How Do We Improve the State of Teacher Diversity and Assist with Professional Development?

I am from a generation that was taught with 20 year old books and schools in a sad state of being. We could read, and write and do math but the subjects were limited and access to the best of teachers was not usual. Of course there was no technology, and sadly there was no science. Often science gets shoved to the back of the curriculum map for minority students and teachers.

HELP?

National Geographic Education , NASA , NOAA and NSF projects have shaped my knowledge. There is a gold mine of resources at Concord.org

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Most minority teachers do not have access to exemplary professional development even when it is for free because they don’t know about it or they cannot access and learn using technology. There is always the George Lucas Educational Foundation site, Edutopia.  It’s free. There are online assists, but a lot of the webinars are focused beyond beginners. Autodesk University has a series of webinars, as does ISTE, for teachers to learn how to use the technology. Autodesk Design Academy (http://academy.autodesk.com).

ISTE has a series of PLN’s which help teachers to explore, be involved, learn to innovate, and have mentors for learning.

The White House has initiatives too, http://www.esri.com/connected

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HISTORY

It is true that before my time Einstein visited Lincoln University to teach physic but few people know of that mentoring. I know it because my uncle taught at the University in Pennsylvania that he visited , there is a photo on line of Einstein in the classrooms there.

     Internet of Things? Or just plain access and contact?

Today we are talking about technology. Who has it? You really don’t think everyone even in the US has access ? Broadband? Tools and well trained teachers? If you think that you must be dreaming and you may not know how to measure broadband speed.

Professional development is an interesting puzzle. There is a mindset for involving the use of technology. It is called TPACK. You use it for ideational scaffolding and inclusion.http://tpack.org

Here’s the problem. Many teachers in rural , distant, urban, and difficult schools do not have access to technology in meaningful ways and do not have a mentor or technical help that is available to them . So there is fear. There is not a lot of time within the schedule and even though we know that digital pedagogy is important.

Some people cling to the tests as the anchor for finding out what our students know. Sadly in the places where the technology is limited there is a problem that few speak about and that is that the technology that is available is needed to give the tests, so teachers have to release the technology for testing. Certainly most of them will not complain.

Punya Mishra​ has a solution for the professional development. He got funding to link a University to teachers working in schools of need and they work through the summer to be involved, learn, create, innovate and share their learning as they earn a Master’s degree. Publications and lessons are shared. It is one of several ideas to change the skills of teachers working in places of need.

BPDA and LISTA too champion students and teachers. These organization help. They have chapters and mentors who make a difference. I mentioned NSF. There are projects that help to integrate new practices and ideas called CyberLearning.

They ask these questions.

  • How can cyberlearning help empower the next generation of diverse learners?
  • How can we create innovative technologies that draw upon sound theories of learning through productive collaborations among researchers, designers, learners, and formal and informal educators?
  • How can we foster an inclusive design community that balances real world problems and settings with promising cyberlearning approaches?
  • How can we integrate contributions from multiple research projects for broader impact (e.g., combining our theories or combining our tools into a common infrastructure)?
  • Approximately 150 leading researchers along with students, educators, designers, industry experts, and other stakeholders will work together for two days at Cyberlearning 2016 to accelerate the community’s collective work and impact. Here is the call for participation.

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The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education
Albert Shanker Institute
http://www.shankerinstitute.org/resource/state-teacher-diversity-executive-summary
Teacher Diversity in the U.S. is an area of concern. The teacher work force has gotten less ethnically and racially diverse and more female, a development which has had an adverse effect on students, particularly on males of color. It is an impediment to the broader goals of equity and social harmony. ASI is working to better understand teacher labor market trends and identify promising interventions aimed at increased teacher diversity in K-12 education.

This report shows that nationally, progress toward greater diversity is being made, but it is quite modest compared to the need for more minority teachers. In the nine cities studied—Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.—the picture is much more bleak, and there are only a few pockets of progress, surrounded by serious setbacks.
You can download the report at the link above.

There is a report that many are looking at the OECD report? what say you about that? http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/students-computers-and-learning_9789264239555-en#page8

Researchers remind us of this work

Ed Tech researchers would remind them about the field of Media effect research and the classic articles from Kozma and Clark.
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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.

