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The meanings and origins of sayings and phrases | The Phrase Finder

An archive of the meanings and origins of thousands of phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions.

 

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ESA spacecraft detects the presence of enormous Martian supervolcano | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

ESA spacecraft detects the presence of enormous Martian supervolcano | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

ESA's Mars Express orbiter has captured images that may indicate the presence of supervolcanoes on the surface of Mars. If the findings are later confirmed, the existence of these leviathan volcanoes may greatly inform current theories on climate formation, as eruptions from the supervolcanoes could have dramatically altered the Martian global environment.


A supervolcano is essentially a giant volcano capable of spewing forth over 1,000 km³ (621 miles³) of volcanic materials into the surrounding environment, producing a vast caldera in the process. A caldera is a broad depression created when the ground collapses as magma withdraws from the surface. A number of scientists now believe that the Siloe Patera "craters" and others like it are actually the remnant of a supervolcano caldera.

These terrifying, world-altering giants exist on Earth as well. The most famous terrestrial supervolcano resides in the Yellowstone National Park. It is believed that any major eruption at Yellowstone could seriously affect Earth's global environment. Whilst the Siloe Patera caldera is smaller than that of Yellowstone, measuring around 40 x 30 km (25 x 19 miles), it and others like it could have played a significant role in environmental evolution.


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Study links camping to happy, healthy children | Alan Williams | MedicalXpress.com

Study links camping to happy, healthy children | Alan Williams | MedicalXpress.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Children who camp in the great outdoors at least once a year go on to do better at school, as well as being healthier and happier, according to their parents.

That's the finding of a study carried out by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University and the Camping and Caravanning Club, who collaborated to discover perceptions of the relationship between education and camping.

Parents and children around the UK were asked a series of questions which looked at the educational, psychological and social benefits of the camping experience to children of all ages.

Research led by Sue Waite, Associate Professor at the Plymouth Institute of Education, found that more than four out of five parents thought camping had a positive effect on their children's school education.

It showed that 98 per cent of parents said camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature; 95 per cent said their kids were happier when camping; and 93 per cent felt that it provided useful skills for later life.

Some parents (15 per cent) reported that escaping technology (laptops, tablets, mobiles, etc) is a good thing for their children and one of the benefits of camping. A fifth of parents (20 per cent) said camping gives their kids freedom, independence and confidence; and more than two thirds (68 per cent) felt camping helped their children to enjoy learning in the classroom, because they can share their camping adventures and experiences such as visiting exciting educational or historical sites.

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Maryland governor says no to $11.6 mil for education and yes to $30 mil for children's prison | Walter Einenkel | Daily Kos

Maryland governor says no to $11.6 mil for education and yes to $30 mil for children's prison | Walter Einenkel | Daily Kos | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Governor Larry Hogan made the tough choice to use the $68 million Maryland's legislators earmarked for education, not for education! Over $11 million of that money would have gone to Baltimore schools. Governor Hogan called that money "extra money" and put it into the state's underfunded pensions, saying it would be irresponsible not to.

The money at issue was part of about $200 million that lawmakers set aside for their top priorities — extra school funding, preventing a pay cut for state workers and paying for a range of health-care initiatives that include Medicaid coverage for more pregnant women and funding for heroin addiction.

Governor Larry Hogan made the tough choice to spend $30 million on a 60-bed jail for Baltimore teenagers who have been charged as adults!

The issue was a bigger problem before the rate of youths jailed as adults dropped in recent years. State officials said in March that the city detention center holds fewer than 20 minors on any given day. But federal investigators who reviewed the last year jail said those young offenders were sometimes kept in seclusion for a month or longer.

But don't think Larry Hogan isn't for education:


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Solar sail mission launches with X-37B spaceplane | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Solar sail mission launches with X-37B spaceplane | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An odd pair lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today as the Planetary Society's LightSail nanosatellite piggybacked a ride atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket alongside the US Air Force's secret X-37B spaceplane.

The light-propelled LightSail is a CubeSat about the size of a loaf of bread, which was built by the nonprofit Planetary Society as a technology demonstrator for a non-rocket propulsion system that uses a Mylar sail to turn the light of the Sun into thrust on the same principle as a sail boat catches the wind.

