Beginning this fall, French primary school students will have the option of learning computer science
The French are known for lots of things, such as their love of good food, fine wine and great art. It appears now that, if the government has its way, the French will soon also be known for something else: their computer programming prowess.
France’s Minister of National Education, Benoît Hamon, said in a recent interview with Le Journal du Dimanche that programming courses will be offered to primary school students starting this fall. The courses, which will be optional and offered during extracurricular time, will teach students programming basics and how to create simple applications. Hamon also expressed a desire that programming be offered at the secondary school level. The goal, he said, is to give French students the keys to thrive in a connected world and to encourage them go into technical vocations.
Some questions as to how this will work remain to be answered. For example, who will teach the courses? Hamon suggested that some, like math teachers, will be more naturally inclined than others. He also said that 9,000 French schools that currently do not have broadband access will have it by September. Also, Hamon gave no specifics about the actual curriculum, like what languages would be taught.
France is just the latest in a line of countries that are encouraging or even requiring that students as young as those in elementary school learn programming. Here are some examples of other countries that have already implemented or will soon implement such programs.
STEMworks Welcome to the the STEMworks application website, a portal for STEM learning programs that are interested in applying to Change the Equation's STEMworks database of effective STEM learning programs. STEMworks is a leading resource for businesses that are looking for proven programs that meet their philanthropic priorities. It houses an expanding number of STEM learning programs that have met CTEq's rigorous Design Principles and Rubric for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Business leaders, other funders, and STEM advocates search STEMworks for programs that are most likely to help them maximize the impact of their investments. STEMworks is accepting new applications from July 14 through September 12! For more information about the application process, visit the How it Works page. STEMworks was created in collaboration with WestEd, an independent, nonprofit research, development, and service organization.
KnowledgeWorks Announces New Partnership in New Tech Network to Expand Innovative Learning and Student Achievement
Napa, Ca July 1, 2014– The KnowledgeWorks Foundation announced today it will spinout California-based New Tech Network (NTN) to become an independent non-profit organization, in order to advance NTN to the next stage of the innovative school network’s growth.
The spinout is being led by long time NTN supporter and KnowledgeWorks board member Barry Schuler. The Schuler Family Fund has agreed to seed an initial $10 million grant and KnowledgeWorks is committing an additional $1.5 million. Schuler is spearheading additional development and matching efforts. The new financial support for NTN will fund ongoing operations and new program initiatives.
How to get a class involved with an open source project
Posted 27 Jun 2013 by
Ruth Suehle(Red Hat)
Image by : opensource.com We talk about "community" a lot when it comes to open source, but it's important to remember that just like local communities within a city, town, state, and country, each community has its own culture. One community is not just like another. Each has its own ways of communication and tracking and decision-making. Processes for code submission differ—perhaps two communities both use Bugzilla, but with different flags. Others require you to also alert a mailing list. A large software project may even have smaller sub-communities within it with their own customs and quirks.
Learning these differences is important to the success of your involvement in an open source project, and students need to understand these nuances when they're getting involved. For this year's POSSE class, Heidi Ellis and Joanie Diggs offered suggestions that apply broadly to getting yourself as an instructor and a class involved in a community.
Be productively lost. Maybe you've gotten involved in a large community, and you simply feel lost. The scope is just too broad. The best thing you can do is learn whom to ask when you have questions.
Give back. FOSS survives on contributions. It's core to the process. You can pay back in documentation, reviews, and testing—all sorts of ways that don't necessarily involve code. Small contributions are valuable! And eventually you can be the resource for the next newcomer who has questions like you once did.
Opportunism reigns. FOSS development tends to be highly opportunistic, which means your plan for a 10-15 week term may fall apart two weeks into the semester. Recognize that and be prepared.
If it isn't public, it didn't happen. Decisions in FOSS are made only on public artifacts, including mailing lists, forums, and IRC. If it's not public, it's not accountable, and it's not a contribution. Ideas are shared before they're perfect, and that's OK. Get used to public communication, and get your students used to it as well.
Ask forgiveness, not permission. Very little in FOSS can't be reverted. Try new things. Something may turn out to not be in line with the community's intentions, but it may turn out to be interesting and useful to them after all. Branches are free, and sometimes odd experiments have interesting results.
Keep a history. Version control helps a lot—history-keeping should be automatic whenever possible. History helps students understand the project and gives you context for why the project is headed in a particular direction. It also helps someone else pick up where the previous contributor—like a student leaving at the end of a term—left off.
Finally, remember that at the end of the course, it's better to communicate undone work than to do uncommunicated work. Students need to gracefully hand off their work. Have them document what's remaining to do and try to find someone to continue it (and make it better) or leave it in a place that's easy to find with a clear note that it needs a maintainer. The contribution isn't complete until a handoff has been achieved.
POSSE (Professor's Open Source Summer/Software Experience) is professional development for instructors interested in student participation in free and open source software. This post is based on a presentation at POSSE 2013 by Joanie Diggs and Heidi Ellis.
A daring plot to pave roadways with solar panels has raised over $2 milliondespite questions about the costs and effectiveness of such a network. Scott and Julie Brusaw have received more than 40,000 donations — the most ever on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo — and they’ve come from all 50 states and 42 countries.
“It’s very humbling that people all around the world are getting behind this,” said Scott Brusaw, an electrical engineer, who launched the campaign with his wife. “We’ve had people call from all over the world to tell us, ‘When you build the first parking lots, let us know because we’ll fly there just to say we’ve walked on it.’ It’ll bring a crowd to town.”
