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Digital skills are as important as English and Maths | Telegraph.co.uk

Digital skills are as important as English and Maths | Telegraph.co.uk | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

By offering high-growth British companies an additional route to access the public markets with more achievable eligibility requirements, the London Stock Exchange has paved the way for them to build and grow their business in the UK.

 

It means our most promising companies are no longer facing a trade-off between listing in the US or not going public at all.

 

For many high-growth companies, listing in the UK was simply too difficult to become a viable option. The result was that the best and brightest companies founded in the UK left our shores, or were acquired just when they were starting to make a real impact on the economy.

 

Now all that is changing. The UK is undergoing a sea change in respect to business innovation and entrepreneurship. This new generation of business builders isn’t waiting for the economy to bounce back, for large companies to start hiring again or for government to offer them a job. They are taking control of their own destiny and charting their own path to success.

 

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Microsoft’s HoloLens may be the least stupid pair of smartglasses yet | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

Microsoft’s HoloLens may be the least stupid pair of smartglasses yet | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Microsoft showed off its HoloLens headset on Wednesday, a device that just may win the prize for the least stupid pair of smartglasses launched by a major tech company to date.

It's a dubious honor. But Microsoft ably handled its first reveal of the HoloLens with a mix of modesty, optimism and showmanship. And introducing a promising piece of future technology is pretty important for the company as it looks to make over its image as a stodgy firm that's unable to cope with changes in the industry.


What really worked for Microsoft was the fact that it showed admirable restraint by keeping its pitch for the HoloLens focused. It didn't claim it was a must-have product for everyone, at all times. Instead, Microsoft stuck to specific but relatable examples of when you would want to have holograms overlaid onto your vision, with just a few hints about how it could be useful to the everyday customer. It's the kind of pitch that Apple tends to be good at -- showing exactly how you'll use its products to fix particular problems that everyone has.


For example, when being instructed on how to fix something, or when collaborating on a project that requires everyone to look at -- and possibly edit -- the same thing:


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ESA's Rosetta reveals comet secrets | David Szondy | GizMag.com

ESA's Rosetta reveals comet secrets | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A generation ago, Astronomers thought of comets as simple things – huge dirty snowballs of rock and ice with a few organic chemicals thrown in. But after six months orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the unmanned Rosetta probe has shown them to be far more complex and active than previously thought.

To mark a special issue of Science, the European Space Agency (ESA) has released some preliminary findings from the data sent back by seven of the 11 instruments on the Rosetta comet orbiter. Far from being a static homogeneous collection of ice and stone, 67P shows a varied collection of terrains and processes that change their behavior as the comet moves closer to the Sun.

The most striking things about 67P is the shape it presented as Rosetta approached. Instead of a compact ball or an irregular cylinder, the comet turned out to be a "rubber duck" with a small lobe measuring 2.6 x 2.3 x 1.8 km (1.6 x 1.4 x 1.1 mi) and the larger one 4.1 x 3.3 x 1.8 km (2.5 x 2.0 x 1.1 mi). Linking them is a narrow neck marked by a 500 m (1.640 ft) crack running parallel to it. According to ESA, similar cracks on 67P are due to stresses caused by the comet heating and cooling, though whether the larger crack has a similar origin or is due to stress that may one day split the comet has yet to be determined.


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LOOK! The Asteroid That Flew Past Earth Tuesday Has Its Own Moon | Eyder Peralta | NPR.org

LOOK! The Asteroid That Flew Past Earth Tuesday Has Its Own Moon | Eyder Peralta | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In celestial terms, asteroid 2004 BL86 pretty much buzzed Earth, coming within 745,000 miles of our planet.

As NPR's Sam Sanders explained, it's the closest this asteroid will pass by Earth for at least the next two centuries. So when it flew by yesterday, scientists trained their instruments on it.

Scientists using the Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., captured a stunning set of images that revealed 2004 BL86 has a small moon.


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NASA's Dawn probe data indicates ancient flowing water on Vesta | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA's Dawn probe data indicates ancient flowing water on Vesta | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The last place you'd expect to find signs of water erosion is in the Asteroid Belt, but researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) say that data collected during the Dawn spacecraft's visit to the protoplanet Vesta indicates that it not only once had water, but that it formed gullies and other erosion features on its surface.