LightSail won't actually be propelled by the Sun, but it will test systems for future missions, such as deploying its 32 sq m (344 sq ft) "sail."

The launch was part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which finds room for small satellites as auxiliary payloads on planned missions. In this case the LightSail CubeSat was bundled as part of the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) Ultra Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite (ULTRASat), which contains ten CubeSats managed by the NRO and NASA.


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Alien origin of Earth’s oceans | Alok Jha | BBC.com

Alien origin of Earth’s oceans | Alok Jha | BBC.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Look at our blue planet from afar, and you could easily conclude that the Earth is nothing more than a world of water. More than 70% of its surface is covered by oceans, to an average depth of 3,700 metres. Over aeons, that water has shaped continents, built our atmosphere and contains (somewhere in its depths) the cradle of life.


Today, our oceans hold millions of life forms - from bacteria to blue whales - and sit at the centre of our planet’s ecology, climate and weather. The water within drives the world’s winds, it temporarily becomes clouds or ice sheets at various locations, and it connects the poles via languorous deep-sea currents - processes that are all reflections of water’s singular role in absorbing and moving the Sun’s energy around our planet.


For these and many other reasons, as far as life is concerned, the oceans are the Earth.

But these oceans have not always existed on our planet. And the water within them is alien, arriving here many hundreds of millions of years after the Earth first took shape, 4.5 billion years ago. Back then, the surface of our planet was an unrecognisable hell - volcanic and bone dry.

Our oceans’ water, the substance precious to every life form and which has come to define our planet, arrived in frozen lumps from space during one of the most violent episodes in our planet’s early history.


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Girls like digital media while boys prefer print, finds study on reading habits | Richard Adams | The Guardian

Girls like digital media while boys prefer print, finds study on reading habits | Richard Adams | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Girls have more firmly embraced digital literacy and formats such as Facebook, email and text message, while boys are more comfortable with traditional printed media such as comics, manuals and newspapers, according to a study published by the National Literacy Trust.

The snapshot – based on responses from 32,000 pupils at more than 130 schools in the UK – found that girls continue to outpace boys in their enthusiasm for reading outside school at all age levels, with black girls in particular showing a prodigious appetite for literature.

Girls studying for GCSEs, for example, were more likely to read emails and social network sites than boys of the same age – and were also more likely to read fiction, suggesting that the growth of digital media has not diminished the popularity of literature.

Boys studying for GCSEs were more likely than girls to read print products such as comics, with 38% saying they read newspapers at least once a month compared with 30% of girls of the same age.

Overall, boys reported lower levels of enjoyment from reading than their female peers, according to the figures compiled by the trust. Boys also tended to read less often and think less positively about reading than girls did.


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StoryTracker is a new tool to track how news homepages change | Joshua Benton | NiemanLab.org

StoryTracker is a new tool to track how news homepages change | Joshua Benton | NiemanLab.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Hopefully you know about PastPages, the tool built by L.A. Times data journalist Ben Welsh to record what some of the web’s most important news sites have on their homepage — hour by hour, every single day.


Want to see what The Guardian’s homepage looked like Tuesday night? Here you go. Want to see how that Ebola patient first appeared on DallasNews.com in September? Try the small item here.


It’s a valuable service, particularly for future researchers who will want to study how stories moved through new media. (For print media, we have physical archives; for digital news, work even a few years old has an alarming tendency to disappear.)

It's possible for me to find a century-old newspaper, yet work I did 8-10 years ago on the web is gone.

— Derek Willis (@derekwillis) November 13, 2014

Anyway, Ben is back with a new tool called StoryTracker, “a set of open source tools for archiving and analyzing news homepages,” backed in part by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at Mizzou.


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Sorry Apple virtual reality fans, Oculus Rift for OS X is on pause | Andrea Peterson | WashPost.com

Sorry Apple virtual reality fans, Oculus Rift for OS X is on pause | Andrea Peterson | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is finally supposed to hit stores early next year. But until now, it wasn't entirely clear what kind of computer set up you'd need to actually experience it at home.

That changed Friday when the company released recommended specs for Windows PC in a blog post from Oculus Chief Architect at Rift technical director Atman Binstock.

