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Theremin Mini Kit brings weird sounds to a small package | gizmag.com

Theremin Mini Kit brings weird sounds to a small package | gizmag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Purveyor of geek-friendly toys and gadgets ThinkGeek is now offering the Theremin Mini Kit, a miniature assemble-it-yourself theremin which is marketed toward those looking to get started with the instrument.

 

For the uninitiated, the theremin is an unusual instrument which comes with an equally-odd back story involving a Russian inventor who toured the U.S. and ended up in one of Stalin’s gulag camps.

 

To make music, the player waves their hand around an antenna protruding from the theremin. Electro-magnetic waves are generated in a zone around this antenna, and when they are interrupted by the introduction of a hand, the frequency of the waves is altered, changing the audible tone of the instrument as a result. In this way, by moving a hand around, one hopefully creates strange and beautiful music in the process.

 

Many theremins also employ a second antenna which controls volume and works in the same way, but budget models like the Theremin Mini Kit usually forgo this.

 

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CO: Back to School in Pikes Peak region districts offer new programs, new buildings | Debbie Kelley | The Gazette

That six-letter "s" word, school, isn't just around the corner. It's here. Two of the Pikes Peak, CO region's 17 public school districts, Falcon School District 49 and Ellicott School District 22, resume classes this week.

A few more start back next week, with most in session by the third week in August.

"There's always just a new energy at the beginning of a school year. We're excited to welcome new families and returning families and look forward to a new start," said Jed Bowman, superintendent of Woodland Park School District RE-2 and president of the Colorado Association of Superintendents and Senior Administrators.

Three districts - Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Hanover School District 28 and Miami-Yoder School District JT-60 - begin the 2015-2016 year with new superintendents.

"Options" is an operative word in 21st century education, with many districts giving more and more choices of how, when and where students learn. Concurrent enrollment, in which students can earn college credits while in high school, remains popular, and vocational and technical education is resurging.


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5 things you can do for free at your local New York Public Library branch | Diane Lore | Staten Island Advance

5 things you can do for free at your local New York Public Library branch | Diane Lore | Staten Island Advance | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Summer is the perfect time to spend some time at your local branch of the New York Public Library.

These days, the library is much more than books.

The Staten Island branches conduct story times for babies and toddlers, book clubs, craft programs, gaming, STEM programs and seasonal events. Every month, each location has a special program where an outside performer or organization comes to the library. Throughout the summer, Island branches will offer music performances, magic shows, live animal programs and writing programs led by authors. All of these programs are free and continue throughout the summer and into the school year.

Here are five things you may not know you can do for free at your local library branch:


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Earth's magnetic field may be more than 750 million years older than previously thought | Richard Moss | GizMag.com

Earth's magnetic field may be more than 750 million years older than previously thought | Richard Moss | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Earth's magnetic field is crucial to life on the planet. It keeps out harmful solar winds, which would strip away our atmosphere and surface water and bombard us with radiation if left unchecked.


A new analysis of zircon minerals suggests that the field originated at least 4.2 billion years ago – a hop after the planet formed in the geological timeline, and much earlier than previously thought.


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Open Letter to NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña | Arthur Goldstein Blog | HuffPost.com

Open Letter to NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña | Arthur Goldstein Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Dear Chancellor Fariña:

First of all, I applaud you for acknowledging that a highly-effective rated teacher entering a troubled school may suffer a reduced rating as a result of changing schools. I very much appreciate that you've taken a personal interest in this teacher and plan to attach an asterisk and follow her ratings. It's inspirational not only to me, but also to teachers nationwide, that the leader of the largest school district in the country would acknowledge that a school's population is a major factor in teacher ratings.

This, in fact, has been a major objection many of us, including experts like Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris, have had toward value-added evaluation programs. In fact, the American Statistical Association has determined that teachers impact test scores by a factor of 1-14%. They have also determined that rating teachers by such scores may have detrimental effects on education.

I am struck by the implications of your statement. If it's possible that a highly-rated teacher may suffer from moving to a school with low test scores, isn't it just as likely that a poorly-rated teacher would benefit from being moved from a low-rated school to a more highly-rated one? And if, as you say, the teachers are using the same assessments in either locale, doesn't that indicate that the test scores are determined more by students themselves as opposed to teachers?


