Reaching Community, Teaching Adults and Seniors

by Victor Sutton

In a look back many of us have discovered that a whole generation of people have been excluded from a personal use of technology. Everyone was not born digital or included in learning how to use technology for personal use.
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Computers for Seniors Kicks Off

BY VIC SUTTON, CHAIR, SWNA TASK FORCE ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & ADULT EDUCATION

Computer for Kids classes have been taking place at the James Creek computer lab for years now,using desktop computers. They started in 2007, as an initiative by Thelma Jones, who chairs the Youth Activities Task Force of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA).

photo of person typing on computer keyboard

Photo by Soumil Kumar on Pexels.com

The classes are taught by Gerald Brown and Jenelle Leonard, with support from Jones, Cheryl Moore, Bonnie Sutton and the author. Students learn keyboarding skills, and then some basic uses of the computers. If they attend regularly, they get to take the computers home when they graduate.

At one point Christine Spencer, president of the Resident Council at James Creek, observed “computers for kids is all very well, but what about computers for seniors?”

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

She had a point. The SWNA Task Force on Workforce Development and Adult Education took heed, and looked into how to organize computer training classes for seniors.
The Task Force is currently running two series’ of eight weekly classes. One is at Syphax Gardens, for seniors from Syphax and from James Creek, which started on April 16. The other is at River Park, for AARP members. This class started on May 3.
There are ten seniors in each class.Perry

The seniors’ classes are taught by Jenelle Leonard, with technical support from Perry Klein and Jamal Jones.

They commence with an introduction to the notebook computer—starting from basics, like how to plug it in and turn it on and off—and then going on to using Windows 10 and the basics of applications like Microsoft Word.

The classes have had terrific support. Rhonda Hamilton, President of the Syphax Gardens Resident Council, is hosting the classes at Syphax Gardens, and Betty Jean Tolbert Jones, President of the South- west AARP chapter, has helped to set up the classes at River Park.jamal

Klein, who chairs the SWNA Technology Task Force, received a donation of 50 notebook computers from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which Neo Morake has been refurbishing. Jamal Jones has been setting up the notebooks at both of the classes, bringing a hotspot so that participants can access the Internet. SWNA’s Computers for Seniors Class also received a 2019 Education Award from the Southwest Waterfront Chapter of the AARP in support of the classes.

After four classes the participants get to take the notebook computers home, to be able to practice what they have been learning, and after the full series of eight classes they get to keep them.

*The class at Syphax had a lively introduction to ways of accessing their favorite musicians, or videos on YouTube, one student however, accessed videos for making chocolate cake. She liked seeing other people making her favorite dessert. At the end of the class , everyone was still engaged in exploring YouTube for whatever purpose they desired. All lamented that there was only one more class to go.

Cooking Up STEAM, by Bites and Bytes,YUM!

Delicious Doings in the Classroom or After School Program!!

Mucca - Learning about the Cow and Milk

Hands on Learning

Many of us have had a fascinating whirl on the Internet learning about foods,recipes and ways to involve the joy of cooking, or eating.

I like this site.   http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/  

You can discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking. No need for package services to deliver ideas to you.

anise aroma art bazaar

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It has in the “Science of Cooking”, sections on candy, bread, eggs, pickles , meat, and seasonings.

cream with jelly on top

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

CANDY

BREAD

Person Holding Egg

EGGS

PICKLES

Variety of meat products including ham and sausages

MEAT

The series of live Webcasts explores the science and culture of cooking. The guests include noted chefs, food chemists, and nutritionists, and they take field trips to investigate famous kitchens and farms!

 

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National Geographic taught us how to think about the way in which foods traveled to our world. There used to be a lesson on a Chocolate Bar. ( How it Becomes a Chocolate Bar_)

Here is that lesson. http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/documents/Worldinacandybar.pdf

Here is a story of chocolate, a kind of story map. http://www.magnumicecream.com/us/en/the-history-of-chocolate.html

                              INVOLVING FAMILIES , and COMMUNITY

I like to get recipes from the class, and sometimes I would have a potluck dinner and parents and I would make a class cookbook. Each student brings in a special family recipe and when compiled together, you have a class cookbook.  I was lucky to have parents who wanted to be a part of helping to teach the Accidental Science of Cooking.

