Youth, Education & Technology News : July 2007

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Recent July 2007
+ Seven Steps for Digital Storytelling
+ Candidates field questions from YouTube
+ Study Calls for Stronger Role for Arts in Afterschool
+ Reaching out to Diverse Families
+ Using TANF to Finance Out-of-School Time Initiatives

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July 24, 2007

Seven Steps for Digital Storytelling

There have never been more forums for shooting and sharing video with others - the YouTube Presidential debate being the newest example. To support youth and the educators who work with them on media-making activities, the Adobe Digital Kids Club website offers this useful guide to digital storytelling, with detailed descriptions of the seven process steps. This guide divides the steps into four phases—pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution—and identifies the length of time, processes, and technology associated with each step. "The technology tools, resources, and skills needed vary with each phase, but following these process steps will help your students translate their imagination and talents into exemplar digital stories worth the time and energy spent creating them."

URL: http://www.adobe.com/education/digkids/storytelling/sevensteps.html
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | Activities

Candidates field questions from YouTube

"Democratic presidential candidates were pelted Monday night with scores of questions from the people who will decide which of them becomes the Democratic nominee... The debate -- a first-of-its-kind forum that had voters framing questions through the Internet video site, YouTube -- featured often anguished questions and equally passionate responses from the candidates, who for the first time spent two hours together contending with the frustrations and worries of ordinary voters.... 'The fact that the political conversation is shifting off the airwaves and online is a hugely empowering dynamic that ultimately helps young people,' said Adrian Talbott, a co-founder of Generation Engage. The group, which seeks to bring more young, non-college youth into the political process, hosted debate-watching parties last night in New York, Miami and San Jose."

URL: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/07/23/candidates_field_questions_from_you_tube
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | News

Study Calls for Stronger Role for Arts in Afterschool

"A new study of the role of arts in afterschool programs, drawing on data from a nationwide survey of 21st Century Community Learning Center grantees, concludes that state and local arts organizations need to take a stronger role in initiating partnerships with afterschool programs.

The publication of the study was a joint project of Americans for the Arts and the Afterschool and Community Learning Network... The authors surveyed a stratified random sample of 21st Century grantees. They found that afterschool providers strongly support including arts programming in their afterschool curricula. When asked to identify the most effective methods of incorporating the arts, respondents gave the highest marks to two approaches: providing workshops, field trips, story telling experiences, and development of plays; and providing musical instruments and individual or group lessons as an introduction to skills and genres of music."

URL: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/news_events.cfm?story_id=4000630
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | Research

Reaching out to Diverse Families

"Family involvement in schools is often limited to a small group of parents who seem to do everything. Culturally diverse families may not feel they fit in at the school or have a different perspective on what it means to be involved, so they are often left out of school activities. How can schools move beyond a limited level of family involvement and encourage all families to become more active in their children's schools and education? A strategy brief from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) helps answer this question. It discusses strategies helpful to schools that want to broaden and deepen involvement beyond the traditional fundraising or party-planning activities. In 'Reaching Out to Diverse Populations: What Can Schools Do to Foster Family-School Connections', author Chris Ferguson says that research has indicated that parents, regardless of their ethnicity, culture, or economic status are interested in their children's education."

URL: http://www.sedl.org/connections/research-briefs.html
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | Resources

Using TANF to Finance Out-of-School Time Initiatives

"Quality out-of-school time programs are important elements of an effective system of community supports and services for families and children. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program can be a vital source of funding for maintaining, improving, and expanding out-of-school time initiatives. This brief is designed to help policymakers and program developers understand the opportunities and challenges of effectively using TANF funding to support out-of-school time initiatives. It presents general considerations for using TANF to finance out-of-school time initiatives in light of reauthorization, explores three strategies for using TANF funding and considerations for each strategy, and provides examples of innovative state approaches."

URL: http://www.financeproject.org/publications/TANFtoFinanceOST.pdf
Referred by: Promising Practices in Afterschool
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | Resources

Best Buy Teach Awards to Schools for Creative Uses of Technology

"Through the Best Buy Teach Award program, Best Buy will present $3.5 million in total awards to more than fifteen hundred schools in the United States. The Best Buy Teach Award program recognizes creative uses of interactive technology in K-12 classrooms. Winning Teach Award programs focus on kids using technology to learn standards-based curriculum rather than on teaching students to use technology or educators using technology that children are not able to use hands-on. The purpose of the Best Buy Teach Award program is to reward schools for the successful interactive programs they have launched using available technology."

URL: http://communications.bestbuy.com/communityrelations/teach.asp
Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | Funding

Youth Venture Grants

"Socially conscious young people from the United States between the ages of 12 and 20 years old are encouraged to apply for micro-grants of up to US$1,000 from the Youth Service America (YSA) Youth Venture Program to create sustainable social ventures. Ventures must be youth-led and designed to be a lasting, sustainable asset to the community. Example possibilities include: a youth centre designed to keep youth out of trouble with music and art programmes, an anti-peer pressure education campaign, a bike repair shop with a vocational training programme, or an assembly programme touring inner city schools combining music with anti-drug/violence performances."

URL: http://www.genv.net/en-us/region/ysa
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 24, 2007 | Funding

July 10, 2007

Build Your Own Zoo - a YouthLearn Project to Introduce Presentations

Inspiration is a software program that helps people organize their thoughts and make simple presentations. In this project, you'll introduce kids to the basic features of Inspiration and have them create a web map to present ideas for their own zoo.

URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/zoo.asp
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Activities

Lighting the Way: Photography for Visually Impaired Students

"What would children who are blind show us about the world if they learned to take pictures? The question first occurred to photographer Tony Deifell in 1991, soon after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied anthropology. A year later, he sought an answer by setting up an experimental photography program, called Sound Shadows, at Governor Morehead School for the Blind, in Raleigh, North Carolina... not long after Sound Shadows got under way, Sheila Breitweiser, the school's superintendent at the time, received a package from a student in the program that demonstrated the project's benefits. With her first roll of film, Leuwynda Forbes, then eighteen, had aimed her mechanical eye at cracks in the school's sidewalks. Deifell was dismayed at first, thinking that precious film had been wasted on accidental exposures. Then he saw the note Forbes had attached to one of the photographs, a message for Breitweiser that read, 'Since you are sighted, you may not notice these cracks. They are a big problem, since my white cane gets stuck in them.' The cracks were promptly fixed."

URL: http://www.edutopia.org/lighting-way
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Resources

Chapin Hall Webinar Focuses on Youth Workforce Development

The Forum for Youth Investment Program Manager Elizabeth Gaines presented in this Web conference "to explore the challenges and solutions for disadvantaged youth entering the workforce. Elizabeth shared the Ready by 21 Framework which focuses on the importance of 21st century skills and the systems coordination that must happen to get those skills to the young people that need them. She also shared some promising state policy examples." At this site you can link to a recording of the Web conference, view panelist PowerPoint presentations, and read the audience Q & A log. You can also see a related Forum issue brief on Ready for Work.

URL: http://www.forumfyi.org
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Resources

ESL Social Network/Portal Debuts

"English as a second language (ESL) startup AppleESL.com (Hollywood, CA) has unveiled a new ESL Web portal of the same name, which provides teachers and students with online and downloadable tools, materials, activity templates, lesson plans, and audio and video files.

Leveraging the successful model of social media sites such as YouTube, AppleESL.com lets users share, update, and download the audio and video. The goal of such an approach is to keep instruction materials fresh and constantly renewed."

URL: http://www.appleesl.com/appleesl/esl.nsf/home?OpenForm
Referred by: T.H.E. Journal
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Resources

Make it Your Own Awards for Community Change

"We recognize that improving our communities takes ongoing commitment and persistent action. That's why we're funding people who join together to create innovative ideas and solutions that can lay the groundwork for long-term social change... We're looking for passionate individuals, or individuals working with small, local organizations or groups, who reside in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, to submit an idea for one of these same locations (no international projects)... Twenty finalists will receive a $10,000 grant to help make their idea a reality. The final four (chosen by the votes of our online community) will get an additional $25,000 grant." Brief applications are being accepted online through August 8.

URL: http://www.casefoundation.org/make-it-your-own/awards
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Funding

The Neuroscience of Joyful Education

"Most children can't wait to start kindergarten and they approach the beginning of school with awe and anticipation. Kindergartners and first graders often talk passionately about what they learn and do in school. Unfortunately, the current emphasis on standardized testing and rote learning encroaches upon many students' joy... The truth is that when we scrub joy and comfort from the classroom, we distance our students from effective information processing and long-term memory storage. Instead of taking pleasure from learning, students become bored, anxious, and anything but engaged... Current brain-based research suggests that superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are enjoyable and relevant to students' lives, interests, and experiences. Many education theorists, writes Judy Willis in Educational Leadership magazine, have proposed that students retain what they learn when the learning is associated with strong positive emotion."

URL: http://www.publiceducation.org/20070706_ASCDjoyfuleducation.asp
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Research