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

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

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

Sadly, many communities are still not well-connected.

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SHARING THE VISION

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

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

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

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

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

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

SITE Conference 2013 – Teaching in Exponential Times!

Sheraton San Diego

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

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP?

Definitions of Digital Citizenship In Our Facebook Grant Work

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

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

Digital Passport?

WHO USES TECHNOLOGY?Back Camera

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

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

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

It is called Supercomputing.

GOT BROADBAND?

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

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

GOT PEDAGOGICAL KNOWLEDGE?

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

TPACK Image (rights free)

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

Here is general information on TPACK

Got Computational Thinking?

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

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

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

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

Early exposure and interest

early exposure and interest through outreach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Sean Cavanagh in Education Week

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

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

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

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

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

NSF Funds Research to Identify What Works

Jeremy Rochelle of SRI

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

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

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

Here are the topics:

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

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

Digital Citizenship, a SITE Initiative

When I started thinking about the use of the Internet, I remembered all of the people who could not read who asked me to teach them to read when they found out I was a teacher.  That was many years ago and reading literacy is still a problem.

Now I have a new way of thinking, there needs to be more than just reading literacy, I believe digital literacy is a civil rights issue. The headline here talks about the urban poor but it is more than just the urban poor who are worried.

Digital Divide

Without Internet, Urban Poor Fear Being Left Behind In

Digital Age


You must read this article and then think urban, rural, distant, tribal and isolated .http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/internet-access-digital-age_n_1285423.html

Originally published: March 1, 2012

Author: Gerry Smith

[Commentary] An estimated 100 million Americans have no way of accessing the Internet at home. They are on the wrong side of the so-called “digital divide” — the chasm between those who are connected to technology and those who are not.

Some live in remote areas where broadband service doesn’t exist. Many live in blighted urban neighborhoods, unable to afford a computer, let alone Internet service. But being disconnected isn’t just a function of being poor. These days, it is also a reason some people stay poor. As the Internet has become an essential platform for job-hunting and furthering education, those without access are finding the basic tools for escaping poverty increasingly out of reach. “The cost of being offline is greater now than it was 10 years ago,” said John Horrigan, vice president of policy research at TechNet, a trade association representing high-tech companies. “So many important transactions take place online. If you don’t have access to high-speed Internet, you’re missing out on a lot.

 FCC workshops ,  taught me these descriptors.

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.

    We know that there are initiatives for that change. We also know that community organizations can create learning spaces such as libraries, civic centers and chapter houses, or other venues to allow people to have community access.


    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)

    This is a gating reason for many, not just homes but schools. We hope to create awareness , information and resources that will create a pathway to great use of the Internet in our project.

    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.

    Having been a  teacher Internet pioneer, and having many professionals in our SITE.org to help disseminate  best practices, we in the educational field can help to bridge the gap. There are long-standing projects like Project Zero that provide a model of dissemination. There is the Digital Generation Project. Many of today’s kids are born digital — born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities. But their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it’s about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowerment if they have the right learning landscape. The Digital Generation Project tells their stories so that educators and parents can understand how kids  can learn, communicate, and socialize in very different ways than any previous generation was able to do.


    Digital Hopefuls, who make up 22 percent of non-adopters, like the idea of being online but lack the resources for access.
    Few have a computer and, among those who use one, few feel comfortable with the technology. Some 44 percent cite affordability as a barrier to adoption and they are also more likely than average to say digital literacy are a barrier. This group is heavily Hispanic and has a high share of African-Americans.

    There are still some community center initiatives and funding that are created that need replication. Tutor Mentor in Chicago is a great example. 


Literacy today depends on understanding the multiple media that make up our high-tech reality and developing the skills to use them effectively

Years ago Andy Carvin wrote this.

Giving people access doesn’t instantly solve the manifold woes of our communities and schools. If it did, every kid with Internet access would be getting straight A’s and every adult with access would be gainfully employed and prosperous. It’s just not that simple. Technology access is only one small piece of a much larger puzzle, a puzzle that if solved might help raise the quality of life for millions of people. None of us can rightfully say we’ve found all the individual pieces yet, but some of the pieces are obvious enough that we can begin to put the digital divide puzzle together:

The digital divide is about content. The value of the Internet can be directly correlated to the value of its content. If all you can find online is shopping, Pokémon trading clubs, and porn, you could make a pretty good argument that it’s not very important to give people access to the Internet. As anyone who’s used it knows, the Internet can offer a wealth of opportunities for learning and personal enhancement, but we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of its potential. As more underprivileged and disenfranchised communities gain access, the Internet itself must provide the right tools so people are able to take advantage of and use it for more varied purposes, more learning styles, more languages and cultures. The Internet may feel like a diverse place, but when compared with the wealth of diversity and knowledge amongst humanity in the real world, it’s still pretty weak. Until the Net contains content that has true value to all of its potential users it will remain a place for the elite.

