- More than half of the respondents to CDW-Gâ€™s third annual survey of teachersâ€™ technology use say that computer technology has changed how they teach â€œa great deal.â€ Just over half (54%) report integrating technology into their daily curriculum, while 86% use computers routinely for administrative tasks. Read more survey results.
- Two Seattle-area school districts have launched high tech pilots â€“ both featuring computer immersion with student laptops and tablet PCs. By using technology to engage students, the districts aim to improving student learning. Learn about the different models.
- The Blount County, TN school system is using an online survey to gather public input about a new high school. The community is being asked about how big the school should be and what sports theyâ€™d like to have at the school, while teachers are being queried about the physical organization of the new school and scheduling preferences.
- High schoolers in Everett, Washington avoided the traditional lines associated with class registration, instead creating their schedules via the Internet. Since the system works on a first come first served basis, students get up early on registration day to log on and indicate their choices of teachers and time periods.
- A group of scientists are on a quest to learn more about the processes that fuel a hurricaneâ€™s strength. The goal of their 45-day field project is to enable forecasters to predict trends in the landfall strength of a hurricane 12 to 24 hours before it reaches shore. Read about their project.
Teachers Talk Technology
A new survey of teachersâ€™ technology use from CDW-G shows that teachers continue to perform a balancing act where technology is concerned. Sixty percent of teachers believe that studentsâ€™ academic performance improves with the use of classroom computers, but just 38% say they have the right balance of computers to students in their classrooms. Just over half (54%) report integrating technology into the daily curriculum, while 86% use computers routinely for administrative tasks. More than 85% of teachers believe that they are well to adequately trained on Internet, word processing and e-mail software, but 27% report having little to no training with integrating computers into lessons, and more than 26% have little to no training on instructional software. Elementary school teachers, who are nearly 20% more likely to have computers in their classrooms, are also more likely to say they use computers in instruction than are middle- or high-school teachers. Almost two-thirds of all respondents think that there are too few computers in their classrooms. More than half of teachers support 1:1 as the ideal ratio of students to computers, with nearly another third supporting a 1:5 ratio. More than half of the respondents (56%) say that computer technology has changed how they teach â€œa great deal.â€ Two-thirds (67%) of teachers with 20 years or more of classroom experience report that computer technology has changed how they teach â€œa great deal.â€
High Tech Pilots in WA Districts
Two Seattle-area school districts, Shoreline and Kent, are going high tech. The Shoreline School District has launched a laptop leasing program for three of its schools. Every student at Kellogg Middle School and all fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students at Echo Lake Elementary received laptop computers for use both at school and home. At Einstein Middle School there will be one laptop for every two students. The cost for participating families is $60. The program cost the district about $350,000, funded by the remainder of a 1994 Facility and Technology bond. The district plans to go to voters next year in hopes of expanding the laptop program to other schools. The Kent School District opened the Kent Technology Academy, a computer-immersion school-within-a school. Housed at a district middle school, the program serves 90 seventh graders selected by lottery from across the district. The three Academy teachers will be responsible for the core subjects, delivered in interactive mode via the Web and computer software. Students will have tablet computers to use in the schoolâ€™s Wi-Fi environment and at home. The Academy is costing the district $10 million. If successful, other district schools may adopt the Academy model.
Source: The Seattle Times
The Survey Saysâ€¦
The Blount County, TN school system is using one of the standard tools of market research to gather public input — an online survey. The school system is planning for a new high school, though no funding has been approved. As part of the planning process, the system is seeking input from the community. While not scientific, the online survey will give planners some ideas of whatâ€™s on the minds of parents, business leaders and the wider community. Two versions of the survey have been created, one for the public and one for the teachers at the two existing high schools. Member of the public are being queried about issues related to size, academics and fine arts, career technology and athletics. Building sports facilities costs a lot of money and planners would like to know what sports the community wants to have at the school. Teachers are being surveyed about the size and physical organization of the new school, scheduling preferences, space and furniture needs, technology, work areas, storage needs and arrangement of lockers. Both questionnaires allow for the respondent to make individual comments. The surveys were posted in early August and so far the school system has received 280 responses.
Source: The Daily Times
Online Registration Eliminates Lines
High schoolers in Everett, Washington avoided the traditional lines associated with class registration, instead creating their schedules via the Internet. The district uses a free software program developed by a former teacher. Students pre-registered in the spring, allowing the district to establish a master schedule. Since the system works on a first come first served basis, students get up early on registration day to log on and register their choices of teachers and time periods. Friends keep in touch by cell phone as they try to align schedules and sign up for the same classes. Some classes fill up fast, so there are still disappointments, but the online system gives students more choice and flexibility than a paper-based system. The online program allowed one Everett High School student this year to register while on vacation in Australia. The districtâ€™s high schools open their computer labs on registration day for students who donâ€™t have access to a computer at home or those who want help.
Source: The Daily Herald
Hurricane forecasting is far from an exact science. A group of scientists are on a quest to reduce at least some of the uncertainty. During a 45-day field project, they are investigating the processes that seemingly supercharge a stormâ€™s strength in a matter of hours. The ultimate goal is to enable forecasters to predict trends in the landfall strength of a hurricane 12 to 24 hours before it reaches shore. Scientists are investigating the interaction of a storm's eye wall with the bands of rain squalls that spiral out from a hurricane's core. Each feature has been studied individually. This project marks the first time scientists have taken to the field to observe how the squalls play off one another to influence storm intensity. The research team, which includes scientists from the University of Miami, the University of Washington, and NCAR, will use three research planes that house sophisticated weather radar that can track rainfall and wind patterns as small as 1,300 feet across. Two others will drop instruments for determining atmospheric conditions above and around the storms. Researchers will use simultaneous flights along rain bands and through the eye walls to study the bands' effect. The 2005 hurricane season has been among the most active on record. The National Weather Service reports a total of 11 named storms to date. By season's end on Nov. 30, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates between 18 and 21 tropical storms. Nine to 11 are expected to reach hurricane strength, while five to seven should become major hurricanes.
Source: Christian Science Monitor