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People often ask me what evidence there is to support the view that our schools should promote social, emotional, and character development in our students. They seem especially interested in whether SECD actually helps shape the character and behavior of students over time.

Because many educators lose track of former students as they move on in grades and grow into adulthood, it’s natural for them to wonder, “Did the SECD curriculum really help my students and do any good in their lives?” A recent study published by the research team at the Seattle Social Development Project reminds us that, when delivered effectively, SECD interventions in schools have long-term benefits.

The Results of an Earlier Study

The Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, of which I am director, carried out one of the earliest peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of SECD. In the study, the group compared three cohorts of students who received social decision-making/social-problem-solving (SDM/SPS) lessons in elementary school. The groups received varying amounts of the program’s components, ranging from two years to five years, with some follow-up in high school after concluding the intervention. Educators used students who received no treatment as a control group.

Results from this study indicate that ninth-grade students who had received interventions drank significantly less alcohol, had fewer self-destructive or identity problems, earned higher scores in overall social competence, exhibited a higher level of membership and participation in positive social organizations and nonsports activities, and did better on-the-job work.

Tenth-grade students who hadn’t participated, meanwhile, had significantly higher rates of vandalizing school property, attacking persons with intent to injure, hitting or threatening other students, self-destructive or identity problems, and unpopularity than students who went through the program. They also showed lower scores in overall social competence. Eleventh-grade students in the control group had significantly higher rates of vandalizing their parent’s property, hitting or threatening their parents, and using chewing tobacco than students in the program.

Across grades, male students in the control groups significantly exceeded male students in the program in rates of petty theft and buying alcohol. The findings also indicated that students who were in the higher-fidelity program generally showed better goal attainment than those in the lower-fidelity program.

Further Findings

David Hawkins, founding director of the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group, says that fifteen years after the Seattle Social Development Program conducted its evidence-based SECD intervention, young adults ages twenty-four and twenty-seven who were part of the intervention reported better mental and sexual health and higher educational and economic achievement than a control group of young adults who didn’t receive the intervention.

As lead author of the study, Hawkins told Science Daily in a recent interview, “The effects of working with children in elementary school show up in their teen years as their rates of violence, heavy alcohol use, and dropping out of school are reduced. By age twenty-one, more of them have completed high school and have better jobs. And by ages twenty-four and twenty-seven, they are above the median in socioeconomic status and education, and they are having fewer mental-health and sexual-health problems.”

The study involved 598 students from fifteen Seattle public schools that serve high-crime neighborhoods. The participants were divided into three groups. One group of 146 students received the intervention in grades 1-6. A second group of 251 students received a partial intervention in only grades 5-6. And the third group of 201 students did not receive any training from the program.

Hawkins reported that the dosage effect found in the SDM/SPS program — and in earlier studies of the Seattle program — was still evident. Children who received the full intervention in elementary school showed the strongest effects and the most positive functioning when followed up. Those receiving the partial intervention showed lesser effects, though they were generally better than the no-exposure control group. The findings indicate that those who received the full intervention had significantly fewer sexually transmitted diseases and reported higher income, increased responsibilities at work, and more community involvement. However, the full intervention had no effect on reducing substance abuse or cutting criminal behavior in young adulthood.

Said Hawkins, “The real value in following people over time is that we get to see how what we do in childhood affects their lives and has enduring effects as they change. We can’t know how one phase of development affects the next step unless we follow people over time.”

The Power of SECD

These studies complement other data — from a meta-analysis completed recently by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning — that reveal the positive follow-up benefits of SECD programs for students in both academics and mental health. The consistent message of these studies, however, is that the “dose” matters and that comprehensive, coordinated, multiyear efforts at SECD are what yield positive results.

This is why my organization, Developing Safe and Civil Schools, is working with New Jersey schools to ensure that they are carrying out their programs in problem prevention, promotion of social and emotional competence, positive youth and character development, and school-climate improvement in ways that will yield the desired effects. Too many schools are doing more than they need to, but with not enough efficiency and coordination to achieve the desired academic and behavioral outcomes. The evidence suggests that we can do better without doing much more.