Vesta was originally thought to be bone dry, but images and instrument readings from the unmanned Dawn probe's visit to Vesta, during which is orbited the protoplanet (or giant asteroid) from 2011 to 2013, indicate that water may once have been present on the asteroid and that it had a part to play in forming its features. In particular, Dawn sent back images of young craters with curved gullies and fan-like deposits. About 100 ft (30 m) wide and stretching half a mile (900 m), these gullies are especially prominent in the 9 mi (15 km) wide Cornelia Crater.

The JPL team is quick to point out that what happened wasn't flowing rivers running across the face of Vesta. The extreme cold, hard vacuum and extremely weak gravity wouldn't allow liquid water to exist on the surface – once exposed above a certain temperature, it would immediately sublimate into gas. Instead, the water had a more indirect role to play.


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Why I Am Not a Maker | Debbie Chachra | The Atlantic

Why I Am Not a Maker | Debbie Chachra | The Atlantic | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Every once in a while, I am asked what I “make.” A hack day might require it, or a conference might ask me to describe “what I make” so it can go on my name tag.

I’m always uncomfortable with it. I’m uncomfortable with any culture that encourages you take on an entire identity, rather than to express a facet of your own identity ("maker," rather than "someone who makes things"). But I have much deeper concerns.

An identity built around making things—of being “a maker”—pervades technology culture. There’s a widespread idea that “People who make things are simply different [read: better] than those who don’t.”

I understand where the motivation for this comes from. Creators, rightly, take pride in creation. In her book The Real World of Technology, the metallurgist Ursula Franklin contrasts prescriptive technologies, where many individuals produce components of the whole (think about Adam Smith’s pin factory), with holistic technologies, where the creator controls and understands the process from start to finish. As well as teaching my own engineering courses, I’m a studio instructor for a first-year engineering course, in which our students do design and fabrication, many of them for the first time. Making things is incredibly important, especially for groups that previously haven’t had access. When I was asked by the Boston-based Science Club for Girls to write a letter to my teenaged self (as a proxy for young girls everywhere), that’s exactly what I wrote about.

But there are more significant issues, rooted in the social history of who makes things—and who doesn’t.


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Let Go of Fear for Connected Learning Success | Jade Davis | DMLcentral.net

Let Go of Fear for Connected Learning Success | Jade Davis | DMLcentral.net | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I want to talk about the one thing that I think is the biggest risk in connected learning: Not Trying. The biggest barrier to meaningful experimentation that I’ve encountered is the fear of an experiment not working or achieving the desired results. In other words, people are afraid of failure. When we take things like negativity bias into account, that makes sense. So, how do we reframe learning experimentation outside of failure that takes into account our fear of failure?

I think the most successful shift I’ve seen implemented, and that I’ve made myself when I’m teaching is letting go of the fear of failure toward the act of trying and experimenting.

One of the 21st century challenges and literacies that those of us who lead learning activities need to work toward is meaningful digitally augmented experimentation. Connected learning still is a relatively new learning experience. The people who lead the learning experience are in a role that is different than past models of education because we have access to more information than we’ve ever had before. This means, the classic model of rote memorization doesn't always make sense (though there is still a place for this type of learning). We are still trying to figure out what all the new modes, models, and methods of learning will look like.


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3D Systems: A Look at 3D Printing’s Progress, 1996-Present | Brian Krassenstein | 3DPrint.com

3D Systems: A Look at 3D Printing’s Progress, 1996-Present | Brian Krassenstein | 3DPrint.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Although there has been an incredible amount of progress made within the 3D printing space these last few years, it’s often hard to remember that 3D printing has actually been around for over 30 years.


It was only the last four to five years that the phrase “3D print” has become relatively common within media and tech circles, and that consumer-level machines actually became affordable, but many of those working in the manufacturing space have been aware of the technology for quite a while.

I thought it would be fun to take a step back and enter the Internet’s time machine, Archive.org. What Archive.org does is archive websites dating back as far as the 1990s. I can spend literally hours examining how some of the most popular companies’ websites have developed over the years, if they even had a website back then.


