[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K-12 Newsletter Welcomes Sponser Watch Know Learn

Watch Know Learn http://www.watchknowlearn.org is the Newest Sponsor for the Educational CyberPlayGround’s K12 Newsletter.

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[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K-12 Newsletter
Sponsored by WatchKnowLearn.org
Free Filtered Educational Videos for K-12 Students, Teachers and classroom.
*Link to the Educational CyberPlayGround ®
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com
Reference Directory of K-12 public, private, and charter schools in all 50 states. http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/schools/
Find Teaching Resources for Music, Teachers, Internet, Technology, Literacy, Arts and Linguistics for students, teachers, parents, and policy makers.
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Greetings K12 Newsletter Readers,
The Educational CyberPlayGround wishes to
Welcome Our New Sponsor
Watch Know Learn
http://www.watchknowlearn.org
A Free organized Teacher vetted educational video’s
for the K12 classroom where kids can finally see what’s
good from youtube and everywhere else.
I highly recommend supporting WKL cause schools
don’t have much money to spend buying movies/ video’s etc.
This is a wonderful free resource.
GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Braitmayer Foundation: Grants for innovation in education
The Braitmayer Foundation is interested in proposals utilizing innovative practices in K-12 education throughout the United States. Of particular interest are curricular and school reform initiatives, as well as preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those that encourage people of high ability and diverse backgrounds to enter and remain in K-12 teaching. In addition, the Braitmayer Foundation provides modest support of activities in Marion, Massachusetts and surrounding communities that will improve the quality of life for residents in the area. Maximum award: $35,000. Eligibility: Grants may be used anywhere in the United States as seed money, challenge grants, or to match other grants to the recipient organizations. Deadline: March 15, 2012.
McGraw-Hill Companies: Harold McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education
The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education annually recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education in this country and whose accomplishments are making a difference today. Honorees are chosen by a distinguished panel of judges made up of thoughtful and influential members of the education community. Maximum award: $50,000. Eligibility: policymakers, leaders in higher education, and school-based personnel. Deadline: March 16, 2012.
Ashoka Changemakers: Activating Empathy Competition
Changemakers is looking for innovative ideas, programs, and learning models from around the world that equip students with the skill of empathy by encouraging social and emotional development; unlocking new ways of viewing problems, opening the door to a new world of potential solutions; addressing bullying or aggression in ways that advance understanding of others’ perspectives; promoting community diversity and a respect for differences; and championing children as real-world problem solvers rather than simply bystanders. Maximum award: cash and in-kind prizes from Ashoka’s Changemakers, Mattel, 1440 Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Donor’s Choose, and Townsend Press. Eligibility: teachers, principals, parents, students, or other innovators with a project, program, or new learning experience that can advance empathy in education. Deadline: March 30, 2012.
http://bit.ly/cyberpg-changemakers
Hitachi Foundation: Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs
The Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program supports young entrepreneurs who have formed financially viable businesses that create jobs, supply goods or services, or use internal management practices enabling low-wealth individuals the opportunity to achieve greater economic security. Maximum award: $40,000 over two years, access to technical resources, and a peer learning community. Eligibility: entrepreneurs ages 18-29 who are operating businesses that are 1-5 years old and have been generating revenue for a minimum of the last 12 months. Deadline: March 30, 2012.
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[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K12 Newsletters

