Digital Citizenship, a SITE Initiative

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

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

Digital Divide

Without Internet, Urban Poor Fear Being Left Behind In

Digital Age


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

Originally published: March 1, 2012

Author: Gerry Smith

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

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

 FCC workshops ,  taught me these descriptors.

Barriers to Use

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Years ago Andy Carvin wrote this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cyberbullying and Adults

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

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

.

  Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants

Introduction

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

Original

Our leader

Dr. Michael Searson, SITE

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

Original

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

What Science Pipeline? Making Sense of STEM Offerings! Part One

Family Outreach Days at AAAS Family Days  - Teragrid Booth

Students explore visualizations of the oil spill.

We all know that many students are not anywhere near talented teachers who can give them the information they need to be curious, understanding, interested and involved in the STEM initiatives. For many there is no pipeline, no indepth knowledge of any of the subjects that will create workforce, or future readiness for careers.

As a career STEM teacher, I was teaching science, math, problem solving, engineering and the use of technology early, i caught a lot of flack.  There were helpful groups of people and organizations that  reached out to me, to others and who helped us to become the teachers that need to be STEM educated. There were these teachers an d we were ridiculed during the Bush administration for teaching science. It was the bottom of the needs totem pole for M. Spellings. So we were not groomed, by our school systems or regarded in a good light. Political winds blew us away.

There was

NASA has many resources that a teacher can personalize and share with no cost.

Astronomy , space science education, the Chalenger Center Programs, so many offerings

,  NASA’s Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources.

›  Find Materials Now

We meet the world on the news , but do students know where in the world the news is coming from?

The National Geographic Society and its Outreach to Teachers

Community, Education, and Student Outreach, http://www.informationweek.com/news/231003049

education.nationalgeographic.com  

Most remarkable in the way of transformational and experiential teaching was the experience offered by the National Geographic. It was not just an experience for me. There are Alliance groups within the Geographic. There are opportunities. I had a month of involvement in all things geographic. What they have to offer changes as the programs expand. There is a section on education, there are special programs, , there are lesson plans and there are mentorships to be had in the AAGE.

National Geography Standards

The first ever national geography standardsGeography for Life, were published in 1994 and are being voluntarily adopted around the country. These geography standards are benchmarks against which the content of geography courses can be measured. Standards will affect the education of all children in the United States, and they should be part of the program of instruction of schools in your community. Copies of Geography for Life are available for purchase from the NCGE store.

The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.

National Geography Standards

The first ever national geography standards, Geography for Life, were published in 1994 and are being voluntarily adopted around the country. These geography standards are benchmarks against which the content of geography courses can be measured. Standards will affect the education of all children in the United States, and they should be part of the program of instruction of schools in your community. Copies of Geography for Life are available for purchase from the NCGE store.

The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.

 Earthwatch Education

Earthwatch fellowships enable critical partners to participate in research expeditions worldwide. Each year, Earthwatch’s Fellowship Programs enable hundreds of studentsteachersconservation professionals, and corporate employees to join expeditions at little or no out-of-pocket expense. Earthwatch Fellows are emissaries of the Earthwatch mission, sharing their experiences and new knowledge with thousands of students, teachers, and colleagues upon their return.

Educator Fellowships

Summer Fellowships
Get out of the classroom and head into the field to learn about cutting edge research and conservation efforts, to develop professional skills, and to make a difference for our shared environment! As a summer educator fellow, you’ll spend 1-2 weeks of your summer recess on an Earthwatch expedition alongside a diverse team of volunteers led by prominent field researchers. After your expedition, you’ll bring the world back into your classroom and to your students as you’ve never done before.

Learn more about our Summer Fellowship program.

Live From the Field
Live From the Field educator fellows join Earthwatch research teams during a brief portion (7 to 10 days) of their school year and share their experiences with classrooms at home using blogs containing, photos, videos, lessons, and activities. Live From the Field educator fellows also connect with students through live video and phone conferencing at scheduled times during their expedition.

