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Excellent Videos OnThe Use of Augmented Reality Apps by Students | Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Excellent Videos OnThe Use of Augmented Reality Apps by Students | Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Below are some good videos I got a few days ago on examples of how some augmented reality apps are being used with kids to help them improve their learning. If the concept of augmented reality


if all new to you then here is a brief definition of it: Augmented Reality is exactly what the name implies: an augmented version of realty created by mixing technology with the known world. It might be a distorted, augmented, or less augmented version of the actual world but in its basic form, augmented reality is a simulation or rather a way of superimposing digital contents into the real context.

You can learn more about the importance of augmented reality in education from " Teachers' Guide to Augmented Reality ".

Now here are some video examples of augmented reality concept in action. These tutorials are all brought to you from apps by Paul Hamilton website.


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Large Hadron Collider turns on 'data tap' | Paul Rincon | BBC News

Large Hadron Collider turns on 'data tap' | Paul Rincon | BBC News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Scientists are waiting for the first new data to begin flowing from the underground particle smasher, paving the way to a new era in physics.

On Wednesday, the vast machine clattered proton beams together at much higher energies than were achieved during its first run in 2010-2013.

This should allow physicists to hunt for signs of new scientific phenomena.

Situated 100m beneath tranquil countryside on the Franco-Swiss border, the particle smasher operated by Cern has already carried out test collisions at the energy of 13 trillion electron volts (TeV), up from a high mark of 8 TeV achieved during the machine's first run.

Now, with the first "physics collisions", scientists can begin their work.

At 0940, operators at the control room in Geneva guided two stable beams of proton particles around the LHC before slamming them into one another at designated points along the 27km-long underground ring.

Huge detectors stationed at these positions began recording the energetic smash-ups, capturing the information necessary to eventually identify exotic new particles in the sub-atomic wreckage.


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Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers | Patricia Hillard Blog | Edutopia.org

Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers | Patricia Hillard Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Research shows that skilled or expert readers possess seven strategies to construct meaning before, during, and after reading a text. When skilled students read, it is an active process. Their minds are constantly processing information extracted from the text, e.g., questioning the author, summarizing passages, or interpreting images.


Contrarily, struggling readers often unthinkingly read the words on the page. For them, reading is an inactive activity. Constructing meaning from the text does not naturally occur in the mind of a struggling reader.

Fortunately, the cognitive skills of expert readers can be taught. The most effective way for students to learn these skills is through explicit and direct instruction.


It is important that teachers model these strategies to the class before allowing students to independently use one of them. Modeling a strategy provides students with a clear understanding of why they were given the task and how to complete it properly.


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A Strategy for Discovering and Describing Student Accomplishments | Jennifer Bernstein Blog | Edutopia.org

A Strategy for Discovering and Describing Student Accomplishments | Jennifer Bernstein Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Why is the college application essay so difficult?

Some common answers: the stakes are high, students haven't written many personal narratives, and they don't understand what admissions officers are looking for in their essays. However, there’s something else worth considering.

College application essays require students to have perspective on themselves and the ability to convey this perspective to others. Many students -- even the ones who've taken challenging classes, earned perfect grades, aced standardized tests, and made valuable extracurricular contributions -- have trouble getting beyond describing the details of their experiences.


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Lego offers up its own competitor to “Minecraft” | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

Lego offers up its own competitor to “Minecraft” | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Minecraft is getting some new competition from a very familiar company: Lego.

The brick-maker announced Monday that it's releasing "Lego Worlds," an online title that emulates the open "sandbox" feel of Minecraft, the game so beloved that Microsoft bought it for $2.5 billion last year. (It also features blocky graphics similar to Minecraft's, but given that many people have described Minecraft's look as "Lego-like," that seems only logical.)


"Lego Worlds" is available to play Monday, by way of the digital distribution platform Steam, albeit in an early testing phase. According to the game's Web site, the company plans to have the game in early access through 2015. Next year, Lego will look at what it's learned and figure out when it should launch a full "Worlds" release.


