- $50 Million for Digital Media and Learning
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has committed $50 million over five years to fund research and innovative projects focused on understanding the impact of the widespread use of digital media on youth and how they learn.
- Global Warming Student Speakout
Teachers looking for new ways to engage students in collaborative problem solving can sign up for a new online initiative called the Global Warming Student Speakout.
- Reading Palms
Scotland is planning to install infrared scanning device that read the unique pattern of veins in each palm as part of an effort to improve school security.
- One-Stop Shop for Learning Resources
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education has launched Ed1Stop, a new portal designed to promote the integration of technology by providing ready-to-use digital content aligned to the state standards, adopted textbooks, and state tests
- We Are Smarter Than Me
MIT's new Center for Collective Intelligence brings together faculty from across MIT to conduct research on how new communications technologies are changing they way people work together
$50 Million for Digital Media and Learning
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has committed $50 million over five years to fund research and innovative projects focused on understanding the impact of the widespread use of digital media on youth and how they learn. The Foundation plans a comprehensive approach that will extend beyond the classroom to assess how digital technology may transform youth in both their formal and informal learning environments. The research will test the theory that digital youth are different because they use digital tools to assimilate knowledge, play, communicate, and create social networks in new and different ways. The Foundation's efforts will connect players across a variety of academic, education, commercial, and nonprofit fields to assess implications and seed new collaborative projects. In 2007, MacArthur will publish six books, online and in print, representing leading research and thinking on a range of digital media and learning topics. Topics will include credibility, innovative uses and unexpected outcomes, civic engagement, the ecology of games, race and ethnicity, and identity and digital media. Online public conversations, which have already begun, will help shape the content of these books. The Foundation has already funded some exploratory grants in the field of digital media and learning and is also funding efforts to engage young people directly in this initiative. Global Kids, a nonprofit youth development organization, has organized online discussions and run a written essay competition for kids in which they describe their everyday use of digital media.
Global Warming Student Speakout
Teachers looking for new ways to engage students in collaborative problem solving can sign up for a new online initiative called the Global Warming Student Speakout. The project, co-presented by GlobalSchoolNet and Google, gives students a chance to collectively brainstorm strategies for fighting global warming — and have their ideas published in a full-page ad in The Washington Post. Teachers who want to participate can sign up for a Google Docs & Spreadsheets account, which will help them keep track of the ideas generated by their students. Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people who are collaborating on a project update files from their own computers. Once they've signed up, teachers can initiate a classroom brainstorming session, after which they can create a spreadsheet to be shared among their students. Any students can add new ideas at any time, from any computer. The class then selects the top 10 to 20 ideas. Completed spreadsheet must be submitted by November 7. GlobalSchoolNet will review the spreadsheets and select the top 50 ideas, which will be published in an ad that will appear online and in a November issue of The Washington Post. The ad is designed to ensure that newly elected US government legislators hear students' voices on the critical issue of global warming. The names of all school that participated will also be published in the ad, so everyone gets credit.
Scotland is planning to install an infrared scanning device that reads palms as part of an effort to improve school security. The technology identifies individuals by reading the unique pattern of veins in each hand. A pilot project would install the devices as part of secure entry systems at primary and secondary schools. The technology could also create attendance lists and notify parents if a child does not arrive at school. The technology can be put to a variety of other uses. Currently, it is being used in a primary school in Renfrewshire, where pupils' hands are scanned in the school cafeteria before they select their meals. Each pupil's hand scan is stored in a database along with a record of the amount of money in each child's lunch account. Once the child has selected lunch, the amount due is deducted from the electronic account. Not only is cash no longer needed, but the system also lets cafeteria staff know whether a child has any food allergies. Parents can also access the information to see whether their child has been eating healthily. The hand scanner could also be used to keep track of books that are borrowed from the school library and for other controlled access activities.
One-Stop Shop for Learning Resources
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education has launched Ed1Stop, a new portal designed to promote the integration of technology in the classroom by providing ready-to-use digital content aligned to California State Standards, the adopted textbooks, and state tests. Every county student and parent will receive a password for the portal. Student resources include access to subscription-based services such as encyclopedia sites; a library of over 20,000 video clips in the core curriculum; Flash-animated movies illustrating math, English, science, health, technology and social studies concepts; and textbook-related resources. The portal links to hundreds of interactive lessons and projects ranging from experiments with colors to the ins and outs of supply and demand curves. The portal also includes a variety of resources targeted to teachers, administrators and parents. Teachers can trade lesson plans, locate activities, and find new ideas for teaching difficult subjects, while parents can get advice on how to help their kids with homework and learn just what they're supposed to be learning in each grade. Users can access everything they need with one password and can access content from any computer with Internet access.
Source:Santa Cruz Sentinel
We Are Smarter Than Me
MIT's new Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) brings together faculty from across MIT to conduct research on how new communications technologies are changing they way people work together. CCI's basic research question is: How can people and computers be connected so that — collectively — they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before? Among CCI's first projects is an experiment designed to create a new example of collective intelligence. The joint project by CCI, the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and Pearson Publishing is expected to involve thousands of people who will collectively write a book — Wikipedia-style — on the future rules of business based on the emergence of community and social networks. Announced in Mid-October the We Are Smarter Than Me community already has more than 800 members. In March 2007, a draft of the "network book" and the key findings of the We Are Smarter Than Me community will be presented at the Community 2.0 Conference that CCI is planning. In Fall 2007, the book will be published by Pearson Publishing. The We Are Smarter Than Me community will continue to create new content and subsequent books will be published.