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

530786_458585780849208_709306110_n

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.

563689_297167427070212_770290619_n

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.

858711_10151522638751327_826085403_o

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.

Austin the Destination, Integrating Computational Thinking Into K-12, Sharing Supercomputing Resources and Education

Learning at the University of Texas

Austin, Texas

Theme: Teaching in Exponential Times! K-12 to Teragrid  and the Future of Supercomputing!XSEDE

In case you are advanced .. go to https://www.xsede.org/education-outreach-blog

We Raise the Bar for K-12 and Preservice Candidates

Years ago, members of the Supercomputing Conference and the Teragrid allowed us as teachers  to create a window of interest into SC and computational thinking for the SITE members. We had involvement from Henry Neeman and Diane Baxter over the years and support to become a part of the SITE community and to do workshops over several years. We have had incredible support and exposure to the educational activities including the work of Shodor.org  and the resources at that site and their workshops.We learned from the Broadening Engagement community how to share the message.

We learned at the SC Education conference and then disseminated lessons and practices. Ray Rose, ManoTalaiver, Vic Sutton, and I have been quietly integrating the computational sciences and HPC into K-12 practices. Mano works in rural areas to bring the dreams of education into reality with NSF funding. Ray is now a college instructor in technology at an HBCU in Austin. Vic and I are working with a K-12 School, Tracy Learning Center to infuse computational thinking into the curriculum. Bob Plants is the researcher in our group and he has a STEM initiative in Mississippi. He shares resources on line as outreach to teachers too.

Dr. Paul Resta is about Broadening Engagement

Change takes a Visionary!

One of my best friends is Dr. Paul Resta who put ideas of education into reality. We were so proud of his accomplishments and his center that we planned a tour for participants at SITE, Austin. The resources are a great way to create change in the learning landscape. Dr. Resta is a leader in teacher education nationally and internationally. He has worked with tribal groups in the Four Corners Project and works Internationally in education as well.

Middle School

East Austin Academy College Prep
 – This middle school is designed to help low-income minority inner city students prepare for college and success in the future. All students participate in an innovate program known as Globaloria. Globaloria is a social network for learning, in which they learn to create educational web-games for social change. East Austin College Prep Academy is the first charter school to integrate the Globaloria network and curriculum as a school-wide teaching and learning opportunity, and offers required daily curriculum to all students starting at 6th grade.

Project on Games and Workforce Readiness. Globaloria.org

Idit Harel Caperton works in areas of need with her Globaloria project. Ray, Vic and I also encouraged her to share her project, Globaloria.org with the SITE membership. We , Ray, Vic and I also were involved with the group in training and research as learners in professional development.

We have come of age. Look at the tours and the participants of SITE who were involved in thinking , learning, planning, and being involved in a special resource for educators at UT. The university of Texas.

Highlights

Manor New Tech High School (NTHS) This high school is a technology-rich learning environment using a constructivist approach to learning. It has become a model NTHS site and educators from newly established NTHSs come to Manor for orientation and training. Participants will meet with the district superintendent and the director, faculty and students at the school. (Limit 30) Depart 9:30 AM, Return 1:30 PM

View the Student-Generated Video for a Preview of this tour!

Education Visualization Lab and Visualization Center, The University of Texas at Austin – The Learning Technology Center Educational Visualization Lab is focused on the use of visualization technologies to understand patterns and relationships in massive education data sets. The visit will include a tour of the Learning Technology Center and

also a visit to the TACC Visualization Center that includes, Stallion, the highest resolution tiled display in the world; Longhorn, the largest hardware accelerated, remote, interactive visualization cluster. Was used by NOAA in predicting path for Katrina. » Newsletter

The Learning Technology Center in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin supports the instructional and research activities of the College’s students and faculty by providing computer facilities, telecommunications services, and digital media production equipment. The LTC also participates in projects that advance the use of technology to meet the educational needs of learners throughout the state and nation, and around the world.

