Tuesday, June 30, 2009
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Monday, June 29, 2009
Digital Equity Summit #NECC09
An interesting start to the summit when the bloggers at the table realize that we don’t have internet access. It is amazing that free internet has only been provided for the last few years and already we can't live without it.
ISTE now has 20000 individual members and over 100 000 with affiliates. Together we can plug in on issues that we are passionate about.
Today’s summit is named “Success Against All Odds”
Stories shared during the session
- Despite Low Income and under served situations partnerships and connections grow
- Zoe’s Room – online afterschool community working toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
- Community Computer Centre – created STEM program with no money
- MOUSE – young people developing help desk in school
- Students are the best textbook written for each other
- Students helping students becoming tech literate
- Building and designing educational games with STEM content
- Students refreshing computers to provide to the community after used in School
Keynote Opening – Jenelle Leonard – US Department of Education
Many changes are happening in the US DoE with a shift from compliance bureaucracy. There is a new culture in the US Department of Education focused on TeamWork for those in the department and those served (80+ million kids) The new administration is listening and sharing what is heard and publishing it publicly. The administration is listening to keep what was good and fix what isn’t
The goal is to be back on track being number one in education including
- Modernizing Classrooms
- Keeping Teachers working
- Early Childhood Education
- Improvements in teacher quality and effectiveness.
- Spurring on Teacher Innovations
The soon coming result will be High Quality Education For All.
Education is a Civil Rights Issue. A fight for education is a social justice fight. We need to work with a sense of urgency. Our children can’t wait
(What a great viewpoint. It feels like in my local government that education is a drain on the system, not a civil right, not an urgent need, and not worth investing in by meeting needs (not just enough to keep the lights on))
Milton Chen – George Lucas Educational Foundation
Milton started with sharing 10 films produced by 9 to 18 year olds. We need to see what these kids are doing to realize how far behind the thinking about education really is. More than 300 hours of media about kids and by kids. www.Edutopia.org – Digital Generation Project - http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-youth-portraits
One of the videos features Luis Chavez. He is from Oregon and his parents are immigrants from Mexico with technology skills limited to the ATM. He has excelled and has presented in Chile by the age of 18. He recognizes that opportunities have been presented to him and he took advantage of them. It motivates him to give back. He supports both the community and the school. He is a great example of paying it forward.
Edutopia is working to provide case studies of model schools to help with information on funding, policies, successes, and challenges. More is being developed to support more schools in becoming Model Schools.
We next had 8 minutes at tables to learn about a project....
(Support from ICT Qatar and HSBC)
- Key learning from students – “I Learned Not to Sterotype”
- Amazing communication – two students communicated only through Google Translate (while sitting beside each other)
Goes beyond HOTS to HO Living
First Step to flattening classroom is to Connect Self
Targeting high need schools and high need students. The program is challenged with funding and challenges with the nature of high need students and schools.
Results include increases attendance, improved reading skills and 21st Century Skills. Need to support teachers in being comfortable with technology but the teachers need to be comfortable with the technology to allow students to excel. The whole school environment gets tech support. Teachers and students are trained together. Networking sets up schools to support each other as well.
( There continues to be issues with access – parts of NC only has dial up access. Some areas only ½ of students have computers at home and only 1/3 of them have internet access.)
While Canada and the USA are diverse, we end up with very similar needs. We have very low performing segments of the population, we have areas of high poverty and we have locations with very high English Language Learners. Supporting all students is a critical challenge that we need to meet. Following Malcolm Gladwell's conversation, these students are disadvantaged by lack of access to gain expertise, and a lack of feedback. They have lots of opporunities where compensation is needed to overcome; however, they don't have the teachers or resources to develop compensation strategies.
In Surrey it is a challenge while the district faces a 9 million dollar shortfall and we need 3 million annually just to provide a minimal level of sustainable computers. (Computers aren't the solution; however, students need access to technology and the lack of functioning computers at a reasonable ratio is an indicator that we are not providing equity.)