first_imgThe 80 seventh- and eighth-grade students on the Navigator team at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington solve problems on one of four touchscreen SMART Boards in math class, measure and record temperature fluctuations with high tech probeware in science, participate in international Skype sessions in social studies via a large computer screen, and use their laptops to do Web-based writing assignment in language arts.What’s just as impressive as the team’s wall-to-wall technology, though, is the way teachers have incorporated it seamlessly into their lesson plans to powerfully engage students in their learning.Thanks to a $5 million gift to the University of Vermont from the Richard E. & Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation in 2009, many more Vermont middle school students will enjoy Navigator-style learning in the future. The gift, the largest in the foundation’s history, will be used to establish the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education at UVM. The institute’s mission is to put programs like the one at Edmunds, called I-LEAP — the Learning and Engaging Adolescents Project — in place at middle schools around the state over the next 10 years.”Today’s young people are immersed in technology everywhere but in school,” said technology entrepreneur Richard Tarrant. “Instead of asking students to power down the moment the school day starts, we need to bring technology into the classroom where, combined with good teaching, it can be a powerful tool for engaging young minds.” Deborah Tarrant of the Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation shows the difference between the technologies students use inside and outside of school at a December 21, 2009, press conference. (Photo: Raj Chawla)”Our goal for the I-LEAP program,” said Deborah Tarrant, “is to help schools bridge to the 21st century with a strategy designed specifically to attract, engage, and inspire tech savvy youth in their classrooms.””This important gift from the Tarrant Foundation will greatly improve educational outcomes in Vermont,” said UVM president Daniel Mark Fogel. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the foundation’s generosity.”Roots in MiltonI-LEAP was developed at UVM five years ago with funding from the Tarrant Foundation in partnership with teachers and administrators at Milton Middle School, where the program was piloted and is now in its fourth academic year. The second I-LEAP site was launched at Edmunds in September.Focused on the middle school years, a crucial developmental period when success or failure can have lasting consequences, I-LEAP has two major components.Schools receive both a substantial suite of hardware and software and extensive professional development for teachers and administrators on how to teach effectively, employing best middle-school practices, in a tech-rich setting.The professional development component of I-LEAP consists of an intensive graduate course at UVM for teachers and administrators, and, of critical importance, frequent, in-school follow-up visits over a period of years by institute staff to support teachers in embedding student-centered, technology-rich strategies into curricula. A website with further resources is also under development.The I-LEAP program targets one team of students and teachers in a school, laying the groundwork for other teams to experience and embrace the model later. At Milton nearly all teachers have taken the professional development course, and the school has invested in 30 netbook computers for each of the other three teams at the middle school.More than a “technology drop”The emphasis I-LEAP places on professional development distinguishes it from what had been the norm in the past: “technology drops” that brought equipment to schools but gave teachers little support on how to use it.”I-LEAP is the polar opposite of that approach,” said Tarrant Institute director Penny Bishop, an associate professor in UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, who directs the university’s Middle Level Teacher Education Program. “The institute’s goal is to not only foster widespread use of technology in Vermont schools, but also to create a cadre of teachers who confidently employ it in service of what we know to be exemplary middle school teaching practices.”I-LEAP’s focus on professional development is timely: falling prices and growing federal, state and community support mean that more new technology is entering schools every year. Vermont will receive $5.6 million in federal funds for K-12 technology investment in the next three years.Podcasts and SMART Board competitionsStudent projects at both Milton and Edmunds demonstrate how technology can be used to foster what research shows are the best ways to engage middle school students, from personalizing learning to bringing real world problems into the classroom to promoting peer-to-peer exchanges.Students in a social studies class at Milton visited a senior center, for instance, then created podcasts featuring narration, interviews, and music that were posted on the Web. The Edmunds math class uses its four SMART Boards to get teams of students out of their seats competing with one another to solve math puzzles and problems.Evidence of successWhile it is too early to have statistically valid quantitative measures of the program’s effectiveness, qualitative evidence that the program is engaging students, including disaffiliated students who are most at risk, is abundant.According to surveys Bishop and her colleagues have conducted, students in I-LEAP say learning is more interesting, meaningful, and relevant to their lives compared with their earlier school experiences, an evaluation shared by many parents.”There’s a point to what we’re learning,” one Milton student said.”My daughter’s grades have improved since being involved in this program,” said an Edmunds parent. “She has always had a problem with focusing, but now with the laptop, I have seen her sit, focused, completing her work. I really see the advantages of bringing our teaching methods current with technology.”Students are also better able to express their own voice, they say.Teachers report having engaged, alert students in their classes who take more pride in their work and personal responsibility for it.Edmunds language arts teacher Kathy Gallagher said all students are now turning in their homework, compared with an average of about three-quarters in the past. Edmunds social studies teacher Brent Truchon reported a marked change in classroom participation. “For the first time in the history of my teaching career, every student’s hand was raised,” in a recent class, he said.Growing reachAs technology prices drop, and school districts share in technology costs, the institute should be able to focus more on professional development and spread its resources to more schools in the future.It will also look to partner with others to extend its reach. The Tarrant Foundation and UVM recently formed a consortium with the Vermont Principals Association and VITA-Learn, a statewide organization supporting technology in education, to deliver the I-LEAP professional development program to six schools throughout Vermont with $200,000 in funding from the Department of Education. Those schools will in turn train other teachers in their regions.”We want to reach as many Vermont middle school students as possible with this innovative program,” said Richard Tarrant. “We think it’s a game-changer.”Read more about why middle school is a crucial stage for intervention.Source: University of Vermont.last_img read more