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Why slow thinking wins | Tara Kadioglu | The Boston Globe

Why slow thinking wins | Tara Kadioglu | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Being fast means working hard and being smart — from answering calls around the clock to having the quickest wit at meetings. Slowness is for the lazy, the aloof, or even the dumb. When we talk about slowing down, we usually mean taking it easy, certainly not being more productive.

Everyone remembers the story of the tortoise and the hare, but no one seems to have learned the lesson it teaches: Slowness wins.

Turns out that the fable got it right. Research regularly suggests that so-called slow thinking requires more disciplined thought and yields more productive decision-making than quick reactions, which are less accurate or helpful. And slow thinking is — like the tortoise, slowly but surely — inching its way into new interventions in fields as disparate as criminal justice, sports, education, investing, and military studies.


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#NigeriansAtHogwarts Hashtag Is Brilliance and Hilarity You Need | Awesomely Luvvie

#NigeriansAtHogwarts Hashtag Is Brilliance and Hilarity You Need | Awesomely Luvvie | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I don die. Seriously. I logged on to Twitter and was told to check out the #NigeriansAtHogwarts hashtag. I have spent the last hour in TEARS laughing at the shenanigans.

I am a PROUD Potterhead and super fan of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and I am unashamed of my dorkiness in making references to the books. Add that to the fact that us Nigerians are a special breed of awesome. The #NigeriansAtHogwarts hashtag is EVERYTHING, throwing inside jokes, cultural stereotypes and our unfuggwitable humor into a giant bowl. Add to the fact that Naijas are generally superstitious and these jokes are priceless and the brilliance is clear. The hashtag was started by @WalleLawal so shoutout for kicking off the best hashtag in a while.


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New color map highlights diverse geological features on Ceres | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

New color map highlights diverse geological features on Ceres | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA has released a global color map of the dwarf planet Ceres showing the highs and lows of topography on the rocky body's surface. The new map comes with new official names for many of the craters and other geological features dotting the surface of the planet, named for religious figures from a variety of cultures approved by the International Astronomical Union.

"The craters we find on Ceres, in terms of their depth and diameter, are very similar to what we see on Dione and Tethys, two icy satellites of Saturn that are about the same size and density as Ceres," states Dawn science team member and geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston Paul Schenk. "The features are pretty consistent with an ice-rich crust."

The map was created from images collected by Dawn's framing camera since its arrival in early March this year. An animated 3D model of the map was also created by combining the data from the framing camera with an image mosaic of Ceres, which was then projected onto a 3D model of the dwarf planet.


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BRILLIANT Way to Push Back the Senile Old TEABAGGERS: Try Something Like This | Ring of Fire

BRILLIANT Way to Push Back the Senile Old TEABAGGERS: Try Something Like This | Ring of Fire | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The fine folks of Troy, Michigan were in a bit of a financial bind. They wanted to pass a small tax to help pay to keep the library open. This, being a tax increase, brought Tea Party activists out in droves.

Those Tea Party activists cried and rallied against any increase in taxes, as in their standard operating procedure. They were successful in changing the conversation away from protecting the library. Instead, they had everyone just talking about taxes.

The library looks as though it was certain to go under.

That’s when the people who supported to library and wanted to see it stay open did something very interesting.

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School food service professionals urge expansion of summer meals programs | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

School food service professionals urge expansion of summer meals programs | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Nearly 22 million children received free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program last year. Remarkably, only 16% of those students participated in a summer meals program.

Allison Haswell has worked in the Scottsboro City School District in northeastern Alabama for 10 years, most recently as a food service professional at Brownwood Elementary, where 62 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.

Haswell sees the need for summer meals, not just in the data but during her interaction with students.

“When the students come back from summer vacation, they’re so excited to go through the line and put everything on their plates. Some of those little ones are so hungry they can’t wait to get at the food,” Haswell told EducationVotes. “If we could get to more of those kids all summer, it would be so beneficial for them to know they will get a hot meal every day.”

That’s why she applied for a part-time position with the district’s brand new summer meal program.


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CA activists stand up for students, middle-class at ALEC annual meeting | Brian Washington | NEA.org

CA activists stand up for students, middle-class at ALEC annual meeting | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A California educator is sharing what it was like to join hundreds in San Diego to protest the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC. ALEC is funded by the infamous billionaire duo Charles and David Koch, also known as the Koch brothers, and has a track record of exploiting the rights of working Americans to make the rich even richer.