Is the Digital Divide Dead? Our 21st Century Challenge is to Level the Playing Field

Meeting the Challenge

The digital divide is very much alive. Reporters find it boring to discuss and would rather talk about new technologies. I understand. The nature of technology and its ever forward reach , change and transition is one reason that the digital divide continues to exist. There are other components of the divide that many people do not recognize . There is an information divide , a technology divide, a content divide in subject area and a use divide . Many people have devices that they do not use to the fullest because they do not understand, or have professional development to understand.There is always something new to learn. Sometimes we ask too much of our teachers and demand change by evaluation that is difficult to come by. Juggling the effects of poverty and poor schools is a daunting task. See here  but I digress . You can see why reporters don’t want to share the sadness of the still existing digital divide in our “education nation”. Positive projects are under-reported. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation shared a silent past of the problem in this report.

MAJOR TALENT DRAIN IN OUR NATION’S SCHOOLS, SQUANDERING THE POTENTIAL OF MILLIONS OF HIGH-ACHIEVING, LOWER-INCOME STUDENTS, NEW REPORT UNCOVERS  well the report is not new now..but there is still a problem.

Children need to have technology and active learning in after school, museum and community programs that excite their imagination and fuel their learning.

Current education policy focused on “proficiency” misses opportunity to raise achievement levels among the brightest, lower-income students

Technology changes make learning a constant. Lack of broadband is another reason to know that there is a digital divide that is difficult to leap over. Most do not include the global reach of the technologies, but the daily news brings us the world. There are places in the world where technology is not a given. Some states that are more remote are using technology in new ways. Broadband is still a problem  and many people are still on the dark side of the digital divide The Seattle Times shared this story which is one that is hardly shared in the media.

The access to Broadband is a national problem in rural, distant and some urban areas.

. SETDA shares the Broadband problem in a powerpoint.

North Dakota accepted the challenge and created a project to share new ways of working and of training teachers.They train new teachers and in service teachers and university professors in online ways.

There are online ways to bridge the divide, using in person and online differ for learners depending on their comfort base. I try to be PC and Apple fluent.. that takes owning both devices and keeping up with the new applications, add a cell phone, the cloud, and a tablet and you will understand  .  The  hierarchy of devices is an article that shares and shows the ideas of how the technology should work. Actually we all have a learning curve to conquer you ,don’t to have to be a nerd, but that iyou do have to pay attention. The media also tells you that you , as a person if not a teenager.. that you can’t be a part of the new ways of using technology . Not true. It just takes immersion, exploration, involvement and sometimes time to learn and practice the new technology . I have been helped by the Supercomputing Conference and the Shodor.org resources.For 24 years, SC has been at the forefront in gathering the best and brightest minds in supercomputing together, with our unparalleled technical papers, tutorials, posters and speakers.

We also know that there are people who cannot afford the devices, Maybe some of them, maybe the ones they really want to have. But they try using what they have and watch for the changes. A printer comes in very handy, as does some kind of camera. You don’t have to have a printer but you do need to have access to a place to print  or a way to save your files until you can find a place to print.

This child had never seen an I Pad .. when working with the Teragrid we shared a lot of technology resources with kids who had never, ever seen them.

Everyone does not own all of the devices, but most of the devices are getting cheaper and are more user friendly. For educators with good professional development within their school systems, and who are up on the latest core curriculum, technology is a winning strategy. There are initiatives  that are aimed to help people in underserved communities to get technology at low cost, with some training for use of the tools.

There  are still people who are intimidated by the use of technology, and there are school systems that do not let teachers personalize, and individualize their technology resources. There are also rural, distant and difficult journeys that speak to the resources available to the community, the school and the local businesses.

Rays oF Hope.. New Directions

Funding and a major initiative in the District of Columbia. Who knew? There is a neighborhood Supercomputer center in DC that is operated by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of JEF. At the highest levels of technology the Supercomputing Conference has Education and Broadening Engagement to  involve those populations who have not bee involved.

There are a lot of people who have been toiling in the areas of computational thinking and wonderful things have happened.The Howard University Department of Systems and Computer Science proposes the Partnership for Early Engagement in Computer Science High School (PEECS-HS) program. This program partners Howard University with Washington, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and Google, Inc. to introduce a new course titled “Introduction to Computer Science (CS)” across DCPS high schools. The course will adopt and extend the Exploring Computer Science curriculum, originally piloted in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). PEECS-HS will introduce students to the broad range of opportunities in CS, and allow them to develop basic competencies in CS fundamentals, and maintain a positive perception of CS. In addition, the program will produce a new unit on Mobile Application Development, which will be added to the general Exploring Computer Science curriculum.. PEECS-HS will prepare in-service and pre-service DCPS teachers to teach the new curriculum. For sustainability, PEECS-HS will prepare in-service teachers to lead future Introduction to CS professional development sessions. As with many urban school districts, DCPS is predominately African-American, an important but often overlooked, component of the groups that need broadening engagement. See  “Tackling America’s 21st Century Challenges”  a sobering thought is that of the opportunity gap.

The recent SIIA report defines these goals for change for all of education.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry .

Software.2012 SIIA’s Vision K-20 Report 

SEVEN EDUCATIONAL GOALS represent the instructional and institutional outcomes enabled through technology and e-learning:

  1. Meet the personalized needs of all students
  2. Support accountability and inform instruction
  3. Deepen learning and motivate students
  4. Facilitate communication, connectivity, and collaboration
  5. Manage the education enterprise effectively and economically
  6. Enable students to learn from any place at any time
  7. Nurture creativity and self-expression

FIVE TECHNOLOGY MEASURES may indicate progress for technology and e-learning implementation toward these educational goals:

  1. Widely utilizes 21st Century Tools for teaching and learning
  2. Provides anytime/anywhere educational access
  3. Offers differentiated learning options and resources
  4. Employs technology-based assessment tools
  5. Uses technology to redesign and enable the enterprise support

The Future?

James Morrison states

“A “disruptive innovation” is a potential event that may change the future of educational practice. There are a number of disruptive innovations emerging in the contemporary educational landscape today in response to the demands of the global workplace (e.g., Western Governors University, Peer2Peer University, Khan Academy, ShowMe, the Independent Project, MITx, edX, Coursera, StraighterLine, MOOCs, Udacity, digital textbooks, flipped classrooms; see the “Open Educational Resources” page at the Horizon site’s On-Ramp section). The purpose of this presentation was to stimulate discussion on how and why such innovations have the potential to dramatically change current educational practice. A video of the presentation is now available.”

The National Science Foundation pointed toward the future as well with a Cyberlearning Conference.

The summit was sponsored by the National Science Foundation  as a means to engage the community in accelerating the focus on transformative R&D in Cyberlearning and related programs, and was hosted by SRI International, the National Geographic Society, and the Lawrence Hall of Science, signaling a strong commitment to innovative STEM learning both in schools and beyond schools. Additional support was also provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 You can explore the researchers ideas here in their portal..Here is their portal with the ideas and topic to learn about without the cost of a conference, or workshop.
unfortunately a lot of professional training is very expensive. There is Open Courseware.1 – Great Expectations of ChemLab Boot Camp. Tune in here:http://ocw.mit.edu/high-school/chemistry/chemistry-lab-boot-camp/

Science Achievement, Hampered by the Policies and the Test Police, and Lack of Understanding of the Joy of Learning

I can tell you about a digital and a science divide.

We throw teachers at the students most needy for science and enrichment who are not well-trained, steeped in the ways of science and who have little or no training for hands on science.  I respect those who have never taught who want to change schools but TFA can’t create the learning landscape that is needed for sustainable science education in a couple of weeks. Science requires immersion, involvement, and evaluation.Loving, caring teachers who esteem the use of science, technology materials  and engineering are needed especially in communities where the parents are not scientists… and I throw in computational thinking. In education science has gotten the short stick. Computational thinking forms habits of mind. What is that? The site to begin  is here, and then look at this.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation accepted me on their advisory board and I learned even more. Rob Semper from the Exploratorium was often there, and George Lucas is visionary. We were learning about visualization and modeling, astronomy .. every time I got depressed about how science was “supposed to be taught” the experts around the table at the Ranch would share more information and ideas with me. I think we were ahead of our times. Think Bugscope. Think University of Illinois and NCSA.

An online project that puts access to an extremely powerful electron microscope into the hands of students all over the country has been selected by the journal …www.aaas.org/news/releases/2011/0729sp_spore.shtml

I love science. I started my career as a regular classroom teacher, from a minority HBCU, but I had powerful help in emerging as a science and technology specialist. In my college, the major work at that time was to bring students up to speed so that they could be college graduates. A lot of the kids were from schools that were not so good.  But I managed to learn. I am sure that no one expected me, who first decided to be a model, to be a great science teacher.

There are groups who offer assistance and help and professional development. But most school systems opted for vendor driven professional development. There are projects now like ITEST, but I remember being mocked and made fun of for using CUSEEME. It was not so much the teaching staff, it was the Washington Post that made fun of the new uses of technology. I survived, but others who used it were run out of teaching. And what are we doing now? Technology of course . We are talking digital textbooks , bring your own device and schooling by the Internet. Who knew?