Trying out the game costs $15; prospective customers will need to have a Steam account to purchase the game.


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The classroom of the future: We went on a virtual field trip with Google Cardboard | Will Shanklin | GizMag.com

The classroom of the future: We went on a virtual field trip with Google Cardboard | Will Shanklin | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Google I/O was light on new consumer products this year (and by "light," we mean there were none at all), but the company made up for the lack of marquee sizzle with some important under-the-radar innovations. While Google Cardboard is still, well, made of cardboard, the company's VR strategy is anything but paper-thin.

While companies like Oculus VR, Sony and HTC are moving towards big consumer virtual reality launches, Google is going about things differently. It boils down to a simple, innocent piece of folded cardboard, complete with two lenses, a smartphone and – now – a cardboard button.


Our first reaction to Cardboard last year was that it was a Trojan horse. Get developers making VR apps for Android, using gear that can be made for next to nothing (or bought for just a little bit more than that), and only then, when developers have built an arsenal of apps and games on your platform, do you roll out the full-on consumer gear.


That could very well still be a big part of the strategy, but if it is, we aren't there yet. There's no official "Android VR" yet, but we are seeing phase two of Google Cardboard. It involves making what was already there simpler and more versatile, and putting it in the hands of people who can change the world. And in this case, those hands are small.


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NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover takes a detour | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover takes a detour | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has been forced to alter its route after being faced with dangerous terrain. The current objective of the robotic explorer is to investigate a geological boundary between two distinct forms of bedrock as a part of its mission to explore the heights of Mount Sharp, and ultimately unlock the secrets of the Red Planet's ancient past.

As you can imagine, driving a rover the size of a small car on a planet some 140 million miles (225.3 million km) away is no easy task, and the job is made all the more difficult when navigating hazardous and loose terrain. At first glance, the path to Curiosity's latest objective had appeared to be made from consolidated rocky materials that would allow the explorer's six aluminum wheels a good degree of purchase, representing a safe, easy option for the mobile laboratory.

In reality, the path selected by mission operators proved to be a challenging prospect, and after three drives, which took place between the 7th and 13th of May, the rover's software detected an excess of wheel slippage that forced it to stop in its tracks.

Wheel slippage runs the risk of appearing a relatively trivial peril for a piece of machinery that has already survived a treacherous entry into the Martian atmosphere, not to mention the subsequent airdrop that so expertly set the pioneer down in Gale Crater. However, rover operators have learnt from the experiences and mistakes of the past, and are certain not to neglect any aspect of the rover's safety.


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Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: A Download from Children Around the World | Amanda Third | UNICEF.org

Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: A Download from Children Around the World | Amanda Third | UNICEF.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

How do children see their rights affected by digital media and tools?


In July and August 2014, 148 children in 16 countries took part in workshops to discuss the opportunities and risks associated with digital media; these discussions – and the voices of the child participants of the workshops – are reflected in this report.


Findings were presented at the Day of General Discussion, a meeting focusing on digital media and child rights that was convened by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on 12 September 2014.


The workshops were led by Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre with support from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, UNICEF and other partners.


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OH: Lebanon students, Otterbein residents bond over technology | Lisa Knodel | Dayton Daily News

OH: Lebanon students, Otterbein residents bond over technology | Lisa Knodel | Dayton Daily News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lebanon High School students and residents of Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices recently bonded over technology.

The school and retirement community partnered for a four-week intergenerational technology program in which 18 high school students in Future Business Leaders of America and the Business Leadership class taught the seniors how to use the Internet, social media and electronic devices.

“Each student worked one-on-one with a resident,” explained Frank Back, LHS business teacher and FBLA advisor. “Our students first asked a set of questions of the residents to find out what they already knew and what they wanted to learn. The students then created an individualized curriculum based on each resident’s level of experience and background knowledge. Some of the topics covered were basic computer concepts, creating and using email, password protection, sending and downloading pictures, internet search basics and tools, online banking, online shopping and how to use Facebook, Google, YouTube, Skype and Pinterest.”