Barbara Dawson, a middle-school history and English teacher, said taking part in last Wednesday’s demonstration, outside the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel, gave her new hope about California’s future.


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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, August 1, 3:24 PM

SAME KOCH BROTHERS FUNDING THE NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOLS "WAKE COUNTY" AND SOME , SO ARTICLES SAY.

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New rules for CT charters seek to better educational experiences for students | Brian Washington | NEA.org

New rules for CT charters seek to better educational experiences for students | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy has signed into law new standards for charter schools designed to promote more transparency and accountability.

As a result, all records related to the administration and operation of charter schools within the state will now be accessible to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. This includes all information about how the private companies running charters schools, otherwise known as charter management organizations (CMO), are actually spending taxpayer dollars collected from charters.

As one state representative put it, just before the bill passed the State House, these new standards will help make sure the public’s investment in charter schools is used to better students’ educational experiences.


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More children live in poverty, even as economic recovery strengthens | Felix Perez | NEA.org

More children live in poverty, even as economic recovery strengthens | Felix Perez | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

More than 16 million children in the United States, or 22 percent, live in poverty, a number greater than at the start of the Great Recession in 2008, although there has been improvement in the number of high school students who graduate on time (81 percent), and the number of children who attend preschool (46 percent) has held steady.
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According to the “2015 Kids Count Data Book” released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child advocacy organization, the uneven economic recovery has left “stagnant pockets of low-income, struggling communities and families, where a child’s future is anchored in scarcity and hardship.”


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CMC to offer downtown Rifle, CO classes | Ryan Hoffman | PostIndependent.com

CMC to offer downtown Rifle, CO classes | Ryan Hoffman | PostIndependent.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Colorado Mountain College will open a new downtown Rifle, CO location in August, marking what could be a benefit to the city’s central business district, as well as potential students.

Renovations at the new CMC Downtown Rifle Academic Center, located at 229 West Ave., are in progress, and CMC plans on offering a limited number of classes in the fall semester. Once complete, the building will feature five state-of-the-art classrooms, as well as a day-care center.

The decision to open a new center in downtown Rifle a little more than three miles from CMC’s Western Garfield County Campus on Airport Road was twofold, explained Rachel Pokrandt, CMC Rifle campus dean.

Enrollment at the Rifle campus has steadily grown to the point where no additional classrooms are available in the fall and spring semesters.

“We’re one of the faster-growing locations in the district, and we’re running out of space,” Pokrandt said.


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Library tutors can coach adults to better life, literacy | Malissa Knapp Guest Opinion | The Reporter

Library tutors can coach adults to better life, literacy | Malissa Knapp Guest Opinion | The Reporter | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Would it surprise you to know that 36 million American adults need literacy help, but only three million of them will be lucky enough to get it?

Would it surprise you that one in five American adults cannot access or use the internet?

How about the fact that illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year?

I still haven’t surprised you? How about this: Three out of five people in American prisons can’t read, and approximately 50 percent of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as reading prescription drug labels.

Reading and writing are skills that many of us take for granted. English proficiency and effective job-seeking skills are a real-life necessity in our community.

Public libraries are one of the few establishments left where literacy services, computer access, job seeking and training workshops, and a whole host of other services are offered free to any community member.

Teaching an adult to read can change their life and that of their family. The good news is you can help change a life!


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Lockheed tests Orion fairing design changes | David Szondy | Gizmag.com

Lockheed tests Orion fairing design changes | David Szondy | Gizmag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lockheed Martin announced that it's completed tests of design changes for NASA's Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system. Based on information from Orion's unmanned maiden flight on December 5 last year, the alterations are meant to improve performance while reducing weight.

The problem with spacecraft is that they're designed to work in space, but to get there, they have to travel through a lot of atmosphere very fast. To protect the fragile craft and give the nose of the launch rocket a smooth, aerodynamic shape, a fairing is usually fitted to fend off sunlight, heat, wind turbulence, and vibrations. In the case of Orion, the fairing is made up of three panels that fit over the capsule and service module to protect the windows, radiators, and solar panels.


