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Digital Town Hall Promotes Digital Learning | Government Technology

Digital Town Hall Promotes Digital Learning | Government Technology | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Top education and policy leaders talked about the importance of a technology-infused education during a Digital Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

 

As part of the second annual Digital Learning Day, the Alliance for Excellent Education hosted the town hall to further discussion about technology in education. The live simulcast gave government and education leaders a chance to share what they're seeing in the education technology field.

 

Government leaders including former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and U.S. Rep. George Miller, Calif., participated in the town hall.

 

Technology can knock down the barriers of time that have stood in the way of learning, said Wise, the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. That means students can learn 24/7 rather than just in class.

 

"We've got to move from being technology optional to technology essential," Wise said. 

 

One way that schools are knocking down those time barriers is through cyberlearning. Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Penn., wants its students to be connected on weekends and nights, sick days and snow days through online learning, said Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation.

 

"We don't want learning to start and to stop with the school bells," Murray said. "We want learning to be constant and continuous all week and all year long."

 

Learning should also be personalized using technology, said Congressman Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Educators can customize teaching for each student based on the digital assessment feedback they receive in real-time. And students can work at their own speed.

Instead of being humiliated in front of their classmates for not grasping a concept, students can continue to work at understanding it on a computing device until they get it.

 

"The wonderful thing about technology is it's not judgmental," Miller said.

 

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Kepler Just Discovered a New Super-Earth, Against All Odds | Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan | Gizmodo.com

Kepler Just Discovered a New Super-Earth, Against All Odds | Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan | Gizmodo.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In May 2013, NASA's exoplanet-seeking spacecraft, Kepler, seemed doomed. Two of four wheels that stabilized its telescope had malfunctioned—and NASA appealed to scientists from around the world for ideas to salvage its mission. Yesterday, it announced the discovery of a brand-new super-Earth 180 light years from our own.

"To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated," reads the first line of a Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics statement about the discovery, which described a new planet called HIP 116454b that circles its sun every 9.1 days and is more than twice the size of Earth:

HARPS-N showed that it weighs almost 12 times as much as Earth. This makes HIP 116454b a super-Earth, a class of planets that doesn't exist in our solar system. The average density suggests that this planet is either a water world (composed of about three-fourths water and one-fourth rock) or a mini-Neptune with an extended, gaseous atmosphere.

But the events that led to the discovery of this new exoplanet is even more remarkable than the discovery itself, in some ways. No, Kepler's bad wheel didn't suddenly start working again. In fact, it seemed fairly certain that the craft's life was over back in 2013. The New York Times even reported the dramatic memorial poem composed by one Berkeley astronomer: "Let jet airplanes circle at night overhead/ Sky-writing over Cygnus: Kepler is dead."

But, NASA, in a desperate attempt to keep the $600 million Kepler useful, wasn't ready to give up, and asked for proposals to send the craft on a second, alternative mission. One of those proposals—called K2—was actually put into place.


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NJ: Montclair Public Schools and Montclair Film Festival Partner Up | Yvanna Saint-Fort | Montclair Patch

NJ: Montclair Public Schools and Montclair Film Festival Partner Up | Yvanna Saint-Fort | Montclair Patch | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Montclair Public Schools (MPS) and the Montclair Film Festival (MFF) announced the creation of a new broad based partnership that will build a series of community-based professional development and learning initiatives for students of the Montclair Public School system.


With over 28,000 people attending last year’s Festival, strong fiscal support, a series of year-round events and the professional commitment of Montclair’s unique community of film and television professionals, MFF has quickly become New Jersey’s leading non-profit film organization.

“In just four years Montclair has become the home of one of the most thriving film industry institutions in the country. With the help of key community leaders, advocates like Stephen Colbert, and the support of Montclair’s thriving community of filmmakers and television professionals, the Montclair Film Festival has become an important artistic anchor for our town,” said MPS Superintendent Penny MacCormack. “We are thrilled that the Festival’s dedication to filmmaking and the arts will provide more opportunity for our students and teachers.”

