Invisible Students

 

Students at SITE

This article made me think of all of the people in education who have muted voices or no voices at all. It is probably because they don’t have technology, training, money, or time to make the difference that students need. They also can’t answer the experts , or share their sorrows in education. I think of them often. When I propose a workshop or a symposium, people start to tell me about the latest , hottest trend in education. Invisible students and teachers have no power. Even visible bad assed teachers can be shut out of the conversation and shut up.

Why are teachers cloaked in invisibility? Perhaps because we only ask the professors about research and not the working teachers. There are teachers and students in the world, in the US who are still not connected, and the way to get connected in their communities is difficult to find. We talk about the Internet of Things, and they have hardly the understanding of the uses of technology that are beneficial to them. I was told that sponsors don’t really care about digital equity, I don’t believe that.

I think it is difficult to walk in the shoes of those who work in rural, distant, urban, multilingual , and minority areas, but the work is necessary to lift all boats.

Teachers?

The public perception of the job is one thing. Being a good teacher is hard work.

The recent onslaught of attacks on teachers makes some of us like turtles. We withdraw and do our magic in the classroom as we can with what we have. The attacks make us insecure, and gives us feelings of unworthiness, sadness. Joy in the eyes of a child helps to take away the pain, or the discovery that some foundation, some credible agency understands how you feel makes for a quiet smile.

I like it that Richard Cullatta resigned and was not shy in his parting shots. The article is one that most people will never see or understand. But we in tribal. rural, distant, urban, and poor, the communities of those without the access, resources, savvy grant writers, technology trained teachers, and community support know exactly what he is talking about.

In his final public remarks as director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education, Richard Cullatta had a few requests.

Please don’t scan in the same old worksheets.

Please don’t record boring lectures and put them online.

Please don’t forget the needs of low-income and minority students, many of whom don’t have easy access to digital devices, speedy Internet service and advanced classes in computer science.

*I would add please don’t forget that there are many students with reading difficulty  who think problem solving is a pain.

Culatta delivered his plea last week at National Education Week, an annual conference that was held this year at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The outgoing federal leader spoke on a panel about teaching coding in schools, and he used most of his time in the spotlight to talk about equality. We must ensure that the rapid march of innovation does not leave certain groups of people behind, Culatta said.

He said    ‘Women and minorities are underrepresented in computer science courses in high school and college. For instance, girls make up 56 percent of all test-takers in Advanced Placement courses, but just 18 percent of students taking computer science tests, Culatta said. It doesn’t get much better in college, where women make up about 57 percent of all undergraduates, but just 14 percent of them major in computer science. ‘

“And the inequality is even more stunning for people of color. In 12 states, zero students of color took the computer science Advanced Placement exam, Culatta said. And a mere 10 percent of people majoring in computer science are black.

“That’s an incredible problem that we need to solve,” Culatta said.

There are a lot of us who are not computer science teachers. But we have had support from the Supercomputing Conference which had an education section and we learned what we could in that precious space. For a while we also learned in the conference and at Shodor.org.  Then I had a remarkable experience in the Atlas Institute , learning with Dr. Alex Repenning. We were learning scalable game design. He knows how to teach teachers who are NOT computer science teachers.  ”

Sadly in the infrastructure of boards, and meetings , and groups who decide what goes on in education and who present in education we are an invisible force if present at all in the education  groups.

ADVOCACY

 

IMG_0078I learned as many others did at NASA, with the National Geographic Education Institute and alliances, with Earthwatch and the Jason Project. We teachers got to meet  Bob Ballard, Bill Nye, and a number of astronauts and scientists .

 

I had the power of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. When people were talking about Star Wars , they did not know that Edutopia is and has been a force in education for all.

We teachers also had the power of the NEA and its advocacies for diversity. McAuliffe, selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in NASA’s The Teacher in Space Project, had made plans to provide lessons from the shuttle on the benefits of space travel. Christa McAuliffe was a gifted social science teacher who was dedicated to her students and to the teaching profession.

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Many of the projects in coding are absolutely wonderful. I loved weaving the Star Wars coding with reading of the books, and sharing science fiction, and NASA photographs and  art and the movies in a mashup that few children could not be attracted to.

I am pretty savvy, so I did not even break a sweat. I walked into a lab and sat down with children I had never seen. We had a great time coding. We did not limit our time to an hour. We did various things in about 4 hours, and the kids wanted to stay longer.

*I am not in a classroom because I am a very experienced in technology and was asked to leave or give up technology during NCLB. So I left and became a consultant.

 

And then there is Cyberlearning.   But, but.. without regular access how do we develop the skills, and deep learning. How sad it must be to understand the Internet of  Things and to not have a learning landscape that is even good access.

surface teacher

 

 

 

 

Some of the teachers need their job so badly that they just go with the flow no matter how terrible it is. It is taken for granted that the experts in the silos of higher ed know the answers. Well, some of those experts are very isolated from the people who really teach.

