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Vivid-Pix Sponsors International African American Museum Opening 2022 in Charleston, SC
Vivid-Pix www.vivid-pix.com, the leading provider of AI-powered image restoration software and educational services, announced today that it is sponsoring the International African American Museum (IAAM), slated to open late 2022 in Charleston, South Carolina. The museum will honor the untold stories of the African American journey at one of the country’s most sacred sites, Gadsden’s Wharf, one of the country’s most prolific slave trading ports where some historians estimate more than 45% of enslaved Africans entered the U.S. Bringing these stories to light has been no small task. From the first time the IAAM was presented as an idea to then-Mayor Joe Riley at the State of the City address in 2000; to Congressman Joe Clyburn becoming the first board chair in 2005; to construction beginning in 2019, the museum has had its own journey. The museum explores the cultures and knowledge systems of Africans in the Americas; and the diverse journeys, stories, and achievements of these individuals and their descendants in South Carolina, the United States, and throughout the African diaspora. Vivid-Pix is supporting the museum by donating many Memory Station scanning/software solutions to be used in studying the history of the African American journey through community outreach, museum operations, and for use by museum patrons. The Memory Station portable and stationary scanning and image improvement solution is already being used by IAAM curators at descendants’ homes to scan, restore, and analyze old photos and documents. “It’s our honor to be a part of obtaining and sharing these stories,” stated Rick Voight, CEO, Vivid-Pix. “Like most families and societies, America’s past has blemishes and bright spots. This tapestry is going to be further explained as IAAM opens this year.” “The museum is about a journey that began centuries ago in Africa. It is about the journey of millions of Africans, captured and forced across the Atlantic in the grueling and inhumane Middle Passage, who arrived at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina and other ports in the Atlantic world. Their labor, resistance, and ingenuity and that of their descendants shaped every aspect of our world,” said Toni Carrier, Director, Center for Family History, IAAM. Vivid-Pix Holds Educational “How to Tell Your Story” Family History Programs throughout U.S. The Vivid-Pix Memory Station and RESTORE software solution are currently being utilized in libraries across America, such as Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the largest genealogy center in a public library in the U.S. This library also houses the largest collection of Abraham Lincoln images in the world (https://acpl.lib.in.us/research/lincoln-collection). Vivid-Pix is touring the U.S. conducting educational “How to Tell Your Story” family history programs starting on March 29 at the Thrive Center in Louisville, Kentucky, March 31 at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at genealogical society conferences throughout the U.S. The workshops are also available online. For more information and to register, go to: https://Vivid-Pix.com/events
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Opens Wildlife Explorers Basecamp at the San Diego Zoo
There is excitement in the Southern California air as the San Diego for the opening of its newest and most anticipated area of the Zoo – the Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp. Built on the site of the former Children’s Zoo, Wildlife Explorers Basecamp is a 3.2-acre state-of-the-art, multi-ecosystem experience designed to provide guests of all ages with an up-close look at nature and offer fresh, high-tech interactive opportunities that nurture empathy for wildlife and encourage future caretakers of the planet. Inside Basecamp, Zoo guests will visit with a variety of fascinating species and engage on a deeper level by utilizing full sensory and multifaceted elements, including “parallel play” opportunities from climbing and crawling around a massive tree house, to exploring through amazing water play elements; experiencing interactive touch screen games, using microscopes to reveal natural wonders, and specialized animation that utilizes artificial-intelligence (AI), dynamic lighting and whole-room scented environments. Wildlife Explorers Basecamp encompasses eight buildings and habitats dispersed throughout four zones, featuring wildlife that live in these ecosystems: Rainforest, Wild Woods, Marsh Meadows and Desert Dunes. The Rainforest zone is centered around the 10,000-square-foot McKinney Family Spineless Marvels building, where guests will experience invertebrates—including crustaceans, arachnids and insects—such as leafcutter ants, spiders, scorpions, stick insects and more. Inside, there is a pollinator experience with giant beeswax-fragrant honeycombs and an observation pane that gives guests the chance to see the workings of a real-life beehive. The projected migration flyover encounter showcases various insects, including migrating monarch butterflies, grasshoppers and dragonflies as part of a large meadow scene that curves along walls and encompasses a domed ceiling. The Wild Woods area offers guests the chance to visit with unusual wildlife species, such as coatis and squirrel monkeys, which are both native to Central and South America. The space features the striking Prebys Foundation Discovery Bridge and a 20-foot-tall Tree of Dreams—a tree house designed as an ancient oak. This dynamic and detailed nature-play tree provides multiple points of access for guests—from a suspension bridge and net tunnel to a spiral staircase—and a parallel play experience to the squirrel monkeys that live in the adjacent habitat. Water play is another focus of this woodland-themed zone, which includes a waterfall that flows into a gentle meandering stream, an exhilarating splash pad, unpredictable water jets, and a bluff area with a boulder scramble made to encourage exploration. Marsh Meadows aims to evoke a sense of visiting marsh-like habitats, including swamps and estuaries. The pathway through this area was designed to help convey a sense that guests are inhabiting the marsh along with frogs, fish and other wildlife that lives there. The central hub of Marsh Meadows is the Art and Danielle Engel-funded Jake’s Cool Critters building—a two-story herpetology and ichthyology structure with more than 7,000 square feet of immersive environments, digital media, learning opportunities and educational classroom spaces, created to engage wildlife explorers of all ages. The wildlife here includes snakes, amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and lizards, including endangered Fijian iguanas. At the nearby Rady Ambassadors Headquarters, guests will meet wildlife from all over the planet, including a two-toed sloth and a prehensile-tailed porcupine, and learn more about how everyone can help conserve them in their native habitats. Finally, Desert Dunes, a dry desert wash-themed area, offers fun boulder play prospects for climbing, scrambling, hopping and more. Reptile sculptures and petroglyphs can be found among the rocks, while cool caves provide shaded areas where guests can beat the heat, like their desert wildlife counterparts—including the fennec fox, prairie dog and burrowing owl. Conservation is at the forefront in the design of Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, as builders worked to incorporate advanced sustainable materials throughout. A portion of the Spineless Marvels building was made with ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)—a fluorine-based plastic that is created to be more resistant to corrosion. The system is 100% recyclable, and consists of a series of custom-sized Teflon multilayered “air pillows”—which, when filled with air, provide solar insulation while also reducing the need for artificial lighting. The Zoo’s talented horticulture team worked to identify more than 100 trees from the previous habitat to preserve and replant within Basecamp. For more information about Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, its many features, the wildlife that lives there and how you can help San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance conserve wildlife and build a world where all live thrives, visit the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp webpage. Wildlife Explorers Basecamp is included with admission to the San Diego Zoo.