K12 Newsletters

Please Visit Our New Sponsor Watch Know Learn
http://www.watchknowlearn.org

Reflections on a Half-Century of School Reform: Why Have We Fallen Short and Where Do We Go From Here?
American school reform has not been bold enough or comprehensive enough to substantially improve public education, writes Jack Jennings on the Horace Mann League website. Over the past 50 years, reform has been dominated by three movements: promoting equity, increasing school choice, and using academic standards to leverage improvement. The equity programs of the 1960s and ’70s improved education for many, especially where efforts were backed by civil-rights guarantees, but impact was constrained because these became separate, add-on services funded with limited federal aid and placed on top of inequitably distributed state and local funding. As to choice, only 17 percent of charter schools produce higher test scores than comparable public schools, according to a comprehensive national review of such schools, with 37 percent of charters producing lower scores. Vouchers satisfy religious proponents by using public funds to send children to religious schools, but achievement-wise, voucher results mimic charters’. And standards-based reform aimed to identify what students needed to know and do at specific grade levels and measure student mastery, but it has collapsed into test-driven accountability. The shortcoming of all these movements is that they sought effect through external means. Jennings feels it’s time to concentrate on core components of what happens in the classroom: Who is teaching, what is taught, and how those key elements are funded. The quality and training of teachers and administrators must be improved, common standards must be fully infused throughout the education system, and schools should offer high-quality preschool, summer programs, adult mentors, health clinics, and after-school programs to compensate for parental and societal deficiencies. Equal educational opportunity for all ought to be declared a federal civil right. If states can’t broadly improve the quality of teaching and learning and provide sufficient funds to pay for that, then the federal government should step in.
How Can The Federal Government Step In
“The fight for freedom” is really only about those fighting for their own business interests, by maintaining the status quo. 25% of super PAC money coming from just 5 rich donors
Corruption Makes it impossible to Tell the Truth about Climate
Breaking news: A look behind the curtain of the Heartland Institute’s climate change spin
Heartland Institute budget and strategy revealed
Heartland Insider Exposes Institute’s Budget and Strategy
It’s not unexpected to find tobacco companies donating to an anti-science
organization, but AT&T?  Microsoft?  And Lilly?  Why would these companies
be giving money to an organization whose documents state (among many other
damning things):
Development of our “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms” project.
Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist
perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an
effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We
are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global
warming curriculum for K-12 schools…His effort will focus
on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate
change is controversial and uncertain — two key points that
are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.
Read that last line again: “dissuading teachers from teaching science”.
This is a goal that AT&T and Microsoft support?  Really??
list of donors, which includes these:
Allied World Assurance Company Holdings (2011: $40,000)
Altria Client Services, Inc. [Philip Morris parent] (2011: $50,000)
AT&T for IT&T News (2010: $70,000)
Charles Koch Foundation (2011: $200,000)
Credit Union National Association (2011: $30,000) [not to be confused with the National Credit Union Association]
Eli Lilly & Company (2010: $25,000)
General Motors Foundation (2011: $15,000)
Microsoft Corporation (2010: $0, 2011: $60,908)
Nucor [Steel production & recycling] (2010: $400,000)
Reynolds American Inc. (2011: $110,000)
What it would take
A recent report by the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College at Columbia University establishes a legal framework for providing the country’s neediest children with both improved educational resources and other “wrap-around services” — including health care and after-school programs. The report details the cost of providing those services, and projects the long-term return on such an investment. The first white paper (one of five that make up the report) argues that NCLB  “implicitly establishes a statutory right to comprehensive educational opportunity through its stated goal of providing fair, equal, and substantial educational opportunities to all children, and its mandate that all children be proficient in meeting challenging state standards by 2014.” The second paper estimates the annual cost of public policies to narrow the achievement gap through comprehensive educational opportunity to be $11,800 per child in New York City and $10,400 per child in New York State. The authors assume a full program of 18-and-a-half years, offered to children currently eligible for federally subsidized free and reduced-price lunches. Authors of a third paper further estimate those costs would total approximately $4,750 more per child (in New York City) than what’s now being spent in supports for underprivileged children. A fourth paper calculates significant long-term return on this investment through increased high school graduation rates, and the final paper proposes essential standards and resources.
No holding back
