Too Much Tech? Really ? Got Tech??? Sort Of…

Girls learn ... we can do technology, science and math with good teachers.

There was a New York Times article that spoke of too much tech in children’s life.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/opinion/can-students-have-too-much-tech.html
It requires a careful reading. There are some very good points in the article but what is too much tech?
What is not spoken of is too little training by teachers who use what technology is available for them to use in the schools.What is not shared is that the IT person sometimes becomes just another administrator instead of a helping hand. Another layer of administration in some schools.

Many people have never achieve access, gotten adequate technology, and /or learned to integrate technology, never mind flipping the classroom.

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

This is from a supercomputing model at TACC

If you think you can compete with visual media. think again

GOT THIS TECH?

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Many schools do not teach geography. The resources of National Geography are vast and that means content. It’s free.There are alliances, there are projects like BioBlitz, and interactive mapping.

OK Glass!!

OK Glass!!

MapMaker Interactive

http://mapmaker.education.nationalgeographic.com/?ar_a=1&b=1&ls=000000000000

An interactive mapping experience with rich layers of information on the physical Earth, oceans, culture, and more.

http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1

GOT SCIENCE ON A SPHERE?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Esrl4_072009.jpg

Have You Got This Tech? Cyberlearning?

The NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase: Improving Science, Math, Engineering Computer Science, and Technology K-12 showcases cutting-edge NSF-funded work to improve teaching and learning, and will allow colleagues affiliated with MSPnet, CADRE, CIRCL, CAISE, STELAR, CS10Kcommunity, and ARC to view, discuss, and comment on each others’ work.

It will also allow each project to disseminate their work to the public at large, helping NSF achieve its goal of broad dissemination of innovative work. All videos and discussions will be archived for future access.

The 2015 Teacher and Learning Video Showcase is available from the
http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com

112 (3-minute) videos from innovative project work conducted by researchers in multiple NSF programs.
http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com
Over 260 presenters and co-presenters have submitted 112 videos

Do You Know Supercomputing? Most teachers don’t..Some have resources that have been developed for their use in Cyberlearning and in various programs from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

GOT SUPERCOMPUTING? Visualization and Modeling? Big Data?

IMG_0078

Some of us were lucky enough to be a part of the Christa McAuliffe Institute, i.e. there were two groups of us who worked together through the NEA. We seized the ideas of minority technology, and attempted to share what we knew about technology teacher to teacher and region to region. We were minority, male and mostly female and we did workshops and initiatives all over the USA.

The five first chosen were called Christa McAuliffe Educators and we were trained, given professional development with the latest of tools and the best of professors over many months.( Chris Dede and Seymour Papert. and there were others).Yvonne Andres shared Fred Mail, and we also learned from NASA and the National Center for Supercomputing. It was radical at the time.
We did some special programs with the NSF and learned about their outreach as well.

Being involved in transformational education through NASA

We never mentioned the word Supercomputing, we just did it.

At the time there were many NASA programs . We had people who demonstrated astronomy from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Young Astronaut Program.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a nonprofit educational organization with its headquarters in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

The organization offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students around the world. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being.http://www.challenger.org

There was also Space Camp . If you look at the information in the link even back then there was awesome tech.

Space Camp was the brainchild of rocket scientist, Dr. Wernher von Braun. Von Braun led propulsion activities that launched the Apollo-era U.S. manned space program and envisioned an aggressive schedule for America’s space-bound pioneers. Von Braun, then director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, reasoned there should be an experience for young people who were excited about space. Under the guidance of Edward O. Buckbee, the first director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Space Camp was born.

Camps are available for fourth grade through high school-age students. Additional programs are offered for trainees who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing and those who have other special needs. Space Camp programs are also available for adults, educators, corporate groups and families. Family programs may include children as young as seven years old. I can’t really list all of the programs then or now. Space Centers helped us to find all of the projects that were available. Some teachers did Moonbase America, and others did project based NASA projects. We learned about raising food in space, basil, tomatoes, and thinking about ways to raise tilapia.

Being a Science Teacher with Outside Resources.. Try these NASA resources !!
We created an institute at Stanford where we invited teachers who applied to share their technology. We also presented our special projects. It was a sharing of the best of the best. We created more ways in which to do STEM which was called at the time SMET.

That is one level of technology. Have you considered that there was a synergy of space and Star Wars? The movie propelled a lot to be interested in Science Fiction. The force of interest drove many students to robotics.

Many Children Have Parents to Share New Ways of Learning with Them

This is from Family Days at AAAS.

George Lucas also pioneered Edutopia.Technology Integration examples were shared to help us all
explore new tools and strategies for empowering students to fully participate in a connected, techology-rich society. But this is the problem. At the time we talked of the digital divide. That was before a lot of people had access, tools, training, and/or permission to use technology in schools.

There was not BYOT Bring your own technology , and even with the tools we had there was a content divide. I know that in rural, distant , urban and some tribal areas we have a bigger divide.

Some people are not at the level that we think. There is a lot of tech, but it is not in all schools.

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Austin the Destination, Integrating Computational Thinking Into K-12, Sharing Supercomputing Resources and Education

Austin, Texas

Theme: Teaching in Exponential Times! K-12 to Teragrid  and the Future of Supercomputing!XSEDE

In case you are advanced .. go to https://www.xsede.org/education-outreach-blog

We Raise the Bar for K-12 and Preservice Candidates

Years ago, members of the Supercomputing Conference and the Teragrid allowed us as teachers  to create a window of interest into SC and computational thinking for the SITE members. We had involvement from Henry Neeman and Diane Baxter over the years and support to become a part of the SITE community and to do workshops over several years. We have had incredible support and exposure to the educational activities including the work of Shodor.org  and the resources at that site and their workshops.We learned from the Broadening Engagement community how to share the message.

We learned at the SC Education conference and then disseminated lessons and practices. Ray Rose, ManoTalaiver, Vic Sutton, and I have been quietly integrating the computational sciences and HPC into K-12 practices. Mano works in rural areas to bring the dreams of education into reality with NSF funding. Ray is now a college instructor in technology at an HBCU in Austin. Vic and I are working with a K-12 School, Tracy Learning Center to infuse computational thinking into the curriculum. Bob Plants is the researcher in our group and he has a STEM initiative in Mississippi. He shares resources on line as outreach to teachers too.

Dr. Paul Resta is about Broadening Engagement

Change takes a Visionary!

One of my best friends is Dr. Paul Resta who put ideas of education into reality. We were so proud of his accomplishments and his center that we planned a tour for participants at SITE, Austin. The resources are a great way to create change in the learning landscape. Dr. Resta is a leader in teacher education nationally and internationally. He has worked with tribal groups in the Four Corners Project and works Internationally in education as well.

Middle School

East Austin Academy College Prep
 – This middle school is designed to help low-income minority inner city students prepare for college and success in the future. All students participate in an innovate program known as Globaloria. Globaloria is a social network for learning, in which they learn to create educational web-games for social change. East Austin College Prep Academy is the first charter school to integrate the Globaloria network and curriculum as a school-wide teaching and learning opportunity, and offers required daily curriculum to all students starting at 6th grade.

