Kudos to Rafranz Davis.. Opening the Conversation

A must read if you are a minority in education is to read

The Missing Voices in EdTech: Bringing Diversity Into EdTech 

 

The real question is who is gating the inclusion of diverse educational leaders in technology?And why?

Martin Luther King Jr.
“But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world – wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.

We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Man without identity programing in technology enviroment with cy

This is an important book. It may be that the struggle of those of us who are minorities and leaders in education has gone on without the knowledge of the general public. We are missing by design. On his resignation from the Dept. of Education, Dr. Richard Culatta shot a parting shot sharing his concern about digital equity. Some of what he said

“Yes, students can learn without them. Yes, it’s possible to do great teaching without a digital device. Yes, going overboard with computers is a real and pressing problem. But kids who are forced to make do with decade-old computers and slow Internet networks aren’t growing up in an environment that will spark an interest in computers. That matters.”

                                              Illustrating Now . and Then
Sadly, many children are left outside of the loop of Ed Tech. Many have never purposefully
used technology. Rural, urban, tribal, distant and poor groups including many types of minorities are not being included in the use of technology. Many of us who are minorities have tried to intervene to educate teachers and to involve communities.
There are advisory boards, and influencers, and politicians who can make things happen.
What would happen if we focused on content in education? Just a thought.

PIONEERING DIVERSITY

Early in the Ed Tech world, Dr. Frank Withrow and Jennelle Leonard helped teachers to explore the uses of technology. He spoke of inclusion for all.
Dr. Withrow was the Executive Director of Presidents Johnson and Nixon’s Presidential National Committee for the Handicapped and was the Chief Technologist for the US Department of Education for a number of years.

Frank Withrow asked ,”How can we change the educational system? What is the Challenge and Charge?

1. Enlist media as an agent of change.
2. Develop town meetings across the nation that explore and foster better learning environments.
3. Recruit corporate support for this campaign.
4. Create a public relations campaign for better learning environments
5. Develop a consortium of national associations
6. Establish in USED an Assistant Secretary for Reform in the Digital Age
The USA should lead the world in education. The greatest resource for peace in the world is an educated population.  In 1990 161 nations at Jomtiem, Thailand agreed to at least six years of education for all children around the world.
Why not make this a reality? ”

Education for All
”    We fall short of our mission if we fail to include all children in our universal learning systems. The United States of America pioneered the concept of universal education for all children.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s we opened a new high school almost every day across this nation.  Horace Mann established that public schools benefit all people within a society; therefore all people should share in the costs of public education.  Not only has the USA created a great K-12 education system we developed under the federal land grant college program a network of outstanding higher education opportunities for all that can qualify.  Too often we separate K-12 from higher education but in reality the system is one from preschool to graduate school. ”

“The struggle for universal education has not been easy. Each generation has had to fight for the right to enter the schoolhouse door.  For years many children of color were provided separate and unequal educations.  It was not until 1954 that the Supreme Court in its most important decision unanimously struck down segregated schools. Unfortunately, there are those who still fight this decision and send their children to charter, church and/or private schools.”

       We do not like to admit our racial biases but they remain. Dr. Frank Withrow

Here is a way to get there for teachers.

Tpack-contexts

Jennelle Leonard. Pioneer

Jenelle Leonard served nearly a year and a half (1997-1998) as an Expert Consultant at the U. S. Department of Education in the Office of Educational Technology. She consulted and advised on issues related to the development and implementation of technology initiatives and national goals, such as professional development, telecommunications technologies, curriculum integration, and instructional applications. She participated in developing long-range, short-term plans, and strategies for implementing Department programs and initiatives including the evaluation of the effect and impact of the use technology in instruction.

Jenelle Leonard has held supervisory and technology related positions in Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas, VA, at BDM Education Technologies Group, a K-12 systems integrator and consulting company, Center for Instructional Technology and Training in the District of Columbia Public Schools and at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The TEA position provided her the opportunity to work with over a thousand school districts to implement the state’s Technology Initiatives as mandated by the Texas Legislature.

Jenelle Leonard has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator. She has been a public school teacher and administrator, technology implementation and training consultant, college professor, and a regional and state education department administrator.