Lawmakers in Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico, and Tennessee want to hold back students who aren’t at grade level by the end of third grade, but this short-term solution could do long-term harm to children’s social and educational development, writes Emily Richmond in The Atlantic magazine. Research shows third grade to be a critical year. Students not at grade level by then are found to have a mere 20 percent chance of ever catching up, and are four times more likely to drop out of school. Yet retention is proving a poor remedy. Florida implemented a third-grade retention initiative in 2002 and saw fourth-grade reading scores rise but eighth-grade scores later flat-line. “Everybody supports the idea that if a student isn’t reading well in third grade, it’s a signal the child needs help,” says David Berliner of Arizona State University. “If you hold them back, you spend roughly another $10,000 per child for an extra year of schooling. If you spread out that $10,000 over the fourth and fifth grades for extra tutoring, in the long run you get a better outcome.” Accordingly, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is focusing on three key factors — readiness, attendance, and summer learning. Its goal is that students arrive at school with the fundamental reading readiness skills from the outset, younger students develop “a culture and habit” of regular attendance, and investments be made in early childhood education and literacy programs.
A different tack
Reviving an effort to improve low-performing middle schools, New York City is concentrating on improving reading and writing skills in those grades, The New York Times reports. The plan is the second phase of a campaign started in 2008 by the City Council and the city’s Education Department to bolster student performance at 51 of the lowest-performing middle schools. “The core problem of literacy in middle school is you’re transitioning from learning to read, to reading to learn,” said Josh Thomases of the Education Department. Middle school teachers are often not trained to guide that evolution. Teachers are generally taught to work in elementary or high schools, with only a fraction having specific middle-school certification. Over the remaining two years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term, 18 new schools will receive from $157,000 to $219,000 annually, based on size. The money will go to retraining teachers, hiring reading specialists, and buying software and books. The Education Department chose different schools for the campaign’s second phase because officials believed they’d have more success with schools whose principals were already in the same support networks and regularly talked to one another, according to Thomases. They also looked for schools that enrolled many low-income, minority students but were stable and showing signs of progress.
Black and White Thinking vs. Grey Thinking
The corporate education reform agenda often rests on black-and-white thinking, teacher Kelley Leathers writes on the Beyond Chron website, and at a recent Michelle Rhee protest in Oakland, Leathers found these false dichotomies had seeped into her own thinking. In Rhee’s rhetoric and elsewhere, Leathers says we are presented with a “stark choice”: “Let our children languish in crumbling, ineffective traditional public schools, or join the parade to the bright shiny future of charters.” She thought her sign at the protest, “Charter Schools Leave Children Behind — by Design,” might prompt the Rhee audience to realize that privatizing public education would not help all students. Yet it brought a charter teacher nearby to tears. This teacher explained there was no place for her at the protest — the signs, chants, and fliers made her out to be the enemy. The kids she served were also high-needs, and she and the teachers at her school had the same goal as Leathers and her colleagues: to serve their students and help them succeed. Leathers had bought into an either/or fallacy herself. She therefore calls for all sides to “get the gray area out there into the public debate, and quickly. Policy decisions are being made daily under the influence of this black-and-white thinking.”
What they don’t know can hurt them
Many don’t realize that the dismantled Mexican-American studies program in Tucson Unified School District was extraordinarily successful in graduating Latino students and sending them to college, writes Christine Sleeter in Education Week. Nationally, Latino students drop out of high school at about 18 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. College-enrollment of Latinos across the country is only 32 percent — lower than that of other racial and ethnic groups, according to the same study. Students completing Tucson’s Mexican-American studies program (over 13 years, 5,726 Latino students and 712 non-Latino) graduated high school and entered college at a higher rate in a district that is 60 percent Latino. On Arizona’s achievement tests in reading, writing, and math, its students outscored students of all racial and ethnic groups in the same schools but not in that program. The success of Tucson’s program is supported by research documenting that black and Latino students who have a positive ethnic identity and an understanding of racism and how it can be challenged tend to take education more seriously than those who don’t. Sleeter believes what shuttered the program is a fear of the knowledge Mexican-American students find precious and empowering. “Dismantling a program that has demonstrated enormous academic benefits for Latino students because some people find it threatening feels to me like racism,” she writes.
Credit where it’s due
America’s public schools have never been perfect, but they helped hold the country together through wrenching economic crises that left many communities deeply wounded and many Americans wondering if they had a future, writes Mark Naison on the Answer Sheet blog in The Washington Post. Some of what went on in our most economically depressed schools involved real courage and heroism, he says, and all of it required patience and hard work. One thing these schools showed is that they could effectively run institutions without huge salaries and bonuses for executives and without a huge gap between the employees and their managers. In most public schools, the principal’s salary was never more than a third higher than the highest paid teacher, rather than the 400-to-1 CEO-to-worker ratio that now exists in American industry. Perhaps this was one reason public schools survived economic crises better than private companies, whose top executives often made out well with so-called golden parachutes, even when their companies failed.  “It is time to look more realistically at the role our public schools have played in America’s transition from an industrial society into service information society, which has left out huge portions of our population,” writes Naison. “And it is time to give educators the respect they deserve for handling one of the most difficult jobs in society with a lot more endurance and courage and generosity than some in the private sector.”

