Eastern Maine Neighborhood College Suffers Hacking Attack

EMCC in Bangor, Maine, has reported an information security issue after they was discovered malware had infected many of the computers in the college. Although this has not been confirmed, it is suspected that some data has been stolen. This includes individual info of employees, related to Eastern Maine college, it is also potentially affected around 42,000 existing and past students. The security breach involved the installation of a trojan horse, which was probably the method in which the data was stolen.

A representative of Easter Maine College stated in one of its e-mails that it was possibly being over cautious but was alerting some 42,000 existing and former students and staff members of the possibility that personal details have possibly been exposed as a result of the infection.”

A caution was also released by the school on 17 August that though there was no evidence that any direct information loss had occurred. There is a possibility that some individual data such as name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and address, as well as a couple of usernames and passwords coming from the college domain in addition to email accounts might have been accessed.

Based on a statement issued on 17 August, 2018, the victims of the breach are supposedly the students of the school from the year 1998 summertime to 2018 summer, and also the staff members working between the year 2008 and 2018.

“We very much regret the trouble or concern this occurrence might cause. EMCC takes seriously the protection of individual details, and our efforts to enhance and strengthen our electronic security are ongoing,” stated Lisa Larson, EMCC President, on 17 August.

The EMCC President even more included that it is truly unfortunate that various organizations all over the world are a growing number of becoming targets of the hackers, as it took place in the case of EMCC.

We live in an increasingly interconnected world too, and these attacks can be orchestrated from anywhere in the world. Many countries have little interest in fighting cyber crime and therefore the attackers are relatively safe in these jurisdictions. It is also important that users at the college should follow all college policies when using their computers on campus. Accessing non-educational resources and attempting to access dubious sites can put the entire network at risk. Using things like proxies and non standard US DNS servers to access Netflix is also not permitted in the acceptable use policy of the college.

EMOTET is found to be the malware that is associated with this EMCC occurrence, which according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is among the most damaging malware existing on the internet. As soon as a user clicks or opens a destructive document or a link, the malware begins contaminating the computer. The minute the malware gets downloaded into a system, its worm-like properties spread through quickly causing a network-wide infection that is extremely difficult to fight.

EMCC spokesperson said that they have reported this event to the police. The spokesperson even more added that they are investigating on the breach and checking security protocols of the college. They have also offered identity remediation services and complimentary credit keeping track of to the impacted people.

 

Additional:

How to Watch the BBC for Free.

Why is an American College Education so Expensive?

The high cost of education in the USA is not a new phenomenon, indeed before most of the current colleges existed people were complaining about the huge expense.  Indeed it was reported in the New York Times in 1875 that men were spending more to educate their sons for one year  than they had spent in four years.accessing BBC iPlayer with DNS

 

The reason was not huge college fees, or expensive books but the writer claimed it was purely decadence.  Expensive apartments, sports and dining out were cited as the main reasons for the huge cost of obtaining a college education in 1875.

In current day USA, the costs of a college education have been steadily rising and there’s a growing sense of unease that it’s becoming more and more unaffordable.   The present day statistics are shocking, the US now spends more on college than virtually any other country in the world.  Various reports including from the OECD have found that obtaining a college degree in the USA costs more than almost any other place on the planet.

It’s not just lower income families who are struggling to cover the costs of education.  The levels are extremely high and many people are only coping with many family contributions, and a combination of loans, grants and other assistance.  Most developed countries have costs around $15000 a year per student, however in the USA it’s about twice that cost.   There’s no other large country that comes even close to this figure even in countries like the UK which are becoming increasingly concerned about the rising costs.    The only country which has a similar costs is a much smaller one – Luxembourg however the tuition is actually free because it is subsidized by the Government.

There are of courses two main questions that probably arise in the minds of both potential students and their parents – why is it so expensive and is it worth it!

After all the USA is no more expensive than many developed countries indeed in many basic cost of living areas it’s actually much cheaper. Obviously this varies depending on location but there’s nothing here that directly points to the huge costs differences.

There are some factors which obviously contribute, the US spends more than anyone on student welfare, health, housing and transportation which are classified in most reports as ancillary services.  However these only represent a proportion of the costs and it is estimated the US student  will spend about $3300 on these every year which is about double in most other countries.

