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Takin’ it to the screens: How digital activism helps students | Amanda Litvonov | NEA.org

Takin’ it to the screens: How digital activism helps students | Amanda Litvonov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Click. Follow. Tweet. Share. Send.

To engage as an advocate for your students, start with simple actions: Open your email, post on social media, add your name to petitions and—most important of all—share your story with elected leaders who represent you.

“We need to be able to talk to our elected leaders about what’s actually occurring at the local level in our schools and how their policies are impacting our students,” says Joshua Brown, who teaches global studies at Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Our stories resonate with citizens and lawmakers alike, whether we convey them in person or online,” says Brown.

He’s right. Digital activism isn’t just convenient. It’s undeniably effective. Here are a few recent examples of successful online campaigns:


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Artist creates animated life-size Mechanical Horse | Ben Coxworth | GizMag.com

As a child, Brooklyn-based metal sculptor Adrian Landon played with Lego a lot. He also learned about horses from his polo-playing dad, who in turn learned about them from his father, who was an equine veterinarian. That background set the stage for Landon's latest work of art, a stainless steel life-size Mechanical Horse that gallops in slow motion at the press of a button.

Adrian began work on the project in 2013, after having built a series of non-moving horse sculptures over the previous four years. With no background in engineering, he set about designing the thing from scratch using a pencil and paper.

The resulting piece was a little too far from perfect, so he decided to scrap it and build another. This time around, he designed it using a 3D CAD program. Although it was still "a laborious headache," he feels that the final product is 10 times better than its predecessor.

"It’s like inventing a car from scratch, and it definitely won’t be perfect the first time," he said.


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Artists Turn Songs into 3D-Printed Sculptures | Sami Emory | The Creators Project

Music becomes tactile and textured in Brooklyn-based design studio REIFY’s 3D-printed sound sculptures. Using an unconventional array of printing materials—plastic, bronze, and even coconut husks—REIFY weaves country hits, classical concertos, and more into honeycombed geometries. When paired with REIFY’s augmented reality smartphone app, the sculptures come alive, singing their original soundwaves back to viewers.

Founder and CEO Allison Woods, along with master technologist Kei Gowda, creative coder David Lobser, and UX/UI designer Christine Whitehall, developed REIFY through their membership at the museum-led incubator that is NEW INC. Now, the team has gained enough traction to launch their own studio in Bushwick, although they plan to continue collaborating with both the New Museum and the NEW INC program.

Although the majority of their current work involves single-track musical input, REIFY plans to print whole albums, poems, and any other sonic sources that could shape their designs into something that looks—and sounds—catchy and new.


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Bill West's curator insight, April 14, 3:25 PM

More sculptural freedom from the musical sounds of life...

I am impressed - sound and sculpture!

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Governor says university cuts may be permanent | Howard Fischer | AZ Capitol Times

Governor says university cuts may be permanent | Howard Fischer | AZ Capitol Times | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Gov. Doug Ducey suggested Thursday that the funding cuts just imposed on the state’s three universities might be permanent.

And he would not rule out future reductions in state aid.

In his first appearance ever before the Board of Regents, the governor said he wants the board to create “a sustainable long–term business plan that addresses the needs of students and the business community that depends on their success.” And Ducey said that can’t all rely on state aid.

Ducey, who is a member of the board – but has never before gone to a meeting since taking office in January – promised to work with them.

But the governor sidestepped a direct question by board member Bill Ridenour of whether Ducey would commit to restoring some of the $99 million he and the Legislature cut in university funding just last month, that on top of funding reductions in prior years.

The governor responded by citing “the difficulty of the financial situation of the state and the shortfall that we faced coming into office.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ducey was no more forthcoming about promising future funding. He said the state now puts about 7 percent of its $9.1 billion budget into universities.

“Of course, there’s opportunity for that to go up,” he said. “But we need a growing economy to make that happen.”

But Ducey said the state’s finances forced him and lawmakers “to make difficult and permanent decisions.”

Nor was he willing to say that the current level of funding – about $650 million compared with more than $1 billion just eight years ago – is the floor.

“We are managing in a time of some scarcity,” Ducey said.


