$10K to develop mobile apps

Note: Deadline applies to registration cutoff. This program asks university students to save the critically endangered orangutan by developing the most innovative mobile device application to link consumers with palm oil product manufacturers and help increase market demand for certified sustainable palm oil. Palm oil cultivation is currently one of the leading causes of deforestation worldwide, and many species, including the orangutan, are facing extinction in the wild.

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$25,000 for influential young people

The YSA List will recognize 25 young people (ages 5 – 25) around the world that have made significant, large-scale change in five categories – Health, Education, Human Service, Human Rights, and the Environment.

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Awards of $2,500 for women in business

Identifying, honoring and supporting the next wave of entrepreneurs to help them take charge of America’s future. Splashlife is giving out $2,500 Lincoln Awards to support entrepreneurs aged 35 or younger. Despite making up 46.3 percent of the workforce, women are underrepresented in positions of management, with just 2.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies being run by female CEOs.

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$50K for student leaders

These awards recognize student groups that have made a difference in the world through service and philanthropic activities at the local, national, and international levels.

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How to conduct effective ed-tech research

Using research to distinguish a truly effective ed-tech product from a less-than-effective product can prove difficult when the research is conducted by a vendor. Now, new guidelines for both vendors and educators aim to solve this challenge. The report, titled “Conducting and Reporting Product Evaluation Research: Guidelines and Considerations for Educational Technology Publishers and Developers,” is authored by Denis Newman, CEO of Empirical Education Inc., and produced by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). It’s based on Empirical Education’s many years of conducting this kind of research, both for publishers and for the U.S. Department of Education. The guidelines are timely for educators and ed-tech providers because of the growing demand from schools for “evidence of effectiveness of products, especially as the resources for spending on program materials decreases and administrators have to make harder decisions about what will best solve the problems facing their districts,” Newman said. The guidelines are available free of charge to SIIA members. Educators can request a free copy by eMailing the contact listed on the organization’s website.

http://siia.net/estore/20Review.asp?ProductCode=EPER-11

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Probe uncovers another ‘tragedy’ of cheating teachers

State investigators have implicated 49 principals and teachers from a Georgia school district in a four-month probe of cheating allegations against educators, the Huffington Post reports. The nearly 300-page report sent to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Tuesday found that cheating on standardized tests occurred among teachers in Dougherty County schools over the course of several years. The report comes in the aftermath of findings from a two-year investigation released over the summer that found widespread cheating among at least 44 Atlanta schools. Investigators at the time implicated 178 educators involved in test tampering, including erasing students’ incorrect answers on standardized tests and replacing them with correct ones. The findings shook the country and “stunned” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan…

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Income, parental education linked to pre-school learning gaps

As states revamp their early childhood education to grab a slice of federal education dollars, some education experts are urging policymakers to look outside the classroom to improve educational opportunites for the country’s youngsters, the Huffington Post reports. Just as Obama awarded over $500 million in state grants to improve pre-K, the Brookings Institution released a report arguing more attention paid to family background factors such as poverty and maternal education would help improve educational outcomes for our littlest learners. The report argued that gaps in children’s ability to learn begin long before they enter the classroom–and that those gaps can have lasting effects on class mobility…

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Double lives for gay teachers in Ireland

Schools in Ireland can be hostile places for gay people, particularly the staff rooms, Reuters reports. Gay, lesbian or bisexual teachers in many Irish schools–which are still dominated by the Catholic Church–risk discrimination or even the sack if they reveal their sexuality, thanks to a law that permits religious employers to penalize employees for actions undermining their religious standards.

“When you are in the school system, you are caught up in the ethos of the school, you are caught up in the silence,” said Leo Kilroy, 34, who used to teach in a Catholic-run primary school in Dublin’s inner city. “You are aware that if you come out as a gay or a lesbian you may experience discrimination. Your very existence in that post is up for challenge.”

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Watch: Teen with Asperger’s launches hidden inspiration project to help disabled kids learn

Though epilepsy and Asperger’s syndrome sometimes get in the way when Trenton Gilstrap socializes with his high school friends, his conditions haven’t interfered with his educational dreams, CNN reports. Trenton hopes to become a biomedical engineer and was recently accepted–on a full scholarship–to the University of Pittsburgh.

“It makes me feel like all that work, all that struggling, all that crying at home alone finally equals success,” Trenton told the news outlet.

While Trenton is satisfied with his accomplishments, he wants to make sure that other young people, suffering with similar disabilities, have the same opportunities. So, Trenton and his mom, Tatia, launched the Hidden Inspirations Project, a nonprofit that offers scholarships to kids living with a range of disabilities…

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