Week of: February 18, 2008
- Teens Claim Ignorance of Copyright Rules
Nearly half of teens surveyed say they are not familiar with the rules that govern the downloading of content from the Internet.
- FL Bans Electronic Devices During Testing
Florida students found to have a cell phone or other electronic device with them as they take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test will have their tests invalidated.
- Distance Learning for the Gifted
Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth offers e-learning courses for gifted students in mathematics, physics, computer science and writing.
- Laptops to Replace Textbooks
Next fall, sixth graders at Trinity Lutheran School will each receive a laptop computer loaded with the textbooks they need for science, math and social studies classes.
- Computer-Assisted Language Tutors
A technology developed to help autistic and hearing-impaired children may also prove a powerful tool for remedial readers, children with language challenges, and second language learners.
Teens Claim Ignorance of Copyright Rules
Nearly half of teens surveyed say they are not familiar with the rules that govern the downloading of content from the Internet. In an online survey of 7th to 10th graders, conducted by Microsoft, 49% of respondents claimed relative ignorance of the guidelines for downloading images, literature, music, movies and software compared to only 11% who say they understand the rules "very well." In general, teenagers see illegal downloading as less serious than other forms of stealing, with 48% saying that illegal downloaders should be punished compared to 90% who believe it is appropriate to punish someone for stealing a bike. However, teens who say they are familiar with the rules are much more likely (82%) to say that illegal downloaders should be punished. Only 57% of those who claim to be unfamiliar with the rules think punishment is appropriate. Teens who are familiar with downloading rules credit their parents as their main source of information about what is permissible online. Other sources of information include TV or stories in magazines and newspapers and websites. Teens indicate that concern about potential consequences is one of the strongest deterrents to illegal downloading and content sharing. Among the reasons teens cite for engaging in illegal downloading are lack of knowledge, peer pressure and the fact that can't afford to purchase the materials. There is also a sense that prices are too high and the content owners and star performers don't need the money.
Source:World Screen News
FL Bans Electronic Devices During Testing
Florida students found to have a cell phone or other electronic device with them as they take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test will have their tests invalidated. That's a significant threat, since passing the FCAT is required in some situations. For example, 10th graders must pass the writing portion of the FCAT in order to graduate. The new rules say that any device with the ability to reproduce, transmit, calculate or record must be turned off and at least three feet away from the student. That would allow students to store their devices in backpacks, which are placed at the back of classrooms. Some districts plan to provide plastic bags and collect and store students' devices before test administration begins. Any students caught with a cell phone or other device on their person, even if it is turned off, will have their test instantly invalidated. The new rules reflect security concerns about students using cell phones to take pictures of the test or accessing the Internet to look up answers.
Distance Learning for the Gifted
Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth offers e-learning courses for gifted students in mathematics, physics, computer science and writing. The program has recorded more than 60,000 enrollments since its inception in the early 1990s. EPGY grew out of an effort to develop a computer based calculus course for students who did not have access to this level of math instruction locally. Today EPGY offers accelerated-classes for K-7 students and advanced and university-level courses for older students. Tuition ranges from $495 to $740 depending on course length and subject matter. EPGY courses use the computer as an essential instructional resource. Multimedia lectures with animations provide students with expository content. These lectures capture the informal nature of classroom instruction, while preserving a level of rigor appropriate to the subject matter. Most of the EPGY courses have weekly sessions in the EPGY Virtual Classroom. In the virtual classroom, students connect via the internet, using voice and shared whiteboard conferencing software to create a real-time interactive version of the EPGY lecture environment. Most courses include exercises in which students answer questions and receive immediate feedback from the computer. Students may also have more traditional assignments that they submit electronically for instructors to evaluate. In 2007 the program expanded to offer an accredited, diploma granting, three-year, online high school, supplemented by optional intensive residential summer courses at Stanford University.
Source:The Stanford Daily
Laptops to Replace Textbooks
Next fall, sixth graders at Trinity Lutheran School will each receive a laptop computer loaded with the textbooks they need for science, math and social studies classes. The Baltimore area private school is making the change to maintain its competitive edge. The laptops will also ease the amount of weight that they carry in their backpacks each day. The Baltimore-are private schools has decided to deploy a laptop designed specifically for children, featuring a spill- and sand-resistant keyboard, reinforced hinges, durable casing and capable of enduring up to 26 drops. Parents will pay a $400 annual technology fee, which also pays for computer maintenance and repairs, with the option of purchasing the laptop when the child finishes middle school. Administrators say that the laptop program will help prepare their students for high school. Many Trinity students go on to a local high school that started its own laptop program several years ago. The textbooks can be accessed via the internet, allowing both classroom and home use. The classrooms at Trinity are equipped with Interactive whiteboards, so teachers will be able to project information form the online textbooks for use with the whole class. Trinity is aware of the potential problems the laptops may cause and is considering installing a monitoring program on teacher laptops to be sure that everyone is focused on schoolwork.
Source:The Baltimore Sun
Computer-Assisted Language Tutors
A technology developed to help autistic and hearing-impaired children may also prove a powerful tool for remedial readers, children with language challenges, and second language learners. Dominic Massaro a cognitive researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has developed computer-assisted speech and language tutors that use natural human speech to model language articulation. The tutor is based on Massaro's work on the importance of face-to-face interaction in speech comprehension. Baldi (Massaro's animated tutor) features a realistic tongue and palate. Students can access dynamic sideview cutaways of Baldi's tongue, jaw, and teeth to see how words are formed. Massaro believes that combining such visual cues with sound boosts comprehension. The technology can be particularly useful in helping learners pronounce and discriminate certain sounds in foreign languages. Students can practice with Baldi without feeling embarrassed and can get help even when the teacher is not available. Massaro believes that ability to perceive speech is based on the integration of visual and auditory information. His software company, Animated Speech Corporation, has produced programs that feature an animated tutor that teaches vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and speech articulation.