizer based on a piano keyboard. This layout of keys is already validated by hundreds of musicians and teachers."

Verbrugghe says that the main idea is to split a scale into two groups, each containing notes that sound good together. The notes are arranged alternatively on the left and right keyboards. Notes on a staff line in music notation are to the left, with notes in a space on the right. Sharps and flats are arranged on either side of the middle notes.


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ESA's Rosetta comet landing date selected | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

ESA's Rosetta comet landing date selected | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Ever since the historic achievement of August 6, when Rosetta became the first unmanned spacecraft to achieve a stable orbit around a comet, mission operators have been readying themselves for the inevitable nail-biting landing attempt. Six weeks after arrival at the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P), Rosetta's handlers have tentatively announced November 12 as the date for the historic touchdown.

Earlier this month, mission operators selected the primary and backup landing sites for the Philae lander. Out of an original 10 potential landing areas, Site J had the honor of being selected as the first choice for the landing. The site afforded the best balance between limiting the risks to the lander during descent and maximizing the scientific output of the mission upon a successful landing.

Should heightened outgassing activity in the vicinity of Site J make the primary landing site undesirable, the robotic explorer has the option of falling back on its secondary landing area, site C. This landing zone, located on the larger section of the comet, was selected for its superior illumination and lack of surface protrusions.


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Fewer Mass. schools, even with high MCAS scores, earn top rating | James Vaznis | The Boston Globe

Fewer Mass. schools, even with high MCAS scores, earn top rating | James Vaznis | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The number of Massachusetts public schools securing the top spot under the state’s rating system has dropped significantly, as schools in well-to-do suburbs such as Andover, Newton, and Winchester see their coveted top rankings disappear.

This year, 424 schools received the “Level 1” rating, representing just more than a quarter of all schools rated statewide, according to this year’s MCAS data. That is down notably from 510 schools two years ago, when the state introduced the five-tier rating system for school performance.


For many towns, a loss of Level 1-rated schools seems paradoxical. Although those schools are turning out among the highest MCAS scores in the state, they are being tripped up by a requirement demanding gains from students who have lagged furthest behind.

Schools must cut in half gaps in achievement among students of different racial, academic, or socioeconomic backgrounds by 2017. Schools must demonstrate progress each year in reaching that goal to attain the top rating. The requirement applies to both MCAS scores and high school dropout rates.

In the super-competitive suburbs, the rating drops are raising wide-ranging questions, from what the declines say about educational quality to whether the state is relying too heavily on test scores — and splicing it too many ways — to accurately judge school performance.


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EPIC seeks enforcement action over Arizona Community College's data breaches | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

EPIC seeks enforcement action over Arizona Community College's data breaches | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A privacy watchdog filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against a community college district in Arizona that lost the personal data of 2.5 million students and employees in two data breaches.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asked the FTC in its complaint Monday to bring an enforcement action in federal district court against the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) for violating the “Safeguards Rule,” which requires customer data to be secured.

EPIC, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, is also seeking that the MCCCD obtain an independent assessment to ensure that it is complying with the Safeguards Rule.

MCCCD’s troubles are notable as the organization was warned after a small data breach affecting 400 people in January 2011 that it needed to shore up its systems. The FBI informed it at the time that information from its databases had turned up for sale on the Internet.

Arizona’s Auditor General advised in November 2011 that the organization needed to strengthen access controls after finding terminated employees still had active user accounts on its network.

A subsequent audit in November 2012 found the organization still had not adequately limited access to its systems, according to EPIC’s complaint.

In April 2013, the FBI found 14 of MCCCD’s database for sale on a website, with data including names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, birth dates and financial aid information. The breach affected 2.49 million current and former students, employees and vendors.

A class action suit was filed in April against MCCCD in Arizona’s Superior Court, which sought US$2,500 for each plaintiff. That case’s docket suggests the lawsuit has been moved to a federal court.


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Wake Up to a Total Lunar Eclipse on October 8, 2014 | Sky & Telescope

Wake Up to a Total Lunar Eclipse on October 8, 2014 | Sky & Telescope | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

We’re approaching the second of four total lunar eclipses that come at half-year intervals in 2014 and 2015: a lunar-eclipse tetrad. All four can be seen from at least parts of North America.