Project on Games and Workforce Readiness. Globaloria.org

Idit Harel Caperton works in areas of need with her Globaloria project. Ray, Vic and I also encouraged her to share her project, Globaloria.org with the SITE membership. We , Ray, Vic and I also were involved with the group in training and research as learners in professional development.

We have come of age. Look at the tours and the participants of SITE who were involved in thinking , learning, planning, and being involved in a special resource for educators at UT. The university of Texas.

Highlights

Manor New Tech High School (NTHS) This high school is a technology-rich learning environment using a constructivist approach to learning. It has become a model NTHS site and educators from newly established NTHSs come to Manor for orientation and training. Participants will meet with the district superintendent and the director, faculty and students at the school. (Limit 30) Depart 9:30 AM, Return 1:30 PM

View the Student-Generated Video for a Preview of this tour!

Education Visualization Lab and Visualization Center, The University of Texas at Austin – The Learning Technology Center Educational Visualization Lab is focused on the use of visualization technologies to understand patterns and relationships in massive education data sets. The visit will include a tour of the Learning Technology Center and

also a visit to the TACC Visualization Center that includes, Stallion, the highest resolution tiled display in the world; Longhorn, the largest hardware accelerated, remote, interactive visualization cluster. Was used by NOAA in predicting path for Katrina. » Newsletter

The Learning Technology Center in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin supports the instructional and research activities of the College’s students and faculty by providing computer facilities, telecommunications services, and digital media production equipment. The LTC also participates in projects that advance the use of technology to meet the educational needs of learners throughout the state and nation, and around the world.

You can check equipment out to use.

You can take your laptop to be checked.

You can work in the lab.

You can sit with professionals who can help you plan your lessons to be technology integrative.

Teachers can plan to be in workshops to enhance their knowledge .

I have many photos , and I am sure that I am only sharing a bit of what is possible.

Learning at the University of Texas

There are links and resources that have been created for teachers in this center for national, regional and local learning on the website

The information here comes from the newsletter and information gathered during the tour.

Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization for the Texas Advanced Computing Center, describes the information conveyed in a simple mapped visualization.

Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization for TACC, led the workshop, which included an overview of information visualization and visual analytics concepts and how they apply to educational data. Attendees learned the basics of Processing, a popular visualization programming language, to develop information visualizations with their own data. They were later able to view their work on the EdVisLab’s large display.

A participant learns Processing, a visualization programming language.

Both Google Apps for Education and visualization techniques for educational research represent new directions for the College of Education and its use of technology in education. The LTC is constantly exploring new technologies and their benefit to education, and has led the way in bringing these new technologies to the College. The apps will be part of the online tools that are replacing TeachNet and will allow student groups to have increased online collaboration, including co-creation of documents, presentations, and Web sites. The EdVisLab will allow faculty to better analyze large and complex data sets, more easily seeing and understanding patterns, trends, and relationships. For more information about the Google Apps for Education pilot, contact Karen French. Contact Ken Tothero to learn more about the EdVisLab. ( If you live in Tcxas)

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The LTC equips teaching professionals with new knowledge.

 COE Education Visualization Lab

LTC Director Paul E. Resta speaks to those gathered for the EdVisLab grand opening.

The College of Education (COE) community, staff of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and many others interested in visualization on campus gathered Friday, in early February 3 to celebrate the Learning Technology Center’s grand opening of the COE Education Visualization Laboratory (EdVisLab). The event culminated more than a year of planning the lab and designing its equipment and software systems.

Brandt Westing, TACC Research Engineer, shows visitors how visualization can help researchers detect trends and patterns in large amounts of data.

The lab is a joint project with TACC, which provided technical assistance and will help run the lab. The new facility will allow COE researchers to use visualization techniques to better analyze large data sets. The lab features a 15-monitor high resolution tiled display, a 3-D visualization system and a workstation with specialized visualization software.

COE Dean Manuel Justiz spoke first during the opening, praising LTC Director Paul Resta for all his efforts over the years to make the LTC a top-notch, nationally recognized learning technology facility. Dr. Resta then spoke, thanking the Dean for the lab’s funding and thanking all the LTC and TACC staff for the long hours spent creating the lab. Finally, Jay Boisseau, TACC Director, described how the process of adapting TACC visualization programming for use in the EdVisLab led to the development of an improved version of the software.


Texas Advanced Computing Center – Texas Advanced Computing Center is a leading resource provider in the NSF TeraGrid and operates two of the most powerful high performance computing systems in the world, which are used by thousands of scientists and engineers each year to perform research in nearly every branch of knowledge. TACC’s largest supercomputer, Ranger, can perform 579.4 trillion operations per second (or teraflops), and is nearly 30,000 faster than today’s desktop computers. TACC’s newest system, Lonestar 4, which went online in Feb. 2011, clocks in at more than 302 teraflops and offers nearly 200 million computing hours per year to researchers around the world.

The Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education is an international association of individual teacher educators, and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development.

The Society seeks to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange, and support among its membership, and to actively foster the development of new national organizations where a need emerges. SITE is the only organization that has as its sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs.

As the official blog of SITE, this website exists to promote dialog and interaction among SITE members as well as non-members about a variety of issues relating to our mission.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton

A fourth “r” for 21st century literacy- How do we give teachers professional development for it?

A student today needs a fourth R:  Reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic  and ’rithms, as in algorithms, or basic computational skills.

From the floor of the Supercomputing Conference where teachers go to learn, and take courses

Immersion into Supercomputing

So my question is, how do we expect this to happen if the only outreach is to the teachers who are being wonderfully made a part of outreach who have PHD’s? There are ways to infuse interest, information and create the steps to the fourth “r” but for many students who are taught by teachers with little or no science training. Remember, with NCLB( No Child Left Behind) science was really neglected. Within the supercomputing community, some of us have started to push the envelope. Here is a paper that we wrote to open the challenge to other teachers. Computational Thinking, Computational Science and High Performance Computing in K-12 Education: White Paper on 21st Century Education

We are a small group seeking change and inclusion. Do you have to be a PhD to understand the new literacy? I don’t think so. If that is the passport to computational learning there are groups with so little membership that they will never catch up. Look at this data.


www.nsf.gov

This report continues a series of Congressionally-mandated biennial reports, providing data on the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment.

SOME CORPORATE VISIONS OF WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN

The Power of US is an ambitious, nationwide initiative that aims to transform K-12 education, and provide a customized learning experience for every child in America. This is a call for a major effort, similar to a ‘NASA moon shot’, with every student, teacher, school, and community involved in lift-off!  Our founder, Jack Taub had an interest in infusing the curriculum into schools K-12 so that computational science would be a natural part of the teaching learning process.

Academics seem to push away the classroom teachers, and there will be more PhD’s ,but who of them will serve the minority , urban, distant and poor communities, the ones who need resources the most?

There have been countless commission and organizational reports validating the WSJ CEO Council’s conclusion and describing the extent and impact of the lagging quality of America’s K-12 public education system.  The following are excerpts from a few current ones.