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Blue Origin's BE-3 engine cleared for flight | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Blue Origin's BE-3 engine cleared for flight | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Blue Origin has taken a step closer to lifting into space by announcing that its BE‑3 rocket engine has completed acceptance testing, opening the door to its first flight. The first new hydrogen engine to be developed in the US in over a decade, the BE-3 is part of Blue Origin's program to develop a completely reusable launch system.

Less than two years ago, the BE-3 rocket engine made its first test firing at the company’s West Texas facility in Van Horn. Since then, according to Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, the 110,000-lbf engine has completed 30,000 seconds of firing time over 450 tests, which included multiple mission duty cycles, deep throttling, and off-nominal testing points. Bezos says that this opens the way for an eventual suborbital test flight.

The BE-3 is notable as the first new liquid hydrogen engine since the RS-68 engine for the Delta IV booster went into service in 2002. The BE-3, which can be continuously throttled between 110,000 lbf and 20,000 lbf thrust, is part of a vertical takeoff and landing Reusable Booster System, which will allow the spacecraft to fly again rather than be disposed off after one mission, as is the case with the conventional boosters.


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Is It Acceptable For Academics To Pay For Privatized, Expedited Peer Review? | Glyn Moody | Techdirt

Is It Acceptable For Academics To Pay For Privatized, Expedited Peer Review? | Glyn Moody | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Academic publishing is going through a turbulent time, not least because of the rise of open access, which disrupts the traditional model in key ways. But in one respect, open access is just like the old-style academic publishing it is replacing: it generally employs peer review to decide whether papers should be accepted, although there are some moves to open up peer review too. As this story from Science makes clear, commercial publishers are innovating here as well, although not always in ways that academics like:

An editor of Scientific Reports, one of Nature Publishing Group's (NPG's) open-access journals, has resigned in a very public protest of NPG's recent decision to allow authors to pay money to expedite peer review of their submitted papers.

According to the Science article, there are now several companies making millions of dollars from this kind of privatized, expedited peer review. Here's more about Research Square, the one employed by NPG:


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Rhee Cheating Investigation Dregs Up Old Memos | Joy Resmovits | HuffPost.com

Rhee Cheating Investigation Dregs Up Old Memos | Joy Resmovits | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

More than five years after Michelle Rhee took over Washington, D.C., public schools, and nearly three years after she left her position as chancellor, critics are still looking for closure and demanding a more rigorous investigation of the seeming rise in student test scores under her reign.

In what's become an annual ritual of sorts, D.C. school administrators on Friday released an investigation into the district's 2012 standardized tests. The report concluded that 11 schools had "critical" test security violations -- and in some cases, teacher cheating -- on last year's DC Comprehensive Assessment System.

A&M investigated 41 testing groups -- students tested by the same administrator in the same environment -- after they were flagged for certain indicators, like having many answers erased and changed from wrong to right and low score variations.

At Kenilworth Elementary School, according to auditing firm Alvarez and Marsal, a student told investigators that a teacher would "point to the question I got wrong and say to pick another [answer]."

Still, only 18 of the testing groups investigated were found have critical violations, amounting to 0.6 percent of all those in the district. So far, no teachers have been dismissed because of the investigation, DCPS spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz said.

The findings may seem negligible, but school districts nationwide are on alert after a grand jury two weeks ago indicted 35 educators for a widespread cheating scandal in Atlanta. And in D.C., the annual investigation of student tests has its roots in controversy: The results come as renewed questions swirl around the veracity of testing data that came out of DCPS when Rhee served as chancellor of the district, from 2007 to 2010.


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NASA code-a-thon uses IBM cloud to build space tech | Sharon Gaudin | ComputerWorld.com

NASA code-a-thon uses IBM cloud to build space tech | Sharon Gaudin | ComputerWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

NASA this weekend is pulling together more than 10,000 developers, scientists, students and entrepreneurs across 62 countries for a code-a-thon aimed at building technology for space exploration.

Using IBM's cloud development platform, Bluemix, participants will be tasked with developing mobile apps, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions. The technology being developed will address one of 35 different challenges across four research topic areas -- outer space, Earth, humans and robotics.

The individual challenges include areas like designing a spacecraft for an asteroid mission, creating a robotic asteroid-hunting machine, and creating a drone to be used on a spacecraft.

