- e-Pads in Lemon Grove
Every middle school student in California's Lemon Grove School District is getting an e-Pad — a wireless computer tablet designed by the district — along with filtered high-speed Internet access at home.
- Distance Learning Targeted to Rural Teachers
The U.S. Department of Labor is funding a $3 million distance learning program designed to increase the supply of well-trained math and science teachers in rural school systems.
- E-Rate Celebrates 10 Years
The 10th anniversary celebration included a gala honoring the legislators who authored the legislation and the release of a new report that credits the E-Rate with transforming American schools' telecommunications infrastructure.
- Laptops Result in Increased Technology Use
One major result of the $5.3 million Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative, which has distributed 2,305 laptops to sixth- through eighth-graders and their teachers, is increased use of technology in the classroom.
- American Archive
As the Feb. 18, 2009 deadline approaches for the total conversion of America's broadcast industry to digital transmission, the Association of Public Television Stations is switching some of its energy to digital content issues.
e-Pads in Lemon Grove
Every middle school student in California's Lemon Grove School District is getting an e-Pad — a wireless computer tablet designed by the district — along with filtered high-speed Internet access at home. This connection links students directly to the district's private learning network, providing access to district programs and files as well as rich educational resources — 24 hours a day. Students will also have access to e-mail and instant messaging between themselves and teachers, but not outside the district. In school, students will use the computers every day, working through lessons teachers will create to link to classroom websites. Teachers have been trained to use their classroom website to centralize student access to electronic resources, providing detailed information about lessons and related activities so that students can become more self-directed and independent in their learning. Much of the information traditionally delivered using the chalkboard or whiteboard, overhead projector or handouts will now be delivered electronically through classroom websites, making it available to students and parents 24 hours a day. Participating middle schools each have a student Tech Corps trained to assist with the operation of the e-Pad as well as to trouble-shoot the home connection. Cox is installing a set-up in each The Student Tech Corps is also available to assist teachers in classroom e-Pad rollouts. The program, which began as a pilot in September 2004, is being expanded with help from $500,000 in funding from Microsoft's U.S. Partners in Learning program.
Source:San Diego Union-Tribune
Distance Learning Targeted to Rural Teachers
The U.S. Department of Labor is funding a distance learning program designed to increase the supply of well-trained math and science teachers in rural school systems. Over the next three years, Western Governors University (WGU) will receive $1 million a year to develop and test an online, competency-based teacher training model. WGU will offer academic support and mentoring throughout the program as well as professional development opportunities for up to one year following a student's graduation from the program. The distance-learning aspect of the program allows individuals to continue residing in their communities while accessing their classes, combating one of the biggest problems students face in isolated rural areas – lack of access to accredited teacher training programs. The grant will also assist WGU in providing scholarships of up to $1,500 per student per term for up to five terms. Teachers currently teaching in a rural school district or rural school, or individuals willing to commit to teach in a rural school are eligible for the program, as are individual pursuing initial teaching certification through one of the eligible bachelor's, master's, or post-baccalaureate teaching program in mathematics or science. WGU is a unique, regionally-accredited university that grants degrees and certificates based completely on competencies—the candidate's ability to demonstrate skills and knowledge on a series of assessments carefully selected to measure knowledge of a field of study—rather than through required courses. In October 2006, WGU Teachers College became the first online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is able to directly certify or have its graduates certified in nearly every state.
Source:Western Governors University
E-Rate Celebrates 10 Years
The National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) and the Education and Libraries Networks Coalition (EdLiNC) hosted a gala on Feb 27 to celebrate 10 successful years of the E-rate program. The E-Rate, enacted as an amendment to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, expanded the universal service fund to include Internet access support for schools and libraries. The authors of the provision — Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe (R-ME), former Senators Kerrey (D-NE) and Exon (D-NE) (posthumous), and Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) — were honored for their commitment and leadership in launching the E-Rate program. In 1997, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved the rules to implement the E-Rate and established a $2.25 billion annual cap for E-Rate discounts. Since its inception, the E-Rate has provided nearly $19 billion in discounted services. NCTET and EdLiNC also released a new report, “E-Rate: 10 Years of Connecting Kids and Community,” which credits the E-Rate for increasing the overall number of public classrooms with Internet access from 14% in 1996 to 95% in 2005. After 10 years of E-Rate support, connectivity levels stand at 95% for students in rural classrooms, 92% for majority-minority school districts, and 92% for the highest poverty districts. Over 2,800 private K-12 schools have also benefited from the E-Rate program.
Laptops Result in Increased Technology Use
One major result of the $5.3 million Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative, which has distributed 2,305 laptops to sixth- through eighth-graders and their teachers, is increased use of technology in the classroom. The Initiative, a collaboration of the state Legislature, the private sector and the Pittsfield and North Adams public schools, and the Catholic Schools of Pittsfield, has just released findings from its first evaluation, conduced by an assessment team from Boston College's Lynch School of Education. A second report should be published in December, followed by a final evaluation during the next program year. This first evaluation is based on surveys and assessments conducted between December 2005 and June 2006. The question of how the computers affect students achievement will be answered through an analysis of MCAS test scores; that data won't be available until the program's third year. For now, evaluators report that teachers and students reported large increases in their use of technology in the classroom and across the curriculum. Teachers report a substantial increase in their abilities to access technology resources and students say their ability to use technology after five months of one-to-one computing has also increased.
As the Feb. 18, 2009 deadline approaches for the total conversion of America's broadcast industry to digital transmission, the Association of Public Television Stations is switching some of its energy to digital content issues. The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and its partners — the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Library of Congress — are developing a proposal to preserve an American Archive of America's audio, film and video programming. In addition to digitizing content, funding would support cataloging; storing and preserving existing and new content on station-based servers, and will leverage the capabilities of the new Public Television interconnection system. It would also create tools for the public to search for and access content through the Internet and other communications platforms. APTS will also ask for changes in copyright law to ease clearance and expand rights for educational uses. The American Archive would allow educators and students to choose content from which to create unique, digital learning materials capable of being presented in a variety of formats. The effort builds on several prior projects: CPB's digital rights task force and the collaboration among WNET, WGBH and the Library of Congress to pioneer best practices for digitizing video. Funding would come from repurposing current allocations for digital conversion to focus the money on digital content grants.