mfioretti: education*

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  1. Facebook’s goal is to “push down the age” of when it’s acceptable for kids to be on social media, says Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. Golin says 11-to-12-year-olds who already have a Facebook account, probably because they lied about their age, might find the animated emojis and GIFs of Messenger Kids “too babyish,” and are unlikely to convert to the new app.

    Facebook launched Messenger Kids for 6-to-12-year olds in the US Monday, saying it took extraordinary care and precautions. The company said its 100-person team building apps for teens and kids consulted with parent groups, advocates, and childhood-development experts during the 18-month development process and the app reflects their concerns. Parents download Messenger Kids on their child’s account, after verifying their identity by logging into Facebook. Since kids cannot be found in search, parents must initiate and respond to friend requests.

    Facebook says Messenger Kids will not display ads, nor collect data on kids for advertising purposes. Kids’ accounts will not automatically be rolled into Facebook accounts once they turn 13.

    Nonetheless, advocates focused on marketing to children expressed concerns. The company will collect the content of children’s messages, photos they send, what features they use on the app, and information about the device they use. Facebook says it will use this information to improve the app and will share the information “within the family of companies that are part of Facebook,” and outside companies that provide customer support, analysis, and technical infrastructure.
    https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-...o-messenger-kids/?mbid=social_twitter
    Voting 0
  2. Europe
    13:12 08.12.2017(updated 13:24 08.12.2017) Get short URL
    0 10

    Over the past few years, the number of Christian elementary schools in Norway has doubled. This increase is believed to be a popular reaction to Norwegian society becoming more secular and multiethnic.

    At present, there are currently 82 Christian primary schools spread across the Nordic country, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Education. Nearly half of them have been established over the past seven years. During the same period, only seven schools have been discontinued.

    Western Norway stands out as having the largest proportion of Christian children and youth schools. At the very top, Rogaland county is replete with 13 Christian schools, with another one scheduled for next year.

    Quran
    © Sputnik/ Said Tsarnaev
    Have a Very Quran Christmas! - Norwegian School's Wish to Pupils
    According to Ole Andreas Meling, the rector of Jærtun Lutheran Free School, this is a token that parents want to spare their children from the "un-Christian" school of today.

    "It was parents who took the initiative to start the school in 2001. Parents who had a strong longing for a school with a more Christian approach,"
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/201712...ay-christian-schools-multiculturalism
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  3. Children and young people should be educated in using smartphones to stop them being exploited by the rising tide of sex offenders attempting to groom and sexually abuse them via digital technology, a new UK report has suggested.

    The Digital Childhood released at the Children's Global Media Summit in Manchester, was commissioned by 5Rights, an initiative for youth digital rights launched two years ago by Baroness Beeban Kidron.

    It insists children and young people should be at the center of the digital environment and not left behind or overlooked despite extreme risks, such as grooming and child sexual abuse.

    Constant and unrestricted access to media means children constantly see sensationalist headlines, photoshopped images and unsavory content, which takes control out of their parents' hands as to the content they are exposed to from a young age, Jodie Cook, a social media expert and entrepreneur, believes.

    "App creators are working on creating devices and platforms that are as addictive as possible, which will have an impact on children's brains and attention spans. Currently social media platforms such as Facebook have a minimum age requirement for individuals signing up and films have age restrictions, perhaps we will see this with devices too," Ms. Cook told Sputnik.

    Sex Predators

    Online platforms can be used for heinous crimes such as the sexual exploitation of children by pedophiles and sex predators. This type of abuse can take almost as many forms as in the physical world, ranging from producing, storing and trading child pornography to seeking paid or unpaid sex online once onscreen contact has been established, normally via smartphones.

    Online grooming by pedophiles — the process of persuading a youngster to have sex online, sharing photographs or arranging to meet — is now at an alarmingly high level, prompting the UK government to introduce a new law in April 2017 whereby groomers who target children through mobile phones and social media will face two years in prison.

    The National Crime Agency warned December 4 sex offenders are increasingly using live online streaming platforms to exploit children. In one week alone, authorities identified 345 vulnerable children and arrested 192 people, 30 percent involving streaming, blackmail and grooming.

    Minimum Age

    Next week the House of Lords is scheduled to vote on an amendment to the Data Protection Bill which would force social networks to build child protection into their sites as well as make 13 the minimum age at which a child could create social media accounts online. Ofcom said 43 percent of 11-year olds already have accounts.

