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Verizon Foundation App Challenge | BDPA Foundation

Verizon Foundation App Challenge | BDPA Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty advisor, to use their STEM concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community. The challenge deadline is January 18, 2013.

 

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Digital Media Creation Learning, Production & Distribution Centers are coming online around the World to fill the Need for Content
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Does Spelling Count? | Shira Loewenstein Blog | Edutopia.org

Does Spelling Count? | Shira Loewenstein Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

"Does spelling count?"


This is one of my favorite and least favorite questions all rolled into one.


As a science teacher, I gave an assignment to my students to create a children's book. "In your book, I want you to explain everything your readers have learned about the different types of clouds and how they relate to weather patterns."


Before I even have the chance to hand out a rubric, no less than five children call out, "Does spelling count?!?" I am sure they're hoping for a simple "yes" or "no" (and more specifically a "no"), but this seems to be a teachable moment if I have ever met one. I'm going to seize it . . .


What is the purpose of learning spelling? Grammar? Math? Why do we break these subjects down? Why do these subjects seem so parsed from our students' lives that they need to know if something "counts?"


I ask my students these very questions. Why do I care if you learn spelling?


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Libraries add your voice to FCC public comment on network neutrality | DistrictDispatch.org

Libraries add your voice to FCC public comment on network neutrality | DistrictDispatch.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has heard from more than 1 million commenters on proposed rulemaking to Protect and Promote the Open Internet, including from the American Library Association (ALA), Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). But it’s not too late to add your voice in support of network neutrality.


September is a perfect time to add more voices from the library and education community. Working with EDUCAUSE, ALA has developed a template letter of support for our comments that you can use to amplify our voice. Click here (doc) to open the document, customize with your information and follow guidelines for submission to FCC.


ALA is meeting with FCC officials, and there is definite interest in our perspective as advocates for intellectual freedom and equity of access to information for all. Please consider strengthening our presence as a community in the public record.


The formal “reply” comment period of the FCC proceeding will close September 15, but “ex parte” comments will be accepted until further notice. The FCC hoped to deliver a new Order on network neutrality by the end of the year, but this could be delayed as the commission considers the broad public input and a range of proposals and perspectives.


As always, more background and related news can be found online. Stay tuned!

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Jump Inside Virtual Paintings at the Barnes Foundation and Explore with a New App Created by Drexel University | Drexel.edu

Jump Inside Virtual Paintings at the Barnes Foundation and Explore with a New App Created by Drexel University | Drexel.edu | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Have you ever found a painting so enticing that you wished you could jump inside and explore? A new, interactive mobile application created by Drexel University’s School of Education for young visitors of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA allows you to do just that.


Using 3-D immersive graphics, the touch-screen app, entitled “Keys to the Collection,” launches a game environment of the Barnes’ beloved, world-renowned art collection. The app turns a visit to the Barnes into a game or can be used to explore the Barnes virtually from anywhere. Using augmented reality, users who play the game from the Barnes’ galleries can even use their avatar to jump inside masterpieces to learn about elements of art like lines, colors, shapes and depth of space.


The game, which is targeted for ages 7-14, invites players to complete an assortment of art missions, guided by Dr. Barnes’ dog Fidéle. Players accumulate keys to enter different realms, solve a variety of mysteries and add works of art to a growing portfolio. Players rack up badges and points to chart the thrilling quest for the elusive gold key which allows them to unlock a special room, create their own art gallery and win the game.


The game is free from the iTunes store and can be played on any Apple device. It also is downloadable from the Barnes Foundation website at www.barnesfoundation.org/education/app.


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Awesome if it can gets kids interested!

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The attack on bad teacher tenure laws is actually an attack on black professionals | Dr. Andre Perry Blog | WashPost.com

The attack on bad teacher tenure laws is actually an attack on black professionals | Dr. Andre Perry Blog | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

After the Vergara v. California decision in California’s state Supreme Court, which held that key job protections for teachers are unconstitutional, anti-union advocates everywhere began spawning copycat lawsuits. But while reformers may genuinely want to fix education for everyone, their efforts will only worsen diversity in the teaching corps.