Otterbein Campus Life Coordinator Stacy Black noticed their community had several residents needing extra guidance maneuvering around the internet, checking email and using social media outlets. She contacted Back about a possible partnership. He was eager to bring his Millennials alongside members from the Greatest Generation.


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UMass says its progress is accelerating in some areas, slowing in others | Matt Rocheleau | The Boston Globe

UMass says its progress is accelerating in some areas, slowing in others | Matt Rocheleau | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The University of Massachusetts last year strengthened its research partnerships and improved conditions for its workers, but its progress slowed on efforts to bolster the campuses’ academic profiles and to become more affordable, according to a new self-assessment released this week.

The performance report is the second annual assessment, launched by outgoing UMass president Robert Caret, as part of a frank attempt to inform the public where the institution is and where it should be.

“You will see that, as a university system, we continue to make progress toward achieving our long-term goals, as exemplified through key metrics such as the increased number of degrees awarded, the steady improvement in graduation rates, and our ability to maintain our strong credit rating,” Caret, who is leaving later this year to head Maryland’s university system, wrote in the report.

But, he said, “there is more to be done as each campus works to implement its strategic plan, reach its five-year targets, and achieve its vision for the future.”

The report lists 21 goals UMass has identified as its most important. They span six broad categories: students, workforce, research and development, social well-being, management of funds and resources, and communications.

Using metrics and data from each of the university’s five campuses, the report applies a rating to each goal. The four possible ratings from best to worst are: excellent, good, some, or limited progress.

Scores rose from “some progress” to “good progress” for three goals: improving research partnerships; promoting a positive, supportive, and diverse work environment; and engaging key constituencies through targeted communications, the report said.


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NASA's WISE discovers brightest galaxy in the universe | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

NASA's WISE discovers brightest galaxy in the universe | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A fresh study examining data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft has led to to the discovery of the brightest galaxy in the universe. The galaxy, dubbed WISE J224607.57-052635.0, is believed to contain in excess of 300 trillion stars, and has given rise to a new group of astronomical objects – Extremely Luminous Infrared Galaxies, or ELIRGs.

The ELIRGs were imaged by WISE in infrared light, as this medium has the ability to shine through the dense bands of gas that enshroud the massive galaxies, and cut off other light emissions in the visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray spectra.

Prior to being detected by WISE, light from the dazzling galaxy had traveled for an impressive 12.5 billion years. This means that when we observe WISE J224607.57-052635.0 today, we are essentially observing a galactic relic from the ancient past.

In order to contain such a mind-boggling amount of stars, astronomers believe that a supermassive black hole must reside at the center of the super-sized galaxy. At the time of emitting the light, astronomers estimate that the leviathan black hole at the heart of WISE J224607.57-052635.0 already had a mass the equivalent to billions of times that of our own Sun.


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Book Publishers Whine To USTR That It's Just Not Fair That Canada Recognizes Fair Dealing For Educational Purposes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Book Publishers Whine To USTR That It's Just Not Fair That Canada Recognizes Fair Dealing For Educational Purposes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A few years ago, Canada's Supreme Court made it clear that "fair dealing" should be applied broadly, especially in educational settings. Fair dealing, of course, is similar to fair use -- and, in the US, in theory, educational uses are also supposed to qualify for fair use. As Section 107 of the US Copyright Act states:

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

Thus, it seems like the Canadian interpretation is very much in line with the US's statutory view of fair use. Of course, over the years, in the US, publishers have repeatedly chipped away at fair use, such that now that Canada has moved to a position more akin to what the US's is supposed to be, those same publishers are absolutely flipping out. Last year, we noted that those US publishers submitted a recommendation to the USTR claiming that fair dealing in Canada was simply piracy. This was the publishers' submission to the USTR for consideration in preparing its annual Special 301 Report.


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KS: Income mobility better for kids from rural counties, study finds | Gabreiella Dunn | The Wichita Eagle

KS: Income mobility better for kids from rural counties, study finds | Gabreiella Dunn | The Wichita Eagle | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

People who grew up poor in many rural counties in Kansas have a better chance of moving into the middle class than those who grew up in urban areas such as Wichita, a study shows.

