- Multimedia Infusion for Two LA Schools
To counter low test scores and high student and teacher attrition, two schools in Louisiana's St John's parish will receive an infusion of multimedia equipment — interactive whiteboards, mobile computer labs and videoconferencing technology.
- Technology Engages Disruptive Students
The North County Juvenile Court and Community School uses a fast-paced curriculum grounded in technology to motivate and engage its troubles students.
- Students Tour the World Virtually
The Wilderness Classroom program has been taking students on exotic filed trips for the last six years. More than 30,000 students and 900 teachers now participate in the cyber trip program
- IN Awards STEM Planning Grants
Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels announced the award of sixteen $50,000 planning grants to help high schools better prepare students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
- Computing on the Lite Side
An Atlanta-based company will demonstrate its new $150 Lite Computer at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.
Multimedia Infusion for Two LA Schools
Louisiana's St. John Parish School Board has funded a $1 million that will infuse multimedia equipment into two schools suffering from low test scores and high teacher and student attrition. The schools will receive 11 interactive whiteboards each, along with a laptop computer and digital document camera for each teacher. Teachers will receive weekly training on the use of the new equipment. The new equipment can be used in a variety of ways. Teachers can project the screen from their laptops or images from the digital camera for whole class activities. Because the boards are touch sensitive, students can interact with the images, add annotations or control computer applications. The whiteboard images can be saved and posted to the Internet ort sent electronically to students via e-mail. The initial installations will place interactive whiteboards into high school math, English, science and social studies classrooms. At the elementary school, teachers preparing students for the LEAP test, which is administered to 4th and 8th graders, will get whiteboards. The district plans to supply additional whiteboards as teachers request them. One the whiteboards are in place, the schools will each get a mobile computer lab equipped with 30 laptop computers for the high school, and 24 laptop computers for the elementary school. Each mobile lab will provide wireless access to the Internet to the class using it. Teachers can schedule the mobile lab for their classrooms. Each school will also get a complete video conferencing cart, including a camera and microphone for two-way real-time communication via the Internet between students and a distant source. Finally the schools will get media labs where students will learn video production and editing and newspaper publishing.
Technology Engages Disruptive Students
Students attending the North County Juvenile Court and Community School often arrive with little interest in school or studying. To motivate and engage these students, the schools use a fast-paced curriculum grounded in technology. The school, also known as North County Technology and Science Academy operates in two classrooms inside the North County Regional Education Center. Of the 84 schools in the county serving troubled teens, North County Juvenile Court and Community School is one of only three that offer a technology and science academy. The 36 students, ranging in grades seven through 12, spend six hours a day studying technology skills and science. They also attend classes in math, English and history. The strong technology and science approach is designed to spark student attention and maintain motivation. Each student has his or her own laptop computer. They use electronic textbooks and access the Internet for research. They complete online self-assessments and quizzes. Students construct PowerPoint presentations to demonstrate their understanding of classroom lectures and lab experiments. Over the next several months the school plans to have students use the technology to create short videos about their and interests and to build technology portfolios.
Source:North County Times
Students Tour the World Virtually
The Wilderness Classroom program has been taking students on exotic filed trips for the last six years. More than 30,000 students now participate in the program, tagging along virtually as the program's founder, David Freeman, explores some of the world's more exotic climes. Freeman has traveled throughout the Western Hemisphere since starting the program, including a trip to the Amazon rain forest, an 80-day canoe trip from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and a trek by dogsled across Manitoba. The current cyber trip involves a 1,200-mile kayak journey around the shores of Lake superior. Freeman sends daily video clips of his adventures and posts podcasts to the Wilderness Classroom web site. Students talk to Freeman every week in a live chat room and can participate in weekly online voting to help decide on the next week's focus and activities. To help children become analytical thinkers, Freeman posts a "daily dilemma" on his site. Some past dilemmas have asked pupils for suggestions on ways to acquire food or avoid perilous situations. The information Freeman provides is based on national and state standards, making it easy for teachers to incorporate it into their classrooms. Freeman also provides lesson guides for participating teachers before embarking on any adventures.
Source:The Chicago Tribune
IN Awards STEM Planning Grants
Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels announced the award of sixteen $50,000 planning grants to help high schools better prepare students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The high school redesign grants were made possible by the National Governors Association and the Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans. Four Indiana high Schools received grants to support the New Tech High School model, which uses a technology-rich environment and project-focused learning to support the core curriculum. In a survey of recent New Tech graduates, 89 percent went on to higher education; over 90 percent applied their new tech learning and experience in later education and work; and 40 percent were majoring in STEM subjects or working in STEM professions. Ten other high schools received grants to create early college model high schools that prepare students for post-secondary success in STEM study and work. Under this model, students take a curriculum in their junior and senior years that includes courses offered by institutions of higher education, allowing them to accelerate their learning. The University of Southern Indiana and Vincennes University received grants to support partnerships with neighboring school districts to move their high school designs toward more STEM-focused preparation. The grants are expected to not only benefit students and their schools, but also the economies of the regions where recipients are located and the state overall by helping graduate students prepared to take advantage of the opportunities of the 21st century economy.
Source:Office of the Governor
Computing on the Lite Side
An Atlanta-based company is working to ready a new computer for the American market. By utilizing a variety of existing hardware and software component, Lite Appliances hopes to have a working model of its $150 Lite Computer by the middle of the year. Like other efforts to develop low-cost computers, the Lite Computer will not use the more standard elements of other computers, namely the Microsoft operating system and brand-name processors like those from Intel or AMD. The laptop will be built around Analog Devices' Blackfin processor, will include software developed by Lite Appliances including a Web browser, a media player, an instant messaging function, VoIP capability, and will feature a proprietary operating system. The computer will be able to use other open source software productivity tools. External devices such as keyboards, mice and hard drives can be attached through the computer's USB ports. Lite Computer's creators claim that the combination of a proprietary operating system and no integrated hard drives will all but eliminate problems associated with viruses. A stripped down version of the Lite Computer is available now for additional customizing by developers. A model with an LCD monitor that would add about $100 to the price of the laptop will be available in mid-2007. Prototypes of the Lite Computer will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.