I thought it would be fun to hop in our time machines and go back a decade or two to look at how one of the largest 3D printing companies’ site has progressed, and what machines were being sold over the past 19 years. Below you will see what 3D Systems’ website looked like over the last 19 years.


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5 Productivity Skills Every Educator Must Have | Dian Schaffhauser | THE Journal

5 Productivity Skills Every Educator Must Have | Dian Schaffhauser | THE Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Educators literally have a “world of knowledge and resources” at their fingertips, as one director of curriculum and instructional technology declared in response to THE Journal’s national survey. “What better way to learn about the situation in Syria than tweeting #Syria and receiving a tweet from someone there?” But guiding your students in learning new concepts, gaining insights and building their skills requires you to be comfortable with the technologies that can make all of that happen.

Where do you start? We asked your colleagues that same question, and they responded in multitudes. Their recommendations covered the alphabetic gamut, from adaptivity and apps to wikis and a willingness to learn. Although the responses are ranked in order of popularity, you can begin your self-improvement plan anywhere on the list. No matter which one you decide to start with, these skills, sensibilities and products can help you run your classrooms more smoothly.


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Northwest Indiana schools invited to compete in rain barrel contest | Valparaiso Community News

Northwest Indiana schools invited to compete in rain barrel contest | Valparaiso Community News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Schools in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties are invited to participate in the third annual School Rain Barrel Design Competition that will take place at the 2015 Northwest Indiana Earth Day 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Porter County Expo Center on April 18.

All grades at all schools, public and private, can participate. Teachers must register for the competition on www.ItMeansTheWorld.org by Feb. 13 or before the competition is filled, whichever comes first. Only one barrel allowed per school.

Participants will receive a rain barrel that they can paint or decorate with environmentally-friendly materials to illustrate an environmental theme.

Barrels will be judged by the visitors attending the Northwest Indiana Earth Day 10th Anniversary Celebration between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. April 18 at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road.

Awards will be given in the following two categories: 1) Elementary and 2) Middle, intermediate and high school. Winners will receive cash scholarships for classroom.

The competition is sponsored by the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County in cooperation with MS4 communities. For more information, call (219) 465-3819.

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Why Journalism Students Need a Baseline Understanding of Coding | Aaron Chimble | Mediashift | PBS.org

Why Journalism Students Need a Baseline Understanding of Coding | Aaron Chimble | Mediashift | PBS.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At most universities, students are required to take English composition courses, and at many others speech and/or foreign language classes are also required. Yet in the debate about teaching code in journalism programs, code is often reduced to a shiny toy.

If we value clear writing and the ability to communicate clearly with a wide variety of people, we should value teaching our students the basics of computer languages and digital communications. These skills will only be more important going forward, and more importantly code, a broad term encompassing several computing languages, is the future of digital and global communication. If we don’t expose our students to this — students we want to lead the next generation of journalism and communication — we are doing them a disservice.

In fact, it would be smart for universities to add a general coding class to the core curriculum required of students in all fields. For journalism and mass communication programs, it’s essential.


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The Public Domain Project Makes 10,000 Film Clips, 64,000 Images & 100s of Audio Files Free to Use | Open Culture

The Public Domain Project Makes 10,000 Film Clips,  64,000 Images & 100s of Audio Files Free to Use | Open Culture | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Sure, we love the internet for how it makes freely available so many cultural artifacts. And sure, we also love the internet for how it allows us to disseminate our own work. But the internet gets the most interesting, I would submit, when it makes freely available cultural artifacts with the express purpose of letting creators use them in their own work — which we then all get to experience through the internet. The new Public Domain Project will soon become an important resource for many such creators, offering as it does “thousands of historic media files for your creative projects, completely free and made available by Pond5,” an entity that brands itself as “the world’s most vibrant marketplace for creativity.”


So what can you find to use in the Public Domain Project? As of this writing, it offers 9715 pieces of footage, 473 audio files, 64,535 images, and 121 3D models. “The project includes digital models of NASA tools and satellites, Georges Méliès’ 1902 film, A Trip To The Moon, speeches by political figures like Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr., recordings of performances from composers like Beethoven, and a laid-back picture of President Obama playing pool,” says a post at The Creators Project explaining the site’s background.