The truth is that an attack on bad teacher tenure laws (and ineffective teachers in general) is actually an attack on black professionals. If the Vergara clones succeed, black children will lose effective teachers and the black community will lose even more middle-class jobs.


Black workers are most likely to hold public sector union jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among the major ethnic groups, blacks (13.6 percent) represent the highest percentage of union members among the total number of workers (whites are 11 percent; Asians are 9.4 percent; and Hispanics are 9.4 percent), and the highest unionization rates among all professions were in the education services occupations (35.3 percent).


In 26 of the 48 jurisdictions (states plus the District of Columbia) where at least some black and some white teachers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, blacks are more likely to be covered by agreements than whites.


This is the case in California, where the Vergara decision originated. Blacks are more likely to teach in urban areas in many states, and so are more likely to be covered by collective bargaining. Therefore, black teachers have much at stake in the Vergara decision.


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Researchers uncover the lost Geometry of Music | Jordan Patchman | The Spirit Science

Researchers uncover the lost Geometry of Music | Jordan Patchman | The Spirit Science | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The connection between music and mathematics has fascinated scholars for centuries. More than 2000 years ago Pythagoras reportedly discovered that pleasing musical intervals could be described using simple ratios.


And the so-called musica universalis or “music of the spheres” emerged in the Middle Ages as the philosophical idea that the proportions in the movements of the celestial bodies — the sun, moon and planets — could be viewed as a form of music, inaudible but perfectly harmonious.


Now, three music professors — Clifton Callender at Florida State University, Ian Quinn at Yale University and Dmitri Tymoczko at Princeton University — have devised a new way of analyzing and categorizing music that takes advantage of the deep, complex mathematics they see enmeshed in its very fabric.


Writing in the April 18 issue of Science, the trio has outlined a method called “geometrical music theory” that translates the language of musical theory into that of contemporary geometry. They take sequences of notes, like chords, rhythms and scales, and categorize them so they can be grouped into “families.” They have found a way to assign mathematical structure to these families, so they can then be represented by points in complex geometrical spaces, much the way “x” and “y” coordinates, in the simpler system of high school algebra, correspond to points on a two-dimensional plane.


Different types of categorization produce different geometrical spaces, and reflect the different ways in which musicians over the centuries have understood music. This achievement, they expect, will allow researchers to analyze and understand music in much deeper and more satisfying ways.


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How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in 5 Basic Steps | AlterNet.org

How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in 5 Basic Steps | AlterNet.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A few years back, Paul E. Lingenfelter began his report on the defunding of public education by saying,


“In 1920 H.G. Wells wrote, ‘History is becoming more and more a race between education and catastrophe.’ I think he got it right. Nothing is more important to the future of the United States and the world than the breadth and effectiveness of education, especially of higher education. I say especially higher education, but not because pre- school, elementary, and secondary education are less important. Success at every level of education obviously depends on what has gone before. But for better or worse, the quality of postsecondary education and research affects the quality and effectiveness of education at every level.”


In the last few years, conversations have been growing like gathering storm clouds about the ways in which our universities are failing. There is talk about the poor educational outcomes apparent in our graduates, the out-of-control tuitions and crippling student loan debt. Attention is finally being paid to the enormous salaries for presidents and sports coaches, and the migrant worker status of the low-wage majority faculty.


There are movements to control tuition, to forgive student debt, to create more powerful “assessment” tools, to offer “free” university materials online, to combat adjunct faculty exploitation. But each of these movements focuses on a narrow aspect of a much wider problem, and no amount of “fix” for these aspects individually will address the real reason that universities in America are dying.


To explain my perspective here, I need to go back in time.


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Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc's insight:

Note this article was published October 19, 2012 but unfortunately very little has changed to address the issues raised by its author.

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When it comes to chasing clicks, journalists say one thing but feel pressure to do another | Angele Christin | NiemanLab.org

When it comes to chasing clicks, journalists say one thing but feel pressure to do another | Angele Christin | NiemanLab.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Online media is made of clicks.


