Youth, Education & Technology News : January 2009

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Recent January 2009
+ The Inauguration of President Barack Obama
+ Letters from the White House
+ The Innovation Center and Kellogg Leadership for Community Change Knowledge Well
+ WolfQuest - Online Game and Activities
+ Legacy Project: Listen to A Life

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January 21, 2009

The Inauguration of President Barack Obama

The nation and the world today witnessed the inauguration of President Barack Obama, a truly historic event. Multiple news outlets offer video clips if you missed it or wish to see it again, or to show it to youth in your programs. From now on, the official White House website features news about President Obama's agenda on education, technology, the economy and other issues - as well as a blog, weekly video address, and additional resources. Stay informed and get involved beyond election season, and practice the art of democracy!

URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 21, 2009 | News

Letters from the White House

"Introduce young readers and writers to one of the most personal and meaningful ways to communicate with Letters from the White House. This national creative writing contest encourages students in grades PreK through 12 to explore the useful arts of letter writing and journaling, take a look at the history of our country, and tap into their own creativity when they imagine and write about themselves as having a role in a past, present or future White House. Contest resources for educators and parents can help make this a fun and meaningful project for the classroom, after school program or for families at home.

Letters from the White House is presented by Reading Rockets, AdLit.org, and the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance (NCBLA) in celebration of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, the NCBLA's critically acclaimed publication about American history." Submit entries by February 16.

URL: http://www.adlit.org/our_white_house_contest
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 21, 2009 | Activities

January 20, 2009

The Innovation Center and Kellogg Leadership for Community Change Knowledge Well

"At the Innovation Center we're thrilled to announce the launch of our new website!... our site can serve as a resource for anyone – youth, adults, community organizers, educators, activists, social entrepreneurs, engaged citizens – interested in working with youth and creating community change.

The central feature of the new site is the interactive Kellogg Leadership for Community Change (KLCC) Knowledge Well – a virtual nexus of tools, activities, people and ideas all intended to help you engage both youth and adults to affect real, long lasting change in your community. Here, you can browse (and download – for free!) through our ever popular tool kits, as well as tips and activities generated during the course of the KLCC initiative."

URL: http://www.theinnovationcenter.org
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 20, 2009 | Resources

WolfQuest - Online Game and Activities

WolfQuest is a free online game and resource that teaches wolf behavior and ecology through exciting game play and intense social interactions. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched last year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.

Players immerse themselves in a 3-D wildlife simulation that leads to powerful informal learning. In addition to the game, WolfQuest supports an online community where players can post tips and strategies, ask questions of wolf experts, share personal artwork and stories, and test their knowledge of wolves.

Having launched at the end of 2007, with an updated version released mid-2008, WolfQuest is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=25
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 20, 2009 | Activities

Legacy Project: Listen to A Life

"The Legacy Project Listen to A Life Contest connects generations through oral history. To enter, a young person must interview an older person about his or her hopes and goals throughout life, how he/she achieved goals and overcame obstacles, or how his/her dreams may have changed along the way. The young person then writes a 300-word essay based on the interview. Maximum award: a Lenovo ThinkCentre, iPod Classic, and $800 worth of Orchard Software; young person's school receives $25,000 worth of Orchard Software. Eligibility: each team must consist of a young person 8-18 years and a grandparent or grandfriend 50 years or over." Deadline: March 30, 2009.

URL: http://www.legacyproject.org/contests/ltal.html
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 20, 2009 | Funding

January 06, 2009

Three in Four Voters Want Increased Funding for Afterschool

"A new poll taken on Election eve and Election night shows that nearly nine in ten voters (89 percent) say that, given the dangers young people face today, afterschool programs are important. Four in five voters (83 percent) agree there should be some type of organized activity or safe place for children and teens to go after school every day that provides opportunities for them to learn – and 76 percent want the new Congress and their newly elected state and local officials to increase funding for afterschool programs. The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners with bipartisan analysis by Lake and The Tarrance Group for the Afterschool Alliance."

URL: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/press_archives/electionPoll2008NR.pdf
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 06, 2009 | News

Pew/Internet Survey on the Future of the Internet III

"A survey of experts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, and the structure of the Internet itself improves. They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives."

URL: http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/predictions/2008_survey.pdf
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 06, 2009 | News

InvenTeams Grant Initiative

"The Lemelson-MIT Program is currently accepting applications for 2010 InvenTeams, which are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. The InvenTeam initiative is designed to excite high school students about invention, empower students through problem solving, and encourage an inventive culture in schools and communities. The deadline to submit is April 24, 2009."

URL: http://web.mit.edu/inventeams/apply.html
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 06, 2009 | Funding

Campaign for Rights of the Child Essay Contest 2009

The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) invites youth throughout the U.S. to participate in its second nationwide essay contest. The purpose of this contest is to continue to raise awareness of the CRC among youth and to engage them in thoughtful reflection on the potential impacts the Convention would have on children and youth in the U.S.

The contest is open to U.S. students in grades 6-12 and homeschooled students in the equivalent grade levels (who currently live in the U.S.). Five winners will be chosen and will receive airfare and accommodations for him/herself and one parent/legal guardian to participate in the Campaign’s 2009 Symposium. Submissions must be received by March 20, 2009.

The Instruction Kit and Application are available for download at the program website.

URL: http://childrightscampaign.org/crcindex.php?sNav=youth_snav.php&sDat=youth_dat.php
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 06, 2009 | Activities

Study Says Many Teens Display Risky Behavior on MySpace

"More than half of teenagers mention risky behaviors such as sex and drugs on their MySpace accounts, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said many young people who use social networking sites such as News Corp's MySpace do not realize how public they are and may be opening themselves to risks, but the sites may also offer a new way to identify and help troubled teens.

'We found the majority of teenagers who have a MySpace account are displaying risky behaviors in a public way that is accessible to a general audience,' said Dr. Dimitri Christakis of Seattle Children's Research Institute, whose studies appear in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.... Christakis said many teens are unaware of how public and permanent Internet information can be, while parents often do not know what their kids are up to."

URL: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090106/tc_nm/us_teens_myspace
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 06, 2009 | Research

Scratch - Software for Media Production

With Scratch software, users can easily combine media to create and share their own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched last year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.

As young people work on projects in Scratch, they learn many of the 21st century skills that will be critical to success in the future: thinking creatively, communicating clearly, analyzing systematically, using technologies fluently, collaborating effectively, designing iteratively, and learning continuously.

Scratch, a free software program, was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Intel Foundation, Nokia, and MIT Media Lab research consortia.

URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=24
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 06, 2009 | Activities