 

 

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.

I

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.

Two Americas, Two Ways of Thinking About Education?And Technology?

There was  a recent headline that concerns me.

Do ‘top’ college graduates really make better teachers?

Teachers have been a target this year and most of the time, after responding to few blogs, I gave up on trying to share the inequalities in teaching based on location,the population being served, the difference in economics, income , access and permission within the field. We should also cite access to supportive in technology use and tools. A lot of the people talking to teachers on the Internet , don’t even know that access is a problem in the US.

ACCESS IS A PROBLEM

This was shared by the Chairman of the FCC at a New Foundation Event in DC about broadband.

In the US  lots of people think everyone has access to Broadband. That is still a national goal. People however treat educators as if there is broadband everywhere. Note that I sometimes put the URL though we know how to make it clickable. In rural and distant areas people are still using dial up.

Julius Genachowski 

 BARRIERS TO USE

Affordability: 36 percent of non-adopters, or 28 million adults, said
they do not have home broadband because the monthly fee is too
expensive (15 percent), they cannot afford a computer, the installation
fee is too high (10 percent), or they do not want to enter into a
long-term service contract (9 percent). According to survey
respondents, their average monthly broadband bill is $41.

Digital Literacy: 22 percent of non-adopters, or 17 million adults,
indicated that they do not have home broadband because they lack the
digital skills (12 percent) or they are concerned about potential
hazards of online life, such as exposure to inappropriate content or
security of personal information (10 percent)

The blocking of school sites is a national problem for those who have access to broadband.

Relevance: 19 percent of non-adopters, or 15 million adults, said they
do not have broadband because they say that the Internet is a waste of
time, there is no online content of interest to them or, for dial-up
users, they are content with their current service.

Digital Hopefuls, all of the people who hope to be able to use technology in the future but who are not a part of the digital revolution. We cannot fail to reference Cyberbullying, perhaps in the cloak of Digital Citizenship. Schools are in fear about online safety.

Insulting Teachers it the new sport.  

Some of the insults I take personally. No one ever went into teaching for the money.

I have lots of awards, citations, workshops and have participated in  national initiatives. I went to Virginia State College, an HBCU. You may not be aware of MSO’s, Minority Serving Institutions. Those of us who are across the digital divide , and the education divide have had to work really, really hard to be a part of the conversation in education. My inspiration was my mother who felt marginalized by a rural education. She went to college and became a teacher.  She worked in the area of rural Virginia that closed down rather than accept the integration of schools. She felt that the ten and twenty year old books that she was given to teach with were not the best tools for learning. Of course there was no Internet.

My uncle taught at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Back then Einstein used to drive to the college to inspire the minority students to learn physics. The lack of lab resources was his concern. Einstein packed things in his car and made the trip to teach the students of Lincoln.

My digital divide now is tools. I do not have the most recent of all digital tools, but that makes me understand the people who don’t have but the Powerpoint reader, or who only have free software. Checked the price of a professional Microsoft suite lately?Price of the conferences , plus travel and hotel? Every teacher does not get to attend the big conferences. Economics is a big concern , and I imagine that the people who attend the best universities get the latest of tools of all kinds. There are people who help  teachers by sponsoring grants, like the people at EDC who set the vision of the possibilities, and Manorama Talaiver who works to create equity  from Longwood University in rural Virginia.

But, I digress, look  below and  read the whole article and then think of all the people who worked in MSO’s , minority serving institutions, each with a different set of missions. Is this another kind of prejudice? I think so. Maybe another divide. We often think of all the divides that separate us, the information divide, the technology divide, the resource divide, the support / technical divide. But now we are being told by some that top universities produce the best teachers. Think again.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS A PROBLEM!!

Think of teachers as the help who often need support and don’t get it.
If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.  ~Donald D. Quinn

What makes a great teacher? Here is one of mine. A relative of students I had in class who mentored me . The children told me he knew more physics than I, so I wrote to him, and he sent me videos, and eventually came to visit.  We worked together later for President Clinton.

One of my mentors, his young relatives were in my class .

Bill Nye the Science Guy

As a teacher in some instances, you are always learning; especially with transformation in the way of the use of technology.  Technology is a moving target.

Sources of Information and Training? Sometimes Great Universities!

At George Mason, when Chris Dede was there, he worked with the schools in the community to make a difference. It was not one way. We went to his classes to talk to preservice teachers as well.The students visited our classes and learned from us. He is at Harvard now, but he was user-friendly to the learning community in our area.