Readers click from one article to the next. Advertising revenue is based on the number of unique visitors for each site. Editors always keep in mind their traffic targets to secure the survival of their publications. Writers and bloggers interpret clicks as a signal of popularity.


The economic realities underpinning the click-based web are well documented. Yet much work remains to be done on the cultural consequences of the growing importance of Internet metrics.


I conducted two years of ethnographic research (observing newsrooms and interviewing journalists, editors, and bloggers) exploring whether web analytics are changing newsroom cultures. The answer is a qualified yes, but in ways that differ from the ones we might expect.


Let me start with an example from the pre-Internet press. As the historian Robert Darnton recalls from his time as a staff writer at The New York Times in the 1960s, “We really wrote for one another. […] We knew that no one would jump on our stories as quickly as our colleagues.” Darnton reminds us that, in the printed world, the quality of one’s articles was mostly assessed by one’s peers and superiors. Journalists had somewhat abstract representations of their reading public. The “letters to the editor” were often left unread.


Then came the Internet. Journalists adjusted to this technological shock, inventing new practices and reconfiguring others (and in some cases changing nothing). Among the most profound changes differentiating print and online news was the arrival of web metrics. Journalists started to receive detailed feedback from their reading public. Editors began to track in real-time the number of clicks, uniques, likes, and tweets. Editorial departments increasingly relied on web analytics. One of the most popular analytics programs, Chartbeat, is now used by more than 3,000 sites in 35 countries.


This irruption of web metrics in editorial practice did not go unnoticed.


Some welcomed this evolution as the empowerment of the audience and argued that metrics constitute a healthy check on the worst habits of journalistic elite. Readers now have the opportunity to “vote with their feet,” or at least with their fingers. This feedback, many say, breaks the hierarchical flow of knowledge and authority from journalist to reader that characterized the printed press.


But most reactions have been critical. Writers are described as being on a hamster wheel of incessant updates geared towards traffic maximization. Scholars have analyzed the negative effects of this “culture of the click.” The obsession with clicks is said to be responsible for a degradation of online content: clickbait headlines, listicles of best burger places, and videos of adorable kittens that do little to turn readers into enlightened citizens.


Such a critical perspective is important and necessary. Yet my findings show that the effect of metrics is more complex than this.


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Half of teachers leave the job after five years. Here’s what to do about it | Alexandria Neason | The Hechinger Report

Half of teachers leave the job after five years. Here’s what to do about it | Alexandria Neason | The Hechinger Report | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Amid intense debate about new education standards, and teacher tenure and pay, the Alliance for Excellent Education has turned the focus to new teachers – and their tendency to quit.


A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a non-profit that helps schools and policymakers develop training for new educators, found that about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers move schools or leave the profession every year, costing states up to $2 billion. Researchers estimate that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, and between 40 and 50 percent quit within five years.


The high turnover rates are sometimes due to layoffs, “but the primary reason they leave is because they’re dissatisfied,” said Richard Ingersoll, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose research on teacher retention was published in the report. Teachers say they leave because of inadequate administrative support and isolated working conditions, among other things. These losses disproportionately affect high-poverty, urban and rural schools, where teaching staffs often lack experience.


A Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) report found that schools serving low-income, minority students turn over half of their staffs every three years, deepening the divide between poor and wealthy students to the most experienced teachers.


But the new report says poor retention isn’t a commitment problem. It’s a support problem.


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Accountability Report Urges Fewer Tests, More Peer Review | Stephen Sawchuk | EdWeek.org

Accountability Report Urges Fewer Tests, More Peer Review | Stephen Sawchuk | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Accountability for the public schools should be far less test-driven and more the product of teachers holding one another to high professional standards, the National Center on Education and the Economy proposes in a report issued Thursday.


More folks seem to be pushing the less-is-more approach to testing: A group of advocates held a forum on that topic earlier this summer, and the American Federation of Teachers passed a resolution at its July convention urging a dramatic scaling-back in the number of exams students must take. 


