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

Teachers to Blame? I don’t think so.. Look more closely at the “politics “of Education

A democratic education means that we educate people in a way that ensures they can think independently, that they can use information, knowledge, and technology, among other things, to draw their own conclusions.
– Linda Darling-Hammond

Transforming Education Using Tools and Well Trained Teachers

Visualization and Modeling with an IPad

Whose to Blame for Poor Urban Schools? Look more closely at the politics of schools to find out.

I am losing a lot of my educational friends lately or at least we are sparring on line. Like the press, they look at the older teachers of America and say, that the problems in education are the fault of the older, teachers the digital immigrants. Well, is it really?

When I question people about what happens in K-12 they rest the problem squarely on the shoulders of the K-12 teachers.

Why is America falling behind in academics? There are many reasons. We are 21st in the world in Science and 25th in the world in Math. We who started the use of the Internet…Well it is so bad that the Congress has created a solution.

US to back 21st century learning
By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News Website, Silicon Valley

The US Congress has given the go-ahead for a new centre to explore ways advanced computer and communications technologies can improve learning.
The National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies will focus on “bringing education into the 21st century.”Supporters said classrooms have failed to keep up with technology innovations.
“America’s reputation as an international leader rests in the hands of our youth,” said Sen. Chris Dodd.
“It should be among our top priorities to provide our students with the tools they need to maintain and build upon this standing.”
The Senator was one of the original sponsors of a bill that proposed the setting up of the centre. Meanwhile Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky spearheaded the passage of the bill through the House and said its timing could not be more critical.
“American businesses know that they need a well-educated workforce to face growing competition from China, India and Europe.”
The Federation of American Scientists said, “The creativity that developed extraordinary new information technologies has not focused on finding ways to make learning more compelling, more personal and more productive in our nation’s schools.
“People assumed that the explosion of innovation in information tools in business and service industries would automatically move into classrooms.”
That, the Federation said, has simply not happened.
The centre will support a ‘first of its kind’ comprehensive research and development program aimed at improving all levels of learning from kindergarten to university and from government training to college.
Missed opportunity
“Education is falling further and further behind the rest of the economy and we have to rethink our basic approach to helping people learn,” said Henry Kelly, the Federation’s president.
The FAS said that learning scientists and educators have known for years that people learn faster if education can be personalised and if students are motivated by seeing how their knowledge can help them solve problems they care about.
Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/7569484.stm

Published: 2008/08/19 07:51:13 GMT

In the past the unmatched vitality of the United States’ economy and science and technology enterprise has made this country a world leader for decades, allowing Americans to benefit from a high standard of living and national security. But in a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas so that the nation will consistently gain from the opportunities offered by rapid globalization, says a new report from the National Academies.

Given the United States’ history of economic and scientific pre-eminence, it is easy to be complacent about these complex issues, the report says. Following are some indicators that illustrate why decisive action is needed now:

· For the cost of one chemist or one engineer in the United States, a company can hire about five chemists in China or 11 engineers in India.

· Last year chemical companies shuttered 70 facilities in the United States and have tagged 40 more for closure. Of 120 chemical plants being built around the world with price tags of $1 billion or more, one is in the United States and 50 are in China.

· U.S. 12th-graders recently performed below the international average for 21 countries on a test of general knowledge in mathematics and science. In addition, an advanced mathematics assessment was administered to students in 15 other countries who were taking or had taken advanced math courses, and to U.S. students who were taking or had taken pre-calculus, calculus, or Advanced Placement calculus. Eleven countries outperformed the United States, and four scored similarly. None scored significantly below the United States.

· In 1999 only 41 percent of U.S. eighth-graders had a math teacher who had majored in mathematics at the undergraduate or graduate level or studied the subject for teacher certification — a figure that was considerably lower than the international average of 71 percent.

· Last year more than 600,000 engineers graduated from institutions of higher education in China. In India, the figure was 350,000. In America, it was about 70,000.

· In 2001 U.S. industry spent more on tort litigation than on research and development.

Without a major push to strengthen the foundations of America’s competitiveness, the United States could soon lose its privileged position. The ultimate goal is to create new, high-quality jobs for all citizens by developing new industries that stem from the ideas of exceptional scientists and engineers.

Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education.

· Among the recommended implementation steps is the creation of a merit-based scholarship program to attract 10,000 exceptional students to math and science teaching careers each year. Four-year scholarships, worth up to $20,000 annually, should be designed to help some of the nation’s top students obtain bachelor’s degrees in physical or life sciences, engineering, or mathematics — with concurrent certification as K-12 math and science teachers. After graduation, they would be required to work for at least five years in public schools. Participants who teach in disadvantaged inner-city or rural areas would receive a $10,000 annual bonus. Each of the 10,000 teachers would serve about 1,000 students over the course of a teaching career, having an impact on 10 million minds, the report says.

Sowing the Seeds

Sustain and strengthen the nation’s commitment to long-term basic research.

· Policy-makers should increase the national investment in basic research by 10 percent each year over the next seven years. Special attention should be paid to the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and information sciences, and to basic research funding for the U.S. Department of Defense, the report says.

· Policy-makers also should establish within the U.S. Department of Energy an organization called the Advanced Research Project Agency — Energy (ARPA-E) that reports to the undersecretary for science and sponsors “out-of-the-box” energy research to meet the nation’s long-term energy challenges.

· Authorities should make 200 new research grants annually — worth $500,000 each, payable over five years — to the nation’s most outstanding early-career researchers.

Hands on Technology

Best and Brightest

Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the United States and abroad. The United States should be considered the most attractive setting in the world to study and conduct research, the report says.

· Each year, policy-makers should provide 25,000 new, competitive four-year undergraduate scholarships and 5,000 new graduate fellowships to U.S. citizens enrolled in physical science, life science, engineering, and mathematics programs at U.S. colleges and universities.

· Policy-makers should provide a one-year automatic visa extension that allows international students to remain in the United States to seek employment if they have received doctorates or the equivalent in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other fields of national need from qualified U.S. institutions. If these students then receive job offers from employers that are based in the United States and pass a security screening test, they should automatically get work permits and expedited residence status. If they cannot obtain employment within one year, their visas should expire.

Incentives for Innovation

Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation. This can be accomplished by actions such as modernizing the U.S. patent system, realigning tax policies to encourage innovation, and ensuring affordable broadband Internet access, the report says.

· Policy-makers should provide tax incentives for innovation that is based in the United States. The Council of Economic Advisers and the Congressional Budget Office should conduct a comprehensive analysis to examine how the United States compares with other nations as a location for innovation and related activities, with the goal of ensuring that the nation is one of the most attractive places in the world for long-term investment in such efforts.

· The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit is currently for companies that increase their R&D spending above a predetermined level. To encourage private investment in innovation, this credit, which is scheduled to expire in December, should be made permanent. And Congress and the administration should increase the allowable credit from 20 percent to 40 percent of qualifying R&D investments.

The study was sponsored by the National Academies, which comprise the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter.
This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy

And Urban Schools? ????????

Academic freedom: the typical urban school district’s personnel and budgeting systems leave principals without much say in hiring teachers or allocating resources.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest school system in the nation–and perhaps the worst. Slightly less than half of its 75,000 employees are classroom teachers, meaning that Los Angeles spends just 35 percent of its budget on teacher pay. By comparison, the school systems in Houston, Texas, and Edmonton, in the Canadian province of Alberta, spend 49 percent and 56 percent, respectively, of their budgets on teachers. Since 1980, Los Angeles Unified’s enrollment has grown by 180,000 students, but the district has added only 15 schools with a total of 20,000 seats. As a result, nearly 200,000 students must be bused to a distant campus while most attend multi-track, year-round schools that can push more students through but offer 17 fewer days of instruction.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MJG/is_1_4/ai_111734747

Although elementary schoolers in Los Angeles have made real gains in literacy in recent years, among high-school students, only 23 percent in reading and 34 percent in math meet or exceed the national norm on the Stanford 9. Of the district’s teachers, 27 percent lack full credentials. The system has a chronic shortage of qualified principals.
If Los Angeles is the worst school district in America, its East Coast cousin, New York City, is a close second. And the Chicago schools, while improving, are still recovering from the day in 1988 when William J. Bennett, secretary of education in the Reagan administration, pronounced them the “worst in the nation.” Why are these three school systems in such deep disarray? Certainly not because they are the three largest.

