This week in Education and Technology news:
8 Living Artists Educators Can Use to Make Connections
Edutopia blogger and art educator Stacey Goodman created a list of famous living artists who provide opportunities for arts integration. For each artist, Goodman shares examples of connections and how to use their work as a multimedia representation of current events issues.
Education Jargon: Damaging More Than Just Our Moods
For those of us steeped in the education world, jargon is often the bane of our existence. As this Washington Post article points out, there’s even an Education Jargon Generator http://www.sciencegeek.net/lingo.html dedicated to making fun of it. But the problem is real. Using murky language hinders our ability to effectively communicate about how to improve education. Reporter Valerie Strauss asks, do we have to use those words?
Schools Still Struggle to Access High-Speed Internet
EdWeek reports on the results of a broad survey of districts about the success of equipping schools with high-speed internet. The survey found that, while there were many gains, cost and rural settings are two of the biggest obstacles to access. It also found that schools often experienced outages and slow speeds. The FCC put $1.5 billion toward outfitting schools, but progress remains slow.
Channel One News Veterans Day Lesson Plan and Resources
In case you missed it, this week our education content producer Annie Thornton rounded up Channel One video resources and a lesson plan to use with students as you build background around Veterans Day. Channel One News Curriculum and Video Library subscribers can access these videos anytime, but we’ve unlocked a couple and shared them on our blog for you to enjoy.
An Interview with a Google Certified Trainer
EdTech blogger Monica Burns interviews a teacher who built her skill set by joining the elite community of Google Certified educators and trainers. Find out what this certification could do for your teaching.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A white man who prosecutors say distributed Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers to two members of the city’s small minority community is facing criminal charges.
The fliers didn’t include a call to violence, but distributing them only to a black woman and a Hispanic woman shows an intent to threaten and therefore doesn’t fall under free-speech protections, Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said Thursday.
William Schenk was arrested Thursday on disorderly conduct charges, prosecutors said. Because his conduct was motivated by race, the penalty could be enhanced to more than four years in prison if he is convicted, they said.
Schenk, 21, is expected to be in court Friday. It was unknown if he had a lawyer, and no phone number for him could be located in Burlington or in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he used to live.
KKK fliers were discovered late last month in Burlington, whose population is almost 90 percent white. People protesting racism later held rallies.
The two women told police they received fliers at their homes on the same street in late October, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Police said they also were notified by workers at a local FedEx business center that a KKK flier had been left there in a copy machine. A video obtained from the center depicted a man and was released to local media outlets last weekend, and police said a Plattsburg, New York, woman came forward and said she was sure the man was Schenk because she used to date him and he is a member of the KKK, a secretive society organized in the South after the Civil War to assert white supremacy, often using violence.
The affidavit states Schenk told police the KKK has no members in Vermont or New Hampshire so he traveled to Vermont to try to recruit some.
“It was just kind of like a recruitment, you know,” the affidavit quotes Schenk as saying. “It’s nothing to deal with hate.”
Police said that although Schenk told them he distributed 40 to 50 fliers they could find no other recipients during a canvass of the neighborhood.
The writing on the fliers included “The clock is ticking, wake up White America” and “Blacks are statistically 50 times more likely to attack whites than vice versa,” according to depictions in the arrest warrant affidavit.
A roommate in Burlington told police that Schenk, who still has a North Carolina driver’s license, had moved in roughly two months ago.
Some of Burlington’s 42,000 residents said they were pleased Schenk had been arrested but added they have a long way to go to end bias in the state.
“I’m really happy we were able to secure this win against racism in Vermont,” community leader Ebony Nyoni said in a statement issued by Rights & Democracy, an organizer of anti-racism efforts.
This story has been corrected to show the man’s surname is Schenk, not Shank.
SYDNEY (AP) — Apple apologized on Thursday after a group of black teenagers was asked to leave one of its retail stores in Melbourne, where a staffer had expressed concern they would shoplift.
The technology giant faced accusations of racism in a backlash that began after one of the teens posted a video of Tuesday’s incident on his Facebook page, captioning it: “Simply Racism.”
In the video, a staffer is heard telling the teens: “These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They’re just worried you might steal something.”
“Why would we steal something?” one of the teens asks.
