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State Tech Directors Bring Together Information on Policies and Practices | Whiteboard Advisors

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has created an online repository of information on state policies and practices with the goal of providing actional information to state leaders leading school reform and improvement efforts. The State Education Policy Center (SEPC) can be accessed at http://sepc.setda.org/ and contains information on three primary policy and practice areas: K-12 broadband, online student assessment (formative and summative), and instructional materials (with an emphasis on digital and open content). 

 

The website also includes general state demographics information and details about state education technology organizations. This project, funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a valuable resoure for state leaders as they continue to focus on the effective implementation of technology resources in their state. SETDA and its members will continue to add policy updates as they occur, improving the coverage of state-level technology policy and practice over time. In addition to SEPC, SETDA's website also contains a number of reports and research covering state and federal policy and funding issues.

 

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How to use the Raspberry Pi B+ computer for your next DIY project | Alex Campbell | NetworkWorld.com

How to use the Raspberry Pi B+ computer for your next DIY project | Alex Campbell | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You don't need an electrical engineering degree to build a robot army. With the $35 Raspberry Pi B+, you can create robots and connected devices on the cheap, with little more than an Internet connection and a bunch of spare time.


The Raspberry Pi is a computer about the size of a credit card. The darling of the do-it-yourself electronics crowd, the Pi was originally designed to teach kids computer and programming skills without the need for expensive computer labs. People have used Raspberry Pis for everything from robots to cheap home media centers.


The Pi sports USB ports, HDMI video, and a host of other peripherals. The latest version, the B+, sports 512MB of RAM and uses a MicroSD card instead of a full-size card.


Most people install a Linux distribution called Raspbian onto the SD cards needed to boot the Pi. Raspbian is a version of Debian Linux (the distribution Ubuntu is based on) designed specifically for use on the Pi. Raspbian is also recommended for new Pi users to familiarize themselves with the device and the Linux operating system.


If the the big "L-word" scares you, rest easy knowing that Raspbian ships with a familiar graphical environment, complete with a web browser. And you can get your Pi up and running in less time than it takes to bake an edible raspberry pie.


Ready? Let's get cooking.


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ALEC And Jeb Bush Are Conspiring To Kill Off Public Schools For Good | PoliticusUSA.com

ALEC And Jeb Bush Are Conspiring To Kill Off Public Schools For Good | PoliticusUSA.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Even the most successful of power-mad schemers need reliable co-conspirators to accomplish their nefarious ends. The most power-mad of the power-mad, the American Legislative Exchange Council, relies on easily compromised spear-carriers to dominate state legislatures and push through model-legislation designed to benefit ALEC’s multi-national, special interest corporate donor base.


It was by pure happenstance I chanced upon such a co-conspirator the other day. It actually turned out to be three co-conspirators. I was digging through the South Carolina Ethics Commission’s statements of economic interests required of state and legislative office holders and their challengers. These interests include name, address, filing date, business and property interest, creditors, government contracts, lobbyist contacts and, most importantly, who is buying legislator’s votes through the section marked “gifts.”


I concentrated on my local delegation of seated representatives. On my first search, an initialism (thus termed when an acronym is unpronounceable) popped up that I’d never seen or heard of before. It appeared as SLLF. Whatever it was had gifted one of my local state delegations with a total of nearly $3,100 for the gift of a single trip. Not bad. There are some economy overseas jaunts you can take for three grand. The stipend covered ‘tuition,’ lodging and meals. As I looked at the economic interests of my other local representatives, SLLF appeared over and over. Four of my six house members accepted SLLF’s largess. This definitely called for further study.


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South Carolina Cyber education boots up again | GreenvilleOnline.com

South Carolina Cyber education boots up again | GreenvilleOnline.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As thousands of Upstate children hopped in big yellow school buses and headed off to big brick schoolhouses last week, the state's virtual schools hit the "on" button and booted up another year of cyber education.


South Carolina was ahead of the curve six years ago when its first three online schools went into operation through the statewide Charter School District. The state attracted national attention from the North American Council for Online Learning for its "virtual big bang."