There are of course lots of ways to reduce these costs, for example community colleges are becoming more and more popular because they’re more affordable.  However there is still some stigma involved in College education and a mentality among some that ‘you get what you pay for’, slowly though that is changing simply because of the huge sums involved.  Students in the UK since the abolition of grants and introduction of student loads are frequently studying in colleges near their homes.  Indeed many are even taking much of their course online, indeed you can take them from abroad if you invest in a simple VPN or the circumvention tool mentioned in this post about the BBC DNS service.

Why such a large cost difference?  Well one of the main reasons, is that US college students are likely to live away from home.  This increases expenses greatly because they have to supply all their food and accommodation requirements as opposed to many European students who live at home while studying in college.    What’s more these services are often supplied by the colleges themselves often at a premium rate.  Also there are many other services that are provided which also cost the student additional amounts.   However the majority of costs are simply on core educational operations and the expenses are due to things like high costs of salaries.

 

 

Some Tips on Choosing an International Course

How to Choose the Right Course? It sounds easy especially if you’ve got an idea of your intended career. However there’s some basic questions you should ask yourself ad your intended colleges before you commit to anything binding.

When is the best time of year to start a course?

If possible, consider planning your trip for sometime other than the summer season (July & August). The summer is the peak time for student-travel, and you’ll need to make sure that you register well in advance, as courses often fill-up early. Things like tuition, accommodation, and travel may also be cheaper and easier to obtain during the off-season. Of course, countries which are popular during the summer are often so for good reasons – there may be a wide variety of leisure opportunities and activities that are only available during the peak-season.
Seasonal information on both schools and cities can be found online, if you get blocked it’s worth using a proxy server temporarily – preferably one with a residential IP.

How long should my course be?

Keep in mind that it often takes up to 2 weeks to adapt to a new country and learning-environment. This is also the minimum length of most language courses. If you have never traveled before, or you are going to destination that is very-foreign to you, consider doing a course of at least 3 or 4 weeks in length, or longer if possible. You will see the best improvement in your language-skills this way, as well as having a pleasanter and less-stressful trip!

But is it possible to go to a school for only one or two weeks?

Yes, it is possible. Almost every school will discount tuition for a shortened-course, if they do not already offer a course of that length.

Does the quality or content of the lesson depend on the price of tuition?

Answer Every school provides opportunities to learn language, and each school has their own curriculum. Differences in the cost of tuition are probably not because of the actual quality of the lessons. More likely you’re paying extra for a school in a wealthier neighborhood, or with more expensive facilities.

Is it possible to enter a language institute even if I cannot speak the language at all?

Every school has lessons for different levels: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Before starting lessons, you’ll need to write a placement test; that way you know that you will be placed in an appropriate program for your skill-level. However, since course start-dates may be different, depending on skill-level (especially for total-beginner level courses), you should let them know before hand so that they can verify the starting-date for you. Nowadays it’s not quite as big an issue but it often depends on the types of course. Some art based courses may be more flexible than traditional academic courses. You can often do a lot online as well so it may be worth seeing if you can start online and switch later in the term. If in another country you may need to use a proxy server to steady your connections. These are often used by photographers to upload their photos to restricted sharing sites – best proxies for instagram.

I would like to go to a university, vocational school, or another “higher-education” institute after finishing my study at the language-school.

First, you must check the language-requirements of the institute you want to attend. Secondly, a different visa may also be required to continue your studies, and you may need a certain level of language proficiency to obtain it. If your language-level is already high enough, you may be able to apply for the visa immediately. Also, there are some universities and vocational schools that offer ESL and second-language courses themselves.

The cost of tuition for the course I want to take is given for 4 weeks of study, but is it possible to take the course for 7 weeks?

Yes, it is possible. If you are enrolling in a general language course there should be no problem. The cost of the 4-week course gives you the base rate, and adding extra weeks is usually quite simple. However, some specialized courses do have fixed schedules or lengths, and they may not be flexible. If you have any questions about course length or costs, please ask us.

Netherlands brings Crypto into the Classroom

There are many educators who passionately believe that it’s important to keep updating the educational curriculum at all levels. It’s surprisingly easy to allow courses to become outdated or even worse less than relevant to students lives. Some subjects of course are easier than others to keep updated, lessons like languages and some of the sciences are quite easy to adapt to modern times but others less so.

Many suggest that this failure to adapt some areas of the curriculum to the modern age, are responsible for shortages in certain subject areas. For example there are huge shortages of maths and science teachers in many developed countries across the world. It is often thought that these subjects need updating and instilling more relevance to the core lessons of the subject. Mathematics is one of those areas and it’s important to use current situations and technology to illustrate the part this subject plays in our daily lives.