What do you think about SECD efforts in public schools? Please share your thoughts.

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How Robust Risk Management Can Make The Difference When Conflicts Impact Business Travel

Disruptive events that have a global impact on business travel can occur at any time, with little to no notice.

Photo by Artur Widak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Disruptive events that have a global impact on business travel can occur at any time, with little to no notice. While they can range in scale from political coups to the global shock of the 2001 September 11 attacks in the US, they are a powerful reminder about the complexity of global business.

And the need for robust risk management.

When these ‘global shock’ events unfold, their impact on the security environment can immediately drive near-global changes that are either permanent or extremely long-lasting. Think changes to airline security after 9/11 or the rapid proliferation of weapons after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. While this kind of impact is predictable with effective intelligence assessment and planning, the secondary effects can be a lot harder to foresee, creating uncertainty in their own right.

It’s something we’re seeing play out now in modern business travel.

As per the ongoing news coverage, Russia and Ukraine are currently locked in a war that shows no signs of a ceasefire. And, while it may seem on the surface to be a localised conflict based on factors like ideology, perceived threats and territory, its impacts have been far more widespread.

Just take travel.

After the war began, there was a significant downturn in travel, particularly in Eastern Europe – and it wasn’t just restricted to Russia and Ukraine. Countries such as Latvia and Finland also recorded a decrease in flights in the initial stages, although these later rebounded. Ongoing impacts include flight path disruption, with some commercial airlines avoiding the risk of flying over Ukraine, and Russia banning certain flag-carrier airlines and imposing higher tariffs on others.

Compounded by these disrupted routes, general uncertainty and increased costs associated with rising oil prices, the war’s impact on regional and international travel was significant. The tourism sector contracted, at a time when it was only just rebounding from the pandemic. The biggest impact on global leisure travel confidence occurred in the Asian and US markets, which had historically been the largest consumers of travel to Europe. 

Photo by Artur Widak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Today, companies remain reluctant to return business travellers to certain areas, particularly those in the immediate region. As one sector example, many tech companies which housed offshore data centres and support staff in Ukraine were forced to return to the more traditional region of Asia. They are yet to return as the perceived risk remains too high. Other impacts on the horizon include the need for the world to deal with the issue of displaced persons.

The road ahead for corporate travel

As it stands, recent non-leisure travellers to the areas of Europe directly impacted by the conflict have understandably been mostly Non-Government Organisations and journalists. This has now expanded to such sectors as construction and organisations looking to help rebuild. While they wrestle with personal security concerns around travel to this region, other considerations include the supply of essential services like gas in winter, and even the safety and security of water, power, and mobility.

There is a sense of urgency in some sectors to support the ongoing conflict or recovery efforts. But with the wartime situation ever-changing, businesses that do generally need staff to travel to affected countries are struggling with reduced flight availability, the impact of travel delays on productivity and increased costs. It is to be expected that questions are being asked about the return on investment (ROI) of these attempts to operate in this environment.

Our past shows the way forward

We can learn from previous shock events about how to support organisations with travelling populations. The impacts from 9/11 or the Arab Spring anti-government movement in the early 2010s were significant. Travellers were unwilling to get on planes, put off by delays, reduced availability of commercial air seats and a perceived risk in flying. Now, as back then, the war in Europe – coming on the back of a global pandemic – has demonstrated that resilience, preparation and protection remain crucial. Conducting an informed risk assessment and engaging with specialist intelligence resources will help organisations support business travellers, and identify and mitigate risks, not just physical but also productivity, reputational and financial. Having a team that can get you out of trouble if something goes wrong has never been more important. As the saying goes: “It pays to be prepared.”

Rodger Cook is the General Manager – Global Security Services for global traveller assistance provider World Travel Protection with 30 years’ experience working in high-risk destinations supporting travel risk management programs.

This 10 Year Old Girl Would Make A Better Seo Than You

In the video, 10-year-old Zia Terry stares down a K-40 ski jump. It’s very noticeably her first time doing so. Her voice shakes as she hurries a few questions about the jump to her instructor. At one point, her ski begins to slip much to her alarm.

She’s scared, but determined. She gives herself a pep talk.

Seconds later, after saying to herself, “Well, here’s goes something… I guess,” she takes a deep breath, leans forward, and begins barreling down the jump.

5 seconds later she hits the base of the jump, nails the landing, and celebrates her success with a series of hoots and hollers.

In the 1960’s, American psychologist John Atkinson conducted a series of experiments on children, tasking them with reward-based scenarios in an effort to test their motivation. From these experiments, Atkinson realized that the children divided into two groups: those that approached the scenarios with a “need for achievement,” and those that focused on their seemingly inevitable failure. The latter group exhibited an effect he termed the “fear of failure” due to their desire to avoid the public humiliation of failure.

It’s time you start doing the same in your career as an SEO.

A fear of failure plagues a lot of SEO’s today. This fear is so great that it immobilizes them. With the multitude of algorithm updates over the past few years — some of which had devastating effects on the work of white hat SEO’s — the day-to-days of many SEO’s are cast in doubt.

Now What?

It’s not that these SEO’s don’t know what to do, it’s that their fear of getting hit by an algorithm update is holding them back. Removing that doubt and executing campaigns that are motivated by what they know to be best practices is vital. SEO is tough. There’s no denying that fact.

For Zia, overcoming her fear, her idleness, was a matter of “trust yourself, know the plan and go.” Don’t focus on all of the potential negative outcomes that could happen. For SEO’s it’s the same.

Use What Does Work

Develop high value relationships with key bloggers in your industry and provide them something of value which may earn you a mention about your business. Earned links and social shares are exactly what Google — and people — want.

Take your content and make sure it’s in different formats so it can be digested by your audience wherever they live on the web. This could be a compelling blog post that is re-purposed into an infographic, or a video on YouTube that articulates your message and educates your audience on your service. Be noticeable where your audience is active and if you provide valuable information. It will earn you the right to a backlink.

Whatever you do, don’t remain paralyzed. Be like Zia and know that knowledge and trust combined with execution will ensure a successful run when you cross the finish line.

Should Airtags Get Lost Over Safety Concerns? A Better Solution Can Be Found

We thought AirTag would be the Apple product you think about once, then forget about until you lose something. It turns out that hasn’t quite been the case. Local news headlines across the country tell the story of AirTags being used to track people unknowingly. At the same time, Apple has adjusted how AirTag works and provided additional resources to prevent these events from happening. Is there more Apple can do, or is addressing this a lost cause?

How AirTag is different

Apple is hardly the first tech company to make affordable item trackers that rely on smartphones to function. The difference is AirTag uses Apple’s Find My network of iPhones for remote tracking. This is great for actually finding misplaced items in public places.

Competing products rely on other customers who use the same brand of tracker to populate their network. There are a lot more iPhones in the world compared to Tile trackers. That’s what makes AirTags more effective at turning up lost or stolen items.

Works as intended

Valerie McNulty, a veteran of four military moves herself, had heard enough horror stories. While preparing for a recent move from Fort Carson, Colorado to Fort Drum, New York, she slipped an Apple AirTag, a Bluetooth-powered tracking device, into one of the boxes filled with her family’s household goods.

“You hear so many horror stories when it comes to PCSing,” she told Military Times, using an acronym for permanent change of station. “With those stories in mind, and having read about people putting AirTags with some of their [household goods], I decided it would be worth testing the theory.”

In that story, the AirTag helped her locate most of her family’s items after a dishonest delivery driver pretended to be days away in another state. Unfortunately, some of her family’s possessions are still missing after the move.

“We are hoping to hear something about those by this weekend,” she explained. “Unfortunately, I only hid one AirTag so these items I am not able to track.”

AirTag concern

As we know, however, not all AirTag stories are so positive. Tales of stalking involving AirTag are as common as “Apple Watch saves life” headlines. By the turn of the season, the same Facebook groups where parents recommended AirTag as this year’s must-have product were cautioning parents to beware of Apple’s item tracker.

