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Prix Ars Electronica 2013 – Call for Entries | Contest Watchers

Prix Ars Electronica 2013 – Call for Entries | Contest Watchers | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it
The International Competition for CyberArts - Prix Ars Electronica has recently opened for entries for 2013. The competition is being held in seven categories including one for Austrian youngsters.

 

Prix Ars Electronica annually attracts submissions from more than 70 countries. World-renowned artists are among the participants. There have been 51,613 entries since the Prix’s inception in 1987.

 

Prize money totaling €117,500 makes it the world’s most highly endowed prize for computer art.

 

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Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education | The Michigan Citizen

Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education | The Michigan Citizen | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling that there is a “broad compelling state interest in the provision of an education to all children.” The appellate court said the state has no constitutional requirement to ensure schoolchildren actually learn fundamental skills such as reading — but rather is obligated only to establish and finance a public education system, regardless of quality. Waving off decades of historic judicial impact on educational reform, the majority opinion also contends that “judges are not equipped to decide educational policy.”

“This ruling should outrage anyone who cares about our public education system,” said Kary L. Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties of Michigan. “The court washes its hands and absolves the state of any responsibility in a district that has failed and continues to fail its children.”

The decision dismisses an unprecedented “right-to-read” lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Michigan in July 2012 on behalf of eight students of nearly 1,000 children attending K-12 public schools in Highland Park, Mich. The suit, which named as defendants the State of Michigan, its agencies charged with overseeing public education and the Highland Park School District, maintained that the state failed to take effective steps to ensure that students are reading at grade level.

“Let’s remember it was the state that turned the entire district over to a for-profit charter management company with no track record of success with low performing schools,” said Moss. “It is the state that has not enforced the law that requires literacy intervention to children not reading at grade level. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure and maintain a system of education that serves all children.”

In a dissenting opinion, appellate court judge Douglas Shapiro accused the court of “abandonment of our essential judicial roles, that of enforcement of the rule of law even where the defendants are governmental entities, and of protecting the rights of all who live within Michigan’s borders, particularly those, like children, who do not have a voice in the political process.”


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ESA's Philae comet lander is sleeping, but not quiet | Mariella Moon | Engadget.com

ESA's Philae comet lander is sleeping, but not quiet | Mariella Moon | Engadget.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Philae's fate remains unknown as it snoozes underneath a cliff on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But in the last few days, its ground crew has released a handful of updates that give us a better idea of what it's gone through since it left Rosetta for the comet, as well as of its current state. To start with, the team has released a 3D image of the comet's surface (seen after the break) from two miles above the ground, captured one hour before the intrepid lander was supposed touch down. Philae took the two photos of the original landing site two minutes apart using the Rosetta Lander Imaging System (ROLIS).

When it first reached the ground after that, the sensors on its feet picked up and recorded its landing sound. Apparently, that short, seemingly insignificant two-second recording, which you can listen to below, is enough for the scientists to be able to deduce that the comet's surface is probably covered in centimeters of dust, hiding a hardened layer of ice dust. As you might recall, though, the lander's harpoons failed to deploy, and it bounced twice before getting to its rather unfortunate resting spot, where it collected samples and data. Some of the samples it "sniffed" from the comet turned out to be organic molecules, which contain carbon: the basis of life on Earth.

The Philae team is still hard at work trying to find its exact location using Rosetta's cameras and its radio transmitter equipment called CONSERT. Thanks to the transmitter, ESA has narrowed down Philae's location to two small patches of land, making the search a lot easier. Once the agency finds the lander, the scientists will finally be able to fully analyze the data it beamed back. They'll also be able to figure out whether they can do anything to move it farther from the shadows, so it can harness more sunlight.


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Educators, parents urge OH Board of Ed to keep full range of teachers, specialists | Felix Perez | NEA.org

Educators, parents urge OH Board of Ed to keep full range of teachers, specialists | Felix Perez | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Jim Templeton has been an Ohio high school band director for 17 years. In that time he has guided, taught, consoled, marveled and celebrated with more than a thousand students, for many of whom music gave meaning and academic enrichment to their high school years.


It’s for those students and the ones yet to come that Templeton spent this morning walking the halls of the Ohio state Capitol. Templeton was there to meet with his state legislators about a proposal that the state Board of Education will vote on next month. The proposal would eliminate a longstanding requirement, known as the “5 of 8 Rule,” that school districts hire “educational service personnel” for every 1,000 students in at least five of the eight following areas: counselor, library media specialist, school nurse, visiting teacher, social worker and elementary art, music and physical education.


