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AZ Maps Out High-Tech Plan Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne asked the legislature to expand the pilot laptop computer program beyond Empire High School to seven other schools across the state. Web News Supplanting Print Educators are increasingly turning to online news sources for classroom
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  • AZ Maps Out High-Tech Plan
    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne asked the legislature to expand the pilot laptop computer program beyond Empire High School to seven other schools across the state.
  • Web News Supplanting Print
    Educators are increasingly turning to online news sources for classroom use, turning away from newspapers and television news.
  • A Bridge to the World
    Videoconferencing technology now makes it possible for students to go almost anyplace they can imagine — interacting with curators at distant museums and sharing experiences with students around the world.
  • EL Paso ISD Site Models Educational Podcasting
    The director of instructional technology for the El Paso (TX) Independent School District, has launched a website to model the instructional use of blogs and podcasts.
  • GPS-Equipped Shoes
    Shoes are becoming the latest competition for the growing number of devices – like cell phones, PDAs and wristwatches — equipped with Global Positioning System technology.

AZ Maps Out High-Tech Plan

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne announced two major initiatives in his State of Education address. He is proposing to expand the laptop computer program now in place at Empire High School in the Vail School District to seven other high schools across the state. When Empire opened two years ago, all of its students received laptops. The schools targeted for the expansion program have each agreed to contribute $500 per students to help fund the cost of the program. The state will match that amount, as well as paying for training and technology support at the participating schools. Horne is requesting $2.5 million to cover the state's share of the funding. Horne also discussed a plan, which has been introduced in the AZ legislature, to create a Web-based system that would allow the development of personal learning plans for every K-12 student in Arizona. The proposed bill calls for the creation of profiles that can be used to track students' academic goals and house academic and employment résumés, educational history, assessment results and career aspirations. A similar plan is being implemented in Kentucky. The personal learning plan was originally recommended by the governor's P-20 Council, a group charged with identifying and providing solutions to gaps in Arizona's education system. The Arizona Education Association has expressed concerns about available resources and advocates careful planning and discussion about long-term funding.

Source:Arizona Daily Star

Web News Supplanting Print

Educators are increasingly turning to online news sources for classroom use, turning away from newspapers and television news. According to a study by Carnegie-Knight Task Force at Harvard University, 57% of teachers use Internet-based news in the classroom with some frequency, compared to 31% using national television news, 28% using daily papers and 13% using local television news. Among teachers now making use of news, 67% indicate that "the Internet has made news use in the classroom easier and better." .In the process of moving to the Internet, educators have switched from using hundreds of local news outlets to making use of a small number of national ones, such as the New York Times and CNN.com. Several things are at work here. While teachers say they prefer newspapers as an instructional medium, they report that students do not relate to newspapers at all. Further, local news sources have not worked hard enough to make teachers aware of their own web sites and online news resources. Many U.S. Newspaper participate in Newspapers in Education (NIE), which makes papers available to schools at discounted rates or for free, Eighty-seven percent of the NIE directors survey as part of the study said their newspaper encourages teachers to use the paper version. While nearly all of the newspapers we surveyed have an on-line edition, less than 2% said they steer teachers to the on-line version.

Source:Boston.com

A Bridge to the World

Videoconferencing technology now makes it possible for students to go almost anyplace they can imagine — interacting with curators at distant museums and sharing experiences with students around the world. Just this year, students at Howe High School, located in a tiny rural Oklahoma school district, have visited with Pearl Harbor survivors at the USS Arizona Memorial, surveyed Hurricane Katrina damage in New Orleans and compared notes about college placement tests with students in Canada. Teachers say they are finding some unexpected benefits. Since distance is no longer an issue, students are beginning to think globally, becoming citizens of the world. According to Wainhouse Research, about 25% of American schools have videoconferencing equipment, reaching an estimated 23,000 classrooms. California, Texas, New York, Oklahoma and Ohio lead the list of states with the greatest number of video-enabled classrooms. In response, zoos, museums and cultural institutions are developing videoconferencing programs to extend their educational mission beyond the immediate locale. Groups like the not-for-profit Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration in Indianapolis help set up field trips, connecting content providers with interested schools. The Center currently offers 850 virtual field trip experiences, with more opportunities added monthly. Schools are also getting in on the action, creating their own virtual field trips. High school students in Stamford, Texas, created a course on growing cotton, doing the planning, camera work and presentations themselves. A teacher in White Plains, NY is collaborating with 25 schools in 14 nations to arrange virtual field trips that the group will; take together.

Source:USA Today

EL Paso ISD Site Models Educational Podcasting

In an example of practicing what you preach, Tim Holt, director of instructional technology for the El Paso (TX) Independent School District, has launched a website to model the instructional use of new technologies such as blogs and podcasts. Holt posts podcasts, blogs to the Byte Speed Education Technology Web site. The site also includes technology news and interviews with education technology expert. Holt's interest in podcasting was piqued originally when he noticed that college professors were using the technology to record lectures for online posting, allowing students to review them at their convenience. Holt hopes to see EL PASO ISD use the technology in a similar way in the future. Podcasts are growing in popularity as an accessible, non-threatening way of sharing information with students, teachers and parents. According to Bradley Scott, director of the Intercultural Development Research Association's South-Central Collaborative for Equity, podcasts have become an important tool in getting information to educators and parents in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. While the Association's own podcasts focus on topics such as race, gender and national-origin equity, as well as federal and state laws affecting educators, Scott hopes to add a space for students to give them a voice on school violence, vandalism, harassment and other classroom topics.

Source:The El Paso Times

GPS-Equipped Shoes

Shoes are becoming the latest competition for the growing number of cell phones, PDAs and wristwatches equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. The GPS equipped shoes include a button hidden near the shoe's lace that can be pressed to send a distress signal. They are set to reach retail stores in March and will be priced in the $325 to $350 range. The challenge for engineers was creating a GPS device that could survive use in a shoe. The solution is tiny, weatherproof, shockproof device that can sustain the weight of a 300-pound person. The developer is thinking well beyond sneakers, with plans to market to the military and emergency service workers. Analysts see this as just another extension of the trend to use GPS technology to track people. A 2005 national survey found that 54% of consumers are interested in using GPS on a mobile phone to locate family members. While there are significant privacy concerns, there is growing interest in using GPS as a safety feature for children. To appeal to buyers who might not care about the benefits of being found in an emergency, the developer is exploring ways to use the technology embedded in the shoes for games.

Source:The Sun Herald

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