CIC Blog

  • Does all the technological wizardry of the latest gadgets, games and applications inhibit our ability to concentrate? Does all this magical media provide a constant source of distraction that conditions our brains for short attention spans?

    Some scholars believe that the ability to focus and concentrate is a strong predictor of success. The ability to attend to a problem, think about complexity, wrestle with potential solutions is fundamental to writing, science, mathematics and life in general.

  • Clifford Nass did pioneering studies of multitasking and found, guess what? We really don’t multitask well. Read more in this guest blog for I-KeepSafe.

  • In November, a Tennessee elementary school counselor decided to give her students a real-life demonstration of how fast things can spread on the Internet. She got more than she bargained for.

    Julie Culp posted a photo on her Facebook, asking people to “like” it to show “how quickly a photo can be seen by lots of people.” It went viral soon after, being reposted by radio personalities and getting press coverage around the world. And it garnered more than 4 million “likes.”

    Culp certainly succeeded in illustrating how quickly images can spread.

  • By Kat Stewart

    Over the last several months, Cable in the Classroom has rolled out InCtrl, a series of standards-based lesson plans that help 4-8 graders learn about digital citizenship. I’m happy to announce the final lesson in the series is available on the Cable in the Classroom website. There are now seven lessons, each covering a specific digital citizenship topic, that help students make thoughtful decisions and be in control online.

    All of us at Cable in the Classroom are really proud of InCtrl.

  • By Eric Langhorst
    This October teachers around the country are participating in activities for Connected Educator Month. Digital Citizenship Week (October 21-25, 2013) places an emphasis on how all of us – teachers, students and parents – can have thoughtful discussions about being ethical and responsible online. It’s so important to have these discussions considering the digital world in which we live.
    I am a self-admitted geek – a Google Certified Teacher who carries multiple devices and instinctively checks for Wi-Fi access and electrical outlets whenever I enter a building – but I have no personal experience in navigating today’s digital world as a teenager. 

  • When we talk to our kids about the Internet and their digital world, have we kept up with the times?  Are we trying to scare them with stories of bad things that can happen or are we teaching them to be good digital citizens who are in control of their digital lives?

    The old fear-based approach doesn’t work, and it isn’t supported by the research about online risks, about risk prevention, or about effective teaching and learning.  

  • Today’s Google Doodle was in recognition of Jane Addams’ birthday. Addams (1860-1935) was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for women’s suffrage and world peace. She was most known for establishing Hull House, the first Settlement House in the US, providing a residence for woman, adult education classes, Kindergarten, and more.

    In Addams’ time, information and training were scarce commodities, available in libraries, newspapers, schools and places like Hull House.

  • Today in Washington DC, traffic is snarled, the Metro is crowded, and the mood is festive. We get a lot of demonstrations and commemorations here in the Nation’s Capital. We natives like to think we’re above it all, going about our business as busloads of ardent citizens sally forth for this or that cause.

    Today, however, is different. We mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, of the “I have a dream” speech. That day and that march changed America.

  • By Kat Stewart

    InCtrl, a new initiative launched by Cable in the Classroom, is a series of free, standards-based lessons that teaches digital citizenship.

    Digital citizenship empowers students to make thoughtful decisions and develop a sound digital foundation for the rest of their lives. It’s a holistic and positive approach to helping students learn how to be safe and secure, as well as smart and effective participants in a digital world. That means helping them understand their rights and responsibilities, recognize the benefits and risks, and realize the personal and ethical implications of their actions.

  • Earlier this summer, the Obama administration announced ConnectED, an initiative to provide schools with high-speed broadband, teachers with adequate professional development, and students with exciting digital content. By midsummer, the FCC opened proceedings to reform the e-Rate program to help pay for faster broadband connections to schools and the wireless, internal infrastructure necessary to get broadband to classrooms.

    What are these initiatives trying to accomplish? What does a 21st Century digital learning environment look like?

    For the past year the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has been visiting schools that exemplify 21st century teaching and learning, schools where kids are regularly practicing the four Cs: Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity.

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Science & Health
K-23-5
Disneynature presents Bears, a story all parents share, about the strength it takes to raise a family.
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Science & HealthSocial Studies
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National Geographic Channel presents a spectacular, groundbreaking two-hour television event, Live From Space, premiering Friday, March 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, to be broadcast live from the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control in Houston. Celebrated journalist, producer and television host Soledad O’Brien joins the global event as host and executive producer.
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Are you a student filmmaker? Know someone who is? the White House wants to give you a chance to produce a short-film to premiere here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the first-ever White House Student Film Festival.
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Digital LiteracyTechnology
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The Hour of Code is a campaign to prove that anyone can start learning the basics of computer science.
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HistorySocial Studies
9-12
Timed to the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, National Geographic Channel has created several projects which offer a fresh take on the history for today’s student. The free standard-based activities and reference materials are provided for teachers to help students (grades: 9-12th) understand the global context and impact of one of the last century’s major historical events.
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Food Day, a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food is coming up on October 24, 2013.
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Learn how to help students to be smart in a digital world by teaching digital citizenship!
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Science & HealthTechnology
9-12
MARVEL’S THOR: THE DARK WORLD ULTIMATE MENTOR ADVENTURE is a chance to inspire a generation of young girls to pursue STEM courses and related careers.

InCtrl
Check out this series of free, standards-based lessons that teach key digital citizenship concepts. Each lesson contains videos, background information, and activity ideas and is designed to engage students in grades 4-8th through inquiry-based activities.

Empowering Students to be InCtrl in a Digital Age
Watch this webinar to learn how to help students be smart online by teaching digital citizenship.

Beyond Internet Safety: Teaching Kids to be Good Digital Citizens
This webinar discusses the results of two research projects to measure the views of parents and educators about digital citizenship.

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Disney Friends for Change: Project Green
This site lets kids pledge to make a difference through small projects and see progress other children are making around the world.

Behind the Screen: Educational Games as Effective, Engaging Learning Tools
This webinar, featuring the game Coaster Crafter, discusses how developers integrate learning & gameplay, what the research says, & what teachers should look for when evaluating games.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
Video clips, featured biographies on famous Latinos, classroom resources, trivia, and more explore Hispanic heritage.

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Coaster Crafter: Build. Ride. Scream!
In this free, online game, students design exciting roller coasters while learning math and science concepts.

eLECTIONS: Your Adventure in Politics
Role-play your own virtual candidates running for President.

Comcast Internet Essentials
A program designed to bridge the digital divide by bringing broadband to families at a low cost.

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Cable in the Classroom (CIC) is the national education foundation of the U.S. cable industry. Working in partnership with, and on behalf of, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and our cable industry partners, CIC advocates digital citizenship and the visionary, sensible and effective use of media in homes, schools, and communities. Since 1989, through CIC, local cable companies have been providing complimentary connections to schools, and cable programmers have offered quality educational programming.  CIC enables educators to access the best of cable’s video and web content. Read more.