The department of Education at one time was a leader in sharing  initiatives, like the Jason Project. I particularly loved the Voyage of the Mimi , Part two, it taught us to integrate subjects , it was truly interdisciplinary and it had proper ideational scaffolding. It was archaeology, it was science and experiments, it was games, it was videos, it was awesome to be able to teach. How did we get permission, well no one would claim the project, so the Gifted and Talented Supervisor let us do it without trouble. What a wonderful example it was for us. The children personalized the learning, and parents were engaged.

I am a PAEMST awardee for the State of Virginia. I have awards in many areas in science, earth science, Earthwatch Grants, and NSTA initiatives > Did I mention Concord.org? There were always people wanting to teach me more science. That’s the great thing. The sad thing is that science seemed to be mysterious to administrators, so we had to use.There are the opportunities but the policies of NCLB and restrictive principals caused science to be thrown overboard.. Gerry Wheeler of the NSTA is my hero for saying that we teachers were blocked from teaching science in the NCLB testing frenzy. Here is the article to read. Read it well.

Let me say that kids who love school, will work , work, learn and then some. The NASA resources that we used were so powerful. There was a time when teachers could build their curriculum using NASA modules and ideas. I will never forget being with 10 of my students at the White House. We worked hard for that. We were Young Astronauts, Challenger Center students and Goddard Astronomers. I am a geographer at heart. Lookhere to  see my perspective and this is  citizen science. Danny Edelson of the National Geographic says” Citizen science is the name for scientific research projects that engage members of the public in some aspect of their research. There have been some high-profile citizen science projects recently in which members of the public have conducted image analysis and solved protein-folding problems, but the overwhelming majority of citizen science projects involve crowdsourced data collection.”

The last time I was able to share my craft in science was in a Smithsonian Summer Camp. I was not sure that it would work with rising first graders, but they loved every bit of the science and two of the children signed up for the next camp.

I was the teacher that principals loved to hate, except one or two. I had rocks, bones, skeletons, probes, kits of all kind. I blame it on Wendell Mohling a friend of mine. He was on a plane to a science conference that I was attending ( I was going  without permission)

So here was the President of the NSTA who was also going without permission. I heard him say that and I went up and introduced myself. We started working to broaden engagement and make science known to lots of students.

Teaching Science

I loved October, I would get out my disarticulated skeletons, minks, rabbits, cat and a few articulated ones and some sample bones that I had and the kids would try to figure out how to make the skeleton. It took lots of time. I did have some surprises with the owl pellets as one child created a perfect example of a skeleton of some animal the Owl had consumed. So I had as a wonderful place to take kids the Naturalist Center at the Smithsonian . Hal Banks helped me learn to teach kids science and there were plenty of collections for teachers who did not have access to the resources, skeletons, rocks, and coral. I got in trouble once for taking the rocks, un-gluing them from the boxes. I just wondered what the fuss was all about as there were about 45 boxes of rocks in the science closet that no one ever used or looked at. There are probably enough iron filings in science closets in the US to build a battleship. But I digress.

I loved spring, we would hatch chickens, raise frogs and butterflies, start a worm farm and plant a garden. It was hard work. There was parents who loved my work and teachers who blocked me at every stop of the way. Finally I gave up. Pushing both technology and science became difficult. I had an ally in Marc Prensky who understood how sharing resources with people in the field or in the know , worked. An example is COSEE on line work with NOAA. It is outstanding pioneering work

Shirley Malcom and the AAAS gave us tools and connections to the curriculum on-line with interactive links and programs. But the administrators were not interested. It was sad to try to push the needed work, when tests were all that mattered. Here is my work with teachers and sadly, there was some pushback within certain communitiesto teachers learning supercomputing and computational thinking. Bob Panoff and Scott Lathrop helped us bring teacher communities to supercomputing thinking.

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

We were into rocks and charts. We grew our own crystals, and we sliced some geodes, and polished some other rocks. Parents helped me, and we wrote grants. In ESS Rocks and Charts you learn to test rocks for various properties. I loved watching the kids figure it out. I had taken that course at Marymount. There was a STEM initiative to help us transform our learning and make science real for the children. Fairfax county used to built these hands on kits for teachers in the system. Some teachers built their own kids nation wide.

THE FIRST SOCIAL NETWORKS WERE ABOUT SCIENCE

Because I was interested in science, when the National Geographic did the first Kidsnetwork, in which a real scientist reported to kids and helped them to create a project around a topic I was able to explore Acid Rain, Water, Trash and Pets. These kinds of projects exist today at the National Geographic and are available as citizen science for classes, communities and those who want to learn. The National Geographic has lots of projects on the education site and a network of alliances to help teachers in each state.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, the Smithsonian Estuary Center, all of these were available to the students, parents and I. We had an Eat a Crab Lab, we dissected fish, we went out on the pier and did salinity studies, surveyed the wind and tides, did microscopic studies, and looked for the various stages of the crab.  Look here. I could share so many things about science teaching, but they are in my previous blogs. Here is a set of pictures from my Facebook page on a great subject. We studied through NASA and learned in the museums.

Transformational Learning in a CyberLearning Summit

Some of us as pioneers in STEM and in technology, have been working in computer learning and use of technology so long that we had begun to think that change would never happen. Working in minority areas we are always running to catch up.

I was participating in technology well  enough to be on the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council. We helped to frame the vision of what technology would be in the United States. We wrote documents and shared methodology. But change was slow in coming. Years have passed and not much has happened in some teaching and learning spaces. Some of our dreams and ideas are still waiting to be fulfilled, like Broadband for all. In case this information is history here is a link if you need a history lesson.

So we go from conference to conference and speak those who believe change will come. We continue to learn and try to keep carrying the message of the use of technology. But it has been hard. We pioneers are talking about computational sciences and the latest headlines from Apple regarding the repurposing of textbooks. You have to look at that picture, because the end of the conference talked about the reality of that happened. That was Chad Dorsey of Concord.org. He is the reason I was able to sit and sit and sit.. though the conference was great it was a long time to actually BE on line. Did I mention NSF? I take it for granted having taught in Arlington, with access  to their information. I remember being laughed at when we used the first iterations of digital media, but NSF was firmly in support. CUSEEME? the reporters said it was stupid. So much they did not know.

There was a reference to a cyber conference from the National Geographic . If you have ever had professional development from the National Geographic you would jump at the chance….the resources for teachers are so many. Their  training is outstanding and it is inclusive learning. So with NSF and SRI and National Geographic  I knew the offerings would be outstanding.  You can still participate in the portal to help build knowledge.

This was the site, for the webcast. If you know me,You know that I do not love webcasts because so many of them are really bad.  I also love the excitement of talking to the participants and the exchange of ideas. What I usually do  to go to the National Academy of Sciences and attend the workshops , when I know about them. It is a singular joy to learn in this way, but the experience from yesterday expanded the audience, created a collaborative group of people even beyond the projects that I love the most wbich are the Supercomputimg Comference and Cilt.org which is no longer an entity but a great model for what happened yesterday.So I was not included.. well really I was, there was the online group  you can look here to see the program  for the webcast. My friend from SRI gathered the best and the brightest to inform the public and to share the resources. I knew their work was from excellence since they were a part of Cilt.org. This may be their new way of :

What a powerful example of transformational learning . Here’s to the creators of the conference. You should join the thought parade. Thanks to all who created an inspirational day. Hopefully some of these ideas will be made a part of the national conversation on the use of technology.

Changing the Face of Science in the US, NSF comes to the rescue..New Tools, New Technologies

Old tools for science .. still come in handy but we have new ways of learning to share. 

From maps to GPS, GS, Visualization and modeling and 3 D, Virtualization and modeling are a big step away from the textbook and just the resources within the classroom.

 

 

 

This is my antisuperman post. It is the kryptonite that should paralyze the discussion that we in the schools do not really care about science , math, technology and engineering. There was an event on the mall that shared and showcased wonderful science. But I fear that the media may not have dug deep enough to stop the bad press, to give us the good news about changing and transforming education as the groups did  on the mall and in the weeks preceding the expo event. I know that the people at the NSF really care about us..in education.

Teachers  are empowered by projects and funding from the NSF. The press hardly covers the ideas and often pokes fun at the research. People came to our booth time and time again to see the three D movie, to bring friends, to explore the use of the IPads which showed and shared the models that visualized what the various Teragrid research projects do, and to look at the photos of the supercomputers Blue Waters, in particular.

There were a few people who wanted to test our knowledge but , we had a team, and a petting zoo for the Little FE, and lots of information, even beautiful posters on the Oil Spill, posters on what is a tornado, and coloring books and crayons on supercomputing. We shared the ideas of use of the Blue Waters Supercomputer.

I don’t have a movie about myself.I am an empowered teacher, from learning to use the resources of the Teragrid. I do have a group of students, parents and supporters who have believed in science , math, engineering and technology, and project based learning.Mentors of mine are many one being Grace Hopper. Don Mitchell, Vint Cerf,  Scott Lathrop, Shirley Malcom and George Lucas. Chris Dede, and Seymour Papert. Al Gore, Ron Brown. There are more. Frank Withrow was once the leader of the Department. of Education and Larry Cuban let me, as a teacher use new technologies long ago. Once I was on a truck that carried the new ideas around the country. It was called CyberEd. This exhbit on the mall was much more powerful. Our booth was so full we had to stand outside the booth most of the time.

I am a minority and a female I am not 25.  I probably won’t be able to sleep because of the excitement of being able to be a participant on the mall in the Expo. Why is this important?Think DC Schools, think minority students who may think, we cannot do this work.. and think of  the needs of the students and their lack of participation at high levels in ordinary technology use. Think Jesse Bemley and I linking with people from the areas or not, creating networks for collaboration, community and communication in outreach.  Jesse Bemley is a black computer scientist who mentors students . We have a mission to broaden engagement . We are excited about the fact that now we can teach hands on science, explore, examine, evaluate and get immersed in the joy of learning in innovative ways.We were more excited than kids going to Disneyland about our participation.
Think Convocation on the Gathering Storm and their findings.
Here is what Elizabeth Leake wrote about the event on her blog.
“, Robert Ping (TeraGrid EOT Assistant Director/Indiana University), with a team of five from TeraGrid and NCSA, have been planning this for eight months or more. One of our biggest fears—facilitating technology and paper hand-outs in the rain—was put to rest this week with a beautiful forecast. Since this is the first such Expo, we didn’t fully know what to expect.

The Expo was conceived in response to the Obama administration’s desire to stimulate more interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers by “exposing children and families to new technologies that are strengthening communities, building careers, and stimulating economic growth.” The President’s Council of Advisers in Science and Technology, with help from a U.S. Department of Energy grant and funding from dozens of corporate sponsors, engaged more than 1,500 organizations to sponsor tents. They all brought some really cool S.W.A.G. The event is free—making it affordable for families to attend. Since the National Mall shares borders with the National Gallery of Art and many museums of the Smithsonian Institution, there is a lot to do within walking distance, although the Expo alone would take days to cover.


This is the same National Mall where the Reverend Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. In times of unrest, the National Mall has been popular with protesters since it is a large, open public space located in the very heart of Washington. While this isn’t the first time masses of people gathered on the National Mall for the same reason, it was the first time so many came with a passion for science, engineering, and technology!

Imagine researchers involving K-12 and the community. It was awesome.
We as teachers, as parents as researchers need to take back the media talk about schools. We can take forth the message of the Convocation on the Gathering Storm in a positive way.
One of the pleasures of teaching in Arlington, was to meet the parents who worked for the National Science Foundation , as they responsibly helped in the schools. Tonight, I cannot sleep because my heart is full of joy. I have spent two days on the mall, in the  Teragrid Booth It was a great pleaure to meet students, parents, administrators, grandparents, the people who came to the expo to learn about science, math, engineering and technology. We explored 3 D visualizations and used Ipad Technologies, we shared visualizations that showed the work of the institutions involved in the Teragrid.  We talked about cloud computing, parallel computing and little FE. We talked with students and would be students. The group inspired a LOT of people. We could show teachers in K 12 who were working in their classrooms using Teragrid resources. We could  say computational science with joy and bring others to LOVE it.

It is not a secret that students of today live in a multimedia world where they use video as their primary form of engagement and communication. Teachers and administrators are looking for ways to present information to students that will not only spark their interest, but also encourage them to explore a subject more thoroughly. Meaningful exploration usually means deeper understanding, which translates into higher student achievement, whether measured via standardized tests or an increased graduation rate. We did all this in our booth.  We had the new technologies.
The advent of affordable 3D technology promises to bring into reality the dream of fully engaged students. Our booth was full, almost all day long.
Children and parents and their friends came back to look , to share and to use the new technologies. People were fascinated with the IPad and the visualizations.

HISTORY
I will start from Grace Hopper, go to cooking, and simple involvement in technology to the Teragrid and Blue Waters. You will see why I am so excited and feeling empowered.


Grace Hopper? Think gender…
Here is who she is. Note how early she was a star in the history of technology.  



She was a special person in technology before the term digital native was invented.
 

Grace Hopper

 

 

 

grace hopper
     

    • Category: American scientists
    • Date of birth: December 9, 1906
    • Date of death: January 1, 1992
    • Profession: Mathematician, Programmer, Scientist, …
    • Served in: United States Navy
    • Nationality: American
  •  

 

I have had some  Grace Hopper  moments, I met her when she  visited schools in Arlington. I remember looking at her thinking. She must be very , very smart, because she is old and she is still in the Navy. At first I missed the point about the Nanosecond.I kept thinking, if she is a programmer than I can do this programming thing too.
So in a high school, a career high school in Arlington County Virginia, Tom Smolenski allowed me to have an activity day that was country wide in which we matched up students with new and unusual ideas which were about teaching and learning. We learned about computers, calligraphy, and many other things. We were doing project based learning over a period of time to cement an interest in mathematics, games, cooking, many things.

You think, cooking, what has that got to do with science?Ok, I am starting with the ordinary. Our booth was not ordinary. But we need to remember that since NCLB lots of people have not even had ordinary science. There were hundreds and hundreds of people just enjoying hands on science, and being involved. We had much more than this.. but let me share an ordinary pleasure first. I have lots of pictures from the mall. But it is late and I am tired. I will post pictures tomorrow.

COOKING
That may mean that you have never seen the naked egg. or visited the pages of the Exploratorium. This is a web site that rivals the Cooking Channel because you get to learn the science of cooking and you can keep the knowledge as a plus.


Accidental Scientist: Science of Cooking
looks at the science behind food and cooking. Learn about what happens when you eat sugar, bake bread, cook an egg, or pickle foods. Find out how muscle turns to meat, what makes meat tender, and what gives meat its flavor. Take tours of breads and spices of the world. Explore your sense of taste and smell. (Exploratorium, National Science Foundation)

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/index.html

Science of Eggs
Science of Pickles
Science of Candy
Science of Bread
Science of Seasoning
Science of Meat

Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking.

Science of Cooking




WE  Were Doing Extraordinary Science, Teragrid and Blue Waters



 

The special booth that I was a part of was of course leading edge science In our booth we were Blue Waters/ Teragrid.
Here is what you would see.

 

*Showing a 3D Stereo Video about NSF, LEAD and the TeraGrid

*Promoting Bluewaters – one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world

*Demonstrating LittleFe, a complete 6 node Beowulf style portable computational cluster

*Viewing 2D visualizations and photographs from TG users on IPAD technology

*Giving away coloring books about Supercomputing (and crayons)

*Giving away large posters depicting exciting scientific visualizations

*Stamping student paperwork with NSF stamps

*Handing out TeraGrid Science and EOT Highlight Magazines

Today and yesterday on the mall were special initiatives.



Blue Waters
Taking full advantage of the opportunities that follow from fielding a petascale computing system requires a long-term coordinated effort to educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers. This effort must excite, recruit, educate, and retain students as well as educational professionals. Partners in the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation are critical to the Blue Waters education initiatives.
Learn more about undergraduate and graduate education athttp://www.greatlakesconsortium.org/education/.


Broadband, Super-Computing, and Finding the Superman Within

This is from Frank Odasz.
Growing up, it was fun to imagine being a superman, strong and smart and able to do amazing things and help people in need. Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero, and be admired and respected and able to make a positive difference in a struggling world.  To not be helpless – in the face of all the bad things happening today.


Well, good news.

We are genuinely the first people in history to have super powers at our fingertips.  If we have broadband, we can fly into space, or to the bottom of the oceans, perform calculations and searches at speeds counted in billons per second. With a single click we can instantly self-publish our insights and resources to the nearly 2 billion online.

Without any money at all, we can start a global micromultinational business, we can start a global cause, we can launch a virtual nation, and much more.