New Law – Principles for protecting consumers' privacy online

Advertising industry code of conduct based on the Privacy Bill of Rights. Privacy Bill of Rights spells out how Web companies should handle user information. Administration urged Congress to enact them into law.

Privacy Bill of Rights

Consumers have a right to “reasonable limits” on the collection of their personal data and a right to access the data that companies have gathered on them.

Consumers have a right to control what data organizations collect from them and how they use it. Companies’ privacy policies should be easy to understand and companies must protect user data from hacking and leaks,

The Digital Advertising Alliance needs to tell all online advertising companies to  Create a “Do Not Track” button on Web browsers that will allow users to opt out of online tracking with a single click. All advertisers who have agreed to the rules from collecting data about them, except for certain information to prevent fraud.
THE WHITE HOUSE LOOPHOLE
THANKS TO Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz
The code would be voluntary, the Federal Trade Commission could file charges against any company that agreed to the standards and then violated them.

The CoderDojo Initiative Successfully integrates Technology into K12 Education.

No such thing as a off by them self programming nerd – Myth Busted – We all get along with a little help from our friends and K12 kids need a place to learn how to code.

The CoderDojo Initiative Successfully integrates K12 Technology Education into the Classroom

WHO NEEDS SCHOOL?

Continue reading “The CoderDojo Initiative Successfully integrates Technology into K12 Education.”

Ringleaders, Thought Leaders, Agents of Change on the Educational CyberPlayGround

Ringleaders, Thought Leaders, Agents of Change on the Educational CyberPlayGround

RINGLEADERS ON OUR PLAYGROUND ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !!

The real measure of demand for the Educational CyberPlayGround isn’t how many people line up to eat the free lunch I’ve made but how many volunteer to help you prepare it.  WE LOVE OUR RINGLEADERS

The Smart ePants Award
Continue reading “Ringleaders, Thought Leaders, Agents of Change on the Educational CyberPlayGround”

Protest the Grammys!

Grammywatch.org and Presente.org invite you to join us in a protest to
demand that the Grammys reinstate the 31, mostly Latino, Black, Asian and
Native American categories.

Protest the Grammys!

Reinstate the Musical Categories now!
Music Rights is Our Fight!

Sunday, February 12, 2012
3:30pm until 5:00pm
corner of Figueroa and W. Pico Blvd
Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Grammywatch.org and Presente.org invite you to join us in a protest to
demand that the Grammys reinstate the 31, mostly Latino, Black, Asian and
Native American categories.
Continue reading “Protest the Grammys!”

A Movement’s Defining Moment by Ferdi Serim Ringleader on the Educational CyberPlayGround

With over four times the participants of Woodstock, Digital Learning Day may serve as the downbeat for a movement that cares as much about learning as “the Woodstock generation” cared about music over four decades ago.

