Parents pack into a gym at Cahuilla Desert Academy, a middle school in the southern California city of Thermal, NPR reports. The near triple-digit daytime heat of the Coachella Valley, southeast of Palm Springs, has given way to a cool evening. It’s iPad information night. Before addressing the crowd, Principal Encarnacion Becerra talks up the district’s ambitious new iPads-for-all initiative with the fervor of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. “It’s truly a revolution, what’s happening,” he says. “Technology has finally caught up to where truly you hold the Internet in the palm of your hands. The power of the mobile devices that exist now — we have to have to leverage that capacity and to evolve as educators to address those needs.”…Read More
Last week, the NPR tech team reported a series on kids and digital media, including school-issued iPads, stories about babies and screen time, teens and social media, the science behind video games and more, Mind/Shift reports. Bay Area correspondents Steve Henn, Laura Sydell and Eric Westervelt will take you through the week of stories in this 23-minute recording.…Read More
Demolition has begun at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six adults last December, NPR reports. Bricks will be pulverized, steel melted down and a new school built at the same location. Allison Hornak attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a kid. After college, she returned home to Newtown, Conn., and opened an art gallery that’s within walking distance of where the mass killing took place. Hornak says she has a lot of fond memories of Sandy Hook — like a teacher who let her chew gum in class, and the pathways through the school. “The hallways all ran into one another and just formed this big loop,” Hornak says. “And when you were walking through, you’d see the inner courtyard and watching the seasons change in that courtyard…really stands out to me.”…Read More
These days, the effort to get more of us writing computer programs has become part of an “everybody should learn to code” ethos that folks like President Obama and have gotten behind, NPR reports. “We all depend on technology — to communicate, to bank, [for] information — and none of us know how to read and write code,” Will.I.Am points out in an online ad for , a nonprofit aimed at making coding more mainstream. that he wants young people to “know how to produce stuff using computers and not just consume stuff.” There is no shortage of books and online programs teaching you how to code once you can use a computer. But how would you learn to code if you can’t even read? How could 3-year-olds begin to learn the basics of computer programming?…Read More
A new computer school in Paris has been overwhelmed by some 60,000 applicants, NPR reports. The school, called 42, was founded by a telecom magnate who says the French education system is failing young people. His aim is to reduce France’s shortage in computer programmers while giving those who’ve fallen by the wayside a new chance. In the hallways of 42, suitcases and sleeping bags are piled, and people are stretched out on mattresses in some of the corners. There are showers and dozens of colorful bath towels.
Living here for the next month are some of the 4,000 potential students who already made the first cut by passing cognitive skill tests online…
You don’t need to be a social scientist to know there is a gender diversity problem in technology, NPR reports. The tech industry in and across the nation is overwhelmingly male-dominated. That isn’t to say there aren’t women working at tech firms. and of Facebook have raised the profile of women at high-tech firms. But those prominent exceptions do not accurately portray who makes up the ranks at those and other tech companies. Visit Silicon Valley and you will hear many people talk about the need to increase the number of female hackers. The conventional wisdom about why there are so few female coders usually points a finger at disparities in the talent pool, which is linked to disparities in . In fact, starting as early as adolescence, girls and boys often choose different academic paths……Read More
Richard Van As was working in his home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in May of 2011, when he lost control of his table saw, NPR reports. “It’s a possibility that it was a lack of concentration,” he says. “It’s just that the inevitable happened.” The carpenter lost two fingers and mangled two more on his right hand. While still in the hospital, he was determined to find a way to get back to work. Eventually, solving his own problem led him to work with a stranger on the other side of the world to create a mechanical hand using . Other prosthetics, including a lower jaw, have been made with the technology before, but making a hand is particularly tricky……Read More
Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen — coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age — recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea, NPR reports. In the second part of their conversation with NPR’s Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries. “We fear that the natural action for, in particular, autocratic governments experiencing what we describe as ‘virtual urbanization’ will be to balkanize the internet,” says Cohen, “filtering out content so that way the internet experience in that particular country looks as much like the physical society as possible.”…Read More
Like a lot of people with autism, Jeff Hudale has a brain that’s really good at some things.
“I have an unusual aptitude for numbers, namely math computations,” he says, NPR reports. Hudale can do triple-digit multiplication in his head. That sort of ability helped him get a degree in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. But he says his brain struggles with other subjects like literature and philosophy.
“I like working with things that are rather concrete and structured,” he says. “Yeah, I like things with some logic and some rules to it.”…Read More
While punishing students by spanking them with paddles at school seems like a scene from Little House on the Prairie , it’s still a reality for students in 19 states across the U.S., an NPR report reveals. Whether it’s a wooden paddle or fiberglass board, students in states like Florida endure the punishments on a daily basis, according to the Center for Effective Discipline.
“I been getting them since about first grade,” Lucas Mixon, a junior at Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla, told NPR. “It’s just regular. They tell you to put your hands up on the desk and how many swats you’re going to get.”
Cole Long, a senior at the school told NPR that one school official is particularly aggressive.…Read More