Her background also includes designing and developing graduate-level instructional technology courses, technology and software procurement and installation oversight in over 400 hundred schools, and software development. Additionally, she has served on numerous technology advisory boards, and served as a contributing editor for an educational technology magazine. Her most important digital inclusion work in my eyes was this.

 

Jenelle Leonard served at the U.S. Department of Education as Leader of the Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Program (TICG). In addition to managing the TICG Program, which included developing national guideline materials and policies, reviewing and issuing grants, program monitoring, and program evaluation, she served as an agency expert and authoritative consultant, and provided leadership and guidance within Department of Education as well as to State, and local organizations, institutions, and agencies.

She was in a position to understand the challenge of providing for all.All together

“There can be no gainsaying of the fact that a great revolution is taking place in the world today . . . that is, a technological revolution, with the impact of automation and cybernation . . . . Now, whenever anything new comes into history it brings with it new challenges and new opportunities. . . . [T]he geographical oneness of this age has come into being to a large extent through modern man’s scientific ingenuity. Modern man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in chains. . . . Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this.”

That was Rev. Martin Luther King, March 31, 1968.

There has been great political change. The revolution in education for all is still to come.

 

 

digital age

 

Larry Irving  when at NTIA,helped us to understand this problem with the initiation of the idea of the E-rate.

That helps to provide the technology architecture and learning landscape that is needed.

He further said,” Our efforts are needed in at least three areas: what I call “access,” “aptitude,” and “attitude.” It’s a triple-A plan, and we need to begin work in each of these areas immediately if our students are going to win straight As in technological literacy.

 

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Digital Equity as the New Civil Rights Issue to Facilitate Empowerment and Broaden Engagement

THE PAST

Washington was the birthplace of one of Martin Luther King’s most impressive gatherings.I was not fearless about civil right then. I was a new teacher and it was one of the first days of school, and though the bus drivers in the system were allowed to go to the mall, I was not . My sisters in high school, went and I even saw them on television later. During the March on Washington , we who lived in the suburbs housed and fed people from around the nation. There was not room for everyone at the mall in the tent cities. People arranged transportation to the places where other people slept and were fed. That was the history of my generation. People wept at the power of the gathering. There were many neighborhood hands contributing to the comfort of those who gathered.

Here is a monument to that day on the mall. When I pass by it there are so many people milling around and thinking about the things he said. Here is the link for the website of the memorial

If you stand under the momument this is what you will see

I like this quote
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.'”

– “I Have a Dream”, August 28, 1963

It was a hot summer day!  People from all over came to see one man make one simple speech. The people only knew that it was about equal rights. They had no idea that this speech would change the the world that we know.. The people never knew that the outcome of this speech, that they were about to hear, would end up so famous. Martin Luther King’s speech began with a simple statement which had every audience member attention “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in the history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of the world.

I had seen Dr. Martin Luther King on my campus in school. I was not a stranger to the civil rights issues.Some of us did not do the lunch stands, we did the libraries and the schools and the water fountains and the amusement parks Washington, was mild compared to places down south, even rural Virginia. We did the things that were a part of a vast system of segregation.. toilets, drinking water,trying on clothes in the store, and being able to purchase food and eat it in the place. This was a hard one, because we in the culture were usually good cooks. So eating out at the time was not a big thing,

Here in Washington, there was a lot to protest about. I had a friend who helped to integrate the Georgetown dining places, and Glen Echo. The press was not so complimentary, or steeped in understanding. You can find the stories of Glen Echo on line, but not the stories of the integration of dining places in Georgetown. There was a time when going to Georgetown for a meal was a problem. There was a trial based on refusal to serve, at Nathan’s which is no longer in business. Dr. Michael Proctor went to trial over the fact that he was refused service at Nathan’s,  The trial was not successful. But various people kept trying to change things. It took a toll on the activists. It was a concern for their parents and friends. My aunt lifted me out of a demonstration saying that I could change the world with my teaching. Who knew how hard that would be?

Pony Rides, and Amusement Parks, and Places to Eat.. oh my!!

Glen Echo? But not just Glen Echo. Washington was a divided city, divided into black and white and Diplomat. This is history for those of you who do not know the past.


Glen Echo amusement park opened in 1898 and operated for 70 years.

The privately owned park was for whites only and thrived during the World War II era.

After pressure from the community, Glen Echo Park opened the venue to all races in 1961.

The park closed in 1968 because of continued racial tension, declining attendance and financial issues. It reopened as an arts park operated by the National Park Service in 1971.

