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The Heritability of Intelligence: Not What You Think | Beautiful Minds, Scientific American Blog Network

The Heritability of Intelligence: Not What You Think | Beautiful Minds, Scientific American Blog Network | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One of the longest standing assumptions about the nature of human intelligence has just been seriously challenged.


According to the traditional “investment” theory, intelligence can be classified into two main categories: fluid and crystallized. Differences in fluid intelligence are thought to reflect novel, on-the-spot reasoning, whereas differences in crystallized intelligence are thought to reflect previously acquired knowledge and skills. According to this theory, crystallized intelligence develops through the investment of fluid intelligence in a particular body of knowledge.


As far as genetics is concerned, this story has a very clear prediction: In the general population– in which people differ in their educational experiences– the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected to be lower than the heritability of fluid intelligence. This traditional theory assumes that fluid intelligence is heavily influenced by genes and relatively fixed, whereas crystallized intelligence is more heavily dependent on acquired skills and learning opportunities.


But is this story really true?


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Coding in the Classroom: Here to Stay | Eric Nentrup | GettingSmart.com

Coding in the Classroom: Here to Stay | Eric Nentrup | GettingSmart.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The value of computer programming has been rising exponentially for decades. To the point where now coding has gained traction in mainstream media. TV shows like CBS’s The Big Bang Theory or HBO’s Silicon Valley are good indicators of computer science careers are taking center stage. The domino effect created by the demand for amazing technology is likewise leading to a demand for skilled workers to engineer and program. Whether training comes through a high school certificate program, or a degree in computer science, the need for project-ready coders is only increasing. The bottom-line: All schools at all levels are kicking coding into overdrive.


This growing cultural campaign for coding has influenced universities, technical schools, and even high schools and middle schools to make coding part of core curriculum. School leaders are recognizing the need to prioritize the teaching of software languages and programming skills. This is concurrent with an emphasis on STEM courses in general. The shift towards STEM curricula is influencing updates in education policy as well. In fact, earlier this fall, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that allows computer science classes to count as mathematics on school transcripts. The demand is simply that great.


Embracing coding may seem like a daunting task to a classroom teacher. In fact, spreading some of this zeal for code can be a cultural challenge within schools who’ve yet to embrace it. On the surface, it might appear that not every school has the staff know-how or collective confidence to wade into such an undertaking of launching a coding program for the general audience. But that’s changing thanks to organizations such as Code.org and their annual event Hour of Code.


Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have put their clout and money behind Code.org, leading a slew of other tech giants to contribute as well. They have deliberately taken an approach that’s more friendly for schools looking at choosing a non-traditional coding program for their students. Promoting the message that coding is a critical thinking skill, the Hour of Code is an effort building towards a movement. Code.org’s ambitious goal for the second year of the global event is 100 million participants, each completing at least an hour of tutorials.


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David W. Deeds's curator insight, November 27, 8:57 AM

Thanks to John Evans.

Becky Roehrs's curator insight, November 28, 10:04 AM

Even if you don't program, understanding how it works can definitely get you ahead of the game.

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Helping Teens Explore Tech: A ZDFellow Story | ZeroDivide.org

Helping Teens Explore Tech: A ZDFellow Story | ZeroDivide.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

ZeroDivide began as a Community Technology Foundation back in 1998.


During this time, we funded over 400 nonprofit organizations that work with underserved communities and invested over $50 million.


In addition to financial investment, we also invested our knowledge and experience in the field of technology, capacity-building and leadership to help nonprofit organizations increase their impact on underserved communities.


While we are no longer a funder, we gained valuable knowledge that has helped us transform into a thought-partner and technology consultant.

As a foundation, we began the ZeroDivide Fellowship where we selected promising leaders that were dedicated to working on behalf of underserved communities. Fellows participated in a two-year program which included leadership development, policy advocacy and technology training, strategy and mission development exercises and mentoring activities. The Fellowship was intended to help these individuals lead the technology movement within their own diverse communities.

One of our ZFellows, Oscar Menjivar, has since lead a successful nonprofit organization in the Los Angeles area called Teens Exploring Technology. Earlier this month, Oscar shared his story, from Fellow to CEO, in this inspiring interview.


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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use | OpenCulture.com

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use | OpenCulture.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

On Friday, The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that “more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use.”


Even better, the images can be used at no charge (and without getting permission from the museum). In making this announcement, the Met joined other world-class museums in putting put large troves of digital art online.


