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Community First's Vision for Transforming Yonkers School 19 | Yonkers Tribune

Community First's Vision for Transforming Yonkers School 19 | Yonkers Tribune | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Members of Yonkers Community Governance & Development Council, better known as Community First, a “Not-for Profit; For-People”, Southwest Yonkers community group has announced it will conduct a rally to demonstrate their support for transforming the abandoned School 19 building / property from its present blighted state to a mixed-use facility housing a neighborhood high school, community center, multimedia studio, and daycare center.


Community First has partnered with Meridian Design, an experienced architectural and project management firm who have already began to formalize designs for the proposed, self sustaining concept.

 

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What Happens to New Media Art when the Media Start Getting Old? | Studio360.org

What Happens to New Media Art when the Media Start Getting Old? | Studio360.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Nam Jun Paik was one of the first artists to engage seriously with electronic technology as both a subject and a creative medium, and he’s considered the father of new media art. Born in Seoul in 1932, Paik studied electronic music in Germany and began developing new forms of video art after he moved to the US. The Asia Society in New York is featuring a major retrospective of his work, including a cello made out of little televisions, a family — mama, papa, and baby — of robots, and a player piano stacked with video monitors that display a feed from surveillance cameras placed in the gallery.


Paik was making these media sculptures in the 1960s and 70s, when video recording and cathode ray monitors were new. But for new media artists then and even now, it’s been difficult for artists to imagine that the latest technology would become obsolete so quickly. The parts become scarce, and the expertise to repair them even scarcer.

Right now, the person keeping Paik’s work alive and running is Chi-Tien (he goes by CT) Lui, the proprietor of CTL Electronics. Lui is an old-school TV and video repair man, but he’s more than that — he was a collaborator with Paik in helping him figure out how to retool monitors into objects like musical instruments and a wearable bra.

At the start, Paik “brought a camera to my place,” Lui recalls — one of the early Sony Portapak videocameras. “The picture looked horrible, so I did some adjustments. Ever since then he was in love.” The bromance lasted for decades, and Paik brought many of the artists in his circle to meet Lui. “Before he died, for a long time he would come visit me every weekend, bring a bottle of soda or something.”

For art curators and conservators, Lui’s skills and his relationship with artists are a desperately limited resource. He fixed Nam Jun Paik’s player piano sculpture for Glenn Wharton, who was then a conservator for the Museum of Modern Art. (You can see Wharton talk about the work here.) “The new generation of technical people may not know how to repair an old television set,” Wharton says. “We are racing against the clock. We’re trying to map out scenarios, buy technology, and we’re trying to move very fast on that, because one day the equipment may be there on the shelf and the next day it’s gone.” Programs in art conservation are only beginning to offer training in electronics, and curators now shoot videos of Lui at work to try to preserve his methods.


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Federal funds help libraries upgrade Internet service | Tom Brown | The VT Digger

Federal funds help libraries upgrade Internet service | Tom Brown | The VT Digger | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As more products and services are becoming available online only, it can be hard for many poor Vermonters to gain access to those services because they lack a computer or Internet access.

For many the only source for that information is their public library, and the culmination of a five-year project announced Wednesday will provide 43 of Vermont’s 183 libraries with the fastest Internet speeds available.

The just-completed Vermont FiberConnect project means that libraries from Rupert to Danville now have access to a fiber optic network that delivers Internet download speeds of up to one gigabyte per second (1 Gbps).

That increased bandwidth means more patrons can take advantage of a library’s computers and wi-fi connections, State Librarian Martha Reid said at a news conference announcing the completion of the project Wednesday at Aldrich Public Library in Barre.

“It is increasingly critical for Vermonters who cannot afford Internet at home or who need the assistance of a trained librarian to help them use the technology to have access to these services at their local library,” Reid said.

Reid said library visitors rely on the Internet to “apply for jobs, improve technology skills, to start businesses, to get health care and e-government services and to participate in the global marketplace.”

The library project was paid for in part by a $33.4 million federal grant to the Vermont Telecommunications Authority and Sovernet Communications to expand the state’s broadband penetration. Additional money for the library project came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Quantum physics just got less complicated | PHYS.org

Quantum physics just got less complicated | PHYS.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

"The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information," says Wehner, who is now an Associate Professor at QuTech at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The discovery deepens our understanding of quantum physics and could prompt ideas for new applications of wave-particle duality.