Called the NASA Space App Challenge, the three-day code-a-thon will offer participants more than 200 NASA data sources, including data sets, services and tools, supplied through real-life missions and technology.

"IBM is supporting the NASA Space App Challenge because we saw a great opportunity to contribute to an important cause," said Sandy Carter, general manager of IBM's Cloud Ecosystem and Developers. "Not only are we helping participants build applications that will be used to improve space exploration and life on earth - two initiatives that impact all of humanity - but we're also helping them build their skills for cloud development while helping to cultivate an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields."


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Rural Libraries and Broadband Adoption | Brian Whitacre & Colin Rhinesmith | Daily Yonder

Rural Libraries and Broadband Adoption | Brian Whitacre & Colin Rhinesmith | Daily Yonder | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Rural libraries have long been a crucial part of the small-town way of life: from developing reading programs for both youth and adults, to providing a place to go on-line and ask technology questions, to simply serving as a gathering place for community events. They are often taken for granted by many residents, but are undoubtedly a source of community pride and identity.

Now we’ve found through a new study that rural libraries may also provide another important benefit: They may increase local rates of household broadband adoption.

Our study found that, even after controlling for other things that likely influence broadband adoption (such as levels of income, education, and age), an additional library in a rural county was associated with higher residential broadband adoption rates. The size of the relationship was not large – each additional library would increase the local adoption rate by roughly 1% – however, libraries were the only type of “community anchor institution” to show any kind of relationship. Perhaps most importantly, this link was only found for libraries in the most rural counties.


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Comet dust sends ESA'S Rosetta Space Probe into safe mode | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Comet dust sends ESA'S Rosetta Space Probe into safe mode | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Modern deep space probes may be among the most sophisticated pieces of hardware the 21st century can produce, but that doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to the age-old problem of dust. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta space probe was thrown into safe mode recently when it was unable to take a simple star fix due to comet dust.

Since it left orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, Rosetta has been executing a series of flybys at various altitudes to learn more about the comet as it approaches the Sun. On March 28, it came within 14 km (8.6 mi) of the surface when it had problems navigating and began to lose its radio link with Earth, which resulted in the spacecraft going into safe mode.

According to ESA, the cause was Rosetta's star trackers. These are standard equipment on spacecraft, which use them to orient themselves. Since a compass is useless in deep space and gyros tend to drift, space probes keep on the straight and narrow by taking sightings on the stars in a manner that any mariner of the 18th century would understand. By identifying various key stars and triangulating their positions, a spacecraft can calculate its trajectory and its attitude.


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Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Literacy | Andrew Marcinek Blog | Edutopia.org

Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Literacy | Andrew Marcinek Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In all of my work in education, there has never been a more motivating or driving force than student voice. Additionally, we live in a generation where anyone in the world can take his or her voice and amplify it globally.


But after reading Student Voice: The Instrument of Change by Dr. Russ Quaglia and Michael Corso, I realized that there is more to empowering student voice than simply handing a student a blog and telling him or her to write.


In fact, one of the biggest takeaways from this work is that some students might not be prepared to amplify their voice to the world.


With Digital Learning Day fast approaching, I wanted to share some ideas that can help teachers nurture student voice before sending it off into the world.


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What happened when researchers posted fake iPhone ads online from people in poor neighborhoods | Emily Badger | WashPost.com

What happened when researchers posted fake iPhone ads online from people in poor neighborhoods | Emily Badger | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Let's say you're in the market for an iPhone, used, online. Consider this ad:

I’m selling my black iPhone 5. It’s in great condition and includes all of the original items - head phones, box, charger. It’s never been dropped or scratched.

At $340, it's a good deal, about 10 percent cheaper than what most iPhone 5s are selling for in the D.C. market online. The logistics:

I live in Anacostia and can meet you in Gallery Pl.

Would those last details catch your attention, or sway you in any way onto the next listing? A new study from researchers at NYU suggests that this happens: Fewer would-be buyers are likely to respond to an ad like this when it looks like the seller comes from a low-income neighborhood.

This finding, from research by Max Besbris, Jacob William Faber, Peter Rich and Patrick Sharkey, suggests that the stigma attached to disadvantaged neighborhoods can affect even the ability of people who live there to do a task as small as trying to sell a used phone online. It suggests that where you live in the real world matters online, too — especially if that place evokes negative assumptions about race and class.

