Monday, 14 October 2013

WikiLeaks Road Movie:Watch MEDIASTAN


A WikiLeaks Road Movie

Watch WikiLeaks MEDIASTAN online
For the first time ever, audiences get a behind-the-scenes insight into the world’s first truly global media event: "Operation Cablerun" : the 2011 operation during which WikiLeaks ran hundreds of thousands of secret US government cables to media outlets around the world.
Watch MEDIASTAN free from the UK for this weekend only (starting Friday 7PM October 11)
Video on Demand is available globally
On all other platforms:
For downloads and broadcast info visit:
In MEDIASTAN, an undercover team of journalists drives across the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and into US occupied Afghanistan, before continuing its journey into the west; regrouping in Julian Assange’s kitchen, ambushing the editor of the Guardian, and obtaining candid footage of the New York Times editor and its publisher Arthur Sulzberger speaking about Obama.
For more information, read the press release.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Applications for the Amani Youth Peace Fellowship in Thailand – February 2014 are open now!

Are you a young African peace activist looking for the key to self-development to help you in your life and work? Would you like to learn how to develop your own inner peace in order to engage more effectively in your peace work?
Peace Revolution offers you the opportunity to cultivate a strong peace culture based on the principle of Peace In Peace Out. In cognizance of the special need to develop young peace activists who can respond to the needs of the continent, Peace Revolution will host for the first time an exclusive African Youth Fellowship in Thailand.
Your training starts with the 42 Days online self-development program on our interactive platform providing you the basic theory and practice; develop the tool for inner peace and learn about the concept of PIPO - INNER PEACE + OUTER PEACE = SUSTAINABLE WORLD PEACE. Through the Online Special OPS you have the means to share true peace to friends, family, school and your community at large. The fellowship offers a 14 days intensive training program providing participants with deeper insight in the relationship between inner peace and sustainable world peace and enhancing their ability to create peace within their family, professional and social environment. In addition to our intense meditation practice, participants will gain knowledge of various theoretical approaches that include:
  • Conflict resolution and the role of the basic human self-disciplines.
  • The role of our habits in our daily life and how to improve; the 5 Rooms of life.
  • The factors that determine our perception to think, act and speak; relation between body and mind.
  • Leadership: Eight pillars for a stable peaceful society.

The Thailand fellowship includes:
  • Full or partial sponsoring of airfare*.
  • Free accommodation.
  • Free catering.
  • Free local transportation.
  • Free meditation retreat fee.

* Everyone is welcome to join the fellowship. But to be eligible for the partial sponsoring of airfare, candidates must be between 18-30 years old.

  • Candidates must be African nationals residing in Africa.
  • Candidates should be 18-30 years old at the time of submitting the application in order to receive the airfare support.
  • Candidates must complete the 42 days online self-development program. Note that in order to submit the application form, candidates do not need to have completed the online self-development program.
  • Candidates must have completed at least one online Special Ops.
  • Candidates have good proficiency in written and spoken English language.
  • Candidates should be optimistic, open-minded, show leadership potential, and have a genuine interest in peace.
  • Candidates should be young leaders in local, national or international organizations.
  • Candidates should send a recommendation letter from their organizations.

Deadline: 31 October 2013 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Can Learning to Knit Help Learning to Code?

Betsy Weber
“Thinking is like cosmic knitting,” Waldorf school founder Rudolph Steiner wrote nearly one hundred years ago. Steiner  developed a comprehensive handwork curriculum for Waldorf students based on this idea, filled with knitting, sewing and woodworking, believing that “a person who is unskillful in his fingers will also be unskillful in his intellect, having less mobile ideas and thoughts.”
Today’s Waldorf students still knit socks and whittle kitchen spoons and many Waldorf schools shun the use of technology. Those two things — handwork and technology — might seem at first glance to be at odds. But there’s a case to be made that handwork and computing  — and the kind of process that links the two — are more closely related than one might think.
When electrical engineering professor Dr. Karen Shoop of Queen Mary University in London took her first knitting workshop, she noticed immediately that knitting is very similar to writing computer code. “I noticed that knitting instructions are largely binary (like computers) – in other words, knit or purl,” she said. “More interesting were the knitting instructions, which read just like regular expressions [of code], used for string matching and manipulation when coding.” Shoop also recognizes that the earliest stages of computing were inspired by handwork: “Of course, computers ultimately started off partially inspired by weaving and the Jacquard loom, or earlier Bouchon’s loom. Arguably some of the earliest programmers were the people making the card/paper punch hole patterns for weaving patterns.”
Shoop explains that regular expressions are simple but powerful for both searching and simplifying code, and are used in both knitting and coding to read patterns. In the essay “Knitters and Coders: Separated at Birth?” she writes, “In knitting notation (assuming an even number of stitches) it looks like:
Row 1: *k1, p1; rep from * Rows 2: *p1, k1; rep from *, or
Row 1: (K1, P1) rep to end Row 2: (P1, K1) rep to end.
Repeat these 2 rows for length desired.
“Computers do not understand the words we used in our explanation above: words like ‘row,’ ‘repeat,’ ‘rep,’ ‘to,’ ‘from,’ ‘end,’ ‘length’ and ‘desired,’ for example.” But what if the knitting pattern were written in code? Using coding’s regular expressions, the knitting notation above turns into something like:
“Students often feel anything to do with computing (especially coding) is in a separate bubble,” she said. “And I wanted to show that we ‘code’ in our outside world.” Shoop even had a student — an enthusiastic knitter — who, as a senior class project, developed a digital tool that could recognize and generate new knitting patterns.  “We’re interested in how creativity can inform technology and help create and inform new tools and technologies to support the creative process,” she said.


