Week of: October 1, 2007
- Parents Watchful of Children's Web Use
The vast majority of parents are proactive about keeping their children safe on the Internet, talking to them about how to be smart and stay safe while online.
- Sally Ride Sparks Girl's STEM Interests
Sally Ride may have left NASA's space shuttle program, but she continues her efforts to encourage girls to nurture their childhood love of math and science and she's being joined by Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan.
- OLPC Says "Give 1 Get 1"
The One Laptop Per Child, the organization dedicated to providing laptop computers to the nearly two billion children of the developing world, is asking for a little help.
- More Support for Kansas City Laptop Initiative
A community group, Economy One, has offered to provide free home Internet access to 100 student leaders in support of the Kansas City, KS Laptops for Learning program.
- Utah Launches OpenCourseWare Alliance
The newly launched Utah OpenCourseWare Alliance (OCW) is providing free and open access to course materials from six Utah institutions of higher education.
Parents Watchful of Children's Web Use
The vast majority of parents are proactive about keeping their children safe on the Internet, talking to them about how to be smart and stay safe while online and taking action to check out Web sites their children visit. According to Parenting Moves Online: Parents' Internet Actions and Attitudes, 2007, a new Cable in the Classroom/Common Sense Media poll conducted by Harris Interactive, 85% of parents and legal guardians of children ages 6 to 18 who go online say they have talked to their child in the past year about how to be safe and smart online. While 71% of parents say they have experienced one or more Internet-related issues with their child within the past year, the overwhelming majority of parents still believe the Internet is helpful to their kids. Parents agreed that the Internet has helped their child to learn skills and information needed to succeed in school (81%), learn about different cultures and ideas (74%), access current events and news (68 %), express him/herself creatively (65%), and connect to and collaborate with people with similar interests (53%). Still, parents are concerned about their children being exposed to advertising or commercialism online (52%) and spending too much time online (31%). Of some concern is the fact that 25% of parents of 6 to 10 year olds say they have not discussed Internet-related topics with their kids, compared with 4% of parents of 11 to 14 year olds, and 5% of parents of 15 to 18 year olds. Clearly parents see younger children as less vulnerable, though they also may be providing more oversight to these children about what they can do and where they can go when online.
Source:Cable in the Classroom
Sally Ride Sparks Girl's STEM Interests
Sally Ride may have left NASA's space shuttle program, but she continues her efforts to encourage girls to nurture their childhood love of math and science. Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan, who flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in August, will join Dr. Ride in spreading the word during an event jointly presented by NASA and the National Science Teachers Association in Detroit Oct. 16-17. The two-day pre-conference, "Join the Journey: Celebrating Teachers," will provide an overview of Challenger's educational objectives and illustrate how teachers can bring real-world science into the classroom. Dr. Ride, best known as America's first woman in space, says she was one of the lucky ones, in that no one told her while she was growing up that girls shouldn't be interested in math or science. To return that favor, in 2001 Dr. Ride founded Sally Ride Science, an organization dedicated to supporting girls' (and boys') interests in science, math and technology. The company offers a variety of programs, including Sally Ride Science Festivals; the TOYchallenge, a national toy design competition for grades 5-8; educator institutes; summer camps; and after-school programs. Sally Ride Science Festivals bring together hundreds of girls for a festive day of science and socializing. They feature an inspiring talk, sometimes from Dr. Ride herself; workshops for girls, given by local veterinarians, astronomers, microbiologists and engineers; workshops for parents and teachers on ways to support girls' interests in science and math; and a street fair with hands-on activities, booths, food and music.
Source:Sally Ride Science
OLPC Says "Give 1 Get 1"
The One Laptop Per Child, the organization dedicated to providing laptops as a means for learning, self-expression and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world, is asking for a little help. OLPC's XO laptop is slated to go into mass production in October. Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC founder, had hoped by this time to have firm orders for at least two million units. It now looks like OLPC will ship some 260,000 units by the end of the year. Negroponte has expressed disappointment at the pace of adoption and noted the difference between getting a handshake agreement and actually getting a real deal inked and paid for. In an effort to ignite the spark that will see its XO laptop really take off, Negroponte and OLPC are trying a new approach with the "Give 1 Get 1" initiative. It's already possible to go to the OLPC and make a donation of $200 to provide a child in a developing country with an XO laptop. For two weeks, Nov. 12 to Nov. 26, people will be able to purchase two XO laptops for $399. The buyer will get one machine, shipped to them before Christmas, and the other will be donated to a child in a developing country. Some of those laptops that begin arriving at donor's home later this year may find their way to classroom. While the XO was designed for use by children in the developing world, when small focus groups of American children were introduced to the machine this summer it more than passed muster.
Source:One Laptop Per Child
More Support for Kansas City Laptop Initiative
A community group, Economy One, has offered to provide free home Internet access to 100 student leaders in support of the Kansas City, KS Laptops for Learning program. On Sept 4, the KC Board of Education approved the Laptops for Learning program, agreeing to supply laptops to all 5,500 of the district's high school students. A week later the Board approved the take-home aspect of the program, agreeing to allow students to take the computers home each night. The district knows that many students do not have Internet access at home, so it was happy to accept the Economy One offer to provide free DSL service to the homes of 100 student leaders. The offer rests on the belief that students learn best from one another and the hope that the student leaders will step up as mentors to help others. Economy One, a nonprofit agency based in Washington, has as its mission to maximize technology in the lives of low-income people. The director of Economy One's Kansas City office has volunteered to conduct sessions for students and parents receiving Internet access about online safety. The organization is also working with other community organizations and churches to create pods of wireless hot spots around the city, so other students can more easily access the Internet.
Utah Launches OpenCourseWare Alliance
The newly launched Utah OpenCourseWare Alliance (OCW) is providing free and open access to course materials from six Utah institutions of higher education. The effort builds on the model pioneered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare program and the efforts of other like-minded institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Notre Dame, and the Foothill-De Anza Community College. In these cases schools acted on their own, while the Utah alliance is a cooperative effort. Schools currently providing course materials include the College of Eastern Utah, Dixie State College, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley State College and Weber University. Western Governors University, an online institution founded by 19 governors, is also participating. Five more institutions, including the Utah Electronic High School are expected to have materials available at the OCW site by the end of the year. Funding for the Utah OpenCourseWare Alliance comes from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and supports infrastructure software and consulting time made freely available to Alliance members by the new Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL) at Utah State University.
Source:Utah OpenCourseWare Alliance