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Math, Science, History: Games Break Boundaries Between Subjects | Jordan Shapiro | Mind/Shift | KQED.org

Math, Science, History: Games Break Boundaries Between Subjects | Jordan Shapiro | Mind/Shift | KQED.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For far too long, school has organized learning into divided disciplines: English, science, history, math, and so on. It seems fine because we’re all used to it. The problem, however, is that students then internalize a divided conception of knowledge; they’re conditioned into a view of life where specialization reigns. While categorized subjects made some sense for the industrialized 20th century, they may not be the best bet for this century.

Game-based learning offers an alternative. Because it forces students to apply knowledge in a contextualized way, it creates an interdisciplinary learning experience where subject-specific knowledge is used in a context that requires diverse applications. The borders between disciplines become fuzzy and ambiguous.

Of course, “fuzzy and ambiguous” isn’t always preferable. Rigid specialization served the industrial age well. Corporations are departmentalized. The 20th-century shift to assembly line manufacturing was reliant on a way of thinking that divided whole products into disconnected parts. But specialized knowledge hasn’t always been privileged.


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Lewis Walker's curator insight, February 19, 7:41 AM

Games have been used for learning since education began. The technology may change the playing field but games still help us learn.

Ronald McMillan's curator insight, February 19, 8:39 AM

most young people carry cellphone, gps but don,t use it for safety. A game-based buddy system, danger alert.could save and help mothers of murdered children.

Amos J Cruz's curator insight, March 8, 10:56 PM

This caught my eye because once I played Ultima Online in high school and, aside from cultivating my imagination with a Dungeons and Dragons theme, I learned social behavior and resource management.  Seems like games like MineCraft are more versatile and adaptable more closely resemble the classroom.

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The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten | Wendy Lecker | Truth About Education

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten | Wendy Lecker | Truth About Education | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the age of 4-6.

Is this drastic shift in kindergarten the result of a transformation in the way children learn? No! A 2011 nationwide study by the Gesell Institute for Child Development found that the ages at which children reach developmental milestones have not changed in 100 years.


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Betty Skeet's curator insight, February 16, 5:27 AM

Where is the real Play time in modern kindergarten, nursery, preschool today?

TheEarlyYears's curator insight, February 19, 9:24 AM

Ask yourself when you plan: how much fun will they get out of this?

Jewelelelel's curator insight, March 8, 11:09 AM

I think that not everyone is as smart as they might seem to be.Eg some people may act as if they have understood what the teacher is saying but actually the might not as they do not want to be mocked by his or her friends. In this fast growing society ,as the population is increasing, 1 teacher may have to tech 30-40 students depending on the situation.The teacher is not able to ensure that everyone in his or her class understands what he or she s saying.There would be some shy students who do not dare to ask the teacher or friends questions,if the students does this for all subjects ,there would not be any point for the students to continue schooling as the student is not absorbing anything.Although i know that the teachers are not the ones to be blamed for but i believe that the teacher themselves would be able to know who is lacking behind and needs help.I hope that the teacher would help the students who are in need and answer their quarries :)

 

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PA: Parents, teachers opting in to 'opt out' | Kathy Boccella | Philly.com

PA: Parents, teachers opting in to 'opt out' | Kathy Boccella | Philly.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When the affluent Lower Merion School District proposed cutting music and art instruction in elementary schools, some teachers and parents saw it as part of a scheme to increase prep time for state-mandated standardized tests.

The loudest voice was Todd Marrone, a popular Welsh Valley Middle School art teacher, who started a blog to encourage a broader revolt against the growing role of high-stakes testing, which he called "the greatest threat to the humanities."

Marrone died in late 2013, but his protest has taken root in Lower Merion and is connecting with an increasingly powerful nationwide movement for kids to "opt out" of standardized tests such as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA.

Education officials hold that standardized tests are important tools for measuring student progress. Larry Wittig, chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Education, says that the Keystone Exams, for example, assess student performance, prevent social promotion, and hold districts accountable.

