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Fraser Public Schools hands out most iPads to students in Michigan | WDIV Detroit

Fraser Public Schools hands out most iPads to students in Michigan | WDIV Detroit | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

With a 5,000 iPad rollout freshly completed, students in Fraser Public Schools are becoming 21st century learners via access to their own mobile devices.

 

The District’s hefty 1:1 mobile device initiative, funded by the passing of the District’s $19.9 million bond in 2011, is the largest iPad deployment in Michigan and ranks in the top 15 largest K-12 iPad deployments in the world.

 

“Teachers can now leverage technology at the point of instruction rather than only having access to computers during the assigned computer lab time. Our teachers can customize each child’s educational plan to better meet the student’s learning needs in each content area,” said Dr. David Richards, Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools.

 

Students in Fraser Public Schools now have the opportunity to learn in classrooms that allow one-to-one access to iPads to support student learning for each child.   Fraser’s goal: to offer a personalized learning experience for every student in the District.

 

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Solar Dynamics Observatory: 5 Year Time-lapse of the Sun | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | YouTube.com

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) celebrates its 5th anniversary since it launched on February 11, 2010. This time-lapse video captures one frame every 8 hours starting when data became available in June 2010 and finishing February 8, 2015. The different colors represent the various wavelengths (sometimes blended, sometimes alone) in which SDO observes the sun.

For more about SDO, please visit http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11762

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What grads must do to secure employment | Linda Bryant | Ledger.com

What grads must do to secure employment | Linda Bryant | Ledger.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Career counselors at many Tennessee colleges and universities say interest from corporate recruiters is higher than they’ve seen it in years.

There are more job postings, internship opportunities, pre-employment trainee classes and technology training programs for all skill levels, but if a recent graduate needs help in pursuing a career, schools want the new alums to come back to them.

The on-campus professionals, and other experts in the private sector, are trained to help launch careers, not simply find jobs.

The process takes patience, self-reflection, time and planning, and some of it needs to be done in person and not online.

Counselors want career seekers to make (and keep) appointments, bring in resumes and cover letters for review, work through a proper pitch, practice interview skills, evaluate personal strengths and weakness, do homework on the career field and industry, take inventory of possible companies of interest and much more.

It may sound like going into personal therapy – it is hard work and may have serious, lifelong repercussions. Finding the right career may need to be a fulltime job, the experts say.

Of course, it’s best to start the process before senior year.


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College doesn’t need to be free | Charles Lane Opinion | WashPost.com

College doesn’t need to be free | Charles Lane Opinion | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator and Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont, says spiraling college tuition is “a national disgrace.” He’s running on a promise of free in-state tuition at all public colleges and universities, to be paid for by a new federal tax on financial transactions, including stock, bond and derivative trades.

As the parent of a high school senior, I can’t dispute Sanders’s assessment of college affordability. Too bad his cure would be worse than the disease, even if it weren’t politically unrealistic.

Tuition increases have outstripped inflation at both public and private nonprofit institutions for many years. Though the recent, dramatic rise in tuition at public universities reflects post-recession budget cutbacks by some states, the reasons for the long-term trend are complex.

Economist William Baumol has famously argued that college-level instruction inherently requires large inputs of highly skilled labor, making it relatively resistant to automation and hence to productivity increases. In that way, higher ed is like health care. And, as with health care, the government has responded with a fragmented, opaque array of subsidies, much of which get captured by service providers and added to their cost base — rather than improving affordability as intended.

Sanders’s solution, which he says would cost the Treasury $47 billion in its first year, amounts to a single-payer system for higher ed — with pros and cons analogous to those of such a system for health care. There’s a certain appeal in replacing the current, convoluted array of grants and loans, funneled through individuals, with just one revenue stream directed at institutions. (Well, 1½: Sanders would have Washington pay two-thirds of the funding and state governments the rest.) Setting a single out-of-pocket price — zero — would indeed make it easier to attend school.

Over time, however, the Sanders plan might make U.S. higher education more accessible but less excellent. Having ruled out price as a means of allocating scarce educational resources, his plan would have to rely on aggressive administrative controls, lest students flood the system and drive up costs — requiring further federal subsidies.