“From our very first free outdoor screening, the first commitment of the Montclair Film Festival has been the Montclair community,” said Montclair Film Festival Founder and Chairman of the Board Bob Feinberg. “In a short period of time, the Festival has grown tremendously, but our mission to Montclair will always be our top priority. We are excited to work in partnership with MPS, providing great educational and networking opportunities to our students, teachers and parents.”


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Pearson Education Can Run, But It Cannot Hide | Alan Singer Blog | HuffPost.com

Pearson Education Can Run, But It Cannot Hide | Alan Singer Blog | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Bad news for Pearson Education may be good news for the rest of us. The testing and publishing mega-giant is on the run, but it looks like it will not be able to hide.


Pearson Education is closing its foundation; it is under investigation by the FBI for possible insider dealings in the Los Angeles iPad fiasco; the company is being sued by former employees for wrongful termination; and its PARCC exams are losing customers.


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Smartphones: From Toy to Tool | Ramona Persaud Blog | Edutopia.org

Smartphones: From Toy to Tool | Ramona Persaud Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In classrooms, smartphones are slowly shifting out of the toy-and-liability-to-attention category, and into the tool-and-engaging-students category.


It's part of the movement to "meet students where they are" that's being embraced by teachers who believe in a non-standardized approach to education.


Jeremy Mettler, social studies teacher at Batavia (New York) High School, puts it this way: "Students all have them and they love using them, but they don't realize they're walking around with a computer in their pocket."

Yet computers, helpful as they are, can be a distraction. So how do you incorporate smartphones into the teaching process without compromising the learning process?

I talked to a number of teachers around the country to see how they're addressing this challenge.


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NASA's Curiosity Rover finds active organic chemistry on Mars | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA's Curiosity Rover finds active organic chemistry on Mars | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The hunt for present or past life on Mars got a boost as NASA's Curiosity rover records spikes in atmospheric methane ten times greater than previously measured by the unmanned probe. Though the levels are far below those found on Earth, methane is a key indicator that life may be or may once have been present. In addition, the nuclear-powered explorer has also detected the first confirmed organic compounds in drill samples taken from Martian rocks.

NASA says that the methane was detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory, which is one of the on-board experiments carried by Curiosity. Over a 20-month period, it took air samples and used its Tunable Laser Spectrometer to measure the amount of methane present. Until now, methane levels on the surface of Mars have been so small that early results indicated that it was non-existent, but low and variable levels have now been confirmed.

According to the NASA, the levels jumped to seven parts per billion in late 2013 and early 2014, which is ten times the amount detected at other times of the year. NASA scientists say that the sharp up and down increases in methane indicate a local source, which may be biological or chemical in nature and may be due to some release from a below-ground source.


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OneCommunity: Opening 2015 with 100 Gigabit Network Services Mary Grush | Campus Technology

OneCommunity: Opening 2015 with 100 Gigabit Network Services Mary Grush | Campus Technology | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

OneCommunity announced in late November that it will use $700K in Economic Development Administration funding to help develop, in 2015, the first 100 gigabit, commercially available network.


The fiber network will run from downtown Cleveland, through the city's health tech corridor, and into University Circle.


CT talked with Susan B. Workman, VP of IT Services and CIO, Case Western Reserve University and Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity to gain their perspectives on the 100 gigabit project and how the work might serve as a model for other communities as high speed networking technologies mature.


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NASA's MESSENGER finds signs of Mercury meteor showers | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA's MESSENGER finds signs of Mercury meteor showers | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Sit out on a clear summer's night and the odds are that you'll be treated to a meteor shower that's the remnant of a comet's passing. However, such showers are not peculiar to our planet. NASA's unmanned MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) orbiter has uncovered evidence that the planet Mercury is subject to the same sort of periodic meteor showers as the Earth, only instead of a light show, it produces a spike in calcium in the planet's exosphere.

Mercury isn't exactly the garden spot of the Solar System. The smallest of the planets and closest to the Sun, it's constantly blasted with solar radiation and as it slowly rotates its daylight side rises to the temperature of molten lead. It's atmosphere, called the exosphere, is also almost non-existent, consisting of traces of gas and dust,

What's even odder about the exosphere is that it doesn't remain constant. MESSSENGER's Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer has discovered that the amount of calcium in it rises and falls periodically throughout the nine Mercurian years that MESSENGER has orbited the planet since March 2011.


