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Singapore: Governing tomorrow--The MDA on its plans for a changing media landscape in 2013 | TODAYonline

Singapore: Governing tomorrow--The MDA on its plans for a changing media landscape in 2013 | TODAYonline | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Singapore's media landscape is changing - and the government agency that oversees it is in the midst of the swirling changes.

For the Media Development Authority (MDA), 2012 has been an eventful year, one that includes Aubeck Kam stepping down as CEO, replaced by Koh Lin-Net, former Deputy Secretary (Trade) at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Kam's two-year stint was seen to be a successful one, brought in to "clean house" as it were - streamlining a tangled mess of grants schemes, suing companies over unpaid loans and undelivered projects that put the agency in a bad light.

There were changes and initiatives rolled out on many fronts. The New Talent Feature Grant was introduced for first-time film-makers; more money was pumped into the Public Service Broadcast programme to boost shows for local television; a new and improved Screen Singapore with a concerted effort to put the spotlight on the local industry; the Singapore Film Commission's Watch Local initiative; a push for local music on TV and radio; giving the go-signal for cable TV companies to offer R21 content on video-on-demand platforms; the announcement that free-to-air TV channels are all due to go digital; a thrust for cross-platform content as boundaries between different media blur; among others.

"On the whole, 2012 has been a good year. It is a year of big change and 2013 will see the results of some of those changs," surmised Yeo Chun Cheng, MDA assistant CEO (Industry).

It's in this promising context that two of the year's most controversial incidents emerged as stark reminders of the tricky nature of this new media landscape: The Amy Cheong episode and the U-turn involving Ken Kwek's omnibus Sex.Violence.Family Values (SVFV).

 

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Book Publishers Whine To USTR That It's Just Not Fair That Canada Recognizes Fair Dealing For Educational Purposes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Book Publishers Whine To USTR That It's Just Not Fair That Canada Recognizes Fair Dealing For Educational Purposes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A few years ago, Canada's Supreme Court made it clear that "fair dealing" should be applied broadly, especially in educational settings. Fair dealing, of course, is similar to fair use -- and, in the US, in theory, educational uses are also supposed to qualify for fair use. As Section 107 of the US Copyright Act states:

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

Thus, it seems like the Canadian interpretation is very much in line with the US's statutory view of fair use. Of course, over the years, in the US, publishers have repeatedly chipped away at fair use, such that now that Canada has moved to a position more akin to what the US's is supposed to be, those same publishers are absolutely flipping out. Last year, we noted that those US publishers submitted a recommendation to the USTR claiming that fair dealing in Canada was simply piracy. This was the publishers' submission to the USTR for consideration in preparing its annual Special 301 Report.


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KS: Income mobility better for kids from rural counties, study finds | Gabreiella Dunn | The Wichita Eagle

KS: Income mobility better for kids from rural counties, study finds | Gabreiella Dunn | The Wichita Eagle | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

People who grew up poor in many rural counties in Kansas have a better chance of moving into the middle class than those who grew up in urban areas such as Wichita, a study shows.

The study found that people who grew up in Sedgwick County will make an average of $6,140 less per year by the time they are 26 than a person who grew up in Kingman County.

These findings come from a national study about income mobility called the Equality of Opportunity Project by two Harvard economists, Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren.

“In Kansas, the cities are OK to good, and then there’s some rural areas that are really good,” said Nikolaus Hildebrand, a doctoral fellow at the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy at Harvard University, who assisted Chetty with the research.

Sedgwick County sits among the worst counties in Kansas for income mobility, or a child’s ability to make more money than his or her parents. But in the bigger picture, Sedgwick County sits only slightly below the national average, data from the study shows.

Hildebrand said that overall, children who grow up in rural counties will make more money than children from urban counties.


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CYC 2.0 partners support FCC Lifeline reform initiative | Connect Your Community 2.0

CYC 2.0 Director Bill Callahan and several CYC partner groups posted statements of support today for FCC Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to go forward with Lifeline reform that could add Internet service to the low-income phone program.

