$1M in prizes for environmental videos

This year, in partnership with the National PTA, the contest challenges 6th-12th grade teachers and their students to answer “How can science or math help improve the environment in your community?” Samsung will award $1 million in technology among finalists and winning schools. Teachers can submit a short application for a chance to participate in the Solve for Tomorrow video contest.

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Awards for reading and technology

The IRA Award for Technology and Reading honors educators in grades K–12 who are making an outstanding and innovative contribution to the use of technology in reading education. There will be one grand-prize winner, seven U.S. regional winners, one Canadian winner, and one international winner. All entrants must be educators who work directly with students ages 5–18 for all or part of the working day.

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Awards of $1K for youth-led projects

These grants are available for youth-led service-learning projects that combat childhood obesity through walking, running, or hiking programs. UnitedHealth HEROES projects will engage young people in performing meaningful service to the community as they gain new knowledge about childhood obesity.

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Gates Foundation supports college readiness apps

More than half of community college students require a remedial class.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding upwards of $100,000 to developers who propose apps and online tools that help high school students prepare for college, fund their schooling, and complete the sometimes circuitous application process.

The College Knowledge Challenge started Sept. 27 at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., where 100 developers gathered for a “hack-a-thon”–an effort to create useful technologies aimed at better preparing incoming college students as the need for remedial classes continues to rise across the U.S.

Anyone can submit a proposal to the Gates Foundation through the organization’s website. Winners of the $2.5 million grant competition will be announced in January, according to the foundation.

Read the full story on eCampus News

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Opinion: Jeb Bush speech best on education

Whiteboard Advisors, a consulting firm that specializes in school policy, recently conducted one of its monthly surveys of 50 to 75 anonymous political and policy “insiders,” including current and former senior staff from the U.S. Department of Education, White House, Congress and think tanks, the Huffington Post reports. Respondents were asked to weigh in on the Democratic and Republican National conventions, as well as the ongoing presidential campaign. Although the vast majority of insiders are not convinced the Democratic and Republican platforms will have any real effect on education policy, 78 percent believe the inclusion of the Common Core standards in the Democratic platform will have a negative impact on linking federal policy and state cooperation — something that is necessary in order to enact the standards…

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The 5 most educated countries in the world

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development recently released its Education at a Glance 2012 report, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The report examines OECD and G20 countries where the data was available. According to the report, which includes vocational training as part of higher education/post-secondary education, here are the five most educated countries in the world…

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Traditional or charter schools? Actually, they help each other, study says

Charter schools are not a silver bullet for education reform, a new report says, but applying the best practices from some charter schools to low-performing public schools may increase student achievement, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Early data show that the strategy – applied in Houston and Denver pilot programs – yielded “promising” results, according to the report, titled “Learning from the Successes and Failures of Charter Schools” and released Thursday by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. The study could help improve cooperation between charter schools and traditional schools, which have often viewed each other as competitors. The debate about whether charter schools or traditional schools are more effective is a false one and misses the central point, said secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Hamilton Project’s education forum Thursday in Washington…

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U.S. is tightening web privacy rule to shield young

Federal regulators are about to take the biggest steps in more than a decade to protect children online, the New York Times reports. The moves come at a time when major corporations, app developers and data miners appear to be collecting information about the online activities of millions of young Internet users without their parents’ awareness, children’s advocates say. Some sites and apps have also collected details like children’s photographs or locations of mobile devices; the concern is that the information could be used to identify or locate individual children. These data-gathering practices are legal. But the development has so alarmed officials at the Federal Trade Commission that the agency is moving to overhaul rules that many experts say have not kept pace with the explosive growth of the Web and innovations like mobile apps. New rules are expected within weeks…

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