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ESA's Venus Express mission ends as fuel runs out | David Szondy | GizMag.com

ESA's Venus Express mission ends as fuel runs out | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The European Space Agency's (ESA) eight-year Venus Express mission has come to an end. Having already extended its lifespan to four times that originally planned, the unmanned orbiter has exhausted its fuel during a final attempt to further prolong its usefulness. According to ESA, the spacecraft can no longer hold the correct attitude to maintain communications with Earth and will soon burn up in the Venusian atmosphere.

Venus Express entered Venus orbit in April 2006 as part of a mission to make a detailed study of the planet’s atmosphere. Originally scheduled to operate for two years, its mission was eventually extended to eight. However, as its rocket propellant ran low, its elliptical orbit was in danger of decaying into a death plunge that would have ended with the orbiter burning up in the Venusian atmosphere earlier this year.

To save the spacecraft from a fiery death, ESA carried out an experimental technique called aerobraking between June 18 and July 11, where the spacecraft was sent on a new course skimming the upper reaches of the Venusian atmosphere at typical altitudes of 131 to 135 km (81 to 85 mi). With each pass, the spacecraft slowed down and its orbit became more circular. A series of 15 thruster burns then stabilized the orbit. ESA hopes that experience in conducting the aerobraking maneuver may one day allow spacecraft to enter planetary orbits without expending as much fuel as at present.


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SpaceX to attempt Falcon 9 platform landing on Friday | David Szondy | GizMag.com

SpaceX to attempt Falcon 9 platform landing on Friday | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

On Friday, the Dragon CRS-5 mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket. If the launch is successful, the unmanned Dragon spacecraft will carry supplies and experiments to the ISS, but that part is almost routine. What is unusual is that SpaceX has confirmed that it will not only attempt a powered landing of the Falcon 9 booster, but will do so as a precision landing on a robotic sea barge.

SpaceX says that the attempt has only a 50 percent chance of success, yet marks a major advance in the company's program to create a fully reusable launch system. The barge, called an "autonomous spaceport drone ship," is a custom-built platform measuring 300 by 100 ft (91 by 30 m) with wings extending the width to 170 ft (52 m). Because the platform will be stationed far enough out in the Atlantic to avoid danger, it will not be anchored, but will rely on computerized thrusters similar to those used for station keeping by ocean-going oil drilling ships.

As it re-enters the atmosphere, the Falcon 9 will execute a series of engine burns, beginning with a "boostback" burn to set it on course for the landing site. This will be followed by a supersonic retro propulsion burn to help slow it, then a final burn to slow it to 2 m/s (6.5 ft/s) as the landing legs deploy for (hopefully) a soft touchdown on the barge.


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Report: Embracing Technology Can Help Bridge the Skills Gap | Allie Bidwell | US News

Report: Embracing Technology Can Help Bridge the Skills Gap | Allie Bidwell | US News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

There's no doubt technology is changing the world in which we live. New developments are creating jobs, making others obsolete and transforming the nation's higher education system.

But there's still a disparity between workforce demands and worker preparation, and unless policymakers make moves to bridge the gap, young adults could face a harsh future, according to a new report from the youth advocacy group Young Invincibles.

Millennials – defined by Young Invincibles as those born between 1976 and 2001 – are more likely to be employed part-time or in low-wage jobs compared with older workers, according to past research report authors Tom Allison and Konrad Mugglestone have conducted on youth employment trends. But as more millennials enter the workforce – they're expected to make up nearly half of workers by 2020 – Allison and Mugglestone say it's important to examine why unemployment and underemployment affect younger workers more, and whether technology can help or hurt them.

"Young adult workers should be prepared to approach the workplace from a new angle, in which education, creativity, and technological literacy are essential," the report says. "Unless we significantly alter our education pathways and address our country’s digital divides, much of the future positive value and meaning experienced in the workforce by this generation will be felt inequitably – perhaps more so than in the past."

In the last 10 years, more and more workers between the ages of 18 and 34 have found jobs in the leisure and hospitality, health care, agriculture and public administration sectors – all areas that have seen double-digit increases in the number of millennials employed. But those are also sectors susceptible to changes in technology that could phase out the need for certain positions or require job-seekers to learn more skills.


