The Scout Report -- Volume 21, Number 31

The Scout Report -- Volume 21, Number 31

The Scout Report

August 14, 2015 -- Volume 21, Number 31

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Research and Education

  Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas
  Indians of the Midwest: The Newberry Library
  Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Teach
  CS For All: Introduction to Computer Science and Python Programming
  Neuroanthropology
  CERN Education
  Civics Renewal Network: A Republic, If We Can Teach It

General Interest

  Canadian Academy of Health Sciences: Reports
  Work in Progress
  Robben Island Museum
  POSTmatter
  Tech Insider
  ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism
  The Center for Science and Democracy
  Wisconsin Women Making History

Network Tools

  Until AM
  R: The R Project for Statistical Computing

In the News

  As College Costs Rise, Some Students Turn to Crowdfunding to Finance their Academic Dreams



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Research and Education

Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas

·http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-resources-educators-matt-davis

For educators who are searching for ways to harness the power of social media in their classrooms, this Edutopia article by writer Matt Davis will pay dividends. Davis begins by making a case for social media use, then launches into a resource-packed review of 33 Internet articles that offer tips on integrating Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest into a variety of curricula. Highlights include articles, such as Education Week?s "New How-To Guide for Using Facebook in the Classroom" and David Truss' ?One-Stop-All-You-Need-to-Know-Guide to Twitter." With only one in five teachers regularly using social media with their students, this site could boost confidence and help utilize these powerful tools. [CNH]


Indians of the Midwest: The Newberry Library

·http://publications.newberry.org/indiansofthemidwest/

As the second-largest independent research library in the United States, the Newberry Library in Chicago is known as one of America's great repositories of knowledge. This site invites readers to explore the Indians of the Midwest, both past and present. Readers may scout the site's eight informative sections: People, Places, & Time; the Homeland & Its Use; The Marketplace; Treaties; Identities; Property; Indian Imagery; and Are Midwest Indians Typical? Within each section readers may further delve into the history, politics, and other issues related to the Midwest's Native peoples through drawings, video interviews, and quotes from newspaper articles, treaties, supreme court rulings, and other documents. [CNH]


Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Teach

·http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/teach/

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology has launched a fully revamped website with larger visuals and mobile-friendly designs. Educators will find the new Teach section especially helpful. Here STEM teachers will find dozens of Activities for a range of subjects, grades, and topics, such as Astronomy, Energy, Measurement. In addition, the Resources tab offers a variety of JPL-related resources, such as posters, printouts, downloads, and classroom materials. For STEM teachers looking to bring space-related lesson plans to life, the JPL site has much to offer. [CNH]


CS For All: Introduction to Computer Science and Python Programming

·https://www.edx.org/course/cs-all-introduction-computer-science-harveymuddx-cs005x

What if you could take a completely free, fast-paced introduction to computer science and Python programming from the comfort of your own laptop? And what if the course was offered by one of America's great tech colleges? That's exactly what this 14-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provides. Interested readers may enroll at any time. The course, taught by computer science professor Zachary Dodds, begins as self-paced and then falls into a rhythm that demands about five to seven hours of work per week. Along the way readers will learn basic Python programming, strategies for solving computational problems, applications of computer science, and various design, implementation, documentation, and testing skills. Students may pay $50 to add a Verified Certificate of completion. [CNH]


Neuroanthropology

·http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/

As this site from anthropologists Daniel Lende and Greg Downey explains, "Neuroanthropology places the brain and nervous system at the center of discussions about human nature, recognizing that much of what makes us distinctive inheres in the size, specialization, and dynamic openness of the human nervous system." Recent posts on this informative blog have included musings on youth and violent extremism, an exegesis of cultural relativism, and an overview of common brain mechanisms in mental illness. Downey and Lende are often funny, always intelligent, and profoundly well-informed. For anyone interested in the intersection between culture and the brain, this site is a must read. [CNH]


CERN Education

·http://education.web.cern.ch/education/Chapter2/Intro.html

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, from the French), which employees over two thousand staff members and has hosted more than ten thousand fellows, associates, and apprentices, is one of the greatest international science projects in history. Educators will find a wide array of helpful resources on CERN's Teaching Resources site, including "presentations, recorded lectures, teaching materials, movies, animations, games, posters, photos, games and ideas for practical activities in the classroom." For instance, the 56-page, downloadable PDF of Jacques Deferne and Alain Gassener?s lesson, "The Amazing World of Atoms,? takes middle school and high school students through a colorful tour of the basics of atomic physics and chemistry. Other topics include antimatter, the Big Bang, and particle physics, as well as an introduction to accelerators. [CNH]