The case of tuition-free Germany, which Sanders holds up as a model, confirms this. Centralized budgeting by state education authorities is key to that country’s system. Alas, as University of Albany higher-ed policy analyst Ben Wildavsky explains, “Government funds become spread too thin. That reduces quality and often limits capacity. As a result, well-off students, who tend to be better prepared academically, are more likely to get scarce spaces.” Overall, German institutions are considered good, not great; few show up on global “top 50” lists, for what that’s worth.


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How Congress’ underfunding of special education shortchanges us all | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

How Congress’ underfunding of special education shortchanges us all | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The pages of the learn-to-read books in Vicki Zasadny’s special education classroom are tattered, smudged, and marked. Some of the information is outdated. That’s what happens when textbooks are 15 years old.

The books tell a somber story about the chronic underfunding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Since the law was passed 40 years ago, the federal government has failed to provide even half of the funding it pledged to help schools educate kids with special needs.

Those costs have always been shifted to states and local districts, whose current economies are in various stages of recovery from the financial crisis that kicked off in 2007. In the end, special needs students receive only the materials and services districts can afford.

While students in Western Wyandotte County, Kan., are getting by with outdated books and must contend with ballooning class sizes, their peers in a nearby district—where incomes are higher—receive iPads.


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California teachers ignite online campaign to gain stronger voice for students | Brian Washington | NEA.org

California teachers ignite online campaign to gain stronger voice for students | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Teachers with California’s largest provider of online charter schools are seeking help from the public as they fight to use their voices to advocate for students and educators.

Teachers at the California Virtual Academies (CAVA), which enrolls almost 15,000 K-12 students and employs over 700 educators, are collecting signatures from the public through an online petition. They want the management company running the schools, K12 Inc., to recognize their democratic vote last year to form a union.

The CAVA teachers’ petition includes the following language:


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Changing the Narrative: Profound Insights on the Significance of Sacred Lands & Indigenous Worldviews | Rucha Chitnis | ICCry.org

Changing the Narrative: Profound Insights on the Significance of Sacred Lands & Indigenous Worldviews | Rucha Chitnis | ICCry.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

"You've been trying to instruct Indians to be capitalists ever since you got here. But we don't value what you value." This quote of Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, a respected Native American elder, in the film series Standing on Sacred Ground, sums up an indigenous worldview in sharp contrast with the modern paradigm of profiting from the Earth.

Standing on Sacred Ground is a four-part film series, debuting on The PBS World Channel on May 17, which maps the courage, heartbreaking pain, and philosophies of eight indigenous cultures in seven countries beset with the development ideologies of an industrial world, where mines and fossil fuel extraction are destructive to traditional spirituality and way of life.


The films illustrate how a sacred connection to land kindles a deep reverence for the natural world—springs, rivers, mountains, totemic animals and forests, and where this relationship with nature weaves a rich and complex tapestry of culture that is predicated on its health and abundance. Destruction of nature can lead to cultural annihilation—a fact that's often hard to digest for an urbanized and industrialized mind.


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ESA spacecraft detects the presence of enormous Martian supervolcano | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

ESA spacecraft detects the presence of enormous Martian supervolcano | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

ESA's Mars Express orbiter has captured images that may indicate the presence of supervolcanoes on the surface of Mars. If the findings are later confirmed, the existence of these leviathan volcanoes may greatly inform current theories on climate formation, as eruptions from the supervolcanoes could have dramatically altered the Martian global environment.


A supervolcano is essentially a giant volcano capable of spewing forth over 1,000 km³ (621 miles³) of volcanic materials into the surrounding environment, producing a vast caldera in the process. A caldera is a broad depression created when the ground collapses as magma withdraws from the surface. A number of scientists now believe that the Siloe Patera "craters" and others like it are actually the remnant of a supervolcano caldera.

These terrifying, world-altering giants exist on Earth as well. The most famous terrestrial supervolcano resides in the Yellowstone National Park. It is believed that any major eruption at Yellowstone could seriously affect Earth's global environment. Whilst the Siloe Patera caldera is smaller than that of Yellowstone, measuring around 40 x 30 km (25 x 19 miles), it and others like it could have played a significant role in environmental evolution.


