How Do We Improve the State of Teacher Diversity and Assist with Professional Development?

Man without identity programing in technology enviroment with cy

I am from a generation that was taught with 20 year old books and schools in a sad state of being. We could read, and write and do math but the subjects were limited and access to the best of teachers was not usual. Of course there was no technology, and sadly there was no science. Often science gets shoved to the back of the curriculum map for minority students and teachers.


National Geographic Education , NASA , NOAA and NSF projects have shaped my knowledge. There is a gold mine of resources at


Most minority teachers do not have access to exemplary professional development even when it is for free because they don’t know about it or they cannot access and learn using technology. There is always the George Lucas Educational Foundation site, Edutopia.  It’s free. There are online assists, but a lot of the webinars are focused beyond beginners. Autodesk University has a series of webinars, as does ISTE, for teachers to learn how to use the technology. Autodesk Design Academy (

ISTE has a series of PLN’s which help teachers to explore, be involved, learn to innovate, and have mentors for learning.

The White House has initiatives too,



It is true that before my time Einstein visited Lincoln University to teach physic but few people know of that mentoring. I know it because my uncle taught at the University in Pennsylvania that he visited , there is a photo on line of Einstein in the classrooms there.

     Internet of Things? Or just plain access and contact?

Today we are talking about technology. Who has it? You really don’t think everyone even in the US has access ? Broadband? Tools and well trained teachers? If you think that you must be dreaming and you may not know how to measure broadband speed.

Professional development is an interesting puzzle. There is a mindset for involving the use of technology. It is called TPACK. You use it for ideational scaffolding and inclusion.

Here’s the problem. Many teachers in rural , distant, urban, and difficult schools do not have access to technology in meaningful ways and do not have a mentor or technical help that is available to them . So there is fear. There is not a lot of time within the schedule and even though we know that digital pedagogy is important.

Some people cling to the tests as the anchor for finding out what our students know. Sadly in the places where the technology is limited there is a problem that few speak about and that is that the technology that is available is needed to give the tests, so teachers have to release the technology for testing. Certainly most of them will not complain.

Punya Mishra​ has a solution for the professional development. He got funding to link a University to teachers working in schools of need and they work through the summer to be involved, learn, create, innovate and share their learning as they earn a Master’s degree. Publications and lessons are shared. It is one of several ideas to change the skills of teachers working in places of need.

BPDA and LISTA too champion students and teachers. These organization help. They have chapters and mentors who make a difference. I mentioned NSF. There are projects that help to integrate new practices and ideas called CyberLearning.

They ask these questions.

  • How can cyberlearning help empower the next generation of diverse learners?
  • How can we create innovative technologies that draw upon sound theories of learning through productive collaborations among researchers, designers, learners, and formal and informal educators?
  • How can we foster an inclusive design community that balances real world problems and settings with promising cyberlearning approaches?
  • How can we integrate contributions from multiple research projects for broader impact (e.g., combining our theories or combining our tools into a common infrastructure)?
  • Approximately 150 leading researchers along with students, educators, designers, industry experts, and other stakeholders will work together for two days at Cyberlearning 2016 to accelerate the community’s collective work and impact. Here is the call for participation.


The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education
Albert Shanker Institute
Teacher Diversity in the U.S. is an area of concern. The teacher work force has gotten less ethnically and racially diverse and more female, a development which has had an adverse effect on students, particularly on males of color. It is an impediment to the broader goals of equity and social harmony. ASI is working to better understand teacher labor market trends and identify promising interventions aimed at increased teacher diversity in K-12 education.

This report shows that nationally, progress toward greater diversity is being made, but it is quite modest compared to the need for more minority teachers. In the nine cities studied—Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.—the picture is much more bleak, and there are only a few pockets of progress, surrounded by serious setbacks.
You can download the report at the link above.

There is a report that many are looking at the OECD report? what say you about that?

Researchers remind us of this work

Ed Tech researchers would remind them about the field of Media effect research and the classic articles from Kozma and Clark.

Ahmed Mohamed is one student!!Why Not Support for Science and Math for All Minority Students?


