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

Austin, Texas

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

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

We Raise the Bar for K-12 and Preservice Candidates

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

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

Dr. Paul Resta is about Broadening Engagement

Change takes a Visionary!

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

Middle School

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

Project on Games and Workforce Readiness. Globaloria.org

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

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

Highlights

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

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

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

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

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

You can check equipment out to use.

You can take your laptop to be checked.

You can work in the lab.

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

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

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

Learning at the University of Texas

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

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

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

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

A participant learns Processing, a visualization programming language.

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

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The LTC equips teaching professionals with new knowledge.

 COE Education Visualization Lab

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Bonnie Bracey Sutton

Two Americas, Two Ways of Thinking About Education?And Technology?

There was  a recent headline that concerns me.

Do ‘top’ college graduates really make better teachers?

Teachers have been a target this year and most of the time, after responding to few blogs, I gave up on trying to share the inequalities in teaching based on location,the population being served, the difference in economics, income , access and permission within the field. We should also cite access to supportive in technology use and tools. A lot of the people talking to teachers on the Internet , don’t even know that access is a problem in the US.

ACCESS IS A PROBLEM

This was shared by the Chairman of the FCC at a New Foundation Event in DC about broadband.

In the US  lots of people think everyone has access to Broadband. That is still a national goal. People however treat educators as if there is broadband everywhere. Note that I sometimes put the URL though we know how to make it clickable. In rural and distant areas people are still using dial up.

Julius Genachowski 

 BARRIERS TO USE

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

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

The blocking of school sites is a national problem for those who have access to broadband.

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

Digital Hopefuls, all of the people who hope to be able to use technology in the future but who are not a part of the digital revolution. We cannot fail to reference Cyberbullying, perhaps in the cloak of Digital Citizenship. Schools are in fear about online safety.

Insulting Teachers it the new sport.  

Some of the insults I take personally. No one ever went into teaching for the money.

I have lots of awards, citations, workshops and have participated in  national initiatives. I went to Virginia State College, an HBCU. You may not be aware of MSO’s, Minority Serving Institutions. Those of us who are across the digital divide , and the education divide have had to work really, really hard to be a part of the conversation in education. My inspiration was my mother who felt marginalized by a rural education. She went to college and became a teacher.  She worked in the area of rural Virginia that closed down rather than accept the integration of schools. She felt that the ten and twenty year old books that she was given to teach with were not the best tools for learning. Of course there was no Internet.

My uncle taught at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Back then Einstein used to drive to the college to inspire the minority students to learn physics. The lack of lab resources was his concern. Einstein packed things in his car and made the trip to teach the students of Lincoln.

My digital divide now is tools. I do not have the most recent of all digital tools, but that makes me understand the people who don’t have but the Powerpoint reader, or who only have free software. Checked the price of a professional Microsoft suite lately?Price of the conferences , plus travel and hotel? Every teacher does not get to attend the big conferences. Economics is a big concern , and I imagine that the people who attend the best universities get the latest of tools of all kinds. There are people who help  teachers by sponsoring grants, like the people at EDC who set the vision of the possibilities, and Manorama Talaiver who works to create equity  from Longwood University in rural Virginia.

But, I digress, look  below and  read the whole article and then think of all the people who worked in MSO’s , minority serving institutions, each with a different set of missions. Is this another kind of prejudice? I think so. Maybe another divide. We often think of all the divides that separate us, the information divide, the technology divide, the resource divide, the support / technical divide. But now we are being told by some that top universities produce the best teachers. Think again.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS A PROBLEM!!

Think of teachers as the help who often need support and don’t get it.
If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.  ~Donald D. Quinn

What makes a great teacher? Here is one of mine. A relative of students I had in class who mentored me . The children told me he knew more physics than I, so I wrote to him, and he sent me videos, and eventually came to visit.  We worked together later for President Clinton.

One of my mentors, his young relatives were in my class .