My classes were multicultural. My school had grants that were given to teachers for classroom work. The county also funded projects. With the funding our class got utensils, pots and pans , a two burner hotplate ,and a convection oven. Cooking was gently inserted into the curriculum. STEM, STEAM, whatever.

National Geographic has this :

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/matter-taste-wbt/

 

There was also a Kidsnetwork  NGKN unit on Nutrition and “What are We Eating”.

A great starting point. 

Planet Food

The Planet Food interactive aggregates the contents of your meal to generate a map showing the global footprint your plate makes before it even gets to your plate, and puts you in charge of the world wide journey a bar of chocolate will take before it gets to you.

PLANET FOOD

Welcome to Planet Food. Win lots of virtual badges by completing challenges that get you thinking about where food comes from, and how it gets to your table.

Eat: The Story of Food

Documenting dinners around the world. 

These days, documenting our dinners for the Internet is a universal pastime: sharing your food means that you don’t dig into your plate until you’ve taken a picture of it with your phone and posted it to your social networks. National Geographic gives us photos from around the world.

It is easy on the Internet to look at pictures of food.  Families , schools and communities often come together to explore, examine, and eat food.

 

There are these wonderful areas to explore and tailor to your programs

My favorite is the accidental science of cooking 

The program is from the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking.

 

At the Department of Educations Game Expo I found Chef KOOCHOOLOO

 

After School Programs

Chef Koochooloo’s after school program blends humanity’s oldest means of socialization—cooking and eating together—with its most modern lessons. Their master chefs lead classes leveraging  iPad applications, framed around recipes from a specific country or culture. As they prepare food together, kids learn about cooking-related math and science skills, and social-responsibility. Additionally, we emphasize healthy cooking techniques. Most after school sessions are one hour long, unless the school requests a two hour program. Their teachers have been trained in food safety and culinary arts. Each classroom experience includes a food science experiment, and a fun unique geography lesson.

Their mission is to excite kids by discovering the world through healthy, collaborative cooking classes, enriched with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics learning). Their vision, to improve the health, happiness and education of children worldwide, through dynamic curriculum and engaging gamified technology.

There is an APP for that. Chef KooChooloo !!

 

  Go Graphic, Story Map

A fun thing to do is to have students map how a food got to America, building a story map from ESRI. Here is where to start.

MAKE A STORY MAP

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

                                                            USING ESRI TOOLS

Start telling stories here. https://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/my-stories/

Some outcomes that I had were unexpected. Families helped my class to build a classroom garden. There were grants that we found , one parent turned over the earth and started us growing. I had quick learning to do.pexels-photo-704818.jpeg

 

Another small miracle is that we began to grow herbs. A parent brought us plants which we put in the school window. Francesco De Baggio, shared with the class how to raise herbs in the classroom windows.

That was a big hit. I had never used fresh herbs. Not being Italian, I did not know that much about pasta either. It was a fun learning journey.

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You need a grant?https://www.nationalgeographic.org/grants/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigenous People’s Curriculum Day and Teach-In

 

 

 

 

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It is almost the month and day when people celebrate Columbus Day. The D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice a Project of Teaching for Change ,offered a workshop that has resources that you can use.

We engaged with curriculum and strategies for teaching students about Indigenous People’s history and life today.

You can explore the collections and learn about the features of the  museum here.

 I chose to attend this topic, first.

Trail of Tears

                                    What Does it mean to Remove a People?

We learned about the US Government’s American Indian removal policies of the 19th century and their lasting  effects on Native nations. We used Native Knowledge 360 in a guided lesson using documents. map, and multimedia resources.

The case study is here.

                  Potawatomi Nation Case Study

How did members of the Potawatomi Nation, who originally lived in Michigan, end up living in Oklahoma? Sources allow you to further investigate this story of American Indian removal. There is an online  treaty, map, document , quotes, and an object to study and think about this case. You  don’t have to use technology to explore this but it is easier. You can request that the paper copies be mailed to you.

We used both paper and the online resources so the attending teachers could explore and examine both ways of teaching the lesson.

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The real history of the Americas has been lost by trivialization and by being omitted from the textbooks.

We have new tools to teach with and ways to access information. We have groups who want to tell the real story of the Indigenous . Who are the Indigenous ? Wikipedia says”Indigenous peoples, also known as first peoples, aboriginal peoples or native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original inhabitants of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. Groups are usually described as indigenous when they maintain traditions or other aspects of an early culture that is associated with a given region. Not all indigenous people share this characteristic, usually having adopted substantial elements of a colonising culture, such as dress, religion or language. Indigenous peoples may be settled in a given region (sedentary) or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but they are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate  zone and continent  of the world.[1][2]

 

https://mashable.com/article/indigenous-map-america/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link#V0V5kYZOYaqG

To teach about the Indigenous people of the Americas, we go to the National Museum of the American Indian. Or we learn with the people, visiting and listening to their stories.

To learn from the Smithsonian you can just log into the site. There are many resources.

                                     CARETAKERS OF THE EARTH

My second workshop of the eight offered was “Caretakers of the Earth: Continuin the Legacy in Elementary Classrooms.

We created a colorful collage book showing the life of the American Shad fish and the importance of shad to inland waterways and to local Native peoples such as the Pamunkey and Mattaponi. This activity provided the opportunity for showing students how we can each take action to improve our environment

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The newest one is the 360 site using it as a tool. Native Knowledge http://nmai.si.edu/nk360/, Here are new perspectives on Native Americans. From the site,

                        About Native Knowledge 360°

Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Most Americans have only been exposed to part of the story, as told from a single perspective through the lenses of popular media and textbooks. NK360° provides educational materials and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. NK360° challenges common assumptions about Native people—their cultures, their roles in United States and world history, and their contributions to the arts, sciences, and literature. NK360° offers a view that includes not only the past but also the richness and vibrancy of Native peoples and cultures today.

 

Lessons & Resources are here. 

Explore featured educational resources, below, or search all educational resources using the search tool. Many of these resources are also available in print. Use the teaching materials order formto order print versions.

The museum and the DC Area Educators for Social Justice sponsored this event.

Plains Nations' pipes and pipe bags

The museum offers professional development for educators.
history, cultures, and contemporary lives. It is a powerful tool.

                               The Campaign to Abolish Columbus Day

              https://www.zinnedproject.org/campaigns/abolish-columbus-day

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (Teaching Guide) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

It is time to stop celebrating the crimes of Columbus and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who demand an end to Columbus Day. Instead of glorifying a person who enslaved and murdered people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule, we seek to honor these communities demanding sovereignty, recognition, and rights. We encourage schools to petition their administration and for communities to introduce legislation to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Below we provide information and resources to join the campaign to Abolish Columbus Day.

Resources here Abolish Columbus Day Packetimg_0797

Toward Responsiility: Social Studies Education that Respects and Affirms Indigenous Peoples and Nations. HERE  A Position Statement of National Council for the Social Studies
Approved March 2018

 Commit to responsible representations. The rampant misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the media and popular culture contributes to continued settler colonization and racism toward Indigenous Peoples . Social studies education specifically needs to address how the presence of stereotypes in school settings  ( e.g.Native mascots), teaching materials ( e.g. Hollywood movies) and the wearing of costumes during the school  day ( e.g. Halloween parties, Thanksgiving lessons)reinforce overgeneralization and false understandings of Indigenous peoples. Such misrepresentations harm Indigenous peoples. Such misrepresentations harm Indigenous students,  negatively impacting their self-esteem, while at the same time giving non-Indigenous students a “psychological boost” and false sense of superiority. Responsible representation first requires that educators that educators counter racist stereotypes , misrepresentations and caricatures of Indigenous lief. ( e.g. that all Indigenous people live in tipis or go to pow wows, that Native communities are “stage/uncivilized” or “lazy). Following this, educators must also emphasize the diversity of of Indigenous peoples and nations, utilize diverse representations of Indigenous life ( e.g. Indigenous leaders, athletes, authors, artists) , use specific names of Indigenous People and Nations ( e.g. Indigenous leaders, Navajo or Dine: Iroquis or Haudenosaunee Confederace : Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi) and focus on the contemporary people and issues.

Teach Current events and movements. The growing movement by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and hundreds of other Indigenous Nations to protect their homelands and resources from destruction presents teachers an opportunity to introduce students to lessons based on the environment, government, history, economic, cultural studies and civics.

 

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#iLRN2018 Immersive Learning Research Network Conference in Montana

iLRN

We develop & support a community of educators, scholars, and practitioners dedicated toward research in & on digitally-enhanced immersive learning environments.