Since 2002, the park has been managed by the county’s Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture Inc., a nonprofit that manages the facilities and programs.

Places to eat, amusement parks, bathrooms( yeah they were separate in some places and certainly not equal, I could make a big list but you get the drift, Not mentioning hairdressing salons, the way we were treated in upscale department stores, or the movie Digital divide we sat in the balcony if allowed Did I mention the trains? We took boxes of food on the train because we were not allowed service down south.   Did I mention schools? That subject is coming up.
Glen Echo amusement park opened in 1898 and operated for 70 years.

The privately owned park was for whites only and thrived during the World War II era.

After pressure from the community, Glen Echo Park opened the venue to all races in 1961.

The park closed in 1968 because of continued racial tension, declining attendance and financial issues. It reopened as an arts park operated by the National Park Service in 1971.

Since 2002, the park has been managed by the county’s Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture Inc., a nonprofit that manages the facilities and programs.

I loved being able to take my brother and his little friends there . They rode the various rides , ate the things from the vendors and loved the roller coaster. They rode that clanky roller coaster over and over again,

NOTE( If you wanted to go to an amusement park you went up North. My uncle had a place in Martha’s Vineyard.We as kids could not understand how there were different rules for different parts of the US. Most of the time we obeyed the rules, but my grandmother had a hard time with us on the bus because we sat up front. She eventually stopped riding the bus with us and we were taken everywhere by car in Portsmouth , Va.

Change

You can integrate a park or a movie theater, or even a swimming pool and the rewards, the experience is instant. But schools? We are still trying to change the face of education in the nation.

There is a recent article on the trials of those trying to keep up with technology. But we know in reality that broadband is not everywhere and that rural and distance and urban or poor have much less in the way of technology.  There are some interesting reasons that people don’t have technology. Some of the reasons are economic, some are a lack of education as to how to use the technology, and some people fear the Internet-based on stories they have been told.

Martin Luther King?

Martin Luther King on Technology
“When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast with a scientific and technological abundance. We’ve learned to fly the air as birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas as fish, yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters.” This clip comes from the documentary “Berkeley in the Sixties” I have no more info about this speech. If you do, please post it.
MLK technology martin luther king speech topangacreek

I know that Martin Luther King would think of some way to create an interface for technology for those who are slow to come to it.

I know he would recognize the fact that there are schoolteachers, and educators who do not have access, or training.

What’s the Big Deal about MIT and their new program?

A friend of mine wanted to know what was the big deal about MIT giving online learning and then being able to be certified for it.MIT today announced the launch of an online learning initiative internally called “MITx.” MITx will offer a portfolio of MIT courses through an online interactive learning platform that will:

  • organize and present course material to enable students to learn at their own pace
  • feature interactivity, online laboratories and student-to-student communication
  • allow for the individual assessment of any student’s work and allow students who demonstrate their mastery of subjects to earn a certificate of completion awarded by MITx
  • operate on an open-source, scalable software infrastructure in order to make it continuously improving and readily available to other educational institutions.

Personally, I had to remake my education as it was based on inferior schooling.The college that I initially went to had to redo the high school education of most of the students who attended it. Our college was not at the level of the white colleges. I thank National Geographic, and NSTA, and NCTM, and NCSS for the knowledge and information that I was able to obtain to better my teaching, but today I would be thanking  MIT for making information and access possible for learning. I patched together NASA, National Geographic, NSTA, and NCSS , with the wealth of information they could give. But all of us were  not able to do that. Some people were busy raising families.

Why the big fuss about outreach from MIT?  There is this informal and static one and then there is what is new.

A funder of mine, who is now deceased understood the problems. He used to say well it was ok when the school systems for poor people were inferior . Now we have a problem, and it affects all children. He wanted to be able to give an IEP , an individual plan for educational progress to all children. The project was started, but political winds blow helter and skelter and he was not able to get the approval he needed.. You understand as you watch the congress posture and castle because of the coming election.

I am grateful to  MIT for  unlocking minds and  empowering students and educators everywhere..

DIVERSITY and BROADENING ENGAGEMENT IS FOR ALL CITIZENS

So far we as a nation invest more in incarceration than in education. See here

Jack Taub cared about children and was worried about digital equity and social justice. He was a funder of mine.