The study found that people who grew up in Sedgwick County will make an average of $6,140 less per year by the time they are 26 than a person who grew up in Kingman County.

These findings come from a national study about income mobility called the Equality of Opportunity Project by two Harvard economists, Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren.

“In Kansas, the cities are OK to good, and then there’s some rural areas that are really good,” said Nikolaus Hildebrand, a doctoral fellow at the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy at Harvard University, who assisted Chetty with the research.

Sedgwick County sits among the worst counties in Kansas for income mobility, or a child’s ability to make more money than his or her parents. But in the bigger picture, Sedgwick County sits only slightly below the national average, data from the study shows.

Hildebrand said that overall, children who grow up in rural counties will make more money than children from urban counties.


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CYC 2.0 partners support FCC Lifeline reform initiative | Connect Your Community 2.0

CYC 2.0 Director Bill Callahan and several CYC partner groups posted statements of support today for FCC Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to go forward with Lifeline reform that could add Internet service to the low-income phone program.

Here are a few of the statements from CYC posted at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance website:


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'Suit Up': NASA Documentary Celebrates 50 Years of U.S. Spacewalks | Elizabeth Howell | NBC News

'Suit Up': NASA Documentary Celebrates 50 Years of U.S. Spacewalks | Elizabeth Howell | NBC News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA is celebrating the first U.S. spacewalk 50 years ago with a new documentary on the history of humans working in their own human-sized space havens.

Astronaut Ed White became the first American to step into space on June 3, 1965, during NASA's Gemini 4 mission. The pictures and video of White on that first U.S. spacewalk, floating above Earth in a white spacesuit with tethers tumbling behind him, are still widely published today.

In the years since, astronauts have used spacewalks to explore the moon, perform vital repairs to the crippled Skylab space station, build the International Space Station, and snag satellites — including the Hubble Space Telescope, which had five servicing missions. [The Evolution of the Spacesuit in Photos]

NASA astronauts have performed 264 spacewalks, 184 of them dedicated to building the space station.


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The ugly reform mess in Newark public schools — by a top Newark education official | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com

The ugly reform mess in Newark public schools — by a top Newark education official | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The public school system in Newark, N.J., is not run by the people of Newark but, rather, by a superintendent appointed by Gov. Chris Christie (R). That superintendent, Cami Anderson, who was appointed in 2011, has turned many in the city — including former allies — against her as she has implemented a highly controversial reform plan, called “One Newark.” According to this story by my Post colleague Lyndsey Layton, this is how the reforms were implemented:

The plan, which fully took effect during this academic year, essentially blew up the old system. It eliminated neighborhood schools in favor of a citywide lottery designed to give parents more choices. It prompted mass firings of principals and teachers, and it led to numerous school closures and a sharp rise in the city’s reliance on charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run.

“One Newark” has led to seven separate complaints of civil rights violations now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education, Layton reported. In April 2014, dozens of clergy in Newark warned Christie that school reform was causing so much “unnecessary instability” that they were “concerned about the level of public anger” over the issue. Weeks later, Newark voters elected a new mayor, Ras Baraka, whose campaign was focused on attacking Anderson’s reforms, and who continues to call for Anderson’s resignation. To date, Christie has maintained his support for Anderson.

Just last week, Baraka issued his latest letter to the Newark community in which he blasts Anderson’s reforms, saying in part (note that the bold-face type and underlining is in the original letter.] :


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Really smart phones: Now they can predict your GPA | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com

Really smart phones: Now they can predict your GPA | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin have developed an Android app that they say can predict students’ grade point averages without prior knowledge of data such as SAT scores, IQ or school track records. What’s more, the technology could have future applications for predicting employee performance.

SmartGPA is a cloud-backed app that relies on embedded passive sensors as well as special algorithms that can determine behaviors by the phone user, from studying to partying to face-to-face-communications to sleep. That information can then be crunched to predict students’ GPA within 17 hundreds of a point, according to Andrew T. Campbell, who co-authored paper on the research with colleagues from Dartmouth and the University of Texas at Austin.

