Is America Really a Digitally Literate Nation? Do People Really Understand Inequity?Social Justice?

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Recently a lot of articles and workshops have come to us about the digital divide and that it still exists. It is a relief that people are coming back to the realization that we have an uneven learning landscape. Here is a whole article. The following is an excerpt. This is a lot of information, but it is very important to understand the challenges in education.
“For children in the U.S., their homes, their communities, and their schools both represent and perpetuate inequity. In fact, the inequity of childhood is increasing, not shrinking.”

At the Broadband Summit hosted by the FCC and NTIA, I heard  stories of people who are new to technology and how difficult it is for some populations to embrace technology. Many people are still waiting to embrace the mouse. Of course now we can leapfrog to a tablet. But understanding is the key to embracing technology in meaningful ways. Outstanding were the NTIA projects that support the uses of technology in community ways.

Sadly, many communities are still not well-connected.

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SHARING THE VISION

In February, there was an uncommon event. It was the 2013 Broadband Summit ( Broadband Adoption and Usage- What Have We Learned?)NTIA and the FCC shared the day in sharing knowledge.

The FCC is a leader in encouraging the safe use of electronic media by children.Educators are held to the idea of digital textbooks while many do not have connectivity in their schools. Students do not have the skills for workforce readiness. Many teachers don/t have the skills they need to be effective in the use of technology. Some of these ideas are shared in Digital Nation from Edutopia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nKIu9yen5nc

From televisions to laptops to cell phones, electronic media have become some children’s almost constant companions. The commission provides parents with a variety of resources to improve children’s safety in today’s complex media landscape, including:

At the SITE Conference in New Orleans… we will share the results of our work and research so that you don’t have to guess about resources . We have a Facebook Grant. The work will be published in the society’s journals.Here is a little information to frame the research that has been conducted.What is SITE?

We are the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, and it is our mission to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange and support.

SITE Conference 2013 – Teaching in Exponential Times!

Sheraton San Diego

The 24th Annual International SITE Conference will be held March 25 – 29, 2013 in New Orleans, LA, USA

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP?

Definitions of Digital Citizenship In Our Facebook Grant Work

“Digital citizenship” is an umbrella term that covers a whole host of important issues. Broadly, it’s the guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when one is using technology. But specifically, it can cover anything from “netiquette” to cyber-bullying; technology access and the digital divide; online safety and privacy; copyright, plagiarism, and digital law, and more. In fact, some programs that teach digital citizenship have outlined no less than nine elements that intersect to inform a well-equipped digital citizen. It’s an overwhelming array of skills to be taught and topics to explore.The source of the nine elements is ISTE.org.

But while there is much talk about the importance of teaching digital citizenship in this information society, not many are sure what that really looks like. What tools are out there for teaching it? And how in the world can teachers make time in an already overcrowded curriculum?What  about those who do not have broadband access? Or limited bandwidth?

Digital Passport?

WHO USES TECHNOLOGY?Back Camera

There are lots of users of technology. My concern is that there are people who do not use, know about or are interested in the use of technology , nor do they know how they benefit from the ways in which technology is used at the highest levels in Supercomputing. They innocently use GPS, weather resources from Supercomputing, watch on television the news from around the world, get climate updates, and earthquake and seismic information without thinking of the source. They get visualization and modeling examples daily, and do not think at all of computational thinking , problem solving and the math that is required to be able to participate in computing.Many people use the cloud without knowledge of what it is. A good reference or starting point is at Shodor.org.

There is a higher form of computing that facilitates a lot of tasks for us and few people seem to be aware of it.

You will hear people say, I don’t need technology. Sure. Invisible uses are everywhere.

It is called Supercomputing.

GOT BROADBAND?

This morning several  articles caught my eye. But more than the articles is the interesting interaction on-line and the discussions about have and have-nots. Friends of mine,  a professor, a code writer and a mathematician had a late night discussion following my posting this video by Jeannette Wing.

Dr. Jeannette Wing was the Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate at the National Science Foundation.Social Media helps us to communicate, though we may not always agree, at least there is the opportunity to exchange ideas and to think deeply with reflection. Dr. Wing has moved into the private sector. Microsoft announced that it has hired Dr. Jeannette Wing as Vice President of its Research division. Microsoft Research is an expansive group of technologists, scientists, and dreamers that build technology that may, or perhaps more often may not make it to market.