  • In April of 2009 McKinsey & Company took a close look at the impact of the education deficit between the U. S. and leading foreign countries.  They concluded:  “If the United States had in recent years closed the gap between its educational achievement levels and those of better-performing nations such as Finland and Korea, GDP in 2008 could have been $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher. This represents 9 to 16 percent of GDP.  … Put differently, the persistence of these educational achievement gaps imposes on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession. The recurring annual economic cost of the international achievement gap is substantially larger than the deep recession the United States is currently experiencing. (Based on GDP decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 of minus 6.3 percent.)” [1]
  • The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) recognized and addressed another major issue.  Without belittling the need for students to have a solid understanding of the content represented by the academic standards, P21 advocates the inclusion of another essential body of knowledge and/or skills as illustrated in the following quote from their website: to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the traditional 3 Rs with the essential 4 Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, and creativity and innovation).” (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/)  The problem is, in many of today’s classrooms students are passive, dependent listeners, not active, engaged learners.  As a result, they do not have an opportunity to learn or use critical 21st century skills.
  • America’s leaders frequently bemoan the dropout problem, and rightly so.  However, we also have a diploma problem – people who graduate from high school without actually receiving an education.  To quote a recent study called “Diploma to Nowhere: A hoax is being played on America. The public believes that a high school diploma shows that a student is ready for college-level academics. Parents believe it too. So do students. But when high school graduates enroll in college as many as one million students fail placement exams every year. Well over one third of all college students need remedial courses in order to acquire basic academic skills.
  • This is a way of looking into the future. Future Work Skills. You will note the computational sciences here.
    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/front/docs/sponsored/phoenix/future_work_skills_2020.pdf

TEACHER SPECIALISTS Say…..

Linda Darling Hammond and Tom Carroll do understand the ebb and flow of teacher candidates and the fact that there should be support , infrastructure and community to make significant changes. If you are really interested in change view this video by Linda Darling Hammond.

Is there a level of understanding in the academic higher ideational scaffolding about how to broaden engagement and make this new literacy available to all  teachers by inclusion? Surely we are not going to go back to the old model of teaching just the eleventh gaders and above who have managed to enter a career path that has been inclusive of computational thinking. The problem there is that there are teachers who have not been exposed to the computational resources to use to develop the skills. Ok let’s tell the truth.Math is not the strongest academic area for most teachers. So how can we make this tremendous change. There are groups working to make this change. But we need the teachers in the classroom to be educated. There are few PhD’s in the minority communities and even those are not in the areas where we need them to teach to create the kind of change that is needed.

If you read how people get hired in the essay /interview from Linda Darling Hammond, minority students will hardly get a chance to be taught by someone who is skilled in the computational sciences, or math, or science. We have to change that.

Pat Phillips has a wonderful powerpoint that shares the ideas.

FROM THOSE ACTUALLY INVOLVED IN TEACHING?

Diane Baxter and     Mano Talaiver who work with K-12 teachers

These two women know to link with the teachers in the classroom and to provide outreach to the teachers , to the learning community and link to the universities. Mano is at Longwood University in Virginia , and Diane Baxter is at the San Diego Supercomputing Center.They have been funded to create change and to help teachers make the neccesary  transistions.’

Here is a reason for the immediacy of the change to curriculum.This is long.

As a minority , as a woman we are always running to catch up. Technology is ever evolving,

Vint Cerf says, this in a wonderful essay.

“What about the claim that Internet access is or should be a civil right? The same reasoning above can be applied here — Internet access is always just a tool for obtaining something else more important — though the argument that it is a civil right is, I concede, a stronger one than that it is a human right. Civil rights, after all, are different from human rights because they are conferred upon us by law, not intrinsic to us as human beings.”he says.

“While the United States has never decreed that everyone has a “right” to a telephone, we have come close to this with the notion of “universal service” — the idea that telephone service (and electricity, and now broadband Internet) must be available even in the most remote regions of the country. When we accept this idea, we are edging into the idea of Internet access as a civil right, because ensuring access is a policy made by the government.”

“Yet all these philosophical arguments overlook a more fundamental issue: the responsibility of technology creators themselves to support human and civil rights. The Internet has introduced an enormously accessible and egalitarian platform for creating, sharing and obtaining information on a global scale. As a result, we have new ways to allow people to exercise their human and civil rights.”

In this context, engineers have not only a tremendous obligation to empower users, but also an obligation to ensure the safety of users online. That means, for example, protecting users from specific harms like viruses and worms that silently invade their computers. Technologists should work toward this end.”

The Answer Sheet

This was written by Cathy N. Davidson, a Duke University professor, self-described “technopragmatist,” and author of Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. 

By Cathy N. Davidson

What basic skills do kids today need to thrive in the 21st century digital age? The 3 R’s of “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic” were deemed essentials of mandatory public schooling in the 19th century Industrial Age where mass printing and machine-made paper and ink made books available to just about everyone for the first time in history. A student today needs a fourth R:  Reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic  and ’rithms, as in algorithms, or basic computational skills.   By getting the youngest kids started on algorithmic or computational thinking, we give them the same tool of agency and being able to make (not just receive) digital content that the 3 R’s gave to Industrial Age learners.

Here’s a definition of algorithm adapted from the Wikipedia dictionary.   “Algorithm: A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, esp. by a computer.”  Algorithms are the basis for computational thinking, programming, writing code, and webcraft.   Just as the last century saw a major educational initiative aimed at basic literacy and numeracy for the masses, the 21st century should be pushing for basic computational literacy for everyone, starting with kids and, of course, with adult and lifelong learning possibilities for all of us.

Before mass printing, universal literacy and numeracy were not considered important because the division of those who ruled and those who were ruled was skewed radically, so a small aristocracy controlled the majority of people.   With the rise of the middle class in industrialism came compulsory schooling and a push towards universal literacy.   Simple access to print doesn’t mean much unless you can read and write.  You can’t be middle class without some control over your own budgets, income, earnings, spending, and savings so elementary numeracy is crucial.

Algorithms are as basic to the way the 21st century digital age works as reading, writing, and arithmetic were to the late 18th century Industrial era. Here’s some of what the fourth “R” of “algorithms” adds to the standard syllabus of 21st century learning:

*Algorithms and algorithmic thinking give kids of the 21st century the ability to write software and change programs to suit themselves, their own creativity, and their desire to self-publish their own multimedia work.  Wonderful open source, nonprofit (free!) multimedia programs like Scratch , designed by the MIT Media Lab, inspire kids to “create and share your own interactive stories, games, music, and art.”  Or kids can take advantage of the free online web remixing programHackasaurus , created by the nonprofit Mozilla Corporation that develops the Firefox browser.

*Learning basic algorithms allows them to create not just content but the actual structures of Webcraft that govern their lives today, including interaction with other kids learning the same skills they are.

*It allows for more diverse participation in the creation (not just the consumption) of the digital cultural, as well as the economic, educational, and business products of the 21st century.