The virtual schools started in 2008 with 2,175 students. This year, there are twice as many virtual schools and more than four times as many students enrolled in them.


The results have been mixed.


For some students, like Jonathan Sessions, a seventh-grader who is starting his seventh year in the South Carolina Virtual Charter School, it's been great, according to his mother, Karen.


"He's learning much more in the virtual school," she said during a start-of-year "school social" at Cleveland Park late late week. "Having older children that went to a traditional school, I can see a big difference – much more learning taking place."


She put Jonathan and his older brother, Nick, now a student at Greenville Tech Charter High, in the virtual school so they could go at their own pace, she said.


Jonathan says he doesn't mind not going to a regular school every day like most kids.


"I haven't been bothered by it because I've done a lot of other stuff like at the YMCA," he said. "But I've also met other students and gotten to know them."


Like at the Cleveland Park gathering, where students, parents and teachers were playing board games, chatting and just spending face time with each other before renewing their cyber relationship for another year.


Some students don't do well, however, in the less structured environment of a virtual school. And that has hurt the overall academic standing of the six virtual charter schools now in operation in the state, officials said.


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Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health | NPR.org

Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Many parents have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers, with limited success. But parents just got a boost from the nation's pediatricians, who say that making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children's' health, safety and academic performance.


"We want to promote safety with kids," says , an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital. "We truly believe that our teenagers are getting six to seven hours of sleep a night, and they need eight to 10."


On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a calling on school districts to move start times to 8:30 a.m. or later for middle and high schools, so that students can get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night.


"It's making a very powerful statement about the importance of sleep to health," says , a sleep researcher at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who wrote a on teen sleep needs that accompanied the recommendation. "School start time is a cost-effective way to address this public health issue."


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CA: LA schools cancel iPad contracts after KPCC publishes troubling emails | SCPR.org

CA: LA schools cancel iPad contracts after KPCC publishes troubling emails | SCPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Three days after KPCC published internal emails showing top L.A. Unified officials and executives from Pearson and Apple met and discussed bringing tablet-driven education software to the classroom, the school district announced Monday it will cancel the contract with Apple and Pearson and open its one-to-one technology project to new bids.


Superintendent John Deasy alerted school board members to the change to the Common Core Technology Project in a memo distributed Monday evening and obtained by KPCC. (You can read his full memo, embedded below.)


"Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [Common Core Technology Project] and receive new information from the California Department of Education regarding assessments," Deasy wrote.


KPCC's investigation found Deasy and his deputies communicated with Pearson employees over pricing, teacher training and technical support - specifications that later resembled the district's request for proposals from vendors. Pearson and Apple emerged as the winning bidders and were awarded the now-abandoned contract in June 2013.


"Specifically, we will be re-visiting the criteria on which original specifications were based, as well as review vendor responses and student feedback to the laptop pilot," Deasy wrote. "We expect our current contractor and their subcontractor to participate in the upcoming RFP."


It's unclear how the decision will affect the 75,000 iPads the district has already purchased - about half of which were loaded with Pearson's unfinished software. Pearson is not required to finish the software until November.


L.A. Unified’s technology project is poised to be the largest school expansion in the country, equipping 650,000 students with computers and upgrading wifi networks at the district’s 800 schools. The project is expected to cost $1.3 billion.


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The price of a 'free' public education turns out to be damn expensive | Mark Anderson | DailyKos.com

The price of a 'free' public education turns out to be damn expensive | Mark Anderson | DailyKos.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In just two short weeks my son will start high school, a momentous event in his young life, the beginning of his journey to adulthood. He plays football and plans to be a wrestler this season.


Thirty-three years ago when I started high school (GO PURGOLDERS!), my parents did not have to pay any fees for me to attend school. There were no fees for me to play football, and no fees for textbooks or consumables. As I recall, the only fees my parents paid while I was in high school were $20 for a season pass to all athletic events (total of $80 for four years), and $60 for driver's education my sophomore year. That was it.


Now, 30-some years later due to a shifting of the tax burden from the wealthy and businesses, school funding has taken a hit. Now my taxes no longer cover what it costs to educate a child.


And yet, Article X Section 3 of the Wisconsin State Constitution states:


The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years...