GOT PEDAGOGICAL KNOWLEDGE?

Such interesting conversations I have on Facebook. This is what I am talking about as a model for use of technology. It is not happening in most inner city and rural and distant schools. People have the tools but not the pedagogical knowledge of integration . ( TPACK)

TPACK Image (rights free)

The TPACK Model
The TPACK Model was created in response to the need to provide a framework around the important pieces of innovating learning with a focus on Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge.  The overlap of these three components is where the 21st Century classroom is most powerful.

Here is general information on TPACK

Got Computational Thinking?

Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, lets add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability. Computational thinking is an approach to solving problems, building systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on the power and limits of computing. While computational thinking has already begun to influence many disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities, the best is yet to come.Looking to the future, we can anticipate even more profound impact of computational thinking on science, technology, and society: on the ways new discoveries will be made, innovation will occur, and cultures will evolve.

It is this that we learn with. So we had a person who writes code, a scientist and me, a teacher.. in a late night discussion with a professor about the video.This is one of the things about social media. It cuts the silos. Ground truths in social media.

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In this interview from the Education Technology & Change blog, Henry Neeman from the University of Oklahoma describes the increasing accessibility of HPC.

“You may not see the supercomputers, but every single day supercomputing is making our lives better. Everything from the cars we drive to the weather forecast on TV to the movies we watch to the detergent bottles in our laundry rooms are made, or made better, by supercomputing. Today, there are a number of ways for citizens to access supercomputing. Often, these are known as “science gateways,” and they provide a simple interface to a complicated back end. An example is nanoHUB, which K-12 and postsecondary students can use to do nanotechnology simulations. In fact, the nanoHUB website has curricula and teaching materials that any teacher can put to work in their classroom.”

Early exposure and interest

early exposure and interest through outreach

This article caught my eye because it says the things that I have been blogging about, talking about and sharing for some time.

The article is entitled “By the Numbers: Teachers, Tech, and the Digital Divide” it extracts information from the latest Pew Report which is here. The new Pew Research survey of more than 2,400 middle school and high school teachers released today shows that, while teachers believe technology has helped with their teaching, it’s also brought new challenges — including the possibility of creating a bigger rift between low-income and high-income students.

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Reading first.. . and there is free technology of excellence….Many of us know the challenges first hand . Many of us work at different levels of understanding of the difficulty. Often people dismiss what we who are on the ground , in the classrooms and in the places of need as if what we are saying is untrue. We have children who cannot read. Technology can help solve that problem. Early learning is important. Books and technology work too.

We know that people use the tools of technology, but that expense is a problem. We know that the cell phone has brought many people to a mobile use of technology and that “bring your own device” has become the salvation for some schools.Mobile use was shared in the Wireless Technology conference.

                         Wireless EdTech Beyond Being There – The Mobile Future of Learning ( in case you missed it)

There are a few other pieces of research that affect those of us of diversity in very important ways. We have always known that the digital divide is a problem based on access to broadband, hardware and access to teachers who may not have achieved the transformational skills to use technology in meaningful ways.

Some examples of ways in which people are trying to help are:


By Sean Cavanagh in Education Week

“Can online graphic novels help teenagers cope with difficult social situations?

Are 3-D technologies a tool for helping English-learners acquire language skills outside traditional educational settings? And what about the potential for mobile apps that let students manipulate on-screen images with their fingers to help them learn fractions?”

“A federal program, still in its infancy, is supporting research that seeks to answer those and other questions by wedding partners that often operate in isolation—educational technology and scientific research on learning—with the goal of transforming teaching and learning in schools.”

The federal government has been funding projects focused on technology and education for decades, and it has backed research on cognition in many forms. But the relatively new program, called Cyberlearning: Transforming Education , is the National Science Foundation ’s attempt to create a space within the agency devoted to supporting research on advanced learning technologies.

Some of the beginning steps of the program were shared in a conference .

