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High-tech desks help kids do better at math | gizmag.com

High-tech desks help kids do better at math | gizmag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Mathematics has always been one of those subjects that poses a lot of difficulties for some young students. In the 3-year SynergyNet project conducted by Britain’s Durham University, however, it was found that something might help – multi-user multi-touch networked desks.

 

The study involved over 400 children at 12 schools, most of whom were between eight and ten years old. The NumberNet desks used by some are capable of responding to touch-based commands from several users at once, via vision systems that detect infrared light. These desks allow groups of pupils to work together to solve arithmetic problems.

 

The teacher views live feeds from all the desks, and can intervene if they see that a group of students is going about solving their equation the wrong way. They can also send new problems out to specific groups, send one group’s work to another for review, or bring it up onto the main smartboard at the front of the classroom for discussion.

 

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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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"Health Happens in Libraries" Continues with Second IMLS Grant | Elaine Carpenter | ZeroDivide.org

"Health Happens in Libraries" Continues with Second IMLS Grant | Elaine Carpenter | ZeroDivide.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded OCLC and ZeroDivide a grant to continue helping libraries support health information initiatives in their communities. In July 2013, OCLC and ZeroDivide received an IMLS grant to increase libraries’ ability to respond to customer health information needs, launching the “Health Happens in Libraries” program. IMLS is supporting an expansion of that effort. The project team, along with additional subject-matter experts, will develop additional resources for individual libraries to highlight ways they can lead or support health initiatives.


“A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 37 percent of library computer users—28 million people—use library computers and seek assistance from librarians for health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. “This grant will enable OCLC and ZeroDivide to explore some new directions for their work, which has already helped so many people make more informed decisions about their health care.”

As a part of “Health Happens in Libraries,” the OCLC/ZeroDivide team provided a variety of Affordable Care Act-related resources and training for library staff through WebJunction, the flagship public library program, and created a website that served as a base for a community of best practice for interested librarians. An evaluation of the project found that the activities increased library staff awareness, bolstered confidence in librarians’ ability to respond to customers’ questions, increased levels of preparedness and enhanced libraries’ existing community partnerships.


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HP Labs is working on a glass 3D printer | Signe Brewster | GigaOM Tech News

HP Labs is working on a glass 3D printer | Signe Brewster | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

HP isn’t content to just 3D print in plastic. A job ad for a “robotics scientist for 3D printing” sounds normal enough until you dive into the text and read this:

“HP Labs’ research into printing of inorganic materials is working towards hybrid printing of glass (and other inorganic materials) onto items that are already mass produced,” the ad reads.

3D printing is generally reserved for working with plastic and metal. Glass is unusual. But HP has its reasons. According to a 2012 HP Labs paper:

With 90% of the earth’s crust composed of silicate minerals, there will be no shortage of silica resources. Glass is easy to recycle and is environmentally friendly. Glass is inexpensive but looks precious, is pleasant to the touch and is so familiar that customers will not be disappointed by its fragility— under certain conditions.


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I Will Always Buy Banned Books For My Kids | Devon Corneal Blog | HuffPost.com

I Will Always Buy Banned Books For My Kids | Devon Corneal Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Until this week, I thought I was an average mom. I cook dinners, make lunches and oversee homework. I live in the suburbs. I drive a sensible car. Today, however, I discovered that I am a hard-core dissident bent on undermining the fabric of our society. I am a radical in yoga pants. Why? Because I have filled my house with subversive books.

We own Green Eggs and Ham, Strega Nona, the entire Harry Potter series, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, A Wrinkle in Time, Of Mice and Men, Where the Wild Things Are, In The Night Kitchen, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Lorax, Little Women, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Giving Tree, The Giver, Harriet the Spy, Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte's Web, The Hunger Games, Twilight, To Kill a Mockingbird, His Dark Materials, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Beloved, It's so Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families, and every single Captain Underpants ever written.

I unintentionally filled my children's shelves with books that have been challenged in schools or libraries on the basis "of content or appropriateness." In other words, I am the mom who buys banned books. In my defense, I had no idea colored food and giant insects were so controversial. What could possibly be wrong with a kid in a candy factory? Who quibbles with a girl in ruby red slippers or a generous tree?

Apparently, quite a few people.


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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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Not Just Group Work -- Productive Group Work! | Andrew Miller Blog | Edutopia.org

Not Just Group Work -- Productive Group Work! | Andrew Miller Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

We know that group work can be instructionally effective, but only if it is productive. We don't just want busywork when students work in groups -- we want learning!


Work doesn't always create learning, an idea that many teachers still struggle with. These teachers make the assumption that even with a clear task, group work will be productive. Conversely, many teachers assume that when building classroom culture, group work will be productive as well.


Actually, multiple factors lead to effective and productive group work, but all must be in place to make it happen. So how do we create that structure for productive group work?


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Benkirane Nabil's comment, September 29, 4:02 PM
nicee
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What 3D printing is like when you've never done it before | Biz Carson | GigaOM Tech News

What 3D printing is like when you've never done it before | Biz Carson | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I thought it would be as easy as hitting print. Then, voila a miniature robot! A pencil holder! A pair of stunner shades! A Bulbasaur planter!

3D printing has the potential to change everything in our world: the Army is considering using it as an easy way to replace parts during war, and NASA even just sent a printer to space. So when I was given the chance to try printing an object for the first time, of course I wanted to try it.

Then I opened the lid on the 3D printer and saw a wet tangled mess of lasered plastic. Oh. 3D printing, it turns out, is not the perfect life-changing tool I had imagined.

While my colleague Signe Brewster can tell the difference between objects that came off a really great 3D printer and those produced by a mediocre one, I looked down at a lump of a plastic that was supposed to be a crown and a snitch (from Harry Potter) and wondered why people are so enchanted by this device. My desk is a slowly growing menagerie of imperfect prints: a robot in several pieces that don’t snap together, keychains that didn’t finish printing, two pen holders whose edges are curled up and a ball stuck on a platform of black plastic supports.

As an inexperienced consumer, I’ve learned that 3D printing is harder than it looks.


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‘Submissive Students Do Not Make Good Computer Scientists’ | Sorelle Friedler | The Bill Fold

‘Submissive Students Do Not Make Good Computer Scientists’ | Sorelle Friedler | The Bill Fold | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For years, I’ve been following the “progress” of “no excuses” charters schools from afar and wondering why something about them seemed wrong. This week, the Washington Post did an excellent interview with Professor Joan Goodman of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education that illuminated the underlying problem: charter schools are teaching students to be submissive.

The students are expected to sit still for hours in an often extended school day. Interactions and bodily functions are highly structured; permission is needed to go to the bathroom or sharpen a pencil; students are expected to look at the teacher at all times with their hands folded on their desks. The teacher is to be seen as the authority, not just over the material, but over the students’ own bodies as well. According to the Washington Post, students who do not submit are punished or humiliated: through detentions, by being forced to wear different colored shirts, or by not being allowed to talk to other students.

These schools claim they are preparing students for success, for college. As a college teacher, I want to be clear: this is not what success looks like in my classroom. These are not the habits I want my students to have. I want my students to be creative problem solvers, leaders who think for themselves, critical thinkers willing and able to challenge authority.


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