“End of discussion,” the staffer replies. “I need to ask you to leave our store.”
The six teens, who are 10th grade students at nearby Maribyrnong College and are of African or Middle Eastern descent, did nothing to prompt the ejection, said principal Nick Scott, who spoke with the students about the incident.
“What those boys were doing in that Apple store was no different to what every other kid does in that Apple store, which is fawning over really cool devices, playing with them, taking photos of each other,” Scott said. “Just kids being kids and certainly being no different to quite a few other kids at the time.”
In a statement issued Thursday, Apple said: “We’ve looked into the details of the situation and we apologize to the customers involved.”
The Cupertino, California-based company also said, “Inclusion and diversity are among Apple’s core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.”
The teens believe they were targeted solely because of the color of their skin, Scott said.
“I’m inclined to agree there was an implicit kind of racist response that just generalized an expectation of how they would behave,” he said.
After hearing about the incident, Scott contacted the store and asked if the teens could speak with the manager to smooth things over, and the store agreed. On Wednesday, the teens met with the manager, who apologized and reassured them they were welcome in the store, Scott said.
AP Technology Writer Brandon Bailey in San Francisco contributed to this story.
MIAMI (AP) — By his own estimate, Kyrie Irving figures about half the people who shout at him in public use his name.
The other half yell for Uncle Drew.
The character Irving created — the old man who shows up at the playground and, as Drew would say, gets “buckets” — is back. Pepsi and Irving released Chapter 4 of the wildly popular Uncle Drew story on Thursday, this episode filmed at a Miami park over the summer and also featuring Ray Allen, Baron Davis and actor J.B. Smoove.
“I was actually on the court shooting once and this little kid and his father came over and the father says the kid watches Uncle Drew all the time,” Irving said. “The kid was 2 or 3 at the most and he whispered to me in the cutest kid voice, ‘I get buckets.’ I started laughing hysterically.
“It put into perspective what Uncle Drew means to people out there.”
The numbers provide plenty of proof that the character’s appeal is broad.
On YouTube alone, Uncle Drew videos have been viewed more than 60 million times. It’s something that Irving — the Cleveland Cavaliers star who is expected to soon make his season debut after recovering from the knee injury that knocked him out of last season’s NBA Finals — never envisioned. He was thrilled when the first Drew chapter three years ago crossed the 1,000-view mark.
“Man, this is amazing,” Irving said. “And now thinking about the progress we’ve had, being on Chapter 4 now, it’s really amazing.”
Chapter 4 starts with a pair of new characters, Louis (played by Davis) and Angelo (played by Smoove) talking with Drew about the best shooters to play the game. During that debate, one brings up Drew’s longtime nemesis Walt (played by Allen). Everyone, like the characters played by Kevin Love, Nate Robinson and Maya Moore in the past, is made to appear significantly older.
Drew and Walt rekindle their rivalry by playing H-O-R-S-E, with a crowd surrounding the court.
Past chapters have shown Drew playing full-court 5-on-5, though this one was filmed when Irving was still in the midst of recovering from the knee issue and that likely played a role in how he crafted the latest script.
“What happens out there when we do these, it’s not fake,” Irving said. “We’re out there playing and showing why we’re NBA players. That’s what makes the spot so funny. We’re these older people, these older personas, and teaching these young guys that, ‘hey, we can still do this.'”
Drew’s name is derived from Irving’s middle name, Andrew. There’s more chapters of the story planned in the future, and yes, there’s hope that one day Irving’s fellow Cleveland star LeBron James — who endorses a different drink company — might be able to work his way onto the court alongside Uncle Drew.
“Uncle Drew is the guy that I used to see at the park with the sweatpants on at 6 or 7 in the morning, working on his game,” Irving said. “And here comes the young guy, thinking he’s going to be what he looks like: slow, very methodical in his moves, complaining the young guys don’t understand the fundamentals of the game are what make the game special and fun. I wanted to bring him to life with Uncle Drew.”
Uncle Drew Chapter 4: https://youtu.be/ZY6GAOPGuPs
Follow Tim Reynolds at twitter.com/ByTimReynolds. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/tim-reynolds
ATLANTA (AP) — Action cameras are getting smaller, lighter, better and more connected. Whether you’re looking to gift one to a thrill-seeking bungee jumper or a mountain-bike recreationist, there are several cameras capable of shooting high-quality footage.