The one before dawn on Wednesday, October 8th, will be visible from nearly all of the Americas. Moreover, the Moon, two days after perigee, will be 5% larger in diameter than it was during the first eclipse of the tetrad on April 14-15 earlier this year.

The map, diagram, and timetable below will tell what to expect at your location and when.If you’re in the central or western parts of the U.S. and Canada, you’ll see the total eclipse high in a dark sky well before sunrise. Easterners will find dawn brightening and the Moon sinking low in the west while the eclipse is in progress — offering particularly interesting photo opportunities. Viewers in Australia and eastern Asia get to view this event on the evening of October 14th.


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NASA finds clear skies on exoplanet | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA finds clear skies on exoplanet | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In a display of interstellar teamwork, NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes have discovered clear skies and water vapor in the atmosphere of a Neptune-sized planet orbiting a star 120 light years from Earth. According to the space agency, this may not only provide insights into the formation of giant exoplanets, but also act as a new tool for detecting water on Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.

Astronomers like clear skies on Earth, because it makes it easier to look out of the atmosphere. They also like clear skies on other planets because it allows them to look in. Otherwise, they just end up looking at a load of cloud tops. In a very distant example of a nice day, astronomer found clear skies on HAT-P-11b; an exo-Neptune planet that orbits the orange dwarf star HAT-P-11 once every five days.

Located 120 light years distant in the constellation of Cygnus, HAT-P-11b is a hot world with a rocky core and gaseous atmosphere. According to NASA, this is the smallest planet on which any sort of molecules have been detected. Previously, molecules, including water vapor, have been detected in the atmospheres of Jupiter and super-Jupiter sized planets because of their size and less dense atmospheres. But HAT-P-11b is the smallest planet yet where water has been detected – nothing of its size has been within the range of current technology until now.


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Libraries: The physical + digital = new space for learning | Phillip Schmidt Blog | Knight Foundation

Libraries: The physical + digital = new space for learning | Phillip Schmidt Blog | Knight Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Most evenings I ride my bike home from work past the public library here in Cambridge, Mass. Often I see parents with their children, enjoying themselves on the playground in front of the library. I also see people quietly reading inside the building, as the evening lights around them turn on.


In the same way that playgrounds are public spaces for play, I think of libraries as public spaces for learning. I have been interested in another type of public space, the concept of a digital commons, for a long time. And today I am fascinated by the connection between these public spheres, between the physical space of the library, and the digital virtual space of information and communication. Leveraging their strengths, and tinkering with ways that they can complement each other, is one way to reimagine what the library of the future could look like.

In the past, when access to information and experts was scarce and books were unaffordable, libraries acted as archives of shared human knowledge. Today content knowledge is accessible easily via the Internet. But content knowledge is only a small part of learning. We learn best when we work on projects that ignite our passion, in collaboration with peers, and in a playful environment that encourages risk taking. At the Media Lab we call those the four Ps of Creative Learning and we apply them everyday.

Bringing together the things that are great about the Internet with the affordances of a physical venue that the library can offer, let’s imagine a few interesting scenarios.

The maker culture is a relatively recent phenomenon that has already managed to newly inspire people to think of themselves as creators rather than consumers. In the same way that books used to be scarce, many tools and machines, such as 3-D printers or laser cutters, are not affordable and could easily be shared between a number of users. Some libraries are already starting to host maker spaces and host communities of tinkerers and creators. But more could be done to network the libraries and connect their local communities.

A second area I find exciting is the connection between online and offline learning.


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Aristotle And The Invention Of Science | On Point Radio | WBUR.org

Aristotle And The Invention Of Science | On Point Radio | WBUR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Aristotle is, of course, the great and grand philosopher of ancient Greece. Up in the pantheon – Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. His name makes us think of logic, metaphysics, even politics.


But when Aristotle was in him mid-30s, he exiled himself from ancient Athens and retreated, says my guest today, to sit by an Aegean lagoon and write about nature. About creatures great and small. Anatomy, reproduction, taxonomy. Biology. “There are gods here, too,” he said. And with that, he may have invented science.


This hour On Point: Aristotle, a Grecian lagoon, and the origins of science.