NSF Funds Research to Identify What Works

Jeremy Rochelle of SRI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHmR0G_NmsE

The conference, which was hosted at the National Geographic, involved SRI ,  and NSF

you can find the portal here.They invite you to help write pages for the cyber-learning topic areas listed below. Their aim is to develop definitions that are strong enough to show the direction of the field but open enough to allow for innovation (see Defining Cyber-learning, below). If you have expertise in any of these areas and would like to be involved in editing these pages, please email cyberlearning-info@sri.com to request a wiki account.

Here are the topics:

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) project is also defining key TEL topics

This is the portal for this important work.( http://cyberlearning.sri.com/w/index.php/Cyberlearning:Community_portal)
There are many teachers, educators, administrators who are still learning to understand these topics and so even with help from various groups trying to make a difference, the leap of faith is a broad one. Edutopia has a program that starts to share why we must go digital.
There are still people who resist personal and educational use of technology for various reasons. Many teachers have the tools,but not the know how or support or the ideational  scaffolding that is needed to be technology fluent. The Pew Report outlined many of the things that I would say, but also lets us know that it is not just
those of us who talk about the digital divide and social justice who are complaining about lack of broadband, access, tools and support for learning the technology.
Edutopia has videos, blogs, and all manner of resources to share with educators on how to use and integrate technology into good practice.
There is no cost for exploring good practices in education at the site.

Transforming the World of Education with Technology.. Starting Points and Resources

Future  Learning

Wireless shows the way to the future ways of learning
if we can conquer the digital divide.

My friend Mano works in areas of need in rural Virginia. There are lots of us who have the aptitude to teach students. Permission is something else.

My friend Mano works in areas of need in rural Virginia. There are lots of us who have the aptitude to teach students. Permission is something else.

Tpack-contexts

There is the content divide, teachers can learn to master information on the web. Here is where to start. You will love learning the Tpack Framework. It seems complicated? Not. It is an ideational scaffolding for teaching and learning. It works and , it is free. Tpack.

http://tpack.org/

A problem that is a dividing factor for many people is the lack of access. Broadband access is a problem and the tools to use technology are a problem.

All classrooms do not look like the schema above. For one thing teachers using technology often are in an active classroom. Not a lot of sitting down happens.

Or the classroom may be a flipped classroom. In case you need a good example here is one from Edutopia.http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flip-stem-classroom-ainissa-ramirez and all flipped classrooms do not look alike.

To see how technology transforms or changes view some of the projects in the Digital Generation. The digital generation has a great introduction and then it broadens engagement from gamers to students interested in making change in their community. I love the story of Luiz.

           Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say

Nancy Palmieri for The New York Times

Lisa Baldwin, a chemistry teacher, works with her students to fight through academic challenges.

By 

There is a widespread belief among some  teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers released in November and confirmed in December reports. But then there is this. Digital Generation

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Hope Molina-Porter, an English teacher in Fullerton, Calif., worries that technology is deeply altering how students learn.

The researchers note that their findings represent the subjective views of teachers and should not be seen as definitive proof that widespread use of computers, phones and video games affects students’ capability to focus.

Even so, the researchers who performed the studies, as well as scholars who study technology’s impact on behavior and the brain, say the studies are significant because of the vantage points of teachers, who spend hours a day observing students.

The timing of the studies, from two well-regarded research organizations, appears to be coincidental.

You can find the rest of the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/01/education/technology-is-changing-how-students-learn-teachers-say.html?smid=fb-share

Broadband? Here is a perspective on broadband from the FCC

Where are you on the map?

                       THE CONSENSUS UNDERSTANDING OF THE FCC’S ROLE WITH RESPECT TO BROADBAND

A challenge for the FCC in recent years has been how to apply the time-honored purposes of the Communications Act to our 21st Century communications platform—broadband Internet—access to which is generally provided by the same companies that provide telephone and cable television services.

Broadband is increasingly essential to the daily life of every American. It is fast becoming the primary way we as Americans connect with one another, do business, educate ourselves and our children, receive health care information and services, and express our opinions. As a unanimous FCC said a few weeks ago in our Joint Statement on Broadband, “Working to make sure that America has world-leading high-speed broadband networks—both wired and wireless—lies at the very core of the FCC’s mission in the 21st Century.”