Why African Languages Matter By Victor Oladokun
Public advocacy and campaigns should be developed to encourage family members and local communities to pass on the treasure of language to the younger generation Recently, the Union African Union adopted Swahili as one of the official languages alongside French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic. I could not have been more glad. For decades, it has always struck me as odd that not a single African language is spoken in the hallowed halls of Africa’s main political institution. The decision by the AU in February 2022 was long overdue and should be applauded by all and sundry regardless of nationality. Why is this important? Simply because Africa has a language crisis. As a 10-year-old newly arrived in Lagos from England, I recall listening intently to how the Yoruba language – my father’s language – was spoken. I would constantly repeat in my head or verbally repeat what I thought I had heard. I was not always successful. Many times, what would come out of my mouth would throw my friends into fits of laughter. Yoruba is a tonal language. Some three-letter words pronounced wrongly or with the accent on the wrong syllable can get you into a whole lot of trouble. I am indebted to the Canadian Catholic boarding School I attended in Ondo – St. Joseph’s College. At the time, the high school was well known for academic rigor and discipline. But one thing I’ve come to appreciate over the years was the mandatory learning of the Yoruba language in the first two years of a five-year study. In addition, while Mass was in Latin and English, the music also had a generous sprinkling of uplifting Yoruba hymns backed by traditional drums. As I look back, I owe my love of the Yoruba language to this linguistic and cultural exposure. Which is one of the reasons why I never cease to be amazed by the linguistic snobbery of many upwardly mobile and not-too-upwardly mobile Nigerian and African elite, when it comes to transferring knowledge of indigenous languages to their children. In the case of my fellow Yoruba, it is not unusual to be regaled with pride about how their children only speak English. With an affected Yoruba-English accent denoting social class, this is how the commentary tends to goes – “Ehhh … so mo pe awon omo aiye isiyin, won o gbo Yoruba mo. Oyinbo nikan ni won gbo.” Meaning “You must realise that today’s generation no longer speaks or comprehend Yoruba. They only speak English.” The comment by the way is supposed to be a badge of honor. Languages become endangered for many reasons. While focusing on Nigeria, the same applies to almost all African countries. 1. Unprecedented urban mobility and migration, in which children grow up in places where the language of their parents is either not generally spoken or where it is no longer taught in the community. 2. Inter-ethnic marriages and relationships and recourse to the official language of English or the more widely spoken Pidgin English. 3. A tech-driven world that is dominated by less than a dozen global languages. Consequently, social media, TV and digital content, children’s programs, computer games, mobile apps, and news content, do not favor indigenous African languages. 4. Dislocation of populations due to terrorism and ethnic conflicts. 5. Economic migration that ends up leaving the older and elderly speakers of a language behind in rural communities. Languages cannot live without children speakers. As such, as elderly rural speakers die out, the survival of some languages is simply impossible. This is the dilemma that has befallen the Yoruba language and countless other indigenous Nigerian and African languages. Language is all-encompassing. It is not just a means of communicating. It is also a repository of values, customs, culture, and history. In short, language is the embodiment of who a people are. Therefore, the loss or extinction of a language is simply not an inability to speak in a way and manner that is generally understood. It is the loss of identity – linguistically, culturally, psychologically, and historically. I’m delighted to see indigenous Nigerian languages woven into the fabric of many recent Nollywood blockbuster movies. It’s a step in the right direction. According to the Atlas of Languages in Danger of Disappearing published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and (UNESCO), today, there are an estimated 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. Half of the world’s total population speaks only eight of the most common. Also, more than 3,000 languages are said to be spoken by fewer than 10,000 people each. So what can we do about linguistic genocide? Fold our arms? Bemoan our fate? Accept the seemingly unstoppable collision of languages with the forces of ‘modernization’ and globalization? Or do we take stock, recognize what is at stake, turn adversity into opportunity, and innovatively add value to the tremendous linguistic resources that we own? We have no choice. Following are 7 suggestions: 1. Policymakers should go back to the drawing boards and once again make the teaching and learning of indigenous languages compulsory from kindergarten through high school. 2. Public advocacy and campaigns should be developed to encourage family members and local communities to pass on the treasure of language to the younger generation. One of Africa’s dilemmas today is that many young and older adults are linguistically challenged. As such, they need tutoring and learning themselves. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity for developers of language apps or creative radio and TV programs. 3. Debates in indigenous languages: Growing up in Lagos, one of my favorite TV programs was the live broadcast of the National High School Debates. I can still hear the opening music ringing in my ears. Here lies another opportunity for Nigeria and African countries for whom either English, French, Portuguese or Spanish, is the official language. Policymakers, content producers, advertisers, and the private and public sector, could team up to create regionally televised elementary and high school debates in indigenous languages. To motivate the younger generation, generous and not token awards could include academic scholarships, regional and national media mentions, and opportunities to meet with and be honored by leading public and private sector leaders. 4. Business Incubation Hubs: Tech-savvy entrepreneurs have an unprecedented opportunity to create innovative indigenous language content, apps, and platforms. Opportunities abound for policymakers and the private sector to support and give out annual awards for the best digital content in indigenous languages including children’s animation programs, computer games, TV programs, vlogs, or podcasts. 5. Language Schools: France, the UK, Switzerland, and Germany have an abundance of schools that offer short or long-term language programs. The French language school Alliance Française has a presence in almost every African country. African nations must do the same especially in the Diaspora. Or at least, digitally or virtually online. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity to provide Africans at home and in the Diaspora with learning platforms and tools to enhance indigenous langauge capacities. 6. Policymakers can help create environments that promote learning and drive demand for content and information in indigenous languages. We certainly can learn from countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, that use indigenous languages in their respective parliaments and other official business. Why should proficiency in multiple indigenous or other African languages not be a desirable employment skill set? Why should important national messages not be simulcast in their entirety in key languages, to reach the largest possible audience? Why in so many African countries is there a complete reliance on English, French, Spanish or Portuguese in public communication? It’s a question to ponder and a challenge to overcome. 7. Becoming Linguistic Ambassadors: Finally, each one of us can brush up on our language skills and do so with exceptional pride. For too long, we have bought into the false narrative that ‘local’ is bad and ‘Western’ is attractive. We diminish our languages and refer to them derisively as ‘vernacular.’ Instead, collectively, we have a legacy responsibility to speak our languages with pride and transfer the same to the next generation. If you are not as proficient as you would like to be, listen intently to how your language is spoken. Each week, set a goal of learning new vocabulary words. Over time, you’ll be amazed at the progress you would have made. Every African language is a repository of history, culture, and values. When a language dies, so too does history, culture, values, and the intuitive sense of who a people are, where they are from and where they are going. There is still time to save our languages and prevent cultural genocide. It starts with each one of us!