Their paper, “SmartGPA: How Smartphones Can Assess and Predict Academic Performance of College Students,” will be presented at the ACM UbiComp conference on pervasive and ubiquitous computing in September in Japan. The study was based on 30 undergrads using the app for 10 weeks at Dartmouth, and an expanded study is planned for both Dartmouth and in Texas. (A video below further explains the research, in a non-technical way.)

Campbell, whose pedestrian safety app I previously wrote about, started work on SmartGPA because of this perhaps troubling discovery: “I previously found no correlation between class attendance and GPA.” More broadly, the study aims for insight into “why students with similar academic capability at the same institution do better or worse than one another.”


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The International Space Station gets a remodel | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

The International Space Station gets a remodel | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Mankind's most remote outpost underwent a significant remodel this week, as an entire module of the International Space Station was relocated in order to make way for the next generation of American commercial spacecraft.


The move didn't require a spacewalk, with operators instead making use of the 16-m (52-ft) robotic arm to grapple and maneuver the Leonardo, or Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM).

The module in question isn't necessarily glamorous in purpose, being an orbital storage and laundry bin, but it has had a storied existence.


It actually began its life as a haulage container, designed for the US Space Shuttle program by Italy's ASI Space Agency in exchange for NASA agreeing to send Italian astronauts to the station.


In all, the container flew to the station seven times aboard various shuttles before being modified and becoming a permanent fixture of the station in 2011.


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The DOs and DON'Ts for teachers on social media | Jeff Dunn | Daily Genius

The DOs and DON'Ts for teachers on social media | Jeff Dunn | Daily Genius | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

There are millions of teachers on social media right now. They discuss professional, personal, and cultural things on a daily basis. But what are the best ways to make the most of your time on social networks?

There are some great ways to really grow your professional learning network, discover new lesson ideas, and take your teaching to the next level.

However, there are more than a few ways to incorrectly use social media if you’re a teacher (or any professional for that matter). Below are just a few best practices to keep in mind as you embrace the brave new world of social media for teachers.


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Engineering Education: Fact and Fiction | Wilton Helm Blog | Electronic Design

Engineering Education: Fact and Fiction | Wilton Helm Blog | Electronic Design | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Education has always been an interesting subject for me. When I entered college, my goal was to be a high-school teacher. Later, I decided teaching college might be more to my liking, but that didn’t pan out the way I had intended. I did do some teaching at various levels from elementary to college, and actually hold a community-college credential in California, which does me little good living in Colorado.

Another reason for my interest is that my work has often led to roles of mentoring and supervising electronic engineers and software developers, even sometimes in the recruiting and screening, and yes, occasionally firing of them. I have taken a keen interest in the dialogue (that has been going on for many years) about the quality of engineering education in the U.S.
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My degree is in computer science. I was fortunate enough to take most of my classes from a very intelligent and practical instructor. He just completed his undergraduate degree in physics, but he had a good grasp of concepts and taught us programming languages as tools to implement concepts, not as an end in and of themselves. For example, we needed to learn recursion. But we lacked access to any languages that supported recursion. Rather than throw up his hands, he showed us how to use a variable as a stack pointer and an array as the stack, and subsequently implement recursion in BASIC.

By the time I graduated, he had moved on to industry and was replaced by an instructor who had a master’s in CS. The latter faced the same issue; however, he told his students that they would not be able to try recursion because we didn’t have a language that could do it. One of my classmates who took classes under the former instructor, and happened to be in this class, proceeded to show the instructor how to do it. So much for a master’s degree in CS! Your mileage may vary.

I recently read an article questioning the need for a college education. I have told people over the years that the degree you get in college is less important than the fact that you have a degree. There is still some truth to that, particularly when it comes to salary level and preference in hiring. However, in the computer field, the trend is to snap up bright applicants regardless of their (lack of) formal training. Sometimes this works well, but it often leads to sloppy practices and poor documentation. The CS degree may not be necessary to get the job done, but it may be valuable for writing quality code with minimal bugs that can be read by someone later on.

