News: Teaching Google, Getting girls to code, Communication app for special education, Tech in blended learning

Teach your students the right way to Google
In the age of the split-second Google search, it’s more critical than ever to train students to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.

How to get more girls to code: Use Frozen’s Elsa
If you want to lure young girls into computer coding, go straight to the heart — which these days is likely to inhabit the magical snowy landscape of Frozen. announced Wednesday that it had teamed up with Disney Interactive on a tutorial that lets young programmers help Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa make ice fractals and skating patterns using basic coding skills.

Special education communication apps
These apps are intended to help special-needs students build communication skills

Blended Learning: It’s Not the Tech, It’s How the Tech is Used
Since the 1970s we’ve known of Moore’s Law, which states the processing power of computers will double every two years. Forty years later, computers are presumably a million times more powerful. The education world is finally beginning to harness this power, taking us far beyond the origins of computer labs where students clicked away at the Oregon Trail and practiced word processing. Finally, we’re starting to reach a point where adaptive online programs engage students with rigorous academic content at their exact level while providing teachers with detailed data, allowing us to better group students and meet their unique needs.

pbs_mathPBS launches math series for kids in ‘Odd Squad’
Consider this math problem: PBS leaves the train station headed west under a full head of steam to find a new series to teach math to youngsters. Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman leave a train station at top speed headed east with an idea for a show…

Introduce Students to Open-Source Software Development

Google’s new Code-In competition, which gets under way November 22, presents 13- to 18-year-olds with eight tasks, ranging from refactoring code and interface design to such not-so-techie jobs as writing and editing software documentation and developing marketing materials. For every three tasks they complete, students earn $100, up to a maximum of $500. Ten grand-prize winners will get an all-expenses-paid trip with a family member to Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters. The trip includes a tour of the Googleplex facility and meetings with some of the company’s engineers.

Deadline: Contest ends January 10, 2011; winners announced February 14, 2011

Click Here for More Information and Contest Updates

“Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online”

This is a free 16 chapter eBook available for download here =>

BULLYING: Off the playground and into cyberspace

Bullies used to be those big kids who picked on the little ones; the ones who would tower over you on the playground or corner you with their fists clenched. But bullies are no longer restricted to methods of physical intimidation, letters or phone calls. Not anymore. Today, more and more bullies are hiding. They’re hiding behind computer screens and cell phones, text messages and social networking sites, using the available technology to battle against others mercilessly.

Louisiana cyberbullying law takes effect

Today, Louisiana House Bill 1259, becomes law, putting the state among 30 with some form of legislation targeting those engaging in cyberbullying in all its forms. Separated from an existing law covering cyber stalking, the cyberbullying law focuses on addressing children using the Internet to taunt and harass other children. “Cyberbullying is the transmission of any electronic textual, visual, written or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment or intimidate a person under the age of eighteen,” according HB 1259, penned by state Rep. Roy Burrell, who is running for mayor of Shreveport.

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A better way to visually discover, collect, and organize what you like

Middlespot promises a better way to visually discover, collect, and organize what you like.

With a mashtab you can collect webpages, images, music, videos, web widgets, files, documents, code, and more in one central spot.

Go to “my start page” and click … and one option is “Kid
Launch'”. You can play there and explore all the options.

The site provides links to Funbrain, EdHeads, Lego,Sheppard
Software, Fact Monster, IXL Math Practice, Help Kidz Learn,
Dance Mat Typing, Britannica Online for Kids, and InfoPlease
Homework Helper

New computer games promote civics education is an expanded, rebranded version of a web site founded by former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor

The iCivics program is based at Georgetown University Law School.

The iCivics program is based at Georgetown University Law School.

An “unintended consequence” of the No Child Left Behind initiative has been a decrease in civics knowledge, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said May 26 in promoting an expanded version of a web site that uses computer games to put a fun spin on learning about government.

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Youth Safety on a living internet

JUNE 4, 2010

In the late ‘90s, experts advised parents to keep the family Internet connected computer in a high-traffic part of the house, but now parents must account for Internet access points built into many digital devices, including cell phones. Research has told us that many of the early significant concerns regarding children and their use of the Internet, such as predation, exist but not nearly in the prevalence once believed. Other risks, such as cyberbullying, are actually much more common than thought – starting as early as 2nd grade for some children. Meanwhile, “new” issues such as “sexting” garner a great deal of media attention, though recent studies suggest it is not quite as common as initially believed. Given all the above and the finding of the preceding task force (the ISTTF) that not all youth are equally at risk, it now seems clear that “one size fits all” is not a good strategy. Instead, a strong argument can be made for applying the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary model used in clinical settings and risk-prevention programs to Internet safety. This “levels of prevention” method would represent a tailored and scalable approach and factor in the high correlation between offline and online risk. The approach would also work in concert with non-fear-based, social-norms education, which promotes and establishes a baseline norm of good behavior online.
Research also shows that civil, respectful behavior online is less conducive to risk, and digital media literacy concerning behavior as well as consumption enables children to assess and avoid risk, which is why this subcommittee urges the government to promote nationwide education in digital citizenship and media literacy as the cornerstone of Internet safety.
Industry, NGOs, schools, and government all have established educational strategies; however effectiveness has not been adequately measured. At the federal level, while significant progress has been made with projects such as OnGuardOnline and NetCetera, more inter-agency coordination, public awareness-raising, and public-/private-sector cooperation are needed for national uptake in schools and local communities.

• Keep up with the youth-risk and social-media research, and create a web-based clearinghouse that makes this research accessible to all involved with online safety education at local, state, and federal levels.
• Coordinate Federal Government educational efforts.
• Provide targeted online-safety messaging and treatment.
• Avoid scare tactics and promote the social-norms approach to risk prevention.
• Promote digital citizenship in pre-K-12 education as a national priority.
• Promote instruction in digital media literacy and computer security in pre-K-12 education nationwide.
Online Safety and Technology Working Group 7
• Create a Digital Literacy Corps for schools and communities nationwide.
• Make evaluation a component of all federal and federally funded online safety education programs (evaluation involving risk-prevention expertise).
• Establish industry best practices.
• Encourage full, safe use of digital media in schools’ regular instruction and professional development in their use as a high priority for educators nationwide.
• Respect young people’s expertise and get them involved in risk-prevention education.

Children respond to call of the wild

A child’s contact with nature will influence health in adulthood as well as having many other long-term gains, writes Ainslie MacGibbon.

Australians relish their reputation as lovers of the great outdoors – all beach and bush – with an intimate relationship with the natural environment.

But as parents’ working lives become busier, cities become more crowded and technology takes more of a grip on our lives, many people – particularly children – are spending more and more time indoors.