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North Dakota GOP bill all but guarantees state’s first-ever preschool program | Felix Perez | NEA.org

North Dakota GOP bill all but guarantees state’s first-ever preschool program | Felix Perez | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

North Dakota is all but guaranteed next year to become the latest state in the nation to offer state-funded preschool to 4-year-olds, thanks to a bill sponsored by the Republican chairmen of the state’s Senate and House education committees and supported by educators and the state superintendent.

An estimated 6,000 children will benefit from the legislation, which was announced this month by Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Mike Nathe, R-Bismarck, chairman of the House Education Committee. They were joined by Kirsten Baesler, state Superintendent for Public Instruction.

“This will happen, and there no question it’s good for students,” said Bismarck teacher Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United, an organization of more than 10,000 K-12, higher education and public employees. “It is a baby step, but big ideas can start in small places.”

Archuleta’s “baby step” reference is to the state’s enactment of a law in 2011 requiring all school districts to provide a minimum half-day kindergarten. Presently, said Archuleta, 95 percent of all eligible children attend full-day kindergarten.

The early education bill would provide $1,000 for each eligible child, which would cover roughly half the cost. A child who is eligible for free and reduced-price lunches would receive $1,500. Only 36 percent of North Dakota’s 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in an early childhood care or education program, said Superintendent Baesler.

Flakoll said the program’s $6 million in funding would be available effective July 1, 2016.


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NY State Official Raises Alarm on Charter Schools And Gets Ignored | Marian Wang | ProPublica.org

NY State Official Raises Alarm on Charter Schools And Gets Ignored | Marian Wang | ProPublica.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Add another voice to those warning about the lack of financial oversight for charter schools. One of New York state's top fiscal monitors told ProPublica that audits by his office have found "practices that are questionable at best, illegal at worst" at some charter schools.

Pete Grannis, New York State's First Deputy Comptroller, contacted ProPublica after reading our story last week about how some charter schools have turned over nearly all their public funds and significant control to private, often for-profit firms that handle their day-to-day operations. The arrangements can limit the ability of auditors and charter-school regulators to follow how public money is spent – especially when the firms refuse to divulge financial details when asked.

Such setups are a real problem, Grannis said. And the way he sees it, there's a very simple solution. As a condition for agreeing to approve a new charter school or renew an existing one, charter regulators could require schools and their management companies to agree to provide any and all financial records related to the school.

"Clearly, the need for fiscal oversight of charter schools has intensified," he wrote in a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week. "Put schools on notice that relevant financial records cannot be shielded from oversight bodies of state and local governmental entities."

It's a plea that Grannis has made before. Last year, he sent a similar letter to the state's major charter-school regulators – New York City's Department of Education, the New York State Education Department, and the State University of New York.

He never heard back from any of them. "No response whatsoever," Grannis said. Not even, he added, a "'Thank you for your letter, we'll look into it.' That would have been the normal bureaucratic response."

We contacted all three of these agencies and the mayor's office for comment. None of them got back to us.

The charter-school debate in New York, as elsewhere, is politically fraught. De Blasio's cautious stance on charters has put him at odds with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose financial backers include some big-dollar charter-school supporters. The state comptroller's office has faced repeated lawsuits from charter groups and operators challenging its authority to audit charter schools.


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How Skype Used AI to Build Its Amazing New Language Translator | Robert McMillian | WIRED.com

How Skype Used AI to Build Its Amazing New Language Translator | Robert McMillian | WIRED.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Very soon now, a select group of Skype beta testers will have a new Microsoft technology that seems borrowed from the world of Star Trek. It’s called the Skype Translator—a Skype add-on that listens to the English words you speak into Microsoft’s internet phone-calling software and translates them into Spanish, or vice versa.

As you can see from demos like the one below, it’s an amazing technology, and it’s based on work that’s been going on quietly inside Microsoft’s research and development labs for more than a decade. Microsoft is already using some of the text translation technology underpinning Skype Translate to power its Bing Translate search engine translation service, and to jump start the foreign language translation of its products, manuals, and hundreds of thousands of support documents.


“One of the largest, published, untouched machine translation repositories on the internet is the Microsoft customer support Knowledge Base,” says Vikram Dendi, strategy director with Microsoft Research.