Many of us have learned a lot from the University of Illinois, because the National Center for Supercomputing is there. It has been invisible learning because the media hardly acknowledges Supercomputing. Weather models,  earthquake patterns, tsunami examples,  visualization and modeling, the features are used in the news, without mention. How wonderful it would be if the science was acknowledged. Norm Augustine tells the story of the Senator who said that we did not need NASA because his local weather station could provide the data we need to know about weather.  The stations don’t acknowledge often , the source of their super doppler information.

I never attended the University of Illinois but. The universities have outreach to America. Most of us are in learning mode from resources that are for teaching and learning. The problem has always been the lack of sustained professional development. Some people think that a 2 hour explanation of a topic is sustained professional development. There is so much support available from interested groups, But, you must have enough broadband to reach out and be touched. Also , I hate to say this, but a lot of in service within school systems is not so effective.  Here are some good resources that have teacher outreach and training in mind.

One example:   Bugscope  http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/

Another powerful examplehttp://mynasa.nasa.gov/portal/site/mynasa/index.jsp?bandwidth=high

National Geographic.   http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1&ar_r=1

Thinkfinity     http://www.thinkfinity.org/

River City   http://muve.gse.harvard.edu/rivercityproject/index.html

Fieldscope  http://www.fieldscope.org/scop

Scalable Game Design Alexander Repenning’s Project

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/gamewiki/index.php/Scalable_Game_Design_wiki

Dr. Henry Neeman  and Scott Lathrop who chairs the Supercomputing Conference reach out to help create a Supercomputing program for educators during the Supercomputing Conference, and there is Broadening engagement as well. These are researchers who want to help transform teaching and learning.

There are teachers who do not know these sites or people as resources. I could share a thousand more. School systems often do not use these as resources. Why ever not? There is no excuse for teachers not knowing except that the riches of the Internet and professional development are limited in many school systems . Technology is one thing , content is another. Time is another. The benefit of social media is that we share. The benefit of social media are the tools we use to teach each other.

Some say that the vendors own education since NCLB. Testing is the focus and has been since its  inception.

         SOME PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THE TOOLS, NOT INFORMED PRACTICE

Sustained Support? Where Found? transformational Learning? Blooms Digital Taxonomy,  TPACK? Chris Dede takes us into the future here. http:/www.nebhe.org/info/pdf/reinventing/Chris_Dede_10-4-10.pdf

All of the technology gurus need to think about deep content.

What is TPACK?

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK). See Figure above. As must be clear, the TPACK framework builds on Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. How many teachers know about it?

Here is the Tpack Image. IMAGE Lots to learn here.

There is an organization that supports teacher knowledge. It is SITE.org. AACE

Some of my teachers are from colleges and universities all over the US. We learn in our SIG’s and groups. It is not just about a conference. It is about collaboration, creation of new ideas and community.

Those groups that partner with educators to make a difference provide the best support. Unfortunately supervisors in schools want their signature on the professional development being offered, or do not know of the efforts of the National Geographic, NSTA, NCTM, Supercomputing, CSTA and other enabling groups. 

Why does professional development need help? Teaching and learning has undergone transformational change. It is not your grandmother’s school, or my mother’s idea of school.

Many of us attended , lots of courses from NASA, most from the University of Oklahoma.. Marc Prensky talks about how we in education learn from linking with other groups, associations and those interested in the subjects we are teaching. School systems do not always have the link or knowledge and that is why we have the National School Boards Association, and ASCD, and the various other organizations that break down the areas of isolation in education. But who can afford to attend all of the conferences? Those of us across the digital divide appreciate the online resources.

A stunning example of help is at the Shodor.org site. Computational thinking and learning. In particular, see, Interactivate.

There are people like Idit Caperton working from the various universities to help rural and poor teachers using the teacher network in a project entitled Globaloria. , or Chris Dede who works widely, sharing their messages in conferences , convenings and meetings. Probably most teachers don’t get to attend the meetings, because of costs, but we do have Facebook, G+ and organizations which are where we  , the regular people interested in education work to learn as education changes and transforms.

My concern about it is that there are excellent teachers who did not go to the best colleges  or universities.  More that many teachers did not get the best of professional development. Whose fault is that? 

We know that lots of people have a skill in teaching that is intuitive. There are lots of very smart people who cannot teach. They have the information, but they don’t know how to share, or even worse, don’t know how to frame their knowledge into ideational scaffolding for learning.  Do read the whole article. Lots of support to my concerns are here. I like to say that there are smart people who cannot teach their way out of a wet paper bag. But that would be rude as it is only a small set of people . We probably don’t know of the people who cannot teach. There is little feedback from those who are taught.

Do ‘top’ college graduates really make better teachers?

This was written by Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. This postoriginally appeared on the institute’s blog.

By Matthew Di Carlo

One of the few issues that all sides in the education debate agree upon is the desirability of attracting “better people” into the teaching profession. While this certainly includes the possibility of using policy to lure career-switchers, most of the focus is on attracting “top” candidates right out of college or graduate school.