Global Network
You will have to check our twitter feed for individual presentations This was not a vendor driven conference but a thought driven conference with participants from all over the world with several very extensive tracks. It was small enough that you got to meet people and to have great conversations with them,
There was a pre-conference event to Flathead Lake, and to Glacier National Park.
Those of us who love ESRI were delighted to learn about the support and interest in the Flathead Lake. Do you know about the threat of Zebra Mussels.?
We learned first hand in an environmental discussion about invasive species
This is one of the tracks and a paper

Flathead Lake is a large natural lake in northwest Montana, and is the largest natural freshwater lake by surface area that is west of the source of the Mississippi River in the contiguous United States. en.wikipedia.org

  • Location: Lake / Flathead counties, Montana, US
  • Area: 510.23 km²
  • Length: 43935.09 m
  • Width: 24944.832
  • Outflow:Flathead River
  • Inflow:Flathead River

We learned that the Montana Geographic Alliance had spent time at Flathead Lake.

Here is our hostess.

 

We reviewed the biological history of Flathead Lake.

A current concern is the Zebra Mussel. It is an invasive species in the US.

What problems can they cause?

Zebra mussels can:

  •   clog irrigation intakes and other pipes,
  •   attach to boat motors and boat hulls, reducing performance and efficiency,
  • attach to rocks, swim rafts and ladders where swimmers can cut their feet on the mussel shells,
  •  attach to and smother native mussels, and
  •  eat tiny food particles that they filter out of the water, which can reduce available food for larval fish and other animals, and cause more aquatic vegetation to grow as a result of increased water clarity. A lively discussion was of interest to all.

Then we went to Glacier National Park. We had lunch by the Lake and we chose one of

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If you go there.

Visitors to Glacier National Park will be treated to all kinds of amazing scenery, from jagged peaks to mirror lakes to wide blue skies. This scenery can be enjoyed on a drive, from a boat, during a hike, or while sitting on the porch at one of the park’s historic lodges. Because Glacier National Park preserves a convergence of different ecosystems, varying in moisture and elevation, the views are diverse and ever changing.

Glacier National Park is part of Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1995. The World Heritage Site designation recognizes places that are considered natural or cultural treasures of the entire planet.

There are so many things to see and do in Glacier National Park, you’ll want to visit more than once. Your first visit will assuredly leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Here are some of the most popular things to do in Glacier National Park.

  • 01 of 08
    Road in Many Glacier Valley

     

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    The Going-to-the-Sun Road runs east-west through Glacier National Park, crossing the Continental Divide at 6,646-foot Logan Pass. Along the way, it passes through some truly amazing scenery, from glacier-carved lakes and valleys to rocky peaks and snow-topped mountains. There are scenic turnouts, hikes, waterfalls, and views galore. The Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is 50 miles long, runs from the western park entrance at West Glacier to the eastern entrance at St. Mary.

    We had dinner at a place near the lake, close to Missoula and we prepared for the first day of the actual conference. This was a pre-conference trip.

    We put the Geo in the conference with https://www.esri.com/en-us/about/about-esri

     

     

 

America’s Schools are Profoundly Unequal! A Whole lot of Education Information

 

15421006_10154621210371327_254228138370067503_nHave you seen?

The report on Unequal Schools from the Civil Rights Commission

“The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation’s public schools.”

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday’s report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America’s schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren’t getting the resources they say they need.

The 150-page report, titled “Public Education Funding Inequity: In An Era Of Increasing Concentration Of Poverty and Resegregation,” reads like a footnoted walking tour through the many ways America’s education system fails vulnerable students — beginning with neighborhood schools that remain deeply segregated and continuing into classrooms where too many students lack access to skilled teachers, rigorous courses and equitable school funding.

“This report excavates the enduring truism that American public schooling is, and has been, profoundly unequal in the opportunity delivered to students, the dollars spent to educate students, and the determinations of which students are educated together,” writes the commission’s chair, Catherine Lhamon.

History lesson

The first two-thirds of the commission’s report is essentially a history lesson on the decades-old fight over equitable school funding, so we’ll start there, too. The fight arguably began in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education and the Supreme Court’s decision that “separate but equal” schools for black and white students were anything but equal.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson waded into the debate, arguing that the federal government should send money to school districts that serve low-income families. Congress agreed, creating Title I. In the 2014-15 school year, states received more than $14 billion in Title I money.

To this day, though, states are all over the map when it comes to how equitably they spend their own money in schools. The problem was baked into the system from the beginning, with local property taxes being an important driver of both school funding and of inequities in school funding.