Well, this does not look like free to me:


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Workers of the high seas, unite! | Rebecca Onion | The Boston Globe

Workers of the high seas, unite! | Rebecca Onion |  The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the 17th and 18th centuries, at the height of the Age of Sail, famous sea captains like the British Royal Navy’s Horatio Nelson and the explorer James Cook gathered recognition and treasure. The anonymous sailors who crewed their ships, meanwhile, got to travel the world—but under tough conditions. Pressed up against one another in close quarters, the average seaman ate poorly and suffered from shipboard diseases. A large number were permanently disabled in combat, or through accidents; many died far from home.


Even if their names are largely unknown to us now, sailors didn’t suffer these indignities without leaving their mark on the modern world. In a new book, “Outlaws of the Atlantic: Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail” (Beacon Press), Marcus Rediker, a historian at the University of Pittsburgh, argues that the stresses and strains of the sailor’s life incubated radical new ways of thinking about labor, and about citizens’ relationship to the state.


The history of the maritime working class is hard to write, because primary documents are scarce. Many sailors were illiterate. One chapter of Rediker’s book looks at an extraordinary document—the 40-year diary of Edward Barlow, a 17th-century seaman who protected his work from shipboard life by preserving it in a joint of bamboo sealed with wax. But Barlow’s diary is unusual. To fill in the blanks, the historian turned to court records of shipboard conflicts, folk songs, and sailors’ yarns, using those sources to excavate a longer history of democratic thinking among sailors. Along the way, Rediker delves into what he describes as longtime fascinations: shipboard labor disputes; the resistance strategies of people imprisoned on slave ships; the “counterculture” of the pirate’s life.


Sailors, Rediker argues, should be recognized as critical contributors to both the American Revolution and the abolition of slavery. “Within the closed, repressive space of the ship, an engine of capitalism,” Rediker writes, “emerged dreams of freedom, stories of new ways of being, transcendent and sometimes utopian.”


Rediker spoke with Ideas from Philadelphia, where he was researching his next book.


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New OMB Uniform Guidelines for Nonprofits and Social Impact | ZeroDivide.org

New OMB Uniform Guidelines for Nonprofits and Social Impact | ZeroDivide.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

People know I'm a little bit wonkish — someone who enjoys reading dense policy articles, as well as local, state and federal laws and regulations. But few would suggest I take pleasure in reading cost allocation guidelines published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As every nonprofit grant writer, accountant and executive can attest, plowing through these federal rules typically cause despair.


However, the new rules on cost allocation that I read the other day was reason for some cautious celebration. Among other things, it consolidates cost principles for schools, governments and nonprofit organizations into what some are calling a “Super Circular.” Having one set of federal rules for everyone to follow is certainly commendable — but is it cause for joy? Yes, and here’s why.


The OMB’s new Uniform Guidance directs any governments using federal funds to pay a nonprofit its indirect costs. Let me repeat that: governments using federal funds will no longer be able to say “we don’t pay for administrative or overhead costs; your nonprofit will have to eat those costs or raise the money on your own.”  


No longer will nonprofits need to postpone investments they require to do their work, nor will they have to continue subsidizing their work with government agencies. There are some limits on how far the OMB mandate on paying indirect costs goes, so nonprofits should check to see which of their funding streams are and are not covered.


By enabling nonprofit organizations to include true indirect costs, including technology and staffing when appropriate, in their government contracts and grants, the federal government is recognizing what we at ZeroDivide have been saying for years:


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MA: As state legislator heads to Salem State U., he questions the future of private higher education | Boston Business Journal

MA: As state legislator heads to Salem State U., he questions the future of private higher education | Boston Business Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As Massachusetts state Rep. John D. Keenan heads to Salem State University next week to become the public institution's new vice president of administration, a topic that is top of mind for him is what Keenan terms the "disruptive stage" that higher education is going through.


The biggest issue, Keenan said, is that people can no longer afford the tuitions private colleges and universities are charging. Second, he added, technology and online classes are making it easy for people to get higher education much less expensively.


Not to mention the fact, he said, that students are graduating with so much debt from private colleges and universities they will be unable to qualify for a mortgage and buy a house.


