- NetDayâ€™s third annual Speak Up Day will be open for input from October 21 through November 18. This year the annual event will invite both teachers and students to share their views on technology use with the national education community. Learn how to participate.
- Detroit is joining the ranks of districts experimenting with one-to-one computing programs. The 240 freshmen students at the new Detroit Digital Learning Community High School will each receive a laptop computer to use in their small schoolsâ€™ wireless environment.
- Since 1997, Miami-Dadeâ€™s FamilyTech program has provided free home computers to more than 6,000 students at 13 elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods. In addition, more than 450 computers have been placed in classrooms, and about 180 teachers have received training.
- The Wyoming E-Academy of Virtual Learning will start out by offering students across Wyoming access to about 15 AP subjects. Students will also have face-to-face mentors who can support their learning. Read about the model.
- The new Deanburn Primary School is believed to be the first eco-friendly school in Scotland. The building has roofs covered in grass, walls that breath, a rainwater collection system that recycles water, a wind turbine that generates power and its own weather station.
NetDay Prepares for 3rd Annual Speak Up Day
NetDay is preparing to launch its third annual Speak Up Day, which will be open for input from October 21 through November 18. This year the annual event will invite both teachers and students to share their views on technology use with the national education community. Respondents to the online Speak Up survey will contribute to a national understanding of technology use and technology needs in the nation's schools. Student comments from Speak Up Day 2004 were incorporated into the U.S. Department of Education's â€œNational Education Technology Planâ€ and the â€œVisions 2020.2 Student Voicesâ€ joint report with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Schools who have participated in Speak Up Days have used their local and comparative national data to review their own technology plans, to inform professional development activities, and to promote support for local bond measures and assess the impact of programs and investments. To participate, an adult must register a school for participation and then recruit students and teachers to take the surveys. The online survey will be available for review in advance along with lesson plans and other helpful support materials. To facilitate using the data to inform local decision making, every participating school can view their aggregate data on a password-protected site after the survey has closed.
Detroit Launches Digital Learning Community High School
Detroit is joining the ranks of districts experimenting with one-to-one computing programs. The Detroit Public Schools have signed a $1.2 million, four-year contract with Apple Computer. The district will be getting 780 laptops, as well as iPods, digital cameras and computer software. Much of the equipment will be used at a new, small, technology-focused school that the district is opening inside the existing Crockett High School. The 240 freshmen students at Detroit Digital Learning Community High School at Crockett will each receive a laptop computer to use in their small schoolsâ€™ wireless environment. Another 14 Detroit middle schools will get the remaining laptops, in hopes that many of those students go on to enroll in the new school. In addition, the district will receive more than 100 days of technology and teaching support, including on-site help in classrooms as teachers and students learn to use the laptops. Detroit Digital Learning Community High School will function as a small learning community, using a wide variety of technological tools to enable students and teachers to make the most of digital movies, photos and music in school projects and presentations. Considerable emphasis will be placed on project-based learning. District officials hope to use the digital learning environment to improve test scores and as critical weapon in the districtâ€™s battle to increase the graduation rate and to steer more students toward higher education. In addition to sharpening their thinking skills, the program is designed to develop studentsâ€™ skills in mathematics, science, reading, writing and global communications.
Source:The Detroit News
Home Computer Program Continues To Grow
Since 1985, the Education Fund has worked with the private sector to direct resources where they are needed most in Miami-Dade's public schools. The fund currently runs 15 programs, ranging from Teacher Mini-Grants to large scale school improvement initiatives. One of its more popular programs provides free computers and Internet service to low-income Miami-Dade County families. Parents get computer training, and students get up-to-date software programs. Since 1997, Citibank FamilyTech has provided home computers to more than 6,000 students at 13 elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods around the county. In addition, more than 450 computers have been placed in classrooms, and about 180 teachers have received training. Citibank has donated about $1 million for software, parent and teacher training and fixing up the equipment and has pledged an additional $750,000 to expand the program. The goal: to provide computers to as many as 10,000 students. While students throughout the district have computer and Internet access at school, home access is limited for many students. The FamilyTech program not only provides that access, it trains parents in how to use the computers themselves and how to supervise their children's work.
Source:The Miami Herald
WY Expands Online AP Opportunities
The Wyoming E-Academy of Virtual Learning, or WEAVE, is preparing to expand access to online Advanced Placement (AP) courses for students throughout the state. Online AP courses are one answer to the unique challenges of states such as Wyoming, where rural schools are simply too small and too scattered to be able to amass the critical mass need to support AP instruction. Wyoming is further challenged by a lack of qualified teachers. WEAVE works in conjunction with Fort Washakie Charter High School, which provides online courses for students to complete high school. In its second full year of operation, the charter school is designed to target students who have not succeeded in traditional high school settings or who have other obligations that make education difficult. Adding AP courses to serve the unmet needs of rural students is a natural extension for WEAVE. WEAVE will start out by offering students access to about 15 AP subjects. While students will be able to work at their own pace, the AP courses do have a set structure. They are taught by experienced, certified teachers and follow the model laid out by The College Board. Students will also have access to face-to-face mentors who can provide any tutoring necessary. WEAVE has received state funding to provide mentors around the state.
Source:Casper Star Tribune
Scotland Debuts Environmentally-Friendly School
When the Falkirk Council decided to rebuild Deanburn Primary School following a fire that destroyed most of the old building, they decided to go all the way. Three years later, the new building is believed to be the first eco-friendly school in Scotland. The building has two roofs covered in grass, walls that breath, a rainwater collection system that is recycled to flush the toilets, a wind turbine and its own weather station. The wind turbine provides half of the schoolâ€™s power needs and any excess capacity will be sold to the National Grid, helping to recoup the Â£40,000 cost of building the turbine. The buildingâ€™s walls are insulated with recycled paper, which makes them breathable, reducing the need for artificial ventilation and improving air quality. The grass-covered roofs also provide insulation and are easy to maintain. The weather station measures atmospheric changes and allows students to be more engaged in related science lessons than if they only used textbooks. The schoolâ€™s head teacher says that she is getting inquiries about the building from people involved with building schools in other parts of Scotland and she expects to see at least some of its design features replicated elsewhere. The Falkirk Council is looking to embark on similar projects at primary schools in Maddiston and Larbert.