- Technology in Arkansas Schools
While a number of Arkansas school districts are implementing cutting-edge technology projects, the legislature is beginning to question the efficiency of the "go it alone" approach.
- South Carolina To Launch Virtual School
Governor Mark Sanford has signed legislation creating the South Carolina Virtual School Program to be operated by the state Department of Education.
- Technology Supports Special Education Efforts
The widespread availability of technology is making it easier for special education teachers to address the needs of every one of their students.
- Technology Plays Central Role
Recognizing the importance of technology for their students' futures, school districts across New Hampshire work hard to keep their technology infrastructure up-to-date.
- Korean Youth Love Texting
If you think American teens spend too much time texting one another, consider Korea, where teenagers send, on average, 60.1 text messages per day.
Technology in Arkansas Schools
While a number of Arkansas school districts are implementing cutting-edge technology projects, the legislature is beginning to question the efficiency of the "go it alone" approach. According to a report by the University of Arkansas Office of Education Policy, Arkansas has a current ratio of roughly 4 students per computer and is doing a better job of providing computers and Internet access to high-poverty and minority students than many of its neighboring states. Among the innovative programs in place is a paperless classroom at Owl Creek Middle School in Fayetteville, where sixth grade science students are trying to eliminate the use of paper. The Sheridan School District has equipped a school bus with wireless Internet access, allowing students to use laptops and iPods to do class work on the ride to and from school. Testifying before a joint meeting of the House and Senate Interim Committees on Education, University of Arkansas Associate Professor Cheryl Murphy indicated that the state did not have a unified way of collecting or disseminating information about such programs, making it difficult for school systems to learn from one another's experiences. Murphy argued that a central repository would help researchers and policy makers reach more informed decisions about the uses of educational technology. Sen. Jim Argue, Senate Education Committee chairman, questioned the effectiveness of having each school system develop technology program independently. Instead he would like to see the state do more to promote technology and disseminate information about successful technology implementations.
Source:Arkansas News Bureau
South Carolina To Launch Virtual School
Gov. Mark Sanford has signed legislation creating the South Carolina Virtual School Program to be operated by the state Department of Education. The measure builds on a pilot program now offered in 11 school districts across the state. The new law establishes a state-run virtual school to serve up to 3,000 students per semester (fall, spring and summer) in 2007-2008 at a cost of $3.6 million. The state Department of Education pilot has drawn 1,921 students since it began on a limited basis last summer. South Carolina Virtual School will be open all South Carolina students up to age 21 — those attending public private or charter schools as well as students who are currently being home schooled. The new law allows graduation credits to be earned online and lets students take courses that wouldn't normally be offered in their home schools, such as Advanced Placement or foreign languages. Remedial classes and credit recovery options will also be available, helping students meet graduation requirements. Students can earn a maximum of three online credits per school year and a total of 12 throughout high school. Students must take final exams under adult supervision. Earning a high school diploma online will not be allowed.
Technology Supports Special Education Efforts
The widespread availability of technology is making it easier for special education teachers to address the needs of every one of their students. Special education teachers are masters at using a variety of techniques and materials to help their students grasp concepts. A formalized approach, Universal Design for Learning, underscore the need for multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners. This is where technology helps. Easy access to streaming video to support a lesson plan, interactive whiteboards that appeal to kinesthetic learners, independent tutorials that allow students to take as much time as they need to work through a lesson, all help engage special learners and keep them focused on learning. Technology tools make it much easier for teachers to find differentiated learning materials, materials adapted to meet the unique needs of each student. Crystal MacLarty, the teachers In the Life Skills class at Peabody High School, uses a variety of high- and low-tech tools to help her students learn. Special software helps her translate written text into symbols - visual clues that support students who have difficulty reading complex text. Other specialized software enlarges text on the computer screen, making it possible for visually impaired students to read text. Special education teachers are quick to point out that technology is key in changing the special education classroom. Further, the universal design approach has the potential to help all types of students, better adapting instruction to students' unique needs.
Source:The Salem News
Technology Plays Central Role
Recognizing the importance of technology for their students' futures, school districts across New Hampshire work hard to keep their technology infrastructure up-to-date. By spreading costs across several budget years and keeping a close eye on the bottom line they are able to pay for necessary new equipment, software, support and teacher professional development. District administrators know that their students are tech savvy and that many have ready access to technology outside school. They want to be sure that the technology they offer at school is at least as powerful, providing students with real-life experiences with technology that will help them transition from the classroom to the workplace. And it's not just computers. State standards require that technology be a part of all core subject areas. Videoconferencing technology allows students to meet with NASA scientists and audio recording equipment allows teachers and students to record class notes, reports, interviews and class projects. Students can access the library catalog from home and check their homework assignments; parents can check their children's attendance and grades.
Source:The Eagle Tribune
Korean Youth Love Texting
If you think American teens spend too much time texting one another, consider Korea, where teenagers send, on average, 60.1 text messages per day. According to figures released by the National Statistical Office, that represents a slight increase in usage among teenagers between 15 and 19, up from 59.5 in 2005. According to the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity & Promotion, nearly half (46%) of middle and high school students send text messages even in class. Young adults aged between 20 and 24 also send more text messages, with the average number increasing from 22.6 in 2005 to 30.9 in 2006. Cell phones are used by 85% of Korean teens and by 97% of young adults. Korean teens used computers for 14 hours per week and spent 12.8 hours per week watching television. In contrast, they spent less than an hour a week reading newspapers.
Source:The Chosun Ilbo