Student Education & Wellness Platform Launches Amid Pandemic
Holistic Learning, founded by neuroscience, physiology and meditation experts Eli Marx-Kahn and Kush Patel, announces the launch of its platform on a mission to “help create a generation of purposeful, confident, and happy young people who are ready to take on the many issues our world faces. By integrating services in multiple domains – academics, wellness, and career development – we aim to help students find their unique paths in life.” The easy and fun to use platform incorporates timely and critical touch points for high school students: 1-on-1 tutoring, wellness & meditation courses, learning strategies, college counseling, career development, and life skills. Parents and educators see it as a valuable supplement providing their students with a number of individualized, self-select tools such as breathing exercises to reduce anxiety, STEM, English and writing tutoring, college application advice, and career seminars with professionals from dozens of fields. “We know that students who are healthy, happy, and stress-free are much more receptive to new knowledge. Holistic Learning equips them with the skills they need to manage their many obligations while prioritizing their own well-being,” states Co-Founder and Chief Wellness Officer Eli Marx-Kahn. Holistic Learning comes at a crucial time in education amid continued covid disruptions, isolation and uncertainty. According to “Education in the Pandemic, The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Student”: Emerging evidence shows that the pandemic has negatively affected academic growth, widening pre-existing disparities. In core subjects like math and reading, there are worrisome signs that in some grades students might be falling even further behind pre-pandemic expectations. Further, “The Mental Health of High School Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic” report states: “The American Psychological Association (APA) reports 81% of Gen Z teens (ages 13–17) have experienced more intense stress during the COVID-19 pandemic….Exercise time helps reduce mental health degradation (β3 = -0.153, p = 0.037). Many other factors such as gender, homework time, school time, pre-existing mental health issues, and therapy did not have a significant influence on mental health degradation. Analysis of freeform feedback identified the following three recurring themes: increased stress due homework (13.2%), social isolation or lack of social interactions (8.5%), and lack of support for mental wellbeing (12.3%).” “I am very interested in how the brain works and am passionate about using my knowledge of neuroscience to make studying more fun and manageable for students at every point in their education,” shares Kush Patel, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Holistic Learning. “Throughout my college years, I helped hundreds of students achieve their academic aspirations through my role as a tutor, peer mentor to students with disabilities, study group leader, and learning strategist. I enjoy creating learning strategy content for students as well as designing a holistic tutoring curriculum to ensure that true and meaningful understanding is achieved.” Based on frequency of tutoring desired, tiered subscriptions are available at www.holisticlearning.co, and are priced well below standalone tutoring and counseling programs. Sliding scale scholarship opportunities are available for low income families, by inquiring at firstname.lastname@example.org. Holistic Learning is also committed to partnering with high schools and encourages opportunities to best meet needs of schools. “Holistic Learning is committed to accessibility and equality of access,” states Marx-Kahn. “It was created as an online space designed to meet the needs that high school alone cannot meet, to help students grow, and to help them visualize their path towards a meaningful and fulfilling future. The Pandemic has made the need for a service like Holistic Learning greater than ever.” * Video: https://vimeo.com/578233702
Myopia Profile Launches Communicating the Myopia Message Online Professional Resource
Myopia Profile, the internationally trusted clinical myopia management information center for eye care professionals (ECPs), has launched its Communicating the Myopia Message online course. Communicating the Myopia Message joins a robust slate of Myopia Profile web resources available to guide ECPs as they address the global myopia epidemic. The key inspiration for the self-paced latest course is the challenge of communicating the often complex and evolving science of myopia, providing ECPs with tried and tested messages and practical tools. In conjunction with clinical expertise, these skills enable ECPs to offer the best possible care to young patients with myopia and set up their practice systems for greater success. The interactive two-hour course covers all aspects of the myopia management journey from a communications perspective. ECPs will increase their confidence to discuss myopia onset and progression; describe management options and guide parents through decision-making and informed consent; explain and manage long-term outcomes; involve practice staff; and provide ongoing patient education in and outside the exam room to ensure best practice myopia management. Each lesson provides a scientific foundation with advice on communicating this knowledge to parents. The 25 lessons spaced over six modules also include interactive parent communication scenarios, downloadable support tools, quick quizzes, and more in engaging formats. Myopia Profile founders and Communicating the Myopia Message instructors Dr. Kate Gifford and Dr. Paul Gifford bring with them a combined four decades plus of ocular science experience. They have authored more than 130 peer reviewed and professional publications and have presented more than 200 conference lectures around the world, primarily on clinical myopia management. Dr. Kate Gifford said, “We created our Communicating the Myopia Message course based on the thousands of optometrists and ophthalmologists in our online community from around the world who cite communication with young patients and their parents as a chief obstacle. The course provides an easy-to-follow roadmap for eye care professionals to guide patients along their entire journey—from the first discussion to long-term management. We have also made the course available at a price point accessible to most any practice with any number of patient-facing staff members.” As for all Myopia Profile online courses, Communicating the Myopia Message is internationally recognized for accredited continuing professional education. The course is COPE CE approved in North America, CPD approved in Australia and New Zealand, and CET approved in the United Kingdom. The cost of the Communicating the Myopia Message course is $45 USD per virtual seat, with the first chapter available to preview at no charge. Reduced course fees are available for select countries to increase global accessibility, and for bulk purchases. Visit the Myopia Profile website at www.MyopiaProfile.com to register or learn more about this and other courses. From humble beginnings as a two-page download, Myopia Profile has grown into a company fostering a thriving, engaged community of thousands of eye health professionals around the world across web and social media platforms. It is the largest and most popular multi-channel professional educational resource dedicated to childhood myopia management. Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Smart Energy Education Offers Energy Technology & Policy eCourse