The common metric that is used to identify these “top” candidates is their pre-service (especially college) characteristics and performance. Most commonly, people call for the need to attract teachers from the “top third” of graduating classes, an outcome that is frequently cited as being the case in high-performing nations such as Finland. Now, it bears noting that “attracting better people,” like “improving teacher quality,” is a policy goal, not a concrete policy proposal — it tells us what we want, not how to get it. And how to make teaching more enticing for “top” candidates is still very much an open question (as is the equally important question of how to improve the performance of existing teachers).

More segregation, dividing of the nation and educational misleading.

I adore some of the people in great institutions who have shared, resources, materials , workshops and initiatives. The problem is that education is ever-changing and subject to so many influences from people who do not  know schools or what happens in them.

Working with the Teragrid on the National Mall

Outreach to the public .

MAIN IDEA

 Now comes the idea that only people who attend the better schools have the skills to teach?? Being a good teacher is a gift. Content can be given to Preservice students, but that does not alway translate into a better student  or an outstanding teacher.  There are a lot of very smart people who cannot teach because they don’t understand students, their culture, or how students get motivated to learn.

Teaching is a combination of many elements. The school you go to does not make you a good teacher. It gives you contacts, networks and resources , hopefully. In a classroom , you are on your own. The variables in a school setting are so many even the best teacher may have to adjust, recover, revise and rework , ideas in education.

It is class, race, competency, language skills, the interest of the parents, the local resources, the spending within the community , the level of technology infusion, integration and teacher education and the support within the learning community. Few people talk about the real problems in education.

The application of people skills is as necessary as is content, and the skill of multitasking, and of being able to give and take and to integrate practice , performance and pedagogy  into a school day..

Schools are a community in the  learning landscape. Here is the good news. Networking allows me to share the reality of schools and actually some of the mystery of why teachers just either quit, or conform. Dr. Chris Dede, when at George Mason University, did outreach to the communities and that was how lots of us got training in technology. He invited us in, but he also came to our classes. The university partnered in a project with local school systems. Dr. Dede was always ahead of his time most of the school systems did not follow-up on his model.

 There comes a point in time when you have to decide , who is teaching this class, and what is it that I want to do, as often , the political winds shift in strange directions. Sometimes I am in rooms of PhD students who really get it.Sometimes, I know that they are PhD students, and that may mean that they cannot see all the way down to the classroom. If they ever had experiences in the classroom, they did not include newer ways of working, except what they studied.

I insisted on teaching science and problem solving math and thinking about computational sciences. I was right, but what a price I paid. I don’t regret it, but then to see the people who accepted it be thrown out of teaching and learning because they are considered not teaching STEM. It is unbelievable. I did not bow to testing as the reason for teaching. I did the tests and my students did well, but we had SO much testing.

Many of the people pushing NCLB have since changed their minds and are  now eloquent in their new  disbelief of the policy they gave to the nation. Thank goodness.

A generation of students and teachers have been lost by this time.

We who teach, know that the administrators set the tone of learning in a building, that the School Boards help to create the learning landscape and oversee curriculum  in a school system, that there are also the State mandates, and the effects of the Department of Education as there are fundings and programs that overlay everything we do. I have been through the various fashions or modes  in education, theme based, support of Gifted and Talented, Cooperative Teaching, Team Teaching, and I have worked in specialized schools.I have worked in a charter school, and tried to help with a DC Charter School with was an absolute failure. As you work through education you cannot have an opinion or you may find yourself without a job, support or funding. It does not matter if you are right. You have to be politically correct and sometimes that is.. well think, of the politics in a local school. It is often why teachers leave.

Who is the principal , who are the teachers that are liked in the community, who are the hard-working teachers who create miracles, and what is the sense of the school in working together?

There is a project that holds forth much hope if the project is ever funded, beyond the Tracy Learning Center. It is a model that has been in the works for a long time. It is the idea of a person called Jack Taub, who died this year the founder of the Source, which became America Online.. We who know of his dream keep the idea going forth. You can read about it at Emaginos.com.

The Tracy Learning Center is a charter school located in TracyCaliforniaUSA. Serving students in grades K12, it was founded in 2001 and had an enrollment of 125 students.[1] Charter status was awarded in June 2002.[2] It was decided, in June 2003, to relocate the Tracy Learning Center to the Clover Middle School site and to expand it to become a K–12 charter school.[3] Expansion of the school was completed in 2007, with the addition of the senior class, that took numbers up to 850.[1]

Tracy Learning Center

For the 2011-12 school year, the Tracy Learning Center has a population of over 1100 students K-12. It continues to be one of the highest ranked schools in San Joaquin County.It is a charter school, but we intend for it to go public. Teachers are in charge of the school.

