The Scout Report
October 25, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 43
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
Nanotechnology Curriculum Materials
The Wallace Foundation
Iowa State University: Center for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education
League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis
ISTEM: Lesson Plans
Building a Stronger Illinois
Theodore Roosevelt Collection Photographs
The Duke Chronicle
Chicago Film Archives
Beat Poetry, Broadsides, and Little Magazines
How do you solve a problem like poverty?
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How is digital storytelling different than just plain old storytelling? Digital storytelling utilizes computer-based tools to tell stories, which is the key difference. The method is not so new, as it has been going on in earnest for two decades. This particular manifestation of digital storytelling is part of the University of Houston, and it contains a primer on the subject (the How To section), along with a range of examples stories and news from the center. Educators will appreciate the Educational Materials area as it contains lesson plans, information about copyright infringement, the creation of e-books, and evaluating the success of digital storytelling projects. Additionally, the Example Stories contains over four dozen links to existing digital storytelling projects such as "Spies of the Revolutionary War!" and "Crucibles in Action". [KMG]
Based at Cornell University, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) works to provide helpful information about the world of nanotechnology to a range of partners and stakeholders. This fine corner of their site provides interested parties with a range of curriculum materials that covers biology, general science, chemistry, environmental science, and technology. A helpful matrix guides visitors through the availability of different modules throughout grade levels and subject areas. The modules here have creative and engaging titles, such as "Help or Hype: The Ethics of Bio-nanotechnology" and "Powers of Ten with the Blue Morpho Butterfly." Each of the modules is well-developed and include teacher instructions, lecture questions, and a range of seminar-style discussion questions for further exploration. [KMG]
Based in New York, the Wallace Foundation is a national philanthropy that seeks "to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children." Visitors to their website can learn more about their outreach and research programs through their Primary Topics area. Here, they can read about recent findings that deal with the importance of strong school leaderships, informal learning outside of the classroom, and resources for nonprofit financial management. Moving on, the Knowledge Center contains links to fact sheets, white papers, and databases that deal with arts education, summer learning programs, and four other topical areas. Additionally, visitors shouldn't miss the Latest News area, which contains press releases about the Wallace Foundation's work and advocacy programs crafted through partnerships with other organizations, such as school districts, government agencies, and so on. [KMG]
The mission of the Center for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education (CESMEE) is to conduct research that will create change in STEM education in K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities. Their work includes longitudinal studies, research assessments, and outreach programs to both educators and students. The four key areas on the site include Programs, Students, Research, and Resources. Within Research, visitors can learn about their ongoing research programs into algebra screening and STEM student enrollment. The Resources area includes helpful newsletters about their work, along with direct links to state reports on STEM education, national reports, and links to STEM-focused journals. Finally, visitors can use the Programs area to learn about their ongoing seminars and professional development workshops. [KMG]
For decades, some watchdog organizations and former NFL players have warned about the possible long-term effects of sustained concussions suffered by professional football players. This recent documentary from Frontline looks closely into this situation by interviewing players, scientists, family members, and others with an interest in the subject. Users can watch the entire program here and they will definitely want to look at some of the bonus features as well. These include a detailed timeline, commentary from current NFL players including Tom Brady, and additional interviews with experts about the science of concussions. It's an engaging program and one that will be of interest to journalists, sports fans, and anyone with an interest in physiology. [KMG]
Professor David Bressoud teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and he is a former president of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). It is fitting that he writes a monthly column for the MAA and given his own research interests, it is appropriate that it deals with studies of mathematics pedagogy and related subjects. Visitors can look through each month's column and they will discover plenty of helpful links to germane studies, along with incisive commentary. Visitors will find the commentary quite sound and note that each post also includes helpful links to resources created by MAA and their affiliates. [KMG]