I joyously participated with other teachers in Earthwatch Outreach.  It was fun to be an Earthwatch fellow. Working with a scientist in the field using technology to share the archeological findings was hard work, but rewarding. I learned the culture of the island, the history of Mallorca, I learned about archeological excavation , and how we could use technology to map the site and the finds. Many teachers have been Earthwatch Fellows. The experience can be a life -changing event. Who knew about the other history I learned so much about . The cultures of the Med were unknown to me. Dr. William Waldron was the PI at the time. I participated in a further grant, we mapped the Mongoose popution of St. Martins .. and then volunteered to do Turtle nests , at night , another project. Nothing in a textbook can match the experience. Nothing!

K-12 classroom educators of any subject(s) from public or private schools nationwide are eligible to apply for Earthwatch fellowships. The strongest applicants are those who are passionate about teaching, excited about making a difference with their time and talents, and committed to engaging their communities using their knowledge, passion, and energy.

A starting point is the Education Department of the National Geographic. I don’t remember why I knew about them, or what I saw that made me apply to a summer institute.

, NSTA and their workshops, NCTM and their initiatives , Shodor.org and their free resources, the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4H and the SET program, the Exploratorium, and wait there are more, but I won’t name them all.

There is a digital divide, and there are resources everywhere, if teachers can access them, but given the state of broadband, in many areas that are rural and distant , the people who are concerned about STEM , are creating a false illusion that teachers create the problem.

There is also the knowledge that we in the classrooms have a mandated methodology which we can tweak but the management, ie the school boards and policy people make most of the decisions. So, what ‘s a teacher to do? Stay tuned. The age of Sputnik is over!!

The age of Transformation , has begun in Education.

http://chronicle.com/article/A-Size-That-Fits-All-for-the/128421/

Exploring the Teragrid

Outreach to the public sharing research = Oil Spill simulation

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

By Hal Salzman and B. Lindsay Lowell
The strength and size of the nation’s science-and-engineering work force are the subject of much concern, following the Obama administration’s education initiatives; international testing that shows students in Shanghai at the top of the world; and, last year, an update of the influential report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.” That report finds the deterioration of America’s competitiveness so severe that it is likened to a Category 5 hurricane. It calls for the United States to create a “New Sputnik” education initiative and expand our science-and-engineering work force. It reinforces a common worry over American students’ lackluster international standing compared with those in several Asian nations and in a handful of small European nations.

We believe that those concerns are overstating and misidentifying America’s challenges in science and engineering, and that they are missing the real opportunities for improving the nation’s education and work force. As we examined the evidence, several points became clear: The United States needs to improve education broadly rather than expand particular fields of study; look inward rather than abroad for exemplary educational models, in light of the limits of international comparisons; and focus on the core lessons about improving the lowest-performing group of students. There is actually no compelling evidence that, over all, the educational pipeline is failing to meet demand.
Our recent analysis of Department of Education data for three decades followed students from high school to the job market. We found little in the way of overall change in students’ pursuit of science-and-engineering studies or their entry into those careers over the past 30 years. We found that while a steady proportion of college students graduated in science and engineering, no more than half of them landed jobs in a formally defined core science or engineering occupation.
So, given a steady supply, why do companies report difficulty in finding ideal workers? Listen carefully and it sounds as if the employers would like entry-level workers to have skills not typical of newly graduated students. Leading engineering companies seek technologists with a depth of skill in a technical area combined with a broad education across technical fields, business, and the social sciences. Colleges find it difficult to develop all of that in only four years. So the hiring difficulty may reflect problems with pedagogy, the structure of higher education, the unwillingness of some employers to train new workers, and a lack of collaboration between academe and industry. It does not, however, indicate a loss of student interest or a shrinking pool of science-and-engineering graduates.
Nevertheless, some policy makers and industry leaders believe that to meet the demands of our knowledge economy, more such education is needed. They even think it is preferable to other fields of study. While acknowledging the value of science-and-engineering knowledge, we find that it is but one of many forms of valuable knowledge. Moreover, the science-and-engineering managers we interviewed expressed dissatisfaction with the “soft” communication, or teamwork, skills of their new engineers. And changes in hiring patterns suggest that the nation’s economic future depends on developing a balanced portfolio of well-educated workers across the spectrum of skills, knowledge, and disciplines.