Just like many educational departments have drastically updated their technology courses, then maths is seen as another target for improvement. Showing how maths can be used in the modern digital age is very useful. Perhaps implementing the algorithms used in encrypting servers in order to protect privacy or install the latest configuration of sneaker proxies which can be the start of a thriving eBay empire. Other important and interesting topics are studying the mathematics behind bitcoin and blockchain which are likely to become a much bigger part of our lives.

According to a very rough translation of the test paper passing around on Reddit, Dutch college students were presented the following question and introduction:

” Bitcoin is an electronic currency that solely exists online. It has survived since January 1st, 2009, and can be used as payment method in ecommerce sites and with regard to other internet services. Bitcoin is certainly not, like traditional money, created by a central bank. Rather, all bitcoin which exist are simply created by having computers take part in resolving particular mathematical problems. This operates as follows: everyone is able to run special software on his or her computer that participates in working out such an arithmetical problem. The owner of the computer that solves the problem obtains 25 (recently created) bitcoin as a prize. Due to the fact that it was the case that in 2014 such a problem is resolved every 10 minutes, 25 new bitcoins were simply created each and every 10 minutes. On January 1st, there were (approximately) 12.2 million bitcoin.”

Following from the preceding overview, pupils were actually asked to deal with five assorted mathematical problems. The questions asked that students “determine in exactly what year the volume of bitcoin went above 18 million,” “compute from which year during the reward will be actually less than one bitcoin,” “calculate the greatest quantity of bitcoin that could be in circulation,” in addition to posing addition challenges based on the formula used to figure out the previously mentioned queries.

Netherlands Starting to Embrace Crypto Technology

Dutch Senior High School Examination Features Bitcoin-Themed questions. The released test has already been supplied to students complying with increasing awareness of cryptocurrency on the part of Holland’s companies.

During March, the Court of Amsterdam determined that bitcoin displays “properties of wealth” whilst settling a civil rights case concerning an individual pursuing repayment from an unfinished agreement concerning bitcoin mining. The court concluded that “bitcoin represents a value and is transferable” and “thus shows characteristics of a property. A claim for remittance in Bitcoin is, for that reason, to be regarded as a claim that qualifies for verification.”

Using electronic cash is more important as the level of e-commerce develops, there are already many forms but nothing as advanced and flexible as using crypto currency.  The privacy part is essential too, if you’re investing in some secure virtual private network in order to enjoy your match of the Day stream from some foreign country – it’s useful to be able to pay anonymously and discretely. Obviously there are dangers too, in that technology like this can be used by criminals and terrorists which is another reason we need mathematicians to develop and improve the technology and it’s implementation.

Earlier this month, the minister of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Rob van Gijzel, delivered a national blockchain research agenda, which in turn had been commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The ministry had developed a designated board, TopTeam ICT, entrusted with investigating the potential legal, economic, and ethical significance of dispersed ledger technology in the Netherlands.

Cyber Criminals Target Young People and Students

The article below is probably of relevance to many parents and young people who are starting out in college. The victims of digital crimes like identity theft are often portrayed as older, less technical savvy people but increasingly that’s not the case. Many identity thieves are targeting young people who are extremely active online in forums, boards and social media groups however are only just starting out with their financial profiles. Often they are not aware of the importance of things like social security numbers or national insurance details in the UK. Many young people will have basic bank accounts but possibly don’t use them as much as older people and are less likely to be aware of fraudulent entries from their account for example.

Assuming that you are a parent or guardian of a teenager, you pretty much recognize the threats which the Internet can pose. By now you have most likely listened to the stories regarding grown-up predators who linger in online chat rooms searching for children to victimize. Commonly these freaks impersonate adolescents, seeking to acquire the trust of unsuspecting and naive children. News journalists have posed as potential child victims, consented to meet with predators, planted hidden cameras, and caught these kinds of criminals in compromising positions.

It’s  important to make young people aware of all the risks that are associated with being online.  There are obviously many initiatives regarding protecting young peoples safety with respects to sexual predators but the danger doesn’t end there.  Young people are very active online and arguably are much more vulnerable to online criminals.  Although they tend to be technical savvy, they tend to less aware of dangers, and engage in habits like downloading from media sites often using illegal torrents for example.

It is certainly incredibly important that all parents appreciate these threats to make certain their children know who they really should and shouldn’t be talking with. Nonetheless, there is another risk that children are encountering online which typically parents are completely unaware of. That risk, needless to say, is identity theft, and it appears that youngsters can be at much more risk than adults.