Bill Nye the Science Guy

As a teacher in some instances, you are always learning; especially with transformation in the way of the use of technology.  Technology is a moving target.

Sources of Information and Training? Sometimes Great Universities!

At George Mason, when Chris Dede was there, he worked with the schools in the community to make a difference. It was not one way. We went to his classes to talk to preservice teachers as well.The students visited our classes and learned from us. He is at Harvard now, but he was user-friendly to the learning community in our area.

Many of us have learned a lot from the University of Illinois, because the National Center for Supercomputing is there. It has been invisible learning because the media hardly acknowledges Supercomputing. Weather models,  earthquake patterns, tsunami examples,  visualization and modeling, the features are used in the news, without mention. How wonderful it would be if the science was acknowledged. Norm Augustine tells the story of the Senator who said that we did not need NASA because his local weather station could provide the data we need to know about weather.  The stations don’t acknowledge often , the source of their super doppler information.

I never attended the University of Illinois but. The universities have outreach to America. Most of us are in learning mode from resources that are for teaching and learning. The problem has always been the lack of sustained professional development. Some people think that a 2 hour explanation of a topic is sustained professional development. There is so much support available from interested groups, But, you must have enough broadband to reach out and be touched. Also , I hate to say this, but a lot of in service within school systems is not so effective.  Here are some good resources that have teacher outreach and training in mind.

One example:   Bugscope  http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/

Another powerful examplehttp://mynasa.nasa.gov/portal/site/mynasa/index.jsp?bandwidth=high

National Geographic.   http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1&ar_r=1

Thinkfinity     http://www.thinkfinity.org/

River City   http://muve.gse.harvard.edu/rivercityproject/index.html

Fieldscope  http://www.fieldscope.org/scop

Scalable Game Design Alexander Repenning’s Project

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/gamewiki/index.php/Scalable_Game_Design_wiki

Dr. Henry Neeman  and Scott Lathrop who chairs the Supercomputing Conference reach out to help create a Supercomputing program for educators during the Supercomputing Conference, and there is Broadening engagement as well. These are researchers who want to help transform teaching and learning.

There are teachers who do not know these sites or people as resources. I could share a thousand more. School systems often do not use these as resources. Why ever not? There is no excuse for teachers not knowing except that the riches of the Internet and professional development are limited in many school systems . Technology is one thing , content is another. Time is another. The benefit of social media is that we share. The benefit of social media are the tools we use to teach each other.

Some say that the vendors own education since NCLB. Testing is the focus and has been since its  inception.

         SOME PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THE TOOLS, NOT INFORMED PRACTICE

Sustained Support? Where Found? transformational Learning? Blooms Digital Taxonomy,  TPACK? Chris Dede takes us into the future here. http:/www.nebhe.org/info/pdf/reinventing/Chris_Dede_10-4-10.pdf

All of the technology gurus need to think about deep content.

What is TPACK?

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK). See Figure above. As must be clear, the TPACK framework builds on Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. How many teachers know about it?

Here is the Tpack Image. IMAGE Lots to learn here.

There is an organization that supports teacher knowledge. It is SITE.org. AACE

Some of my teachers are from colleges and universities all over the US. We learn in our SIG’s and groups. It is not just about a conference. It is about collaboration, creation of new ideas and community.

Those groups that partner with educators to make a difference provide the best support. Unfortunately supervisors in schools want their signature on the professional development being offered, or do not know of the efforts of the National Geographic, NSTA, NCTM, Supercomputing, CSTA and other enabling groups. 

Why does professional development need help? Teaching and learning has undergone transformational change. It is not your grandmother’s school, or my mother’s idea of school.

Many of us attended , lots of courses from NASA, most from the University of Oklahoma.. Marc Prensky talks about how we in education learn from linking with other groups, associations and those interested in the subjects we are teaching. School systems do not always have the link or knowledge and that is why we have the National School Boards Association, and ASCD, and the various other organizations that break down the areas of isolation in education. But who can afford to attend all of the conferences? Those of us across the digital divide appreciate the online resources.

