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Education

Learn About The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools Program (Video #2) 11

Posted by Roblimo
from the how-can-you-be-in-four-places-at-once-when-you're-not-anywhere-at-all? dept.
Quoting our intro from yesterday's 'Part One' video: 'The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program (TEALS to its friends), started with one volunteer, a Berkeley CS grad named Kevin Wang who taught high school for a while, then went to Microsoft for a much higher salary than he got from teaching. But before long, he was getting up early and teaching a first period computer science class at a Seattle-area high school that was (sort of) on his way to work.'

TEALS is now in 130 high schools and has 475 volunteers in multiple states but still has a long way to go (and needs to recruit many more volunteers) because, Kevin says, fewer than 1% of American high school students are exposed to computer science, even though "Computer science is now fundamental in these kids' lives." He doesn't expect everyone who takes a TEALS class to become a computer person any more than chemistry teachers expect all their students to become chemists. You might say that learning a little about how computers and networks work is like knowing how to change a car tire and cook a simple meal: skills that make life easier even for people who don't want to become mechanics or cooks.
Education

Learn About The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools Program (Video) 17

Posted by Roblimo
from the computer-science-for-the-high-school-masses dept.
The Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program (TEALS to its friends) started with one volunteer, a Berkeley CS grad named Kevin Wang who taught high school for a while, then went to Microsoft for a much higher salary than he got from teaching. But before long, he was getting up early and teaching a first period computer science class at a Seattle-area high school that was (sort of) on his way to work. Then some other local high schools came to him and wanted similar programs. Kevin's a smart guy, but not smart enough to be in four places at once, so he recruited coworkers to join him as volunteer computer science educators. Today (as this is being written) TEALS is in 130 high schools and has 475 volunteers in multiple states. Kevin works full time on the program, sponsored by Microsoft, but 78% of the volunteers now come from other companies.

TEALS has stuck with Kevin's original 1st period (usually somewhere between 7:30 and 9:30) schedule not just because it's convenient for many of the volunteers, but because (contrary to teen-nerd stereotypes) 60% of their students are in after-school sports and 20% are in band. The program is growing steadily and they're looking for more volunteers. We'll have another video with Kevin tomorrow, and that's when the transcript of both videos will appear. Meanwhile, you can read the TEALS FAQ and see how you might fit in with this group or one of many other similar ones either as a volunteer, as a student or as a teacher or school administrator interested in giving your students at least a basic grounding in Computer Science. (Coincidentally, today's 'Ask Slashdot' is about tech skills for HS students -- an unintentional but excellent tie-in.)
Input Devices

Mechanical 'Clicky' Keyboards Still Have Followers (Video) 146

Posted by Roblimo
from the clack-clack-clack-the-keyboard-types-on-down-the-track dept.
For a good number of years, the sound of the old IBM or other mechanical keyboard clacking away was the sound of programmers (or writers) at work on their computers. Then, according to Edgar Matias, president and cofounder of the Matias Corporation, computer companies started using membrane switches and other cheaper ways to make keyboards, which made a lot of people mutter curse words under their breath as they beat their fingers against keys that had to go all the way to the bottom of their travel to work, unlike the good old mechanical keyboards we once knew and loved.

Enter Edgar Matias, who started out making the half keyboard, which is like a chorded keyboard except that you can use your QWERTY typing skills with little modification -- assuming you or your boss has $595 (!) to lay out on a keyboard. But after that Edgar started making QWERTY and Dvorak keyboards for semi-competitive prices. FYI: No Slashdot person got a free keyboard (or extra money) for making this video, but I have a Matias keyboard, and in my opinion it's far better than the cheapie it replaced. A lot of other people seem to want "real" keyboards, too, which they buy from Matias or from other companies such as Unicomp, which makes keyboards just like the classic, heavily-loved IBM Model M. Again, I've owned a Unicomp keyboard (that I bought; it was not a giveaway) and it was excellent. Both companies put out quality products that are far easier on your hands and wrists than the $10 or $20 keyboards sold by big box electronics retailers.

Comment: Re:In whose interest is this? (Score 1) 29

So your suggestion for our next video interview is.....................? Please make sure you provide contact information.

And realize: 10,000 or 20,000 Slashdot readers might be interested in something that doesn't interest you. And you and a *different* 10,000 or 20,000 may be interested in something else that the first 10,000 have no interest in whatsoever.

And 'the staff being interested in it personally' means what? Slashdot only has three full-time people, plus me working part-time editing videos and setting up video interviews. 'The staff' each have their own interests. Something that catches a Slashdot staff person's eye is almost certainly going to be interesting to at last a decent-sized minority of users.

Now I'm going to go eat, then edit a video interview Tim did with a guy who makes clicky keyboards. Some Slashdot users will like it and some won't. And some will say they can read a transcript faster than they can watch a video. Me too! So we run written transcripts of virtually all videos and still get comments about the lack of transcripts.

I'm sure we'll also get complaints about background noise, since Tim shot this on a noisy show floor.

We have a significant number of readers who are only happy when they are disparaging something or somebody, and I have learned over the years to wear lots of skin thickener cream and ignore idiotic comments (which yours was NOT) and the cowardly anonymous ones, to whom I pay no attention at all.

Comment: Re: How can I also advertise for funding on /.? (Score 1) 29

Why not find a topic or interview subject that might be interesting to at least a substantial minority of Slashdot users? I'm married and Timothy has a g/f, so sleeping with us is a no-go. Bribes? Might as well just buy ads. Your content will then be marked "advertising" or "paid content" and will differ markedly in appearance from editorial copy on Slashdot. FYI, that's how you tell something on Slashdot is a paid ad. :)

Comment: Re:In whose interest is this? (Score 1) 29

Because this research is interesting for humans who reproduce and attempt to teach their offspring to act like adult human beings in 18 years or so. You may not have a reproduction partner at this point, but odds favor you finding one sooner or later. Every single one of your ancestors reproduced. Why should you be different?

To whose benefit? Slashdot readers who have or might one day have children, nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren, etc. I'm sure that Timothy doting on his toddler-age niece had nothing to do with his choice of this project. (wink)

You cannot rationally expect every Slashdot article or video to please everyone. It can't be done. There's a user subculture that hits Slashdot purely to complain. I love the ones who complain about the lack of video transcripts, which we supply almost all the time. Now the downer crowd will complain that the transcripts are in a font they don't like. Or something.

"Smile and nod," I say. And make sure you have put on your skin-thickener before hitting Slashdot.

Comment: Re: Better Crowdfunded Science Article Rejected (Score 2) 29

Sorry. We're skipping part three and going directly to four. :)

Believe it or not, we're getting a whole new audience on http://slashdot.org/videos. Our corporate masters finally stopped with the autoplay stuff and let us have an HTML5 alternative. And beta.... gone gone gone. Things are looking up.

And yes, we're always looking for interesting people to interview, and mindful that "interesting" to one person is often "boring" to somebody else. You can't please everyone, so you might as well please yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

After a day of the Dead though my new speakers, a Ricky Nelson tune is a good end to my day.

Comment: Re:Better Crowdfunded Science Article Rejected (Score 2) 29

Where in this article you love so dearly is a mention of crowdfunding? In the part that's behind a high-cost paywall? If so, tough luck. Slashdot has rarely -- really never -- linked to paywall-restricted articles.

++ And FYI, I personally love to interview people like Dr. Mason. I think I'll send him a message through YouTube now, since that seems to be where he's most active online. Thanks for the tip, which you can stop repeating now. I read it the first time, believe it or not.

Medicine

How Light at Night Affects Preschoolers' Sleep Patterns, Part Two (Video) 29

Posted by Roblimo
from the watch-the-spinning-light-and-feel-your-eyelids-growing-heavier-every-second dept.
Yesterday, in the intro to video number one of this two part extravaganza we wrote, "The effects of light and dark on adults' Circadian rythym has been studied over and over, but there hasn't been much research done on how light at night affects young children's sleep patterns."

Then we said, "This is the topic of Lameese Akacem's doctoral dissertation, and is a study being carried out under the aegis of the Sleep and Development Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder," and we mentioned that this research is (at least in part) crowdfunded, and that the deadline for donating to this project is early next week, so if you feel this project is worth supporting you need to act within the next few days.

Comment: Re:I expected... (Score 1) 51

by Roblimo (#49691325) Attached to: How Light at Night Affects Preschoolers' Sleep Patterns (Video)

It's biomedical research, which is interesting to at least some Slashdot readers. The fact that Timothy dotes on his toddler-age niece is surely irrelevant.

So something like this is interesting to a subset of Slashdot users, including Timothy Lord (and me, to a lesser extent since I have a toddler-age granddaughter). Not everything on Slashdot is interesting to every user. This one should be interesting to parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and anyone else who may be attached to a trainee human in the future. Which, silly stereotypes aside, describes the vast majority of Slashdot. users.

Businesses

Is Big Data Leaving Hadoop Behind? 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-believe-the-hype dept.
knightsirius writes: Big Data was seen as one the next big drivers of computing economy, and Hadoop was seen as a key component of the plans. However, Hadoop has had a less than stellar six months, beginning with the lackluster Hortonworks IPO last December and the security concerns raised by some analysts.. Another survey records only a quarter of big data decision makers actively considering Hadoop. With rival Apache Spark on the rise, is Hadoop being bypassed in big data solutions?
Medicine

How Light at Night Affects Preschoolers' Sleep Patterns (Video) 51

Posted by Roblimo
from the rock-a-bye-baby-whose-eyes-are-glued-to-mommy's-iPod dept.
The effects of light and dark on adults' Circadian rythym has been studied over and over, but there hasn't been much research done on how light at night affects young children's sleep patterns. This is the topic of Lameese Akacem's doctoral dissertation, and is a study being carried out under the aegis of the Sleep and Development Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder, under the direction of Assistant Professor Monique K. LeBourgeois. Aside from the inherent value of this research, which may help parents decide whether (and how much) they are messing up their children's sleep patterns by letting them view screens such as TVs, tablets or smart phones near bedtime, its funding is unique; the money for this study is coming, at least in part, from crowdfunding. The crowdfunding itself is an experiment. This study is one of a small, select group of projects the University of Colorado at Boulder has in its pilot crowdfunding program. Its crowdfunding time window closes next week, so if you want to help sponsor this experiment, and help learn how different kinds of light can affect how (and how well) small children sleep, you need to act within the next six days. (This is a two-part video. Part one runs today. Part two will run tomorrow.)
Build

Going Beyond the 'Stock' Arduino with Justin Mclean (Video) 12

Posted by Roblimo
from the traveling-with-gun-and-camera-through-the-wilds-of-open-source dept.
Justin McLean is probably best-known for his work with Apache Flex. He also started playing with open source hardware before Arduino, and now works with systems like Fritzing, an open source hardware initiative that can take you all the way from initial concept to production-ready PCBs you can have made by a production house -- or make yourself if that's the way you roll. This can be an educational activity, a way to make prototype boards for potential Internet of Things products or even just a fun way to occupy yourself by making LEDs light up.
Education

Volunteer Bob Paulin Turns Kids on to Tech with Devoxx4Kids (Video) 12

Posted by Roblimo
from the it's-more-fun-to-make-the-game-than-to-play-the-game dept.
You can call Bob Paulin 'Coach' and he'll probably respond, because he's been coaching youth football since 2005. Now he's also coaching what you might call 'youth science and technology' as the Chicagoland organizer of Devoxx4Kids.org. A motto on the group's website says, 'Game programming, robotics, engineering for kids in a fun way!' And that's what the group is all about, as Bob says in this video (and in the accompanying transcript for those who prefer reading over watching).

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud

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