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T&L News(137) - Tech Learning

T&L News(137)

iTunes U Apple; Money-Saving Tip: Deliver Digital Media Online; Give the people what they want; Teens Help Teens Find Jobs; New Science Grant
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Week of: July 14, 2008

  • iTunes U Apple
    Educators could create an entire online course with the materials available at iTunes U, a collection of audio and video tracks that covers a variety of subjects for the K-16 curriculum. All of the tracks are free.
  • Money-Saving Tip: Deliver Digital Media Online
    The initial cost of delivering media content via a server-based digital management system averages about $3 per student (including hardware and software). School districts can realize their ROI in about as little as one year, just factoring in savings on duplication alone. Online subscription-based content averages about $1/title/school/year compared to around $30 videotape or DVD.
  • Give the people what they want
    According to poll results released by The Scientists and Engineers for America (SEA), the US public is strongly in favor of government funding of science and technology.
  • Teens Help Teens Find Jobs

    When Celeste Lavin, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lower Merion High School in PA, set out to find her first job, she wasn't sure where to start. She turned to her older brothers for advice; they'd earned money doing everything from mowing lawns to serving ice cream. She then asked friends about their ideas for getting a job as a teen.
  • New Science Grant
    By 2010, jobs in science and engineering nationally are expected to increase by 2.2 million. To help educators create a science classroom supported by technology, Fourier Systems launched the Computing Science Exploration Grant Program.

iTunes U Apple

By Joe Huber

Educators could create an entire online course with the materials available at iTunes U, a collection of audio and video tracks that covers a variety of subjects for the K-16 curriculum. All of the tracks are free.

Pros: The tracks contain excellent curriculum material, and the price is certainly right for K-12 schools. The content of the tracks is good for both student remediation and acceleration. If your school uses, Moodle, SchoolWires, SchoolFusion, Angel, Blackboad, etc., iTunes U can easily be incorporated into these products.

Cons: The downloads were slow even on my high speed connection (6 mbs dedicated). In some cases, it took up to 45 minutes to download an audio track. Schools can fix this by installing a dedicated server, but they would need an experienced IT person to set this up. There is also no state-by-state curriculum guide for the content/tracks or even a national subject area guide.

Overall Impression: This product is excellent for the K-12 classroom, especially for remediation and when combined with a content management product. For example, one particular track gives specifics on how to do 2-digit into 3-digit long division, which would be excellent for the educator to post on the day this was taught in class. I would suggest teachers download the content to their sites or that the school install its own server to make the most of the content.

Since most of the tracks are free and are of good curriculum content, iTunes U is an excellent value.

Money-Saving Tip: Deliver Digital Media Online

The initial cost of delivering media content via a server-based digital management system averages about $3 per student (including hardware and software). School districts can realize their ROI in about as little as one year, just factoring in savings on duplication alone. Online subscription-based content averages about $1/title/school/year compared to around $30 videotape or DVD. No more buying (and updating) DVDs and CDs. No more managing tricky schedules for the check-out of DVDs and CDs. With online delivery of server-based digital media, any title (or segment) in the system can be delivered anywhere, anytime—even home. Resources, bandwidth usage and licenses can also be easily updated and managed from a centralized location, ensuring a district won't be vulnerable to license violations. (source: SAFARI Montage)

Give the people what they want

According to poll results released by The Scientists and Engineers for America (SEA), the US public is strongly in favor of government funding of science and technology. Eighty-six percent of voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who is committed to equipping students with the skills they need for the twenty-first century through public investments in science and technology education. Here's how it broke down by party:

Democratic voters
92% more likely overall (65% much more likely)

Independent voters
81% more likely overall (46% much more likely)

Republican voters
80% more likely overall (38% much more likely)

Source: http://sefora.org/

Teens Help Teens Find Jobs

When Celeste Lavin, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lower Merion High School in PA, set out to find her first job, she wasn't sure where to start. She turned to her older brothers for advice; they'd earned money doing everything from mowing lawns to serving ice cream. She then asked friends about their ideas for getting a job as a teen.

Celeste, along with her older brother Austin, decided to share what she learned about first jobs with others through myfirstpaycheck.com. This job-posting site is for teens by teens. Teens can search the site for local job postings, employment resources, and resume tips—all for free. They can also sign up for Twitter updates, or read the site blog for helpful work tips.

New Science Grant

By 2010, jobs in science and engineering nationally are expected to increase by 2.2 million. To help educators create a science classroom supported by technology, Fourier Systems launched the Computing Science Exploration Grant Program.

Fourier Systems will match the contribution of the applicant up to a $7,500 value (the approximate cost of 15 Nova5000s, for a total of up to 30 Nova5000s). The recipient will also receive a $500 voucher for selection of any probeware offered by Fourier System. The three runners-up will receive a $500 voucher for Fourier Systems probeware.

Details: Entrants complete the award application here. All submissions should demonstrate how and why the applicant would benefit from the Nova5000s and other science and math tools in the classroom or science lab.

Deadlines: Open for submissions now through Jan. 1, 2009. The winning entrants and their schools will be notified on or about March 15, 2009.

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