In the Digital Age, Digital Equity is an Essential

Excerpt by Larry Irving /Fast Forward by Bonnie Sutton

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The day America married the Internet

In 1993, the Internet was the province almost exclusively of scientists and hobbyists, with only about 2 million users worldwide. U.S. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore saw huge potential in connecting all of the United States to the Internet.

They believed that a robust Internet would provide immeasurable benefits to the U.S. economy, would create jobs and would improve the provision of critical services to the American public, including education, healthcare, library services, public safety and government information and data.

As importantly, they believed that the Internet could spur needed private-sector investment and innovation in both the underlying infrastructure and in the platforms, applications and services that would ride on that infrastructure.

They were right on all counts.

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The vision

“Imagine you had a device that combined a telephone, a TV, a camcorder and a personal computer. No matter where you went or what time it was, your child could see you and talk to you, you could watch a replay of your team’s last game, you could browse the latest additions to the library, or you could find the best prices in town on groceries, furniture, clothes — whatever you needed.”

The above paragraph was the opening paragraph of the Agenda for Action — 20 years ago. It was an eerily accurate vision of a then-distant future. Sometimes having a coherent vision helps propel progress. The administration knew where it wanted to go and knew it needed a plan to drive the progress required to get there.

The plan

The Agenda for Action laid out a series of principles and proposed actions to support them. Virtually all of those principles remain the cornerstones of the United States’ domestic and international technology policies today.

The Agenda for Action stated a strong preference for private-sector development and deployment of the Internet. The administration felt it important to state that preference clearly and unequivocally because of fears that the government would attempt to build the Information Superhighway using public dollars.

In light of the U.S. government’s efforts at that time to encourage increased investment in our domestic infrastructure and to promote privatization of telecommunications networks abroad, the administration clarified its preference for private-sector investment to build the Internet, supported by tax and regulatory policies that would promote an investment-friendly environment.

The Agenda for Action presaged virtually every major policy debate surrounding the Internet and delineated a comprehensive policy approach that protected the rights of consumers while also providing increased certainty for industry and innovators by calling for the following: extending our historic commitment to universal service to the Internet; seamless, interactive user-driven operation of the Internet; information security and network reliability; improved management of wireless spectrum; protection of Intellectual property rights; and increased coordination with state and local governments and with other nations to ensure that the Internet would be fully global.

Looking back today, President Clinton and Vice President Gore got much right. Their vision for the Internet was realized more quickly and more completely than any of us had any right to expect.

Reading the Agenda for Action today, the administration accurately predicted the power of the Internet to increase access to information and to be a key economic driver. As importantly, the administration provided a forward looking and flexible policy template that would underscore the growth of the internet over the following decades.

The astonishing growth of the Internet in the mid-1990s was driven in large part by the innovation, talent, ingenuity and passion of many in the private sector, principally the Internet pioneers in Silicon Valley and other creative centers, as well as the Internet service providers who built the physical networks.

It is unlikely that the Internet’s growth would have been as explosive or that we would have seen as much early acceptance and adoption domestically and internationally without the administration’s leadership and use of the bully pulpit to drive policy prescriptions and procurement efforts designed to support and encourage private-sector investment and innovation.

At a time of increased skepticism about the role of government and widespread derision of visionary leaders, it’s important to note that sometimes the government and its leaders get it right. The United States and the world is at another inflection point today as wireless technology, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, social networks and data analytics become drivers of economic and societal changes.

Revisiting or restating fundamental policy principles to ensure that they provide an environment that will promote investment while also protecting the rights of consumers would seem to be as necessary today as it was 20 years ago.

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Advances in information technology (IT) are reshaped the U.S. labor market. The demand for workers who can read and understand complex material, think analytically, and use technology efficiently will continue to increase. Congress established the 21st Century Workforce Commission to assess current and future demand for IT workers and the education and training needed to fill IT jobs. By conducting field hearings and site visits and reviewing pertinent research, the commission identified nine keys to success that leaders at all levels can apply to build a highly skilled workforce prepared for high-technology job opportunities in the 21st century. The keys are as follows: (1) building 21st century literacy; (2) exercising leadership through partnerships; (3) forming learning linkages for youth; (4) identifying pathways to IT jobs; (5) increasing acquisition of IT skills; (6) expanding continuous learning; (7) shaping a flexible immigration policy for skilled IT workers; (8) raising student achievement; (9) and making technology access and Internet connectivity universal. During its work, the commission found many examples of how stakeholders at all levels exerted the leadership to put the keys into practice. (Ten tables/figures are included. Concluding the report are a list of the commission members and 85 endnotes.) (MN)

Fast Forward 2016   Are We A Nation of Opportunity for All? Not Yet!!