Civics Renewal Network: A Republic, If We Can Teach It

·http://www.civicsrenewalnetwork.org/

This site from the Civics Renewal Network, which was created by 26 nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations in 2013, provides a panoply of free online classroom resources for civics teachers and students. Readers may want to begin with the Featured Content tab, which highlights a few dozen favorites resources from the site, including a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and instructional video for how to use the Civics Renewal Network Website. The meat of the site, however, can be found in the Resources section. Here readers will find over 1,000 resources that can be searched by Subjects, Grades, Issues, Teaching Strategies, Resource Types, and Standards, among others. [CNH]


General Interest

Canadian Academy of Health Sciences: Reports

·http://www.cahs-acss.ca/reports/

The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) has been publishing Reports on the science of health-related issues since its inception in 2004. On this section of the CAHS site, readers will find expert research on a variety of topics, from oral health to early childhood development. Selecting the Continue Reading button for any of the topics will navigate readers to a brief summary of the report, including Context, Questions, Findings, Vision, and Recommendations. From there, readers may peruse either the Executive Summary, which provides greater detail, or download the report in full in either English or French. One particular item of interest, "The Health Effects of Conducted Energy Weapons,? examines the impacts of the use of Tasers and other Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs) on physiology and health. [CNH]


Work in Progress

·http://www.fsgworkinprogress.com/

Founded in 1946, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux is often considered one of the world's great literary publishers, with a backlist that includes such luminaries as T.S. Eliot and Pablo Neruda. Work in Progress, a site from the esteemed publishers, claims to offer "The Latest from the Front Lines of Literature." At the least, the site grants a peek into some wonderful new writing, as well as interviews with some living literary greats. Readers may like to begin with the Excerpts section, which, at the time of this writing, boasts short bursts of prose from Mia Couto?s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel, Confession of the Lioness, among others. In addition, the On Writing section features snippets from writers about their work, including a recent interview with Jonathan Franzen on his much-anticipated novel, Purity.[CNH]


Robben Island Museum

·http://www.robben-island.org.za/

Made famous as the place where the South African government held Nelson Mandela for 18 years, Robben Island was first used by the Dutch to jail political prisoners as early as the mid-17th century. This site from the Robben Island Museum offers an engaging virtual tour of the island. Readers may like to begin by selecting Explore the Island or Virtual Tour, located under the Discover tab. This pulls up a map that highlights points of interest, including ship wrecks, landmarks, and other historical milestones. Each of the landmarks is accompanied by a brief exposition. For instance, readers can peruse the history of the Blue Stone Quarry, which was started in the 1600s, or the 200-ton Taiwanese tuna fishing vessel that ran aground on the south side of the island in 1975. The Interactive Timeline is another great feature of this site, which begins over one million years ago, ends in the present day, and covers such topics as Army, Cemeteries, Banishment, Prison Life, and others. [CNH]


POSTmatter

·http://postmatter.com/

POSTmatter is a beautiful website dedicated to the convergence of the digital and physical world. After perusing the latest updates from the landing page, readers may like to delve into the Project tab, which features items such as the Diesel store design of Andreas Nicolas Fischer, and offers images, an interview, and video to bring this "abstract digital organism" to life. In addition, readers may enjoy watching a handful of Interviews that chronicle the work and lives of artists in their own words. Of particular interest is an interview with Carla Gannis in which she addresses topics, such as Why Make Digital Art, Working Across Media, and Gender in Your Work. [CNH]


Tech Insider

·http://www.techinsider.io/

Tech Insider is an unabashedly tech-friendly online magazine with scores of articles about the latest, the new, and the innovative. It celebrates an "exciting new era," in which technology is "rewriting rules for how to live and work." Launched on July 27th, 2015, the magazine is divided into six sections: Trending, Tech, Science, Innovation, Culture, and Video. Recent articles have explored the reasons Spotify is better than Apple Music, a discourse on productivity tips, a report on a looming global food crisis, and a review of eight moments that made Jon Stewart great, complete with video clips. Since articles are published multiple times a day, there is always something fresh on this site for readers who are looking for the latest in the science and culture of tech. [CNH]


ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism

·http://global100.adl.org/

Founded in 1913, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has worked for over a century to expand its original mission ?to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.? Between July 2013 and February 2014, the ADL conducted the ADL Global 100, a survey questionnaire of which the results are fully available and searchable on the site. To view the results, readers may like to start with the interactive Map, where they may select a region of the globe before drilling down to country level for more specific information on anti-semitism. In addition, the Did You Know tab offers valuable information about global anti-semitism, while the Compare tab allows readers to analyze similarities and differences between different regions around the world. The graphics on this interactive website make it a first class viewing and knowledge experience. [CNH]


The Center for Science and Democracy

·http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/center-science-and-democracy