first_imgAccording to the Vukovar Tourist Board, 351 cruisers with 50.000 foreign visitors arrived in Vukovar last year, which is an increase of 50% compared to the year before. As the collection of tourist tax for cruise ships is introduced from the second year, Vukovar should count on half a million revenues, which should be invested in tourist infrastructure. Vukovar expects half a million kuna in revenue from the tourist tax for cruisers RELATED NEWS: DUBROVNIK AND SPLIT HAVE DECIDED ON THE AMOUNT OF THE TOURIST FEE FOR CRUISEScenter_img At the 26th session of the City Council of the City of Vukovar at the end of last year, the City of Vukovar adopted the Decision on the amount of tourist tax for cruise ships. Thus, all ships with a capacity of 50 to 200 passengers as well as those with a capacity of 201 to 500 passengers from 2021 will pay a tourist tax in the same amount – 1.500 kuna.last_img read more

first_imgBut the two countries were on their way to having the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with nearly 100,000 deaths in the US and 24,000 in Brazil.Showing their disdain for medical experts, both presidents have flouted their advice.Trump refuses to wear a face mask in public and proudly played golf Saturday; Bolsonaro ditches his mask to greet and hug supporters at rallies, and has been hosting barbecues, hitting the shooting range and going out for hotdogs.The man called the “Tropical Trump” has also been criticized for a lack of empathy for victims and his quizzical remarks on the virus, once saying Brazilians’ immune systems were so strong they could swim in raw sewage and “not catch a thing.” Impeachment threat Both are facing backlash, too, not only on coronavirus.Trump survived impeachment in February; Bolsonaro is facing 35 different impeachment attempts in the lower house of Congress, some for his handling of the health crisis.But analysts say the risk he will be removed from office is small, for now.Brazil’s opposition is “almost inaudible,” and its system of checks and balances “less effective,” said Dumont.And Bolsonaro retains a hard-core base of far-right support, even if his disapproval rating has been rising.”Bolsonaro has a freer hand than Trump, who is constrained by institutions and has te be more presidential,” said Stuenkel. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is often compared to his US counterpart, Donald Trump, has followed in his footsteps on the coronavirus crisis — and gone even further.Known for their shared talent for vitriol, social media rants and riling up their conservative bases, Trump and Bolsonaro have followed the same script on the virus: downplay its severity, don’t sweat the facts, bet big on hydroxychloroquine, get the economy reopened.In February, Trump told Americans the virus could “miraculously” disappear with warmer weather; in March, Bolsonaro told Brazilians not to pay attention to the “hysteria” around it and compared it to a “little flu.” Like the US, Brazil is a federation of states, and like Trump, Bolsonaro has berated governors for imposing what he calls “the tyranny of total quarantine.”Bolsonaro even called the governors of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro “piece of shit” and “pile of manure” in a video-taped cabinet meeting that recently became public.”They both followed the same strategy, which is to distance themselves from the economic crisis which will come and to blame other political actors, like governors,” said Oliver Stuenkel, a professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.There is one important difference, though. Trump has softened his tone as the United States has emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic, and on Sunday banned travel from Brazil following the surge in cases there. Bolsonaro, meanwhile, continues to divide Brazilians by politicizing the outbreak.center_img Topics : ‘Poverty and hunger’ Beyond that, the parallels go on.Trump called it a “Chinese virus;” Bolsonaro’s foreign minister called it a “commie-virus.”Trump halted US funding to the World Health Organization; Bolsonaro attacked the WHO’s credibility and accused it of encouraging masturbation and homosexuality among children.”It is Trumpian, this necessity to find enemies, but a typical authoritarian populist tradition to look for scapegoats,” said Stuenkel.”Authoritarian leaders are quick to find those to blame.”Then there is the treatment debate.Both presidents have touted the drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as promising treatments for COVID-19.Trump even revealed last week he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure. He said Sunday he had finished his course of treatment.Bolsonaro’s government meanwhile recommended the drugs for anyone with coronavirus symptoms, even after the WHO discontinued clinical trials because of safety risks.While Trump says it’s “time to go back to work,” Bolsonaro says “Brazil can’t stop,” warning that the alternative is “poverty and hunger.”However, while the United States has passed a record $2-trillion economic rescue package, and is preparing to spend even more, Brazil has stuck to relatively modest emergency spending measures so far.”Bolsonaro, like Trump, doesn’t want to be held responsible for an economic crash,” said Juliette Dumont of the Institute of Latin American Studies in Paris.Both presidents were banking on a booming economy to help them win re-election — Trump in November, Bolsonaro in 2022.”There are striking similarities, there is total alignment with the United States that is unprecedented in Brazilian history, but there is one key difference,” said Dumont.”Trump had to change his tune, while Bolsonaro is still charging ahead.”last_img read more