You're going to want a pretty high end Windows PC to run it -- one with a beefy dedicated graphics card and a really speedy processor as well as 8 GB of RAM. And your PC will also need to be running Windows 7 with service pack 1 or newer, have two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port with a specific output architecture that's hard identify when looking to buy or build a set up at this point. "We are working on how to identify the right systems," the blog post said. You can see the full details in their blog post.

Such a rig will cost a pretty penny now -- starting around $1000 according to the Verge's rough desktop build -- but likely become more affordable down the line. "This configuration will be held for the lifetime of the Rift and should drop in price over time," the blog post said.

And forget about trying to use it with the laptop you have now: "Almost no current laptops" meet the recommended graphics needs for the device, according to the blog post.

But the most disappointing news for some gamers may be that Oculus has stopped working on a way to bring the virtual reality headset to Apple and Linux systems, at least for now.


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South Korean Parents Will Be Required to Have Government-Approved Spyware on Teens’ Smartphones | Roisin Davis | Truthdig.com

South Korean Parents Will Be Required to Have Government-Approved Spyware on Teens’ Smartphones | Roisin Davis | Truthdig.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It appears that South Korea is playing Orwellian catch-up with its security-obsessed northern neighbor.

Under a new law, parents in South Korea will be required to have government-approved spyware on the smartphones of children below the age of 19. Given that almost 80 percent of South Korean schoolchildren own smartphones, this move is likely to almost eliminate the old question for parents, “Do you know where your children are?”

As The Associated Press (via Yahoo) explains:


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The schools in Europe are not using films and audiovisual material to the full | Europa.eu

The schools in Europe are not using films and audiovisual material to the full | Europa.eu | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A new EU study recommends to include the film literacy in school curricula, and to promote the establishment of general rules for licensing schemes, contributing to a wider use of films and other audiovisual content in European Schools.

The study looked at the obstacles and best practices when showing films and other audiovisual content in European Schools. The study is divided into three chapters. The school chapter looks into how films are used and how film literacy fits intor the school curricula. The industry chapter looks at how films are made availbale for schools by the idustry. And finally the copyright chapter analyzes the legal framework in Europe for showing films in schools.

The main findings of the study:


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'Open Educational Resources' Promoted in U.S. Senate Proposal | Michelle Davis & Sean Cavanagh | EdWeek.org

'Open Educational Resources' Promoted in U.S. Senate Proposal | Michelle Davis & Sean Cavanagh | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Federal lawmakers want to encourage schools to consider using free, modifiable learning resources for students before investing in costly textbooks and curricula.

A move in the U.S. Senate to promote schools' use of open educational resources, if enacted by Congress and ultimately embraced by schools, could have a major impact on the development of curricula and on the companies that provide content to schools, some education experts say.

The latest Senate version of the main federal law on K-12 education includes new wording to encourage the use of open education resources—alternatives to proprietary products created by commercial companies—through grants that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would make available to states.

"That little provision has potential for quite a large impact," said Douglas A. Levin, an Arlington, Va.-based consultant and analyst on educational technology issues. "If and when this passes, the question is whether this will be just a bureaucratic requirement or whether it will be enforced and prioritized."

The influence of such language on both schools and the education business community may ultimately depend on who is in the White House next, Mr. Levin added.

A handful of states are already pursuing and promoting the use of open educational resources, or OER, often with a focus on digital materials. But publishers and ed-tech companies are looking closely to determine how the language incorporated into the pending Senate bill to reauthorize the ESEA could affect their bottom lines.

The bipartisan amendment to the proposed Senate rewrite of the law is meant to encourage schools "to use and share open educational resources to disseminate best practices and provide an alternative to costly textbooks," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement to Education Week.

Sen. Hatch—whose state has taken a lead role in encouraging the use of open resources—and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., sponsored the amendment, which was approved by a voice vote April 16. The overall bill awaits a vote of the full chamber.


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NASA competition encourages innovation in 3D printing technologies | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

NASA competition encourages innovation in 3D printing technologies | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA has issued a challenge to designers aimed at stimulating innovation in 3D printing solutions that may one day be the key to establishing a permanent presence on Mars.

