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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Suggested Books of the Week 39, 2018

Check out these books below by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and MIT Press.

Photo: Storyblocks.com
The Cambridge Handbook of Group Interaction Analysis 

The Cambridge Handbook of
Group Interaction Analysis
This Handbook provides a compendium of research methods that are essential for studying interaction and communication across the behavioral sciences. Focusing on coding of verbal and nonverbal behavior and interaction, the Handbook is organized into five parts...
Researchers can apply this methodology to their own interaction data and learn how to evaluate and select coding schemes and conduct interaction analysis. This is an essential reference for all who study communication in teams and groups.
  • Combines the expertise of 76 leading researchers with rich theoretical and practical knowledge
  • The book is applicable to different areas across many disciplines of the behavioral sciences, including psychology, management studies, communication, and education
  • Presents a unique collection of coding schemes developed to study various constructs relevant to interaction research
Read more... 

New Handbook of Mathematical Psychology

New Handbook of Mathematical Psychology
The field of mathematical psychology began in the 1950s and includes both psychological theorizing, in which mathematics plays a key role, and applied mathematics, motivated by substantive problems in psychology. Central to its success was the publication of the first 'Handbook of Mathematical Psychology' in the 1960s...
This first volume focuses on select mathematical ideas, theories, and modeling approaches to form a foundational treatment of mathematical psychology.
  • Demonstrates how standard advanced mathematics can play an essential role in the psychological sciences
  • Focuses on mathematical foundations rather than specific empirical studies
  • Aims to increase the sophistication of students and scholars in mathematical psychology and related fields in the behavioral and social sciences, mathematics, economics, and analytic philosophy
Read more... 

Technology and the Virtues 

Technology and the Virtues
A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting
  • Applies classical philosophical traditions of virtue ethics to contemporary challenges of a global technological society
  • Argues for the unique value of virtue ethics as an ideal moral framework for the 21st century human condition, in which the future of the human family is increasingly clouded by uncertainty, instability, complexity and risk
  • Develops and applies a moral framework that is informed by a culturally diverse group of philosophical virtue traditions, including Aristotelian, Confucian and Buddhist perspectives
  • Applies the framework to specific ethical challenges from emerging technologies: military and social robotics, new social media, digital surveillance and self-tracking, and biomedical enhancement
  • Addresses risks and opportunities facing an increasingly networked and interdependent human family, challenges that demand an unprecedented cultivation of collective moral wisdom on a newly global scale
Read more...

The Second Age of Computer Science 

The Second Age of Computer Science
From Algol Genes to Neural Nets 

This book describes the evolution of computer science in this second age in the form of seven overlapping, intermingling, parallel histories that unfold concurrently in the course of the two decades.
  • Inquires into the actual scientific nature of computing as it evolved between 1970 and 1990, along with the mentalities of the computer scientists who brought about this evolution
  • Examines how several computer scientists attempted to unify "mind and machine" and seek a universal theory of intelligence that embraced both natural and artificial intelligence
Read more...

How to Write a Thesis  

How to Write a Thesis
Umberto Eco's wise and witty guide to researching and writing a thesis, published in English for the first time.

By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy's most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis—from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Remarkably, this is its first, long overdue publication in English.
Eco's approach is anything but dry and academic. He not only offers practical advice but also considers larger questions about the value of the thesis-writing exercise. How to Write a Thesis is unlike any other writing manual.

Free Innovation



Free Innovation
A leading innovation scholar explains the growing phenomenon and impact of free innovation, in which innovations developed by consumers and given away “for free.”

In this book, Eric von Hippel, author of the influential Democratizing Innovation, integrates new theory and research findings into the framework of a “free innovation paradigm.” Free innovation, as he defines it, involves innovations developed by consumers who are self-rewarded for their efforts, and who give their designs away “for free.” It is an inherently simple grassroots innovation process, unencumbered by compensated transactions and intellectual property rights.
Free innovation is already widespread in national economies and is steadily increasing in both scale and scope. Today, tens of millions of consumers are collectively spending tens of billions of dollars annually on innovation development. 
Read more... 