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How colleges are failing their students | Sharon Florentine | NetworkWorld.com

How colleges are failing their students | Sharon Florentine | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Most traditional four-year colleges are great at teaching students theoretical knowledge, critical thinking, history, literature and even computer science, but where these institutions fall short in a key area: teaching graduates the skills they need to land jobs after school and manage their careers.

"There's a major disconnect between what colleges believe their students need to get a job and what those students actually need. The job market and the economy have changed so drastically in the last 20 or 30 years, but at many traditional colleges, it may as well be 1985 - or 1955," says career management coach, consultant, resume expert, author and speaker Rick Gillis.

Based on his experience coaching and assisting clients in their job searches, Gillis finds major disconnect between what many career services departments promise and what they can actually deliver.

"The myth that simply having a degree is enough to land a job hasn't been true for decades; it's an oversell that is really harmful to graduates. What college career services should be are liaisons between the student body and the job market, helping students learn the practical skills and processes of going through a job hunt, networking, interviewing," Gillis says.

There's certainly a need for teaching those basics, but in today's economy graduates need job search tactics, tricks, hacks and strategies to help them succeed in landing a role, Gillis says. "What happens all too often is that these departments fall short; they'll show you how to make a cookie-cutter resume, shake hands properly and tell you to dress appropriately before patting you on the back and ushering you out the door," says Gillis.

"My younger clients tell me that what they really could have used were courses on networking; on how to write a strategic resume that can beat applicant tracking systems; how to use keywords; social media do's and don'ts; strategic internships," Gillis says.

"Instead, they've paid their tuition -- a cut of which went to the career services department -- got their degree, and they still had to hire me after graduation because they didn't have the skills they need," says Gillis.


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Transmedia Literacy: Expanding the Media Literacy Frontier | Pamela Rutledge | Div46Amplifier.com

Transmedia Literacy: Expanding the Media Literacy Frontier | Pamela Rutledge | Div46Amplifier.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Media literacy is an increasingly pressing issue for media psychologists and educators who strive to prepare people of all ages to function well in a media-rich, globally connected world.


The ever-expanding integration of media technologies in our daily lives, from social media platforms to mobile apps, have challenged our understanding of just what it means to be literate in the 21st century (Hobbs & Jensen, 2009).


The emerging trend of transmedia storytelling will continue to push the envelope even farther. Transmedia storytelling goes beyond the need to segment such skills as search and collaboration. It demands the ability to recognize, understand, and interact with narrative threads across multiple modalities, not just within them.

Transmedia storytelling is the design and distribution of a story that is coordinated across multiple media channels. Each channel offers unique content, using the strengths of each medium to its best advantage to build a larger, richer story. Transmedia storytelling is intentionally designed for participation, drawing the audience in as co-creators to expand and develop the narratives.

Transmedia storytelling may not seem particularly different or profound until you consider that all information is translated into narrative in our meaning-making brains. We embody the stories we tell. Stories are how we assign causality, consciously process sensory input and imagery, and create associations so we can commit experience to memory. Stories are how we make sense of our selves, our lives, and our futures in the world around us (Polkinghorne, 1988).


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Shakespeare's Curtain theatre unearthed in east London | Maev Kennedy | The Guardian

Shakespeare's Curtain theatre unearthed in east London | Maev Kennedy | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Well preserved remains of Shakespeare's original "wooden O" stage, the Curtain theatre where Henry V and Romeo and Juliet were first performed, have been discovered in a yard in east London.

The Curtain theatre in Shoreditch preceded the Globe on the Thames, showcasing several of Shakespeare's most famous plays. But it was dismantled in the 17th century and its precise location lost.

Now part of the gravelled yard in Shoreditch where the groundlings stood, ate, gossiped and watched the plays, and foundation walls on which the tiers of wooden galleries were built have been uncovered in what was open ground for 500 years while the surrounding district became one of the most densely built in London.

Experts from Museum of London Archaeology (MoLA) have found two sections of exterior wall, crucial for giving the dimensions of the theatre, and are confident of revealing more as the site is cleared for redevelopment. An outer yard paved with sheep knuckle bones could date from the theatre or slightly later housing.