Working with the hands can help both boys and girls develop thinking skills as well as fine motor skills, both of which are sorely needed in schools, says Michael Gurian, author of Boys and Girls Learn Differently. “For males [in general], handwork helps with fine motor skills, and for females [in general], it helps with diagrammatic thinking, found in the highest levels of geometry and physics,” he said. “School is fine motor-oriented, and we need more boys to get fine motor skills early.” Gurian would also be interested to see if handwork like knitting or woodworking would be a way to interest more girls in STEM fields, hoping that something like Shoop’s knitting project might serve as a guide for longitudinal studies finding a connection between handwork, engineering, and computer coding.
Seeing how the hand is connected to learning goes beyond skills matching or STEM, but to the roots of human biology, says Stanford neurologist Frank R. Wilson, author of The Hand: How its Use Shapes the Brain, Language and Human Culture. In a keynote address given to the department of Humanities and Human Sciences at Point Park College, “Hand-made Minds in the ‘Digital’ Age,” Wilson implored teachers to incorporate more handwork into school work.

“It seems abundantly clear to me that, because of the process of co-evolution, the hand enjoys a privileged status in the learning process,” he said. “Being not only a catalyst but an experiential focal point for the organization of the young child’s perceptual, motor, cognitive, and creative world. It seems equally clear that as the child comes to the end of the pre-adolescent stage of development, the hand readily becomes a connecting link between self and community and a powerful enabler of the growing child’s determination to acquire adult skill, responsibility, and recognition.”
Shoop isn’t sure that k-12 students can learn anything specific from knitting (“Being a devil’s advocate,” she remarked, “does it have to teach anything? Knitting as making activity could be sufficient.”),  and warns that teaching large classes of students to knit does have drawbacks — including the time to check everyone’s work. Yet she admires how the tangible, sensory experience of knitting and the seemingly intangible world of computer coding are so closely linked. “I loved the fact that there is a perception (usually wrong) that there’s a world of computers (soulless, technical, ‘geeky’) and a completely different domain such as knitting (traditional, ‘female’, craft) – yet there is a clear overlap.”

Thursday, 3 October 2013

12 Free Tools, Events and Publications for Geospatial Educators: 2013

Twelve Free Tools, Events and Publications for Geospatial Educators: 2013 Edition

