Game On… Learning with Serious Games

I am excited !
I am taking students to the Game Expo at the Kennedy Center. You may want to read this blog because their are links for some serious games and for the online part of the program that was / and will be aired.
https://blog.ed.gov/…/time-play-learn-2019-ed-games-expo-k…/

 

Game-based learning is gaining popularity in education as more young people and adults learn from games both in and out of the classroom. Well-designed games motivate students to actively engage in content that relates to coursework and master challenging tasks designed to sharpen critical thinking, problem solving, employment and life skills.

Every year, the ED Games Expo promotes game-based learning though the display of exciting educational games and technology.

 

As a teacher, when I initially used games in education , I got push back . My students were having fun in education. That was back in the days of MECC.

 

Eventually , I was on the board of MECC and other game based learning initiatives . I think pioneering games was a little difficult. ( It was FUN!) I learned that the students who were best in remembering information, might not be the ones who could best play a game. I was able to infuse confidence in students with their games based performances. I was able to personalize their learning by letting them explore using authentic games based learning. I had to learn the games too. Worked for me. We had something to talk about.

The ED Games Expo took place on January 8 from 4-8PM at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Expo was free and open to the public.

Expo attendees were able to  demo 125 educational learning games while meeting the developers. The games and technologies were for students of all ages in education and special education and cover topics including STEM, reading, social studies and social development. Many incorporated emerging technologies, such as virtual reality, 3D printing, engaging narrative adventures and puzzles.

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Here are some games for your involvement and examination.

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Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Physics Playground
https://youtu.be/1TolHLe_uRg

Reading
https://youtu.be/3tvquxy9PeU

Social Studies
https://youtu.be/v9XqLo4hCEU

Zoo U
https://youtu.be/Vfyax3F3_ck

Hololabs Champion Trailer
https://youtu.be/OaIUD-6hSGA

Parametric DESCARTES PhaseII Proposal
https://youtu.be/DC1iTxzx40o

MidSchool Math
https://www.midschoolmath.com/empires-video

Alpha Bear Trainers #2
https://youtu.be/xtqd9AvUrmU

internet-of-things

This year the Expo hosted activities to showcase the role of STEM and the arts in the development of learning games. On January 7 from 10AM-2PM, eight learning game developers provided TED-style talks to Washington, DC-area students titled “How The Game Was Made.”

The talks will be live simulcast and available as recordings on the Kennedy Center website.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba Şinca on Pexels.com

The talks illustrated the many roles that it takes to develop games, including the concept creator, engineer, coder, web designer, graphics artist, script writer, musician, teacher, education researcher, learning scientist, business expert and more. The talks were intended to inform and inspire students in their own education and future career aspirations, from STEM to literature to the arts to thinking like an entrepreneur.

The Learning Game Awards, a special competition launched this year, will showcase the original “Art,” “Musical Scores” and “Video Demonstrations” in the Expo’s learning games. Be sure to check out the entries and vote for your favorites.

https://edgamesexpo2019.weebly.com/

Many of the games and technologies at the Expo were developed with funding from more than 25 government programs, including ED’s Small Business Innovation Research program, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Special Education Programs, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education and the Office of Innovation and Improvement.

You can link on Facebook to learn more.
https://www.facebook.com/ED.gov/

BLOG.ED.GOV
Game-based learning is gaining popularity in education as more young people and adults learn from games both in and out of the classroom. Every year, the ED Games Expo promotes game-based learning though the display of exciting educational games and technology.
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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

photo of person typing on computer keyboard

Photo by Soumil Kumar on Pexels.com

Children Being Mistreated and Incarcerated!It is still happening!

CagesWeb

Often, we are being bombarded by pictures of animals in cages and asked to contribute to their welfare.  My heart hurts because of them, but I have tremendous angst about the mistreatment of children.

There is an unspeakable , horrible cruelty that is happening. I don’t use politics to tell you about it. If you have a child if you love a child, you will understand. If you remember your own childhood , it will make you think.