You can check equipment out to use.

You can take your laptop to be checked.

You can work in the lab.

You can sit with professionals who can help you plan your lessons to be technology integrative.

Teachers can plan to be in workshops to enhance their knowledge .

I have many photos , and I am sure that I am only sharing a bit of what is possible.

Learning at the University of Texas

There are links and resources that have been created for teachers in this center for national, regional and local learning on the website

The information here comes from the newsletter and information gathered during the tour.

Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization for the Texas Advanced Computing Center, describes the information conveyed in a simple mapped visualization.

Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization for TACC, led the workshop, which included an overview of information visualization and visual analytics concepts and how they apply to educational data. Attendees learned the basics of Processing, a popular visualization programming language, to develop information visualizations with their own data. They were later able to view their work on the EdVisLab’s large display.

A participant learns Processing, a visualization programming language.

Both Google Apps for Education and visualization techniques for educational research represent new directions for the College of Education and its use of technology in education. The LTC is constantly exploring new technologies and their benefit to education, and has led the way in bringing these new technologies to the College. The apps will be part of the online tools that are replacing TeachNet and will allow student groups to have increased online collaboration, including co-creation of documents, presentations, and Web sites. The EdVisLab will allow faculty to better analyze large and complex data sets, more easily seeing and understanding patterns, trends, and relationships. For more information about the Google Apps for Education pilot, contact Karen French. Contact Ken Tothero to learn more about the EdVisLab. ( If you live in Tcxas)

.

The LTC equips teaching professionals with new knowledge.

 COE Education Visualization Lab

LTC Director Paul E. Resta speaks to those gathered for the EdVisLab grand opening.

The College of Education (COE) community, staff of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and many others interested in visualization on campus gathered Friday, in early February 3 to celebrate the Learning Technology Center’s grand opening of the COE Education Visualization Laboratory (EdVisLab). The event culminated more than a year of planning the lab and designing its equipment and software systems.

Brandt Westing, TACC Research Engineer, shows visitors how visualization can help researchers detect trends and patterns in large amounts of data.

The lab is a joint project with TACC, which provided technical assistance and will help run the lab. The new facility will allow COE researchers to use visualization techniques to better analyze large data sets. The lab features a 15-monitor high resolution tiled display, a 3-D visualization system and a workstation with specialized visualization software.

COE Dean Manuel Justiz spoke first during the opening, praising LTC Director Paul Resta for all his efforts over the years to make the LTC a top-notch, nationally recognized learning technology facility. Dr. Resta then spoke, thanking the Dean for the lab’s funding and thanking all the LTC and TACC staff for the long hours spent creating the lab. Finally, Jay Boisseau, TACC Director, described how the process of adapting TACC visualization programming for use in the EdVisLab led to the development of an improved version of the software.


Texas Advanced Computing Center – Texas Advanced Computing Center is a leading resource provider in the NSF TeraGrid and operates two of the most powerful high performance computing systems in the world, which are used by thousands of scientists and engineers each year to perform research in nearly every branch of knowledge. TACC’s largest supercomputer, Ranger, can perform 579.4 trillion operations per second (or teraflops), and is nearly 30,000 faster than today’s desktop computers. TACC’s newest system, Lonestar 4, which went online in Feb. 2011, clocks in at more than 302 teraflops and offers nearly 200 million computing hours per year to researchers around the world.

The Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education is an international association of individual teacher educators, and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development.

The Society seeks to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange, and support among its membership, and to actively foster the development of new national organizations where a need emerges. SITE is the only organization that has as its sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs.

As the official blog of SITE, this website exists to promote dialog and interaction among SITE members as well as non-members about a variety of issues relating to our mission.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton

The Digital Divide” Broadening Engagement” Should Include Computer Science Education

In your learning community, it is a part of the curriculum?

What do you know about computer science education? I have been involved in trying to bring it to K-12 for many years. I believe that the attention to this cause has mushroomed but not to the point where we as parents, as educators, as a community understand the importance of this subject.

