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Engaging Students Through Social Media: Real World Experience, Creativity & Future Employability | Getting Smart

Engaging Students Through Social Media: Real World Experience, Creativity & Future Employability | Getting Smart | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Social media has become an essential part of most people’s everyday lives, from checking Facebook and Twitter to posting blogs, Pinterest listings, and uploading YouTube videos. However, and with smartphones making it easier than ever to spend time on social media networks, in what ways can these networks be leveraged to engage and build a foundation for future student learning? While the potential of distraction is there, the right social media teaching strategies can lead to creative learning, and a productive approach to making social media part of ongoing professional development.

 

There is already evidence that teachers are using social media as part of teaching strategies, with the aim of encouraging students to view social networks as less of a pleasurable distraction, and more as something that can be used in projects and for personal expression in a medium they prefer. Steven Anderson has recently proposed a comprehensive set of general approaches to integrating social media into the classroom, and focuses on the need to carefully review existing teaching strategies and understandings of social media before making changes.

 

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The Corporate Assault on Public Education | Noam Chomsky Opinion | AlterNet.org

The Corporate Assault on Public Education | Noam Chomsky Opinion | AlterNet.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The following is Part II of the transcript of a speech Noam Chomsky delivered in February on "The Common Good." Click here to read Part I.

Let’s turn to the assault on education, one element of the general elite reaction to the civilizing effect of the ‘60s. On the right side of the political spectrum, one striking illustration is an influential memorandum written by Lewis Powell, a corporate lawyer working for the tobacco industry, later appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon. At the other end of the narrow spectrum, there was an important study by the Trilateral Commission, liberal internationalists from the three major state capitalist industrial systems: the US, Europe and Japan. Both provide good insight into why the assault targets the educational system.

Let's start with the Powell memorandum. Its title is, “The Attack on the American Free-Enterprise System." It is interesting not only for the content, but also for the paranoid tone. For those who take for granted the right to rule, anything that gets out of control means that the world is coming to an end, like a spoiled three-year-old. So the rhetoric tends to be inflated and paranoid.

Powell identifies the leading criminals who are destroying the American free-enterprise system: one was Ralph Nader, with his consumer safety campaigns. The other was Herbert Marcuse, preaching Marxism to the young New Leftists who were on the rampage all over, while their “naive victims” dominated the universities and schools, controlled TV and other media, the educated community and virtually the entire government. If you think I am exaggerating, I urge you to read it yourself (pdf). Their takeover of the country, he said, is a dire threat to freedom.That's what it looks like from the standpoint of the Masters, as the nefarious campaigns of Nader and the ‘60s popular movements chipped away very slightly at total domination.

Powell drew the obvious conclusion: “The campuses from which much of this criticism emanates are supported by tax funds generated largely from American business, contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees at universities are overwhelmingly composed of men and women who are leaders in the business system and most of the media, including the national TV systems are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend on profits and the enterprise system on which they survive.”

Therefore, the oppressed business people who have lost all influence should organize and defend themselves instead of idly sitting by while fundamental freedoms are destroyed by the Marxist onslaught from the media, universities and the government. Those are the expression of the concerns elicited by '60s activism at the right end of the mainstream spectrum.

More revealing is the reaction from the opposite extreme, the liberal internationalists, those who staffed the Carter administration, in their study called "The Crisis of Democracy." The crisis that they perceived was that there was too much democracy. The system used to work fine when most of the population was silent, passive, apathetic and obedient. The American rapporteur, Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard, looked back with nostalgia to the good old days when “Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers,” so that democracy flourished, with no crisis.

But in the ‘60s, something dangerous happened.


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Illinois high school shrinks its achievement gap for minority students by setting a high bar | PBS News Hour

Illinois high school shrinks its achievement gap for minority students by setting a high bar | PBS News Hour | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

JUDY WOODRUFF: Most high schools offer some amount of advanced placement courses, designed to be more challenging for students, while allowing them to potentially earn college credit.

While more high school students are taking A.P. courses than ever before, the amount of diversity in those classes hasn’t kept pace.

From WTTW in Chicago, Brandis Friedman reports on what one high school is doing to make sure students aren’t left behind.

BRANDIS FRIEDMAN, Special correspondent: Students here at Evanston Township High School outside Chicago can take anything from automotive service excellence certification to advanced calculus. They also have their pick of almost 30 advanced placement courses.

Dale Leibforth heads A.P. recruitment.

DALE LEIBFORTH, AP Recruitment and Retention Manager, Evanston Township High School: Portfolio studio, or Latin or — the list goes on. We just added an A.P. government course.

BRANDIS FRIEDMAN: Even though it’s a top-rated school, with a diverse student body, until recently, only certain students were picking A.P. courses.

ERIC WITHERSPOON, Superintendent, Evanston Township High School: We have students of color and low-income students terribly underrepresented in advanced placement courses. There’s still a predictability among student achievement in our school district based on race.

BRANDIS FRIEDMAN: When Eric Witherspoon became superintendent eight years ago, he noticed that A.P. classrooms were filled with mostly white students, while regular classrooms were filled with mostly minority and often low-income students, who make up 41 percent of the student body.