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Around the world in female writers: why I'm reading 200 books by 2020 | Books blog - The Guardian

Photo: Sophie Baggott
Sophie Baggott, Welsh writer/journalist explains, "The number of novels by women that reach English remains shockingly low, but that still leaves a curious reader with vast scope for adventure."

You don’t have to look far to find plenty of excellent translated fiction by women. 
Photo: Mike Booth/Alamy

One quiet weeknight in June, my phone buzzed. Pause, then another alert. A steady stream of notifications swept in over the evening. What on earth was going on?

Just moments earlier, I had tweeted a request for reading tips. The goal: to make my way through books written by women from every country in the world. Recommendations were flying in thick and fast. My new bookshelf would be piled high in no time! My debit card quivered.

The following days saw a global span of readers, authors and translators nudge me towards women writers from Cameroon, El Salvador, Lebanon, Mauritius … I gathered all of them into a blog and set off on my biblio-travels.

And it’s been quite the journey. My starting point – a realisation that anglocentric and male-dominated reading habits were blinkering my worldview – feels a long way back. Sure, the publishing industry’s gender bias is old news, but I was shocked to learn that male authors dominate more than two-thirds of the translated fiction market...


Three months in, I’m 10% through and on track to finish my lap of the world in 2020. That may sound a long way off, but I want to avoid rushing and be realistic about reading 200 books alongside full-time work and a social life. Will I struggle to commit for the long run? Absolutely not. I’ve staved off any potential non-fiction withdrawal symptoms with the occasional long read online, and am getting by with reading reviews and interviews with British authors whose books I’m missing in the meantime.
Read more... 

Source: The Guardian 


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11 Books That Will Change Your Life, According to Highly Successful CEOs | Careers - Money Magazine

Don't miss out on these Inspirational Business Books. Ready to make a change in your life and business? Put these books on your reading list. 
 


Books have so much power. Their insights can make you rich, revamp your health, offer new perspectives or transform your relationships. These avid readers and Advisors in The Oracles share the books that are incredible additions to any library.
Read more... 

Source: Money Magazine


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10 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowles
Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books.


My relationship with bugs is probably a lot like yours: antagonistic but resigned to an extended leery détente, with occasional hostilities on both sides. The mosquito buzzes; I swat it aside. But insects also exert a queasy fascination — they’re so alien, and so ubiquitous, that they become ideal subjects for scientific study, and for books. In “Underbug,” one of our recommended titles this week, the journalist Lisa Margonelli takes a close look at termites and the entomologists who love them. Bonus for curious but grossed-out readers: The book includes no photos.

If you like science writing but aren’t ready for termites, you might check out Mimi Swartz’s “Ticker,” about the historical quest to develop an artificial heart. We also recommend not one but two collections of sly meta-essays (by Brian Dillon and Ashleigh Young), along with a survey of the Supreme Court’s role in public education, an account of the true crime that served as a model for “Lolita,” a memoir by an undocumented immigrant, and new novels by Esi Edugyan and Robert Galbraith (or “Robert Galbraith”). And since football season is in full swing, this would be a good time to pick up Mark Leibovich’s new book, “Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times.” If nothing else, it will make you think about the league’s business model, and you’ll wince a little harder each time a player is carried off the field.

Source: New York Time    


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Stop Feeling Guilty About Having So Many Unread Books | Forbes

"Is your bookshelf teeming with more books than you have time to read? Or do your unread books induce feelings of guilt?" continues Forbes.
 

Photo: Getty Royalty Free
If so, you may be practicing the ancient Japanese art of tsundoku, that is, buying more books than you'll ever read.

You could curtail your out-of-control shopping habits and put a plan in place to focus on your reading list like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates.

Recognize Reading As A Source Of Learning 
There's nothing wrong with reading a cheap or trashy thriller for pleasure. A good business book, on the other hand, should stand as a source of learning or help you solve a problem.

In an interview with the New York Times, Gates said,
"These days, I also get to visit interesting places, meet with scientists, and watch a lot of lectures online. But reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding." 
Gates is not alone. When asked about the secret to his success, Warren Buffett told a body of students about to graduate,"Read 500 pages...every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
But how can you get through 50, never mind 500, pages a day?
Read more...

Source: Forbes


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The Future of Podcasting Is Educational | Education - Pacific Standard

Photo: James McWilliams
"Podcasters, rather than the conventional media or education establishment, are in a position to shape the tone and content of public discourse" observes James McWilliams, Pacific Standard contributing writer, professor at Texas State University.

Photo: iberated syndication via Flickr

The United States is quickly becoming a podcast nation. According to a 2017 survey, nearly 25 percent of Americans—around 68 million—said they listened to podcasts. Forty-two percent were even willing to pay to do so. The largest contingent of podcast listeners (44 percent) are Millennials, and that coveted cohort's tuned-in attention has attracted advertisers, whose podcast-generated revenue rose from $69 million in 2015 to $220 in 2017. In the last four years alone, the popularity of podcast listening has doubled.

Even more interesting is what people are listening to. One would expect genres like sports, news, and technology to be popular—and they are—but they are all surpassed in listenership by one unlikely competitor: educational podcasts.

Educational podcasting takes many forms, but entries all center on scholarly oriented themes and inquiries, taking listeners into topics framed by academic research. Forty percent of podcast listeners evidently crave this kind of challenge. With 43 percent of podcast listeners lacking a college degree, and with some studies suggesting that listening to audio content can result in greater retention of information than reading, the educational landscape is shifting in a potentially profound way: Podcasters, rather than the conventional media, political establishment, or even higher education, are in a position to shape the tone and content of public discourse...

But how well has that task gone? In a nation where only a third of adults have enjoyed the opportunity to earn a college degree, and another third of the American population takes its intellectual cues from religious fundamentalism, the tried-and-true philosophy of the seminar room clearly has its limits. Might the podcast have a better shot at reaching the public at large, as it commutes or exercises, than the professor lording over a seminar room?

Davis think so. "My podcast is a medium of mass education," he says.
Read more...

Source: Pacific Standard


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Math Prize for Girls competition helps to close the gender gap in mathematics | Women in STEM - The MIT Tech

Sandi Miller, Department of Mathematics notes, "MIT hosts the 10th annual contest encouraging STEM careers for female middle and high school students."

The Math Prize for Girls, held annually at MIT, features 20 multistage problems in geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. 
Photo: Jake Belcher

When Glenn Ellison coached his daughters’ all-girl math team all the way to the state finals, he noticed that his team was vastly outnumbered by boys.

Ellison, the Gregory K. Palm (1970) Professor of Economics at MIT, turned his dismay into research. With Ashley Swanson of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Ellison published a paper that showed a huge gender gap in high school mathematics.

In the paper, “Dynamics of the Gender Gap in High Math Achievement,” distributed in August by the National Bureau of Economic Research, they reported that of the top 5,000 9th graders participating in the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) from 1999 to 2007, just 30 percent were girls. By senior year, the number drops to 22 percent. High-achieving female math students were so discouraged they either dropped out of math contests, or saw their scores droop by their senior year.

The research confirmed and quantified what others had already come to know. Back in 2009, in an attempt to address this trend, Ravi Boppana ’86, a research affiliate with MIT’s Department of Mathematics, helped launch the Advantage Testing Foundation Math Prize for Girls. This past weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the contest, as a record 285 middle and high school female students from the United States and Canada arrived at MIT to compete for $60,000 in cash prizes...

Emma Kerwin, a senior management major, gave a talk on why girls should stay interested in math, even if, she said, they are “the only girl in the room.” The highlight of the event for her is the camaraderie. “They don't just have girls do the contest and then leave,” said Kerwin, who competed in the Math Prize competition during her junior and senior year of high school. “There is also a focus on having fun and being part of a supportive community. This provides a much more holistic experience for contestants.”

More importantly, she said, the competition gives contestants a chance to meet other girls who are interested in mathematics. “The overall nature of the event is very empowering and is focused on celebrating contestants' capabilities and unique interests.”
Read more... 

Source: The MIT Tech


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Before his early death, Riemann freed geometry from Euclidean prejudices | Math & Technology - Science News

"The originator of the famous math hypothesis also established the basis for a modern view of spacetime" inform Tom Siegfried, author of the blog Context.

CUT SHORT Bernhard Riemann did a lot more than come up with his eponymous hypothesis, and if he hadn’t died young, he might have rivaled Einstein and Newton.
Photo: Familienarchiv Thomas Schilling/Wikimedia Commons
Bernhard Riemann was a man with a hypothesis.

He was confident that it was true, probably. But he didn’t prove it. And attempts over the last century and a half by others to prove it have failed.

A new claim by the esteemed mathematician Michael Atiyah that Riemann’s hypothesis has now been proved may also be exaggerated. But sadly Riemann’s early death was not. He died at age 39. In his short life, though, he left an intellectual legacy that touched many areas of math and science. He was “one of the most profound and imaginative mathematicians of all time,” as the mathematician Hans Freudenthal once wrote. Riemann recast the mathematical world’s view of algebra, geometry and various mathematical subfields — and set the stage for the 20th century’s understanding of space and time. Riemann’s math made Einstein’s general theory of relativity possible.

“It is quite possible,” wrote the mathematician-biographer E.T. Bell, “that had he been granted 20 or 30 more years of life, he would have become the Newton or Einstein of the nineteenth century.”

Riemann’s genius developed despite unpromising circumstances. Born in Bavaria in 1826 the son of a Protestant minister, he was poor and often sick as a child. Bernhard was homeschooled until his teenage years, when he moved to live with a grandmother where he could attend school. Later his mathematical aptitude caught the attention of a teacher who provided Riemann a nearly 900-page-long textbook by the legendary French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre to keep the precocious student occupied. Six days later, Riemann returned the book to the teacher, having mastered its contents.

When he entered the University of Göttingen, Riemann began (at his father’s urging) as a theology student. But Göttingen was the home of the greatest mathematician of the era, Carl Friedrich Gauss. Riemann attended lectures by Gauss and dropped theology for mathematics. More advanced math instruction was available at Berlin, where Riemann studied for two years before returning to Göttingen to finish his math Ph.D...

He made many other contributions to a wide range of technical mathematical issues. And he took great interest in the philosophy of mathematics (as Freudenthal said, had he lived longer, Riemann might eventually have become known as a philosopher). Among his most famous technical ideas was a conjecture concerning the “zeta function,” a complicated mathematical expression with important implications related to the properties of prime numbers. Riemann’s hypothesis about the zeta function, if true, would validate vast numbers of additional mathematical propositions that have been derived from it.
Read more...  

Source: Science News (Blog)


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Saturday, September 29, 2018

11 quick-fire guitar lessons for World Guitar Day | MusicRadar

Don't miss this article "Supercharge your playing today" by MusicRadar Team.

Photo: MusicRadar
That's where we come in. For World Guitar Day we've gathered some of our favourite lessons designed to quickly arm you with a cool new technique or approach to playing that should help round out your playing.
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Source: MusicRadar


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When children sing and play, they’re also becoming scientific explorers | Music - The Conversation

"Children feel less frustrated and are allowed to be creative and expressive in spaces where they make choices" argues Mignon van Vreden, Senior lecturer, Music education, North-West University.

Musical expression can help kids develop scientific thinking.
Photo: Mignon Van Vreden
Young children engage in scientific thinking and actions long before they enter a classroom. They do all sorts of things in their pursuit of knowledge: poking, pulling, tasting, pounding, shaking and experimenting. This demonstrates their need to learn and naturally seek out problems to solve.

That’s why creating opportunities for observations and actions through play could stimulate children’s emerging scientific thinking. Play offers a valuable way to help children learn basic scientific literacy. That’s because artistic expression is a natural part of early childhood.

In a recently published study I explored whether there could be a rationale for music-inspired free play to foster scientific exploration in early childhood. As part of my research, I watched preschoolers during free play at two daycare centres in Mohadin in South Africa’s North-West province.

Free musical play takes place in an environment that has been prepared by the teacher (though children themselves take the initiative for playing). The space stimulates the young child to experiment with and explore the musical properties of sound.