None of them has more than a fraction of IBM or Toyota’s work force, and those companies are icons of good management. Nor is it because they serve high percentages of minority children from low-income families. Houston’s schools, which are equally minority and poor, perform well relative to other urban school districts. The reason is that the school districts in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are too centralized, much too top-down in their management, for their size.

I Excellent teaching requires extensive training and experience. A seasoned, excellent teacher would have training in and experience with pedagogy and content. 

“Telecommunications provides the new learning platform of this century and is replacing the textbook as the medium through which a modern education is provided,” Lucas said. “The world’s knowledge is now available online, far beyond what books and materials can provide in schools and libraries themselves.” George Lucas


K-12 was the group that got the blame. Most of the time I was the only K-12 teacher in the audience. But there have been times when I was not, and ageism struck. A young teacher sitting beside me
not knowing my work, or advocacy, said, its the old teachers who are to blame for all of the ills of education. She went on to talk about her mother, who was a teacher and to say that
people like her mother ought to get out of education. I didn’t say much, unusual for me. but I thought what??

I was the only K-12 teacher on a committee, the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council
. It was a lot of hard work. I learned a lot. I traveled all over the country, in areas of need, and difficulty. My teaching experience is also varied, I have taught in black schools, at the lower socioeconomic areas, in a so called charter school designed to welcome those who were interested in , in a science focused school, done team teaching and I have been a demonstration teacher for AAAS, for the use of hands-on science teaching. I have worked with Karen Buller of Niti.org and we wrote curriculum for American Indians.. and traveled to the schools in Indian country, sharing technology.
I guess most of my life has been teaching, with extraordinary experiences in professional development during the summer. As a legacy teacher. I was trained in a HBCU. Not much was expected of me, and not much was taught . According to the times, we had to be able to teach and to know curriculum to seventh grade level. The math was certainly not old or new. It was drill math. End of story.

So I think what I want to explain is that we had two societies and two kinds of schools. I boldly integrated into schools, teaching in schools as the only black teacher on the faculty of some schools who did NOT teach the tracked students. I taught , initially the gifted and talented students and I was good at it. I am an excellent teacher.

So what happened to me that did not happen to most minority teachers? I rested my professional development outside of the public schools. I was a child of museum study and my Sunday excursions to the Smithsonian, and I am stubborn. I went to the well where the movers and thinkers and those with ideas were working, in workshops, courses, expeditions, and especially had wonderful teaching experiences, learning experiences with NASA and with the National Geographic and three years of Oceanography at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Sadly, most teachers get the WORST of professional development.

TAUGHT BY THE BEST

My reason for talking about those experiences is that I was taught by the best. From various groups like NCTM, and NSTA I gathered resources, knowledge, networks, and pearls of wisdom. Who can teach the use of geography and visuals like the National Geographic. I feel into a wonderful set of examples of how to.. and it has been a passport for the use of technology for the rest of my life.
That is not the usual case for teachers. Usually the professional development comes from within the school system, or a special group of experts that they trust. It has been wonderful to see school systems allow their teachers to use Blue Webn Videoconferencing for Learning, Exploratorium, Thinkfinity Learning Network, and the resources of the National Geographic. Some school systems , even advise their teachers of learning opportunities and initiatives that occur.

I believe that some of the politics in school systems and the
lack of professional development of merit are to blame for the teachers who do not measure up. Not being new teachers they have been allowed, encouraged to teach as they do. It probably didn’t make much difference.

They were teaching minority kids. Who cared?

There is blame in the politics of teaching, the bad professional development , the use of only in-house knowledge, and the stubbornness of schools resisting change and depth of content knowledge. I worry about the digitally naive and the content deprived teachers. But then, who cares? To people like Michelle Rhee, its the older teachers. I don’t think that rings true for all teachers.

We might also remember that there was a knowledge divide
a content divide , and of course the low expectations exoected for those who teach our most needy students.

SOLUTIONS

http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky-Lets_Be_Digital_Multipliers-ET-01-09.pdf

Comcast

Thinkfinity