“This is America,” writes Karen Narasaki, a member of the commission. “Every child deserves a quality education that does not depend on their ZIP code.”

To make that happen — many states now use state tax revenue to try to even out those local imbalances, some more effectively than others.

We are a  ‘Nation of Opportunity, and the present time points us toward the future.

There are groups that hope to change the way we learn by mentoring, by sharing, by participatory involvement at national, regional and local levels. School boards are often the passport to change. The National Science Foundation funds innovation and research.

Communities within groups like ISTE and CoSN help to drive change.They publish guides like

No Fear Coding

Computational Thinking Across the K-5 Curriculum

he people most affected by the inequality may not be a member or these groups trying to help them.

CoSN the Consortium for School Networking has action for members and reports such as this as well. AccessibilityToolkit.  

CoSn also publishes the Horizon Report on an annual basis.

NMC Horizon Report 

2017 Higher Education Edition

The NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). This 14th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are placed directly in the context of their likely impact on the core missions of universities and colleges. The three key sections of this report constitute a reference and straightforward technology-planning guide for educators, higher education leaders, administrators, policymakers, and technologists. It is our hope that this research will help to inform the choices that institutions are making about technology to improve, support, or extend teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education across the globe. All of the topics were selected by an expert panel that represented a range of backgrounds and perspectives. View the work that produced the report on the official project wiki.
CIRCL  takes us into the future using Cyberlearning.

New to Cyberlearning? Get started here.

New technologies change what and how people learn. Informed by learning science, cyberlearning is the use of new technology to create effective new learning experiences that were never possible or practical before. The cyberlearning movement advances learning of important content by:

  • Applying scientific insights about how people learn
  • Leveraging emerging technologies
  • Designing transformative learning activities
  • Engaging teachers and other practitioners
  • Measuring deeper learning outcomes
  • Emphasizing continuous improvement

 
2018?Horizon Report Update 2018

I am a pioneer in technology and use these sites to keep up. What do you and your communities use?

                                              What about ACCESS?

While the nation continues to make progress in broadband deployment, many Americans still lack access to advanced, high-quality voice, data, graphics and video offerings, especially in rural areas and on Tribal lands, according to the 2016 Broadband Progress Report adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” and to take “immediate action” if it is not.  Congress defined advanced telecommunications capability as “high-quality” capability that allow users to “originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video” services.

In the Report, the Commission determines that advanced telecommunications requires access to both fixed and mobile broadband services because more Americans use mobile services and devices to access the Internet for activities like navigation, communicating with family and friends and on social media, and receiving timely news updates away from home.  The Commission also retains the existing speed benchmark of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload (25 Mbps/3 Mbps) for fixed services, but finds that the current record is insufficient to set an appropriate speed benchmark for mobile service.

While the Commission finds that it is reasonable to apply the same speed benchmarks to all fixed services, including fixed terrestrial and fixed satellite broadband service, the Commission continues to observe different technical capabilities and adoption patterns between fixed terrestrial and fixed satellite service.  Because no fixed satellite broadband service meets the 25 Mbps/3Mbps speed threshold as of the reporting period, the Report does not address the question of whether fixed satellite broadband services meeting this speed threshold would be considered to provide advanced telecommunications capability.

Significant progress in broadband deployment has been made, due in part to the Commission’s action to support broadband such as through its Universal Service programs. However, the Commission finds that these advances are not enough to ensure that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way.

Key findings include the following:

  • 10 percent of all Americans (34 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service.
  • 39 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps.
    • By contrast, only 4 percent of urban Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.
    • The availability of fixed terrestrial services in rural America continues to lag behind urban America at all speeds:  20 percent lack access even to service at 4 Mbps/1 Mbps, down only 1 percent from 2011, and 31 percent lack access to 10 Mbps/1 Mbps, down only 4 percent from 2011.
  • 41 percent of Americans living on Tribal lands (1.6 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband
    • 68 percent living in rural areas of Tribal lands (1.3 million people) lack access.
  • 66 percent of Americans living in U.S. territories (2.6 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.
    • 98 percent of those living in rural territorial areas (1.1 million people) lack access.
  • Americans living in rural and urban areas adopt broadband at similar rates where 25 Mbps/ 3 Mbps service is available, 28 percent in rural areas and 30 percent in urban areas.
  • While an increasing number of schools have high-speed connections, approximately 41 percent of schools, representing 47 percent of the nation’s students, lack the connectivity to meet the Commission’s short-term goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff.