I specifically focused on music-inspired play because music in early childhood is one of the first natural and accessible “tools” for children to express their thoughts, feelings and desires. Musical and artistic activity are especially important at an early age; they nurture the development of emotion, imagination, creativity and gross motor skills...

How play teaches There is a difference between scientific thinking and the learning of scientific facts.

Scientific thinking involves children in the process of finding out, leading them to make their own discoveries. Teachers can foster scientific thinking by viewing young children as active learners rather than simply as recipients of knowledge. They can offer varied opportunities to explore and experiment, which will allow children to construct meaning and develop understandings that are not only valid but also valuable in their ongoing intellectual development.

For example, pre-schoolers can learn about the scientific concept of momentum by rhythmically moving on swings – while singing at the same time. As the swing gains momentum, singing becomes faster to match the speed of the learners’ movements. When learners slow down, sing the song at a slower tempo and stop moving their legs, the swing also slows down until it eventually stops.
Read more...

Source: The Conversation


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6 ways technology has been helping people learn and play music | Sick Music & Other Stuff - VENTS Magazine

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS reports, "Technology has done some fantastic things in recent times. Students, as well as teachers, are implementing technology in the classroom for exciting and effective learning." 

Photo: VENTS Magazine

Upcoming devices, software programs, and browsing platforms have contributed to all forms of education. Music lessons have become a lot less trying and a lot more rewarding than before with the intervention of modern digital technology in the lives of teachers and students alike. In fact, if you are an adult, with limited time per week for your lessons, you will find the use of technology particularly helpful in practicing remotely and picking up new techniques quickly.  

Here are the six new applications, platforms, and techs that can help you with your music lessons. However, remember that these cannot replace a music teacher. They can only help you understand the lessons and practice during your free time at home.
Read more...  

Source: VENTS Magazine


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Music in Italy | Ohio Wesleyan University

"Ohio Wesleyan Students Attend Alba Composition Program" according to News & Media.

Music in Italy: An OWU Connection Experience 


A group of Ohio Wesleyan music composition students traveled to Italy to study “From Notes to Sound: Contemporary Composition in Alba, Italy.” During their OWU Connection experience, they attended the summer 2018 Alba Music Festival Composition Program, where they participated in
masterclasses and workshops.

Of the Travel-Learning Course, Noah Green ’20 said: “The food is amazing here, and you get to experience new cultures while learning skills that you wouldn’t normally learn. … There’s also just so many amazing musicians and composers and directors here that are all here to answer questions if we have them.”

Watch the video above, read more about The OWU Connection, and plan your OWU visit today!

Source: Ohio Wesleyan University and OhioWesleyanU Channel (YouTube)


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Nativity teenagers learn music ministry skills at camp | The Catholic Key

INDEPENDENCE — Music ministry isn’t all do … re … me, continues The Catholic Key.

Maria Milazzo and Nativity of Mary alums who answered the One Call music camp call, Naomi, Isabel and Faustina. 
Photo: courtesy Maria Milazzo


A parish music minister must be musically talented, of course, but he or she needs to also have some teaching skills, training in Liturgy, and be familiar with technology in music.
 
One way to get all those is by attending music camps.

This past summer, Maria Milazzo, Nativity of Mary School music teacher and choir director and member of the Diocesan Choir, took three young women of the parish to One Call, a six-day program at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn. According to its website, the program is designed to provide opportunities for participants to grow musically, theologically, spiritually, and communally. Specifically, its mission is the formation of young people and their advocates to maximize their gifts of music and leadership in service to the liturgy.

Milazzo heard of One Call through John Winkels, Director of Music and Liturgy at Holy Family Parish, and decided to broach it to several Nativity School alums she thought might benefit from the camp.

Isabel, a freshman at St. Teresa’s Academy, Faustina, a freshman at St. Michael the Archangel High School, and Naomi, a freshman at Raytown High School, liked the idea. They graduated from Nativity last spring, and have been members of the parish Youth Choir, performed in the school’s musicals and wanted to be part of the parish’s music ministry.

Milazzo, who has a B.A. in Performance from Westminster Choir College in New Jersey and a M.A. in Music Performance from U.M.K.C., said they arrived at St. John’s University expecting a nice program, learning some cantoring and maybe some theology. Instead they were blown away by the courses, the energy and the other students and the adults with them.
Read more...

Source: The Catholic Key


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Friday, September 28, 2018

For Many Refugees, Higher Education Comes In Tablets | Education - Bright Magazine

Virtual education is bringing university courses to refugee camps. Is it making a difference? says Halima Gikandi at BRIGHT Magazine.
 

Ayan Abdi Ahmed (20) chats with friends and colleagues in Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya, congratulating her on being accepted into a Canadian program that offers the winners a full scholarship to college.
Photo: Nichole Sobecki/VII/Redux.

The full brunt of the sun pierces through the plastic roof of Hassan Noor’s one-room home in Dadaab, a refugee camp located in northeastern Kenya. Aged 27, all Noor can think about is whether or not he will pass his final exams. When the heat becomes too much, he rolls a school brochure into a makeshift fan to cool himself down.

Noor considers walking 20 minutes to a local school, where at least the shade from nearby trees offers some relief. Or maybe he could hitchhike to the nearest market, where he could finally eat something and drink a cool soda. But there’s no time to waste. Exams are approaching and Noor is determined to pass all of his units this time.

For many university students in Kenya, September has been filled with bouts of cramming for exams, final reviews with professors, and last-minute study sessions with classmates. The pressure is real for Noor, who is in his final year at Kenyatta University and hopes to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. But unlike his peers in Nairobi, Noor joins the classroom digitally, over 400 kilometers away in Dadaab, which as of July 2018 hosts over 209,000 refugees...

Noor’s virtual education program is the byproduct of a growing international effort to provide refugees and migrants with higher education degrees that can lead to employment. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), only 1 percent of eligible refugees have access to higher education, compared with 36 percent of young people worldwide. The growing size, severity, and protracted nature of global crises have brought new urgency to providing accredited education for adults, especially those who might be thrust into new settings without adequate knowledge and skills to find employment...

In 2013, educators from a consortium of academic institutions like York University in Toronto, Canada and Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya set out to rectify the dearth of higher education opportunities for refugees. They established Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER), a program that uses digital learning to provide accredited diplomas and degrees to eligible refugees in the Dadaab camps and surrounding region.


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Safeguarding children in the digital space | City - The Daily Star

Grameenphone, Telenor Group and Unicef roll out Child Online Safety programme, as The Daily Star reports. 

Representatives from Grameenphone, Telenor Group, Unicef and ICT ministry at the programme.
Photo: Collected
Grameenphone, Telenor Group and Unicef have kicked off a safe internet outreach programme at schools nationwide to create awareness and understanding of a safer internet environment for the youth, as part of an agreement signed earlier this year.

The programme, titled “Be Smart, Use Heart”, was officially rolled out at GPHouse in Dhaka on September 26 in the presence of State Minister of ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak; noted educationist and Chairman of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed; author and journalist Anisul Hoque; Grameenphone CEO, Michael Foley; Unicef Bangladesh Representative, Edouard Beigbeder; Grameenphone CCAO, Mahmud Hossain; and Telenor Group's Vice President, Sustainability and Child Online Safety Specialist, Ola Jo Tandre, according to a press release.

The programme has been specially designed to engage and empower 400,000 children -- aged between 11 and 16 years -- and sensitise 50,000 parents, guardians and teachers on how to facilitate a safer digital experience. The training in schools focus primarily on building awareness on the safety measures for digital learning. Moreover, the scope of the Child Helpline hotline (1098) service has been expanded to incorporate child online safety issues, where the youngsters can receive counselling and other support directly from the hotline...

Speaking on the occasion Grameenphone CEO said, “As the biggest internet service provider in Bangladesh we have a responsibility to ensure a safer digital experience for our young users. The internet is a key source for knowledge, entertainment and communication and everyone should have safer experience.”  
Read more... 