Here are a few of the statements from CYC posted at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance website:


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Oh, no! Bill Nye’s solar sail spacecraft has lost contact with Earth | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Oh, no! Bill Nye’s solar sail spacecraft has lost contact with Earth | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In a tragic twist of events, Bill Nye's solar-particle-propelled spacecraft has lost communications with Earth.

The error, which stems from a simple software glitch, potentially threatens the entire mission: The only thing researchers think will salvage the experiment is a reboot of the computer — and efforts to reset the orbiting craft, called LightSail, aren't working.

"There have been 37 Cal Poly and Georgia Tech ground station passes," wrote Jason Davis, Planetary Society's digital editor, in a blog post. "During half of those, reboot commands were sent to the spacecraft. Nothing has happened yet. Therefore, we have to assume that LightSail is only going to respond to the power button method."

LightSail is humanity's most ambitious attempt yet at harnessing solar propulsion. The small satellite comes with a 344-square-foot solar sail designed to accelerate the craft using only the tiny particles that are constantly being ejected from the sun.

But the early malfunction has largely taken the wind out of LightSail's, er, sail. Researchers traced the problem to an onboard data file that was constantly being updated with new information. Eventually the file size got too big, and it crashed the craft's avionics system, rendering it unresponsive.


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Maryland governor plays political brinksmanship, withholds school funding | Dmitriy Synkov | NEA.org

Maryland governor plays political brinksmanship, withholds school funding | Dmitriy Synkov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It’s as if Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is having a tantrum and saying, ‘If we can’t play by my rules, then we won’t play at all.’ Problem is, it’s students and educators who will pay the ultimate price if Hogan continues his political brinkmanship.

The governor has withheld $68 million in school funding for 62 days and counting despite widespread opposition from educators, parents, and elected officials and anticipated class size increases, educator layoffs, and program cuts. Hogan’s latest ploy, proposed this month: take the $68 million budgeted for schools by the state legislature and shift it to the state’s pension system — a plan that has since been found illegal.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called Hogan’s decision a “declaration of war on the children of the state of Maryland.”

The $68 million comes from the state’s Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI), which is meant to provide additional funding for counties where the cost of delivering education is higher. Gov. Hogan’s actions would fund GCEI at 50% of expected levels, after six straight years of full funding.

“The big issue here is that this would be taking away a significant amount of money from the public school system,” says Stephanie Masters, a kindergarten and third grade special education teacher at Fulton Elementary in Howard County.


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Company That Lets Parents Spy On Their Kids' Computer Usage... Has Database Hacked And Leaked | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Company That Lets Parents Spy On Their Kids' Computer Usage... Has Database Hacked And Leaked | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

There are lots of apps out there for parents spying on their kids computer/smartphone activities -- with the marketing pitch often being about how this will help "keep them safe" or some other such thing. mSpy is one of those companies, advertising right on the front page about how its snooping software can "keep children safe and employees efficient."


It leaves out the bit about making both distrustful, but that's another debate for another day. Brian Krebs recently revealed that a "huge trove of data" had been leaked from mSpy and was being shared around the darkweb. And it exposed not just customer names but "countless emails, text messages, payment and location data" of those children and employees that the company was supposedly making "safe" and "efficient."

mSpy's response? Well, first it was to deny the breach entirely, saying that it was a bogus "predatory" attack:

“There is no data of 400,000 of our customers on the web,” a spokeswoman for the company told the BBC. “We believe to have become a victim of a predatory attack, aimed to take advantage of our estimated commercial achievements.”

And, of course, a day or two later, mSpy actually admitted the truth... which was that of course it had been hacked and had the data leaked.


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New Google Fellowship Pays for Nonprofits to Build Digital Literacy | Rebecca Koenig | Chronicle of Philanthropy

New Google Fellowship Pays for Nonprofits to Build Digital Literacy | Rebecca Koenig | Chronicle of Philanthropy | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Google Fiber and the Nonprofit Technology Network are creating a Digital Inclusion Fellowship to help nonprofits bolster their digital-literacy programs and help the people they serve build basic technology skills.

