Helping kids cross the digital divide
Students at the Island School on Manhattan's Lower East Side go from being digital consumers to content creators at the middle school's tech café.
October 8th, 2012
06:22 PM ET

Helping kids cross the digital divide

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Editor's note: This story is part of the CNN series, "Our Mobile Society," about how smartphones and tablets have changed the way we live. Listen to the complete story in the audio player above.

(CNN) – Middle school students at the tech café inside the Island School on New York’s Lower East Side have their laptops open.

They’re working on their next blog posts about current social issues under the guidance of their teacher, Lou Lahana.

He’s on a mission to help these kids go from being consumers of digital products to being content creators – to end ‘digital inequality.’

Read the full story and hear the podcast on CNN Radio Soundwaves.
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Filed under: Practice • Technology
Justices to re-examine use of race in college admissions
October 8th, 2012
01:40 PM ET

Justices to re-examine use of race in college admissions

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

"Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free" - from the Bible (John 8:32), inscribed on the facade of the the University of Texas at Austin Main Building ..."Equal Justice Under Law" - inscription above the U.S. Supreme Court Building

(CNN) - Heman Marion Sweatt and Abigail Noel Fisher both wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin.

Both claimed their race was a primary reason for their rejection. Both filed civil rights lawsuits, and the Supreme Court ultimately agreed to hear their separate appeals - filed more than half a century apart.

Their cases share much in common - vexing questions of competition, fairness, and demographics - and what role government should play when promoting political and social diversity.

But it is the key difference between these plaintiffs - separated by three generations and a troubled road to "equality" - that now confronts the nation's highest court: Sweatt was black, Fisher is white.

Sweatt's 1950 case produced a landmark court ruling that set the stage for the eventual end of racial segregation in public facilities.

Fisher's case will be heard by the justices Wednesday. The question here could come down to whether a majority on the bench believes affirmative action has run its course - no longer necessary in a country that has come far to confront its racially divisive past, a country that has a president who is African-American.

"There's a good chance that affirmative action, at least in the case of education, is on the chopping block," said Thomas Goldstein, a Washington appellate attorney and editor.

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Filed under: Affirmative action • Policy • Practice • Supreme Court
My View: Should I know where I'll be in 10 years?
October 8th, 2012
04:07 AM ET

My View: Should I know where I'll be in 10 years?

Courtesy Liza WemakorBy Liza Wemakor, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Liza Wemakor is a high school junior from Atlanta who also takes college classes. She enjoys writing and intends to pursue that passion when she graduates from high school in 2014. She is the winner of this year’s Turner Voices Journalism Contest.

High school students have heard it so many times: “What do you want to do when you’re older? What college are you going to?” and most infamously, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”

I honestly have no idea. When eager adults peer intently into my eyes, tell me what a bright future I have ahead of me and ask to know my life’s plan, I often manifest the name of a university that I have never actually seen in person or know absolutely nothing about. Quite frankly, I’m tired of lying.

Rather than letting us explore our options and helping us along the way, far too many adults act as alarm clocks for our future. The closer we get to our senior year, the louder they seem to blare that we should know what we want.

The truth is that they were just as clueless when they were our age.

On August 6, I officially became a high school junior. I am totally clueless as to what college I want to attend or where I will be in 10 years. And I no longer feel ashamed by that.

Life is simply unpredictable. In fact, it would be egocentric to assume that the course of one’s life teeters on a premeditated plan. It has existed much longer than we.

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Filed under: Voices