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Study links camping to happy, healthy children | Alan Williams | MedicalXpress.com

Study links camping to happy, healthy children | Alan Williams | MedicalXpress.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Children who camp in the great outdoors at least once a year go on to do better at school, as well as being healthier and happier, according to their parents.

That's the finding of a study carried out by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University and the Camping and Caravanning Club, who collaborated to discover perceptions of the relationship between education and camping.

Parents and children around the UK were asked a series of questions which looked at the educational, psychological and social benefits of the camping experience to children of all ages.

Research led by Sue Waite, Associate Professor at the Plymouth Institute of Education, found that more than four out of five parents thought camping had a positive effect on their children's school education.

It showed that 98 per cent of parents said camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature; 95 per cent said their kids were happier when camping; and 93 per cent felt that it provided useful skills for later life.

Some parents (15 per cent) reported that escaping technology (laptops, tablets, mobiles, etc) is a good thing for their children and one of the benefits of camping. A fifth of parents (20 per cent) said camping gives their kids freedom, independence and confidence; and more than two thirds (68 per cent) felt camping helped their children to enjoy learning in the classroom, because they can share their camping adventures and experiences such as visiting exciting educational or historical sites.

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Maryland governor says no to $11.6 mil for education and yes to $30 mil for children's prison | Walter Einenkel | Daily Kos

Maryland governor says no to $11.6 mil for education and yes to $30 mil for children's prison | Walter Einenkel | Daily Kos | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Governor Larry Hogan made the tough choice to use the $68 million Maryland's legislators earmarked for education, not for education! Over $11 million of that money would have gone to Baltimore schools. Governor Hogan called that money "extra money" and put it into the state's underfunded pensions, saying it would be irresponsible not to.

The money at issue was part of about $200 million that lawmakers set aside for their top priorities — extra school funding, preventing a pay cut for state workers and paying for a range of health-care initiatives that include Medicaid coverage for more pregnant women and funding for heroin addiction.

Governor Larry Hogan made the tough choice to spend $30 million on a 60-bed jail for Baltimore teenagers who have been charged as adults!

The issue was a bigger problem before the rate of youths jailed as adults dropped in recent years. State officials said in March that the city detention center holds fewer than 20 minors on any given day. But federal investigators who reviewed the last year jail said those young offenders were sometimes kept in seclusion for a month or longer.

But don't think Larry Hogan isn't for education:


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Solar sail mission launches with X-37B spaceplane | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Solar sail mission launches with X-37B spaceplane | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An odd pair lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today as the Planetary Society's LightSail nanosatellite piggybacked a ride atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket alongside the US Air Force's secret X-37B spaceplane.

The light-propelled LightSail is a CubeSat about the size of a loaf of bread, which was built by the nonprofit Planetary Society as a technology demonstrator for a non-rocket propulsion system that uses a Mylar sail to turn the light of the Sun into thrust on the same principle as a sail boat catches the wind.

LightSail won't actually be propelled by the Sun, but it will test systems for future missions, such as deploying its 32 sq m (344 sq ft) "sail."

The launch was part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which finds room for small satellites as auxiliary payloads on planned missions. In this case the LightSail CubeSat was bundled as part of the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) Ultra Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite (ULTRASat), which contains ten CubeSats managed by the NRO and NASA.


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Alien origin of Earth’s oceans | Alok Jha | BBC.com

Alien origin of Earth’s oceans | Alok Jha | BBC.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Look at our blue planet from afar, and you could easily conclude that the Earth is nothing more than a world of water. More than 70% of its surface is covered by oceans, to an average depth of 3,700 metres. Over aeons, that water has shaped continents, built our atmosphere and contains (somewhere in its depths) the cradle of life.


Today, our oceans hold millions of life forms - from bacteria to blue whales - and sit at the centre of our planet’s ecology, climate and weather. The water within drives the world’s winds, it temporarily becomes clouds or ice sheets at various locations, and it connects the poles via languorous deep-sea currents - processes that are all reflections of water’s singular role in absorbing and moving the Sun’s energy around our planet.


For these and many other reasons, as far as life is concerned, the oceans are the Earth.

But these oceans have not always existed on our planet. And the water within them is alien, arriving here many hundreds of millions of years after the Earth first took shape, 4.5 billion years ago. Back then, the surface of our planet was an unrecognisable hell - volcanic and bone dry.

Our oceans’ water, the substance precious to every life form and which has come to define our planet, arrived in frozen lumps from space during one of the most violent episodes in our planet’s early history.


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Girls like digital media while boys prefer print, finds study on reading habits | Richard Adams | The Guardian

Girls like digital media while boys prefer print, finds study on reading habits | Richard Adams | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Girls have more firmly embraced digital literacy and formats such as Facebook, email and text message, while boys are more comfortable with traditional printed media such as comics, manuals and newspapers, according to a study published by the National Literacy Trust.

The snapshot – based on responses from 32,000 pupils at more than 130 schools in the UK – found that girls continue to outpace boys in their enthusiasm for reading outside school at all age levels, with black girls in particular showing a prodigious appetite for literature.

Girls studying for GCSEs, for example, were more likely to read emails and social network sites than boys of the same age – and were also more likely to read fiction, suggesting that the growth of digital media has not diminished the popularity of literature.

Boys studying for GCSEs were more likely than girls to read print products such as comics, with 38% saying they read newspapers at least once a month compared with 30% of girls of the same age.

Overall, boys reported lower levels of enjoyment from reading than their female peers, according to the figures compiled by the trust. Boys also tended to read less often and think less positively about reading than girls did.


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StoryTracker is a new tool to track how news homepages change | Joshua Benton | NiemanLab.org

StoryTracker is a new tool to track how news homepages change | Joshua Benton | NiemanLab.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Hopefully you know about PastPages, the tool built by L.A. Times data journalist Ben Welsh to record what some of the web’s most important news sites have on their homepage — hour by hour, every single day.


Want to see what The Guardian’s homepage looked like Tuesday night? Here you go. Want to see how that Ebola patient first appeared on DallasNews.com in September? Try the small item here.


It’s a valuable service, particularly for future researchers who will want to study how stories moved through new media. (For print media, we have physical archives; for digital news, work even a few years old has an alarming tendency to disappear.)

It's possible for me to find a century-old newspaper, yet work I did 8-10 years ago on the web is gone.

— Derek Willis (@derekwillis) November 13, 2014

Anyway, Ben is back with a new tool called StoryTracker, “a set of open source tools for archiving and analyzing news homepages,” backed in part by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at Mizzou.


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Andreessens pair with H-P to send computers to Ferguson, Baltimore libraries | Jessica Guynn | USA Today

Andreessens pair with H-P to send computers to Ferguson, Baltimore libraries | Jessica Guynn | USA Today | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Public libraries that provided a quiet refuge from civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore are about to receive a small bounty from Silicon Valley.

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and his wife, philanthropist and educator Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, have teamed up with Hewlett-Packard to donate nearly $170,000 worth of computers, printers and other equipment.

The couple says they were moved by the "individual acts of heroism" of library staffers who kept the doors open to the public even as protests raged over police brutality and the deaths of young black men.

"Libraries became in essence the heart of Ferguson and Baltimore amidst a time of immense darkness for so many," Arrillaga-Andreessen told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. "So we felt this calling to help the libraries in a way that we felt we could uniquely do."

The donation is part of a growing effort in some quarters of Silicon Valley to address the digital divide that persists throughout the rest of the country, especially in poor or underserved neighborhoods.

Cheap smartphones and tablets have put the Internet in more hands than ever before, but access remains out of reach for many, with 21% of American households reporting no Internet access at all, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For some, Internet connectivity is too expensive and in some rural areas, it isn't available at all.

Plugging the gap are public libraries, which despite the perception that technology has made them less relevant, if not obsolete, are the No. 1 way people without the Internet at home, school or work access it for free. These range from high school students cramming for a test to job seekers filling out online applications.

"It's the bridge between the haves and the have nots in digital society," said Scott Bonner, director of Ferguson Municipal Public Library.