Keenan, who spent a decade in the state Legislature and was a Salem city councilor before that, said he knows the demand for private higher education will never go away entirely. But he believes this disruptive stage for higher education will end in the closure of some of Massachusetts‚ private colleges and universities.


That, he said, will leave plenty of room for a public university like Salem State to grow its share of the student market. Salem State University has approximately 7,700 undergraduate students and the cost of attendance for a full-time freshman is about $20,000 for the upcoming academic year.


"I'm not talking about Harvard and BC and BU. But there has to be some fallout," Keenan said, referring to the possible closure of some private colleges and universities. He added, "More and more people will see it's a value proposition to come out and not be saddled with debt."


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NOAA Ocean Explorer: Search for the Lost French Fleet of 1565: Mission Background | NOAA.gov

NOAA Ocean Explorer: Search for the Lost French Fleet of 1565: Mission Background | NOAA.gov | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the mid-16th century, France was eager to assert her claim to the New World, both to seize the opportunity for wealth and commerce and to ease religious tensions at home by providing a refuge for Protestant Huguenots. A series of fleets were sent to colonize the wilderness of “La Floride” starting in 1562, alternatively lead by Jean Ribault and René de Laudonnière.


The promising start at Fort Caroline on the River of May (the present-day St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida) would come to a bloody end shortly after Ribault’s 1565 arrival with a fleet of seven resupply ships, as the stage was set for a decisive colonial conflict between France and Spain. With the aid of a tremendous storm that would destroy Ribault’s four largest ships, Spanish forces lead by Pedro Menéndez would deal the death blow to France’s dream of Florida conquest.


Four and a half centuries later, archaeologists at the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), the research arm of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, are dedicated to the search and discovery of the lost French Fleet of 1565.


Partnering with the State of Florida, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, the National Park Service, and the Institute of Maritime History and using research from the Center for Historical Archaeology, in July, the team surveyed a five-mile long stretch of the Atlantic Ocean off the Canaveral National Seashore using geophysical instruments including marine magnetometer, sidescan sonar, and sub-bottom profiler.


In August, after analyzing the magnetic and acoustic data, archaeologists returned to the search area to stage diving operations on potential shipwreck targets, in hopes of locating and identifying the remains of one or more vessels from the earliest French colonization attempt in North America.


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The Dangers of Texting While Driving | FCC.gov

The popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and even dangerous consequences. We now know that mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life.


  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2010 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes – with 3,092 people killed – and crashes resulting in an injury – with 416,000 people wounded.
  • Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a Pew survey.
  • The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
  • Eleven percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.


Distracted driving endangers life and property and the current levels of injury and loss are unacceptable.


To stem this problem, the FCC is working with industry, safety organizations, and other government agencies, to inform and educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving and is seeking to identify and facilitate the development of innovative technologies that could reduce the incidence of distracted driving. To help in this effort and share information, we created a dedicated website.


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The Teacher Evaluation Confronts the Future | Michael McShane Commentary | EdWeek.org

The Teacher Evaluation Confronts the Future | Michael McShane Commentary | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the past decade, two overarching trends have had an outsize effect on America's education landscape. The first is the shift in teacher-evaluation policy whereby states are creating new models for measuring the effectiveness of teachers based on standardized-test scores and other objective measures of student outcomes. The second is how entrepreneurial school leaders are rethinking the design and organization of schools and leveraging instructional technology.

 

Examples of each abound.

 

Teacher-quality reform was a major component of President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's original 2009 Race to the Top program—responsible for 138 of the 500 total points that were available to states that applied for the grants—and the more recent No Child Left Behind Act waivers.

 

States across the country have developed alternative pathways into the teaching profession, worked to advance their university-based teacher-preparation programs, and created mechanisms to link student test scores and standardized observations to teacher evaluations.

 

At the same time, charter networks like Rocketship and Carpe Diem are using technology, enabling teachers to reach more students without sacrificing effectiveness. Schools like Touchstone Education in Newark, N.J., and Ingenuity Prep in Washington use what the education consulting group Public Impact calls "multi-classroom leadership," in which a teacher-leader oversees the instructional practice of a team of teachers.