EPIcenter is proud to partner with Smart Energy Education, funded by global Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) leader Itron Inc. and CPS Energy, to offer access to the Introduction to Energy Technology & Policy (ETP) eCourse - a new opportunity for professional level education. This course will be taught virtually by author, energy expert and professor Dr. Michael E. Webber and his team of senior researchers from The University of Texas at Austin. Smart Energy Education (SEE) is partnering with Dr. Webber of the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering and Disco Learning Media, a subsidiary of Upstryve Inc, (OTCPK: PBYA), to underwrite scholarships for San Antonio area residents who enroll in the ETP eCourse. Postsecondary students, rising managers or mid-level executives who want to deepen and broaden their knowledge in the energy industry, oil & gas specialists, or professionals in other sectors such as finance, consulting, and human resources who want to break into the energy sector should consider taking the course. “The worldwide energy sector is going through dramatic shifts in energy demand, end-uses and sources,” said Dr. Webber. “Population and economic growth are driving up total demand. Industrialization, urbanization, electrification, and motorization are changing how we use energy while a push for domestic, low-carbon, and renewable fuels is changing our sources of energy.” Dr. Webber and his team will guide participants through cutting edge energy concepts while also giving a broad overview of energy’s critical role in society, emphasizing the economic, environmental, and security trade-offs for various fuels and technology. The EPIcenter Energy Think Tank (EETT) is designed to expose wider audiences to energy issues and has the infrastructure and leadership team to support this SEE initiative. The EETT is administering the scholarship application process. “Our Think Tank encourages community members to engage with the energy industry regardless of industry affiliation,” Kimberly M. Britton, CEO of EPIcenter, said. “This partnership is a natural fit for EPIcenter to bring together people from many industries to learn more about energy innovation, evolution and implementation.” SEE is part of a larger energy-literacy program initiative to build a strong future talent pipeline. The goal of the initiative is to demonstrate how improving energy and water literacy can foster community engagement and inspire collaborations among communities to solve the world’s greatest challenges of the future. The synchronous online course is being offered via Zoom January 4-26, 2022, though sessions will be taped in case registrants need to participate on a flexible schedule. To learn more details about the course and about the scholarship opportunity, please visit bit.ly/EnergyeCourse. Students who complete the course and pass the ETP: Technology and Policy interactive e-course exam will earn a certificate in “Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.” Upon completion, students are also awarded 1.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). EPIcenter continues to fulfill its mission of propelling energy innovation and thought for our global future with a think tank, incubator and accelerator, strategic partnerships, advisory engagements and critical conversations around energy. To learn more about EPIcenter, please visit www.epicenterus.org
Osmo’s STEM Week Sale & Amazon Deal of the Day (11/8)
Osmo announces a STEM Week sale that encourages kids ages 3 to 10+ to explore reading, writing, math, coding, drawing, creative problem-solving, and more. From 11/7 through 11/13, save up to 40% off select kits, games and bundles at PlayOsmo.com, Amazon, Target, Best Buy & other retailers. Osmo’s Amazon Deal of the Day runs on Nov. 8--one day only--and features 20% off select items at Amazon.com. Kits and games up to 25% off through 11/13 at PlayOsmo.com and multiple retailers include: Little Genius Starter Kit (base included) Genius Starter Kit (base included) Coding Starter Kit (base included) Creative Starter Kit (base included) Pizza Co. (base required) Detective Agency (base required) Super Studio Disney Mickey Mouse & Friends (base required) Super Studio Disney Princess (base required) Super Studio Disney Frozen 2 (base required) Math Wizard and the Secrets of the Dragons (base required) Math Wizard and the Magical Workshop (base required) Kits and bundles up to 40% off through 11/13 exclusively at PlayOsmo.com include: Pre-School Starter Kit Explorer Starter Kit Ultimate Expansion Bundle Essential Math Bundle Osmo’s Amazon Deal of the Day (11/8) features 20% off these items at Amazon.com: Genius Starter Kit for iPad + Case for iPad (base included) Genius Starter Kit for iPad + Grab & Go Small Storage Carry Case (base included) Coding Starter Kit for iPad + Case for iPad (base included) Coding Starter Kit for iPad + Grab & Go Small Storage Carry Case (base included) Creative Starter Kit for iPad + Case for iPad (base included) Creative Starter Kit for iPad + Grab & Go Small Storage Carry Case (base included)
Youth Leaders from United Nations and Global Citizenship Foundation Lead the Post COVID-19 Transformation on Planet Classroom
Young people have inherited a world beset by crises but Planet Classroom in association with Creative Visions have invited youth globally to shine a light on their thoughts, feelings, hopes and desires for the world. In this new episode of the SHINE shows, Orb, Planet Classroom’s virtual host, asked eight young leaders - 5 from Global Citizenship Foundation: Arjun Singh, Thueba Said, Shantal Lukoye, Kuvam Mehta and Jessa Adriatico; and 3 from UN Youth: Zaheen Razeen, Siena Castellon and Hadiqa Bashir, to present solutions. Their powerful presentations suggest that they are ready, willing and able to design a modern society and international community that cares for the good of all its people. The 4th industrial revolution created inequality, social discord, a fragile labor market and the need for innovation and change. What does this mean for global learning? How can we reform curriculum to support the local good and the global good for all people? “Humanity was tested. Courage was tested, yet we managed to emerge strong and better,” notes SDG Leader Zaheen Razeen. “I recommend educational institutions partner with telecommunication firms with a broad reach in remote areas to ensure easy access and implementation of e-learning,” suggests Thueba Said. “We flourish when everybody flourishes,” adds Hadiqa Bashir; “Expand the definition of the right to education so that it embraces the importance of connectivity and access to knowledge and information.” “Realistically speaking, a better and safe world is something that we couldn’t achieve unless we remember how to be humans,” says Jessa Adriatico.
