- Dot Mobile, a British mobile phone company, is about to launch a service that will condense the classics and deliver them to studentsâ€™ phones as Short Message Service (SMS) text messages. The company believes the service will be a valuable resource for studying for exams. See if you agree.
- Michigan students had the opportunity to explore hands-on displays and get first-hand information on careers in the high-tech arena at the "Superhighway to Successâ€ science and technology expo. Some 11,000 students in grades 8-12 attended the event.
- Thereâ€™s still time to join the more than 110,000 K-12 students and nearly 10,000 teachers from all 50 states who have submitted Speak Up Day surveys, sharing their views on technology use with the nation. NetDay has extended the survey deadline through November 30. Find out more.
- Tired of waiting for the school district to act, parents at Addison Mizner Elementary School in Boca Raton, FL raised $10,000 to equip three pilot classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, including LCD projectors, document cameras, microphones, speakers, white boards and seven technology carts for teachers to check out.
- Mashups — applications that combine content from multiple sources but appear seamless when used — are emerging as one of the hot buttons of todayâ€™s web. They have become quite the phenomenon in the arena of digital cartography. Learn how they are being used.
Dot Mobile, a British mobile phone company, is about to launch a service that will condense the classics and deliver them to studentsâ€™ phones as Short Message Service (SMS) text messages. Dot mobile believes the service will be a valuable resource for studying for exams. Since the standard SMS message is 160 characters long, literature lovers may wonder what recipients will really get from such a service, other than highly quixotic version of Cliff Notes. A London College English professor, who is helping with the project, says that the messages could serve as useful memory aids. The highly compressed nature of the messages forces a concentration on the most essential elements of the plot. The AP news service reports that books planned for the service include Charles Dickens' "Bleak Houseâ€ and Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," which describes Mr. Darcy as "fit&loadd" (handsome and wealthy). British educators are not thrilled with the idea, fearing that rather than serving as a convenient review, it might provide an excuse for students not to read the works in question. SMS does allow larger content to be sent, segmenting it over multiple messages, in which case each message starts with a user data header containing segmentation information, such as â€œ1/3â€. While the standard theoretically permits up to 255 segments, 3 to 4 segment messages are the practical maximum. SMS has been widely used in Europe and Asia over the past four years.
MI Students Explore High Tech Jobs
Michigan students had the opportunity to explore hands-on displays and get first-hand information on careers in the high-tech arena at the "Superhighway to Success: Career Pathways for the 21st Century" science and technology expo, held recently at the Pontiac Silverdome. Some 11,000 students in grades 8-12 attended the event, which was organized by Automation Alley, Oakland County and Oakland Schools. About 130 companies, colleges and universities exhibited, with the company booths organized into the six Michigan Career Pathways: arts and communications; business, management, marketing and technology; engineering, manufacturing and industrial technology; health science; human services; and natural resources and agriscience. Organizers were hoping to motivate increased interest among students who might struggle with math and science by showing the relevance of those subjects to anyone hoping to pursue a high-tech career. Just a day before the Expo opened, the state drastically upgraded its graduation requirements, as the Michigan Department of Education issued recommendations requiring four years of math and three years of science to graduate from high school. The state was also hoping to use the Expo to halt the â€œbrain drainâ€ that sees young Michigan workers leaving the state to seek employment elsewhere. The Expo was designed to show that Michigan offers many very good, high-paying jobs in exciting areas.
Source:The Detroit News
Speak Up Deadline Approaching
As of mid-November, more than 110,000 K-12 students and nearly 10,000 teachers from all 50 states had submitted Speak Up Day surveys, sharing their views on technology use. The top five states included Texas, whose 38,000 plus responses far outpaced everyone else, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina. NetDay has extended the survey deadline through November 30 to give schools and districts extra time to promote the survey and submit their responses. About 40% of the survey questions this year are carried over from last year for comparative data. New questions cover topics such as online learning, one-to-one initiatives, professional development, and science and innovation. To help shape the framework for the analysis of the national data, NetDay has facilitated focus groups with middle school students in Denver, CO and Herndon, VA and plans three additional groups in December and January. The organization is also setting up a schedule of online chats with students in December, January and February to discuss some of the big topics in this year's survey — online learning, 21st century skills and science education. In an effort to support schools who are adding science competencies and making efforts to support 21st century learning skills, NetDay added questions this year about what makes science interesting for students, what teachers need to teach science more effectively and how technology is being used for science learning.
Parents Pay for Technology Update
Tired of waiting for the school district to act, parents at Addison Mizner Elementary School in Boca Raton, FL have taken the task of updating the schoolâ€™s aging technology resources into their own hands. Mizner is nearly 40-years old and lacks much of the technology that is found in the newer schools in the district. So Miznerâ€™s Parent Teachers Association and Student Advisory Committee raised $10,000 to equip three pilot classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, including LCD projectors, document cameras, microphones, speakers, white boards and seven technology carts for teachers to check out. Combined with a recent allocation of 90 new computers from the district, the school is now better able to help prepare students for life in the 21st Century. The presentation equipment has made life a lot easier for teachers. The LCD projectors make it possible for all students to see and interact with teacher presentations and the audio enhancements mean that everyone can hear what is going on. Students also appreciate the new equipment, noting that it works better and is easier to use. Parents hope to be able to equip all 40 of the schoolâ€™s classrooms with new technology and are seeking the support of the business community in their fundraising efforts.
Source:Boca Raton News
A Map for Every Reason
Going by a term borrowed from the music industry, mashups are emerging as one of the hot buttons of todayâ€™s web. Mashup refers to an application that combines content from multiple sources but appears seamless to the end user. Mashups have become quite the phenomenon in the arena of digital cartography, thanks to the easy availability of the base component — digital maps. One of the first map mashups was Housingmaps.com, which combines Goggle maps with real estate listings to help prospective home buyers get accurate locations for homes they are interested in seeing. The creator of that site hacked the code behind Goggleâ€™s mapping application, but Goggle began freely giving away its mapping application programming interface (API) two months later. The intersection of two interactive data sets is allowing the creation of countless sites that serve the needs of specific communities of users — community organizers, real estate agents, commuters mapping traffic back-ups. A Canadian programmer who tracks this arena estimates that at least 10 map mashups are created every day. Recent hardware and software advances have now made it possible to do map work on a personal computer and allow anyone to add information to a map, thereby increasing their usefulness exponentially.