The proposed change has prompted criticism from educators and parents.

“It’s a bad idea to rescind this rule. If the 5 of 8 rule were eliminated, children from low-income communities would be the most likely to be deprived of the support they need for a well-rounded education,” said Templeton. “Local districts don’t have enough money, and these positions will be the first they cut.”

Scott DiMauro, a social studies teacher and vice president of the Ohio Education Association, rebutted the rationale that the rule change would give local districts added flexibility. Speaking at a Board of Education hearing last week, DiMauro said, “Current Rule 5 language already provides significant flexibility to local school districts; there is no compelling reason to change it.” He noted that without rules requiring Ohio’s schools to provide specific services, school districts will have the incentive to focus personnel and other resources only on tested subjects.

“The rule change that they are proposing to eliminate here significantly undercuts that state’s commitment to ensuring every child has a well-rounded education no matter where they live,” said DiMauro.


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FCC proposes expansion of Internet access for low-income and rural schools | Colleen Flaherty | NEA.org

FCC proposes expansion of Internet access for low-income and rural schools | Colleen Flaherty | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As access to quality, high-speed Internet becomes more essential for students in the 21st century, many schools still go without. Seven in 10 rural school districts say none of their schools meet high-speed Internet connectivity targets today. Schools in affluent areas are three times more likely to meet speed targets as those in low-income areas, according to the Federal Communications Commission.


In order to combat this problem and meet President Obama’s call for 99 percent of all classrooms to be connected, the FCC chair announced a proposal to expand the E-Rate program, which aims to provide broadband access for schools in poor and rural areas.

“The FCC announcement is good for America’s students and makes for smart public policy,” said Lily Eskelsen García, NEA president and Utah elementary school teacher. “Increasing the funding level of the E-Rate Program will continue to bring broadband to the communities that need it the most—students and educators in urban, rural and low-density populated areas. More to the point, investing now in the E-Rate Program to help students will pay off in the long run.”

Created in 1996, E-Rate has helped connect most classrooms and public libraries to the Internet. More than 8 out of 10 public schools rely upon E-Rate discounts.

Educators know first-hand the tremendous, positive impact the E-Rate Program has had in our classrooms, schools and communities. Without the E-Rate Program, many of our schools—especially in rural areas—would have been unable to sustain on-going access to the Internet. Today’s announcement will go a long way to help level the digital playing field for our country’s students and ensuring equity.

Monday’s proposal would raise the spending cap by increasing the monthly charge for phone lines. In order to raise the additional $1.5 billion needed for adequate Internet access for all students, consumers will pay an extra 16 percent, which averages less than $2 per year for each phone line.


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Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers | Valarie Strauss | WashPost.com

Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers | Valarie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Teachers have long been accustomed to “going along to get along” but increasingly are raising their voices to protest standardized test-based education reforms of the last decade that they see as harmful to students.


In this post, Georgia teacher Ian Altman explains what he and his colleagues are really sick of hearing from reformers. Altman is an award-winning high school English teacher in Athens, where he has lived since 1993, as well as an advocate for teachers and students. He has presented at several national conferences and published in the Journal of Language and Literacy Education. He won the 2014 University of Georgia College of Education Distinguished Alumni Crystal Apple Award as well as the 2012 University of Chicago Outstanding Educator award.

Altman’s list of seven things that reformers should stop saying to teachers comes from conversations he has had with educators across the country and speaks to the fury felt by many teachers who see their expertise being devalued and their profession denigrated.


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VLT telescope reveals mysterious alignment of quasars with the Universe’s large-scale structure | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

VLT telescope reveals mysterious alignment of quasars with the Universe’s large-scale structure | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Astronomers using the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have discovered an unexpected alignment of the spinning axes of supermassive black holes located billions of light-years apart. As if that discovery wasn’t fascinating enough in itself, the team then delved a little deeper, finding that the quasars aren’t just linked to each other, but are also aligned with the large-scale structure of the Universe itself.

The VLT’s observations focused on quasars – galaxies with active supermassive black holes at their heart, surrounded by spinning disks of bright, high temperature material. This extremely hot material is thrown out in jets along the axes of rotation.