*It helps to end the false “two cultures” binary of the arts, humanities and social sciences on the one side, and technology and science on the other.   Algorithmic thinking is scientific but also operational and instrumental — it does stuff, makes stuff, allows for creativity, multimedia and narrative expression — all worked out within code that has been generated by these larger human and social and aesthetic priorities.

*By making computational literacy one of the basics, it could help redress the skewed gender balance of learning right now, with an increasingly high proportion of boys failing and then dropping out of the educational system, a disproportionate number of women going into teaching as a profession, and an abominably low percentage of women going into technology and multimedia careers.  Starting early might help level the playing field in several directions at once.

*If we don’t teach kids how to control this dynamic means of production, we will lose it.  Computational literacy should be a human right in the 21st century but, to access that right, kids need to learn its power, in the same way that the earlier literacies are also powerful if you master them.

*For those kids not destined to be programmers when they grow up, this Fourth R gives them access to computational thinking, it shows them what webcraft is and does, and it shows them how the World Wide Web was originally designed; that is, with algorithms that allow as many people to participate as possible, allowing as much access and as little regulation, hierarchy, and central control as possible.

*For the Fourth R to catch on, we’d also have to invest in teacher training. That might include scholarships for college students who wanted to go on to be teachers of basic computing skills.  Think about the range of societal impacts this would have.  It may be true that simple code writing today can be outsourced and off-shored — but teaching the building blocks of literacy for a digital age is an important skill and requires good teachers.

*Unlike math, which can often be difficult to teach because of its abstractness, teaching basic programming skills allows kids to actually do and make things on line, that can be shared within the various educational communities supported by programs like Scratch or Hackasaurus.  Grade school kids can very soon manipulate, create, and remix, in their very own and special way, with unique sounds and colors and animation and all the things that make learning fun and the Internet so vital.

Some have argued that the most important 3 R’s in education are really rigor, relevance, and relationships.  Adding “Algorithms” to reading, writing, and arithmetic also helps with that goal.  The rigor is not only inherent, but it is observable. You get your program right, and it works.  No end-of-grade testing required.  Algorithms only when you make them right, so you don’t need external measures.  Your progress is charted, tracked, and can be measured against that of others every time you solve a problem on line.

What could be more relevant to the always-on student of today than to learn how to make apps and programs and films and journalism and multimedia productions and art for the mobile devices that, we know, are now almost ubiquitous in the United States, if not by ownership then by availability in town libraries, schools, and elsewhere?

Finally, relationships: teaching algorithms is hands-on, even when it is done digitally.  You correct on a minute level, you learn, you go to the next level.  Someone guiding you can make all the difference.

If every child began to learn programming along with basic reading, writing, and arithmetic, the world of computer scientists and software entrepreneurs would be far more diverse — in gender, educational background, income level, race and ethnicity, and region.

How would our world change if we had something closer to universal computer literacy equal to the old forms of literacy and numeracy which were the object of 19th and 20th century public schooling?  What could our world look like if it were being designed by a more egalitarian, publicly educated cadre of citizens, whose literacies were a right not a privilege mastered in expensive higher education, at the end of a process that tends to weed out those of lower income?

The 4 R’s.   Reading, writing, arithmetic, algorithms.    Think about it!

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Digital Equity as the New Civil Rights Issue to Facilitate Empowerment and Broaden Engagement

THE PAST

Washington was the birthplace of one of Martin Luther King’s most impressive gatherings.I was not fearless about civil right then. I was a new teacher and it was one of the first days of school, and though the bus drivers in the system were allowed to go to the mall, I was not . My sisters in high school, went and I even saw them on television later. During the March on Washington , we who lived in the suburbs housed and fed people from around the nation. There was not room for everyone at the mall in the tent cities. People arranged transportation to the places where other people slept and were fed. That was the history of my generation. People wept at the power of the gathering. There were many neighborhood hands contributing to the comfort of those who gathered.

Here is a monument to that day on the mall. When I pass by it there are so many people milling around and thinking about the things he said. Here is the link for the website of the memorial

If you stand under the momument this is what you will see

I like this quote
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.'”

– “I Have a Dream”, August 28, 1963

It was a hot summer day!  People from all over came to see one man make one simple speech. The people only knew that it was about equal rights. They had no idea that this speech would change the the world that we know.. The people never knew that the outcome of this speech, that they were about to hear, would end up so famous. Martin Luther King’s speech began with a simple statement which had every audience member attention “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in the history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of the world.

I had seen Dr. Martin Luther King on my campus in school. I was not a stranger to the civil rights issues.Some of us did not do the lunch stands, we did the libraries and the schools and the water fountains and the amusement parks Washington, was mild compared to places down south, even rural Virginia. We did the things that were a part of a vast system of segregation.. toilets, drinking water,trying on clothes in the store, and being able to purchase food and eat it in the place. This was a hard one, because we in the culture were usually good cooks. So eating out at the time was not a big thing,

Here in Washington, there was a lot to protest about. I had a friend who helped to integrate the Georgetown dining places, and Glen Echo. The press was not so complimentary, or steeped in understanding. You can find the stories of Glen Echo on line, but not the stories of the integration of dining places in Georgetown. There was a time when going to Georgetown for a meal was a problem. There was a trial based on refusal to serve, at Nathan’s which is no longer in business. Dr. Michael Proctor went to trial over the fact that he was refused service at Nathan’s,  The trial was not successful. But various people kept trying to change things. It took a toll on the activists. It was a concern for their parents and friends. My aunt lifted me out of a demonstration saying that I could change the world with my teaching. Who knew how hard that would be?

Pony Rides, and Amusement Parks, and Places to Eat.. oh my!!

Glen Echo? But not just Glen Echo. Washington was a divided city, divided into black and white and Diplomat. This is history for those of you who do not know the past.


Glen Echo amusement park opened in 1898 and operated for 70 years.

The privately owned park was for whites only and thrived during the World War II era.

After pressure from the community, Glen Echo Park opened the venue to all races in 1961.

The park closed in 1968 because of continued racial tension, declining attendance and financial issues. It reopened as an arts park operated by the National Park Service in 1971.

Since 2002, the park has been managed by the county’s Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture Inc., a nonprofit that manages the facilities and programs.

Places to eat, amusement parks, bathrooms( yeah they were separate in some places and certainly not equal, I could make a big list but you get the drift, Not mentioning hairdressing salons, the way we were treated in upscale department stores, or the movie Digital divide we sat in the balcony if allowed Did I mention the trains? We took boxes of food on the train because we were not allowed service down south.   Did I mention schools? That subject is coming up.
Glen Echo amusement park opened in 1898 and operated for 70 years.

The privately owned park was for whites only and thrived during the World War II era.

After pressure from the community, Glen Echo Park opened the venue to all races in 1961.

The park closed in 1968 because of continued racial tension, declining attendance and financial issues. It reopened as an arts park operated by the National Park Service in 1971.

Since 2002, the park has been managed by the county’s Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture Inc., a nonprofit that manages the facilities and programs.