The story about the young student in Texas who made a clock lets us know that there is also a deficient in the knowledge of science within the teaching force.

What We Know About the Delivery of Science and Math for Minority Students

Bonnie Bracey-Sutton – September 19, 2015

We are not doing enough!!! Many of the initiatives that are coming from Industry are too short, too limited and do not bridge the gap. Teachers themselves may not have sufficient subject knowledge or appropriate skills because of poor quality, or lack of, teacher training.Preparing teachers with the right skills:  Teachers should be equipped with knowledge and teaching skills that can provide relevant guidance to promote effective practice and support improvement.There may be more community support for READING science than actually doing science.

Technology is an ever changing learning landscape and if one has only a little of the knowledge needed to be secure in the delivery of information, there is a problem.


First,  read the report from Pew on the state of science and math for minorities.
. The report was not a surprise to seasoned educators , legislators, and researchers who work with the minority groups. We have similar reports for each group.

Not much interest has been shown in the Pew Report that tells us
here is a significant gap in knowledge about scientific concepts along racial and ethnic lines in the U.S., according to a new Pew Research Center report released last week.

The Report states that ”When asked a series of 12 science-related questions, whites, on average, fared better than blacks or Hispanics. While the average number of questions whites answer correctly is 8.4, for Hispanics that number is lower – 7.1 – and drops to 5.9 for blacks. (There were not enough Asian respondents in the sample to be broken out into a separate analysis.)”

“Our latest findings are consistent with previous Pew Research surveys and with data from the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. These differences tend to span multiple scientific disciplines, from life and earth sciences to physics and energy-related questions.”


In the two separate weeks before and during the report we have learned much about the needs of Hispanic learners.

Those of us in education know that there is a terrible gap in learning math and science and seemingly the technology has advanced the gap. While many are seeking the Internet of Things. IoT, there are rural, distant, urban and tribal students who cannot advance to the level necessary to do basic use because of factors that impede their learning. Access is a problem as noted by the FCC. Tool access and ownership are a problem, as well as the support needed to successfully use the tool or tools. Well trained teachers? We know that the best of teachers are not necessarily teaching in the areas of difficulty.Inequitable distribution of well-trained teachers is a problem and even in the groups doing broadening engagement there are few minorities involved as mentors.

 The right to education that stimulates active learning and inspires imaginations can only be a reality when the transformative power of education is fully realized, however too many children and young people – especially the disadvantaged – are leaving school without learning anything of value . 

Many of them just leave school. The dropout problem is a reality in education .

There is consistent evidence that teachers are the most important school-based factor in determining learning outcomes, second only to what children bring to school. There remains a marked deficit in both teacher numbers and teaching quality, which has an extreme impact on learning outcomes for children.

The Pew Report shares some of the problems which are not unknown in the learning communities of these children of America.


Most American Indian children attend public schools where disparities occur both at the k-12th educational level, and at post-secondary levels. During the 2010-11 school year, there were 378,000 AI/AN (alone) students in the U.S. public school system, comprising 0.7% of the total public school population (Aud, Hussar, Johnson, et al., 2012). In comparison, during this same time period, there were 49,152 students in Bureau of Indian Education Schools (Bureau of Indian Education, 2011). The high school dropout rate for Native American students is alarming and in previous years has reflected a rate as high as 50% (Herring, 1992). More recent research indicates that American Indian enrollment, retention, and graduation rates are lower than any other ethnic group (Harrington & Harrington, 2012). While estimates show some improvement for American Indians/Alaskan Natives having earned a high school diploma or equivalent, the figures still speak to their trailing behind their Euro-American counterparts by 12% (NIA, 2011). An awareness of the constant tension for American Indians children’s experience in public schools must be acknowledged in order to address it. There is more. You can find it here.


Lots of group are doing broadening engagement to try to reach the students. Some groups even work within the community.  But schools are another story. There are school boards, administrators, supervisors, and experts and technology teachers.. Regular teachers are at the bottom of of the pyramid. In the event at Microsoft, the presenter from DC suggested that teachers did not have TIME to be technology literate.

