Home is where the school — and work — is during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how some are making do

Home is where the school — and work — is during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how some are making do

The school year is underway across most of the U.S. Here’s how some have set up their homes to accommodate remote learning and work. IOWA CITY – The Iowa City Community School District will work with Design Engineers of Cedar Rapids on its climate action plan, which includes increasing the district’s use of renewable energy, conducting an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and studying the solar power feasibility of buildings. Welcome!Log into your account Bell says that Milton has been “lights out.”

Homeschooling and remote work have taken on entirely new meanings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Parents have been forced to transform their homes into places where they may be continuing to work, while their children have begun the new school year attending some or all of their classes remotely – from their bedroom, the family living room or another place in the house.

Many different strategies have been deployed. Some homeowners have taken advantage of record-low interest rates to buy a new home perhaps more suitable for the school and work from home situations.

Others have expanded their workspaces by buying – or building – a shed for the backyard or elsewhere on their property to use as a home office – to not only separate working adults, but also adults from virtual school-attending children.

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But most have taken more modest steps to improve setups within their homes for students or working adults. Several families across the U.S. recently shared their school and work from home strategies with USA TODAY.

Destiny Hamlett and her family lost their home during the Camp Fire in northern California two years ago. Now, her husband, their three daughters and his father live in a 35-foot trailer in Thermalito, California, on some friend’s property.

“There’s not much room to work with as it is tiny. I found the smallest folding table I could find” as a study place for the girls, which are in the eighth grade, fifth grade and first grade, said Destiny Hamlett, a stay-at-home mom. Since the fire, it has been hard for her husband to find work, but he does odd jobs, she says.

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This summer’s fires continued to burn around the area since the girls’ virtual schooling began a few weeks ago. “Communication with the teachers has been difficult at times because it may take them one or two days to get back to me on a problem,” she said.

Their school gave them a hotspot, “but it only allows one laptop to get on it. If I try more than one, it kicks one off,” she said. So they’ve been also been using her phone and her husband’s as hotspots, too. “That has eaten up a lot of our data,” she said.

Stephanie Eno, 45, of Los Angeles, bought a new desk for her daughter Bella, 10, in preparation for fifth grade, which started more than a month ago. When schooling went remote in March, Eno noticed her daughter didn’t have an ideal place to study.

“She would be at the dining room table, then on the couch and then in her bedroom,” Eno said. “She literally did not get out of pajamas for four and a half months.”

The desk was placed by a window, with no real distractions outside. Bella was asked to at least dress her upper body for school and an Amazon Alexa notifies her five minutes before class starts. 

“Now she only goes to that desk for school,” Eno said. “I pack her lunch in the morning, so when she does have her breaks, she can go do her own thing. We definitely structured the day much more regimented as if she were going to school.”

A single parent who is the head of development for a small TV production company, Eno moved her work at home setup to the kitchen in the rear of the home, “so if I have calls, I can duck out my back door and not distract her.”

Other upgrades: a better modem and faster broadband service. “We are now having fewer Wi-Fi dropout problems than last year,” Eno said.

Broadband connectivity has been critical for remote work and learning.

During the second quarter of the year (April-June), the largest U.S. broadband providers added about 1,245,000 Internet subscribers, compared to 375,000 in the same period last year, according to the Leichtman Research Group.

“With the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 2Q 2020 than in any quarter in eight years,” said principal analyst and president Bruce Leichtman in a recent report.

During the first half of the year, more than 2.4 million consumers added broadband, the highest first half-year increase since 2008, he said. Overall, about 103.4 million subscribers get broadband from top cable and telephone providers. 

Faster broadband was essential, too, for Jared Craig, 22, of Houston, Texas, who is a student teacher of second-grade social studies, and his roommate, who is also teaching and studying for a master’s degree in music composition.

They bumped up their broadband speed from about 25 megabytes per second to about 50 Mpbs.

“Since we are both teaching from a live video format, we have purchased a better internet upload/download speed, and I personally keep my phone off of the Wi-Fi,” says Craig, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

He conducts classes in his room with the door closed, and his roommate doesn’t practice on musical instruments while Craig is teaching on Zoom.

Need space? How to turn your shed into a home office

Teachers have reduced screen time to 15 minutes of live lessons per subject, so students aren’t staring at screens for long periods of time, Craig says.

“Overall, for second graders, I have been impressed with their attention spans and quality of work,” he said. “Another issue we often face is Zoom randomly kicking us off. The kids could potentially sit in a Zoom call together with no supervisor and cause all sorts of ruckus.”

Upgrading your home for remote schooling and continued work from home hasn’t always been easy. Some retailers had COVID-19-caused shortages of desks and chairs in advance of the new school year, as more households faced new realities of school and work at home.

Retailers expected record spending this year, with the average family with school-aged children – from elementary school to high school – expecting to spend about $790, topping the previous record of nearly $697, according to The National Retail Federation. Total back to school spending is expected to approach $34 billion, blasting past the previous record of $30.3 billion in 2012.