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Gamification Does Not Mean Playing Games | ExitTicket.org

Gamification Does Not Mean Playing Games | ExitTicket.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Gamification is less about games than it is about a fun-filled incentivization program. Happy hour is a great example of gamification: By setting up a reward of discounted drinks, patrons will voluntarily modify their behavior and show up at a designated time. Playing an educational game, on the other hand, is an entirely different concept. As confusion about this concept persists, I decided to delve into the topic and check in on some of the leaders of gamification.

In one of my last post about gamification, I mentioned an incredible TED Talk that still serves as the best primer on the principles of effective gamification. It’s hard to appreciate that a small, virtual prize can prevent more disciplinary problems than a detention slip can resolve, but it’s true. And the increasing presence of technology in our classrooms is allowing teachers to recognize accomplishments in new and easier ways.


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Julia Hoffman's curator insight, January 25, 10:54 PM

The potential this site will have over the coming years is incredible. The premise is that many skills can be taught through games. This particular article references two game programs that I would like to check in to. One is ExitTicket and the other is called Classcraft. In addition, there is a link to some background on using games through a TED Talk video.

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An Ingenious New Typeface Inspired by Old Maps, But Made With Algorithms | Margaret Rhodes | WIRED

An Ingenious New Typeface Inspired by Old Maps, But Made With Algorithms | Margaret Rhodes | WIRED | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Fonts may live in our computers, but every outline of every letter, number, and symbol in a typeface is originally crafted by human hand. In the 1800s this happened via a copper plate engraving technique that allowed designers to create extravagant letters by hand, lending a uniqueness to maps and books of the time. These days, typographers use type design software, where letters show up as plotted coordinates that can be painstakingly tweaked in infinitesimal ways—nips and tucks that make, say, Baskerville distinct from Cambria.

“Typeface design doesn’t have rapid prototyping,” says designer Jonathan Hoefler, whose type foundry Hoefler & Co. is behind go-to fonts like Gotham, Gestalt and—yes—Hoefler. But to be sold globally, modern fonts can require more than 600 characters, to cover every language. That means designers hand-tuning individual vectors face a lot of demands. Now imagine creating those 600-and-more characters, but for an ornamental font, where vectors don’t only determine the curves of a “S,” but the three-dimensionality and lighting too.


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NASA and Microsoft team up for virtual Mars exploration | David Szondy | GizMag.com

NASA and Microsoft team up for virtual Mars exploration | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Years before the first astronauts set foot on Mars, scientists will already be there – virtually. Thanks to a collaboration between NASA and Microsoft aimed at advancing human-robot interactions, the space agency's OnSight software will allow researchers to explore a virtual Martian landscape created from data sent back by the Curiosity rover.

NASA's Curiosity robotic explorer may be a nuclear-powered technological marvel, but looking at its data through a flat screen is a bit like trying to do surgery by postcard. Even 3D images created using stereographs are still very flat and lacking in perspective, depth, area, or context. What scientists want is a way to look at that data that allows them to recreate the area around the unmanned rover as a 3D virtual environment where researchers can meet and study phenomena in context.

The OnSight software was developed by NASA and Microsoft as part of an ongoing partnership to advance human-robot interaction. It works with Microsoft's Hololens, which is a wearable Windows 10 computer hooked up to a high-definition 3D head-mounted display with holographic lenses. With the headset on, the data sent back by Curiosity is mapped as a 3D-simulated environment where avatars of scientists can meet, walk around and study the area using augmented reality.

In addition to studying data, OnSight can also act as a more intuitive planning tool and as an operating system that allows scientist to manipulate the simulation using gestures and menu commands.


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Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture hires dean | Sonja Haller | The Arizona Republic

Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture hires dean | Sonja Haller | The Arizona Republic | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the midst of major fundraising to ensure accreditation and forge independence, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, which has campuses in Scottsdale, AZ and Spring Green, WI, has hired a new dean.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announced Monday that Aaron Betsky, most recently director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, will oversee the prestigious school's academics and finances. He takes over for Victor Sidy, who has led the school through previous accreditation and leadership issues since 2005 and announced more than a year ago that he wished to go into private practice.

