Youth, Education & Technology News : December 2008

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+ Best Wishes from YouthLearn Team for the New Year!
+ National Afterschool Association 2009 Convention
+ Inspired Visual Learning Awards
+ Study finds poverty dramatically affects children's brains
+ Alice - Programming in 3-D

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December 17, 2008

Best Wishes from YouthLearn Team for the New Year!

Our team has much planned for 2009, which we'll be excited to share with the YouthLearn community when the time comes. We wish you the best in your endeavors for the coming year. And, as always, please be in touch to let us know how things are going in your corner of the youth, education, and technology world.

URL: http://www.youthlearn.org
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 17, 2008 | YouthLearn Updates

National Afterschool Association 2009 Convention

Jazzing It Up Afterschool Style: Leadership, Learning and Creativity in New Orleans - NAA's 21st Annual Convention - is being held April 2 - 4, 2009, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 3,000 afterschool professionals and stakeholders are expected to attend. It's one of the largest conventions for the afterschool field, and, this year, takes place as a joint conference overlapping with the annual convention of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

URL: http://www.naaconvention.org/index.html
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 17, 2008 | Resources

Inspired Visual Learning Awards

"Inspiration Software, Inc. offers an annual educator awards program. Totaling more than $22,000 in cash and technology prizes, the 2008-2009 Inspired Visual Learning Awards will recognize 15 K-12 educators and their students who are creatively using visual learning in their classrooms. Applications are being accepted until February 27, winners will be announced March 31, 2009.

To win an award for their classrooms, educators must submit student-created examples using Inspiration Software's visual learning software tools: Inspiration®, Kidspiration® and InspireData®. Winners will receive technology and funds for professional development and/or new technology purchases that support visual learning in their classrooms."

URL: http://cf.inspiration.com/vlawards/
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 17, 2008 | Funding

Study finds poverty dramatically affects children's brains

"Certain brain functions in some low-income nine- and ten-year-olds show patterns equivalent to the damage from a stroke, according to a new study to be published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, USA TODAY reports. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that poverty afflicts children's brains through malnutrition, stress, illiteracy, and toxic environments. Research shows that the neural systems of poor children develop differently from those of middle-class children, affecting language development and 'executive function,' or the ability to plan, remember details, and pay attention in school. . . Research also suggests that these effects are reversible through intensive intervention such as focused lessons and games that encourage children to think out loud or use executive function."

URL: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-12-07-childrens-brains_N.htm
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 17, 2008 | Research

Alice - Programming in 3-D

This educational software, named Alice, teaches users computer programming in a 3-D environment. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched earlier this year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.

Young people can easily create animations to tell a story, produce an interactive game, or make videos to share on the web. A free teaching tool, Alice introduces fundamental programming concepts in the context of making media.
Alice was developed to engage young people in computer science and, especially, to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of computer science concepts to addressing real-world problems. The software and supporting materials grow out of a collaboration of faculty, staff, and students across several universities.

URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=21
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 17, 2008 | Activities

Name NASA's Next Rover - Essay Contest

Learn about the Mars Rover and come up with a name for it ahead of its next mission! To enter the essay contest, students must be in grades K-12 in the United States, including U.S. possessions and schools operated by the U.S. for children of American personnel overseas. There are Disney/Pixar WALL-E prizes for finalists and a trip to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the winner.

Submit essays between November 18, 2008 - January 25, 2009.

URL: http://marsrovername.jpl.nasa.gov/
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 17, 2008 | Activities

December 02, 2008

MTV and Ashoka GenV Invite Young People to Submit Ideas for the Environment

"MTV Switch, MTV Networks International's global climate change campaign, and Ashoka GenV are inviting young people to submit their creative ideas for improving the environment through the 'Dream It. Do It' challenge.

Applicants will be eligible for seed funding awards of up to $1,000 each to make their ideas a reality. Up to twenty-five grants will be awarded through the challenge. The best projects may also be featured in a half-hour MTV documentary scheduled for Earth Day 2009...

The challenge is open to all youth between the ages of 12 and 20 in North America and Europe and 12 and 24 everywhere else...

Ideas and action plans may be submitted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French." Deadline: December 31, 2008

URL: http://www.mtv-venture.org
Referred by: Foundation Center
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 02, 2008 | Funding

Ten ways to boost learning with technology

"Urging policy makers and school leaders 'to take bold steps ... to improve education for America's 21st-century leaders,' the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has issued new guidance for reforming the nation's schools with the help of technology.

Hoping to reach the attention of a new administration and Congress, SETDA's 'Class of 2020: Action Plan for Education' notes that every child entering kindergarten this year deserves a high-quality, 21st-century education. The plan includes several white papers, a Student Bill of Rights, and a set of 10 recommendations to improve teaching and learning using technology."

URL: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/index.cfm?i=56081
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 02, 2008 | News

Afterschool Activities from the How Stuff Works Website

"Kids don't stop learning when they come home from school. The after-school activities for kids on these pages are entertaining, educational ways to engage kids and keep their curious minds working when they're not in the classroom.

From physically active hula-hoop games that teach cooperation to kite-making projects good for blustery fall afternoons, these after-school activities will provide hours of learning and laughs for your kids and their friends."

The site also links to afterschool games, crafts, and more activities for young people.

URL: http://home.howstuffworks.com/after-school-activities.htm
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 02, 2008 | Activities

I Was Wondering - Women's Adventures in Science

I Was Wondering is an engaging online space comprised of interactive activities, such as games, comics, forums, and a timeline, that highlight scientific explorations and celebrate women scientists. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched earlier this year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.

This resource supports young people, especially girls, in learning the fundamental skills of scientific investigation and empowers them to tackle such adventures. Complementing the ten-volume series of biographies entitled Women's Adventures in Science, the website showcases the accomplishments of contemporary women scientists.

The National Academy of Sciences developed this resource in order to deepen young people's understanding of science concepts, careers, and the valuable role that women have played in the advancement of science. Hands-on science lab activities and the biography series move the learning off line - and the comprehensive Teacher Guide provides tips on implementing the activities.

URL: http://www.iwaswondering.org
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 02, 2008 | Activities

National Girls Collaborative Project Program Directory

"The goal of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is to maximize access to shared resources within projects and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and math. More information and resources are available at the project Web site.

One of the valuable NGCP resources is the free, online Program Directory. The Program Directory lists programs and resources that encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The purpose of the directory is to help organizations and individuals network, share resources, and collaborated on STEM-related projects for girls."

URL: http://ngcproject.org/directory/
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 02, 2008 | Resources

CJC's Cultural Competency Guide

The Chicago Jobs Council Cultural Competency and Employment Initiative offers this concise guide as a resource for organizations based in Chicago and beyond: Ready? Set. Grow! A Starter’s Guide for Becoming Culturally Competent. The authors explain, "Workforce development organizations must recognize and value a diverse set of skills and abilities from their employees and job seekers and provide a workplace environment that is nurturing. CJC believes that creating a nurturing environment and addressing racial, ethnic, and other cultural issues, will lead to more productive workers and better opportunities and outcomes for job seekers. This guide is provided to assist you as you begin to explore diversity training and pursue the building of a more culturally competent organization."

URL: http://www.cjc.net/publications/5_Capacity_Building_PDFs/ReadySetGrow_StarterGuide_CultComp.pdf
Posted by wrivenburgh on December 02, 2008 | Resources