Not only is 3D printing set to become the way of the future for construction here on Earth, it will also be instrumental in establishing a permanent outpost on another planet.

ESA has already conducted a series of studies geared towards building a Moonbase using an inflatable habitation area protected by 3D printed lunar regolith, now NASA has launched the multi-phase 3D Printed Habitat Challenge as part of its Centennial Challenges program.

The aim of the US$2.25 million competition is "to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond."

"The future possibilities for 3-D printing are inspiring, and the technology is extremely important to deep space exploration," says Sam Ortega, manager of the Centennial Challenges program. "This challenge definitely raises the bar from what we are currently capable of and we are excited to see what the maker community does with it. "


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Venture Capitalists Help Connect Low-Income Students With Elite Colleges | Jim Carlton | WSJ.com

Venture Capitalists Help Connect Low-Income Students With Elite Colleges | Jim Carlton | WSJ.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Investors here have gleefully trumpeted technology’s disruption of everything from transportation to entertainment. Now, they have a new target: college admissions.

A group of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists have been quietly pouring resources into an education nonprofit that boosts the number of low-income students at the nation’s top colleges.

Part of their interest, they say, is to help build a deeper talent pool for American corporations, especially in jobs requiring training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so-called STEM skills.

The investors, who include LinkedIn Corp. co-founder Reid Hoffman, have contributed financial and advisory support to QuestBridge, conceived in 2003 to connect disadvantaged students with elite colleges that pay a recruiting fee for the services.

The service has spread to 35 mostly private colleges, including Stanford University and Yale University, and helps place about 2,000 low-income students from an applicant pool that now tops 10,000 a year—one of the largest such programs in the country.

“I am attracted to organizations with potential massive scale, disruptive potential and sustainability,” Mr. Hoffman said in an email. “QuestBridge has all three of these features.”

America’s top schools have billions in financial aid available, but it often goes to low-income students they identify in the nation’s most populous urban areas. Admissions directors are rarely able to visit smaller cities or rural areas, said Michael McCullough, who founded QuestBridge with his wife, Ana, and is now a partner in a medical-investing firm.

“It’s not intuitive to [a disadvantaged] kid that an Ivy League school would give them a quarter-million dollars,” said Dr. McCullough.

The McCulloughs created a network of recruiters, including high-school counselors, to help identify a pool of gifted, disadvantaged students. QuestBridge began contacting the nominees.


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Astronomers observe origin of Type la supernova | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

Astronomers observe origin of Type la supernova | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An international team of astronomers from Europe, Israel and the United States has succeeded in shedding light on the origin of Type la supernovae – powerful nuclear explosions in deep space that allow us to chart the vast distances between galaxies. It is known that a white dwarf star is responsible for creating the distinctive, intensely bright explosion, but the cause of the supernovae are still a topic of hot debate.

Currently, there are two theories. The first is that the white dwarf goes supernova following an impact with another, less massive white dwarf star. This is known as the double-degenerate model as it requires the collision of two stellar bodies.

The second origin theory asserts that a Type la supernova occurs when the powerful gravity of a dense white dwarf strips material from a partner that could either be a red giant, or a star similar to our own Sun. The white dwarf continues the process until it reaches a point of critical mass, known as the Chandrasekhar limit, after which a runaway nuclear reaction is inevitable. This is the single-degenerate model. Both origin theories could potentially result in what is known as a "standard candle" event, meaning direct observation would be needed to settle the argument.


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Stone tool discovery pushes back dawn of culture by 700,000 years | Hannah Devlin | The Guardian

Stone tool discovery pushes back dawn of culture by 700,000 years | Hannah Devlin | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The oldest known stone tools, dating to long before the emergence of modern humans, have been discovered in Africa.

The roughly-hewn stones, which are around 3.3 million years old, have been hailed by scientists as a “new beginning to the known archaeological record” and push back the dawn of culture by 700,000 years.

The discovery overturns the mainstream view that the ability to make stone tools was unique to our own ancestors and that it was one of a handful of traits that made early humans so special.

The new artefacts, found in Kenya’s Turkana basin, suggest that a variety ancient apes were making similar advances in parallel across the African continent.

