The NanoTechnology Group Inc

Ethics and Societal Implications...

concerning Education and Financial Issues.


"Conversation with the Chairman: A Teacher Town Hall Meeting"


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed Invited Educators in Washington, D.C., and nationwide via video conference, at 2:30 p.m. EDT on August 7, 2012. After his remarks, Chairman Bernanke took questions from K-12 and post-secondary educators of economics, personal finance, and related disciplines, who were gathered at Federal Reserve Bank offices across the country.


Video posted at:

http://federalreserve.gov/mediacenter/vlink.htm?bcpid=738917326001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAD2CGfQE~,o7E-F2eteXOq24Nb1BSfw9-MMjWzkave&bcpid=720309829001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAD2CGfQE~,o7E-F2eteXMoEVLLY98AnOfR2ME8A5iN&bctid=1775631420001


If the link provided above does not work you can find the video on this page.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/mediacenter/media.htm


Ben Bernanke explains how a Financial Panic Starts

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/21242022/highlight/252452


Released by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System



An Overview of the event by Judith Light Feather


Most of the questions posed to Ben Bernanke by the selected invited teachers were not addressed with a specific solution, or evaded as too complicated.  Resources for their use in classrooms were not provided and students were referred to as 'human capital'. 


One teacher asked about the 'invisible hand' theory that is taught in Economics courses and could he explain how that works.  Again, it was evaded and stated that the market basically corrects itself. (which we know from all the fraud in the Libor case and MF Global, along with the "To Big To Fail" financial bailouts, that this is not accurate)


Another teacher asked about the 'student loan debt' problems and if student loans were never forgiven in bankruptcy court, how could anyone further their education.  Mr. Bernanke went into a dialogue of how Counselors in high schools should be educating students about the financial system and guiding them to pick courses in colleges that would guarantee a profitable career path so they could pay their student loans.  Again, mentioning that students were 'human capital' in the marketplace and would have to accept their failure if they did not choose their courses properly before signing up for student loans.


Listening to this man who was responsible for bailing out all of the "too big to fail" banks, while telling students that failure was their own fault and they should be responsible enough to pay their student loans, even if they could not find jobs after their huge investments was an exercise in futility.


Referring to students as 'human captial' as they try to understand their world, is as derogative as stating that they need an education to be 'enslaved' by the corporate world, and need never be forgiven a student loan so the banks are protected and can pay huge bonuses on all the interest that students will have to pay for their lifetime.  


In the meantime, universities and colleges have been raising tuition at the rate of 30-60%, devastating those students already in college, while eliminating many more who will never be able to afford continuing education under these current rules. 


Congress changed a bankruptcy law that was working fine because they were lobbied by banks and corporations, using ficticious 'abuse of the Bankruptcy laws' complaints to pass all these changes in 2005.

  

All of these laws that permit the financial industry to keep the world in debt while they get bailed out and make huge profits, forcing the global citizens into austerity and poverty are totally unethical and should be repealed.



Solutions for Educators from the 'bottom up'.


In order for students to understand the economic theories currently accepted, they need to learn the 'History of Banking', therefore, I am suggesting a short version with many links and references that will provide more details for in-depth study at Wikipedia.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_central_banking_in_the_United_States


The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) is United States federal legislation that officially ensured the deregulation of financial products known as over-the-counter derivatives.  These are the instruments that are stated to be 'too complicated' for public understanding. 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000


I would suggest you review this information with students as these derivatives were and are still at the heart of the current financial crisis. There are over $700 trillion in outstanding derivatives globally, in the legalized betting pool that have no asset backing. These commodity futures control your oil prices, your food prices, along with currency valuation.  After they buy these derivatives, then they bet against them as credit default swaps so they never lose and the citizens pay the higher prices.


A credit default swap (CDS) is a financial swap agreement that the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer in the event of a loan default or other credit event. The buyer of the CDS makes a series of payments (the CDS "fee" or "spread") to the seller and, in exchange, receives a payoff if the loan defaults.  These are also instruments that the Federal Reserve considers too complicated for the public to understand and continually fights regulation because they are huge money generators that make all those end of the year bonuses possible.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_default_swap


The Federal Reserve Publication


The Federal Reserve System Purposes and Functions can be downloaded as a free PDF teaching tool.


In the Appendix A of this publication there is a description of all the regulations and power of the Federal Reserve Board.  Example of one that is not usually mentioned in the press, but may be worth studying as the financial crisis is global.


Edge Act corporation (or Edge corporation)

Corporation chartered by the Federal Reserve to engage in international banking. The Board of Governors acts on applications to establish Edge Act corporations and also examines the corporations and their subsidiaries. Typically organized as a subsidiary of a bank, an Edge Act corporation may conduct activities abroad that are permissible to foreign banks abroad but that may not otherwise be permissible to U.S. banks. Named after Senator Walter Edge of New Jersey, who sponsored the original legislation to permit formation of such organizations.


Federal Reserve Boston Education programs

(I have not reviewed these games but they are available for teachers in K-12)


Games and Online Learning

The Federal Reserve System has broadened its delivery channels beyond print material to include online learning opportunities. Each of the web pages listed below allows the user to engage in active learning activities that provide enhanced understanding about the respective subject matter.


http://www.bostonfed.org/education/online/index.htm 


Important facts for your students to understand


The main issue concerning the Federal Reserve system is that they were set up as private banks around the country with privledges that other private banks do not have, and they are self-regulating.  If they were set up as Treasury Department Banks to service the government spending, then we would not have to borrow from them as it would be our money in the Treasury Banks, which would actually earn interest. As it stands now 'we the people'  pay interest on continuing debt with our taxes for all program spending by the government.  This was the beginning of creating a debt-ridden society that could never pay the debt and the only winners are the private banks named the Federal Reserve Banks.


There are also eight levels of banking/financial control for the global decisions from the 'top down' listed by heirarchy of power:


1. 

Bank of International Settlements

Learn the history at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_for_International_Settlements


Bank for International Settlements

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) home page ... 15 Feb: Supervisory guidance for managing risks associated with the settlement of foreign exchange ...

www.bis.org


2.

International Monetary Fund - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The International Monetary Fund ( IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and formally created in 1945 by 29 ...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund


IMF paper: Replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency


3.

World Bank - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs. The World Bank's official goal is the ...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Bank -


World Bank Group

worldbank.org - The World Bank Group offers loans, advice, and an array of customized resources to more than 100 developing countries and countries in transition

www.worldbank.org 


4.

Paris Club - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world's biggest economies, which provides financial services such as war funding ...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Club


5.

The New Club of Paris

The New Club of Paris is the agenda developer for the Knowledge Economy. The Club’s main objective is to create awareness on what the knowledge society is and will be, and also support nations, regions, cities, communities organizations and companies in their transformation into the Knowledge Economy. http://new-club-of-paris.org/

The New Club of Paris was founded in 2006. It was emerging as a consequence of two major events: (Download NCP History)


6.

World Gold Council  -  Governance of Gold market

http://www.gold.org/


7.

Bilderberg takes its name from the hotel in Holland, where the first meeting took place in May 1954. That pioneering meeting grew out of the concern expressed by ...

bilderbergmeetings.org - Cached

The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and ...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group


8.

The World Economic Forum

The Davos meeting of political and business leaders aims to create the foremost global partnership of business, political, intellectual and other leaders of civil ...

www.weforum.org -


Davos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

History|Geography|Demographics|Climate

Davos hosts annual meetings of the World Economic Forum. The city was featured in an episode of Viva La Bam, when cities around Europe were visited.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davos

 


Eric Holder Admits Some Banks Are Just Too Big To Prosecute

Posted: 03/06/2013 4:29 pm EST  |  Updated: 03/06/2013 7:56 pm EST


When the Attorney General of the United States admits some banks are simply too big to prosecute, it might be time to admit we have a problem -- and that goes for both the financial and justice systems.


Eric Holder made this rather startling confession in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, The Hill reports. It could be a key moment in the debate over whether to do something about the size and complexity of our biggest banks, which have only gotten bigger and more systemically important since the financial crisis.


"I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy," Holder said, according to The Hill. "And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large."


Holder's comments don't come as a total surprise. His underlings had already made similar confessions to The New York Times last year, after they declined to prosecute HSBC for flagrant, years-long violations of money-laundering laws, out of fear that doing so would hurt the global economy. Lanny Breuer, formerly in charge of doling out the Justice Department's wrist slaps to banks, told Frontline as much in the documentary "The Untouchables," which aired in January.


Some observers have defended the Justice Department, suggesting that prosecuting law-breaking banks would amount to a death penalty that could upset the financial system and trigger another recession -- although nobody really knows if it would do any such thing. But by not prosecuting law-breaking banks, and confessing to its terror of prosecuting those banks, the Justice Department has waved a big checkered flag to the biggest banks to go ahead and break all of the laws they want.


Holder's confession comes after several weeks of criticism from lawmakers about the Justice Department's failure to prosecute banks not only for potentially hard-to-prove cases involving the financial crisis, but also for cases in which proof wasn't as hard to find, as in HSBC's case.


It is significant that Holder's confession -- cry for help, really -- comes at the one place that could possibly help, the U.S. Congress. So now you have the Obama administration joining a growing, bipartisan group of lawmakers speaking out about the problem of banks being too big to fail and/or jail. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.) last week announced they were working together on bipartisan legislation to address it.