    YouTube announced on December 5 it will employ new and improved digital algorithms as well as thousands of human moderators across Google to shield its young viewers from disturbing content.
    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/2017...rtphones-children-grooming-pedophilia
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  4. Perhaps this student would have stressed about violating social norms in any era. But in bygone years, the social norms at her school would’ve been clear and static; whatever upset people there would’ve been easy to avoid doing. Today, so many people are declaring so many things problematic on college campuses that the next controversy is almost impossible to predict; it is increasingly common to have done something without any fear of giving offense (say, urging a sushi night in the dining hall) only to subsequently read that the thing you’re on record having done is the object of a huge controversy elsewhere. Does the faraway story portend a future where you’ll be the one in the hot seat?

    No wonder so many students are stressed out by this. And the risk-averse have it especially hard. “I probably hold back 90 percent of the things that I want to say due to fear of being called out,” another student wrote. “People won’t call you out because your opinion is wrong. People will call you out for literally anything.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...stressing-out-college-students/524679
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  5. When asked by the filmmaker how they would respond if their yard time were reduced to just one hour a day, the inmates are horrified at the suggestion. “I think that’s going to build more anger. That would be torture.” One guard said it would be “potentially disastrous.”

    Shock and disbelief is registers clearly on the inmates’ faces when they learn that children are given less outdoor time than they. “Wow, that is really depressing. That really is,” one says.
    https://www.treehugger.com/culture/ch...less-time-outside-prison-inmates.html
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-04-27)
    Voting 0
  6. Facebook’s reach into our society is unique in scale: 1.86 billion monthly active users (December, 2016), and with its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp it accounts for 77 percent of mobile social traffic. As a result Facebook has come to be regarded as a public utility – this is not the case however. In learning and teaching contexts in particular, whether it is used officially or otherwise, Facebook’s business model raises a number of important questions.

    The formal definition of ethics will typically relate to a moral sense of good and bad as practiced by a person, or a group of people. However, real world scenarios are rarely simple and we frequently encounter instances involving competing principles or values that are difficult to clearly label as good or bad, right or wrong. For the purposes of this site, values refers to a set of standards that are felt to be important. Therefore the ethical question here is really about how we assess, and express these values.

    This site is intended as an accessible and easy to understand guide enabling visitors to draw their own conclusions about the appropriateness of Facebook in education; primarily focused on higher education contexts. References to professional literature are included for those who wish to investigate further. Similarly, all online resources are linked directly. Readers may also find the Resources page of interest.

    The following sections frame the subject under three main headings: Privacy (relating to personal privacy), Support (considering a holistic approach to student support), and Data (concerning the data profiling practices at Facebook).
    https://faceupto.org
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-04-27)
    Voting 0
  7. In a July 20 speech at Ninestiles school in Birmingham, the British prime minister, David Cameron, said, “We believe in respecting different faiths but also expecting those faiths to support the British way of life. These are British values … Our freedom comes from our Parliamentary democracy.”

    The speech was intended to lay down his administration's strategy for tackling Islamist extremism in the country, but could be construed so as to limit the ability of any religious believer to exercise their freedoms of speech and religion.

    “The government needs to avoid classing anyone who takes their religion or faith seriously, especially Christians, as potentially harmful extremists. Catholics must not be forced to act against their religious conscience either in schools or in the workplaces,” Caroline Farrow, a member of Catholic Voices UK and a columnist for the Catholic Universe newspaper, told CNA July 24.

    She said Cameron, who is leading the anti-extremism push, should remember to protect freedom of speech.

    “He needs to take care that the British way of life does not come to mean that those of a religious persuasion are silenced out of fear.”
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new...CNA+Daily+News%29&utm_term=daily+news
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-04-25)
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  8. second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both. For example, I asked my son about this distinction after his open house. He confidently explained that facts were things that were true whereas opinions are things that are believed. We then had this conversation:

    Me: “I believe that George Washington was the first president. Is that a fact or an opinion?”

    Him: “It’s a fact.”

    Me: “But I believe it, and you said that what someone believes is an opinion.”

    Him: “Yeah, but it’s true.”

    Me: “So it’s both a fact and an opinion?”

    The blank stare on his face said it all.
    Related
    More From The Stone

    Read previous contributions to this series.

    How does the dichotomy between fact and opinion relate to morality? I learned the answer to this question only after I investigated my son’s homework (and other examples of assignments online). Kids are asked to sort facts from opinions and, without fail, every value claim is labeled as an opinion. Here’s a little test devised from questions available on fact vs. opinion worksheets online: are the following facts or opinions?


    — Copying homework assignments is wrong.

    — Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior.

    — All men are created equal.

    — It is worth sacrificing some personal liberties to protect our country from terrorism.

    — It is wrong for people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.

    — Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat.

    — Drug dealers belong in prison.

