Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Image File Is Smaller, But Way Better than JPEG

DEC 16, 2014 05:13 PM ET // BY TRACY STAEDTER Discovery

A new kind of image file format give credence to the saying, “Less is more.

The format is called Better Portable Graphics — BPG, for short — and it’s able to compress an image to a much smaller version than the standard, go-to file format for a similar quality.

Google+ Gambles On Image Recognition

This is a bit on the techie side, but the end result is that with the new format, a great image will take up less space on a computer chip.

It was developed by French programmer Fabrice Bellard, who writes on his website that he developed it to replace the JPEG image format when quality or file size was an issue.

Gizmag has a nice gallery showing the two versions of image files side-by-side. In each case, the BPG demonstrates fewer artifacts such as color banding and blocking than the same size JPEG. See above for at least one example.

GigaPan Image Shows Inauguration In Amazing Detail

The biggest problem for Bellard may be that Google has a new image format, too. Their WebP format compresses better than the JPEG and also handles moving images better than the GIF format.

That could be some stiff competition.

via Gizmag

Credit: Fabrice Bellard

WomenTech Educators Online Training Fellowship

Increase the Number of Female Students in your STEM Classes
Free Professional Development Funded by the National Science Foundation

Take advantage of this tremendous opportunity! Save travel time and money when you attend the NSF-Funded WomenTech Educators Online Training from the comfort of your own desk. Based on proven practices, the online curriculum includes the "best-of-the-best" of our strategies, culled from our 5 National Science Foundation (NSF) projects and 20 years of success helping educational institutions recruit and retain female students in STEM programs. Our work was highlighted by NSF for showing significant achievement and program effectiveness.

Training Starts: February 16, 2015

Application Deadline: January 16, 2015 - or when sold out!

Start Your Application Today: Take a minute to submit an Intent to Apply

Note: Apply early as applications will be reviewed on a rolling admissions basis and the training fills quickly! The date you submit your Intent to Apply will be the start date on your application.

This fellowship is free for teams of 4-6 community college STEM educators. Preference will be given to teams connected with an ATE Project or Center.

Find out more

You Will Take Away:

  • An easy-to-implement recruitment plan to greatly increase the number of women and girls in your STEM classrooms.
  • A retention plan for your program to increase the completion rate of your female (and male students), starting this semester.
  • The knowledge and confidence you need to put these plans into action, right away.
  • Plus: A certificate of completion and the option for a unit of continuing education credit from Fresno Pacific University.

Schedule/Time Required:

Time period: Training starts February 16, 2015. 5 weeks for recruitment training, followed by 5 weeks on retention with a 1-week break in the middle. A brief orientation takes place the week of February 9, 2015.

Hours required: About 2-3 hours per week. This can include the time to start implementing your team's plan and seeing results, even while the training is happening!

Training format: Presentations, handouts & exercises online, available to watch and complete at your convenience each week.

Live question and answer training calls the weeks of March 16 and April 27.

Exclusive online community forum to connect with other training participants.

After the training: Follow-up support includes live calls with your trainer on plan development and implementation.

Archives: All calls and sessions recorded and emailed out the next day.

Who Should Attend:

College-based teams of 4-6 participants consisting of administrators, instructors, counselors and outreach staff from STEM programs where female students are underrepresented.

The Power of Teams:

Experience and research show that participating as a team sets you up to be successful and see results. Your team will communicate as a single voice during this program. While team members may watch modules individually at their convenience, the team joins together weekly to synthesize and apply the information into a group assignment. These assignments build to create full recruitment and retention action plans by the end of training.

Find out more about who should be on your team

What Past Participants Say About the WomenTech Educators Online Training:

"The WomenTech Educators Online Training has the potential to change the way you view your program. Important data is presented with passion and humor. I want you to know I have gained a great deal from the course. By the time you have a graduate degree and have worked in education for decades, most "professional development" is repetitive. I can honestly say that you have given me much to think about and that it will result in changes to my approach to course development."

~ Lauran Sattler, Department Chair, Computer Information Systems, Ivy Tech Community College, President's Award for Instructional Excellence 2007, Warsaw, IN

"We have the first three women in our Auto Technology Program and really want to make sure they succeed. After participating in the WomenTech Educators Online Training, we created additional open lab time for them, realizing they may need extra time to develop hands-on skills in a nonthreatening atmosphere. Two months into the course they are still with us. I learned so much about retention from the online training, I decided our entire Engineering and Technology Department could benefit and we are bringing the online training to our school and rolling it out to all of the technical faculty over the next two years."

~ Van Madray, Dean, Construction and Industrial Technology Division, Pitt Community College, Winterville, NC

"The online training was very manageable because it was asynchronous. I'm always teaching an overload, but you watch the training videos at your leisure, and participate as you're able. Because of that I was able to integrate the training into my very busy schedule."

~ Dr. Cynthia V. Marcello, Associate Professor, Computer Information Systems, SUNY Sullivan, Loch Sheldrake, NY

Find out more and apply for the WomenTech Educators Online Training Fellowship:


For specific questions, contact us at or call Christine Lesaca, Program Assistant, at 510-749-0200 ext 105.