But not everyone is buying into those arguments.

As students in grades three to eight prepare for four weeks of PSSAs in April, Lower Merion parents are screening an anti-test documentary by two local teachers, Standardized Lies, Money & Civil Rights: How Testing Is Ruining Public Education, on Feb. 25 at Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr.

"We are over-testing the kids. ... I think that it's taking up so much money and so many resources in the school," said Marlies Lissack, who joined the movement last year and whose Gladwyne Elementary School fourth grader is opting out of the PSSAs this year. "I finally reached a tipping point where I said, 'Enough.' "

The numbers opting not to take the test in Lower Merion more than doubled, from 13 in 2013 to 28 last year. The band of resisters is joining what has become a feverish battle in other parts of the country. It pits education officials against vocal teachers and parents who feel test prep and rote memorization are replacing quality classroom learning.


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Teachers Give Girls Better Grades on Math Tests When They Don’t Know They Are Girls | Amanda Marcotte | Slate.com

Teachers Give Girls Better Grades on Math Tests When They Don’t Know They Are Girls | Amanda Marcotte | Slate.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When it comes to explaining why women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math, it’s not enough to point to discrimination in hiring, even though that is a real phenomenon. It’s also true that STEM fields have a “pipeline” problem, where not enough girls are choosing to pursue education and eventually careers in science and tech. New research suggests that part of the problem is that girls are being discouraged at very young ages from thinking of themselves as capable at math.

Victor Lavy of the University of Warwick in England and Edith Sand of Tel Aviv University recently published a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research that suggests one reason girls do less well in math is because teachers expect less of them. Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times summarizes the study:


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malek's curator insight, February 16, 10:18 AM

Just by believing that a student has an aptitude for something, the teacher makes it more likely to be true.

deborah johns's curator insight, February 26, 9:01 AM

This needs to be broadcast to the education community as a whole to ensure everyone is aware of their own biases.

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Project FINE: frontlines of digital inclusion in Winona, MN | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I’ve written about Project FINE before; they have received several Blandin Foundation broadband grants (some indirectly) in the past. Here’s a brief description taken from their website:

Project FINE is a local, private, non-profit, tax exempt organization that helps newcomers integrate into the community. We provide foreign language interpreters and translators as well as opportunities for education, information, referral, and empowerment for immigrants and refugees. Our work is accomplished through a small staff, volunteers, interpreters, and extensive collaboration with local service providers.

They recently reported on their latest digital inclusion program, which involved 40 participants attending in-depth computer training. They went beyond the basics to learn how to create an online presence and maintain it. The report included valuable information that I thought might help others develop or improve their digital inclusion efforts…


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Online Space Game Aims to Help Teens Learn STEM Principles | SpaceRef.com

Online Space Game Aims to Help Teens Learn STEM Principles | SpaceRef.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A just-released alternate reality game called DUST is trying to encourage teens, especially girls and minorities, to get excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The premise of DUST is one that might appeal to middle and high school-aged students. In the game, adults worldwide fall unconscious because of mysterious dust from a meteor shower. It is up to the players, whose target ages are 13-17, to save the world (and their parents' lives) by the end of seven weeks of play.

Over the course of the game, players receive new parts of the story and science clues two to three times a week through social media, email and game apps. They work as a community to add their own input, guide the action, do research and provide solutions to help rescue the adult characters.

"In DUST there are no fixed outcomes," said Bill Cirillo, the NASA Langley Research Center aerospace engineer who started working with the game's developers almost two years ago. "It's up to the students to move the story along and do problem solving using the scientific method and critical thinking skills."

Alternate reality games are interactive networked stories that use the real world as a backdrop. Players sign onto a website to interact directly with characters in the game and use a variety of media platforms, such as the Web; social media apps including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram; email; cell phones; museums and even printed materials to collaborate with each other and solve mysteries or puzzles.


