This blog was posted on behalf of John Galvin, vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group at Intel Corporation and general manager of the World Ahead Program, an integrated product and marketing team focused on global education.
Closing the achievement gap and giving all students access to a world of learning online remains one of the strongest allures of education technology. In the U.S., that conversation is often centered on the newest shiny device, slickest software or free app, but internationally mobile technology is revolutionizing learning too, often without fancy gadgets. Recognizing the creative learning strategies being implemented in developing countries could help expand thinking in the U.S and inform the ongoing discussion about how to use technology to deepen learning
On the heels of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative launch last week, the bipartisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission released a five-point blueprint today outlining specific actions to accelerate the expansion of digital learning in K-12 education in the United States that fully supports the President’s initiative. Answering a challenge from the U.S. Department of Education and Federal Communications Commission to determine how technology can transform K-12 education, the LEAD Commission spent more than one year working with more than 300 thought leaders in the education technology field to identify the barriers that currently hamper digital learning in the U.S., and the necessary steps to overcome those barriers. The LEAD Commission’s blueprint details key research findings and calls for a major national initiative to accelerate the implementation of digital learning in America’s education system.
Recognized by the administration for having the foresight to examine this issue, the LEAD Commission is unveiling a five-point blueprint that calls on the federal, state, local, private and charitable sectors to embrace the following recommendations:
Solve the infrastructure challenge by updating the wiring ofour schools;Build a national effort to deploy devices;Accelerate the adoption of digital curriculum;Embrace and encourage model schools; andInvest in human capital.
In conjunction with the recently-released Presidential Memorandum on Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation, the White House has announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF), along with other federal agencies, will make strategic investments in research and development to make more efficient use of the nation's airwaves.
Efficient use of the radio spectrum is becoming increasingly important as the rapid growth in wireless applications is placing an increasing demand on a limited supply of radio frequencies. Increased access to the radio spectrum will not only promote economic development through new technologies and applications, but also ensure that public and private entities can efficiently support critical capabilities, such as public safety and defense. NSF is responding to this national need by supporting research to find innovative, efficient ways to share the spectrum available.
In 2012, NSF introduced the Enhancing Wireless Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) program to invest in academic and small business research that can help identify better and more efficient ways to use the available airwaves. These improvements have the potential to significantly improve radio spectrum utilization and meet the nation's broadband needs. The EARS program invests across math, physical sciences, engineering, computer science and economic sciences, and research awards have totaled $23 million in its first year of funding (FY 2012). Additional research awards will be made in 2013.
Slooh, a company known for its helpful live feeds of awesome astronomical events, has just released a fun, free iPad app that gives regular folk command of robotic space cameras around the world.
For $1.99 per "mission," you can snap real-color photos of celestial objects, using the app's heads-up display to aim one of the cameras in Slooh's network. Within 20 minutes, you'll have your own high-quality image of space, stamped with the date, time, and name of the observatory.
I have a lot of people ask me (well, usually tweet me) this very question. And I realized that I talk about it, blog about it, and tweet about it all the time, but I have not actually put out a... (What is Genius Hour?
Baldwin County is in the early stages of “Digital Renaissance,” an ambitious, district-wide reimagining of its curriculum and classrooms. Inspired by Mooresville Graded School District (NC) and its “Every Child, Every Day” digital transformation initiative, Baldwin County is providing every student in grades 3-12 with a laptop, and students in grades K-2 with an iPad.
More important than the devices being distributed is the months of planning and community buy-in it took to get there, according to Superintendent Alan Lee. A few years ago, the county was in the midst of the recession and faced $60 million in cuts from state and local funding. The district is already consistently one of the lowest-funded school districts in the state. It is in this environment that Dr. Lee proposed Digital Renaissance, and his leadership knew to ensure its long-term sustainability, the initiative had to be paid for through general funds.
I’m a library junkie, and lately I’ve been spending time exploring all the items available on the Digital Public Library of America.
The DPLA is a content portal offering millions of free resources from the nation’s libraries, archives and museums in a variety of searchable formats – timeline, map and topic.