The goal of the Indiana STEM Network (ISTEM) is to help Indiana become a national leader in student academic achievement in STEM disciplines. This section of their well-thought out website provides a wealth of information on excellent lesson plans crafted by their team of experts. Currently the site has over 300 of these plans, organized by intended audience, target grade level, and subject. The Recently Added area is a great place to start and it contains fun explorations, such as Variables Lesson, Bar Graphs: A Statistical Skyline, and I've Seen That Shape Before. Those persons looking for highly recommended resources should look at the Most Recommended resources for items that have received high marks from peer reviewers. [KMG]
The Building a Stronger Illinois initiative looks at the range of public-private partnerships that serve the residents of Illinois through their work on a range of policy projects. Their work primarily looks at how non-profits positively impact the state through employment, outreach projects, and their general contributions to the cultural milieu of Illinois. On their homepage visitors can look through five different areas, including The Research, Statewide Profile, Statewide Presence, and Toolkit. In The Research area, visitors can look through their data analysis and report on the economic and workforce impacts of nonprofits in Illinois. The Statewide Profile looks at the total employment by nonprofits in the state along with detailed breakdown reports on these employees and the size and structure of these nonprofits. Finally, users shouldn't miss the Toolkit, which provides access to information about how they can support nonprofits in the state through reaching out to their elected officials via a range of social media tools. [KMG]
TED's City 2.0 is "a gathering place for urban citizens to share innovations and inspire actions." The focus of this rather wonderful series of events was to work on envisioning the cities of the future. Visitors to the site will find archived videos from the devoted day of urban inspiration in 2012 and 2013 and they can click through the Videos area to get started. There are over two dozen talks here, including The Art of Data, Globalizing Home and Emerging from the Ecotone. Moving on to the People section, visitors can look over the stories shared from around the globe via the clickable map of the world. Visitors with a specific interest in a certain type of urban success story might want to use the Themes area to look over talks on art, housing, public space, or other matters. [KMG]
President Theodore Roosevelt was a complex man but one can get to know him through his writings, speeches, and policy initiatives. This digital collection offers up a realm of photographs that tell a different set of stories via his African safaris, visits to Brazil, and a trip to the Panama Canal. The offerings include formal portraits, newsreel stills, panoramic views, and even lantern slides. There are over 4600 items here and visitors can create their own embedded archive on the site or view detailed records of each item. It's a remarkable visual tour through much of Roosevelt's life. And, of course, it makes sense that the collection is at Harvard since he was a member of the class of 1880, magna cum laude. [KMG]
Every university newspaper tells a story about its community, warts and all. Duke University's student newspaper, The Duke Chronicle, depicts a slice of campus history from 1959 to 1970. This was a tumultuous time on campus with a range of student protests going on, along with desegregation and various cultural events. First-time visitors can read about the history of the Chronicle here as well as look through the rotating images of front page covers to get a sense of the offerings. Visitors can also browse around by date or perform a detailed keyword search. [KMG]
The Indianapolis Museum of Art has created ArtBabble to showcase "high-quality art-related video content from more than 50 cultural institutions from around the world." Along the top of the homepage visitors will find drop-down menus that cover Location, Themes, Medium, and People. Given the nature of the site, that's a fine way to get a handle for the many treasures here. On the bottom of the homepage, visitors can look over the area For Educators, which is a great resource. The highlights here are the Play videos, which look at how different artistic styles offer elements of play and whimsy to this human endeavor. Visitors might also do well to look over the More area, as it brings content together by video type, museum practice, and language. [KMG]
The Chicago Film Archives is an amazing regional film archive that collects, preserves, and provides access to films that represent the spirit of the Midwest. They work together with a range of other partners to host film festivals, develop seminars, and also sponsor public lectures. Visitors should click on over to the Explore Collections area to browse through over 600 films. This section contains finding aids, information about historic home movies, and access to very unique films. First-time visitors might start with some of the great home movies of Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s. Moving on, the Conservation Projects section is a real pip. Here, visitors can look over two remarkable dance performances from the Ravinia Music Festival from 1928 and seven short films that document the social and cultural upheavals that swept across Chicago in the late 1960s. It's a remarkable site where anyone with an interest in the history of documentary filmmaking and related matters will find much to enjoy. [KMG]
