Funds for Learning has published its analysis of funding request data for E-Rate funding year 2015. In FY2015, there were 27,132 applicants for E-Rate funding. They requested a total of $3.92 billion. Category 1 requests (Internet access, leased data lines and phone service) totaled $2.25 billion. Category 2 requests (purchase, maintenance or operation of on-site networks) totaled $1.67 billion.
Of the 27,132 applicants, 91% submitted funding requests for voice telephony services, 81% for Internet access and data lines, and 39% for Category 2 services (e.g. Wi-Fi and other internal connections). Category 2 demand was greatest for switches and routers, Wi-Fi equipment and data cabling.
The revised E-Rate program set a target of providing $1 billion in annual support for category two services. Historically, E-Rate funding for internal connections was limited, since all requests for telephone services and Internet access had to be funded first. Of this year's applicants, 21% had never requested Category 2 funding, and 48% had never received any Category 2 funding. More than half of sites did not request any C2 support in 2015, apparently taking some time to plan their overall internal networking strategy. An estimated $4.9 billion in C2 budgets remain available for use in FY2016 through FY2019. Most applicants expect to exhaust their C2 budgets by 2017.
Funds for Learning also administered a survey asking E-Rate applicants to comment on a variety of program topics and trends. Key points from the survey results include:
How do you define success in STEM? By discovering? Inventing? Graduating? By redefining what it means to be successful in STEM fields, institutional barriers can be lowered for underrepresented groups.
Corey Welch is a program manager of the STEM Scholars Program at Iowa State University. Modeled on the Biology Scholars Program at UC Berkeley, the program works to encourage students to succeed in STEM fields, preparing them for the workforce or to pursue a four-year degree. The program provides financial assistance, mentoring and, most importantly, the opportunity to learn and succeed in STEM.
A new Computer Science Teaching Fellowship grant from New York's Flatiron School will provide 500 K-12 teachers with scholarships to undergo Web and mobile development training that they can use to bring computer science education back to their schools.
The Legislature’s spending will be matched by the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network, an industry group that has been seeking more public-school computer science funding for a few years. MassCAN will use the money to train teachers in computer science instruction and to lobby more school districts to introduce the lessons.
Additive manufacturing: 3-D printing beyond plasticEngineers turn to copper, but must first overcome a major challenge
At Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT), Christopher Williams heads the effort to further advance 3-D printing--known among engineers as additive manufacturing--with copper, a widely used conductor in electronics. Williams is using a process called binder jetting in which an inkjet printer selectively jets glue into a bed of copper powder, layer-by-layer. The printed copper product is then taken to a furnace to fuse the particles together
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Williams is addressing a major challenge in the 3-D copper printing process, which is to eliminate the porosity that develops in the part during the process. These microscopic pockets of air weaken the finished product.
The Green Apple Day of Service, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects. Be sure to check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, readabout last year's impact, find an event in your area and register your 2015 event today!
Once you've created a makerspace, create some excitement around it by engaging students with possibilities, supporting colleagues in exploring it, and innovatively using the space.
f you build it, will they come? Just because you create a makerspace (PDF) in your school doesn't guarantee that your community will embrace it. Students who have had all personal choice removed by traditional educational models can be passive and feel overwhelmed when faced with real-world problems or design challenges. Academic passivity is common in schools where students swallow content and regurgitate it on multiple-choice tests. Students simply want to know how to get the "A." This type of learning does not stick.
Teachers may find the role of facilitator (or "guide on the side") uncomfortable if they are used to being the "sage on the stage." New technology in these spaces may be intimidating. Teachers need encouragement and professional development to change their mindsets and become facilitators of learning.
How do you change your culture and ensure that your shiny new makerspace will empower students to acquire 21st-century skills? How do you change the culture of student apathy to encourage a mindset of doing? Follow these steps and design tips to build a culture of making and active learning.
Through historical photographs and motion pictures of the Seattle World’s Fair, "When Seattle Invented the Future" brings to life the textures and sounds of Seattle in the late 50s and early 60s. In interviews, Seattle’s business, civic and cultural leaders and longtime residents tell of the excitement and ambition the Fair ignited.
June 30, 2015 Game-based learning is a learning trend with an increasing attraction in today’s classrooms. At its core, game-based learning deploys learning principles incorporated in the gaming industry in educational settings. The purpose is to enhance students learning and create optimal learning experiences in and outside classrooms. This is usually done through the use of a variety of hands-on and highly competitive activities geared towards engaging students and motivating them to learn better.
For those of you interested in learning more about this learning trend, we have compiled for you this collection of wonderful books written by leading figures in this field. The books feature a myriad of academic studies, empirical researches and theoretical perspectives providing a holistic picture of what game based learning is all about.
housands of teachers use GitHub in their courses every day. They distribute starter repositories, give feedback on pull requests, and collect assignments. In addition to helping teachers provide a better learning experience, teaching with GitHub gives students early exposure to software development best practices like version control, issue tracking, and code review.
Classroom for GitHub makes typically tedious administrative tasks (like creating repositories and managing access for large courses) simple and streamlined.
How it works
Classroom for Github automates repository creation and access control, making it easy for teachers to distribute starter code and collect assignments from students.
Assignments are the core of Classroom for GitHub. Teachers can easily create an assignment and distribute it to students using a private invitation URL. Optional starter code can be provided for individual or group work. It's even possible to delegate assignment creation and management to co-teachers and teaching assistants by adding them as organization administrators.
The makerspace in one inner-city school is helping infuse hands-on learning into all core classes.
Sixth-grade students at Lighthouse Community Charter in Oakland, California, eagerly pull laptops off a cart and settle down with a partner to experiment with Turtle Art, a program meant to introduce them to the basics of programming and some math concepts.
Math teacher Laura Kretschmar gave students a rubric with specific goals around collaboration, communication and instructions to use various functions in the program, but not a lot else. She’s intentionally giving them a lot of freedom to play with the program, create cool designs and figure out what the functions do.
“I think “y” means, like, going up,” says Juritzy Maldonado. “So to pull it up, I’m going to try to change the number.” She punches in 200 for “y” and watches the image she’s creating shift upward. Another group discovers that if they hit “repeat” multiple times, they can create a parachute-like design that they’ve figured out how to color in various ways. That wasn’t their original plan, but they’re running with it now.
‘Our goal is not to create more scientists and engineers; it’s to leave doors open for kids.’
“Pretty much everything we were doing is trying one-by-one and seeing what we got, and then we put them all together,” said Guadalupe Pena. She and her partner realize they haven’t used a crucial function to set “xy” but they’re not worried. “We still don’t know how to use [it] very well,” Guadalupe admits. “Since we’ve already got everything written down, we can take the risk to make it to see what it does to our parachute.”
MIT’s Living Wage Calculator estimates the cost of living ("living wage") in each of the nation's counties and major metropolitan areas, and compares it to the minimum wage for a variety of household types. Mapped here are three types: parent with spouse and two children, single parent with one child, and single adult.
Inside the University of Washington’s CoMotion MakerSpace, students, faculty and staff use sewing machines to create anime convention costumes, 3-D print models for aeronautics research or make circuits for a custom-built amplifier.
Inspired by the DIY movement, these communal spaces with soldering irons, laser cutters, saws, duct tape, pegboards full of tools, butcher paper, crayons and other “making” tools are popping up across the country. They enable a broader array of people to tinker, create, crochet or prototype whatever invention they can dream up.
To ensure those spaces are truly inclusive, a team of UW researchers has released newguidelines aimed at ensuring makerspaces are accessible to people with disabilities.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Amazon sparked interest in drones more than a year and a half ago when it revealed on “60 Minutes” a program to use drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes. Since then the Amazon Prime Air engineers have largely kept a low profile as they test their technology overseas.
But at a conference Tuesday attended by leading players in the burgeoning drone world, Gur Kimchi, vice president of Amazon Prime Air, shared the company’s proposal for how drones could operate safely in cities, suburbs and beyond around the world.
“Imagine the Internet without HTTP and TCP/IP,” Kimchi said. “That’s basically where we are now. So we’re putting our foot down, and we’d like everybody to feel an urgent need to come together and create these standards and adapt them.”
He spoke at the NASA Ames Research Center, which is hosting hundreds of guests for a three-day conference to discuss an air traffic management system for drones.
Amazon suggests divvying up airspace access based on a drone’s mission and capabilities. Drones would connect to an online network that manages their flights in real time to prevent any trouble. Amazon believes this approach will ensure safe and efficient drone flights.
Kimchi is calling for airspace under 200 feet to be designated for low-speed localized traffic. Drones in this space might be surveying, shooting videos or conducting inspections. Drones without the best collision-avoid technology would also be restricted to this level.
This study summarizes what is known about assessment of student learning in high school Computer Science (CS) in the United States (US), reports on the results of the landscape study, and concludes with recommendations for advancing the state of assessment in K–12 CS. With support from Google, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Assessment Task Force conducted a study of secondary school educators to determine the state of computer science education assessment and how teachers assess student learning in their computer science classrooms. Based on interviews with computer science practitioners, we found that teachers use a variety of formative and summative assessment techniques, but also face a number of challenges finding valid and reliable assessments to use in their classrooms.
Quality assessment items are few and far between as teachers rely on a assortment of sources (test banks, colleagues, even their own undergraduate CS courses) to evaluate student learning in their classes. Furthermore, teachers in this study discussed how the unique nature of computer science, including how students approach algorithms to write their programs, makes assessment a challenging and time-consuming endeavor. The ubiquity of programs and code on the Internet also makes it difficult for teachers to accurately gauge what students know.
Given the challenges of assessment in computer science classrooms, we recommend that the computer science education community develops valid and reliable computer science assessments to evaluate student learning. Additionally, we recommend creating an online repository to allow computer science teachers access to high quality assessments. Given the availability of CSTA K–12 computer science standards since 2011, the time has arrived for the computer science education community to develop complementary assessments that match those standards. In summary, the CSTA Assessment Task Force recommends the following tasks for the computer science education community:
Develop valid and reliable assessments aligned to the CSTA K–12 Computer Science StandardsDevelop valid and reliable formative and summative assessments for programming languages beyond Java, such as Python, C#, etc.Develop an online repository of assessment items for K–12 computer science teachersDevelop a community of practice surrounding the use of assessment in computer science classroomsDesign and deliver professional development to increase K–12 computer science teachers' assessment literacy. In particular, train teachers to understand and implement classroom assessment.
Travis Haas, a New Orleans high school science teacher, says that ever since Hurricane Katrina, his students have endured so many lectures and lessons on the importance and vulnerability of Louisiana’s wetlands that many develop “wetlands fatigue” — rolling their eyes and tuning out faster than you can say “bayou.” Luckily, wetlands fatigue is nothing …
The monolithic codebase is dead. Modern applications are built of code from a variety of sources including employees, partners, and contractors from different geographies, with different skill levels, and working on a number of platforms. Application development is a supply chain, with dependencies supported by a network of systems ranging from greenfield development to legacy integrations, and utilizing a patchwork of code from custom, open-source, and commercial third-party sources. Ensuring consistency, security, and standards in such an environment can be challenging, but is essential for maintaining reputation, relationships, and customers.
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