Week of: September 10, 2007
- Tech Valley High Launches
New York's Tech Valley High's first class of 40 students will use the latest technology to pursue their studies in a nontraditional program modeled on San Diego's High Tech High model.
- $90 Million for PA's Classroom of the Future
Pennsylvania's Classroom of the Future program is distributing $90 million this school year to support the technology transformation of ordinary high school classrooms.
- E-Rate Performance Measures
As part of its efforts to safeguard the Universal Service Fund from waste, fraud, and abuse, the Federal Communications Commission adopted performance measures for all four Universal Service Fund programs, including the E-rate program.
- Technology Upgrades for Tennessee Schools
Students returning to classrooms across the mid-Tennessee region are finding them equipped with new technology-based resources.
- NASA Images Added to Internet Archive
A partnership between NASA and the Internet Archive will make thousands of images from various NASA missions available through a single, searchable Web site.
Tech Valley High Launches
Though it's starting small, New York's Tech Valley High has big plans. Its first class of 40 students will use the latest technology to pursue their studies in a nontraditional program modeled on San Diego's High Tech High model. Working both in school and the community, students will focus on math, science and technology skills, supported by classes in reading, writing, art and Chinese. The students are drawn from 35 districts in Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie counties and parts of Saratoga and Greene counties. The school, which is located temporarily in donated space in the MapInfo building in the RPI Tech Park, is being operated by the two BOCES that serve the seven county area. In 2009, the school will move into its own space somewhere in Rensselaer County with 100 students in each grade. This year, each student will have a laptop computer and will spend time working in groups under the guidance of four full-time core curriculum teachers and part-time teachers for language, art and physical education. Students will also work with adults from the local community with expertise in the business and science fields. True to its goal of making students responsible for their own learning, students will start their project-based problem solving by tackling the question of how to operate the school's lunch program. Students will examine the feasibility of running a lunchroom where all the food used is produced within a 100-mile radius of the school. They will then present their findings and suggestions to the Board of Education.
$90 Million for PA's Classrooms of the Future
Pennsylvania's Classroom of the Future program is distributing $90 million this school year to support the technology transformation of ordinary high school classrooms. The program, championed by Gov. Rendell, aims to integrate technology - computers, interactive whiteboards, projectors, high speed Internet access, document cameras and software applications - in every high school English, math, science and social-studies classroom. In Lancaster County, high schools across 10 school districts will receive $4 million for Classroom of the Future implementations. Three of those districts - Conestoga Valley, Warwick and Manheim Townships – also received Classroom of the Future funding last year. In Conestoga Valley the additional $411,815 in funding will allow the district to equip math, science and social studies classrooms. Last year the district used its $32,723 grant to outfit the communications department with a 30-unit laptop cart, a teacher laptop, interactive whiteboard and projector. The School District of Lancaster will use its $1,081,172 grant to equip 26 high school science, social studies and communication arts department classrooms with an interactive whiteboard and projector; laptop cart and wireless access to the Internet; and various applications. A separate $11 million state grant, combined with $2 million in federal funds, will provide each of the 358 participating high school with $30,000 for staff development.
E-Rate Performance Measures
As part of its efforts to safeguard the Universal Service Fund from waste, fraud, and abuse, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted performance measures for all four Universal Service Fund programs, including the E-rate program. The Comprehensive Review of the Universal Service Fund Management, Administration, and Oversight proceeding requires the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to provide to the FCC certain performance measures for application processing. The measures outlined in the order include reporting on the number of eligible applicants served and their discount rate, average processing time, number of applications accepted and rejected, average and median dollar amount awarded and total amount disbursed. Funds for Learning, an E-rate funding compliance specialist, has performed an analysis of available E-rate information from its E-rate Manager EDGE service to provide all E-rate stakeholders a report of these performance measures. The number of eligible applicants has grown from 19,992 in 1998 to 22,863 in 2007. In 2007, some 23,741 applications were granted, 1,135 were rejected and 13,998 are pending. Average processing time for applications has improved dramatically from 306 days in 1998 to 134 days in 2007. Total disbursements in 2006, by category, included $444 million for telecommunications services, $170 million for Internet, $160 million for internal connections and $65 million for basic maintenance.
Source:Funds for Learning
Technology Upgrades for Tennessee Schools
Students returning to classrooms across the mid-Tennessee region are finding them equipped with new technology-based resources. Six Metro Nashville schools are piloting elements of the district's $85 million technology upgrade plan. Classrooms in these schools are equipped with interactive whiteboards and projectors. Students will take virtual field trips and learn to use PowerPoint to present their ideas. Over the next four years, the district will add 20,000 computers and other technology to its classrooms. Metro began laying the groundwork for its new technology plan five years ago, upgrading its network infrastructure. As the new plan rolls out, all district teachers will receive wireless laptops, while schools will get portable laptop carts. Classrooms will be equipped with LCD projectors to allow teachers to display multimedia resources for the whole class. Wilson County, one of the fastest-growing districts in the Midstate region, equipped four newly renovated schools with 600 computers, half of which replaced older models. The county plans to replace 500 older units every year. Sumter County will deploy a new computer-based curriculum at selected schools and provide new computers to all district administrators.
NASA Images Added to Internet Archive
A partnership between NASA and the Internet Archive will make thousands of images from various NASA missions available through a single, searchable Web site. The Internet Archive will spend millions on the project, which will include images from the Apollo moon landings, the Voyager planetary flybys and the many space shuttle missions, which exist in multiple formats, including still images, film and video tapes. A minority of the materials are already in a digital format and are currently scattered over 3,000 web sites that NASA operates. Those sites will remain operative and the Internet Archive will keep copies on its own servers to provide a single, free site to augment the NASA sites. Plans call for the archive to also include relevant audio files, printed documents, computer presentations and other material with historical significance.