Finally, some industry lobbying groups and high-tech companies seek to augment the supply of domestic workers by importing foreign labor on temporary visas. But this confuses the purpose of those programs with the country’s immigration policy for citizens-in-waiting. Immigration policy is driven by a long-term vision and a wide range of social and political objectives. The original intent of temporary-visa programs, on the other hand, was to meet short-term, not structural, labor shortages. Ensuring that labor markets are not distorted by short-term visas, which in their current form lead to a number of labor-market and social problems, is not anti-immigrant, and does not undermine the strength of U.S. science and engineering. In fact, raising the numbers of temporary visas for foreign workers during cyclical talent shortages can distort labor markets and discourage domestic students from careers in engineering and the sciences.

While we do not maintain that our study, or any one study, is definitive, we do believe that influential groups should consider new evidence in their quest to advance science, technology, and economic growth. When we look at the past three decades, the data support a far more favorable set of conclusions on student performance and supply than those promulgated by critics of the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pipeline. At the same time, our research supports the widely recognized fact that women and minorities are the most likely future source of STEM workers, and, discouragingly, that where the education system is most clearly failing is precisely for those populations. Of course, focusing on the big picture leaves out clear-cut examples of unfilled shortages of workers in esoteric but crucial occupations.
The classic tried and true formulation is that supply follows demand or, less sanguinely, that depressed wages and discouraged workers result if supply outstrips demand. To avoid those problems, a number of demand-side policies should receive support from all quarters. These policies include stable and increasing government financing for research, reinvigoration of lagging private-sector investments in research, tax breaks and other incentives for research-and-development activities, and the creation of an environment that encourages entrepreneurship. In terms of education, however, the evidence clearly points to improving basic education for low-performing students, schools, and populations—not an attempt to artificially inflate the number of science-and-engineering degrees awarded.
Hal Salzman is a professor of public policy at Rutgers University at New Brunswick. B. Lindsay Lowell is director of policy studies at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.

THE JACK  kENT COOKE FOUNDATION

No Gifted Child Left Behind?  First, the good news: It turns out, millions of kids from low-income families are acing standardized tests. Now, the bad news…http://www.jkcf.org/news-knowledge

With the tests we find that there are many who have the capacity to learn, to create to innovate, but, sadly nothing happens.  Download the report, here is the summary.

Today in America, there are millions of students who are
overcoming challenging socioeconomic circumstances
to excel academically. They defy the stereotype that poverty
precludes high academic performance and that lowerincome
and low academic achievement are inextricably
linked. They demonstrate that economically disadvantaged
children can learn at the highest levels and provide hope
to other lower-income students seeking to follow the
same path.
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, highachieving
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.
Very little is known about high-achieving students
from lower-income families — defined in this report as
students who score in the top 25 percent on nationally
normed standardized tests and whose family incomes
(adjusted for family size) are below the national median.
We set out to change that fact and to focus public attention
on this extraordinary group of students who can help
reset our sights from standards of proficiency to standards
of excellence.
This report chronicles the experiences of highachieving
lower-income students during elementary
school, high school, college, and graduate school. In
some respects, our findings are quite hopeful. There
are millions of high-achieving lower-income students
in urban, suburban, and rural communities all across
America; they reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender composition
of our nation’s schools; they drop out of high
school at remarkably low rates; and more than 90 percent
of them enter college.
But there is also cause for alarm. There are far fewer
lower-income students achieving at the highest levels than
there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the
high-achieving group during elementary and high school,
they rarely rise into the ranks of high achievers during
those periods, and, perhaps most disturbingly, far too few
ever graduate from college or go on to graduate school.
Unless something is done, many more of America’s brightest
lower-income students will meet this same educational
fate, robbing them of opportunity and our nation of a
valuable resource.
This report discusses new and original research on
this extraordinary population of students. Our findings
come from three federal databases that during the past 20
years have tracked students in elementary and high school,
college, and graduate school. The following principal
findings about high-achieving lower-income students are
important for policymakers, educators, business leaders,
the media, and civic leaders to understand and explore as
schools, communities, states, and the nation consider ways
to ensure that all children succeed: