Cultural Groups Bring Live Music and Dance to Fordham University Campus on Bronx Celebration Day

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Marzarte Dance Company performs at the Second Annual Bronx Celebration Day at Fordham College at Rose Hill. Photos by Michael Dames

At the second annual Bronx Celebration Day on April 21, a Mexican folk dance troupe, Marzarte Dance Company, held hands with Fordham students and local residents for an energetic chain dance around the Walsh Lot of the Rose Hill campus.

Folklorist and choreographer Martha Nora Zarate-Alvarez, who heads the Bronx-based ensemble, said the group’s lively performance represented the traditions of the Huasteco and Jalisco regions of Mexico.

“We wanted to showcase the importance of Mexican culture in the Bronx and traditional Mexican dance,” said Zarate-Alvarez, who was dressed in a multicolored tiered skirt. “Mexican culture is more than just mariachi music.”

Bronx Celebration Day was presented by the Bronx Collaboration Committee, a division of the Fordham Club, and co-sponsored by Bronx Community Board 6, Fordham University Commuting Students Association, Fordham Road BID, and the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer at Fordham University.

Read more here.

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Yasser Tejeda & Palotrév

Japan to launch ‘fasting’ camps for Internet-addicted students

Via Daily News
Via Daily News

By Victoria Taylor
The NY Daily News

Youngsters in Japan who are glued to their smartphones and laptops may be sent to an Internet “fasting” camp to help them disconnect from the online world.

The Ministry of Education estimates that some 518,000 Japanese children between the ages of 12 and 18 are addicted to the Internet, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Read more here

Hudson Valley to snare P-TECH-style school, IBM exec says

Published: February 28, 2013 6:23 PM
By KEN SCHACHTER  kenneth.schachter@cablevision.com

via Newsday

The Hudson Valley will be in line for one of 10 P-TECH-style schools that could open as soon as September 2014 in a collaboration among New York State, local school districts, IBM and other corporate partners, an IBM executive said.

The initiative seeks to replicate the success of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, a school that melds high school, community college and career training into a six-year, tech-oriented program for grades 9-14.

Stanley Litow, an IBM executive and former deputy chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, said that P-TECH, which opened in 2011, is off to an auspicious start.

“About 50 percent of the 10th-graders are in line to have 14 college credits before they complete the 10th grade,” he said. “Students are completing college courses and doing very well in them.”

Unlike more traditional schools, where subjects are studied separately — and mostly in the abstract, through textbooks — the P-TECH model unifies learning based on hands-on projects, said Litow, IBM’s vice president for corporate citizenship & corporate affairs.

For example, students might be asked to create a business plan to take on Apple‘s iPad. In the process, they would might tap algebra, geometry, language and presentation skills. Though the schools use innovative teaching methods, the per capita cost of educating the students is not any higher than in a traditional curriculum, IBM officials said.

Both P-TECH, located in Crown Heights, and the Sarah E. Goode STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academy on Chicago’s South Side — a school that follows a similar model — are designed to equip students with skills in science, technology and math and aim them toward careers in areas where U.S. companies have plenty of open jobs.

“Around the United States, there are jobs that are going begging for people who have these skills,” Litow said. “The problem is clear: low graduation rates from community colleges. We’ve got to do something different.”

Only 25 percent of the country’s community college students complete a degree, Litow said. Although high school graduates earn about $15 per hour, or $31,000 a year — when they can get jobs — computer science graduates with an associate degree begin at $40,000 a year, he said.

“If this model is successful, not only does it guarantee that students get degrees, but that they get connected to jobs that exist,” he said.

P-TECH and Sarah E. Goode have been held up as models nationally. U.S. Education SecretaryArne Duncan visited P-TECH in October and President Barack Obama cited the school in his State of the Union address as a new model for education and training.

“We need to give every American student opportunities like this,” Obama said.

Steven D’Agustino, a Fordham University education professor and director of the Regional Educational Technology Center on the Bronx campus, said the state’s program is a “step away from the traditional liberal arts education” and a step toward “competency-based” education.

“I think it’s an innovative attempt,” he said.

D’Agustino cautioned that it’s too early to assess how successful the initiative will be.

Lisa Davis, director of the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association, said it remains unclear how the program would work in a suburban setting.

“It’s a great concept, but then there’s the question of what it’s going to look like when you roll it out,” she said.

Among the questions: Who will pay for the students in the 13th and 14th grades, when students ordinarily would have graduated from high school? A call to the governor’s press office was not immediately returned.

The 10 new schools will be sited in 10 economic development regions defined by New York State. Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan counties constitute the Mid-Hudson region. New York City and Long Island are among the other 10 regions.

Under the program, school districts would apply to state officials to land one of the schools, which could be located in a free-standing building or share space with another school.

Funding would come mostly from the sponsoring school districts, with support from both the state and a corporate partner. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has allocated $4 million in aid for the program. Armonk-based IBM has signed up to act as corporate partner for two of the schools. The company also will help recruit other private-sector partners and provide training for mentors from the business world.

The schools will use a “blueprint” designed by IBM to replicate the P-TECH model. The blueprint tells school districts how to build a P-Tech program.

Cuomo announced the P-Tech initiative as part of his 2013-14 executive budget.

Litow said it took about 12 months to open P-TECH and Sarah Goode, making a September 2014 opening for the new schools “aggressive” but not “impossible.”

Ellen Cutler-Levy, program director of Yonkers Partners in Education, a not-for-profit organization that provides SAT preparation, college visits and other services to get students ready for college, said the program’s thrust is encouraging.

“We’d like to see more students prepared in the engineering, math and science fields,” she said. “If that’s where the jobs are in the future, we’d like to see it happen.”

Technology: A Work Email Blackout? Par-ty! Par-ty!

Photo via The Telegraph

I get experts placed in the news and I write some news, so it’s a rarity to read a quote by me in the news.

A reporter was looking for expert commentary on one corporation’s decision to shut off work email after hours. When I responded to her with information about Fordham’s Communications professors, I mentioned I’d freak out if I couldn’t access work email after hours. She ended up wanting to quote me.

Here are the two pieces in which I’m quoted and they’re good reads that show there is certainly a bit of a smartphone/technology addiction these days. Guilty as charged. Read on …

Vote: Would You Like a Work Email Blackout?

By Cindy Perlman, CNBC

Do you check your work email on an iPhone or other smartphone after-hours?

Join the club: More than 80 percent of workers say they continue to work from home even after they leave the office, according to a recent survey from mobile-research firm Good Technology. Nearly two-thirds said they check their work email before 8 a.m., and a whopping 40 percent admitted to checking email at the dinner table!

Read more, including my quote, here. And the other piece in which I’m quoted, also by Perlman, here.