A clash of cultures: Hate speech, taboos, blasphemy, and the role of news media

A teaching and learning resource for media , English – all teachers, to use with senior students around issues of Digital Citizenship, freedom of speech, cultural differences and respect. written by Jane Sasseen and presented here by the Australian Policy Online  

 This report examines the intense debate about the rights of countries or communities to restrict content viewed as blasphemous or objectionable in their cultures and how this is affecting the international news media landscape.

 The ability of individuals to openly speak their minds is a core principle not only of American journalism, but American democracy. Even when speech is insulting or disrespectful to others-speech that might run afoul of hate speech laws throughout Western Europe or be banned outright in much of the rest of the world-it is generally permitted in the United States. But the rise of the Internet and the instantaneous global communications it enables have raised a host of new questions about how to handle hate speech and other potentially offensive speech when it can be seen by audiences in other countries that do not share those values

What high-scoring countries do right in maths, reading, and science

The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center released the study today. It was made possible by the fact that the TIMSS, which assesses math and science achievement, and the PIRLS, which gauges reading skill, were given at the same time in 2011. That enabled the test administrators at Boston College to synthesize information from the two in order to make observations about what they called “the culture of educational excellence.” Full article

Nominate for ICTEV 2014 Educator of the Year

Information Communication Technology Education Victoria (ICTEV) is seeking nominations for the ICTEV 2014 Educator and Leader of the Year Award from Victorian educators who have made an outstanding contribution, using computer technology, to the educational advancement of their students and have had a significant positive effect on their colleagues, both at school level and within professional associations. The person may be nominated, or may nominate him / herself. If the teacher is nominated by their school, the school is eligible for $1,000 of ICTEV professional development. Applicants must be either an individual member of ICTEV or a staff member of an ICTEV member school or learning institution..
Completed nominations must reach the ICTEV office by Friday October 25, 2013.

Nominations may also be forwarded to: ictev@ictev.vic.edu.au by Friday Oct 25, 2013. For more information on the awards and application process click here.

Top 100 tools for learning

What would you add to this list or remove? Worth a discussion. A good list to get teachers and students investigating.


Closing the achievement gap in a high-poverty school

High poverty. High performing. These are two phrases that describe Hattie Watts Elementary today — but it wasn’t always that way writes  Niki P Fryou.

When I became assistant principal in 2006, there were large gaps between the performance of our white students and our black students and economically-disadvantaged students. One reason was a persistent lack of belief in our students. When someone would say our students should be performing at higher levels, some community members, faculty members and even parents would say: “We’re not an affluent community, like so-and-so. Our kids face real challenges at home and at school. They can’t be expected to achieve at the same level as those kids.”

To dispel this negative stereotyping, our leadership team and faculty told our school community it didn’t matter if our students came from an impoverished or affluent community. If you show children you believe in them, they can and will achieve. When I became principal the following year, I set out to instill that belief schoolwide. As a result, we’ve made significant progress and continue to earn accolades today. Read the Article

Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit

At the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Lee Duckworth studies intangible concepts such as self-control and grit to determine how they might predict both academic and professional success


TedTalks Education

To explore ideas, TED, WNET, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have teamed up for a brand-new one-hour special, shown on US television. TED Talks Education is an exhilarating night of talks hosted by John Legend. Check it out online. One hour if viewing over the holidays


What are they up to in Texas with digital learning?

As the education world embrases technology it is always good to see how others are doing it. I promise if you can get  by the ad on this blog

Image of child with an ipad from the KXAN Report on the KXAN site

Image of child with an ipad from the KXAN Report on the KXAN site

video from Texas TV channel KXAN it almost feels like home. I also am impressed how the reporter did really describe theeducational purpose “Beyond just fun” in the report. They make good discussion about parent concerns.  A good view really. Go to the report

The Social Atlas Map series

The Social Atlas map series are based on the 2011 Census first and second data releases. The map series is based on the Social Atlas product the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released in 2006. An interesting read nonetheless but what a great resource to use with students. See the maps

Privacy is the law

With schools making their own choices around many things concerning ICT it is possibly a good time to highlight that Privacy isn’t a school rule or a department guideline. It is actually part of the law and it is essential to consider what information is being shared by schools signing their students up to places and spaces. Do you have consent to sign your students up to various online spaces? Even if you have the very best of intentions you have to present your ideas to parents in terms of educational value and just what information you are giving and how it will be shared.

Posting and sharing information online about a person other than yourself online or in any other way requires consent. Consent must be fully informed, freely given, current and specific in how the information will be presented and to whom it will be presented. Schools will require signed authority for any work, images or information posted online. School should understand that while consent can be freely given, it can also be withdrawn at any time. The school would then be required to remove the content/resource immediately.

Consent forms – students

The following template has been designed for schools to use when requesting permission to publish, reproduce and communicate a student’s work or image.

To access the template, see: Student and parent/guardian consent for recording &/or publishing (Word – 57Kb) (doc – 76kb)

The following template has been provided by the Department to assist school communities to develop agreements with students as to what constitutes acceptable use of internet, iPads netbooks and other online and digital technologies in their communities.

To access the template, see: Student Acceptable Use Agreement