This Report concludes that more work needs to be done by the private and public sectors to expand robust broadband to all Americans in a timely way.  The FCC will continue working to accelerate broadband deployment and to remove barriers to infrastructure investment, in part by direct subsidies, and in part by identifying and helping to reduce potential obstacles to deployment, competition, and adop

What about the use of the Internet in Rural Areas?

President Donald J. Trump signed on Monday two orders aimed at improving internet speeds in some of the country’s hardest-to-connect areas, a move he described as “the first step to expand access to broadband internet in rural America.”

The first executive order aims to make it easier for internet service providers to locate broadband infrastructure on federal land and buildings in rural parts of the country. The order notes that one of the consequences of slow, expensive internet service is that it hinders schools’ ability to “enrich student learning with digital tools.”

I found these items after a long search. Many of these articles are lost to parents, communities and interested advocates. The news is full of other things. Maybe these groups have to advocate for education as the press does not usually share important information, like the Horizon Report, and ISTE Standards.

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Parents and communities often have their own definition of what works in education and they may not be up to date on the reality of change within education. This report from the Civil Rights Commission probably is not seen by those without access to computers and technology.

An illustration picture shows projection of binary code on man holding aptop computer in Warsaw

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

What do you know about Schools and the use of technology?What you know might be gated by the school or community in which you live and learn.

This is a briefing that should be shared by schools, parents, communities and school boards. Education-Inequity.pdf.

internet-of-things

There are a lot of people who do not have a problem with screen time. They have little access to technology. A new group is looking to find a way to use CRA funding to help the communities most impacted by lack of connectivity.

There are a lot of people who have a screen or two, but who do not use the technology effectively.

Sometimes there are programs funded within a community by groups trying to erase the digital divide.  HUD has a program that is supposed to help make the change. Connect Home.  What might be a group within your community that is trying to solve the problem?

Connect Home is a public-private collaboration to narrow the digital divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing.

Connect Home creates a platform for community leaders, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private industry to join together and produce locally-tailored solutions for narrowing the digital divide. Through these stakeholders’ specific commitments to provide free or low-cost broadband access, devices, and digital literacy training, Connect Home extends affordable access to low-income families, ensuring that high-speed Internet follows our children from their classrooms back to their homes.

                                     How Connected is Your Community?

Here is a map to check your connectivity.

How are You Connected? ACCESS MAP

TECHNOLOGY HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD

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STEM? There are free resources at Concord.org.

Groundbreaking and deeply digital learning
In recent months the use of technology has helped us to see disasters and to use big data to visualize.

This is an ESRI Story map of a weather event in the US.

Does your educational community take advantage of free resources, mentoring to schools and teachers in the ESRI Space?

Education ResourcesESRI Teacher Resources https://www.esri.com/en-us/industries/education/schools/educator-support
Hurricane-Irma-1054595

Kids in a Network Learning Science, Geography, GIS, Computational Thinking and all of that Jazz ..it worked!!

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Many people embrace what is called STEM at this time. There was SMET before there was STEM.

There was a time when science was pushed aside and people who dared to advocate it were not in the right political space. We suffered but continued the practice of good teaching.

We had our champions, and one of them was Dr. Robert Tinker of Concord.org who got great funding for a number of revolutionary programs and projects and many of them were for K -12.

His projects were much needed to change teaching and learning .

More alphabet soup.

You may ask what is TERC?

For more than fifty years, TERC  introduced millions of students throughout the United States to the exciting and rewarding worlds of math and science learning. Led by a group of experienced, forward-thinking math and science professionals, TERC is an independent, research-based organization dedicated to engaging and inspiring all students through stimulating curricula and programs designed to develop the knowledge and skills they need to ask questions, solve problems, and expand their opportunities.

 

What is really important is that there was extensive broadening engagement and the vision that TERC and Robert Tinker had was an immersive imagining of a future in which learners from diverse communities engaged in creative, rigorous, and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives—a future where teachers and students alike are members of vibrant communities where questioning, problem solving, and experimentation are commonplace.

This ideational scaffolding worked.

One of the projects was the NGS Kids Network , standards-based, online science curriculum that allowed students from around the world to investigate topics and share their findings.

