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A Cheap, Rugged Tablet Is Your Kid's Next Fixation | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

A Cheap, Rugged Tablet Is Your Kid's Next Fixation | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Forget phablets. Touchscreen Android devices designed expressly for kids with bright colors, durable cases and rubberized surfaces are making a big splash in the tablet space.

 

Tablets certainly are a hot-ticket item. Apple was projected to sell 62 million iPads in 2012, and Android tablet sales were up 177 percent this holiday season. But while some parents are only too happy to share their $500-plus tablets with the kids (or even buy the kiddos iPads of their own), some are opting instead to get a tablet designed specifically for their wee ones’ tiny fingers and eager minds.

 

According to an August Forrester survey of 4,750 adults, 20 percent of tablet-owning parents with kids 6 and under say they let them use their tablet. That number rises to 29 percent among parents with kids older than six. And the gadgets ranked highly on kids’ gotta-have list this holiday season. The iPad took the top spot on kids’ Christmas wish lists in a Nielsen survey of 3,000 U.S. residents aged 6 and over, beating 16 other popular gaming and computing devices. The 13 and up set also favored the iPad over other brand tablets and computers.

 

Kids love tablets, but use them a little differently than we do.

 

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Thinking Through Digital Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places | Patricia Zimmermann & Dale Hudson | Amazon.com

Thinking through Digital Media offers a means of conceptualizing digital media by looking at projects that think through digital media, migrating between documentary, experimental, narrative, animation, video game, and live performance.


Hudson and Zimmermann analyze projects at the intersections of imbedded technologies, transitory micropublics, human-machine interface, and critical cartographies to forward a set of speculations about how things work together rather than what they represent.


The book frames debates on participation/surveillance, outsourcing, global warming, migrations, GMOs, and war across some of the most dynamic, innovative sites for digital media, including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United States.


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Test Mutiny: Tens of Thousands of N.Y. Parents Protest Standardized Exams | Truthdig.com

Test Mutiny: Tens of Thousands of N.Y. Parents Protest Standardized Exams | Truthdig.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Tens of thousands of parents took a stand against the education agenda of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and standardized tests nationwide by having their children boycott one such exam in mid-April. In some districts, abstention levels reached 80 percent.

“Democracy Now!” reports:

Protest organizers say at least 155,000 pupils opted out — and that is with only half of school districts tallied so far. … More than a decade after the passage of No Child Left Behind, educators, parents and students nationwide are protesting the preponderant reliance on high-stakes standardized testing, saying it gives undue importance to ambiguous data and compromises learning in favor of test prep.

“Democracy Now!” discusses the revolt with Jack Bierwirth, superintendent of Herricks Public Schools in Long Island, and parent Toni Smith-Thompson, who led the boycott against standardized testing at Central Park East 1 Elementary School in East Harlem.


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Joan Jonas: All at Once | Lisa Cohen | New York Times Style Magazine

Joan Jonas: All at Once | Lisa Cohen | New York Times Style Magazine | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

SHE STANDS AT an easel, a small but commanding figure with cropped white hair, and draws an intricate geometric shape. Upstage, footage of snow swirling across the surface of a road plays on a large screen. We are moved through this austere yet sumptuous atmosphere, whorls of white on blacktop. As the video cuts to a still image — a torn piece of an old map on which Iceland appears — Joan Jonas crosses the stage to a work table, looks up at the screen and begins to draw the outline of the country.


Suddenly, the photograph changes, then keeps changing: horses, mountainous land, ice floes, a volcano. She keeps looking, keeps drawing. An overhead camera films her interrupted and ongoing lines, white chalk on black paper, and projects them onto the same screen as the photographs. Periodically, she discards the paper and begins again. The mood is at once methodical and urgent. Time is passing. One cannot keep up. The last photograph fades out, and a strong abstract drawing remains on the screen.

In this, her most recent performance piece, “Reanimation,” Jonas’s image-making, along with Jason Moran’s percussive and melodic live music, produce thrilling effects of simultaneity. “Time is the one thing we can all agree to call supernatural,” she says later in the work, quoting the Icelandic novelist Halldor Laxness, whose novel “Under the Glacier” inspired it.


It’s true that Jonas’s art makes us experience time’s strangeness; you could say that Jonas creates her own temporality. “Layered” is not the right term, since she is complicating our sense of what comes first, and of what is below or above.


Clothed all in white, she uses herself as a screen and as a surface — moving in the projections, or holding a long sheet of white paper against her body. Her gestures — even the way she crumples a large piece of paper over and over — feel both ancient and utterly novel.


Her voice is authoritative and offhand, declarative and inquiring, resonant and flat. I could watch her all night.


Since the late 1960s, Jonas has pursued a category-defying, perpetually exploratory practice that melds performance, drawing, film, video, sculpture, installation, sound and literature.


Early on, she developed a recursive method, translating performances into films and videos, using these again in performances, continually reimagining her work. The simultaneities, in other words, are not just within each piece, but also across her oeuvre.


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Instagram updates its rules to explain how it deals with nudity and abuse | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

Instagram updates its rules to explain how it deals with nudity and abuse | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Instagram is updating its community standards Thursday, as part of an effort to give users more insight into how it polices content on its site.

Users will see different policies on Instagram’s list of community standards, but the company isn’t actually changing anything about the way it deals with pictures and posts, said Nicky Jackson Colaco, director of public policy for Instagram.

“We’re not changing any of the policies,” Jackson Colaco said. But the company has “added in detail around questions we’ve gotten over and over, and into places where [users] needed more information,” she said.

Jackson Colaco said that no one incident triggered Instagram’s decision to rewrite its guidelines -- the firm, she said, has been working on this for over a year -- but that it has listened to users complaints and confusion in deciding how it wants to communicate its policies.

That’s similar to what Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, said about a guideline-rewrite it underwent several weeks ago. And many of the policies outlined in Instagram’s latest guidelines are the same as the one’s Facebook explained in its latest rewrite.


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Impossible City: A youth-built off-grid movable eco-village for Seattle's homeless | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com

Impossible City: A youth-built off-grid movable eco-village for Seattle's homeless | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A project by Seattle-based charity Sawhorse Revolution is both educating young people and creating accommodation for the homeless. The Impossible City is a community of housing built by local teens as they learn new skills. The accommodation is designed to be affordable, sustainable and movable.

The Impossible City project began in late 2014 when Sawhorse Revolution formed a partnership with the Nickelsville mobile homeless community. The community provides security, shelter and solidarity for around 40 residents.

Sawhorse explains that homeless encampments in Seattle move every 3-18 months and there is no guarantee that new sites will have water, electricity or sewage facilities. Nickelsville pays out around US$2,000 each month for facilities like honey buckets, water and gas, so there was a need to investigate alternative and off-grid solutions.

"It wasn’t hard to realize that we really needed to engage with off-grid living practices to build for an off-grid community," says Sawhorse Revolution executive director Adam Nishimura. "That idea also inspired the use of salvaged and up-cycled materials whenever possible."


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LA school district seeks millions from Apple over iPad software woes | Fred O'Connor | NetworkWorld.com

LA school district seeks millions from Apple over iPad software woes | Fred O'Connor | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking a multimillion dollar refund from Apple over a failed project to provide 650,000 students with iPads they could use at home.

LA Unified approached Apple in 2013 about using its tablets as part of an ambitious project to provide every student, teacher and administrator in the U.S.'s second-largest school district with an iPad.

The initiative, then known as the Common Core Technology Project, would cost around US$1.3 billion, the school district said at the time, with half that figure going to Apple and the remainder being used to build out wireless networks at the schools.

Apple hired Pearson Education as a subcontractor to develop software for the iPads, but according to a letter the school district sent to Apple this week, a "vast majority" of the student have been unable to use the software.

"While Apple and Pearson promised a state-of-the-art technological solution for ITI implementation, they have yet to deliver it," LA Unified attorney David Holmquist said in the letter. ITI refers to the project's new name, the Instructional Technology Initiative.

The school district will not accept or pay Apple for any future iPad shipments that run Pearson programs, the letter said.

Apple and Pearson have held "numerous meetings" about the problems but "few improvements have been made," the letter says. The school district has asked to meet with Apple next week to discuss how to sever ties with Pearson and recoup funds it spent on unused software licenses.