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New map reveals a third of the stars in the Milky Way have dramatically changed orbit | Richard Moss | GizMag.com

New map reveals a third of the stars in the Milky Way have dramatically changed orbit | Richard Moss | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's easy to think of stars as being fixed in place, because that's how we see them in the sky. But like Earth and the other planets, they have orbits. And it turns out those orbits can change dramatically. In creating a new map of the Milky Way as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), scientists recently discovered that around 30 percent of the stars in our galaxy have done exactly that – they've moved into a totally new orbit.

The scientists came upon this revelation by studying the chemical composition of each star, which is evident in the spectra – or the range and intensity of light wavelengths coming from the star – with different lines in a spectrograph corresponding to elements and compounds.


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Libraries need a deeper online presence - The Boston Globe | David Weinberger Op-Ed | The Boston Globe

Libraries need a deeper online presence - The Boston Globe | David Weinberger Op-Ed | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If you want to know anything about movies, the Internet’s got you covered. Likewise for details about the world’s roadways, song lyrics, or Pokemon characters. But if you want to know about books and the other items of culture we’ve entrusted to libraries, it’s much harder to find out. We’re not even sure what to link to when posting about a book.

In short, there’s a library-shaped hole in the Internet.

This is not just an inconvenience. As they say, if it’s not on the Internet, it doesn’t exist. But it would be tragic if library culture were to fade into irrelevancy.

Take the magnificent Boston Public Library. It may have temporarily misplaced some valuable artworks, but it can generally lay its hands on any of its almost seven million physical books and 17 million other items — including 1.7 million rare items, 729 copies of Harry Potter books, and a Jane Fonda workout DVD.

Our archaic copyright laws prevent libraries from making much of that content openly available online, but libraries are much more than traditional content — each one also includes librarians, information systems, and the communities they serve.


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Educating Parents About Education | Tom Whitby Blog | Edutopia.org

Educating Parents About Education | Tom Whitby Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In too many classrooms in America, parents are often viewed as the adversaries of teachers. While this isn't true for every school district, even one is too many. The parent-teacher relationship is just one of the many factors that complicate our educational system, and it's a prime example. Why is this relationship such a variable?


The parent's personal experience with education probably tops the list, but how the culture of the school accepts and relates to parents is a close second. Of course, every parent's number one concern will be: "Is my child getting a proper education to compete and thrive in our world?"


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RED Epic Dragon camera gives viewers the next best thing to being in orbit | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

RED Epic Dragon camera gives viewers the next best thing to being in orbit | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA will soon be uploading 6K video clips of the International Space Station (ISS) thanks to the delivery of a RED Epic Dragon super high resolution camera, the same model that was used to shoot Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy. In the coming months, the Epic Dragon will bring viewers closer to the space station than ever before.

RED has a pedigree in making imaging devices of a more Earth-bound nature, and the company's newest contribution to the ISS is sure to contribute to the Earth-imaging revolution that has swept across social media in recent months.

The camera, delivered to the ISS in January by the fifth SpaceX resupply mission, represents a significant leap forward in video recording capabilities for the station. The Epic Dragon camera is capable of shooting up to 300 frames per second in 6K quality, (6144 x 3160 pixels) or if needed can scale the resolution down to that of a standard HDTV (1920 x 1080 pixels)


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Mars orbiter prepares for next year's InSight lander arrival | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Mars orbiter prepares for next year's InSight lander arrival | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Space travel is a constant exercise in forward planning, with mission control thinking years and sometimes decades in advance. A case in point is NASA's InSight Mars lander, which is scheduled to touchdown on the Red Planet on September 26, 2016. This may be more than a year away, but the space agency is already moving its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) into a new orbit to provide communications support during the landing.

According to NASA, the MRO will carry out an orbital correction burn today that will use six of the spacecraft's intermediate thrusters, and last 77 seconds. This will place the unmanned orbiter on a new trajectory that will place it in line of sight of the InSight lander as it enters the atmosphere and sets down on the surface. That will allow the MRO to act as a data store and communications relay for InSight during the maneuver, as it did for the Curiosity mission in 2012 and the Phoenix mission in 2008. It will also be the MRO's biggest orbital maneuver since 2006.


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ESA expands virtual tour of the International Space Station | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

ESA expands virtual tour of the International Space Station | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

ESA has created a street view-like virtual tour of the ISS. The update to the previously released panoramic view of the Columbus module provides a virtual look around every non-Russian section of the space station in exquisite detail, with the rest of the station slated to be added to the tour later this year.

