People with disabilities focus of Solano’s 2nd Network of Care website – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Rachel Ford makes her living helping people with disabilities.

But the consumer affairs liaison for the Wellness and Recovery Unit of Solano County Behavioral Health has a very personal connection to those people.

Ford told her story at the Disabilities Resource Fair that happened Thursday at the county Events Center. The centerpiece of the event was the official launch of the county’s second Network of Care website, this one focused on providing a one-stop resource for people with disabilities.

The first site, Solano Cares 4 Seniors, was unveiled July 18.

Source: People with disabilities focus of Solano’s 2nd Network of Care website

Teach Students To Use Social Media (The Right Way) And The Possibilities Are Endless : NPR Ed

By Ariana Figueroa

CJ Marple wanted to teach his young students how quickly information can spread on the Internet.

So earlier this year, the third-grade science teacher wrote up a tweet with the help of his students, asking for other users to retweet the message, or even reply to the message with their location.

The Kansas teacher says he expected 1,000 or so retweets, but within days the tweet went viral and gained more than 227,000 retweets and 75,000 replies from users all over the world. His students, who are probably a little too young for their own social media accounts, learned a lot that week about the power of social media. If used right, Marple says, “The possibilities are endless.”

Source: Teach Students To Use Social Media (The Right Way) And The Possibilities Are Endless : NPR Ed : NPR

New poll: Safe and positive school environment more important than higher test scores | EdSource

By Louis Freedberg, John Fensterwald & Theresa Harrington

In evaluating school performance, registered voters in California say creating a safe and positive school environment is far more important than higher scores on standardized tests, according to a Berkeley IGS/EdSource poll.

Voters also express considerable concerns about bullying, school fights and other forms of intimidation or violence on school campuses, along with harassment that students experience through social media.

These are among the principal findings of the poll to be released Thursday at EdSource’s 40th anniversary symposium in Oakland.

The poll reveals strong voter support for school districts to devote more funds and resources to address the needs of the state’s most vulnerable students, a central theme of this year’s symposium. In particular, voters feel strongly that schools should do more to support homeless children as well as those whose family members are threatened with deportation as a result of current heightened federal immigration enforcement policies.

Source: New poll: Safe and positive school environment more important than higher test scores | EdSource

Protecting Student Privacy on Social Media | Edutopia

By Tanner Higgin

Social media is an increasingly important part of students’ lives. According to a recent study by Common Sense Media, the average teen spends over an hour a day using social media, and only 3 percent of the time tweens and teens spend online is focused on creation vs. consumption. To be true digital citizens, our students need teachers who model pro-social, creative, and responsible social media use.

So why is only one in 10 teachers using social media professionally? Working in a school environment and dealing with issues ranging from Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance to headline-making incidents can be a scary and confusing prospect. It’s no wonder many teachers avoid these questions entirely. In fact, 81 percent of teachers surveyed in the study above expressed concerns about the possible pitfalls that arise from mixing professional work with social media.

Source: Protecting Student Privacy on Social Media | Edutopia

Benicia High grad launches weekly mystery story podcast – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Raul Vega, a 2005 graduate of Benicia High School, recently published a mystery story using his hometown as an inspiration for the setting. It is not a book or even a video series, but in true 21st-century fashion, the story is presented as a downloadable or streamable podcast published in episodic installments.

Vega, who is also a musician, said the Rose Drive Podcast started as something he could write music to.

“I didn’t have any projects lined up, so one day I decided with my roommate, ‘Why don’t we create our own?” he said. “We decided to go for it and come up with different ideas.”Rose Drive Podcast tells the story of Markus Hill, a man still haunted by a man named Forrest Sutherland who ruined his family before the end of Hill’s senior year and suddenly disappeared. Ten years later, Hill relocates from New York City to his hometown of Southampton where he overhears two classmates talking about the recent 10-year high school reunion and learns that Sutherland was at the reunion. The podcast focuses on Hill as he tries to learn information on Sutherland’s whereabouts.

Source: Benicia High grad launches weekly mystery story podcast

An Academic Use for Social Media | Edutopia

By Rusul Alrubail

If we look at digital literacy and its implementation in the classroom for the past 10 years, we can see the impact on students’ writing and communication skills.

In an online survey by the Pew Research Center on the impact of digital tools on students’ writing, half the teachers who responded said that digital tools made it easier for students to write and that when using digital tools, students were more engaged and motivated to write.In another survey, 40 percent of teachers said that their students already shared their work publicly using wikis, blogs, and websites, and that those students were also adept at micro-writing, a mode that uses different digital platforms to convey, describe, and analyze thoughts and opinions and share them with a particular audience in short forms.

Source: An Academic Use for Social Media | Edutopia

10 Free Apps and Tools for Starting Out (and Staying) Organized | Edutopia

By Monica Burns

The start of a new school year is a great time to reflect on what’s really working for you and what isn’t quite cutting it. When it comes to staying organized, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s all about finding a system that works for you and picking apps or tools that you will actually use. There isn’t a tool that will work perfectly for everyone—you may love a particular feature of one tool but use another that colleagues prefer to connect and collaborate with them.

As you sort through the following free tools, don’t try them all at the same time. Pick one or two, use them for a month, and then reflect on how well they’re helping you stay organized. You may choose to add a website or app to your tool belt as you explore another resource, or you may decide to scrap it and try something new.

Source: 10 Free Apps and Tools for Starting Out (and Staying) Organized | Edutopia

Cyber safety boot camp at Solano Community College – Times Herald

By Richard Bammer

Third-party programs that may lead to “back door” intrusions. Differences between Windows and Mac operating systems. Good advice about ways to safeguard personal identifier information online. Social media tips.

Those were among the questions and topics aired Monday during the first day of the first-ever Cybersecurity Summer Camp, a weeklong program for Solano-area high schoolers, at Solano Community College in Fairfield.

Some 20 students signed up for the free weeklong program, but only 16, all of them boys, showed up in the morning in Room 503 inside the campus administration building at the Suisun Valley Road campus.

Source: Cyber safety boot camp at Solano Community College

SCC to host cybersecurity summer camp – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The Stuxnet worm entered Iran’s nuclear facilities through hacked suppliers in 2010, the first cyber strike distributed by the Internet. Some 40 million people were affected by a hack that stole credit and debit card data from Target stores on or before Dec. 22, 2013.

Elite North Korean cyber warfare agents are believed to be behind the November 2014 Sony Pictures hack. More recently, American intelligence officials are convinced Russian state actors, via a computer hacking, meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

In a new world of cyber warfare and crime, governments, corporations and individuals are increasingly forced to secure their sensitive data, and cybersecurity skills are becoming a valuable self-marketing tool, say organizers of the Cybersecurity Summer Camp at Solano Community College in Fairfield.


Source: SCC to host cybersecurity summer camp

iQuest students reflect on life skills learned in senior internship – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

For the past year, students in Annette Fewins’ iQuest class at Benicia High School have been interning at local businesses to gain skills in the fields of their choice. Last week, students began discussing what they learned as part of their finals.

This was the first year the iQuest course was introduced to Benicia High’s Career Technical Education department as a way for seniors to get hands-on experience outside the classroom. In the past year, students have interned at the Benicia Police Department, Benicia Fire Department, Solano County Friends of Animals, Flat Iron Civil Engineering, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and more.

Cheyenne Reeves detailed what she had learned from working in Dr. Barry Parish’s office at Benicia Family Dentistry, including how to suction, how to take notes, working in the sterile room and ask questions of patients. She also started a blog about her experiences for the class and shared it as part of the final. Reeves plans to go to Diablo Valley College in the fall to take general education courses and prerequisites to eventually apply to a hygienist program.Andrea Wilson delivered her final on her experiences as a social media intern at Coldwell Banker, which she did for a year.

Source: iQuest students reflect on life skills learned in senior internship

Making Student Data More Usable: What Innovation Theory Tells Us About Interoperability – Education Next

By Thomas Arnett

As schools adopt blended learning, many are eager to use the floods of student learning data gathered by their various software systems to make better instructional decisions. We are accustomed to the ease with which we can use data from multiple systems in other domains of life—such as when we use GPS apps on our smartphones to search for dinner options, check operating hours and customer ratings, and then get traffic-optimized driving directions. So it isn’t hard to imagine an ideal world in which all student data flows seamlessly and securely between software applications: a concept known as data interoperability.

But currently, data interoperability across education software tools remains more of a hope than a reality. Often, the software that schools use only provides educators with the data that software developers have deemed necessary or relevant for teachers. Each piece of learning software usually has its own proprietary dashboards and reports, and the software typically does not tag, categorize, or provide access to its data in a way that makes data easy to share across systems.

Source: Making Student Data More Usable: What Innovation Theory Tells Us About Interoperability – Education Next : Education Next

Benicia Police Department, Benicia USD to join forces for Cyber Safety Night tomorrow – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

In the past month, Benicia Unified School District had two separate scare instances that initiated the need for a discussion on teens and the use of social media.

In September, a Benicia High School student made violent threats against his school on the messaging site Kik. After the incident was reported to Benicia High officials, the school was placed on lockdown and the suspect was arrested.

In October, in the midst of a “creepy clown” media frenzy, a Benicia Middle School student reported a post on Instagram with a photo of a scary clown’s face and the caption “I’m going to shoot up your school BMS.” Police could not determine if the threat was leveled at Benicia Middle School but still increased its presence at the campus the following day.

As a response to both incidents, BUSD will be partnering with the Benicia Police Department to host Cyber Safety Night at Benicia High School. BPD will be delivering a presentation and allow time for questions and answers at the end.

Source: Benicia Police Department, Benicia Unified School District to join forces for Cyber Safety Night tomorrow

Buckingham senior aims to make teens more socially aware – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

So many societal ills are swirling and teens don’t know how to deal or where to turn.

Which is why a Buckingham Charter Magnet High School senior created a safe place to land — her Social Awareness Club at the school.

“I was looking around my school and there were all these clubs, but nothing about what’s happening in the world, in the media, about how women are being treated or how men are being treated,” the 17-year-old said. “The point of my club is to talk about issues.”