Ferdi Serim Ringleader on the Educational CyberPlayGround

Digital Learning Day – A Movement’s Defining Moment by Ferdi Serim

Posted on February 1st, 2012

Digital Learning Day – A Movement’s Defining Moment

By Ferdi Serim
With over four times the participants of Woodstock, Digital Learning Day may serve as the downbeat for a movement that cares as much about learning as “the Woodstock generation” cared about music over four decades ago. For those of us living then, Woodstock was about much more than music: it symbolized the cultural power inherent in the free expression of ideas, whether supported or not by the dominant culture. For Digital Learners, the genie is out of the bottle. No longer is learning limited by locality. No longer must instruction suffer from isolation. No longer can anyone limit what can be learned, by whom, from whom and when.
This moment has been decades in coming. Personally, I’ve been involved as “midwife” for the birth of digital learning for over twenty years. In 1992, my sixth grade students participated via email and listserv with NASA physicists in a simulation of solar sailers (spacecraft powered by solar sails) on a mission to Mars, in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage. The Internet didn’t have pictures yet, back then. Universities had Internet, some K12 schools and most homes were limited to dialup modems. What a difference we see today!
Ubuntu is a Swahili word that means “I am who I am because of who we are together,” and it captures the ethos of the open education resource movement. Digital Learning Day marks a moment when we have the opportunity to look up, look around and celebrate what millions of us are doing to move education forward.
Surveying the dazzling array of activities taking place in 38 states, the cloud of despair that shrouds most education focused discussions today is dispelled by the passion, innovation and commitment of people who’ve personally experienced the power of Digital Learning. These initiatives can’t be confined to a single day, but the genius of connecting all these innovators (who include students, parents, community members in addition to the expected policymakers, providers and school leaders) is what adds the quality of a defining moment to the enterprise.
And yet, the challenge is huge. For too long, the goal of connecting classroom learning with real-life relevance has seemed beyond our grasp, with the vast potentials of digital age learning taking root in only a relative handful of pioneering educators’ learning environments.
Digital Learning Day challenges us to consider and explore innovations that require us, and everyone we work with (students, parents, peers and school leaders), to examine everything we do through a very rigorous lens: if what we do is helping kids prepare for a future filled with expanded opportunity, we will continue to do it; if not, we won’t, and we will remove any obstacle that stands in the way.
This commitment unavoidably puts us in the path of conflict and controversy, as old and new worlds collide. Until recently, the path of least resistance was “business as usual,” but it is becoming clearer every day that we can no longer afford (on any level) to sustain practices that don’t work. I acknowledge and salute your efforts to build the schools we need, starting now!
What can you do, right now, to take practical steps that prepare yourself, your classroom and students for the power of Digital Learning? You can learn about strategies to incorporate the power of a blended model into the work you ask students to do.
As fate would have it, the day shares the name of my new book: Digital Learning. This could not have been predicted eight years ago, when I began work on the book. The process by which this book came to exist is unusual, and is itself a journey into project-based learning. In 2003, I realized that progress in extending the benefits of digital learning as a right for all students would be blocked unless and until we had ways of assessing what was then the relatively new idea called “21st century skills.” The measurement mania was already creating a hyperfocus on what is tested, marginalizing development of key capabilities whose growth could not be strengthened until they could be observed. This became my project.
I wanted to find a way to help teachers simultaneously meet core content standards while developing what became known as 21st Century Skills. The vehicle, creating engaging projects that would be completed online by teams of students, grew into the strategies that I share in the book.
In the ensuing years, we’ve seen the emergence of the Common Core State Standards and the requirement that schools “upgrade their game” to address College and Career Readiness. Digital Learning projects cause students to act and think in precisely the 21st century ways that are necessary for success in both the new standards and new levels of performance expected by employers and higher education. The practical processes explained in the book are designed to provide a bridge for school leaders, teachers and students that allow them to connect their prior knowledge and experiences in ways that lead to success in new, blended learning environments.
Here are links to further information and resources:
Digital Learning Day Website: http://www.digitallearningday.org/
Digital Learning Day State events: http://www.digitallearningday.org/events/state-events
Digital Learning Process Website: http://digitallearningprocess.net
Digital Learning Process Resource Exchange: http://digitallearningprocess.schooltown.net
Digital Learning Online Course: http://www.kdsi.org/CL-Digital-Learning.aspx
Ferdi Serim helps people become more effective in “real life” by incorporating the power of digital learning communities focused on talent development. He has worked in many venues: Board Member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); the New Mexico Public Education Department’s EdTech Director, Reading First Director, Program Manager for Literacy, Technology & Standards; Board Member of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), Innovate+Educate, and Education360; director of the Online Internet Institute (OII); Associate of the David Thornburg Center for Professional Development (and jazz musician). Most recently, he has launched CLARO Consulting: Community Learning and Resource Optimization, focused on talent development through knowledge capture and transfer.

Digital Learning: Strengthening and Assessing 21st Century Skills, Grades 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-1180-0233-9
Paperback
208 pages
January 2012, Jossey-Bass

 

(E-Book also available)