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Metronet Dark Fiber Network Expanding Education in South Bend, Indiana | community broadband networks

Metronet Dark Fiber Network Expanding Education in South Bend, Indiana | community broadband networks | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In South Bend, the Trinity School at Green Lawn recently connected to the Metronet Zing dark fiber network thanks to a grant from Metronet and nCloud. According to Broadband Communities Magazine, the new connection has brought new opportunities to teachers and students at the high performing school.

The Metrolink Fiber Grant program, new this year, awards grants to schools to encourage innovative approaches focused on outcomes improving broadband capacity to implement innovation. To receive the grants, schools must have a specific plan, an implementation strategy, a way to measure success, and an accountability plan. Schools must also demonstrate that there will be adequate training and that staff will remain supportive and committed to the plan.

Like many other schools, Trinity at Greenlawn had to limit technology in teaching because its capacity was so poor. In classes where students exchanged information for projects, they often emailed from home where connections were better or exchanged flash drives.

Bandwidth is no longer an issue. From the BBPMag article:


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How Anchor Publishers Are Pushing Boston's Ed-Tech Ecosystem | Lauren Landry | BostonInno.Streetwise.co

How Anchor Publishers Are Pushing Boston's Ed-Tech Ecosystem | Lauren Landry | BostonInno.Streetwise.co | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The education technology industry has seen a 212 percent increase in venture capital over the last five years, and is on track to hit record-breaking heights in 2014.


The growth comes at a time when learners are taking courses from some of the world's most prestigious universities without ever leaving their couch; when students are swiping tablets and smartphones to learn a new language rather than turning to the three-pound textbook assigned by their teacher.


Roughly 300 ed-tech and learning-oriented startups are based in the Boston area alone, according to the LearnLaunch Institute, a nonprofit founded in late 2012 with the goal of harnessing all the activity happening here in the Hub. Since, LearnLaunch has opened an accelerator, as well as a coworking space, called Campus, now providing a home for 35 ed-tech startups and 100 entrepreneurs between the two.


As more venture capital dollars get poured into startups, how can established firms like Pearson and McGraw-Hill compete? And if they can compete, can they do it fast enough? 


With momentum growing nationwide, ed-tech has been able to gain even quicker traction in the Boston area, where legacy leaders like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education and Blackboard have opened up offices, and storied higher learning institutions like Harvard and MIT have partnered to launch a massive open online course platform now delivering more than 300 free classes from nearly 40 colleges worldwide.


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NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft rides interstellar tsunami wave | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft rides interstellar tsunami wave | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is currently riding the wave of an interstellar tsunami, as it continues its historic march out of our solar system. The tsunami emanated from our Sun, and was the third such phenomenon of its type to be detected by the robotic pioneer.

The Voyager program is without doubt one of the most influential and scientifically valuable missions ever undertaken by NASA. The twin spacecraft, launched just 16 days apart, toured many of the largest objects in our solar system, relaying groundbreaking discoveries while capturing the minds and hearts of a generation. The Voyager spacecraft are identical, designed to travel further from our Sun than any mission before it.

Because of this, the spacecraft could not rely on conventional solar panels to collect the power required to remain functional, instead relying on a power source derived from radioactive decay to keep the twins awake on their long journey. Thanks to the continued presence of Voyager 1 beyond the borders of our solar system, we are learning ever more about the nature of interstellar space.


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New space race aims at creating breathable air on Mars | Eric Mack | GizMag.com

New space race aims at creating breathable air on Mars | Eric Mack | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The race to reach Mars is more like a decades-long marathon, but in the short term the latest space race involves inventing ways that might make setting up shop on the Red Planet possible. In the past few months alone, three teams have unveiled their visions of how humans might breathe on the fourth planet from the sun.

NASA hopes to conduct a manned mission to the Red Planet, but probably not until the mid-2030s. Meanwhile, SpaceX and Mars One are talking about making the trip in under 10 years from now. Whenever it is, establishing any kind of presence on Mars is going to require some new innovations just to deliver basic life support for anyone looking to stay for any extended duration.

Students from the University of Western Australia and Mars One astronaut candidate Josh Richards are finalists in the Mars One University competition, which would send key experiments to the surface of Mars in 2018. Mars One is a non-profit that has used a contest and media-centric approach to fund a one-way manned mission to establish a base on Mars, as soon as the mid-2020s.