Witherspoon says he realized students were being tracked into A.P. courses through honors classes based on their eighth grade standardized test performance, while other students were tracked into less rigorous courses.

ERIC WITHERSPOON: It didn’t take rocket scientist to figure out that here we’re getting disparate results, but, in fact, we have a structure that may be even is causing some of those disparate results, but certainly if not causing, certainly not doing anything to change those results.

BRANDIS FRIEDMAN: To bridge that gap, Evanston Township High School started enrolling all incoming freshmen in the honors-level English and history class called humanities.

Eventually, all ninth grade students, except for those reading below grade level, were also enrolled in the honors-level biology, no matter how they performed on their eighth grade standardized test. The school is hoping to implement the same strategy for ninth grade math.


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Charles Benton, educational film distributor, dies at 84 | Bob Goldsborough | Chicago Tribune

Charles Benton, educational film distributor, dies at 84 | Bob Goldsborough | Chicago Tribune | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Charles Benton, the son of a U.S. senator, was a film distributor who lobbied for free speech and civil liberties.

"The flame of the public interest really burned in his breast," said former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Michael Copps. "He was someone who really believed in democracy and the public interest, and he and I both agreed that communications is at the center of democracy.

"Charles believed that getting broadband out to everyone was not just desirable for democracy but it was really necessary if all our communications networks were going to be online or were going to transition to being online."

Mr. Benton, 84, died of complications from renal cancer Wednesday, April 29, at his Evanston home, said his wife of 62 years, Marjorie.

His father, William, was a U.S. senator for Connecticut from 1949 to 1953 who earlier co-founded the advertising agency Benton & Bowles. His father also was a vice president at the University of Chicago and longtime publisher of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Mr. Benton, who was born in New York, had a peripatetic youth. During the summers, his family would stay in New York and Connecticut, and in the winter, they would live in various homes that they would rent on Chicago's South Side. In the spring, the family would stay in Arizona.

"I always used to tease Charles because of the three schools he attended each year that he never learned to read, but he could pack a suitcase," his wife said.

Mr. Benton graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and received a bachelor's degree in 1953 from Yale University. At Yale, he met his future wife, who had been a student at Connecticut College for Women. The couple married right after graduation and moved to the Chicago area, when he took a job as a production assistant in the educational films division of Encyclopaedia Britannica

In 1960, Mr. Benton marketed Britannica films to schools and libraries in downstate Illinois. Mr. Benton became president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Films in 1964 and then president of a newly formed education unit in 1966 before deciding to strike off on his own.

He first formed a nonprofit group, the Fund for Media Research, to study educational uses of new media. In 1967, Mr. Benton purchased a film and video distribution company, Films Inc., from Encyclopaedia Britannica's education unit. Mr. Benton was president of Films Inc., which distributed 16mm versions of movies produced by Hollywood studios to schools and institutions, from 1968 until 1997.

"Frankly, Charles' dad didn't see the value of films, and Charles and I loved films," Marjorie Benton said. "And, Charles wanted to work for himself."

Films Inc. was a division of Mr. Benton's broader holding company, Public Media Inc., which grew to become one of the largest distributors of films to the educational and institutional markets. Films Inc.'s Home Vision video label distributed classic and independent films on DVD, while other units of Public Media sold management and training tapes, laser discs, fine and performing arts tapes, and special-interest tapes.


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The Creative Economy: Fine Craft and Craft Education Contribute to Economic Health | Carol Fusaro | Valley News

The Creative Economy: Fine Craft and Craft Education Contribute to Economic Health | Carol Fusaro | Valley News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Creativity and innovation have always been the driving forces behind economic growth. And it is a fact that arts and crafts and culture-related businesses and organizations, known as “creative industries,” provide direct economic benefits to states and communities. They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.

In addition, creative organizations and businesses bring enjoyment and cultural diversity to our cities and towns and help foster community pride. This also helps make our communities more desirable places to live, work and visit.

Here in New Hampshire, one of the oldest and most recognized craft organizations in the country, the League of NH Craftsmen, grew out of efforts during the Great Depression to help people earn a living by making fine crafts. As a result, people from other parts of the country relocated to New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine to explore a career in handmade crafts.


The League continues to create economic opportunities through its fine craft galleries such as the one in Hanover, and the annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury. The galleries sell fine crafts made by artists who have met rigorous standards for excellence. The League of NH Fine Craft Galleries average nearly $2 million in sales each year, and when people purchase a crafted piece, they are supporting area artisans and people working in the gallery.

Along with stimulating the local economy, the work that creative organizations and businesses do fosters new ideas and unlocks the creative potential in each person. Many studies show that human health, innovation and success in business are enhanced when people of all ages spend time engaged in the artistic process, using their hands and building repetitive neural links with the spatial parts of their brain. For example, research shows that students who acquire skills in the visual arts become more social and civic minded and have better academic outcomes.

Michigan State University research shows that many accomplished scientists are likely to be craftspeople.