We know well that high-poverty neighborhoods entail all kinds of other disadvantages: They often have fewer jobs, worse schools, higher crime and lower quality housing. This study shows that the perception of a neighborhood tied up in all of these problems — the stigma — also follows the people who live there in contexts far from the neighborhood.

"You carry it with you even if you leave your neighborhood and the structural lack of opportunity that might be there," says Rich, a doctoral candidate in sociology at NYU. "It still is with you."


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How Code-Switching Explains The World | Gene Demby | Code Switch Team | NPR.org

How Code-Switching Explains The World | Gene Demby | Code Switch Team | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

So you're at work one day and you're talking to your colleagues in that professional, polite, kind of buttoned-up voice that people use when they're doing professional work stuff.

Your mom or your friend or your partner calls on the phone and you answer. And without thinking, you start talking to them in an entirely different voice — still distinctly your voice, but a certain kind of your voice less suited for the office. You drop the g's at the end of your verbs. Your previously undetectable accent — your easy Southern drawl or your sing-songy Caribbean lilt or your Spanish-inflected vowels or your New Yawker — is suddenly turned way, way up. You rush your mom or whomever off the phone in some less formal syntax ("Yo, I'mma holler at you later,"), hang up and get back to work.

Then you look up and you see your co-workers looking at you and wondering who the hell you'd morphed into for the last few minutes. That right there? That's what it means to code-switch.

You're looking at the launch of a new team covering race, ethnicity and culture at NPR. We decided to call this team Code Switch because much of what we'll be exploring are the different spaces we each inhabit and the tensions of trying to navigate between them. In one sense, code-switching is about dialogue that spans cultures. It evokes the conversation we want to have here.

Linguists would probably quibble with our definition. (The term arose in linguistics specifically to refer to mixing languages and speech patterns in conversation.) But we're looking at code-switching a little more broadly: many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities — sometimes within a single interaction.

When you're attuned to the phenomenon of code-switching, you start to see it everywhere, and you begin to see the way race, ethnicity and culture plays out all over the place.


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How to Create an Infographic in Under an Hour | Pamela Vaughan Blog | HubSpot.com

How to Create an Infographic in Under an Hour |  Pamela Vaughan Blog | HubSpot.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Wouldn't it be great if creating infographics was just as simple as writing regular ole text-based blog posts? Unfortunately, the reality is that making visual content like this usually takes a lot more time, effort, and let's face it -- skill -- than the written word. Usually.

But considering the popularity and effectiveness of visual content in marketing today, you can't just afford to throw in the towel. That's why we decided to take all the pain and suffering out of infographic creation. Seriously -- don't throw in the towel just yet. You, too, can create professional-looking, high-quality infographics ... quickly! And I'm going to prove it. First things first.


Then all you have to do is provide the content to use inside them. Easy as that! In fact, I'm going to show you just how easy it is by taking one of our 10 infographic templates in PowerPoint (pictured above) and creating my own customized infographic with it. Then I'll explain exactly what I did so you get a sense of how easy it really is. Let's begin!


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Astronomers detect the building blocks of life in a distant star system | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

Astronomers detect the building blocks of life in a distant star system | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe the protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star, revealing the presence of complex organic molecules that represent the building blocks of life. The findings mark the first time that such a discovery has been made.

The new observations focused on the star system MWC 480, located some 455 light-years from Earth. Just one million years old, the star is around twice the mass of the Sun, and is in the very early stages of development, having only recently emerged from a stellar womb of gas dust, and with no signs of planet formation yet detected.

The ALMA observations revealed large volumes of the complex, carbon-based molecule methyl cyanide, as well as hydrogen cyanide. They were found in the outer reaches of the star's disk – a region thought to be similar to the Kuiper Belt, which resides beyond the planets in our own Solar System.

The detected molecules contain carbon-nitrogen bonds essential in the formation of amino acids that are, in turn, the foundation of proteins. Through the study of comets, we know that similar molecules were present during the same stage of development in our own Solar System, and in similar concentrations observed in MWC 480's protoplanetary disk.


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150 years after Lincoln assassination, massive online archive goes live | Lucas Mearian | NetworkWorld.com

150 years after Lincoln assassination, massive online archive goes live | Lucas Mearian | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination approaches, a massive online archive has gone live containing 99,525 documents related to the Civil War-era commander-in-chief.


