T&L News(76) - Tech Learning

T&L News(76)

Whiteboards Engage Students Mackey Elementary School has equipped all of its 34 classrooms with interactive whiteboards, allowing teachers to bring a wide variety of digital resources into their daily lessons. Video Documents Crowded Conditions There's a new twist in the campaign to pass a $27.2 million bond
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  • Whiteboards Engage Students
    Mackey Elementary School has equipped all of its 34 classrooms with interactive whiteboards, allowing teachers to bring a wide variety of digital resources into their daily lessons.
  • Video Documents Crowded Conditions
    There's a new twist in the campaign to pass a $27.2 million bond issue to expand overcrowded Kings High School. A former student has created an online video to help make the case.
  • Laptops for Hacienda La Puente's Students
    California's Hacienda La Puente Unified School District is embarking on a Student Laptop Program that will eventually place computers in the hands of all 17,000 students in grades five through 12.
  • The (iPod) Play's the Thing
    The next best thing to being in the theatre, students across the United Kingdom are now able to use MP3 players to listen to recordings of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.
  • Reinventing the Internet
    Discussion is underway about reinventing the Internet — starting from scratch and doing it right this time around.

Whiteboards Engage Students

Mackey Elementary School has equipped all of its 34 classrooms with interactive whiteboards, allowing teachers to bring a wide variety of digital resources into their daily lessons. The 78-inch boards make it easy to engage the entire classroom in a presentation and students vie for the opportunity to come up to the board and interact directly with the digital content being presented. Using an electromagnetic pen, users can drag various objects around on the board and make notations directly on computer-generated images. The board can also be controlled using a wireless slate that teachers can carry around the classroom or pass from student to student. Individual student response systems allow teachers to quickly gauge students' understanding of concepts being presented. They also allow students to take tests, which are graded automatically and entered in teachers' computerized grade books. The software that supports the interactive whiteboards includes a variety of drawing tools and images that make it relatively easy for teachers to begin using the equipment productively after some practice. Electronic whiteboards are expensive; a whiteboard and the basic software costs about $1,500, while additional equipment and installation can bring the price up to $4,500. Using federal grant money, Mackey Elementary spent about $80,000 to equip all of its classrooms.

Source:Las Vegas Review-Journal

Video Documents Crowded Conditions

There's a new twist in the campaign to pass a $27.2 million bond issue to expand overcrowded Kings High School. A former student has created an online video to help make the case. The bond issue, which failed by a narrow margin in November, would add eight new classrooms to the high school, including new science and technology classrooms with updated equipment. Bond issue money would also be used to would also expand hallways, add lockers and pay for renovations and repairs at the other five school buildings in the district. District officials say that currently the halls of the high school are so crowded that easy, timely and safe flow of people throughout the day is prevented. The video, created by a 2006 graduate of Kings High School - now a film student at Bowling Green University – uses time-lapse photography and point-of-view techniques that squeeze the viewer into the clogged hallways that slowly move students and teachers in the few minutes between each class. Teachers and students are captured on the film complaining about chronic tardiness, tiny lockers and overflow conditions in the school's small cafeteria. The video is featured on the web site of a local private group who are supporting the bond issue. The video had almost 700 page views in the first two days following its posting in early April. The video has also be duplicated in DVD format and distributed to 200 voters. Supporters hope the video translation of existing conditions will sway voters to pass the 26-year issue, while detractors say that it's just more of the same campaign that exaggerates current problems.

Source:Cincinnati Enquirer

Laptops for Hacienda La Puente's Students

California's Hacienda La Puente Unified School District is embarking on a Student Laptop Program that will eventually place computers in the hands of all 17,000 students in grades five through 12. Some 1,900 students will receive laptops in the fall of the 2007-08 school year. The deployment schedule calls for new clusters of schools to begin implementation of the program in grades five, seven and nine every two years. It is expected that all students in grades five through 12 will be equipped with laptops by the 2012-13 school year. Students and their families will also receive free high-speed Internet access at home and will be encouraged to use the computers to extend learning opportunities beyond the school day. At the end of the four-year use period, families will be able to purchase the student laptop, either by applying a credit earned by taking the Parent Education class offered by Hacienda La Puente Adult Education or by paying a $50 fee. The laptops will be preloaded with a standard productivity suite, graphical organizer and online lessons to support grade level content standards. Initially, more than 200 teachers will be trained to use the laptops in instruction, including training on using the computers to support project-based learning.

Source:Hacienda La Puente USD

The (iPod) Play's the Thing

The next best thing to being in the theatre, students across the United Kingdom are now able to use MP3 players to listen to recordings of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing. The recording was made during a special performance for young people at the Globe theatre and can be downloaded from the Department for Education and Skills' (DfES) Standards website section on Improving the Teaching of Shakespeare. Students can download and listen to each of the play's five acts, along with supporting materials such as interviews with the actors and director and discussions of the play's characters and meaning. Much Ado is a required text in the UK's Stage 3 (children 11-14) curriculum. DfES officials hope that by being able to listen to it in the familiar MP3 format will make the play more accessible. The Globe theatre also uses podcasts in its mission to teach about Shakespeare. The producers of Richard III, Pericles and The Winter's Tale have recorded podcasts with their thoughts about interpreting the plays.

Source:BBC News

Reinventing the Internet

Discussion is underway about reinventing the Internet – starting from scratch and doing it right this time around. Some researchers are convinced that the "clean slate" approach is only way to deal with the numerous challenges – security, mobility, speed – that have emerged over the Internet's four decade lifespan. The problem is that this approach could mean that the Internet's supporting infrastructure would have to be replaced, which could cost billions of dollars. And unlike the birth of the original Internet, which was largely a scholarly effort, today's Internet and any redesign would have to meet the needs of the many people and organizations that now rely on the Internet for communication, commerce and recreation. The National Science Foundation wants to build an experimental research network known as the Global Environment for Network Innovations, or GENI, and is funding several projects at universities and elsewhere through Future Internet Network Design, or FIND. The European Union has also backed research on such initiatives, through a program known as Future Internet Research and Experimentation, or FIRE. Clean slate projects are in very early stages and could take 10 to 15 years to become reality. But there is a lot of interest in the idea.

Source:Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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