Betsky, who received his master's of architecture from Yale University, assumes his duties immediately and at a time when the school is attempting to raise $2 million by the end of 2015. The money would demonstrate its financial resources to a national accrediting body, which has changed requirements in that area.

"I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to continue the work that for so long made Taliesin into a workshop for reinventing American architecture," Betsky said in a news release. "I look forward to continuing its traditions and making the school into the best experimental school of architecture in the country."


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Creative AI: Computer composers are changing how music is made | Richard Moss | GizMag.com

Creative AI: Computer composers are changing how music is made | Richard Moss | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

You've probably heard music composed by a computer algorithm, though you may not realize it. Artificial intelligence researchers have made huge gains in computational – or algorithmic – creativity over the past decade or two, and in music especially these advances are now filtering through to the real world.


AI programs have produced albums in multiple genres. They've scored films and advertisements. And they've also generated mood music in games and smartphone apps. But what does computer-authored music sound like? Why do it? And how is it changing music creation? Join us, in this first entry in a series of features on creative AI, as we find out.

Semi-retired University of California Santa Cruz professor David Cope has been exploring the intersection of algorithms and creativity for over half a century, first on paper and then with computer. "It seemed even in my early teenage years perfectly logical to do creative things with algorithms rather than spend all the time writing out each note or paint this or write out this short story or develop this timeline word by word by word," he tells Gizmag.

Cope came to specialize in what he terms algorithmic composition (although, as you'll see later in this article series, that's far from all he's proficient at). He writes sets of instructions that enable computers to automatically generate complete orchestral compositions of any length in a matter of minutes using a kind of formal grammar and lexicon that he's spent decades refining.


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PLAY to Learn: 100 Great Sites on Gamification | Teachers with Apps

PLAY to Learn: 100 Great Sites on Gamification | Teachers with Apps | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Using incentives to encourage students to stay interested in educational pursuits is not a new idea. However, the incorporation of game mechanics, incentive systems, and other ideas borrowed from the game world to create a game-layer on top of existing educational systems is revolutionary, and many educators, students, and entrepreneurs are taking notice.

Gamification of education can help students be more motivated and engaged, and can make it easier to remember what they’ve learned. What teacher wouldn’t love that? Enthusiastic teachers from K-12 all the way up into college have started using game-based learning techniques in their classrooms, and there are loads of learning opportunities online for students who prefer a game-like experience.


Many companies are working on gamification platforms to make it easier to implement incentive programs and game mechanics in classrooms, online courses, and even in employee training and career development settings. This categorized and filtered list shows you the best of the best in gamified education info, in no particular order.

These sites have some of the most insightful information and best ideas about how to use gamification to significantly improve education for everyone.


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6 Design Principles Of Connected Learning | Terry Heick | TeachThought.com

6 Design Principles Of Connected Learning | Terry Heick | TeachThought.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In 2015, no one should be hurting for compelling ed content. Sites like edutopia, The Tempered Radical, Langwitches, Justin Tarte, Cool Cat Teacher, Grant Wiggins’ blog, and dozens of others offer outstanding reading on a daily basis to help you improve the things that happen in your classroom. (And this list is frustratingly incomplete–they’re just the sites on my radar that I’ve been reading since I entered education.)

A bit more “fringe” are sites like TeachThought, Jackie Gerstein’s UserGeneratedEducation, the Connected Learning Alliance and DMLCentral.net, MindShift, and so many more–“fringe” due to their thinking that seems as interested in understanding what’s possible in a modern learning environment as they are what is. Pursuing excellence in the box while demanding to know what’s going on outside that box.

You could even call this kind of content less immediately practical when you’re just Googling for a lesson idea for tomorrow, but there’s room for everyone in a digital and infinite world. There are already fantastic sites that offer worksheets and classroom management strategies and assessment policies. We’ll do that from time to time, but near and dear to our mission at TeachThought is to rethink learning in a modern world, however we choose to characterize those modern qualities.