Witness the 87,000 images from the Getty in L.A., the 125,000 Dutch masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum, the 35,000 artistic images from the National Gallery, and the 57,000 works of art on Google Art Project.


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International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works's curator insight, November 25, 3:37 PM

On Friday, The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that 'more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use

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New Bedford, MA: Superintendent's Agenda is for all educators to become proficient | Carol Kozma | South Coast Today

New Bedford, MA: Superintendent's Agenda is for all educators to become proficient | Carol Kozma | South Coast Today | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

After statewide educator evaluation ratings showed New Bedford lagging a little behind state averages, Superintendent Pia Durkin said it's her goal to make sure all teachers and administrators become proficient.

“The agenda is to get to proficiency for every single teacher as well as every administrator and to figure out why they're not getting there and give them the feedback that allows them to get there,” she said.

This is the second year the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education conducts the evaluations "designed to ensure teachers and administrators receive meaningful feedback to help them serve students better.”

Almost 71,700 educators were evaluated statewide in 2013-14, and 86.5 percent were rated proficient, according to the DESE. In New Bedford, that number was 82.9 percent.

In New Bedford, 6.8 percent of district educators were rated exemplary, compared to 8.1 percent statewide, 7.7 percent were rated needs improvement compared to 4.8 percent statewide, and 2.5 percent unsatisfactory compared to 0.5 percent.

Asked why the number of unsatisfactory educators was higher in New Bedford, Durkin said, “We are spending an extraordinary amount of time working with our principals and evaluators so that this is a fair and reasonable process and every teacher and every administrator has the opportunity to improve,” she said. “I don’t mean to make judgments about other school districts, but I don't know how seriously they are taking that.”


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Wired/Unwired: Madison, WI's digital divide is an issue of both access and skills | Bryna Godar | Capital Times

Wired/Unwired: Madison, WI's digital divide is an issue of both access and skills | Bryna Godar | Capital Times | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At 63, Linda Miess is looking for a new job. She works part-time at a bus company, part-time at a cleaning job, and she wants something more stable.

The problem: everything associated with searching and applying for a job is online these days.

“To even get a job, you have to have some knowledge of a computer,” Miess says while sitting in the Literacy Network’s computer lab on South Park Street.

She has been taking classes at the Literacy Network since September, learning how to navigate Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and email. She has learned a lot, but it hasn’t been easy.

“It was very frustrating, very frustrating — all of it,” she says.

Miess is one of thousands of Madison residents dealing with a jump in technology that has left them lagging in skills, access or both. The Internet is now central to everything, from applying for a job or signing your kid up for soccer to accessing the news and paying utilities, and 13 percent of Madison’s households don’t have access, according to 2013 U.S. Census data.

This is the digital divide.

Consisting of both access and usability issues, this divide is the subject of many conversations about education and equality in Madison, a city that considers itself highly educated and thoroughly “wired.”

The city is exploring how it can provide Internet service to challenged neighborhoods; libraries and other organizations are teaching digital literacy skills and schools are implementing new technology programs to equip students with tablets and computers.

“The Internet is really not a luxury anymore,” says Madison chief information officer Paul Kronberger. “It’s really a day-to-day necessity for almost everybody.”


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4 Mistakes Made in Children’s Literature About Natives, and Books That Fix Them | Debbie Reese | Indian Country Today

4 Mistakes Made in Children’s Literature About Natives, and Books That Fix Them | Debbie Reese | Indian Country Today | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

U.S. Presidents have proclaimed November as Native American Month for 13 years. Such months have their good and bad sides.


The good is that there’s an educational focus on the people being singled out for celebration. The bad is that the materials and children’s books used are often developed and written by well-intentioned people who may not understand the nuances of the subjects involved.

We can, however, help people move beyond common misinformation by sharing knowledge about Native nations.


One way is by buying and giving books that reflect and flesh out those details, imbuing them with perspective and context that non-Native authors often lack.


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LuAnn Braley's curator insight, November 24, 1:59 AM

By the people, for the people.....

Sueda Aşık's curator insight, November 25, 3:24 AM

Books are the most effective way to change people's mind

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Alabama: Mobile County District Launches ‘Digital Literacy’ Program in 16 Media Centers | Library Journal

Alabama: Mobile County District Launches ‘Digital Literacy’ Program in 16 Media Centers | Library Journal | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This fall, Mobile County school officials began a pilot “digital literacy” program at 16 schools to revamp the media centers, and the duties of the librarians who run them.

