‘Tim Tebow homeschool law’ gains momentum in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and a Republican-dominated Senate have given new life to an effort to pass legislation that would give permission to students who are homeschooled to play on the athletic teams of their local schools, the Washington Post reports. There are three bills in the Virginia legislature that are modeled after a Florida law informally known as the “Tim Tebow law,” which was passed in 1996 and gave the homeschooled Tebow a chance to play for local private and public schools on his way to an NFL career. Similar legislation has failed in Virginia in previous years. But now Republicans control the governorship and the General Assembly; the recent change in control in the Senate makes it more likely that some form of this law could pass in the state. McDonnell said earlier this month that he would support it…

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Mozy releases file-syncing for its cloud service

Online data storage service Mozy has unveiled a new file synchronization feature for consumers and businesses to keep data up to date across all devices, from smartphones and tablets to computers, Mashable reports. Called Stash, the feature allows Mozy users to backup and protect files against catastrophes, as well as give people a way to access their data anytime, anywhere. The beauty of Stash is that there’s not much that needs to be done to make use of it. After installing the platform on a computer, it links a local folder with your Stash online. You can then add files to the local folder and access it via Mozy’s site or mobile app. When it’s linked to a computer, any changes made are synched up to the rest of your devices. Photos and videos can also be uploaded to Stash from your mobile phone or tablet…

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Google to merge user data across more services

Google said it talked to regulators about the upcoming privacy changes, which it will apply worldwide.

Google announced a plan Jan. 24 to link user data across its eMail, video, social-networking, and other services that it says will create a “beautifully simple and intuitive” user experience. But critics raised privacy concerns like those that helped kill the search giant’s Buzz social networking service.

The changes, which take effect March 1, will remove some of the legal hurdles Google Inc. faces in trying to link information across services from Gmail to YouTube to the Google Plus social network that replaced Buzz.

More than 70 different company policies are being streamlined into one main privacy policy and about a dozen others. Separate policies will continue to govern products such as Google’s Chrome web browser and its Wallet service for electronic payments.

The company said the new system will give users more relevant search results and information, while helping advertisers find customers—especially on mobile devices.

For example, if you spend an hour on Google searching the web for skateboards, the next time you log into YouTube, you might get recommendations for videos featuring Tony Hawk, along with ads for his merchandise and the nearest place to buy them.

“If you’re signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries—or tailor your search results—based on the interests you’ve expressed in Google [Plus], Gmail, and YouTube,” the company says on a new overview page for its privacy policies. “We’ll better understand [what] you’re searching for and get you those results faster.”

The changes follow the shutdown of Buzz last month. After its introduction less than two years ago, the social networking tool was ridiculed for exposing users’ most-eMailed contacts to other participants by default, inadvertently revealing some users’ ongoing contact with ex-spouses and competitors.

Google has since made Plus the focal point of its challenge to Facebook’s social network. In the first seven months since its debut, Plus has attracted more than 90 million users, according to Google, which has invited schools and colleges to create Google Plus pages.

To promote Plus, Google recently began including recommendations about people and companies with Plus accounts in its search results. That change has provoked an outcry from critics who say Google is abusing its dominance in internet search to drive more traffic to its own services.

Google and the Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement last year that forbids Google from misrepresenting how it uses personal information and from sharing an individual’s data without prior approval. Google also agreed to biennial privacy audits for the next two decades.

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Ray Kurzweil ‘Explosive growth’

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Author and inventor Ray Kurzweil on what the future holds for education and technology.

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Kurzweil Interview Part I

[hana-flv-player video=”http://www.eschoolnews.com/files/2012/01/kurzweil_10_06_pt1_df4f4bd7206446d39da5fb94a852f1f2.flv” width=”490″ height=”276″ description=”Kurzweil Interview Part I” player=”4″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” splashimage=”http://www.eschoolnews.com/files/2012/01/KurzweilInterviewPartI.jpg” /]

Futurist and best-selling author Ray Kurzweil spoke with eSchool News Editor Gregg W. Downey during the Educause Conference for higher education, held in Dallas, not long ago.

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Kurzweil Interview Part II

[hana-flv-player video=”http://www.eschoolnews.com/files/2012/01/kurzweil_10_06_pt2_12861315e93542c3b283209853b56867.flv” width=”490″ height=”276″ description=”Kurzweil Interview Part II” player=”4″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” splashimage=”http://www.eschoolnews.com/files/2012/01/KurzweilInterviewPart2.jpg” /]

Futurist and best-selling author Ray Kurzweil spoke with eSchool News Editor Gregg W. Downey during the Educause Conference for higher education, held in Dallas, not long ago.

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Kurzweil Interview Part III

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Futurist and best-selling author Ray Kurzweil spoke with eSchool News Editor Gregg W. Downey during the Educause Conference for higher education, held in Dallas, not long ago.

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Alan November at ISTE 2010

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Alan November, senior partner of November Learning, discusses the philosophy and culture of today’s schools.

 

 

 

 

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Case study: Hamilton County Department of Education

Case study: Hamilton County Department of Education

Case study: Hamilton County Department of Education

See how one district achieved the highest NCLB scores in its history.

The Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) oversees nine K-12 school districts comprised of 78 schools in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee, including 36 Title I schools. With 40,000 students and 6,700 employees, the Department ranks alongside the Tennessee Valley Authority for its economic impact on the region.

The Need
HCDE wanted to know why its students were testing below state target levels for the No Child Left Behind Act, and what it could to do to improve their performance.

The Result
HCDE achieved the best NCLB results in its history. With its ability to predict and intervene with at-risk students, HCDE also reduced its annual dropout rate by 25 percent.

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Decision Management for Student Performance

Whitepaper: Decision Management for Student Performance

Whitepaper: Decision Management for Student Performance

Learn how administrators and educators can be empowered with the insights to help students by using existing data to drive optimal individual achievement, gain greater visibility into school and district performance and enhance program and teacher effectiveness.

 

 

 

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