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David W. Deeds's curator insight, February 15, 10:16 AM

Now this is geeky-cool stuff! 

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NY educators launch campaign blasting Gov. Cuomo’s flawed education proposals | Brian Washington | NEA.org

NY educators launch campaign blasting Gov. Cuomo’s flawed education proposals | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Aides to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have reportedly met with leaders representing teachers and education support professionals, following the launch of a statewide multi-media campaign calling out the governor’s destructive “billionaire’s agenda” for public education.

Television ads, which are airing on commercial and cable channels throughout the state, are hammering the governor for his lack of support for students, educators, and public schools.

So far, no one is talking about what, if anything, came out of the Albany meeting—which reportedly took place last week.


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How NASA uses quantum computing for space travel and robotics | Jonathan Vanian | GigaOM Tech News

How NASA uses quantum computing for space travel and robotics | Jonathan Vanian | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Quantum computing is still in its infancy, even though the idea of a quantum computer was developed some thirty years ago. But there are a whole load of pioneering organizations (like Google) that are exploring how this potentially revolutionary technology could help them solve complex problems that modern-day computers just aren’t capable of doing at any useful speed.

One such organization is NASA, whose use of D-Wave Systems quantum computing machines is helping it research better and safer methods of space travel, air traffic controls and missions involving sending robots to far-off places, explained Davide Venturelli, a science operations manager at NASA Ames Research Center, Universities Space Research Association. I’ll be speaking with Venturelli on stage at Structure Data 2015 from March 18-19 in New York City and we’ll be sure to cover how NASA envisions the future of quantum computing.

The basic idea of quantum computing is that quantum bits, or qubits — which can exist in more than two states and be represented as both a 0 and 1 simultaneously — can be used to greatly boost computing power compared to even today’s most powerful super computers. This contrasts with the modern-day binary computing model, in which the many transistors contained in silicon chips can be either switched on or off and can thus only exist in two states, expressed as a 0 or 1.

With the development of D-Wave Systems machines that have quantum computing capabilities (although some researchers argue they are not true quantum computers along the lines of the ones dreamed up on pen and paper in the early 1980s), scientists and engineers can now attempt to solve much more complex tasks without having to perform the type of experiments used to generate quantum phenomena, explained Venturelli. However, these machines are just the tip of the quantum iceberg, and Venturelli still pays attention to ground-breaking research that may lead to better quantum devices.

Using the machines, NASA has been working on solving optimization problems, which in its most basic terms means finding the best solution out of many solutions.


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cameron scott's curator insight, March 24, 8:08 AM

The article is a brief insight into what NASA want to accomplish with Quantum Computing in the future. This includes sending robots into space to fulfill orders, set in advance from the scientists. NASA's use of D-wave systems is a key component for this to work as suggested by Davide Venturelli. I believe this could be a vital part of our day to day lives in the upcoming years, especially if they are going to use it to assist airplanes land safer and more efficiently.

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UK Survey: The Link between Bullying and Children’s Body Image | Keir McDonald | PsychCentral.com

UK Survey: The Link between Bullying and Children’s Body Image | Keir McDonald | PsychCentral.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The U.K. government recently released the results of a nationwide survey to better understand public perceptions of body image. Shockingly, they discovered that 87 percent of girls aged 11- 21 think that women are judged more on their appearance than on their ability.

This is worrying. Evidence from academic experts shows that poor body confidence can have a devastating effect. From achieving at school to effectively dealing with bullying, healthy body image is important for children. (The term “body image” describes a person’s comfort level with his or her body, their integrated sense of body and self, and the extent to which their personal value is tied up with their physical appearance.)

Whatever your role with children and young people, we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to give out positive messages about our bodies to further the fight against bullying.

Here are three ways educators and parents can encourage healthy body image in secondary school children.