I didn’t get my first credit card until i was 18 years old. Like most other teenagers, even after I acquired it, I had no idea what a credit report was, and l was not even just a little curious about reading one. I didn’t find out about credit reports until I bought my first new car a few years later. I discovered an identity criminal been definitely using my information during those years, I would certainly not have known it. And that is precisely why younger people are so much at risk.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has specified that people under the age of 18 are the fastest growing demographic for identity theft. More often than not, young victims won’t realize that they are victims up until they apply for a driver’s license or attempt to sign up for their first credit card. All of a sudden, creditors come out of the woodwork to attempt to recover unpaid debt. In many cases, crooks use portions of the victims’ real information while making up the rest Whenever the targets get credit reports, they find their social security numbers assigned to more than just their names.

So how is it that identity thieves are actually obtaining these young peoples’ SSNs? Well, it turns out that frequently the victims provide it to them whilst conversing on the internet. While most adults have been made aware of the need to guard SSNs, frequently teenagers don’t have any idea what it’s utilized for or exactly what can happen if it ends up in the wrong hands.

Further Information: http://www.theninjaproxy.org/security/residential-ip-provider/

 

More Colleges Opt Out From Football

For many, the community college system has represented a last chance to continue playing high level football. High school players who aren’t going to Universities have previously had to stop playing of start looking for amateur leagues at a lower levels. The community college network provides a way for continuing and indeed sometimes launching professional football careers.

The state community school district will eliminate soccer following the 2018 season. Citing constraints, Maricopa County Community College District officials said Monday they’re ending the district sponsored soccer programs at the four schools that have soccer: Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix public schools. District spokesman Matt Hasson said the choice to get rid of the game wasn’t made lightly. Even though this is a disappointment to our student athletes, coaching staff, and soccer fans, it’s finally the right decision for the district and the long lasting success of pupils, he explained in a statement. As an important resource for the community and companies, MCCCD must be accountable for the financial resources it’s been entrusted with.

Last year, a working group submitted recommendations to Chancellor Maria Harper Marinick with the possibility of soccer being cut. But district officials announced in October they’d continue the soccer applications, that makes this week’s announcement to eliminate soccer a surprise. This really is a killer’. This really is a killer for children that are scholarship players right out of highschool, Casa Grande High School coach Jake Barro explained. Arizona makes it particularly difficult, he explained, due to That the nation has only two universities of the national associations of intercollegiate athletic Universities which play no universities and soccer in Division II or Division III.

Vail Cienega high school coach Pat Nugent explained that schools have helped Arizona children develop emotionally and physically for higher levels. We may have so many players miss out on an opportunity to go play soccer even when it was only for two more years in school. Four out of the district’s 10 schools offer school football, a game that’s seen as a last hope for high school players that want to continue their passion. 20 percent of athletics spending budget, 50% of insurance costs.  It’s a time of lots of competing sports from all over the world of course, and American football is often one of the most difficult and expensive sports to run.  Lots of US children are becoming interested in ‘soccer’ for example watching from the UK through programmes like Match of the Day live on TV – watch this.

District officials said that the decision of the state to eliminate funds to the community schools several years past played a part in the decision.

They also looked at national trends. Of the 530 member schools In the National Junior College Athletic Association, just 65 sponsor soccer applications, officials said. MCCCD officials say soccer makes up 20% of the district’s total athletic spending budget and is accountable for more than 50% of insurance costs. Ongoing costs to keep the soccer programs could top $20 million in needed capital improvements and associated expenses, officials said. Phoenix St. Mary’s High School coach Tommy Brittain called the choice to eliminate junior school football unlucky for the many high schools soccer players that can compete in the next level, but haven’t yet been recruited. He say others just need a couple of years to develop their potential as an athlete or they lack the financial assistance that playing out of state usually requires.

Further Reading: http://uktvabroad.org/

Developing Education Through Technology

Education has changed in many ways over the last few decades, but perhaps the biggest one has been the role of technology. The internet, computers and mobile phones are now an intrinsic part of the educational experience. Twenty years ago, there was a chance that a pupil who was assigned a task would look it up or visit a library. Nowadays though, in 99% of cases the pupil would almost certainly use the internet as their first point of reference at least if they were living in the developed part of the world.

This is obviously much more convenient, although it does bring it with many issues.  One of the most important is obviously about the authority and accuracy of such sources, a random blog compared to a published encyclopedia for example.   Obviously some sites are better than others, many students worldwide use a VPN to access the BBC site which has high editorial standards matching most publications.

In the current age we are living in, technology became a significant component. Every day there’s a new gadget or software that makes life easier and improves technology and applications that already exists. Making lives easier isn’t, but the only role that technology plays in our life. Technology is playing an increasing role in education. As technology advances, it’s used to benefit students of all ages within the learning process. Technology utilized in the class room helps students adsorb the material. For instance, since some individuals are visual learners, projection screens connected to computers can allow students to see their notes instead of listening to a tutor deliver a lecture.

Software may be utilized to supplement class curriculum. The applications provide study questions, actions, and even quizzes and tests to get a class that may help students continue learning outside the classroom. Technology has also become part of the curriculum outside of the standard computer and technology classes. Students use computers to create presentations and use the world wide web to research topics for essays and papers.

Pupils learn how to use the technology available to them in technology and computer classes. This helps to ensure that after graduation they’ll be capable to use the technology in work environment, which might put them ahead of somebody who did not have access to a certain technology or applications in their very own school setting.  technology can be used in virtually any subject area, for example accessing BBC News streaming abroad is great for current affairs, politics and a host of other classes.

As technology advances, students have better access to educational opportunities like these. When something new and better is revealed, the old technology becomes more affordable, enabling it for use in educational settings, even when schools are on a budget. Technology has also advanced to help kids even before they have started school. Educational video games and systems for young kids helps them to prepare for school and in several cases get a head start on their education. There are individuals who might say kids are spoiled by technology. Rather than being in a position to add a long column of numbers within their heads, for instance, they turn into a calculator. Irrespective of those arguments, technology is a significant part of today’s society. By integrating it into the class room, students will be better equipped to transition from the class room to the work area.

Why Community College’s are Becoming More Popular

For years, community colleges have been seen as a second option perhaps for people unable to continue to traditional colleges and Universities. Now though times have changed and these colleges are often being chosen because of their flexible courses and options over other colleges. One of the other reasons is that the rising costs of college education means that students are looking for these flexible options where fees are smaller and more part time options are available.

More important now employers are starting to appreciate the value of a Community college education which produces well educated, adaptable and driven graduates. In fact the community college may be a fantastic location for you to start your post-secondary education. You may earn an associate diploma or certificate to enter the workplace, or you may opt to continue your education on a bachelor’s degree by transferring credit to a on-line university or a 4-year institution.

You can even use these credits to support study in a foreign country, with most developed nations having some sort of scheme for transferring credits from US colleges.  For example check out some of the UK’s educational establishments which can evaluate and accept these qualifications.  You can research these online perhaps start at the BBC education pages or through the BBC iPlayer application.  To access these from the USA, have a look at this page which explains how to access the BBC from Ireland – but the principle is the same.

Here are some of the great reasons to Select a community college’s education program:

Reason .1: Conserve Costs in Tuition Price

If you’re tight on your education funds to pursue a diploma offered by the majority of universities and colleges which may cost you over $100,000 to complete the degree program, then enrolling into a community school program can assist you to accomplish very comparable academic successes at a fraction of the cost.

Reason .2: Most Credits From Community College Are Transferable

You may take your preliminary core classes at community college and after that move to a university or college bachelor schedule for continuous education. Vast majority of college and universities accept transfer credit from community schools. By accepting your preliminary core classes at community school will save your money whilst permitting you to follow a transitional path to independent living.

Reason .3: Enable You To Develop Vocational Skills

In case you’ve enter workplace with an overall degree like liberal arts degree, then community school is a fantastic place to hone your skills on specific area that related to your career field. You’ll come across many education programs offered by community schools are related to career fields that could assist you to develop professional abilities to handle your job professionally. Furthermore, almost all these college education applications can be completed in 1 to 2 years; you can salvage your time to complete the same subject areas offered in a 4-year degree offered by other schools and universities.

Reason .4: Locate Strategic Places

Community schools are frequently located in the hearts of towns or cities where you’ll discover it convenience to travel with a public transportation to and from your classes, and also spare you in term of car and gas expenses.  As mentioned above it also may allow access to study programmes in other countries.  For example in Europe, Germany has a very open and inclusive educational programme with much of it delivered in English.   Check out the German education site, you may need a german proxy like this to access from the USA.

Reason .5: Small Class Size

The class size in community schools usually small and they only accept limited registration making you get lots of one-on-one attention from instructors.

Reason .6: Flexible Learning Schedule

If you’re a working person who has issues to fix your time to attend the classes, then community school learning schedule may meet your needs. Vast majority of community college education applications have some sort flexible schedule for you to choose and attend your class that match to your time. Beside this, you may work with the instructors to make up missed coursework on-line, empower you to enjoy the advantages of education in a pace which makes sense. Furthermore, many of education programs offered by community colleges can be seen in on-line diploma format, making it a great option for working adults and new parents to bag their desired degree on-line and in their very own learning rate.

Considering a Community College Education?

You’ve decided that you want to follow your university studies then you are most likely full of questions concerning majors and degrees. The disparity is that faculty refers to an institute of college education which offers a degree while universities also offer graduate levels such as PhDs and Master degrees. Colleges refer to Community Colleges, which offer and permit pupils to take classes that are general before proceeding to 4 year universities and colleges. Bachelor degrees are 4 year levels that focus on 1 or 2 academic fields. Bachelor degrees are often divided in two groups: B.A. And Bachelor’s degree.

B.A. covers the arts and most of the degrees classified as the humanities, while Bachelor’s degrees concentrate on business, engineering, technology and science subjects amounts usually focus on arts and humanities fields. To be able to acquire a bachelor degree, you must select a major. There is A major the discipline that you want to study. A minor is an academic discipline you’ll be able to study in addition. Colleges and universities in america offer a wide selection of minors and majors you may pick. Probably the most crucial differences in between the US college education system and people from other nations is that students in the United States must take a wide range of courses as well as their major courses.

Although college libraries are an important part of life, you should also consider the technology resources in assessing a college or University.   It’s important to visit the college if you can, instead of relying on those glossy sales videos or brochures which most distribute.

Students will need to study English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Humanities no matter their major and minor subjects. Master degree levels are levels, which last more than 2 years as a minimum. Several pupils change the minds about the career after graduating and go on to receive a master’s degree from the arena of their choice. Many liberal arts graduates select to go for a Master of Business Administration following a few years of experience in the business world, and some mathematics and engineering graduates select to go for master levels in pedagogy after acquiring a passion for that the education world.

Master degrees not only enable you to change careers, they also provide you many benefits including more field experience, a wider professional network, credibility and improved and more job opportunities.  There’s certainly a better chance of getting the very best jobs with a good masters degree.  Although many people do work their way up and indeed some of the top media executives in places like the BBC and large national newspapers don’t have this level of formal education.

PhD and doctoral degrees prepare pupils for careers in research and academia. Put simply, these degrees basically concentrate on preparing college professors and professional researchers. Students generally attend classes for the first few years and concentrate on preparing the thesis for the remaining years. A master degree isn’t a requirement of the PhD, but a lot of universities prefer students who’ve completed graduate studies in their field.

Novel Ways for Boosting Literacy and Numeracy

When we think of traditional measures of boosting the levels of literacy to a given group, all too often we tend to imagine classrooms full of willing students eager to improve their life skills.  In many instances, particular in the less developed world this is often the case – where education is seen as a luxury, students are likely to seize the opportunities when given.

But this situation doesn’t fit all circumstances and improving the general level of literacy often requires more options.  In the UK at the moment, the Arts Council of Wales is proposing a very similar argument in response to pressures on their budgets.  They have produced a report demonstrating how the arts can be a powerful enabler in driving up standards of literacy especially in deprived communities.

It is certainly true that in times of austerity, art and the creative areas tend to get neglected.  However this isn’t the first report which has suggested that teaching in and using the arts can drive up academic standards all across the curriculum.   It’s important for students to develop creative skills that can benefit them in other academic areas.  It is a vital part of development and a skill that is just as useful to scientists as it is to musicians and artists.

It doesn’t need to be expensive either, arts is accessible throughout many different mediums. The internet has opened up tremendous possibilities including in the study of art such as drama, music and literature.  The world’s best galleries and museums are all accessible online to some extent.  Same for the media – you can access UK Television through proxies anywhere in the world – the BBC is well known for producing quality art programmes.

It is obviously tempting to tackle literacy and numeracy directly however other areas of study can bring huge benefits in these areas.  Reducing costs is obviously necessary in many schools and colleges but that doesn’t mean we should reduce choice.

Further Reading:

Accessing BBC and UK TV using Proxies – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/using-a-proxy-to-watch-the-bbc/