We all come into life with different strengths and different temperaments. One of my early dissolutions was the rigorousness of college-level math. I never cared much for the proofs of geometry in high school, and my initial goal of a math/physics double major in college rapidly vaporized in calculus class. Fortunately, the college was putting together a CS degree about that time, and I found it much more interesting.

Any kind of college degree, and especially a graduate degree, involves a fair amount of rigor. It also requires looking at oneself and ones work objectively, and not getting too emotionally attached to it.


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Why Helping the Poor Pay for Broadband Is Good for Us All | Julia Greenberg | WIRED

Why Helping the Poor Pay for Broadband Is Good for Us All | Julia Greenberg | WIRED | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The head of the Federal Communications Commission says he wants to make it a little easier for all Americans to get online. Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC, shared a proposal last week urging the commission to update its Lifeline program, which currently provides a subsidy to qualified low-income households to help them pay their landline or mobile phone bills. The suggested updates would allow those households to use the same subsidy to help cover the cost of broadband—meaning more families could afford Internet at home.

The catch? The subsidy is just $9.25 per month.

The proposal shows that federal regulators are finally beginning to acknowledge what many of us already know—the Internet is a crucial gateway to economic opportunity. But broadband tends to be costly, even with discounted plans. Will such a seeming pittance be enough to make broadband affordable for families strapped for cash? Advocates for bridging the so-called digital divide, it turns out, say it might be. Not only that, they say that expanding the Lifeline program to broadband could open up a whole new competitive marketplace for low-cost Internet access.

The Lifeline program was originally established in 1985 during the Reagan era with the explicit goal of ensuring that low-income consumers would not lose phone service if rates changed. At the time, Congress determined that landlines had “become crucial to full participation in our society and economy, which are increasingly dependent upon the rapid exchange of information.”

But today that rapid exchange of information predominantly happens on the Internet—and many Americans are missing out. In a 2013 study, Pew Research found that while most Americans have Internet in their homes, only half of all adults who make less than $30,000 per year do. And 15 percent of Americans don’t have access to the Internet at all, most notably senior citizens, adults without a high school education, and low-income families.

For those children, adults, and seniors, access to the Internet is about far more than getting Facebook or Netflix—it can mean not having access to educational resources, employment opportunities, and social programs that have started to move online. Nonprofit organizations looking to help close the digital divide have found that a family’s lack of Internet access at home often doesn’t mean they don’t want it, or don’t see the potential benefits. It comes down to cost. “We struggle with families who do realize that they should have Internet, but their money is so tight that adding on another cost like broadband is so ridiculous,” says Angela Siefer, the executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.


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The blanding of media literacy | David Buckingham Blog

The blanding of media literacy | David Buckingham Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I have been making myself unpopular at the Media Meets Literacy conference in Warsaw by complaining about what I call the ‘blanding’ of media literacy. I wrote this blog to share a couple of further examples I wasn’t able to show at the conference itself.

Firstly, let me set this in context. In a couple of recent academic papers, Richard Wallis and I have been tracing the evolution of media literacy as a theme in UK communications policy under New Labour. We argue that media literacy was a policy solution looking for a problem – and we show how it was used to address a changing series of problems over its brief career.

The story goes like this. Media literacy is initially discovered as a solution to the problem of media violence in the late 1990s, in a report called Violence and the Viewer. However, by the time it appears on the statute book in the 2003 Communications Act, it has become a kind of counterbalance to the broader deregulation of media. Since the state is less and less willing or able to regulate the media market, people have to be made responsible for regulating their own behaviour. They have to be taught to be media literate – to be well-behaved, safe media users. In this respect, media literacy is a good example of what Michel Foucault calls ‘governmentality’.