Sixteen fellows will be selected to work for a year at community organizations in eight cities that have or will soon have access to Google Fiber, a high-speed fibe-roptic Internet service: Atlanta, Austin, Tex. Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Provo, Utah, Salt Lake City, and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

According to Andrew Bentley, Google Fiber’s digital-inclusion program manager, the program is meant to address all steps required to use the Internet, including cultivating online skills and increasing access to affordable digital devices.

"Digital inclusion is the process of building an environment where all people have the opportunity to get online, especially those in underserved communities," Mr. Bentley said.

The program will especially focus on helping people adopt high-speed Internet in their homes and helping nonprofits build their capacity for technology training.

The Nonprofit Technology Network, which is handling recruitment and placement for the fellowship, is looking for applicants with strong ties to the cities where they’ll be working and five to seven years of experience working with nonprofits or community organizations.


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Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness | PHYS.org

Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness | PHYS.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.


Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks - at which point does the object decide?


Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.


"It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which governs the world of the very small, and has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.


The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler's original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.


"Quantum physics' predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness," said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.


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2015: U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame | USNews.com

2015: U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame | USNews.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

U.S. News & World Report is pleased to announce the 2015 STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, honored in advance of the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference, which will be held June 29-July 1 in San Diego.


In choosing the honorees, U.S. News sought out leaders who, among other things, have achieved measurable results in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields; challenged established processes and conventional wisdom; inspired a shared vision; and motivated legions of aspiring STEM professionals.


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This app lets students anonymously report bullying and crime | Molly Brown | GeekWire

This app lets students anonymously report bullying and crime | Molly Brown | GeekWire | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A mantra around the country is if you see something, say something. But that might be harder than it sounds in school hallways.

Now, students who may fear retaliation have an anonymous way of reporting devious activity to school officials. As King 5 reports, the app is called Anonymous Alerts, and it lets kids safely share any sort of harmful behavior — be it bullying, drug dealing or a student carrying a weapon — to school officials without fear of becoming a target themselves.

Vashon Island, WA and Manson School Districts have implemented the apps in their schools. Vashon Island school officials told King 5 that “they like the way the app works. They’ve had a fair amount of reports, as well as a few false reports,” but overall are pleased with the system.


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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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CO: Longmont valedictorian silenced over speech disclosing he was gay | Charlie Brennan | Daily Camera

CO: Longmont valedictorian silenced over speech disclosing he was gay | Charlie Brennan | Daily Camera | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A St. Vrain Valley charter school's leadership is under fire from gay rights activists and others for blocking a class valedictorian from giving a graduation speech in which he planned to out himself as gay.

Evan Young, an 18-year-old graduating senior at Longmont's Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School, with a 4.5 GPA and a scholarship awaiting him at Rutgers University, also was not recognized as valedictorian at his school's May 16 graduation.

Young said he had agreed to several advance edits to his speech by school Principal BJ Buchmann. But he resisted when Buchmann told him to also take out his disclosure of being gay.

"One of my themes is that I was going to tell everyone my secrets," Young explained Thursday. "Most of the things were stupid stuff — books I never read that I was supposed to, or homework I didn't like. But then I gradually worked up to serious secrets.

"My main theme is that you're supposed to be respectful of people, even if you don't agree with them. I figured my gayness would be a very good way to address that."

Young said he emailed Buchmann with his revised speech with all but the one requested edit having been made, and did so several days in advance of the May 16 graduation ceremony.

The school contends he failed to do so as required and that his presentation was canceled "to protect the solemnity of the evening and to preserve and protect the mission of the school."

A statement released by the school's board of directors stated that Young failed to abide by pre-screening rules — and also "failed to follow guidelines of the evening by removing the sleeves of his graduation gown."

A comment in that statement, attributed to school attorney Barry Arrington, said a graduation ceremony is "a time for family and those closest to the students to celebrate success and express mutual wishes of gratitude and respect. It is not a time for a student to use his commencement speech to push his personal agenda on a captive audience, and school officials are well within their rights to prevent that from happening."