To make the discovery, the team observed a sample of 93 quasars, all of which reside in such distant locations that the observed light comes from a time when the Universe was around a third of its current age. The team was unable to study the quasars directly, but instead measured the polarisation of the light from each object, using that data to identify the angle of its spin.

The astronomers first discovered that the axes of rotation, as seen in the direction of the high-speed jets, were aligned with each other. Considering the billions of light-years that separate the objects, that alone is a striking discovery, but further observations revealed an even greater level of alignment.


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Marshall Space Flight Center: A tour through NASA's hidden gem | Randall Marsh | GizMag.com

Marshall Space Flight Center: A tour through NASA's hidden gem | Randall Marsh | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One of NASA’s more off-the-radar facilities is responsible for some of the organization’s most important research. Kennedy Space Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory may get the lion's share of attention, but Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Alabama, is responsible for developing much of the complex inner-workings of rockets, satellites, and future technologies.

The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, to give it its full title, is actually the largest of NASA's various centers. Ever since it officially opened on July 1, 1960, after President Eisenhower approved the transfer of all Army space-related activities to NASA, it has been the space agency's lead center for the development of rocket propulsion systems and technologies, including the Saturn family of launch vehicles. Today, the center is engaged in propulsion and space transportation, engineering, science, space systems and space operations, and project and program management.


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Why LGBT History Should Be Taught in School | Nicholas Ferroni | YouTube.com

Why LGBT History Should Be Taught in School | Nicholas Ferroni | YouTube.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Nicholas Ferroni just sent us this great video where he discusses why LGBT history should be taught in schools.


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FL: Middle School Principal Suspended Over Unannounced School Shooter Drill | Timothy Geigner | Techdirt.com

FL: Middle School Principal Suspended Over Unannounced School Shooter Drill | Timothy Geigner | Techdirt.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Listen up, everyone, because I think this is important and I'm very serious about this. The Florida middle school we recently discussed that conducted an unannounced active school shooter drill with armed police bursting into darkened classrooms full of terrified students and teachers has taken action. That action has been suspending the school's principal pending an investigation to be conducted by the school district.

"I very much regret that this occurred," Superintendent of Schools Kathryn LeRoy said Tuesday evening during a School Board meeting. LeRoy said Jewett Principal Jacquelyn Moore was suspended Tuesday pending an internal investigation. In the past, the School District has not informed students, parents or staff members in advance about lockdown drills. But LeRoy specified some new rules for the future.

Let me be clear: this isn't enough. The issue of irrational overreaction to an exaggerated fear of school shootings runs far deeper than one principal, and her suspension should not be allowed to assuage the outrage and anger this story has generated. This cannot become a sweep-it-under-the-rug story. None of this has occurred in a vaccum, after all.


We've seen examples of these kinds of insane drills in the past and we've recently covered stories about potential massive amounts of money going into systems designed for school shooting situations. And, damn it, I cannot repeat this enough: school shootings are incredibly rare, they are not increasing in frequency, and the average child is safer in their school than they are in most other places on Earth.


In the face of the actual reality regarding school shootings and our reactions to them, a principal's suspension is not enough. It must only be the start. Because if it isn't, here's what you'll get from people like the aforementioned school Superintendent LeRoy.


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5 things you should know about the freaky Buffalo snowstorm | Rebecca Jacobson | PBS NewsHour

5 things you should know about the freaky Buffalo snowstorm | Rebecca Jacobson | PBS NewsHour | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Winter has landed in the United States. On Tuesday, all 50 states recorded freezing temperatures, breaking temperature records in many states for the month of November.

In Florida and Hawaii, it meant a chilly day, but the Great Lakes, Northeast and Central U.S. are getting the frozen end of the stick in this cold snap.


Starting Tuesday, Buffalo and other cities in western New York have been walloped by a massive snowstorm. Some parts of Erie County, New York reported 65 inches of snowfall as of 10 a.m. EDT this morning, and the snow will continue tonight. Forecasters predict some areas could receive 3 more feet of snow before the storm stops.

Here’s what you should know about this cold front:


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NASA prepares to wake New Horizons ahead of historic Pluto flyby | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA prepares to wake New Horizons ahead of historic Pluto flyby | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In what must be history’s longest distance wake up call, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft comes out of hibernation on December 6 at 3:00 pm EST. Now about 2.9 billion miles (4.6 billion km) from Earth, and 162 million miles (260 million km) from Pluto, the spacecraft will be put through a month-long preparation for its six month flyby of Pluto, with the primary phase of the mission slated to begin on January 15.