The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a joint digitization project sponsored by The University of Illinois and the Abraham Lincoln Association, is dedicated to identifying, imaging, transcribing, annotating, and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime. Lincoln was assassinated in Ford' Theater in Washington, D.C.  on April 14, 1865.


Data storage vendor Iron Mountain has provided 40TB of online cloud storage for the project, which is expected to grow by another 50% over the next five years. So far, the archive includes more than 67,000 written documents available in image form online where users can browse or search by title and date.

The Papers consist of three types:


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Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water | Niels Bohr Institute | University of Copenhagen

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water | Niels Bohr Institute | University of Copenhagen | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that underneath the dust there are glaciers composed of frozen water.


New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers. It is the equivalent of all of Mars being covered by more than one meter of ice. The results are published in the scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letter.


Several satellites orbit Mars and on satellite images, researchers have been able to observe the shape of glaciers just below the surface. For a long time scientists did not know if the ice was made of frozen water (H2O) or of carbon dioxide (CO2) or whether it was mud.

Using radar measurements from the NASA satellite, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers have been able to determine that is water ice. But how thick was the ice and do they resemble glaciers on Earth?

A group of researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have now calculated this using radar observations combined with ice flow modelling.

“We have looked at radar measurements spanning ten years back in time to see how thick the ice is and how it behaves. A glacier is after all a big chunk of ice and it flows and gets a form that tells us something about how soft it is. We then compared this with how glaciers on Earth behave and from that we have been able to make models for the ice flow,” explains Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson, a postdoc at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.


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Is the One World Observatory about to offer the best view in the Western Hemisphere? | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

Is the One World Observatory about to offer the best view in the Western Hemisphere? | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Positioned toward the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, New York's One World Observatory should offer visitors an amazing view of New York City and the surrounding area. It's set to open to the general public on May 29 and will cost adults US$32 per ticket.

There's a little more to the One World Observatory than just a big window at the top of the One World Trade Center – as you'd hope for $32 a ticket – and it comprises a total of three floors. Visitors will start at the Global Welcome Center featuring a world map and then view some presentations that tell the story behind the tower and those who built it.


Visitors will then take a sub 60-second ride in the so-called "Sky Pods" elevators to the 102nd floor, where they will find the See Forever Theater. The Sky Pods feature floor-to-ceiling LEDs that recreate New York City’s skyline from the 17th Century to the present in a time-lapse, while the theater shows yet another presentation. The 101st floor is wholly given over to restaurants, and features a total of three dining areas.


The Main Observatory is situated on the 100th floor, over 381 m (1,250 ft) above street level, and boasts an interactive skyline view, dubbed City Pulse. Staff will be stationed under a ring of HD monitors and outfitted with gesture recognition gear to provide guests with close-up views of the skyline and recommendations of what to cast their gaze upon.


The Main Observatory also includes something called the Sky Portal, which is a 4.2 m (14 ft)-wide circular disc that visitors step onto and watch real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below.


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iPads < Teachers | Peg Tyre @ Bright | Medium.com

iPads < Teachers - Bright - Medium

At the Carpe Diem-Meridian School in Indianapolis, row after row of students are wearing headphones and staring into computer screens. Although they look like employees at a call center, they are actually fifteen-year-olds tackling algebra concepts. Their lessons were delivered earlier in the day by a software program offered by Edgenuity and reinforced by an instructor. Now the students are working through problems on their monitors, to show they have mastered it. Their results will be quickly fed back to their instructors, who will use it to shape the next day’s instruction.


Two students finish quickly and check the overhead monitor for their next task. Others are sweating through sophisticated problems. A few, who are struggling with the material, are working on problems that a software algorithm has determined are simpler but will help build the foundational skills they need. And, as in any classroom, some students are using ancient technology that has become less central at Carpe Diem schools — a notepad and a pen — to make abstract doodles.


Improvements in public education, we are told, are going to be accelerated, disrupted, and finally transformed by technology-assisted personalized learning (also known as blended learning). For the first time in the history of schooling, kids can interact with their teachers through personal computers or iPads. With adaptive assessment, continuous feedback will create a constantly changing portrait of what kids know, allowing algorithms to recalibrate lessons to fit students’ needs.