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Why Everyone From Bankers To Filmmakers Is Changing Careers And Learning To Code (Hint: It’s Where The Money Is) | Kerry Flynn | IBTimes.com

Why Everyone From Bankers To Filmmakers Is Changing Careers And Learning To Code (Hint: It’s Where The Money Is) | Kerry Flynn | IBTimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Code schools, where aspiring filmmakers or seasoned bankers can learn to become software developers, are more numerous and popular than ever as a broad spectrum of hopefuls ditch other career plans in hopes of creating the app that powers the next Uber or Airbnb. Indeed, coding education is a blossoming cottage industry. Four-year-old General Assembly now operates over 80 schools across 12 campuses and has pulled in nearly $50 million in funding. Test prep leader Kaplan acquired Dev Bootcamp last year. Top-tier university graduates are moving to tech hubs like New York and San Francisco and pouring thousands of dollars into these programs.

But hefty tuition fees and costly relocations -- without job security -- don’t have to be the case for the recent college graduates or career switchers who are flocking to coding. Beyond these popular, well-funded options, there are hundreds of smaller developer schools and a wealth of online resources that can help transform anyone into a full-blown coder.

That’s the mission of 29-year-old Erik Trautman. Next month, he’ll be running the first full-time class for the Viking Code School. How does it stand out from the rest? Trautman identified two faults in the industry: opportunity cost and relocation cost. His 14-week class is completely online, attracting students from around the world, and it offers a deferred tuition plan. As in, students do not pay until they land a job with at least a $30,000 annual salary.

It’s a risky venture. If no one gets a job, no one will get paid. Unlike General Assembly, Trautman chose not to take any investor backing, bootstrapping the initiative with his own savings. But that risk is what’s driving him forward. “I think all education in the world should run on outcome accountability,” Trautman said. “Personally, I believe that the educator should be invested in the students’ education.”


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New Teachers: Designing Learning Environments | Edutopia.org

New Teachers: Designing Learning Environments | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Why does the physical design of classrooms matter? Mark Phillips discusses this question in "A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms" and offers examples of and resources for turning impersonal spaces into student-friendly havens of learning.


For further inspiration, VideoAmy has compiled some videos to help you begin to conceptualize your classroom vision in "Five-Minute Film Festival: Classroom Makeovers."


Be sure to take a look at the resource list at the end of her post.


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Pippa Davies @PippaDavies 's curator insight, May 23, 8:03 PM

Classroom design requires flexibility, space and movement.

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Anti-worker bill comes crashing down in Illinois; Missouri version faces veto | Felix Perez | NEA.org

Anti-worker bill comes crashing down in Illinois; Missouri version faces veto | Felix Perez | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

ALEC and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who have well-earned reputations for their anti-public education and anti-worker policies and rhetoric, got a rude awakening last week, when a so-called right to work bill wasn’t able to garner a single vote in the state House of Representatives. The straight party line vote was 0-72, with 37 lawmakers voting present.

Worker advocates called the vote a stinging rebuke of Rauner’s agenda. The governor, a former venture capitalist who once proclaimed being among the top “0.01 percent” of wealthiest Americans, has traveled the width and breadth of the state selling his ALEC-derived right to work proposal. So far, his sales pitch hasn’t won over many converts.

High school teacher Cinda Klickna, president of the Illinois Education Association, said in a statement, ” ‘Right to work’ is intended to weaken unions, such as mine, . . . which represents teachers and support professionals who advocate for high quality teaching and learning conditions in their schools. At the local level, teachers who work through their union advocate for manageable class sizes and against high stakes testing. At the state level, through their union, our members advocate for adequate education funding for every student.”


Added Klickna:


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Thousands of WA educators stage rolling walkouts over school funding | Dmitriy Synkov | NEA.org

Thousands of WA educators stage rolling walkouts over school funding | Dmitriy Synkov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Thousands of educators in the Seattle school district were the latest to stage a walkout on Tuesday, joining thousands of their colleagues across Washington to protest the state legislature’s failure to fund K-12 public schools.

Beginning in early April, educators in school districts from all parts of the state have staged district-by-district, one-day walkouts.

Article IX, Section I, of the Washington State Constitution reads that it is the “paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.”