first_imgLawmakers in Washington passed the US$2.2 trillion CARES Act in March to blunt the pandemic’s blow and are working on another massive spending bill. Fitch predicted the deficit will hit 20 percent of GDP this year before scaling back to 11 percent of GDP in 2021 as the spending measures conclude.”It is a truism that the US government cannot run out of money to service its debts,” Fitch said. “However, there is a potential (albeit remote) risk of fiscal dominance if debt-to-GDP spirals, posing risks to US economic dynamism and reserve currency status.”Adding to the uncertainty is the divided state of politics in Washington ahead of elections in November in which President Donald Trump is standing for a second term.Fitch warned of the consequences if Congress and the White House can’t agree in coming years on a path to stabilizing the US’s finances.”Political polarization may weaken institutions and reduces the scope for bipartisan cooperation, hindering attempts to address structural issues… but also longer-term fiscal challenges,” the agency said.Topics : Ratings agency Fitch on Friday downgraded the outlook for the United States to negative from stable, warning of high debt and deficits made worse by the coronavirus downturn.”The outlook has been revised to negative to reflect the ongoing deterioration in the US public finances and the absence of a credible fiscal consolidation plan,” Fitch said in a statement.The US is home to the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, which has caused tens of millions of layoffs and a historic 32.9 percent collapse in GDP in the second quarter after businesses closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Though it expected the US would suffer a less-severe downturn this year than other comparable economies, Fitch said its decision to change its outlook reflected concerns of both mounting debt and policy gridlock.”High fiscal deficits and debt were already on a rising medium-term path even before the onset of the huge economic shock precipitated by the coronavirus. They have started to erode the traditional credit strengths of the US,” Fitch said.The agency affirmed the US’s AAA rating but said it expected government debt to hit 130 percent of GDP by 2021. The bill may stabilize from 2023, but only if interest rates remain low, and “it is uncertain whether very low market rates will persist once growth and inflation pick up,” and rising health care and social security costs could also threaten the stability, Fitch said.last_img read more

first_imgTrueBlue, the €465m Dutch pension fund for the ICT sector, said it will place accrued pension rights with both the sector scheme PNO Media and the consolidation vehicle De Nationale APF as of 1 May.It said it will transfer €436m of pension rights accrued under average salary arrangements (DB) to De Nationale APF, which has been established by NN Investment Partners and AZL, also part of NN Group.The remaining €29m of pension rights accrued in a defined contribution plan will be placed with the €6.7bn non-mandatory industry-wide pension fund PNO Media.Rob de Ridder, secretary of TrueBlue, said the DB pensions will be placed in a multi-client compartment – also open to other pension funds and employers – within De Nationale APF. Margreet Theunissen, executive chair of De Nationale APF, said TrueBlue also used the services of NN IP and AZL.“Also because our flexible administration platform, we could offer a smooth continuation of services,” she added.According to De Ridder, PNO Media was the preferred candidate for taking over the DC pensions “because of its responsible investment approach as well as the possibility if offered our participants to choose their risk profile based on lifecycle investment”.Last year, TrueBlue had decided to continue further pensions accrual with PNO Media.Nelly Altenburg, chair of PNO Media, said TrueBlue’s move gives its new hybrid pension plan DC lifecycle, “which combines the benefits of DB with DC”, a flying start.Under this plan, both the worker and the employer pay an age-dependent fixed percentage of the pensionable salary for individual pensions accrual through lifecycle investment.At retirement, participants can buy a pension from PNO Media, which enables them to continue collectively investing the remaining assets in the pension fund.Altenburg told IPE that many employers and other pension funds were showing much interest in PNO Media’s new hybrid plan, but that none had committed to joining yet.TrueBlue has 2,700 active participants, 5,100 deferred members and 600 pensioners, who are affiliated with 99 employers in the digital sector. At year-end, its funding stood at 97.4%.De Nationale APF implements the pension arrangements of 27,000 participants and pensioners for five clients. Its assets under management total €3bn.PNO Media is the provider for 17,000 workers, 31,000 deferred participants and 10,000 pensioners affiliated with 400 companies in the creative sector.last_img read more