I have been lucky enough to be involved in education for computer science at the supercomputing conference. Here is what I wrote in the Educational Technology Journal.

http://etcjournal.com/2011/11/28/supercomputing-the-singularity-and-21st-century-teachers/

What is computer science education?

Overhauling Computer Science Education

It depends on who is discussing it. I think that this is a great way to share ways to think about making transformational change in education.

December 15th, 2011

Hello there Facebook friend! If you like this article, please help spread the word bysharing this post with your friends. Sylvia asks and so here it is. But wait. There is more.

We know that the children using devices will learn and think in different ways.

“Students from elementary school through college are learning on laptops and have access to smartphone apps for virtually everything imaginable, but they are not learning the basic computer-related technology that makes all those gadgets work. Some organizations are partnering with universities to change that.”

THE Journal has run an important article about the efforts to overhaul Computer Science education in the U.S. (Overhauling Computer Science Education – Nov/Dec 2011.)

It’s long been a mystery to me that computer science isn’t being taught in U.S. schools. No, not computer literacy, which is also important, but often stops at the “how to use application x, y, or z” level. Why are we not teaching students how to program, master, and manage the most powerful aspects of the most important invention of the 20th and 21st century?

I believe there are two reasons, both based in fear.

1. Fear that adding a new “science” will take time away from “real” math and science. In my opinion, the US K-12 math and science curriculum has been frozen in time. It’s not relevant or real anymore, and needs a vast overhaul. But there are lots of forces at work to keep the status quo definitions of what kids are taught. And I do mean to draw a distinction between what students are taught and what they learn. For too many young people, what they learn is that math is boring, difficult, and not relevant, and science is about memorizing arcane terms. This is just a shame and waste.

2. Fear that computer science is too hard to teach in K-12. People worry that teachers are already stressed and stretched, that there aren’t enough computer science teachers, and that computer science is just something best left to colleges. That’s just a cop out. There are lots of teachers who learn to teach all kinds of difficult subjects – no one is born ready to teach chemistry or how to play the oboe, but people learn to do it all the time. Plus, there are computer languages and development tools for all ages, and lots of support on the web for people to try them out.

Please read this article – it covers a wide range of options and ideas for adding this very important subject to the lives of young people who deserve a relevant, modern education! Overhauling Computer Science Education

Sylvia

I would like to add my  2 cents worth.. We as teachers need, and some of us have had excellent support but we have often had to go to the professional development on our own. Since we as teachers do not make the decisions about curriculum, I believe that school boards, and community need to learn why we must broaden engagement.

SHODOR.org and their programs.

There are excellent resources available . Dr Robert Panoff has dedicated more than a decade in sharing resources. Shodor is a national resource for computational science education.

Our mission: to improve math and science education through the effective use of modeling and simulation technologies — “computational science.”

Shodor, a national resource for computational science education, is located in Durham, N.C., and serves students and educators nationwide. Our online education tools such as Interactivate and the Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD), a Pathway Portal of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), help transform learning through computational thinking.

In addition to developing and deploying interactive models, simulations, and educational tools, Shodor serves students and educators directly through workshops and other hands-on experiences. Shodor offers innovative workshops helping faculty and teachers incorporate computational science into their own curricula or programs. This work is done primarily through the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI) in partnership with , NCSA, and other NSF-funded initiatives.

A mentor works with students in the Shodor Scholars Program

For students from middle school through undergraduate levels of education, Shodor offers workshops, apprenticeships, internships and off-site programs that explore new approaches to math and science education through computational science.

Time and time again, Shodor has been recognized as a national leader and a premier resource in the effective use of computers to improve both math and science education.

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

Transforming Teacher Use of Technology with Use of Teragrid Outreach Resources

 
Sharing the Vision of THe Teragrid

Family Science Days AAAS Teragrid Outreach

Three Dimension/Film of the Teragrid Outreach in the AAAS Science booth

You may ask, what is the Teragrid?