In the past, we know that there have been 2 deaths. The director of Homeland Security says in an article that the open borders are the cause.

As human rights groups, Democratic lawmakers, and the United Nations demanded an independent probe into the deaths of two Guatemalan children in U.S. Border Patrol custody, President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sparked outrage on Wednesday by declaring that “open borders” advocates and the kids’ “own parents” must bear the blame.

As a child when I read about the Holocaust, I could not believe that no one did anything. As an adult now I read about these children and I wonder why we are doing nothing.

Well, nothing enough  to stop it.

There are powerful people in Washington.They could change this.
Powerful people have children. They understand, or do they?

The First Lady seemed to be interested. After all, she is a mother. She is an immigrant. Her perspective is hard to tell. Nor do I understand the message on the jacket that she wore to a detention center.

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We are mystified by her actions, but she did visit.

What is going on with migrant children is variable and we don’t know all of the stories.
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Here is a new story, a new twist.

It is more than frightening.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained a 9-year-old U.S. citizen for more than 30 hours this week, then refused to explain why it took so long to verify her identity.

Thelma Galaxia and her children, 9-year-old Julia Isabel Amparo Medina and 14-year-old Oscar Amparo Medina, live in Tijuana, Mexico. Julia and Oscar are U.S. citizens, though, and they attend school in San Diego. One of Galaxia’s friends drove Julia, Oscar, and her own children to the border so they could get to school on Monday, but decided it would be quicker for them to cross the border on foot due to traffic.

That’s where Julia ran into trouble. While she has a passport card, the picture on it was taken when she was younger. Customs agents believed she was impersonating her cousin, Galaxia tells KNSD. The agents also accused Oscar of smuggling, the children say.

Here is the article from Time Magazine
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The care and treatment of children? What is going on?

You remember the old stories written about here.

Reporters and Democratic lawmakers have been allowed inside a detention center that lies at the heart of a growing storm over a new US policy separating migrant children from their parents.

Authorities did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the center, but US Customs and Border Protection later released several images.

Nearly 60 miles away, in the town of Brownsville, some 1,500 boys are being housed inside a building that was once a Walmart superstore. The boys, aged 10 to 17, were all caught illegally crossing the border. It is America’s largest facility for such minors, and numbers have increased in the past month by several hundred.

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There are supposed to be tender aged shelters.

https://apnews.com/dc0c9a5134d14862ba7c7ad9a811160e/gallery/media:f93054354a7f40ea91f54089bc18fd42

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Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston.

The stories seem to have disappeared from the news until two children died.

Two children have died in government custody in recent weeks after crossing the border into the U.S., prompting renewed scrutiny of the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants.

Jakelin Caal, 7, died earlier this month from dehydration and shock after being detained with her father after they crossed the border illegally. Attorneys for her family said she did not receive water for hours, but had been in good health earlier in her journey.

Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died last week after being hospitalized in New Mexico with flu-like symptoms, high fever and vomiting. He had been detained with his father after crossing into the U.S. without documentation. The Article from the Hill

McAleenan also said on ABC that a “multi-faceted” approach is needed to address broader immigration issues.

“We need a sober-minded, nonpartisan look at our immigration laws to really confront and grapple with the fact that children and families are coming into this cycle, that’s first and foremost,” he continued.

“We also need to invest in Central America. The State Department’s announcement of an unprecedented increase in aid, I think, is a tremendous step forwards.”

 

Former First Lady Laura Bush has compared it to the internment camps used for Japanese-Americans during World War Two. A Democratic congressman who visited the site said it was “nothing short of a prison”.

The Texas facility is known as Ursula, though immigrants are reportedly calling it La Perrera – dog kennel in Spanish – in reference to the cages used to hold children and adults who have ended up there after crossing the border from Mexico illegally.

“One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips [crisps] and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets,” the Associated Press reports.

Here is the whole article from the Associated Press and here is a video that talks about us , America as a land of opportunity.

Lieu Refuses Order Not to Play Audio of Child Detainees

Listen to it.

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Digging in Dirt- The Pleasures of Archaeology

Now and Then

https://serc.si.edu/projects/archaeology-storymap/archaeology-storymap

I dig archaeology.  I used to think about it all the time.Teaching grades that explored ancient cultures and reading David McCauley’s books, and exploring cultures with students was exciting.

Pyramid , Through concise text and richly detailed black and white illustrations we come to know the philosophy of life and death in ancient Egypt.

I wanted to be an Egyptian archaeologist, and then I went to Egypt. Hot, hot, hot and then hot. There was fun in observing recent excavations and some new sharing of finding. A surprise to me was that the interior of tombs and structures was so beautiful and low.

I am tall so I had to bend down a lot to keep from striking my head.The blocks used to build the pyramid are almost as tall as me. The air was musty and a surprise was the inscriptions inside the walls of the tombs. Hard to photograph.

When you go to a site, there is the weather, the wind, and many steps to get to a viewing point. Egypt was difficult because the heat  made me thirsty too. But it was exciting to be there. I actually learned a lot more about Egyptian Archaeology in the British museum.

Following Catherwood, you would think that there were few sites in Central America. But the jungle uncovers various sites now and then. Archaeology there is interesting. The Mayan Sites are there to be climbed and excavated. The sites are usually on high ground as the communication was by fire and shell horns. On one site I could see all the way to Guatemala. Climbing was difficult. There were no safety bars and getting down from some of the Mayan sites was tricky. Sometimes I would only go halfway up . Under the temples there are royal seats and places to explore and sometimes a scorpion or interesting insects.

 

There are even more sites to examine and learn about.

 

 

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“Archaeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. It is a subfield of anthropology, the study of all human culture. From million-year-old fossilized remains of our earliest human ancestors in Africa, to 20th century buildings in present-day New York City, archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture.” Source

I actually participated in a dig in Deia, Mallorca , Spain through an Earthwatch Grant from the Wildcat Foundation. We know about the Beaker people who constructed Sun circles. The most prominent one is in England.

There is archaeology in your backyard. In Southern Maryland we investigated Saint Mary’s City. The Smithsonian Estuary Center, SERC has archaeology for Citizen Scientists too.

Of all the artifacts Native Americans of the Chesapeake left behind, the most abundant at SERC are oyster shell middens. Essentially early trash piles, middens are clusters of shells that Native Americans and some early settlers discarded after eating the meat inside. They can endure for millennia. SERC has 31 recorded oyster middens on its property, the oldest dating back to 1250 B.C.E.

There are many places to study Archaeology.

Here and There

These middens have led to some surprising discoveries about Native Americans’ past, and their environmental legacy today. It was once a common belief that Native Americans and the first settlers rarely ate blue crabs, because blue crab remains seldom turned up in archaeological sites. But after a more thorough investigation with scientists at the National Museum of Natural History, SERC scientists discovered blue crab remains were far more common in shell middens than previously thought. They also showed that blue crab remains are fragile and do not preserve very well, except for the tips of their claws.  The claw tips showed that not only did Native American catch and eat blue crabs in addition to oysters, but they caught substantially larger crabs than typically seen today. Furthermore, unlike most modern trash piles, oyster middens have positive environmental impacts still felt in the present. Soils with oyster middens beneath them contain more nutrients, and host a greater diversity of native flora, than soils without them.

Many questions remain: Why is there a 900-year gap in the ages of oyster middens around the Rhode River, spanning 800 B.C.E. to 150 C.E.? Did Native Americans only use the property as seasonal fishing and hunting grounds, or were there ever any permanent villages? Researchers continue to sift through the remains in search of answers.

Of all the artifacts Native Americans of the Chesapeake left behind, the most abundant at SERC are oyster shell middens. Essentially early trash piles, middens are clusters of shells that Native Americans and some early settlers discarded after eating the meat inside. They can endure for millennia. SERC has 31 recorded oyster middens on its property, the oldest dating back to 1250 B.C.E.