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Scientists plan on turning the Moon into a giant particle detector | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Scientists plan on turning the Moon into a giant particle detector | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

What is the Moon good for? Aside from inspiring poets, helping you see at night, and giving Neil Armstrong some place for a stroll, what can you do with it? If you ask scientists at the University of Southampton, they’ll tell you that it makes a cracking particle detector. With the help of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, the team hopes to use the mass of the satellite to detect the most energetic particles known; Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays.

For all the advances of science over the past century, the universe still throws some major mysteries our way. One of the biggest of these is UHE cosmic rays. The particles that make up UHE cosmic rays have a kinetic energy many orders of magnitude greater than that of other cosmic ray particles, measuring over 1018 eV. One particle, called the Oh-My-God particle, was detected in 1961 with an energy of 3×1020 eV, which is the equivalent of a baseball traveling at 62 mph (100 km/h) – an alarming amount of energy to stuff into a subatomic particle. What particularly intrigues physicists about these rays is that they must be relatively young, otherwise their energy would have dissipated due to photon scattering, so where they come from is a major question mark in modern cosmology.

According to the Southampton team, the problem is that these high-energy particles are extremely rare and hard to detect. Normally, they’re found when they hit the Earth’s upper atmosphere, where they collide with an atom, and spray a nanosecond burst of radio energy. But with UHE cosmic rays hitting at a rate of one particle per square kilometer per century, that’s a pretty small flow of data to work with.


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The Power of "I Don't Know" | Heather Wolpert-Gawron Blog | Edutopia.org

The Power of "I Don't Know" | Heather Wolpert-Gawron Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The role of teaching has evolved. No longer are we the carriers of knowledge, giving it to students and assessing if they can repeat facts successfully. We are, instead, tasked with teaching students how to find answers themselves.

And it all starts with a simple three-word phrase: I don't know.

Adopting a comfortable "I don't know" attitude is far more accurate for what we need to do as educators then pretending we know it all. It sounds counterintuitive, I know. After all, in many job interviews, "I don't know" stereotypically shows a lack of experience in the field, right? (I would argue that this is also starting to evolve, however.)

But in school where every client is a work in progress, we need to cultivate a certain excitement in not knowing something. Modeling an excited "I don't know" attitude is the brass doorknob that opens the portal to finding answers together.


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10 things to know about the state of tech in education | Erin Carson | TechRepublic.com

10 things to know about the state of tech in education | Erin Carson | TechRepublic.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

There's a difference between having computers in schools and teaching kids what to do with them.

Tech in education is facing several key challenges. As talk of the skills gap, and whether kids should be trained for jobs or broader skillsets like digital literacy gains steam, there are problems and solutions similarly gaining and losing ground. One point of consensus seems to be that there are going to be a lot of tech-based jobs in the future, and not enough people to fill them. And the education system needs to do a better job of stepping up to help groom more future tech workers.

Here are 10 things you should know about tech and education, and how folks are looking toward preparing kids for that future.


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New desktop PLA 3D printer promises simplified 3D printing | Dennis Mitzner | Inside3dp.com

New desktop PLA 3D printer promises simplified 3D printing | Dennis Mitzner | Inside3dp.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software.


According to the company’s website “Materia 101 is a precision 3D printer running on Arduino Mega, designed and developed in Italy, thanks to the collaboration of Arduino and Sharebot, two companies working with a similar approach to technology.” The company believes the machine to be ideal for beginners, makers and educators.

Arduino sells for around $800 ($1000 for a pre-assembled printer), and Arduino’s community of makers and tinkerers will likely help you with getting acquainted with the machine.


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U.S., India to Collaborate on Mars Exploration, Earth-Observing Mission | NASA.gov

U.S., India to Collaborate on Mars Exploration, Earth-Observing Mission | NASA.gov | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.


While attending the International Astronautical Congress, the two space agency leaders met to discuss and sign a charter that establishes a NASA-ISRO Mars Working Group to investigate enhanced cooperation between the two countries in Mars exploration. They also signed an international agreement that defines how the two agencies will work together on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, targeted to launch in 2020.


“The signing of these two documents reflects the strong commitment NASA and ISRO have to advancing science and improving life on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “This partnership will yield tangible benefits to both our countries and the world.”