WHY IS TEACHING SCIENCE A PROBLEM?

What happened to Science? Remember that tracking I told you about? People want to find the eleventh graders. Well to be a child in the upper grades interested in science on has to start somewhere. K-12 distribution of science is necessary . 

Sadly, in most of the schools in the nation, science is not a welcome subject. I put it in my curriculum using NASA, National Geographic Society Initiatives such as Kidsnetwork, NOAA weather and sea initiatives, and various NSTA resources.

When I was working in Arlington, there was the pressure of the parents to do new and exciting things in the use of technology. I learned a lot from parents, from one parent who taught me photography, from another who helped me learn to garden. Another teacher I will never forget was a Japanese teacher who came to teach the class and I about Japan, she had artifacts, taught us calligraphy, and all the time was working a meal. I was stunned. She was from the Smithsonian. Hmnn.. another way to involve and invite students. Never learned it in formal education.I incorporated cultural elements into my teaching practice because of her.

Dr. Embry was a forensic biologist who worked to reconstruct dinosaurs. How cool was it that we were able to learn from him at the Smithsonian. He offered, I accepted. Foot in the classroom and then we went to the Smithsonian to watch him work!!

Segregation by race is a national problem!

.When teaching students who were not gifted and talented science , geography, history were not allowed for the students on certain tracks.

Here is a study done by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.The report, Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students From Lower-Income Families, written by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Civic Enterprises with original research by Westat, focuses on the educational experiences of high-achieving lower-income students from 1st grade through graduate school. A goal of the report was to examine the numbers of students considered low-income high achievers and to understand how these students were being educated. Using three federal longitudinal studies [Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), The National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), and The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B)], students were categorized as high-achievers and further divided into either a higher-income or lower-income group. At this forum, presenters discussed results from the report, comparing the persistence rates, defined as students’ ability to remain in the top quartile of achievers, and improvement rates, defined as students’ ability to move from the bottom three quartiles  to the top quartile of achievers, both from higher- and lower-income families.  The report details the tracking, the dumbing down and the loss of those students who could make a difference in education.

And teachers? Do you see many of us minorities at the conferences presenting? We are “Ralph Ellison” invisible. We are not invited to the table. Broadening Engagement starts to solve the problem. If we are there it is often because we are passionate enough about education to invest in conferences where we are NOT invited. ASCD conferences are more diverse. I also like the resources, that try to combine the two America visions. Here is a book, 

Two offerings from ASCD

THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF EQUITABLE PRACTICES DVD

TEACHING WITH POVERTY IN MIND: WHAT BEING POOR DOES TO KIDS’ BRAINS AND WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO ABOUT IT

The Need To Transform K-12 Education

As President Obama recently told Congress and the American people,

“In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity — it is a prerequisite. Today, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish. This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.”

 I learned that with technology I could reach students with technology who had been restricted to only reading , and math. Tracking is a problem that has been a part of American schools. It was one way to solve the problem of integration. Two schools in one, one for the kids who “could” and one for the people found to be lacking . Tracking is still a big problem. 

 I  also learned the politics of place and power in schools. The NEA rescued me, my union protected me from terrible on the job problems.  I am grateful for their involvement. Teachers don’t usually tell the bad stories. We just move, leave teaching or try to find another school.

Who has the tools? Are they affordable?  I had the science tools. I was a demonstration teacher for AAAS and my principal had my kits and resources thrown out of the window. This was Marge Tracy at Ashlawn. Fortunately , the custodian retrieved most of my things and put them in his truck. We secretly smuggled the things to places in the school where they could be kept and not disposed of. I had microscopes , hands on resources. Her thing was reading out of the book. She considered hands on a ridiculous waste of time. Since I was working with the George Lucas Educational Foundation , I was hearing, listening and learning from the best people in the country. But that nor the fact that I worked for the NIIAC worked to make principals accept science, math, and problem solving computational thinking. 

Finally, I left the school. The principal set the tone and I knew that she was going to transfer me. Being a principal gives you the power to cast out the teachers you do not like or respect. There are others who can tell even worse stories. It is a humiliating thing. It is the reason lots of people leave teaching.

RESEARCH STORY

The Achievement Trap, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The report, Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students From Lower-Income Families, written by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Civic Enterprises with original research by Westat, focuses on the educational experiences of high-achieving lower-income students from 1st grade through graduate school. A goal of the report was to examine the numbers of students considered low-income high achievers and to understand how these students were being educated. Using three federal longitudinal studies [Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), The National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), and The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B)], students were categorized as high-achievers and further divided into either a higher-income or lower-income group. At this forum, presenters discussed results from the report, comparing the persistence rates, defined as students’ ability to remain in the top quartile of achievers, and improvement rates, defined as students’ ability to move from the bottom three quartiles  to the top quartile of achievers, both from higher- and lower-income families.  The report details the tracking, thedumbing down and the loss of those students who could make a difference in education.And teachers? 