'I was not OK with it'

According to Young and his family, prior to the graduation ceremony, the principal called the student's father, Don Young — who has previously served on the charter school's board of directors — and outed the teen to his parents.

"Mr. Buchmann called me and said, 'I've got Evan's speech here. There's two things in it that I don't think are appropriate,'" Don Young, an accountant, recalled. "One was he had mentioned another student's name. And then there was his coming out that he was gay."

That was the first time in Evan Young's life that his parents had been given a clue about his sexual identity.

"My parents are very liberal. I think they were totally OK with it," Evan Young. "But I was not OK with it.

"I think what it mainly showed is that he didn't have a lot of sympathy for me, or someone in my position. He didn't understand how personal a thing it was, and that I wasn't just going to share it with people randomly, for no reason. I thought it was very inconsiderate for him to do something like that, especially without asking me first."

Their son's sexuality, reported to them by their child's principal, was not earthshaking news to Don Young and his wife.

"He's Evan, you know?" his father said. "He's never really expressed interest in either (boys or girls). He's just a teenager. ... But we had no indication beforehand."

Initially, Evan's parents were somewhat sympathetic to Buchmann's decision concerning the speech.

"His mother and I were not sure that his coming out in a valedictorian speech was the appropriate place to say it, with grandchildren and 3-year-olds in the audience, and that's kind of what we said to BJ," Don Young said.

However, both Evan Young and his father said Buchmann only notified the student and his family a few minutes before the ceremony that his speech — or even a recognition of his status as valedictorian in the graduating class of about 30 — would not be part of the year-ending proceedings.

"On the Friday, the day before the ceremony, I had written him (Buchmann) a handwritten letter so that he couldn't forward it," Evan Young said. "I'd told him I'm not going to remove the part where I say I'm gay, because I am. It's important to me. And I said if he has any questions, he can contact me by email over the next 24 hours or so.

"He didn't ever email me back, and so I figured he must be OK with my speech."

Evan's parents, now almost two weeks after the fact, aren't happy with the way the matter was handled by Buchmann, who could not be reached Thursday for comment.


"The kid worked hard for four years," Don Young said. "Straight A's and everything else. He wasn't even recognized."


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FCC will consider adding Internet option for Lifeline phone users | Connect Your Community 2.0

In the New York Times this morning:

For 30 years, the federal government has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their phone bills, saying that telephone service is critical to summoning medical help, seeking work and, ultimately, climbing out of poverty. Now, the nation’s top communications regulator will propose offering those same people subsidized access to broadband Internet.

On Thursday, that regulator, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will circulate a plan to his fellow commissioners suggesting sweeping changes to a $1.7 billion subsidy program charged with ensuring that all Americans have affordable access to advanced telecommunications services, according to senior agency officials.

The effort is the F.C.C.’s strongest recognition yet that high-speed Internet access is as essential to economic well-being as good transportation and telephone service. Mr. Wheeler will propose potentially giving recipients a choice of phone service, Internet service or a mix of both, the officials said.

Here’s the official account of Chairman Wheeler’s proposal at the FCC website. Technically, Wheeler is asking the Commission to seek public comments on the “Lifeline reform” proposal through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).


The other two Democratic Commissioners are known to favor the idea, so there’s little doubt the NPRM will go forward. The comment period could last several months, with an actual decision as long as a year away.


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Pa. cyber charters not happy with Gov. Wolf's proposed steep cuts | NewsWorks | WHYY.org

Pa. cyber charters not happy with Gov. Wolf's proposed steep cuts | NewsWorks | WHYY.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For years, many public education advocates have been howling about the way Pennsylvania funds cyber charter schools.

It works like this: Say there's a cyber charter with a physical headquarters in Altoona. It can enroll kids from anywhere in the state, and it gets a percentage of whatever per pupil funding would have been spent in a student's home district.

