- Teachers in Jasper, Alberta will soon be using geographic information system (GIS) technology to help students find their way to learning, using new global positioning system units and donated GIS software.
- Indianaâ€™s new e-Transcript program, designed to allow high school students to submit their high school transcripts to colleges electronically, is the first comprehensive statewide electronic transcript program in the nation. Learn about its benefits.
- Using a $1.5 million federal grant, the California State Library is providing free online homework help and tutoring services to 29 of the stateâ€™s public library systems, helping to fill the gap for students whose families canâ€™t afford to pay for private tutoring.
- Technology is making it easier for parents to keep in touch with what is happening with their children at school and improving the usefulness of the traditional parent teacher conference. Learn more.
- Philips LCD and E Ink have built a 10.1" flexible electronic paper display, the world's largest high-resolution flexible electronic paper display to date. Like paper, the display can be flexed and rolled and can be read in any lighting condition and at any viewing angle.
Making the â€œWhereâ€ Count
Drivers turn to their global positioning systems (GPS) to help them find their way. Teachers in Jasper, Alberta will soon be using GPS to help students find their way to learning. A local company that specializes in geographic information systems (GIS) recently donated $50,000 in GIS software to Jasper High School. A company representative then helped familiarize teachers with the software and explained how GIS can be incorporated in their daily teaching. With the help of the Foothills Model Forest Project, teachers practiced how to use the new GPS units the school had acquired to accompany the donated software. There are many ways that GIS can be used with students, such as using data to create maps of: active volcanoes in North America, the destruction and path of hurricanes like Katrina, or the location and density of students in a certain school area to plan busing routes. Schools in Ontario are already using GIS technology to teach everything from science to social studies to math and students are collecting their own data using GPS to do studies for school projects. At Jasper, the first GIS implementation will be in the Grade 10 Stewardship of Jasper National Park and Outdoor Skills course. Students will use the GIS software along with animal tracking data from Parks Canadaâ€™s to observe the movement patterns of caribou, wolves and bears. One of the high school teachers also hopes to work with Jasper Elementary School and Lâ€™Ã©cole Desrochers to develop opportunities for students to use this software and eventually GPS units in a variety of classroom applications.
Source:The Jasper Booster
Indiana Turns to e-Transcripts
Indianaâ€™s new e-Transcript program will link every Indiana high school with the stateâ€™s colleges. Students will be able to e-mail a request for their transcript. Once approved by their guidance counselor, the transcript will be electronically transmitted to colleges in the state. Students will receive e-mails updates on the status of their requests. The process is expected to cut weeks from the process, allowing transcripts to be requested and delivered in a matter of days. It will also reduce the burden on guidance counselors who can spend up to 10% of their time dealing with transcript requests â€“ usually all compressed into the late fall and winter. The service, which ordinarily costs $800, is being paid for by the Indiana Secondary Market, a nonprofit organization that works to make college more affordable for Indiana students. Officials at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers say that Indiana's program will be the first comprehensive statewide electronic transcript program in the nation. Thus far, roughly a third of Indiana's school corporations have signed up to use the program, along with all seven public colleges and one-third of private universities. Officials expect every high school and college in the state to use e-Transcript over the next 15 months.
Library Offers Free Online Tutoring
Tutoring has become a big business, as anxious parents sign children up for extra help and enrichment to get them a step ahead and struggling students receive special services under NCLB. But what about students who need help and canâ€™t afford to pay a tutor. Libraries across the nation are stepping up to fill the void. In California, the California State Library has contracted with an outside supplier to provide free online homework help and tutoring services to 29 of the stateâ€™s public library systems, paying for the service with a $1.5 million federal grant. In San Jose, for example, students can get online homework help seven days a week, either at home or at any branch library. They simply sign on to the San Jose Public Library's Web site and click on the Live Homework Help icon. The student is then connected to an online classroom, entering his or her grade level and the subject matter of interest in order to be matched with an appropriate tutor. Student and tutor interact with each other via a simulated white board and two windows where each types text. The commercial provider ensures that all tutors are certified teachers, college professors, professional tutors or graduate students and that they have been screened with criminal and background reference checks. Tutoring is available for student in grades 4 through 14 in the areas of math, science, social studies and English.
Source:The Mercury News
Technology Supports Home-School Communication
Technology — ranging from access to web-based student information to improved voice mail capabilities â€“ is making it easier for parents to keep in touch with what is happening with their children at school. As a result, the traditional fall parent teacher conference sees better-informed parents entering the classroom, prepared to talk about a childâ€™s specific problems or successes. Many St-Louis area school systems have invested in online programs that provide secure access for parents to their child's grades, attendance, homework and discipline records. The Hazelwood School District uses such a program at its middle and high schools, but also urges teachers to keep in touch with parents by e-mail and voice mail. But sometimes itâ€™s something as simple as improved access to a traditional communication tool. When the Delores Moye Elementary School in O'Fallon, IL opened three years ago, there was a phone in each classroom. The principal at the school emphasizes the timeliness of communication with parents and notes that being able to sit down at your desk at the end of the day and make the calls that need to be made is a big help in being sure the communication actually happens.
Source:St. Louis Post Dispatch
Philips LCD and E Ink have built a 10.1" flexible electronic paper display, the world's largest high-resolution flexible electronic paper display to date. Less than 300 microns thick, the paper-white display is as thin and flexible as construction paper. Like paper, it can be flexed and rolled. The prototype offers SVGA (600 x 800) resolution and has a 10:1 contrast ratio with 4 levels of grayscale. E Ink Corp. is a leading developer of electronic paper display (EPD) technology. EPDs possess a paper-like high contrast appearance, ultra-low power consumption, and a thin, light form. EPDs are enabled by electronic ink — ink that carries a charge enabling it to be updated through electronics — giving the reader the experience of reading from paper, while having the power of updateable information. EPDs can be read in any lighting condition, including direct sunlight, and at any viewing angle. Earlier this year, Philips unveiled the worldâ€™s first prototype of a functional electronic-document reader that can unroll its display to a scale larger than the device itself. With four gray levels, the monochrome, 5-inch QVGA (320 pixels x 240 pixels) display provides a high contrast ratio for reading-intensive applications, including text, graphics and electronic maps. Once the user has finished reading, the display can be rolled back into the pocket-size (100 mm x 60 mm x 20 mm) device. The company indicated that it had no plans to commercialize the product; it just wanted to demonstrate the possibilities flexible displays offer.