Teachers find it an empowering resource…

A formal definition is this:

TeraGrid is an open scientific discovery infrastructure combining leadership class resources at 11 partner sites to create an integrated, persistent computational resource.

Using high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrates high-performance computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities around the country. Currently, TeraGrid resources include more than 2.5 petaflops of computing capability and more than 50 petabytes of online and archival data storage, with rapid access and retrieval over high-performance networks. Researchers can also access more than 100 discipline-specific databases. With this combination of resources, the TeraGrid is the world’s largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

TeraGrid is coordinated through the Grid Infrastructure Group (GIG) at the University of Chicago, working in partnership with the Resource Provider sites: Indiana University, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the National Institute for Computational Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Purdue University, San Diego Supercomputer Center, Texas Advanced Computing Center, and University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The research community supports teachers, and education through outreach in several ways.  Each of the research communities has a specific education section . Gateway if you will to the use of the research .

San Diego Supercomputing Center features the subject of Computational Thinking using a well thought out project that was written by Pat Phillips of Microsoft. You can find that here:  http://education.sdsc.edu/resources/CompThinking.pdf

You may have noticed that the major teacher organizations, CSTA, ISTE, CoSN, and SITE featured papers, workshops and discussions on the use of computational thinking in the classroom. This was a planned outreach started by the network of educators and researchers within the Teragrid network.

Here is one of the papers presented at the Consortium for School Networking in New Orleans in 2011:

http://etcjournal.com/2011/04/01/white-paper-21st-century-education-computational-thinking-computational-science-and-high-performance-computing-in-k-12-education/

Executive Summary

The 2010 National Educational Technology Plan says “…technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work…. Whether the domain is English language arts, mathematics, sciences, social studies, history, art, or music, 21st-century competencies and such expertise as critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication should be woven into all content areas.”

Since the late 1990s, the US has been trying to describe what a 21st century education should look like. Futurists are trying to divine the skills that will be needed for jobs that do not yet exist, employing technologies that have not yet been invented. However, a careful look around can allow us to see many areas that have been virtually unnoticed by those who are focused on 21st century skills.

Supercomputing – sometimes called high performance computing – is not a new technology concept, but the supercomputers of 25 years ago were about as powerful as a cell phone is today, and likewise the supercomputers of today will be no better than a laptop of 10 to 15 years from now. As the world of the biggest and fastest computers has evolved and these computers have become increasingly available to industry, government, and academia, they are being used in ways that influence everyday life, from the cars we drive, to the food in our cupboards, to the movies we enjoy.

Supercomputing is not an end in itself, but rather the technological foundation for large scale computational and data-enabled science and engineering, or computational science, for short. It is a collection of techniques for using computing to examine phenomena that are too big, too small, too fast, too slow, too expensive, or too dangerous to experiment on in the real world. While problems with small computing footprints can be examined on a laptop, the grand challenge problems most crucial for us to address have enormous computing footprints and, thus, are best solved via supercomputing.

As a result, in order to be competitive as a nation, we need to produce knowledge workers in far greater numbers who understand both what supercomputers can do and how to use them effectively to improve our understanding of the world around us and our day to day lives.

The thinking about large scale and advanced computing has evolved, too. Today, we realize that, while not everyone will be using big computing in their jobs, they will need to understand the underlying concepts.

These concepts collectively are referred to as ‘computational thinking’, a means of describing problems and how to solve them so that their solutions can be found via computing (paraphrased from Jeanette Wing, Jan Cuny, and Larry Snyder). Computational thinking includes abstraction, recursion, algorithms, induction, and scale.

Our 21st century citizens, entrepreneurs, leadership, and workforce will be best positioned to solve emerging challenges and to exploit new opportunities if they have a strong understanding of computational thinking, how it applies to computational science, and how it can be implemented via high performance computing. These are true 21st century competencies that will serve our nation well.