Sadly, from the time they enter grade school through their postsecondary education, these students lose more educational ground and excel less frequently than their higher-income peers. Despite this tremendous loss in achievement, these remarkable young people are hidden from public view and absent from public policy debates. Instead of being recognized for their excellence and encouraged to strengthen their achievement, high achieving lower-income students enter what we call the “achievement trap”—educators, policymakers, and the public assume they can fend for themselves when the facts show otherwise.

http://www.jackkentcookefoundation.o…ent%20Trap.pdf

OThis is a student who was at a special project, School Expo and she was able to use technology she had never seen.
Using any means possible to explore technology

 

Who is connected to be involved? Who has the funding to join the organizations that are pioneering the work?  

 Bonnie Bracey Sutton

Mobile Devices, and Learning, a Cure for the Digital Divide?

I was first intrigued with mobile learning on a flight to Aukland, New Zealand. The small child across the aisle from me, clutched his device for every waking hour of the flight. I could not see what was on the device, I know it was an Apple IPhone. I was too polite to ask what it was that he was using on the phone… In countless planes, trains and even in an automobile, the problem of boredom seemed to be reduced. The mobile device seems to have solved those types of problems. To think of the power of Mobile look at this infographic . It is a good digital display of what is happening.

Some information on the trends  about mobile devices. And here is an infographic on the state of digital education. You won’t believe your eyes.

The Horizon Report and other futuring reports include the use of mobile devices.

It won't replace you, it will enhance the learning environment!

Mobile Devices

At a visit to the National Geographic I had to pay attention to the device that was questioning me about my geographic knowledge. The device was counting answers and giving instantaneous feedback.

But are what mobile devices are  allowed in schools? Are the powerful intersections of visualization, powerful content and models being kept away from the classroom? STEM resources are mostly available in imagery, visualization , modeling and embedded assessment, online.

In her Mindshift Blog, Tina Barsegihan states:

One of the most exciting things about living in the digital age is witnessing huge cultural changes occur in real time.

We’re at just that point now with mobile learning. Whether it’s on an e-reader, a tablet, or a cell phone, there’s great excitement — though not a lot of research yet — around the potential of how these devices can strengthen learning.

“There are frontiers that we’re just beginning to learn how to reach.”

“What if your mobile device had a sixth sense?” asked Harvard professor Chris Dede, who’s researching the diverse dimensions of mobile learning, at the recent ISTE conference.

When most of us consider education, we think of learning happening in isolated places — schools. But mobile devices are upending that assumption. With innovations like augmented reality, different kinds of information and experiences can be superimposed onto the real world, complementing and adding another dimension to “formal” learning institutions.

Pilot programs are springing up all over the country (more on those soon), as educators and researchers determine what kind of learning can happen best with mobile devices.

“We know from generations of work that devices are catalysts,” Dede said. “The device never produces learning, but when coupled with changes in content, new forms of assessment, linking people together, that’s what enables learning.”

Chis Dede talks about mobile learning : ” Learning a variety of content and skills anytime, anyplace wit a small device light enough to be carried in one hand.” Chis Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard University

Jason Ohler.” Virtual learning and the availability of digital content have changed to offer more methods of student engagement, increased customization of learning objects, open resources, and personalized education..

Imaging the Universe, You can't do that with a book

Learning using visual Imagery

Digital citizenship is impossible until we help students live one life instead two. Right now they live two—a digitally unplugged life at school and digitally deluged life outside school. Having them bring their devices to school is a great first step in creating a reality-based environment for the discussion of digital citizenship. But what do we do about those students who have nothing to bring?posted by Jason Ohler
May 19, 2011

” Learning in the 21st Century, Taking it Mobile“ was a conference I attended about a year ago.. We know that the policy, process and technology infrastructures that are adopted over the next few years will shape education for decades. We also know that the lack of broadband is a problem in many places in the US. We have been talking about 21stCentury adaptations and transformation for many years. It is still a goal. . Many think the devices will change the learning landscape and equalize access.

DIGITAL DIVIDE

There is a dark side of the digital divide without broadband. Everyone assumes that people can access high powered sites. The FCC is busy working to create broadband for all but the realization of this will probably be a long time in coming. The sad part of this is the lack of classroom access in some parts of the US. We are told the new E-rate will help to solve this, but it is a BIG problem. Sometimes the people who need access most are out of sight , out of mind.

We had a big discussion on the District of Columbia schools and what the teachers were or were not accomplishing, but no one questioned their lack of technology support in training, in devices, and in content integration. Quietly, the discussions are going on in various school systems, but there is no conclusion as to what really works. 

