September 2011 - "Learning happens everywhere and at every age. Traditional measures of achievement, like high school diplomas, GEDs and college degrees, cannot convey the full range of knowledge and skills that students and workers master. To address this issue, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, HASTAC and Mozilla today announced a $2 million Digital Media and Learning Competition for leading organizations, learning and assessment specialists, designers and technologists to create and test badges and badge systems. The competition will explore ways digital badges can be used to help people learn; demonstrate their skills and knowledge; unlock job, educational and civic opportunities; and open new pipelines to talent.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and high-level business, technology, civic engagement, philanthropic and other leaders participated in the announcement at the Hirshhorn Museum this morning. 'I'm excited to be here to celebrate the launch of the 2011 competition, and its potential to propel a quantum leap forward in education reform,' Secretary Duncan said. 'Badges can help engage students in learning, and broaden the avenues for learners of all ages to acquire and demonstrate—as well as document and display—their skills. By promoting badges and the open education infrastructure that supports them, the federal government can contribute to the climate of change that the education, business and foundation sectors are generating. We can build new avenues for entrepreneurship and collaboration, and spark economic development at home and around the world.'" Full Press Release
September 2011 | Jordan Golson, macrumors.com - Tonara, introduced this week at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, is a digital sheet music app and store for the iPad. The app doesn't just display sheet music, but it listens to users as they play, and automatically turns pages as the song advances.
It also records performances so users can review and share their performances. From Tonara's website:
'Tonara enables you to download digital sheet music to your iPad, and is the first interactive sheet music app which listens to you playing and follows along by itself, whatever speed you play at. It indicates your current position on the score and turns the pages for you automatically. You can also record your performances and share with your friends. So whether you enjoy playing classical or popular music, the Tonara app will change the way you play music!'
Tonara works with any acoustic or electronic instrument, and the Tonara store currently includes pieces for piano, violin, cello and flute. The company says it is talking with a number of music publishers regarding licensing content and hopes to have many more songs for sale soon." Full Article
September 2011 | Aliza Sherman, mashable.com - "Museums are exploring digital and mobile technologies to enhance visitor experience. Initiatives go beyond technology within exhibits and installations, but also include more pervasive uses of tech to create interactive experiences for visitors throughout a museum, as well as remote experiences for those who cannot get there. Here, we highlight what three museums are doing to make the experience interactive, educational and engaging." Full Article
August 2011 | Michael Huebner, al.com - "Don't be surprised if the next Jascha Heifetz or Yo-Yo Ma emerges from the hundreds of string students at the Music Opportunity Program. Or maybe another Madame Curie or Albert Einstein.
To Director Rita Salzberg, it doesn't matter whether MOP students pursue a music career. She firmly believes that a music education can provide the discipline and creativity to excel in any field. 'They have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, engineers and educators,' she said recently at the MOP offices at Phillips Academy in downtown Birmingham. 'Some have become professional musicians -- almost every career you can think of.' For those students who have progressed through MOP's string instrument programs to enter the top ensemble -- the 65-member Alabama Youth Symphony -- 100 percent have gone on to college, she said." Full Article