The key component of the digital literacy initiative is Discovery Education, a program that offers multi-level digital lessons that are aligned with the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, also known as Common Core.

Discovery Education [a subsidiary of Discovery Communications, Discovery Channel] software is a series of online videos and accompanying website links that teachers and students may access through the Mobile County schools network to research and share class projects, White said.

In July, the Mobile County school board approved a $1.4 million, five-year contract renewal with Discovery Education.

The digital literacy schools have teams, which include the principal, media specialist and at least two teachers, to focus on technology in the classroom, White said.

“We’re asking the (media) specialists to do a different role instead of just dealing with books,” she said. The media specialists are now encouraged to help teachers find resources for their classes to enhance their lessons, and that may include suggesting videos or websites, or regular books.

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The Who to launch virtual reality app for Facebook's Oculus Rift | Stuart Dredge | The Guardian

The Who to launch virtual reality app for Facebook's Oculus Rift | Stuart Dredge | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I’d always hoped I’d fly through a virtual reality environment on a Lambretta listening to some of The Who’s greatest hits before I got old. Now I have, courtesy of an official app being developed for Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset.

The app, which is due to be released in early 2015, is preceded by a smartphone and tablet app for Android and iOS, which launched this week.

Both apps are the results of a partnership between The Who, their management company Trinifold Management, label Universal Music and developer Immersive, tying in with a new compilation album and tour to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary.

The mobile and tablet app also takes the form of a 3D world, dotted with imagery from The Who’s career, as well as rare photographs from Roger Daltrey’s archives; and music courtesy of fans’ own iTunes collections, or streaming services Spotify, Deezer or Rdio.

“We’ve kept it quite tight around The Who Hits 50 album, but the idea is to expand and use the technology to unlock different experiences as the tour evolves,” Michael Fenna, creative and production director at Immersive, told the Guardian.

“The plan is to add a series of other experiences, including live performances. We’ve built it as an evolving thing: there’s a real chance to tell a narrative in a more engaging way than in a book or a film.”

The app is free to download, but may in future charge for some of the extra content using in-app purchases. For now, links to buy tickets and merchandise, as well as music, will be how it makes money.


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Philadelphia, PA: Singer Jordin Sparks helps launch Boys and Girls Club tech initiative in Nicetown | NewsWorks.org

Philadelphia, PA: Singer Jordin Sparks helps launch Boys and Girls Club tech initiative in Nicetown | NewsWorks.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Boys and Girls Club of America launched its My.Future technology initiative on Thursday at the Wayne Avenue Boys and Girls Club in Northwest Philadelphia.

A partnership between the 154-year-old community organization and Comcast NBCUniversal, the My.Future initiative provides new technology such as computers, laptops, smartboards, tablets, digital cameras and video editing equipment, as well as on-site renovations to Boys and Girls Clubs across the country.

To date, Comcast NBCUniversal has renovated Boys and Girls Clubs in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

"We are proud to partner with Boys and Girls Clubs of America to teach youth about the endless possibilities that technology offers, while helping to bridge the digital divide," said David L. Cohen, Comcast Corp.'s executive vice president.

Currently, there are more than 4,100 Boys and Girls Clubs serving nearly four million youths across the United States, with 13 of those clubs located right here in Philadelphia.

The five-year My.Future initiative provides Boys and Girls Club (BGCA) members with more than 40 technology applications that reinforce digital literacy through web exploration, communication and media.

"Today's young people are digital natives, born into a world where technology is ever-present and constantly changing," said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. "In order to ensure great futures for all our youth, it is our job to keep up to date with technology and make sure it reaches the communities that need it the most."


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Bronze Age lost its cutting edge before climate crisis | Tim Radford | Climate News Network

Bronze Age lost its cutting edge before climate crisis | Tim Radford | Climate News Network | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Climate change – so often and so recently coupled with the decline of early civilizations in the Near East, the Indus Valley and the Mediterranean – may not have ushered in the collapse of the late Bronze Age after all.

A new study suggests that Bronze Age cultures everywhere collapsed not because of sustained drought or flooding, but because of technological change. The gradual spread of iron foundries and smithies, they say, undermined the economic strengths of those centres with monopolies on the production of, and trade in, copper and tin − the elements in the alloy bronze.