Confirming our status as a school offering high quality education, DBS has recently been accepted as a fully accredited member of CIS
CIS is recognised worldwide as a leader of school evaluation and accreditation, which will only accept schools that show a commitment to high quality international education. In the words of CIS, schools accepted into the fold must have ‘achieved high standards of professional performance in international education and has a commitment to continuous improvement.’ The voyage from starting the process to full accreditation takes up to three years, so for DBS to achieve this at the end of its fourth year is truly remarkable. To become accredited by CIS requires the hard work and collaboration of the entire staff at DBS, not just the academic team, which highlights the togetherness present at the school. Prior to the Team Evaluation school visit, the entire teaching team collaborated on various areas of the final report, highlighting the areas of outstanding work at the school and also the areas that we wish to improve. The process gave our staff the chance to really reflect on the everyday practices of the school and identify what makes DBS stand out. Preparing the report also gave the academic team a better appreciation of what colleagues do in other sections of the school. The final step of the process was the whole school evaluation from a team of leaders in education from institutions around SE Asia. Although the Team Evaluation visit was challenging, especially as it was held online, it turned out to be both a thoroughly rewarding and also a validating experience. To have areas that we knew we excelled in to be recognised by our peers brought an immense amount of pride and satisfaction from all at DBS. Areas of significant praise included the development of a culture where innovative teaching and learning practices are encouraged, and the development within the students of creative thinking and problem solving. Also receiving praise was the school’s Well-being programme, which is central to all that we do at DBS. As with all accredited members of CIS, the journey does not end here. Spurred on by our success, DBS will move forwards on its path of continuous improvement in all areas and aspects of school life. The teamwork that got us this far, between the academic and administrative teams, the students and the parents, will ensure that the future at DBS continues to be very bright. DBS is also offering scholarship opportunities for Y3-Y12 students, or those between the ages of 7-17 years, who excel in either English and Maths, Sport, Music, Art, Drama, or as an All-Rounder. Successful students can receive scholarships with up to 50% discount on their tuition fee. At the DBS Scholarship Days, there will be an academic examination, using the UK education standard, and an interview for all candidates. Non-academic assessments will take place for Sport, Music, Drama, and Art candidates. Students can submit applications now until 1st November 2021, and the scholarship days will be held on Saturday 6th and 13th November 2021. For more information, please call 02-666-1933 or email: email@example.com or visit www.dbsbangkok.ac.th
7 in 10 Parents Say Children’s Post-Pandemic Social Skills Are at Risk, Per Osmo Study
According to a new study of 2,000 U.S. parents of school aged-children (5-14 years), parents have tried a myriad ways to keep their kids active and social during the pandemic, however, 7 in 10 perceive their child’s post-pandemic social skills to be at risk, even as things return to normal. The majority of parents (71%) are also worried about potential learning loss that may have resulted by not being in school, and are pursuing a variety of means to keep up their child’s studies at home this summer. The study was commissioned by STEAM brand Osmo and conducted by OnePoll. Osmo’s study reveals that 77% of parents encouraged their child to be social and active from afar, while at home. For example, they allowed their child to: play video games or online games with others (52%); call and text friends often (49%); make neighborhood friends (45%); engage in outdoor activities like walking and bike riding (46%); attend virtual get togethers (35%); and new friends online (23%). Despite trying their hardest, two in three parents are worried that their child has gotten more socially awkward around others, and 62% do not think their kid will be able to pick up where they left off upon returning to class this fall. Specifically, parents worry that their child will have trouble in these areas: making conversation with friends (41%); meeting new people (40%); sharing (35%); staying quiet for long periods (34%); waiting their turn (31%); or remembering to say “please” and “thank you” (37%). The survey also revealed that parents value socializing, with 85% believing it is a necessary skill to use in school. Forty-four percent of respondents place academic learning and socializing on the same level of importance, and four in five (81%) think schools should implement more activities that encourage and teach social skills. “We understand how difficult the pandemic was for both kids and their parents – many of us at Osmo experienced these challenges ourselves,” says Pramod Sharma, CEO of award-winning Osmo, known for its bestselling Coding Starter Kit, Creative Starter Kit, Genius Starter Kit, and Little Genius Starter Kit. “This past year has taught all of us that learning is about so much more than academics. As a brand, Osmo is committed to applying these insights toward multi-player experiences that promote the social-emotional learning parents look for and kids need.” The study also reveals four in five parents made sure their children succeeded academically even through tough times and emphasized that school was as important as ever before. Over half of parents (52%) stuck by their child’s side when they struggled with an assignment, 47% encouraged their child to study more, 43% tried to make learning fun through games or educational activities, while 42% percent took the time to create extra homework to ensure their child understood the material they were learning during homeschooling. However, three in four parents believe their child lost a year of proper education due to COVID, and the majority (71%) are concerned that it will be difficult for their kids to catch up on learning they may have missed. With this in mind, four in five (81%) believe that certain technology or entertainment tools may be the solution to improving both their child’s social and educational skills. When asked what subject they think their kids are most likely to struggle with, parents said math (41%) followed by science (37%) and language arts (34%). Additional parental concerns about children’s re-entry to class include: not remembering their school supplies and books (42%); focusing in class (41%); or using a full keyboard not attached to a tablet (36%) again; opening their locker (32%); and doing their homework every day (32%).