That doesn't mean you should hold your breath for anything to be done about it right away, or ever. It is far easier to talk about breaking up the big banks than to do it, particularly given that they will lobby hard against it every step of the way. But the tide of public opinion is turning against them a little more every day.


Watch the videos and share them with your students at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/eric-holder-banks-too-big_n_2821741.html



Bad Behavior by the Banks shows they will do anything to keep all the money - they never lose.


HSBC, Credit Suisse Sacrifice Employees To U.S., Lawyers Say


“The banks are burning their own people to try and cut deals with the DOJ,” said Hornung. “This violation of personal privacy is unprecedented in the Swiss banking industry.”

Read article at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-15/hsbc-credit-suisse-sacrifice-staff-to-placate-u-s-lawyers-say.html


Former World Bank President: Big Shift Coming


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a0zhc1y_Ns


James Wolfensohn, former president of The World Bank and CEO of Wolfensohn and Co., addressed Stanford Graduate School of Business students with details about his work at the World Bank during its transition years and how the equation between developed and developing countries is changing. Wolfensohn claimed that in the next 40 years, a global power shift will see today's leading economic countries drop from having 80% of the world's income to 35%.


Related Article: http://gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/vftt_wolfensohn.html?cmpid=yt

Global Speaker Series: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/gmp/speakers/index.html


Recorded: January 11, 2010


Our Financial system only works for the top 1%

New solutions must be found globally...


New Ideas for Discussion with your Students


Our organization advocates finding solutions in education.  After you review all the materials on our current financial system, view the following videos that have been made to educate the public on why our global financial system needs to be changed and offers new ideas for discussion from the 'bottom up' by the people.


ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD | OFFICIAL RELEASE | 2011


by José Flor 1 year ago / Creative Commons License: by nc sa


This is the Official Online (Youtube) Release of "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" by Peter Joseph. [30 subtitles ADDED!]


On Jan. 15th, 2011, "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" was released theatrically to sold out crowds in 60 countries; 31 languages; 295 cities and 341 Venues. It has been noted as the largest non-profit independent film release in history.


This is a non-commercial work and is available online for free viewing and no restrictions apply to uploading/download/posting/linking - as long as no money is exchanged.


A Free DVD Torrent of the full 2 hr and 42 min film in 30 languages is also made available through the main website <www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com> with instructions on how one can download and burn the movie to DVD themselves. His other films are also freely available in this format.

http://vimeo.com/24072980


The Venus Project


The Venus Project offers a comprehensive plan for social reclamation in which human beings, technology and nature will be able to coexist in a long term, sustainable paradigm.  This project was featured in the 'Zeitgeist Moving Forward' movie as a viable solution to our fiat monetary/debt based paradigm, creating a Resource-based Economy.   As a future alternative this type of resource-based economy eliminates money and creates a Life Value Analysis for Abundance with equalibrium and balance for all humanity. A unique critical thinking exercise and a resource for teachers to stimulate creative communication with students as a viable alternative in their future to our current systems of capitalism that generates poverty and scarcity for the masses.

www.thevenusproject.com



The Student Loan Debt Issue - now $1 trillion and growing...


Student Loans not discharable under The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) 2005. 

BAPCPA amended § 523(a)(8) to broaden the types of educational ("student") loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy absent proof of “undue hardship.” The nature of the lender is no longer relevant. Thus, even loans from “for-profit” or “non-governmental” entities are not dischargeable. 

  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy_Abuse_Prevention_and_Consumer_Protection_Act#Other_changes


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_loan_default_in_the_United_States



Student Debt Crisis


StudentDebtCrisis.org is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to reforming funding for higher education in America.


Robert Applebaum, Co-founder / Executive Director

Robert Applebaum is an attorney from Staten Island, NY and the founder of ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com.  Rob is a 1998 graduate of Fordham University School of Law and, thereafter, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. between 1999 and 2004. After 5 years of service as an ADA, because of his exponentially increasing student loan debt, Applebaum made the unfortunate decision to leave a public service job he loved for the private sector, where he remained for the next 5 years.


In late January, 2009, frustrated with countless bailouts of the very institutions responsible for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, news of lavish vacations, exorbitant bonuses and office redecorations, Robert Applebaum authored an essay entitled “Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy” which he posted to a new Facebook Group by the same name.  Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Facebook group, Mr. Applebaum founded ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com so as to advocate for both current and former students struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt.


Applebaum’s petition on the White House’s “We the People” site, which garnered over 32,000 signatures, resulted in a direct response from the Obama Administration when they unveiled the “Pay As You Earn” initiative in October, 2011.


Rob’s most recent petition on SignOn.org, in favor of H.R. 4170, The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, has over One Million signatures and, on June 28, 2012, he presented his petition to Rep. Hansen Clarke, author of H.R. 4170 at a press conference at the Capitol.


Cost of College in U.S. has increased 12-fold since 1978


View chart and article at:                 


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-15/cost-of-college-degree-in-u-s-soars-12-fold-chart-of-the-day.html



Student-Loan Default Rates Soar as Federal Scrutiny Grows

By John Hechinger and Janet Lorin


More than one in 10 borrowers defaulted on their federal student loans, intensifying concern about a generation hobbled by $1 trillion in debt and the role of colleges in jacking up costs.


The default rate, for the first three years that students are required to make payments, was 13.4 percent, with for-profit colleges reporting the worst results, the U.S. Education Department said today.


The Education Department has revamped the way it reports student-loan defaults, which the government said had reached the highest level in 14 years. Previously, the agency reported the rate only for the first two years payments are required. Congress demanded a more comprehensive measure because of concern that colleges counsel students to defer payments to make default rates appear low.


“Default rates are the tip of the iceberg of borrower distress,” said Pauline Abernathy, vice president of The Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit based in Oakland, California.


The data follows complaints that commission-driven debt collectors the government hires aren’t telling students about affordable options to repay their debt, especially a plan that lets them make payments tied to their incomes. Students have borrowed $1 trillion to pay for higher education, surpassing credit-card debt.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-09-28/student-loan-defaults-soar-as-government-scrutiny-grow.html



I AM NOT A LOAN - STUDENT DEBT CRISIS SOLUTION


Higher education should be about creating opportunity — NOT getting crushed by lifelong debt. But too many hard-working students and their families have watched helplessly as the cost of college has skyrocketed over the past decade.


Now, there’s something we all can do about it. We recently partnered with the I AM NOT A LOAN campaign to demand a solution to America’s college affordability crisis, and we hope you will join us.


From Connecticut to California, and everywhere in between, I AM NOT A LOAN will be working to force the nation’s colleges and universities to take real action to reduce the crippling amounts of debt students are racking up.


Check out their campaign site to learn more about how you can get involved.


Join college students like Awa in Maryland who had to defer her first-choice college for a year because — even with scholarships — she couldn’t afford to enroll. “I shouldn’t have to defer my dreams for fear of lifelong debt.” And Jaime in Colorado who says all of her friends are worried about paying off their student loans. “We don’t regret going to college, but does it really have to be this expensive?”


It’s time to stop worrying and start acting. Join the movement and tell America’s colleges: I AM NOT A LOAN!


http://www.iamnotaloan.org/

Rob, Natalia, Kyle, Aaron & The Student Debt Crisis Team

Follow us on Twitter @DebtCrisisOrg

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StudentDebtCrisis1



Citizen United Supreme Court Decision added another layer to the 'top-down' complexity of education in U.S. Schools


Did you know?

Corporations are writing education laws and giving them to Congress and to state legislators to pass.


The Citizens United decision has allowed corporations to anonymously contribute large amounts of funding to influence U.S elections, diminishing the votes of We the People.   They not only get to buy the politicians, they are writing the bills for the legislatures. 


Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. Through ALEC, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?

Visit this ALEC website:

http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed


You can view all the corporations involved and all the bills they have written for Congress.  We have lost our Democracy to the corporate world. 

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations


This page reveals how ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds. Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws to change the American education system. Do you?

You can also download a zip file of K-12 and higher education bills on this page.

http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers


ALEC Gets a Break From State Lobbying Laws


The American Legislative Exchange Council says it's not a lobbying group. Then why have three states specifically exempted it from their rules for lobbyists? —Paul Abowd


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/alec-lobbyist-exemption


How can we change this?

Ask Congress to Appeal that decision now!


A few congressman want to change the Constitution, but we all know that won't pass in our polarized Congress.  Write or call your representative and tell them to Appeal the Supreme Court Decision on Citizens United that gives corporations more power in elections than the people.  A lot of false information is online stating that you cannot appeal one of their decisions, but this is wrong.


There have been 204 reversals of Supreme Court Decisions listed on the government website.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/scourt.html 


Bill Moyers on the United States of ALEC

By Democracy Now!

ALEC is the focus of a new documentary by the legendary journalist Bill Moyers titled The United States of ALEC. It will air this weekend on Moyers & Company but is premiering on Democracy Now!


http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/13705-bill-moyers-on-the-united-states-of-alec



Businesses plan to control public school education for profit


Do you really want Rupert Murdock, News Corporation involved in

K-12 education in our public schools?