Artist's concept of New Horizons approaching Pluto (Image: NASA)
New Horizons infographic (Image: NASA)
Artist's impression of the New Horizons spacecraft (Image: NASA)

New Horizons' current state of hibernation means that most of the spacecraft’s systems are shut down except for monitors and a weekly beacon-status transmission. So far, the probe has gone through 18 hibernation phases since it launched in 2006. This works out to 1,873 days in hibernation or two-thirds of the Pluto flyby mission.

The hibernation technique, which NASA pioneered, is a way of conserving onboard resources, cutting down on mission control personnel time, reducing time on NASA’s Deep Space Network, and saving wear and tear on the spacecraft's electronics. New Horizons was reawoken periodically over the years to check the systems, rehearse the flyby, perform course corrections, and upload software updates. Last August, the probe was programmed to wake up on the scheduled December date. NASA says that 90 minutes after coming back online, New Horizons will transmit a confirmation back to Earth. However, this signal will not reach Earth for 4 hours and 25 minutes due to the enormous distances involved.


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White House: FCC Raising E-rate Cap Is Essential | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

White House: FCC Raising E-rate Cap Is Essential | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The White House Wednesday called the FCC proposal to raise the E-rate cap by $1.5 billion an "essential step" in the President's ConnectED initiative.

That shout out for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed revamp of E-rate, which the chairman outlined to reporters earlier this week came in an e-mail from the White House about a day-long White House event Wednesday, where the President met with educators from across the country to talk about that ConnectED initiative, whose goals is to connect 99% of students to high-speed broadband via schools and libraries.

Citing the FCC, the White House said that "68% of school districts report that not a single school in their district can meet high-speed connectivity goals."

The President announced the ConnectED initiative in June 2013, which included calling on the FCC to spur high-speed connectivity to schools.


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How Education Initiatives & Innovations Impact Broadband Deployment & Use: #MNBroadband Conference | Blandin on Broadband

I can only be in one room at a time so for many of the breakout sessions, I’m just going to be able to post the info that was shared with me.

Education initiatives deployed or planned at the state level have great potential to drive the value derived from broadband connections and to leave unconnected citizens a bit further behind. What are these applications and how will they change the way education is delivered and accessed? How is the lack of connectivity at state broadband goal levels hindering the deployment of these education innovations? Moderated by Bill Coleman, Community Technology Advisors

o Marc Johnson, East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC)
o Michael Olesen, Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA), MNSCU
o Bob Rubinyi, Office of eLearning, Center for Educational Innovation, U of MN


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25 Simple Examples Of Mobile Teaching | Te@chThought.com

25 Simple Examples Of Mobile Teaching | Te@chThought.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This is part 2 of a 3-part series on Mobile Teaching. Part 1 was Making The Shift To Mobile-First Teaching.

Mobile teaching is about planning and executing learning through mobile devices.

You might want to be notified when a student accesses a quiz or reading you uploaded, or leaves a comment on another student’s blog, or shares a self-assessment. Or when a certain number of student’s answer a question correctly or incorrectly. Or when a student reaches a goal. This is one approach to mobile teaching.

There’s also the star of mobile technology, social media. With access to real-time social streams like twitter, or even a closed Google+ Community page, teachers can ask other teachers for resources, facilitate school-to-school collaboration, monitor student-led and hashtag-based discussions, and more.

A logical response here might be, “What teacher has time to play on twitter while teaching?” We might respond to that question with, what does it mean to teach? If we’re connected and publishing and promoting self-directed learning, the question might be, “What teacher can afford not to plug students in to functioning digital ecologies, and join them in those spaces?”

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MN: Parents, educators stood up for students in Minneapolis school board race | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

MN: Parents, educators stood up for students in Minneapolis school board race | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Despite some high drama in this year’s school board race in Minneapolis, educators and parents succeeded in keeping the race grounded in issues that really matter for students.

Their efforts withstood a well-funded attempt by friends of the corporate education reform movement (including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) to oust incumbent member Rebecca Gagnon, who had proved to be pro-public education and opposed to opening the city’s public schools to privateers.

Ultimately it was educators and parents who had the most influence, working together as part of the non-partisan Coalition for Quality Public Education to speak with voters through home visits and phone calls about what Minneapolis parents, students and voters want for the public schools.