“Consumers were telling us they were planning to spend a significant amount more on average, particularly parents of grade school and high school students,” said Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights for the federation. “Some of that is fueled by e-learning but a lot that was from having to plan for multiple scenarios.” 

More than three-fourths of consumers (76%) surveyed said they planned to spend on products specifically for online learning, found the NRF survey of 7,569 consumers, conducted August 3-11. 

About 37% expected to buy laptops, up slightly from 36%, in a similar NRF survey in July. Those expecting to buy desks for home studying rose to 23% from 17%.

“Lamps, speakers and headphones were another big area, which stood out for us because if have multiple kids learning at home or kids at home while parents are also working, you have to create that sense of privacy and focus,” Cullen said.

And high demand for home computers may continue on into 2021. Total U.S. PC sales rose 42% from March to August, while notebook computer sales rose 46%, according to The NPD Group. Consumers are spending more on notebooks than in the past, with average prices of Chromebooks topping $300 and Windows notebooks often surpassing $575, NPD says.

NPD projects PC sales to increase 49% in the last three months of the year and 20% in the first three months of 2021. “In response to a global pandemic that has restricted our ability to gather in person for work and education, among other things, many of us have turned to technology to keep us connected,” said Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president and industry advisor for technology and mobile, in a recent report.

For some folks, adjusting their lives during the pandemic meant making moves. In New York, licensed real estate salesperson Christopher Totaro, 56, and his family moved from Tribeca to his brother and sister-in-law’s home on Long Island. There, three adults including his wife work from home – Totaro commutes to New York City when needed for work – and two children attend school virtually.  

He has hired two virtual tutors for his fourth-grade son who assist via Zoom with grammar, writing, math, organizing and scheduling.

“It has been a huge blessing,” Totaro said. “It is not so far off from in-person learning. The tutors are very engaging and actual teachers so the Zoom is productive.”

The other upgrade many families mention adding to their lives is more about bites than bytes: More snacks.

Follow reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

Source: www.recordonline.com

Copyright infringement - Wikipedia

Copyright infringement – Wikipedia

Pirated edition of German philosopher Alfred Schmidt (Amsterdam, ca. 1970)

  • Pricing – unwillingness or inability to pay the price requested by the legitimate sellers
  • Testing and evaluation – try before paying for what may be bad value
  • Unavailability – no legitimate sellers providing the product in the language or country of the end-user: not yet launched there, already withdrawn from sales, never to be sold there, geographical restrictions on online distribution and international shipping
  • Usefulness – the legitimate product comes with various means (DRM, region lock, DVD region code, Blu-ray region code) of restricting legitimate use (backups, usage on devices of different vendors, offline usage) or comes with non-skippable advertisements and anti-piracy disclaimers, which are removed in the unauthorized product making it more desirable for the end-user
  • Shopping experience – no legitimate sellers providing the product with the required quality through online distribution and through a shopping system with the required level of user-friendliness
  • Anonymity – downloading works does not require identification whereas downloads directly from the website of the copyright owner often require a valid email address and/or other credentials
  • Freedom of Information – not believing that the idea of copyright law can or should exist
  • The Pirate Bay logo, a retaliation to the stereotypical image of piracy

    Animation showing seven remote computers exchanging data with an 8th (local) computer over a network

    The BitTorrent protocol: In this animation, the colored bars beneath all of the seven clients in the upper region above represent the file, with each color representing an individual piece of the file. After the initial pieces transfer from the seed (large system at the bottom), the pieces are individually transferred from client to client. The original seeder only needs to send out one copy of the file for all the clients to receive a copy.

  • “Increase public education and raise awareness about software piracy and IP rights in cooperation with industry and law enforcement.”
  • “Modernize protections for software and other copyrighted materials to keep pace with new innovations such as cloud computing and the proliferation of networked mobile devices.”
  • “Strengthen enforcement of IP laws with dedicated resources, including specialized enforcement units, training for law enforcement and judiciary officials, improved cross-border cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and fulfillment of obligations under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).”
  • “Lead by example by using only fully licensed software, implementing software asset management (SAM) programs, and promoting the use of legal software in state-owned enterprises, and among all contractors and suppliers.”[72]
  • Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • Creative Commons (CC)
  • Demand Progress
  • Fight for the Future
  • Pirate Party
  • Plan S, by major funders of scientific research
  • Business Software Alliance (BSA)
  • Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST)
  • Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
  • Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT)
  • Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)
  • International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)
  • Association For the Protection Of Internet Copyright (APIC)
  • Copyright Alliance
  • Hamerman, Sarah (11 September 2015). “PIRATE LIBRARIES and the fight for open information”. The Media.
  • Deka, Maitrayee (2017). “Calculation in the pirate bazaars” (PDF). Journal of Cultural Economy. 10 (5): 450–461. doi:10.1080/17530350.2017.1352009.
  • Horten, Monica (2012). The Copyright Enforcement Enigma – Internet Politics and the Telecoms Package. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-32171-7.
  • Johns, Adrian (2009). Piracy. The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates. The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-40118-8.
  • Karaganis, Joe, ed. (2011). Media Piracy in Emerging Economies. Social Science Research Council. ISBN 978-0-9841257-4-6.
  • Rosen, Ronald (2008). Music and Copyright. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533836-2.
  • Source: en.wikipedia.org

    Iowa City schools work with Cedar Rapids company on climate action initiatives

    Iowa City schools work with Cedar Rapids company on climate action initiatives


    IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Community School District will work with Design Engineers of Cedar Rapids on its climate action plan, which includes increasing the district’s use of renewable energy, conducting an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and studying the solar power feasibility of buildings.