In the years following the 2003 Act, media literacy is employed to address a range of other policy objectives, most notably internet safety and ‘e-inclusion’. In the process, its remit moves steadily away from education, and from any broader conceptualization of critical literacy: it is about instructing kids in how to avoid risk, and teaching functional technical skills (typically under the rubric of ‘digital literacy’).

In the process, media literacy comes to appear quite vague and ill-defined, and eventually does itself out of a job. By the publication of the Digital Britain report in 2009, it is effectively finished: the Report refers to media literacy as ‘a technocratic and specialist term, understood by policy makers but not really part of everyday language’; and the projected National Media Literacy Plan contained in drafts of the report is replaced by a National Plan for Digital Participation.

However, this normative, self-regulatory version of media literacy lives on in parts of Europe and the US. American examples are easy to find. Take this one for example:


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NASA looks to DARPA's deep web search technology for future spacecraft data analysis | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

NASA looks to DARPA's deep web search technology for future spacecraft data analysis | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA has partnered with DARPA to develop technology that allows for the indexing of Deep Web content. The agency plans to turn the tool towards the wealth of data collected by its spacecraft, as well as its huge archive of published scientific data, allowing researchers to better analyze findings while making it easier to confirm they're breaking new ground.

While normal web searches do a generally good job of throwing up the information you're looking for, they don't tap into a huge reservoir of uncatalogued data, often referred to as the Deep Web. DARPA has been working on a toolset known as the Memex initiative, that will allow for much easier accessing and cataloging of that untapped information, and now NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has announced that it's getting in on the act, but with a different goal in mind.

The Memex initiative is essentially an effort to develop next-generation search technology that's better able to understand places, people, objects and the connections that exist between them. It's designed to work through text content, videos, images, scripts and more, building intelligent links between individual scraps of information.


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NASA settles on its toolkit for mission to explore Europa | NIck Lavars | GizMag.com

NASA settles on its toolkit for mission to explore Europa | NIck Lavars | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Even though it is around the same size as our own Moon and a whole lot farther from the Sun, Jupiter's moon Europa is considered one of our solar system's most likely candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life. A deep and mysterious ocean is thought to exist below its icy crust and has beckoned scientists for more than a decade. NASA is in the process of conceptualizing a future mission to explore Europa, and has now confirmed which scientific instruments it will send along to do the job.

Back in February, NASA announced that it had asked Congress for US$30 million to fund the mission, which is slated for lift-off sometime in the 2020s. If approved, the mission would see a solar-powered spacecraft orbit Jupiter and conduct 45 close flybys of Europa at distances ranging from 16 to 1,700 mi (25 to 2,700 km).

Last year, researchers were invited to put forward proposals for scientific tools to study Europa. A total of 33 submissions has now been whittled down to nine (which unfortunately don't include roving robotic squids). Cameras and spectrometers will be used to capture high-res images of Europa's surface and to offer new insights into its composition. A magnetometer will be used to gauge the strength and direction of the magnetic field, while also measuring the depth and salinity of the ocean.


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CO: Longmont valedictorian silenced over speech disclosing he was gay | Charlie Brennan | Daily Camera

CO: Longmont valedictorian silenced over speech disclosing he was gay | Charlie Brennan | Daily Camera | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A St. Vrain Valley charter school's leadership is under fire from gay rights activists and others for blocking a class valedictorian from giving a graduation speech in which he planned to out himself as gay.

Evan Young, an 18-year-old graduating senior at Longmont's Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School, with a 4.5 GPA and a scholarship awaiting him at Rutgers University, also was not recognized as valedictorian at his school's May 16 graduation.

Young said he had agreed to several advance edits to his speech by school Principal BJ Buchmann. But he resisted when Buchmann told him to also take out his disclosure of being gay.

"One of my themes is that I was going to tell everyone my secrets," Young explained Thursday. "Most of the things were stupid stuff — books I never read that I was supposed to, or homework I didn't like. But then I gradually worked up to serious secrets.

"My main theme is that you're supposed to be respectful of people, even if you don't agree with them. I figured my gayness would be a very good way to address that."