There's one major sticking point to the idea, though: The renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act, the federal education law requiring annual testing of public school students, has been hopelessly stuck for years. The U.S. Department of Education has granted nearly every state waivers from certain of the law's requirements, but it's held fast to the annual-testing one so far. Still, the time to build a push for fewer tests is now, NCEE President Marc Tucker said.


"We aren't going to get a successor to No Child Left Behind unless there is consenus on a larger reform in American education, and there is no consensus," he said in an interview. "I don't think it's a moment too soon to start building one." 


Many of the report's recommendations are familiar if you've followed Tucker's previous analyses of international practices or have read his edweek.org blog.


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Kids and Technology: Can We Ever Really Keep Up? | Diana Graber Blog | HuffPost.com

Kids and Technology: Can We Ever Really Keep Up? | Diana Graber Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Recently we engaged in a thoughtful debate on Twitter with @theonlinemom, who provides terrific advice on technology for parents. Condensing our deep thoughts about kids, digital literacy, and parenting into 140 characters or less, our exchange went like this:



Perhaps she's right. Maybe trying to keep up with our kids and whatever it is they're doing on those social networks with the funny names -- Tinder, Yik Yak, Wanelo and more -- is unrealistic. Let alone trying to keep pace with the actual technology, with updates and improvements coming faster than you can say iNeedHelp. It's exhausting.


But there is still one realm where we are ahead of our kids, and that's in "life skills," which are sorely needed -- believe it or not -- in digital spaces.


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After two weeks in space, the most powerful commercial satellite ever launched is sending back pics | GigaOM Tech News

After two weeks in space, the most powerful commercial satellite ever launched is sending back pics | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

WordView-3, the super-powerful commercial satellite that launched two weeks ago, is now sending images back to Earth. The satellite is remarkable for its ability to collect images sharp down to a scale of 11.8 inches, which is enough for it to tell a tomato plant from a shrub and a sedan from an SUV.


“You can actually definitely see (car) windshields,” DigitalGlobe director of next generation products Kumar Navulur said before the launch. “We can actually tell you whether it’s a truck or an SUV or a regular car. We can identify pictures of a baseball diamond.”


The first images released by the satellite’s operator DigitalGlobe depict an airport and neighborhoods in Madrid. In the airport images, airplanes, luggage trailers and activity like refueling or opening a hatch are visible.


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How to use the Raspberry Pi B+ computer for your next DIY project | Alex Campbell | NetworkWorld.com

How to use the Raspberry Pi B+ computer for your next DIY project | Alex Campbell | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You don't need an electrical engineering degree to build a robot army. With the $35 Raspberry Pi B+, you can create robots and connected devices on the cheap, with little more than an Internet connection and a bunch of spare time.


The Raspberry Pi is a computer about the size of a credit card. The darling of the do-it-yourself electronics crowd, the Pi was originally designed to teach kids computer and programming skills without the need for expensive computer labs. People have used Raspberry Pis for everything from robots to cheap home media centers.


The Pi sports USB ports, HDMI video, and a host of other peripherals. The latest version, the B+, sports 512MB of RAM and uses a MicroSD card instead of a full-size card.


Most people install a Linux distribution called Raspbian onto the SD cards needed to boot the Pi. Raspbian is a version of Debian Linux (the distribution Ubuntu is based on) designed specifically for use on the Pi. Raspbian is also recommended for new Pi users to familiarize themselves with the device and the Linux operating system.


If the the big "L-word" scares you, rest easy knowing that Raspbian ships with a familiar graphical environment, complete with a web browser. And you can get your Pi up and running in less time than it takes to bake an edible raspberry pie.


Ready? Let's get cooking.