And who can blame them with stories like these across the country and beyond? Each of these articles involves an AirTag tracking someone unknowingly:

Even in my home state of rural Mississippi, local stories of AirTag stalking are making the news:

It was just another afternoon at the park with her kids for Rankin County resident Amber Norsworthy when she got a notification saying someone was watching her.

“I didn’t even know what it was on,” she said. “It just told me it was in my presence. We checked our shoes, we checked their jackets, we checked our pockets, we checked everywhere. Then I was like, it has to be on the vehicle.”

Campaign to inform

What’s reassuring about this story, though, is that Apple’s safety measures kicked in and alerted the person about the AirTag. That’s how so many of these stories are discovered. If an AirTag registered to someone else’s iPhone follows you, you’ll receive an alert on your iPhone. (Apple has released an Android app for this purpose too, but it should work with Google to integrate the feature into Android.)

This is something Apple includes on its marketing page for the item tracker:

AirTag is designed to discourage unwanted tracking. If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s traveling with you and send you an alert. After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there.

Of course, if you happen to be with a friend who has an AirTag, or on a train with a whole bunch of people with AirTag, don’t worry. These alerts are triggered only when an AirTag is separated from its owner.

The good news is that the incident in Mississippi taught everyone involved about these safety measures:

“With any kind of technology, it may be created for the best purposes,” said Paul Holley with the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, “but certain people are going to create a nefarious purpose for anything.”

“After talking to Apple Support, they actually showed me how to go on my phone and what setting to go look at to see,” said Norsworthy. “It will tell you if you have an Airpod, or an AirTag, or anything that’s Apple related if it is following you or within your presence.”

In addition to checking settings, folks also need to listen for a specific sound to help find an AirTag that you may not know is on or near you.

“One of the things that we have learned about them, that after a certain amount of time away from their host, they’ll start making a beeping noise in your clothing, your purse, your car…” explained Holley.

Again, an important detail in this and many other stories is that the AirTag alerted the person being tracked. GPS trackers intended for precision tracking are designed specifically for stealth and would never reveal their status or location.

Apple shouldn’t shut down the Find My network and issue a recall on AirTag. Instead, Apple should address the reality of how AirTags are being interpreted and launch an honest information campaign to teach the public about their safety measures – Streisand effect be damned.

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Creating A Scrolling Background In Pygame

Pygame is a popular Python library used for building games and multimedia applications. One of the most important aspects of game development is the ability to create scrolling backgrounds. In this article, we will cover the essential steps for creating a scrolling background in Pygame. We will also provide real-world examples and code snippets to help you understand the concepts better.

Other libraries which can also be used for game development in python −

Arcade − Arcade is a modern, easy-to-use library for creating 2D arcade-style games. It is designed to be easy to learn and use, and provides a range of features, including graphics, sound, and input handling.

PyOpenGL − PyOpenGL is a Python wrapper for the OpenGL 3D graphics library. It provides a range of features for creating 3D games, including graphics, lighting, and texture mapping.

Panda3D − Panda3D is a game engine and graphics framework that provides a range of features for creating 3D games. It is designed to be easy to use and supports a range of platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Pyglet − Pyglet is a cross-platform gaming library that provides a range of features for creating 2D and 3D games. It is designed to be fast and efficient, and provides a range of tools for handling graphics, sound, and input.

Ease of use − Many of these libraries are designed to be easy to use and learn, making them a good choice for beginners or developers who are new to game development.

Flexibility − These libraries provide a range of features and tools for creating games, which can make it easier to create games that are tailored to your specific needs and requirements.

Performance − Some of these libraries are designed to be fast and efficient, which can help improve the performance of your games.

Cross-platform support − Many of these libraries support a range of platforms and operating systems, which can help make your games more accessible to a wider audience.

Prerequisites

Before we dive into the details of creating a scrolling background in Pygame, let’s review some of the prerequisites.

pip install pygame

It is expected that the user will have access to any standalone IDE such as VS-Code, PyCharm, Atom or Sublime text.

