Yes ,There is Still a Digital Divide! The President Announces ConnectHome, He Gets it!!

The White House recognizes and reacts to the problem.

Here is their press release.logo

FACT SHEET: ConnectHome: Coming Together to Ensure Digital Opportunity for All Americans

Today, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, to announce ConnectHome, a new initiative with communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high speed broadband to more families across the country. The pilot program is launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation and will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.

ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative that is on track to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years.  ConnectHome will help ensure that these students still have access to high-speed Internet once they are home.

Since the President took office, the private and public sectors have invested over $260 billion into new broadband infrastructure, and three in four Americans now use broadband at home. Thanks to smart spectrum policies and world-leading technology, fast 4G wireless broadband is now available to over 98 percent of Americans — up from zero percent since 2009.

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Despite this progress, a new analysis released today by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)  illustrates that some Americans are still unable to benefit from high-speed broadband, especially America’s lower-income children.  In fact, while nearly two-thirds of households in the lowest-income quintile own a computer, less than half have a home internet subscription. While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends. This “homework gap” runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education.

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President Obama is announcing ConnectHome to help close this gap and provide more Americans digital opportunity.

Specifically, ConnectHome is:

Building regional partnerships:  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is collaborating with EveryoneOn and US Ignite who worked with private- and public-sector leaders to build local partnerships and gather commitments that will increase access to the Internet for low-income Americans.  These partnerships will bring broadband, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing across America. Mayors from Boston to Durham, and from Washington, DC to Seattle, have committed to reallocate local funds, leverage local programming, and use regulatory tools to support this initiative and the expansion of broadband access in low-income communities.

  • Twenty-eight communities strong: The President and HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced today that HUD has selected the following twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation to participate in ConnectHome:

Albany, GA; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA; Camden, NJ; Choctaw Nation, OK; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fresno, CA; Kansas City, MO; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Macon, GA; Memphis, TN; Meriden, CT; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Rockford, IL; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Springfield, MA; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.

HUD selected these communities through a competitive process that took into account local commitment to expanding broadband opportunities; presence of place-based programs; and other factors to ensure all are well-positioned to deliver on ConnectHome.

  • Helping deliver affordable connectivity: Eight nationwide Internet Service Providers have announced they are partnering with mayors, public housing authorities, non-profit groups, and for-profit entities to bridge the gap in digital access for students living in assisted housing units.  For example:
    • In Google Fiber markets (including the ConnectHome cities of Atlanta, Durham, Kansas City, and Nashville), Google Fiber will offer $0 monthly home Internet service to residents in select public housing authority properties and will partner with community organizations on computer labs and digital literacy programming to bridge the digital divide, especially for families with K-12 students.
    • In select communities of Choctaw Tribal Nation, Cherokee Communications, Pine Telephone, Suddenlink Communications, and Vyve Broadband will work together to ensure that over 425 of Choctaw’s public housing residents have access to low-cost, high-speed internet.
    • In Seattle, and across its coverage footprint, CenturyLink will make broadband service available to HUD households, via its Internet Basics program, for $9.95 per month for the first year and $14.95 per month for the next four years.
    • In Macon, Meriden, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Cox Communications will offer home Internet service for $9.95 per month to eligible K-12 families residing in public housing authorities.As part of its existing ConnectED commitment, Sprint will work with HUD and the ConnectHome program to make its free wireless broadband Internet access service program available to eligible K-12 students living in public housing. This builds upon the free mobile broadband service previously committed to low-income students by AT&T and Verizon, for ConnectED.
  • Making internet access more valuable: Skills training is essential to effectively taking advantage of all the Internet offers.  HUD is collaborating with non-profits and the private sector to offer new technical training and digital literacy programs for residents in assisted housing units.
    • Best Buy will offer HUD residents in select ConnectHome demonstration project cities, including Choctaw Tribal Nation, the computer training and technical support needed to maximize the academic and economic impact of broadband access. Best Buy will also offer afterschool technical training, for free, to students participating in ConnectHome at Best Buy Teen Centers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, DC.
    • The James M. Cox Foundation, a Cox Communications-affiliated Foundation, will make 1,500 discounted tablets, pre-loaded with educational software, available for $30 to students and their families participating in ConnectHome, in Macon.
    • GitHub will provide $250,000 to support devices and digital literacy training to HUD residents in ConnectHome cities.
    • College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer students and families in HUD housing in all ConnectHome communities free, online SAT practice resources, and contribute $200,000 over three years to fund digital literacy and personalized college readiness and planning training in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Washington, DC and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
    • 80/20 Foundation will provide $100,000 to fund digital literacy training in San Antonio.
    • Age of Learning, Inc. will make its ABCmouse.com online early learning curriculum available, for free, to families living in HUD housing in ConnectHome communities.
    • The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will produce and distribute new educational, children’s, and digital literacy content via participating local PBS stations tailored for ConnectHome participants.
    • The American Library Association will lead a collaboration with local libraries in all the ConnectHome communities to deliver tailored, on-site digital literacy programming and resources to public housing residents.
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide digital literacy training for HUD residents in ConnectHome communities that have a Boys & Girls Club, including in Durant, OK, part of Choctaw Tribal Nation.
    • Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Durant Independent School District will provide digital literacy courses, for free, to HUD residents in Choctaw Tribal Nation.
  • Ensuring HUD assisted housing integrates broadband: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is also taking major steps to provide communities across the nation tools to improve digital opportunity for its residents. Today, Secretary Castro announced that HUD will:
  • Begin rulemaking that requires HUD-funded new residential construction and substantial rehabilitation projects to support broadband internet connectivity.
  • Provide communities with the flexibility to spend portions of their Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants on local broadband initiatives and associated connectivity enhancements, including approximately $150 million dedicated to the current competition.
    • Begin rulemaking to include broadband planning as a component of the Consolidated Planning process, which serves as a framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and municipal development priorities.
    • Supply guidance and share best practices with HUD-funded grantees on how to more effectively utilize HUD funding to support broadband connectivity.
    • Integrate digital literacy programming and access to technology into related initiatives.
  • Supporting Promise Zones: ConnectHome is launching in Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and includes Camden, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio – all of which were designated Promise Zones, where the Administration works in partnership with local leaders in high-poverty communities to achieve their educational and economic goals.  President Obama has also called on Congress to cut taxes on hiring and investment in Promise Zones to attract businesses and create jobs.