“It’s a systemic problem… in America now they’re talking about reform, but you can’t reform this problem – you need to transform. We need a new system utilizing current facilities and retraining existing teachers with the support of the teacher’s unions.”

The problem, as he describes it, is delivering this whilst the system continues to operate:

“Now, how do you start a new system with 54 million kids showing up every day… you’ve got to do this while the system is going. It’s analogous to rebuilding an airplane while it’s in flight and full of passengers. And during the flight you also have to retrain the pilots (teachers)”

But he is in no doubt that anything less is unacceptable:

“In America, based on the reading skills of a child in 4th grade we determine how many prison cells we’re going to need. It’s very bleak – think of the child when they first showed up there. It’s particularly tragic when you consider that every child shows up for kindergarten with unlimited curiosity and a genetic need to learn. It’s tragic, but that’s what kept me going…”

As I drive over the 14th Street Bridge and glance to my right now ,  I see a constant crowd of people at the Martin Luther King Memorial. Lots of people, the memorial is distant from public transportation but still they come and gaze and think and wonder. Has the change been enough?

Change has come. Some change has come. The President said:

“When thinking about the work we must do – rebuilding an economy that can compete on a global stage, fixing our schools so that every child gets a world-class education, making sure that our health care system is affordable and accessible to all – let us not be trapped by what is, we’ve got to keep pushing for what ought to be,” he said.

Referring to protests against the wealthy and the corporate culture that have spread from New York around the country and overseas, Mr Obama said: “Dr. King would want us to challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonising those who work there.”

The long awaited dedication of the US national memorial to slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King had been rescheduled from the 48th anniversary date of King's "I Have A Dream" speech due to Hurricane Irene (REUTERS)

The 30ft high pink granite monument to King is the first dedicated to a black American, and the first to a non-president or non-war hero on the National Mall, the capital’s hallowed central park.

The Digital Divide Is the New Civil Rights Issue in America


My friend Allan Jones gave me this title from a piece that he wrote to describe the inequity of learning in the US. We were thinking about the effects of the PISA report in the US. We were also thinking of places where new ideas and participatory learning are not a part of the program. We have plans to transform education.

The “digital divide” that persists in Internet use is  based on income, education and community means people are not acquiring the digital fluency that is required to operate in to-day’s world.

The part that bothers, us, worries me , is that lots of people who are well connected technologically do not have an awareness of the level of difficulty that others have in reaching technofluency based on connections and awareness.

There is also a level of learning, a depth of knowledge that is lacking in many schools , and learning places.

“To put it quite simply, America is a diverse society in which educational differences have the potential to become a progressively larger source of inequality and social conflict. Many people now recognize that eliminating these differences has become a moral and pragmatic imperative.”

College Board, Reaching the Top(1999)

There is a concern about the status of education in the nation. The recent publication of the  PISA 2009  results have caused a wringing of hands and a contemplation of why the US has declined in education. In minority areas and in underserved areas we have always lived with these kinds of statistics. We are always racing to catch up to whatever is just regular. Broadening engagement is our goal. I was delighted with the US Department of Education Technology Plan. To implement it, however we need assistance. Those of us in minority communities have always been striving to catch up. We never seem to make it.

Rural, urban, distant and compromised describe some of the schools, students adn communities not making use of the Internet. The Internet has gone global in a big way. Here are some interactive ways to share how the web works, resources and the state of and power of the Internet, from the BBC.

What are we talking about? The Web

How the Web Works

Explore this interactive graphic to find out which are the biggest sites on the internet, as measured by the Nielsen company. This feature is part of SuperPower, a season of programs exploring the power of the internet.

Resources

BBC

Interactive program from the BBC- SuperPower

resources from Superpower

We need support for teachers.

I wrote years ago of the importance of teacher support.http://www.ait.net/technos/tq_04/4bracey.php

There are many teachers who simply want to help kids as best they can. What is the motivation for the change from chalk and talk to the use of technology as a tool? In American education, the textbook remains the basic unit of instruction. Absorption of its contents tends to be the measure of education. How can we change that? What motivation is there to take on the task of change?

Many teachers and instructors use chalk and talk to convey information. Students are often recipients of instruction rather than active participants in learning. When teachers upset the industrial model, what are the predictable differences? How do we convey to the public the models of this change and the reasons why U.S. education should change?