We know that time, exposure, knowhow and practice are important to the excellent use of technology. We know that mobile technology makes a difference but if you do your work on a phone there are restrictions. We know that many students can’t do Make Fairs because of the cost. I don’t care if the students do STEAM, Maker Faire or Hands on Science. There are many ways to make a difference in student lives. The initiatives of the White House have been wonderful. The problem is in getting the schools to adopt them and make them an important part of minority student learning.

Why Don’t American Teachers know Much About Africa ( actually Geography?)

Bonnie Bracey Sutton

orienteeringSome teachers follow their interests and innovate. Some teachers have not had  geography that was taught as a part of their teacher preparation. Africa is perhaps more on the radar to learn about for teachers who teach in urban areas. We teach about Black History so there is that linkage. But the link to slavery might be uncomfortable for many.. In schools often what we teach is prescribed by curriculum. I taught then, the Gifted and Talented and multicultural  in a team teaching situation.

I learned using the Hilda Taba methods , I read Black History widely and then I was taught by the National Geographic Summer Institute. We  had lectures, lessons, presentations, films, and the emerging technologies. We learned from all of the divisions and we created and crafted lessons plans to share with the members of the Institute. We were taught the tenets of Geography.


Bonnie Bracey Sutton sharing Sunshine Online Books in the Languages of South Africa with Educators at an IEarn Conference.

I did get to work in Africa, in South Africa, Namibia, Tunisia, Egypt. I traveled to more countries than that. What was important was that I had the support of an administrator,and there were State Dept. parents , and  school board support and grant funding.

Resources available to me? The Alliances of the National Geographic Education Division, Earthwatch, The Smithsonian African Museum of Art, the anthropology division of the Smithsonian.The Kennedy Center Arts Edge.

There were people in map division who gave me maps, and in the book division who shared books and research. There was even a photographer who came to my class to share his work and to teach the children the work of being a photographer for the National Geographic.

We learned about map projections and had fun with the Upside Down Map. and the True map of Africa.

Kids were interested in the foods of Africa. Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons helped to teach that and we cooked a bunch of recipes in the classroom. Cooking is my hobby and so I had lots of cookbooks from various parts of Africa. ( Smithsonian Book Store)  Jollof Rice was the easiest to do within the school time on a hot plate. It was very good.

From working with the World Summit  on Media for Children I have wonderful videos.

National Geographic Education is a part of the National Geographic Education and Children’s Media division. The division as a whole creates best-in-class products, experiences, and programs that teach kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to make it a better place. We educate by sparking curiosity, imparting knowledge through storytelling, and empowering action. We support lifelong learning by providing opportunities for kids, families, and educators to join global communities, where they can connect, learn, create, and share. And we inspire the new generation of global citizens to discover the world’s past, celebrate its present, and protect its future.
National Geographic Education taught me to use geography . The resources are too vast to list.

There are lectures at the National Geographic where children , parents and I learned from the explorer and adventures themselves.

Did I forget to mention the magazines. I did.And music and dance and the evolution of slavery.

I teach that too.

I believe that the emphasis on testing excludes the choices to teach a rich content.

Here is what I was replying to.

I noticed historical reference to the partition  of Africa was not given.

Robert Pondiscio took a swipe at American teachers and what they teach or know about Africa. John Oliver is a comedian. Like Donald Trump I guess he is allowed to skewer every one because making people laugh is what he does. But Pondiscio is immersed in education, and should have been kind enough to point out that there has been pioneering work going on at a lot of places to help teachers learn, share and teach about Africa.


Internet of Things? Some Are Waiting for Access to the Internet , the Tools and Well Trained Teachers

I always smile when a reporter says, in education we have too many tools , too much of the Internet and we should cut back and enjoy our real lives. Now the report is that STEM initiatives are harmful and of course we are excluding the arts.

Most of what minorities claim in technology has to do with the arts.

What we are they talking about?

Superhero kid. Girl power concept

Our minority students have to be Super students to be successful.

I doubt that most minority community schools have truly embedded STEM into their learning landscapes.That is where I work , and these are my constituents.

If we had sufficient STEM and Computational resources and training available, why is Silicon Valley having so much trouble hiring minority workers? We who are minorities know. There are researchers who know , but it is probably news to many reporters that there are people still waiting to be on the internet ( get access) , waiting to have teachers who are schooled in using the Internet in school and who don’t have the tools. Some think that mobile devices equalize. I think a mobile device is better than nothing.

Jesse Jackson is taking on the President, saying that he is responsible for the lack of diversity. Read my lips.

We have an education problem.

NCLB decimated the layer of science learning for more than a decade simply because it was not tested. Math , the real math that scientists use? Not taught . The skills that students need to be active in STEM and working in Silicon Valley were simply not taught in many cases because of the emphasis on testing in many schools, particularly those with challenging  minority enrollments,poverty as a problem and a weak teacher base. We know that the best of teachers are not often based in the places of most need.Every Job in America, Mapped

Here is a map to show where the jobs are in America. ( Present Jobs) of Jobs in America

We know that the present jobs are not the jobs of the future. Years after the invention of the Internet there are people still out of the loop for the use of technology. What jobs are they being prepared for? A week of code will not do it. Actually , workshops are a tease, and unless instruction is sustained, posters and contests don’t do much for those who are limited in access (or who have no access).

Explore it.

It is different in different places.The elements are similar. Here is the research.

 A Vignette

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the US Census Bureau and Intel’s own internal numbers, Intel  determined the market availability of men, women, African American, Hispanic, and Native American candidates, and how its workforce measured up to those numbers. According to the company’s report, it did fairly well: for instance, Intel has 19.4 percent female representation where market availability is at 22.7 percent; 3.3 percent of its workforce is African American where there is 4.5 percent availability of candidates in the market.

In other words, the main limiting factor on the presence of diverse groups in Intel’s workforce is not Intel’s policies but availability of candidates with the right skills in the workforce as a whole.

Intel is not alone.

Remember my discussion about running to catch up? We are still asking for access , well trained teachers and tools. We are not all on the Internet and the Internet of Things is becoming a discussion point.

There is a lot of research to share the difficulties that those who are not on the Internet are having.

For many of us, a life without Internet might be hard to imagine. Yet, 15 percent of U.S. adults say they never go online, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

The survey, published in late July, found that the offline population has been shrinking significantly since 2000, when Pew began collecting data on Internet use. Back then, 48 percent of American adults weren’t online. However, in the past couple years, the size of this group hasn’t changed too much.

In the graph below, you can see that the downward trend has flattened recently:

“We’ve seen slow but steady adoption progress among a lot of demographic groups that have historically used the Internet in low numbers, such as older adults, or those with low income and education levels,” Aaron Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, told the Huffington Post in an email. “With that said, there are definitely still disparities around this issue and Internet usage overall really hasn’t changed measurably in the last two years.”

In fact, the latest Pew survey reveals that Internet non-adoption is still largely consistent with a series of factors such as age, education, household income and race and ethnicity. The chart below breaks down the demographics of non-users based on these different metrics:

Who's Not Online?

Seniors make up the majority of Internet hold-outs by age group: About 39 percent of adults 65 and older aren’t online, compared with only 3 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds. In addition, people who lack a high school education, or whose household income is less than $30,000 per year, are also more likely to stay offline.

The Pew survey also indicated that digital gaps among different racial groups are narrowing. Back in 2000, the Internet population was more homogenous than today: 72 percent of Asian-Americans were online, compared to 53 percent of White people, 46 percent of Hispanics and 38 percent of African-Americans. Over the past 15 years, African-Americans have have seen the fastest growth, with Internet usage rates now approaching that of whites.


I have personal experience with helping with STEM, Broadening Engagement in Supercomputing and Coding, as well as ESRI.

I most recently trained with ESRI to be able to participate in helping education communities to use EdConnect.

