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Three States Pushing ALEC Bill To Require Teaching Climate Change Denial In Schools | MyFDL

Three States Pushing ALEC Bill To Require Teaching Climate Change Denial In Schools | MyFDL | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - known by its critics as a “corporate bill mill” – has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing “models bills” mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems.

 

January hasn’t even ended, yet ALEC has already planted its ”Environmental Literacy Improvement Act“ - which mandates a “balanced” teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms - in the state legislatures of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona so far this year.

 

In the past five years since 2008, among the hottest years in U.S. history, ALEC has introduced its “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act“ in 11 states, or over one-fifth of the statehouses nationwide. The bill has passed in four states, an undeniable form of “big government” this “free market” organization decries in its own literature.

 

ALEC’s ”model bills” are written by and for corporate lobbyists alongside conservative legislators at its annual meetings. ALEC raises much of its corporate funding from the fossil fuel industry, which in turn utilizes ALEC as a key - though far from the only - vehicle to ram through its legislative agenda through in the states.

 

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A Brief History Of Social Media (1969- 2012) | AllTwitter

A Brief History Of Social Media (1969- 2012) | AllTwitter | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

What’s your first memory of social media?


Twitter, perhaps? Or maybe Facebook?


If you’re of a certain age, you’ll likely remember when MySpace was very much numero uno amongst all social platforms. Roll the years back a little further, and you could have been one of the (relatively) few who were amongst the pioneers of modern social networking on Friendster.


But here’s the thing: the history of social media actually goes back a lot further, and its roots can be found in blogging, Google, AOL, ICQ, the beginnings of the world wide web and, perhaps surprisingly, CompuServe.


This infographic from Creative Ramblings takes a closer look at the history of social media, 1969-2012.


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Scientists verify world's largest single crystal piece of gold | GizMag.com

Scientists verify world's largest single crystal piece of gold | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the US have confirmed a 7.68 oz (217.78 g) piece of gold is in fact a singular crystal, increasing its value from around US$10,000 to an estimated $1.5 million. The specimen, the largest single crystal piece of gold in the world, was discovered in Venezuela decades ago, but it is only by using advanced probing instruments that experts can now verify its authenticity.


Gold found in the ground will generally have a polycrystalline structure, meaning it is made up of many crystallites, varying in shape and size. Gold of a mono-crystalline structure, where the material is unbroken, are rarer and of significantly higher value. The US-based owner provided geologist John Rakovon with four gold specimens, hoping to determine whether they were of a polycrystalline or mono-crystalline structure.


Using a single-crystal diffraction (SCD) tool and a high-pressure/preferred orientation (HIPPO) instrument at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rakovan was able to examine the minerals using a technique called neutron diffractometry. As opposed to other probes, such as x-rays or electrons, neutrons allow the scientists to peer deep inside the materials and evaluate their structure.


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What Happens When American Teenagers Can't Find Work | National Journal

What Happens When American Teenagers Can't Find Work | National Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Most Americans love to reminisce about their first paying job, whether it was scooping ice cream, babysitting, or working behind a retail counter. It was rarely glamorous, but earning that first paycheck was a point of pride and marked a milestone in a teenager's life.


By the time Andrew Sum entered his teenage years, he'd already held a job delivering newspapers. Now as an economist, one of his chief concerns is the state of the labor market for today's teenagers. The employment rates for teenagers, ages 16 to 19, plummeted from 45 percent in 2000 to just 26 percent in 2011, according to Sum's recent research for the Brookings Institution. That's the lowest rate of teen employment in the post-World War II era.

 

The teens hardest hit by the tough labor market also happen to be the least fortunate ones: those with less education, from poorer households, or from minority backgrounds. Teens whose parents earned more than $40,000 a year boasted employment rates of 26 to 28 percent, while teens whose parents made less than that threshold, were employed at rates of less than 20 percent.


These signs foreshadow potentially another summer in which too many teenagers are unable to find work, years after the recession officially ended. "Kids are less likely to work now, and the range of industries they work in is smaller--like retail, trade, or fast food. That massively reduces the number of kids on the payrolls," says Sum, who also directs the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. It does not help that teenagers now increasingly compete against adults for minimum-wage positions.