The result of their hard work is a victory for students: Not only are voters better informed, the election resulted in a more educated school board poised to address issues that will help public school students thrive.

Sheila Crabbe, an education support professional who works with special education students at Cityview Community School, points to the Coalition’s voter guide as a resource to understanding what the community expects of the board moving forward.

The questions in the guide serve as a “collective voice from community, staff, and parents,” Crabbe told the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Thousands of conversations with community members revealed that making schools more equitable and reducing the reliance on high stakes tests are among citizens’ top priorities.

The candidates’ responses in the voter guide will help citizens hold members accountable for their promises.

All of the board members have now said on the record that they oppose closing struggling schools as a turnaround model, and support instead the use of full service community schools as a preferred school improvement plan.


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Educators welcome Obama’s administrative action to keep children, families together | Felix Perez | NEA.org

Educators welcome Obama’s administrative action to keep children, families together | Felix Perez | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Educators welcomed President Obama’s sweeping announcement tonight that will help end the separation of children and families and create a “more fair and more just” immigration system.


“Educators know from experience that family unity plays a critical role in student success. Yet a growing number of public school students live in fear that our nation’s immigration policies will break up their families, forcing them to choose between their country and their loved ones. Keeping families together is essential to keeping America strong,” said Utah teacher and National Education President Lily Eskelsen García.


President Obama’s highly anticipated announcement fulfills a promise he made long ago. “When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system,” he said, describing the actions as “a common-sense, middle ground approach.”

He noted, “Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me – that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.”


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Can LittleBits Save RadioShack? | Rebecca Greenfield | Fast Company

Can LittleBits Save RadioShack? | Rebecca Greenfield | Fast Company | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

RadioShack has had a rough year. In March it announced the closure of 1,110 stores. Six months later its brand-new CFO resigned. The electronics store is running out of cash and earlier this year hinted it could be forced to liquidate or seek bankruptcy protection if it didn't turn things around soon, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Faced with imminent death, RadioShack is going back to its roots, launching a last-ditch effort to appeal to its original customer base: makers.


Starting this week, the gasping retailer will prominently display and sell LittleBits, the darling of the maker community, in 2,000 of its stores. "For us, they represent the origins of the maker movement, the DIY movement in electronics," LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir told Fast Company. The original makers—hardware hobbyists who build their own gadgets—went to RadioShack to stock up on circuits, LED, batteries, and other necessary parts for DIY projects. Bdeir, for example, grew up tinkering with RadioShack kits that her dad used to bring back to Lebanon, where she grew up.


"Makers have long been a loyal customer for us—and for several years I think RadioShack moved away from one of their core competencies and core customers," CEO Joe Magnacca told Fast Company. Indeed, the company now gets about half its revenue from cellphones, tablet, and related accessories sales, commodities available at lots of other places. "Our new leadership team is committed to embracing the parts of our heritage that allow us to differentiate RadioShack in a crowded market," Magnacca said.


LittleBits fits into that "heritage" because as the company releases more sophisticated bits. people can make actual, useful objects. Today, LittleBits is launching a new product, the Smart Home Kit, which will retail at RadioShack for $249. The kit lets tinkerers turn regular household items into smart ones. Some potential projects include a monitor that beeps and sends a text alert when the fridge door has been left open, or something as simple as an app controlled lamp. "As opposed to purchasing things in the Internet of things space, why not allow people to invent whatever they want?" Bdeir says.


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ESA's Rosetta mission progresses to the comet escort phase | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

ESA's Rosetta mission progresses to the comet escort phase | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As Philae begins its long sleep, bedded down on the surface of comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko (67P), mankind's attention shifts back to the Rosetta spacecraft as she begins the next phase of her mission. Over the course of the next year, Rosetta will become the first spacecraft to orbit and observe a comet as it approaches the Sun, allowing the already successful mission to detail the evolving characteristics of 67P as the heat from our star causes a dramatic rise in activity.

Since arriving at 67P on Aug. 6, Rosetta's orbit around the comet has been dictated by the necessity of positioning Philae for an ideal descent trajectory. With this arduous phase completed, the spacecraft's orbit will be decided on the basis of the optimum range of the scientific equipment being employed at the time.

"With lander delivery complete, Rosetta will resume routine science observations and we will transition to the ‘comet escort phase'," states Flight Director Andrea Accomazzo. "This science-gathering phase will take us into next year as we go with the comet towards the Sun, passing perihelion, or closest approach, on 13 August, at 186 million kilometers from our star."