Ian Armit, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford in the UK, and colleagues base their argument on careful studies of ancient climate, using a combination of pollen data and other evidence, plus 2,000 precision-dated archaeological finds from Ireland, from between 1200 BC and 400 AD. This evidence tells a different, but equally familiar, story.

They report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that although there was indeed a climate crisis around 750 BC – an event linked to the end of the cultures associated with Knossos in Crete and Mycenae in the Peloponnese – things had started to go wrong two generations or more before.

There had been a clear peak in human activity between 1050 and 900BC, followed by a steady decline and then a rapid fall between 800 AD and 750BC. Since copper was mined in Ireland – and alloyed with tin from Britain to make bronze – the Celtic populations of the place and time enjoyed high socio-economic status and power.


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Independence, MA: Grant expands access to technology for kids | Mike Genet | Examiner.net

Independence, MA: Grant expands access to technology for kids | Mike Genet | Examiner.net | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As someone whom Boys & Girls Club staff described as the resident tech wizard, 15-year-old Nautic Simpson can appreciate what Thursday’s ceremony at the Independence Unit on Leslie Street meant – far beyond the chance for member children to mingle with local mascots Mac and K.C. Wolf.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Comcast NBCUniversal launched My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to enhance the programs offered at Boys & Girls Clubs. The Comcast Foundation is providing a three-year $45,000 grant for that local initiative.

“We’ve always had a technology program. Now we can produce more technology opportunities for our club,” said Jamel Malone, teen services director at the Independence Unit. “This adds an additional layer to what’s being offered.

“We had a training session for staff here and at other units a week ago.”

Malone said the additional programs will allow member children to practice graphic design, build typing skills and even dabble in music composition, to give a few examples, as well as the boost club’s Internet capabilities.

Simpson, who attends William Chrisman High School and said he plans to major in a technology-based field in college – “computer-programming-type stuff” – will quickly grab the nuances of such programs and possibly help the staff teach them to the other children.

“They will be excited,” said Simpson, who spends most after-school afternoons at the club.


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AZ: Computer Training as a Family Affair | Jill Goetz | UANews.org

AZ: Computer Training as a Family Affair | Jill Goetz | UANews.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Some Tucson, Arizona residents on the UA campus one recent Saturday were not attending a Wildcats game or arts performance. They were learning how to use a computer, from a student group recently honored for its outreach efforts.

Most of us take emailing and surfing the Internet for granted. But for some Tucsonans, working on a computer is about as familiar as walking on the moon.

The University of Arizona student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE, has been working for 15 years to change that through La Familia, its annual free computer training workshops. The 2014 daylong event, designed primarily for older members of the community whose first language is not English, was held Oct. 25 on the UA campus.

"La Familia is about helping members of our community overcome their fear of technology and discover how computers can enrich their lives," said Michelle Gutierrez, La Familia vice president and a junior engineering student. "Many attendees are middle-aged moms whose children have grown and now have time to pursue personal and professional interests. Increasingly, that means having to use a computer."

La Familia is one reason the UA's SHPE chapter recently won two awards at the national SHPE conference. The chapter beat more than 300 other chapters nationally to receive the 2014 SHPE Outstanding Community Outreach Award. The Wildcats also won the Regional Outstanding Chapter Award for Region 2, which includes 37 student chapters in Arizona, southern California, southern Nevada and Hawaii.

The La Familia attendees, nearly all Spanish-speaking, ranged in age from 30 to 80. For many, it was their first time on the UA campus. SHPE volunteer Dana Cordova, who earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 2014 and works for Northrup Grumman, traveled from Sierra Vista with his mother, Debra Cordova-Paul, attending to learn Microsoft Excel. Several SHPE members’ aunts and a grandmother also were at the workshops.

Many of their questions were about basic things: how to turn on a computer, use a mouse or save a file. But this year, attendees’ questions reflected increased awareness of the power, and the risks, of the Internet.


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Sesame Workshop Tackles Literacy With Technology | Elizabeth Jensen | NYTimes.com

Sesame Workshop Tackles Literacy With Technology | Elizabeth Jensen | NYTimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Elmo and his “Sesame Street” buddies could soon be having two-way conversations of sorts with children.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of “Sesame Street,” and the children’s speech recognition company ToyTalk plan to announce Monday that they have signed a two-year research partnership agreement to explore how to use conversational technology to teach preschool literacy.