It has long been known that the Curtain – named after the ancient road it fronted – was in the area, but its exact site was lost after the building fell into disuse in the late 1620s. The site in Hewett Street is only a stone's throw from a remarkably accurate plaque marking the best guess for its location. The Curtain, built in 1577, was only a few hundred yards from another theatre further along Curtain Road, imaginatively named the Theatre, whose foundations were discovered in 2008, also by MoLA. Both were among the earliest purpose-built theatres in London, and intimately connected with Shakespeare.

When the actor-manager James Burbage fell out with his landlord at the Theatre, the company – according to cherished theatre legend – dismantled the timbers overnight and shipped them across the river to build his most famous theatre, the Globe, on Bankside.

Until the new theatre was ready, his company used the Curtain for at least two years from 1597, where Henry V, and it is believed Romeo and Juliet, were first staged. The vivid image of a theatre as a wooden O comes from the prologue to Henry V: "Can this Cock-Pit hold within this Woodden O, the very Caskes that did affright the Ayre at Agincourt?"

Rumours of the rediscovery of the Curtain have caused great excitement in the Shakespearian community, in the middle of the summer-long international festival devoted to his work. Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of the reconstructed Globe, described the discovery as "hugely exciting".


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International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works's curator insight, December 18, 7:00 AM

Theatre where Romeo and Juliet was first performed is rediscovered in Shoreditch centuries after it was dismantled

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How Skype Used AI to Build Its Amazing New Language Translator | Robert McMillian | WIRED.com

How Skype Used AI to Build Its Amazing New Language Translator | Robert McMillian | WIRED.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Very soon now, a select group of Skype beta testers will have a new Microsoft technology that seems borrowed from the world of Star Trek. It’s called the Skype Translator—a Skype add-on that listens to the English words you speak into Microsoft’s internet phone-calling software and translates them into Spanish, or vice versa.

As you can see from demos like the one below, it’s an amazing technology, and it’s based on work that’s been going on quietly inside Microsoft’s research and development labs for more than a decade. Microsoft is already using some of the text translation technology underpinning Skype Translate to power its Bing Translate search engine translation service, and to jump start the foreign language translation of its products, manuals, and hundreds of thousands of support documents.


“One of the largest, published, untouched machine translation repositories on the internet is the Microsoft customer support Knowledge Base,” says Vikram Dendi, strategy director with Microsoft Research.


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Metronet Dark Fiber Network Expanding Education in South Bend, Indiana | community broadband networks

Metronet Dark Fiber Network Expanding Education in South Bend, Indiana | community broadband networks | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In South Bend, the Trinity School at Green Lawn recently connected to the Metronet Zing dark fiber network thanks to a grant from Metronet and nCloud. According to Broadband Communities Magazine, the new connection has brought new opportunities to teachers and students at the high performing school.

The Metrolink Fiber Grant program, new this year, awards grants to schools to encourage innovative approaches focused on outcomes improving broadband capacity to implement innovation. To receive the grants, schools must have a specific plan, an implementation strategy, a way to measure success, and an accountability plan. Schools must also demonstrate that there will be adequate training and that staff will remain supportive and committed to the plan.

Like many other schools, Trinity at Greenlawn had to limit technology in teaching because its capacity was so poor. In classes where students exchanged information for projects, they often emailed from home where connections were better or exchanged flash drives.

Bandwidth is no longer an issue. From the BBPMag article:


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How Anchor Publishers Are Pushing Boston's Ed-Tech Ecosystem | Lauren Landry | BostonInno.Streetwise.co

How Anchor Publishers Are Pushing Boston's Ed-Tech Ecosystem | Lauren Landry | BostonInno.Streetwise.co | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The education technology industry has seen a 212 percent increase in venture capital over the last five years, and is on track to hit record-breaking heights in 2014.


The growth comes at a time when learners are taking courses from some of the world's most prestigious universities without ever leaving their couch; when students are swiping tablets and smartphones to learn a new language rather than turning to the three-pound textbook assigned by their teacher.