Exposure to crafts and art plays an important role in nurturing the innovative thinking of science and technology entrepreneurs. A STEM graduate (who studied science, technology, engineering or mathematics) with craft skills is more likely to become an inventor who owns companies and patents.


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Bruno Munari's Children's Books | Smarten-UP.com

Bruno Munari's Children's Books | Smarten-UP.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Bruno Munari (1907 – 1998) was an Italian artist and designer with wide-ranging skills. He worked as a painter, sculptor, and industrial designer; he was a graphic artist and filmmaker, a writer and a poet. Munari believed in the power of simple design to stimulate the imagination.


Bruno Munari had a son, Alberto, who inspired him to begin creating children’s materials. Munari was interested in the interrelationship between games, creativity and childhood. For this reason, he strove to create children’s materials that would support the maintenance of the young mind’s elasticity and point of view.  


Munari did not believe in the inherent value of fantastical stories of princes and princesses, or dragons and monsters; instead, he wanted to create simple stories about people, animals, and plants that awaken the senses. Books with basic story lines and a humorous twist, brought to life by simple, colorful illustrations drawn with clarity and precision.


With this mission in mind, Munari wrote the amazing children’s books pictured below.  In addition, he created other “pre-books,” to inspire  a love of reading in pre-literate minds.  These were stories that could not be communicated with words, that were expressed instead in visual, and tactile terms.  


For these works he won the Andersen award for Best Children’s Author in 1974, a graphic award in the Bologna Fair for the childhood  in 1984, and a Lego award for his exceptional contributions on the development on creativity of children in 1986. 


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Could NASA take CubeSats interplanetary? | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Could NASA take CubeSats interplanetary? | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

CubeSats, tiny satellites about the size of a loaf of bread or smaller, hold the promise of opening space up to low-budget space missions, but currently they're largely restricted to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). To broaden the scope of these pint-sized spacecraft, NASA is developing its CubeSat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE) concept, which would see the development of miniature space probes that can be sent in fleets on interplanetary missions for multi-point sampling, as opposed to the bus-sized, do-it-all probes that are currently in service.

CAPE is the brainchild of technologist Jaime Esper at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who envisions the interplanetary CubeSat as a pair of modules similar to those used on the crew and cargo ships that service the International Space Station (ISS). These would consist of two modules weighing less than 11 lb (4.9 kg) and measuring 4 in (10 cm) on a side. The first would be a service module to power the craft, and the second a Micro-Re-entry Capsule (MIRCA) for entering the atmosphere of Mars or some other planet or moon under study.

The idea is that the CAPE/MICRA spacecraft would be carried by a mothership, which would eject them before reaching the target planet or moon. The service module would then provide power from solar panels or internal batteries and make its way to its target. Once the journey is complete, the MICRA module would separate and enter the planet's atmosphere, where accelerometers, gyros, thermal and pressure sensors, radiometers, and other sensors would send data back to the mothership.


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Michelle Obama Encourages Oberlin Graduates To Seek Out 'The Most Contentious, Polarized, Gridlocked Places' | Paige Lavender | HuffPost.com

Michelle Obama Encourages Oberlin Graduates To Seek Out 'The Most Contentious, Polarized, Gridlocked Places' | Paige Lavender | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

While receiving an honorary degree at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, on Monday, first lady Michelle Obama encouraged students to get involved in civic life and "run to, and not away from, the noise."

"Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find," Obama said in her address. "Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens –- the places where minds are changed, lives transformed, where our great American story unfolds."

Obama noted there would be challenges in getting involved in civic duty, citing the difficulties faced by activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., President Franklin D. Roosevelt and others.

"Here at Oberlin, most of the time you’re probably surrounded by folks who share your beliefs. But out in the real world, there are plenty of people who think very differently than you do, and they hold their opinions just as passionately," Obama said. "So if you want to change their minds, if you want to work with them to move this country forward, you can’t just shut them out. You have to persuade them, and you have to compromise with them."


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MA: Janet Echelman Builds Ethereal Aerial Sculpture High Above Boston | HiFructose.com

MA: Janet Echelman Builds Ethereal Aerial Sculpture High Above Boston | HiFructose.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Boston based artist Janet Echelmen has created one of her most dramatic works yet, but you won’t find it in any gallery. Her latest aerial sculpture hangs half an acre above Boston’s Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald Greenway.


Titled “As If It Were Already Here”, the piece weighs a whopping 2,000 lbs, made of 542,000 knots which Echelmen wove together into a colorful, graceful mesh. Most often her sculptures are lit at night and cast dramatic shadows that give off an unearthly feeling. The effect of the piece illuminated in the sky and dancing in the wind has been compared to a jellyfish or celestial wormhole. Her work sparks the imagination.


This particular work is site-specific; the striped design mimics the now former striped traffic lanes that were removed during Boston’s Big Dig. Three voids in the piece also represent hills that were later raised to create a landfill. As her piece floats over Boston through early October, Echelmen hopes it will inspire people to make these connections between the spaces that surround them.


