- Presidentâ€™s FY 2007 Budget Eliminates Technology Funding
The President once again elected to eliminate funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology program from his FY 2007 Department of Education budget request.
- PA Governor Proposes Laptops for 100 High Schools
Governor Rendell has proposed putting laptop computers on every desk in the English, math, science and history classrooms of 100 high schools across Pennsylvania.
- Parents and Teachers Say the Internet Helps with Homework
Parents and teachers share a common view of the value of the Internet, with 81% of teachers and 83% of parents agreeing that online sources are helpful for homework help, according to according to the AP/AOL Learning Services poll.
- Districts Buy Calculators To Level the Playing Field
Urban school districts across the state of Connecticut are spending local dollars to buy calculators with advanced features, so that their students can compete on an equal footing with their counterparts in wealthier districts.
- Demo 2006
For 16 years DEMO has showcased innovations in the world of technology, revealing products and services poised to have a significant impact on the technology landscape. Learn what was demoed this year.
Presidentâ€™s FY 2007 Budget Eliminates Technology Funding
On February 6, President Bush sent his FY 2007 budget request to Congress. The president requested $54.4 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education, a decrease of $3.1 billion, or 5.5 percent, from the 2006 level. The White House says that the education budget demonstrates an effort to eliminate underperforming programs while increasing resources that promote the competitiveness of the nation's students and the nation itself. While proposing a $380 million American Competitiveness Initiative designed to strengthen the capacity of schools to improve elementary and secondary instruction in mathematics and science, the President zeroed out funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, the primary vehicle for federal funding of state technology programs. The budget message states â€œthere is no longer a significant need for a state formula grant program targeted specifically on (and limited to) the effective integration of technology into schools and classrooms.â€ The argument is that districts can use other funding, including Title I, to integrate technology into teaching and learning. The same argument was used last year when FY 2006 EETT funding was eliminated. Congress subsequently appropriated $275 million for EETT, down from FY 2005â€™s $496 million. Given the growing deficit, itâ€™s unclear that Congress will once more act to protect ed tech funding. Educational technology leaders are expressing dismay at the elimination of EETT, noting that EETT funds are the only source of technology support in more than 25% of the states.
PA Governor Proposes Laptops for 100 High Schools
If Governor Rendellâ€™s new budget gets legislative approval, students in 100 high schools across the state of Pennsylvania will get greatly increased technology access. The Governor wants to put laptop computers on every desk in the English, math, science and history classrooms of the 100 schools. Schools would compete for their share of the $20 million "Classrooms for the Future" program, with preference going to those districts that can demonstrate a need for the funding. The program allocates an additional $6 million for professional development in the selected schools. If all goes well, the Governor hopes to extend the program to every high school in Pennsylvania, at an estimated cost of $200 million. The Governor contents that Classrooms for the Future is needed to equip teachers with tools appropriated to todayâ€™s â€œwiredâ€ generation. The stateâ€™s improving economy has allowed the Governor to propose a 6.7% increase for the stateâ€™s overall education budget. The Governor also proposed increased funding for Project 720, a high school initiative designed to raise academic standards, increase high school student enrollment in colleges, and create smaller learning communities, as well as $10 million in new funding for the "Science: It's Elementary" program to upgrade the science curriculum in up to 150 elementary schools.
Source:The Philadelphia Inquirer
Parents and Teachers Say the Internet Helps with Homework
Parents and teachers donâ€™t always agree about what goes on in school, according to the AP/AOL Learning Services poll. But they share a common view of the value of the Internet, with 81% of teachers and 83% of parents agreeing that the Internet and online sources are helpful homework help resources. Thirty percent of parents report that their children turn to the Internet for help with homework on a regular basis, while 20% regularly turn to the Internet themselves when helping children with homework. Children whose parents are better educated or have higher incomes are more likely to turn to the Internet for homework help. A third of children from households earning $75,000 and over turn to the Internet for help on homework, versus the 23% of children from households earning less than $25,000. More than 80% of teachers and parents rate the homework help resources available to children on the Internet as good or very good. Nearly three out of four teachers (73%) report that they are more knowledgeable than their students about the learning resources available on the Internet, while 57% of parents feel more knowledgeable than their children. Parents (40%) and teachers (67%) alike agree that students are most likely to need help completing math homework.
Source:Contra Costa Times
Districts Buy Calculators To Level the Playing Field
While some districts are thinking about laptops for all or many of their students, others find themselves trying to keep up with much more basic technology demands. Urban school districts across the state of Connecticut are spending local dollars to buy calculators with advanced features, so that their students can compete on an equal footing with their counterparts in wealthier districts. The state requires that students use calculators on parts of the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. The state contends that students should be able to answer the CMT and CAPT questions with a basic four-function calculator, but district leaders disagree. They argue that students in wealthy districts often bring their own advanced calculators to school, units that feature larger screens and more functions that allow them to work more quickly and with fewer errors. These calculators display many numbers on the screen, allowing students to track their work and easily handle fractions without the need to convert them to decimals. To help their students keep up, poorer districts like New Britain and Hartford, are buying calculators in bulk for student use. New Britain recently purchased 1,600 calculators, at a cost of $18,600 for its middle and high school students. The calculators, which will be owned by the district, will be used by students in the classroom and at home, with teacher permission. Hartford recently purchased 1,500 calculators at a cost of $23,000.
Source:The Hartford Courant
For 15 years, Demo has showcased the most exciting innovations in the world of technology, revealing the products and services poised to have the greatest impact on the technology landscape. Year 16 was no exception. Products exhibited at DEMO 2006 ranged from a new ice cream vending machine that makes a fresh scoop in less than two minutes to Plum, a new social bookmarking application with easy tools to turn bookmarked content into blog entries, photo album, feed list, etc. Kosmix is a structured search engine with three current verticals: health, politics and travel. Instead of a list of Google-like results, Kosmix categorizes results to create a taxonomy. Blurb turns a blog or personal website into a professional-looking book using simple drag-and-drop tools and ready-to-use templates for cookbooks, poetry collections, novels and photo archives. Ugobe introduced Pleo, an authentic recreation created from the fossils of the camarasuarus. The robotic dinosaur is equipped with sensors for sight, sound, and touch. He learns as he explores his environment, responding naturally to sensory stimuli. Ugobe says that every Pleo begins life with certain tendencies; but interaction with the environment has subtle effects on the robotâ€™s behavior. Every Pleo eventually exhibits a unique personality.