- Technology Enhances High School Instruction
High school teachers in California's Sacramento Valley are using the Internet and technology tools to make their lessons more relevant, helping to defuse the question of "Why do we have to learn this?"
- Loudoun County Models Technology Use
Students across Virginia's Loudoun County, recently recognized as a technology leader by the National School Boards Association, use a wide variety of technology tools to support classroom learning.
- Technology Counts 2007
Education Week has released Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade, marking the 10th year that the annual report that details progress on educational technology issues has been published.
- Teaching Podcasting
While today's youth are very comfortable with technology, they still have things to learn – like what goes into creating a successful and engaging podcast.
- First Internet Student Radio Network Planned
The first true Internet radio network will be marked by the collaboration that is the hallmark of Web 2.0 applications, allowing college and high school broadcasters to access and share content.
Technology Enhances High School Instruction
High school teachers across California's Sacramento Valley are increasingly using the Internet and technology tools to make their lessons more relevant and help defuse the question of "Why do we have to learn this?" Showing a YouTube clip of a Shakespeare performance in England captures students' attention as does having students use Google Erath to calculate the distance between Venice and Cypress, the setting of "Othello." Dylan Holcomb, an English teacher at California's Del Oro High School, is considered a leader in the use of technology tools. He uses instant messaging to answer students' homework questions and assigns blogs. Holcomb recently lead a workshop for felloe teachers, helping them gain facility with the various tools and challenging them to think of curriculum-related projects that would use the technology to support an instructional goal. To address concerns about students safety a number of districts are evaluating a tool that sets up a protected portal, restricted from the internet community at large, where students can communicate with one another and access classroom-related information. Experts say that in addition to the element of engagement, using Internet technology in the classroom also causes students to be more reflective and use better problem-solving skills. Students who are reluctant to speak up in class may also feel more comfortable responding to lessons through a blog or online chat room. The trick is finding the balance between the technologies students are comfortable with and traditional classroom tools.
Source:The Sacramento Bee
Loudoun County Models Technology Use
Students across Virginia's Loudoun County, recently recognized as a technology leader by the National School Boards Association, use a wide variety of technology tools to support classroom learning. At Newton-Lee Elementary School, fifth graders do math problems using computerized pens that tell them if their answers are right or wrong. At Smarts Mill students use software to record themselves speaking in the foreign language they are studying, allowing them and their teachers to listen and assess their progress. Fifth graders at Mountain View Elementary School have each received a hand held computer, One of the district's long-term goals is to equip every student with their own computer; hand helds are an affordable way to begin to approach that goal. Loudoun's schools host many groups of visiting educators who are looking to Loudoun County as a possible model for their own schools' technology programs. Some visitors find the variety of hardware options exciting. Others learn about software applications that might work in their classrooms. Most are very impressed to see the level of support Loudoun's classroom teachers receive; every school has a technology resource teacher and a technology assistant. Despite the technology buzz, Loudoun County educators are very clear that it's all about improving student achievement.
Source:The Washington Post
Technology Counts 2007
Education Week has released Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade, marking the 10th year that the annual report has been published. Based on the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center's annual state survey on educational technology, this year's report looks both forward and back. For example, Technology Counts 1997 indicated that only about two-thirds of U.S. public schools had Internet connections of any kind, and just 14% of those schools had such access on classroom computers. Today, the data indicate that nearly all schools can get online and most instructional computers have high-speed Internet connections. Yet some gaps persist. While student access to computers has become the norm at school, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic background, access to computers at home remains limited for students from lower income families. Significant access gaps also exist between students of various racial and ethnic groups. The report notes that 45 states now have technology standards for teachers in place, but only 19 require a technology test or coursework for an initial teaching license. Similarly, very few states offer incentives for teachers to use technology, such as course credit, stipends, grants, salary increases, and free hardware. State Technology Reports track data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the critical areas of access, used and capacity, assigning grades to the states for their performance in those three categories.
While today's youth are very comfortable with technology, they still have things to learn – like what goes into creating a successful and engaging podcast. In California, Atascadero High School students will be learning about those elements — public speaking, script writing, audio editing — in a new podcasting class likely to launch next school year. Gary Bissell, one of the school's computer science teachers, conceived of the idea as a result of county-sponsored education seminar in which he himself learned how to podcast. Students will start small, producing audio segments of several minutes. Before the semester-long class is over, they will be producing video podcasts. Once the podcasts are finalized they will be uploaded to the school's Web site to be shared with other students and even downloaded by the general public. Bissell expects that some of his students will already know at least some of the basics of podcasting and he plans to challenge students to make their productions as professional as they can, adding background sounds and music. And of course, students will have to do the research to be sure their content is accurate and interesting to others. Bissell is thinking about a number of possible projects, such as having students interview the oldest member of their family, create a tutorial on how to build or repair something, and make a video a bout their favorite hobby.
First Internet Student Radio Network Planned
The first true Internet radio network will be marked by the collaboration that is the hallmark of Web 2.0 applications, allowing college and high school broadcasters to easily access and share content. The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), a nonprofit association of mostly student-staffed radio stations, has partnered with Backbone Network Corporation to launch the network. Currently, IBS's 1,000 members operate all types of broadcast facilities including Internet Webcasting, closed-circuit, AM carrier-current, cable radio, FCC-licensed FM, LPFM and AM stations. The IBS Digital Network will be based on MPEG-4 AAC, the worldwide streaming standard, and will use Backbone Network's client-server radio software to allow stations to syndicate live and produced programming among member stations. Network stations will be offered collections of news feeds, royalty-free music and other programming. They will also be able to draw programming from one another through shared server databases, as well as have access to each other's live feeds, including sporting events and concerts. This will greatly expand the amount and quality of programming stations will be able to offer their listeners. Stations only need an Apple Macintosh computer, a microphone and a simple DSL connection to be on the air. All program automation software is provided by Backbone, as well as all server storage, streaming broadcast bandwidth and automated reporting software. A pilot program, involving 25 schools, will begin this spring and run through early September. If all goes as expected, additional IBS member schools will be added to the network in the fall.