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3 Difficult-To-Swallow Truths About The History Of Education And The Future Of Technology | Jordan Shapiro | Forbes.com

3 Difficult-To-Swallow Truths About The History Of Education And The Future Of Technology | Jordan Shapiro | Forbes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One part of the current education reform agenda argues that the internet has made the world bigger. Or, more accurately, the boundaries of our everyday experiences have expanded. Therefore, because we are more connected than ever before, the story goes, we need to think about education as the practice of cross-cultural tolerance and global awareness. Folks argue that humans have never before had to deal with so much difference.


I think this is just plain wrong. The truth is that we’ve never had to deal with so much similarity. That’s the big shift we face. All you have to do is read Plato to realize that education, in its formative years, was already about geo-political conflict, growth and expansion. It was about confronting (and manufacturing) difference.


Plato, in the 4th Century BC, already saw education as a necessity for a global, connected world. Granted, his globe wasn’t as vast or as networked as ours. But still, he saw education as primarily driven by a question about how we deal with our neighbors, how we deal with others.

Plato’s Republic (Πολιτεία) is equal parts education and political theory. For Plato, these things are inseparable. The purpose of an education is to create citizens, to teach humans what they need to know to live and participate in a prosperous city-state, to prepare adults to contribute to society. This is why folks often point to Republic when arguing for civics education. But I suspect Plato would have thought that an explicit civics curriculum is a bit like considering paper making and printing to be a part of learning to read. Either that, or he would have considered it redundant. After all, the reason we teach any subject is to prepare folks for civic engagement.

What’s more, Plato understands that education is an economic necessity. But for him, it is not about how career training increases job readiness. Trades, after all, were learned through apprenticeship in ancient times, just as workplace skills are mostly learned on the job today. It is also not about creating a labor force. Nor is it about how educated citizens are more innovative and/or productive, and therefore work in ways that help to boost GDP.

No, Plato didn’t think the way you’d expect. For him, it is not that formal education leads to economic growth. On the contrary, economic growth creates the need for formal education.


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Education reformers have it all wrong: Accountability from above never works, great teaching always does | Jal Mehta | Salon.com

Education reformers have it all wrong: Accountability from above never works, great teaching always does |  Jal Mehta | Salon.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Excerpted from "The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling"


In late 2001, three months after the September 11 attacks, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) passed both House and Senate with strong bipartisan majorities and was signed by a Republican president. Promising to use the power of the state to ensure that all children were proficient in reading and math by 2014, proponents heralded the act as the greatest piece of federal education legislation since the creation of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965.


By requiring the states to set high standards, pairing them with assessments that measured whether students were achieving those standards, and holding schools accountable if students failed to do so, NCLB, in the eyes of its sponsors, would close achievement gaps and make America’s schools the envy of the world.

A decade later, the bloom is off the rose. While almost everyone today continues to share the aim of leaving no child behind, the act itself has come in for criticism from many quarters, to the point that Bush’s former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings declared that NCLB is now a “toxic brand” in American politics.


Careful studies of the implementation of NCLB have shown that it has done what less bullish observers might have predicted from the outset. It has increased the focus on the education of poor and minority students, but it has not provided schools with needed tools to create higher quality schooling for these students.


There has been improvement in some national test scores (e.g., 4th and 8th grade math), while others have remained largely unchanged (e.g., 4th and 8th grade reading ). Even accounting for the progress in math, there is no sign that the reforms have had a significant impact in closing achievement gaps or in improving America’s mediocre international educational standing.


Particularly in the most troubled schools, there has been rampant teaching to the test and some outright cheating. In-depth studies have shown that some schools now devote a large part of their year to test prep; Atlanta and DC public schools have both contended with widespread cheating scandals.


There are substantial concerns that simplistic testing is crowding out richer forms of learning. While reasonable people continue to disagree about the legacy and future of No Child Left Behind, there is broad agreement that it has not stimulated the kind of widespread improvement that we want and need for our schools.

This outcome might have been surprising if it were the first time policymakers tried to use standards, tests, and accountability to remake schooling from above. But NCLB was actually the third such movement.


In the Progressive Era, newly empowered superintendents sought to use methods of rational administration, including early standards, tests, and accountability measures, to make schools more efficient and effective.


In the 1960s and 1970s, newly empowered state departments of education sought to use state standards, assessments, and accountability to clarify goals and improve school performance. Not once, not twice, but three different times, school reformers have hit upon the same idea for how to remake American schools.


The surprise is less that results have not met expectations than that we have repeatedly placed a high degree of faith in reforms promising to rationalize schools from above. After all, how many other policies were cochampioned by George W. Bush and Edward Kennedy?

This is about these repeated efforts to “order” schools from above. It seeks to answer a series of questions about these movements. Perhaps the most important question is the most basic: Why have American reformers repeatedly invested such high hopes in these instruments of control despite their track record of mixed results at best?


What assumptions about human nature, individual psychology, organizational sociolog y, teachers, and students underlie these repeated efforts to “rationalize” schooling?


Politically, why have the recent movements triumphed despite the resistance of the strongest interest group in the arena, the teachers unions?


Why do these movements draw support from both liberals and conservatives?