News Corp. Has a Tablet for Schools


By AMY CHOZICK

For nearly two years, Joel I. Klein helped Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation weather a phone-hacking scandal at the company’s British tabloids with the promise that he would eventually be able to return to the role the company hired him for: to spearhead News Corporation’s new venture into the public school market. That day has finally come.


On Wednesday at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Tex., Mr. Klein, the former chancellor of New York City schools and the current chief executive of Amplify, News Corporation’s fledgling education division, will take the stage for a surprising announcement. Amplify will not sell just its curriculum on existing tablets, but will also offer the Amplify Tablet, its own 10-inch Android tablet for K-12 schoolchildren.


In addition to tablets and curriculum, Amplify will also provide schools with infrastructure to store students’ data.


“When I left I was convinced of two things,” Mr. Klein said of his tenure as chancellor of New York schools. “If we didn’t see a dramatic technological change, we were not going to be able to move this country forward,” and “second of all, that the private sector had to get much, much more involved.”


An early look at the Amplify tablet revealed a sleek touch screen with material floating against a simple background. If a child’s attention wanders, a stern “eyes on teacher” prompt pops up. A quiz uses emoticons of smiley and sad faces so teachers can instantly gauge which students understand the lesson and which need help.


“We wanted to use the language of the Web,” said Stephen Smyth, president of Amplify Access, the division that produces the tablet, which is manufactured by Asus.


At first, the tablet will be targeted at middle-school children. It uses what educators call a “blended learning” model that mixes technology with old-fashioned teaching. Amplify designed the tablet so that schools can provide each student with one to take home each night.


Outside the classroom, children can use it to play games, like one in which Tom Sawyer battles the Brontë sisters.


“There’s a huge opportunity if you can get kids excited about educational games,” Mr. Klein said. “You can change the learning curve.”


In November, Amplify began testing its tablet in hundreds of public schools nationwide, and in December it explained the venture to investors. The introduction on Wednesday began a full-court press by Amplify’s sales force. A preloaded tablet, training and customer care (largely from former teachers) starts at $299, along with a two-year subscription for $99 a year. A higher-end Amplify Tablet Plus, for students who do not have wireless access at home, comes with a 4G data plan and costs $349.


Amplify estimates that many school districts could use grants from the Education Department’s Race to the Top program, which brings technology and personalized learning to schools.


“We understand technology and we understand education,” Mr. Klein said. “A lot of people who understand technology don’t understand education.”


In the eight years Mr. Klein served as chancellor of New York schools, he pushed educators to adopt new technology, often drawing accolades and controversy along the way. He remains a prominent voice in education reform, and Amplify carries with it both his friendships and clashes with educators.


“Joel was always talking about how to eliminate teachers and make it about a child in front of a computer screen,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.


(“Did textbooks lead to larger classrooms and fewer teachers? No,” Mr. Klein says.)


Now that he is in the private sector, some of Mr. Klein’s advocacy work presents a conflict, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Last year Mr. Klein wrote, with Condoleezza Rice, a Council on Foreign Relations report that called the state of United States schools a “grave national security threat.” He contributed $25,000 to a coalition that supported specific candidates for the Los Angeles Board of Education elections held on Tuesday. (A News Corporation subsidiary also contributed to candidates.)


“You can’t at the same time go out and present yourself as a civic citizen talking about how public schools right now are horrible and then say, ‘Oh, I have a product that is going to make it better,’ ” Ms. Weingarten said. (She added that she saw “real potential” in devices designed specifically for schoolchildren.)


Justin Hamilton, a spokesman for Amplify, said, “Joel has long been a big supporter of education reform efforts” and “will continue to support candidates.”


In the private sector, Mr. Klein, who also serves as an executive vice president of News Corporation, faces the challenge of being a part of Mr. Murdoch’s media conglomerate. The company still faces civil lawsuits related to phone hacking.


Mr. Klein joined News Corporation in January 2011. In 2010, the company paid $360 million for a 90 percent stake in Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based company specializing in data and assessment tools for teachers.


The crisis in Britain soon seeped into its new education business. In 2011, the New York State comptroller, citing “the significant ongoing investigations and continuing revelations with respect to News Corporation,” rejected a $27 million contract with Wireless Generation.


“I’m very concerned about them tracking children or using their data because they’ve proven not to be very trustworthy on that,” Mr. Mulgrew said.


Mr. Klein says challenges exist when any “high-visibility company” tries to work in the K-12 realm. “The company dealt with the phone-hacking thing with enormous praise from Lord Leveson,” he said, referring to an inquiry into British press ethics led by Brian Leveson.


The Amplify Tablet enters a market crowded with competitors trying to tap into K-12 classrooms, which spend around $3 billion a year on traditional textbooks, according to the Association of American Publishers.


Comcast’s NBCUniversal has a service called NBC Learn that uses material from NBC News. Apple has sold thousands of iPads to schools and analysts expect K-12 to become a larger piece of its business. Barnes & Noble and Amazon have both positioned their e-reader devices as options for schools.


“In many ways Amplify is a start-up in this space,” said Jonathan D. Harber, chief executive of Pearson’s K-12 technology group. Pearson offers troves of digital curriculum but does not make its own tablet.


This summer, when News Corporation splits into two separate publicly traded companies, Amplify will join the publishing division, which includes newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins, which will lend Amplify some of its content.


Because of its investment in building the new business, the division will have an estimated $180 million in operational losses this year.


Mr. Klein says he expects the Amplify tablets to eventually contribute 40 percent of the division’s revenue. Amplify’s curriculum, including video games as elaborate as anything played on an Xbox, is expected to contribute another 40 percent.


“The ultimate goal of this is to turn students into readers,” said Damien Yambo, a producer on the Tom Sawyer game and a former public-school teacher in Detroit. The games, he added, must also compete with Angry Birds.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/business/media/news-corp-has-a-tablet-for-schools.html



News Corporation Unveils Amplify to

Bring Digital Innovation to K-12 Education


Focus is on Analytics, Curriculum and Distribution

 

As Part of this New Business, Amplify will Collaborate with AT&T to Bring a Breakthrough, 4G Mobile Tablet-Based Platform to Market


NEW YORK, July 23, 2012 – Today, News Corporation unveiled the brand and business of its Education Division. Amplify is dedicated to reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower students, teachers and parents in new ways. Amplify will enhance the potential of students with new curricular experiences, support teachers with new instructional tools and engage parents through extended learning opportunities. Amplify will introduce these unique and pioneering offerings in collaboration with AT&T.


"It is our aim to amplify the power of digital innovation to transform teaching and learning and to help schools deliver fundamentally better experiences and results," said Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify. "Amplify will introduce new products in a thoughtful way, so that technology can finally live up to its promise to advance learning and augment teaching for students, teachers and parents everywhere. A prosperous economy and an equitable society require that all young people have the chance to succeed and excel, and we're excited about the potential of our products to help achieve that goal."


"Together, we plan to bring to market a 4G mobile tablet-based experience that we believe will significantly enhance teaching and learning for grades K-12," said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility. "We share Amplify's commitment to education because we believe it is one of the most important things we can do for our company, our communities and our country."


Bringing Next Generation Analytics, Curriculum and Distribution To Schools


Amplify is organized around three key areas of business that will lift student achievement and teacher fulfillment through 21st century products and services:


Amplify Insight. Amplify focuses on educational analytics and formative assessment through Wireless Generation, an Amplify company that makes mobile, digital assessment and instructional intervention tools for teachers in order to support K-12 classroom learning. For more than a decade, Wireless Generation has put these innovative technologies in the hands of educators. Today, it serves over 200,000 teachers and over three million students, in all 50 states. Its products and services help teachers and administrators assess learning progress throughout the year, differentiate instruction and adapt curricula to meet individual students' needs.


Amplify Learning. Amplify is creating new digital curricula that reinvent teaching and learning, beginning with English Language Arts, Science and Math. These classroom-based products combine interactive, rich experiences with rigorous analytics that align to the Common Core State Standards, all driven by adaptive technologies that respond to individual students' needs as they evolve. These new learning experiences are being developed by a team at Wireless Generation, together with some leading partners such as the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and Lapham's Quarterly.


Amplify Access. Amplify is developing new distribution and delivery mechanisms that bring digital learning experiences into the classroom and extend them beyond the school day – giving teachers, students and parents a new level of access to educational resources. In collaboration with AT&T, we will offer a tablet-based platform, which bundles curricular and extracurricular content with sophisticated analytic capabilities and 4G connectivity to facilitate personalized instruction and enable anywhere, anytime learning.


Amplify and AT&T will begin to introduce these new curriculum and platform products through pilots in U.S. schools across the country over the course of the 2012-2013 school year. During this pilot phase, AT&T will provide 4G tablets, device management and technical services, and connectivity over the AT&T Wi-Fi network and AT&T 4G network, which is the nation's largest.*


Creating Meaningful Conversation and Commentary in Digital Education


In addition, Amplify announced the launch of www.amplify.com, a unique new digital forum dedicated to meaningful conversations about teaching and learning. Amplify.com spotlights innovative people and ideas, hosts discussions on the latest topics in education and technology, and aggregates outstanding content on critical issues in education from across the Web.


"I'm proud of the work we've done over the past 18 months to make today's launch possible," said Klein. "Now I look forward to our next phase – to introducing our game-changing products and ushering in a new age of teaching and learning in K-12 education. I hope you'll stay tuned to www.amplify.com as we reveal more details about our products, pilots and partners over the next several months."