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Alden.Lakesha.Krystle's curator insight, April 19, 1:32 PM

I absolutely love this article! It is heartbreaking knowning that there are children out there suffering at the hand of bullys, all because they don't fit into today's ideal body image.  Even at a young age, kids are being pressured to look a certain way, when they should be more concerned with their school work and having fun being kids! Its a shame that our society has to base too much of their time on vanity rather than things that are more important--like keeping our youth growing and in unison.  This is just another example of how media and pop culture are reaching people in a negative way.-Krystle

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NASA Follows NIH To Make All Research It Funds Open Access | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

NASA Follows NIH To Make All Research It Funds Open Access | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

We've written in the past about how the National Institute of Health (NIH) requires any research it funds (and it funds a lot) to be published under open access rules via its own PubMed Central platform after a certain period of time.


There have been some efforts in Congress to require other government funded research to go down the same path, and some other agencies have worked on some similar ideas on their own.


Now, NASA has announced that it will be requiring all research published via the $3 billion NASA spends each year to to also be published on the PubMed system (and also within in 12 months, as the NIH requires)

The provisions of NASA’s policy on articles track with those in the current NIH Public Access policy, and will require NASA-funded researchers to deposit articles into the PubMed Central database, to be made accessible with no more than than a 12 month embargo.


However, the NASA plan notes that, “publishers may petition for longer embargo periods, but strong evidence of the benefits would be needed.” This language is notable, as it seems to suggest that any determination of changes in embargo length will be measured against the public good, rather than specific industry concerns.

Also, it looks like the plan will include efforts to make the raw data more available as well:


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School Principal Contacts FBI After Student Throws American Flag Out A Window | Tim Cushing | Techdirt

School Principal Contacts FBI After Student Throws American Flag Out A Window | Tim Cushing | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the stupidest case of school administrators taking federal agencies' names in vain since a Huntsville, AL school swore a phone call from the NSA prompted its secret social media monitoring program, a middle school principal from Espanola, NM is threatening to sic the FBI on a student who threw an American flag out a classroom window.

A middle school principal said a student was misbehaving with his friends and took things too far. The student threw an American flag out a second-story classroom window. Now the principal says the 14-year-old needs to be held accountable.

Sure, maybe a stern discussion with him and his parents and a couple of weeks of detention would do the trick. But that's not enough for Principal Robert Archuleta. He has already suspended the student for 10 days and is now pushing for his expulsion. But he also wants the feds to take control of the situation... because jingoism.


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Developer of Snow Day Calculator weathers the storm ... again ... and again ... and again | Paul McNamara | NetworkWorld.com

Developer of Snow Day Calculator weathers the storm ... again ... and again ... and again | Paul McNamara | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Chances are your children – or their teachers, or you -- have already discovered David Sukhin’s online Snow Day Calculator, which he built as a middle school whiz-kid and continues to maintain today while enrolled at MIT.

Enter your ZIP code, answer a few questions, and the calculator predicts the chances of school being cancelled or hours being adjusted over the next two days. Despite carrying plenty of caveats, the predictions are taken as gospel by some, as evidenced by the diverse user reactions on Twitter (samples under the picture below).

Figuring he must be mighty busy during this never-ending snowstorm in the Northeast, I sent Sukhin a few questions via email:


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38 maps that explain Europe | Matthew Yglesia | Vox.com

Europe, as both a place and a concept, has changed dramatically in its centuries of history. Once one of the world's most war-torn places, it is now known for its remarkable peace.


While a place of relatively great prosperity, it is also experiencing deep economic turmoil. Europe's transformations are still ongoing, evident both at the continental level and as narrowly as along certain transportation lines.


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A Pocket Synthesizer You Play Like a Game Boy | Margaret Rhodes | WIRED.com

A Pocket Synthesizer You Play Like a Game Boy | Margaret Rhodes | WIRED.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Good news for all aspiring Moogs and Moroders: Swedish hardware designers Teenage Engineering have created one of the most accessible pocket synthesizers to date. The Pocket Operator (PO) line includes a drum synthesizer, a bass line synthesizer, and a melody synthesizer. Each one is made of little more than some circuitry and cardboard, and costs $59 each.