LA Unified is "extremely dissatisfied" with Pearson's work, the letter adds.

In a statement on its website, Pearson said the project was a "large-scale implementation of new technologies and there have been challenges with the initial adoption, but we stand by the quality of our performance."

Apple didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

LA Unified is said to be considering suing Apple and Pearson over the buggy software. Million of dollars could be at stake, Holmquist told the Los Angeles Times.


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THE IRISH SLAVES: WHAT THEY WILL NEVER, EVER TELL YOU IN HISTORY CLASS OR ANYWHERE ELSE | Radio2Hot

THE IRISH SLAVES: WHAT THEY WILL NEVER, EVER TELL YOU IN HISTORY CLASS OR ANYWHERE ELSE | Radio2Hot | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it
White and Black Slaves in the Sugar Plantations of Barbados. None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.


The first slaves imported into the American colonies were 100 White children. They arrived during Easter, 1619, four months before the arrival of a the first shipment of Black slaves.Mainstream histories refer to these laborers as indentured servants, not slaves, because many agreed to work for a set period of time in exchange for land and rights.

Yet in reality, indenture was enslavement, since slavery applies to any person who is bought and sold, chained and abused, whether for a decade or a lifetime. Many white people died long before their indenture ended or found that no court would back them when their owners failed to deliver on promises.Tens of thousands of convicts, beggars, homeless children and other undesirable English, Scottish, and Irish lower class were transported to America against their will to the Americas on slave ships. YES, SLAVE SHIPS!

Many of the white slaves were brought from Ireland, where the law held that it was "no more sin to kill an Irishman than a dog or any other brute." The European rich class caused a lot of suffering to these people , even if they were white like them.


In 1676, there was a huge slave rebellion in Virginia. Black and white slaves burned Jamestown to the ground. Hundreds died. The planters feared a re-occurence.


Their solution was to divide the races against each other. They instilled a sense of superiority in the white slaves and degraded the black slaves. White slaves were given new rights; their masters could not whip them naked without a court order,etc. White slaves whose daily condition was no different from that of Blacks, were taught that they belonged to a superior people. The races were given different clothing. Living quarters were segregated for the first time. But the whites were still slaves.


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ESO's MUSE instrument grants astronomers a 3D map of Hubble's Deep Field South region | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

ESO's MUSE instrument grants astronomers a 3D map of Hubble's Deep Field South region | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

ESO's Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument, which is mounted on the Very Large Telescope based in the Paranal Observatory, Chile, has been focusing in on a tiny patch in the night sky previously featured in Hubble's Deep Field South image (HDF-S). After only 27 hours of continuous observation, the cutting edge instrument has captured detailed measurements of more galaxies with more detail than ever before.

The regions of space captured in previous deep field images have been observed by multiple instruments, including Hubble and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. However, even the combined data returned by these legendary platforms cannot match the depth of data harvested by MUSE.

Furthermore, whilst Hubble had to observe the tiny patch of sky for 10 days in order to compile HDF-S, MUSE required only 27 hours to capture a set of images containing more data than that of the legendary telescope.


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Kansas City organizations earn grants to raise computer literacy | Diane Stafford | The Kansas City Star

Kansas City organizations earn grants to raise computer literacy | Diane Stafford | The Kansas City Star | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You can’t cross the digital divide if you can’t get on the bridge.

That’s why the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund is helping build the bridge, one step at a time.

The fund, believed to be the first privately funded digital inclusion grants program in the country, is funding programs that provide digital literacy to senior citizens, the urban poor, students and non-English speakers.

Today it announces its second year of computer access and computer literacy grants to area nonprofit agencies.

Six nonprofits are sharing $130,000 in new grants from the $1 million fund established last year at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Five return grantees and one new one are getting 2015 grants ranging from $10,000 to $45,000 each.

The fund was buoyed this year by a $150,000 contribution from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The foundation joined prior donors Google Fiber, Sprint, the Illig Family Foundation, Polsinelli, Global Prairie and JE Dunn Construction.

Rachel Merlo, Google Fiber’s top officer in Kansas City, said Google hopes to direct more funds to “outcomes-based research by a third party researcher” to determine what programs and strategies are working best.

