Youth, Education & Technology News : June 2006

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Recent June 2006
+ Afterschool Action Kit
+ Resources for summer program teaching and learning strategies and technology integration
+ "Our Neighborhood" Project
+ $70,000 to improve child welfare
+ 'Safe' social networking sites emerge

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June 27, 2006

Afterschool Action Kit

The Afterschool Action Kit is a "free, user-friendly resource for parents, educators, community and business leaders, and elected officials, includes:

*A checklist of qualities to look for in an after-school program;
*Information on what after-school programs should offer children of various ages, from kindergarten through high school;
*A list of organizations that offer tools, resources and information on how to start or fund an after-school program; and more. "

Referred by: National Community Education Association
Posted by mbiswas on June 27, 2006 | Resources

June 20, 2006

Resources for summer program teaching and learning strategies and technology integration

For those who are busy with planning for summer program activities, YouthLearn staff strongly recommend two relevant resources: "Lessons Learned in Summer Programs," and "Summer Programs Tips & Tricks," which were produced in 2004 and 2005 by the YouthLearn team for the ITEST Learning Resource Center at EDC. In these publications, you will find ITEST projects' insights about innovative technology use and teaching methods in summer program activities that can inform program design and practices of other informal science education programs.

Lessons Learned in Summer Programs -
Summer Programs Tips & Tricks -
Posted by hchung on June 20, 2006 | YouthLearn Updates

"Our Neighborhood" Project

As you start your summer programs, the "Our Neighborhood" project introduces kids to structured ways of thinking and expressing ideas about the people, places and things that matter most to them. The lessons build on the information and experiences that the children and the instructors already have about the culture around them.

Children who participate in "Our Neighborhood" should be organized into groups with no more than a three-year age span. The activities are not recommended for 5-year-olds (or for any children who have not yet enrolled in, or completed, first grade) because the activities require beginning reading skills, the ability to work independently for short periods of time and the ability to work in a group and with a partner. Because levels of skill and maturity vary, adult facilitators should exercise their best judgment when placing children into groups.

Posted by mbiswas on June 20, 2006 | Activities

$70,000 to improve child welfare

"The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation accept proposals from nonprofit organizations for projects that meet one of the foundation's two basic purposes: to contribute to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare of children through the dissemination of knowledge about new and innovative organizations and/or their programs designed to benefit youth; and to contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children through the dissemination of knowledge already possessed by well-established organizations, to the end that such information can be more adequately used by society." Deadline: July 15, 2006

Referred by: eSchool News
Posted by hchung on June 20, 2006 | Funding

'Safe' social networking sites emerge

"Amid rising concerns over popular social networking sites, a new crop of "safe" sites is currently emerging. These "safe" sites hope to limit the dangers associate with other sties, such as talking to predators and revealing too much personal information. In addition, these safer sites aim to develop in users a proper online skill set--one that incorporates elements of online safety as well as proper behavior in virtual communities..."

Referred by: eSchool News
Posted by hchung on June 20, 2006 | News

Schools and Community Groups Invited to Apply for SeaWorld/Busch Gardens/Fujifilm Environmental Excellence Awards

"The 2007 SeaWorld/Busch Gardens/Fujifilm Environmental Excellence Awards will recognize the outstanding efforts of students, teachers, and community groups across the United States who are working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment."

Deadline: November 30, 2006

Referred by: Philanthropy News Digest
Posted by mbiswas on June 20, 2006 | Funding

Blog Boom Goes Global

"Although the term “blog” only came about in the late 1990s, today blogs are a phenomenon spanning the globe: a new blog is reportedly launched every second! This explosive growth has led to a backlash against bloggers from a variety of governments and institutions wary of the communicative power of this simple web-based publishing format. This interesting piece examines the state of the global blogosphere."

Referred by: Idealist
Posted by mbiswas on June 20, 2006 | News

Using Thematic Units to Improve Your Summer Program

The mission of the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University is "to create opportunities for high quality summer learning for all young people." This workshop material, including handouts, explains why and how to effectively use thematic activities in a learning program, and provides an example suitable for younger children. For more information about research and issues around summer learning, see the numerous Center Publications and Presentations.