In the most recent movement, why did a Republican president push for the most powerful version of this vision and in so doing buck the traditions of his own party and create the greatest expansion of the federal role in education in the country’s history?


What have been the consequences of these rationalizing movements, not just for test scores, but for the teaching profession, for educational and social justice, and for the shape of the educational enterprise as a whole?


And finally, if not rationalization of schools, then what? Is there an alternative that is more likely to yield the results that we seek?


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World of Warcraft halted an army of cheaters with a massive player ban | Abby Ohlheiser | WashPost.com

World of Warcraft halted an army of cheaters with a massive player ban | Abby Ohlheiser | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A "large number" of cheating World of Warcraft players were banned from the popular game for six months for using "bots" that allow players to automate some of their play, the popular game's maker announced this week.

Although Blizzard Entertainment's statement on the ban didn't include an exact figure, it's possible that more than 100,000 players are on an involuntary vacation from World of Warcraft. That number comes from a conversation between one player and a Game Master, an in-game employee of Blizzard. A Blizzard spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

What is clear from Blizzard's statement, however, is that many of the banned users were using the World of Warcraft equivalent of performance-enhancing drugs: "bots."

"We've recently taken action against a large number of World of Warcraft accounts that were found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay, known as 'bots,'" the statement reads. "We’re committed to providing an equal and fair playing field for everyone in World of Warcraft, and will continue to take action against those found in violation of our Terms of Use. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated."

The statement also encourages people who spot other players using a "bot, exploit, or cheat" in violation with the game's terms of service to report them to Blizzard.


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Press, University Say Study Shows Link Between Gaming And Alzheimer's; Spoiler: No It Doesn't | Timothy Geigner | Techdirt

Press, University Say Study Shows Link Between Gaming And Alzheimer's; Spoiler: No It Doesn't | Timothy Geigner | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If I've learned any single thing covering technology news it's that you can blame absolutely anything on video games. Mass violence? Games. Failure at professional sports? Pssh, games, yo. Love life not as spicy as you might like? Those games, those games. But a study that supposedly claims a link between video games and Alzheimer's Disease? Come on.

“Call of Duty increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease”, said the Telegraph. “Video game link to psychiatric disorders suggested by study”, reported the Guardian. The Daily Mail posed the problem as a question, “Could video games increase your risk of Alzheimer’s?”, reminding us that whenever a news headline asks a question, the answer is no.

We know that when science news is hyped, most of the hype is already present in the press releases issued by universities. This case is no exception - the press release was issued by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and unsurprisingly it focuses almost entirely on the tenuous link to Alzheimer’s disease.

Tenuous is being exceptionally kind in this case. The study in question, produced in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, barely focused on any link between gaming and the disease, in fact. Instead, the team of Canadian researchers were simply studying the difference in brain-wave activity with groups of gamers and non-gamers. They noticed specifically a significant difference in the activity of one type of brain-wave with gamers, N2PC, which can have an effect on attention spans. So, how did we get from that to a link to Alzheimer's? Were there clinical tests done? Was the team of researchers even in any way focused on the most famous form of dementia?


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The Robots are Coming: How a Caring Economy Is the Best App for a Shrinking Job Market | Riane Eisler Blog | HuffPost.com

The Robots are Coming: How a Caring Economy Is the Best App for a Shrinking Job Market | Riane Eisler Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The tech and automation job-quake is finally gaining attention, with predictions that nearly half of American jobs will be lost within a couple of decades. Yet too many leaders still avert their eyes, making decisions through a rear-view mirror rather than planning for a horizon already upon us. Even worse, the only "solution" floated so far is that government hand everyone an annual stipend for doing nothing at all.

Already, technology performs countless functions earlier done exclusively by people. When tablets on restaurant tables take people's orders, software guides our shopping online (while automation increasingly controls warehouses), and driverless cars presage huge job losses in the transportation sector, we see the convulsed employment markets of tomorrow.

Even now, jobs are polarized, with large numbers of people relegated to low-wage jobs that are often part-time and without benefits. And the U.S. industrial job base is predicted to shrink as radically as the agricultural job base shrank earlier. But unlike industrialization, automation does not offer large numbers of replacement jobs.

So, what are we to do with the "surplus" populations that technological advances such as apps, "sharing economy" business models, artificial intelligence systems, and automation leave in their wake? Long ago, the liberal economist Robert Theobald proposed a guaranteed annual income, and even conservative economic godfather Milton Friedman proposed a negative income tax providing people with no-or-low earnings a government stipend.

That these measures are being proposed again makes no sense. Neither gives recipients the opportunity to do meaningful work, robbing us of necessary contributions to our socio-economic life. Nor do they reward positive behaviors and discourage harmful ones, address irresponsible economic policies and business practices, take into account the damage to our health and natural habitat of such policies and practices, or address the power imbalances that lie behind chronic economic inequity and inefficiency.

In starkest terms: the Baltimore riots may have relaunched conventional discussions about economic opportunity for communities in crisis, but we've heard nothing new as entire segments of employment careen towards crisis.