Meanwhile, Merlo said, fund participants encourage more nonprofits to consider applying for digital literacy grants. She expects more money to be make available for 2016. The next round of applications opens in August. An anonymous panel of local and out-of-town experts chooses fund recipients.

Wendy Guillies, acting president of the Kauffman Foundation, said digital inclusion has been an important study area for the foundation and is essential to metro-area growth.

There’s no quick fix, Guillies said, but “we also know that the answer lies with the individuals and organizations already working in the community.”

The local grant recipients:


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Spitzer space telescope used to help spot one of the most distant known planets | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

Spitzer space telescope used to help spot one of the most distant known planets | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The NASA Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with the Polish Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE)'s Warsaw Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to observe a distant gas giant located some 13,000 light-years away. The discovery will help improve our understanding of the distribution of planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy.

The initial discovery of the planet, known as OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L, was made possible thanks to a detection method known as microlensing. When one star passes directly in front of another, the gravity of the closer object acts as a lens, brightening and magnifying the light from the secondary star. If the closer of the two stars has a planet orbiting it, a small blip will be visible in the observed magnification.

The technique allows astronomers to identify and characterize distant objects, and has so far been responsible for the discovery of 30 planets. However, while microlensing is a useful planet-hunting technique, the dim light of the foreground star can make it difficult to pinpoint the distance to the observed planets. Around half of the planets detected through microlensing events have failed to have their locations confirmed by the method.

The planet in question was first discovered by the ground-based Warsaw Telescope, but the team had to call upon the Spitzer Space Telescope – which circles the Sun, currently some 128 million miles (207 million km) from Earth – to work out exactly where the planet resides.


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Ultra-sustainable classroom is one of only two of its kind | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com

Ultra-sustainable classroom is one of only two of its kind | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was recently awarded Living Building certification for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes facility. Now, the organization is hoping to follow suit with a new on-site classroom. The SEEDclassroom is only one of two of its kind in the US.

Gizmag featured the SEEDclassroom concept back in 2013, prior to any having being installed anywhere. The first installation took place in May last year at the Perkins School in Seattle. Ric Cochrane of the SEEDcollaborative, which designed the classroom, tells Gizmag that the Perkins School installation is on target to achieve Living Building certification. A mandatory indoor air quality test is due to take place in May, with energy and water systems monitoring set to begin in June.

The SEEDclassroom structure itself is designed to be self-sustaining, easily transportable and modular. It is aimed at being a sustainable, inspiring and healthy space for education.


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L.A. school district demands iPad refund from Apple | Howard Blume | LATimes.com

L.A. school district demands iPad refund from Apple | Howard Blume | LATimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

To press its case, the Board of Education on Tuesday authorized its attorneys in a closed-door meeting to explore possible litigation against Apple and Pearson, the company that developed the curriculum as a subcontractor to Apple.

L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines “made the decision that he wanted to put them on notice, Pearson in particular, that he’s dissatisfied with their product,” said David Holmquist, general counsel for the nation’s second-largest school system. He said millions of dollars could be at stake.

In a letter sent Monday to Apple, Holmquist wrote that it “will not accept or compensate Apple for new deliveries of [Pearson] curriculum.” Nor does the district want to pay for further services related to the Pearson product.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Pearson defended its product.

The $1.3-billion iPad effort was a signature program under then-Supt. John Deasy. But it faltered almost immediately during the fall 2013 rollout of the devices. Questions later arose about whether Apple and Pearson enjoyed an advantage in the bidding process; an FBI criminal investigation is ongoing.


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NASA's New Horizons probe snaps first color image of Pluto | Nick Lavars | GizMag.com

NASA's New Horizons probe snaps first color image of Pluto | Nick Lavars | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As it edges ever closer to its landmark flyby of Pluto in July, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has returned its first color image of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. This first blurry image marks the beginning of what will be an extensive and informative color photo series of the as-yet unexplored planet.

Since launching from Cape Canaveral in 2006, New Horizons has spent much of its 9.5 year journey in hibernation mode, preserving power for its awakening in December last year. Having now traveled more than 3 billion miles (4.8 billion km), it has since begun relaying data back to Earth. This started with black and white photos of Pluto and Charon in January, along with revealing images of smaller moons Nix and Hydra the month after.