Over the past decade and a half, a broad consensus in the public and private sectors has developed about the proper role and authority for the FCC regarding broadband communications. This bipartisan consensus, which I support, holds that the FCC should adopt a restrained approach to broadband communications, one carefully balanced to unleash investment and innovation while also protecting and empowering consumers.

It is widely understood—and I am of the view—that the extreme alternatives to this light-touch approach are unacceptable. Heavy-handed prescriptive regulation can chill investment and innovation, and a do-nothing approach can leave consumers unprotected and competition unpromoted, which itself would ultimately lead to reduced investment and innovation.

The consensus view reflects the nature of the Internet itself as well as the market for access to our broadband networks. One of the Internet’s greatest strengths—its unprecedented power to foster technological, economic, and social innovation—stems in significant part from the absence of any central controlling authority, either public or private. The FCC’s role, therefore should not involve regulating the Internet itself.

Want to measure your broadband   http://www.speedtest.net. it is easy..

Google’s Coolest Project? Broadband

By QUENTIN HARDY
A sign in Kansas City encouraged residents to pre-register for Google Fiber.Steve Hebert for The New York TimesA sign in Kansas City encouraged residents to pre-register for Google Fiber.
  • FACEBOOKAccording to Eric Schmidt, Google‘s executive chairman, the most interesting project going on at the search giant is its high-speed broadband trials in Kansas City. (Missouri and Kansas versions)

The business, called Google Fiber, promises speeds 100 times faster than conventional high-speed Internet services. Mr. Schmidt, who was speaking at a New York Times Dealbook conference in New York, said Google was delivering 760 megabits per second to the customer, and taking 720 megabits a second from customers.

Some of our have robust broadband and others of us do not. There are tools that are used to measure broadband, that are national , and some are international.

You can measure broadband  in your community and then go raise a ruckus if it is not adequate with this tool.

     I Like this quote I dislike this quote“For the last decade, we have been amazed and delighted by what we can do online. And yet people feel increasingly powerless to stop unscrupulous individuals and companies from infecting their computers with programs that they didn’t request. The providers of Internet services and software simply must get this problem under control so the users can realize the full potential of their access to the Internet.”
 Vint Cerf quote

The use of broadband in the area of education is deep and wide, but still in its earliest stages of development. In the pre-broadband era – about 15 years ago – “distance learning” was generally conducted on a set schedule in a professional facility with the capability of satellite video to a small group able to pay a high fee.

With the wide availability of broadband this definition has been turned 180 degrees. Today an individual student can see a lecture at a time and place which best fits his or her schedule at little or no cost. Not only does broadband provide better access to coursework, but students taking those courses appear to do better than those sitting in a traditional classroom.

Broadband permits a wide variety of online learning experiences. Students can be directed to websites different from the course website. There they can stream a video or examine a famous painting; they can have an online chat with their teacher or professor; or students studying the same coursework can come together in learning communities in real time without regard to their physical geographic location. These “virtual study groups” have not been possible before the general availability of broadband.

Of greatest interest is the acceptance of adults to taking courses on-line. According to Philip R. Regier, the dean of Arizona State University’s Online and Extended Campus program, growth will be in continuing education programs In three to five years, he estimates, the current census of 5,000 continuing education students “could triple, with nearly all the growth coming online.” The use of broadband as students’ “in-home tutor” is well-documented. The ability to search the world’s libraries from a student’s home has had an enormous impact on the quality and depth of the educational experience for serious students.

Teachers who have had to use the traditional red pen to correct and edit papers and reports, can now use their computers to “track changes” and send the work back to students (and their parents) via e-mail for their review.

If education is the foundation of society, then broadband is quickly becoming the mortar which binds and strengthens that foundation.

Got Milk? Got Broadband? Then you can learn to transform using whatever tools that are  available to you with also some really good face to face , or mentoring examples.

In many urban, distant and rural communities there is a lack of the technology tools, broadband and teachers who know how to use the technology, but once we get connectivity many free resources, ideas, and projects are on line. You need the time to explore, examine, extricate the ideas for your use, learn to evaluate and to engage using your ideas and the prescribed curriculum that you deal with. There are many , many teacher groups that provide lesson plan examples and ideas.