 

TEACHER FELLOWSHIPS

Earthwatch is looking for teachers who are passionate about teaching, excited about making a difference with their time and talents, and interested in conservation, environmental sustainability, and lifelong learning.

By engaging teachers, Earthwatch strives to inspire and build a future generation of leaders who value the environment and prioritize it in their everyday choices.

When teachers return from the field, they share their experiences with students, colleagues, family, and friends through stories, lessons, and community action. Fellows truly embody the Earthwatch mission and are critical to our success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids in a Network Learning Science, Geography, GIS, Computational Thinking and all of that Jazz ..it worked!!

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Many people embrace what is called STEM at this time. There was SMET before there was STEM.

There was a time when science was pushed aside and people who dared to advocate it were not in the right political space. We suffered but continued the practice of good teaching.

We had our champions, and one of them was Dr. Robert Tinker of Concord.org who got great funding for a number of revolutionary programs and projects and many of them were for K -12.

His projects were much needed to change teaching and learning .

More alphabet soup.

You may ask what is TERC?

For more than fifty years, TERC  introduced millions of students throughout the United States to the exciting and rewarding worlds of math and science learning. Led by a group of experienced, forward-thinking math and science professionals, TERC is an independent, research-based organization dedicated to engaging and inspiring all students through stimulating curricula and programs designed to develop the knowledge and skills they need to ask questions, solve problems, and expand their opportunities.

 

What is really important is that there was extensive broadening engagement and the vision that TERC and Robert Tinker had was an immersive imagining of a future in which learners from diverse communities engaged in creative, rigorous, and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives—a future where teachers and students alike are members of vibrant communities where questioning, problem solving, and experimentation are commonplace.

This ideational scaffolding worked.

One of the projects was the NGS Kids Network , standards-based, online science curriculum that allowed students from around the world to investigate topics and share their findings.

Students explored real-world subjects by doing exactly what scientists do: conducting experiments, analyzing data, and sharing results with peers.

You will remember the climate march and the scientists march. With Bob Tinker we marched with our fingers and minds exploring real world science and the ideas are still being used and referenced.

There are pieces of this work that are still relevant. There was an extensive set of resources for teachers at each topic.

You can explore the Unit TRASH here.

You can explore the topic “What’s in Our Water?” here.

Here is the background for water. 

You can explore SOLAR ENERGY here. It has been updated.

HISTORY

A National Geographic Summer Institute was where Concord.org was introduced to me. I believe I met Dr. Tinker however, at the NSTA conference. or at the George Lucas Educational Foundation in a round table discussion.  There we learned about probes. The way we worked was revolutionary in science , and we true pioneers got some push back. We had Dr. Tinker as a resource and the information was free. The promise of the Internet for all has never happened , but if you could get on the Information Highway, well, Concord was there for you.

 

 

niiac

If you ever taught a National Geographic Kidsnetwork Program and did it well ,you know that it changed the face of teaching and learning. Here is a research report that explains the way in which it worked.

The National Geographic Kids Network

REFERENCE: TERC. (1990). The National Geographic Kids Network: Year 4 Final Annual Report. Cambridge, MA: Author.

In conjunction with the National Geographic Society, TERC created The National Geographic Kids Network as a resource for improving elementary science and geography instruction in classrooms around the world. Since its inception in 1986, more than a quarter of a million students in over 7,500 classrooms had then used the network to collaborate on science and geography projects ranging from the study of solar energy to acid rain.( old data)

The primary goal of the National Geographic Kids Network was to promote science and discovery in elementary classrooms by combining hands-on science, geography, and computer technologies with telecommunications activities.

GIS 1The topics were the beginning of real science study for many students.


The National Geographic Kids Network includes seven 8-week curriculum units focusing on “increasing the time spent on inquiry-oriented, hands-on science instruction, strengthening science process and data analysis skills, raising public awareness of the value and feasibility of appropriate science instruction, and publishing and widely disseminating curricular materials that further these goals.” While students research, collect, analyze, and share data with their peers they also problem solve and collaborate with students at other schools. In addition, the network also features a scientist who works with students electronically to evaluate their data, make comments, and offer suggestions. The seven 8-week units include:

  • Hello!  This was a special introductory unit that let us learn how to use project based learning and collaborate with other classes.
  • Solar Energy
  • Acid Rain
  • What Are We Eating?
  • What’s in Our Water?
  • Too Much Trash?
  • Weather in Action

The beginning unit was very special.

Students and teachers and community collaborated and shared , giving information, history, geography and data about where they lived. They got mail. This was a personalized way  , it was a pre-social media of talking with and learning with students in other parts of the world.

How excited my students were to link with a school in Moscow, Russia, or to figure out what animals were pets in some places of the world that we considered pests.

 

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For those of us who used the units , the task of classroom management was quite different from that faced by teachers employing the traditional instructional methods of lecture, discussion, and seat work. Geography was a huge factor in the work. Sometimes there was application of the arts, and yes, there was purposeful reading and writing. The face of the working classroom was changed. Extensive resources were shared with teachers.

Students were involved in an inquiry process and reported back to a scientist who helped them analyze their data . There were geographical teams of students sharing information , and collecting data and sometimes telling their stories. I was a teacher of the Gifted, but I was able to use technology to transition into being a classroom teacher for all. Parents and community members were excited about meaningful  uses of technology.

With NGS Kidsnetwork, students spend the majority of their time working on their own or in small groups collecting and doing research.

Teachers often spend their time participating in projects as peers , with community interface of experts, parents helping with the data.

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Journeys, Field Trips and Globalization

The recent chaos about immigration and some photos that my friend Linda Taber Ulla shared, brought me to the realization that many who have not traveled do not know the world. What I mean is ,that with the Internet and various media we see the world, but we might be lacking in learning the cultural components. We can learn about the places that immigrants come from. The USA is a nation of immigrants. It was peopled by Native Americans and Africans were brought as slaves. All others were immigrants.ships_waiting_to_sail_out-t2 project in 1994, gives young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage.

The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention).

Now we have Skype, and technology that connects us to various countries so we can interact with students, teachers and community.

Ways to Connect.Communicate, Learn Culture and be Global Citizens

One way is to do virtual field trips. https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/#explore

What is Expeditions?
Google Expeditions enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of linked virtual reality (VR) content and supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculum. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. Google is working with a number of partners, including: WNET, PBS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the American Museum of Natural History, the Planetary Society, David Attenborough with production company Alchemy VR and many of the Google Cultural Institute museum partners to create custom educational content that spans the universe.

The important sentence is that one that shares that they can be used alongside existing curriculum.

Geography and learning about the cultural elements of a place are important. There may be an update on what the elements of culture are but here they are defined for anyone to understand.

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Here is a mapping tool.

And here are tools that ESRI shares free of charge to classrooms in the USA.

The Google Cultural Institute adds information and resources and artifacts.There is lots of information and there are many resources there.

Here is a very short explanation.
the five elements of society are the

Political Element
A MONOPOLY ON THE USE OF FORCE/VIOLENCE TO MAINTAIN ORDER.
Social Element
PERTAINING TO CUSTOMS, EDUCATION, AND GROUPINGS
Religious Element
SYSTEMS OF BELIEF THAT DEAL WITH QUESTIONS OF EXISTENCE
Economic Element
PROVIDING FOR THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE AND OTHER HUMAN WANTS
Art/Intellectual Element
DEALS WITH TRUTH, GOODNESS, AND BEAUTY

If you have never been taught geography you may want to explore the country through the eyes of the National Geographic and other sources. I like to use books and museums to share what I think helps children to understand another country.

What is Geography?