The authors of the paper have been immersed, involved and integrated into the Teragrid community through attending workshops, NCSI initiatives, online contact with the researchers and outreach specialists over a period of time that has proved to create a powerful network of educators sharing the story of possibilities within the Teragrid.

An initial outreach , Teacher Bridge Day , which preceded  an ISTE and CSTA conference, united teachers and educators who then continued to work together over the period of months . The teachers benefitted from the combined efforts of the many researchers and outreach specialists who participated and contributed to the very first workshop.  Following that workshop, there were involvements with ITest through Joyce Malyn Smith.

I am pleased to say that this year , Joyce and the educators at SITE.org reported a large number of people interested in the strand. Joyce took the idea and developed it into a specialized strand for the ITest Community.

Here are a few of the 2011 presentations from the Aera Annual Meeting.

There may be more resources that link to the outreach of the Teragrid. I have chosen these to share.

Joyce was also a force at the SITE conference in Nashville, TN. The informal outeach team, those of us who try to broaden engagement and show diversity were there to shake up the force within SITE.org . We established a SIG for Computational Thinking and fielded a number of workshops.

We worked also at the K-12 levels of technology in Texas at TCEA.

Everything  is Big in Texas:  TACC and Supercomputing , at  TCEA

Ranger?    Stallion ? Computational Thinking and Learning

I  go to Texas a lot. My brother lives there, friends live there,  NASA holds events. I have been to Lockhart for BBQ, to Galveston for a wedding, to San Antonio and other places. I even know lots of recipes and ways to BBQ. But Austin put the icing on the cake for those of us doing digital outreach and broadening engagement in Supercomputing.I took classes at Rice (Teacher Tech) with a Supercomputing scholarship.  I have digital sisters and brothers in Texas.

TEXAS

Why not? Texas is a huge state and I have found lots of friends and educators who support my ways of thinking there.

I participated in a Teacher Tech  workshop at Rice University in Houston, and met Karen North and Dr. Richard Tapia. For a long time I was in constant email touch with a LOT of Texans. We were not sure what kind of reception we weuld get in 2011, this being a new topic to many people. I have been to Austin a lot, so when I see the statue of Barbara Jordan and the big guitars, I feel at home. We had a Supercomputing conference in Austin a few years ago as well.

Ray Rose, Henry Neeman, Vic Sutton and I have been a team at other conferences, we were literally breaking the ice in Austin for educators. It was scary to do.

. (It was very , very cold)  The keynote was a very warm one by Leigh Anne Touhy. The Blind Side was written about her true life experience. She set the tone for broadening engagement and social justice for me. She shared how her life was changed . I had not seen the movie , but I will.

We think that in education there is a blind side to the understanding of technology, particularly computational science, so we put together a workshop for Supercomputing and the use of the Teragrid and we did  a workshop for Emerging Technologies, and a tour of the TACC center.on the campus.

TCEA  Supercomputing and the Teragrid…  no limits, remember?

Henry Neeman has a great presentation , ” What in the World is Supercomputing!“. We took it to a state conference. Did I mention he is from Okahoma? They razzed him a lot, but he just kept on presenting. The interesting thing about it is that he is a reseacher, who can bring the ideas down to earth with fun, and understanding. Henry can do this in person, on line or in a course online. You can fund a lot of the information here.

http://www.oscer.ou.edu/Symposium2003/neeman_bio.html

Nothing like being with him in person however. Think Puzzle. Think a guy moving around at the speed of light, absolutely able to help you understand Supercomputing. This is Henry.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5653613&l=8267b33412&id=593996326

Dr. Neeman also has taught a series of workshops titled “Supercomputing in Plain English”, directed at an audience of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff not only in computer science but also in a variety of physical science and engineering fields. Dr. Neeman’s research interests include high performance computing, scientific computing, parallel and distributed computing, structured adaptive mesh refinement, scientific visualization, Grid computing and computer science education. You can find his materials on line. He is the Education and Outreach Chair for Supercomputing 2012 in Seattle.