Click on 1990 on the timeline, and you’ll find about 24,000 archived items. Want to know which state has contributed the most items? The map reveals Texas as the frontrunner with 252,000. A quick topic search for “education” yields more than 173,000 results.
This resource brings to mind many ideas for lesson planning, but here’s one that seemed relevant given educators’ growing interest in real-world learning.
One thing that caught my attention on the website is that the DPLA allows independent developers to use the aggregated metadata to create new apps. Can you say online makerspace for student app developers?
Wouldn’t it be cool to have students create apps using the digitized resources? The site offers an app library where students and educators can go for inspiration, and there are numerous resources inviting and guiding individuals to create new apps.
Have you used the DPLA — or other digital public libraries — in your classroom? If so, let us know how in the comments section.
Melissa Greenwood is SmartBrief’s senior education editor. She has held a variety of positions in the education field, including classroom teacher and editor and writer.
Are you tired of reading bad things about education in the media? Hoping to get the word out about a new initiative? Wondering why your great story isn’t getting told? Listen as Maria Culp and Dana Watson – public relations specialists with experience in the corporate world – bring their expertise to bear on K-12 education. They share tips on determining your communications objectives, defining your audience, developing your key messaging, identifying the right media, and communicating effectively with members of the press, as well as advice on using social media to build widespread community support. Don’t pass up this chance to learn how to better tell your story.
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Do NOT skip or skimp on this step in your 1:1, BYOT/BYOD or other digital transition inititives. Remember that not all taxpayers have kids in your schools at this time and few have thought of technology enhanced/enabled learning.
In the early 1900s students practiced their math and writing on slate tablets; 100 years later students are using electronic tablets to learn as schools incorporate iPads and digital skills into the curriculum.
Each of Miami-Dade's 350,000 public school students will have access to a mobile learning device by 2015, according to a groundbreaking plan approved June 19 by the Miami-Dade School Board, which governs the nation’s fourth largest school system.
So far, USD has been working with four school districts — Encinitas Union, Cajon Valley Union, Coronado and Solana Beach — to research how students and teachers are using technology in the classroom.
In addition to its research efforts, the center also provides teacher training assistance.
“We are taking a look at what is happening to kids, what is happening to teachers vis-à-vis how they are using the technology, the effectiveness of that use and eventually we will get to measure what if any are the positive outcomes of it,” said Scott Himelstein, who is director of the Center for Education Policy and Law and has served as interim director of the Mobile Technology Learning Center.
USD plans to build a state-of-the-art learning lab that will be an “inviting space” for teachers and administrators to look at various technology devices and applications and software as well as demonstrations of instruction, Himelstein said.
The university also offers certificates in mobile learning technology to teachers and administrators who complete a 100-hour course.
Teachers and principals are becoming increasingly comfortable using online tools to hone their professional skills, and are turning to options from social networking to Web-based classes to do so, a new nationwide survey reveals.
The findings, which cover a lot of ground, were included in the Speak Up 2012 survey, "From Chalkboards to Tablets: The Digital Conversion of the K-12 Classroom." Speak Up is an effort led by Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit group based in Irvine, Calif., that seeks to improve students' academic preparation through technology and other means.
The survey found that the number of principals who said they support professional growth through some form of social networking more than tripled, from 8 percent in 2008 to 25 percent today. The portion of teachers who reported using social-networking tools also jumped, from 22 percent to 39 percent, during that time period. The percentages of teachers and principals participating in online classes and virtual professional learning communities also rose significantly, the survey found.
Survey Results: Favored Online Tools for Professional GrowthSource: Project Tomorrow 2013
With some specific technologies, the evolution in usage is particularly striking. In 2008, just 26 percent of principals used webinars for professional growth. The number is 63 percent today.
At the same time, the opinions of teachers, principals, and others were, perhaps not surprisingly, divided on whether educators' job evaluations should include a measure of how adept they are in using technology to boost instruction and student achievement. While substantial percentages of parents, principals, and district administrators support including that information in evaluations, just 43 percent of teachers backed that idea.