Einstein said “We’re limited only by our imaginations.”
Many of us don’t believe we could ever be superpersons. But, there is a super secret here; to unlock your true full potential you must connect with your inner champion; the Superman within. What you won’t do for yourself, you might do for others. Many of us must first give to others in order to discover our true human potential.
Self-actualization for all – is now possible;
The 21st Century imperative is: Everyone both learner and teacher, both consumer and producer, all the time.
You have the choice to step up, even with just baby steps for starters, or to step back from your true full potential. That you actually have this choice alone, is powerful!
The love of learning is the key to learning how to innovate, to create value in a knowledge economy, and as important is knowing how to cultivate one’s curiosity; seeking out new knowledge and having fun making discovery a part of one’s lifestyle.
Was it Spiderman who says ” With Power comes Responsibility?”
If you are unemployed, under educated, depressed, and down and out, there is a lot you can do both for yourself and for those yet worse off than you. Anyone can become a citizen professor, able to teach anything to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Now I can go to sleep. I think. I might giggle about having to enter the marathon to access the mall. I had no other way of getting to my booth.
It was funny , me in a backpack easing sideways.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton
PowerofUSFoundation
Digital Equity and Social Justice Chair, SITE.org

Rivers to the Sea.. How do you know about Oceans ??NOAA has resources for you!!


In thinking about digital equity, we try to understand what resources are available for teachers, students and community that are the very best.

. The Department. of Commerce has outreach programs and games, and recently there is a report that has invaluable information for use in the classroom. In times of economic difficulty the Digital Equity SIG, and those of us working in Supercomputing , Broadening Engagement would like to share resources to bring education into the future. THe power of us, is that we can transform education by using new practices.
There are embedded links for those who can access them. What we love to do is to show you supercomputing that you probably don’t know you use. 

How do your Students See the Sea and learn Ocean Literacy?

Thinking About Oceanography, NOAA, Updates on Marine Life


I hope for your help to explore and protect the wild ocean in ways that will restore the health and, in so doing, secure hope for humankind. Health to the ocean means health for us. Sylvia Earle

Place Learning , Museums and Aquariums, Other resources

The Smithsonian has a wonderful exhibit in the Sant Hall using wonderful computational resources. Here are my Iphone photos of transformational ways of teaching and learning from that site.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=92735&id=593996326

The Dept of Commerce Science on Sphere is so compelling that students often sit through the demonstrations and seem to be mesmerized. Adults too find the use of digital media an easy way to learn complex information. Thanks to computational science we can teach in new ways. Teaching earth science and geography is enhanced by digital media.

The power of us is to use transformational resources and ideas that change the way in which we teach and learn. The education director of the Dept of Commerce talked about the fact that we often teach with textbooks with ten year old information when people working in Outreach may be serving students with ten days old research. Breaking the silos with the use of project based work, or partnership learning is powerful .

THE SCIENCE EDUCATION SYSTEM

 


NOAA is one of many agencies, institutions, and organizations working to improve the nation’s science literacy and technical workforce. To understand its role in education it is critical to understand the major players in the system and the role of the federal government in the education system. This section outlines the roles of various entities in the K-12, higher, and informal education systems.
K-12 Education

The responsibility for public education is not specified in the U.S. Constitution; hence, individual states have the right and responsibility for K-12 public education. Schools, school administrators, and teachers are held accountable within their state system. Federal agencies and nonprofit and private-sector organizations can offer advice, materials, training, funding, and other support.

NOAA’S ROLE IN EDUCATION

The national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere, and climate and to support workforce development in related fields is well established. 

The source of the last two paragraphs and the whole report is here. You can download or purchase the report here.


Authors:
John W. Farrington and Michael A. Feder,
Editors; Committee for the Review of the NOAA Education Program; National Research Council
Authoring Organizations


Description:
There is a national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the Earth’s environment and conserving

You may not think of the powerful resources that help us to visualize and image the collected knowledge that we have. Supercomputing , and computational resources enrich our learning resources.

Tranforming Education
All rivers, even the most dazzling, those that catch the sun in their course, all rivers go down to the ocean and drown. And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river.
Simone Schwarz-Bart

There was a recent Census of Marine Life
( Data Mining )
Earlier this month, a consortium of the worlds leading marine scientists released the first ever, Census of Marine Life.  This Census is the result of a decade long effort to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life.


The Census efforts lead to the discovery of more than 6,000 new species, yet scientists estimate that we still are only scratching the surface. The current catalog of ocean species contains nearly 250,00 species but the estimate, derived through extrapolations, is that the oceans likely contain more than a million.
The Census is an unprecedented snapshot in time that will not only benefit scientists but will serve to educate the masses and help raise awareness about the perils the oceans face today. There has been a census of Marine Lifehttp://www.coml.org/. There is a treasure trove of resources at the previous URL.
There is an abundance of projects available for teacher and student use in both of the resources.

NOAA resources shared.

Websites
Education Program