It is an initiative that the President backs.

child Head


“If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible — from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”

—President Barack Obama

I trained to be a mentor and disseminator of the program. It’s free.I was told that there is not time to learn it ( there is an online course) that teachers have testing to deal with and so there is no time. A dear friend of mine told me that the computers are needed for testing and so that during most testing times, computers are not available. * Sadly , in low performing schools, there is the pre testing, the preparation for testing , and then the testing. You know it is an important problem because of the cheating problems. One principal actually killed herself based on concerns about testing.

Are you listening?

So people are talking about the Internet of things. We are not even at the Internet. So sad.

Minority students are makers. We always have been. We are good in the arts. Making the future is harder. People who have what they need rarely consider what minority students in poor schools are having to do to make a future.

NASA used to be our engine of opportunity. The press does not report on NASA as in the past, and schools don’t give permission. They have outstanding programs. Some of us have been trained in several NASA programs. It is where lots of us learned astronomy, physics, and astrophysics. Programs are outstanding, I love NASA Quest, the Challenger Center see these resources, Fly By Math, and Hubble Astronomy, IE Amazing Space.

But wait, there is more. Geography!! We talk about the world without studying it in most cases.Do we really want to throw away the fabulous resources of the National Geographic in STEM? Or not use the vast resources of the National Geographic Society? STEAM included?

How do you become an engineer if you don’t get an introduction? Just saying. We have a problem in education.

childStudy: Most K-12 schools lack engineering-centered education

Can you hear me? STEM is still needed.

Internet of Things? Well it is here. Let’s hope that some synergy happens.

Every Kid in a Park? Who Goes to the National Parks? Start at a Park Near You!!



Did you know that you own millions of acres of national parks, historic structures, cultural artifacts, ancient forests, snow-capped mountains, and clear blue lakes? Our public lands and waters belong to all Americans and are waiting for you to explore them!

  • outdoor-lab_720x480

To help engage and create our next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates, we are kicking off the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The immediate goal is to provide an opportunity for each and every 4th grade student across the country to experience their public lands and waters in person throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

Soon, you will have access to your own Every Kid in a Park pass. This pass will give you free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more!

The Every Kid in a Park pass will be available for the 2015-2016 school year.

Every Kid in a Park joins the Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program in helping children learn history, culture, and science while exploring the great outdoors. The initiative is an administration-wide effort among the National Park Service, Forest Service, Department of Education, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


The place above is the Arlington County Outdoor Lab where I learned from Phoebe Hall Knipling how to teach outdoors. First she invited me out there and she kept teaching me trails, ecology , plants and animals of the place , until I was a skilled teacher.

The Phoebe Hall Knipling Outdoor Lab now is a 225-acre facility that provides science and outdoor education to the students of Arlington County Public Schools.

%255BUNSET%255D-6In this natural classroom, urban youth — often for the first time — can run in a meadow, climb a mountain, hike beside a stream, or fish in a pond. Four classes per week visit the Outdoor Lab, one of which has an overnight, and there are three week-long summer camps. Each year, the Outdoor Lab provides hands-on outdoor and environmental education to more than 9,000 students, from elementary grades through high school.

I was lucky to work there in the summers too.

Phoebe had us learning birding, weeds and wildflowers, and ecology.IMG_7779

Dr. Phoebe Hall Knipling was a remarkable woman by anyone’s standards. Born in North Carolina, she developed a love and appreciation of nature in early life. By the time she had enrolled in public school at the age of 9, entered college at 15, and earned a Ph.D. at 23, her love of nature and passion for science were melded. She was first a teacher and later the first female Science Supervisor in the state of Virginia. She spent much of her time traveling over the state, taking high school science students on advanced summer field study programs.Phoebe knew, well before the rest of the country, that environmental, outdoor education was absolutely essential to the development of young people — people who would be making the decisions of the future. She knew that hands-on experiences were worth a thousand pages of textbook. As Arlington became increasingly more developed and less natural, and as the security and dependability of faraway study sites became less certain, Phoebe dreamed of one facility — secure and natural, close to Arlington — where our children would engage in outdoor studies.
  • openhouse_20131103_04
  • The non-profit Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) was founded in 1967, which later purchased a 210 acre tract on a small mountain in Fauquier County. The land was purchased for $90,000 from a Mrs. Striker, who sold it for $100,000 less than other offers, with the stipulation that her land be preserved and protected. The Mr. Preston Carruthers also loaned the AOEA $51,000 to help make the initial purchase. Today, the AOEA is responsible for maintaining the Outdoor Lab facilities, and provides camperships to needy students to allow participation by those who otherwise could not afford the fees. Costs associated with educational programs at the Lab are funded by Arlington County Public Schools.
     AOEA salamander mascotThere are groups that will help you learn and hone your skills. I worked with the Fish and Wildlife Service and we were able to visit Blackwater on a special trip. The personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Service involved us in the Duck Stamp Program as well.IMG_0493
    • Raptor Cams