That price tag is nice, but it’s not just the price and feather-light weight that could bring these little synth-ing gadgets to the masses. With the PO line, the Teenage Engineering guys have made playing a synthesizer a lot like playing a game. From its size and shape to the black-and-white 8-bit LCD display at the top, the new synths channel the handheld Nintendo systems from the 1980s and 1990s.


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In STEM Courses, a Gender Gap in Online Class Discussions | Rebecca Koenig | The Chronicle of Higher Education

In STEM Courses, a Gender Gap in Online Class Discussions | Rebecca Koenig | The Chronicle of Higher Education | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Women and men behave differently in online class discussions, at least in science, engineering, and computer-science courses, according to a new study conducted by Piazza Technologies, a company that makes a digital class-participation tool.

The company found that women use its program, called Piazza, to ask more questions than do their male peers, but that they answer fewer questions. When women do answer, they are more likely to answer anonymously.

The findings come in the midst of an online debate about male privilege in the sciences. Part of Piazza’s mission is to level the playing field for men and women in academic environments.

Piazza is an online discussion platform that professors at more than 1,000 colleges use to encourage students to ask questions of and answer questions for their classmates. Participation is usually optional, although some professors track students’ use for grading purposes. According to Jessica Gilmartin, Piazza’s chief business officer, most students enrolled in classes that use the tool do participate. Students can post anonymously to their peers, but professors are able to see all students’ names if they choose. Students know when that setting is selected.

The study tracked 420,389 undergraduates and graduate students enrolled in STEM classes in the United States and Canada during four nonconsecutive semesters from the spring of 2012 to the fall of 2014. (If a student took multiple classes during that period, he or she counted as multiple enrollments.)

The study found that, on average, women in computer-science classes asked 2.20 questions and men asked 1.75. In contrast, women answered 0.70 questions and men answered 1.20 questions. For other STEM classes, a similar pattern emerged: Women asked 1.10 questions and men asked 0.90, whereas women answered 0.49 questions and men answered 0.61.


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David W. Deeds's curator insight, February 17, 9:19 AM

Interesting stuff. 

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5 Tips for Teaching the Tough Kids | Josh Work Blog | Edutopia.org

5 Tips for Teaching the Tough Kids | Josh Work Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Every teacher remembers his or her first "tough kid" experience. Maybe the student ignored your directions or laughed at your attempts to utilize the classroom discipline steps. We all have at least one story to share, and for some teachers, teaching a tough kid is a daily challenge. It seems that no matter what teaching techniques you try to pull out of your educator hat, nothing changes their behavior.

I've had the privilege of teaching some tough kids. I say "privilege" for a reason. Teaching these students pushed me to be a better educator and a more compassionate person. I've detailed below five methods that have reduced misbehavior in my classroom and, better still, helped transform these students into leaders among their peers.


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Build an Internet for everyone, everywhere | Alan Davidson & Danielle Kehl OpEd | CNN.com

Build an Internet for everyone, everywhere | Alan Davidson & Danielle Kehl OpEd | CNN.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Editor's Note: Alan Davidson is the director of New America's Open Technology Institute and former director of public policy for Google. Danielle Kehl is a policy analyst at the institute. This is the sixth in a series, "Big Ideas for a New America," in which the think tank New America spotlights experts' solutions to the nation's greatest challenges. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.

For nearly two decades, ubiquitous access to the Internet has been the elusive dream of technologists, policymakers and ordinary users. But today, the prospect of worldwide, always-on and high-speed (or close to it) Internet communications is in sight, and could become a reality within a decade.

The Internet has become the essential communications medium of our time. For students, Internet access is as crucial as textbooks and blackboards. For workers, it's hard to find a job, apply for public benefitsor participate in the global economy without basic connectivity.