I loved being able to take my brother and his little friends there . They rode the various rides , ate the things from the vendors and loved the roller coaster. They rode that clanky roller coaster over and over again,

NOTE( If you wanted to go to an amusement park you went up North. My uncle had a place in Martha’s Vineyard.We as kids could not understand how there were different rules for different parts of the US. Most of the time we obeyed the rules, but my grandmother had a hard time with us on the bus because we sat up front. She eventually stopped riding the bus with us and we were taken everywhere by car in Portsmouth , Va.

Change

You can integrate a park or a movie theater, or even a swimming pool and the rewards, the experience is instant. But schools? We are still trying to change the face of education in the nation.

There is a recent article on the trials of those trying to keep up with technology. But we know in reality that broadband is not everywhere and that rural and distance and urban or poor have much less in the way of technology.  There are some interesting reasons that people don’t have technology. Some of the reasons are economic, some are a lack of education as to how to use the technology, and some people fear the Internet-based on stories they have been told.

Martin Luther King?

Martin Luther King on Technology
“When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast with a scientific and technological abundance. We’ve learned to fly the air as birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas as fish, yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters.” This clip comes from the documentary “Berkeley in the Sixties” I have no more info about this speech. If you do, please post it.
MLK technology martin luther king speech topangacreek

I know that Martin Luther King would think of some way to create an interface for technology for those who are slow to come to it.

I know he would recognize the fact that there are schoolteachers, and educators who do not have access, or training.

What’s the Big Deal about MIT and their new program?

A friend of mine wanted to know what was the big deal about MIT giving online learning and then being able to be certified for it.MIT today announced the launch of an online learning initiative internally called “MITx.” MITx will offer a portfolio of MIT courses through an online interactive learning platform that will:

  • organize and present course material to enable students to learn at their own pace
  • feature interactivity, online laboratories and student-to-student communication
  • allow for the individual assessment of any student’s work and allow students who demonstrate their mastery of subjects to earn a certificate of completion awarded by MITx
  • operate on an open-source, scalable software infrastructure in order to make it continuously improving and readily available to other educational institutions.

Personally, I had to remake my education as it was based on inferior schooling.The college that I initially went to had to redo the high school education of most of the students who attended it. Our college was not at the level of the white colleges. I thank National Geographic, and NSTA, and NCTM, and NCSS for the knowledge and information that I was able to obtain to better my teaching, but today I would be thanking  MIT for making information and access possible for learning. I patched together NASA, National Geographic, NSTA, and NCSS , with the wealth of information they could give. But all of us were  not able to do that. Some people were busy raising families.

Why the big fuss about outreach from MIT?  There is this informal and static one and then there is what is new.

A funder of mine, who is now deceased understood the problems. He used to say well it was ok when the school systems for poor people were inferior . Now we have a problem, and it affects all children. He wanted to be able to give an IEP , an individual plan for educational progress to all children. The project was started, but political winds blow helter and skelter and he was not able to get the approval he needed.. You understand as you watch the congress posture and castle because of the coming election.

I am grateful to  MIT for  unlocking minds and  empowering students and educators everywhere..

DIVERSITY and BROADENING ENGAGEMENT IS FOR ALL CITIZENS

So far we as a nation invest more in incarceration than in education. See here

Jack Taub cared about children and was worried about digital equity and social justice. He was a funder of mine.

“It’s a systemic problem… in America now they’re talking about reform, but you can’t reform this problem – you need to transform. We need a new system utilizing current facilities and retraining existing teachers with the support of the teacher’s unions.”

The problem, as he describes it, is delivering this whilst the system continues to operate:

“Now, how do you start a new system with 54 million kids showing up every day… you’ve got to do this while the system is going. It’s analogous to rebuilding an airplane while it’s in flight and full of passengers. And during the flight you also have to retrain the pilots (teachers)”

But he is in no doubt that anything less is unacceptable:

“In America, based on the reading skills of a child in 4th grade we determine how many prison cells we’re going to need. It’s very bleak – think of the child when they first showed up there. It’s particularly tragic when you consider that every child shows up for kindergarten with unlimited curiosity and a genetic need to learn. It’s tragic, but that’s what kept me going…”

As I drive over the 14th Street Bridge and glance to my right now ,  I see a constant crowd of people at the Martin Luther King Memorial. Lots of people, the memorial is distant from public transportation but still they come and gaze and think and wonder. Has the change been enough?

Change has come. Some change has come. The President said:

“When thinking about the work we must do – rebuilding an economy that can compete on a global stage, fixing our schools so that every child gets a world-class education, making sure that our health care system is affordable and accessible to all – let us not be trapped by what is, we’ve got to keep pushing for what ought to be,” he said.

Referring to protests against the wealthy and the corporate culture that have spread from New York around the country and overseas, Mr Obama said: “Dr. King would want us to challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonising those who work there.”

The long awaited dedication of the US national memorial to slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King had been rescheduled from the 48th anniversary date of King's "I Have A Dream" speech due to Hurricane Irene (REUTERS)

The 30ft high pink granite monument to King is the first dedicated to a black American, and the first to a non-president or non-war hero on the National Mall, the capital’s hallowed central park.

Broadening Engagement, Educating for the Future , What Revolution?

"Future of Education - Trends"
According to Connected Principals
Let’s take a ‘T.R.I.P. into the Future’ looking at some changes that are shifting learning in a way not possible just a few years ago. Here are 4 trends that education is moving towards: Greater Transparency, greaterResponsibility, greater Individualization and greater Permanence.
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.
Two Americas
 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.
The  Supercomputing 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 Planpoints 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 …

www.broadbandmap.gov/technology
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.
Do this.
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.

Transforming Teacher Use of Technology with Use of Teragrid Outreach Resources

 
Sharing the Vision of THe Teragrid

Family Science Days AAAS Teragrid Outreach

Three Dimension/Film of the Teragrid Outreach in the AAAS Science booth

You may ask, what is the Teragrid?

Teachers find it an empowering resource…

A formal definition is this:

TeraGrid is an open scientific discovery infrastructure combining leadership class resources at 11 partner sites to create an integrated, persistent computational resource.

Using high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrates high-performance computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities around the country. Currently, TeraGrid resources include more than 2.5 petaflops of computing capability and more than 50 petabytes of online and archival data storage, with rapid access and retrieval over high-performance networks. Researchers can also access more than 100 discipline-specific databases. With this combination of resources, the TeraGrid is the world’s largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

TeraGrid is coordinated through the Grid Infrastructure Group (GIG) at the University of Chicago, working in partnership with the Resource Provider sites: Indiana University, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the National Institute for Computational Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Purdue University, San Diego Supercomputer Center, Texas Advanced Computing Center, and University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The research community supports teachers, and education through outreach in several ways.  Each of the research communities has a specific education section . Gateway if you will to the use of the research .

San Diego Supercomputing Center features the subject of Computational Thinking using a well thought out project that was written by Pat Phillips of Microsoft. You can find that here:  http://education.sdsc.edu/resources/CompThinking.pdf

You may have noticed that the major teacher organizations, CSTA, ISTE, CoSN, and SITE featured papers, workshops and discussions on the use of computational thinking in the classroom. This was a planned outreach started by the network of educators and researchers within the Teragrid network.