Purdue educational startup to partner with PASCO Scientific on global distribution
Explore Interactive, a Purdue University-related startup that markets augmented reality-powered, gamified learning sets to help students in grades 3-5 understand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), has entered an agreement with PASCO Scientific Inc. to distribute the award-winning MindLabs product around the globe. MindLabs, which was named by Forbes in 2020 as the STEM product with the best hands-on and AR integration, will be sold in English-language markets as part of the PASCO Blueprint packages for summer and year-long learning enrichment in the sciences. The Blueprint packages are especially of interest for schools and districts with access to ESSERIII educational grant funding within the American Rescue Plan. They are available online. Amanda Thompson, CEO of Explore Interactive, said PASCO Scientific is the perfect partner for global distribution of the MindLabs science learning product. "As an established leader and global innovator of educational STEM products, PASCO Scientific is the perfect partner," she said. "Together, we envision a future where high-quality digital interactions, like our MindLabs AR, are integrated with hands-on STEM experiences to maximize student learning outcomes. PASCO's global network of educators will accelerate the adoption of MindLabs worldwide, enabling us to nurture young learners everywhere." Richard Briscoe, president and CEO of PASCO Scientific, said MindLabs is a strong addition to the company's catalog of educational products to accelerate students’ interests and abilities in the sciences. "As a growing innovator in science education, MindLabs' creative approach is a game-changer for young learners. The integration of augmented reality into hands-on science creates a new dynamic that makes it easier for younger students to explore complex concepts, like electricity and circuits, through play," Briscoe said. "Through our partnership with MindLabs, we hope to encourage early excitement around science in students around the world while helping them develop foundational literacy in science and STEM concepts." Thompson and her team conducted educational studies with researchers at the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering at Purdue under SBIR funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and matching funds from Elevate Ventures. Explore Interactive has received support and guidance from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue's Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus.
Bentley Systems Announces New Bentley Education Program, Putting Students on the Path to Infrastructure Careers
Bentley Systems, Incorporated, (Nasdaq: BSY), the infrastructure engineering software company, today announced the Bentley Education program, which encourages the development of future infrastructure professionals for careers in engineering, design, and architecture. The Bentley Education program is initially available in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, and Lithuania, with plans to expand to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and India by mid-summer. The program’s student and educator entitlements allow no-cost learning licenses for Bentley infrastructure engineering applications and proven learnings through the new Bentley Education portal. Students and educators from around the globe can register on the Education portal and connect to infrastructure organizations and resources to prepare for and to recruit for infrastructure engineering careers. Bentley also announced the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021. The Bentley Education portal provides a single source for an on-demand, frictionless, and fun experience for students as they build and enhance their digital design skills. Students and educators have access to comprehensive resources, including: • insights from leading AEC professionals, sharing what the industry has to offer students and what skills are in high demand; • the latest news and emerging trends in architecture, engineering, and construction; and • firsthand perspective of current engineering students, mentors, and women in infrastructure engineering. The program offers full access to learning licenses of over 40 of Bentley’s most popular applications used by infrastructure professionals around the globe, including ContextCapture, MicroStation, OpenRoads Designer, STAAD.Pro, and SYNCHRO. The Bentley Education program is open to students and educators at community colleges, technical institutes, polytechnics, universities, secondary schools, and homeschooled students. The program is designed to create world-class talent that can rise to the challenge of improving quality of life and positively changing the world using Bentley infrastructure engineering software, applications, and proven learnings. The Bentley Education program will also help students develop digital skills, which are critical for a qualified talent pipeline to support infrastructure growth and resilience worldwide. The Bentley Education program uses a role-based learning approach, allowing future infrastructure professionals to focus on specific capabilities needed for specific professions. Students can go beyond mere product proficiency and develop a comprehensive understanding of skillsets required to excel in various roles in infrastructure engineering. “With many nations and institutions committing to infrastructure and digital education initiatives as top priorities for a post-pandemic world, we are excited to launch this much-requested and responsive program now,” said Katriona Lord-Levins, chief success officer, Bentley Systems. “We want to inspire and encourage students to learn about infrastructure engineering as a possible career path, and to introduce these young minds to the vast opportunities that lie ahead, with infrastructure going digital.” The Bentley Education portal also serves as a gateway for individual students or teams of two to submit their innovative concepts for Bentley’s Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021. The global competition is open to students from community colleges, polytechnics institutes, and universities. Students advancing in the Challenge, based on their ideas that improve quality of life, will work on modeling, simulation, and visualization to develop a design model. The winner of the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge will be announced during the Going Digital Awards at the Year in Infrastructure 2021 Conference. The inaugural Future Infrastructure Star Challenge is divided into Stage 1 (Conceptualization), and Stage 2 (Design and Visualization). In Stage 1 (Conceptualization), students are invited to submit their ideas for “a next big infrastructure project” in any of the following categories: road and rail, building and facilities, water and wastewater, cities and mapping, and power generation. While conceptualizing their idea, students should focus on an environmental challenge that affects or is affected by infrastructure development, consider applying the Internet of Things, and emphasize the project’s contribution to the world’s health and welfare. The top 20 judged projects from Stage 1 (Conceptualization) will each win USD 500, with the top 10 projects moving on to Stage 2 (Design and Visualization). Here, each such entry may take advantage of opportunities to work with infrastructure professionals, and/or to attend masterclasses with Bentley experts, to bring their ideas to life using Bentley applications. In addition to being announced and introduced at the Year in Infrastructure 2021 Conference, the winner of the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2010 will receive a cash prize of USD 5,000 and recognition in Bentley’s 2021 Infrastructure Yearbook. Vinayak Trivedi, vice president of Bentley Education, said, “We want to make the Bentley Education portal the place where students can go to learn about and become inspired to make infrastructure engineering their career choice. The goal of the program is to help students who are passionate about infrastructure to get a jump-start on a fulfilling career. The Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021 provides an opportunity for them to be creative and innovative in project designs for improving the quality of life and positively changing the world.”