Even online Python compilers can also be used such as chúng tôi Google Cloud platform or any other will do.

Updated version of Python. At the time of writing the article I have used 3.10.9 version.

Knowledge of the use of Jupyter notebook.

Familiarity with Pygame library

Basic understanding of 2D graphics and game development concepts

If you are not comfortable with any of these prerequisites, we recommend taking some time to get familiar with them before continuing.

Steps for creating a Scrolling Background

Creating a scrolling background involves several steps. We will go over each of them in detail and provide some real-world examples to help you get started.

Step 1: Setting up the game window

The first step to creating a scrolling background is to set up your game window. This can be done using the `pygame.display.set_mode()` function. Here is an example −

import pygame pygame.init() Set up game window screen_width = 800 screen_height = 600 screen = pygame.display.set_mode((screen_width, screen_height)) pygame.display.set_caption("Scrolling Background Tutorial")

In this example, we import the Pygame library and initialize it. We then set the width and height of the game window to 800 pixels and 600 pixels, respectively. Finally, we set the `screen` variable to the newly created game window with the caption “Scrolling Background Tutorial”.

Step 2: Loading the background image

The next step is to load the background image that will be scrolled. This can be done using the `pygame.image.load()` function. Here is an example −

#Load background image background_img = pygame.image.load("background.jpg")

In this example, we load the image named “background.jpg” and store it in the `background_img` variable.

Step 3: Scrolling the background

The next step is to scroll the background image. This can be done by changing the position of the background image on the game window. Here is an example −

# Scroll the background scroll_x = 0 scroll_y = 0 background_x = 0 while True: for event in pygame.event.get(): if chúng tôi == pygame.QUIT: pygame.quit() # Scroll the background horizontally scroll_x -= 1 background_x -= 1 #Draw the background twice to create seamless scrolling effect screen.blit(background_img, (scroll_x, scroll_y)) screen.blit(background_img, (background_x, scroll_y)) #Reset the background position when it goes off screen if scroll_x <= -screen_width: scroll_x = screen_width if background_x <= -screen_width: background_x = screen_width pygame.display.update()

In this example, we set the initial position of the background image to `(0,0)`. We then create a `while` loop that will run continuously until the game is closed. Inside the `while` loop, we increment the `scroll_x` and `background_x` variables by `-1` to move the background image to the left. We then draw the background image twice using `screen.blit()` function. This creates a seamless scrolling effect.

Step 4: Adding game objects

The final step is to add game objects to the window. This can be done using the Pygame library’s various drawing functions. Here is an example −

#Add game objects player_img = pygame.image.load("player.png") player_x = 400 player_y = 300 while True: for event in pygame.event.get(): if chúng tôi == pygame.QUIT: pygame.quit() #Scroll the background horizontally scroll_x -= 1 background_x -= 1 #Draw the background twice to create seamless scrolling effect screen.blit(background_img, (scroll_x, scroll_y)) screen.blit(background_img, (background_x, scroll_y)) #Reset the background position when it goes off screen if scroll_x <= -screen_width: scroll_x = screen_width if background_x <= -screen_width: background_x = screen_width #Add game objects screen.blit(player_img, (player_x, player_y)) pygame.display.update()

In this example, we add a player object to the screen using the `screen.blit()` function. We also set the initial position of the player object to `(400,300)`.