The agreement formalizes work the two have been undertaking for more than a year. Sesame Workshop has been testing prototype mobile apps that use ToyTalk’s proprietary PullString technology, a combination of speech recognition meant to understand children’s speech patterns, artificial intelligence and prewritten scripts responding to what a child has said.

The first products resulting from the partnership could be available early next year, said Miles Ludwig, managing director of Sesame Workshop’s Content Innovation Lab. Products that more formally teach children to read will take longer, however. When it comes to technology that tells children whether they pronounced a written word correctly — as opposed to, for example, asking them to come up with a word that rhymes with “cat” or discuss their feelings — “We need the accuracy to be very high,” Mr. Ludwig said.

Still, he said, “Down the road, I think that we can structure very specific early learning experiences” using speech recognition technology. He added, “It seems like the potential for literacy learning is tremendous, especially for those who are struggling to learn to read.”

In a September 2011 report published by Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a research lab, Marilyn Jager Adams, an expert in children’s literacy, argued that speech recognition technology could be a valuable and cost-effective literacy tool.


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Pennsylvania school continues disturbing trend of allowing strip searches of students | Walter Einenkel | Daily Kos

Pennsylvania school continues disturbing trend of allowing strip searches of students | Walter Einenkel | Daily Kos | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The York Suburban school just updated their school's policy on strip searches.

Superintendent Michele Merkle repeatedly emphasized there would have to be an imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare of the student being searched or other students in the school.

The idea of this policy is not to bust kids for marijuana. It's to stop terrorism and Columbine, you know?

It would take something major — like the suspicion a student was carrying an explosive device — to warrant a search in which clothing would be removed. Even in an extreme case like that, it might be asking a student to remove a jacket or hoodie, Merkle said.

If you have nothing to hide, right? None of us have known people, at every stage of our lives, who abused their position of power. I can't imagine these policies being perverted and exploited.

First, the numbers: Law enforcement made 47 sneak-and-peek searches nationwide from September 2001 to April 2003. The 2010 report reveals 3,970 total requests were processed. Within three years that number jumped to 11,129. That's an increase of over 7,000 requests. Exactly what privacy advocates argued in 2001 is happening: sneak and peak warrants are not just being used in exceptional circumstances—which was their original intent—but as an everyday investigative tool.

The York Suburban school is not the first school to do this nor will they be the last:


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Gates Foundation mandates open access for all the research it funds | Cory Doctorow | BoingBoing.net

Gates Foundation mandates open access for all the research it funds | Cory Doctorow | BoingBoing.net | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Effective January 17, all research funded in whole or in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation must be published in journals that are immediately free-to-access, under a Creative Commons Attribution-only license.

It's an incalculably large shot in the arm for the open access movement, and is a challenge to other major science funders to follow suit. The foundation's grants will come with an extra budget to pay for open access peer-review. The new policy also specifies that raw research data must be made available immediately upon publication.

The next move is up to the publishers, many of whom -- even those that are open access in name -- have policies that conflict with the Gates policy, meaning that they will not be able to publish Gates-funded research as of 2017, unless they change those policies.


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Webinar on Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Social Media Use: What the Research Says | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I know there are a few educators and plenty of parents who read this blog, so I thought I’d share news on the following free webinar…

Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Social Media Use: What the Research Says


Monday, November 24, 2014 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology at Bridgewater State University

Most educators know what cyberbullying is, and what sexting is – but how prolific are these behaviors with youth? What are effective and ineffective responses? How are cyberbullying and sexting interconnected? There are a lot of misconceptions out there around peer cruelty, bullying, and cyberbullying. In this webinar, learn about Dr. Elizabeth Englander’s extensive research in these areas, including myths and misconceptions, how educators can flag problematic behaviors, and how to frame effective responses. Elizabeth will field questions from attendees during this interactive event.


Hosted by Common Sense Education


Sponsored by Symantec

Join the Digital Citizenship community to access the webinar recording and resources.


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New Haven, CT after-school program aims for positive life outcomes for participants | Shahid Abdul-Karim | New Haven Register

New Haven, CT after-school program aims for positive life outcomes for participants | Shahid Abdul-Karim | New Haven Register | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Janai Kemp believes The Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology’safterschool program at Lincoln Bassett School will help young people forge a positive trajectory for their lives.


“We’re creating experiences that are essentially going from the school-to-prison pipeline, to a pipeline of house-to-school-to-success,” said Kemp, the digital arts media program instructor for the program.


Kemp said paths often are already set with most high school and college students.


I’ve worked with high school and college students, but these kids stories aren’t made at this point,” he said, of those in the program. “They’re so young, and they can go down any path; we have the opportunity to help them make great stories for their lives.”

Lincoln-Bassett was added this year to the state Commissioner’s Network for underperforming schools, joining the city’s High School in the Community and Wilbur Cross High School. The network seeks to significantly improve struggling schools through collaboration between local stakeholders and the state Department of Education.

The school was audited in four areas: talent, academics, culture and climate and operations. The school ranked “developing” or “below standard” in most areas, “proficient” and “exemplary” in none, according to the state Education Department. The audit noted a divide among staff, chronic absenteeism among students and lack of basic resources, such as projectors and white boards.

The school received $1.4 million in operating and capital improvement grants and secured partnership with ConnCAT to facilitate the before- and after-school programs.


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15 Great Audiobooks for Helping Kids Read Better | Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

15 Great Audiobooks for Helping Kids Read Better | Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The puzzling question that is often posed when talking about audiobooks' integration in the teaching and learning of literacy is whether they have the same cognitive benefits as the actual reading. In other words , can listening to audiobooks be considered reading?


Well, the answer does require a rigorous scientific study; however, what is certain here is that listening to audiobooks and reading both require serious engagement with the content for deep and critical understanding to take place.

There are actually several myths around audiobooks such as that they are a form of cheating or that they are for those with reading disabilities or those who don't like to read.


But these are unverifiable myths and do not stand to the evidence of reason. In fact, such a discussion on the uncertainties related to audiobooks does a big disservice to their actual merit.


As a learning tool, audiobooks have a number of important educational benefits to students and can be used in a variety of ways. Reading Rockets lists 10 interesting things you can do with audiobooks in class:


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Xuan Phan's curator insight, November 25, 11:36 PM

Audiobooks is an amazing  learning tool for people of all ages, who enjoys reading or would like to improve their reading skills.

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Faculty members must own the online learning process | Marie Norman | InsideHigherEd.com

Faculty members must own the online learning process | Marie Norman | InsideHigherEd.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The results are in. Inside Higher Ed recently released its third annual survey of college and university faculty members, focusing on perceptions of online learning. It showed that faculty:

  • Remain highly skeptical about the efficacy of online education


  • Consider the instructor-student relationship essential for learning


  • Believe that ownership of online courses belongs with them


  • Feel there is too little support for online course development


  • Don’t want outside companies to create their courses or curriculum


I suppose these results could be taken as bad news for those of us in the online education world. But to me, they all make perfect sense.

I shared faculty skepticism about online education for many years. True, my mind has been changed in recent years by online courses I’ve encountered that are easily as rich and meaningful as face-to-face courses. But caution is still warranted. Without careful and creative design, online courses can – and often do – amount to a stale collection of materials with little power to motivate or inspire.

By the same token, the most well-designed course can fizzle when the digital tools it relies on don’t work as they should. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that online courses aren’t the right modality for all students or, for that matter, all instructors.


So I not only understand faculty skepticism; I appreciate it. It’s to instructors’ credit that they want proof before they jump on this bandwagon: not only the evidence that online education works but also when, how, and with whom.


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Futurology: RIP Kazaa, Napster, LimeWire | Lindsey Cook | US News

Futurology: RIP Kazaa, Napster, LimeWire | Lindsey Cook | US News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This article is part of a series that examines predictions about the future. So far, we've looked at predictions for 2025 and explored 2004 predictions about online voting, cybersecurity, health care, politics, broadband access, family, education, entertainment, art and the Internet of Things. If you want to discuss this series with us and potentially be included in a future article, join the U.S. News Futurology Facebook group.

Napster burst onto desktops everywhere as the place to burn CDs after its founding in 1999. At the peak of its short-lived reign, the peer-to-peer file sharing network had 80 million registered users trading music – both mainstream songs and hard-to-find bootlegged or concert versions of popular music.


The application filled the technology gap for music, although computers were becoming the norm for work and play, music was still largely CD-based. The application presented an easy and free way to download music and make your friends mix CDs (the only real way to show friendship in 2004).

Too bad it was completely illegal.