Here is one of the papers presented at the Consortium for School Networking in New Orleans in 2011:

http://etcjournal.com/2011/04/01/white-paper-21st-century-education-computational-thinking-computational-science-and-high-performance-computing-in-k-12-education/

Executive Summary

The 2010 National Educational Technology Plan says “…technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work…. Whether the domain is English language arts, mathematics, sciences, social studies, history, art, or music, 21st-century competencies and such expertise as critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication should be woven into all content areas.”

Since the late 1990s, the US has been trying to describe what a 21st century education should look like. Futurists are trying to divine the skills that will be needed for jobs that do not yet exist, employing technologies that have not yet been invented. However, a careful look around can allow us to see many areas that have been virtually unnoticed by those who are focused on 21st century skills.

Supercomputing – sometimes called high performance computing – is not a new technology concept, but the supercomputers of 25 years ago were about as powerful as a cell phone is today, and likewise the supercomputers of today will be no better than a laptop of 10 to 15 years from now. As the world of the biggest and fastest computers has evolved and these computers have become increasingly available to industry, government, and academia, they are being used in ways that influence everyday life, from the cars we drive, to the food in our cupboards, to the movies we enjoy.

Supercomputing is not an end in itself, but rather the technological foundation for large scale computational and data-enabled science and engineering, or computational science, for short. It is a collection of techniques for using computing to examine phenomena that are too big, too small, too fast, too slow, too expensive, or too dangerous to experiment on in the real world. While problems with small computing footprints can be examined on a laptop, the grand challenge problems most crucial for us to address have enormous computing footprints and, thus, are best solved via supercomputing.

As a result, in order to be competitive as a nation, we need to produce knowledge workers in far greater numbers who understand both what supercomputers can do and how to use them effectively to improve our understanding of the world around us and our day to day lives.

The thinking about large scale and advanced computing has evolved, too. Today, we realize that, while not everyone will be using big computing in their jobs, they will need to understand the underlying concepts.

These concepts collectively are referred to as ‘computational thinking’, a means of describing problems and how to solve them so that their solutions can be found via computing (paraphrased from Jeanette Wing, Jan Cuny, and Larry Snyder). Computational thinking includes abstraction, recursion, algorithms, induction, and scale.

Our 21st century citizens, entrepreneurs, leadership, and workforce will be best positioned to solve emerging challenges and to exploit new opportunities if they have a strong understanding of computational thinking, how it applies to computational science, and how it can be implemented via high performance computing. These are true 21st century competencies that will serve our nation well.

The authors of the paper have been immersed, involved and integrated into the Teragrid community through attending workshops, NCSI initiatives, online contact with the researchers and outreach specialists over a period of time that has proved to create a powerful network of educators sharing the story of possibilities within the Teragrid.

An initial outreach , Teacher Bridge Day , which preceded  an ISTE and CSTA conference, united teachers and educators who then continued to work together over the period of months . The teachers benefitted from the combined efforts of the many researchers and outreach specialists who participated and contributed to the very first workshop.  Following that workshop, there were involvements with ITest through Joyce Malyn Smith.

I am pleased to say that this year , Joyce and the educators at SITE.org reported a large number of people interested in the strand. Joyce took the idea and developed it into a specialized strand for the ITest Community.

Here are a few of the 2011 presentations from the Aera Annual Meeting.

There may be more resources that link to the outreach of the Teragrid. I have chosen these to share.

Joyce was also a force at the SITE conference in Nashville, TN. The informal outeach team, those of us who try to broaden engagement and show diversity were there to shake up the force within SITE.org . We established a SIG for Computational Thinking and fielded a number of workshops.

We worked also at the K-12 levels of technology in Texas at TCEA.

Everything  is Big in Texas:  TACC and Supercomputing , at  TCEA

Ranger?    Stallion ? Computational Thinking and Learning

I  go to Texas a lot. My brother lives there, friends live there,  NASA holds events. I have been to Lockhart for BBQ, to Galveston for a wedding, to San Antonio and other places. I even know lots of recipes and ways to BBQ. But Austin put the icing on the cake for those of us doing digital outreach and broadening engagement in Supercomputing.I took classes at Rice (Teacher Tech) with a Supercomputing scholarship.  I have digital sisters and brothers in Texas.

TEXAS

Why not? Texas is a huge state and I have found lots of friends and educators who support my ways of thinking there.

I participated in a Teacher Tech  workshop at Rice University in Houston, and met Karen North and Dr. Richard Tapia. For a long time I was in constant email touch with a LOT of Texans. We were not sure what kind of reception we weuld get in 2011, this being a new topic to many people. I have been to Austin a lot, so when I see the statue of Barbara Jordan and the big guitars, I feel at home. We had a Supercomputing conference in Austin a few years ago as well.

Ray Rose, Henry Neeman, Vic Sutton and I have been a team at other conferences, we were literally breaking the ice in Austin for educators. It was scary to do.

. (It was very , very cold)  The keynote was a very warm one by Leigh Anne Touhy. The Blind Side was written about her true life experience. She set the tone for broadening engagement and social justice for me. She shared how her life was changed . I had not seen the movie , but I will.

We think that in education there is a blind side to the understanding of technology, particularly computational science, so we put together a workshop for Supercomputing and the use of the Teragrid and we did  a workshop for Emerging Technologies, and a tour of the TACC center.on the campus.

TCEA  Supercomputing and the Teragrid…  no limits, remember?

Henry Neeman has a great presentation , ” What in the World is Supercomputing!“. We took it to a state conference. Did I mention he is from Okahoma? They razzed him a lot, but he just kept on presenting. The interesting thing about it is that he is a reseacher, who can bring the ideas down to earth with fun, and understanding. Henry can do this in person, on line or in a course online. You can fund a lot of the information here.

http://www.oscer.ou.edu/Symposium2003/neeman_bio.html

Nothing like being with him in person however. Think Puzzle. Think a guy moving around at the speed of light, absolutely able to help you understand Supercomputing. This is Henry.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5653613&l=8267b33412&id=593996326

Dr. Neeman also has taught a series of workshops titled “Supercomputing in Plain English”, directed at an audience of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff not only in computer science but also in a variety of physical science and engineering fields. Dr. Neeman’s research interests include high performance computing, scientific computing, parallel and distributed computing, structured adaptive mesh refinement, scientific visualization, Grid computing and computer science education. You can find his materials on line. He is the Education and Outreach Chair for Supercomputing 2012 in Seattle.

We embarked , engaged, energized , and educated teachers so that they could be empowered to understand the computational sciences. We had outreach materials from the Teragrid. So well put together, and such a hit with the educators.

All three of the sessions were a success. We did not have supertech people except one or two and we had about 50 people in the first workshop.