These data points about low teen employment spell terrible things for the long-term health of the American economy. Study after study shows that early work experience helps teens and young adults build confidence and pick up crucial soft skills, like how to arrive at work on-time and not irritate one's boss. Ideally, those are skills one wants to learn before the mid-20s. "The results are overwhelming," Sum says. "The more you work as a teenager, the more likely you are to work five years from now. That's true at the state or national level. When young people don't get work experience, it inhibits their wages."


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The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools | SSIReview.org

The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools | SSIReview.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Of the many competing plans to improve America’s schools, one overall agenda distinguishes itself in terms of its logical potential for fundamentally changing education. The innovative strategy of giving parents more choice of schools, of encouraging competition between those schools, and of granting schools more autonomy to satisfy parents—in short, “incentivizing” education—has taken hold as perhaps the most prominent and promising idea for improving American education at its core. This approach is evident in efforts such as charter schools, vouchers and tax credits for private schools, private management of schools, and privatization. All such “incentivist” approaches draw on market mechanisms modeled after the private sector, including the private education sector.


The reason reformers look to the private sector is obvious. The beauty of the logic is its simplicity. Governments and the bureaucracies they generate are thought to lead to overspending and ineffectiveness—whether the U.S. Postal Service, military procurements, or public schools. This is because governments typically administer enterprises on a monopoly basis, setting up barriers to potential competitors in order to protect their own entities in areas such as education. Hence, virtually all public funding goes only to “public” schools that are traditionally regulated by government bureaucrats, run by administrators who have obtained an official endorsement from the state, and staffed by teachers who have been certified by state-approved teacher training programs. As with all monopolies, this may lead to complacency, and even disincentives for employees to innovate or otherwise respond to the needs of their “customers.” But the private sector, driven by choice and competitive market incentives, is thought to produce better outcomes, such as those associated with FedEx, eBay, or private schools. There, school employees have built-in incentives to work harder, or at least more effectively, at providing a better education, for fear of losing students, losing tuition funds, losing their jobs, or even seeing their school “go out of business.”


At least that is what we thought. Indeed, that is the narrative of the market and, increasingly, public policy in the United States and around the globe. Yet the evidence we have found tells quite a different story than what theorists and the current crop of self-proclaimed reformers assert. Specifically, it points to a new, emerging view of the academic performance and impact of public schools in contrast to the outcomes of their more autonomous counterparts in the charter and private sectors. And the question of the impact of different types of schools, or schools in different sectors, is paramount in this era of choice, charter schools, and vouchers for private schools.


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Are Teacher Evaluations Education ‘Reform’s’ Biggest Bust? | Education Opportunity Network

Would you like your job performance judged by a five-year-old?


That’s a relevant question for public school teachers in Hawaii, where the state’s new teacher evaluation system attributes ten percent of their job performance rating on what children as young as 5 years old think.


Although ten percent may not seem like a whole lot, in a metric based evaluation system where harsh judgments of “effective” versus “needs improvement” can swing either way based on a point or two, ten percent can be one hundred percent of the reason for a bad grade.


But the child’s portion is not the sole problem Hawaiian teachers are having with their new evaluation system, which will ultimately affect their pay and can subject them to penalties as severe as termination.


As the article cited above reported, a recent survey conducted jointly by the state Department of Education and the teachers’ union found that “as many as four in five” teachers responding to the survey have problems with the new evaluations, ranging from “confusion … to skepticism about its fairness”.


Hawaii isn’t the only state having problems with new teacher evaluation systems that are being rolled out across the nation at the encouragement – others would contend, coercion – of the federal government.


According to Education Week, at least a dozen states have asked the U.S. Department of Education to allow them delays in rolling out new teacher evaluations systems.


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British Pathé Publishes Archive On YouTube | SKY.com

British Pathé Publishes Archive On YouTube | SKY.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Film archive British Pathé has released its entire collection to YouTube, making more than 85,000 rare 20th Century videos available to the public.


History enthusiasts are now able to browse more than 3,500 hours of some of the most significant moments of the last century.


Included in the vast release is unique footage of both World Wars, the Titantic, boxing legend Muhammed Ali and England's glorious 1966 World Cup victory over Germany.


British Pathé says the films, which span from 1896 to 1976, cover every aspect of global culture and news.


The archive's general manager, Alastair White, told Sky News: "British Pathé is considered to be the finest news reel archive in the world. 


"It also covers a myriad of social history film items about how people lived, worked and played through the 20th century.


"We decided to publish our entire archive to YouTube to ensure the maximum number of people can enjoy viewing British Pathé films."


