Gil Scott Heron was wrong. The revolutions were televised. Steve Jobs probably did not mean to start a revolution, but he did. I was one of the people who bought into his revolution and pushed for the use of technology in the schools. I was unstoppable. I could see the measure of difference in the students when we introduced technology by hook or crook.
Granted there were teachers who use movies and cut the movie on and off to explain things. Granted there were people who never adjusted to television in a classroom, not interactive enough they said. Granted there were , and are people who do not understand the reach of technology. That would not be me.
In the places of urban need technology came in , in musical ways. We were always taught to sign and dance. I refused.
I found it demeaning. Well, most black millionaires are in the music business. It is not that I can’t or could not sing, I felt that people had only represented one of the few talents of the race. So I read, studied and learned. Gil Scott Heron talked to the underclass. But his message resounded and they embraced it.
Those were interesting statements to those of us who did sit ins and demonstrations. What did he mean?What revolution will not be televised? But maybe he was speaking of those who are not a part of a certain part of America.
Now I think I know. When I see the 99 Percent people in the streets, I see that he was talking to that other America and it is not just black. Who knew that America would diversify in the way that it has? It was a world of black and white. Now
I don’t even see color . Everyone is on television, as integral parts of the media business in most places. Regional tends to be less colorful. But there many be a reason for that.
Since Gil Scott Heron’s time in the spotlight, we have seen a revolution that was indeed televised but fueled by social media titled the” Arab Spring”. Etched in my mind is the camel rider with a long weapon going after a protesting citizen. Etched in my mind are the protestations of women who were gang raped by soldiers. Children soldiers, but most of this is not reported in the “news”. Etched in my heart was the fear of the people who dared to protest. I have lived in the Middle East and worked in the Med.The most surprising thing is that it is not really the way it is reported. I went to Egypt because I wanted to see the museum in Cairo. I wanted to go to Alexandria and I did. But don’t trust travel writers to share a place with you. The National Geographic does a good take on countries. What really is going on in countries is often told by bloggers.
WHO DARES TO PROTEST?
Protesting is not an easy thing anywhere in the world , nor was it here. Movies about our Civil war, and our Civil rights protests are all over screens in the digital media. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins. Few talk about the separate but not equal schools. The change in those was very slow if change was made at all. Urban schools are probably worst because they lack well-trained teachers, and programs, and projects that are transitional for 21st century skills.More extraordinary is that the teachers who have stood in those places of need were targeted.
Who forgot to give them professional development, and to equip them with the tools to teach for the 21st Century? We know. We all know.
It was sad to see people targeting teachers who stood in those places and tried to teach no matter the conditions without very much support. I suppose people thought teachers could overcome, hunger, bad parenting, fear in the community, bullying, disrespect and bad economics.Sometimes we can.But it is not a given. Inspiration requires its own fuel.
I would like to say that I was one of those teachers who stood in harms ways, but I escaped to the suburbs. So those who were the sheep were stuck with ignomy. They followed the dictates of the school system. I understand. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
INTERNATIONAL Cultures have a different perspective… we must respect that too
But in the med, gender was a problem.” Why are you not married ?”, I was asked. There were societies that drew out single women as if we were diseased. At the time I was quite successful, flying all over the world, at home driving a Corvette my first experience with fiber optics, and working with a council after appointment by the President. Well, pardon me, but until I was able to display my knowledge, I was looked at as it I had a disease in Jordan and Egypt.. It was a total shock to me. When you read about other countries the PISA scores, you do not think about
the fact that there are women who never go to school.That women are sold as child brides. PISA does not report that information.
I have worked in India, and in Egypt where sometimes girls in the country were needed on the farm. I have traveled in China, where there were ” Black” children. The children did not exist according to the government, because they had no papers. We toured educational facilities and were often talking to people on the streets in China. Did you know that there are 57 groups of minorities in China? I went to 28 cities in China and did extensive reading and visiting. Most of the history of China is not told. I could share gender stories that would make you cry if you have feelings. Will technology help the child brides? The girls who never get to go to school in the world? In some countries perhaps, but technology is a long way in coming to many countries. Pisa scores don’t tell everything.
How Can You Complain about Technology on Technology if You Do Not Have Connectivity?