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Review: LeapFrog LeapTV educational games console | Simon Crisp | GizMag.com

Review: LeapFrog LeapTV educational games console | Simon Crisp | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When should you introduce your child to a TV games console? I planned on waiting until my son was four to begin his console education. We'd start with old Atari titles from my childhood, before slowly working through classics from the likes of Sega and Nintendo and bringing him up-to-date. But that all went out of the window when we were sent the LeapFrog LeapTV games console to review.

For the uninitiated, the LeapTV is a new games console which has been designed for children who are too young for a traditional games console. It's been described as a bit Wii and bit Xbox Kinect, because it includes a motion controller and a camera which puts children into the games and gets them moving.

But for parents eyeing up the LeapTV as a potential Christmas present, its the educational aspect of the console which is probably key in their decision-making. That's because every game on the console has been both educator-approved, and includes elements to help young gamers learn about subjects including Maths, English and Science while playing.


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Making School About Connection | Joshua Block Blog | Edutopia.org

Making School About Connection | Joshua Block Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Traditionally, schools have not promoted human-centered relationships. With the exception of the primary years, students are expected to rush from class to class, searching for meaning in short periods of time allotted with each of their teachers. In this model, each course is meant to pack in as much content as possible while pausing only for exams which are supposed to determine how much a student "knows."

In the real world, meaning comes from relationships, from feelings of belonging, and from work that allows for exploration, self-expression, and self-examination. No one looking back on his or her school experience remembers a particularly poignant test. Instead, people remember the teacher who reached out to them at a vulnerable moment, the unit that changed the way they understand an issue, or the project that seemed impossible at first but then became something far beyond everyone's expectations.

Teaching and learning are incredibly complex and impossible to script. What we can do is commit ourselves to practices and structures that value our students as people with real human needs. By working to meet these needs and working to make schools more people-centered, we help transform potential experiences of alienation and disconnection into joyful examples of supportive community where young people can explore, take risks, and discover themselves.

There are many small and large ways for teachers to build deeper connections with students. Below are a few suggestions of approaches that have worked for me.


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Close the Classroom Broadband Gap | Tom Steyer Blog | HuffPost.com

Close the Classroom Broadband Gap | Tom Steyer Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the 21st century, it's hard to imagine a corporate world where only one-third of businesses could access high-speed Internet and the rest were relegated to dial-up speeds. Yet that's essentially the reality for our nation's schools.

Although most schools today have Internet access, only about one-third of our public schools have the high-speed broadband they need for today's innovative, interactive online lessons, educational games, and collaborative tools. The rest of the schools are stuck with middling and downright slow Internet connections.

Moreover, according to a new study by a leading expert on broadband use, rural students, low-income students, and students of color are more likely to be in schools with slow Internet access than their suburban, more affluent, and white peers.

The first-of-its-kind study of schools and broadband speeds found that low-income students are twice as likely as affluent students to have slow Internet speeds at their schools. The rural broadband gap is also concerning, with students in remote rural America twice as likely as suburban students to have slow Internet connections at their schools.

As the Federal Communications Commission considers a much-needed update to its E-Rate program, which helps schools and libraries pay for Internet service, this new study highlights the growing digital divide in our country and shows the importance of upgraded Internet connections for all American schools.

There shouldn't be a two-tier education system in America. Every student deserves a first-class education with modern technology and learning resources.

High-speed broadband access in the classroom is essential to allow schoolchildren to take advantage of many of the new educational opportunities afforded by digital learning tools. Connected classrooms will help teachers across the country incorporate technology in their lesson plans to personalize learning, engage students, and teach the skills needed for 21st century jobs.

Despite the many political divisions that remain in our country, an overwhelming majority of Americans across the political spectrum say they are concerned about the lack of access to technology and broadband in the classroom.


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A Female PhD Student in Computing Re-Wrote That Horrible “Barbie Computer Engineer” Book and Made It Awesome | Sam Maggs | TheMarySue.com

A Female PhD Student in Computing Re-Wrote That Horrible “Barbie Computer Engineer” Book and Made It Awesome | Sam Maggs | TheMarySue.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Yesterday, we told you about a new Barbie book called I Can Be A Computer Engineer, which—while it sounded so promising—actually taught girls that they need a man’s help in order to code games, or even just use a computer without breaking it, really. But fear not—awesome women to the rescue!