The YouTube channel has been set up in collaboration with the German company Mediakraft Networks, an online television network.


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IL: The Field Museum in Chicago Uses Advanced Technologies to Engage Visitors | Stockhouse

IL: The Field Museum in Chicago Uses Advanced Technologies to Engage Visitors | Stockhouse | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its Internet service to a 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet Dedicated Internet connection. The upgraded service gives the iconic natural history and research institution the bandwidth to support interactive technologies that give visitors new ways to explore and engage with its collections, content and exhibits, and helps enhance its business operations.


Located in Chicago's lakefront Museum Campus, the Field Museum has one of the finest natural history collections and is home to premier exhibitions and educational programs. Before the upgrade to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, the museum's entire staff and business applications had to share an Internet connection of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps). The slower speed was adequate but did not transfer data as quickly. With the upgrade to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, the museum's WiFi system now transfers more than 15.5 Terabytes (TB) of data a year to more than 113,000 individual users.


"Museums are expected to continually incorporate new digital technologies and make visitor experiences even more interactive. Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet has helped us meet these challenges by providing a reliable, high-capacity network that we can scale as needed," said Rob Zschernitz, director of technology, The Field Museum. "Further, it gives us the ability to provide a more interactive and immersive experience for our visitors."


With an eye towards the future, The Field Museum has implemented a number of updates to its technology infrastructure to support new applications. For example, it has expanded its core internal network, replaced its storage area network technology -- expanding its data storage capacity to over 120TB (to be further expanded to over 160TB by this summer) -- and expanded and upgraded its virtual server infrastructure. This will not only increase energy efficiency, it will support advanced features, such as server uptime and centralized management.


To enhance the visitor experience, the museum also released a mobile app last fall, which is loaded with exclusive content, experiences and curated tours, according to Zchernitz.


"Through video and sound, museum scientists give visitors greater insight into featured artifacts and specimens," said Zchernitz. "In addition, visitors can use the museum's WiFi to share their favorite tours with friends or create their own tours based on interest or theme. New objects and tours are added on a regular basis, so there is always something new to discover."


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Police Charge High School Student with Disorderly Conduct for Using an iPad to Prove He's Being Bullied | AlterNet.org

Police Charge High School Student with Disorderly Conduct for Using an iPad to Prove He's Being Bullied | AlterNet.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Trigger-warning if you hate incompetent bureaucrats and the abuse of power.


Photography Is Not A Crime has flagged a story out of McDonald, Pennsylvania about a high school student whose attempts to prove he was the victim of bullying ended up landing him in front of a judge and charged with disorderly conduct.


According to reports, a high school sophomore at South Fayette High School had grown so sick of having teachers and administrators look the other way whenever he was being bullied that he decided to record some of the routine abuse with his iPad. When school administrators found this out, they took swift action — against him, not his bullies.


Officials at South Fayette High School allegedly told the student to delete the recording and threatened to have him arrested on charges of felony wiretapping. By the time the police arrived at the school, however, the student had already deleted the file.


But rather than leave it there, the police chose to charge the student for disorderly conduct. About a month later, a judge convicted him. No disciplinary actions have been taken against either the administrators and teachers who ignored the bullying or the bullies themselves.


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How algorithms shape our world | Kevin Slavin | TED Talk

How algorithms shape our world | Kevin Slavin | TED Talk | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it


Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms.


In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture.


And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control.


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Just Say No to Tasering Students and Militarizing Our Schools | Truth-Out.org

Just Say No to Tasering Students and Militarizing Our Schools | Truth-Out.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When The New York Times (NYT) calls the tasering of students as a "disciplinary" measure torture, it is time to take notice that our schools have been infected with the appalling post 9/11 acceptance of harsh interrogation and discipline.


After all, the NYT has long been reluctant to call many abhorrent and internationally illegal measures used by the United States in the wake of 9/11 torture.  The NYT has preferred the euphemism and more publically acceptable term "harsh interrogation techniques."


Therefore, one must take notice when the NYT published an editorial on April 11 entitled, "Torturing Children at School." One can be certain that the NYT, so squeamish about calling waterboarding torture, did not choose that word without much debate, making the implications of the editorial that much more damning and gruesome.


