Archive for January, 2014

EdTech Reports – January 2014

Letter to President Obama from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) states “After only two years of practical experience with MOOCs and related technologies, it is too early to tell whether substantial gains in the quality of instruction, access, achievement, and cost will be realized. But there is no question that the new technologies offer the potential for expanding access for millions of Americans, not only to college degrees, but to a wide range of effective and low-cost training modules and courses….”(5) Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools has as its focus “The protection of student privacy in the context of cloud computing is generally unknown both to the public and to policy-makers. This study thus focuses on K-12 public education and examines how school districts address privacy when they transfer studentinformation to cloud computing service providers”(5) Internet Monitor 2013: Reflections on the Digital World presents essays discussing the newsworthy developments of the past year, from the future of civil disobedience to internet surveillance in China. The essays are gathered around three broad topics – governments as actors, companies as actors, and citizens as actors – and are written in an accessible format to foster further deliberation and reflection. The volume ends with a “by the numbers” feature of statistics. This tome is well worth a perusal. Written by the FCC chairman, Net Effects: The Past, Present and Future Impact of Our Networks briefly examines the technological change agents that have shaped our society: the printing press, the telephony sector, railroads, and the wired world. The Digest of Education Statistics 2012 has just been released; computer usage in public schools is highlighted. Focus groups of students give their opinions on edtech in this report – Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring.

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Getty Museum Publications Online

The J. Paul Getty Museum has been a major presence in the dissemination of free scholarly information in digital format; it now is making available over 250 of its publications online via the Getty Virtual Library. This collection, that will be continually expanded, offers translated volumes, symposium proceedings, as well as exhibition catalogs and the J. Paul Getty Museum Journal. Searching is by author, title, keyword, subject area and program, along with other options.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Papers of the Founding Fathers

Who qualifies as a founding father is the subject of  much debate and conjecture. Did they sign the Declaration of Independence? Did they affix their signatures to the Constitution? Did they help write either one? Did they fight in the Revolution? What is universally agreed upon is that these individuals played a pivotal role in the development of the United States. The federal government decided that extensive compilations would be made of the :”… papers of six founding fathers: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. The scope is enormous: It includes their writings from childhood through the Revolutionary period and until their deaths. And it includes letters written to them as well.” (OAH) Modern letterpress editions of these papers have been ongoing since the 1940s; some of these projects will not be finished until 2050. In addition, over $100 million have been spent on these various projects.The slowness of production and the inability of a vast majority of American citizens of seeing these very expensive volumes prompted a 2008 Congressional hearing – The Founding Fathers’ Papers: Ensuring Public Access to Our National Treasures – that featured testimonies from pre-eminent American historians calling for wider access to these collections. Finally, the above projects have been put online, freely available at Founders Online where over 150,000 searchable documents reside, fully transcribed. The interface is user-friendly and provides various access points. It allows a researcher to view the thoughts of these individuals as they grappled with the various questions that arose as they tried to build a nation. Another gateway to additional founding fathers, as well as to those aforementioned, is housed at the Library of Congress – American Founders Online. This site is a little outdated since it does not reflect the Founders Online project, but it will lead to digital works of other founding fathers.

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What To Do in NJ and NYC for Super Bowl XLVIII

The Star-Ledger has put together an informative fan guide to the events on both sides of the Hudson. Lots to do in Jersey! But is it enough? After all, MetLife Stadium is in New Jersey, yet the East Rutherford location would appear to be forgotten in the tidal wave of “New York”-oriented NFL promotions. Do you know that both teams are staying in Jersey City hotels?  Check out this NJ Spotlight article on this situation.

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New Jersey School Early Closings/Closings

This always bears repeating, especially in the winter. News12 has an updated listing for New Jersey; it also carries closings for other tri-state locales. For those of us who are native New Yorkers and have 22 minutes, 1010wins also provides handy area-wide closings.

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Doctorates Awarded by American Universities in 2012

Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities 2012 is the latest in a series of annual reports from the National Science Foundation. This document is full of statistics, tables, and charts tracing the 2012 cohort: race/ethnicity, country of origin, what universities awarded the most degrees in various fields, time to completion, etc. Many of the usual suspects are here such as the large state universities and the Ivies; what may come as a surprise is how often Walden University appears.

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History of Intelligence Satellites

“Eyes in the sky” have been part of the intelligence community for decades; many of these programs were classified as secret and only recently has the existence of some of them been made public. The NRO-Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance is”… the U.S. Government agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites.” Here you can read about the Corona program, the nation’s first photo surveillance satellites; you can also learn about the Gambit and Hexagon programs that were only declassified in late 2011. These programs formed an integral part of  this country’s defense system during the Cold War.  Coverage of these programs can be found at space.com; Secrecy News; GlobalSecurity.org; National Security Archive (extensive coverage with source documents); and The Space Review.

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