Week of: June 11, 2007
- Marin County Educators Embrace Technology
Schools across California's Marin County are using technology — computer graphics, videoconferencing, laptop computers — to enrich their students' everyday classroom experience.
- Students Attend Technology Camp
Technology camp is one more example of St. Charles Parish schools' dedication to putting technology directly into the hands of students.
- Babes in Electronic Device Land
Children are starting to use electronic devices earlier and earlier, with the average age of initial use declining from 8.1 years in 2005 to 6.7 years in 2007, according to research from NPD Group
- Australian Teachers To Get Computers
Over the next four years every teacher in Australia's Queensland province will receive a laptop computer for their classroom, thanks to a new $70 million program.
- Livescribe's Paper-Based Computing
The new Livescribe may look like a pen, but it's really the newest mobile computing platform, complete with a computer chip, microphone and camera.
Marin County Educators Embrace Technology
Schools across California's Marin County are using technology — computer graphics, videoconferencing, laptop computers — to enrich students' everyday classroom experience. And since the county's schools are generally too wealthy to qualify for federal or state technology funding, which is directed to needy schools, they're spending their own money to be sure teachers have the tools they need. Many schools are getting support from their own education foundations; others are winning private grants. The Marin County Office of Education provides a minimum of a T1 Internet connection for most county school districts. A few districts have begun to purchase a new high speed AT&T service that provides up to 20-fold increases in Internet connection speed. State leaders say that successful technology integration programs depend on leadership from administrators and strong teacher-training programs. With that in placer, teachers are free to explore how technology best supports student learning. Third graders at Sausalito's Bayside Elementary School are filming and editing their own videos, adding animation and sound, to demonstrate their understanding of books they are reading. High school students are using videoconferencing to attend a distant computer graphics class. The Tamalpais Union High School District has a computer proficiency requirement for graduation and other schools now teach "21st century skills" such as Internet searches, cyber security and word processing.
Source:Marin Independent Journal
Students Attend Technology Camp
Technology camp is one more example of St. Charles Parish schools' dedication to putting technology directly into the hands of students. The 45 fifth, sixth and seventh graders who were lucky enough to attend spent the week getting hands-on experience with computers, PDAs, graphing calculators, digital cameras and hand-held global positioning system units. This year, students learned to make animated movies that deliver safe swimming messages. The movies will be shown on the school system's cable channel this summer. Students saved their movies and other projects on individual flash drives that they get to keep. The movies can be viewed on most home computers and they will be placed in each student's middle school portfolio. Capitalizing on a field trip, students created graphs to show the relationship between their height and how many steps they took walking through the zoo. This is the second year the school system has held technology camp and judging by its popularity, the program will probably be expanded next year. This year 75 students applied; a drawing was held to allocate the 45 slots. Each student paid a $40 fee to cover incidental costs. A $10,000 donation supported the camps operation and covered the cost of purchasing five additional web cams.
Babes in Electronic Device Land
Children are starting to use electronic devices earlier and earlier, with the average age of initial use declining from 8.1 years in 2005 to 6.7 years in 2007, according to research from NPD Group. Teachers who observe the ease with which even very young children navigate electronic devices will find it no surprise to learn that TVs and computers are among the first devices children learn to use, with initial exposure at 4 or 5 years of age. Satellite radios and portable digital media players show the oldest initial exposure at about 9 years of age. While the age at which children begin to use almost any electronic device has declined steadily from 2005, DVD players and cell phones in particular are seeing earlier use. Children' ownership of portable digital media players, portable video games and digital cameras has grown the most over the past years, with cells phones and portable DVD players also showing growth. The devices purchased most often during the past year are cell phones, digital cameras and portable digital media players. In a statement that will resonate with many educators, Anita Frazier, industry analyst with the NPD Group, says, "They [children] appear to have no fear of technology and adopt it easily and without fanfare, making these devices a part of their everyday lives."
Australian Teachers To Get Computers
Australia's Queensland State Government will spend $70 million to provide laptop computers to all its teachers. Over the next four years, tenured teachers working two days or more a week in state schools and Technical and Further Education institutes will get a dedicated laptop for their classrooms. An additional $7 million will fund similar purchases for teachers working in non-public schools. The program will also fund professional development to ensure that teachers are prepared to use the technology most effectively. Having a dedicated classroom computer will allow teachers instant access to resource files, the latest education software and Internet resources worldwide. The decision to move forward with the program was based on the success of a $3.5 million pilot program among 1,500 teachers in Ipswich and Cairns last year. After a year of dedicated computer access, teachers reported that they had come to rely on the computers as essential parts of their classroom teaching and lesson preparation.
Source:Gold Coast Weekend Bulletin
Livescribe's Paper-Based Computing
The new Livescribe may look like a pen, but it's really the newest mobile computing platform, complete with a computer chip, microphone and camera. Just slightly larger than a Montblanc, Livescribe's smartpen is an advanced paper-based computer, with both audio and visual feedback, powerful processing capabilities and substantial built-in storage. Livescribe works in conjunction with special dot paper, where every 2 millimeters is covered with a unique pattern of dots that is nearly invisible to the human eye. The micro-dots enables a patented dot-positioning system to precisely track the smartpen's movement on paper, making it possible for anything that is written to be stored, recognized, and manipulated. Inventor Jim Marggraff sees college students as a prime market for the $200 device, which should be available this fall. When used to take notes during a discussion or lecture, the smartpen records the conversation and digitizes the handwriting, automatically synchronizing the ink and audio. By later tapping the ink, the user can replay the conversation from the exact moment the note was written. Notes and audio can also be uploaded to a PC where they can be replayed, saved, searched or sent.