This cartoon is an introduction into the complex and rich world of geography and geographic education. It acts as a catalyst to thinking about the multi-faceted functions of geography, and the myriad of applications of the discipline. The world of geography is much more than place names and state capitals, and this cartoon aims to show the full breadth of the field.

We don’t want our explorations of countries to be misguided.

We don’t want the short descriptions that are given in the media to describe a country.

Countries are complex.

At higher levels of working we can include GIS and use ESRI tools to create a story map.

For quick hits and ideas we can use Instagrams.

There are groups that have grants for travel for students, and teachers.

One such grant is from Earthwatch.Some opportunities for teacher and student fellowship are on that site.

internet-of-things

We can understand countries and people who live there from the personal journeys of educators who work to share using their knowledge to open the world to us.

National Geographic has opportunities for students in an award. You can nominate a student.

http://ngstudentexpeditions.com/2017-student-contest?utm_source=nge-lightbox

Technology, content and curriculum that is connected to the experience!!!

We Should Be A Nation of Digital Opportunity for All

ISTE has a wonderful template of the digital age learner. It works for those students lucky enough to be in the right environment, the right school, and with a teacher who is looking toward the future with academic support of new technology.

standards-poster-500full Here is the template. It is gorgeous. Get it for your school, for your community and for those who are interested in helping to create digital age learners.
The 2016 ISTE Standards for Students emphasize the skills and qualities we want for students, enabling them to engage and thrive in a connected, digital world. The standards are designed for use by educators across the curriculum, with every age student, with a goal of cultivating these skills throughout a student’s academic career. Both students and teachers will be responsible for achieving foundational technology skills to fully apply the standards. The reward, however, will be educators who skillfully mentor and inspire students to amplify learning with technology and challenge them to be agents of their own learning.

This is an amazing document that should be shared and given to school boards, community activist, informal education teachers, and parents. I have a powerpoint that explains all of these. How do we make the change to help “all students ” to have these skills and qualities?

Many schools and communities are  in denial about their state of technology . I live in Washington DC, and I heard the CTO of the city say that all of our students are being well served. This was at an IoT conference with global citizens. I didn’t know what to do or say. I assume that what she said , is what she was told by the school system in DC.

We the people, we the public, we the teachers need to be confrontational about the lack of those who are digitally denied.

We the teachers ,need to be educated toward the transformative policies that ISTE has shared. There are too many people who misunderstand. They think that all students are being well served.

On December 13, Free Press published Digital Denied: The Impact of Systemic Racial Discrimination on Home-Internet Adoption. The report, written by Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner, examines the racial divide in home-internet adoption and exposes how structural racial discrimination contributes to it. Below is an edited summary of the report written by Dana Floberg — Free Press’ C. Edwin Baker fellow — and reprinted with permission.

Internet access is a necessity for engaging in our communities, searching for employment and seeking out educational opportunities — but too many people are still stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide. And that divide disproportionately impacts people of color.

Indeed, the racial divide in home-internet adoption — including both wired and wireless service — leaves people of color behind the digital curve. People of color comprise 32 million of the 69 million people in the United States who lack any form of home-internet access. Free Press research exposes this undeniable gap and explains how structural racial discrimination contributes to it.

Systemic discrimination creates serious income inequality in this country. Whites have far higher average incomes than Blacks or Latinos. Low-income families are less able and willing to buy internet subscriptions. And many families who are willing to pay for service find they can’t due to racially biased barriers like credit scoring. Given how stark racial and ethnic income discrepancies are, it’s no surprise that people of color lag behind in internet adoption.

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Income differences explain some of the racial divide, but not all of it.

U.S. Census data on income and internet adoption paint a clear picture:

  • 49 percent of households with incomes below $20,000 have wired or wireless internet, but nearly 90 percent of households with incomes above $100,000 do.
  • 81 percent of Whites have home-internet access, compared to 70 percent of Hispanics and 68 percent of Blacks.