The joint Mars Working Group will seek to identify and implement scientific, programmatic and technological goals that NASA and ISRO have in common regarding Mars exploration. The group will meet once a year to plan cooperative activities, including potential NASA-ISRO cooperation on future missions to Mars.


Both agencies have newly arrived spacecraft in Mars orbit. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft arrived at Mars Sept. 21. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars. ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India’s first spacecraft launched to Mars, arrived Sept. 23 to study the Martian surface and atmosphere and demonstrate technologies needed for interplanetary missions.


One of the working group’s objectives will be to explore potential coordinated observations and science analysis between MAVEN and MOM, as well as other current and future Mars missions.


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An evolving, essential role for libraries | Dan Cohen | Knight Foundation

An evolving, essential role for libraries | Dan Cohen | Knight Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Knight News Challenge: Libraries closes today, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The challenge offers applicants a chance to share in $2.5 million by focusing on the question “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?”


Below, Dan Cohen, founding executive director of the Digital Public Library of America, writes about the essential role libraries play in the democratization of information.


Libraries occupy a special place in our society. As the approval ratings for nearly all public institutions continue to plunge in the United States, libraries are treasured by a remarkable 90 percent, and they are used at all stages of life, from ages 3 to 93. People visit libraries for lifelong learning and entertainment, for Internet access and digital resources, for job searches and local meetings, and to research and contribute to the history of their communities. In many places in America and even more so around the world, libraries are the only available point of access to critical knowledge.


But as central as libraries are in our communities—in the U.S. there are 16,000 public libraries, more branches than Starbucks—there are worries about their continuing roles and future. Over the last decade so many of us have started reading on devices for which the convenience is great, but the lock-in, with specific software and digital rights management, is even greater. Libraries have found e-books hard to purchase, and although publishers have become more open to licensing e-books to public libraries in the past few years, they treat those e-books like physical books—restricting borrowing to one user at a time—and have engaged in pricing for libraries in ways that many have seen as unfair. The Web, not the library, has become the starting point for most research.


Libraries have not stood still, of course. Many libraries have added options for e-reading and for viewing a wide range of digital resources without a trek to their buildings. And within those buildings, some libraries have experimented in imaginative ways with the notion of the library patron as a creator as well as a consumer. Video-editing stations, 3-D printers and maker spaces have all found homes in libraries. Libraries have also taken advantage of their local connections in ways that the digital giants cannot; for instance, several libraries curate music from their regions, while others have made common cause with artists.


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Fact or Fiction?: Video Games Are the Future of Education | Elena Malykhina | Scientific American

Fact or Fiction?: Video Games Are the Future of Education | Elena Malykhina | Scientific American | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As kids all across the U.S. head back to school, they’re being forced to spend less time in front of their favorite digital distractions. Or are they?

Video games are playing an increasing role in school curricula as teachers seek to deliver core lessons such as math and reading—not to mention new skills such as computer programming—in a format that holds their students’ interests. Some herald this gamification of education as the way of the future and a tool that allows students to take a more active role in learning as they develop the technology skills they need to succeed throughout their academic and professional careers.

Few would argue that video games can do it all in terms of education, says Scot Osterweil, a research director in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Comparative Media Studies program and creative director of the school’s Education Arcade initiative to explore how games can be used to promote learning. But games are a powerful learning tool when combined with other exploratory, hands-on activities and ongoing instruction from a teacher acting more as a coach than a lecturer, he adds.

Others, however, question whether a greater reliance on video games is in students’ best interests, indicating there is little proof that skillful game play translates into better test scores or broader cognitive development.

In the past decade schools have become preoccupied with meeting national Common Core standards, which dictate what students should be able to accomplish in English and mathematics at the end of each grade and use standardized testing as a way of tracking a student’s progress. Such demands are not conducive to creative teaching methods that incorporate video games, Osterweil acknowledges. He adds, however, that a growing backlash against the perceived overuse of standardized tests is starting to encourage creativity once again.


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FCC's Wheeler: E-Rate reforms should address 'closing the rural fiber gap' | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

FCC's Wheeler: E-Rate reforms should address 'closing the rural fiber gap' | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told attendees during an education event in Washington, D.C., that more schools and libraries, particularly those in rural areas, need access to more fiber-based network facilities.