The prediction from 2004 was clearly made by the Napster generation. A multitude of other peer-to-peer networks replaced the old giant after it was shutdown, including Kazaa and LimeWire.


As soon as one was stamped out, another took its place in a never-ending game of legal whack-a-mole. It seemed like free sharing would always be the norm.


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Online Fan Fiction Spaces as Literacy Tools | Jayne Lammers | Reading.org

Online Fan Fiction Spaces as Literacy Tools | Jayne Lammers | Reading.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Much has been written about the youth experience of literacy learning when they create and share fanfiction online.


Previous features on Reading Today Online have outlined what learning looks like for adolescent participants in Hunger Games fan spaces and have shed light on the particular writing practices recruited by sites like Fanfiction.net.


However, less is known about the nature of teaching in these online, fan-based, informal learning environments. How do online spaces teach fans the expectations of digital literacy practices such as writing fanfiction? What pedagogical tools establish the curriculum, teaching, evaluation, and social norms of an online fanfiction space?

I explored similar questions in a study published in Learning, Media and Technology about the nature of pedagogy in an online fanfiction space. In particular, I studied adolescent literacy in an online forum called The Sims Writers’ Hangout (The Hangout has since disappeared, but evidence of the group’s creative work still appears on Flickr and elsewhere online).


The Hangout was an online space for fans of the videogame The Sims to gather and support each other’s writing of Sims fanfiction—multimodal, digital texts that pair images taken in the video game with narratives authors write (see examples of Sims fanfiction created with The Sims 3).


Over its five-year existence, The Hangout had more than 12,000 members, mostly adolescent females, from all over the world who posted over 660,000 messages on a variety of Sims-related and community-building topics to establish an online network of readers and writers.

To better understand the pedagogy of The Hangout, I drew from data collected over two years spent documenting the space through the participation of eight young women (ages 15 - 23) from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.


Through analysis of virtual interviews, Hangout posts, and the Sims fanfiction my informants shared and the readers’ responses they received, I came to the following understandings about the nature of literacy pedagogy in this online fanfiction space:


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Bringing the FCC's Lifeline Program into the 21st Century | John Horrigan | Benton Foundation

Bringing the FCC's Lifeline Program into the 21st Century | John Horrigan | Benton Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Last week, Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn outlined five principles to bring the Lifeline program, which subsidizes phone service for low-income Americans, into the broadband age. The principles focus on two things we all care about.


First, they call for the FCC to improve how the program functions so that more funds go to those who need it, while lessening administrative burden on the companies that provide the benefit to eligible consumers.


Second, the principles provide a vision of what consumers and taxpayers get in return. In Commissioner Clyburn’s words: “Broadband is the greatest equalizer of our time.”

Now, such a sweeping statement about a technology some people think is good mainly for viewing cat videos might seem like a stretch. But the statement stands up when thinking about the benefits that come with home broadband access. The opportunities Commissioner Clyburn identifies are familiar to Benton readers: economic and educational opportunity, civic engagement, social inclusion, and more.

I want us to take a look at two other kinds of benefits that are crucial to the digital inclusion equation. The first is time management. There was a short piece in the Wall Street Journal over decade ago which was entitled “Technology and Time for the Poor.”(1) Simple transactions that can be carried out quickly for those with online access – applying for a government benefit, looking for a job, renewing a driver’s license, or shopping for groceries – eat up enormous amounts of time for low-income individuals with lengthy commutes on public transportation and jobs with little flexibility.


It is no surprise that my 2012 survey of Illinois residents found that 70% said “saving time on day-to-day activities” was an important benefit to having a home high-speed Internet subscription. The efficiencies broadband brings to the household can seem even more magical to low-income families that must spend a lot of time carrying out common tasks.

The second benefit has to do with expectations. In my 2014 survey of low-income households who had recently gotten home broadband access through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, 83% said their children’s schools expected them to have broadband at home and two-thirds (65%) said banks and financial institutions expected that they had broadband at home, and 53% said this about health insurance companies.

Improving time management and becoming aligned with society’s expectations are crucial pathways to making people “digitally ready” for a society where broadband mediates so many interactions and transactions.


New Internet users grow to trust the Internet when home access means they don’t have to take time out of their workday to deal with the health insurance company. Parents gain a sense of efficacy when they can give an email address to their child’s school to receive the same online newsletters about school activities that others do. This gives people an immediate sense of the value of connectivity.