    The project will use the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy Life Cycle funds, which is designated for small projects and energy improvements. The cost of hiring Design Engineers as the district’s climate action consultant is $45,000.

    Interim Superintendent Matt Degner said working on the climate action plan was delayed as the school board prioritized return-to learn plans at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Degner said the climate action plan is “urgent” and the school district is working to continue prioritizing it.

    Iowa City schools Director of Facilities Duane Van Hemert said Design Engineers is “one of the best consultants in the country.”

    “I’ve been around energy a long time and done a lot of energy-related projects, and I was impressed,” he said. “They’ve shown their commitment to (renewable) energy and they know what it takes.”

    The school board passed a resolution last year to develop climate literacy curriculum, develop greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and use sustainable agriculture practices in school menu planning.

    Design Engineers will be doing the following:

    • Evaluating the feasibility of putting solar panels on district buildings, including energy cost savings at current utility rates and estimated construction cost.

    • Identifying energy efficiency measures to reduce electrical usage by 20 percent.

    • Develop a plan to convert all natural gas equipment to electric

    • Develop a plan to convert all district vehicles to electric, including buses.


    • And develop a capital investment timeline with the goal of a 45 percent reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

    School board President Shawn Eyestone said the consultant contract is a “step in the right direction.”

    The decision to hire a consultant to help the district implement the Climate Action Plan comes during a week of action for a student-led group advocating that the district, the city of Iowa City and the University of Iowa commit to climate action.

    Massimo Paciotto-Biggers, 15, a sophomore at Iowa City High, has been leading the group of students for over a year in a striking for action on climate change.

    Massimo inspired over 800 people to join him and his classmates in a March 2019 strike to demand adults take action against climate change.

    In October 2019, he introduced Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg at a rally for climate change in Iowa City.

    A virtual festival to address climate change has been encouraging participants to message the school district, the UI, the city and Gov. Kim Reynolds, asking them to commit to renewable energy.

    Massimo said it has been 15 months since the school district resolved to create a climate action plan, and there has been little progress.


    “We really need urgent and radical action now,” he said. “I’m really disappointed.”

    Comments: (319) 398-8411; grace.king@thegazette.com

    Source: www.thegazette.com

    Author: Grace King

    Data Entry Jobs Work from Home Without Investment [ make money online data entry ]

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    Ronnie Bell says he’s put in extra work with both Joe Milton and Cade McNamara

    Ronnie Bell says he’s put in extra work with both Joe Milton and Cade McNamara

    When the calendar turn to 2020, Ronnie Bell was still a member of a wide receiver room that included Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. After some attrition on the depth chart due to an NFL Draft decision and an eventual pandemic-related opt-out, Bell now finds himself as the elder statesman in a room with a lot of first and second-year players.

    The junior, who was also Michigan’s most productive wideout last year, spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon about his standing in receiver meetings.

    “In the last year or so, I guess I realized it more, especially with all those guys gone now,” Bell said. “I’m low key kinda old. All the younger guys, every day in practice, I just want to show them the effort it takes, whether you get the ball or not, when you’re out there blocking on the edge – I just want to show the guys the intensity you have to play with. Especially with the tall guys leaving. We’re not as tall anymore. So we’ve definitely gotta be more feisty than what we were.”

    He also addressed the quarterback situation in Ann Arbor and the rapport that he has built with presumed starter Joe Milton.

    “With Joe specifically, me and him got back to Ann Arbor a lot sooner than everybody else,” Bell said. “I think me and him both have been here since April. So me and him got a lot of work in together in that time period, because it was literally just me and him in Ann Arbor. Nobody else was here.

    “And Cade (McNamara) and I also worked. Cade’s put in extra work as well. That’s like before or after practice. Cade and I have thrown in a random field before. Both of those guys, it’s constant. It’s never stopping for either one of them. And I think that’s why they’re so good at what they do. They love the game so much. Every day, they want more work, they wanna do more work. I’m lucky enough to just be able to tag along with them.”

    Bell has been as campus almost as long as Milton has and does note that the progress that has been made has been impressive and that he is currently playing the best football of his career.

    “Not necessarily the throws, but all-around game, I guess, Joe as a quarterback – I talked about it with one of the guys about a week ago, and this is the best I’ve ever seen Joe,” Bell said. “Joe got here a semester before me, but I’ve been around Joe as much as anybody and he’s just lights out right now. It’s just very exciting to play alongside him. Like I said, I told the guys the other day, this is the best I’ve seen him play.”

    We’ll have more from his session as the day goes on.

    Source: www.maizenbrew.com

    Author: Anthony Broome

    Home is where the school — and work — is during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how some are making do

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