In particular, the NYT editorial board focuses on the practice of tasering even young students in many public schools, sometimes resulting in death:


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Bouncy kangaroo robot is unstoppable | SmartPlanet.com

Bouncy kangaroo robot is unstoppable | SmartPlanet.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Here’s the happiest robot I’ve seen this year! And it’s super efficient, using energy from one hop to power the next.


Festo’s BionicKangaroo recovers the energy when jumping, stores it, and then uses it for the next jump. Elastic springs in each leg stores energy on landing -- just like the tendon in a real kangaroo’s leg -- converting the kinetic (motion) energy of the jump into potential energy. Real kangaroos depend on that ability to store and reuse energy from each landing to hop long distances in the wild -- they’re the only large animals we know of that uses hopping as their primary means of locomotion.


Every year, the Germany-based company comes up with new robots as part of its Bionic Learning Network. The company actually spent two years analyzing kangaroos to recreate its movements. They're not aiming to build a kangaroo robot army; rather, they’re interested in exploring ways of recovering energy in industrial automation, IEEE Spectrum reports, and new ways of combining electronics with pneumatics (technology that’s powered by air or gas under pressure). Some more details about the BionicKangaroo:


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Astronauts to get green thumbs with NASA sending veggie garden to the ISS | GizMag.com

Astronauts to get green thumbs with NASA sending veggie garden to the ISS | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The International Space Station (ISS) may be a remarkable piece of engineering, but it’s so drab that it needs a window box to brighten things up. That isn't possible in the vacuum of space, but NASA is doing the next best thing on Monday as it sends its Vegetable Production System (Veggie) to the space station aboard the SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 mission. However, this plant-growing chamber will be more than a horticultural experiment, it's also a bit more culinary as it lets astronauts put fresh salad on the menu.


Space farming has been a staple of science fiction with many novels set in space including a visit to a spaceship’s hydroponic gardens. Given that it’s almost impossible to carry enough food, water, and oxygen to last for a space voyage lasting years, using plants to recycle air and water while providing food seems like a logical alternative. The trick is to figure out exactly how to do so in a weightless environment where the nearest soil is millions of miles away.


Veggie is part of the 2.5 tons of cargo on SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft’s launch scheduled for Monday at 4:58 PM EDT atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Officially designated the Veg-01 experiment, it was developed by Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wisconsin and uses a chamber designed to grow plants inexpensively using red, blue and green LEDs.


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MA: Cut energy waste and state wins | Boston Herald

MA: Cut energy waste and state wins | Boston Herald | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It is important for Massachusetts to reduce its energy waste because No. 1, it will help save money in the state budget and No. 2, it’s the governor’s responsibility to do that.


As our governor, Deval Patrick needs to reduce expenses in Massachusetts. There are many ways to reduce this waste and to save money in the state budget. State-owned buildings can model what we do in our classroom at Dexter Park Elementary School. We monitor our light use to help stop wasting electricity.


State buildings can open up as many shades as possible because sunlight is free and electricity costs money. Another way shades help to cut down waste is to keep shades closed on cold days to keep heat in. Another idea to reduce waste is to shut building doors to keep heat in or out of individual rooms. Also, in the hot months, use the shades to keep heat out and cooler air in. This cuts down on air conditioner and electricity use.


Above all else, when electronics are not in use, shut them off to cut down on energy waste!


On a small scale, to help our state to “go green” we can recycle old tires that people just throw away so the state can use them to make rubber pipes to replace leaking metal gas pipes. Rubber pipes won’t wear out as easy as the metal ones. This is extraordinary for two reasons. It cleans up our environment, helping us “go green,” and will eventually prevent gas leaks.


We can run tire drives like can drives to collect tires from people who need to dispose of them or just donate them. Other ways we can help our state is to recycle everything possible that is recyclable, which will clean our roads, towns and the state of Massachusetts.


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Researcher uses Cyber Rodents to study evolution | GizMag.com

Researcher uses Cyber Rodents to study evolution | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it


A study has used rodent-like robots to look at the evolutionary development of different mating strategies over an extended period of time. In contrast to direct studies of nature, the observation of robots allows researchers to avoid inherent time-based difficulties of studying evolution, with the results suggesting something a little more complex than the classic one-beats-all natural selection hypothesis.


According to conventional evolutionary theory, a single, optimal phenotype, or mating behavior, should predominate all others, with natural selection taking care of the less efficient strategies. However, in nature we witness a great many populations where this is not the case, and instead see a variety of successful behaviors co-existing. Due to our short life spans, developing an informed theory on why this is the case is decidedly problematic when looking directly at long-term evolutionary cycles in nature.