We still need a plan to engage, inform, educate and create possibilities for all communities.

In the Digital Age, Digital Equity is an Essential

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 NCDE  Puts forward an Action Plan

We are , in America still trying to solve the problem of the Digital Divide. EDC has allowed us to have a solution. Not to talk about the latest tool, or gadget or even coding.

HOW DO WE SOLVE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE?

Not in an hour to talk about problems, but a whole day to define, to work across communities , schools, libraries, businesses, teacher groups and government to find solutions and to learn from each other.

Dr. McLaughlin  shared thoughts as a framework for our discussions

 Principles for Designing and Evaluating Digital Equity Investments and Initiatives

They were well focused on achieving not only digital equity but also locally determined economic, educational and social impacts.  fostering digital equity not just for its own sake but for its critical contributions to other more fundamental locally determined priorities for equity, social justice, and well-being.

 

Systemic- providing equitable( free or low cost) access to the full array of essential resources for digital inclusi0n, lifelong learning, workforce development and economic opportunity including:

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-broadband

-computing devices with keyboard ( and assistive devices for those with disabilities}

-multilingual tech support

-librarians skilled in guiding learners to high quality content and tools, keyed to their learning priorities

-low interest financing (or full subsidies) for gamilies with weak or no credit so that when devices are not free they can afford to finance them and still support their families

-educational and productivity apps and software

-open and “Deep Web”educational resources that are universally designed.

The initiative will publish, share videos and the outcome ideas of our Digital Equity Symposium

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The National Coalition for Digital Equity will publish these in greater detail the outcomes of the symposium.

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Kudos to Rafranz Davis.. Opening the Conversation

A must read if you are a minority in education is to read

The Missing Voices in EdTech: Bringing Diversity Into EdTech 

 

The real question is who is gating the inclusion of diverse educational leaders in technology?And why?

Martin Luther King Jr.
“But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world – wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.

We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Man without identity programing in technology enviroment with cy

This is an important book. It may be that the struggle of those of us who are minorities and leaders in education has gone on without the knowledge of the general public. We are missing by design. On his resignation from the Dept. of Education, Dr. Richard Culatta shot a parting shot sharing his concern about digital equity. Some of what he said

“Yes, students can learn without them. Yes, it’s possible to do great teaching without a digital device. Yes, going overboard with computers is a real and pressing problem. But kids who are forced to make do with decade-old computers and slow Internet networks aren’t growing up in an environment that will spark an interest in computers. That matters.”

                                              Illustrating Now . and Then
Sadly, many children are left outside of the loop of Ed Tech. Many have never purposefully
used technology. Rural, urban, tribal, distant and poor groups including many types of minorities are not being included in the use of technology. Many of us who are minorities have tried to intervene to educate teachers and to involve communities.
There are advisory boards, and influencers, and politicians who can make things happen.
What would happen if we focused on content in education? Just a thought.

PIONEERING DIVERSITY

Early in the Ed Tech world, Dr. Frank Withrow and Jennelle Leonard helped teachers to explore the uses of technology. He spoke of inclusion for all.
Dr. Withrow was the Executive Director of Presidents Johnson and Nixon’s Presidential National Committee for the Handicapped and was the Chief Technologist for the US Department of Education for a number of years.

Frank Withrow asked ,”How can we change the educational system? What is the Challenge and Charge?

