[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K12 Newsletter Headlines and Resources

  • From: Educational CyberPlayGround <admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12NewsLetters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 08 May 2007 04:00:00 -0400

Hi Everyone,

Happy Reading for today.


Digital media players as a potential cheating device.
Mp3 Players can be hidden. Students use voice recorders to record test answers in advance and then play them back or download crib notes onto the music players and hide them in the "lyrics" text files.

And the buds blow out your ears Kids need to listen to *this*
Rapper Ben Johnson has joined a team of hearing loss specialists who talk to young music fans with earbuds about ear damage. He?s a very cool-looking 20-something musician who?s very effective at driving home the point that people need to be really careful about earbud volume levels and music listening time He does this for a very person reason and because of some numbers. First, ?his father Isaiah, who is looking on from the back of the cafeteria [of the middle school where the team is conducting a special assembly], is a classical musician - a conductor - who lost much of his hearing a few years ago.? Second, according to a Centers for Disease Control study, nearly 13% of Americans ages 6-19 (more than 5 million) have suffered noise-induced hearing loss. Earbuds can cause that if they?re used for long periods (at 7+ volume on a scale of 10). The rule of thumb these experts give is to ?limit earphone listening to an hour a day, at a setting no greater than six? on that scale of 10.?

Adults +Teens = Screenagers
switching songs on an iPod is just as distracting to a driver as, say, dialing a cellphone.

The cost of educating illegal aliens
Thousands of Mexican children are flocking across the U.S. border to attend school, sparking a debate in towns along the border over whether U.S. taxpayers should have to bear the costs of educating them. The influx has prompted complaints from those opposed to spending U.S. tax dollars to teach students from Mexico. The issue is especially timely in El Paso, where the school district -- which expects to take in 10,000 new students in the next five to eight years -- is preparing for a $230 million bond election for new schools next month. Elaine Hampton, a professor at the University of Texas-El Paso, says the strained state of public education in Mexico pushes many students across the Rio Grande, just as the hope of better jobs entices their parents. The growth of Mexican border towns like Ciudad Juarez far outpaces the government's ability to build schools, Hampton said, forcing many to turn away students. Mexican schools also can be too expensive for some parents, charging fees for books, photocopies and sometimes even the cost of administering a test. Although many school officials are unhappy about the situation, they say there are few ways to control the number of Mexican residents attending their schools. As long as a parent or guardian has proof of residency in that school district -- such as a water bill or lease -- their child can attend. Many of the students were born in U.S. hospitals, making them U.S. citizens who live in Mexico. Others use the addresses of American friends or relatives. Community pressure has pushed other districts to crack down on those who violate residency requirements.

For some data on teens sharing media with phones http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=194899
On mobile socializing in general

Uncomfortable schools creates self-disciplined kids?
Many of the places where vital teaching occurs, if not designed expressly for physical torment, are infamously uninviting. Most public schools today are 20th century adaptations of the schools in the original American colonies. In the industrial version of schools, students became products to be passed from grade to grade until sufficiently educated to work in a factory. School buildings reflected this ultimate goal, with classroom after similar classroom aligned along each side of a corridor, and regimental rows of hard chairs symbolizing strict attention and serious purpose. Nothing about the industrial school model required comfort as a precondition for success. In fact, school comfort, through the introduction of seemingly superfluous elements, was often seen to militate against the high ideal of efficiency. Even though no research or evidence supports this idea, a myth persists to this day that an uncomfortable school is probably good because it creates self-disciplined kids, not pampered softies. A considerable body of research about environmental design shows the positive effect comfort can have on learning, human productivity and creativity. In this Edutopia article, Prakash Nair and Randall Fielding argue for greater investments in softer seating, cleaner and fresher air, noise controls, adaptive and flexible learning spaces, access to healthy food, smaller learning communities, and creating environments where students can feel both secure and significant.

You Can't Censor the Internet
A 16-digit hexadecimal code that hackers can use to attempt disable the copy protection built into high-definition DVDs. That code ­ which could help someone copy these otherwise "protected" discs ­ has been circulating on the Internet for months. Most people probably never paid much attention to it until this week when Digg responded to a cease and desist letter by removing all references to the hack code on its site.

Crazy Kids don't get mental health care
The editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offer three facts to keep in mind when weighing whether security aides should be allowed to use plastic handcuffs on unruly students in Milwaukee Public Schools: (1) The aides already are restraining students. The aides sit on them or otherwise hold them down until police arrive; (2) Students already are leaving school in metal handcuffs. Police called to disturbances often use the restraints in making arrests; and (3) The need for the restraints is a symptom of a huge problem that exceeds the schools' scope: the lack of mental health services for troubled children, whose ranks appear to be swelling. The problem transcends board of education policy.