 

There is a problem here: Much of the teacher-quality agenda assumes a particular arrangement of education. It hinges upon the ability to assign a particular set of students to a particular teacher as the students progress through a particular curriculum in order to measure that teacher's impact on those students' learning. Schools that use a team-teaching model, for example, do not fit neatly into objective evaluations, nor do schools that lean upon technology to deliver large swaths of instruction.

 

If you don't think there is tension developing between the standardized teacher evaluation and the innovative instructional models that are emerging across the country, let me give you a historical analogy.

 

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The Gates Foundation Education Reform Hype Machine and Bizarre Inequality Theory | Truth-Out.org

The Gates Foundation Education Reform Hype Machine and Bizarre Inequality Theory | Truth-Out.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In a graphic, interactive investigation by Adam Bessie and Dan Carino, we take a look under the hood of The Gates Foundation's multimillion dollar public relations machine designed to turn you into an education reformer.

 

This comic accompanies a two-year long Truthout supported series illustrating the education reform debate from an alternative perspective, both ideologically and visually.

 

For previous graphic essays on education by Adam Bessie, see also

"This School is Not a Pipe" (with Josh Neufeld); "The Disaster Capitalism Curriculum: The High Price of Education Reform" (with Dan Archer:  "Part I: Washington D.C."; "Part II: New Orleans"; "Part III: Finland") and "Automated Teaching Machine: A Graphic Introduction to the End of Human Teachers" (with Arthur King).

 

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Former education secretary, Diane Ravitch, wrote about this 3 years ago in the book "The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education".

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A truly giant tablet hits the market…for kids! | Fredric Paul | NetworkWorld.com

A truly giant tablet hits the market…for kids! | Fredric Paul | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It’s been a long, long, long time since Crosby, Stills, and Nash told kids to “Teach your parents well.” And I don’t think they were talking about a new 24-inch tablet computer from Fuhu. But maybe they were prescient or something, because I think Fuhu's new Nabi Big Tab 24 tablet is a great idea for adults  as well as kids. And for business as well as personal uses.


In case you haven’t heard, coming this fall, the Big Tab 24 is the world’s largest Android tablet, though it runs Fuhu’s proprietary Blue Morpho operating system over the base Android 4.4 OS. (Fuhu, based in El Segundo, California, is also prepping a 20-inch version.) The specs are actually pretty impressive: it’s got a 15-point capacitive touch screen designed to let multiple (small) people use it at the same time, Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processors, and 16 GB of memory.


Not exactly the modern definition of portable, the 2-foot-diagonal behemoth is almost an inch thick and weighs a whopping 13 pounds. And apparently, it can only run for about a half hour without being plugged in. Fortunately, the built-in carrying frame also functions as a kickstand. Still, that’s a lot of screen and technology for $550, hardly more than a relatively tiny Apple iPad Air. The 20-inch version costs $450 -- compare that to an iPad Mini!


The idea behind this giant tablet is that kids can play games and work on projects together -- either cooperatively or in competition with each other.


Fine, that’s a great idea, but what I’m really interested in is what grownups could do with a machine like this. I don’t know whether or not users will be able to root the Big Tab to something like stock Android, but given the device’s kid-friendly design, it’s unlikely that too many “serious” folks will take that route.


That’s a shame, because it doesn’t take a kid to come up with all kinds of cool uses for a really, really, really big tablet. Sure, as readers of my phablet coverage already know, I’m biased toward big screens, but I think oversized tablets could have lots of useful applications:


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Back To School With The Educational App Boom | On Point Radio | WBUR.org

Back To School With The Educational App Boom | On Point Radio | WBUR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The new school year is revved and revving up all over now.  Backpacks, notebooks, new sneakers – and technology.  At home and in the classroom, educational apps are all over now. 


Apps for babies.  Apps for toddlers.  Apps for kids in school.  We’ve got The Three Little Pigs and Monster Physics.  Frog Dissection and Duolingo.  Apps for the classroom, and for home, and apps for teachers to communicate with home. 