In the past, even the most dedicated, skilled, and caring educators needed paper, pencils, and books to ensure that their students got the knowledge they needed to succeed in the society they were being prepared for. To succeed in the society of the 21st century, however, today’s students must graduate with more than the memorized knowledge of the past. They must be able to synthesize and analyze information, not just memorize it. Today’s students must learn to think for themselves. And they must be able to adapt to a world in which the only constant is rapid change and the participatory culture is desired by students to be a part of their learning .

Most schoolteachers work largely in isolation from their peers, and many interact with their colleagues only for a few moments each day. In contrast, most other professionals collaborate, exchange information, and develop new skills on a daily basis. But teachers are often in the classroom, where the bell and the loudspeaker or PA system are the most significant technology. Although half of this nation’s schoolteachers use passive video materials for instruction, only a small fraction have access to interactive video, computer networks, or even telephones in the classroom. And these technologies offer opportunities for collaboration in spite of distance.

While computers are a frequent sight in America’s classrooms and training sites, they are often used simply as electronic workbooks. The interactive, high-performance uses of technology that the NII will allow—such as networked teams collaborating to solve real-world problems, retrieving information from electronic libraries, and performing scientific experiments in simulated environments—are all too uncommon in our schools. U.S. schooling is a conservative institution that adopts new practice and technology slowly.

So how do we teachers make the change? We have a variable set of needs: access to hardware, some familiarity and training, on-site permission, and patience and support within the educational setting. The support should hopefully be systemwide and involve all of the layers of funding; parents and community members; and—to effect significant national change—teacher inservice and training. And, finally, time: teachers need time to learn technology, to understand the applications, to synthesize ideas so they can use technology as a tool that will enhance the teaching process. All of these ideas are considered in detail in the NIIAC’s KickStart Project.  This was written years ago, and for many people the world has changed significantly, but there are those still toiling in pre-technology stages.

Here us a simple test for thinking about the level of teacher use of technology. Take the test.

Examples of Need In areas of the US – What about your Neighborhood?

Need

Without ready access to computers, students struggle

Even wealthy Fairfax is forced to contend with a digital divide

Fairfax County , Virginia USA

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/05/AR2009120501746.html?wprss=rss_education

Need


Teachers describe administrative failings at Dunbar

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/11/AR2010121102464.html?hpid=sec-education

Her account is one of several that have emerged since Bedford was ousted, less than three years after it was hired  by former Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to turn around Dunbar. City records show Bedford has been paid $1.2 million this year as part of a three-year contract to overhaul Dunbar and Coolidge high schools. The firm remains in control of Coolidge. of course, Rhee is gone but this was her project.

Need

Private Operators Ousted at Dunbar

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120807351.html?sid=ST2010121102563

Rural

There are rural schools in which I have worked that do not welcome the use of the Internet for various and sundry reasons.I have traveled tribal regions with Karen Buller of NITI, in the  Navajo nation and am impressed by the Hogan to the Internet program start. I work with Idit Harel Caperton in West Virginia, so I know the rural challenges. Her example of facilitation of the power of technology.

Lots of good examples of what works can be found at the NASA, National Geographic, NOAA and Edutopia Sites

Case studies , resources, and video are at www.edutopia.org.

Some Programs that work/Projects

http://www.Globaloria.com/.

http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edutopia.org%2Fblog%2Fcomputer-science-education-girls-increase-interest-suzie-boss

I loved this learning experience also.

Scalable Game Design

Our main goal is to bring computer science to middle schools with the ultimate aim of developing a larger IT workforce to address the IT crisis.

http://www.agentsheets.com/products/scalablegamedesign/index.htm

Community Outreach for IT

NCWIT’s “Programs-in-a-Box” offer turnkey solutions to pressing issues facing the IT community. Programs-in-a-Box provide all the components necessary for quick and strategic action — right out-of-the-box. Each Box includes instructions, letters, templates, slide presentations, and other resources designed for practical use by IT professionals. Roll over the boxes below to read descriptions and find the one that’s right for you, then click a Box to download and get started.

Power Across Texas

Interactive Sites that Demo Good Use

There are also some groups that are restricted by disability in powerful uses of the Internet because new tools and ways of working are not commonplace, and well known.

Shodor

/ Curriculum for Computational Thinking