If a student comes from a wealthy district in the Philadelphia suburbs, the cyber charter will get upwards of $20,000. If a student comes from a poor urban or rural district, the cyber will get much less.

"Why should a cyber charter get $25,000 for one student and $13,000 for another when the school is doing the same thing for those two students?" said Susan Dejarnatt, a Temple University law professor who focuses on inequities in public education.

Dejarnatt says it's mind-boggling that the state's cyber law — passed when Republican Mark Schweiker was governor — calls for cyber charters to be funded in the same way as brick-and-mortar charters.

"As a common-sense matter, bricks-and-mortar charter schools are more expensive to run because they have buildings, people to take care of the buildings and a lot more teachers," said Dejarnatt.

The state's new Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, agrees with that view, saying the current system ignores a vital question: How much does it actually cost to provide a cyber education?


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Technology & Training to Enhance STEM Education | USTelecom.org

From software and Web developers to computer systems and information security analysts, technology positions (link is external) rank among the highest in-demand and fastest growing of this decade. Yet companies in the U.S, are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified employees who have science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) skills according to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute. (link is external)

“The United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions,” the report’s authors note. And, given the need to build these skills, new technologies and training programs are targeting the younger generation to better equip the workforce of the future to fill an array of analytical jobs.


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Educators speak out on the underfunding of special education | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

Educators speak out on the underfunding of special education | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Forty years ago, federal lawmakers transformed how we educate our special needs students with the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). They also committed to pay 40 percent of the per pupil cost of educating students with special needs.

But the federal government has never met even half of that obligation to the states and the students and families who rely on the critical services and programs that public schools provide. The chronic underfunding of IDEA has forced states and districts to cut elsewhere to fulfill the law’s mandates.

The federal government’s unfulfilled promise cost the states a collective $17 billion for the current school year.

Educators see the effects of the chronic underfunding of special education in their classrooms every day. Here are a handful of educator and parent perspectives shared with EducationVotes:


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LA: How many at-risk students in Lafayette charter schools? | Amanda McElfresh | The Advertiser

LA: How many at-risk students in Lafayette charter schools? | Amanda McElfresh | The Advertiser | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy is expanding its marketing efforts amid questions about whether it is meeting state-mandated targets for enrolling a certain number of at-risk students.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana Department of Education declined to answer specific questions about the matter, or whether it is considering taking any action against the school.

According to the department's Bulletin 126, new charter schools must have an at-risk student population percentage equal to the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch in the school's district, or the average of districts from which the charter school's students live.

Those percentages are based on Oct. 1 enrollment counts. State data shows the October 2014 enrollment for Acadiana Renaissance was 675 students. Of those, 30.37 percent were classified as economically disadvantaged. The state average for economically disadvantaged students is 67.54 percent.


As a Type 2 charter school authorized by the state, Acadiana Renaissance can enroll a student from anywhere in Louisiana. Gifford Briggs, secretary of the Lafayette Charter Foundation, said the school has students from several Acadiana parishes, including Lafayette, Iberia, Vermilion and St. Martin.


Barry Landry, a spokesman for the state education department, confirmed that economically disadvantaged students are considered at-risk.


But beyond that, Landry declined to answer a series of specific questions from The Daily Advertiser about Acadiana Renaissance.


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DARPA wants you to verify software flaws by playing games | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

DARPA wants you to verify software flaws by playing games | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Can online gamers perform the sometimes tedious software verification work typically done by professional coding experts?

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) think so and were so impressed with their first crowdsourced flaw-detecting games, they announced an new round of five games this week designed for improved playability as well as increased software verification effectiveness.

DARPA began the program known as Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) in December 2013 and opened the Verigames web portal (http://www.verigames.com/home), which offered five free online formal verification games.

“These games translated players’ actions into program annotations and assisted formal verification experts in generating mathematical proofs to verify the absence of important classes of flaws in software written in the “C” and “Java” programming languages. An initial analysis indicates that non-experts playing CSFV games generated hundreds of thousands of annotations,” DARPA stated.