Along with the others, CLA is on our short list of thought leaders that help push us to think about how education is changing in a modern world, which is why we’ve shared some of their models in the past, including their iconic Connected Learning model. Recently, we also discovered that they’ve shared the design principles of that model, along with a description of each.

These ideas appear below–and of course, check out CLA and DML for further reading.


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Colorado makerspaces: Where technological innovation meets entrepreneurship

Colorado makerspaces: Where technological innovation meets entrepreneurship | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At the end of Delaware Place in Longmont, just a few feet from the Boulder County Fairgrounds, you'll find TinkerMill, the largest makerspace in Colorado.


It's a place where people interested in art, technology, science, business, music and more can collaborate on creative projects and share tools. They go there to learn, teach, make things, and prototype new ideas, products and services. They go there to start ventures, meet new people and share knowledge.


Anyone can go there.


"It grew crazy fast. We did not expect this at all," explained the heart and soul of TinkerMill, Scott Converse. He bounces around the large space with the energy of a teenager and a twinkle in his eye.

"People came out of the woodwork when we started TinkerMill."

Around the country and the world, makerspaces — also know as a hackerspaces — have become hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship. Longmont's makerspace is one of those leading the charge.

"It's a community organization; we have about 160 paying members today and nearly 700 members on MeetUp that come here to share their talents and skills and expertise," said Ron Thomas, who just became TinkerMill's first executive director. "It's a great place to meet a wide variety of people with differing sets of expertise and skills."


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Teach Media Literacy with Super Bowl Ads | Frank Baker | MiddleWeb.com

Teach Media Literacy with Super Bowl Ads | Frank Baker | MiddleWeb.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For many years, I have hosted a web page, Using Super Bowl Ads In The Classroom, because I wanted to help educators who haven’t thought about using these popular culture texts in instruction.

You might notice that I use the word “texts.” TV and other video commercials should be considered as texts because the present information that students can learn to scrutinize closely (analyze) and deconstruct. In fact, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has long recommended that teachers include “non-print” texts in the classroom.

In a study I conducted some years ago, elements of media literacy were found in the English/Language Arts teaching standards of most states. Understanding advertising continues to be an important part of media literacy today. The Common Core ELA standards also speak to the need to engage students in these real-world, popular culture “informational texts.”

Standards aside, can there be any doubt that students today are bombarded by commercial messages everywhere they look, on every device they use, and need to be smart and discerning about what they see and hear?


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CA: Schools to get help with broadband infrastructure | Doane Yawger | Merced Sun-Star

CA: Schools to get help with broadband infrastructure | Doane Yawger | Merced Sun-Star | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Four area schools will benefit from part of $27 million awarded to 227 California campuses to help enhance their broadband infrastructure, according to the state Department of Education.

El Nido and Plainsburg elementary schools, Romero Elementary School in Santa Nella and Lake Don Pedro Elementary School in Mariposa County are getting Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants from the state. They are intended to help isolated schools administer the new Smarter Balance state achievement tests.

Rae Ann Jimenez, El Nido superintendent-principal, called the state grant a huge step in the right direction for her district 15 miles south of Merced. They applied for funding last fall.

“Our students deserve to be connected to the outside world,” Jimenez said. “We will get better connectivity to the outside through fiber optics and internal hardware connections so eventually we can move to one-to-one computer learning. It’s expensive to advance. We are taking it one step at a time.”

The El Nido district has 173 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Jimenez hopes El Nido students will have access to high school and college opportunities.

Kristi Kingston, Plainsburg School superintendent-principal, said her district’s goal is to have all students learning by computer at the end of this school year. The state money will help with necessary cabling and other infrastructure along with computer devices.

“Our infrastructure is out of date and we lean on the Merced County Office of Education a lot,” Kingston said. “With new Common Core standards, we want kids to be involved and so they can be connected to the outside world. That’s always a blessing when we get some funding.”


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IN: E-learning takes hold at Madison-Grant | Stu Hirsch | HeraldBulletin.com

IN: E-learning takes hold at Madison-Grant | Stu Hirsch | HeraldBulletin.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Logan Wake admits she wasn't thrilled with the idea of e-learning.