Casey Fiesler, a PhD student in Human-Centered Computing at Georgia Tech, was not down with the content in this latest Barbie offering, so she decided to fix it herself (which she did using a computer without giving it a virus I believe). She’s writing her dissertation on copyright and online remix communities, and what she loves about the remix community is the theme of “If you don’t like the narrative, change it!”

So Fiesler went ahead and re-wrote the entire book with a much more positive message. You can download the whole thing for free right here, but here’s an idea of what you’ll find inside:


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Debunking Homework Myths | Ben Johnson Blog | Edutopia.org

Debunking Homework Myths | Ben Johnson Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

"Do you have any homework tonight?" I asked my daughter Mercedes.

"No, I don't have any homework! Yeah!" she exclaimed.

"When is your next test or quiz?" I countered.

"It's Friday," she quipped.

"Today is Wednesday, shouldn't getting ready for the test be your homework?" I questioned.

"That's not homework. That's just study," she responded, as if I didn't know anything.

"Oh, I get it, homework is not study...it's..." I conjectured while Mercedes finished my sentence.

"...it's worksheets and problems at the end of the chapter. Just busywork," she told me.

It's an obvious myth that students think homework is for their benefit. I wonder how many other students also view homework as pure busywork, or as something you do just because the teacher assigned it for a grade? With that attitude, a student may think, "It doesn't matter how I get the homework done, just as long as it is done before the teacher checks it. Right?" This is why on the day the homework is due a group of students can typically be seen frantically huddled over the "smart girl" copying her answers.

This of course applies to students that are motivated by grades. If not motivated by grades, what is the incentive to do homework, for the joy of learning? Hm, let me think -- not! I know it wasn't until I went to college that I understood that I always had homework whether it was assigned or not. I had to review my notes, read the chapters, and prepare for the exams on my own homework schedule.

As a teacher, I became a proponent of homework in my master's degree program when I learned that by assigning homework, the teacher significantly extends the classroom learning time. I also learned that a teacher should never assign homework on a topic that has not been practiced first in the classroom. It should be focused on one concept and should be difficult enough to challenge a student, but not so difficult that the student feels overwhelmed.

Students need the habit of homework and that every day homework should be graded and feedback should be provided. Those ideas made sense to me at the time because I didn't really understand the conceptual myths that they engendered.


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Why didn't the universe collapse after the Big Bang? It's a question of gravity | Richard Moss | GizMag.com

Why didn't the universe collapse after the Big Bang? It's a question of gravity | Richard Moss | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Not only does gravity keep us safely on the ground and hold the planets in alignment, but now it may soon get the credit for saving the whole universe. Physicists at the Imperial College London and the Universities of Copenhagen and Helsinki believe that the interaction between Higgs boson particles and gravity had a stabilizing effect on the very early universe, thereby preventing the Big Crunch – a catastrophic collapse into nothing – from occurring shortly after the Big Bang.

Without this interaction, the Higgs field – which is uniform throughout the universe and is responsible for giving matter mass – would have gained too much energy and kicked the universe over a very high energy hill and then down into a deep valley of energy space. In a matter of microseconds, the universe would then have became too unstable to continue inflating and collapsed in on itself.

But the researchers suggest that the curving of space-time – gravity – held everything together, preventing decay. "[The interaction between the Higgs particle and gravity] cannot be measured in particle accelerator experiments, but it has a big effect on the Higgs instability during inflation," explains Imperial College London professor Arttu Rajantie. "Even a relatively small value is enough to explain the survival of the universe without any new physics."


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ClassDojo learns a lesson in protecting student data | Adriene Hill & Kelsey Fowler | MarketPlace.org

ClassDojo learns a lesson in protecting student data | Adriene Hill & Kelsey Fowler | MarketPlace.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

While education apps are meant to help teachers manage their classrooms, concern is growing over the management of student data tracked by those apps.

Following an article published Monday in the New York Times, the founders of education app ClassDojo announced an update Tuesday regarding student privacy and data collection. Starting in January, ClassDojo will store student profiles for only one year.

ClassDojo is a classroom management system designed to help teachers improve student behavior. The app, launched in 2011, is now used in thousands of classrooms by millions of teachers and students. Teachers can award positive and negative feedback points for behavior in class in real-time using a smartphone or laptop, and create reports using the data for parents and students to access.


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