TOURING TACC

The second was the tour.My heart fell when I went to the bus, because at first I could not see it was full. We had a grand tour of TACC. I love the visualization images .http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/scivis-gallery/

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the nation’s leading universities, an academic institution of enormous breadth and depth, with 50,000 students and 3,000 faculty. It’s an economic powerhouse that pumps more than $8.2 billion into the Texas economy each year. It ranks fifth in the world for academic citations and is the recipient of more than 400 patents. Seven of its doctoral programs rank among the top 10 in the nation.

The University of Texas’ intellectual firepower extends far beyond its classrooms and labs. In addition to ongoing research in 18 colleges and schools, the university sponsors 100 separate research units and 10 organized research units, such as the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

TACC plays a pivotal role in the new culture of computational science at The University of Texas at Austin and is central to UT’s success as a major public research university. TACC boasts world-class resources and expertise that enable scientists and researchers to find solutions to the biggest problems facing science and society. From climate change to medical research to energy resources, traditional and renewable, advanced computing provides the tools that are critical to discovery in science and across disciplines. Faith Singer-Villalobos lead the presentation and discussion.

TACC’s education and outreach programs support their mission to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. We all benefit from advanced computing in our everyday lives, from more accurate weather reports, to safer automobile designs, to smaller, lighter electronic gadgets.

TACC’s education & outreach programs introduce K-12, undergraduate and graduate students to the power of advanced computing for science, technology, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. It believes that the students are the next generation of Einsteins, Curies, and Hawkings, who will someday make breakthrough discoveries that we can’t even imagine today.

We wanted to touch the future through sharing with the teachers what the university and supercomputing had to offer.

Teachers touch the future.

Our last presentation was to identify the real 21st Century Literaraies.  about data visualization, and computational thinking, data mining and global collaborations. We were able to share partnership organizations to teachers for field experiences, National Geographic, Earthwatch, NASA , NOAA but most importantly to show ans share curriculum opportunities that were free.

Shodor.org

http://www.shodor.org/activities/

and Scalable Game Design

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/wiki/Scalable_Game_Design_wiki

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/gamewiki/index.php?title=Scalable_Game_Design_wiki&oldid=3534#Game

Meanwhile San Diego is doing outreach of this kind.

Upcoming Computer Science Courses for High School and Undergraduate Students

http://education.sdsc.edu/

Introduction to C++ Programming
Mondays, January 10 – March 14, 2011– 4:30pm- 6:30pm (weekly)

This class  introduces programming concepts to students, with no previous programming experience required, and will focus on learning to read and write programs in C++. The class will focus on in-class programming and participation. The course will move quickly and students are required to have access to a computer at home. The course will cover IDEs, programming basics, compilation, execution, flow control, functions, arrays, pointers, file I/O, structures and classes. Weekly homework assignments solidify understanding in preparation for a comprehensive final project.

Introduction to Programming in Python ( this already started)
Tuesdays, January 11 – March 15, 2011– 4:30pm- 6:30pm (weekly)

This course offers an introduction to computer programming via the Python programming language. Students listen to weekly explanation-demonstrations of and gain simultaneous practical experience with basic coding concepts such as calculations, string formatting/manipulation, conditional statements, iteration, file i/o, and the abstraction of functions, as well as programming style. Weekly homework assignments solidify understanding, and a final project offers the opportunity to creatively deploy the class materials. This course is designed to prepare students for the class’s final project, the creation of a computer program that generates a poem.

In our network we can identify lots of opportunities for K-12. Teragrid even features them in a booklet.

How much data is that? Check out the visual idea of it.

http://www.focus.com/images/view/52784/

Changing the Face of Science in the US, NSF comes to the rescue..New Tools, New Technologies

Old tools for science .. still come in handy but we have new ways of learning to share. 

From maps to GPS, GS, Visualization and modeling and 3 D, Virtualization and modeling are a big step away from the textbook and just the resources within the classroom.

 

 

 

This is my antisuperman post. It is the kryptonite that should paralyze the discussion that we in the schools do not really care about science , math, technology and engineering. There was an event on the mall that shared and showcased wonderful science. But I fear that the media may not have dug deep enough to stop the bad press, to give us the good news about changing and transforming education as the groups did  on the mall and in the weeks preceding the expo event. I know that the people at the NSF really care about us..in education.

Teachers  are empowered by projects and funding from the NSF. The press hardly covers the ideas and often pokes fun at the research. People came to our booth time and time again to see the three D movie, to bring friends, to explore the use of the IPads which showed and shared the models that visualized what the various Teragrid research projects do, and to look at the photos of the supercomputers Blue Waters, in particular.

There were a few people who wanted to test our knowledge but , we had a team, and a petting zoo for the Little FE, and lots of information, even beautiful posters on the Oil Spill, posters on what is a tornado, and coloring books and crayons on supercomputing. We shared the ideas of use of the Blue Waters Supercomputer.

I don’t have a movie about myself.I am an empowered teacher, from learning to use the resources of the Teragrid. I do have a group of students, parents and supporters who have believed in science , math, engineering and technology, and project based learning.Mentors of mine are many one being Grace Hopper. Don Mitchell, Vint Cerf,  Scott Lathrop, Shirley Malcom and George Lucas. Chris Dede, and Seymour Papert. Al Gore, Ron Brown. There are more. Frank Withrow was once the leader of the Department. of Education and Larry Cuban let me, as a teacher use new technologies long ago. Once I was on a truck that carried the new ideas around the country. It was called CyberEd. This exhbit on the mall was much more powerful. Our booth was so full we had to stand outside the booth most of the time.

I am a minority and a female I am not 25.  I probably won’t be able to sleep because of the excitement of being able to be a participant on the mall in the Expo. Why is this important?Think DC Schools, think minority students who may think, we cannot do this work.. and think of  the needs of the students and their lack of participation at high levels in ordinary technology use. Think Jesse Bemley and I linking with people from the areas or not, creating networks for collaboration, community and communication in outreach.  Jesse Bemley is a black computer scientist who mentors students . We have a mission to broaden engagement . We are excited about the fact that now we can teach hands on science, explore, examine, evaluate and get immersed in the joy of learning in innovative ways.We were more excited than kids going to Disneyland about our participation.
Think Convocation on the Gathering Storm and their findings.
Here is what Elizabeth Leake wrote about the event on her blog.
“, Robert Ping (TeraGrid EOT Assistant Director/Indiana University), with a team of five from TeraGrid and NCSA, have been planning this for eight months or more. One of our biggest fears—facilitating technology and paper hand-outs in the rain—was put to rest this week with a beautiful forecast. Since this is the first such Expo, we didn’t fully know what to expect.

The Expo was conceived in response to the Obama administration’s desire to stimulate more interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers by “exposing children and families to new technologies that are strengthening communities, building careers, and stimulating economic growth.” The President’s Council of Advisers in Science and Technology, with help from a U.S. Department of Energy grant and funding from dozens of corporate sponsors, engaged more than 1,500 organizations to sponsor tents. They all brought some really cool S.W.A.G. The event is free—making it affordable for families to attend. Since the National Mall shares borders with the National Gallery of Art and many museums of the Smithsonian Institution, there is a lot to do within walking distance, although the Expo alone would take days to cover.