Young said he emailed Buchmann with his revised speech with all but the one requested edit having been made, and did so several days in advance of the May 16 graduation ceremony.

The school contends he failed to do so as required and that his presentation was canceled "to protect the solemnity of the evening and to preserve and protect the mission of the school."

A statement released by the school's board of directors stated that Young failed to abide by pre-screening rules — and also "failed to follow guidelines of the evening by removing the sleeves of his graduation gown."

A comment in that statement, attributed to school attorney Barry Arrington, said a graduation ceremony is "a time for family and those closest to the students to celebrate success and express mutual wishes of gratitude and respect. It is not a time for a student to use his commencement speech to push his personal agenda on a captive audience, and school officials are well within their rights to prevent that from happening."

'I was not OK with it'

According to Young and his family, prior to the graduation ceremony, the principal called the student's father, Don Young — who has previously served on the charter school's board of directors — and outed the teen to his parents.

"Mr. Buchmann called me and said, 'I've got Evan's speech here. There's two things in it that I don't think are appropriate,'" Don Young, an accountant, recalled. "One was he had mentioned another student's name. And then there was his coming out that he was gay."

That was the first time in Evan Young's life that his parents had been given a clue about his sexual identity.

"My parents are very liberal. I think they were totally OK with it," Evan Young. "But I was not OK with it.

"I think what it mainly showed is that he didn't have a lot of sympathy for me, or someone in my position. He didn't understand how personal a thing it was, and that I wasn't just going to share it with people randomly, for no reason. I thought it was very inconsiderate for him to do something like that, especially without asking me first."

Their son's sexuality, reported to them by their child's principal, was not earthshaking news to Don Young and his wife.

"He's Evan, you know?" his father said. "He's never really expressed interest in either (boys or girls). He's just a teenager. ... But we had no indication beforehand."

Initially, Evan's parents were somewhat sympathetic to Buchmann's decision concerning the speech.

"His mother and I were not sure that his coming out in a valedictorian speech was the appropriate place to say it, with grandchildren and 3-year-olds in the audience, and that's kind of what we said to BJ," Don Young said.

However, both Evan Young and his father said Buchmann only notified the student and his family a few minutes before the ceremony that his speech — or even a recognition of his status as valedictorian in the graduating class of about 30 — would not be part of the year-ending proceedings.

"On the Friday, the day before the ceremony, I had written him (Buchmann) a handwritten letter so that he couldn't forward it," Evan Young said. "I'd told him I'm not going to remove the part where I say I'm gay, because I am. It's important to me. And I said if he has any questions, he can contact me by email over the next 24 hours or so.

"He didn't ever email me back, and so I figured he must be OK with my speech."

Evan's parents, now almost two weeks after the fact, aren't happy with the way the matter was handled by Buchmann, who could not be reached Thursday for comment.


"The kid worked hard for four years," Don Young said. "Straight A's and everything else. He wasn't even recognized."


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FCC will consider adding Internet option for Lifeline phone users | Connect Your Community 2.0

In the New York Times this morning:

For 30 years, the federal government has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their phone bills, saying that telephone service is critical to summoning medical help, seeking work and, ultimately, climbing out of poverty. Now, the nation’s top communications regulator will propose offering those same people subsidized access to broadband Internet.

On Thursday, that regulator, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will circulate a plan to his fellow commissioners suggesting sweeping changes to a $1.7 billion subsidy program charged with ensuring that all Americans have affordable access to advanced telecommunications services, according to senior agency officials.

The effort is the F.C.C.’s strongest recognition yet that high-speed Internet access is as essential to economic well-being as good transportation and telephone service. Mr. Wheeler will propose potentially giving recipients a choice of phone service, Internet service or a mix of both, the officials said.

Here’s the official account of Chairman Wheeler’s proposal at the FCC website. Technically, Wheeler is asking the Commission to seek public comments on the “Lifeline reform” proposal through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).


The other two Democratic Commissioners are known to favor the idea, so there’s little doubt the NPRM will go forward. The comment period could last several months, with an actual decision as long as a year away.


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