IBA and The College of Law Australia launch online anti-harassment training for the legal profession
Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession, the International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU), in collaboration with The College of Law Australia, have launched a set of e-learning modules designed to guide individuals and workplaces towards making positive cultural changes. With the aim of reducing the prevalence of inappropriate behaviour within the legal profession, the training modules are available for free to anyone within the legal profession (IBA membership is not a prerequisite) and can be accessed on the IBA website here. The modules involve a combination of information, data and accounts included in the Us Too? report , quizzes, videos and animations. In addition to introductory and concluding modules, the training is comprised of four further modules that focus on: bullying sexual harassment exploring the role of individuals in driving positive change considering the importance of workplace action IBA Immediate Past President Horacio Bernardes Neto, who championed the Us Too? campaign throughout his two-year (2019–2020) presidency, commented: ‘The IBA is committed to ensuring that the legal profession is a safe, supportive and respectful environment for every member of it. The development of this training is another demonstration of that commitment. We must maintain momentum, and we hope legal workplaces across the globe deploy the training for their staff and that they find it practical and edifying.’ Kieran Pender, the former Senior Legal Advisor at the IBA who led the Us Too? campaign and co-developed the training, said: ‘Effectively addressing the prevalence and impact of inappropriate behaviour in law requires a multifaceted strategy akin to a many-piece puzzle. Training is one really important piece of that puzzle. The Us Too? report emphasised that “the profession should make a concerted effort to improve the frequency and quality of training to address bullying and sexual harassment”. Our intent in developing this training was to contribute to that collective effort.’ To develop the training, the IBA partnered with The College of Law, the largest provider of practice-focused legal education in Australia and New Zealand. The IBA provided subject matter expertise and The College of Law applied its technical and pedagogical expertise to create innovative training modules. ‘We believe this training will make a difference,’ said Niru Palanivel, a content designer at the College of Law who led the collaboration. ‘ Inappropriate behaviour has no place in any profession, let alone a profession predicated on the highest ethical standards. We hope this training, by providing a range of data-backed insight, personal accounts and practical actions, can empower members of the legal profession to play their part in driving positive change.’ The training modules contain more than a dozen videos, many recorded as part of the Us Too? global engagement campaign, which saw report launches take place in 30 cities across six continents with hundreds of stakeholders. This anti-harassment e-learning training series builds on the insight gathered during the campaign. Among those to feature in the training are (in order of appearance): Julia Gillard AC, former Prime Minister of Australia Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Dame Laura Cox QC DBE, Retired Justice of the High Court of England and Wales Justin D’Agostino, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hong Kong Laura King, Clifford Chance, London Deborah Enix-Ross, Chair, IBA Bar Issues Commission Policy Committee and of Debevoise & Plimpton, New York City Claudia Benavides Galvis, Baker McKenzie, Bogota Yosbel A Ibarra, Member, IBA Law Firm Management Committee Advisory Board and of Greenberg Traurig, Miami Rachel Eng, Eng & Co, Singapore Fiona McLeod SC, Co-Chair, IBA Diversity & Inclusion Council and of the Victorian Bar, Melbourne Hanim Hamzah, Co-Chair, IBA Law Firm Management Committee and of ZICO Law Network, Kuala Lumpur Iain Miller, Membership Officer, IBA Professional Ethics Committee and of Kingsley Napley, London Sharon P Masling, Morgan Lewis, Washington DC The training is one of a number of ongoing projects led by the IBA as part of the Us Too? campaign, including a recently published discussion paper on the use of ‘Trust Tech’ to encourage reporting of incidents.
Bentley Institute Press Announces Availability of Infrastructure Digital Twins
Bentley Institute Press, publisher of cutting-edge textbooks and professional reference works for the advancement of the engineering, architectural, construction, operations, geospatial, and educational communities, has announced the availability of a new publication titled Infrastructure Digital Twins: A Leadership Short Course – Volume 1. Vinayak Trivedi, vice president and global head of Bentley Institute, said, “We are pleased to offer this first publication on infrastructure digital twins from Bentley Institute Press authored by Dan Raker, veteran CAD industry visionary and author/publisher of many titles including INSIDE MicroStation and MicroStation Manager Magazine. This slim, power-packed publication is a part of a broader digital-twin curriculum, which the Bentley Institute team is developing to help you get started with your infrastructure digital twins. Like all titles in the Bentley Institute Press portfolio, this publication aims to deliver continuous learning to practitioners in infrastructure professions to upgrade their technical skills and support their going digital initiatives.” Infrastructure Digital Twins: A Leadership Short Course delivers an executive overview for leaders to understand and master the fundamental concepts necessary to drive their organizations’ digital transformation. Volume 1: Getting to Know iTwins: explains key definitions while establishing the confluence of tools compelling technical, organizational, and personnel adaptation disrupting the AECO industry. Volume 2: iTwins in Action (Available in Quarter 4 of 2020) reveals use cases yielding huge cost savings and additional business opportunities through iTwin application of data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and digital transformation of infrastructure construction and operations. Both volumes educate leaders with an easily readable mix of powerful business language with the technical jargon enabling subject mastery for leadership direction. The use of digital twins in infrastructure is giving weight to the idea that data is the new infrastructure. New and veteran infrastructure professionals understand the importance of bringing the built environment to life. With the marriage of design intent with ongoing infrastructure operations, digital twins enable executive-level insight, improved asset performance, and more sustainable environmental outcomes. Author Dan Raker said, “As the world faces unprecedented need for new and refreshed infrastructure, implementing digital twins offers the greatest single impact for improving infrastructure’s responsiveness while radically cutting environmental impact and cost. This book explains how and puts leaders in the driver’s seat to steer their organization’s digital twin transformation.”
