- Arizona Plans for eLearning Future
With the enactment of the eLearning-Centered Schools bill, Arizona is about to embark on a 10-year plan that could result in a complete transformation of K-12 education in the state.
- TN Developing Online Learning Courses
A coalition of eight Tennessee counties is developing a model of e-learning for the state, creating and testing 26 online courses aligned with state standards.
- Administrators To Get PDAs
The Columbia (MO) Public School system is distributing personal digital assistants (PDAs) to administrators to help them manage student information from where ever they may be.
- Online Yearbooks
Electronic yearbooks have entered a new phase, offering a mix that maintains many of the yearbook's standard features and incorporates elements of social networking sites.
- Do you Digg It?
Every article on Digg is submitted and voted on by the Digg community. The more popular a story (the more it is "dug"), the higher it is ranked on the site.
Arizona Plans fore eLearning Future
Arizona is about to embark on a 10-year plan that could result in a complete transformation of K-12 education in the state. The eLearning-Centered Schools bill was signed into law by Governor Janet Napolitano and will go into effect in early September. The legislation was championed by eLearning System for Arizona Teachers and Students, Inc. (eSATS), an organization composed of education stakeholders and civic entrepreneurs. eSATS' charge is to be the design and advocacy driver for transforming Arizona K-12 education with an eLearning systems design. The new bill is a modest first step toward actualizing that design which calls for placing a computer on every desk in every Arizona school — with the intellectual infrastructure in place to guarantee that Arizona maximizes the effectiveness of this transformation. eSATS is already working on its campaign for the 2007 eLearning legislation. Meanwhile, the current bill's $3 million with fund several initiatives, including a three-year eLearning math pilot in 10 schools, supported with teacher professional development and an assessment system. The funding will also support the creation of a Task Force designed to guide the 10-year implementation of eLearning programs. An additional $2.5 million from the legislature will fund the building of the state wide instructional and data system. Moving forward, the plan calls for a Digital Curriculum Institute, a statewide cadre of Educational Technologists and an eLearning Teacher Professional Development and Education Institute. By developing tech-savvy teachers and a comprehensive digital curriculum, eSAT believes that schools will be better able to effectively use the one-to-one technology the eLearning plan envisions.
TN Developing Online Learning Courses
A coalition of eight Tennessee counties, under the leadership of Hamilton County, is developing a model of e-learning for the state. The e4 TN initiative is receiving $3.4 annually each of the next three years to create and test 26 online courses aligned with state standards. Hamilton County will receive $2.7 million annually to write the course curriculums. Seven other county systems will each receive $100,000 annually to pilot test the courses. The Tennessee Department of Education selected Hamilton County to lead this effort because of the success the system has had with its own virtual school. The pilot schools are reporting initial success. The online courses allow small schools to expand their course offerings. Students can use the courses to make up lost credits or take extra courses outside of the school day. Once the courses have been piloted and refined the Department plans to seek finding from the state legislature that would allow the course to be implemented statewide.
Source:Chattanooga Times Free Press
Administrators To Get PDAs
This fall every principal, assistant principal and administrative assistant in the Columbia (MO) Public Schools will have a new tool to make their work easier. The school system is distributing 125 personal digital assistants (PDAs) to administrators to help them manage student information, with the ultimate goal of improving student learning. One of the main uses for the PDAs will be to allow administrators to access student information no matter where the administrator is at the moment. The PDA will use wireless technology to connect to the school's main database of student information, allowing an assistant principal to call up a student's schedule to decide where he or she is supposed to be. The PDAs will be equipped with software that will allow principals to conduct a new form of teacher evaluation. Classroom walk-through evaluations last four minutes, compared to a full-length 50-minute teacher evaluation, making it possible for principals to more regularly evaluate teachers' classroom performance. The principal will be able to transfer any notes on a teacher's performance directly from the PDA to the school network, where the teacher can access them at his or her convenience. The district's Instructional and Information Technology Services will help train administrators on the use of the PDAs.
Source:The Columbia Missourian
Electronic yearbooks, distributed on CD-R0M or DVD, have been around for some time and many of them were eventually made available over the Internet. Now electronic yearbooks have entered a new phase, offering a mix that maintains many of the yearbook's standard features and incorporates social networking elements like polling, uploading photos and posting messages. One of the more popular online yearbooks is the creation of two teen-aged siblings. MyYearbook.com allows users to create a profile with separate sections for high school, college, graduate school and professional life. Students who sign up are automatically linked to others at their school. Members can "autograph" each others' yearbook pages. They can also store favorite videos and music. Media Metrix, a rating service for web sites, reports that MyYearbook.com is growing by 44% per month, outstripping Myspace growth rates. Launched over the 2005 Spring Break, the site has grown from its original server to the 12 it now deploys to support its 950,000 members. MyYearbook.com is independent of any given school and its strictures. If inappropriate usage is detected, it can be reported to MyYearbook.com and yearbook staff will delete it. The site is considering launching a print-on-demand service that would allow users to print selected MyYearbook.com pages. Students could create their own customized yearbook at a much lower cost than the traditional version.
Do you Digg It?
If you sometimes wonder where to start sorting through all the online news and information available to you, then Digg.com may be what you need. Every article on Digg is submitted and voted on by the Digg community. The more popular a story (the more it is "dug"), the higher it is ranked on the free site. Digg captures the interests of its user community and uses those interests to help organize the mass of information available on the Web, making it easier to find relevant resources. In the 18 months since its launch, Digg has become one of the Internet's most popular technology news sites. According to Hitwise, Digg has 304,000 registered users, but attracted 8.5 million visitors in May, indicating many just watch for what Digg's regular posters find hot. Users can browse stories by topic and in some cases by the person who originally submitted it, allowing readers to follow the news from a particular perspective. AOL has launched a trial version of its Netscape site to compete with Digg, blending audience voting with online news editors.
Source:Personal Tech Pipeline