Is it all rocketing our children ahead in learning?  This hour On Point:  In school and out, wading deep into the age of educational apps.


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Computer Science: The Future of Education | Allison Miller Blog | Edutopia.org

Computer Science: The Future of Education | Allison Miller Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

From the cell phone alarm that wakes them to the tablets used to chat with friends and complete homework, today's students are surrounded by computer technology. It is ubiquitous, and critical to daily routines. Yet few understand how technology works, even as it becomes ever more intrinsic to how we solve business and community challenges.


Today, computer science helps retailers determine how to grow sales, and it ensures that law enforcement officers are in the right places to maintain public safety. It is the foundation for the smart grid, and it fuels personalized medicine initiatives that optimize outcomes and minimize treatment side effects. Computing algorithms help organizations in all industries solve problems in new and more effective ways.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs. However, between current professionals and university students, we will only have 400,000 computer scientists trained to fill those roles.


Since it can take as many as 25 years to create a computer scientist, and since computer science skills are becoming increasingly integral for jobs in all industries, this skills gap is on track to emerge as a formidable economic, security, and social justice challenge in the next few years. Teachers, schools, parents, and industry must act on multiple fronts to address student readiness, expand access to computer science curriculum and opportunities, and help foster interest in computer science to ensure that it becomes a core component of every child's education.


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NYC: Harlem Students Trade Summer Sun and Fun for Labs and Apps | West Harlem | DNAinfo.com

NYC: Harlem Students Trade Summer Sun and Fun for Labs and Apps | West Harlem | DNAinfo.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Instead of spending the summer at the pool, Arif Mahmud, 17, spent his time working in a lab.


Mahmud was one of 25 high schoolers in the Harlem-based science incubator Harlem Biospace's inaugural summer program, HK Maker Lab, which recruited students to spend four days a week for six weeks at Columbia University in order to learn about biomedical engineering.


"It is really amazing to see something that started off as just an idea in your head become a physical bio-medical product," said Mahmud, a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School who was part of a team that invented a reliable light source for surgery rooms in international hospitals that lack sufficient energy infrastructures.


Other students in the program created products to solve global health problems like finding a low-cost and efficient way of keeping newborns warm in places that don’t have incubators.


Organizers said this year's first-ever program ran even better than expected.


“The thing that exceeded my expectations was their level of focus,” said Aaron Kyle, who designed the curriculum. “They took six weeks out of their summer, they could’ve been outside, playing sports and having fun.”


Apart from teaching high school students biomedical engineering, the program exposes them to the college environment and shows them how obtainable that goal is, Kyle added. Maker Lab, for instance, recruited students from regions with the fewest college science and math majors as well as students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, according to their website.


The summer was also a success for the Harlem-based nonprofit Silicon Harlem, which ran its first Apps Youth Leadership Academy, a seven-week program, out of City College.


Twenty high school students from Harlem learned coding and design to develop their own apps as part of the training, according to Marta Moreno Vega, who organized Silicon Harlem and is president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.


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Fifteen previously unknown monuments discovered underground in Stonehenge landscape | April Holloway | Ancient-Origins.net

Fifteen previously unknown monuments discovered underground in Stonehenge landscape | April Holloway | Ancient-Origins.net | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A groundbreaking new survey of Stonehenge and its surrounds has revealed fifteen previously unknown Neolithic monuments underground, according to a new report released by the Smithsonian Institute. The results show that there is a lot more to Stonehenge than meets the eye.


It has long been known that Stonehenge was not just an isolated monument in an unspoilt landscape, but was part of a much bigger complex.  This is evidenced by the scattering of mounds, ditches, burials, and other significant monuments, such as Woodhenge, Coneybury, the Cursus monument, and Amesbury Long Barrow, all within a short distance of the famous stone circle. Now a new research project using magnetic sensors to scan landmarks in Wiltshire have found even more evidence of human activity, which have lain hidden underground for thousands of years.


The Stonehenge Hidden Landscaped Project is a four-year collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria. The team has conducted the first detailed underground survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, covering around four square miles (six kilometres). What they discovered was startling.


