Week of: February 11, 2008
- Summer School Goes Online
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district is planning to turn to online instruction for its 2008 summer school program.
- Teens Take on Teaching Role
Technology Thursdays at Baltimore's Marriotts Ridge High School finds students teaching free after school-technology classes to other students and community members.
- Find PBS Video at iTunes U
Some of public broadcastings most popular stations have begun to offer video clips and other educational resources on iTunes U.
- Legislating against Cyberbullying
Extreme incidents of cyberbullying are causing a number of states to consider or pass legislation designed to give school legal standing in their efforts to combat online harassment.
- Columbia U Expands Library Digitization
Columbia University will work with Microsoft to digitize a large number of books from its extensive University Libraries collection.
Summer School Goes Online
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district is planning to turn to online instruction for its 2008 summer school program. The change is motivated by several factors. A new state law says that student sin need of remediation cannot be charged for those services. Without summer school fees and faced with an already tight district budget, computer-based instruction seems like the bets solution. Students enrolled in online summer school courses would complete their work in the school's computer lab, Though the labs will be monitored by a teachers, the district will be able to employ fewer teachers, since student-teacher ratio requirements would not have to be met. The labs will be able to accommodate students working at a wide variety of levels, each progressing at their own pace. The online coursework with will be available to current or rising high school students. North Carolina high school students have had access to the North Carolina Virtual Public School since the summer of 2007. N.C. Virtual School courses are structured and paced by an online teacher who delivers instruction, works with students via e-mail and electronic communication channels, makes assignments and helps keep students on track.
Source:The Daily Tar Heel
Teens Take on Teaching Role
Technology Thursdays at Baltimore's Marriotts Ridge High School finds students teaching free after school-technology classes to other students and community members. Classes include courses in Photoshop, game design, Web design and popular computer applications such as Microsoft Office. The teens teaching in the Technology Thursdays program work closely with Reg Hahne, the high school's instructional team leader for Career Technology Education. They write a curriculum with lesson plans, which Hahne reviews. Hahne says that he is often surprised at how good the students are at teaching. The teen-aged teachers are just happy to share their own passion for a topic with an interested audience. Senior Rohit Ramesh teaches Introduction to Game Design. The curriculum is based on his experience programming simple shooter and strategy games that he posts online. After studying what makes a game a game, Ramesh's students work on developing their own games, learning to write code that control simple interactions within the game. Technology Thursdays also give the school an opportunity to develop relationships with businesses and people in the community and showcase the students' skills and what's happening at the school. Hahne also works with students who attend the middle school middle school is across the street from Marriotts Ridge. He's teaching them Java programming. Hahne says that having middle schoolers participate in Technology Thursdays gives him the chance to evolve Marriotts Ridge's program into a 6-12 grade program. Many of Hahne students enter high school well ahead of their peers.
Source:The Baltimore Sun
Find PBS Video at iTunes U
Some of public broadcastings most popular stations have begun to offer video clips and other educational resources on iTunes U. KQED (San Francisco), WETA (Washington, D.C.), WGBH (Boston) and WNET (New York) along with PBS have turned to iTunes U, a dedicated area of the iTunes Store to make their content easily available to the public. The content, including educational video clips, lectures, interviews, teacher's guides and a variety of other materials, is located in the Beyond Campus section of iTunes U. Educators will find material ranging from an underwater journey through a coral reef to documentary examinations of Europe, Africa and Asia, from video clips of a solar eclipse to in-depth interviews with leading authors, from an overview of digital storytelling techniques to lesson plans for Ken Burns's documentary THE WAR. The stations see this as an opportunity to expand the reach of their educational broadcasting and plan to add fresh content on a regular basis. The iTunes U presence also allows these stations to reach beyond their normal geographic boundaries.
Legislating against Cyberbullying
Extreme incidents of cyberbullying are causing a number of states to consider or pass legislation designed to give school legal standing in their efforts to combat online harassment. Seven states passed such legislation in 20007 and five more — Maryland, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — are considering similar legislation this year. Most of the laws that have been passed address the use of school computers or networks for cyberbullying, though a few such as legislation in Arkansas and Delaware, call for education officials to take action against off-campus bullying that disrupts their schools. In New Jersey, on the footsteps of new anti-cyberbullying legislation, the State Department of Education issued guidelines that said school administrators "may impose consequences" for off-campus bullying — but only when it "substantially interferes" with a school's operation. The problem for school systems is that most online harassment takes place off-campus, with students using their own personal computers or even cell phones to spread rumors and send harassing or even threatening e-mail. Schools have traditionally not dealt with off-campus issues like this and even with the legislation, some school lawyers warn of potential first amendment lawsuits. Even without litigation teens and some parents complain of schools' interference in students' private lives. The American Civil Liberties Union opposes the extension of cyberbullying laws beyond the use of school-based equipment, saying that most incidents have little impact beyond hurt feelings. But with the enormous power of the Internet to reach thousands of readers, the pain some teens feel is greatly magnified beyond what name-calling in a lunchroom might cause. There have been at least two cases of teen suicide attributed in part to intense barrages of cyberbullying. It's a fine line for schools to walk and parental involvement is a must.
Columbia U Expands Library Digitization
Columbia University will work with Microsoft to digitize a large number of books from its extensive University Libraries collection. The materials will be scanned, digitized and indexed so that they are freely available to the public through Live Search Books. The university will play a significant role in key role in selecting books to be digitized and setting quality standards for the materials. Plans call for digitizing selected portions of the libraries' collections of American history, literature, and humanities works with the specific areas to be decided mutually by Microsoft and Columbia during the early phase of the project. In addition to access via Live Search, the University will be able to share the digitized material worldwide through its own digital library and to share the content with noncommercial academic initiatives and nonprofit organizations. Columbia Libraries plans to store all digitized books created as part of this project in a long-term digital archive, so that they can be retained permanently for the future. In late December Columbia announced an agreement with Google to digitize a large number of the Libraries' books in the public domain and make them available online. That project will evaluate and review hundreds of thousands of volumes from the Libraries' collections over the next six years. Among the hundreds of collections that are being considered for digitization are areas in which Columbia has particularly strong holdings, for instance architecture from the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library; political science, sociology, and environmental science from the Lehman Social Sciences Library; Area Studies collections of history and literature materials from Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin and South America; or East Asian languages and history from the C. V. Starr East Asian Library. Their inclusion will extend and enrich the scope of the materials available through Google Book Search.