Second Life
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created an immersive, interactive 3D exhibit for avatars in a virtual world. Of course, there are humans behind those avatars who are learning from the exhibits, learning things like what it?s like to fly through or around a hurricane in one of the NOAA?s research planes or a weather balloon, and other things such as ?the effects of global warming on large glaciers? and ?what undersea caves and marine life looks like from a submarine,? CNET reports (with a photo of what one of NOAA?s demos looks like) .

The Big Secret - Supplemental Education Services aren't monitered and held accountable.
Supplemental Education Services, a key component of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act, has been adopted and implemented without any systematic research or scrutiny, notwithstanding potential problems that call out for investigation, according to a new report from the Education Policy Research Unit and the Education and the Public Interest Center. The policy brief, by professor Patricia Burch of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examines the supplemental education services (SES) provision of NCLB, which requires school districts to pay the cost of after-school tutoring services for eligible students attending schools that have failed to meet mandated Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) benchmarks three years in a row. Those schools must set aside up to 20 percent of their Title I funds to pay for tutoring services provided by state-approved operators. These operators are a mixture of for-profit or nonprofit, public or private firms.

Which kids belong in Special Ed?
Many children in special education classes may not belong there, the government says. The Bush administration, following passage of a broad special education law, issued rules in October that rewrote the way schools determine if a child has a learning disability. States have largely relied on a 1970s-era method that looks for disparities between a child's IQ and achievement scores. The diagnosis of a learning disability is often made around 4th grade, reports the Associated Press.

England gives every kid a ticket to a symphony concert.
England's eight top symphony orchestras are jointly promising that they will give every schoolchild free entry to a classical music concert. They say it enriches children's lives, teaches the value of sustained effort and can help disruptive youngsters. "A better musical education for pupils can also help them hit the right note in their studies," a spokesman said. Among other things, the government has announced significant new funding to boost music education, especially school singing, both in and out of school hours.

?Understanding High School Graduation Rates?,
a new publication explains how certain federal policies have contributed to the graduation rate confusion. ?Misleading graduation rate calculations, inadequate systems to track students throughout their education, and lack of accountability by the school are undermining efforts to understand and increase the nation?s graduation rate Additionally, the report considers the costs of the dropout crisis and identifies three core areas that are fundamental to calculating, reporting, and improving accurate graduation rates


?Grants for High School Physics Teachers?
The American Association of Physics Teachers High School Physics Teacher Grant will reward a proposal designed to result in better teaching practice, student understanding and interest, and increased class enrollment. The proposal may use a new teaching method or an adaptation of an existing idea.
Maximum Award: $1,000.
Eligibility: members of AAPT.
Deadline: November 1, 2007.

?Awards Recognize Classroom Integration of Arts Education?
The P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children?s Education 2007 National Teachers' Awards recognize creative, innovative and original work and instructional collaboration among teachers whenever arts are included in the classroom learning experience as an essential component in the education of all children. Maximum Award: $2,500. Eligibility: teachers who consistently integrate the arts into their teaching of children, especially those with learning disabilities and other special needs.
Deadline: May 15, 2007.

?Helping Latino Students Graduate from High School?
Youth Venture and MTV Tr3s Voces Tu Voz My Venture will support the creation of 50 teams of young people who create Ventures that help Latino students graduate from high school and prepare for college or work. The top five teams will also be awarded a team scholarship, and one team will be featured in a news segment on MTV Tr3s. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: young people ages 13-20. Deadline: June 29, 2007.

Youth Venture
has partnered with the MTV Tr3s Voces campaign, and received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to create an initiative that seeks to advance Latino educational achievement. Tu Voz My Venture will support the identification and creation of at least 50 teams of young people ages 13-20 who create Ventures that help Latino students graduate from high school and prepare for college or work. The top five teams will also be awarded a $5,000 team scholarship, and one of those winning teams will be featured in a news segment on MTV Tr3s!
?Fund For Children's Dental Health Grants Program?

The American Dental Association Samuel Harris Fund For Children's Dental Health Grants Program
will award grants to oral health promotion programs designed to improve and maintain children?s oral health through community education programs. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: community-based, not-for-profit, oral health promotion programs in the United States.
Deadline: July 17, 2007.

?Grants to Increase Public Understanding of the Humanities?
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that contributes to scholarly knowledge or to the public's understanding of the humanities. Recipients usually produce scholarly articles, monographs on specialized subjects, books on broad topics, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly tools.
Maximum Award: $6,000.
Eligibility: faculty or staff members of colleges or universities, primary or secondary schools, or independent scholars or writers.
Deadline: October 2, 2007.

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