Teaching online , anywhere anytime, Henry Neeman does outreach to all from Oklahoma

Reaching out to involve students and faculty in Supercomputing

As mobile devices become ubiquitous, students are using then to facilitate learning and enhance productivity in and out of school.  There are roadblocks, but the most difficult to solve is the disconnect of access. After that, there is the concerns about cyberbullying and creating a platform of use that is reflective of the purposes of the task in education.

At the conference we mulled over these questions and they stay with me still.

The Digital Divide is always a question.

What do mobile wireless devices contribute as a platform for bringing education innovation and best practices to scale?

What do mobile wireless devices contribute as an enabler of innovative powerful methods for teaching and learning?

How can we complement the current educational infrastructure( computers, wires) with the emerging wireless mobiles, cloud based infrastructure? What are key challenges in financing, implementation and policy?

How can we plan to accommodate the rapid evolution of mobile devices?

How would you answer these questions?

Moblie Device at Blue Waters Kiosk at NSF Expo ExhibitMobile Devices capture the attention of students. who have never seen or used these devices before. This is outreach for the Teragrid.

Research, 2010 and Our Future, Students Speak Up about Their Vision for 21st Century Learninghttp://www.tomorrow.org/

Edutopia 

The Internet is an astonishing source of educational resources: Lesson plans, classroom-product reviews, and even psychological support for those dark days when your students (or your coworkers) are straining your mental balance are only a Google search away. The trick, however, is getting that pipeline of online information flowing throughout your school, including directly into classroom PCs. Computers are often centralized in a media center, building codes can be prohibitive for setting up a broadband feed, and most schools are short-changed when it comes necessary tech support.

Here is a recipe for wireless access for those on the digital dirt road or for the understanding of those who did not get to attend the conference from the George Lucas Educational Foundation that is a how to.. The project is entitled the Digital Generation.

Welcome to the Digital Generation

http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-project-overview-video


What Devices?

There are a lot of devices that can be included in this discussion. The ones I know are,mobile and associated technologies, smart phones, IPod, IPhones, Netbooks, digital clickers, chargers and battery packs ,mobile interactive whiteboards.


Wireless to the Rescue

http://www.edutopia.org/tech-teacher-wireless-rescue


Taking it Mobile

Access to smartphones has more than tripled among high school students since 2006, according to a survey report from Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit organization, and Blackboard Inc.

The report ,Learning in the 21st Century: Taking it Mobile!shows that students now view the inability to use their own devices in school, such as cell phones, smart phones, MP3 players, laptops or net books, as the primary barrier to a successful digital education. The various reports can be found here.

Can we Change the Digital Divide with Mobile Devices?

The FCC Chairman indicated in his discussions early in the year that Digital Tools may be the solution to the digital divide

Mobile Divide…. What Can we Learn about Making a Difference with Mobile Technology?

Philosophy of the Mobile Divide In the US

Mobile Digital Divide– According to a new study on U.S. consumers and mobile from the Pew Research Center, an unprecedented 60% of adults in the U.S. access go online wirelessly, whether by laptop or cell phone. Two factors are driving this trend, and shaking up any preconceived notions about America’s digital divide.

Finding #1:“Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%) and minority cell phone owners take advantage of a much greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users. In total, 64% of African-Americans access the internet from a laptop or mobile phone, a seven-point increase from the 57% who did so at a similar point in 2009.”

Finding #2: “Young adults (those ages 18-29) are also avid users of mobile data applications, but older adults are gaining fast. Compared with 2009, cell phone owners ages 30-49 are significantly more likely to use their mobile device to send text messages, access the internet, take pictures, record videos, use email or instant messaging, and play music.”

What’s driving more Blacks and Hispanics, and older adults, to mobile?

According to Pew spokesman Aaron W. Smith, increased mobile web usage is driven by two key factors: age and economics. A younger demo with an annual income of $30,000 or less a year has jumped in usage, and African-Americans and Hispanics are younger and have less money than the general white population.

Mobile is thus bridging the digital gap between the traditional distinction of haves and have-nots, and while it’s a positive trend, it’s still a gap between those with cellphone-only access and those with computers as well.

About 18% of African-Americans use a cellphone as their sole device for Internet access compared to about 10% of whites. That said, laptop ownership has risen from 34% in 2009 to a current 51% among African-Americans.

Overall, 59% of Americans now access the Internet through mobile devices as opposed to 51% a year ago. So mobile may prove to be the ultimate equalizer, at least on the digital playing field.

Other interesting facts from the study reveal that Americans are using their mobile devices to (as ranked by Pew’s latest stats vs. April 2009)

The most interesting discussions are about the way in which wireless can be deployed. Bring your own wireless, netbooks using the cloud, and a variety of ways to solve the digital divide were proposed.