The study, conducted by Dr. Stefan Elfwing of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, was designed to tackle this long-standing problem of evolutionary theory through the use of robots. Known as Cyber Rodents, the wheeled robots were equipped with cameras for visual detection of energy sources (colored blue) and the rail lamps of other robots (colored green), and infrared communicators for the exchange of genotypes. In biological terms, the Cyber Rodents were hermaphrodites, with all robots in the test able to produce virtual offspring.


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‘Going to sleep hungry, it’s kind of a lonely feeling’ | WashPost.com

‘Going to sleep hungry, it’s kind of a lonely feeling’ | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When Paul Vaughn, an economics major, was in his third year at George Mason University, he decided to save money by moving off campus. He figured that skipping the basic campus meal plan, which costs $1,575 for 10 meals a week each semester, and buying his own food would make life easier.


But he had trouble affording the $50 a week he had budgeted for food and ended up having to get two jobs to pay for it. “Almost as bad as the hunger itself is the stress that you’re going to be hungry,” said Vaughn, 22, now in his fifth year at GMU. “I spend more time thinking ‘How am I going to make some money so I can go eat?’ and I focus on that when I should be doing homework or studying for a test.”


A problem known as “food insecurity” — a lack of nutritional food — is not typically associated with U.S. college students. But it is increasingly on the radar of administrators, who report seeing more hungry students, especially at schools that enroll a high percentage of youths who are from low-income families or are the first generation to attend college.


At the same time that higher education is seen as key to financial security, tuition and living expenses are rising astronomically, making it all the more tempting for students to cut corners on food.


“Between paying rent, paying utilities and then trying to buy food, that’s where we see the most insecurity because that’s the most flexible,” said Monica Gray, director of programs at the College Success Foundation-District of Columbia, which helps low-income high school students go to college.


As campuses look for solutions, the number of university food pantries has shot up, from four in 2008 to 121 today, according to the Michigan State University Student Food Bank, which has advised other campuses on starting them. Trinity Washington University in the District opened one in September, and the University of Maryland at College Park is looking into opening one.


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Vast Digital Divide Exists in K-12 Schools, E-Rate Analysis Shows | EdWeek.org

Vast Digital Divide Exists in K-12 Schools, E-Rate Analysis Shows | EdWeek.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Applications for federal E-rate money show broad gaps between wealthy and poor school systems' access to high-quality technologies, and varying abilities among districts to purchase connectivity at affordable rates, a new analysis reveals.


The research, released today by Education SuperHighway, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that advocates for improved school connections, is based on data the organization says it collected and analyzed from more than 1,000 school districts in 45 states, which had collectively made $350 million in requests for E-rate funding.


The organization evaluates the status of technology in those districts in part against the goals set out in President Obama's "ConnectED" initiative, which calls for giving 99 percent of the nation's students access to high-speed broadband within five years, and providing one gigabit of connectivity to every school. It also uses other standards, such as those put forward by the State Educational Technology Directors Association, said Evan Marwell, Education SuperHighway's CEO.


A synopsis of its findings is available here, and a fuller report is expected to be released later today. [Update: Here's the full document.]


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Education: States' standardized tests have a negative impact on parents' civic engagement | ScienceDaily.com

New research from a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found that parents of public school students in states with more extensive and stringent student assessment systems express lower trust in government, less confidence in government efficacy, and more negative views of their children's schools, thereby threatening civic engagement and the potential for future education reform.


In a study published by the journal Political Behavior, associate professor Jesse Rhodes merged data from an original survey of public school parents with quantitative measures of the scope and alignment of state standards, testing, and accountability policies, to determine whether and how education reforms influence the parents' political attitudes and behaviors.


He found that highly developed assessment policies alienate parents from government and discourage parental involvement in education, an effect he terms "demobilization." Parental trust in government was 11 percent lower in states with the most extensive assessment policies, and parental assessments of government effectiveness were 15 percent lower, compared to states with less developed testing polices.


Over the past decade, federal education policies such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have led states to develop and adopt education reforms, including content standards specifying what children should know and be able to do, assessments measuring student progress toward those standards and systems of policies holding schools accountable for performance. As years have passed these policies have extended to a greater number of subjects and a wider range of education levels, but there is considerable state-by-state variation in the policies.