Creative solutions to problems such as how to provide efficient health care now assume users will be connected to the Internet, whether they're in an underserved neighborhood in Detroit or a remote village in Brazil. That's why achieving the goal of ubiquitous and affordable Internet access is more important than ever.


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Drone to scan for ancient Amazonia | Jonathan Amos | BBC News

Drone to scan for ancient Amazonia | Jonathan Amos | BBC News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Scientists are to scan the Amazon forest in Brazil to look for evidence of occupation by ancient civilisations.

A drone will be sent up with a laser instrument to peer through the canopy for earthworks that were constructed thousands of years ago.

The UK-led project is trying to determine how big these communities were, and to what degree they altered the landscape.

The data is likely to inform policies on sustainable forest use today.

Researchers announced the initiative at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose.

It has just won a 1.7m-euro (£1.25m; $1.9m) grant from the European Research Council.

The key quest is to try to understand the scale and activities of populations living in the late pre-Columbian period (the last 3,000 years before the Europeans arrived in the 1490s).


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Chesterland, Ohio 8th Graders Take on 3D Printing Projects and Topics in New Quarterly Class | Bridget Butler Millsaps | 3DPrint.com

Chesterland, Ohio 8th Graders Take on 3D Printing Projects and Topics in New Quarterly Class | Bridget Butler Millsaps | 3DPrint.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When it comes to anything of value, we all know it’s important to start ’em young. And that’s exactly what one teacher is doing with a completely ‘from scratch’ 3D printing curriculum for his eighth-graders. Spanning one quarter, the new course is designed to introduce students at the middle school in Chesterland, Ohio to the world of 3D printing from A to Z to include what the technology entails, how to work with 3D design software and 3D print, and also exploring the 3D world — and challenges creating worlds of their own.

Known as West G Middle School, short for West Geauga Middle School, this public school in Northeast Ohio is intent on allowing kids on the cusp of heading to high school to have some pretty cool technological moves before they get there, via 3D design and 3D printing. The course is still in its growing stages, with this being the first year of it being taught upon its inception. Obviously though, its developer and the teacher, Sal Passafiume, is having as much fun as the kids are, which is apparent in the comprehensive curriculum outline, which sounds like something many adults would enjoy attending as well.

In learning about 3D design, as well as the design communities popular today like Thingiverse and Shapeways, the students explore and employ TinkerCAD software for their 3D printing projects.


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1 in 5 children receive food stamps — more than before the recession | Dmitriy Synkov | NEA.org

1 in 5 children receive food stamps — more than before the recession | Dmitriy Synkov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

While some would say the nation is rebounding from the recession, the gains of the recovering economy have not been equally felt throughout the country, especially for vulnerable families and children. Children today, in fact, are more likely to be receiving food stamps than they were before the recession.

One in five children receive food stamps today — that’s 16 million kids, compared to 9 million in 2007, according to recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly half (47%) of those children on food stamps come from single-mother homes. Though significantly smaller in number, children receiving food stamps in both married and unmarried parent homes have also increased, doubling since 2007.

Billy Shore, CEO of Share Our Strength, an anti-child hunger advocacy group, believes that one reason more kids are receiving food stamps is that the “program has done a better job at reaching those who need it.” While it’s positive that needy children are able to access necessary benefits, said Shore, this also shows the reality that while many have “participated in America’s economic recovery in the past few years, many more have not. For many families, there has been no path out poverty.”

According to Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, three out of five teachers have children in their classroom who regularly come to school hungry and four out of five of those teachers say these children come to school hungry at least once a week.


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Google boss warns of 'forgotten century' with email and photos at risk | Ian Sample | The Guardian

Google boss warns of 'forgotten century' with email and photos at risk | Ian Sample | The Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Piles of digitised material – from blogs, tweets, pictures and videos, to official documents such as court rulings and emails – may be lost forever because the programs needed to view them will become defunct, Google’s vice-president has warned.

Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer files become useless junk.

Cerf called for the development of “digital vellum” to preserve old software and hardware so that out-of-date files could be recovered no matter how old they are.

“When you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives that is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people’s tweets, and all of the world wide web, it’s clear that we stand to lose an awful lot of our history,” he said.

“We don’t want our digital lives to fade away. If we want to preserve them, we need to make sure that the digital objects we create today can still be rendered far into the future,” he added.


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Helen Wybrants's curator insight, February 25, 3:59 AM

Food for thought

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Bill Gates: Can online classrooms help the developing world catch up? | Adi Robertson | The Verge

In 2012, a 15-year-old named Battushig Myanganbayar aced a circuits and electronics course designed for sophomores at MIT — from his school in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Myanganbayar had watched lectures in English, a second language, and worked through the course material online with the help of a visiting Stanford Ph.D. candidate, Tony Kim. "If Battushig, at the age of 15, were a student at MIT, he would be one of the top students — if not the top," Kim told The New York Times. In fact, Myanganbayar went on to MIT a year later — crediting the online course as a "watershed" moment.

Myanganbayar’s success is a testament to the power of online educational programs: thanks to revolutionary technology, a prodigious student has access to the education of his dreams. Today, Myanganbayar is even working with edX, the Harvard-MIT joint partnership behind the original course he took from Mongolia, to improve the experience for future students. Behind the student’s story, though, is a larger question: can online classes be used to help not just a few exceptional students, but the developing world at large?

In his foundation’s 2015 annual letter, Bill Gates describes a future in which world-class education is only a few taps away, for anyone in the world. "Before a child even starts primary school, she will be able to use her mom’s smartphone to learn her numbers and letters, giving her a big head start," he speculates. "Software will be able to see when she’s having trouble with the material and adjust for her pace. She will collaborate with teachers and other students in a much richer way." Career paths, Gates speculates, will be built into this new education system — students will be able to lift themselves out of poverty by figuring out the requirements for their chosen field and fulfilling them with online classes. And software will connect students to distant teachers and each other.

While the concept of remote learning is as old as correspondence courses, today it’s often discussed in the context of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. Organized by companies, universities, and nonprofits, MOOCs provide education in the form of online lectures, quizzes, and projects, allowing large numbers of students to learn at a flexible pace.


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Civic Engagement: One Simple Solution to Youth Disconnection | Rebecca Rasch, Sarah Burd-Sharps & Kristen Lewis | Policy Innovation

Civic Engagement: One Simple Solution to Youth Disconnection | Rebecca Rasch, Sarah Burd-Sharps & Kristen Lewis | Policy Innovation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In 2013, over 2.8 million students in the United States were the proud recipients of bachelor's and associates degrees. That same year, about twice as many young adults were neither in school nor working. This translates to more than five and a half million young people who were disconnected from both of these anchor institutions. Who are these young people, and what can be done to help get them on track towards a productive and meaningful adulthood?

Our research on this topic shows that the high personal costs of youth disconnection—teenagers and young adults ages 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor working—are not borne equally. We found racial variation to be tremendous. While about one in eight young Americans in this age range are out of school and work, the rate for African-American young men is one in four, and for Native Americans, the rate is one in five. But another important finding of our research really points the way to solutions that extend beyond a singular focus on workforce readiness and landing that first job. The typical disconnected young person has had a limited, low-quality education and has grown up in poverty surrounded by adults who themselves are also struggling with connection—to employment, to a solid education, and to strong social networks. Put simply: disconnected neighborhoods produce disconnected kids.

In a research project carried out with Opportunity Nation, we examined in-depth one aspect of these challenges: the role social networks play in the lives of disconnected youth. This new research suggests that civic engagement among young people, specifically unpaid volunteering, can play a surprisingly pivotal role in their lives. In fact, the likelihood that a young person is disconnected is cut in half if she or he volunteers with an organization, whether it be a school, church, youth or service organization, etc. This finding holds true for all of the country's 25 largest cities and for youth of low socioeconomic status, teens and young adults with children of their own, and youth of color. Rates of youth disconnection in America's 25 most populous cities are here. Volunteering helps them learn or build the social skills and contacts so vital for first entering the working world, staying employed, and advancing in one's career.