Final Program,Code # libraries import pygame pygame.init() #Setting up the window screen_width = 800 screen_height = 600 screen = pygame.display.set_mode((screen_width, screen_height)) pygame.display.set_caption("Scrolling Background Tutorial") #Load background image background_img = pygame.image.load("background.jpg") # Scroll the background scroll_x = 0 scroll_y = 0 background_x = 0 while True: for event in pygame.event.get(): if chúng tôi == pygame.QUIT: pygame.quit() # Scroll the background horizontally scroll_x -= 1 background_x -= 1 #Draw the background twice to create seamless scrolling effect screen.blit(background_img, (scroll_x, scroll_y)) screen.blit(background_img, (background_x, scroll_y)) #Reset the background position when it goes off screen if scroll_x <= -screen_width: scroll_x = screen_width if background_x <= -screen_width: background_x = screen_width pygame.display.update() #Add game objects player_img = pygame.image.load("player.png") player_x = 400 player_y = 300 while True: for event in pygame.event.get(): if chúng tôi == pygame.QUIT: pygame.quit() #Scroll the background horizontally scroll_x -= 1 background_x -= 1 #Draw the background twice to create seamless scrolling effect screen.blit(background_img, (scroll_x, scroll_y)) screen.blit(background_img, (background_x, scroll_y)) #Reset the background position when it goes off screen if scroll_x <= -screen_width: scroll_x = screen_width if background_x <= -screen_width: background_x = screen_width #Add game objects screen.blit(player_img, (player_x, player_y)) pygame.display.update() Output

In the above section we can see that there are two outputs which shows the transition or scrolling of the background image thus the program works correctly with proper and expected output.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we covered the essential steps for creating a scrolling background in Pygame. We also provided real-world examples and code snippets to help you understand the concepts better. With this knowledge, you should be able to create engaging games that feature scrolling backgrounds. Happy coding!

Basics Of Creating A Mobile Site

As the future of the web and the world is going towards mobile, every webmaster needs to have a mobile version of their site which is simple and effective. Your mobile site should be compact and convenient to the users and search engines and here is a crash course on creating a mobile site and some important points before you go live with your mobile site. Since mobile search engines are different from normal desktop search engines users will see a different result in mobile hence optimizing your mobile site for search engines is also an important factor to derive traffic.

Steps in Creating Your Mobile Site

The basics steps in creating your mobile site differ based on the builder tool you choose. Here are the list of common steps to be carried out after your regular site is imported into a mobile site builder tool and before publishing your mobile site.

Sample Mobile Site

1. Select Your Layout and Pages

Select your mobile layout and pages you feel important to shown to the mobile users. A typical mobile site will have the following pages:

Mobile Home

Products

Services

Blog Feed

About Us

Contact Us

Make your site is compact by using simple navigation styles to help the user reach your content easily. You can also link your social connection in your mobile navigation links so that the users can easily visit your social content and like or follow you. It is also a good idea to try out drag and drop website builder tools like Duda to check if that can make your task simpler.

2. Edit Your Content

Though most of the compatible contents are automatically imported into your mobile site, you need to delete and add the content suitable for mobiles. Here are some important points to be taken care:

Remove large text contents imported from your regular site and provide only the important content in a compact manner

Make use of bulleted list to shorten big paragraphs

Adjust your images to fit and load faster in mobile devices

3. Set Your Redirect

The important point after you gone live with your mobile site is to set a redirect from your regular site. This is a piece of code provided by your mobile site builder to be placed between the HEAD tags in a home page of your regular website. When a user visits your regular URL from a mobile device this piece of code automatically redirects the user to your mobile site.

Make sure you provide a link to your desktop site so that the users can go back to your regular site if not convenient with your mobile site. Let the user choose the version he prefers to see and the option to choose to choose between mobile and desktop sites at any point of time.

4. Test Your Mobile Site

After you setup a redirect it is highly recommended to open your regular website in various phone models. This ensures that the redirect is working fine as well as your site looks perfect in various phones like Android mobile, Android tabs, Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and Windows phones. In case of any issues you can adjust your site and republish it accordingly.

Test Your Mobile Site

5. Mobile Site Tracking

In order to monitor and track your mobile sites separately from your regular site, you need to submit your mobile Sitemap in your Webmaster Tools account. This helps the mobile search engines to crawl and index your mobile pages easily. You can also set your Google Analytics tracking code in your mobile site if you want to track your conversions and traffic data.

Note: Most of the WordPress themes are fluid and responsive in nature which automatically fits your content to the available width of the screen. If you are creating a separate mobile site for AMP or any other reasons, make sure to cache the mobile pages separately instead of serving the same desktop version of cached pages to avoid layout mismatches.

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