About Amplify - owned by News Corporation

Amplify is a new business dedicated to reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower teachers, students and parents in new ways. Amplify is focused on transforming teaching and learning by creating and scaling digital innovations in three areas: analytics and assessment, content and curriculum and distribution and delivery. More information about Amplify can be found at www.amplify.com.

About Wireless Generation

Wireless Generation, a part of Amplify, is an education company that harnesses technology to help teachers teach with excellence. Founded in 2000, the company serves the K-12 education market and develops digital assessment and analysis tools, personalized curriculum, and large-scale educational data systems, as well as offers professional development to support teachers' expertise, and instructional improvement services to schools nationwide. Wireless Generation's innovative tools benefit more than 200,000 educators and 3 million children in schools and districts in all 50 states. More information is available at www.wirelessgeneration.com

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. More information about AT&T in Education is available at www.att.com/education-news.

*4-G networks are not available in all markets



Media Companies, Seeing Profit Slip, Push Into Education


This article from the NYTimes explains the intent of media companies to profit from education.  Teachers will not control the content which is developed in these programs and school systems will need to be aware of the profit motive when signing long term contracts with these large corporations.  Ethics in education are not considered important when profit is involved.  Stay informed.


By BROOKS BARNES and AMY CHOZICK

LOS ANGELES — As another academic year starts, about 500,000 children across the country will find themselves learning subjects like middle school history or high school biology from a new line of digital textbooks. These manuals, branded Techbooks, come with all the Internet frills: video, virtual labs, downloadable content.


But the Techbook may be most notable for what it does not have — backing from a traditional educational publisher. Instead it has the support of Discovery, the cable TV company.


Discovery, which also sells an educational video service to school districts, is entering the digital textbook market largely because it sees a growth opportunity too good to pass up.


Conventional textbooks for kindergarten through 12th grade are a $3 billion business in the United States, according to the Association of American Publishers, with an additional $4 billion spent on teacher guides, testing resources and reference materials. And almost all that printed material, educators say, will eventually be replaced by digital versions.


“It’s kind of perfect for us,” said David M. Zaslav, chief executive of Discovery Communications, which owns networks like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC. “Educational content is core to our DNA, and we’re unencumbered — unlike traditional textbook publishers, we’re not defending a dying business.”

Read entire article at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/technology/discovery-invests-in-digital-textbooks-in-hopes-of-growth.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120820



And then there is TEXAS..


According to this story, George W. Bush initiated this program when he was Governor of Texas to satisfy his goal to privatize our public schools.  Texas was also the testing ground for his 'No Child Left Behind Act' that he passed as soon as he became President.   An interesting idea that the Republicans love is privatization of everything, but the funds come from taxpayers and the companies keep the profits. Seems like it is a new way for them to promote 'government capitalism', only they keep the profit and the people lose every time, especially the students. The article is 7 pages of enlightenment on how these people from Turkey received all the contracts and all the money for Charter Schools, while Texas teachers were being laid off and public schools were being closed.  Most of the parents in Texas are not aware of this issue and they need to be informed.          Editor: Judith Light Feather


Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas 

By STEPHANIE SAUL
A foundation that operates 33 publicly financed charter schools in Texas has ties to a Turkish religious movement.

Looking for Solutions ...

to Higher Education and Student Debt


Teachers also need to know that there are currently many programs initiated to help students stay out of debt for the rising costs of education.  This section will highlight some of the most recent....


Enrollment tops 54,000 for Rice University's first Coursera class


Innovative Rice software makes popular computer programming class possible


HOUSTON -- (Oct. 5, 2012) -- It's the rare scientist who experiments on himself in front of his own family and 54,000 strangers. No wonder Joe Warren is nervous.


"I feel like an astronaut on top of a rocket that's about to blast off," the Rice computer scientist said about the massive open online course (MOOC) that he and three co-instructors are preparing to teach Oct. 15 on the education website Coursera. The class, An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python, is Rice's first on Coursera. Enrollment topped 54,000 Oct. 5, with hundreds of students signing up each day.


"I'm excited and confident this is going to work," said Warren, chair of Rice's Computer Science Department. Warren is also feeling the pressure that can only come from knowing that his father-in-law, 18-year-old son and dozens of Rice faculty and friends are signed up for the course. "In the back of my mind, no matter how much you prepare, it's just like that rocket: There's always a chance that something can go wrong."


It's not the material or the teaching that concerns Warren; he's taught at Rice for 25 years, and the course involves Python -- an easy-to-learn computer language. It also involves fun lessons -- creating games like "Pong," "Blackjack" and "Asteroids." The concern is about the MOOC format and the new technology that Warren and his co-instructors have created to teach programming in a MOOC environment.


Coursera, which launched in April, is the first education platform to host MOOC content from multiple world-renowned universities on one website. Rice and 11 other prestigious schools joined July 17, and Warren and his co-instructors, associate professor Scott Rixner and lecturers Stephen Wong and John Greiner, were among the first at Rice to volunteer.


Their eight-week course includes more than 70 video lectures, each just a few minutes long. There are also weekly quizzes and assignments called "mini projects," which involve writing about 100-200 lines of code. If the code is written correctly, the students can play the game they've created and even email a link to let friends and family play too.


The course's key piece of new technology is CodeSkulptor, an ingenious piece of software that Rixner created over a six-week period this summer. CodeSkulptor allows students to write and run Python programs that use simple 2-D game graphics without ever leaving their Web browser. It does that by converting the Python instructions into another language, JavaScript, that the browser can understand. No other web-based Python environment comes close to CodeSkulptor's speed.


"It runs at least 100 times faster than anything else out there, and that's what makes it possible to teach this class with games," Warren said. "No one else can support graphics like this in a real-time Web-based Python environment."


Rixner said, "There is no magic. CodeSkulptor delivers the performance needed to run 2-D games because it only implements the subset of Python that we need for the class."


Magic or not, at least one company has already asked to license CodeSkulptor to teach Python programming to its technical staff.


Another key part of Warren and Rixner's MOOC formula is cloud storage. When students log in to the course Web page to work on their assignments, they are free to save their work at any time. Those files are saved to a Google storage server, and Warren said the Rice students who worked in CodeSkulptor this fall saved about 20 files per assignment.


"When you scale that up for the online course, we're looking at a million files or more each week going into our account," Warren said. "I think Google can handle that, but it's one of the things about this class that we really can't test in advance."


By using CodeSkulptor, cloud storage and other techniques, Warren, Rixner, Wong and Greiner hope to make it simple for students to log in each week and do their classwork. But don't confuse simple with easy.


"This class covers the same material we just covered in the first half of the fall semester at Rice," Warren said. "This is not a hard class by Rice standards, but it is a Rice class. The Coursera students are going to need to devote at least seven to nine hours each week to these assignments. One question I have is whether the people signing up for Coursera have that level of commitment."


The class isn't taught for credit. It's free and Warren hopes it will be fun, but in Rixner's words, "People who finish this course won't be professional programmers, but they will know just enough Python programming to have fun and be dangerous."


To register for the course, go to https://www.coursera.org/course/interactivepython.


VIDEO is available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KgaFnb8tD4



Why These Kids Get a Free Ride to College


Back in November 2005, when this year’s graduates were in sixth grade, the superintendent of Kalamazoo’s public schools, Janice M. Brown, shocked the community by announcing that unnamed donors were pledging to pay the tuition at Michigan’s public colleges, universities and community colleges for every student who graduated from the district’s high schools. All of a sudden, students who had little hope of higher education saw college in their future. Called the Kalamazoo Promise, the program — blind to family income levels, to pupils’ grades and even to disciplinary and criminal records — would be the most inclusive, most generous scholarship program in America. Read this story at:


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/magazine/kalamazoo-mich-the-city-that-pays-for-college.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120916&moc.semityn.www



Universities Reshaping Education on the Web


By TAMAR LEWIN

As part of a seismic shift in online learning that is reshaping higher education, Coursera, a year-old company founded by two Stanford University computer scientists, will announce on Tuesday that a dozen major research universities are joining the venture. In the fall, Coursera will offer 100 or more free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that are expected to draw millions of students and adult learners globally.


Even before the expansion, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, the founders of Coursera, said it had registered 680,000 students in 43 courses with its original partners, Michigan, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.


Now, the partners will include the California Institute of Technology; Duke University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; Johns Hopkins University; Rice University; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Washington; and the University of Virginia, where the debate over online education was cited in last’s month’s ousting — quickly overturned — of its president, Teresa A. Sullivan. Foreign partners include the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the University of Toronto and EPF Lausanne, a technical university in Switzerland.


And some of them will offer credit.


“This is the tsunami,” said Richard A. DeMillo, the director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Tech. “It’s all so new that everyone’s feeling their way around, but the potential upside for this experiment is so big that it’s hard for me to imagine any large research university that wouldn’t want to be involved.”


Because of technological advances — among them, the greatly improved quality of online delivery platforms, the ability to personalize material and the capacity to analyze huge numbers of student experiences to see which approach works best — MOOCs are likely to be a game-changer, opening higher education to hundreds of millions of people.