The campaign launched to little fanfare on April 21, but interest picked up as celebrities weighed in on social media, and an attention-grabbing YouTube video went viral. Since being published May 18, the seven-minute video has been viewed more than 15 million times.
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Very interesting video.
Really like to disruptive nature. Could start w/ low volume roads.
The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.
Pathways to Participation for Preservice Teachers, a report just released by edWeb.net, looks at how online networks can help preservice and new teachers connect with practicing educators who can provide them with the knowledge, resources, mentoring and general support they will need to be successful in the classroom.
Mobile may once have been proscribed tech on American K-12 campuses, but it now enjoys a "substantial presence in most school districts." According to a new report, more than two-thirds of school districts in the United States have mobile technologies deployed in a significant number of their classrooms.
In December of 2013 the SmartAmerica Challenge was launched to bring Industry, Academia and the Government to show how Cyber-Physical Systems (the Internet of Things) can create jobs, new business opportunities and socio-economic benefits to America. On June 11, 2014, 24 teams with over 100 organizations came together at the Washington DC Convention Center for a demonstration. The event was a huge success with keynote remarks by senior government leaders including U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and General Services Administrator Dan Tangherlini, as well as live demonstrations by 24 SmartAmerica technical teams. The projects showcased ways that the Internet of Things can improve transportation, emergency services, health care, security, energy conservation, and manufacturing. See Expo for the list of speakers and their presentations and News for media coverage. Visit the Challenges for details on the projects.
A research team at the University of Alberta may have made a breakthrough that ultimately leads to dramatic improvements in the batteries that power everything from laptops and smartphones to medical devices and tools. According to lead researcher Xinwei Cui, the lithium-ion battery technology his team is currently developing charges faster, lasts longer and outputs more power than current lithium-ion batteries.
“What we’ve done is develop a new electrochemistry technology that can provide high energy density and high power density for the next generation,” Cui told Beacon Newsin a recent interview. He continued, “We tried lots of different materials. Normally carbon is used as the anode in lithium-ion batteries, but we used carbon as the cathode, and this is used to build a battery with induced fluorination.”
The scientist explained in a recently published paper that carbon cathodes are inexpensive and safe to use, and the energy output of Cui’s team’s batteries is between five and eight times higher than lithium-ion batteries currently on the market. The tech is also delivering better results than several other next-generation battery technologies currently in development, as Beacon News noted.
“Nobody knew that carbon could be used as a cathode with such a high performance. That is what’s unique with our technology and what is detailed in our paper,” Cui said.
Imagine Cup Day at MOHAIWHEN?Saturday, August 2, 2014 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.WHERE?860 Terry Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109Admission is free and open to the publicMeet the Future. Bring the Family.Check out new technology projects made by students from over 30 countriesMeet the students, play the games, try the techTake a spin in the Lotus F1 Simulator, sponsored by AvanadeHands-on Mad Science activities for kidsFree family concerts by the D20 Brass Band and the School of RockIncredible hip hop dancing by the Massive MonkeesMeet Blitz, the Seattle Seahawks mascotFree admission to MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry, all dayFree snacks!Avanade is a presenting sponsor of Imagine Cup Day at MOHAI
Bring your extra school supplies to help Seattle students in need! We're partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County to collect your donations of school supplies so students are ready for the new school year.
Highlighting innovation and education, MOHAI collects and preserves the diverse history of Seattle and Puget Sound in an effort to inspire people to create a better future for themselves and their communities. Their mission is to spark the innovator in all of us!
On Saturday, August 2, MOHAI and Microsoft will host Imagine Cup Day when the museum will open its doors to the public for free and the Imagine Cup world finalists will showcase their projects as part of a special one-day only event. Residents of Seattle are invited to meet our students and see their projects in action.
Despite multibillion-dollar investments in cybersecurity, one of its root problems has been largely ignored: who are the people who write malicious code? Underworld investigator Misha Glenny profiles several convicted coders from around the world and reaches a startling conclusion.
Visual thinking can sometimes be better than words when brainstorming, asking questions and connecting ideas previously thought to be unconnectable. And mind mapping makes visual thinking come alive. The old saying,
Back in April of 2012 I wrote about the evolution of battery technology for electric cars. In the posting I wrote about lithium-ion and lithium-air technology. What I didn't know was that a company named Phinergy was working on a different type of metal-air battery using aluminum and zinc plus air.
This week Phinergy, an Israeli company, along with the aluminum giant, Alcoa Canada, demonstrated an electric vehicle (EV) capable of driving 1,800 kilometers (over 1,100 miles between charges) using a combination of aluminum-air and lithium-ion storage technologies. The Phinergy aluminum-air battery at 100 kilograms (220 pounds) weight contained enough on board energy to allow the vehicle to travel up to 3,000 kilometers (over 1,860 miles). Compare that to the best, current lithium-ion batteries in the Tesla Model S sedan. At best they can do less than 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single charge and the on board battery weighs 5 times as much.
How does an aluminum-air battery work? They use an air-electrode capable of breathing ambient air and extracting the oxygen from it. Compare this to traditional batteries which store and release oxygen from chemicals contained in a liquied or solid cathode. An air battery doesn't need to replace or recharge its cathode. And an air battery is far lighter. The combination means significantly more power for a longer period of time.