In my life, I go from Supercomputing, the best of everything in a conference, to podunk places where dial up is even slow. On television, the people who sell and share, and create programs, seem not to have a clue that we are all not wired,the telcos protest that we all can be. I suspect that that means they think everyone in rural distant and difficult areas can afford satellite. Not so. Not so.
It is if there are two Americans, beyond those who volunteer to fight, and those who are preyed upon by wall street, or who have a less than facilitative education or who unfortunately are located geographically as if they were living back in the day before technology made its mark. The people who need to complain to polls, and previews, and pollster are not
on line, or if on line are barely able to register their voices.
Why should people participate if they don’t get the importance of being left behind.. again.
How do people understand the importance of it all without being in the game?
In the US , in the world as we go to a flat world, there is a protest that cannot be made.
The digital divide still exists. There is a digital divide, an information divide, a social divide, and all sorts of gating factors. Did I forget to mention the owning of the technology necessary to tweet, Facebook, save music or do rudimentary Email? Did I forget to mention the support , the technical support that is SO important. I think I did.
Some think the mobile divide will solve the problem and it will if , if people invest in the mobile devices that they will need to be a part of the connected world. It works well in developing nations. Let’s hope that the mobile devices will help to equalize the world.
We are still separated by class, race, the economy of our neighborhoods and states and the quality of our teaching force. While some are truly learning to be a force in the digital media, some are in love with the latest applications and do not see the whole picture. If the latest 2.o gadget is your celebration of technology, think again.
There is a technology revolution going on in Supercomputing. We all use Supercomputing in various ways. To help schools the Education Program is designed to introduce HPC and Computational and Data Enabled Science and Engineering (CDESE) techniques, technologies and resources to undergraduate faculty and high school teachers.
The sad thing about knowing the information is that there are still silos , and K-12 is not really in an awareness mode
in that there are few teacher trainings in this field. I think administrators and principals have their eyes closed to
HPC and the workforce initiatives that the learning of the computational sciences will bring.
program assists educators in integrating HPC and CDESE into their classrooms. During SC11, the Education Program hosted a four-day intensive program, focused hands-on tutorials and birds-of-a-feather gatherings, as well as formal and informal opportunities to interact with other conference attendees and exhibitors.
The Supercomputing Conference also involves in communities Broader Engagement.
Broader Engagement Program
Goals of the Program
The goal of the Broader Engagement (BE) Program is to increase the participation of individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented in high performance computing (HPC), including African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and other underrepresented groups around the world, including women and people with disabilities. The program offers special activities to engage and support a diverse community of experts, newcomers and learners in the conference and in HPC.
The BE program has several educational, networking and informational sessions which all SC11 attendees are welcome to attend. SC11 participants can add BE to their registration to also participate in BE social events.
Indeed there are places in which the Internet is still verboten, and a sign against the use of cell phones is posted on the door of the schools. Not like the cheery idea that students can bring their own technology. ( If they can afford it).
Here is what my husband Victor Sutton wrote:
“We we doing outreach to schools and communities.
It is pitch dark, and you can see all the stars. With my wife Bonnie, I am driving south on VA 40 from our overnight stay in Stony Creek, VA to get to Sussex Central High School.
Our task for the evening is to brief a small number of students and parents about the opportunities for students who follow studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
“Do you know where you are going?”, asks Bonnie. “Yes,” I reply. VA 40 will take us to the school. And so it does, after what seems like a lifetime.
Our colleague Anita Harris teaches at Sussex Central High, and is there to help round-up students and parents for our presentation. We meet up with our friend Manorama Talaiver, who is working in 35 school districts in South side Virginia to get technology into classrooms.
The sign on the main entrance of the school says ‘No cell phones’. That’s not because students could use them to chat, or to network. There are only enough towers in this part of Virginia to provide one reliable signal, from Verizon. And most students can’t afford to subscribe to phone service.They use their phones, if they have them, to play games.
Even if a Sussex Central High School teacher wanted to use computers in the classroom, they would face several obstacles. There is no broadband, no connectivity.( there is a connection in the auditorium , way up high almost out of reach).
And moreover, just to make sure that students cannot access smut, most useful sites are banned.
While we wait for our audience to turn up, I try to access my Hotmail e-mail.
Hotmail is blocked.