To date, most MOOCs have covered computer science, math and engineering, but Coursera is expanding into areas like medicine, poetry and history. MOOCs were largely unknown until a wave of publicity last year about Stanford University’s free online artificial intelligence course attracted 160,000 students from 190 countries. Only a small percentage of the students completed the course, but even so, the numbers were staggering.


“The fact that so many people are so curious about these courses shows the yearning for education,” said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education. “There are going to be lots of bumps in the road, but this is a very important experiment at a very substantial scale.”


So far, MOOCs have offered no credit, just a “statement of accomplishment” and a grade. But the University of Washington said it planned to offer credit for its Coursera offerings this fall, and other online ventures are also moving in that direction. David P. Szatmary, the university’s vice provost, said that to earn credit, students would probably have to pay a fee, do extra assignments and work with an instructor.


Experts say it is too soon to predict how MOOCs will play out, or which venture will emerge as the leader. Coursera, with about $22 million in financing, including $3.7 million in equity investment from Caltech and Penn, may currently have the edge. But no one is counting out edX, a joint venture of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or Udacity, the company founded by Sebastian Thrun of Stanford, who taught the artificial intelligence course last year.


Each company offers online materials broken into manageable chunks, with short video segments, interactive quizzes and other activities — as well as online forums where students answer one another’s questions.


But even Mr. Thrun, a master of MOOCs, cautioned that for all their promise, the courses are still experimental. “I think we are rushing this a little bit,” he said. “I haven’t seen a single study showing that online learning is as good as other learning.”


Worldwide access is Coursera’s goal. “EPF Lausanne, which offers courses in French, opens up access for students in half of Africa,” Ms. Koller said. Each university designs and produces its own courses and decides whether to offer credit.


Coursera does not pay the universities, and the universities do not pay Coursera, but both incur substantial costs. Contracts provide that if a revenue stream emerges, the company and the universities will share it.


Although MOOCs will have to be self-sustaining some day — whether by charging students for credentials or premium services or by charging corporate recruiters for access to the best students — Ms. Koller and university officials said that was not a pressing concern.


About two-thirds of Coursera’s students are from overseas, and most courses attract tens of thousands of students, an irresistible draw for many professors. “Every academic has a little soapbox, and most of the time we have five people listening to us,” said Scott E. Page, a University of Michigan professor who taught Coursera’s model thinking course and was thrilled when 40,000 students downloaded his videos. “By most calculations, I had about 200 years’ worth of students in my class.”


Professors say their in-class students benefit from the online materials. Some have rearranged their courses so that students do the online lesson first, then come to class for interactive projects and help with problem areas.


“The fact that students learn so much from the videos gives me more time to cover the topics I consider more difficult, and to go deeper,” said Dan Boneh, a Stanford professor who taught Coursera’s cryptography course.


The Coursera contracts are not exclusive, so many of its partner universities are also negotiating with several online educational entities.


“I have talked to the provost at M.I.T. and to Udacity and 2Tor,” which provides online graduate programs for several universities, said Peter Lange, the provost of Duke University. “In a field changing this fast, we need flexibility, so it’s very possible that we might have two or three different relationships.”


One looming hurdle is overcoming online cheating.


“I would not want to give credit until somebody figures out how to solve the cheating problem and make sure that the right person, using the right materials, is taking the tests,” said Antonio Rangel, a Caltech professor who will teach Principles of Economics for Scientists in the fall. Udacity recently announced plans to have students pay $80 to take exams at testing centers operated around the world by Pearson, a global education company.


Grading presents some questions, too. Coursera’s humanities courses use peer-to-peer grading, with students first having to show that they can match a professor’s grading of an assignment, and then grade the work of five classmates, in return for which their work is graded by five fellow students. But, Ms. Koller said, what would happen to a student who cannot match the professor’s grading has not been determined.


It will be some time before it is clear how the new MOOCs affect enrollment at profit-making online institutions, and whether they will ultimately cannibalize enrollment at the very universities that produce them. Still, many professors dismiss that threat.


“There’s talk about how online education’s going to wipe out universities, but a lot of what we do on campus is help people transition from 18 to 22, and that is a complicated thing,” said Mr. Page, the Michigan professor, adding that MOOCs would be most helpful to “people 22 to 102, international students and smart retired people.”


Eventually, Ms. Koller said, students may be able to enroll in a set of MOOCs and emerge with something that would serve almost the same function as a traditional diploma.


“We’re not planning to become a higher-education institution that offers degrees,” she said, “but we are interested in what can be done with these informal types of certification.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/education/consortium-of-colleges-takes-online-education-to-new-level.html?_r=1&hp&pagewanted=print



Australian university joins Stanford's open-source online platform


Class2Go, developed by a group of Stanford engineers, will be the basis for online courses at the University of Western Australia accessible through mobile devices. The mobile app will then be available for use by Stanford – and anyone else.

http://phys.org/news/2012-11-australian-university-stanford-open-source-online.html#nwlt



GA Colleges Detail Plans to Add 250,000

Post-Secondary Grads by 2020


Responding to Gov. Nathan Deal's Complete College Georgia initiative launched last year, all of the state's institutions in the University System and Technical College System have submitted plans for how they will meet the governor's goal of adding 250,000 post-secondary graduates to the state by 2020. For Georgia's research universities, graduating more students translates to more workers prepared to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Some of the strategies include enhancing instructional delivery and improving access for underrepresented groups and military veterans.


Each of the institutions was tasked with developing plans that addressed data collection and analysis to identify areas for improvement, partnerships with K-12 to improve readiness, access to college, the reduction of time to earn a degree, new models of instruction and learning, and the transformation of remediation.


Highly regarded as one of the nation's top research universities, the Georgia Institute of Technology submitted a plan to the governor built around a new organizational structure focused on helping meet the national priorities for producing more STEM graduates. Georgia Tech has awarded 32,393 bachelor's degrees over the past 10 years, 74 percent of which were in STEM fields. To increase degree attainment, Georgia Tech will focus on three areas, including:


Improving access and completion for target student populations, including researching issues that impact low-income students, underrepresented minorities and military veterans.


Restructuring instructional delivery such as providing support for courses that are traditionally challenging, many of which are considered "gateway" courses for STEM majors, and delivering more web-based courses through a partnership with Coursera.


Enhancing partnerships with K-12 primarily through programs that create pathways for Georgia Tech students to become K-12 teachers.


To a lesser extent, the University of Georgia (UGA) and Georgia State University (GSU) also plan to increase the numbers and diversity of students graduating in STEM fields. UGA plans to enhance instructional delivery through a primary focus on existing STEM initiatives and the creation of an Office of Online Learning. GSU plans to increase the number of students graduating in STEM fields by 10 percent by FY15 and 20 percent by FY20. The institution already has a number of initiatives underway to reach this goal, which are overseen by a campus-wide STEM coordinator.


The college completion plans are available in their entirety at: https://www.usg.edu/usgweb/complete_college/.




NYC Generation Tech aims to turn high schoolers into techies


A New York City initiative focuses on teaching high school students mobile technology, design, and how to get into the technology business.


by Dara Kerr  

NYC Generation Tech is a new initiative launched by the Network for Teaching and the NYC Economic Development Corporation.


Despite the lagging economy and slow job growth, the tech sector is booming. And according to some estimates, it's only going to get better. This may be one of the reasons why some politicians and educators are pointing kids in the tech direction.


New York City's Economic Development Corp. and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship announced the launch of NYC Generation Tech today. It's an initiative aimed at teaching the city's high school students hands-on tech training while also pairing them with mentors in the biz.


Designed specifically for "students interested in transforming the world through tech-based innovations," the program is free, application-only, and focuses on students who aren't in elite schools.


The educational thrust of NYC Generation Tech is on mobile technology, design, and app development. Students will also learn about how to be an entrepreneur and start-up methodologies.


These are NYC Generation Tech's specific goals:

  • Grow youth interest and activity in the business, entrepreneurship and technology sectors
  • Bolster technology entrepreneurship in NYC high school students
  • Connect students with existing networks of NYC tech entrepreneurs, start-ups, universities, tech companies, and venture capitalists
  • Help strengthen NYC's entrepreneurial culture and environment in the long run

This program comes on the heels of another New York City initiative to get high school girls into the engineering and computer field. Launched last month, Girls Who Code is backed by tech heavyweights Twitter, eBay, Google, and more. In January, Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the Academy for Software Engineering, which is a high school aimed at training the next generation of software pros.


NYC Generation Tech is not a full-time school, rather it's meant to supplement other classes. The first session begins in August and additional sessions will run through the 2012-13 school year.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57469919-93/nyc-generation-tech-aims-to-turn-high-schoolers-into-techies/


Workforce Training for Advanced Manufacturing


Obama administration announces $500 million in community college grants to expand job training through local employer partnerships


Grants are the 2nd installment of $2 billion, 4-year initiative


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced $500 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs. The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes skills development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, as well as science, technology, engineering and math careers through partnerships between training providers and local employers. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.


Speaking in Florida at St. Petersburg College, which is receiving $15 million in funds to lead a consortium of community colleges across the state in developing programs focused on advanced manufacturing, Secretary Solis said: "These federal grants are part of the Obama administration's ongoing commitment to strengthening American businesses by strengthening the American workforce. This strategic investment will enhance ties among community colleges, universities, employers and other local partners while ensuring that students have access to the skills and resources they need to compete for high-wage, high-skill careers."


The initiative complements President Obama's broader goals to help ensure that every American has at least one year of postsecondary education and the U.S. has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Through this initiative, each state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive at least $2.5 million in dedicated funding for community college career training programs.


In total, 297 schools will receive grants as individual applicants or as members of a consortium. The grants include 27 awards to community college and university consortia totaling $359,237,048 and 27 awards to individual institutions totaling $78,262,952. Twenty-five states that were without a winning individual submission will be contacted to develop a qualifying $2.5 million project.


Educational institutions will use these funds to create affordable training programs that meet industry needs, invest in staff and educational resources, and provide access to free, digital learning materials. All education materials developed through the grants will be available for use by the public and other education providers through a Creative Commons license.


These grants emphasize evidence-based program design. Each grantee is required to collect rigorous student outcome data annually and conduct final evaluations at the end of the grant period to build knowledge about which strategies are most effective in placing graduates in jobs.


Learn more about the grant program at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct. A list of grantees by state, including project descriptions, follows.




Visit our New Resources, K-12 Nano Resources Page, Global Resources, Games for Education,

Virtual Tools, Simulation Tools, and Microscopy Demos pages for more solutions.




If the books you need are not listed in Open Source Free Textbooks yet, this site might be helpful.

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Finding New Solutions for Education...


OpenStax College publishes free textbooks for most-attended courses




Nanoscience and the Resulting Technologies are our Future


This section will continue with examples of technologies that are in the pipeline and will change society in many ways.  Students need to be introduced to this science and learn to understand and evaluate all the technologies.


What will this future look like?


TNTG Member Jack Uldrich has just released a new book that may help your students understand the world they will inherit in their future...


New Book Release: Foresight 20/20

 

Foresight 20/20: Author- Jack Uldrich - A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow. 

It provides eleven easy-to-read scenarios spelling out what the world may look like in just 8 short years. In addition to providing future scenarios in education and healthcare, the book not only addresses how technology will transform the agriculture, energy, retail, and manufacturing  sectors but provides an in-depth exploration of how robotics, gaming dynamics and artificial intelligence will change everyday life by the beginning of the next decade.


Foresight 20/20 is available from Amazon.com for $14 as a hard cover and just $4.99 as an e-book.

http://www.amazon.com/Foresight-20-Futurist-Explores-Transforming/dp/1592984835


Book Description

Publication Date: June 1, 2012


The forces transforming tomorrow are profound, powerful, and accelerating. The Internet, social networks, crowd-sourcing, gaming dynamics, new information and communication technologies, robotics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are all converging to transform everything from agriculture, energy, education, and law enforcement to health care, manufacturing, retail, and transportation.


In Foresight 20/20, professional futurists and business forecasters Jack Uldrich and Simon Anderson have developed eleven scenarios designed to aid the reader in understanding how a variety of technological trends are transforming the world of tomorrow. The trends are exciting and scary, positive and negative, prosaic and profound, and will impact both one's personal and professional life. As Cervantes said centuries ago, ''Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.'' Foresight 20/20 goes one step further and not only prepares the reader for victory but also instills the confidence necessary to create tomorrow's victories.




But...How do Robotics fit into the Future of the Workforce as Artificial Intelligence advances? 


After you read the following article on the current state of robotics in the workforce...be sure to continue past this article to the videos and the announcements of new government funding in advanced manufacturing and co-robots for workplace development! 


August 18,2012

Skilled Work, Without the Worker


Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

While the many robots in auto factories typically perform only one function, in the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., a robot might do up to four: welding, riveting, bonding and installing a component.


By JOHN MARKOFF


DRACHTEN, the Netherlands — At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way.


At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human.


One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year.


All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai.


This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Factories like the one here in the Netherlands are a striking counterpoint to those used by Apple and other consumer electronics giants, which employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers.


“With these machines, we can make any consumer device in the world,” said Binne Visser, an electrical engineer who manages the Philips assembly line in Drachten.


Many industry executives and technology experts say Philips’s approach is gaining ground on Apple’s. Even as Foxconn, Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, continues to build new plants and hire thousands of additional workers to make smartphones, it plans to install more than a million robots within a few years to supplement its work force in China.


Foxconn has not disclosed how many workers will be displaced or when. But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”  


The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”


In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today. The analogy is not only to the industrialization of agriculture but also to the electrification of manufacturing in the past century, Mr. McAfee argues.


“At what point does the chain saw replace Paul Bunyan?” asked Mike Dennison, an executive at Flextronics, a manufacturer of consumer electronics products that is based in Silicon Valley and is increasingly automating assembly work. “There’s always a price point, and we’re very close to that point.”


But Bran Ferren, a veteran roboticist and industrial product designer at Applied Minds in Glendale, Calif., argues that there are still steep obstacles that have made the dream of the universal assembly robot elusive. “I had an early naïveté about universal robots that could just do anything,” he said. “You have to have people around anyway. And people are pretty good at figuring out, how do I wiggle the radiator in or slip the hose on? And these things are still hard for robots to do.”


Beyond the technical challenges lies resistance from unionized workers and communities worried about jobs. The ascension of robots may mean fewer jobs are created in this country, even though rising labor and transportation costs in Asia and fears of intellectual property theft are now bringing some work back to the West.


Take the cavernous solar-panel factory run by Flextronics in Milpitas, south of San Francisco. A large banner proudly proclaims “Bringing Jobs & Manufacturing Back to California!” (Right now China makes a large share of the solar panels used in this country and is automating its own industry.)


Yet in the state-of-the-art plant, where the assembly line runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are robots everywhere and few human workers. All of the heavy lifting and almost all of the precise work is done by robots that string together solar cells and seal them under glass. The human workers do things like trimming excess material, threading wires and screwing a handful of fasteners into a simple frame for each panel.


Such advances in manufacturing are also beginning to transform other sectors that employ millions of workers around the world. One is distribution, where robots that zoom at the speed of the world’s fastest sprinters can store, retrieve and pack goods for shipment far more efficiently than people. Robots could soon replace workers at companies like C & S Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest grocery distributor, which has already deployed robot technology.


Rapid improvement in vision and touch technologies is putting a wide array of manual jobs within the abilities of robots. For example, Boeing’s wide-body commercial jets are now riveted automatically by giant machines that move rapidly and precisely over the skin of the planes. Even with these machines, the company said it struggles to find enough workers to make its new 787 aircraft. Rather, the machines offer significant increases in precision and are safer for workers.


And at Earthbound Farms in California, four newly installed robot arms with customized suction cups swiftly place clamshell containers of organic lettuce into shipping boxes. The robots move far faster than the people they replaced. Each robot replaces two to five workers at Earthbound, according to John Dulchinos, an engineer who is the chief executive at Adept Technology, a robot maker based in Pleasanton, Calif., that developed Earthbound’s system.


Robot manufacturers in the United States say that in many applications, robots are already more cost-effective than humans.


At an automation trade show last year in Chicago, Ron Potter, the director of robotics technology at an Atlanta consulting firm called Factory Automation Systems, offered attendees a spreadsheet to calculate how quickly robots would pay for themselves.


In one example, a robotic manufacturing system initially cost $250,000 and replaced two machine operators, each earning $50,000 a year. Over the 15-year life of the system, the machines yielded $3.5 million in labor and productivity savings.


The Obama administration says this technological shift presents a historic opportunity for the nation to stay competitive. “The only way we are going to maintain manufacturing in the U.S. is if we have higher productivity,” said Tom Kalil, deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


Government officials and industry executives argue that even if factories are automated, they still are a valuable source of jobs. If the United States does not compete for advanced manufacturing in industries like consumer electronics, it could lose product engineering and design as well. Moreover, robotics executives argue that even though blue-collar jobs will be lost, more efficient manufacturing will create skilled jobs in designing, operating and servicing the assembly lines, as well as significant numbers of other kinds of jobs in the communities where factories are.


And robot makers point out that their industry itself creates jobs. A report commissioned by the International Federation of Robotics last year found that 150,000 people are already employed by robotics manufacturers worldwide in engineering and assembly jobs.


But American and European dominance in the next generation of manufacturing is far from certain.


“What I see is that the Chinese are going to apply robots too,” said Frans van Houten, Philips’s chief executive. “The window of opportunity to bring manufacturing back is before that happens.”


A Faster Assembly Line


Royal Philips Electronics began making the first electric shavers in 1939 and set up the factory here in Drachten in 1950. But Mr. Visser, the engineer who manages the assembly, takes pride in the sophistication of the latest shavers. They sell for as much as $350 and, he says, are more complex to make than smartphones.


The assembly line here is made up of dozens of glass cages housing robots made by Adept Technology that snake around the factory floor for more than 100 yards. Video cameras atop the cages guide the robot arms almost unerringly to pick up the parts they assemble. The arms bend wires with millimetric accuracy, set toothpick-thin spindles in tiny holes, grab miniature plastic gears and set them in housings, and snap pieces of plastic into place.


The next generation of robots for manufacturing will be more flexible and easier to train.


Witness the factory of Tesla Motors, which recently began manufacturing the Tesla S, a luxury sedan, in Fremont, Calif., on the edge of Silicon Valley.


More than half of the building is shuttered, called “the dark side.” It still houses a dingy, unused Toyota Corolla assembly line on which an army of workers once turned out half a million cars annually.


