- CA Schools To Get Technology Windfall
The California Department of Education is preparing to distribute more than $400 million that eligible schools can use to purchase computer hardware, software, networking infrastructure, IT services and professional development.
- Multitasking Does Hinder Learning
New research indicates that students who multitask while learning my have more difficulty retrieving and using what they have learned.
- College-District Partnership Benefits Students All Around
Lehigh Valley College donated 15 workstations to neighboring Phillipsburg School District and six students from its PC networking program to install them and build a wireless network.
- Technical Focus in High School Helps lead Students to Higher Education
The National Center for Education Statistics has issued a new report that indicates that the federal policy of encouraging stronger secondaryâ€“postsecondary linkages for high school students who participate in career and technical education (CTE) courses is working.
- Drivers Can Now Do E-Mail
iLane offers drivers a voice-based interface to access e-mail messages and attachments, phone calls, SMS messages and calendar appointments while driving.
CA Schools To Get Technology Windfall
The California Department of Education (CDE) is preparing to distribute more than $400 million that will be used solely for technology-related resources. The money comes from the unclaimed portion of the $1.1 billion settlement of the Microsoft class action suit. The money will be distributed in the form of vouchers to schools that have at least 40% of students eligible for free or reduced-lunch. The schools also need to have an approved technology plan on file. The vouchers must be used within six years of their issue. The exact amount of the money available is not known yet, but is expected to be between $400 and $600 million. Fifty percent of the total amount will be issued in the form of General Purpose Vouchers and 50 percent will be in the form of Software Vouchers. General Purpose Vouchers can be used to purchase laptop, desktop or tablet computers, peripheral devices, equipment needed for networking and infrastructure, hardware for accessing the Internet through television sets and Internet access for such hardware for students' homes, non-custom assistive technology devices, evaluation tools, information technology services, and professional development services. IT and professional development services must be obtained from approved providers. Software Vouchers may be used for software, including license programs that give students the option to use the software at home. CDE will issue a request for application in mid-September and all districts that successfully complete the application will be funded. The per pupil voucher amount is estimated to be between $98 and $159 per pupil, depending on the total amount of funding and the total number of completed applications.
Multitasking Does Hinder Learning
New research indicates that people who engage in multiple activities while learning my have more difficulty retrieving and using what they have learned. The study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says that while it is possible to learn in the face of distractions, the learning is less efficient and useful. The brain learns in two ways. Declarative learning deals with learning active facts that can be recalled and used with great flexibility. Habit learning involves trial and error or repeated actions that result in unconscious learning, which is more difficult to access and use efficiently. The problem is that the two types of learning seem to compete with each other. When the learner is distracted, habit learning seems to take over from declarative learning. The bottom line is that if a student is working at learning new concepts, the fewer distractions the better. Background music is fine, but TV, phone conversations and video games, alone or simultaneously, are likely to result in difficulty in accessing and using the information at a later time. Researchers used brain imaging to study the parts of the brain in use for different tasks. Research subjects asked to do two tasks at the same time used the region of the brain responsible for habit learning and knew less about the assigned task during follow-up sessions.
College-District Partnership Benefits Students All Around
Lehigh Valley College and the Phillipsburg School District have a partnership that benefits students on both sides of the equation. This summer six students studying for degrees in Lehigh's PC networking program installed a wireless network at one of the district's schools, upgrading equipment in the library computer lab. The library computer lab is used by 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to study core curriculum subjects like math and science. Lehigh also donated the 15 workstations used to build the network, from equipment that was not needed following an upgrade of the college's computer labs. The Lehigh students will return in the fall as interns, completing the installation and helping the district in other ways like updating labs in the high school and installing new software for distance learning or a particular class. Larry McKenna, the school district's director of technology, points out that the work the college students are doing is similar to what technology directors do, setting up systems and maintaining networking and equipment. It's good preparation for the future. Phillipsburg already employs three Lehigh graduates in its tech department.
Source:The Express Times
Technical Focus in High School Helps Lead Students to Higher Education
The National Center for Education Statistics has issued a new report that indicates that the federal policy of encouraging stronger secondaryâ€“postsecondary linkages for high school students who participate in career and technical education (CTE) courses is working. Using data from students' secondary transcripts collected as part of the National Education Longitudinal Study, analyses reveal that about 20% of 1992 high school seniors were career and technical education (CTE) concentrators. Of those students, roughly one-quarter were dual concentrators, completing both a CTE and college preparatory curriculum. By 2000, the majority of CTE concentrators from the class of 1992 had enrolled in postsecondary education. More than half of these students began their postsecondary education at a community college, while 37% began at a 4-year institution, and 7% at another type of institution. Of the high school CTE concentrators who enrolled in a postsecondary institution, 50% earned a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2000, while 26% earned a bachelor's or higher degree. About half of CTE concentrators who enrolled in a postsecondary institution earned postsecondary credits in a related field and 27% earned 12 or more credits in a related field, roughly the equivalent of one semester of full-time postsecondary study. About 30% of high school CTE concentrators who earned a postsecondary degree or certificate did so in a related field.
Drivers Can Now Do E-Mail
For those people who can't stand to be out of touch, a new technology extension may be just the thing. iLane offers drivers a voice-based interface to access e-mail messages and attachments, phone calls, SMS messages and calendar appointments while driving. ILane interacts directly with existing Bluetooth-enabled handheld devices and vehicle audio systems or headsets. When a user enters the car, iLane™ recognizes his or her handheld device and assumes control of how incoming information is managed, based on user settings and preferences. As new messages arrive on the driver's handheld device, iLane™ notifies the driver immediately, then reads a summary aloud. Using voice commands, the driver can then listen to the entire message; compose a reply; forward an attachment, and more. ILane is compatible with Bluetooth-enabled BlackBerry handheld devices running the BlackBerry OS 4.0 and up. iLane™ will also support Bluetooth-enabled handheld devices and smart-phones that run on the PalmOS, Windows Mobile OS and Symbian OS. ILane currently supports English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese.
Source:Monsters and Critics.com