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Dozens of Vermont libraries connect to state-of-the-art fiber-optic network | Bennington Banner

Dozens of Vermont libraries connect to state-of-the-art fiber-optic network | Bennington Banner | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, Sovernet Communications and others gathered today to announce the completion of a successful project which is providing the highest possible capacity broadband for information sharing and communications at 43 libraries across the state.

"Today's public libraries are key community and information centers," said Martha Reid, the Vermont State Librarian. "In our increasingly digital world, providing high speed broadband in libraries is an essential public resource."

Sovernet's fiber network provides these libraries with fiber broadband necessary for the support and expansion of digital services for the public, including high-speed public computing and wireless service. It enables use of high-bandwidth programs like video conferencing and video streaming. The project provides state-of-the-art network connectivity to these libraries at a cost below what such a service would have cost individually and enables the libraries to form a secure wide area network with support from the Vermont Department of Libraries.

"Local libraries with enough bandwidth to quickly transfer data, images and video are vital assets to Vermont communities," said Lt. Governor Phil Scott. "By gaining access to high-speed fiber, the tools are now there for our libraries to serve as central hubs for community meetings and disaster response centers -- while continuing to be state-of-the-art resources for Vermonters of all ages.


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Put Christmas Lego to good use: Measure Planck’s Constant with it | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com

Put Christmas Lego to good use: Measure Planck’s Constant with it | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lego is a popular Christmas gift, and young and old alike can derive hours of pleasure building with those little plastic blocks. But, like a lot of playthings, the novelty wears off soon enough and you find yourself drifting back to watch Christmas TV re-runs.


But what if you could use that Lego to construct real scientific equipment; would that maintain your enthusiasm?


Well hang on to your plastic blocks, because engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego and a few other bits and pieces that allows any keen tinkerer to build a device that not only determines Planck's Constant but may also help quantify the international standard unit of mass.

To help explain all of this, let's start with a bit of background.

The last remaining unit of the International System of Units (SI) which is still based on a physical artifact is the kilogram. Since 1899, a representative kilogram has been stored in a vault at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) in France along with six official copies which are used as calibration weights against which countries around the world may test their own official kilogram reference.

Unfortunately, the long term stability of the mass of these copies has actually increased over more than a century so that – in respect to the original official kilogram – they have all accumulated mass to the tune of around 50 micrograms.

As such, a better method is needed to make sure that the long-term stability of the mass unit is maintained. In this regard, in 1999 the General Conference for Weights and Measures (CGPM) recommended that national laboratories develop and refine experiments that link the unit of mass to fundamental or atomic constants so that the degradation of a physical reference may be avoided.


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Startup helps you build your very own picosatellite on a budget | Dario Borghino | GizMag.com

Startup helps you build your very own picosatellite on a budget | Dario Borghino | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A Glasgow-based startup is reducing the cost of access to space by offering "satellite kits" that make it easier for space enthusiasts, high schools and universities alike to build a small but functional satellite for as little as US$6,000 and then, thanks to its very small size, to launch for significantly less than the popular CubeSats.

Building a cheap, working satellite is far from easy. The tiny Kickstarter-funded KickSats, released as a secondary payload during SpaceX’s third ISS resupply mission, ran into a technical problem and failed to deploy in time, while the cheap TubeSats, though an interesting concept, have not seen a single launch to date. And although the more proven CubeSats have had more success, they still aren’t exactly affordable (launching a small 3U CubeSat into low Earth orbit will set you back almost $300,000).

As the name suggests, PocketQubes are "pocket-sized" cube-shaped satellites that measure just 5 cm (1.97 in) per side versus CubeSat’s 10 cm (3.94 in). At one eighth the volume and weight of the typical CubeSat, they are much cheaper to send into orbit (launch is approximately $20,000) but still capable of doing interesting things while in low Earth orbit.


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From Vicious to Virtuous: The collapse of U.K. libraries and unbreaking the cycle of library support | Meredith Schwartz Opinion | Library Journal

From Vicious to Virtuous: The collapse of U.K. libraries and unbreaking the cycle of library support | Meredith Schwartz Opinion | Library Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) released its annual statistics on library use in the U.K. CIPFA found that the number of patrons borrowing books from U.K. libraries has halved since 1997. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who has been following the ongoing financial crisis that’s engulfed those public libraries across the pond. It demonstrates what happens to libraries when they’re not supported by the communities they serve.