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ALEC And Jeb Bush Are Conspiring To Kill Off Public Schools For Good | PoliticusUSA.com

ALEC And Jeb Bush Are Conspiring To Kill Off Public Schools For Good | PoliticusUSA.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Even the most successful of power-mad schemers need reliable co-conspirators to accomplish their nefarious ends. The most power-mad of the power-mad, the American Legislative Exchange Council, relies on easily compromised spear-carriers to dominate state legislatures and push through model-legislation designed to benefit ALEC’s multi-national, special interest corporate donor base.


It was by pure happenstance I chanced upon such a co-conspirator the other day. It actually turned out to be three co-conspirators. I was digging through the South Carolina Ethics Commission’s statements of economic interests required of state and legislative office holders and their challengers. These interests include name, address, filing date, business and property interest, creditors, government contracts, lobbyist contacts and, most importantly, who is buying legislator’s votes through the section marked “gifts.”


I concentrated on my local delegation of seated representatives. On my first search, an initialism (thus termed when an acronym is unpronounceable) popped up that I’d never seen or heard of before. It appeared as SLLF. Whatever it was had gifted one of my local state delegations with a total of nearly $3,100 for the gift of a single trip. Not bad. There are some economy overseas jaunts you can take for three grand. The stipend covered ‘tuition,’ lodging and meals. As I looked at the economic interests of my other local representatives, SLLF appeared over and over. Four of my six house members accepted SLLF’s largess. This definitely called for further study.


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Millions of historic images posted to Flickr | BBC News

Millions of historic images posted to Flickr | BBC News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images.


Kalev Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, which are searchable thanks to tags that have been automatically added.


The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation.

The images have been difficult to access until now.


Mr Leetaru said digitisation projects had so far focused on words and ignored pictures.


"For all these years all the libraries have been digitising their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works," he told the BBC.


"They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.


"Stretching half a millennia, it's amazing to see the total range of images and how the portrayals of things have changed over time.


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iKeepSafe Releases K-6 Copyright Curriculum | EdSurge.com

iKeepSafe Releases K-6 Copyright Curriculum | EdSurge.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

“Everything we post leaves a digital footprint,” says Marsali Hancock, CEO of iKeepSafe, a nonprofit focused on children and digital literacy. “So young people need to know the questions they should be asking before posting digital content.”


With iKeepSafe’s free curriculum for grades K-6, Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens, Hancock hopes to empower youth to ask questions about how and when to cite material from others. The series of short video lessons were designed in consultation with experts in media literacy and copyright law, as well as educators, and aim to help students develop safe use practices. “When it comes to a digital incident, there often isn’t a plan in place for how to handle it,” Hancock tells EdSurge. “Copyright law is very case-specific, so we wanted to set up a framework for responsible use.”


“It’s critical that students learn at an early age to respect intellectual property and creators’ rights,” explains Dana Greenspan, technology specialist at Ventura County Office of Education in California. Along with educators at several other schools in California and Virginia, Greenspan piloted the curriculum before its official release on August 27.


Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens is the first of several free releases as part of iKeepSafe’s BEaPRO initiative, which aims to provide background information on digital literacy and safety for all involved parties. IKeepSafe plans to release more curriculum for students K-12, as well as educators and parents.

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News Challenge to explore role of libraries in the digital age | Knight Foundation

News Challenge to explore role of libraries in the digital age | Knight Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

On Sept. 10, we’re opening the next News Challenge, on libraries. Our 12th News Challenge, it will build upon the 19 projects we funded with $3.47 million in June through the News Challenge that sought ideas to strengthen the Internet. That work, conversations such as the ones we recently had at the Aspen Institute this month and longstanding initiatives such as the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy have affirmed for us the centrality of libraries for building and maintaining an informed citizenry.


We’re hoping to hear ideas for leveraging the assets that libraries have built: physical spaces open to anyone; professional staff trained in how to seek, retrieve and share information; and a legacy of aiding new readers, new entrepreneurs and new Americans. In recent years we’ve seen libraries leverage the Internet and digital approaches for education, entrepreneurship, the arts and “making.” In a digital age we see libraries--public, university, archival, virtual--as key for improving Americans’ ability to know about and to be involved with what takes place around them.


