Coding

Originally Published for CUE Magazine.

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Superhero kid. Girl power conceptCoding…
Posted by Bonnie Bracey Sutton

CODING

coding
ˈkōdiNG/
noun
the process of assigning a code to something for the purposes of classification or identification.
You may know coding as programming.

Coding is the act of writing a program in a programming language. So when people say you will need to know coding, they are saying you need to know two things. You need to know the language and you need to know how to use the language. It is easier to show an example of coding than to explain it. http://code.org/learn/codehs

You’ve seen the craze for learning code. But what exactly is coding?

Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites.

Your browser, your OS, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and this website – they’re all made with code.

Here’s a simple example of code, written in the Python programming language:

print ‘Hello, world!’
Many code tutorials use that command as their very first example, because it’s one of the simplest examples of code you can have – it ‘prints’ (displays) the text ‘Hello, world!’ onto the screen.

CODE.ORG has a video that explains coding, shares the vision of a lot of people interested in getting coding into education and. more. Here is one of their three videos on coding.

What Most Schools Don’t Teach

Bill Gates Chairman, Microsoft
“Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.“code 5
The group CSTA has many resources to help explain, engage you and immerse in the study of code.

CODING AS A METAPHOR FOR COMPUTATIONAL THINKING CSTA

The Computer Science Teachers Association is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines. CSTA provides opportunities for K–12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn.

http://csta.acm.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/sub/CSIT10Presentations/Astrachan.pdf

There is outreach to teachers in this program for professional development.code 3
What is CS4HS?
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CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) is an initiative sponsored by Google to promote Computer Science and Computational Thinking in high school and middle school curriculum. With a gift from Google’s Education Group, universities develop 2-3 day workshops for local high school and middle school CS teachers. These workshops incorporate informational talks by industry leaders, and discussions on new and emerging CS curricula at the high school and middle school level. On the CSTA site, you’ll find information on how to apply for a CS4HS grant, information for workshop attendees and partners, and other helpful resources. CS4HS funding is currently offered in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China, New Zealand, and Australia.You could also learn a lot by attending a CSTA Conference which features workshops, mentors, and applications.

Here is an example of a CS4HS workshop that I attended. CS4HS is one of many resources to help teachers learn to code.
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UMBC Google CS4HS Teacher Development Workshop 2013

http://maple.cs.umbc.edu/cs4hs/schedule/

The presentations are here for your use, or perusal.

There is a big push to teach coding to students of all ages. code six

Teachers learning about the importance of coding at a CS4HS teacher’s workshop.

Coding for Kids is easier to reference and to find on the web.

Code.org offers tutorials below.

CodeHS Online curriculum designed specifically for highschool classrooms.

Codecademy After SchoolA complete online afterschool program for a coding club.

Tynker Teach programming in elementary or middle school in a fun way.

Scratch is a great program to use to teach young students. Try it!!

Google Glass…Cracking up Ideas!! Breaking into Possibilities!!!

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glass2Here is what I wrote when I was wishing and hoping to get Google Glass. I wanted it.. dreamed about it.
Fretted about it. Wrote about it.

glass

So what is Google Glass and how can I tell you about it if I don’t have it? 

Oh I have lots of reference points, I have been following the use of Google Glass since it was announced. One use that immediately got my attention was in a STEM related trip to CERN. ( I have been there, and the Google related lesson were accurate.

This really got my attention because I have wanted to go back to CERN to learn what it looks like now, vs. the time frame in which I saw it.

Here is the link.<a href="http://blog.ted.com/2013/05/06/a-virtual-field-trip-to-cern-via-google-glass/“>

Then, I got a break. I was able to purchase Google Glass. It came just before the Christmas Holiday. I did not tell anyone. I was so excited. I also got the shades. Being a fashionista, I wanted the dark glasses. Sunglasses are a part of my visual signature.
I don’t always wear sunglasses but I thought the GLASS looked really hot with the shades. Now I have them.

