September 16, 2013
Over the years there have any number of citizen complaints about police use of excessive force and other misconduct, including some high-profile cases where suspects died while in custody. But too often investigations into such complaints end in a situation where it's the witnesses' word against the officers', leaving neither side feeling that justice has been done. That's why we were intrigued by Baltimore City Del. Frank Conaway Jr.'s proposal last week to require police in Maryland to wear tiny cameras that record all their interactions with the public.
August 18, 2013
A group of do-gooders has picked Maryland as its test case for trying to make state and local government more transparent and participatory using technology, and they've already made some inroads in improving the way state and local laws are published on the web. But the source of this effort may surprise some in this deep blue state: Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who serves as one of President Barack Obama's chief antagonists in Congress....
May 18, 2013
Morgan Lane Arnold, an emotionally frail 14-year-old freshman, navigated the hallways of her Howard County high school each day filled with anxiety, unable because of a learning disorder to decipher the social cues, jokes and emotions of her peers. Her preferred environment, often accented by a Japanese anime soundtrack streaming through snug earplugs, featured a mix of fairies, mermaids and vampires, according to her mother. They were the protagonists of a digital realm where she said she was "practicing making friends" through role-playing games and social media.
April 27, 2013
Before Lauren Preston opened the cover of the book "Spring" to read to her pre-kindergarten class at Mary Ann Winterling Elementary School, her students excitedly told her why, and showed her how, the season was underway. Daffodils - not just "yellow flowers" - were appearing from beneath the soil, they said. Hyacinths were blooming, they demonstrated with the slow unfolding of their tiny fists. And butterflies were emerging, the students showed by flapping their curled arms. In pre-K classrooms around Baltimore's school system, subtle changes like interactive reading are having a substantial effect in helping prepare 4-year-olds for elementary school - addressing an achievement gap that city schools have faced for years.
March 7, 2013
In a cheery room in Cockeysville, two dozen people sit with their heads down, focused on the papers in front of them. The only sound is the scratching of pencils on paper. The sight triggers memories of school days, but this is no group of middle schoolers eking their way through a math class pop quiz. It's the Brain Aerobics class at Broadmead Senior Living Community. Once a week, speech pathologist Chuck Warnke leads the class through a variety of mental activities, including riddles, word games and history puzzles - one activity challenged class members to remember the prices of products, from a gallon of milk to a pair of women's leather boots, from 1972.
August 29, 2012
Dan Deacon's live shows have always incorporated the crowd, whether it's a dance battle among fans or a call-and-response chanting session. But now he's taken the crowd interaction a step further with his first app. Available for iPhone and Android systems, the free app turns a user's phone into a color-changing glowstick. The app - developed by Deacon and other Wham City members including app-programmer Keith Lea, Patrick McMinn, Alan Resnick and Robert O'Brien - is available now, and it doesn't require Wi-Fi or data usage.