The Madison-Grant High School sophomore feared the unknown.

How would assignments be handled? Could she manage her time effectively? If she ran into trouble, would teachers be available online to answer questions? And what about collaborating with classmates?

Electronics have been part of the education landscape, of course, since the advent of personal computers.

Since then, laptops and tablets have replaced clunky desktops; high-speed Internet connections and Wi-Fi superseded dial-up connections. And social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Skype make conversations in real-time possible and e-learning effective.

Although most school districts throughout Indiana and Madison County are pursuing the advanced capability that makes e-learning possible, Madison-Grant United School Corp. is a leader in adopting and deploying the technology in its education programs.

"Our kids are entering a new world," said Madision-Grant superintendent John Trout, the driving force behind the district's adoption of new technology. "One-half of the jobs that exist today will not exist by 2030."

At the same time, "One-half of the jobs these kids are going to work at don't even exist today," he added.


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Class size matters a lot, research shows | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com

Class size matters a lot, research shows | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Every now and then someone in education policy (Arne Duncan) or education philanthropy (Bill Gates) or the media (Malcolm Gladwell) will say something about why class size isn’t really very important because a great teacher can handle a boatload of kids.

Not really.

A new review of the major research that has been conducted on class size by Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder makes clear that class size matters, and it matters a lot. Schanzanbach, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern and chair of the Institute for Policy Research’s Program on Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies, writes in the review:


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Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict | James Delahoussaye | All Tech Considered | NPR.org

Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict | James Delahoussaye | All Tech Considered | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Video games are great for passing time or battling monsters with friends online. But the medium is also being used to explore complex stories and themes. It's even being used as form of journalistic storytelling, immersing people in places and events that can be hard to imagine.

In a moment, University of Southern California student Allison Begalman is transported to a sunny street corner in Aleppo, Syria.

Wearing bulky virtual reality goggles and headphones, she can see a cart selling food, cars and trucks passing by, and a group of people circled around a singing little girl.

Nonny de la Peña talks about Project Syria.

But then "all of a sudden there's like a bomb that goes off," Begalman says as she navigates her way around the virtual street. "It's completely full of dust and dirt and ... I'm sort of walking back and forth."

In this virtual world, Begalman has experienced a mortar shelling from Bashar Assad's regime. This is Project Syria, a virtual reality experience built by a team of students at USC. The bomb blast and the destruction are created with the same kind of tools used for video games, except that this is not a regular video game.

"In America, we're deeply involved in Syria, but we're very disconnected about — what is that place?" says Nonny de la Peña, head of Project Syria and a longtime journalist in print and film. "Who are the people? Why do I care? Why are we there?"

Peña says the game helps people feel a little closer to Syrians in the middle of the civil war.

"I sometimes call virtual reality an empathy generator," she says. "It's astonishing to me. People all of a sudden connect to the characters in a way that they don't when they've read about it in the newspaper or watched it on TV."


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Mom: I thought I did everything right, but my 6-year-old is already ‘behind’ in reading | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com

Mom: I thought I did everything right, but my 6-year-old is already ‘behind’ in reading | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A recent post on a new report calling into question the practice of forcing young children to read to meet Common Core standards generated hundreds of responses from educators and parents. The report, written by three experts in early childhood education, said that requiring some youngsters to read before they are ready could be harmful.

There are plenty of young children who can learn to read in kindergarten or earlier. But there are also plenty who aren’t ready. Years ago students were given more time to develop literacy skills without being seen as falling behind or flat-out failures, but academic standards call for students to read in kindergarten and certainly in first grade.

The report, titled “Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose,” says that there is no evidence to support the widespread belief that children must read in prekindergarten or kindergarten to become strong readers and achieve academic success. It also says:

Many children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten. In addition, the pressure of implementing the standards leads many kindergarten teachers to resort to inappropriate didactic methods combined with frequent testing. Teacher-led instruction in kindergartens has almost entirely replaced the active, play-based, experiential learning that we know children need from decades of research in cognitive and developmental psychology and neuroscience.

Here are a few comments written by readers, and after these is an e-mail from a stay at home mom of four boys that is particularly telling.


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