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CA: SF Mission Youth See Their Future (and Rent) in Tech | J.J. Barrow | MissionLocal.org

CA: SF Mission Youth See Their Future (and Rent) in Tech | J.J. Barrow | MissionLocal.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Four millennials huddled at workstations, bent on solving the mysteries of malfunctioning computers. “We’d have to open it up,” said a young man, stumped by a particularly challenging case.

“Have you Googled it?” one responded. “If you fix it …”

“I’ll be the hero of the day!” he cheered softly, pumping his fists in the air.

At the Mission Techies Academy, local youth have a chance to break into a sector that has transformed the city — a transformation that threatens to displace them if they cannot find their futures within it.

“We need to be earning six figures, living in San Francisco,” said Mercy Mena, the program’s most recent female graduate, while slogging over repair tickets for 10 iMacs from Bryant Elementary School.

“Still, you might not be comfortable,” said her peer and a fellow Missionite, 22-year-old Juan Cardenas, as he searched the web for a ’Toshiba sticky keyboard solution.’

“As long as I can pay my bills, I’m comfortable,” Mena replied.

Leo Sosa, the Mission Economic Development Agency’s technology training coordinator, created Mission Techies to connect and empower “disconnected youth,” primarily Latinos age 17-24, with education and career opportunities in information technology.


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Brain Games Bust? Executive function not a panacea for education ills | Amy Crawford | The Boston Globe

Brain Games Bust? Executive function not a panacea for education ills | Amy Crawford | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One of the hottest topics across the American education system is a set of cognitive skills called executive function. Curriculums based around improving executive function have been deployed in some of the country’s top schools to make their top students even better. And it’s been rolled out in poor schools to help close the yawning achievement gap between underprivileged students and their well-to-do peers.

Some researchers liken executive function to an air traffic control system, which coordinates the thoughts and impulses arriving on the different runways of the brain’s busy airport. It allows us to stay focused in the face of distraction, resist urges, control emotions, and direct our actions toward a goal. Not surprisingly, scientists have found that these abilities are highly correlated with academic performance and success in later life. And executive function also appears to be malleable, meaning it can be strengthened through targeted training exercises.

The prospect is tantalizing: Improve executive function, better reading and math skills should follow. And the pressure is on. The standards movement demands schools, teachers, and curriculums to produce results, close performance gaps, boost achievement, and get more bang for the educational buck.

But despite the promise and the hype — not to mention the many millions of dollars spent — it turns out there isn’t solid evidence that improving executive function actually leads to better grades. That’s the startling finding of a new meta-analysis, published in the journal Review of Educational Research, which looks at 67 studies of school-based programs that target executive function. In fact, this latest research found no support for the idea that improving those skills can lead directly to better test scores in reading or math.


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College kids to the rescue with IT support startup HelloTech | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.ccom

College kids to the rescue with IT support startup HelloTech | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.ccom | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Not that Baby Boomers or Gen X homeowners are clueless about technology, but startup HelloTech is banking on people of a certain age needing a bit of assistance to live the Internet of Things dream.

The West Los Angeles startup this week announced it has added $2 million in venture funding to the $2.5 million it attracted last fall to expand the on-demand, in-home tech support service that it officially rolled out this week in LA.

CEO Richard Wolpert, a 4-time startup founder whose background includes stints as president of Disney Online and chief strategy officer at RealNetworks, says the need for HelloTech has been borne out of the explosion of new and useful home technologies and the decline in retail tech outlets (aside from Best Buy and its Geek Squad) that offer tech installation/support.

HelloTech is vetting and hiring mainly college students to make house calls to help clients hook up everything from wireless stereo systems to video surveillance systems to wireless computer networks. The startup is partnering with product vendors like Sonos, Nest and Linksys, though insists it doesn’t do any hard selling: Tech support is its emphasis.

The top calls so far relate to newfangled wireless issues (speeding up networks, addressing dead spots, connecting printers) and old-fashioned computer issues (slow machines, virus identification).


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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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