Kids Have Last Word on Apple vs. Samsung Phone Debate

From the Business Insider post:

Apple and Samsung are neck and neck in the smartphone wars. To see which company is in better position to take over as the clear-cut No. 1 smartphone maker,  kids were asked which of the next generation of smartphone users they prefer: the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phones.


Houghton Launching New Version of its Curious World Website

From the Sunday Boston Globe article:

This fall, Houghton launches a new version of its Curious World website and app, in which parents of young kids can pay $10 a month for access to educational games, videos, and e-books. A new app to help kids chase the fictional villain Carmen Sandiego to learn geography will be released by January. And last month, Houghton inked a deal with public television station WGBH to develop a TV program based on the popular children’s book series “Gossie & Friends,” about the adventures of a group of goslings.


Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Education Results, OECD Says

From the WSJ article – Study finds overexposure to computers and the Internet causes educational outcomes to drop.

“Beefing up technology in the classroom doesn’t always lead to better education for children, according to a new study from an international consortium presented Tuesday.

The report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, tracked educational outcome among students based on their use of technology at home and in the classroom. While student performance improves when they use technology in moderation, the group found, overexposure to computers and the Internet causes educational outcomes to drop.”

NYC Mayor to Require Computer Science in Schools

To ensure that every child can learn the skills required to work in New York City’s fast-growing technology sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Wednesday that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students.
Meeting that goal will present major challenges, mostly in training enough teachers. There is no state teacher certification in computer science, and no pipeline of computer science teachers coming out of college. Fewer than 10 percent of city schools currently offer any form of computer science education, and only 1 percent of students receive it, according to estimates by the city’s Department of Education.
Computer science will not become a graduation requirement, and middle and high schools may choose to offer it only as an elective. But the goal is for all students, even those in elementary school and those in the poorest neighborhoods, to have some exposure to computer science, whether building robots or learning to use basic programming languages like Scratch, which was devised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach young children the rudiments of coding.

High-Tech Lights to Help Baby Sleep

From the NY Times article:

Scientists have understood for years that different levels and colors of light can have powerful biological effects on humans. But that concept has been applied only with expensive bulbs — costing as much as $300,000 — for specialty applications like mimicking the 24-hour cycle for astronauts or treating jaundice in newborns.

Now, with lighting technology, especially LEDs, becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, companies are developing so-called biological lighting for ordinary consumers.

The Lighting Science Group makes Sleepy Baby and is among the companies that are most devoted to the growing market for lighting to enhance rest or alertness, with bulbs like Good Night, and Awake and Alert.

But other companies, from start-ups to the biggest lighting manufacturers, have products promising similar results. General Electric announced this year that it would release a color-changing LED as part of its Align product line that is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit system and is meant to automate lighting according to the natural sleep cycle.

Two years ago, Philips introduced the Hue, a Wi-Fi-connected bulb compatible with Apple systems that offers “light recipes” conducive to waking up and winding down.

Digital Lumens, which makes and manages smart lighting systems for commercial and industrial settings, including supermarkets, is supplying lights for a study at Brown University aimed at controlling brightness and spectrum to promote learning among adolescents. And a company called LumiFi has an app to adjust lighting in homes and commercial spaces like hotels, with settings like Rest, Energize, Focus and Sexy.