Codecademy Launches the World’s First Interactive VR Course
Codecademy, a global provider of online education dedicated to building skills and employability in the 21st century, announced today the launch of a new interactive VR course, Learn A-Frame. Designed for developers, designers, and non-technical creatives alike, the free course teaches users to build a 3D environment and preview it in real-time using a VR headset (or the traditional way, using a computer). “It's an immersive 3D learning experience that gives users the option to take the entire course inside of a VR headset and see the virtual world they’re building come to life as they code it. This is a first for VR courses, which are traditionally video-based and can only be taken on computers,” says Zach Sims, Codecademy CEO and Co-Founder. Learn A-Frame begins with fundamentals such as HTML before diving into advanced topics, making it easy for novice learners interested in VR to get started. The course then progresses into the basics of A-Frame, a popular open-source web framework for building virtual reality experiences in a web browser, and enables learners to build out a virtual environment and create user interactions. “One of our biggest motivations for designing this course was to push the VR/AR community forward by transforming a traditional 2D online learning experience into an immersive 3D one,” said Zach Sims, CEO and Co-Founder of Codecademy. “By the end of this course, you'll be able to build your very own virtual world for your friends and families to explore, whether they're using a VR headset, a Google Cardboard, or a computer.” There has been a 1,400% surge in demand for AR/VR talent since last year, and the average annual salary for AR/VR developers in major US tech hubs is between $135K to $150K, according to a recent report. “Without compelling software and apps driving VR headset sales, the user base will never grow,” said Sonny Li, Senior Curriculum Director of Codecademy. “We worked closely with the A-Frame team to design a state-of-the-art introductory VR course that could give aspiring developers the tools to fill the shortage. We hope that it will inspire others in the space to make other bold and innovative bets to fundamentally change the way people learn.” While the Learn A-Frame course is free, it also contains Pro-exclusive content such as quizzes to test participant knowledge and a collection of Pro projects that let users apply what they’ve learned to build real-world projects such as the flower of life, solar system and a perceptual art memorial piece in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement.
New Turnkey Project-Based Learning Resources for High School STEM Teachers
MIT BLOSSOMS, an international education initiative founded in 2008 to encourage high school STEM teachers to pursue more active, student-centered learning, has recently enlarged its focus to support those teachers in moving to Project-Based Learning. Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an emerging teaching/learning strategy. The traditional teaching/learning model has students passively “receiving content” from the teacher, practicing with homework, memorizing for the next exam and then – tragically – often forgetting it all. PBL offers a substantially different experience where the teacher helps students form small teams and then challenges each team to work on a demanding problem over the course of weeks. The ideal problem is socially important, located in the real world — preferably in the students’ community, and requires mature application of STEM knowledge. The complexity of the problem is such that it has no right or wrong answer, a situation often troubling to students used to formulaic learning. Rather, the team must devise its own procedures for problem framing, formulation, and resolution. In the course of this effort, where now the teacher is mentor or coach, students experience discovery learning — in sharp contrast to taking lecture notes. They also must develop 21st Century skills involving cooperation, collaboration, conflict resolution and reaching out to local professionals who work in the domain of the assigned problem. The team’s problem resolution is typically presented in a final written report and public oral presentation, often with local stakeholders attending. It is a learning exercise that these students will likely never forget! Yet imagine the challenge for a teacher to design and operate such a PBL project over the course of three to five weeks, while still having to prepare and give lectures for other required topics. This huge teacher preparation “start-up cost” (in terms of time and energy) is certainly one reason why many high school STEM teachers hesitate to try PBL, although they may want to. Our new MIT BLOSSOMS PBL units are designed for just such a teacher – someone who wants to give PBL a try, but is not sure just how to get started. The first five MIT BLOSSOMS PBL units listed below: Green Chemistry Special Properties of Water Tragedy of the Commons Complex Systems User-Centered Design Each of these units is developed to provide a teacher with all the resources and scaffolding needed to lead a three to five-week classroom project. To begin, each unit kicks off from a BLOSSOMS video lesson, thus providing the teacher with anchoring content and clear direction. Teachers have informed us that one of the most useful scaffolds provided in these units is the “Project Calendar,” which offers a detailed, flexible day-by-day schedule for the unit. This calendar includes downloadable resources to lead the project, such as lesson plans, teacher notes, slide presentations, student handouts, homework assignments, etc. — thus removing myriad hours of preparation time for teachers who might not try PBL without such scaffolding. Other valuable resources provided with each of the five BLOSSOMS units include “Video Teacher Guides,” “Summative Assessments,” “Project-Based Learning Tools,” “Teacher Questions/Answers about PBL”, and a discussion of “Common Student Concerns During PBL.” Education professionals are looking forward to using these new PBL resources. According to Michael Lauro, Associate Executive Director of the Atlantis Charter High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, “We have learned much from collaborating with the MIT BLOSSOMS team over the past three years. We think we have played some role in helping BLOSSOMS define their PBL capabilities, and we look forward to using in our classrooms these five new PBL exercises in the coming academic year.” Financial support was generously provided to MIT BLOSSOMS by the US OPEN EDUCATION RESOURCES FOUNDATION INC of Ruckersville VA, Lincoln H. Miller, Jr., founder and president. All content from BLOSSOMS is OER, Open Education Resources, freely available to all.
Bentley Institute announces “Digital Infrastructure Student Idea Challenge 2020”
Bentley Institute, a leading organization advancing infrastructure professions by empowering practitioners, students, and academic institutions through continuous learning, scholarships, internships, and applied research partnerships, recently announced its Digital Infrastructure Student Idea Challenge 2020. The challenge is continuing Bentley Institute’s undeterred mission of nurturing future professionals, helping them stay active, engaged, and enthusiastic amid the challenging times of school closures and self-isolation. With migration, urbanization, and climate change placing increasing stress on the world’s-built environment, the industry must transform and innovate to deliver resilient infrastructure. Bentley Institute is looking for students from around the world to come up with visionary ideas and inventive concepts that could potentially transform infrastructure and make a positive impact in the world. The challenge is open to individual students (or teams of two) from community colleges and schools, polytechnics, technical institutes, and universities. To participate, students need to select a challenge that is relevant to any infrastructure domain and propose a smart, ground-breaking solution concept. Students should submit a presentation and PDF document (with a minimum of 500 words) of their conceptual ideas, not a detailed technical solution with a design. However, students should describe how software technology could play a role in their proposed concept. It must also be supported by graphs, figures, videos, and pictures. In addition to gaining recognition from Bentley Institute, the top winning team will receive a cash prize of USD 5,000. The winners of the Best Presentation, Best Challenge, and Best Solution categories will also win cash prizes of USD 2,000 each. Bentley Institute encourages all students to use time at home constructively to suggest ideas for a better tomorrow.