The color photo was captured by New Horizon's Ralph color imager on April 9 and is the first ever colored photograph of Pluto taken by a spacecraft on approach. It was shot from around 71 million miles (115 km) away, significantly closer than its first black and white images taken at 126 million miles (203 million km), and transmitted back to Earth the following day.


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We all want healthy, hunger-free kids—right? | Katie Kanner | Education Votes | NEA.org

We all want healthy, hunger-free kids—right? | Katie Kanner | Education Votes | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The US House of Representatives' Education and Workforce Committee held its first hearing this week to address the re-authorization of critical child nutrition programs, including the school breakfast and lunch programs.

There was widespread agreement among participants—which included representatives from anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength, the President of the School Nutrition Association, the first lady of Virginia, and a researcher from the Texas Hunger Initiative—that child nutrition programs are critical in addressing the crisis of childhood hunger.

What is not clear is whether GOP lawmakers will support maintaining the nutrition standards phased in since the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which significantly raised the nutrition standards for school meals. Conservative lawmakers have attempted to roll back the heightened nutrition standards that were implemented in phases between 2012 and 2014.


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The Teaching Brain | Patrick Walsh | Truthdig.com

The Teaching Brain | Patrick Walsh | Truthdig.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

“The Teaching Brain: The Evolutionary Trait at the Heart of Education”


A book by Vanessa Rodriguez with Michelle Fitzpatrick

The American public, for the past 10 years at least, has been besieged by endless reports in all mediums about legions of bad teachers mis-educating or under-educating the nation’s children and sabotaging America’s future in the new global economy.


Most, if not all, of these reports are based on the views of non-educator “reformers.” Most are multimillionaires and several are billionaires. They are all ideologically rather than pedagogically driven. They all find the answers to problems of education in the magic of the free market. Diane Ravitch has dubbed them “The Billionaire Boys’ Club,” but with Oprah Winfrey and a couple of the Walton daughters elbowing their way into the party, it’s time, perhaps, for a new, more inclusive name like, say, The Overlords. Theirs are the voices that have utterly dominated education policies in America for a decade at least, with no sign of letting up.

These reformers never bother to define what teaching is and what teachers actually do. Incredibly, they simply do not talk about the issue, concentrating instead on raising expectations and implementing magical standards and the like.


The nearest thing I’ve ever seen regarding what the reformers believe occurs in a classroom can be seen in a cartoon clip in the much ballyhooed charter school propaganda film “Waiting For Superman”: A cartoon teacher lifts the conveniently placed lids on the heads of cartoon students and pours knowledge or information or data—whatever it is the reformers think teachers are depriving kids of—directly and effortlessly into the students’ brains. That’s as far as I’ve seen or read or heard of the reformer idea of teaching.


Instead, the reformers have used their limitless fortunes to circumvent the discussion of what teaching is and what teachers do by focusing, reductio ad absurdum, almost exclusively on the results of standardized test scores. Good teaching leads to high test scores. Bad teaching is revealed in low test scores. That, for the reformers, is the beginning and the end of teaching. What else is there to talk about?


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Chris Dodd's Email Reveals What MPAA Really Thinks Of Fair Use: 'Extremely Controversial' | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Chris Dodd's Email Reveals What MPAA Really Thinks Of Fair Use: 'Extremely Controversial' | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Two years ago, we were among those who noted how odd it was to see the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in court arguing in favor of fair use, since the MPAA tends to argue against fair use quite frequently.


The legal geniuses at the MPAA felt hurt by our post and some of the other news coverage on the issue, and put out a blog post claiming that the MPAA and its members actually love fair use.


According to that post, the MPAA's members "rely on the fair use doctrine every day" and the idea that it "opposes" fair use is "simply false, a notion that doesn't survive even a casual encounter with the facts."

Now, as you may have heard, Wikileaks has put the leaked Sony emails online for everyone to search through for themselves. I imagine that there will be a variety of new stories coming out of this trove of information, now that it's widely available, rather than limited to the small group who got the initial email dumps.


In digging through the emails, one interesting one popped up. It's Chris Dodd revealing the MPAA's true view on "fair use" in an email to Michael Froman, the US Trade Rep in charge of negotiating agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP).

You see, about a year ago, Froman gave a speech where he made a very brief mention of the importance of fair use, and how, for the first time, the USTR would be including fair use in agreements. Here's what Froman said:


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CT: Artists strike gold at Silvermine show | Martin Cassiday | New Canaann News

CT: Artists strike gold at Silvermine show | Martin Cassiday | New Canaann News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Grayson Kennedy said she was happy with what she learned in her oil painting class at Silvermine Arts Center while creating her painting, "Man Curly Hair," a portrait of a nude man. She especially liked how well she captured his features and chose and applied colors to achieve depth and contrast.

And so did the judges at Silvermine's 25th Annual Students' Exhibition, which opened last weekend. Kennedy, an 18-year-old senior at St. Luke's School who has been painting since the fourth grade, took first prize in the youth category at the exhibition.

Kennedy, who usually takes three classes a year at Silvermine, plans to study visual art at Bucknell University next fall.

"I captured what he actually looked like very well," she said. "I've painted since I was young, but I've been taking classes here for years."


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What is the future of journalism? | Rebecca Sian Wyde | The Guardian

What is the future of journalism? | Rebecca Sian Wyde | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

With the dawn of a new era of technology and hyper-connectivity, both national and international journalism will soon reach a crisis point. The printed press is in danger of extinction, while the internet keeps on growing and growing. How can journalists now find their own voice and keep the profession alive and well amongst the shouting of millions of people?

Khaled Hosseini once wrote that “If culture is a house, language is the key”. News is propelled by people, all of whom belong to one culture or another. But how are we to understand, to communicate properly, and deliver a balanced viewpoint if we wilfully misunderstand the languages and cultures of others? It has been proven that once a language has been learned, a worldview is acquired, but with the fact that some British ambassadors are unable to speak the local language actively causing problems in diplomacy, I believe the same can be said for journalism. Only through acknowledging our differences and trying to understand the news from another angle can journalists really get to the heart of a story.

Imagine if, in war zones, on location, journalists didn’t have to use an interpreter to speak to their interviewees, but could communicate with them directly? How much more information would they be able to gather that would otherwise have been lost in translation? Nelson Mandela said that if you speak to someone in one language, you speak to their head, but if you speak to them in their native language, you speak to their heart.

Protecting specific cultural legacies in journalism, instead of printing in a homogenous mass, would work to the advantage of the whole world. People feel more connected if the media makes an effort to connect with them, and at the moment world languages are disappearing at an alarming rate. This can be time-consuming. But missing out huge swathes of the world’s populace because they don’t have access to content in their mother tongue seems wrong somehow. Everyone deserves to know what’s happening in our world, and thanks to incredible technological advances, we can now make this a priority.

Technology is often touted as the future of journalism. We are more connected than we ever have been before, and we find it strange if someone doesn’t own a smartphone. However, this can have serious consequences when it comes to journalism. Although the news can be updated quicker than ever before, the sheer speed with which these interactions are allowed to take place can ultimately damage credibility: often there simply isn’t time to fact-check or proof-read properly, which can lead to a severe dip in journalistic quality.

With the internet dominating our lives, there are more and more voices all shouting to be heard. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing – if the press can be called one thing, it’s no longer elitist. Everyone has their own voice, whether on Twitter, Wordpress, Tumblr or Reddit – all these social networks are highly influential in their own right, and the internet has an answer for everything you ask. So how can quality journalists compete? By sticking to the facts, by not sensationalising needlessly, and exhibiting rigour in their personal style which is often sadly lacking in many internet posts.


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Ready to Learn (RTL) Gets HELP in Senate | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Ready to Learn (RTL) Gets HELP in Senate | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Ready to Learn (RTL) children's educational entertainment grant program under the Department of Education appears to have dodged the budget ax once again.

RTL provides curriculum-based media to boost math and reading skills for kids 2-8, with an emphasis on low-income families.

The Association of Public Television Stations is praising the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for including the program in the Every Child Achieves Act.

"The Association of Public Television Stations is deeply grateful to the HELP Committee for preserving Ready To Learn as a stand-alone program preparing America’s children for success in school and in life,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler.

The President's budget, released in February, included a separate $26 million allocation for Ready to Learn.

RTL is frequently a subject of discussion at budget time, with Republicans calling for phasing it out and even the Obama administration proposing cuts last time around.

But Butler pointed out that RTL had bipartisan support, including from Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Ark.), Susan Collins (R-Me.), and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.).


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Is it necessary to teach poor kids to code? | SciDev.net

Is it necessary to teach poor kids to code? | SciDev.net | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Idit Harel got something of a hostile reception when she announced to a room full of social entrepreneurs that it is necessary to teach kids in poor countries to code. “Coding is the new writing,” she said.

The response was indignant from most of the entrepreneurs assembled yesterday for a session on technology in education at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, United Kingdom. You’re suggesting that, for the poorest kids who can’t even read, we should be prioritising teaching them how to code? was the sentiment of many.

I, for one, couldn’t believe Harel, who runs an education firm called Globaloria, would equate coding with writing. But when I asked her about it later on, she told me she had meant what she said. And after a chat over coffee later, she had me just about convinced she was right — although I might disagree over a few semantic points.

“People assume that you have to have the 3Rs [reading, writing and arithmetic] before you get to what I call the 3Xs: exploration, exchange and expression,” Harel said. “But that’s not the case.”

Harel said she knew this through her experience with Globaloria, which she founded. The firm gets children to play computer games before showing them how to begin modifying the game — for example changing the colours on their character — using computer code. Often the kids can’t read well, if at all, Harel explained, but they get engrossed in tinkering with the game world and, in the process, they begin to pick up more traditional literacy, too.

It sounded incredible to me that kids could do this without being able to read, but Harel has a bundle of evaluations that she claims prove the approach works.


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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, April 17, 8:50 PM

I've been one of those who believe coding is important, but not more important than the 3Rs. This article supports the 3Rs but makes a case for motivating learners in the world of 3Rs by showing them the world of the "3Xs: exploration, exchange, and expression." Language and text have far more meanings than the single-minded can imagine.

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Dawn image of dwarf planet Ceres brings white spots into sharper focus | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

Dawn image of dwarf planet Ceres brings white spots into sharper focus | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has snapped another image of the dwarf planet Ceres, bringing into focus two mysterious white spots present on the face of the rocky body that appear to exist within the same basin. The spacecraft and its handlers back on Earth are currently preparing for capture into Ceres' orbit, which is expected to take place on March 12.

Launched in September 2007, Dawn has traveled around 1.7 billion miles under the power of its three ion engines. The new image was snapped at a distance of 29,000 miles (46,000 km) from the planet, and appears to show a dominant white spot and a lesser companion resting together. The prominent feature is baffling agency scientists, who currently have no solid explanation as to the nature and cause of the spots.

"This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations," states Chris Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission.


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Blended Learning Research Yields Limited Results | Sarah Sparks | EdWeek.org

Blended Learning Research Yields Limited Results | Sarah Sparks | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Blended learning is gaining considerable popularity in American classrooms, but the question remains: Is there strong evidence that the strategy helps K-12 students?

"The answer right now is still no," said Sarojani S. Mohammed, a partner and lead researcher at The Learning Accelerator, a Cupertino, Calif., nonprofit group that helps districts implement blended-learning strategies. "We don't have definitive evidence that blended learning works or that it doesn't, though we do know some things about specific aspects."

Blended-learning practices have steadily evolved in classrooms, but there is little consensus on what, exactly, the term encompasses. This further hamstrings efforts to build a solid understanding of whether, when, and how the strategy of combining face-to-face instruction with technology-based lessons actually works.


Research on blended learning has begun to accumulate only in the last few years, with the U.S. Department of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and others having recently supported studies of its uses in classrooms.


"Whether blended learning works or not is a frustrating question because the answer is always going to be 'it depends,' " said Michael B. Horn, a co-founder and the executive director for education at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, in San Mateo, Calif., which studies technology in society. "Depends on how it's implemented, how well teachers are trained. ... It's unlikely to be that blended learning magically causes better learning, and more likely, that it offers better opportunity to provide each student with what he needs when he needs it."


Even defining "blended learning" has proven difficult.


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Dark matter may not be completely dark at all | Eric Mack | GizMag.com

Dark matter may not be completely dark at all | Eric Mack | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

New studies by astronomers are slowly throwing some light on dark matter, the invisible and mysterious stuff that scientists believe makes up much of the universe. For the first time, astronomers believe they've observed the interactions of dark matter via a factor other than the force of gravity.

Dark matter's gravitational interactions with the parts of the universe that we can actually see are the only reason that we know it exists at all. Weirdly, it has seemed until now that dark matter has no other known interactions with anything in the universe, including itself. A recent study seemed to back up the notion that bits of dark matter appear to just drift through space, and not even interact with each other.

However, new observations of the simultaneous collision of four galaxies in the galaxy cluster Abell 3827 – using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and a technique called "gravitational lensing" – seemed to show a "clump" of dark matter around one of the galaxies, lagging a bit behind that galaxy.

This sort of lollygagging is something that scientists have predicted might be observable during collisions if dark matter were to interact with itself through some force other than gravity, even slightly.


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MN: Broadband still not available for all in Le Sueur County | Philip Weyhe | Le Sueur News-Herald

MN: Broadband still not available for all in Le Sueur County | Philip Weyhe | Le Sueur News-Herald | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Internet access seems a given these days. It’s used so frequently and for so many purposes, it’s hard to imagine the world once carried on without it.

So when teachers give instructions for online homework and 95 percent of the students go home to a computer and broadband Internet speeds, it might be easy to forget about those 5 percent that only have dial-up or perhaps no internet at all.

“As more and more school districts move to personalization of learning and digital learning environments, broadband access for all does become increasingly important,” said Tri-City United Superintendent Teri Preisler.

Five percent of parents in the TCU district said their students did not have broadband at home, according to a recent survey sent out by the schools.

According to Minnesota State Broadband Data Development (SBDD), 13.6 percent of Le Sueur County residents do not have access to what is considered by the Federal Communications Commission to be high speed Internet. Many of those without access to broadband live in rural areas, where fiber cables do not currently reach and wireless options are often far away or not accessible.

“As economic effects and agricultural market forces reduce rural population densities in out-state communities, the provisioning and availability of reliable, always-on communication are critical,” said TCU IT and Facilities Director Carl Menk.

In a recent Le Sueur-Henderson School Board meeting, while speaking about the budget for new technologies, board member Brian Wiederich mentioned the student access issue, saying it is a concern that some don’t have the same opportunities at the home.

Le Sueur County IT Director Scott Gerr also specifically mentioned student access when speaking about the issue.

“All these students are being given homework that requires the Internet,” Gerr said. “It is necessary.”

Options sometimes limited, risky

Talk of increased access to high-speed Internet is gaining statewide, but to ensure broadband access may mean laying out fiber cable to every home that isn’t within range of high-speed wireless providers. And that’s costly.

When a more rural area like Le Sueur County wants to take on such a project, it’s likely going to need help in the form of grants or low-interest loans.

Minnesota House Republicans presented a proposal Thursday to cut funding for the Minnesota Broadband Infrastructure Grant Fund, which has provided help to local governments in expanding broadband access. Republican leaders said the costs are too high, and that wireless and satellite options are less expensive.


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California Bill Would Require Libraries Post Scary Warning Signs Not To Do Infringy Stuff With 3D Printers | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

California Bill Would Require Libraries Post Scary Warning Signs Not To Do Infringy Stuff With 3D Printers | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For a few years now, folks like Michael Weinberg have been pretty vocal about warning the world not to screw up 3D printing by falling for the same copyright/patenting mistakes that are now holding back other creative industries. Trying to lock up good ideas is not a good idea. Just recently we noted how 3D printing was challenging some long held beliefs about copyright, and we shouldn't simply fall into the old ways of doing things. At our inaugural Copia Institute summit, we had a really fascinating discussion about not letting intellectual property freakouts destroy the potential of 3D printing.

Well, here comes the start of the freakouts. Via Parker Higgins, we find out that there's a new bill in the California Assembly, AB-37*, which would require libraries that have 3D printers to post stupid signs warning people not to do nasty infringy things with those printers:


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