Students explored real-world subjects by doing exactly what scientists do: conducting experiments, analyzing data, and sharing results with peers.

You will remember the climate march and the scientists march. With Bob Tinker we marched with our fingers and minds exploring real world science and the ideas are still being used and referenced.

There are pieces of this work that are still relevant. There was an extensive set of resources for teachers at each topic.

You can explore the Unit TRASH here.

You can explore the topic “What’s in Our Water?” here.

Here is the background for water. 

You can explore SOLAR ENERGY here. It has been updated.

HISTORY

A National Geographic Summer Institute was where Concord.org was introduced to me. I believe I met Dr. Tinker however, at the NSTA conference. or at the George Lucas Educational Foundation in a round table discussion.  There we learned about probes. The way we worked was revolutionary in science , and we true pioneers got some push back. We had Dr. Tinker as a resource and the information was free. The promise of the Internet for all has never happened , but if you could get on the Information Highway, well, Concord was there for you.

 

 

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If you ever taught a National Geographic Kidsnetwork Program and did it well ,you know that it changed the face of teaching and learning. Here is a research report that explains the way in which it worked.

The National Geographic Kids Network

REFERENCE: TERC. (1990). The National Geographic Kids Network: Year 4 Final Annual Report. Cambridge, MA: Author.

In conjunction with the National Geographic Society, TERC created The National Geographic Kids Network as a resource for improving elementary science and geography instruction in classrooms around the world. Since its inception in 1986, more than a quarter of a million students in over 7,500 classrooms had then used the network to collaborate on science and geography projects ranging from the study of solar energy to acid rain.( old data)

The primary goal of the National Geographic Kids Network was to promote science and discovery in elementary classrooms by combining hands-on science, geography, and computer technologies with telecommunications activities.

GIS 1The topics were the beginning of real science study for many students.


The National Geographic Kids Network includes seven 8-week curriculum units focusing on “increasing the time spent on inquiry-oriented, hands-on science instruction, strengthening science process and data analysis skills, raising public awareness of the value and feasibility of appropriate science instruction, and publishing and widely disseminating curricular materials that further these goals.” While students research, collect, analyze, and share data with their peers they also problem solve and collaborate with students at other schools. In addition, the network also features a scientist who works with students electronically to evaluate their data, make comments, and offer suggestions. The seven 8-week units include:

  • Hello!  This was a special introductory unit that let us learn how to use project based learning and collaborate with other classes.
  • Solar Energy
  • Acid Rain
  • What Are We Eating?
  • What’s in Our Water?
  • Too Much Trash?
  • Weather in Action

The beginning unit was very special.

Students and teachers and community collaborated and shared , giving information, history, geography and data about where they lived. They got mail. This was a personalized way  , it was a pre-social media of talking with and learning with students in other parts of the world.

How excited my students were to link with a school in Moscow, Russia, or to figure out what animals were pets in some places of the world that we considered pests.

 

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For those of us who used the units , the task of classroom management was quite different from that faced by teachers employing the traditional instructional methods of lecture, discussion, and seat work. Geography was a huge factor in the work. Sometimes there was application of the arts, and yes, there was purposeful reading and writing. The face of the working classroom was changed. Extensive resources were shared with teachers.

Students were involved in an inquiry process and reported back to a scientist who helped them analyze their data . There were geographical teams of students sharing information , and collecting data and sometimes telling their stories. I was a teacher of the Gifted, but I was able to use technology to transition into being a classroom teacher for all. Parents and community members were excited about meaningful  uses of technology.

With NGS Kidsnetwork, students spend the majority of their time working on their own or in small groups collecting and doing research.

Teachers often spend their time participating in projects as peers , with community interface of experts, parents helping with the data.

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Reaching the Hidden Audiences and Missing in Technology ( What can we do for Broader Engagement?)

There are so many “hidden audiences” . There are great “hidden mentors “who try to create the possibilities that were put forth when technology was beginning in the US for our citizens.There are some outreach groups that furnish low cost technologies, but communities do not always know how to embrace and take advantage of these opportunities.

There are organizations and institutions trying to fill the gap, to share information and to provide mentoring. Visual examples of minorities such as Mila Fuller in ISTE also show that when the resources and initiatives are given to professionals, they thrive and can provide leadership.ISTE

Some very positive examples of people sharing ideas are in Ed Tech,and there are many teacher/technology leaders.