Source: The Daily Star 


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Is it OK to spy on your child's online life? | Parenting - Telegraph.co.uk

Rachel Halliwell, The Telegraph inform, "It's the great modern parenting dilemma: how far off the metaphorical leash ought we allow our children to roam when it comes to navigating an increasingly complex technological world?"

Rachel Halliwell seeks out advice on how to keep our offspring safe but not mollycoddled
Photo: E+
For just as views on when to let a child venture out unattended vary widely, so too does parental thinking on how closely monitored their online activity ought to be.

The levels of freedom youngsters are afforded in either area rarely seem to align. Little wonder, says a friend, pointing out how different the two ­environments are. She happily trusts her 12-year-old twin sons to safely take the bus into town, and they've been allowed to hang around our village with their pals for the past couple of years. Yet she worries deeply about the trouble they could get into using their smartphones, despite being physically safe inside their bedrooms. And so she surreptitiously monitors the conversations they hold in cyberspace, going through every message they've sent or received while they sleep.

I argue that she might as well hide behind a bush when they meet their mates at the skate park so she can eavesdrop on their conversations there as well...

I think my friend is overzealous; she believes my approach is naively laissez-faire. Surely there's a middle ground.

"Absolutely," says Liz Stanton, a former police officer who advises parents and schools on this subject via her role with the internet safety organisation, Get Safe Online. The first thing she recommends is an appreciation that our kids are digital natives.

"This is their world," Stanton explains. "And it doesn't scare them the way it does us. Technology is part of their everyday life - we shouldn't presume they're abusing it, or being abused, just because that's possible."

Parental blocks and filters that will stop children from viewing dangerous or unsavoury content have their place, she says. You can also set up programmes that automatically disconnect their phones from the online world at set times. But the most effective tool any parent can employ in helping our children be good digital citizens is talking to them about how to be just that.

"Smartphones are changing how and where children go online, and we have to accept we'll never be able to monitor them 24/7, no matter how much we might want to try," says Stanton. "You might well have every filter and firewall imaginable, and the best monitoring apps downloaded on to your child's phone, but they only have to go to a friend's house where there's none of that control to be exposed to everything you're so frightened of.
Read more...

Source: Telegraph.co.uk


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Pushing the Boundaries of Learning With AI | Digital Learning - Inside Higher Ed

Photo: Lindsay McKenzie
Lindsay McKenzie, Technology Reporter at Inside Higher Ed notes, "A growing number of academics are experimenting with new technologies powered by artificial intelligence, but many of the technologies aren't yet ready for prime time."

Rahul Divekar, a Rensselaer computer science graduate student, demonstrates an AI-assisted Mandarin Chinese language-learning aid under development at the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab at RPI.
Photo: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, students are immersing themselves in Chinese culture without setting foot outside their classroom.

The Mandarin Project, a collaboration between RPI, located in upstate New York, and the tech giant IBM, places students in a virtual world where they can practice their Mandarin language skills in a series of simulated scenarios, such as ordering lunch in a restaurant or taking a tai chi class.

How AI helps students learn Mandarin at RPI


The project aims to make students feel as if they are actually in China, without the inconvenience of traveling there, says Helen Zhou, assistant professor of communication and media at RPI, who has been actively involved in designing the project.

In a high-tech "cognitive immersive room," a classroom with a 360-degree floor-to-ceiling screen, students can practice their Mandarin with artificial intelligence-powered animated characters (including a floating panda head). The CIR combines several emerging technologies -- natural language processing, speech-to-text and movement tracking -- to create a unique learning experience, said Zhou...

Computerized Teaching Assistants
Zhou is just one of a growing number of professors experimenting with AI. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, Ashok Goel, professor of computer and cognitive science, has been working with virtual teaching assistants for several years. His most famous AI-powered assistant, Jill Watson, was built on IBM’s Watson platform. But Goel says his team has since developed its own technology and no longer relies on IBM’s Watson.

In 2016, Goel made headlines after revealing that some of his students (in a master’s-level online course in AI) were able to distinguish between AI and human TAs answering questions in a discussion forum. Now, two and a half years later, he said his students are “pretty good at figuring out what is AI,” though they still sometimes get “false positives.”
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Source: Inside Higher Ed and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Channel (YouTube)


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