Library use is in freefall in the U.K., not because U.K. citizens don’t need similar services to U.S. patrons, and with just as much urgency, nor because U.K. libraries and librarians aren’t awesome enough to provide those services, but because without money and staff, they’re hamstrung. People can’t access the Internet from closed library buildings; they can’t borrow books that never got bought or cataloged; they can’t ask laid-off librarians how to find the medical information they need to make the right choices for themselves and their loved ones. And after coming up empty enough times, they stop trying—they’ve learned that the library is not a resource they can rely on.

Then, of course, the numbers show that fewer people than ever are using the library, and that only makes it harder to convince lawmakers that the best use of limited resources is to spend them on libraries—which can look, in a snapshot view, like the fading niche interest of a small and shrinking special interest. It is a vicious cycle.

Statistics like this can act as a wakeup call, and perhaps pinpoint the greatest gaps where support should step in first. We can’t solve the problem if we don’t know the scope, so all credit to CIPFA for gathering the scattered puzzle pieces of decisions made by dozens of local councils and assembling the national big picture. However, the need to spend resources on libraries is best measured, not by studying who is already using libraries and how, but by surveying the needs currently going unmet that a properly supported, vibrant library could meet more efficiently than any other solution currently out there.


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George Rodrigue: A year passes, a legacy flourishes | Ken Stickney | The Advertiser

George Rodrigue: A year passes, a legacy flourishes | Ken Stickney | The Advertiser | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

George Rodrigue's death a year ago left a void in the hearts of family and friends who cherished the unassuming Acadian artist and in the passions of a loyal public that embraced his body of work.


In some respects, though, Rodrigue's impact as an artist and a benefactor to his native Louisiana has barely lost a step.


Rodrigue's estate this year released prints from a series of four paintings, completed the year Rodrigue died. Three sold out; the first, "Mardi Gras 2014," in five days. The third, a painting of his iconic Blue Dog figure before a Steinway piano, sold out its 950 copies and generated funds for LSU's Steinway piano collection. The fourth, "Choo choo ch'boogie," with the Blue Dog in a Christmas setting, was released three weeks ago and is selling briskly, his Lafayette gallery reports.


"Many clients have come back to us," said Jacques Rodrigue, the artist's son and head of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. "And we've never had so many new clients."

The year since Dec. 14, 2013 — the day Rodrigue died — saw successful retrospectives of Rodrigue's work at his galleries in Carmel, Calif.; New Orleans and Lafayette. All of the galleries remain open. The foundation has hired a curator.

The foundation also continued its work of promoting arts education in the schools, one of Rodrigue's longstanding, ardent passions. There was an art contest for high school juniors and seniors. The foundation's education focus made its initial entry into the Houston area.

In short, 2014 revealed all the earmarks of Rodrigue activity, growth and success, artistically and in philanthropic outreach. The year had everything — except George.

"He was so smart to leave us so much to do," Jacques Rodrigue said. That to-do list will extend next year:


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Important, imperfect spending bill will help schools target inequities | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

Important, imperfect spending bill will help schools target inequities | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Senate’s marathon weekend work session ended Saturday night when it passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2015 that prevented a government shutdown and avoided short-term measures that would have all but guaranteed another budget battle within months.

President Obama is expected to promptly sign the bill, which ensures funding for programs that help vulnerable students in our nation’s public schools.

While far from perfect, the bill includes an allocation that bolsters the formula grant programs meant to address inequities through targeted assistance for kids who need it most, including students living in poverty and students with disabilities.

Increases for Title I (which helps schools that serve low-income communities), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and English Language Learners programs are modest, and do not restore funding to the levels the programs were at before the sequester cuts hit in March 2013.

Still, even a small funding increase for those programs is appreciated and sets the right education priorities, says NEA Director of Government Relations Mary Kusler.

“Formula grants like these provide more funding certainty to states and local school districts rather than competitive grants that typically create winners and losers, leaving too many students behind,” Kusler wrote in a letter urging members of Congress to support the bill.


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NASA Just Emailed A Wrench Into Space | Rita Misra | io9.com

NASA Just Emailed A Wrench Into Space | Rita Misra | io9.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Astronaut Barry Wilmore needed a socket wrench, but there was just one problem. Wilmore is currently on the ISS, over 200 miles above the nearest hardware store. So, what did NASA do? Easy, they emailed him one.

But, how do you email a socket wrench into space?