Speaking during the 2014 Educational Technology Summit, Wheeler said that the next steps in modernizing the E-rate program should focus on two main objectives: closing the rural fiber gap for schools and libraries and tackling the affordability challenge.

"The FCC estimates that 40% of schools in rural areas lack access to fiber networks," Wheeler said in prepared remarks. "And of those that could access fiber, only about a third do so, principally because of high costs. The net result is shocking: 75% of rural public schools today are unable to achieve the high-speed connectivity goals we have set."

He said that the FCC should be able to address the lack of available fiber in rural schools and libraries via the existing E-rate structure.

"Attacking the Rural Fiber Gap using the E-rate program can be accomplished within the confines of the current E-rate structure by considering rules to provide better incentives for buildout in areas with high upfront costs," said Wheeler. "Our rules already cover the costs of special construction charges to pay for new infrastructure, but there may be ways to adjust those rules that make it more likely that school districts and libraries will receive bids to build in areas where they currently have no high-speed options."

Price continues to be a challenge for small schools trying to get higher speed fiber-based connectivity.

During a visit he made to South Dakota, Wheeler noted that a small rural school's local provider required $6,000 a month for a fiber-based broadband connection, but that same circuit was available for only $2,500 from a competitive provider, for example.

He said that "with one phone call the school was able to reduce its costs by 66%," adding that "under our rules it shouldn't have had to make that call in the first place."

His speech comes after the FCC made changes to the E-rate program in July. A big piece of his proposal was to allocate $1 billion to improve broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity for schools and libraries.


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The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look | Nicholas Provenzano Blog | Edutopia.org

The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look | Nicholas Provenzano Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

School has been in session for a few weeks, and things might be finally settling down for most teachers. Days seem to pass by so quickly that it seems amazing anything was accomplished. Despite the whirlwind start of the year, it's still important to make time for reflection.

It took me some time realize that reflection is vital to my growth as an educator. I also needed to learn what real reflection looked like. It's so much more than thinking that I did a good job or changing one essay question. Here are four things that I've done over the past few years to aid in my reflection and help me grow as a learner and a teacher.


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Complex molecule discovered in space Michael Eyre | BBC News

Complex molecule discovered in space Michael Eyre | BBC News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the galaxy.

Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth.

Its branched carbon structure is closer to the complex organic molecules of life than any previous finding from interstellar space.

The discovery suggests the building blocks of life may be widespread throughout our galaxy.

Various organic molecules have previously been discovered in interstellar space, but i-propyl cyanide is the first with a branched carbon backbone.

The branched structure is important as it shows that interstellar space could be the origin of more complex branched molecules, such as amino acids, that are necessary for life on Earth.

Dr Arnaud Belloche from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy is lead author of the research, which appears in the journal Science.

"Amino acids on Earth are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are very important for life as we know it. The question in the background is: is there life somewhere else in the galaxy?"


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Stratasys opens Extreme Redesign Challenge 2015 | Shanie Philips | Inside3DP

Stratasys opens Extreme Redesign Challenge 2015 | Shanie Philips | Inside3DP | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Calling all budding engineers, mechanics, architects, designers and 3D printing enthusiasts! Leading industrial 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys is officially accepting applications for the Stratasys 2015 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. The 11th annual challenge is split into categories that are open to students in middle school, high school, and through various university and post-secondary degree levels.

The categories include:


  • Engineering: Secondary Education (middle and high school)
  • Engineering: Post-Secondary (university, college or post-secondary)
  • Art or architecture (any grade level)


The challenge calls on participants (who can apply individually or as two-person teams) to design a CAD file in .STL format of a product or application that improves how a task is accomplished or redesigns an existing product. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:


  • Sound mechanical design and part integrity
  • Compelling description (written and/or video)
  • Design creativity
  • Product usefulness
  • Aesthetics (art or architecture category)


Entries are due by February 11, 2015 and must include a written description and/or 30-second video explaining the CAD model and how it redesigns and improves upon a current product or concept. First place winners in every category will receive $2,500 scholarships, so visit the Stratasys Extreme Redesign page and pass the news on to any students you know who may be interested.

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