Here is an awesome infographic

.https://www.whitehouse.gov/share/heres-what-digital-divide-looks-united-states

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All Things Considered , A Digital Promise for an Education Nation, Broadband Please!!

The White House and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan  launched “Digital Promise” this Friday at 10 a.m. “Digital Promise” is a new national center created by Congress to advance breakthrough technologies that can hopefully  transform teaching and learning. I will gently say that without broadband for all. The Promise is yet to come in a meaningful way. But it is a  great start. Here was a start that was initiated by the NEA. after the death of Christa McAuliffe, in 1992 where we discussed some of these ideas how wonderful to find that in the crucible of ideas that can cooked up that many of the ideas have come to fruition. I am excited that Shirley Malcom is a part of this initiative..

This initiative was also discussed around the table at the George Lucas Educational Foundation

Bonnie Bracey , Chris Dede, Seymour Papert at NEA , NFIE workshop for digital equity

The beginnings of ideas to vault the digital divide

At the end of NIAC the ideas were started , creating the possibility of this project. many long years later Founded after more than a decade of effort, including a 2004 report to Congress, Digital Promise has been endorsed by virtually every major national association of educators and educational institutions, libraries, and museums. The project that gave rise to Digital Promise was launched by the Carnegie, Century, Knight, MacArthur, and Open Society foundations, sustained by the Federation of American Scientists, and championed by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, civic and business leaders, who came together on its behalf so that the dream of a greenhouse, a place to share ideas and promising practices finally is established, online, instead of in regional centers, and or demonstration projects that are geographically based.

GPS, GIS comes to urban students in a neighborhood setting

ESRI , and National Geographic provide resources for all.

This has been a work in progress.  For the Digital Promise Project, The George Lucas Educational Foundation has produced a short videoto share the potential of new technologies in learning for schools, universities, and the workplace. Digital Promise is a project advocating the establishment of a major federally funded educational trust fund to support the use of digital technologies, especially the Internet, to transform education, training, and lifelong learning.

Being involved in transformational education through NASA

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

The focus in education for the last couple of weeks has been all STEM and all about Digital Promises

 No Child Left Behind has Left the Building, Following the path of  Little Red Schoolhouse 

As No Child Left Behind is being escorted out of the building of the Dept of Education, Common  Core, new ways of assessment are being escorted in , and there is a sea change in that we can now acknowledge STEM/. The Brookings Institute held an exciting meeting,

 At the meeting, the Department of Commerce shared the last of the three reports
Education Supports Racial and Ethnic Equality in STEM. that report is one of three.

Experts in all fields discussed promising practices and then accepted querys and questions from the audience.

Science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) are said to be fundamental aspects of everyone’s lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and workers. Here is a infographic to help visualize the ideas.

Providing all students with access to high-quality education in STEM is important to their futures and that of the U.S. What can schools do to meet this goal for their students?

How about realizing the problem of Broadband for all.? We have a National Broadband Plan.You can learn more about it here.

There is more, but I am a teacher , semi technology literate. So look down the site and see things like windrider.  See other technology applications here. http://www.measurementlab.net/resources

You can see if your community is broadband ready  here.

If you are an activist and you want to check your connections and contribute to data, you may want to involve yourself in the M-Lab Project.  When you take a first look it looks like a site only for researchers.M-Lab.

It will be helpful to you if you use the site to test your Internet connection. Do it here. It is easy.

There are explanations, so you will know that your privacy is not compromised.

Here are the tests.

Network diagnostic tool

Test your connection speed and receive sophisticated diagnosis of problems limiting speed.

Glasnost test

Test whether certain applications or traffic are being blocked or throttled on your broadband connection.

Network path & application diagnostics

Diagnose common problems that impact last-mile broadband networks.

Bandwidth test

See how much bandwidth your connection provides

Traffic shaping test

Determine whether an ISP is performing traffic shaping.

Bismark Gateway

Apply to host a router device to test Internet connectivity over time.

Mobile traffic test

Detect whether your mobile broadband provider is performing application or service specific differentiation.

 

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/