Using the latest in high-tech equipment, the team of experts detected evidence of ancient digging and buildings, including other henges, barrows, pits, and ditches, which are believed to harbour valuable information about the prehistoric site.


“This is among the most important landscapes, and probably the most studied landscape, in the world,” archaeologist Vince Gaffney of the University of Birmingham told the Smithsonian Magazine. “And the area has been absolutely transformed by this survey. It won’t be the same again.”


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UK: New Stonehenge Discovery Changes Everything | Ryan Grenoble | HuffPost.com

UK: New Stonehenge Discovery Changes Everything | Ryan Grenoble | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The mystery surrounding Stonehenge has suddenly deepened -- literally. A first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient stone monument and its surroundings.


For the study, researchers used a variety of techniques -- including ground-penetrating radar and 3D laser scanning -- to create a highly detailed subsurface map of the entire area. According to a release from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, one of the partners in the study, the technologies are notable for being much less destructive than traditional, digging-based exploratory techniques.


Known as "The Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project," the four-year effort suggests that there was more going on in the area than previously thought -- as evidenced by all the newly identified monuments.


One of the new finds is an ancient trough that bisects an East-West ditch known as a "Cursus," Prof. Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in England and one of the scientists behind the project, told The Smithsonian.


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Amazing 1960s Predictions About Satellites, Email, and the Internet | PaleoFuture | Gizmodo.com

Amazing 1960s Predictions About Satellites, Email, and the Internet | PaleoFuture | Gizmodo.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It's hard for many of us living here in the early 21st century to imagine a world without satellites. Well, in fairness, we don't really think about satellites at all. Much like electricity or tap water, we only remember how vital they are when they stop working. Our GPS devices, smartphones, and modern military infrastructure all depend on satellites.


But before they ruled our world, experts were predicting how they might radically alter the way we communicate. And as with many predictions that we look at here at Paleofuture, they got a lot right, just not in the form that was initially imagined.


The February 17, 1962 issue of the Sunday comic strip Our New Age (in this case, run on a Saturday in the Chicago Daily News) envisioned the fantastic advancements that the introduction of satellites would allow. Everything from the decline of "old fashioned mail" to the rise of video-conferencing from home was predicted by Athelstan Spilhaus, dean of the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and author of the comic strip.


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Melissa Marshall's curator insight, August 25, 10:45 PM

Oh this is a bit scary - not all accurate but a good discussion starter for students, I think!

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MA: Voters aren’t eager for more charter schools | The Boston Globe

MA: Voters aren’t eager for more charter schools | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Voter support for more charter schools in Massachusetts appears to be weak, according to a new Boston Globe poll, highlighting a politically risky situation for charter school supporters if they pursue a ballot question.


The poll found that 47 percent of respondents opposed raising a state cap on the number of charter schools that can operate in Massachusetts, compared with 43 percent who favor such a change.


The results mean that charter school advocates would have to launch a compelling campaign to convince voters that opening more charter schools would be beneficial to students, said John Della Volpe, founder and chief executive officer for SocialSphere Inc., which conducted the poll for the Globe.


“They have their work cut out for them,” Della Volpe said. “What I mean by that is they would need to make the case why changing the current situation would result in significant more benefits for children.”


Resistance to raising the cap, Della Volpe said, could hinge on another significant finding in the poll: 72 percent of respondents said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the quality of education provided by their local school systems.


A defeat at the ballot box could deliver a crushing blow to charter school advocates, even possibly dooming future attempts to convince the Legislature to raise the cap. That’s because weary legislators could point to the referendum results and say they don’t want to betray the wishes of voters.


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How to Design Right-Sized Challenges | Suzie Boss Blog | Edutopia.org

How to Design Right-Sized Challenges | Suzie Boss Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As teams of high school and middle school students gathered to test a mechanical device they had spent months designing and improving, spectators cheered with the fervor of athletic fans. And for good reason.


The national finals of the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition offers a chance to root for our next generation of engineers and scientists, many of whom are devoting their energy and creativity to designing a better world.


It's also an opportunity to learn from the experts about how to imagine a design challenge that hits the sweet spot: relevant to real life, challenging enough to be interesting, and achievable for diverse learners.


