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IPods Help Students Learn Languages Moorestown Friends High School is using one of today’s hottest media devices to help students acquire foreign language skills, proving students in 12 French and Spanish classes with iPods to use to practice speaking and improve pronunciation. Computer Ties Together Third
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  • IPods Help Students Learn Languages
    Moorestown Friends High School is using one of today’s hottest media devices to help students acquire foreign language skills, proving students in 12 French and Spanish classes with iPods to use to practice speaking and improve pronunciation.
  • Computer Ties Together Third Graders’ Big Project
    Rayna Freedman, third grade teacher at Mansfield’s Jordan/Jackson School, uses the computer to tie together the elements of a project that helps her students understand the connections between reading, writing, poetry, critical thinking, art and theater.
  • Maine To Renew Middle School Laptop Program
    Maine’s Education Committee has decided to extend the state’s program that provides laptops for all 7th and 8th grade students for another four years, at a cost of $10 million per year.
  • German and American Students Meet via Videoconference
    Students in the AP Economics class at Pomona’s Ganesha High School recently participated in a videoconference with students taking a similar course in Kulmach, Germany. Learn what they shared.
  • Something in the Air for Cambridge
    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced plans to extend a broadband wireless network in use on the campus to the entire city of Cambridge.

IPods Help Students Learn Languages

Moorestown Friends High School is using one of today’s hottest media devices to help students acquire foreign language skills. Students in 12 French and Spanish classes use iPods to practice speaking and improve their pronunciation. Moorestown Friends spent $10,000 to purchase 24 iPods and associated recording equipment. The iPods are stored on a moveable cart and moved from classroom to classroom. Students have used the iPods and recorders for a number of projects – oral journals, interviews, practicing the lines for a script they wrote for a television show, downloading books and speeches from the Internet. They will use them on a field trip to a local Spanish market to record interviews with native speakers to study dialect and practice their skills in real-life situations. Once students are satisfied with the quality of their assignments, they upload the files to the classroom computer. Teachers review the files and keep digital audio portfolios that allow students to evaluate their progress. Students have asked to use the iPods in other classes and the school will be launching podcasting class this spring in which students can produce audio and video programs that can be assessed via the Internet or the school's network. Moorestown Friends was one of the first schools in the region to use iPods extensively. The school is hosting a conference for educators across the Northeast who want to learn more about the program.

Source:The Philadelphia Inquirer

Computer Ties Together Third Graders’ Big Project

Rayna Freedman, third grade teacher at Mansfield’s Jordan/Jackson School, uses the computer to tie together the elements of a project that helps her students understand the connections between reading, writing, poetry, critical thinking, art and theater. The project starts by having students read the book "The Stranger." The book’s author describes a number of strange happenings, but leaves the identity of the stranger to the reader’s imagination. Freedman’s students then begin to document their ideas about who the stranger is, starting with drawings, which Friedman helps them transfer to HyperStudio. Students write free-verse poems, which are also incorporated into their presentation. Last year, Freedman added background music that she thought represented each child to their individual presentations. Students also made a movie of the book and, with the help of their music teacher, created a soundtrack of mood music for the movie. This year’s class is still working on their individual presentations and the movie, work that will go on until April. Freedman says that working on such a large, complex project encourages students to work and think at a higher level and ultimately create work more advanced than might be expected from third graders. Freedman is being assisted by the school’s art teacher, whom she trained on the technology aspects last year and who is working with parents who want to help with the project. Students will culminate the project by presenting a program for their parents and other guests, during which each student presents his or her individual work.

Source:Mansfield News

Maine To Renew Middle School Laptop Program

Four years ago Maine made history when it became the first state to provide laptops computers for all 7th and 8th grade students. Despite some bumps along the way, the program has been largely successful and the state has decided to extend the program for another four years, at a cost of $10 million per year. All of the states 7th and 8th graders will receive new laptops over the next four years. The Department of Education will purchase the existing, 33,000 4-year old laptops for $1.6 million. Schools will be able to purchase these computers, at roughly $40 each, for use in other grades. The Maine Education Policy Research Institute at the University of Southern Maine surveyed 16,000 students, 1,103 teachers and 207 school principals and found convincing evidence that the laptop program allowed teachers to customize their teaching and curriculum and help the students achieve the standards specified in the Main Learning Results. The Department of Education has issued an RFP requesting vendors to submit proposals for providing student “personal, portable computing devices with suitable basic applications,†server capacity, training and technical support as well as installing or upgrading the schools’ wireless networks.

Source:Bangor Daily News

German and American Students Meet via Videoconference

What better way to understand the global economy than by sharing experiences with students worldwide? To that end, students in the AP Economics class at Pomona’s Ganesha High School recently participated in a videoconference with students taking a similar course in Kulmach, Germany. The teachers had met while on vacation several years earlier and that friendship has expanded to include their students. In preparation for the videoconference, students had been exchanging e-mail for several months. Once the conference went live, students in California stepped their new German friends through a PowerPoint presentation that covered a bit of travel and tourism information about the state and then turned to a serious discussion of the Federal Reserve system. In turn, German students explained the intricacies of the European Central Bank. Following the formal presentation, students engaged in a question and answer session, but only a few questions were on economics. Students on both sides wanted to know more about the way their peers lived. They discussed the universal of music and food and the World Wide Web and noted differences such as Germany’s legal drinking age of 16. The largely Latino student body at Ganesha helped dispel the widely held German perception of Los Angeles as a wealthy, Hollywood-like playground. In the end, the students were all teens, with many things in common.

Source:The Los Angeles Times

Something in the Air for Cambridge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced plans to extend a broadband wireless network in use on the campus to the entire city of Cambridge. The Cambridge Public Internet is already available in sections of the city bordering the MIT campus. The mesh network, developed by the university, is designed to be robust, easy to install and for now ate least, free to users. MIT hopes to have the network installed by late summer, which could mark one of the speediest deployments of a municipal Wi-Fi network. Cambridge’s base wireless network will consist of a number of antennas that will be installed on the roofs of selected buildings in Cambridge. The signal from MIT’s access point will jump from the MIT antenna to any other antenna within a clear line of sight. Mesh technology allows individual computers to propagate the network and act as new access points, making it unnecessary for a user to be within range of the original wireless signal. Users with Wi-Fi 802.11b capability on their computers simply log on to the service once and they are up and running. The project is motivated by Cambridge city officials’ desire to provide inexpensive or free Internet access to low-income residents. The Cambridge plan calls for Roofnet to be free for low-income residents, although there could be a charge later if usage overloads the network.

Source:Information Week

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