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judyhouse's curator insight, February 20, 6:04 PM

Because young adults ages 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor working— the 1 in 8 who are not born equally, or under racial variation the problem appears more than to be tremendous. 

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Gov. Scott Walker’s lying mess: How a tough Wisconsin teacher schooled the governor | Joan Walsh | Salon.com

Gov. Scott Walker’s lying mess: How a tough Wisconsin teacher schooled the governor | Joan Walsh | Salon.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker jumped to the front of the unimpressive GOP 2016 presidential pack thanks in large part to rave reviews for his speech at the conservative Iowa Freedom Summit late last month. (The Washington Post charts the impact of the speech here.)

But it turns out one of its most powerful moments was a lie.

Walker told the story of Megan Sampson, whom he said was “the [2010] Outstanding Teacher of the Year in my state.” He claimed Sampson was laid off that same year by Milwaukee Public Schools because of union seniority rules, which were abolished by Act 10, the 2011 legislation that dismantled protections for public employees.

In fact, Sampson was not the Outstanding Teacher of the Year, not even one of them. An actual 2010 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, Claudia Klein Felske, who won the high school award, laid out the extent of Walker’s fib in an open letter to Walker posted on the Marquette Educator site Monday. There were also awards given for middle school, elementary school and special services teachers of the year, she explained, but Sampson was not among them.

It turns out the award Megan Sampson received was the “Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award,” given to “an outstanding first year teacher of language arts” by a small Wisconsin English teachers association. Winners nominate themselves, and there were fewer than a dozen such nominations that year.

It’s true that Sampson was sent a layoff notice due to state budget cuts that year, and seniority was one factor, but she was recalled to her post that same summer. She declined the job, and went to teach in the suburbs.

And while Walker was boasting that his 2011 rollback of public workers’ rights made layoffs of younger teachers like Sampson impossible, in fact Act 10 doesn’t even prevent the use of seniority in layoffs. (Uppity Wisconsin has a good recap of Walker’s distortions here.)

Walker has used Sampson politically before. In a 2011 Wall Street Journal editorial, he told her story a tiny bit differently, saying she “was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin,” while still using her to hype his assault on collective bargaining.


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GA: With telehealth, doctors can see Colquitt County students while they're still in school | Moultrie Observer

GA: With telehealth, doctors can see Colquitt County students while they're still in school | Moultrie Observer | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Four organizations have partnered to improve access to medical care for school children in Colquitt County.

Colquitt Regional Medical Foundation, the Colquitt County Board of Education, the Colquitt County Health Department and the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth are working together to establish the Packer Health Clinic, a school based telehealth clinic that will be located at Stringfellow Elementary, Okapilco Elementary and C.A. Gray Jr. High.

“The clinics will aim to meet the minor health needs of students without the students having to be absent from school,” said a press release from the hospital. “School nurses, utilizing medical devices equipped with cameras, will work with local healthcare providers who will view the images on a computer screen at their offices. Written parental consent will be required prior to students participating in the program. Parents are allowed to attend and encouraged, but it is not required.”

Local healthcare providers participating include Dr. Patricia Lee June, Dr. Woody Weeks and Nurse Practitioner Cassidy Fowler.

Services offered at the clinic include but are not limited to care for acute illnesses (i.e. sore throat, earache, skin rash), management of ongoing care of existing medical conditions (i.e. asthma), and lab tests (i.e. strep tests, flu screens, urine analysis).

The Packer Health Clinic is part of the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth Network and has access to network specialists. This will allow students needing specialty care not available locally to receive medical attention from a specialist without leaving Colquitt County.


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