Small, high-definition action cameras might have seemed no more than the play toys of daredevils a few years back, but they are more commonplace now and used in conjunction with a variety of activities. Prices have dropped slightly, and while GoPro is still the leader, it is no longer the only offering.
Here are some nice choices if you’re looking to give the gift of HD action cams:
SONY X1000V 4K ($500)
You get a solidly constructed, high-performance action cam that shoots up to 4K resolution, also known as ultra-high definition. That’s twice as much visual data as the regular, full high-definition format known as 1080p.
Does that matter? The answer is nuanced. You can see the difference if you have a new 4K TV. The footage looks excellent on a regular HD display, but you’ll want to marry this Sony camera with a 4K display to get the most out of it.
The X1000V performed extremely well and recorded finely detailed footage in various environments, including hard rain, underwater and (gasp!) in the hands of a running child. With a 170-degree panoramic field of view, the camera captures a good amount of the action in front of the lens. It also shoots silky-smooth slow motion when recording in standard HD mode. The waterproof housing proved useful when I dunked it in a tank full of large fish at the Tennessee Aquarium while on vacation.
High-quality accessories include a wireless remote control, which can be worn on your wrist to control the camera from a distance. That way, you don’t have to unhitch the camera from a helmet or surfboard every time you need to stop recording or adjust the settings.
The Sony X1000V is a solid choice for catching sports action in 4K.
GOPRO HERO4 SESSION ($300)
GoPro’s Hero cameras have always been small. Now, there’s an even smaller one, the Hero4 Session. It’s about half the size of previous models. This light, power-packed, cube-shaped model is a fine addition for this leader in action cams.
The Session is easy to use, even though it lacks a built-in screen to show what you’re recording. One touch of a red circle button turns on the camera and starts the HD recording. I found this handy at an amusement park with friends and family. I even chronicled a torrential downpour that sent most park goers scurrying for cover while others splashed madly in puddles.
The waterproof Session endured all environments I put it through, from water-drenched settings to the hands of a child as she bounded around a rock-climbing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The footage turned out great, with colors and exposure just right and a built-in dual microphone system offering top-notch audio.
The Session is ideal for someone looking for a faster, easier way to start impromptu recordings and for those who want a camera that’s even less obtrusive to mount on a helmet during activities such as biking and skiing.
KODAK PIXPRO SP360 ($300)
This camera shoots HD footage through a curved spherical lens to give it a massive fisheye look at the world. Kodak calls this 360 degrees of image capture, but it’s more of a really wide look to the front and sides, as it can’t see behind itself.
I put this in the hands of my kids and followed my dog around. I even used a monopod to affix it to the spare tire of my Jeep Wrangler for a fish-eye-view drive through Atlanta and nearby small towns.
The SP360 captured so much of the scene that it was fun to play it back and explore the surroundings in a much wider (albeit rounder) perspective that the human eye simply isn’t capable of.
It’s splash-proof and shockproof, and it comes in a durable case with a fancy curved lens cap for the bulbous lens.
The PixPro isn’t for everyone, but I found it among the most fun cameras available.
TOMTOM BANDIT ($400)
One newcomer is TomTom, more commonly known for its GPS devices and navigation services. The company’s Bandit camera shoots 4K video and boasts up to three continuous hours of recording.
It also has nifty social-media options. With the Bandit app, you can edit footage on your phone and even add a soundtrack.
The portion of the camera with storage can be removed quickly to reveal a USB connection that can be inserted into any laptop or desktop computer. Once attached, it’s simple to ingest the footage and edit until your heart’s content simply by dragging and dropping video files from the camera using a pop-up interface.
Footage from the Bandit has excellent color saturation and image clarity, rivaling anything I’ve seen from others under common outdoor lighting. An adjustable mounting rotates around the belly of the camera’s cylindrical housing; it accepts various attachments and even GoPro-related accessories through an adaptor.
The Bandit is heavier than the others tested and probably isn’t ideal for mounting on a helmet. But it is sturdy and has a sporty red-stripe-on-white design that gives it the look of pro-level gear. If you’re not wedded to the GoPro universe, you might give the Bandit some serious consideration. It’s more rugged than other models and sports sturdy metal mounting, while others typically use plastic.
