- Sign on To Save Ed Tech
A coalition of ed tech advocates are seeking signatures on a petition asking Congress to restore a minimum of $496 million in funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program.
- The NetDay Survey Says
According to results from NetDay's 2005 Speak Up survey, students and teachers want access to up-to-date technology tools at school and they want those tools to be available when they need them.
- Technology Counts
The ninth edition of Technology Counts, Education Week's annual report on education technology, focuses on how technology and education policies are evolving to support the use of data to improve student achievement.
- SC Pilots Virtual High School
The South Carolina Department of Education is conducting a SC Virtual School Pilot this summer, designed to investigate the feasibility of a virtual schooling in the state..
- NASA's Shuttle Bind
While it might be easier and cheaper to just scrap the space shuttle and wait for NASA's new space ship to be ready, without the shuttle there is no way to complete the international space station.
Sign on To Save Ed Tech
A coalition of ed tech advocates are seeking signatures on a petition asking Congress to restore at least a minimum of funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program. EETT was funded at about $690 million for its first three years, but was reduced to $496 million in FY2005 and to $272 million in FY2006. In its FY07 Budget, the Bush Administration again proposes eliminating all funding for EETT. The petition is in the form of a resolution and calls for Congress to restore funding for the EETT program to a minimum of $496 million, its FY 05 funding level, to meet the nation's educational needs and help ensure America's competitiveness. Once signatures are gathered, the document, with the list of supporters, will be sent to key members of Congress in late May. More than 1400 signatures have been gathered already. Organizers are looking to increase the number of signers and their geographic coverage while also increasing the number of education officials such as superintendents and principals. The petition drive is an initiative of the Mission Critical Campaign (MCC), a national campaign to advance technology as mission critical for K-12 education. The MCC is focused primarily on continued funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology program (Title II-D) and continuation of the E-rate program to meet the mission critical educational needs of students, educators and parents. The petition and background information can be found at the Mission Critical web site.
Source:Mission Critical Campaign
The NetDay Survey Says
Students and teachers want access to up-to-date technology tools at school and they want those tools to be available when they need them. This is just one of the finding reported in Our Voices, Our Future: Student and Teacher Views on Science, Technology and Education, NetDay's report of its 2005 Speak Up initiative. The report summarizes national data collected online from 185,000 student surveys and 15,000 teacher surveys submitted during the 2005 Speak Up effort. According to survey data, teachers' professional use of technology is approaching a comfort level but is not keeping up with the advances in how their students are using technology. For students, communication drives their use of technology for both learning and personal use. Sixty-five percent of students say they use email and Instant Messenger (IM) on daily basis and they overwhelmingly prefer IM. The major obstacle students find in using technology at school is rules against using their cell phones, e-mail or IM accounts. Limited access to the Internet and limited use of technology also rate high as obstacles, with 25% or more of students in grades 6-12 citing slow Internet access, school filters and firewalls, not enough computers, and not enough time in the school day. The primary obstacle teachers face is lack of time in the school day (57%), followed by not enough computers (46%), lack of time for planning (43%), not all students have computer access at home (43%), computers don't work regularly (29%) and slow or unreliable Internet access (25%).
The ninth edition of Technology Counts, Education Week's annual report on education technology, focuses on how technology and education policies are evolving to support the use of data to improve student achievement. While most states are doing a creditable job of collecting data, there is still a long way to go in terms of data analysis and using data to inform classroom instruction and improve student achievement. Progress is uneven, with seven states still not using a unique student identifier, a basic building block of a longitudinal data system that allows states to track student-level data over the course of students' K-12 education. While data collection problems are far from solved, states are beginning to turn their attention to building tools that local educators can use to derive meaning from the collections of test scores, grades and demographic information. One of the states' key roles is building capacity for more effective use of data by providing technical assistance, training, or analysis tools. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia are providing professional development to educators on how to use data for instructional decisions. A key district responsibility is helping schools use data in ways that more directly affect instruction in the classroom and using data to implement specific instructional interventions. For the first time, Education Week has graded the states based on where they stand on various indicators related to access to educational technology, the use of technology, and efforts to enhance educators' technology skills. Overall, grades range from an A for West Virginia to a D-minus for Nevada, with the bulk of the states receiving a C.
SC Pilots Virtual High School
South Carolina is taking several approaches to establishing a virtual school program. Last week, a legislative subcommittee passed a virtual-school bill, creating an online high school program run by the S.C. Department of Education. The bill proposes creating the S.C. Virtual School Program open to all secondary students, including those in private schools and those home-schooled. Students could take as many as 10 credits online of the 24 required to graduate. Students enrolled in charter schools can spend up to 75% of their time learning core subjects online. Whether the bill can be pushed through the entire legislative process this session remains to be seen. Meanwhile, even without legislation, the South Carolina Department of Education is conducting a SC Virtual School Pilot this summer, designed to investigate the feasibility of a virtual schooling in the state. The pilot involves ten school districts currently offering virtual coursework. Beginning this May, students throughout the state of South Carolina may enroll in virtual courses via these districts. Each district has agreed to supply the virtual school pilot with 20 seats, available on a on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Department is covering the costs associated with participation in the pilot. A second phase of the pilot is planned for January 2007, when 32 courses will be available to students.
NASA's Shuttle Bind
Since the Columbia tragedy, NASA has spent an estimated $1.3 billion dealing with post-Columbia "return to flight" expenses, many of which involved attempts to solve the external tank's tendency to shed its foam insulation during liftoff. During the same period, NASA spent $10 billion on the shuttle program and has flown only one mission. Keeping the shuttle flying â€“ sort of â€“ comes at the expense of NASA's unmanned exploration program. But until NASA's new space ship, scheduled for 2010, is ready, the shuttle will have to be kept operational. The United States has a treaty obligation to complete the international space station and only the shuttle is large enough to lift the station's remaining components into orbit. The loss of insulating foam has been a problem since the first shuttle flight in 1981, but it was largely ignored until Columbia. NASA scientists have been able to solve problems on individual missions, but have been unable to find a comprehensive solution.
Source:The Washington Post