- Sign Up to Speak Up
Registration is now open for Speak Up Day, the annual national online research project that collects the views of teachers and students on topics such as educational technology, science, math, and 21st workforce skills.
- CT Continues Support for the Connecticut Education Network
Sixty-six Connecticut school districts will receive $5 million in additional funding to allow them to build out fiber optic wiring to continue connecting schools to the Connecticut Education Network.
- What the Research Says about Technology
While the real potential of technology for improving learning remains largely untapped, there is solid evidence that the effective use of technology can result in higher levels of student learning, according to a new study from the Metiri Group.
- Distance Learning Goes Digital
Over the summer, the Otsego Northern Catskills (NY) Board of Cooperative Education Services replaced the analog system it has used to deliver the BOCES Distance Learning program with a new digital system.
- Digital Makeover for Remote Amazon Town
Parintins, a town on an island in the Amazon River, has a new wireless high-speed Internet network that is expected to vastly improve life for its 114,000 residents.
Sign Up to Speak Up
Registration is now open for Speak Up Day, the annual national online research project that collects the voices and views of key education stakeholders on topics such as educational technology, science, math, and 21st Century workforce skills. Over the past three years the project has collected the viewpoints of over 562,000 K-12 students from all 50 states, as well as 26,000 teachers. This year's survey will follow up on many of the technology issues addressed in the 2003, 2004, and 2005 student and teacher surveys and address new and ongoing hot topics in education such as social networking and collaboration, professional development, communication issues, and national competitiveness in the world economy. One adult from each school must register the school for participation and then work to recruit students, teachers, and parents to take the online survey. The survey, which will be open from Nov 1 to Nov 30, will feature grade-specific surveys for students, a survey for teachers, and, for the first time, a survey for parents. By participating, students, teachers, and parents share their views on technology use with the national education community. The results of the surveys are shared with participating schools and districts so that they can use the data for planning and community discussion. In addition, the findings and data are used by local, state, and national organizations and government agencies to inform new programs and polices.
CT Continues Support for the Connecticut Education Network
Connecticut's Governor M. Jodi Rell announced $5 million in additional funding to allow 66 school districts to build out fiber optic wiring to continue connecting schools to the Connecticut Education Network (CEN). CEN is the first statewide K-12 and higher education network that exclusively uses state-of-the-art fiber optic connections, allowing it to operate at speeds 1000 times faster than a home broadband connection. CEN connects all of the state's 166 school districts, all 40 of Connecticut's public and private higher education institutions, as well as public libraries across the state. The state provides an optical connection to the CEN in each school district. It is then the responsibility of each district/municipality to connect schools to this district connection. The $5 million is expected to be approved later this month by the State Bond Commission and will be combined with $5.5 million in federal E-rate funding. School districts applied for this latest grant money last fall and have been waiting for the bond commission's approval. CEN provides access to the Internet, the next generation Internet2, the Connecticut Digital Library, and thousands of other resources exclusively targeted to students, teachers, researchers and administrators in Connecticut's education institutions. The State Department of Information Technology in partnership with the University of Connecticut provides project management, network architecture and operational support for CEN.
Source:The Hartford Courant
What the Research Says about Technology
While the real potential of technology for improving learning remains largely untapped in schools today, there is solid evidence that the effective use of technology can result in higher levels of learning, according to a new study from the Metiri Group. The problem is that technology advocates were over confident that they could easily accomplish the depth of school change required to realize the potential that technology holds for learning. They underestimated the rate of technological change and the impact of such rapid, continuous change on staff time, budget, professional development, software upgrades, and curricular and lesson redesign. Researchers have found that to realizing the full return from a technology investment requires much more than the mere introduction of technology with software and web resources aligned with the curriculum. It requires thoughtful coordination of content, high quality teaching and a solid understanding of sound principles of learning. "Technology in Schools: What the Research Says" reviews a number of research studies that indicate which technology doesâ€”and which does notâ€”result in spikes in student learning. The research review is not comprehensive; its goal is to provide educators with trend data about technological innovations that experts and research say are workingâ€”and to identify the "power" within these innovations. The review looks at the critical areas of literacy, mathematics, science, and digital literacy, discussing variability of effect across types of technology — television and video use; calculators; engagement devices such as interactive whiteboards and student response devices; portable or handheld devices; virtual learning; in-school computing; and one-to-one computing. An important success factor is the fidelity of the technology implementation — the extent to which the technology is used as it was designed to be used. Such fidelity is determined by leadership, teacher proficiency, professional development, fit with curriculum, school culture, pedagogical approachesâ€”and to some degree on levels and types of technology access.
Distance Learning Goes Digital
Students attending schools served by the Otsego Northern Catskills (NY) Board of Cooperative Education Services got a pleasant surprise when they returned to school this fall. Over the summer, the ONC BOCES replaced the analog system it has used to deliver the BOCES Distance Learning program with a new digital system. The switch had been planned to take place over several years, but was moved ahead when the 12-year old analog system failed. Schools are still learning to exploit all the new potential the digital system brings, but are already aware that the Internet-based system is more affordable and offers more choices. The TVs that were used to display the various sites participating in a call have been replaced with a large screen, which can also be used to show videos and DVDs and display materials from the Internet. A document camera allows teachers to display material without preparing transparencies. Teachers also find it easier to communicate with distant sites using the system's integrated fax and e-mail tools. Classes taught by distance learning are kept at about 24 students and students in each of the distant classrooms are supervised by an aide who makes sure that everyone has the necessary materials and stays on task during class. Students are able to take classes for which any given school might not have a large enough enrollment, such as the American Sign Language course that is originating at Stamford Central School. The Distance Learning program is a collaborative effort between ONC BOCES and the school districts, many of which are small, rural districts. Stamford Central School District spends about $10,000 a year on distance learning.
Source:The Daily Star
Digital Makeover for Remote Amazon Town
Parintins, a town on an island in the Amazon River, has a new wireless high-speed Internet network that is expected to vastly improve life for its 114,000 residents. It's all part of Intel's World Ahead Program, an initiative designed to accelerate access to computers, the Internet and technology for people in the developing world. Intel plans to invest more than $US 1 billion globally over the next 5 years, extending its efforts to isolated communities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Working with the Brazilian government and business and education officials, Intel and its collaborators — Cisco, CPqD, Embratel, Proxim and the Bradesco Foundation, as well as Amazonas State University, Amazonas Federal University and SÃ£o Paulo University — installed a state-of-the-art WiMAX network for a primary healthcare center, two public schools, a community center and Amazon University. Each school received a computer lab and 24 teachers have been trained to use technology to improve the way students learn. The Intel Learn Program provides job-readiness skills to underprivileged students between the ages of 10 and 18. Amazon University is starting a telemedicine program developed jointly with the medical school of Sao Paulo University. The new capabilities include real-time, video interaction between specialists and patients hundreds of miles apart.
Source:The EDN Network