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This Is What Asia’s Longest River Looks Like | Jordan Teicher | Slate.com

At nearly 4,000 miles from mouth to source, China’s Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world. Its banks are home to about 400 million people, or around one-third of the country’s population—more than the entire population of the United States. For thousands of years, the Yangtze has played an essential role in China’s culture, economy, and politics, and since 1950, the river and its basin “have been the focus of much of China’s economic modernization.”


In 2006, London-based Nadav Kander came to China with a desire to witness a country “that feels both at the beginning of a new era and at odds with itself,” one that’s growing at “a relentless pace.” He chose to follow the Yangtze not because of an interest in the river, per se, but rather “an interest in confining myself to a pathway through China that had meaning.”


Over the next 2½ years, Kander made five trips along the river, traveling for as much as 10 days at a time. He traveled once by boat, but mostly got around by car along with an assistant, a translator, and a driver. His route took him from the river’s mouth by the East China Sea to the Three Gorges Dam (the largest dam in the world) past Chongqing (one of the world’s largest cities), and finally to the river’s source on the Plateau of Tibet.


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Old National Bank Donates 700 Computers Increasing Digital Inclusion and Engaging Students in STEM and Service Learning | NetLiteracy.org

Old National Bank Donates 700 Computers Increasing Digital Inclusion and Engaging Students in STEM and Service Learning | NetLiteracy.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In keeping with Old National Bank’s ongoing commitment to community and sustainability, the company has donated 700 computers and laptops along with printers and other electronic equipment in 2014 to Net Literacy, an Indianapolis-based, student-founded digital inclusion nonprofit.

 

“When Old National Bank IT Asset Manager Dan Nord contacts us to tell us that ONB had additional computers for us, we were all incredibly excited! Their donation of computers will increase access to technology and broadband to thousands of Hoosiers and will also help our own student volunteers,” said Dan Kent, Founder of Net Literacy. “All donated computers are refurbished by middle and high school volunteers and during our repurposing initiative; students learn leadership, job, and STEM skills as they serve their communities. The computer and software skills that they learn enable them to become more tech-savvy,

entrepreneurial, and employable. And we have Old National Bank to thank for helping to make a difference for so many of our volunteers!”

 

“This donation is a win for Indiana communities because of Net Literacy’s ability to repurpose this equipment for use by schools and nonprofits,” said Bob Jones, Old National president & CEO. “It also signals progress for Old National in our efforts to create a more sustainable work environment with less energy and paper usage.”

 

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21st Century Learning Coach 's curator insight, August 26, 2:12 AM

Old National Bank Donates 700 Computers Increasing Digital Inclusion and Engaging Students in STEM and Service Learning | NetLiteracy.org

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Access to screens is lowering kids' social skills, study | Ya Libnan

Access to screens is lowering kids' social skills, study | Ya Libnan | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

People have long suspected that there’s a cost to all this digital data all the time, right at our fingertips. Now there’s a study out of UCLA that might prove those digital skeptics right. In the study, kids who were deprived of screens for five days got much better at reading people’s emotions than kids who continued their normal screen-filled lives.

 

The California research team’s findings, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior this month tries to analyze the impact digital media has on humans’ ability to communicate face-to-face.

 

As an experiment, 51 sixth graders from a public school in Southern California were sent to outdoor education camp, spending five whole days completely deprived of TV, phone and Internet. Contrary to the kids’ expectations, they survived just fine and actually had genuine fun.

 

The first pool of kids was then compared to another group of 54 sixth graders from the same school who had not yet attended the camp, but had spent the previous five days with their normal amount of screen time.

 

Both sets of students were given photos of people expressing emotions—sadness, anger, joy, anxiety and so on, before the camp and after the camp. Both sets of students were also shown video of people interacting and displaying emotions. The students who had been to camp got much better at discerning how the people in the photos and the videos were feeling after that five day period. They scored much higher at recognizing non-verbal emotional cues (facial expressions, body language, gestures) than they had before the camp, while the scores of the students who had not been deprived of screens did not change at all.

 

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, August 24, 10:53 PM

Based on my observations, it reduces the social skills of adults as well.

 

@ivon_ehd1