We embarked , engaged, energized , and educated teachers so that they could be empowered to understand the computational sciences. We had outreach materials from the Teragrid. So well put together, and such a hit with the educators.

All three of the sessions were a success. We did not have supertech people except one or two and we had about 50 people in the first workshop.

TOURING TACC

The second was the tour.My heart fell when I went to the bus, because at first I could not see it was full. We had a grand tour of TACC. I love the visualization images .http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/scivis-gallery/

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the nation’s leading universities, an academic institution of enormous breadth and depth, with 50,000 students and 3,000 faculty. It’s an economic powerhouse that pumps more than $8.2 billion into the Texas economy each year. It ranks fifth in the world for academic citations and is the recipient of more than 400 patents. Seven of its doctoral programs rank among the top 10 in the nation.

The University of Texas’ intellectual firepower extends far beyond its classrooms and labs. In addition to ongoing research in 18 colleges and schools, the university sponsors 100 separate research units and 10 organized research units, such as the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

TACC plays a pivotal role in the new culture of computational science at The University of Texas at Austin and is central to UT’s success as a major public research university. TACC boasts world-class resources and expertise that enable scientists and researchers to find solutions to the biggest problems facing science and society. From climate change to medical research to energy resources, traditional and renewable, advanced computing provides the tools that are critical to discovery in science and across disciplines. Faith Singer-Villalobos lead the presentation and discussion.

TACC’s education and outreach programs support their mission to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. We all benefit from advanced computing in our everyday lives, from more accurate weather reports, to safer automobile designs, to smaller, lighter electronic gadgets.

TACC’s education & outreach programs introduce K-12, undergraduate and graduate students to the power of advanced computing for science, technology, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. It believes that the students are the next generation of Einsteins, Curies, and Hawkings, who will someday make breakthrough discoveries that we can’t even imagine today.

We wanted to touch the future through sharing with the teachers what the university and supercomputing had to offer.

Teachers touch the future.

Our last presentation was to identify the real 21st Century Literaraies.  about data visualization, and computational thinking, data mining and global collaborations. We were able to share partnership organizations to teachers for field experiences, National Geographic, Earthwatch, NASA , NOAA but most importantly to show ans share curriculum opportunities that were free.

Shodor.org

http://www.shodor.org/activities/

and Scalable Game Design

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/wiki/Scalable_Game_Design_wiki

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/gamewiki/index.php?title=Scalable_Game_Design_wiki&oldid=3534#Game

Meanwhile San Diego is doing outreach of this kind.

Upcoming Computer Science Courses for High School and Undergraduate Students

http://education.sdsc.edu/

Introduction to C++ Programming
Mondays, January 10 – March 14, 2011– 4:30pm- 6:30pm (weekly)

This class  introduces programming concepts to students, with no previous programming experience required, and will focus on learning to read and write programs in C++. The class will focus on in-class programming and participation. The course will move quickly and students are required to have access to a computer at home. The course will cover IDEs, programming basics, compilation, execution, flow control, functions, arrays, pointers, file I/O, structures and classes. Weekly homework assignments solidify understanding in preparation for a comprehensive final project.

Introduction to Programming in Python ( this already started)
Tuesdays, January 11 – March 15, 2011– 4:30pm- 6:30pm (weekly)

This course offers an introduction to computer programming via the Python programming language. Students listen to weekly explanation-demonstrations of and gain simultaneous practical experience with basic coding concepts such as calculations, string formatting/manipulation, conditional statements, iteration, file i/o, and the abstraction of functions, as well as programming style. Weekly homework assignments solidify understanding, and a final project offers the opportunity to creatively deploy the class materials. This course is designed to prepare students for the class’s final project, the creation of a computer program that generates a poem.

In our network we can identify lots of opportunities for K-12. Teragrid even features them in a booklet.

How much data is that? Check out the visual idea of it.

http://www.focus.com/images/view/52784/