1. Enlist media as an agent of change.
2. Develop town meetings across the nation that explore and foster better learning environments.
3. Recruit corporate support for this campaign.
4. Create a public relations campaign for better learning environments
5. Develop a consortium of national associations
6. Establish in USED an Assistant Secretary for Reform in the Digital Age
The USA should lead the world in education. The greatest resource for peace in the world is an educated population.  In 1990 161 nations at Jomtiem, Thailand agreed to at least six years of education for all children around the world.
Why not make this a reality? ”

Education for All
”    We fall short of our mission if we fail to include all children in our universal learning systems. The United States of America pioneered the concept of universal education for all children.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s we opened a new high school almost every day across this nation.  Horace Mann established that public schools benefit all people within a society; therefore all people should share in the costs of public education.  Not only has the USA created a great K-12 education system we developed under the federal land grant college program a network of outstanding higher education opportunities for all that can qualify.  Too often we separate K-12 from higher education but in reality the system is one from preschool to graduate school. ”

“The struggle for universal education has not been easy. Each generation has had to fight for the right to enter the schoolhouse door.  For years many children of color were provided separate and unequal educations.  It was not until 1954 that the Supreme Court in its most important decision unanimously struck down segregated schools. Unfortunately, there are those who still fight this decision and send their children to charter, church and/or private schools.”

       We do not like to admit our racial biases but they remain. Dr. Frank Withrow

Here is a way to get there for teachers.

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Jennelle Leonard. Pioneer

Jenelle Leonard served nearly a year and a half (1997-1998) as an Expert Consultant at the U. S. Department of Education in the Office of Educational Technology. She consulted and advised on issues related to the development and implementation of technology initiatives and national goals, such as professional development, telecommunications technologies, curriculum integration, and instructional applications. She participated in developing long-range, short-term plans, and strategies for implementing Department programs and initiatives including the evaluation of the effect and impact of the use technology in instruction.

Jenelle Leonard has held supervisory and technology related positions in Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas, VA, at BDM Education Technologies Group, a K-12 systems integrator and consulting company, Center for Instructional Technology and Training in the District of Columbia Public Schools and at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The TEA position provided her the opportunity to work with over a thousand school districts to implement the state’s Technology Initiatives as mandated by the Texas Legislature.

Jenelle Leonard has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator. She has been a public school teacher and administrator, technology implementation and training consultant, college professor, and a regional and state education department administrator.

Her background also includes designing and developing graduate-level instructional technology courses, technology and software procurement and installation oversight in over 400 hundred schools, and software development. Additionally, she has served on numerous technology advisory boards, and served as a contributing editor for an educational technology magazine. Her most important digital inclusion work in my eyes was this.

 

Jenelle Leonard served at the U.S. Department of Education as Leader of the Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Program (TICG). In addition to managing the TICG Program, which included developing national guideline materials and policies, reviewing and issuing grants, program monitoring, and program evaluation, she served as an agency expert and authoritative consultant, and provided leadership and guidance within Department of Education as well as to State, and local organizations, institutions, and agencies.

She was in a position to understand the challenge of providing for all.All together

“There can be no gainsaying of the fact that a great revolution is taking place in the world today . . . that is, a technological revolution, with the impact of automation and cybernation . . . . Now, whenever anything new comes into history it brings with it new challenges and new opportunities. . . . [T]he geographical oneness of this age has come into being to a large extent through modern man’s scientific ingenuity. Modern man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in chains. . . . Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this.”

That was Rev. Martin Luther King, March 31, 1968.

There has been great political change. The revolution in education for all is still to come.

 

 

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Larry Irving  when at NTIA,helped us to understand this problem with the initiation of the idea of the E-rate.

That helps to provide the technology architecture and learning landscape that is needed.

He further said,” Our efforts are needed in at least three areas: what I call “access,” “aptitude,” and “attitude.” It’s a triple-A plan, and we need to begin work in each of these areas immediately if our students are going to win straight As in technological literacy.

 

The Ugly Truth .. Education and the Digital Chasm

You often wonder , if you are a professional, if the reporters who work in Washington know the ugly truth about education and the digital divide. You wait for someone to say things. But they don’t. Education in the Nation’s Capital is a horrible chasm. There are charter schools, some good , some bad. There are private and parochial schools. But the ugly truth about DC Schools has come out finally. Perhaps it took the death of NCLB to make people think?

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I am a teacher. I worked overseas in DODDS Schools. I thought, well I will go help Washington DC .. a decade or more ago. That did not work for me.The job was bigger than me in the school that I worked in. I went back , across the river to Arlington , Va. schools.There were many reasons.