Roughly 300 ed-tech and learning-oriented startups are based in the Boston area alone, according to the LearnLaunch Institute, a nonprofit founded in late 2012 with the goal of harnessing all the activity happening here in the Hub. Since, LearnLaunch has opened an accelerator, as well as a coworking space, called Campus, now providing a home for 35 ed-tech startups and 100 entrepreneurs between the two.


As more venture capital dollars get poured into startups, how can established firms like Pearson and McGraw-Hill compete? And if they can compete, can they do it fast enough? 


With momentum growing nationwide, ed-tech has been able to gain even quicker traction in the Boston area, where legacy leaders like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education and Blackboard have opened up offices, and storied higher learning institutions like Harvard and MIT have partnered to launch a massive open online course platform now delivering more than 300 free classes from nearly 40 colleges worldwide.


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NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft rides interstellar tsunami wave | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft rides interstellar tsunami wave | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is currently riding the wave of an interstellar tsunami, as it continues its historic march out of our solar system. The tsunami emanated from our Sun, and was the third such phenomenon of its type to be detected by the robotic pioneer.

The Voyager program is without doubt one of the most influential and scientifically valuable missions ever undertaken by NASA. The twin spacecraft, launched just 16 days apart, toured many of the largest objects in our solar system, relaying groundbreaking discoveries while capturing the minds and hearts of a generation. The Voyager spacecraft are identical, designed to travel further from our Sun than any mission before it.

Because of this, the spacecraft could not rely on conventional solar panels to collect the power required to remain functional, instead relying on a power source derived from radioactive decay to keep the twins awake on their long journey. Thanks to the continued presence of Voyager 1 beyond the borders of our solar system, we are learning ever more about the nature of interstellar space.


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New space race aims at creating breathable air on Mars | Eric Mack | GizMag.com

New space race aims at creating breathable air on Mars | Eric Mack | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The race to reach Mars is more like a decades-long marathon, but in the short term the latest space race involves inventing ways that might make setting up shop on the Red Planet possible. In the past few months alone, three teams have unveiled their visions of how humans might breathe on the fourth planet from the sun.

NASA hopes to conduct a manned mission to the Red Planet, but probably not until the mid-2030s. Meanwhile, SpaceX and Mars One are talking about making the trip in under 10 years from now. Whenever it is, establishing any kind of presence on Mars is going to require some new innovations just to deliver basic life support for anyone looking to stay for any extended duration.

Students from the University of Western Australia and Mars One astronaut candidate Josh Richards are finalists in the Mars One University competition, which would send key experiments to the surface of Mars in 2018. Mars One is a non-profit that has used a contest and media-centric approach to fund a one-way manned mission to establish a base on Mars, as soon as the mid-2020s.


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Dozens of Vermont libraries connect to state-of-the-art fiber-optic network | Bennington Banner

Dozens of Vermont libraries connect to state-of-the-art fiber-optic network | Bennington Banner | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, Sovernet Communications and others gathered today to announce the completion of a successful project which is providing the highest possible capacity broadband for information sharing and communications at 43 libraries across the state.

"Today's public libraries are key community and information centers," said Martha Reid, the Vermont State Librarian. "In our increasingly digital world, providing high speed broadband in libraries is an essential public resource."

Sovernet's fiber network provides these libraries with fiber broadband necessary for the support and expansion of digital services for the public, including high-speed public computing and wireless service. It enables use of high-bandwidth programs like video conferencing and video streaming. The project provides state-of-the-art network connectivity to these libraries at a cost below what such a service would have cost individually and enables the libraries to form a secure wide area network with support from the Vermont Department of Libraries.

"Local libraries with enough bandwidth to quickly transfer data, images and video are vital assets to Vermont communities," said Lt. Governor Phil Scott. "By gaining access to high-speed fiber, the tools are now there for our libraries to serve as central hubs for community meetings and disaster response centers -- while continuing to be state-of-the-art resources for Vermonters of all ages.


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Put Christmas Lego to good use: Measure Planck’s Constant with it | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com

Put Christmas Lego to good use: Measure Planck’s Constant with it | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lego is a popular Christmas gift, and young and old alike can derive hours of pleasure building with those little plastic blocks. But, like a lot of playthings, the novelty wears off soon enough and you find yourself drifting back to watch Christmas TV re-runs.