There is a bifurcation in use as well. Many only play with 2.O applications, they are good users of simple tools, but building the Internet and creating ideas takes computational thinking. But that’s another subject. Thinking about data mining, visualization, use of languages to build, and other skills needed to do Supercomputing are not in the thinking of educators. Here is the problem, ten years later, there are still people who are not on the Internet.The Pew Charitable Trust gives an update to Andy’s ideas. The slides are here In short they say,.Pew – The emerging information landscape – 8 realities of the “new normal”

“Pew Director Lee Rainie gave a keynote at the NFAIS annual conference about the way the internet and mobile connectivity have transformed the worlds of networked individuals. He discussed how normal life has changed in the past decade because of three revolutions in technology: 1) the spread of broadband; 2) the rise of mobile connectivity; and 3) the emergence of technological social networks. He discussed trends and likely future developments in technology that will shape the way people learn, share, and create information. The slides are here.”

The digital divide is about literacy. As much as we hate to admit it, functional illiteracy amongst adults is  one of America’s dirty little secrets. Millions of adults struggle to fill out forms, follow written instructions, or even read a newspaper. The 1993 National Adult Literacy Survey suggest as many as 44 million American adults—one out of four—are functionally illiterate, while another 50 million adults are plagued by limited literacy. We often talk about the importance of information literacy when it comes to using the Internet. Information literacy is an obviously vital part of the equation, but how can we expect to conquer the digital divide when nearly half of all American adults can’t even process written information competently? Literacy must be tackled at the most basic level in order to afford more people the opportunity to use technology effectively.

The digital divide is about pedagogy. As I wrote recently in the e-journal the Digital Beat  Internet access in schools isn’t worth a hill of beans if teachers aren’t prepared to take full advantage of technology. Research has shown that educators who are resistant to constructivist teaching practices are less likely to utilize the Internet in their lessons, while educators who are more comfortable with constructivist practices are more likely to do so. Teachers who employ more real-world interaction are thus more inclined to employ online interaction. How can professional development be reformed to take these differences into account?

The digital divide is about community. One of the greatest strengths of the Internet is in its facility for fostering communities. Communities often appear in the most low-tech of places: You can surf the Web until your knuckles implode and yet not feel like you’ve actually bonded with anyone, but you can subscribe to a simple e-mail listserv and join a gathering of people who have been enjoying each others’ wisdom for years. It’s paramount for people coming to the Internet for the first time to have opportunities to join communities and forge new communities of their own. Public spaces must be preserved online so that people can gather without feeling like direct marketing or more popular and powerful voices are crowding them out. If people can’t build meaningful relationships online, how can they be expected to gravitate to it? 

We must continue fighting the scourge of illiteracy—among students, their parents, and among the community—by expanding formal and informal opportunities that improve reading and critical-thinking skills. We must demand engaging content from online producers and refuse to buy into mediocre content when it doesn’t suit our teaching needs. We must encourage all learners to be creators as well, sharing their wise voices both online and offline. And we must open our schools and libraries to more connections with our communities—no computer lab or training room should sit idly during evening and weekend hours. These are but a few examples of what the education community can do.These five puzzle pieces—access, content, literacy, pedagogy and community—may not be enough to complete the entire digital divide puzzle, but they go a long way in providing us a picture of what’s at stake. Giving people access to technology is important, but it’s just one of many issues that need to be considered. Schools, libraries, and community centers have taking that first step in getting wired, but they must also consider the needs of the learners, the teachers, and the communities that support them. Broadband accessibility and speed are a problem.

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage.

Cyberbullying and Adults

Cyberbullying isn’t just for kids. It never was. But when adults are involved, it’s called “cyberharassment” not “cyberbullying.” WiredSafety’s award-winning website dedicated to the issue of cyberbullying and young people is StopCyberbullying.org . It’s the most popular cyberbullying website in the world. Adult cyberharssment is handled here at WiredSafety.org’s cyberbullying section
* Pew – The emerging information landscape – 8 realities of the “new normal”

“Pew Director Lee Rainie gave a keynote at the NFAIS annual conference about the way the internet and mobile connectivity have transformed the worlds of networked individuals. He discussed how normal life has changed in the past decade because of three revolutions in technology: 1) the spread of broadband; 2) the rise of mobile connectivity; and 3) the emergence of technological social networks. He discussed trends and likely future developments in technology that will shape the way people learn, share, and create information. The slides in PDF are here.”

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  Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants

Introduction

Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants support world-class research to improve our understanding of how social media can impact the next generation. In August 2011, we invited academic and non-profit institutions to apply for the $200,000 in grants funding research that highlights trends associated with digital citizenship. Nearly 100 researchers from more than 10 countries submitted outstanding applications. Based on in-depth evaluation from a team of Facebook employees and our Safety Advisory Board, we are awarding the inaugural Digital Citizenship Research Grants to FOUR researchers who will advance our global understanding of digital citizenship.

Original

Our leader

Dr. Michael Searson, SITE

Dr. Searson is President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) and heads the School for Global Education and Innovation program at Kean University. SITE represents approximately 1500 educators, from about 500 institutions of higher education throughout the world. In these roles, Dr. Searson works with educators across the globe to explore issues related to information technologies, informal learning, mobile devices and social media.The SITE project will bring together a coalition of international scholars, researchers and practitioners who will develop an open source course and course modules for the preparation of future teachers to teach digital citizenship.

Original

http://www.netfamilynews.org/?p=31281