We’re finalizing details of the challenge over the next two weeks. For now, a couple of points to highlight:


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I love the challenge model of dispensing funding for social ventures, and I can't wait to see what results come from this challenge offered by the Knight Foundation!

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Photorealsitic oil paintings of women by artist Robin Eley | Netdost.com

Photorealsitic oil paintings of women by artist Robin Eley | Netdost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Robin Eley is a master when it comes to painting realistic pictures. He sometimes makes his work much more harder by covering his models in plastic sheet. Robin was born in England and grew up in Australia where he worked as a commercial artist before plunging into Fine Art. Most of his paintings are created with oil paints on Belgian linen.


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Announcing the Official Launch of ExamTime | ExamTime.com

Announcing the Official Launch of ExamTime | ExamTime.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

127 product releases, 4 language versions, 938,195 study resources and 1 owl later, we are officially launching our complete ExamTime version! We first introduced ourselves in late September 2012, with our first beta version. Back then, we had light versions of a mind map tool, a flashcard maker and a quiz creator.


Big thanks to all our users who have helped shape ExamTime over the past 22 months (it would take too long to name you all!). Your feedback, comments, survey results and more gave us direction and insight. It started with some pioneering young souls, eager to see how online learning could help them succeed. Since then, that band of pioneers has been joined by a flourishing online community. We’ve listened to what you’ve had to say, and we built up ExamTime based on this feedback.


Now it’s time to launch ExamTime into the big bad world, let it fly…


So before we move forward toward 1 million users and beyond, how about a quick re-cap of all the major features that have been added in beta phase – and there’s been plenty.


Here’s how ExamTime has evolved…


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PA: Brigitte Daniel’s Got a Plan to Get Young Women of Color Into Technology | Philadelphia Magazine

PA: Brigitte Daniel’s Got a Plan to Get Young Women of Color Into Technology | Philadelphia Magazine | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Like the Trayvon Martin story before it, what happened in Ferguson two weeks ago has had a continued news presence in part because of social media. In the moments that followed the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown, users took to Twitter to report on and discuss what happened. They have started and maintained a nationwide online conversation.


Much has been written about the democratizing power of Twitter and the influential power of so-called Black Twitter; according to a Pew study, 22 percent of African Americans who are online are on Twitter despite representing a dismal 2 percent of its workforce, as indicated by a diversity report released by Twitter last month.


This imbalance does not go unnoticed by those in the field.


“If we are the highest consumers [of these technologies], why aren’t we creating them?” asks Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president of Fort Washington-based Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., a minority-owned, family-based cable operator serving the greater Philadelphia area for over 30 years.


Enter Mogulette, a program founded by Daniel (who is featured in this month's Marie Claire), which focuses on educating, mentoring, and empowering young women of color between the ages of 20 and 25 who are interested in careers in entrepreneurism within the technology field. Beginning next spring, the program will begin with a quarterly speaker panel series highlighting local and national prominent women in tech who will share their journeys, challenges and advice.


Mogulette, like many other diversity-oriented initiatives in tech, is committed to bridging the digital divide, which often leaves people of color and low-income communities behind. Daniel distinguishes her initiative with a push for greater cultural competence in the field.


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These 9 Charts Show America's Coming Student Loan Apocalypse | Shahien Nasiripour | HuffPost.com

These 9 Charts Show America's Coming Student Loan Apocalypse | Shahien Nasiripour | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Borrowers with federal student loans, long promoted as the safest way to borrow for college, appear to be buckling under the weight of their debt, new data show.


More than half of Direct Loans, the most common type of federal student loan, aren't being repaid on time or as expected, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Education. Nearly half of the loans in repayment are in plans scheduled to take longer than 10 years. The number of loans in distress is rising.