I am going to play around with Google Glass.
These are other people’s ideas.

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Since I am on vacation I will probably make a map of touring Jamaica.. and of the resort I am in. I can cruise the beach and take pictures without being observed.

But I have to study first. child Head Ideas are popping.

Merry Christmas!!!! Thank you Santa…

Changing the Learning Landscape..University, Community College and High School Teachers Tackle Computer Science

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Changing the Learning Landscape..University, Community College and High School Teachers Tackle Computer Science
Posted by Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Report by

A version of this was first published in the SITE.org blog.

Vic Sutton
Bonnie Sutton

UMBC Google CS4HS Teacher Development Workshop 2013

“I have been going to computer science conferences for 28 years and this is the best one I have ever been to.”
– Arlington County Tech Ed Supervisor

August 4-7, 2013
CSTA has sponsored an initiative to transform education. *The Computer Science Teachers Association is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines. CSTA provides opportunities for K–12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn.
There is a series of workshops that are called.CS4HS. I have attended one CSTA workshop before. It was excellent, so I wondered if the excellence has continued. It has.

What is CS4HS?

CS4HS was started as a joint effort between Carnegie Mellon University, UCLA, and University of Washington to help introduce high school and middle school CS teachers to new and exciting technologies. CS4HS bring these teachers together for a summer workshop with the goals of invigorating them about computer science and computational thinking, and to provide them with tools and networking opportunities to help them in the classrooms. Google provides funding to universities develop the workshop and is committed to having our local employees participate in workshop sessions.

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First, we attended the CSTA National Conference, Then we attended a local workshop.The national perspective gave us insight and networks.

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An Important National Outreach Initiative

Two Workshops ( National CSTA Conference)

Computational Thinking: from Game Design to STEM in one week
Presented by Dr. Alexander Repenning

Computational Thinking: from Game Design to STEM in one week
Presented by Dr. Alexander Repenning

Participants will be immersed in the Scalable Game Design (SGD) initiative that is developed at the University of Colorado, and funded by NSF. The SGD strategy is based on a path that introduces students to computational thinking through game design and then advances to the creation of STEM simulations. Through our approach of exposure, motivation, pedagogy, and education, the SGD approach has been successful at broadening participation in STEM across ethnic and gender barriers. Participants will learn about our approach, the latest research results and how to scaffold game design into a classroom with unique tools for “pre-bugging” and automatic evaluation. Hands-on activities include designing and creating 2D and 3D arcade games in both the AgentSheets and AgentCubes programming environments. Workshop materials will include a complete introductory curriculum, and links to additional curriculum and information. No prior programming experience is required!

Download presentation as PDF

Here is the Local Workshop

Why so Few?  Broadening Participation of Women and Minorities
Dr. Jan Plane
[Presentation]

CS Education at the National and State Level
AP CS Principles Pat Yongpradit
CS Principles and CS Pedagogy at CS4HS 8.5.13

This is a presentation not just about CS Principles, but about inquiry, equity, and pedagogy in the CS classroom. Teachers learned about all of this by doing two famous activities from the Exploring Computer Science curriculum.AP CS Principles
Pat Yongpradit
[Presentation and Materials]

AP Computer Science Principles is a proposed AP course, currently in pilot phase, that seeks to broaden participation in computer science.

The course is focused on building computational thinking practices and is guided by seven Big Ideas: Creativity, Abstraction, Data, Algorithms, Programming, Internet, and Impact. Visit CSprinciples.org for more details.

What we took:
Hands-On with Cryptology
Getting Started in Teaching Computer Science
Increasing Student Enthusiasm with LiveCode
Introduction to AppInventor
Arduino Programming
Computing for Good
Coaching the Design Process
Best Practices for Starting After-School Programs
Why so Few? Broadening Participation of Women and Minorities
A Smorgasbord of Tools for CS Education
Dinner with Industry
CS at the College Level
CSEdWeek

http://maple.cs.umbc.edu/cs4hs/schedule/ ( you will want this link to download the presentations from the list above..
You may also want this link if you are thinking about going to the workshop next year
This year’s ‘Computer Science for High School’ workshop, held on 4-7 August at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus, brought together nearly 40 computer science teachers. Most were from Maryland schools, though there were also participants from DC, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,Texas and Virginia.