Yet an effective response is available to the challenges of the postindustrial world: economic policies that support and reward activities that machines and high-technology devices, no matter how sophisticated, cannot perform: being creative, flexible, and caring.

A caring economy is the best app for solving the looming jobs crisis.


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NASA's Mars lander gets set for mission to probe planet's depths | Sandrine Ceurstemont | New Scientist

NASA's Mars lander gets set for mission to probe planet's depths | Sandrine Ceurstemont | New Scientist | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This car-sized lander is being prepared for its mission to Mars. The space vehicle, called InSight, is now being tested by NASA in preparation for its launch in March 2016.

The solar arrays, which open like an umbrella and will power the rover, are deployed in the picture above. The ultra-lightweight design takes up less space when folded than in other similar systems. The same arrays were used on the Phoenix lander that discovered water ice on Mars in 2008.

The upcoming mission will be the first to probe the deep interior structure of the Red Planet, which could give insight into the formation of all rocky planets, including the Earth's.

It will also investigate heat flow and seismic waves on the surface, using a seismometer to detect motion of the Martian ground.

Once the instrument is in position, the circular silver cover will be placed over it as protection.


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AL: A call to curb expansion of Charter Schools in Black Communities | Freddie Allen | Greene County Democrat

Parents, students and advocates for strong neighborhood schools continue to pressure civic leaders to end the expansion of charter and contract schools in Black and Latino communities across the nation.

Jitu Brown, the national director of Journey for Justice Alliance, a coalition of community, youth and parent-led grassroots organizations in 21 cities, said that the fight for public education – which suffers with the expansion of charter and contract schools –is a human and a civil rights issue.

As voices from the community were increasingly drowned out by philanthropic groups seeking wholesale educational reform, the state takeover of schools, corporate charters and appointed school boards have become the status quo, Brown said.

According to Education Week, a magazine published by Editorial Projects in Education, a nonprofit that produces K-12 educational content in print and online, more than 60 percent of philanthropic donations funneled into education young people in the United States went to charter and contract schools in 2010. Less than 25 percent of funding went to those programs about 15 years ago.

“What would actually be revolutionary, brand new, and fresh is if community wisdom was listened to and [corporations] worked with the people who are directly impacted by the institutions that they have to live with everyday,” said Brown.

Brown described two separate and unequal sets of expectations, one for White and middle class children and another, lower set of expectations for Black and Latino children that often influence education policy. Those disparities will continue until society finds the courage to confront them.

“We want what our friends in other communities have, said Brown. “They don’t have contract schools, they don’t have charter schools in middle class White communities they have world-class neighborhood schools.”


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How America is closing its digital divide | Hilary Shelton Op-Ed | The Detroit News

How America is closing its digital divide | Hilary Shelton Op-Ed | The Detroit News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama recently announced a TechHire program that will invest in high-tech job skills training for America’s labor force. Because tech wages continue to rise faster than other sectors, initiatives like this not only help catapult our tech leadership in the 21st century but also help address income inequality. Similarly, the president’s plan to wire 99 percent of our schools with broadband Internet service, will similarly help ensure students – and our future workforce – will have the necessary skills for American preeminence in the 21st century.

And as important as these initiatives are, they are only part of the puzzle. If the U.S. wants to truly be the global tech leader, every American has to have broadband access.

This is no longer an option for Americans, especially for communities of color hardest hit by the recent recession. Eighty percent of all U.S. jobs will require digital fluency within the next 10 years and 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies only accept job applications online. College applications, financial aid, and even registration and classwork itself have all moved online. But today, African-American and Hispanic families lag some 15 points behind whites in broadband adoption.


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TN: EPB and Chattanooga Will Lower Price of Internet for Low Income Students | community broadband networks

TN: EPB and Chattanooga Will Lower Price of Internet for Low Income Students | community broadband networks | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In an effort to extend the benefits of its gigabit network to lower income Chattanooga school kids, Mayor Andy Berke announced that the EPB will soon offer the "Netbridge Student Program."

WDEF reports that children will qualify for the program if they are enrolled in Hamilton County schools and are currently enrolled in the free or reduced price lunch program. Comcast's Internet Essentials uses the same eligibility criteria. Households that qualify will be able to sign up for 100 Mbps service for $26.99 per month. Details are still being discussed.

Last year, Hamilton County schools replaced a number of textbooks with iPads in an attempt to take advantage of Chattanooga's fiber asset to improve student performance. The move revealed a grim reality - that many students' access to that incredible gigabit network (or any network) stopped when they walked out of the school. Educators found that children with Internet access at home made significant strides while those without fell behind. From a December 2014 article on Internet and Chattanooga students:

In the downtown area, for example, only 7 percent of potential customers subscribe to high-speed broadband Internet. In economically depressed areas such as Alton Park and East Lake, only 15 percent of residents have high-speed Internet, according to EPB.

We spoke with Danna Bailey, Vice President of Corporate Communications from EPB, to get some details on the plan and she confirmed that the program is still in its infancy; officials at EPB plan to have it ready for students by the fall. She told is that the rate of $26.99 is what EPB must pay to bring 100 Mbps to a customer when it is unbundled. The regular rate is $57.99.