The story starts back in November, when Wilmore put together the ISS's very first 3D printer, a collaboration between NASA and company Made In Space. About a month later, Wilmore noted to mission control that a socket wrench would be helpful to have. Instead of putting it on the supply, however, Made In Space mocked up a quick model on CAD on Earth and emailed the design to Wilmore, who ran the designs through the printer and assembled the 20 separate parts into the exact socket wrench he had requested.

It's the first — though surely not the last — time a 3D printer in space has been used to make a tool.

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Kepler Just Discovered a New Super-Earth, Against All Odds | Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan | Gizmodo.com

Kepler Just Discovered a New Super-Earth, Against All Odds | Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan | Gizmodo.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In May 2013, NASA's exoplanet-seeking spacecraft, Kepler, seemed doomed. Two of four wheels that stabilized its telescope had malfunctioned—and NASA appealed to scientists from around the world for ideas to salvage its mission. Yesterday, it announced the discovery of a brand-new super-Earth 180 light years from our own.

"To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated," reads the first line of a Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics statement about the discovery, which described a new planet called HIP 116454b that circles its sun every 9.1 days and is more than twice the size of Earth:

HARPS-N showed that it weighs almost 12 times as much as Earth. This makes HIP 116454b a super-Earth, a class of planets that doesn't exist in our solar system. The average density suggests that this planet is either a water world (composed of about three-fourths water and one-fourth rock) or a mini-Neptune with an extended, gaseous atmosphere.

But the events that led to the discovery of this new exoplanet is even more remarkable than the discovery itself, in some ways. No, Kepler's bad wheel didn't suddenly start working again. In fact, it seemed fairly certain that the craft's life was over back in 2013. The New York Times even reported the dramatic memorial poem composed by one Berkeley astronomer: "Let jet airplanes circle at night overhead/ Sky-writing over Cygnus: Kepler is dead."

But, NASA, in a desperate attempt to keep the $600 million Kepler useful, wasn't ready to give up, and asked for proposals to send the craft on a second, alternative mission. One of those proposals—called K2—was actually put into place.


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NJ: Montclair Public Schools and Montclair Film Festival Partner Up | Yvanna Saint-Fort | Montclair Patch

NJ: Montclair Public Schools and Montclair Film Festival Partner Up | Yvanna Saint-Fort | Montclair Patch | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Montclair Public Schools (MPS) and the Montclair Film Festival (MFF) announced the creation of a new broad based partnership that will build a series of community-based professional development and learning initiatives for students of the Montclair Public School system.


With over 28,000 people attending last year’s Festival, strong fiscal support, a series of year-round events and the professional commitment of Montclair’s unique community of film and television professionals, MFF has quickly become New Jersey’s leading non-profit film organization.

“In just four years Montclair has become the home of one of the most thriving film industry institutions in the country. With the help of key community leaders, advocates like Stephen Colbert, and the support of Montclair’s thriving community of filmmakers and television professionals, the Montclair Film Festival has become an important artistic anchor for our town,” said MPS Superintendent Penny MacCormack. “We are thrilled that the Festival’s dedication to filmmaking and the arts will provide more opportunity for our students and teachers.”

“From our very first free outdoor screening, the first commitment of the Montclair Film Festival has been the Montclair community,” said Montclair Film Festival Founder and Chairman of the Board Bob Feinberg. “In a short period of time, the Festival has grown tremendously, but our mission to Montclair will always be our top priority. We are excited to work in partnership with MPS, providing great educational and networking opportunities to our students, teachers and parents.”


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Pearson Education Can Run, But It Cannot Hide | Alan Singer Blog | HuffPost.com

Pearson Education Can Run, But It Cannot Hide | Alan Singer Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Bad news for Pearson Education may be good news for the rest of us. The testing and publishing mega-giant is on the run, but it looks like it will not be able to hide.


Pearson Education is closing its foundation; it is under investigation by the FBI for possible insider dealings in the Los Angeles iPad fiasco; the company is being sued by former employees for wrongful termination; and its PARCC exams are losing customers.


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Smartphones: From Toy to Tool | Ramona Persaud Blog | Edutopia.org

Smartphones: From Toy to Tool | Ramona Persaud Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In classrooms, smartphones are slowly shifting out of the toy-and-liability-to-attention category, and into the tool-and-engaging-students category.


It's part of the movement to "meet students where they are" that's being embraced by teachers who believe in a non-standardized approach to education.