    The answer? In each case, the worksheets categorize these claims as opinions. The explanation on offer is that each of these claims is a value claim and value claims are not facts. This is repeated ad nauseum: any claim with good, right, wrong, etc. is not a fact.

    In summary, our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.

    The inconsistency in this curriculum is obvious. For example, at the outset of the school year, my son brought home a list of student rights and responsibilities. Had he already read the lesson on fact vs. opinion, he might have noted that the supposed rights of other students were based on no more than opinions. According to the school’s curriculum, it certainly wasn’t true that his classmates deserved to be treated a particular way — that would make it a fact. Similarly, it wasn’t really true that he had any responsibilities — that would be to make a value claim a truth. It should not be a surprise that there is rampant cheating on college campuses: If we’ve taught our students for 12 years that there is no fact of the matter as to whether cheating is wrong, we can’t very well blame them for doing so later on.

    Indeed, in the world beyond grade school, where adults must exercise their moral knowledge and reasoning to conduct themselves in the society, the stakes are greater. There, consistency demands that we acknowledge the existence of moral facts. If it’s not true that it’s wrong to murder a cartoonist with whom one disagrees, then how can we be outraged? If there are no truths about what is good or valuable or right, how can we prosecute people for crimes against humanity? If it’s not true that all humans are created equal, then why vote for any political system that doesn’t benefit you over others?

    Our schools do amazing things with our children. And they are, in a way, teaching moral standards when they ask students to treat one another humanely and to do their schoolwork with academic integrity. But at the same time, the curriculum sets our children up for doublethink.
    https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...ont-think-there-are-moral-facts/?_r=0
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-04-20)
    Voting 0
  9. There’s no doubt about it, kids these days really seem to enjoy 3D printing. Lots of new 3D printers on the market are kid-friendly and pretty easy to use, like the Yeehaw. Some companies, like China-based Qingdao Unique Products, are even making it possible for kids to build their own 3D printers with the help of a kit. 10-year-old Calramon Mabalot built his own 3D printer when he was only eight years old, in just four days, using a Printrbot kit! He is, unofficially, the youngest person in the world to build a 3D printer, and according to his Twitter page, the 3D printing experimenter is “answering questions no one is asking.” This incredible and inspiring kid creator is currently at the Inside 3D Printing San Diego Conference & Expo.

    He is visiting the conference on the medical track. Earlier this month, he had the chance to meet Dr. Carberry and Dr. Hedge with San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital, and check out their 3D printed heart models, which will be used for both study and planning. They are also at the conference this week, and Calramon was able to meet up with them again.
    https://3dprint.com/158765/10-year-old-at-i3dp-built-printer
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  10. This detachment of cognitive ideals from contextual knowledge is not confined to the learning of critical thinking. Some schools laud themselves for placing ‘21st-century learning skills’ at the heart of their mission. It’s even been suggested that some of these nebulous skills are now as important as literacy and should be afforded the same status. An example of this is brain-training games that claim to help kids become smarter, more alert and able to learn faster. However, recent research has shown that brain-training games are really only good for one thing – getting good a brain-training games. The claim that they offer students a general set of problem-solving skills was recently debunked by a study that reviewed more than 130 papers, which concluded:

    W » e know of no evidence for broad-based improvement in cognition, academic achievement, professional performance, and/or social competencies that derives from decontextualised practice of cognitive skills devoid of domain-specific content.

    The same goes for teaching ‘dispositions’ such as the ‘growth mindset’ (focusing on will and effort as opposed to inherent talent) or ‘grit’ (determination in the face of obstacles). It’s not clear that these dispositions can be taught, and there’s no evidence that teaching them outside a specific subject matter has any effect.

    Instead of teaching generic critical-thinking skills, we ought to focus on subject-specific critical-thinking skills that seek to broaden a student’s individual subject knowledge and unlock the unique, intricate mysteries of each subject. For example, if a student of literature knows that Mary Shelley’s mother died shortly after Mary was born and that Shelley herself lost a number of children in infancy, that student’s appreciation of Victor Frankenstein’s obsession with creating life from death, and the language used to describe it, is more enhanced than approaching the text without this knowledge. A physics student investigating why two planes behave differently in flight might know how to ‘think critically’ through the scientific method but, without solid knowledge of contingent factors such as outside air temperature and a bank of previous case studies to draw upon, the student will struggle to know which hypothesis to focus on and which variables to discount.

    As Willingham writes: ‘Thought processes are intertwined with what is being thought about.’ Students need to be given real and significant things from the world to think with and about, if teachers want to influence how they do that thinking.
    https://aeon.co/ideas/why-schools-sho...each-general-critical-thinking-skills
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