A stunning example of help is at the Shodor.org site. Computational thinking and learning. In particular, see, Interactivate.

There are people like Idit Caperton working from the various universities to help rural and poor teachers using the teacher network in a project entitled Globaloria. , or Chris Dede who works widely, sharing their messages in conferences , convenings and meetings. Probably most teachers don’t get to attend the meetings, because of costs, but we do have Facebook, G+ and organizations which are where we  , the regular people interested in education work to learn as education changes and transforms.

My concern about it is that there are excellent teachers who did not go to the best colleges  or universities.  More that many teachers did not get the best of professional development. Whose fault is that? 

We know that lots of people have a skill in teaching that is intuitive. There are lots of very smart people who cannot teach. They have the information, but they don’t know how to share, or even worse, don’t know how to frame their knowledge into ideational scaffolding for learning.  Do read the whole article. Lots of support to my concerns are here. I like to say that there are smart people who cannot teach their way out of a wet paper bag. But that would be rude as it is only a small set of people . We probably don’t know of the people who cannot teach. There is little feedback from those who are taught.

Do ‘top’ college graduates really make better teachers?

This was written by Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. This postoriginally appeared on the institute’s blog.

By Matthew Di Carlo

One of the few issues that all sides in the education debate agree upon is the desirability of attracting “better people” into the teaching profession. While this certainly includes the possibility of using policy to lure career-switchers, most of the focus is on attracting “top” candidates right out of college or graduate school.

The common metric that is used to identify these “top” candidates is their pre-service (especially college) characteristics and performance. Most commonly, people call for the need to attract teachers from the “top third” of graduating classes, an outcome that is frequently cited as being the case in high-performing nations such as Finland. Now, it bears noting that “attracting better people,” like “improving teacher quality,” is a policy goal, not a concrete policy proposal — it tells us what we want, not how to get it. And how to make teaching more enticing for “top” candidates is still very much an open question (as is the equally important question of how to improve the performance of existing teachers).

More segregation, dividing of the nation and educational misleading.

I adore some of the people in great institutions who have shared, resources, materials , workshops and initiatives. The problem is that education is ever-changing and subject to so many influences from people who do not  know schools or what happens in them.

Working with the Teragrid on the National Mall

Outreach to the public .

MAIN IDEA

 Now comes the idea that only people who attend the better schools have the skills to teach?? Being a good teacher is a gift. Content can be given to Preservice students, but that does not alway translate into a better student  or an outstanding teacher.  There are a lot of very smart people who cannot teach because they don’t understand students, their culture, or how students get motivated to learn.

Teaching is a combination of many elements. The school you go to does not make you a good teacher. It gives you contacts, networks and resources , hopefully. In a classroom , you are on your own. The variables in a school setting are so many even the best teacher may have to adjust, recover, revise and rework , ideas in education.

It is class, race, competency, language skills, the interest of the parents, the local resources, the spending within the community , the level of technology infusion, integration and teacher education and the support within the learning community. Few people talk about the real problems in education.

The application of people skills is as necessary as is content, and the skill of multitasking, and of being able to give and take and to integrate practice , performance and pedagogy  into a school day..

Schools are a community in the  learning landscape. Here is the good news. Networking allows me to share the reality of schools and actually some of the mystery of why teachers just either quit, or conform. Dr. Chris Dede, when at George Mason University, did outreach to the communities and that was how lots of us got training in technology. He invited us in, but he also came to our classes. The university partnered in a project with local school systems. Dr. Dede was always ahead of his time most of the school systems did not follow-up on his model.

 There comes a point in time when you have to decide , who is teaching this class, and what is it that I want to do, as often , the political winds shift in strange directions. Sometimes I am in rooms of PhD students who really get it.Sometimes, I know that they are PhD students, and that may mean that they cannot see all the way down to the classroom. If they ever had experiences in the classroom, they did not include newer ways of working, except what they studied.