Sadly , there is a digital divide in teachers with the most need,being able to be involved with some of the groups, so the groups  have done extensive online outreach to try to bridge the gap. ESRI has major online initiatives and free software for teachers and schools.

We have not met the goals of the “Super Information Highway” .

Many have not even achieved access and now the FCC has changed its mind about assisting with the Lifelong Initiative. I have been working in support of community technology. Dr. Kevin Clark’s work and the early work of the George Lucas Education Society are there to connect with and to give examples.

Some work from their center.

“Following the belief that diversity breeds innovation in scientific endeavors, there is a national push for more diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in order to maintain national economic competitiveness. Currently, STEM-related employment is only 28% non-White; however, greater efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities should increase this figure. Amidst the attention given to supporting “leaky pipelines,” less emphasis has been placed on mitigating challenges associated with bringing diverse cultures together. This article presents a framework for supporting underrepresented minorities in building STEM-relevant skills and enhancing their ability to collaborate with peers different from themselves.”

People no longer use the term as those who are online may have forgotten that there are tribal, rural, distant,poor and urban populations who are not enjoying the uses of technology.

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I am grateful for the leadership of those people who can show that we who are minorities can excel and give examples of achievement that we are ” A Nation of Opportunity”.

Long ago , when technology first entered the educational stage many of us who were making decisions about the way that technology would be used shared some ideas.

We were a diverse group of people, both Republican and Democratic, and we had these goals.

  1. By providing people of all ages with opportunities for lifelong learning and workplace skills development, the “Information Superhighway”should enhance each individual’s ability to create and share knowledge and to participate in electronic commerce.

We had hoped as we stated :

By the year 2000, all communities and people should have convenient access to information and learning resources available through the Information Superhighway, in their schools, colleges, universities, libraries and other community-oriented institutions.

  • 14883499_10154516710621327_6228387540186774205_oIt is way past the year 2000. If you look around in your community, who is online and who is not? Who is meaningfully on line ? Who is coding, who is keyboarding while we in technology have moved on to new ways of working and new technologies.

New technologies change what and how people learn. Informed by learning science, cyber-learning is the use of new technology to create effective new learning experiences that were never possible or practical before. The cyberlearning movement advances learning of important content by:

Applying scientific insights about how people learn
Leveraging emerging technologies
Designing transformative learning activities
Engaging teachers and other practitioners
Measuring deeper learning outcomes
Emphasizing continuous improvement

The Center for Cyberlearning enables ongoing learning through cooperation, broadening engagement and examples of practices .

Many are still waiting for the initial learning and scaffolding and it seems that the people with the most needs are being left behind. There is a way that teachers can embrace the new learning, though that may not give them the technology,the practice and the skills they need.

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3. Education, training and lifelong learning resources , important parts of the Information Superhighway, should be of world-class quality and the diversity of these resources should be broad enough to meet the full spectrum of society’s interests.

4. Individuals and their communities should be empowered to help shape the evolution of the Information Superhighway and help to decide how information resources best meet their learning needs.

IMG_0078The empowerment of the groups that are being left behind are addressed by leadership initiatives, such as that lead by Dr. Paul Resta and Dr. Robert McLaughlin. http://www.digitalequity.us/index.html

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Their Goals:
Help high poverty communities mobilize for sustained systemic digital equity action.
Help states to mobilize sustained digital equity initiatives.
Infuse digital equity issues and strategies into educator preparation.
Provide research and evaluation to identify best practices in digital equity that lead to educational and economic impacts.
Provide technical assistance to digital equity resource providers.
Advise digital equity investors on why and how to design efforts that are systemic so they have genuine impacts on educational and economic opportunity.

There are also pointed initiatives in STEM that seem to be unknown in many rural, distant, urban, tribal and needy communities. The reason that many cannot take advantage of opportunities is that the computers they need are also needed to complete testing in the schools.

After school does not have that problem, but they also sometimes do not have the time with participants to create meaningful uses of technology. I was so excited to see that Rafranz Davis was able to explore this technology with her students. I am learning hard lessons in after school.

Funding is? well a problem.

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The children that I work with in the shadow of the capital can tell me that they play games on the computer but, can’t name the games. Many of the older students superficially use the Internet.. They use their phones, but not necessarily for the purposes that we may want. We don’t get a change to talk meaningfully about Cyber-bullying  and online safety.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton