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Lesson: Privacy–What’s the Big Deal?

In this lesson on cybersecurity, students grades 6-8 explore the concept of privacy in their everyday lives and as it relates to visiting Web sites. Students will explore privacy in a real-world setting and in cyberspace; understand why companies collect information about visitors on their Web sites; and learn to use online privacy terms.

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Curriculum: Developing Cybersmarts


Cybersmart! provides free online curriculum for grades K-12 addressing issues of Web safety and ethics: Safety and Security Online; Cyberbullying and Ethics; Authentic Learning and Creativity; Research and Information Fluency; Twenty-First Century Challenges.

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UTeach Gets a Boost

Thirteen years ago, the University of Texas, Austin, started a program called UTeach that allowed math and science majors to simultaneously earn teaching certificates. It worked so well at UT-Austin that the school set up the National Math and Science Initiative to help the program spread to other universities across the country. Now the Obama administration wants to put the project into overdrive.

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Interactive White Boards in Classrooms

Interactive white boards are replacing traditional chalkboards in classrooms. In schools that can afford them, they provide a multimedia tool. A recent study showed that they are used most successfully by teachers who already perform well without them, effectively making the best teachers even better.

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Feature: Hackers in White, Black and Gray

Most of what we read about hackers is unflattering: They’re the twisted minds who break into institutional, corporate or government computer systems, stealing identities and spreading viruses. Or they’re snoops, like the ones in China who, Google suspects, are invading its clients’ privacy.

Those are the so-called “black hat” hackers. But there are also “white hat” hackers, with many of the same skills, who are sought out by big companies, software makers, and governments to test the security of their computer systems.

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Study: Magnet Schools Outperform Charters

An LA Times study of test results of 152 charter schools, 161 magnets and all nearby traditional schools found that magnets were the clear leaders. Charters also outperformed traditional schools. African American students were especially benefited by magnets and charters, with 76 percent proficient or better in math at magnets and 57 percent at charters, as opposed to only 40 percent at traditional schools.

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NIH Funds Early STEM Education Research

When Congress approved the $787 billion economic stimulus package last February, it included a huge chunk of research money: $21.5 billion. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) got a big share of those funds, and now it’s announced it is spending around $18.3 million to bolster STEM education, starting in the early grades.

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Digits and Dunks

Fifth graders in Illinois are shooting hoops to up their math scores. It’s part of a Peoria, Ill. program that has students flexing their skills of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication by tracking the seasons’ statistics of Illinois Central College basketball team. ourt time with the players gives the students some insight into the lives of college athletes.

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Scholarship: American Indian Students. Deadline: Jan. 31


The American Indian Science and Engineering Society Columbia River Chapter Seventh Annual Scholarship Program awards scholarships to qualified American Indian high school or college students enrolled full-time who reside in Washington, Idaho or Oregon. Candidates must show proof of Tribal Affiliation. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2010. Amount: 2 scholarships for $1,000 and 1 for $500.

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