Week of: February 4, 2008
- Girls Crossing Technology's Gender Divide
Men and boys have dominated many technology-related arenas like programming and gaming; computer animation is no exception. But things are beginning to change.
- Ohio Launches STEM Learning Network
Ohio has launched a new program to advance high-quality science, technology. engineering and math education for all students, preparing them to compete in a global marketplace.
- Online Learning Piloted in WY
Students at two Wyoming high schools are among the first in the nation to use an online learning program created in England and designed to increase standardized test scores.
- UK Developing Visualization Software
The UK's Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has launched a £1.9 million (US$3.7 million) project to develop the next generation of digital learning software.
- Motion Picture Association Admits Mistake
It seems that college students are not pirating movies at quite the rate that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) originally claimed.
Girls Crossing Technology's Gender Divide
Men have dominated many technology-related arenas like programming; computer animation is no exception. But things are beginning to change. Across the state of Texas, the number of girls enrolled in animation classes is growing. As these young women graduate and enter careers, the animation industry, in turn, has seen an increase in the number of women entering both the artistic and engineering ranks at animation studios. Animation classes at the high school level can help expose students to the opportunities available in the field. Classes and ultimately the industry are enriched by the presence of girls and women, some of whom take a unique approach to their work. A recent assignment in the computer animation class at South Grand Prairie High School asked students to create an animated fight scene with three stick figures in a minimum of 100 frames. Heather Francis decided to tell a story with her effort, which focused on a love triangle, where the two girls gang up on the boy. A number of groups are working to support the growing interest of young women in technology careers and to help narrow the gender divide. Microsoft has sponsored high-tech camps that offer hands-on workshops for girls since 2000. Last summer the DigiGirlz camp in Las Colinas offered a session called SuperGirlz in which girls designed their own female superheroes with the help of students from The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University.
Source:Dallas Morning News
Ohio Launches STEM Learning Network
Ohio has launched a new program to advance high-quality science, technology, engineering and math education for all students, preparing them to compete in a global marketplace. The $50 million public-private partnership is designed to train and connect more than 100,000 students to jobs in Ohio's 21st century economy. The Ohio Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Learning Network will begin with five regional STEM-based schools targeting low income and minority students. The Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) will work with Ohio's public schools to ensure that all students meet the STEM literacy challenge and are prepared to fill the high-quality jobs that will transform Ohio's economy from an industrial economy to a "solutions" economy. OSLN, in cooperation with the Ohio Partnership for Continued Learning, hopes to achieve a number of goals: doubling the number of college graduates in Ohio by 2015 with degrees in the STEM disciplines, with a special emphasis on increasing the number of low income and minority graduates; dramatically increasing the number of individuals who choose a career in STEM fields to support Ohio's economic growth; and designing and implementing a statewide infrastructure that ensures all secondary STEM school creation is aligned with Ohio's education reform, economic development, workforce, and two- and four-year higher education endeavors.
Online Learning Piloted in WY
Students at two Wyoming high schools are among the first in the nation to use an online learning program created in England and designed to increase standardized test scores. While it's too early to tell if the program will increase scores on the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students exam, which is given in April, teachers report that students are showing improvement in the classroom. The Web-based program delivers a series of modules covering different topics in several subjects. Students respond to simply stated questions by clicking and dragging answers into the questions. Research from the developer indicates that students who students who spend 10 hours using SAM Learning can increase their standardized test scores by 4% to 5%. SAM is used in roughly 60% of English high schools and about 1,000 primary schools. Douglas High School is using SAM for math. Teachers use it in the classroom and in special intervention circles, a daily 20-minute period set aside for math improvement. The 110 sophomores are averaging 10.5 hours each online. Students are also logging on from home, perhaps to take advantage of incentives the school has established. Those who complete a set number of online modules with an 80% or better score can use that work to replace a poor homework grade.
Source:Casper Star Tribune
UK Developing Visualization Software
The UK's Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has launched a £1.9 million (US$3.7 million) project to develop the next generation of digital learning software. Project SILVER—Semantic Interactive Learning Visualization Environment Research - will bring together Bridgeman Education, the Open University's Knowledge Media Institute and Lexara Ltd, in a bid to improve learning at all levels of education and in the corporate sector. The intent is to develop a powerful and unique learning solution that builds on Web 2.0 and Artificial Intelligence technologies to allow teachers and trainers to collect, organize, experiment and interact with multimedia assets. With the software, learners and teachers will be able to select multimedia assets related to a theme, visualize conceptual relationships associated with those assets and assemble them in different ways reflecting alternative perspectives. This will allow users to create different learning routes through the resources, understand interdependencies between events and create and test hypotheses regarding the long-term impact of particular events or people. The basic software will be content independent and will allow teachers to add their own content specific to their own needs. The project will also develop a set of preloaded content relating to learning outcomes set out in the UK's National Curriculum.
Motion Picture Association Admits Mistake
It seems that college students are not pirating movies at quite the rate that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) originally claimed. According to the new data, MPAA now claims that U.S. college students are responsible for 15% - or nearly a quarter of a billion dollars - in pirated content annually, down from the original claim of 44%. MPAA has used the 44% figure to justify its campaign that urges Congress to enact stronger rules governing colleges' and universities' file-sharing policies. Colleges, in turn, have argued that they are being unfairly singled out to act as "enforcers" for the MPAA and its music industry counterpart, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The original 2005 report, by research firm LEK, claims the U.S. motion picture industry lost $6.1 billion to piracy worldwide, with most of the losses overseas. It identified the typical movie pirate as a male aged 16 to 24. This supports what some college IT leaders say—that peer-to-peer piracy is a consumer broadband issue, not primarily a campus network issue. Certainly the colleges have done more to combat illegal peer-to-peer activity on their networks than any efforts mounted by consumer broadband providers.
Source:Inside Higher Ed