Who runs DC Schools? The Congress has oversight.. and Rhee has come and gone and left people of her like mind here to carry on her legacy. Does the Mayor know education? Is big data fooling her and others?

In the Washington Post .

In D.C. schools, the racial gap is a chasm, not a crack

Opinion writer January 1

“The final page has been turned on D.C. Public Schools’ 2015 calendar. But 2016 begins with the same uncompromising problem: the school system’s huge racial achievement gap.” He writes.

“Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson called the results of last year’s standardized tests “sobering.” ”

How about painful? How about awful? How about inadequate? How about heartbreaking to parents?

How about .. sigh.. not serving the kids who need education the most.

Colbert goes on to say “The tests, known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exams, or PARCC,showed that just 25 percent of D.C. students in the third through eighth grades met or exceeded expectations on new standardized tests in English.

Only 24 percent met a new math benchmark.”

And that was the good news.

Were it not for white test-takers in this majority-minority school system, the results would have been even worse.

 Overall English and math proficiency rates reached 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively, only because white students, who make up 12 percent of the school system, scored proficiency rates of 79 percent in English and 70 percent in math.

And that was the good news.

Were it not for white test-takers in this majority-minority school system, the results would have been even worse.

No matter which initiative I was prepared to help schools and teachers with I was told testing, is the most important thing and that there was NO time for inserting anything new.

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Overall English and math proficiency rates reached 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively, only because white students, who make up 12 percent of the school system, scored proficiency rates of 79 percent in English and 70 percent in math.

 

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Should we talk about STEM?  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?

No, because the reading skills of most of the students are a main difficulty. Testing tethered technology except in a few schools.

Even the director of the projects for geography at National Geographic said to me, ” Our teachers have to worry about the tests, we don’t have time for ESRI Connects..

In 2014, There were some unsettling data points: Proficiency rates among students learning English as a second language declined in both subjects and in both traditional and charter schools. Latino students’ reading proficiency rates also dropped in both sectors, while the traditional school system saw reading proficiency fall among its economically disadvantaged students.

The Facts from Wikipedia

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) consists of 111[1][2] of the 238 public elementary and secondary schools and learning centers located in Washington, D.C. These schools have a grade span of prekindergarten to twelfth grade and, as of 2000, a kindergarten entrance age of 5 years old.[3] School is compulsory for DCPS students between the ages of 5 and 18.[4] DCPS schools typically start the last Monday in August. The school day is generally approximately six hours.[citation needed]

The ethnic breakdown of students enrolled in 2012 was 72% Black, 14% Hispanic (of any race), 10% non-Hispanic White, and 4% of other races. The District itself has a population that is 42% non-Hispanic White, 51% Black and 10% Hispanic (of any race).[5] Gentrification and demographic changes in many DC neighborhoods has increased the White and Hispanic populations in the city, while reducing the Black population. In 2008, DCPS was 84.4% Black, 9.4% Hispanic (of any race), 4.6% non-Hispanic White, and 1.6% of other races.[6]

Facilities reform legislation in DC has led to many school openings and closings.

Can you see where this is going?

Think of all the museums, the learning institutes, the teaching initiatives like. Connect Ed  … do you really think those programs were enacted?

https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/k-12/connected

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Every kid in a park? Did the schools respond to this program? I did go on a program with teachers from the National Geographic Alliance. We toured DC parks.

What do you think?Washington is full of parks and places to learn.Many of the students have never been to a lot of these places. There are wonderful teacher workshops.

When I was observing education in Russia,  I learned that there are after school initiatives that are a part of the school program.

CODING ?

Did the students code? I hope there were classes that did.

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A few groups of people who did coding and who do more every Saturday, but they are not allowed to work in the schools. Again, the basic skills levels and testing  may create a problem. One thing I was able to do was to work all day, and several Saturdays with groups that worked with Dr. Jesse Bemley. Dr.Bemley works with the support of Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) is the central technology organization of the District of Columbia Government. OCTO develops, implements, and maintains the District’s technology infrastructure; develops and implements major enterprise applications; establishes and oversees technology policies and standards for the District; provides technology services and support for District agencies, and develops technology solutions to improve services to businesses, residents and visitors in all areas of District government.