first_imgIn a clash of two Abuja-based teams, it was Team Tombim which got off to a winning start Saturday with national champion, Moses Michael besting Sunday Emmanuel of Team FCT in the first men’s singles 6-2, 7-5.Former national champion, Thomas Otu restored parity with a 2-6, 6-2, 5-2 rtd (retired) win over cramping Christian Paul.The women’s singles expectedly went the way of Team Tombim as former national champion Sarah Adegoke proved too strong for Osaremen Airhunwhunde – dismissing her in straight set of 6-2, 6-1.Team FCT is already guaranteed N2 million and would play for third place in Lagos Dec 15 & Dec 16 against the loser of the second semifinals.Team Tombim will also await the outcome of the second semifinals between Team Civil Defence and Team Offikwu taking place at the Abuja National Stadium Saturday Dec 10 and Sunday Dec. 11 to know its opponents for the N7 million winner’s purse. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Defending champions Team Tombim is through to the finals of the 2016 NCC Tennis League Cup. The Abuja based team which led  3-1 at the end of proceedings Saturday at the Enugu Sports Club grabbed the one point it needed in the very first men’s reverse singles match yesterday.Christopher Edwards replaced Christian Paul who cramped out in the second singles on Saturday against Thomas Otu  and beat Sunday Emmanuel  of Team FCT 6-3, 6-4 to put the tie beyond the reach of their opponents. Moses Michael stretched the lead by overpowering Thomas Otu 6-3, 6-1.Edwards then paired Lovette Donatus to win the mixed doubles beating Otu and Faith Sunday 6-3, 6-1.last_img read more

first_imgFacebook54Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Health DepartmentThe Thurston County Health Department has confirmed blue-green algae blooms at multiple lakes in the County with a liver toxin (microcystin) present above levels of concern.Long Lake is currently under advisory.  Lacey Parks and Recreation has closed the swim area at Long Lake Park.Lake Lawrence is currently under advisoryClear Lake is currently under advisoryKenneydell Park swim area on Black Lake is closed due to limited visibilityAn algae bloom is being tested at Black Lake, with results expected next weekAn algae bloom is being tested at Pattison lake, with results expected next weekWhile there is no algae bloom at Summit Lake, health department staff continue to test for toxins due to the toxic bloom earlier this year. Many Summit Lake residents use the lake for drinking water.  Results are received on a weekly basis. Toxin levels for Anatoxin–a and microcystin have been extremely low – usually below test detection limits – since an advisory was lifted on June 28, 2017.The health department advises extra precautions be taken to avoid the health risks posed by toxins when there is an algae bloom present.Avoid contact with water containing algae; including swimming, skiing, or similar activities.Keep pets and livestock away from areas where algae blooms are present.If boating, avoid areas where algae scum is present.When fishing, it is safest to catch-and-release any fish caught during a toxic algae bloom.Signs have been posted at the relevant lakes, and the Health Department has notified residents who signed up for email alerts. To be added to the algae alert email list complete the form located here or call 360-867-2653.You can learn more about toxic algae blooms and health risks on the Washington State Department of Health’s Blue-Green Algae website, or contact the Thurston County Health Department at 360-867-2626.last_img read more

first_imgThe Selkirk Saints kick off the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League home season Friday at the Castlegar Complex with a date against the University of Victoria Vikes.Selkirk dropped its opening game of the season, a 5-3 decision to Okanagan College Coyotes.Caleb Georgetti of Nelson and formerly of the Leafs and Revelstoke Grizzlies of the KIJHL, was a one-man wrecking crew for Selkirk scoring the natural hat trick.However, Okanagan snapped a 3-3 tie with three minutes remaining in the game to edge the Saints.Second year goalie Spencer Wong of Calgary was outstanding for Selkirk between the pipes.Justin Sotkowy (Victoria), Sandro Moser (Banff) and Scott Traverse (Fernie) all registered assists for Selkirk.The Vikes swept a pair of games in Castlegar last season against the Saints, winning 3-2 and 4-1.The loss drops Selkirk into a three-way tie for fourth-place in the seven-team league.The BCIHL has seven teams entered — Eastern Washington, Simon Fraser University of Burnaby, Thompson Rivers University of Kamloops, Trinity Western of Langley, Selkirk, Okanagan and UVIC.Eastern leads the league with two wins with SFU and Okanagan tied for second.The top four teams from the league’s regular season then face-off in the BCIHL Championships, a round-robin format tournament held each year in March.Game time this weekend for both games at the Castlegar Complex is 7:30 p.m.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more