The Tesla assembly line is a stark contrast, brilliantly lighted. Its fast-moving robots, bright Tesla red, each has a single arm with multiple joints. Most of them are imposing, 8 to 10 feet tall, giving them a slightly menacing “Terminator” quality.


But the arms seem eerily human when they reach over to a stand and change their “hand” to perform a different task. While the many robots in auto factories typically perform only one function, in the new Tesla factory a robot might do up to four: welding, riveting, bonding and installing a component.


As many as eight robots perform a ballet around each vehicle as it stops at each station along the line for just five minutes. Ultimately as many as 83 cars a day — roughly 20,000 are planned for the first year — will be produced at the factory. When the company adds a sport utility vehicle next year, it will be built on the same assembly line, once the robots are reprogrammed.


Tesla’s factory is tiny but represents a significant bet on flexible robots, one that could be a model for the industry. And others are already thinking bigger.


Hyundai and Beijing Motors recently completed a mammoth factory outside Beijing that can produce a million vehicles a year using more robots and fewer people than the big factories of their competitors and with the same flexibility as Tesla’s, said Paul Chau, an American venture capitalist at WI Harper who toured the plant in June.


The New Warehouse


Traditional and futuristic systems working side by side in a distribution center north of New York City show how robotics is transforming the way products are distributed, threatening jobs. From this warehouse in Newburgh, C & S, the nation’s largest grocery wholesaler, supplies a major supermarket chain.


The old system sprawls across almost half a million square feet. The shelves are loaded and unloaded around the clock by hundreds of people driving pallet jacks and forklifts. At peak times in the evening, the warehouse is a cacophony of beeping and darting electric vehicles as workers with headsets are directed to cases of food by a computer that speaks to them in four languages.


The new system is much smaller, squeezed into only 30,000 square feet at the far end of the warehouse and controlled by just a handful of technicians. They watch over a four-story cage with different levels holding 168 “rover” robots the size of go-carts. Each can move at 25 miles an hour, nearly as fast as an Olympic sprinter.


Each rover is connected wirelessly to a central computer and on command will race along an aisle until it reaches its destination — a case of food to retrieve or the spot to drop one off for storage. The robot gathers a box by extending two-foot-long metal fingers from its side and sliding them underneath. It lifts the box and pulls it to its belly. Then it accelerates to the front of the steel cage, where it turns into a wide lane where it must contend with traffic — eight robots are active on each level of the structure, which is 20 aisles wide and 21 levels high.


From the aisle, the robots wait their turn to pull into a special open lane where they deposit each load into an elevator that sends a stream of food cases down to a conveyor belt that leads to a large robot arm.


About 10 feet tall, the arm has the grace and dexterity of a skilled supermarket bagger, twisting and turning each case so the final stack forms an eight-foot cube. The software is sophisticated enough to determine which robot should pick up which case first, so when the order arrives at the supermarket, workers can take the cases out in the precise order in which they are to go on the shelves.


When the arm is finished, the cube of goods is conveyed to a machine that wraps it in clear plastic to hold it in place. Then a forklift operator summoned by the computer moves the cube to a truck for shipment.


Built by Symbotic, a start-up company based in the Boston area, this robotic warehouse is inspired by computer designers who created software algorithms to efficiently organize data to be stored on a computer’s hard drive.


Jim Baum, Symbotic’s chief executive, compares the new system to a huge parallel computer. The design is efficient because there is no single choke point; the cases of food moving through the robotic warehouse are like the digital bits being processed by the computer.


Humans’ Changing Role


In the decade since he began working as a warehouseman in Tolleson, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, Josh Graves has seen how automation systems can make work easier but also create new stress and insecurity. The giant facility where he works distributes dry goods for Kroger supermarkets.


Mr. Graves, 29, went to work in the warehouse, where his father worked for three decades, right out of high school. The demanding job required lifting heavy boxes and the hours were long. “They would bring in 15 guys, and only one would last,” he said.


Today Mr. Graves drives a small forklift-like machine that stores and retrieves cases of all sizes. Because such workers are doing less physical labor, there are fewer injuries, said Rome Aloise, a Teamsters vice president in Northern California. Because a computer sets the pace, the stress is now more psychological.


Mr. Graves wears headsets and is instructed by a computerized voice on where to go in the warehouse to gather or store products. A centralized computer the workers call The Brain dictates their speed. Managers know exactly what the workers do, to the precise minute.


Several years ago, Mr. Graves’s warehouse installed a German system that automatically stores and retrieves cases of food. That led to the elimination of 106 jobs, roughly 20 percent of the work force. The new system was initially maintained by union workers with high seniority. Then that job went to the German company, which hired nonunion workers.


Now Kroger plans to build a highly automated warehouse in Tolleson. Sixty union workers went before the City Council last year to oppose the plan, on which the city has not yet ruled.


“We don’t have a problem with the machines coming,” Mr. Graves told city officials. “But tell Kroger we don’t want to lose these jobs in our city.”


Some jobs are still beyond the reach of automation: construction jobs that require workers to move in unpredictable settings and perform different tasks that are not repetitive; assembly work that requires tactile feedback like placing fiberglass panels inside airplanes, boats or cars; and assembly jobs where only a limited quantity of products are made or where there are many versions of each product, requiring expensive reprogramming of robots.


But that list is growing shorter.


Upgrading Distribution


Inside a spartan garage in an industrial neighborhood in Palo Alto, Calif., a robot armed with electronic “eyes” and a small scoop and suction cups repeatedly picks up boxes and drops them onto a conveyor belt.


It is doing what low-wage workers do every day around the world.


Older robots cannot do such work because computer vision systems were costly and limited to carefully controlled environments where the lighting was just right. But thanks to an inexpensive stereo camera and software that lets the system see shapes with the same ease as humans, this robot can quickly discern the irregular dimensions of randomly placed objects.


The robot uses a technology pioneered in Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensing system for its Xbox video game system.


Such robots will put automation within range of companies like Federal Express and United Parcel Service that now employ tens of thousands of workers doing such tasks.


The start-up behind the robot, Industrial Perception Inc., is the first spinoff of Willow Garage, an ambitious robotics research firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. The first customer is likely to be a company that now employs thousands of workers to load and unload its trucks. The workers can move one box every six seconds on average. But each box can weigh more than 130 pounds, so the workers tire easily and sometimes hurt their backs.


Industrial Perception will win its contract if its machine can reliably move one box every four seconds. The engineers are confident that the robot will soon do much better than that, picking up and setting down one box per second.


“We’re on the cusp of completely changing manufacturing and distribution,” said Gary Bradski, a machine-vision scientist who is a founder of Industrial Perception. “I think it’s not as singular an event, but it will ultimately have as big an impact as the Internet.”


Visit for Multi-media and more stories in this series.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/new-wave-of-adept-robots-is-changing-global-industry.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120819



TED TALKS | IN LESS THAN 6 MINUTES

David Hanson: Robots that "show emotion"

For more information visit: http://hansonrobotics.wordpress.com/



Now look at the other side of the conversation...


Matter and Beyond


http://www.ebru.tv/en/genres/ScienceNature/matter-and-beyond/episodes/4/410-artificial-intelligence


When does a mere machine become a morally responsible entity? What are the problems that could arise from intelligent machines with super human capabilities? For decades science fiction writers have been intrigued with the idea of creating intelligent machines with physical and mental capabilities far superior to those of human beings. Some leading thinkers predict that human-like robots with intelligence that will be indistinguishable from human beings will be a reality by 2030 to 2040. But how will this impact opportunities and the quality of life for human beings? How will it impact our culture?


New Round of Funding to develop Robotics as co-Workers


Nearly $50 Million in Research Funding Awarded by NSF-Led National Robotics Initiative to Develop Next-Generation Robotics


The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NASA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), awarded just under $50 million to grantees around the country for the development and use of robots that cooperatively work with people and enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety.


Funded projects target the creation of next-generation collaborative robots, or co-robots, with applications in areas such as advanced manufacturing; civil and environmental infrastructure; health care and rehabilitation; military and homeland security; space and undersea exploration; food production, processing and distribution; assistive devices for improving independence and quality of life; and safer driving. Examples of co-robots envisioned include the co-worker in manufacturing, the co-protector in civilian and military venues, and the co-inhabitant assistant in the home of an elder living independently.


Co-robots are the next step in Artificial Intelligence that will be smarter than humans.  It is your future, so stay informed.


Read article and specific detail of grants awarded at:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=125390



SOLUTIONS:

10 Jobs of the Future - Jump the Curve with Jack Uldrich


Having read many futurists books, I noticed that none have talked about the Jobs of the Future as we move to artificial intelligences (AI) and robotics in the workforce. They expound on how society will have more free time for entertainment, but never mention how they will earn all the abundance that the singularity and AI will provide. Also new training centers for co-worker robots are being funded at a rapid pace which will eliminate more jobs. 


So I was hopeful when I found this post by one of our members, Jack Uldrich.  It would be helpful if more futurists addressed this issue as so many workers are already unemployed.