“It just rewrites the book on a lot of things that we thought were true,” said Chris Lepre, a geologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Rutgers University, who precisely dated the tools.

The Homo genus, from which modern humans descend, only emerged around 2.5 million years ago, when forests gave way to open grassland environments in Africa. Until now, it was widely assumed that environmental changes around this time triggered the shift towards a bipedal hunter-gatherer life style.

Jason Lewis, of Stony Brook University in New York and a co-author, said: “The idea was that our lineage alone took the cognitive leap of hitting stones together to strike off sharp flakes and that this was the foundation of our evolutionary success. This discovery challenges the idea that the main characters that make us human, such as making stone tools, eating more meat, maybe using language, all evolved at once in a punctuated way, near the origins of the genus Homo.”

The question of what, or whom, might have made the tools remains a mystery, but fossils from around the same period found at the site provide some clues.


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DARPA's new robotics program aims to harness the power of individuals and small businesses | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

DARPA's new robotics program aims to harness the power of individuals and small businesses | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

DARPA has announced a new program designed to harness expertise from smaller sources of innovation, routinely overlooked by large agencies. Looking to small businesses and individuals, the agency hopes to undertake a series of cost-effective projects that will deliver new robotics capabilities to warfighters, helping to keep them ahead of the technological curve.

DARPA has some pretty big programs in the works, developing everything from self-steering bullets to lighter, more agile alternatives to conventional tanks. But the agency believes it spends too long working on what program manager Mark Micire calls "three to four-year solutions for six-month problems."

The Robotics Fast Track (RFT) effort aims to provide more streamlined avenues of innovation, funding 6 to 12-month projects with an average cost of just US$150,000. To get things moving, the agency has recruited the non-profit Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) to help out. The foundation focuses on software development and works to encourage robotics research and development in the small-scale community.


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NASA's SMAP mission begins science operations | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

NASA's SMAP mission begins science operations | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Less than four months after lift-off, testing on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is complete, and science operations have begun. The data recorded by the mission, which will give rise to more accurate weather forecasting, will now be subject to a year of validation against existing measurements.

The goal of the SMAP mission is to provide up-to-date global soil moisture maps, measuring a 620-mile-wide (1,000-km) swathe of the ground below as it flies at an altitude of 426 miles (685 km) from pole to pole. It's designed to detect whether soil is frozen or thawed, and will help researchers to better understand the planet's water, carbon and energy cycles. In the long run, it should lead to improved weather predictions and monitoring of hazards such as flooding.

The mission launched on January 31, and the satellite's 20-ft (6-m) antenna was unfurled back in February. The team then worked to spin-up the antenna to its full 14.6 revolutions per minute, before powering on the radio and radiometer instruments at the end of March, and testing their performance and accuracy.


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Future talk: Parenting for a digital future for young people with a disability | Meryl Alper | LSE.ac.uk

Future talk: Parenting for a digital future for young people with a disability | Meryl Alper | LSE.ac.uk | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Meryl Alper says the relationship between disabled children and the digital future is a complicated one. In this post, she looks at one U.S.-American family’s story and discusses how it’s characteristic of many parent’s talk of the future, digital media and its role in their disabled child’s paths and plans. She is a PhD candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, and author of Digital youth with disabilities. Meryl’s work focuses on the social and cultural implications of communication technologies, with a focus on disability and digital media, children and families’ media use and mobile communication

The new media landscape for young people with disabilities is undergoing a significant technological and cultural shift.¹ With a Special Education section in the Apple App Store and autism-friendly film screenings and Broadway shows, never has more attention been paid to disabled young people as a commercial audience.

How are their parents making sense of such media and technology? I explored this question in Home screen home: How parents of children with disabilities navigate family media use.

Among the parents I talked to, I heard a great deal of what I refer to as ‘future talk’. While talking about the future is something that nearly all parents do, these conversations were characterised by three main themes:

  • preparing for the uncertain path of their child’s individual growth


  • developing contingency plans in light of a society largely unprepared for the needs of their child as an adult


  • inevitability of technological advancement and its impact on their child’s life.


By focusing on one family’s story here, there are some surprising ways in which media becomes an integral part of this ‘future talk’, revealing something about parenting for a digital future.