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What Letter Should We Add to STEM? | The Atlantic

What Letter Should We Add to STEM? | The Atlantic | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, we asked a group of academics within some of America's top universities to debate how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) could be benefitted by another letter.


"I have no hesitation in saying we need to add the letter A," says Harvard University education professor Howard Gardner. "An education devoid of arts…is an empty, half-brain kind of education."


Other panelists include Sebastian Thrun, Drew Faust, Erika Christakis, and Nicholas Dirks.


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How YouTube, Big Data and Big Brands Mean Trouble For Kids and Parents | Jeff Chester | AlterNet.org

How YouTube, Big Data and Big Brands Mean Trouble For Kids and Parents | Jeff Chester | AlterNet.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

There is a “digital gold rush” underway to cash in on young people’s passion for interactive media. Google and other media and ad companies are working to transform kids’ clicks and views into bundles of cash and burgeoning brand loyalty. While TV still dominates a great deal of kids’ media viewing, they are also consuming content (often simultaneously) on mobile devices, tablets, and through streaming or video-on-demand services.


In February, Google launched its YouTube Kids app for children five and under; Disney acquired leading youth-focused online video producer Maker Studios last year in a more than $500 million deal, giving it control of “the largest content network on YouTube”; Viacom’s Cartoon Network (CN) now offers CN’s “Anything,” providing mobile phone-friendly “micro” content and promising to serve a “network of devices giving a network of experiences to a network of fans”; and Amazon, Netflix, and others are sending more “kid targeted” streaming video-on-demand programming.

But unlike broadcast and cable TV, where there is at least a handful of FCC regulations that prevent some of the worst practices perfected by advertisers for targeting kids, the online world is mostly a regulatory-free zone when it comes to digital marketing.


Advocates and child-health experts fought a long campaign, from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, to ensure that TV didn’t take unfair advantage of how kids relate to advertising—so that shows weren’t simply “program-length commercials” for toys, or that the “host” or star of a program—such as a cartoon character—didn’t also pitch products at the same time. There were also modest limits in how many ads could appear in so-called “kidvid” programming.


These rules reflected research on children’s development and their inability to fully comprehend the nature of advertising. The FCC policies embraced an important principle: children were to be treated differently than adults when it came to TV advertising.

Such safeguards are even more important in the digital era, when sophisticated advertising techniques gather and analyze data on everything an individual does, and incorporate an array of powerful interactive features on mobile devices and PCs that have been designed to get results.


Parents and others who care about children should be forewarned: For Google, Facebook, media companies like Nickelodeon, toy companies, and junk food marketers, the Internet is a medium whose primary focus is to help brand advertisers turn young people into fans, “influencers” (to spread the word via social media), and buyers of products.


Although children benefit from using educational apps, and have greater access to more diverse entertainment and other content, the motivation really at work is to mold this generation of youth into super-consumers, encouraged to engage in a never-ending buying cycle of goods and services.


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Tom Shaw's curator insight, April 9, 4:51 PM

Super-consumers? get your capes ready.

Rachel Benoit's curator insight, April 10, 3:25 PM

Do you think our kids are in danger of becoming super-consumers of technology?

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Rijksmuseum Digitizes & Makes Free Online 210,000 Works of Art, Masterpieces Included! | OpenCulture.com

Rijksmuseum Digitizes & Makes Free Online 210,000 Works of Art, Masterpieces Included! | OpenCulture.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

We all found it impressive when Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum put up 125,000 Dutch works of art online. “Users can explore the entire collection, which is handily sorted by artist, subject, style and even by events in Dutch history,” explained Kate Rix in our first post announcing it. ” “Not only can users create their own online galleries from selected works in the museum’s collection, they can download Rijksmuseum artwork for free to decorate new products.”


But we posted that almost two and a half years ago, and you can hardly call the Rijksmuseum an institution that sits idly by while time passes, or indeed does anything at all by half measures: think of their creation of Rembrandt’s Facebook timeline, their commissioning of late Rembrandt canvases brought to life, or of their accommodation of terminally ill patients visiting one last time.


And so they’ve kept hard at work adding to their digital archive, which, as of this writing, offers nearly 210,000 works of art. This brings them within shouting distance of having doubled the collection in size since we first wrote about it.