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46 Degree Programs Eliminated Across UNC College System | Lamont Cranston | Daily Kos

46 Degree Programs Eliminated Across UNC College System | Lamont Cranston | Daily Kos | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I guess the North Carolina Board of Governors educational planning committee for the University educational system didn't think these programs were important to our education of our young adults, or warranted due to "market forces"...

“We’re capitalists, and we have to look at what the demand is, and we have to respond to the demand.”

- Board member Steven Long.

So now our college educational system, of which North Carolin's had been the example and envy of most of the state systems in this country, is under the scrutiny of "market forces".

Want to see which one they eliminated from the main univesity campus of UNC in Chapel Hill?


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Thousands of Scorers Take On the Common-Core Tests | Catherine Gerwertz | EdWeek.org

Thousands of Scorers Take On the Common-Core Tests | Catherine Gerwertz | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's the middle of spring testing season, and a bevy of accountants, technology geeks, lawyers, unemployed corporate executives—and oh, yes, teachers—are scoring the PARCC exam.

The room has the generic feel of any high-volume office operation: Seated in front of laptop computers at long beige tables, the scorers could be processing insurance claims. Instead, they're pivotal players in the biggest and most controversial student-assessment project in history: the grading of new, federally funded common-core assessments in English/language arts and mathematics.

The PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments aren't the only tests that require hand-scoring, but the sheer scope of the undertaking dwarfs all others. Twelve million students are taking either the PARCC or the Smarter Balanced assessments in 29 states and the District of Columbia this school year. Large portions of the exams are machine-scored, but a key feature that sets them apart from the multiple-choice tests that states typically use—their constructed-response questions and multi-step, complex performance tasks—require real people to evaluate students' answers.

And that means that 42,000 people will be scoring 109 million student responses to questions on the two exams, which were designed by two groups of states—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC—to gauge mastery of the common core. That unprecedented scoring project is testing the capacity of the assessment industry and fueling debate about what constitutes a good way of measuring student learning.


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Addressing Digital Literacy in a World Where 6 Billion People Are Connected | Social Media Week

Right now, 3 billion individuals in the world are connected to one another via the Internet, mobile communications and social media. 3 billion more will come online by 2022. This means, with just a few clicks or taps, someone in New York can instantly connect with someone in Sydney, and everywhere in between. But, as more and more individuals come online, how is society changing? Will our lives improve? Will we be inspired and equipped to take on more of the world’s biggest problems? What are the challenges the next 3 billion connected citizens will face?

One that we have identified is “digital literacy”. Digital literacy is the knowledge, skills, and behaviors used on a broad range of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, all of which are seen as network rather than computing devices. For example, if a school in a developing country is equipped with laptops and Internet, what’s next? How do students acquire the skills to understand how to access the tools and information on the web? Just as important as it is for individuals to have access to the hardware, it’s just as necessary to provide context and knowledge for using the technology. If digital literacy is not addressed, we will likely see our world’s innovation, connectivity, and progress severely hindered in many ways.

Technology impacts the way we live, work and create in a connected world, as well as how new ideas, innovations and break-through technologies will lead to meaningful changes in our lives. For technology and humans to progress together, we need the next 3 billion connected individuals to become digitally literate online. If more people can connect, share, and exchange information with each other, this connectivity will positively impact our daily lives, our habits, and our global connection to humanity.

Access and connectivity has led to a democratization in the way we bring ideas to life and creatively collaborate with people regardless of geography, culture, and language. With a new group of digitally literate individuals, the speed at which ideas spread, and perhaps transform the way we work, can come from anyone and anywhere. Digital literacy also allows us to learn from each other, our cultures, the various perspectives, and lessons from how people live, work, and create in our digitally connected world. Digital access is the first step, but digital literacy is next, and it will ease our communications, no longer limiting us by time or distance.


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Does Your Classroom Cultivate Student Resilience? | Marilyn Price-Mitchell Blog | Edutopia.org

Does Your Classroom Cultivate Student Resilience? | Marilyn Price-Mitchell Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Over 100 years ago, the great African American educator Booker T. Washington spoke about resilience:

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.

Research has since established resilience as essential for human thriving, and an ability necessary for the development of healthy, adaptable young people. It's what enables children to emerge from challenging experiences with a positive sense of themselves and their futures.


Children who develop resilience are better able to face disappointment, learn from failure, cope with loss, and adapt to change. We recognize resilience in children when we observe their determination, grit, and perseverance to tackle problems and cope with the emotional challenges of school and life.


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Upgrade Curriculum Through Globally Connected Learning | Silvia Tolisano | Langwitched.org

Below you will access a slide deck, I shared with an Elementary School during a webinar a few weeks ago addressing challenges and examples of globally connected learning. 


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If you’re on the beach, this map shows you what’s across the ocean | WashPost.com

If you’re on the beach, this map shows you what’s across the ocean | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The map above shows the countries that are due east and west from points along the coasts of North and South America. Many small island nations are (perhaps unfairly) excluded for ease of reading. Many thanks to Eric Odenheimer for sharing the map with Know More.