The panoramic tour allows viewers to pan around and zoom in on the environment as it was in June 2015. It was created by stitching together images taken by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.


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College Board Caves To Conservative Pressure, Changes AP U.S. History Curriculum | Casey Quinlan | Think Progress

College Board Caves To Conservative Pressure, Changes AP U.S. History Curriculum | Casey Quinlan | Think Progress | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

After backlash from conservatives that AP guidelines released last year by the College Board were unpatriotic, the new AP standards, which are effective immediately, will use the phrase “American exceptionalism,” and includes the founding fathers, according to Newsweek. The College Board said it “previously assumed it wasn’t something it needed to spell out as part of what would be taught in an American history course.”

Some of the main criticisms of the guidelines, conservatives voiced, were less emphasis on the founding fathers and more emphasis on slavery. The guidelines also included earlier American history that included violence against Native Americans and mentioned the growing influence of social conservatives. There were also complaints that World War II was not emphasized enough, but military victories will be given more attention in the new standards. Mentions of slavery will be “roughly the same” as previous standards, according to Newsweek.

Conservatives also took issue with the framework’s description of the term “manifest destiny.” The definition, according to The Daily Caller:


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Thousands of Exhausted Things, or why we dedicated MoMA’s collection data to the public domain | Fiona Romeo in Digital @ MoMA | Medium

Thousands of Exhausted Things, or why we dedicated MoMA's collection data to the public domain - Digital @ MoMA - Medium

MoMA accessioned the Creative Commons License Symbol into its collection in March 2015 and it’s now on display in our design galleries as part of the exhibition 'This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good'.


According to curator Paola Antonelli (@curiousoctopus), Creative Commons allows those who create content to “think beyond the default position of All Rights Reserved.”


It therefore feels important that we just flipped our own default and shared data for more than 125,000 works from MoMA’s collection on GitHub using Creative Commons Zero (CC0).


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Could small tweaks reap big rewards in math education? | Kevin Hartnett | The Boston Globe

Could small tweaks reap big rewards in math education? | Kevin Hartnett | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Math education in the United States is a subject of constant anxiety. Our country’s future feels imperiled when our students land in the middle of the pack on international standardized tests, behind many Asian countries, most of Western Europe, and the likes of Slovenia and Latvia. There’s also personal angst, each time a kid throws down his pencil and concludes he’s just not meant for arithmetic.

A wholesale revision of the way we teach math is a tempting idea, either in the form of a fully rebooted curriculum or in dramatic changes to teacher training. This explains some of the recent popularity in the United States of Singapore math, for instance. But maybe there’s another way.

Over the last decade, researchers in cognitive psychology have found that better math education comes from surprisingly simple changes in the way numerical concepts are presented. These insights have the potential to shake up the way math is taught in the classroom, and even move the country up in those international rankings.

Consider something as elementary as patterns. In a paper published in the most recent issue of Child Development, Nicole McNeil of the University of Notre Dame and Emily Fyfe, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, ran an experiment in which preschool-age children were taught patterns using one of two methods.


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Textiles That Transform: From Sonic Fabric to 3D Printed Fashion | Nettrice Gaskins | Musings of a Renegade Futurist

Textiles That Transform: From Sonic Fabric to 3D Printed Fashion | Nettrice Gaskins | Musings of a Renegade Futurist | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I was really happy to join an incredible global community of makers who share their knowledge, designs, and time to help each other realize their dreams. – Danit Peleg

To continue from the previous post (i.e., Sonic Fabric) I wanted to return to where I started last year: 3D printing, which is an additive process that enables just about anyone to print from 3D models they create on computers. The biggest challenge is time, especially in learning environments where classes are shorter than the time it takes to print a palm-sized object.

The 3D printers available to consumers are great for making small prototypes or tchotchkes. But they’re still slow, inaccurate and generally only print one material at a time. And that’s not going to change any time soon. – Quartz

Another issue was the time it took to fix things like extruder heads when printers jammed (often). Fortunately, the engineer who created the 3D printers we use in the BAA STEAM Lab is gracious with his time. I’ve gotten very good at unclogging extruder heads and even learned a thing or three about the inner workings of 3D printers.


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