When you think of the beats, the first state that comes to mind is most likely not Utah. However, the Utah State University Libraries have crafted an elegant and wonderful collection of documents, broadsheets, handouts, and posters that were crafted as part of this social and cultural movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This particular collection is part of a series of gifts purchased by the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation and covered topics include environmental consciousness, civil rights, fee speech, and the anti-war movement. Here, visitors will find nineteen different items, including "Dancing Comes the Hump-backed Flute Player" and "Revolt of the Ashcans." [KMG]
The mission of the Anthropology.net site is to "create a cohesive online community of individuals interested in anthropology." On the site visitors can learn about the team of editors and browse around through topical pieces on the role of climate during the African Stone Age or a provocative piece titled "What's Wrong With Anthropology?" On the site, visitors can sign up for an email subscription, search around by keyword and also look over comments by informed readers. Additionally, visitors can peruse the archives, which date back to September 2005. [KMG]
The tagline on the MetMedia website is "see the Museum in new ways." To live up to this claim, the Metropolitan Museum has gathered a variety of media, presented in an easy to navigate tabbed display. There's video - 513 short and long videos, arranged in chronological order. The newest video is of TEDxMET, October 19th, a day-long ticketed program that explored "signature buildings, singular stories, modern lives, and medieval beliefs, featuring speakers and performances from a range of disciplines." Videos can be browsed by Collection or location in the Museum that they are related to, such as the American Wing. Current available audio includes a 6-minute podcast of Curator Andrew Bolton discussing "PUNK: Chaos to Couture," that closed August 11, 2013. There's also a section of apps and games, such as Faking It - view historic photographs before and after retouching. The Kids' Zone provides more games for the younger set, such as "How Van Gogh Made His Mark," demonstrating how a few squiggles made by the artist can add up to a wheat field. [DS]
Are you looking for a simple way to share a range of content, whether it be photos or music, on your homepage? Tackk has you covered and it's a nice way to customize a visitor's experience through colors, shapes, images, and creative backgrounds. Visitors will not need to login and these new creations can be shared instantly and saved for future use. This version is compatible with computers running all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]
If you've ever tried to modify a photo with any degree of complexity, it can be tough. LightZone makes this entire process quite simple and easy. While the program is designed for more expert users, the interface here is user-friendly and visitors will note that there are over 120 filters and customizable options to take advantage of via the program. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]
Zen and the art of poverty reduction
World Bank President Pledges to Reduce Poverty in Half by 2020
Is the World bank reforming its approach?
A Solutions Partnership to End Poverty
Poverty Home: World Bank
World Bank Data: Poverty
Around the world, thousands of policy makers, elected officials, and NGOs work to address the problem of poverty. It is vastly different in the developing world of course, and many additional elements must be considered before rolling out a new set of policy initiatives. Recently, the World Bank released a new strategy earlier this month that announced that their "value proposition" is to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to foster income growth among the poorest 40% in every country. It's a worthy goal and to achieve this, commentators like policy experts at The Economist have noted that they will need to correctly diagnose "the worst constraints on poverty reduction and focus mainly on those." Others have noted that the Bank will need to address problems with functional "silos" within the organization that keep experts on different regions of the world from communicating best practices and difficulties with each other. [KMG]
The first link will take users to a recent piece from last week's Economist on the World Bank's shift in their focus on alleviating poverty throughout the world. The second link will take curious visitors to a recent piece from Bloomberg News about World Bank President Jim Yong Kim's official announcement about their pledge to reduce global poverty. The third link will take visitors to a piece by development consultant Syed Mohammad Ali that offers comments on this recent major decision. The fourth link will take visitors to the official transcript from World Bank Vice President Sanjay Pradhan of his speech regarding the organization's new strategy for reducing poverty. The fifth link will whisk users away to the official World Bank Poverty page. Here, visitors can read more about specific initiatives around the world and also find more details about their long-term goals. The last link will take visitors to the complete World Bank data archive for information on poverty around the world.
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