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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, May 26, 1:48 PM

This is a fun map for some geography analysis - Why are Argentina and Chile the countries due east/west of...Argentina and Chile?  

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CA: Cardinal Studios seeks to combat lack of on-campus film production | Will Ferrer | Stanford Daily

CA: Cardinal Studios seeks to combat lack of on-campus film production | Will Ferrer | Stanford Daily | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You come to Stanford to play football. You come to Stanford to study computer science. You come to Stanford to be the next big thing in Silicon Valley.


You do not come to Stanford, however, to make films.


It’s an unfortunate truth, though one that has always been reflected in the construction of the University’s recently conceived Film and Media Studies program.


Launched back in 2005 by Kristine Samuelson, then-director of Stanford’s renowned graduate department for documentary filmmaking, the goal of Stanford’s Film and Media Studies program is not, nor was it ever, to provide students with a complete education in film and video production.


“This won’t be USC North,” said Samuelson in a 2005 Art History newsletter describing her original vision for the university’s first curriculum for the study of film. “In addition to fundamentals in film and video production, our majors will delve into cinema history, narrative analysis and screenwriting, film criticism and aesthetics, and film and media theory.”


The newsletter also described the University’s desire to oversee the development of an MFA program, which would be launched in autumn of 2006, the following year. This program, which would be grounded in production and would provide undergraduate students with the chance to engage with graduate-level fiction filmmakers, never came to fruition.


Jumping to the present day, Stanford’s film and media studies program is currently fully operational. With a staff that includes Professor Scott Bukatman, Associate Professors Jean Ma and Pavle Levi, Senior Lecturer Adam Tobin, and Lecturers Laura Green and J. Christian Jensen, Stanford’s young film program has just begun to find its feet. Yet, despite the program’s successful inception, the department continually struggles to meet student demand for production-based coursework.


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The Reason America Adopted Race-Based Slavery | Peter Wood | Slate.com

The Reason America Adopted Race-Based Slavery | Peter Wood | Slate.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

During the second half of the 17th century, a terrible transformation, the enslavement of people solely on the basis of race, occurred in the lives of African Americans living in North America. These newcomers still numbered only a few thousand, but the bitter reversals they experienced—first subtle, then drastic—would shape the lives of all those who followed them, generation after generation.

Like most huge changes, the imposition of hereditary race slavery was gradual, taking hold by degrees over many decades. It proceeded slowly, in much the same way that winter follows fall. On any given day, in any given place, people can argue about local weather conditions. “Is it getting colder?” “Will it warm up again this week?” The shift may come early in some places, later in others.


But eventually, it occurs all across the land. By January, people shiver and think back to September, agreeing that “it is definitely colder now.” In 1700, a 70-year-old African American could look back half a century to 1650 and shiver, knowing that conditions had definitely changed for the worse.

Some people had experienced the first cold winds of enslavement well before 1650; others would escape the chilling blast well after 1700. The timing and nature of the change varied considerably from colony to colony, and even from family to family. Gradually, the terrible transformation took on a momentum of its own, numbing and burdening everything in its path, like a disastrous winter storm. Unlike the changing seasons, however, the encroachment of racial slavery in the colonies of North America was certainly not a natural process.


It was highly unnatural—the work of powerful competitive governments and many thousands of human beings spread out across the Atlantic world. Nor was it inevitable that people’s legal status would come to depend upon their racial background and that the condition of slavery would be passed down from parent to child. Numerous factors combined to bring about this disastrous shift—human forces swirled together during the decades after 1650, to create an enormously destructive storm.


By 1650, hereditary enslavement based upon color, not upon religion, was a bitter reality in the older Catholic colonies of the New World. In the Caribbean and Latin America, for well over a century, Spanish and Portuguese colonizers had enslaved “infidels”: first Indians and then Africans.


At first, they relied for justification upon the Mediterranean tradition that persons of a different religion, or persons captured in war, could be enslaved for life. But hidden in this idea of slavery was the notion that persons who converted to Christianity should receive their freedom. Wealthy planters in the tropics, afraid that their cheap labor would be taken away from them because of this loophole, changed the reasoning behind their exploitation. Even persons who could prove that they were not captured in war and that they accepted the Catholic faith still could not change their appearance, any more than a leopard can change its spots.


So by making color the key factor behind enslavement, dark-skinned people brought from Africa to work in silver mines and on sugar plantations could be exploited for life. Indeed, the servitude could be made hereditary, so enslaved people’s children automatically inherited the same unfree status.


But this cruel and self-perpetuating system had not yet taken firm hold in North America. The same anti-Catholic propaganda that had led Sir Francis Drake to liberate Negro slaves in Central America in the 1580s still prompted many colonists to believe that it was the Protestant mission to convert non-Europeans rather than enslave them.


Apart from such moral concerns, there were simple matters of cost and practicality. Workers subject to longer terms and coming from further away would require a larger initial investment. Consider a 1648 document from York County, Virginia, showing the market values for persons working for James Stone (estimated in terms of pounds of tobacco):


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