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Alex Makosz's curator insight, May 22, 6:21 AM

Pretty inspiring!

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Code Fellows offers $250K in coding scholarships for minorities, women and veterans | James Risley | GeekWire

Code Fellows offers $250K in coding scholarships for minorities, women and veterans | James Risley | GeekWire | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Seattle-based coding bootcamp Code Fellows has launched a quarter-million dollar scholarship fund for minorities, women and veterans, covering more than half the tuition cost toward the program that guarantees a job to graduates.

The scholarships are available for Bootcamp and Development Accelerator courses at the code school’s Chicago, Portland and Seattle locations. Applicants should plan to start between July 6 and August 3.

“This diversity scholarship program builds on one of our core beliefs: everyone should have the opportunity to develop,” said Code Fellows CEO Kristin Smith in a press release. She also noted that diversity can lead to better products and more effective teams for employers.

Only two percent of tech company employees in Silicon Valley are black, and Hispanics only make up three percent according to USA Today. Women’s presence in the tech job force is estimated at around 30 percent.

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Global Internet Activists Give Thumbs Down to Facebook's Internet.org | Tim Karr | BillMoyers.com

Global Internet Activists Give Thumbs Down to Facebook's Internet.org | Tim Karr | BillMoyers.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Mark Zuckerberg’s plan for world domination is in trouble.

The billionaire Facebook founder recently took to his social network in a bid to save Internet.org, his plan to give billions of the planet’s poorest people a limited taste of the World Wide Web.

“We have a historic opportunity ahead of us to improve the lives of billions of people,” he said in an impassioned video plea. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

Internet.org is essentially a mobile application that provides free access to a handful of other applications, platforms and websites, including Facebook, Wikipedia and the BBC. Use of Internet.org comes at no cost; local carriers stream data via the service for free.

As apps go this might seem well and good but Zuckerberg sees Internet.org as far more than an app. If things proceed as planned, it will represent the entity of the Internet for a significant proportion of the world’s population.

And that’s the problem because Internet.org isn’t the Internet. It’s an enclosed digital domain that doesn’t benefit the poor so much as it pads Facebook’s bottom line. Imagine the benefits of a billion new subscribers for a company whose business is built on harvesting user data.

As Facebook pushes Internet.org from continent to continent, backlash against the effort has also spread.


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Children can get all kinds of stuff on YouTube Kids. Like ads for beer and profane cartoons. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Children can get all kinds of stuff on YouTube Kids. Like ads for beer and profane cartoons. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Google's YouTube app for young children is under fire again from consumer groups who argue the service is filled with inappropriate content for kids.

In a two-minute video, child-safety and privacy advocates highlight a slew of commercials, cartoons and how-to videos that they say have no business being shown to children under 5 years old, YouTube Kids' target demographic.

The video was sent Tuesday to regulators at the Federal Trade Commission in support of a complaint filed last month asking for an investigation of the search giant.


A letter to the FTC accompanying the video claims that Google's marketing deceives parents about the kind of content their children will find on YouTube Kids.


"In reviews on Google Play and iTunes, parents report finding pornographic cartoons, videos laced with profanity, and videos featuring graphic violence," reads the letter, which was filed by the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC).


YouTube Kids offers parental controls that help adults limit the amount of controversial content that youngsters can see. For instance, the app allows parents to disable the search function and to report inappropriate content directly from within the app. But some users of the service have asked for stronger measures.


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Better Community Investment Will Pay Dividends for Colleges | Emma Copeland | Next New Deal

In recent weeks, the debate about holding colleges accountable has focused on schools’ responsibilities toward failing students, continuously rising tuition, and increasing student debt. What’s been overlooked is the role of colleges as a potential force for good within their more immediate communities. Indeed, one of the most profound ways a university can improve the holistic experience of its students is to invest more in the surrounding community.

Presently, many four-year institutions entrust the bulk of their money to low-risk funds or national banks like Bank of America. The money that flows into a school never directly returns to the community, and it is often the case that low-income residents near a college must battle gentrification, stagnation, or both. For example, New York University’s $3.5 billion endowment is currently invested in national banks such as Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank, none of which are directly involved in developing the community around NYU.