Posted by wrivenburgh on June 20, 2006 | Resources

June 15, 2006

What's the Fuss about FOSS, Part 2: A Chat with David Thornburg

From Andy Carvin

"I've just posted the second part of my two-part essay, What's the Fuss About FOSS?, which explores the role of free and open source software (FOSS) in K-12 education. In the second installment, I interview author and edtech expert David Thornburg, who's just released a new book about FOSS and education."

Referred by: DIGITALDIVIDE mailing list
Posted by hchung on June 15, 2006 | Resources

Critical Literacy: Using Media to Engage Youth In Inquiry, Production, Reflection, And Change

"Over the past ten years, youth media has emerged in the United States as a powerful movement of practitioners and youth dedicated to using media to support young people's creative expression and vocal presence in the public sphere... Why is such growth important? Every day, young people experience the world around them through media—movies, comic books, video games, iPods, blogs, television, cell phones, even billboards."

Referred by: MEDIA-L Listserv
Posted by hchung on June 15, 2006 | Research

June 06, 2006

Girl Scouts GirlsGoTech Games

The Girls Scouts' GirlsGoTech website features four cool games that both girls and boys can enjoy:
Cryptic Codes - Secret Message Decoding
The World Around Us - Mandala Maker
Think about Thinking - Mixed Messages
The Sounds of Science - Composing Digital Music
Have fun, and let us know what you think - and learn!

Posted by wrivenburgh on June 06, 2006 | Activities

Google In-Kind Ad Grants

"Google provides a huge in-kind advertising opportunity through its Google Grants by driving web traffic to the sites of featured nonprofits. Consider applying if your agency focuses on science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, or the arts."

Referred by: Talking Point
Posted by wrivenburgh on June 06, 2006 | Funding

How to Have a Conversation about Equity & Excellence

"In terms of excellence, we know what it looks like. We can all point to examples. However, excellence in education is extended to only a privileged few. But if you want to have excellence at scale, you must include the notion of equity. You cannot have excellence at scale without equity at scale. This is where the conversation becomes difficult... This issue of Voices in Urban Education examines some new ways to talk about equity and excellence and considers some of the steps involved in realizing our stated goal of attaining those elusive aspirations." For this piece, the publication editor interviewed Linda Powell Pruitt and Kenneth Jones.

Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on June 06, 2006 | Resources

TechSoup Stock Donations and Discounts

"Many of the donation programs at TechSoup Stock allow organizations to receive a fixed quantity of technology donations between July 1 and June 30 of our fiscal year. You may place your donation requests any time before June 30, 2006 and become eligible once more to receive a donation on July 1, 2006.

As June 30 approaches, we'd like to encourage you to maximize the benefits of our donation programs."

Referred by: TechSoup By-the-Cup
Posted by wrivenburgh on June 06, 2006 | Funding

Summary of YL discussion thread on using computers in afterschool

As you gear up for summertime tech & learning activities, we’re offering a recap of a discussion and resources from the YL list. Last year, Matt Crichton posed a series of challenges facing his afterschool program which seemed very familiar to others, and over 17 YL members responded with ideas, solutions and philosophies about his scenario.

Challenges & Questions

Kids are not motivated to use computers, and it is hard to keep their attention focused on the activity at hand;
The time schedule does not provide a structured time to come to the computer lab;
The equipment is old, and only 3 of the desktop work stations are functioning;
Girls do not get involved with technology;
What are learning activities that can be used to get the kids started using computers?

Read the entire summary: Synthesis of YL Discussion Thread
Posted by mbiswas on June 06, 2006 | YouthLearn Updates

AT&T Foundation Launches 2006 AT&T Excelerator Grant Program

"AT&T Excelerator is a major philanthropic initiative that helps nonprofits fully integrate technology into their ongoing operations and community outreach. AT&T Excelerator grants also help nonprofit organizations put technology tools into the hands of the underserved populations they work with... In 2006, the AT&T Excelerator grant program will be open to nonprofit organizations located in the following states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin." Deadline: July 5, 2006

Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on June 06, 2006 | Funding

Growing Community Schools: the Role of Cross-Boundary Leadership

This paper, published by the Coalition for Community Schools, "highlights 11 communities around the country whose community school initiatives are moving toward the 'tipping point'... The report focuses on how innovative cross-boundary leaders from education, local government, public, private and community-based agencies, business and other sectors are organizing themselves and their communities to create and sustain community schools. Leaders in these communities recognize that helping all young people succeed means providing them with as much support and as many pathways to success as possible."

Posted by wrivenburgh on June 06, 2006 | Resources