Ron Harris can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/journorati
College athletes have more power than ever before, almost everyone can agree on that. What is up for debate is whether that will lead to overdue change, or whether it will throw programs into turmoil.
Protests have been rare during the college athletes’ eight-decades and counting campaign for a bigger piece of the pie — and successful protests have been rarer still.
But the winds of change buffeting the power structure of college sports are stronger than at any time since the mini-revolts of the late 1960s and early ’70s that focused largely on civil rights. More and more, today’s athletes are showing a similar willingness to test the limits of their power through protests, organizing efforts and smart use of social media.
Even before a threatened strike by Missouri football players helped lead to the resignation of the school’s president, student athletes were showing their strength off the field.
Two years ago, Grambling State’s football team went public with their complaints over the sorry state of the facilities by forfeiting a game against Jackson State. Last March, Oklahoma’s football team walked out of spring practice in response to a video showing white fraternity members singing racial slurs. In June, a barrage of tweets by former Illinois lineman Simon Cvijanovic (“WHEN @coachbeckman is fired,” one tweet began, “you’ll hear plenty more stories …”) sparked the investigation that actually did get coach Tim Beckman fired three months later.
“People said this before, but I feel like college sports is in very dangerous territory right now,” said Gary Barnett, a former head coach at Northwestern and Colorado now a radio analyst for Sports USA network. “The schools and athletic departments have plenty of problems as it is; add this battle over athletes’ rights to the health issues, like concussions, that are already on the table, and it looks tough to continue on the track we’re on. …
“My greatest fear is what will happen if the tail is wagging the dog,” Barnett added. “But that’s what it feels like from a distance.”
Yet the same image that threatens some in the status quo looks like a positive from the other side of the prism. They say it’s no coincidence athletes are flexing their vocal muscles at the same time a steady stream of challenges to the authority of the NCAA. Major conferences are moving through the courts and federal agencies seeking to expand athletes’ rights and how they’re compensated.
“I think they have a real sense now of the power they can wield,” said Ramogi Huma, the former UCLA linebacker and executive director of the National College Players Association (NCPA), which led the unsuccessful fight to organize football players at Northwestern. “What happened at Missouri is that athletes who train and prepare and love to play demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice to advance a larger cause. In their case, it was to fight against racism.
“Now the question becomes will players prove willing to do the same to address unjust NCAA rules? To fight for better medical coverage? Or more just compensation? … The seeds have been planted before,” he added. “We’ll see if they bear fruit this time around.”
The stakes couldn’t be much higher. College football and men’s basketball are the bedrock of a multi-billion- dollar enterprise that has enriched TV networks and coaches, and turned some university athletic departments into nation-states. No one claims to be in favor of disrupting those games. And the powers-that-be have taken some steps to address issues ranging from safety to scholarship costs.
But two men who might not agree on much else — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Huma — both said recently they wouldn’t be surprised to find athletes on a picket line in the not-too-distant future. What that might accomplish is anyone’s guess. If the past is any indication, the answer is not much.
Ellen Staurowsky, a professor of sports management at Drexel University, recently compiled a history of labor-management set-tos in college sports dating back to the 1930s and it’s not a very distinguished one. In those early years, student-athletes from Howard, LSU, Pitt and Syracuse all tried or threatened to withhold their game-day services in exchange for a better deal and wound up folding, usually for very little.
In one memorable instance, at the 1961 Liberty Bowl, all it took to derail a threatened strike by Syracuse’s players was a gift of commemorative watches for the players.
But there were small victories, too, most notably perhaps, the members of the 1969-70 Syracuse football who came to be known as the “Syracuse 8.” They staged a lengthy and sometimes-divisive protest seeking academic, medical and on-field equality for black players, a fight that carried implications for athletes everywhere in those racially charged times.
“There are different issues today, and social media has been a game-changer for players already,” Staurowsky said. “They’re a different generation and they’re just beginning to grow into their story, to find where they fit, in a way that may be empowering to them. …
“So,” she said, “if we don’t see more activism coming out of this era, then it will make me wonder whether it will happen at all.”