Week of: June 25, 2007
- America's Digital Schools 2007
America's Digital Schools 2007 is inviting district technology directors to respond to its new online survey that gathers information on technology use in American schools.
- The Poll Says: Fix NCLB
According to a survey by Educational Testing Service, both the public in general and educators want to see No Child Left Behind reauthorized, but would like to see more flexibility added.
- Language Lessons Online
A Maryland middle-school teacher's Spanish instruction reaches far beyond his classroom, with more than 1.7 downloads of the Spanish-language lessons he posts on the Internet.
- Intel Joins Low-Cost Computer Fray
Chipmaker Intel has partnered with Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. to develop a range of low cost computers, including a laptop, aimed at users in the developing world, slated to cost roughly $200.
- A Home Town Newspaper - Virtually
With newspaper readership in decline, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is funding projects that it hopes will help the newspaper industry transform itself while bringing citizens relevant local news.
America's Digital Schools 2007
America's Digital Schools 2007, designed to gather information on technology use in American schools, is inviting technology directors to respond to its new online survey. Building on the results of the 2006 study, the America's Digital Schools 2007 survey will explore six topics â€” implementation success factors in 1:1 computing, learning management systems, online assessment, computing devices, interactive whiteboards, Internet bandwidth â€” in greater depth. Working to provide administrators, educators and policy decision makers with longitudinal data, the new version addresses topics identified through discussion with school districts, legislators and business partners. Educators are encouraged to participate in the industry-wide conversation about technology in education by taking the America's Digital Schools 2007 survey. The survey can be downloaded at http://www.ads2007.org and should take approximately 25 minutes to complete. For every survey completed by July 16, 2007, qualified respondents in large districts (4,000+ students) will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate. Every district respondent will receive a complimentary copy of the report (valued at $600) after the results are compiled in the fall of 2007. Key finding from America's Digital Schools 2006 can be found at the web site. America's Digital Schools 2007 is sponsored by Pearson Education, Promethean, AMD and Qwest Communications and supported by education and industry organizations including AASA, CoSN, ISTE, NSBA, SETDA and SIIA.
Source:America's Digital Schools
The Poll Says: Fix NCLB
According to a survey by Educational Testing Service (ETS), both the public in general and educators want to see the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law reauthorized, but would like to see more flexibility added. The public is more likely to believe that NCLB needs minor changes, while educators strongly believe that major changes to the law are needed. The annual "America Speaks" poll, which asks about educational issues facing America, has included a few questions on the public's impressions of NCLB since the bill first became law. This year the entire survey is devoted to NCLB. Fewer than half (45%) of the public believes they know a great deal or fair amount about NCLB and are slightly more negative (43%) than positive (41%) toward it. However, once NCLB was defined, support rose to 56% favorable and 39% unfavorable. Among educators, only 25% of teachers and 22% of public school administrators say Congress should not reauthorize the law. While there is agreement on reauthorization, there are areas where educators and the public do not see eye-to-eye. Nearly 60% of adults and K-12 parents think NCLB should be made more uniform by replacing 50 sets of state standards and tests with one set of national standards and tests. A majority of public school teachers and administrators believe the system should be kept as is, because it lets each state define its own academic goals. Everyone agrees that lack of parental involvement is the biggest problem facing our nation's schools.
Language Lessons Online
A Maryland middle-school teacher's Spanish instruction reaches far beyond his classroom, with more than 1.7 downloads of the Spanish-language lessons he posts on the Internet. David Spencer credits his success to his more than 10 years of teaching experience and his endless enthusiasm for the project. People who have downloaded and listened to Spencer's lessons say that, at 15 minutes each, they are relatively brief, focus on timely topics and allow plenty of time for users to repeat the Spanish words and phrases they are trying to learn. Spencer's free "Learn Spanish - Survival Guide" podcasts are consistently among the top 10 in the education section of iTunes. While most Americans have never listened to a podcast, the medium's popularity is growing rapidly. Some 10 million Americans have downloaded a podcast at some point in their lives and 3 million â€” roughly 1% of the population - are regular downloaders. Those numbers are expected to increase fivefold by 2011. Spencer, who records his lessons at his home in Baltimore County, says he wants to corner the market on learning Spanish. He hopes to turn his passion into a paying enterprise, but faces significant competition, both from established foreign language instruction organizations as well as other entrepreneurs. Still, with education one of the fastest growing segments of the podcasting universe and interest in language learning booming, Spencer may just have a chance to grow a real business from his passion.
Source:The Baltimore Sun
Intel Joins Low-Cost Computer Fray
Chipmaker Intel has partnered with Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. to develop a range of low-cost mobile computers, including a laptop, aimed at potential users in the developing world, slated to cost roughly $200. The computer would feature an Intel processor, run a Linux operating system and use flash memory chips to store files, with a total storage capacity of 2 gigabytes. The display screen will be smaller than those found on traditional laptops. Asustek expects to start shipping in July or August, with a target of selling 200,000 units this year. Intel has developed and is distributing another low-cost computer under its Classmates initiative, which aims to ship 1,230 low-cost PCs to governments in Asia this year, mostly for use in pilot programs. A company spokesman said that the Asustek computer would compliment the Classmates program and that both would come under Intel's "World Ahead" program which aims to open up developing computer markets through donated equipment and more affordable products. Unlike Classmate, which has largely focused its efforts toward government entities, the Asustek computer will target the mass market through conventional channels.
A Home Town Newspaper - Virtually
With newspaper readership in decline, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is funding projects that it hopes will help the newspaper industry transform itself while bringing citizens relevant local news. The Knight Foundation, the creation of the two brothers who once operated the Knight-Ridder news-media company, has supported journalism programs for more than 50 years. This $12 million round of funding is a departure from business as usual. Submissions were accepted from people around the world and grants were awarded to universities, nonprofit Internet sites and, for the first time, businesses and individuals. Among the more unconventional winners was the music television network MTV, which received $700,000 to form a corps of youth journalists to cover the 2008 presidential election, as well as environmental and sexual-health issues. Eight bloggers received grants of $15,000 each. One of those bloggers wants to create a Web site that will allow users to get a more personalized view of the news by searching mainstream sources or local amateur reporters based on Global Positioning System coordinates. For the next round of funding, which starts July 1, the Foundation wants to encourage more entries from young people.