Blog Archive


Shaky internet access across Michigan poses problems for online schooling

With many Michigan school districts opting for at least some online instruction this fall, a trusty internet connection and a laptop is often a student’s only link to their teachers and classrooms.

But for thousands of kids in rural and urban communities alike, access to reliable internet and a device suitable for learning isn’t a guarantee.

And while local districts, nonprofits, technology experts and others have worked to address long-standing, systemic gaps in technology access to get students set up for online learning, significant challenges remain to fully address Michigan’s “digital divide.”

“When you boil it down, rural areas need infrastructure, and all areas need devices and affordable connections,” said Eric Frederick, executive director for Connect Michigan, a nonprofit that tracks broadband access around the state.

According to a statewide survey conducted in mid-April by the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, 29.3 percent of Michigan students statewide did not

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Your used gadget still has a use: It can launch a child’s online class

Don’t chuck that smartphone or PC that you think is past its prime. Donate it to a group that would place it in a pair of needy little hands

For well over 50 percent of the Class X students at this government-aided school, online classes are a recurring challenge. Lack of ready access to a digital device means they can’t take these lessons live, or have to rely on somebody’s generosity.

This government-aided school is not in some hinterland, but smack in the middle of most urbanised section of Chennai.

“Of the 50 students at Class X, 27 do not have access to a digital device,” says Ruby Puthotta, headmistress, Lady Sivaswami Ayyar Girls Higher Secondary School, a government-aided school in Mylapore. “Some borrow from their neighbours. Some access the lessons in the evening when their parents return from work and give the children their mobiles.”

Class XII students

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These online learning tips will help parents prepare for a successful school year, even if it is virtual.

Many of the nation’s largest school districts plan to begin the fall semester online-only. As schools consider reopening, children face a future in which online courses will probably be part of the curriculum. To make the best of this situation, here are some tips to help your child adapt to learning from home.

Studies show that in online learning, parents often take on the role of a teacher. Making school a priority will help keep kids from treating online learning as a vacation.

Research suggests that some types of parental participation have a greater impact on children’s academic achievement than others. One analysis showed that schoolchildren benefit from discussions about learning and school-related issues with their parents and from joint readings.

Reduce distractions

A report in 2016 found that students spent about one-fifth of class time on laptops, smartphones and tablets, knowing that doing so could harm their grades. They

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Ruling backs refunds for accessing federal court records online

The federal government could be on the hook for millions of dollars in refunds to users of online court records after an appeals court ruled Thursday that court administrators illegally included a wide range of expenses that were never authorized to be recovered from the public.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a district court judge’s ruling in 2018 that court officials inflated fees for the Public Access to Court Electronic Records or PACER system by including costs for flat-screen courtroom televisions, electronic alerts to victims and police, as well as computer systems to manage jurors.

The three-judge appeals court panel unanimously ruled that Congress gave the federal courts permission to charge for systems that improve public access to court files, but did not create a technology slush fund that could be used to subsidize almost any purchase of electronics by the federal judiciary.

“Using [PACER]

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20 state attorneys general are demanding that Facebook improve its policing of online hate speech and disinformation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Getty Images

  • State attorneys general are calling on Facebook to do more to fight hate speech and disinformation.

  • 20 AGs signed an open letter addressing the social network on Wednesday.

  • The coalition asks Facebook to more closely police itself, and improve tools for users who are trying to report harassment and abuse.

  • Facebook said in a statement it “share[s] the Attorneys General’s goal of ensuring people feel safe on the internet.”

Twenty state attorneys general from across the US are demanding Facebook do more to combat hate speech and disinformation on the social network.

In an open letter published Wednesday, the top legal officers of California, New York, the District of Columbia, and more than a dozen other states called on Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to better police its platform. (The New York Times earlier reported on the letter.)

Facebook has been

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Russia pushes disinformation in online network

CHICAGO (AP) — The State Department says Russia is using a well-developed online operation that includes a loose collection of proxy websites to stir up confusion around the coronavirus by amplifying conspiracy theories and misinformation.

The disclosure on Wednesday was rare for the Trump administration, which has been cautious about blaming the Kremlin for disinformation campaigns, especially around the U.S. election. Despite evidence that Russia launched a divisive disinformation operation on social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the State Department’s report did not examine how — if at all — Russia is waging another online influence campaign in this year’s election.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did, however, announce Wednesday that the U.S. would offer a reward of up to $10 million for information that identifies people working with foreign governments to interfere in the U.S. election through illegal cyber activity.

The department detailed a Russian-backed misinformation cycle

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In the Sneaker Market, Consumer Experience and Brand Confidence Are Essential for Online Success

The sneaker market has seen exciting growth during 2020, resisting the slump in sales that has hit other retail categories during the pandemic. But capitalizing on this growing segment has required brands and retailers to innovate and adapt to a new consumer. On the second day of FN’s first virtual summit, “The Way Ahead,” three industry leaders shared their thoughts on how to serve this consumer in today’s retail landscape.

Moderated by FN senior outdoor and athletic editor Peter Verry, today’s “The New Consumer” discussion featured Jaime Kingston, commercial lead at Klarna; Damien Leigh, senior VP of global direct to consumer at New Balance; and Tom Woodger, VP of cultural marketing at StockX. The conversation and broader summit were sponsored by Klarna and held in partnership with FFANY, FDRA and Two Ten.

More from Footwear News

Online sales have become the main driver of revenue in 2020, due to store

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‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ Parents in distress over school opening online

The Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles agreed upon a deal for online learning just before the first day of school on Aug. 18. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times)</span>
The Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles agreed upon a deal for online learning just before the first day of school on Aug. 18. (Los Angeles Times)

How do we start school online? I have five children and one Wi-Fi hot spot. I can’t answer the questions my children are asking. The kids have way too much free time. What took so long to come up with this schedule? We need help.

As a more detailed picture of the new online-only school day in Los Angeles emerges, a crescendo of concerns and questions is arising among parents, whose children will be expected to fire up computers in less than two weeks for the opening of the 2020-21 school year amid a global pandemic.

The broad outline of a tentative agreement between the teachers union and school district is clear: Students and parents will follow a predictable

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New Britain students may take classes in-person, online or on a hybrid schedule

Parents of New Britain students will have the option this fall to keep their children home for all-online education, send them to school for traditional classes or try a mix of both.

In explaining the school district’s plan for teaching 10,000 students during the pandemic, Superintendent Nancy Sarra emphasized that parents will have choices.

One option that might help working parents and guardians is a hybrid system: They may design a schedule for their children to attend in person on certain days, and take classes virtually on the others.

If families choose in-person classes, they should prepare their children for a daily schedule very different than usual.

“All of our desk in the classrooms will be 3 feet apart, all students except for preschool must wear a mask and a face shield,” Sarra said in a recent online town hall for city parents.

Staff will maintain distance from students, kindergarten

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Concours d’Lemons 2020 Moved Online (Thank Goodness!)

From Autoweek

Had this been a normal year, we would all be donning our mustache wax, blue blazers and straw boater hats and driving the Duesenberg up to Monterey for the big annual car celebration. But this isn’t a normal year, nothing is normal; had this year been a brain it would be the one in the Abby-Normal jar.

Which is just fine with the people at the Concours d’Lemons. They held their annual celebration of wheeled poor taste online this year instead of among the goose poop and lawn clippings of Seaside, California. Entrants sent in video clips of their “cars” and real live judges judged them. These were, in some cases, extraordinary judges, by the way. Bill Warner, founder of Amelia Island, a real Concours, judged the class “Rust Belt American Junk.” He was assisted by real racer David Hobbs. Peter and Gayle Brock — yes, the real

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