Now 20-people strong, a diverse group of 10 young men and 10 young women, the group gets together to talk about all manner of issues facing them in the world today and to fully discuss their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Source: Buckingham senior aims to make teens more socially aware

Teen Creates App So Bullied Kids Never Have To Eat Alone : The Salt : NPR

By NPR Staff

You’re at a cafeteria, you’ve got your lunch … and then you just don’t know where to sit. You don’t want to sit alone, but you also don’t know who would be friendly and let you sit with them. Sixteen-year-old Natalie Hampton has been there. She’s an 11th-grader from Sherman Oaks, Calif., and the creator of a new app called Sit With Us.

Hampton recently spoke about the app with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish. A transcript of their conversation follows, edited for clarity.

Source: Teen Creates App So Bullied Kids Never Have To Eat Alone : The Salt : NPR

Schools Taking Various Approaches to Pokemon Go – Education News

By Corwin Mollett

Schools are attempting to find ways to keep the wildly popular mobile app Pokemon Go out of their classrooms. In the new technological age it was already difficult to keep students off their phones and focused on the class, but Pokemon Go has added a new level of distraction for the students.

As Joe Mullins writes for ars Technica UK, France’s education minister is asking Niantic to keep rare Pokemon out of schools. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, education minister of France, is worried that rare Pokemon in schools would be potentially distracting to students.

While France is trying to discourage the game within its schools, some have decided to try and use it to engage with students more. One teacher, in particular, plans to make writing assignments involving the new hit game:

Marissa Grodnick, an English teacher, said “Any time something becomes a big pop culture sensation, as a teacher I     try to just kind of ride the coattails.”

Source: Schools Taking Various Approaches to Pokemon Go

Cultural Literacy in the Age of the Hashtag – Education Next

By Robert Pondiscio

Last month, on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, the hashtag ‪#‎BeckyWithTheBadGrades began trending on Twitter. If you’re not sure what that phrase means or why it was so hotly discussed on social media, don’t despair. You’re not poorly educated, misinformed, or illiterate. But you’re probably missing a bit of cultural knowledge common among young people, particularly young people of color. The clever hashtag offers a lesson in the value of cultural literacy—often a touchy subject in education—but with a nifty twist: This time, it’s our students who got a cultural reference that left many adults scratching their heads.

Source: Cultural Literacy in the Age of the Hashtag – Education Next : Education Next

County high schoolers learn ABCs of solar energy and careers – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An education program manager for a San Jose-based solar company said the Solar Energy Academy this week at Solano Community College is an opportunity for schools and businesses to collaborate to bring a work-based learning environment that high school students “can’t get in a classroom.”

Renee Solari — who smiled when noting her surname, coincidentally, means “sun” in Italian — said the students, some 40 mostly sophomores to seniors from Solano County school districts, including several from Vacaville Unified, are learning “21st-century skills” at the academy, co-sponsored by her firm, SunPower and the Northern California Career Pathways, a six-county consortium of school districts, community colleges and the Workforce Development Board.

Source: County high schoolers learn ABCs of solar energy and careers

Harnessing the Power of YouTube in the Classroom | Edutopia

By Monica Burns

There are amazing ways to elevate and energize instruction through using technology tools. One resource that’s popular with students of all ages — from the youngest to the oldest — is the video hosting website YouTube. YouTube lets anyone with a free account upload videos. Many organizations post collections of videos on this site, which is organized into channels. In addition to locating content, teachers can create their own YouTube channels to share videos and showcase student work.

YouTube is so much more than music videos and clips of animals doing tricks. It contains engaging, informative content at all levels. This video hosting site gives teachers the opportunity to take students around the world, listen to experts on a topic, or hear an explanation for a new idea. One of the reasons why people of all ages are using YouTube is because it’s a powerful tool for teaching and learning.

Source: Harnessing the Power of YouTube in the Classroom | Edutopia

Rodriguez High gamers roll out role-playing video game – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With more pride than fanfare, Rodriguez High School students in a video game design class last week rolled out their collaborative, year-end project, “Cosa Nostra.”

At the end of a low-key press conference Thursday, Mike Sagan, in his fourth year as a video game design teacher at the Red Top Road school in Fairfield, said 15 of his students — seven developers, four researchers and four graphic designers — spent four months to create the fully functional, role-playing video game.

“They were crunched on time,” he said in the school library, adding that the students had to design, test and market the game before delivering their final product to him and his colleagues, Jesse Castro and Melissa Vallejo.

“It is ready to market,” said Sagan, a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, adding, “But we’re not going to sell it.”

Source: Rodriguez High gamers roll out role-playing video game

Youth Summit to discuss stereotypes, gender roles and the media – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

A group of Vacaville teens are in the midst of a revolution and they’re hoping to recruit other youths to the cause.

The goal — youth empowerment.

The method — the 2016 Operation Representation Youth Summit, bearing the theme “Stereotypes, Gender Roles & the Media and How it Affects You.”

The event, set for 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. April 30 at Ulatis Cultural Center in Vacaville, is all about bringing awareness to issues facing youths and how to deal with them.


via:  The Reporter