Outside of investment, universities and colleges spend a huge amount of money that has the potential to directly affect the communities around them. Big schools like Michigan State University, which purchases nearly $87 million worth of goods and services annually, could spend mere fractions of this number on local small businesses, causing them to flourish like never before.

As a student at a four-year public university in Northern Virginia, I know a few things about debt and personal economic stagnation. To say “the United States can’t afford the status quo in higher education” might be the understatement of the decade. So how can we shake up the status quo?


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The Dogon Tribe Of Africa And Their Extraterrestrial History | Catalyzing Change

The Dogon Tribe Of Africa And Their Extraterrestrial History | Catalyzing Change | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One the most amazing sources of evidence of our ancestors coming from the stars is the history of the Dogon Tribe of Africa. There are between 400,000 and 800,000 Dogon in a remote civilization in the central plateau region of Mali in Africa. The Dogon culture is known for its detailed, meaningful art and tribal customs, but the Dogon are mostly known for their ancient, accurate cosmology and the legends of their ancestors from Sirius.

The Importance of the Dogon hit the western world in 1930 when French anthropologists first heard legends from the Dogon priests. The legends were passed down through many generations and documented through artwork. The Dogon spoke of an extraterrestrial race from the Sirius Star System, referred to as the Nommos, who visited them on earth. The Nommos were an aquatic race of humanoid creatures, similar to mermaids. This was amazing to hear because the god, Isis, of Babylon is depicted as a mermaid and associated with Sirius.


The Dogon say that the Nommos descended to earth from the heavens in a great boat, accompanied with extreme wind and loud noise. The Dogon explained that the Sirius system had a companion star, but it cannot be seen from earth due to the brightness of Sirius A. Researchers have found Dogon artifacts dating back over 400 years depicting orbits of these stars.

Years later, in 1970, astronomers finally had good enough telescopes to zoom in on Sirius and they photographed Sirius B. The Dogon were right! They also identified the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn without the use of a telescope. How could they know this?


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NYTimes Exposes Giant Fake Diploma Mill Operating Out Of Pakistan; Company Threatens Everyone With Defamation | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

NYTimes Exposes Giant Fake Diploma Mill Operating Out Of Pakistan; Company Threatens Everyone With Defamation | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For well over a decade, we've written about the rise of diploma mills online. These are generally unaccredited operations that effectively sell you a degree so you can pretend to be more qualified than you really are. Every few years or so, there are big stories about some semi-famous/high-level person whose degree actually came from a diploma mill.


Over the weekend, the NY Times exposed a large Pakistani "software" company, Axact, for not only being behind a bunch of diploma mill websites, but also for engaging in heavy handed boiler-room-style tactics to pressure people into paying ridiculous sums of money. The NY Times report is pretty damning, highlighting how Axact has become a big name in Pakistan, but very few people actually understand how or why it's become so successful. The company has done a lot to try to hide the nature of its large diploma mill business.


As the NY Times shows, a bunch of the biggest bogus diploma mill sites are really run by Axact, and feature stock imagery, videos of students/administrators who are really actors (some of whom appear in videos for multiple such universities) and websites and names that make them appear kinda sorta like well-known universities. For example, some of the fake sites named are "Columbiana" and "Barkley University."


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High School students reinvent headphone cable for the 21st century | Paul Ridden | GizMag.com

High School students reinvent headphone cable for the 21st century | Paul Ridden | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Music lovers can waste many hours and huge sums of money searching for a pair of headphones to match a certain style or preferred sonic signature, only to have to put them to one side and start again just to join the groovy wireless in-crowd. If those premium cans are the kind where the audio cable can be unplugged, however, then the Spiro X1 will allow them to be transformed into Bluetooth ear candy.

Daniel Greenberg's Spiro X1 has similar functionality to the successfully crowdfunded BTunes plug, but with a somewhat different aesthetic – one that screams out to the Beats generation. The original concept was born of late night discussions by team members at a hackathon held at the University of Pennsylvania. By the end of the PennApps event, the High School students had the makings of an idea.


Months of hard work resulted in a proof of concept in February of this year, followed by electrical and mechanical designs, and then the latest aesthetic prototype.


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