Yet the benefits I’ve discussed underscore the challenges to getting non-broadband adopters to subscribe. Feelings of efficacy and improved time management make broadband an “experience good”; consumers know the value of such a good only after they have consumed it.


That’s why music distributors today let people sample music online and why record stores of yesteryear often had booths for people to listen to music before buying. This mitigates the risk to a consumer to buying a good whose future value is uncertain.


For broadband – especially when a household’s disposable income is limited – the benefits to subscribing to service may not be clear absent experience with what the Internet offers. This is why getting the price subsidy right for non-adopters – which is an important aim of Lifeline reform – will only get us so far in attracting new broadband adopters.


We need “boots on the ground” to help non-adopters learn the value of connectivity and thus change how they assess the decision to subscribe to a new service.


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This Teacher Taught His Class A Powerful Lesson About Privilege | Nathan Pyle | BuzzFeed.com

This Teacher Taught His Class A Powerful Lesson About Privilege | Nathan Pyle | BuzzFeed.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I once saw a high school teacher lead a simple, powerful exercise to teach his class about privilege and social mobility. He started by giving each student a scrap piece of paper and asked them to crumple it up.


Then he moved the recycling bin to the front of the room.


He said, “The game is simple — you all represent the country’s population. And everyone in the country has a chance to become wealthy and move into the upper class.”


"To move into the upper class, all you must do is throw your wadded-up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat."


The students in the back of the room immediately piped up, “This is unfair!” They could see the rows of students in front of them had a much better chance.


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The gap between virtual reality and sci-fi is shortening | Carmel DeAmicis | GigaOM Tech News

The gap between virtual reality and sci-fi is shortening | Carmel DeAmicis | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

“The gap between people dreaming things up in sci-fi and being able to build them in bits and atoms is shortening,” High Fidelity and Second Life founder Philip Rosedale said Tuesday at Gigaom’s Roadmap design conference.

High Fidelity uses webcam technology to create characters who can interact in virtual worlds. The webcam tracks facial movements, complete with eye contact and expressions, and mirrors that almost instantly in the virtual world so users are seeing how a person is actually reacting to whatever situation — just in an avatar form.

When asked about how science fiction informs his work, Rosedale admitted it was a big inspiration. “I look at science fiction as an instruction manual for virtual reality,” Rosedale said. “We’re only few years away from being able to build what people dream up.”

He elaborated by explaining that virtual reality would be a place where people could create these experiences. As computers become more powerful, we’ll be able to outdo what we think of as organic or natural in the real world. “The virtual worlds of tomorrow are going to be more, not less detailed than the real world of today,” Rosedale said.


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David W. Deeds's curator insight, November 26, 9:00 AM

Check this out. Info on High Fidelity.

David W. Deeds's curator insight, November 26, 11:33 AM

Check this out! Info on High Fidelity! 

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4 simple steps to ensure you'll never, ever be tricked by an internet hoax again | Scott Meslow | TheWeek.com

4 simple steps to ensure you'll never, ever be tricked by an internet hoax again | Scott Meslow | TheWeek.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

On Saturday, millions of internet users spent the day mourning the death of Macaulay Culkin. He wasn't actually dead, but that was a minor detail in the story, which spread across the internet like all too many other stupid hoaxes that spread across the internet every day.

The fake story reporting Culkin's death was tweeted 23,000 times, and shared more than five million times on Facebook. By the time Culkin responded, the story had already picked up too much steam for anyone to stop it — including Culkin.

Where did a hoax so unstoppable come from? A Facebook memorial page and a poorly written, six-paragraph story from "msnbc.website," which doesn't even bother to resemble an actual MSNBC page. The Culkin case was hardly an abberation. This is the kind of thing that happens with distressing frequency, from the "death" of Breakfast Club star Judd Nelson to the "arrest" of graffiti artist Banksy.

The internet keeps playing the same tricks, and we keep refusing to learn how to spot them. It's never been easier to throw together a halfway-convincing story and make it go viral — and since the perpetrators of these annoying hoaxes have no reason to stop, it's up to readers to develop a keener sense of whether a story is actually true before they share it. Fortunately, that's a pretty easy thing to do. Here are four simple steps you can start following right now:


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Roger Smith's curator insight, November 23, 4:08 PM

only 10% of what's on the Internet seems to be the truth! this is just another story on how the bad guys change our perception and increase the trust level of what they are doing.