Thanks Jack, it is a start.


http://jumpthecurve.net/future/10-jobs-of-the-future-2/




Ten Trends Transforming Government Today


Given all the talk about “fiscal cliffs,” budget ceilings, deficits, crumbling bridges, struggling schools and gridlock—both traffic and political, the list of issues confronting government leaders can appear daunting and the future bleak. It isn’t. Here are ten trends transforming government that promise a brighter tomorrow:


http://jumpthecurve.net/education/ten-trends-transforming-government-today/




$7 Million Investment Supports Projects Spurring Technology Commercialization and Small Business Development in Seven States


The Obama Administration announced the winners of the third round of the i6 Challenge, a national competition to advance American innovation, foster entrepreneurship, increase the commercialization of ideas into viable companies, and create jobs.


The initiative seeks to accelerate innovative product development, spur the formation of start-ups, and create small businesses by supporting Proof of Concept Centers at universities and research consortiums across the country, which are helping to jumpstart the production of emerging technologies and revolutionize manufacturing processes.


The winning projects - based in California, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin - will each receive up to $1 million to fund Proof of Concept Centers at universities and research consortiums that will create networks of experts to support innovators and researchers, expand access to capital, and connect mentors and advisors to entrepreneurs and small businesses.


“The grants being announced today are an example of the Obama administration’s commitment to driving U.S. innovation and competitiveness in the decade ahead,” said Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank. “The Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge is designed to encourage Americans who want to take risks with game-changing ideas, speed their innovations to marketplace, and thereby empower the next generation of job creators that are so essential for an economy that is built to last.”


Proof of Concept Centers incorporate a range of services, such as technology and market evaluation as well as business planning, that are critical to regional economic growth and job creation. The seven winners announced today will spur sustainable startups, small businesses, and new ventures. Launched in 2010 as a component of the White House’s Startup America initiative, the i6 Challenge is led by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The office leads efforts to promote innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship, develops policy recommendations, and implements initiatives to commercialize technology developed through university and federally-funded research.


Applications for the competition were evaluated by selection committees made up of industry and public sector leaders, and academics. Additionally, EDA’s regional offices conducted technical, merit, and investment reviews based on the agency’s funding criteria. A panel of experts, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, made recommendations for finalists. This year’s winners are:


Las Cruces, NM - The Arrowhead Center will build upon Launch, New Mexico State University’s recently established proof of concept center, to develop the Arrowhead Innovation Network.


Tampa, FL - The FirstWaVE Venture Center will serve the eight-county Tampa Bay region with a five-year goal of helping at least 50 Florida-based start-up companies secure $500,000 in early-stage/angel funding in order to help them grow into viable tech companies.


Crane, IN - Southern Indiana Development Commission and the Battery Innovation Center Inc. will establish an Energy Storage Proof of Concept Center.


Madison, WI - The Wisconsin Innovates for Success Proof of Concept Center will commercialize the research being conducted at the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Center for Dairy Research.


Kansas City, MO - The Digital Sandbox Proof of Concept Center will create a new process for commercialization in Kansas City by clustering digital innovation in a central hub and providing the needed technology infrastructure.


Charlottesville, VA - The Virginia Innovation Project - a partnership between the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and SRI International - will lead proof of concept projects throughout the state of Virginia.


Davis, CA - The University of California, Davis and the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) will partner to create a Proof of Concept Center to catalyze the commercialization of sustainable agriculture technologies in the six-county Sacramento region.


About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


Note from the Editor: This new EDA Department within the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sounds like a good idea, but it ensures that businesses and universities work together with taxpayer funds.   Proof of Concept is part of the 'valley of death' that start-up's face when looking for angel investors.  These Proof of Concept centers give the advantage to the large corporations to license technology in all areas of research.  Very few small businesses can scale up for manufacturing, nor compete with the large established partner corporations that are already funding all politicians.  If your regions was awarded, send us updates on the results and types of busnesses that succeed in the next 5 years.



Ethics and Nanotechnology; Responsible development of nanotechnology at global level in the 21st century


Malsch, Ineke (2011) Ethics and Nanotechnology; Responsible development of nanotechnology at global level in the 21st century. PhD thesis, Radboud University.


Abstract


This thesis examines how ethically sound governance of nanotechnology may be possible in the current global world order. This central research question is inspired by the main issue on the agenda of national and international policy makers in the last decade. How to avoid making the same mistake with nanotechnology as with genetically modified food in Europe? As for nanotechnology, great public and private investments had been made in the development of GGO’s, but market introduction was inhibited strongly by unexpected public resistance. In order to solve the issue of nanotechnology governance, a wide range of debates and projects have been started. The author has been engaged in these discussions and investigations as a consultant for 15 years. The thesis contains an attempt to present the debate in all its wide-ranging facets in different parts of the world. The emphasis is on differences and points in common between countries and at an international level. Three cases (nanotechnology and security, sustainable development of nanotechnology and nanotechnology and the shifting boundary between living and non-living)are investigated from a philosophical ethical perspective. Finally, the author returns to the governance issue and proposes a contribution to the ongoing debate.


Download the thesis at:http://www.nanoarchive.org/11110/



One on One: Steve Mann, Wearable Computing Pioneer

Claims to be the First Cyborg


AUGUST 7, 2012, 2:15 PM

By NICK BILTON

Steve Mann’s EyeTap glasses.


Steve Mann is considered by many to be the world's first cyborg. He has been using wearable computers that assist his vision since the 1970s. Now he wears a display screen over his right eye and is connected to a computer and the Internet. In this edited interview, he discusses "mediated reality"; the coming wearable-computing wars among Apple, Google and RIM; and the brain-computer interface.


Are you the first cyborg?


Yes. If you look through the history of wearables, I was named the father of wearable computing, or the world's first cyborg. But the definition of wearable computing can be kind of fuzzy itself. Thousands of years ago, in China, people would wear an abacus around their neck - that, in one sense, was a wearable computer.


Will we all be cyborgs soon?


It's kind of obvious that everyone is moving along that trajectory. What I envisioned back in the 1970s was this thing you would wear as "glass" over your right eye, and you could see the world though that glass. The glass then reconfigures the things you see.


Unlike smartphones, where we have to look at our devices, will wearables look at us?


There's research showing that glass looks at people, but now wearable computers are people looking at. You just end there, at "at." That's what makes it so deliciously wonderful.


What do you mean by "at"?


The use of the wearable computer changes with each person. When this device is your way of seeing, or a seeing aid, it's how you see the world. When you use it as a memory aid, it is your brain. Consider an Alzheimer's patient that can't remember things - that person will use the device as a brain and as a memory aid.


Can you wear your computer on the plane during takeoff and landing?


They inspect it. I have all the right documentation for it, but they have a procedure for checking it over.


What about privacy? Is it lost when everyone is wearing glasses with cameras?


I call this priveillance, which comes from the French word veillance, which means to watch. If you and I were to meet in a coffee shop and you had an audio recorder in your pocket, what's the difference than if you had a photographic memory and could remember the entire conversation? But, if there were a third party that were eavesdropping on us, that would be more of a violation.


Have your wearable glasses changed over the years?


My apparatus has changed a lot over the years. In the mid-'80s, my apparatus was quite a bit more onerous. I had a big backpack with a helmet system. I was stopped now and again. The new system is very sleek and slender. It looks like a normal product.


Your current glass is physically connected to you, right?


Yes, it's a device that can be connected to the mind-mesh. It can be connected to the B.C.I.: the brain-computer interface. I usually have it connected to my brain. We formed a little a start-up called Interaxon.ca, where I'm experimenting with thought-controlled computing. I'm developing a technology that allows blind people to see.


Will all computer companies make a version of glass?


Yes. There will be Apple Glass, and Google Glass, and RIM Glass. These companies are all working on glass. I think everyone is going to be making glass. I think we're also going to have a glass war instead of a smartphone war.


Where does the word "glass" come from to describe wearable computers?


We've been using the world "glass" to describe my EyeTap technology, too, because when you look at someone wearing the EyeTap it looks like they have a glass eye. EyeTap is a device. It's a principle. It's a concept.


So is this augmented reality in our eyes?


No. Augmented reality just can't work. Glass mediates your world; it doesn't merely augment it. The first thing people will have to realize is that augmented reality doesn't make sense. Augmented reality just throws things on top, and you get a certain amount of information overload. We call it mediated reality.


What is mediated reality?


An example of mediated reality is - this is something I demonstrated 15 years ago - was ad replacement in eyeglasses. I am a nonsmoker, so I can filter the ads for cigarettes out if I want. We're not augmenting, we're not adding - we're actually taking some things away, too. It's diminished reality.


You're married with kids. Does your family wear glass?


My wife has worn glass since the mid-'80s - on and off. My kids wear it often. Recently, my kids wanted to see marshmallows burning on the beach, and I showed them how to start a fire with water in a bottle, and it's very bright, so we used glass to see it better.


Be sure to check out the Related Articles listed below at the bits.blog link to discuss with your students.


http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/one-on-one-steve-mann-wearable-computing-pioneer/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120808



What does the 21st Century look like for our students?


To gain a better understanding of the relevance and importance of our mission concerning an integrated innovative learning matrix for students, take a look at the project created by Peter Pesti at Georgia Tech College of Computing. 


This is the initial release of the "Detailed Roadmap of the 21st Century" compilation, a year by year bullet point list of notable advances expected to happen in the 21st century, from 2006 onwards. An update of the progress is due in 2013.


Scroll down below the comments to view this video:

Karsten Staack made the video using his selection of the predictions from the research:

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~pesti/roadmap/