But what if you could use that Lego to construct real scientific equipment; would that maintain your enthusiasm?


Well hang on to your plastic blocks, because engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego and a few other bits and pieces that allows any keen tinkerer to build a device that not only determines Planck's Constant but may also help quantify the international standard unit of mass.

To help explain all of this, let's start with a bit of background.

The last remaining unit of the International System of Units (SI) which is still based on a physical artifact is the kilogram. Since 1899, a representative kilogram has been stored in a vault at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) in France along with six official copies which are used as calibration weights against which countries around the world may test their own official kilogram reference.

Unfortunately, the long term stability of the mass of these copies has actually increased over more than a century so that – in respect to the original official kilogram – they have all accumulated mass to the tune of around 50 micrograms.

As such, a better method is needed to make sure that the long-term stability of the mass unit is maintained. In this regard, in 1999 the General Conference for Weights and Measures (CGPM) recommended that national laboratories develop and refine experiments that link the unit of mass to fundamental or atomic constants so that the degradation of a physical reference may be avoided.


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Startup helps you build your very own picosatellite on a budget | Dario Borghino | GizMag.com

Startup helps you build your very own picosatellite on a budget | Dario Borghino | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A Glasgow-based startup is reducing the cost of access to space by offering "satellite kits" that make it easier for space enthusiasts, high schools and universities alike to build a small but functional satellite for as little as US$6,000 and then, thanks to its very small size, to launch for significantly less than the popular CubeSats.

Building a cheap, working satellite is far from easy. The tiny Kickstarter-funded KickSats, released as a secondary payload during SpaceX’s third ISS resupply mission, ran into a technical problem and failed to deploy in time, while the cheap TubeSats, though an interesting concept, have not seen a single launch to date. And although the more proven CubeSats have had more success, they still aren’t exactly affordable (launching a small 3U CubeSat into low Earth orbit will set you back almost $300,000).

As the name suggests, PocketQubes are "pocket-sized" cube-shaped satellites that measure just 5 cm (1.97 in) per side versus CubeSat’s 10 cm (3.94 in). At one eighth the volume and weight of the typical CubeSat, they are much cheaper to send into orbit (launch is approximately $20,000) but still capable of doing interesting things while in low Earth orbit.


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In Mexico's fields, children toil to harvest crops that make it to American tables | Richard Marosi | LATimes.com

In Mexico's fields, children toil to harvest crops that make it to American tables | Richard Marosi | LATimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Alejandrina Castillo swept back her long black hair and reached elbow-deep into the chile pepper plants. She palmed and plucked the fat serranos, dropping handful after tiny handful into a bucket.


The container filled rapidly. Alejandrina stopped well before the pepper pile reached the brim.


She was 12, and it was hard for her to lift a full 15-pound load.

One row over was her brother Fidel, 13, who couldn't keep up with her. He was daydreaming as usual. Their 10-year-old cousin, Jesus, was trying harder but falling behind too.


Alejandrina looked in the distance for the food truck. It was almost noon, five hours since she had a tortilla for breakfast. The sky was cloudless. It would be another 90-degree day in the palm-lined coastal farmland of southern Sinaloa.


"I wish I was home with my baby brother," she said.


Child labor has been largely eradicated at the giant agribusinesses that have fueled the boom in Mexican exports to the United States. But children pick crops at hundreds of small- and mid-size farms across Mexico, and some of the produce they harvest makes its way into American kitchens and markets.


The Times pieced together a picture of child labor on Mexican farms by interviewing growers, field bosses, brokers and wholesalers, and by observing children picking crops in the states of Sinaloa, Michoacan, Jalisco and Guanajuato.

Produce from farms that employ children reaches the United States through long chains of middlemen. A pepper picked by a child can change hands five or six times before reaching an American grocery store or salsa factory.


Data on child labor are scarce; many growers and distributors will not talk about it. About 100,000 Mexican children under 14 pick crops for pay, according to estimates in a 2012 study by the World Bank and other international agencies. It is illegal to employ workers younger than 15.


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Why Does Earth Have Deserts? | Minute Earth | YouTube.com

Subscribe to MinuteEarth - it's FREE! - http://dft.ba/-minuteearth_sub

Why Does Earth Have Deserts? For the same reason it has Rainforests: Hadley Cells!!!