Advance your career and reach your educational goals through Penn State World Campus’ online GIS/geospatial graduate programs. Get the flexibility of online courses while learning from expert educators and interacting with fellow graduate students. Visit for information.
Educators and administrators are always looking for professional development opportunities, tools and publications to enhance their teaching of geospatial topics. What could be better than free options? 
1. Map Projection Selection Tool
The Map Projection Selection Tool was developed to help cartographers pick the best map projection for making maps in a GIS software program.  
Bojan Šavrič, a Ph.D. student in geography at Oregon State University, developed the tool which runs Leaflet (an open-source JavaScript library for Web mapping) and uses map tiles from Esri.
2. Making the most of the ArcGIS platform in higher education
Esri responded to a query from Aaron Addison, Director of Data Services & GIS at Washington University in St. Louis, in a blog post titled, Making the Most of the ArcGIS Platform in Higher Education . The question, posted toEsri’s “highered-l” listserv (a valuable resource, registration required) was essentially, “What should we teach from the ArcGIS platform?” Esri provided a starting point for an answer and requested feedback on the blog and its Higher Ed Facebook page (also valuable). Look for a webinar series on the topic in October. 
3. India’s syllabus for geospatial education
India's Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has a syllabus for geospatial aimed at the certification exam that educators might find interesting.
4. Geospatial Historian tutorials for using GIS in history
Geospatial Historian offers a tutorial-based open access textbook on using GIS for history. The key tools are free: Google Maps and QGIS.
5. Free Summer 2014 remote sensing professional development for educators
iGETT-Remote Sensing is an 18-month professional development program for faculty who teach Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at two-year colleges, and at high schools and four-year institutions that are interested in collaborating with two-year programs.
Hands-on instruction at two summer institutes and in monthly webinars will enable participants to:
  • Identify, download and analyze appropriate federal land remote sensing data 
  • Integrate remote sensing data with GIS to solve practical problems
Most expenses will be covered, and all participants will receive personal stipends and software for their labs. For more detailed information and an application to join the project in February 2014, see and click on APPLICATION FORM [the link is on the left side menu and is titled, "Application"].
Integrated Geospatial Education and Technology Training-Remote Sensing was funded in 2012 with a grant (DUE 1205069) from the National Science Foundation (DUE# 1205069) to the National Council for Geographic Education, in collaboration with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the U.S. Geological Survey Landsat Project, and the GeoTech Center.  It builds on the success of the first iGETT project, conducted 2007–2012.
Applications are due December 20, 2013.
6. Digital humanities toolkit for WordPress
There are new tools for digital humanities out of the University of North Carolina.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed an easy-to-use website-building tool that puts previously complex digital programming into the hands of historians and researchers. The new tool, called the Digital Humanities Toolkit or DH Press, provides a way for historians, researchers, teachers and others to create interactive websites, virtual tours, data maps and multimedia archives with a WordPress platform. It also organizes data in more easily searchable and intuitive ways, such as mapping.  UNC-Chapel Hill’s Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) and its Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)collaborated on the new tool.
7. Citizen science tool from the Cornell Ornithology Lab
YardMap is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments. 
But it's more than just data collection:
YardMap is also the world’s first interactive citizen scientist social network. When you join you are instantly connected to the work of like-minded individuals in your neighborhood, and across the country.
8. GeoWebChat
GeoWebChat is a tweetchat on GIS and the Web and often, GIS education organized by Alan McConchie@mappingmashupsHere's what you need to know to participate in tweetchat. Check the #geowebchat hashtag for upcoming topics.
9. Canadian education GIS event (Toronto)
In the spirit of fostering collaboration within the Canadian GIS education and research community, Esri Canada, in partnership with the University of Toronto, invites you to attend a one day conference hosted at the University of Toronto.  The day will consist of a plenary address; paper sessions focused on GIS in research, GIS in higher education instruction, and GIS use at the K-12 level; a series of lightning talks, technical workshops and roundtable panel discussions.  The day will also feature a display of posters submitted by students, including submissions for this year's Young Esri Canada Scholar award.
Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
10. Report on using GIS to improve student safety
A new SRTS report titled A Framework for GIS and Safe Routes to School (pdf) was designed to help school administrators better understand GIS tools and maps that work to improve student safety.
11. Esri’s SpatiaLABS shipped to Esri education site licensees
The SpatiaLABS DVDs were mailed to Site License Coordinators during the second week in August. Esriannounced they’d be available to educational site licensees at no additional charge back in July.
12. Free e-books
Several free e-books may be of interest to educators and students.
Is content like this valuable to you? Keep an eye on the Directions Magazine Education Channel for the latest GIS education news.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Facebook for Educators & Community Leaders.

Facebook Safety team has recently published a very interesting guide entitled " Facebook for Educators and Community Leaders" which is basically a 15-pages PDF document to help inform educators about the educational use of Facebook and also help adults be supportive partners so that teens make safe, smart and responsible choices throughout the online world.

The Facebook for Educators and Community Leaders Guide provides resources to help you do that. The guide includes a focus on:
Here is the table of content of this guide. To download the PDF format of this guide click HERE, it's free.

1. Teens & social media—the basic principles 1
2. The Facebook community standards 2
3. Reporting abuse on Facebook 3
4. Bullying intervention & prevention 4
5. Privacy & controlling your information 5
6. Facebook Groups 6
7. Developing social media guidelines 7-8
8. Promoting digital citizenship 9
9. Promoting digital hygiene 10
10. Mobile 11
11. Resources 12
12. Supporters