The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded by MIT scientists and students in 1969 in an attempt to pressure the United States government to divert funding away from military technologies and into environmental and social problems. Since then, the organization has participated in dozens of campaigns to raise public awareness and move science policy in a more humane direction. The Center for Science and Democracy (CSD) is just one more step in that direction. Readers may want to begin with the What's At Stake tab, which explains the CSD's mission to bring hard research to bear on public policy. The blog features almost-daily articles on the intersection of public policy and science findings, while readers will find a number of in-depth reports under Publications. Over the years reports have covered topics ranging from the effects of special interests on public policy to the impact of tracking on communities. [CNH]


Wisconsin Women Making History

·http://womeninwisconsin.org/

Wisconsin Women Making History was launched in early 2015 by a powerhouse partnership of Wisconsin organizations, including the Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Public Television, and the University of Wisconsin Women?s Studies Consortium. Designed for students and educators throughout the state and beyond, this growing resource offers biographical information on women who have broken ground and made a difference to state history. Recent additions include Vel Phillips, the first woman and African American to be elected Wisconsin Secretary of State; Gerda Lerner, considered by many the founder of women?s history as a field of academic study; and Ada Deer, the first woman to lead the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Users can explore the collection through an Alphabetical list, Location by county, a Timeline encompassing pre-1860 to the present, and by Category (including areas like Activism & Social Change, Business, Government & Politics, Journalism, Sports, and many more). The For Educators section offers links to additional resources on women in history and society from a variety of sources. Educators, parents, and lovers of the Badger state will find plenty to interest and enthrall in this new collection. [EB]


Network Tools

Until AM

·http://until.am

Created by two Finnish designers, Until AM is a web-based DJing app that draws from the music in your hard drive (e.g. iTunes) and music from SoundCloud (an enormous social sound platform, where anyone can post their music for free). To get started, drag and drop songs onto the left and right "turn tables." From there, use the volume fader, pitch fader, cross fader, and play/pause buttons to bring the two songs together. To "scratch," click and drag on the vinyl. When it comes to a free, web-based DJ app, Until AM is hard to beat. [CNH]


R: The R Project for Statistical Computing

·https://www.r-project.org/

While R might not look like much at first glance, data analysts all over the world use the free, open-source data analysis software to run statistics on everything from psychology research to the stock market. Created in 1996 by two statistics professors in New Zealand, the programming language is comparatively user-friendly especially when paired with R Studio (https://www.rstudio.com/), a free downloadable template. Admittedly, learning the language takes work. However, there are a number of sites around the web with tutorials and tips, as well as easily locatable R help books, online support groups, and videos on YouTube and Vimeo. For data analysts who are tired of the limitations and costs of SPSS and other corporate programs, R is an extremely powerful and fluid alternative. [CNH]


In the News

As College Costs Rise, Some Students Turn to Crowdfunding to Finance their Academic Dreams

Kickstarting college: Students use crowdfunding to help pay for school
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2015/0810/Kickstarting-college-Students-use-crowdfunding-to-help-pay-for-school

How to crowdfund your college tuition or student debt
http://college.usatoday.com/2015/05/21/how-to-crowdfund-your-college-tuition-or-student-debt/

A brief history of crowdfunding
http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/a-brief-history-of-crowdfunding

The History of Crowdfunding
https://www.crowdfunder.com/blog/wp-content/uploaded-files/History-of-Equity-Crowdfunding.pdf

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High
http://www.npr.org/2014/03/18/290868013/how-the-cost-of-college-went-from-affordable-to-sky-high

Paying for College
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college

The cost of college has been much in the news over the past several years, as parents, students, and politicians struggle to cope with rising tuition in four year institutions around the country. While the mounting price tag has a number of causes, including cuts to state funding during the recent recession and the predatory marketing practices of some for-profit institutions, a few students have begun to take matters into their own hands with the help of an unprecedented tool: crowdfunding. Using sites like Indiegogo Life, GoFundMe, and Dreamfund, some millennials have had great success raising money for college. In fact, a young man in New York recently raised over $8,000 to attend another year at his private liberal arts college, while a Minnesota native managed to solicit some $60,000 to pay off the debt she accrued during her undergraduate years. While such stories may not assuage the one billion dollar student loan crisis, they are testimony to the old adage that necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. [CNH]

The first two links, from the Christian Science Monitor and USA Today, offer coverage of the recent phenomena of crowdfunding university expenses. In the third and fourth links, readers will find both an article and an infographic that map out the terrain of crowdfunding's brief, eventful history. Next, the fifth link navigates to NPR's explanation of how the student debt crisis came to be, including an overview of the GI Bill, which made college affordable for more Americans then ever before, as well as the the economic downturn of 2008, which spurred states to cut funding to their public universities. The last link, from the U.S. News & World Report, navigates to a number of articles centered on the theme of paying for college.





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