Jeremy Mettler, social studies teacher at Batavia (New York) High School, puts it this way: "Students all have them and they love using them, but they don't realize they're walking around with a computer in their pocket."

Yet computers, helpful as they are, can be a distraction. So how do you incorporate smartphones into the teaching process without compromising the learning process?

I talked to a number of teachers around the country to see how they're addressing this challenge.


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NASA's Curiosity Rover finds active organic chemistry on Mars | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA's Curiosity Rover finds active organic chemistry on Mars | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The hunt for present or past life on Mars got a boost as NASA's Curiosity rover records spikes in atmospheric methane ten times greater than previously measured by the unmanned probe. Though the levels are far below those found on Earth, methane is a key indicator that life may be or may once have been present. In addition, the nuclear-powered explorer has also detected the first confirmed organic compounds in drill samples taken from Martian rocks.

NASA says that the methane was detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory, which is one of the on-board experiments carried by Curiosity. Over a 20-month period, it took air samples and used its Tunable Laser Spectrometer to measure the amount of methane present. Until now, methane levels on the surface of Mars have been so small that early results indicated that it was non-existent, but low and variable levels have now been confirmed.

According to the NASA, the levels jumped to seven parts per billion in late 2013 and early 2014, which is ten times the amount detected at other times of the year. NASA scientists say that the sharp up and down increases in methane indicate a local source, which may be biological or chemical in nature and may be due to some release from a below-ground source.


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OneCommunity: Opening 2015 with 100 Gigabit Network Services Mary Grush | Campus Technology

OneCommunity: Opening 2015 with 100 Gigabit Network Services Mary Grush | Campus Technology | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

OneCommunity announced in late November that it will use $700K in Economic Development Administration funding to help develop, in 2015, the first 100 gigabit, commercially available network.


The fiber network will run from downtown Cleveland, through the city's health tech corridor, and into University Circle.


CT talked with Susan B. Workman, VP of IT Services and CIO, Case Western Reserve University and Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity to gain their perspectives on the 100 gigabit project and how the work might serve as a model for other communities as high speed networking technologies mature.


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NASA's MESSENGER finds signs of Mercury meteor showers | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA's MESSENGER finds signs of Mercury meteor showers | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Sit out on a clear summer's night and the odds are that you'll be treated to a meteor shower that's the remnant of a comet's passing. However, such showers are not peculiar to our planet. NASA's unmanned MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) orbiter has uncovered evidence that the planet Mercury is subject to the same sort of periodic meteor showers as the Earth, only instead of a light show, it produces a spike in calcium in the planet's exosphere.

Mercury isn't exactly the garden spot of the Solar System. The smallest of the planets and closest to the Sun, it's constantly blasted with solar radiation and as it slowly rotates its daylight side rises to the temperature of molten lead. It's atmosphere, called the exosphere, is also almost non-existent, consisting of traces of gas and dust,

What's even odder about the exosphere is that it doesn't remain constant. MESSSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer has discovered that the amount of calcium in it rises and falls periodically throughout the nine Mercurian years that MESSENGER has orbited the planet since March 2011.


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ESA's Venus Express mission ends as fuel runs out | David Szondy | GizMag.com

ESA's Venus Express mission ends as fuel runs out | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The European Space Agency's (ESA) eight-year Venus Express mission has come to an end. Having already extended its lifespan to four times that originally planned, the unmanned orbiter has exhausted its fuel during a final attempt to further prolong its usefulness. According to ESA, the spacecraft can no longer hold the correct attitude to maintain communications with Earth and will soon burn up in the Venusian atmosphere.

Venus Express entered Venus orbit in April 2006 as part of a mission to make a detailed study of the planet’s atmosphere. Originally scheduled to operate for two years, its mission was eventually extended to eight. However, as its rocket propellant ran low, its elliptical orbit was in danger of decaying into a death plunge that would have ended with the orbiter burning up in the Venusian atmosphere earlier this year.

To save the spacecraft from a fiery death, ESA carried out an experimental technique called aerobraking between June 18 and July 11, where the spacecraft was sent on a new course skimming the upper reaches of the Venusian atmosphere at typical altitudes of 131 to 135 km (81 to 85 mi). With each pass, the spacecraft slowed down and its orbit became more circular. A series of 15 thruster burns then stabilized the orbit. ESA hopes that experience in conducting the aerobraking maneuver may one day allow spacecraft to enter planetary orbits without expending as much fuel as at present.


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