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Framing digital capabilities for staff | Helen Beetham Blog | JiscInvolve.org

Framing digital capabilities for staff | Helen Beetham Blog | JiscInvolve.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Recent consultations by Jisc have highlighted the need for institutions to take a strategic approach to the digital capabilities of their staff. We hear from students – for example at the recent Change Agents Network event – that teachers who are confident with digital tools make a real difference to their learning.


We know that world-class research depends on the use of digital data and that researchers need to collaborate virtually and communicate their ideas through digital media. When staff are comfortable in their digital environment they can work more effectively. Their teaching and research has more impact, they are better plugged in to subject networks and they are well placed to take on new challenges.

The Digital Capabilities challenge was scoped over the course of several consultation events, as Sarah Davies explains below.


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Universities on the Brink of a Nervous Breakdown | Zocalo Public Square | Time.com

Universities on the Brink of a Nervous Breakdown | Zocalo Public Square | Time.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.


What will it take to redesign and reinvigorate American higher education?


Pretty much anyone you talk to in America today has an opinion about what’s wrong with our universities. Parents think they’re too expensive. Recent graduates fear being crushed by debt and ending up untrained for the current job market. Professors worry that entering students have not been adequately prepared by their high schools. Economists and sociologists point to troubling studies about a lack of diversity—in both income and race—on American campuses. In Silicon Valley, they talk about MOOCs and STEM, flipped classrooms and gamification. And in Washington, D.C., they talk about federal aid and compliance, Title IX and irresponsible lending.

It’s safe to say that American universities are under fire—for everything from perpetuating inequality to failing to adapt to our digital age. In advance of the Zócalo event “What Are Universities For?” we asked scholars: Does the contemporary university need to be redesigned to address these problems—and if so, how?


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The Internet Never Ends: You Can Deny That Or Embrace It | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

The Internet Never Ends: You Can Deny That Or Embrace It | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Over at NiemanLab, there's a good interview with Tom Standage who runs the Economist's digital efforts, in which he reveals the Economist's general view of how it approaches the internet -- which could be summarized as "deny it exists." Basically, the argument that Standage makes is that people want to feel like they've "completed" something and that they're fully informed, and so the Economist likes to pretend that once you've read it, you're completely informed and you don't have to look elsewhere. This is also why the Economist refuses to link to anyone else, because it would disabuse you of the "illusion" that the Economist provided you everything you needed:

...what we actually sell is what I like to call the feeling of being informed when you get to the very end. So we sell the antidote to information overload — we sell a finite, finishable, very tightly curated bundle of content. And we did that initially as a weekly print product. Then it turns out you can take that same content and deliver it through an app.

The “you’ve got to the end and now you’ve got permission to go do something else” is something you never get. You can never finish the Internet, you can never finish Twitter, and you can never really finish The New York Times, to be honest. So at its heart is that we have this very high density of information, and the promise we make to the reader is that if you trust us to filter and distill the news, and if you give us an hour and a half of your time — which is roughly how long people spend reading The Economist each week — then we’ll tell you what matters in the world and what’s going on. And if you only read one thing, we want to be the desert-island magazine. And our readers, that’s what they say.

And as for links:

Another aspect of it is — and I get all the morning briefings, Sentences, the FT one, and Quartz’s, and the rest of them — is that we don’t do links. The reason that we don’t do links, again, if you want to get links you can get them from other people. You can go on Twitter and get as many as you like. But the idea was everything that you need to know is distilled into this thing that you can get to the end of, and you can get to the end of it without worrying that you should’ve clicked on those links in case there was something interesting. So we’ve clicked on the links already and we’ve decided what’s interesting, and we’ve put it in Espresso.

That’s the same that we do in the weekly as well — we’re not big on linking out. And it’s not because we’re luddites, or not because we don’t want to send traffic to other people. It’s that we don’t want to undermine the reassuring impression that if you want to understand Subject X, here’s an Economist article on it — read it and that’s what you need to know. And it’s not covered in links that invite you to go elsewhere.

Mathew Ingram rightly calls this view of things selling an illusion. He notes that such an illusion can be very powerful -- and even very satisfying and appealing. But it's still an illusion.


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