Now, meanwhile the U. S. Department of Education is busy, through its Race to the Top scheme, funding initiatives in eleven states and the District of Columbia on a competitive basis. As if all schools did not need better online access
When we come to wind the meeting up, a black picture turns even blacker. Sussex County, in South side Virginia, we learn, is a county 45 miles long.
One half of the county has access to a public library (which closes at 5 p.m.).
The other half of the county has no public library.
So here are U.S. high school students, not so far from Richmond, with no public library, and no computer access.
Welcome to America in the 21st Century. And how, you wonder, are the students of Sussex Central High to acquire any 21st Century skills?” The brilliant people probably don’t have to think about the underclass?
There is Change
I think that Mano Talaiver is changing things with her computer grants from NSF and teacher workshops and parent workshops. Longwood does special seminars to unite people in the learning communities to think about ways to effect change.
Mano is creating possibilities with a College, Longwood
, supporting her efforts to transform the rural areas where tobacco used to be the cash crop. It is also the area of Brown vs the Board of Education , the schools were closed for about 20 years in some of the areas to blacks. There were private academies for the white population, supported by taxpayer funding.
My friend uses technology to weave these counties together and to create a force of learning using everything she can to effect change. Already , she has been to a country in Africa with a grant to link that country to the college in Virginia. This is October. She has already taught overseas and is now encouraging students in Virginia .
After you drop down past Richmond, connectivity is an issue. Better not be using the iPhone for your GPS because, you will need a paper map. Interestingly enough all of the prisons, which are a part of the economy of this poor rural area are wired to the max.
Here in the US there is a protest going on about the lack of broadband Sadly some people don’t know enough to protest. The people who provide broadband tell is that we are wired everywhere and just in case you cannot get wired there is broadband from Hughes Net. We all know that there is a problem especially in the west. The National Broadband Map is a solution in a way. The National Technology Plan
points the way and gives a voice to everyone who needs to know where we are heading. Karen Cator goes one better with wonderful presentations and Powerpoint presentations that one can download to get the ideas and understanding of where we are going with the technology. Kudos to her. No kudos to the telephone companies that have strangled and put broadband in a choke hold.
Maximum Advertised Speed Available This map displays broadband availability by maximum advertised speed tier. The default view shows advertised download …
But it is is a self reporting solution. The Telcos have not been all that accurate in their reporting. If you travel often to rural and distant places in America you will know that.
Peruse the Benton Foundation reports and you will understand that reporting a lot better.
Rural, Distant , West and Probably Forgotten
I left a Supercomputing Conference in Portland and went just outside of Olympia , Washington to work with Native Americas.
The native fishermen had GPS, but the schools did not. More than that I stayed with one of my best friends in a lovely suburban home on a lake just outside of Olympia next . She only had dial-up. She is not poor, not black, and not living in an economically deprived area. She is not black either. Well to do.
She goes once a week to Olympia to download any messages that are not facile to dial-up. I was so frustrated when I stayed there for a week. I went from visualizations and modeling to AOL dial-up. I had to go to town to do my work.
What Can a Citizen Do?
Go proactive for the love of learning and the school community!
The Cloud is coming to every place soon…
Here is a report on the Map to Nowhere. It could be funny , if you were not one of the people without the connectivity.
You could organize a roundtable of businesses , educator and parents and post questions.
May 18, 2011 · Why is it so incredibly difficult to figure out how much of the nation has access to affordable broadband? For the past 15 years, the Federal Government has been trying to figure this out. This is a good read.
One can self report on the Technology map or/and one can go proactive. M-Lab is interactive. You could share this with the local school board, the press, and parents. They might help put your place on the map.M-Lab is international as well. They want to know about broadband for everyone.
Measurement Lab is an open platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. By enhancing Internet transparency, M-Lab helps sustain a healthy, …
Organize a meeting to share and to show the possibilities of the use of broadband in the community, in the schools, in health care The Technology Plan
from the US Dept of Education is very helpful with that effort and there is a downloadable presentation.
The broadband Map will make some people wake up and smell the lack of credible wiring access in their community.
. However, the stars seem to be finally aligning around the need for fundamental reform. Rural , distant and urban may get some help. You know it as E rate.
THANKS to the Supercomputing Conference, and their outreach for giving teachers who participate the possibility of making change and creating workforce readiness. We will create our own personal revolutions in the places where we work.