Thanks to ScienceAlert for support - http://www.sciencealert.com


MinuteEarth is on facebook - http://facebook.com/minuteearth
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And twitter - http://twitter.com/MinuteEarth

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MinuteEarth provides an energetic and entertaining view of trends in earth's environment -- in just a few minutes!




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POSEIDON: Information technology for people with Down’s syndrome | CORDIS | European Commission

POSEIDON: Information technology for people with Down’s syndrome | CORDIS | European Commission | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Many people with Down’s syndrome (DS) face barriers to taking part in community activities the rest of us take for granted. Whether it’s travelling on public transport, paying for items in a supermarket or getting to appointments on time, they may need help if they get into difficulties.

POSEIDON (PersOnalized Smart Environments to increase Inclusion of people with DOwn’s syndrome) is an exciting three-year project running until November 2016, which will use information technology to help people with DS achieve a greater level of independence in their lives, a greater autonomy at home, in work, education and leisure, as well as improve their opportunities for socializing. The types of technology being developed during the project include apps for tablets and smartphones virtual reality programs and interactive tables.

Knut Melhuus, a young Norwegian with DS, will be one of those users testing some of the apps POSEIDON produces. He confesses to being a bit of a technology nut: He owns a tablet, a smartphone and a PC, and regularly phones, emails and sends SMS messages to his friends. ‘Technology is “awesome useful”,’ he enthuses. ‘I use the calendar a lot for appointments and birthdays. Then I can see what I’m supposed to do, remind Mum, and send someone an SMS when it’s their birthday. I also use social networks, like Facebook and Snapchat.’

One of the apps the POSEIDON partners in the UK, Germany and Norway are designing is a calendar which presents the events of the day in a simple way, links in school timetables, weather information and instruction videos. On a particular day, for instance, it will tell the user which schoolbooks to pack, which clothes and shoes would be most suitable to wear, and whether he or she needs an umbrella or not.


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Nick Ure's curator insight, Today, 9:44 AM

?- Questions 

Star- Important

Vocab- words you dont understand

HgI- How you get it

E- Effects on Life

D- Description of disease

 

E- Many people with down syndrome have to face things and barriers that take part in community activities the rest of other people with out it take it for granted.

 

* They are creating something called Poseidon it stands for PersOnalized Smart Environments to increase Inclusion of people with Down’s syndrome. This project is a three year project that is running until November 2016, they use information technology and it helps people with down syndrome accomplish a great level of independence in their lives. Their better at home, in work ,  education. It improves there social ability so they can socialize with other people.

 

 * Knut Melhuus is a young norwegian with down syndrome and he agreed and will be one of the users that will be testing some of the Poseidon. He has everything a regular person would have so he really is not different. Really nobody with down syndrome is different we are all the same.

 

  *  POSEIDON is a three year project which involves 9 partners from 4 different countries and runs until 31 of October 2016. It is receiving 3 million euros from FP7 This is a big deal. This could help people with down syndrome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Curtain lifts on open-air stage at Shakespeare theatre site in Shoreditch | Rashid Razao & David Altheer | London Evening Standard

Curtain lifts on open-air stage at Shakespeare theatre site in Shoreditch | Rashid Razao & David Altheer | London Evening Standard | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A new 250-seater open-air auditorium is to be built on the site of one of Shakespeare’s earliest theatres in Shoreditch.

The Globe Theatre and English Heritage are backing plans for a £250 million development that would also see a museum, public park and a 40-storey tower block containing 400 flats erected where the 16th-century Curtain Theatre once stood.

The theatre was built just outside the City limits in 1577 and was where Romeo and Juliet and Henry V were first staged.

The discovery of its location was announced in June after experts from the Museum of London Archaeology unearthed an exterior wall in a disused goods yard off Curtain Road. Developers have submitted a planning application to Hackney council for a mixed residential and commercial scheme named The Stage.

Architect John Drew of Pringle Brandon Perkins and Will designed the project for Plough Yard Developments. He said they were working closely with English Heritage and archaeologists to ensure historic finds are preserved in a glass enclosure next to a Shakespeare museum and the open-air performance space.


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