The three-day workshop covered everything from computer science principles to practical applications such as MIT’s App Inventor and Arduino’s Amici. Dianne O’Grady Cunniff facilitated a session covering on-line resources for educators, and Dr. Jan Plane led a session on broadening participation of women and minorities in computer science.This is an acute problem: according to the annual CRA Taulbee Survey, in 2011 (latest year for which data are available) only 11.7% of computer science graduates were women, with a similar number for computer engineering.

White students made up two-thirds of the graduates in computer science and over half of those in computer engineering, with minorities tailing way behind. African American students, for example, made up only 3.6% of graduates in computer science, and 5.9% in computer engineering.

This, when the U.S. expects a huge growth in well-paying, computer-based jobs over the next few years.google7

The courses are not there.

CS at the College Level
Dr. Marie desJardins and Dr. Jan Plane
[Presentation] [ABET Presentation]

In this panel, faculty members from the University of Maryland – College Park and UMBC provided  information about computing majors in college and “best practices” for preparing students to succeed in these majors. Dr. Michael Milligan from ABET discussed  what teachers and parents should know about accreditation.

Solutions, however, are not so obvious. Perhaps this year’s Computer Science Education week, to be held on 8-14 December 2013, will provide an opportunity to start redressing the balance. To start with , we can explore computational thinking.

Curated Articles on Computational Thinking here:

http://www.scoop.it/t/computational-thinking-in-k-12

IDEAS TO THINK ABOUT

http://blog.acm.org/archives/csta/2013/08/coming_soon_to.html

Advocacy, Equity & Social Justice, UncategorizedComputational Sciences, computational thinking, CS4, CS4HS, CSTA, teacher development

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Changing the Equation by an Uncommon Gift- A Surface Tablet

ISTEI am at the ISTE conference in San Antonio.

I enjoyed the SIG work, I participated in sharing my concerns with the board, I attended some workshops,  did the conference floor, but also I witnessed some empowerment that was caused by the gift of a computer to 10,000 ISTE participants.

Microsoft gave away 10.000 Surface tablets to ISTE participants who signed up to get them. I have of course been reading various articles on the use of mobile technologies for groups who need help.  To understand the need? Read “ Falling Behind: A Technology Crisis Facing Minority Students.”

The access problem is something the White House is dealing with. You can read about it here.

surface instruction

Tablets have been disruptive. Pew tells us here about the statistics , this is a summary of the full report.

For the first time, a third (34%) of American adults ages 18 and older own a tablet computer like an iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus, or Kindle Fire—almost twice as many as the 18% who owned a tablet a year ago.

Demographic groups most likely to own tablets include:

  • Those living in households earning at least $75,000 per year (56%), compared with lower income brackets
  • Adults ages 35-44 (49%), compared with younger and older adults
  • College graduates (49%), compared with adults with lower levels of education

“One of the things that is especially interesting about tablet adoption compared to some of the patterns of other devices we’ve studied is how these technologies’ growth has played out between different age groups,” Research Analyst Kathryn Zickuhr said. “With smartphones, for instance, we’ve seen a very strong correlation with age where most younger adults own smartphones, regardless of income level. But when it comes to tablets, adults in their thirties and forties are now significantly more likely than any other age group to own this device.”

ABOUT THE SURVEY

The findings in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults ages 18 and older.  Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline and cell phone. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.  More information is available in the Methods section at the end of this report.

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Of all of the years I have been working in technology, I have not witnessed such a sharing. Everyone says that all of the students are digital natives.. but there are many students who do not have the tools. the teachers who know it , or the broadband access to be able to share the new technology and ideas. Thank you to those who still remember that teachers are an important part of the equation.

Yes, there Still is a Digital Divide, and a Broadband Problem , There Should Be a National Consideration of Digital Equity

Future Learning

Wireless shows the way to the future ways of learning
if we can conquer the digital divide.

Bonnie Bracey-Sutton

I was the only K-12 teacher on the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council. I have been waiting years for transformational change to happen.We still have need, lack of access, and a broadband problem.

Let’s start with this set of charts.  Source (http://mashable.com/2013/06/14/digital-divide-problem/)

I have been researching and working with these issue for a long time.

Take a look at this info-graphic. (http://mashable.com/2012/02/05/digital-divide-infographic/)

Early exposure and interest

Early exposure and interest are key!

Recently people talked to me and said, you know, people are tired of hearing about the digital divide, and broadband access, it is boring.Why don’t you do something that is more interesting!( It was depressing to hear) But recently the White House, and other reports confirm the concerns that I had about the  two Americas we have in technology. Most people with the technology went their merry way , not remembering that many had neither the tools, technology or knowledge to make the change we want for 21st century learning. see this report from NTIA.

RESEARCH PROOF

Here’s a bit of disappointing but not-so-surprising news: according to a new report from the nonprofit think tank Center for American Progress (CAP), U.S. schools aren’t doing enough to enable technology in the classroom to live up to its potential.

Oh really? Oh really…

Not only are students across the country frequently using technology for basic skills (for example, middle school students are mostly using computers for drills and practice exercises, not data analysis or other activities that really take advantage of computing power and sophisticated software), schools aren’t looking at the returns on their technology-related investments. The CAP also found that students from high-poverty areas were less likely to get access to rigorous science and technology learning opportunities.

“In this analysis, it quickly became clear to us that many schools and districts have not taken full advantage of the ways that technology can be used to dramatically improve education-delivery systems,” the report said.

The White House

The White House’s new broadband report is embedded below. What can be done to bridge the digital divide? Share your thoughts in the comments.

White House Broadband Report

( This is a document that can be downloaded )

This isn’t about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America tothe digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.”
- President Obama

 ” Committing to high-speed connectivity for all our students in five years will unleash the potential of the education technology market, where a lack of infrastructure has held back innovation.”

In June , the White House announced an initiative  to expand high-speed broadband Internet access to virtually every school in the country. The program is expected to cost several billion dollars; according to a senior administration official. The White House argues that the expanded Internet access will provide teachers with more tools; make learning more engaging and better prepare students for 21st century jobs. The plan does not require congressional approval. Instead; an existing program that subsidizes Internet access in schools and libraries. E-Rate is funded through fees on monthly telephone bills. The White House officials said officials expect the president’s plan would add no more than 40 cents to every phone bill per month for the next few years. The proposal would be a one-time investment with the goal of providing schools with Internet connections of one gigabit per second—about 100 times faster than the average home broadband connection. The White House expects 99 percent of students to have access to at least a 100-megabit-per-second connection within five years. The administration notes that many schools currently rely on a single slow connection for hundreds of students and teachers. The officials argue that next-generation Internet speeds will allow students to download up-to-date learning materials.

The announcement was a relief to me , it signified that official Washington understood that the new initiatives based on technology, digital textbooks and common core , and other STEM initiatives are not possible without new infrastructure.

Richard Bennett in a recent article states that

“The major causes for low subscribership, as extensive survey research shows, are low interest in the Internet and minimal digital literacy. And too many American households lack the money or interest to buy a computer. As a result, more Americans subscribe to cable TV and cellphones than to Internet service. Our broadband subscription rate is 70 percent, but could easily surpass 90 percent if computer ownership and digital literacy were widespread.”

Indeed, the most critical issue facing American broadband has nothing to do with the quality of our networks; it is our relatively low rates of subscribership.

What ever the reason. There is digital inequality in the US. Mr. Bennet may not work or travel in rural and distant areas. I assume that he has no real experience with the schools in these areas.

White House Initiative

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/06/bringing-america-s-students-digital-ageImage“In this analysis, it quickly became clear to us that many schools and districts have not taken full advantage of the ways that technology can be used to dramatically improve education-delivery systems,” the report said.

What ever the reason. There is digital inequality in the US. Mr. Bennet may not work or travel in rural and distant areas. I assume that he has no real experience with the schools in these areas. There are some efforts kind of complicated to get people comfortable with being on line.

Google also sees the problem and this is one of their solutions.

Most of you might have heard of Google's new global Internet access 
experiment - Project Loon. 

See http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420540,00.asp 

Check out the beautifully done motion graphics video at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m96tYpEk1Ao

Read More about the Digital Divide and STEM here.
http://www.scoop.it/t/broadband-and-connectivity-in-america

http://www.scoop.it/t/broadband-and-connectivity-in-america

Is America Really a Digitally Literate Nation? Do People Really Understand Inequity?Social Justice?

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Recently a lot of articles and workshops have come to us about the digital divide and that it still exists. It is a relief that people are coming back to the realization that we have an uneven learning landscape. Here is a whole article. The following is an excerpt. This is a lot of information, but it is very important to understand the challenges in education.
“For children in the U.S., their homes, their communities, and their schools both represent and perpetuate inequity. In fact, the inequity of childhood is increasing, not shrinking.”

At the Broadband Summit hosted by the FCC and NTIA, I heard  stories of people who are new to technology and how difficult it is for some populations to embrace technology. Many people are still waiting to embrace the mouse. Of course now we can leapfrog to a tablet. But understanding is the key to embracing technology in meaningful ways. Outstanding were the NTIA projects that support the uses of technology in community ways.

Sadly, many communities are still not well-connected.

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SHARING THE VISION

In February, there was an uncommon event. It was the 2013 Broadband Summit ( Broadband Adoption and Usage- What Have We Learned?)NTIA and the FCC shared the day in sharing knowledge.

The FCC is a leader in encouraging the safe use of electronic media by children.Educators are held to the idea of digital textbooks while many do not have connectivity in their schools. Students do not have the skills for workforce readiness. Many teachers don/t have the skills they need to be effective in the use of technology. Some of these ideas are shared in Digital Nation from Edutopia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nKIu9yen5nc

From televisions to laptops to cell phones, electronic media have become some children’s almost constant companions. The commission provides parents with a variety of resources to improve children’s safety in today’s complex media landscape, including:

At the SITE Conference in New Orleans… we will share the results of our work and research so that you don’t have to guess about resources . We have a Facebook Grant. The work will be published in the society’s journals.Here is a little information to frame the research that has been conducted.What is SITE?

We are the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, and it is our mission to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange and support.

SITE Conference 2013 – Teaching in Exponential Times!

Sheraton San Diego

The 24th Annual International SITE Conference will be held March 25 – 29, 2013 in New Orleans, LA, USA

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP?

Definitions of Digital Citizenship In Our Facebook Grant Work

“Digital citizenship” is an umbrella term that covers a whole host of important issues. Broadly, it’s the guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when one is using technology. But specifically, it can cover anything from “netiquette” to cyber-bullying; technology access and the digital divide; online safety and privacy; copyright, plagiarism, and digital law, and more. In fact, some programs that teach digital citizenship have outlined no less than nine elements that intersect to inform a well-equipped digital citizen. It’s an overwhelming array of skills to be taught and topics to explore.The source of the nine elements is ISTE.org.

But while there is much talk about the importance of teaching digital citizenship in this information society, not many are sure what that really looks like. What tools are out there for teaching it? And how in the world can teachers make time in an already overcrowded curriculum?What  about those who do not have broadband access? Or limited bandwidth?

Digital Passport?

WHO USES TECHNOLOGY?Back Camera

There are lots of users of technology. My concern is that there are people who do not use, know about or are interested in the use of technology , nor do they know how they benefit from the ways in which technology is used at the highest levels in Supercomputing. They innocently use GPS, weather resources from Supercomputing, watch on television the news from around the world, get climate updates, and earthquake and seismic information without thinking of the source. They get visualization and modeling examples daily, and do not think at all of computational thinking , problem solving and the math that is required to be able to participate in computing.Many people use the cloud without knowledge of what it is. A good reference or starting point is at Shodor.org.

There is a higher form of computing that facilitates a lot of tasks for us and few people seem to be aware of it.

You will hear people say, I don’t need technology. Sure. Invisible uses are everywhere.

It is called Supercomputing.

GOT BROADBAND?

This morning several  articles caught my eye. But more than the articles is the interesting interaction on-line and the discussions about have and have-nots. Friends of mine,  a professor, a code writer and a mathematician had a late night discussion following my posting this video by Jeannette Wing.

Dr. Jeannette Wing was the Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate at the National Science Foundation.Social Media helps us to communicate, though we may not always agree, at least there is the opportunity to exchange ideas and to think deeply with reflection. Dr. Wing has moved into the private sector. Microsoft announced that it has hired Dr. Jeannette Wing as Vice President of its Research division. Microsoft Research is an expansive group of technologists, scientists, and dreamers that build technology that may, or perhaps more often may not make it to market.

GOT PEDAGOGICAL KNOWLEDGE?

Such interesting conversations I have on Facebook. This is what I am talking about as a model for use of technology. It is not happening in most inner city and rural and distant schools. People have the tools but not the pedagogical knowledge of integration . ( TPACK)

TPACK Image (rights free)

The TPACK Model
The TPACK Model was created in response to the need to provide a framework around the important pieces of innovating learning with a focus on Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge.  The overlap of these three components is where the 21st Century classroom is most powerful.

Here is general information on TPACK

Got Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, lets add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability. Computational thinking is an approach to solving problems, building systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on the power and limits of computing. While computational thinking has already begun to influence many disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities, the best is yet to come.Looking to the future, we can anticipate even more profound impact of computational thinking on science, technology, and society: on the ways new discoveries will be made, innovation will occur, and cultures will evolve.

It is this that we learn with. So we had a person who writes code, a scientist and me, a teacher.. in a late night discussion with a professor about the video.This is one of the things about social media. It cuts the silos. Ground truths in social media.

I

In this interview from the Education Technology & Change blog, Henry Neeman from the University of Oklahoma describes the increasing accessibility of HPC.

“You may not see the supercomputers, but every single day supercomputing is making our lives better. Everything from the cars we drive to the weather forecast on TV to the movies we watch to the detergent bottles in our laundry rooms are made, or made better, by supercomputing. Today, there are a number of ways for citizens to access supercomputing. Often, these are known as “science gateways,” and they provide a simple interface to a complicated back end. An example is nanoHUB, which K-12 and postsecondary students can use to do nanotechnology simulations. In fact, the nanoHUB website has curricula and teaching materials that any teacher can put to work in their classroom.”

Early exposure and interest

early exposure and interest through outreach

This article caught my eye because it says the things that I have been blogging about, talking about and sharing for some time.

The article is entitled “By the Numbers: Teachers, Tech, and the Digital Divide” it extracts information from the latest Pew Report which is here. The new Pew Research survey of more than 2,400 middle school and high school teachers released today shows that, while teachers believe technology has helped with their teaching, it’s also brought new challenges — including the possibility of creating a bigger rift between low-income and high-income students.

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Reading first.. . and there is free technology of excellence….Many of us know the challenges first hand . Many of us work at different levels of understanding of the difficulty. Often people dismiss what we who are on the ground , in the classrooms and in the places of need as if what we are saying is untrue. We have children who cannot read. Technology can help solve that problem. Early learning is important. Books and technology work too.

We know that people use the tools of technology, but that expense is a problem. We know that the cell phone has brought many people to a mobile use of technology and that “bring your own device” has become the salvation for some schools.Mobile use was shared in the Wireless Technology conference.

                         Wireless EdTech Beyond Being There – The Mobile Future of Learning ( in case you missed it)

There are a few other pieces of research that affect those of us of diversity in very important ways. We have always known that the digital divide is a problem based on access to broadband, hardware and access to teachers who may not have achieved the transformational skills to use technology in meaningful ways.

Some examples of ways in which people are trying to help are:


By Sean Cavanagh in Education Week

“Can online graphic novels help teenagers cope with difficult social situations?

Are 3-D technologies a tool for helping English-learners acquire language skills outside traditional educational settings? And what about the potential for mobile apps that let students manipulate on-screen images with their fingers to help them learn fractions?”

“A federal program, still in its infancy, is supporting research that seeks to answer those and other questions by wedding partners that often operate in isolation—educational technology and scientific research on learning—with the goal of transforming teaching and learning in schools.”

The federal government has been funding projects focused on technology and education for decades, and it has backed research on cognition in many forms. But the relatively new program, called Cyberlearning: Transforming Education , is the National Science Foundation ’s attempt to create a space within the agency devoted to supporting research on advanced learning technologies.

Some of the beginning steps of the program were shared in a conference .

NSF Funds Research to Identify What Works

Jeremy Rochelle of SRI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHmR0G_NmsE

The conference, which was hosted at the National Geographic, involved SRI ,  and NSF

you can find the portal here.They invite you to help write pages for the cyber-learning topic areas listed below. Their aim is to develop definitions that are strong enough to show the direction of the field but open enough to allow for innovation (see Defining Cyber-learning, below). If you have expertise in any of these areas and would like to be involved in editing these pages, please email cyberlearning-info@sri.com to request a wiki account.

Here are the topics:

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) project is also defining key TEL topics

This is the portal for this important work.( http://cyberlearning.sri.com/w/index.php/Cyberlearning:Community_portal)
There are many teachers, educators, administrators who are still learning to understand these topics and so even with help from various groups trying to make a difference, the leap of faith is a broad one. Edutopia has a program that starts to share why we must go digital.
There are still people who resist personal and educational use of technology for various reasons. Many teachers have the tools,but not the know how or support or the ideational  scaffolding that is needed to be technology fluent. The Pew Report outlined many of the things that I would say, but also lets us know that it is not just
those of us who talk about the digital divide and social justice who are complaining about lack of broadband, access, tools and support for learning the technology.
Edutopia has videos, blogs, and all manner of resources to share with educators on how to use and integrate technology into good practice.
There is no cost for exploring good practices in education at the site.

Reading and Digital Literacy, Efforts and Projects Making a World Wide Difference

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

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Mobile Matters
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Powerful Ideas Spread
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There are all kinds of games, simulations and events that kids get to experience on devices. Whatever the learning landscape let’s do it to encourage reading.
 Here is a way in which my mentor helps with literacy in South Africa. Kevin Federle is featured in the video using her work. We change the world one reader at a time, one learning community at a time.. if needed.
There are all kinds of games, simulations and events that kids get to experience on devices. Whatever the learning landscape let’s do it to encourage reading.
“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”
 - A C Grayling, Financial Times (in a review of A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel)
Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This infographic <http://www.example-infographics.com/literacy-in-the-world/&gt;  visualizes data on literacy rates in the world, and the correlation between literacy rates and democracy. (Source: uis.enesco.org (direct document download) <http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/Documents/literacy-peace-infographic-final-en.pdf&gt; For those of us who are tasked with helping with the transformation of learning there is a huge task.
To work in Africa was a dream of mine. I had never been there, but studied it from afar. My uncle taught many Africans when he was working at Lincoln University and he traveled often to Africa when I was a student. My mother would not let me go. I was able to teach there with the support of a mentor. I am sharing the back story to encourage you to live your dreals
But I need to tell the whole story. To keep your attention here is a video to show what I am talking about a journey of dusty roads, townships and villages and eternal thanks. But this time the traveler is Kevin Federle and not me. He played tennis with them too, I cooked in townships with the people. I loved it. My work was ten years earlier.
Books and Bytes
Teaching reading was always a great skill of mine. My mother and I enjoyed reading and sharing idea.  I used a lot of integrated methods to share life experiences. I also worked with a skilled teacher, Deloris Davis. I think she could have taught dead people to read. She and I teamed up in using the skills we had to teach children to read. She taught vocabulary and life experiences. I liked people to tell their own stories. Children made their own books, wrote their own poetry, and went to the theater at the Smithsonian. We did plays and we cooked. We were all purpose in getting kids to read.So I wrote once in a while on the early Internet about these methods. I admit to integrating the arts into my work. ( How could I not, if I was personalizing the learning?)
One day I got a request to visit New Zealand.
 
New Zealand? 
It seemed so far away and I was battling to keep my job. My principal kept telling me that Arlington Schools could hire three people with my salary. She said nothing about my skills or the fact that I worked with President Clinton, Vice President Gore,  and that we were crafting the document to shape the way that technology would be used in the US. Inside the school system administrators were casting dark eyes at me. But I did not go on the trip. I thought I needed to tend fires at home. Eventually I was so badgered that I did decide to go to visit.
Wendy Pye sent me Sunshine Books.
Who is Wendy Pye?
Wendy is the owner and Managing Director of the Wendy Pye Publishing Ltd, publishers of educational products. Wendy’s Sunshine Book and Galaxy Kids brands have taken the company to the ends of the earth and she became a publishing phenomenon when she launched Sunshine Books in 1985. Through her vision, passion, drive and energy, Wendy has built her company into one of the world’s most successful educational export companies. Her educational products consist of over 1800 titles which have sold over 218 million copies worldwide.The books were like the personal books the kids and I wrote, not as funny ok, and the illustrations were not as priceless, but she said that she had a digital way of turning kids stories into their personal stories. I was intrigued. New Zealand, maybe I thought and then my little niece threw me a curve.
I was on my way to demonstrate technology in the inner city to schools who did not believe in the Internet. I could not find the books that had been sent to me. I had started using them because they were interesting to children.
Finally, I discovered that the books were in her school backpack. I asked her why. She said she liked the books and wanted to keep them and share with her friends, so I used my original student product to share.
I decided to go to New Zealand. I was privileged to travel there to learn Wendy’s  ways of crafting a learning landscape to teach reading in wonderful ways.Wendy pioneered the use of multimedia – animated internet and CD-Rom – to complement the print and other components of her products. She was a leader in the development of an early literacy program and learning technologies, and she worked with many institutes and universities worldwide to develop strategies for literacy through research.
I decided I had to go to New Zealand to see the way the technology worked when my principal decided that I would go back into a regular classroom with limited use of technology ( or I could retire). So since I decided to retire, and change the world outside of the classroom, I needed new tools.New Zealand here I come ,I thought.
 
Working with the Maori/ Sunshine Books/ Researching in New Zealand
Sunshine Books had programs in Maori schools. I visited, learned, and understood that Wendy and I had similar ways of thinking about reading. I loved the art and ways in which she integrated the learning process. Barefoot to School was a descriptor for some of my writings about being in New Zealand. I explored the museums in Wellington and we talked to educators from the Beehive about digital technology. We worked with professors in the Universities.
 I had a new friend, who understood how to let the creator in the child emerge. I was excited about the travel and synergy. We toured universities and visited in cities to share our ideas. I was always thinking these books would work in inner city schools too. Children at the age of five were introduced to technology, it was amazing and it worked. I have to share about the letter getter later. Here is a tease.http://www.awardinteractive.com/lettergetter/AboutLGO.php