The increase in troubled loans comes as the average amount of student debt has significantly outpaced wage growth. After adjusting for inflation, the average recipient of federal student loan funds owed 28 percent more in 2013 than in 2007, according to Education Department data. But the typical holder of a bachelor's degree working full time experienced a 0.08 percent decrease in weekly earnings during that same period. For those with advanced degrees, median wages increased just 0.02 percent, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The Obama administration, mindful of borrowers' difficulty in repaying their federal student loans, has been promoting repayment plans that cap monthly payments relative to income. An unemployed borrower with no income, for example, could pay nothing every month, yet still be considered current on the debt.


At a December Education Department conference in Las Vegas, Brian Lanham, then an executive at student loan giant Sallie Mae, said that more than 40 percent of borrowers who enroll in so-called income-driven repayment plans have a zero monthly payment.


It's "something that's really boosted our income-driven repayment application rates," Lanham said, according to a recording of the event the department posted on YouTube. "If they're struggling," he said of borrowers, "it's an option."


The Education Department did not respond to inquiries regarding the number of borrowers enrolled in plans that require them to pay nothing to keep current on their loans. Patricia Christel, a spokeswoman for Navient, the former Sallie Mae servicing unit that has since become an independent company, did not respond to requests for comment.


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Is doing less harm enough for Education Secretary Duncan? | Valarie Strauss | WashPost.com

Is doing less harm enough for Education Secretary Duncan? | Valarie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today via a blog post that he has decided to allow most states to apply for permission from the Education Department to push back to 2015-16 a requirement that they use student standardized test scores in teacher’s evaluations. This marked a step beyond flexibility Duncan offered last year, when he said states could seek flexibility from making personnel decisions based on teacher evaluations linked to student standardized test scores.


Why is he doing this? Because, he said, teachers have persuaded the department that it is unfair to rate teachers on the scores of new Common Core State Standards tests at a time when teachers are still learning how to teach to the standards. Duncan’s department has implemented reform policies that have led to most states agreeing to link educator evaluations to student standardized test scores, a practice that many assessment experts say is unfair.


Over the last several years there has been increasing opposition to Duncan’s approach on teacher evaluation and other issues. This summer, the nation’s largest labor union, the National Education Association, called for Duncan’s resignation, and the second largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers, said Duncan should be put on an improvement plan. After that, Duncan wrote a blog post saying that teachers were his “top advisers.”


So how significant is today’s move by Duncan? Here’s one answer to that question from Barnett Berry,  founder, partner and chief executive officer at the Center for Teaching Quality, a national nonprofit organization that helps teachers transform their profession.


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Charter Schools Don't Need An Ad Campaign, They Need Regulation | Jeff Bryant | Ed Opportunity Network

This time of year, while classroom teachers and administrators in public schools are busy welcoming students back to a new school year and figuring out how they’re going to cope with devastating financial constraints, advocates in the charter schools industry are propping up their image with an extensive new public relations campaign, called “Truth About Charters.”


That contrast alone pretty much tells you everything you need to know about where we are in the nation’s parallel education narratives, in which a gritty documentary competes with what is essentially an advertising campaign for a shiny, new product.

There are good reasons for charter schools advocates to feel they need an ad campaign. Recent polling results from the annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Towards the Public Schools show that Americans generally have favorable opinions about charter schools but don’t really know very much about them.


That situation is eerily similar to what has befallen another education policy favored by influential private interests and federal and state authorities: the Common Core.


Last year’s PDK/Gallup survey found that the Common Core was pretty much a mystery to most Americans, although public support for national standards was high. However, as new standards rolled out, and people became more knowledgeable about them and all they entail, opinion gradually changed. According to this year’s survey, over 80 percent of Americans have heard about the Common Core – 47 percent indicating they have heard a great deal or a fair amount. And most Americans, 60 percent, now oppose them.


A similar evolution may be occurring with charter schools. Because only about 6 percent of school children are enrolled in charters, the vast majority of Americans have had virtually no actual experiences with these schools. But in communities where charters are more prevalent, public opinion is more starkly divided.


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Introducing Google’s exciting yet ambitious new Project called Loon | Technology-in-Biz.com

Introducing Google’s exciting yet ambitious new Project called Loon | Technology-in-Biz.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Loon is Internet access via a network of balloons traveling on the edge of Space.