      Bald eagle - Woody Dawson.Check out the raptor cams at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can view the osprey nest and bald eagle nest either online or from the refuge visitor center. Learn more on the raptor cams page.

      Raptor Cams Page

    I loved teaching students in the out of doors. It was a bonding time. Some parents and I made i t a gourmet eating time. Julie Mangis would help me whip up a menu and the kids loved what we cooked.

    When technology came we created Outdoor News from the lab. We published our adventures, finds and activities.

    We learned to read a stream in quadrant study. We learned to read the trails. We spent time in a stream, and we hiked Biscuit Mountain.

    Each park or place has a history. At the Outdoor Lab we learned the history of the Civil War, explored the many springs, and hiked the trails we did story telling, and looked for patterns in nature. Stream study was one of the most exciting nature study programs.

    We wrote our adventures to the computer and edited the adventures of the day to share with parents.

    Julie Mangis and other parents helped create wonderful menus for our culinary experiences. while there and of course we ate S’mores. But we also used a big telescope to look at the night sky.

    • hot-dogs_720x480

    I like the fact that parents and community are involved because it can become a matter of habit.

    Is it the Internet of Things or the Internet “that thing” I need to learn to use?


    BonniecopyThere are many discussions about the use of the Internet. Some say that “we have too much technology? I wonder who the “we ” are, who the people are that they are talking about.

    Some of us have many devices, and there are some people who have one or none or limited access to a device. Technology is a moving target, there is always another thing to learn. There may be another device to think about  and another way to use it.

    Here’s the problem. Some people think if you own the tool you have mastered using the Internet, but there are people who are one mouse click away from a problem.

    There are those who learn to use the tools in a different way. There are are people who use the Internet in very limited ways.There are people who are a minute from malware and without a solution if it happens. In schools we have , in some places an IT person. In businesses there is usually an IT person, but in the community at large, how do the problems get solved. What problems can one expect? When people say we have too much technology what in fact , do they mean?

    This article from the New York Times is often quoted. . I believe the writer bashes the use of technology in some cases. A writer for the BBC had a different perspective. That perspective was linked to the electrification and modification of every thing. To the students and communities without access, without the tools, and without the professionals who help us to learn meaningful use of technology , the articles do not mention the stultifying effect of not having technology as a tool.

    The President of the United States just created a program to provide access to low income communities as a model for use. This Washington Post article outlines the effort. President Obama announced a pilot program to bring broadband to low-income households in public housing on Wednesday, attempting to close a gap that leaves many without high-speed Internet. The plan, called ConnectHome, will launch in 27 cities nationwide and is expected to reach 275,000 public-housing households, including 200,000 children. The program will also come to the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma, where Obama spoke to share the program.

    “The internet is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Obama said, noting that the people who “could benefit the most from the latest technology are the least likely to have it.” The plan is part of a broader White House strategy to upgrade the nation’s technology infrastructure much like it would roads or bridges, and bring high-speed Internet to every corner of the country. The administration has pledged to bring high-speed broadband and wireless Internet to 99 percent of the nation’s schools by 2017.

    The Internet of Things? Here is a good article. And here is a definition.The Internet of Things (IoT, sometimes Internet of Everything) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices based on the infrastructure of International … Internet of Things – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    BYOD is not as flexible as every way we connect and all phones are not created equally. I like to think of the seven “e’s” when we talk about the Internet. We will talk about the Internet of things later. The seven E’s are Expectation, Enticement, Engagement, Explanation, Exploration, Extension, and Evidence. I learned the Internet from Dr. Chris Dede,( the above picture) we took a class and he involved us in the use of the Internet. We had some expectations of what we could do, and the enticement was the free class and the opportunity to be an Edtech leader in the schools in the region I was teaching in.

    Learning something new, or attempting to understand something familiar in greater depth, is not a linear process. In trying to make sense of things we used both our prior experience and the first-hand knowledge gained from new explorations. It is up to the teacher to facilitate the constructivistic learning process. The structure of the learning environment gave us opportunities and events that encourage and support the building of understanding.

    And that was what he did. He created an opportunity for us to learn in a great environment. Does too much technology include the use of “Science on a Sphere?”, Ocean Imaging? Medical 3 D Printing? Google Glass? GIS? We could add a lot of things to this list. But you get the drift. There is the use of big data and the learning of robotics. Where does learning stop? Where does it begin? orienteering Social media is sometimes an application that people start to use to become familiar with technology. That would include, I think some preparation for the use of digital citizenship and an understanding of a digital footprint.

    This is a good beginning video to think about cyberbullying Sharing what a digital footprint is also comes to mind.

    1. one’s unique set of digital activities, actions, and communications that leave a data trace on the Internet or on a computer or other digital device and can identify the particular user or device: Our online browsing habits are part of our passive digital footprint, created without our consent or knowledge, but our active digital footprint, especially on social media, can more easily be managed. source


    Yes ,There is Still a Digital Divide! The President Announces ConnectHome, He Gets it!!

    The White House recognizes and reacts to the problem.

    Here is their press release.logo

    FACT SHEET: ConnectHome: Coming Together to Ensure Digital Opportunity for All Americans

    Today, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, to announce ConnectHome, a new initiative with communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high speed broadband to more families across the country. The pilot program is launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation and will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.

    ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative that is on track to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years.  ConnectHome will help ensure that these students still have access to high-speed Internet once they are home.

    Since the President took office, the private and public sectors have invested over $260 billion into new broadband infrastructure, and three in four Americans now use broadband at home. Thanks to smart spectrum policies and world-leading technology, fast 4G wireless broadband is now available to over 98 percent of Americans — up from zero percent since 2009.

    An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

    An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

    Despite this progress, a new analysis released today by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)  illustrates that some Americans are still unable to benefit from high-speed broadband, especially America’s lower-income children.  In fact, while nearly two-thirds of households in the lowest-income quintile own a computer, less than half have a home internet subscription. While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends. This “homework gap” runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education.


    President Obama is announcing ConnectHome to help close this gap and provide more Americans digital opportunity.

    Specifically, ConnectHome is:

    Building regional partnerships:  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is collaborating with EveryoneOn and US Ignite who worked with private- and public-sector leaders to build local partnerships and gather commitments that will increase access to the Internet for low-income Americans.  These partnerships will bring broadband, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing across America. Mayors from Boston to Durham, and from Washington, DC to Seattle, have committed to reallocate local funds, leverage local programming, and use regulatory tools to support this initiative and the expansion of broadband access in low-income communities.

    • Twenty-eight communities strong: The President and HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced today that HUD has selected the following twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation to participate in ConnectHome:

    Albany, GA; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA; Camden, NJ; Choctaw Nation, OK; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fresno, CA; Kansas City, MO; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Macon, GA; Memphis, TN; Meriden, CT; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Rockford, IL; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Springfield, MA; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.

    HUD selected these communities through a competitive process that took into account local commitment to expanding broadband opportunities; presence of place-based programs; and other factors to ensure all are well-positioned to deliver on ConnectHome.

    • Helping deliver affordable connectivity: Eight nationwide Internet Service Providers have announced they are partnering with mayors, public housing authorities, non-profit groups, and for-profit entities to bridge the gap in digital access for students living in assisted housing units.  For example:
      • In Google Fiber markets (including the ConnectHome cities of Atlanta, Durham, Kansas City, and Nashville), Google Fiber will offer $0 monthly home Internet service to residents in select public housing authority properties and will partner with community organizations on computer labs and digital literacy programming to bridge the digital divide, especially for families with K-12 students.
      • In select communities of Choctaw Tribal Nation, Cherokee Communications, Pine Telephone, Suddenlink Communications, and Vyve Broadband will work together to ensure that over 425 of Choctaw’s public housing residents have access to low-cost, high-speed internet.
      • In Seattle, and across its coverage footprint, CenturyLink will make broadband service available to HUD households, via its Internet Basics program, for $9.95 per month for the first year and $14.95 per month for the next four years.
      • In Macon, Meriden, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Cox Communications will offer home Internet service for $9.95 per month to eligible K-12 families residing in public housing authorities.As part of its existing ConnectED commitment, Sprint will work with HUD and the ConnectHome program to make its free wireless broadband Internet access service program available to eligible K-12 students living in public housing. This builds upon the free mobile broadband service previously committed to low-income students by AT&T and Verizon, for ConnectED.
    • Making internet access more valuable: Skills training is essential to effectively taking advantage of all the Internet offers.  HUD is collaborating with non-profits and the private sector to offer new technical training and digital literacy programs for residents in assisted housing units.
      • Best Buy will offer HUD residents in select ConnectHome demonstration project cities, including Choctaw Tribal Nation, the computer training and technical support needed to maximize the academic and economic impact of broadband access. Best Buy will also offer afterschool technical training, for free, to students participating in ConnectHome at Best Buy Teen Centers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, DC.
      • The James M. Cox Foundation, a Cox Communications-affiliated Foundation, will make 1,500 discounted tablets, pre-loaded with educational software, available for $30 to students and their families participating in ConnectHome, in Macon.
      • GitHub will provide $250,000 to support devices and digital literacy training to HUD residents in ConnectHome cities.
      • College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer students and families in HUD housing in all ConnectHome communities free, online SAT practice resources, and contribute $200,000 over three years to fund digital literacy and personalized college readiness and planning training in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Washington, DC and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
      • 80/20 Foundation will provide $100,000 to fund digital literacy training in San Antonio.
      • Age of Learning, Inc. will make its online early learning curriculum available, for free, to families living in HUD housing in ConnectHome communities.
      • The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will produce and distribute new educational, children’s, and digital literacy content via participating local PBS stations tailored for ConnectHome participants.
      • The American Library Association will lead a collaboration with local libraries in all the ConnectHome communities to deliver tailored, on-site digital literacy programming and resources to public housing residents.
      • Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide digital literacy training for HUD residents in ConnectHome communities that have a Boys & Girls Club, including in Durant, OK, part of Choctaw Tribal Nation.
      • Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Durant Independent School District will provide digital literacy courses, for free, to HUD residents in Choctaw Tribal Nation.
    • Ensuring HUD assisted housing integrates broadband: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is also taking major steps to provide communities across the nation tools to improve digital opportunity for its residents. Today, Secretary Castro announced that HUD will:
    • Begin rulemaking that requires HUD-funded new residential construction and substantial rehabilitation projects to support broadband internet connectivity.
    • Provide communities with the flexibility to spend portions of their Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants on local broadband initiatives and associated connectivity enhancements, including approximately $150 million dedicated to the current competition.
      • Begin rulemaking to include broadband planning as a component of the Consolidated Planning process, which serves as a framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and municipal development priorities.
      • Supply guidance and share best practices with HUD-funded grantees on how to more effectively utilize HUD funding to support broadband connectivity.
      • Integrate digital literacy programming and access to technology into related initiatives.
    • Supporting Promise Zones: ConnectHome is launching in Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and includes Camden, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio – all of which were designated Promise Zones, where the Administration works in partnership with local leaders in high-poverty communities to achieve their educational and economic goals.  President Obama has also called on Congress to cut taxes on hiring and investment in Promise Zones to attract businesses and create jobs.

    Here is an awesome infographic