This from Mindshift

Bring-your-own-device classrooms. Since most kids these days already have access to a mobile device, schools are seizing the opportunity to turn these gadgets from distractions into learning tools by incorporating these devices into classroom lessons and projects. From mobile phones to laptop computers, teachers and students are increasingly bringing technology to the classroom, and in many school districts, it’s being put to good use.Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of one-to-one computing programs in raising test scores and increasing college attendance, but with many districts strapped for cash and unable to provide devices for each student, this isn’t always a possibility. The solution may be found in asking students to bring their own devices to class, cutting back on the number of mobile devices the school needs to provide while still enhancing the learning experience.

What have mobile devices go to do with STEM and changing education in America?

Eliot Soloway ”

Are cellphones and other mobile devices powerful learning tools or intolerable classroom distractions?

For Elliot Soloway, the answer is a no-brainer. Cellphones, hand-held gaming gadgets, and netbooks—all relatively cheap, seemingly ever-present mobile devices used (and often abused) by today’s teenagers—can engage middle and high school students in learning inside and outside of school, he and other advocates of mobile learning say.”

STEM Applications you can’t replicate by talking or lecturing.

Windows to the Universe  ,Windows to the Universe explores the Earth, planets of our solar system, and the universe. It includes images, animations, and data sets, and information about books .

The Exploratorium,The Exploratorium isn’t just a museum; it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception—a vast collection of online interactives, web features, activitiesprograms, and events that feed your curiosity.

Project Lead the Way

The PLTW Innovation Zone (aka the classroom) is an engaging and thought-provoking place, where students develop critical thinking skills through hands-on project-based learning, preparing them to take on real-world challenges. Students will have the opportunity to create, design and build things like robots and cars, applying what they are learning in math and science to the world’s grand challenges.

The PLTW program is designed to serve middle school and high school students of diverse backgrounds from those already interested in STEM-related fields to those who are more inspired by the application of STEM than they are by traditional math and science courses.

Whyville ,
What does it take to build a sustainable, green energy community? 8th Graders are showing us how using WhyPower, an interactive learning game within the largest interactive learning world, WhyVille. Here is an interactive game. http://www.poweracrosstexas.org/projects/whypower-interactive-game

Energy Game:  WHYPOWER

Whyville is a thriving community with its own economy, newspaper, government and much more.  It now has its own power grid!  As part of the WhyCareers program, we are “electrifying” Whyville with a power grid that uses traditional and renewable energy sources.  Students will manage the power grid to select the right mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy. They will build homes in Whyville!  They will observe and measure power use in Whyville, and form good energy behaviors and habits. Finally, they will explore the math, science and career topics related to energy.  Just like in real life, success in Whyville is not pre-programmed!  Students skill, initiative, creativity and teamwork determines the rewards they receive and the “virtual money” they earn in WhyPower.
Whyville. Run a city using energy reources.

National Geographic FieldScope is a web-based mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool designed to support geographic investigations and engage students as citizen scientists investigating real-world issues – both in the classroom and in outdoor education settings. FieldScope enhances student scientific investigations by providing rich geographic context – through maps, mapping activities, and a rich community where student fieldwork and data is integrated with that of peers and professionals, adding analysis opportunities and meaning to student investigations.

NG FieldScope

  • uses cutting-edge technology to make interactive mapping and geospatial data analysis tools accessible to students via the web in an intuitive package that is free and does not require software installation.
  • enables students and classrooms to upload their own field data – including quantitative measurements, field notes, and media, such as photos – and to see it in relation to data from peers and professional scientists.
  • fosters collaborative sharing and analysis of data among the FieldScope community and beyond.

National Geographic is partnering with groups – across a range of scientific disciplines – that are interested in exploring how FieldScope can better support student geographic learning and outdoor investigations.

FieldScope Projects

Chesapeake Bay

http://www.serc.si.edu/education/resources/bluecrab/index.aspxThe Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Project is a “citizen science” initiative in which students investigate water quality issues on local and regional scales and collaborate with students across the Bay to analyze data and take action. Chesapeake Bay FieldScope is a project of National Geographic’s Education Programs in collaboration with theChesapeake Bay Foundation and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.

Online Labs

http://sharingtree.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/onlinelabs-in-virtual-laboratory-simulations-for-science-education/

Resource from the Federal Trade Commission

Admongo.gov kids learn critical thinking skills and apply them to understanding advertising.

It is an on line game.

Digital Citizenship

Living Life Online   there is a book available from the FTC that accompanies this project as a digital citizenship iniative. Bulk orders are available at bulkorder.ftc.gov

Julia Barnathan (standing), curriculum developer for Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, assists a student with a lesson in radiation that uses iLabs to access a geiger counter at the University of Queensland, Australia.
CREDIT: Amanda Morris, Office for Research, Northwestern University