Dr. Bemley reaches out to the students. and provides supercomputer connectivity in a basement.

Bemley is  helping with those students to close the equity gap.

There should be more opportunities using technology to enhance the curriculum for students.

Culatta identified five opportunities to close the equity gap with technology. They include:

Opportunity #1: Equitable access to high-quality digital learning materials

The Learning Registry, which Culatta called “the human genome project” for open educational resources, is an online information network designed to organize and vet academic content for educators. It can be tapped into through various websites, such asfree.ed.gov, the Illinois shared learning resources site, or MyDigitalChalkboard from California.

Opportunity #2: Equitable access to expertise

“Too many of our students are disadvantaged purely based on the ZIP code they live in,” he said, referring to a community that had a math teacher opening for five years because it couldn’t attract anyone to the town for that job. Ed tech can fill the gap, he said.

Meanwhile, in Sunnyside, Ariz., a high school bioengineering class was able to capture the genomes of all indigenous plant life in their region, by using technology to work with a local university.

Opportunity #3: Personalized learning

“One of the least equitable things we do is to treat all students the same,” he said. Adjusting the pace and path of learning can be transformationall, he said.

Some schools are personalizing a student’s learning to the extent that his or her schedule changes each day based on what was achieved the day before, he said.

Opportunity #4 – Support planning for higher education

“There are very few tools to help [students] make that transition,” said Culatta, who touted the January Datapalooza sponsored by the White House and the Education Department, in which open data was provided to developers who created and showcased products to help with post-secondary education planning.

Opportunity #5 – Supporting accessibility

To illustrate this opportunity, Culatta showed a video of a student who is being treated for lymphoma, and attends school remotely via a robot. Students at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Fla., raised money to buy a robot for Kyle, and produced a video explaining the experience.

http://”//www.youtube.com/embed/Dd-LMvkpjsM”

Tech Equity: A Civil Rights Issue

Culatta pointed out that equity in technology was part of a recent “Dear Colleague” letterfrom the Office for Civil Rights. This was the first guidance on the issue of resource equity released during the Obama administration, and it included references to equal access to laptops, tablets, the Internet, and instructional materials.

“We consider the number of devices, the type, and their age,” Culatta said.

He called technology an accelerator that can change the world.

 

 

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Changing the Equation by an Uncommon Gift- A Surface Tablet

ISTEI am at the ISTE conference in San Antonio.

I enjoyed the SIG work, I participated in sharing my concerns with the board, I attended some workshops,  did the conference floor, but also I witnessed some empowerment that was caused by the gift of a computer to 10,000 ISTE participants.

Microsoft gave away 10.000 Surface tablets to ISTE participants who signed up to get them. I have of course been reading various articles on the use of mobile technologies for groups who need help.  To understand the need? Read “ Falling Behind: A Technology Crisis Facing Minority Students.”

The access problem is something the White House is dealing with. You can read about it here.

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Tablets have been disruptive. Pew tells us here about the statistics , this is a summary of the full report.

For the first time, a third (34%) of American adults ages 18 and older own a tablet computer like an iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus, or Kindle Fire—almost twice as many as the 18% who owned a tablet a year ago.

Demographic groups most likely to own tablets include:

  • Those living in households earning at least $75,000 per year (56%), compared with lower income brackets
  • Adults ages 35-44 (49%), compared with younger and older adults
  • College graduates (49%), compared with adults with lower levels of education

“One of the things that is especially interesting about tablet adoption compared to some of the patterns of other devices we’ve studied is how these technologies’ growth has played out between different age groups,” Research Analyst Kathryn Zickuhr said. “With smartphones, for instance, we’ve seen a very strong correlation with age where most younger adults own smartphones, regardless of income level. But when it comes to tablets, adults in their thirties and forties are now significantly more likely than any other age group to own this device.”

ABOUT THE SURVEY

The findings in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults ages 18 and older.  Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline and cell phone. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.  More information is available in the Methods section at the end of this report.

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Of all of the years I have been working in technology, I have not witnessed such a sharing. Everyone says that all of the students are digital natives.. but there are many students who do not have the tools. the teachers who know it , or the broadband access to be able to share the new technology and ideas. Thank you to those who still remember that teachers are an important part of the equation.

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.