While previous studies have examined how these policies affect student achievement, Rhodes' research is the first to assess how they affect the citizenship practices of public school parents -- a key education stakeholder.


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Layayette, LA: Groups supporting Common Core out of their element | The Advertiser

Layayette, LA: Groups supporting Common Core out of their element | The Advertiser | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the movie "Network" Peter Finch said a line that has now become immortal: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."


Frankly, that's me, right now — and here's why.


The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce recently listed its priorities for the legislative session, and among them is its support for Common Core.


If I were to write a manual telling doctors how to operate, people would laugh and doctors would rightfully ignore me. I have not attended medical school, nor received the training a doctor needs.


Yet, organization after organization with little or no educational background think they are experts on education. The Council for a Better Louisiana, Stand for Children Louisiana and the Louisiana Association for Business and Industry, just to name a few, have all published their support for Common Core.


Apparently, merely having attended school or college — or simply having a child — affords everyone a seat at the table to determine the future of education. Worse, everyone listens to these organizations and not the teachers.


I am a highly-qualified teacher with two bachelor's degrees and a masters in history. I was chosen the Outstanding Sophomore, Junior, and Senior in UL's College of Education, not to mention the Outstanding Graduate of its 1992 Spring Commencement. I have experience writing curricula and have taught Algebra I and II for 23 years, as well as numerous history and English classes. I am an expert on education — not these various groups.


I have a right to explore the qualifications and biases of every organization that supports Common Core.


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SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 launch scrubbed for third time | GizMag.com

SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 launch scrubbed for third time | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Unfortunately, it wasn't third time's a charm for the SpaceX CRS-3 mission to send an unmanned Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS). In a statement today, SpaceX announced that the Monday launch of the Falcon 9 rocket has been rescheduled until April 18 because of a helium leak in the first stage. However, weather forecasts show conditions around Cape Canaveral deteriorating as the week progresses, so even that date is tentative.


This marks the third attempt to launch the CRS-3 mission and the third time that it has been scrubbed. The first delay was due to a contaminant found in the unpressurized cargo bay of the Dragon cargo ship, and the second occurred when a tracking radar was put out of action by a major malfunction.


The Dragon spacecraft had been scheduled to dock with the Earth-facing port on the Harmony module two days after launch. However, in the run up to Monday’s aborted launch, the ISS suffered a malfunction in an external computer called the Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM). An emergency spacewalk is scheduled to repair this, but it is not clear whether this will cause a further delay for the docking of the cargo ship.


The Dragon spacecraft is carrying 2.5 tons (2.26 tonnes) of experiments and supplies to the ISS, including a new spacesuit and parts to repair the spacesuits already on the station. In addition, the Falcon 9 booster was scheduled to deploy microsatellites as part of the mission.


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UPDATED: For-profit charter celebrates "Teacher Appreciation Week" with compulsory teacher humiliation | DailyKos.com

UPDATED: For-profit charter celebrates "Teacher Appreciation Week" with compulsory teacher humiliation | DailyKos.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Mosaica Education, Inc., a self-described "for-profit education management organization", runs eight different for-profit schools in Michigan:


  • Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac
  • Bay County Public School Academy
  • Bingham Arts Academy
  • Edgewood Elementary School
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
  • Mosaica Online Academy of Michigan
  • Muskegon Heights High School
  • Muskegon Heights Middle School



In fact, the entire Muskegon Heights school system, under the control of an Emergency Manager, is run by Mosaica. They are in the news lately because they've had to secure loans from the state because they are unable to make payroll.



The Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac - a K-10 Mosaica-run charter with roughly 600 students - has an annual fundraiser to bring in revenue to the school. This year, the fundraiser is on May 2nd and is part of what they are calling "Teacher Appreciation Week". It's an Orwellian title given their plans. Here's an email sent to students and parents by the administrators of the Pontiac school on April 2nd:


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Myths of Technology Series: "Technology Will Replace Face-to-Face Interaction" | George Couros Blog

Myths of Technology Series: "Technology Will Replace Face-to-Face Interaction" | George Couros Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A fear for many is that the continuous interactions that we have with one another through technology will replace face-to-face interaction.


Sometimes it seems that we forget our own childhood and that we had many peers that had trouble with interactions before mobile devices were the norm.  Technology did not inhibit them from speaking to others, nor do we need to necessarily think less of someone who may be an introvert.  People have different strengths and some actually thrive in isolation.  Their issue or our issue?


What some teachers have done is use technology to actually give students a voice and options that they didn’t have before.  I thought it was brilliant to see one teacher use Google Forms to do a simple “check-in” with students to give them the opportunity to share what is going on in their lives to ensure that she could help them in any way possible.


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Libraries and Broadband: Urgency and Impact – public hearing on April 17 | Blandin on Broadband

Happy National Library Week! To celebrate I was going to invite my co-working coffee shop friends to shoot me ready reference questions – or maybe just shush a few people, then I found something even better – a public hearing on libraries and broadband.


This is one of those meetings that looks wonky and not top priority – until you consider the role that libraries play in your community in terms of bridging the digital gap. Libraries provide access to computer and broadband (via public computers and often Wi-Fi) and librarians are often the first line of defense for digital literacy.


The FCC has pledged to invest $2 billion in broadband for libraries and schools. And libraries are pilot testing a mashup of spectrum white space broadband access and local WI-FI networks as a way to serve wireless access in a community.  If you want to make sure that your library continues to serve your community to the best of its ability, it makes sense to learn more. (Broadband access in individual Minnesota libraries is not the same!)…


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The Backlash Against New York’s Standardized Tests Is Getting Serious | New York Magazine

The Backlash Against New York’s Standardized Tests Is Getting Serious | New York Magazine | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may perceive the much ado being made over this year's New York state standardized tests as "drama and noise," but the city's school leaders and their constituents are fighting back.


Today, hundreds of slogan-toting principals, teachers, parents, and students took to the streets to protest what they say are flawed and ambiguous English language and arts tests administered last week to kids as young as third grade. (Math assessments are scheduled for the end of this month.) Elizabeth Phillips, principal of the much-beloved P.S. 321 in Park Slope, sounded a loud post-test alarm last Friday, calling on her school community to show their dissent. Now it's spreading.


Worried Phillips would appear to be a lone voice — and the complaints would be easily overlooked — other principals are now following suit. "I thought, Go Liz, that's great. But what really triggered the rest of us was having [her concerns] dismissed … as representing just a tiny fraction of families affected by the ELA," says Adele Schroeter, the principal of P.S. 59 on East 56th Street, who helped rally colleagues in District 2. "I thought, just because the rest of us aren't demonstrating doesn't mean it's okay."


Monica Berry, the principal at P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side, says she was moved to join in after hearing that dozens of schools were formally mobilizing: "If silence is being interpreted as acceptance, then we needed to say something," she says. "We're the ones who've seen the tests. So it should come from within. We're the ones who know."


Last year's exams, designed by Pearson, which has a $32 million contract with the state and were the first to adhere to Common Core requirements, garnered lots of heat for being overly long, riddled with product placement, and including confounding questions that, to many educators, were "inappropriately difficult."


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OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return spacecraft gets go-ahead | GizMag.com

OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return spacecraft gets go-ahead | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Getting hit by a giant asteroid can ruin your whole day, so the first United States mission to visit an asteroid and return a sample presents a huge challenge. Lockheed Martin has announced that NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has passed a comprehensive technical review, giving the green light for Lockheed to begin building the spacecraft in anticipation of a launch in 2016.


Performed by an independent review board made up of experts from NASA and other organizations, the mission critical design review (CDR) was aimed at validating the detailed design of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, as well as its instruments and the ground system needed to support it. This is a key step if the mission is to meet its scheduled launch date for late 2016.


The goal of OSIRIS-REx is to rendezvous with the near-Earth asteroid Bennu in 2018. Bennu is one of only five B-types that is of suitable size and orbit for rendezvous and sample return. It’s also one of the most likely asteroids to hit Earth in the next few centuries, so taking a close look has an element of self-interest.


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Google may boost search results of sites that use encryption | GigaOM Tech News

Google may boost search results of sites that use encryption | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Google may soon give greater prominence in its search results to websites that use encryption, a move that would indirectly make it more difficult for hackers or governments to track what people do on the internet.


According to the Wall Street Journal, Google executive Matt Cutts suggested at a recent conference that the search giant is considering an algorithmic boost for websites that encrypt data.


Web developers consider Cutts’s public statements to be significant because they telegraph forthcoming changes to the all-important Google rankings, although the story also suggests that Google will not making any changes in favor of encryption anytime soon.


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