This is the same National Mall where the Reverend Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. In times of unrest, the National Mall has been popular with protesters since it is a large, open public space located in the very heart of Washington. While this isn’t the first time masses of people gathered on the National Mall for the same reason, it was the first time so many came with a passion for science, engineering, and technology!

Imagine researchers involving K-12 and the community. It was awesome.
We as teachers, as parents as researchers need to take back the media talk about schools. We can take forth the message of the Convocation on the Gathering Storm in a positive way.
One of the pleasures of teaching in Arlington, was to meet the parents who worked for the National Science Foundation , as they responsibly helped in the schools. Tonight, I cannot sleep because my heart is full of joy. I have spent two days on the mall, in the  Teragrid Booth It was a great pleaure to meet students, parents, administrators, grandparents, the people who came to the expo to learn about science, math, engineering and technology. We explored 3 D visualizations and used Ipad Technologies, we shared visualizations that showed the work of the institutions involved in the Teragrid.  We talked about cloud computing, parallel computing and little FE. We talked with students and would be students. The group inspired a LOT of people. We could show teachers in K 12 who were working in their classrooms using Teragrid resources. We could  say computational science with joy and bring others to LOVE it.

It is not a secret that students of today live in a multimedia world where they use video as their primary form of engagement and communication. Teachers and administrators are looking for ways to present information to students that will not only spark their interest, but also encourage them to explore a subject more thoroughly. Meaningful exploration usually means deeper understanding, which translates into higher student achievement, whether measured via standardized tests or an increased graduation rate. We did all this in our booth.  We had the new technologies.
The advent of affordable 3D technology promises to bring into reality the dream of fully engaged students. Our booth was full, almost all day long.
Children and parents and their friends came back to look , to share and to use the new technologies. People were fascinated with the IPad and the visualizations.

HISTORY
I will start from Grace Hopper, go to cooking, and simple involvement in technology to the Teragrid and Blue Waters. You will see why I am so excited and feeling empowered.


Grace Hopper? Think gender…
Here is who she is. Note how early she was a star in the history of technology.  



She was a special person in technology before the term digital native was invented.
 

Grace Hopper

 

 

 

grace hopper
     

    • Category: American scientists
    • Date of birth: December 9, 1906
    • Date of death: January 1, 1992
    • Profession: Mathematician, Programmer, Scientist, …
    • Served in: United States Navy
    • Nationality: American
  •  

 

I have had some  Grace Hopper  moments, I met her when she  visited schools in Arlington. I remember looking at her thinking. She must be very , very smart, because she is old and she is still in the Navy. At first I missed the point about the Nanosecond.I kept thinking, if she is a programmer than I can do this programming thing too.
So in a high school, a career high school in Arlington County Virginia, Tom Smolenski allowed me to have an activity day that was country wide in which we matched up students with new and unusual ideas which were about teaching and learning. We learned about computers, calligraphy, and many other things. We were doing project based learning over a period of time to cement an interest in mathematics, games, cooking, many things.

You think, cooking, what has that got to do with science?Ok, I am starting with the ordinary. Our booth was not ordinary. But we need to remember that since NCLB lots of people have not even had ordinary science. There were hundreds and hundreds of people just enjoying hands on science, and being involved. We had much more than this.. but let me share an ordinary pleasure first. I have lots of pictures from the mall. But it is late and I am tired. I will post pictures tomorrow.

COOKING
That may mean that you have never seen the naked egg. or visited the pages of the Exploratorium. This is a web site that rivals the Cooking Channel because you get to learn the science of cooking and you can keep the knowledge as a plus.


Accidental Scientist: Science of Cooking
looks at the science behind food and cooking. Learn about what happens when you eat sugar, bake bread, cook an egg, or pickle foods. Find out how muscle turns to meat, what makes meat tender, and what gives meat its flavor. Take tours of breads and spices of the world. Explore your sense of taste and smell. (Exploratorium, National Science Foundation)

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/index.html

Science of Eggs
Science of Pickles
Science of Candy
Science of Bread
Science of Seasoning
Science of Meat

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.

Science of Cooking




WE  Were Doing Extraordinary Science, Teragrid and Blue Waters



 

The special booth that I was a part of was of course leading edge science In our booth we were Blue Waters/ Teragrid.
Here is what you would see.

 

*Showing a 3D Stereo Video about NSF, LEAD and the TeraGrid

*Promoting Bluewaters – one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world

*Demonstrating LittleFe, a complete 6 node Beowulf style portable computational cluster

*Viewing 2D visualizations and photographs from TG users on IPAD technology

*Giving away coloring books about Supercomputing (and crayons)

*Giving away large posters depicting exciting scientific visualizations

*Stamping student paperwork with NSF stamps

*Handing out TeraGrid Science and EOT Highlight Magazines

Today and yesterday on the mall were special initiatives.



Blue Waters
Taking full advantage of the opportunities that follow from fielding a petascale computing system requires a long-term coordinated effort to educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers. This effort must excite, recruit, educate, and retain students as well as educational professionals. Partners in the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation are critical to the Blue Waters education initiatives.
Learn more about undergraduate and graduate education athttp://www.greatlakesconsortium.org/education/.


Broadband, Super-Computing, and Finding the Superman Within

This is from Frank Odasz.
Growing up, it was fun to imagine being a superman, strong and smart and able to do amazing things and help people in need. Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero, and be admired and respected and able to make a positive difference in a struggling world.  To not be helpless – in the face of all the bad things happening today.


Well, good news.

We are genuinely the first people in history to have super powers at our fingertips.  If we have broadband, we can fly into space, or to the bottom of the oceans, perform calculations and searches at speeds counted in billons per second. With a single click we can instantly self-publish our insights and resources to the nearly 2 billion online.

Without any money at all, we can start a global micromultinational business, we can start a global cause, we can launch a virtual nation, and much more.

Einstein said “We’re limited only by our imaginations.”
Many of us don’t believe we could ever be superpersons. But, there is a super secret here; to unlock your true full potential you must connect with your inner champion; the Superman within. What you won’t do for yourself, you might do for others. Many of us must first give to others in order to discover our true human potential.
Self-actualization for all – is now possible;
The 21st Century imperative is: Everyone both learner and teacher, both consumer and producer, all the time.
You have the choice to step up, even with just baby steps for starters, or to step back from your true full potential. That you actually have this choice alone, is powerful!
The love of learning is the key to learning how to innovate, to create value in a knowledge economy, and as important is knowing how to cultivate one’s curiosity; seeking out new knowledge and having fun making discovery a part of one’s lifestyle.
Was it Spiderman who says ” With Power comes Responsibility?”
If you are unemployed, under educated, depressed, and down and out, there is a lot you can do both for yourself and for those yet worse off than you. Anyone can become a citizen professor, able to teach anything to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Now I can go to sleep. I think. I might giggle about having to enter the marathon to access the mall. I had no other way of getting to my booth.
It was funny , me in a backpack easing sideways.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton
PowerofUSFoundation
Digital Equity and Social Justice Chair, SITE.org