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.

surface

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.

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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