I insisted on teaching science and problem solving math and thinking about computational sciences. I was right, but what a price I paid. I don’t regret it, but then to see the people who accepted it be thrown out of teaching and learning because they are considered not teaching STEM. It is unbelievable. I did not bow to testing as the reason for teaching. I did the tests and my students did well, but we had SO much testing.

Many of the people pushing NCLB have since changed their minds and are  now eloquent in their new  disbelief of the policy they gave to the nation. Thank goodness.

A generation of students and teachers have been lost by this time.

We who teach, know that the administrators set the tone of learning in a building, that the School Boards help to create the learning landscape and oversee curriculum  in a school system, that there are also the State mandates, and the effects of the Department of Education as there are fundings and programs that overlay everything we do. I have been through the various fashions or modes  in education, theme based, support of Gifted and Talented, Cooperative Teaching, Team Teaching, and I have worked in specialized schools.I have worked in a charter school, and tried to help with a DC Charter School with was an absolute failure. As you work through education you cannot have an opinion or you may find yourself without a job, support or funding. It does not matter if you are right. You have to be politically correct and sometimes that is.. well think, of the politics in a local school. It is often why teachers leave.

Who is the principal , who are the teachers that are liked in the community, who are the hard-working teachers who create miracles, and what is the sense of the school in working together?

There is a project that holds forth much hope if the project is ever funded, beyond the Tracy Learning Center. It is a model that has been in the works for a long time. It is the idea of a person called Jack Taub, who died this year the founder of the Source, which became America Online.. We who know of his dream keep the idea going forth. You can read about it at Emaginos.com.

The Tracy Learning Center is a charter school located in TracyCaliforniaUSA. Serving students in grades K12, it was founded in 2001 and had an enrollment of 125 students.[1] Charter status was awarded in June 2002.[2] It was decided, in June 2003, to relocate the Tracy Learning Center to the Clover Middle School site and to expand it to become a K–12 charter school.[3] Expansion of the school was completed in 2007, with the addition of the senior class, that took numbers up to 850.[1]

Tracy Learning Center

For the 2011-12 school year, the Tracy Learning Center has a population of over 1100 students K-12. It continues to be one of the highest ranked schools in San Joaquin County.It is a charter school, but we intend for it to go public. Teachers are in charge of the school.

WHY IS TEACHING SCIENCE A PROBLEM?

What happened to Science? Remember that tracking I told you about? People want to find the eleventh graders. Well to be a child in the upper grades interested in science on has to start somewhere. K-12 distribution of science is necessary . 

Sadly, in most of the schools in the nation, science is not a welcome subject. I put it in my curriculum using NASA, National Geographic Society Initiatives such as Kidsnetwork, NOAA weather and sea initiatives, and various NSTA resources.

When I was working in Arlington, there was the pressure of the parents to do new and exciting things in the use of technology. I learned a lot from parents, from one parent who taught me photography, from another who helped me learn to garden. Another teacher I will never forget was a Japanese teacher who came to teach the class and I about Japan, she had artifacts, taught us calligraphy, and all the time was working a meal. I was stunned. She was from the Smithsonian. Hmnn.. another way to involve and invite students. Never learned it in formal education.I incorporated cultural elements into my teaching practice because of her.

Dr. Embry was a forensic biologist who worked to reconstruct dinosaurs. How cool was it that we were able to learn from him at the Smithsonian. He offered, I accepted. Foot in the classroom and then we went to the Smithsonian to watch him work!!

Segregation by race is a national problem!

.When teaching students who were not gifted and talented science , geography, history were not allowed for the students on certain tracks.

Here is a study done by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.The report, Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students From Lower-Income Families, written by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Civic Enterprises with original research by Westat, focuses on the educational experiences of high-achieving lower-income students from 1st grade through graduate school. A goal of the report was to examine the numbers of students considered low-income high achievers and to understand how these students were being educated. Using three federal longitudinal studies [Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), The National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), and The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B)], students were categorized as high-achievers and further divided into either a higher-income or lower-income group. At this forum, presenters discussed results from the report, comparing the persistence rates, defined as students’ ability to remain in the top quartile of achievers, and improvement rates, defined as students’ ability to move from the bottom three quartiles  to the top quartile of achievers, both from higher- and lower-income families.  The report details the tracking, the dumbing down and the loss of those students who could make a difference in education.

