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Darts and laurels

Laurels to creative use of technology in Rowan-Salisbury School System classrooms. That creativity was on display Thursday at the second annual Education Summit, which featured presentations by the school system’s 21st Century Classroom teachers. Think of these six teachers as technological trail-blazers, exploring the ways in which computers, software and the online world not only can enhance learning but inspire students to embrace education and develop a passion for particular subjects. Parents have been inundated with bad-news stories about the ways in which technology can have a negative influence on children (or adults, for that matter), from violent video games to mindless hours spent text-messaging. The positive possibilities of technology generate far less attention. As the 21st Century teachers vividly demonstrated, technologies such as podcasts, online study guides and network discussions can engage students’ minds and imaginations in a new way. Bravo to these pioneer teachers, and to the school system’s commitment to expanding their numbers. They make learning electric ó in all senses of the word.
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While educators deserve plaudits for using technology to energize and enlighten, dart to yet another cyberspace scam targeting N.C. citizens. According to the state Attorney General’s Office, thousands of people have been texted by a scammer pretending to represent the State Employees’ Credit Union. SECU officials ó the real ones ó said the texts were sent to both members and nonmembers across the state requesting they call a toll-free number to verify account information regarding recent unusual activity. This is known as a “phishing” scam, where information appears to be from a legitimate organization such as a bank or credit agency but requests financial information the institutions should already have. If you suspect you’re being phished, don’t take the bait. Beware of e-mails, calls or text messages requesting personal information like your Social Security number or bank account number. You can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Production Division toll-free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.- – –
Closing the circuit on our electronic theme, laurels to Duke Energy’s $200,000 grant for improvements at the county’s Summit Corporate Center. The grant isn’t for high-tech upgrades; it’ll improve appearance and access through landscaping and other low-tech modifications. Whether you’re trying to attract buyers to a three-bedroom bungalow or corporate clients to an industrial park, curb appeal is important. Whether because of drab aesthetics or regional development trends, Summit has never taken off the way the county had hoped, despite several different marketing strategies. When potential investors do come calling, it’s more important than ever to make a good first impression. The Duke grant should help accomplish that.

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