According to educators and the state Supreme Court, the legislature has failed in this regard.

The state legislature has had constant run-ins with the state Supreme Court since the McCleary trial in 2009, when its funding level to public schools was ruled unconstitutional. In 2012, the court upheld that ruling unanimously, and in 2014 declared the legislature in contempt of court.

The legislature then asked for an extension and is now in a special session – facing sanctions by the court if it does not come up with a plan for ample funding until 2018.


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Why Indie Video Games Can Be Great For Kids | Erik Missio | Parents | CBC.ca

Why Indie Video Games Can Be Great For Kids | Erik Missio | Parents | CBC.ca | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Tablets and smartphones give kids lots of learning opportunities—and parents are becoming more and more savvy about how digital devices, kid-specific apps and games and broader tech tools can teach or reinforce reading, math, coordination and critical thinking skills.

But there's a world of apps and games out there that goes beyond strictly educational. What about beautiful games that are intended just for fun? Or apps that combine stunning visuals and music to create exciting experiences for players young and old? Often called indie or alternative games, these games and apps can wow users with cool, innovative design and promote new ways of thinking and experiencing the world.

A growing group of creators is building new types of experiences that are different from traditional video games and step-by-step educational apps. Many kids will love interacting with these games in a new, non-linear way.


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Astronomers observe origin of Type la supernova | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

Astronomers observe origin of Type la supernova | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An international team of astronomers from Europe, Israel and the United States has succeeded in shedding light on the origin of Type la supernovae – powerful nuclear explosions in deep space that allow us to chart the vast distances between galaxies. It is known that a white dwarf star is responsible for creating the distinctive, intensely bright explosion, but the cause of the supernovae are still a topic of hot debate.

Currently, there are two theories. The first is that the white dwarf goes supernova following an impact with another, less massive white dwarf star. This is known as the double-degenerate model as it requires the collision of two stellar bodies.

The second origin theory asserts that a Type la supernova occurs when the powerful gravity of a dense white dwarf strips material from a partner that could either be a red giant, or a star similar to our own Sun. The white dwarf continues the process until it reaches a point of critical mass, known as the Chandrasekhar limit, after which a runaway nuclear reaction is inevitable. This is the single-degenerate model. Both origin theories could potentially result in what is known as a "standard candle" event, meaning direct observation would be needed to settle the argument.


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Stone tool discovery pushes back dawn of culture by 700,000 years | Hannah Devlin | The Guardian

Stone tool discovery pushes back dawn of culture by 700,000 years | Hannah Devlin | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The oldest known stone tools, dating to long before the emergence of modern humans, have been discovered in Africa.

The roughly-hewn stones, which are around 3.3 million years old, have been hailed by scientists as a “new beginning to the known archaeological record” and push back the dawn of culture by 700,000 years.

The discovery overturns the mainstream view that the ability to make stone tools was unique to our own ancestors and that it was one of a handful of traits that made early humans so special.

The new artefacts, found in Kenya’s Turkana basin, suggest that a variety ancient apes were making similar advances in parallel across the African continent.

“It just rewrites the book on a lot of things that we thought were true,” said Chris Lepre, a geologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Rutgers University, who precisely dated the tools.

The Homo genus, from which modern humans descend, only emerged around 2.5 million years ago, when forests gave way to open grassland environments in Africa. Until now, it was widely assumed that environmental changes around this time triggered the shift towards a bipedal hunter-gatherer life style.

Jason Lewis, of Stony Brook University in New York and a co-author, said: “The idea was that our lineage alone took the cognitive leap of hitting stones together to strike off sharp flakes and that this was the foundation of our evolutionary success. This discovery challenges the idea that the main characters that make us human, such as making stone tools, eating more meat, maybe using language, all evolved at once in a punctuated way, near the origins of the genus Homo.”

The question of what, or whom, might have made the tools remains a mystery, but fossils from around the same period found at the site provide some clues.


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DARPA's new robotics program aims to harness the power of individuals and small businesses | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

DARPA's new robotics program aims to harness the power of individuals and small businesses | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

DARPA has announced a new program designed to harness expertise from smaller sources of innovation, routinely overlooked by large agencies. Looking to small businesses and individuals, the agency hopes to undertake a series of cost-effective projects that will deliver new robotics capabilities to warfighters, helping to keep them ahead of the technological curve.

DARPA has some pretty big programs in the works, developing everything from self-steering bullets to lighter, more agile alternatives to conventional tanks. But the agency believes it spends too long working on what program manager Mark Micire calls "three to four-year solutions for six-month problems."

The Robotics Fast Track (RFT) effort aims to provide more streamlined avenues of innovation, funding 6 to 12-month projects with an average cost of just US$150,000. To get things moving, the agency has recruited the non-profit Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) to help out. The foundation focuses on software development and works to encourage robotics research and development in the small-scale community.


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NASA's SMAP mission begins science operations | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

NASA's SMAP mission begins science operations | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Less than four months after lift-off, testing on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is complete, and science operations have begun. The data recorded by the mission, which will give rise to more accurate weather forecasting, will now be subject to a year of validation against existing measurements.

The goal of the SMAP mission is to provide up-to-date global soil moisture maps, measuring a 620-mile-wide (1,000-km) swathe of the ground below as it flies at an altitude of 426 miles (685 km) from pole to pole. It's designed to detect whether soil is frozen or thawed, and will help researchers to better understand the planet's water, carbon and energy cycles. In the long run, it should lead to improved weather predictions and monitoring of hazards such as flooding.

The mission launched on January 31, and the satellite's 20-ft (6-m) antenna was unfurled back in February. The team then worked to spin-up the antenna to its full 14.6 revolutions per minute, before powering on the radio and radiometer instruments at the end of March, and testing their performance and accuracy.


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Future talk: Parenting for a digital future for young people with a disability | Meryl Alper | LSE.ac.uk

Future talk: Parenting for a digital future for young people with a disability | Meryl Alper | LSE.ac.uk | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Meryl Alper says the relationship between disabled children and the digital future is a complicated one. In this post, she looks at one U.S.-American family’s story and discusses how it’s characteristic of many parent’s talk of the future, digital media and its role in their disabled child’s paths and plans. She is a PhD candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, and author of Digital youth with disabilities. Meryl’s work focuses on the social and cultural implications of communication technologies, with a focus on disability and digital media, children and families’ media use and mobile communication

The new media landscape for young people with disabilities is undergoing a significant technological and cultural shift.¹ With a Special Education section in the Apple App Store and autism-friendly film screenings and Broadway shows, never has more attention been paid to disabled young people as a commercial audience.

How are their parents making sense of such media and technology? I explored this question in Home screen home: How parents of children with disabilities navigate family media use.

Among the parents I talked to, I heard a great deal of what I refer to as ‘future talk’. While talking about the future is something that nearly all parents do, these conversations were characterised by three main themes:

  • preparing for the uncertain path of their child’s individual growth


  • developing contingency plans in light of a society largely unprepared for the needs of their child as an adult


  • inevitability of technological advancement and its impact on their child’s life.


By focusing on one family’s story here, there are some surprising ways in which media becomes an integral part of this ‘future talk’, revealing something about parenting for a digital future.


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Alex Makosz's curator insight, May 22, 6:21 AM

Pretty inspiring!

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Code Fellows offers $250K in coding scholarships for minorities, women and veterans | James Risley | GeekWire

Code Fellows offers $250K in coding scholarships for minorities, women and veterans | James Risley | GeekWire | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Seattle-based coding bootcamp Code Fellows has launched a quarter-million dollar scholarship fund for minorities, women and veterans, covering more than half the tuition cost toward the program that guarantees a job to graduates.

The scholarships are available for Bootcamp and Development Accelerator courses at the code school’s Chicago, Portland and Seattle locations. Applicants should plan to start between July 6 and August 3.

“This diversity scholarship program builds on one of our core beliefs: everyone should have the opportunity to develop,” said Code Fellows CEO Kristin Smith in a press release. She also noted that diversity can lead to better products and more effective teams for employers.

Only two percent of tech company employees in Silicon Valley are black, and Hispanics only make up three percent according to USA Today. Women’s presence in the tech job force is estimated at around 30 percent.

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