- Arkansas IDEAS Launches
Arkansas teachers are in the process of registering for the first online professional development courses offered by the Arkansas IDEAS (Internet-Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools) program.
- Google for Educators
Google launched Google for Educators a website that includes teacher's guides to 12 Google products, including basic information about each tool, examples of how educators are using them, and lesson ideas.
- Fighting School Violence with CompStat
Los Angeles is putting a plan into action that brings together parents, teachers and neighbors for computer-aided brainstorming sessions to identify crime problems near the campuses and find solutions.
- District Discards Old Computers To Save Money
Delaware's Christina School District announced plans to remove some 2,000 "outdated" computers from its schools, thereby saving about $70,000 in software licensing fees.
- Libya Signs Up for One Laptop Per Child
It looks like the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative is gaining traction. Libya has agreed to purchase the OLPC laptop computer for all 1.2 million school children by June 2008.
Arkansas IDEAS Launches
Arkansas teachers are in the process of registering for the first online professional development courses offered by the Arkansas IDEAS (Internet-Delivered Education for Arkansas Schools) program. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has partnered with the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) to meet the professional development needs of K-12 licensed educators by offering research-based, technology-delivered professional development courses. IDEAS has contracted for 4,000 reserved seats in 24 TeacherLine courses. Teachers working in schools that are in School Improvement will have the first chance to register for the free courses, which include training in the areas of reading, writing, math and science, as well as technology-related topics. There are also other non-TeacherLine courses in the Arkansas IDEAS portal that are free to all registered users. All the professional development offerings in the IDEAS portal have been approved by ADE for professional development and can be applied toward the state's required 60-hours of annual training. The Arkansas legislature authorized $500,000 to pay for IDEA, allowing teachers to access the training for free. AETN and the Arkansas Department of Education have also partnered to provide Arkansas educators access to videostreaming services, which includes 20 hours of AETN-produced video on Arkansas studies, as part of AETN's IDEAS web portal. This videostreaming service provides a comprehensive digital library containing more than 4,000 standards-based videos, 40,000 video segments, high-quality images, clip art and built-in tools to help educators throughout Arkansas integrate technology resources seamlessly into their lessons.
Source:Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Google for Educators
In its quest to be all things to all people, Google launched Google for Educators this past week. The new website includes teacher's guides to 12 Google products, including basic information about each tool, examples of how educators are using them, and lesson ideas. Lesson plans and videos, created by Discovery Education, are provided for what Google identifies as two of its most popular teaching tools: Google Earth and Google SketchUp. Teachers are invited to participate by sharing their best ideas for using technology to innovate in the classroom or submitting lesson plans. Google is also piloting the Google Teacher Academy, a program designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. The Academy is a one-day experience at Google's Mountain View Headquarters where participants get hands-on experience with Google products and other technologies, receive instructional resources to share with colleagues, and share innovative instructional strategies with other local educators. Upon completion, Academy participants will become Google Certified Teachers and will be asked to lead at least three related professional development activities for local educators. The pilot initially will be limited to teachers working in Northern California. Applicants for the Teacher Academy are being asked to submit a short — 50 words — answer to why they should be selected and to describe one of their favorite teaching moments, Applicants must also submit a one-minute video on either "Motivation and Learning: or "K-12 \Innovation."
Fighting School Violence with CompStat
As concerns about school violence mount, schools are looking to technology to provide new solutions. Los Angeles is putting a plan into action that brings together parents, teachers and neighbors for computer-aided brainstorming sessions to identify crime problems near the campuses and find solutions. The new program will be implemented at Fremont High in South Los Angeles and Crenshaw High in the Crenshaw district before it is expanded to other district schools. The technique is modeled on CompStat, short for "computerized statistics," which maps where crimes are occurring by type of offense, allowing police officers to discuss the findings and develop strategies for problem locations. New York has incorporated some aspects of CompStat into its Impact Schools initiative, which has cut violent crime in and around the schools targeted in New York by 53%. At the same time, test scores in the targeted schools are improving. The Los Angeles initiative is being championed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and has been welcomed by district officials. While many schools are using technology to scan visitors against databases of known offenders, keeping track of students through radio frequency ID tags and monitoring hallways and external access areas with video cameras, LA's Community CompStat program relies on technology to create community partnerships and generate new ideas to help solve school problems.
Source:Los Angeles Times
District Discards Old Computers To Save Money
A $28 million budget deficit has caused Delaware's Christina School District to announce plans to remove some 2,000 "outdated" computers from its schools. The move will save the district about $70,000 in licensing fees for software used on the computers â€“ which averages about $35 per machine. The district also hopes to save another $70,000 it would have spent for parts and repairs to these older machines. The plan is based on an inventory of all the district's computers and technology resources conduced last May and June. The district has already cut its technology department staff from 27 to 11 people to save money. The machines slated for removal are typically underutilized, in part because of their age and fewer staff meant that there would be less support to keep this equipment functional. After the house cleaning the district will still have some 5,000 computers in place, including those swerving high priority needs, such as the computers used for Integrated Math in high school and for the Measurement of Academics Program, which provides periodic benchmark testing of students. While a number of parents are not happy with the decision, the district points out that even with the reduced inventory it will still meet the national average of students per computer.
Source:The News Journal
Libya Signs Up for One Laptop Per Child
It looks like the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative is gaining traction. Libya has agreed to purchase the OLPC laptop computer for all 1.2 million school children by June 2008. For its $250 million investment, Libya will receive 1.2 million computers, one server per school, a team of technical advisers to help set up the system, satellite Internet service and other infrastructure. This move may make Libya the first country in the world to supply all its school children with computers and Internet access. After meeting with Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in August Negroponte commented that the OLPC concept appealed to Quaddafi's political agenda of creating a more open Libya and becoming an African leader. Negroponte says they also discussed the possibility of Libya's financing the purchase of laptops for a group of poorer African nations like Chad, Niger and Rwanda. One Laptop Per Child is dedicated to making technology available to children throughout the developing world. Its $100 laptop (now someplace in the $140 range) features a wireless mesh network connection, an innovative power-saving screen, an eight-hour battery and a hand crank for recharging batteries. The computers are scheduled to go into production in mid-2007. Thus far OLPC has tentative purchase agreements with Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria and Thailand.