3C Media DECT Funding is Available

The DECT Captioning Grant offers funding to faculty and staff of the CCC's for educational media. To request captions for your video or audio file thru 3C Media Solutions, simply log in to your 3C Media account and follow these steps:
  • From your "My Media" tab, click the "Details & Options" link to the right of the media you want captions for 
  • Under "Tools", click on "DECT Captioning Grant" 
  • Fill out and submit the form 
Once created, (usually within 5 working days, depending on length), the caption files will be emailed back to you for uploading.

*Funding covers educational content with no length restrictions at this time. In an effort to conservatively use the funds system-wide, you may want to consider creating your own .SRT files for short media (3 minutes or less). This is not required, merely a suggestion. For information on how to create an .srt file, please see the Help documents from within your account.

3C Media Solutions (
365 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Suite #104 | San Marcos, CA 92078 | tel: 760-744-1150 x1543

IISME Summer Fellowship Program For Teachers – Now accepting applications

Are you ready to experience a summer of innovation, collaboration, renewed energy and professional growth? Apply for an IISME Summer Fellowship!  The IISME Summer Fellowship Program places eligible K-16 teachers from all disciplines into high-performance industry and research environments for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their Host organization, and are paid $8,200 for their work. Teachers devote 10% of their paid time to focus on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students and colleagues.

By working at one of IISME’s Host organizations, such as Genentech, Stanford University, Dow Chemical Company, Lockheed Martin, Google or Cisco Systems just to name a few, teachers are able to experience, first hand, the practical applications of the science, math and technology they teach. The Summer Fellowship experience becomes a springboard for infusing curriculum with “real world” connections that further engage students in learning.  Many IISME Fellows report that their Summer Fellowship experiences reenergize their enthusiasm and commitment to teaching as they come away with exciting ideas for how to better prepare their students for 21st Century careers.

For more information about the IISME Summer Fellowship Program and to apply, please visit Educators are encouraged to apply by February 15, 2015 to increase their chances of being selected in this competitive process.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact IISME’s Executive Director, Shari Liss at or 408.553.3179.

Thank you so very much!  Hope you are doing well & Happy Holidays.

Shari Liss
Executive Director
Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME)

408.553.2889 (Fax)

Monday, December 15, 2014

$100M in grants to transform apprenticeship for the 21st century by expanding training into new high-skilled, high-growth industries

The American Apprenticeship Initiative Grants announced last week build on the momentum of AB 86 Adult Education and other initiatives to increase the emphasis on apprenticeship as a training method that supports employers and leads to student and workforce success. Campuses offering classroom instruction for apprenticeship or other programs related to apprenticeship initiatives should consider joining the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC) which eases the way for Journeymen who have already completed an apprenticeship program to re-enter the community college system, earn a certificate or degree, or transfer to a 4 year institution. Becoming a member of the RACC will help you to attract these Journeymen and increase your college’s efficiency to completion rates.

The Doing What Matters Apprenticeship Tool Kit provides support to campuses wishing to create new apprenticeship opportunities or expand existing programs. Technical assistance is also available through the Chancellor’s Office.

The full text of last week's announcement is below. For more information on apprenticeship resources or becoming a member of the RACC, contact John Dunn ( at the Chancellor's Office.

Media Contacts:
Jason Kuruvilla, 202-693-6587,
David Roberts, 202-693-5945,

U.S. Department of Labor | Dec. 11, 2014
Release Number: 14-2233-NAT

$100M in grants to transform apprenticeship for the 21st century by expanding training into new high-skilled, high-growth industries
Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2015

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that $100 million in grants are available to expand registered apprenticeship programs in high-skilled, high-growth industries like healthcare, biotechnology, information technology and advanced manufacturing. Registered Apprenticeships have long been known as one of the best training models for skilled trades (“earn while you learn”), yet the model remains underutilized in the United States. This unprecedented investment will help to transform apprenticeships for the 21st century and serves as a catalyst to increase the use of apprenticeship to meet employer needs in these sectors.

“An apprenticeship is the ‘other 4-year degree’. It is a tried and true job training strategy that offers a reliable path to the middle class, with no debt,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez who announced the grant opportunity during a visit to the Urban Technology Project’s Information Technology registered apprenticeship program in Philadelphia. “I encourage everyone to apply for this federal grant so that we can significantly scale apprenticeships opportunities for many more Americans in new industries and occupations.”

Approximately 25 grants from $2.5 million to $5 million each will be awarded using funds collected from employers who use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers. Programs funded by this initiative will provide U.S. workers with training to fill jobs that 1) are projected to hire a substantial number of new workers; 2) are being transformed by technology and innovations that require 21st century skills for workers; 3) are new and emerging industries and/or businesses that are projected to grow; or 4) have a significant impact on the economy overall.

Apprenticeship grants will be awarded to public and private partnerships consisting of employers, business associations, joint labor-management organizations, labor organizations, community colleges, local and state governments, and other non-profit organizations. Successful applicants will use the federal funds to develop registered apprenticeship programs that align with other post-secondary education and create career pathways to long-term careers. The grants will also encourage greater access to apprenticeship opportunities for historically underrepresented populations including women, young men and women of color, people with disabilities, and veterans and transitioning service members.

Funding applications must be submitted by April 30, 2015. The Funding Opportunity Announcement, which includes information on eligibility and how to apply, is available at

Prospective applicants are encouraged to view additional online resources at

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor
Workforce & Economic Development Division
Chancellor’s Office, California Community Colleges
916-327-5492 or