People talks about the failure of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which encouraged governments to give school children their own laptop to support learning. And while it's true that the computers distributed by OLPC weren't that great, and that the project itself didn't endure, the idea of giving out laptops (or more recently, tablets) wasn't abandoned. Case in point: this project where thousands of tablets are being distributed as part of a wider project that "seeks to bolster Arabic language instruction for 25,000 students and 1,000 teachers in the city." They're by no means alone. This article describes other projects in the Bahamas and in Alabama. (p.s. the article's image bothered me so much I corrected the tilt, perspective, white balance and exposure before uploading it here).
The snow last week in the U.S. Midwest has allowed some Chicagi-area schools to test their "e-learning day" arrangements. Leyden High School is " one of three Illinois school districts participating in a pilot program that could put an end to snow days for good." Accoridng to the article, they will "judge the success of the e-learning day by tracking student attendance, as well as gathering survey and anecdotal data from teachers, parents and students." Right now they expect students to be in e-class for five hours; it will be a better test when they are given actual learning outcomes to complete.
In neighbouring India, it's also e-learning day. But there's even more happening there. I've said before that e-learning days will soon extend beyond snow days. It's happening a bit faster than I thought. Case in point: in Fort Wayne, some Allen Country schools are implementing flex days. " “It’s a scheduled day, where parents and everybody knows on this day we are going to run an e-learning day and in the morning our teachers get professional development and in the afternoon they are online with kids.” It's not new; Homestead High school started running flex days in 2014. More.
Tor is an encrypted communications protocol. The Tor browser, for example, allows you to browse the internet without your service provider seeing what you're accessing. 'Tor' stands for 'The Onion Routing' protocol, and that gives you an idea of how it works. Each packet is wrapped in layers of encryption (like an onion) so that as one host passes it on to the next, the layers come off and on, so that the provider doesn't know where the message came from and doesn't know where it is ultimately going. This article is a summary of a much longer white paper describing the protocol.
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