Introducing the latest project from Google [x] called Project Loon.


Its where they intend to bring internet access to people in remote areas using network of balloons traveling on the edge of space.


To learn more, visit: http://google.com/loon.


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IBM uses Watson as part of new cloud service | Sharon Gaudin | NetworkWorld.com

IBM uses Watson as part of new cloud service | Sharon Gaudin | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

IBM is making its artificially intelligent computer system, Watson, available to researchers as a cloud service.


Scientists from universities, pharmaceutical companies and commercial research centers have been using Watson, which was built to understand human language, to analyze and test hypotheses in their data, along with data held in millions of scientific papers available in public databases.


Early adopters have been trying out the cloud service, but it's officially available today, according to Rob Merkel, vice president of IBM's Watson Healthcare Group.


Merkel declined to talk about the cost of the service.


Watson gained mainstream fame early in 2011 when the supercomputer went up against Jeopardy champions in a special episode of the question-and-answer game show.


In the man-vs-machine dustup, Watson trounced its human opponents. The machine may have faltered in a few categories, but was faster to the buzzer and more knowledgeable than its challengers, who had won many games against knowledgeable opponents in regular matchups.

At the time, Watson was touted by some analysts as one of the biggest computing advancements in the past several decades.


What makes it stand apart from other supercomputers is not just its ability to make calculations. Watson was designed to essentially converse with humans, answering verbal questions and even beginning to understand colloquialisms and jokes.


Merkel said that natural language ability puts Watson in a good position for scientific research. For instance, a scientist could have Watson digitally ingest as much information - say, research papers, proprietary information and licensed information -- about a topic as possible.


Then the scientist could ask the super computer to find all the drugs that had been repurposed for a particular use in the past five years. Or the scientist could ask Watson to go through that information and find all of the known drugs with certain characteristics.


"It's about understanding human language, scientific language and images," said Merkel. "It could be used anywhere where huge bodies of information need to analyzed."


Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said it's a good idea for universities or commercial research houses to use Watson as a cloud service.


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A truly giant tablet hits the market…for kids! | Fredric Paul | NetworkWorld.com

A truly giant tablet hits the market…for kids! | Fredric Paul | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It’s been a long, long, long time since Crosby, Stills, and Nash told kids to “Teach your parents well.” And I don’t think they were talking about a new 24-inch tablet computer from Fuhu. But maybe they were prescient or something, because I think Fuhu's new Nabi Big Tab 24 tablet is a great idea for adults  as well as kids. And for business as well as personal uses.


In case you haven’t heard, coming this fall, the Big Tab 24 is the world’s largest Android tablet, though it runs Fuhu’s proprietary Blue Morpho operating system over the base Android 4.4 OS. (Fuhu, based in El Segundo, California, is also prepping a 20-inch version.) The specs are actually pretty impressive: it’s got a 15-point capacitive touch screen designed to let multiple (small) people use it at the same time, Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processors, and 16 GB of memory.


Not exactly the modern definition of portable, the 2-foot-diagonal behemoth is almost an inch thick and weighs a whopping 13 pounds. And apparently, it can only run for about a half hour without being plugged in. Fortunately, the built-in carrying frame also functions as a kickstand. Still, that’s a lot of screen and technology for $550, hardly more than a relatively tiny Apple iPad Air. The 20-inch version costs $450 -- compare that to an iPad Mini!


The idea behind this giant tablet is that kids can play games and work on projects together -- either cooperatively or in competition with each other.


Fine, that’s a great idea, but what I’m really interested in is what grownups could do with a machine like this. I don’t know whether or not users will be able to root the Big Tab to something like stock Android, but given the device’s kid-friendly design, it’s unlikely that too many “serious” folks will take that route.


That’s a shame, because it doesn’t take a kid to come up with all kinds of cool uses for a really, really, really big tablet. Sure, as readers of my phablet coverage already know, I’m biased toward big screens, but I think oversized tablets could have lots of useful applications:


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