And teachers? Do you see many of us minorities at the conferences presenting? We are “Ralph Ellison” invisible. We are not invited to the table. Broadening Engagement starts to solve the problem. If we are there it is often because we are passionate enough about education to invest in conferences where we are NOT invited. ASCD conferences are more diverse. I also like the resources, that try to combine the two America visions. Here is a book, 

Two offerings from ASCD

THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF EQUITABLE PRACTICES DVD

TEACHING WITH POVERTY IN MIND: WHAT BEING POOR DOES TO KIDS’ BRAINS AND WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO ABOUT IT

The Need To Transform K-12 Education

As President Obama recently told Congress and the American people,

“In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity — it is a prerequisite. Today, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish. This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.”

 I learned that with technology I could reach students with technology who had been restricted to only reading , and math. Tracking is a problem that has been a part of American schools. It was one way to solve the problem of integration. Two schools in one, one for the kids who “could” and one for the people found to be lacking . Tracking is still a big problem. 

 I  also learned the politics of place and power in schools. The NEA rescued me, my union protected me from terrible on the job problems.  I am grateful for their involvement. Teachers don’t usually tell the bad stories. We just move, leave teaching or try to find another school.

Who has the tools? Are they affordable?  I had the science tools. I was a demonstration teacher for AAAS and my principal had my kits and resources thrown out of the window. This was Marge Tracy at Ashlawn. Fortunately , the custodian retrieved most of my things and put them in his truck. We secretly smuggled the things to places in the school where they could be kept and not disposed of. I had microscopes , hands on resources. Her thing was reading out of the book. She considered hands on a ridiculous waste of time. Since I was working with the George Lucas Educational Foundation , I was hearing, listening and learning from the best people in the country. But that nor the fact that I worked for the NIIAC worked to make principals accept science, math, and problem solving computational thinking. 

Finally, I left the school. The principal set the tone and I knew that she was going to transfer me. Being a principal gives you the power to cast out the teachers you do not like or respect. There are others who can tell even worse stories. It is a humiliating thing. It is the reason lots of people leave teaching.

RESEARCH STORY

The Achievement Trap, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The report, Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students From Lower-Income Families, written by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Civic Enterprises with original research by Westat, focuses on the educational experiences of high-achieving lower-income students from 1st grade through graduate school. A goal of the report was to examine the numbers of students considered low-income high achievers and to understand how these students were being educated. Using three federal longitudinal studies [Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), The National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), and The Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B)], students were categorized as high-achievers and further divided into either a higher-income or lower-income group. At this forum, presenters discussed results from the report, comparing the persistence rates, defined as students’ ability to remain in the top quartile of achievers, and improvement rates, defined as students’ ability to move from the bottom three quartiles  to the top quartile of achievers, both from higher- and lower-income families.  The report details the tracking, thedumbing down and the loss of those students who could make a difference in education.And teachers? 

Sadly, from the time they enter grade school through their postsecondary education, these students lose more educational ground and excel less frequently than their higher-income peers. Despite this tremendous loss in achievement, these remarkable young people are hidden from public view and absent from public policy debates. Instead of being recognized for their excellence and encouraged to strengthen their achievement, high achieving lower-income students enter what we call the “achievement trap”—educators, policymakers, and the public assume they can fend for themselves when the facts show otherwise.

http://www.jackkentcookefoundation.o…ent%20Trap.pdf

OThis is a student who was at a special project, School Expo and she was able to use technology she had never seen.
Using any means possible to explore technology

 

Who is connected to be involved? Who has the funding to join the organizations that are pioneering the work?  

 Bonnie Bracey Sutton