Week of: October 22, 2007
- Speak Up! 2007 Now Open
Speak Up! - the annual event that gathers information about key technology and educational issues - opened on October 15, with online surveys for K-12 students, teachers, parents and school leaders.
- Strong Support for 21st Century Skills
Almost all Americans (99%) believe that the nation's future economic success hinges on children learning 21st century skills such as computer and technology skills and critical thinking.
- Broadening Student Horizons
Delaware has turned to TechGYRLS to help keep middle school girls involved in science and technology course and activities.
- Families Get Refurbished Computers
The KidComputers program at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) refurbishes donated computers, which are then given to underserved students and their families.
- Previewing the World Digital Library
Officials unveiled a prototype of the World Digital Library in Paris last week, in preparation for a hoped for 2008 launch of the free, multilingual online web site.
Speak Up! 2007 Now Open
Speak Up! - the annual event that gives voices to the education community about key technology and educational issues - opened on October 15, with online surveys for K-12 students, teachers and parents. New this year is an online survey for school leaders. This marks Speak Up's fifth year of facilitating the inclusion of student voices in national and local discussions on education and technology. Since inception the project has collected the viewpoints of over 850,000 K-12 students, teachers and parents from all 50 states. This year's themes include Learning and Teaching with Technology, Web 2.0 in Education, 21st Century Skills, Science Instruction & Global Competitiveness, Emerging Technologies in the Classroom (Gaming, Mobile Devices, Online Learning) and Designing the School of the Future. Also new this year, the parent survey is available in English and Spanish. The Speak Up! surveys will be open through December 15, 2007. Each participating school or district will receive online access to their own aggregated quantitative data along with national benchmark data. Over the years, districts have used that data as input for program and budget planning and to spur community discussion. National data findings will be released in March 2008. Speak Up! 2007 sponsors include CDW-G, SMART Technologies, PASCO Scientific, Futurekids, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and KI Education. Nearly 100 nonprofit partners help with outreach efforts to ensure that all schools and districts know about Speak Up! Of special recognition are the 2007 Champion Outreach Partners – SETDA, CoSN and NSBA. To participate, a school must register at the Speak Up! Web site at http://www.netdayspeakup.org/
Strong Support for 21st Century Skills
Almost all Americans (99%) believe that the nation's future economic success hinges on children learning 21st century skills such as computer and technology skills and critical thinking, according to a new national poll of registered voters conducted on behalf of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Two-out-of-three voters say that America's children need more than just the basics and that schools need to incorporate a broader range of skills in the curriculum. While 80% of voters say that the kind of skills students need to learn to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century is different from what they needed 20 years ago, 60% say that schools are doing only a fair or a poor job of keeping up with changing educational needs in order to ensure that students have the skills they need in order to succeed. While 87% of survey respondents rated computer and technology skills as very important, only 48% believe the schools are doing a good job of teaching those skills. And while that is a big gap, voters believe schools ate doing their best work teaching computer and tech skills. Other areas rated very poorly. For example, while 80% rated critical thinking and problem-solving skills as very important, only 18% believe that schools are doing a good job of teaching those skills.
Broadening Student Horizons
Delaware has turned to TechGYRLS to help keep middle school girls involved in science and technology course and activities. Nationwide, research suggests that it's middle school when girls begin to loose interest in math and science. The YWCA launched TechGYRLS in 1997 as a national initiative aimed at encouraging girls ages 9 to 14 to explore careers in science, technology and engineering The program is designed to create opportunities for under served girls to explore the latest technologies in a nurturing, girls only environment. Hand-on activities offer girls a chance to invent, design and present their own work in the context of learning general life skills. These include Internet scavenger hunts, computer electronics, robotics and various other software applications. Additionally, the YWCA enlists the support of college women and women established in the field of technology as mentors for the girls and in identifying sites for field trips. Delaware's first classes began this summer at Talley Middle School and expanded this fall to Conrad Middle School, Girls Inc. and Elizabeth House Family Life Center in Wilmington. YWCA Delaware leaders are seeking more funding to start programs in Kent and Sussex counties. The Delaware Business, Industry, Education Alliance is supporting similar activities for all children across the state, encouraging students to explore science, math and technology careers.
Families Get Refurbished Computers
The KidComputers program at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) refurbishes donated computers, which are then given to underserved students and their families. The labor and technology expertise comes from students in SCC's Computer Information Systems program, who spend time working on old computers donated by RedSeven Computer Company of Tempe and Scottsdale Rotary. The program originally benefited students at Supai Middle School. Now it also serves the needs of the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley. RedSeven has developed a network of local merchants that serve as drop-off points for the used computers; merchants even provide incentives to people who drop off old computers at their stores. Last year SCC students refurbished more than 100 computers, some of which required significant work. Working in SCC's Special Projects class, Information Systems students clean, repair, install anti-virus and other software programs and package the refurbished computers for delivery. Families receive fully functional computer systems, including a mouse, keyboard, speakers and a monitor. Not only can students use their new computers for schoolwork, the family also becomes familiar with the system and the ways it can support workplace and household literacy.
Source:The Arizona Republic
Previewing the World Digital Library
Officials unveiled a prototype of the World Digital Library in Paris last week, in preparation for a hoped for 2008 launch of the free, multilingual online web site. The World Digital Library is a joint initiative by the U.S. Library of Congress, UNESCO and international partner libraries, including Egypt's Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the National Library of Egypt, the National Library of Brazil, the National Library of Russia and the Russian State Library. The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research. Modeled on the Library of Congress' American Memory project, the library will include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. Attendees at the Paris event were treated to a guided tour of the prototype, showing off documents such as New World maps, historic photographs from Brazil and a 1949 audio file of a former American slave.
Source:International Herald Tribune