Free Press’ report demonstrates that the racial-adoption gap persists even after we account for differences in income and a host of other demographic factors. For example, there is a divide between people who are in the same income brackets but in different racial or ethnic groups. The gap is widest for people earning less than $20,000: Fifty-eight percent of Whites in this group have some form of home internet, compared to just 51 percent of Hispanics and 50 percent of Blacks.web_header_3

There is research that tells us how to reach and teach the students. It is here.

There are students who are of tribal, rural, distant and urban areas who are affected. They are all kinds and all colors. Years ago, when the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council formed policy ( Kickstart) we acknowledged these areas of difficulty and sought to solve the problems. Politics has gotten in the way sometimes.

There are other sources , such as that of the George Lucas Educational Foundation that give examples of what helps and what hinders. Here is a special set of blogs on the topic.

Research and templates inform. We the public need to hold the school systems and communities to the standards so that all children benefit from the uses and skills enabling them to be digital citizens . But parents may not know or understand the uses of technology well.

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Common Sense Education
Common Sense Education provides digital literacy and citizenship programs to school communities to empower students to harness technology for learning and life.They just published a report “The Digital Lives of Minority Youth”. But this report, The Common Sense Census Plugged in Parents of Tweens and Teens 2016 matches nicely with the ISTE report.
Plan of Action?
Print out the template and take it to the next PTA meeting. Share copies of it with parents and have a speaker to access it online. Have a discussion about it and plan action for your school and community.
See if your school has an ISTE member. ISTE has a conference where these types of action and study of the topic is a part of how they serve their members. Hopefully, the school will sponsor a teacher to attend and be a part of ISTE and other technology minded groups. There are also state groups and regional groups that help in outreach.
Is there a low-cost provider who serves your community? If so get some community people working to help them with outreach. Make sure that the provider meets the needs of the community. There are many ways to do this.
 Query the school board and if possible involve people in a presentation about this topic. Use resources that fit your community.

Field Trips, Flights of Fancy, VR and Reality for the Holidays

There are many new ways to take field trips and many new ways to enrich the learning that takes place in the classroom or at home. There is a world of opportunity at your finger tips.No matter which holidays you celebrate there are resources on line.iuri

hol. In a round table discussion with people who are in charge of learning places, museums and outreach at the Center for Cyberlearning  Conference a remarkable thing happened . We broke down the silos and talked face to face about how to involve students in learning in places that are not school. Transportation and time are issues. Teachers do not often know the offerings of the local museums nor interact with the people who staff workshops and outreach.

New technologies change what and how people learn. Informed by learning science, cyberlearning is the use of new technology to create effective new learning experiences that were never possible or practical before. The cyberlearning movement advances learning of important content by:

  • Applying scientific insights about how people learn
  • Leveraging emerging technologies
  • Designing transformative learning activities
  • Engaging teachers and other practitioners
  • Measuring deeper learning outcomes
  • Emphasizing continuous improvement

Sadly, lots of people are still mired in the difficulty of getting access, and the tools to use technology. We can’t allow people to stand still in technology as it advances on. We must broaden engagement by involving as many people as possible in the sciences of deeper learning and the technologies of the future. Museums, AI, VR and other tools help us to do this. Watch “What is CyberLearning?” to get an idea of what they are doing at the Center for Cyberlearning. And you can go to their website to learn more or to get engaged in Cyberlearning.

For another perspective on Cyberlearning go here.

We need to be Futuring..

I am writing about the future while many go into the past to teach students what we learned 20 years or more ago. That is why I have picked this topic on field trips to show the differences that technology can make and why we must equalize the opportunities for all.

At an ISTE conference we were introduced to Google Cardboard.

You can use Google Cardboard to take a virtual field trip. Say, to New York during the Holiday Season. MASHABLE shares this possibility with us .

“New York’s annual tradition of rolling out incredibly elaborate holiday-themed store window displays in December is as much a part of the city’s seasonal tourism as the Thanksgiving Day parade or celebrate Winter Holidays. “ Christmas in New York?

3D Panoramic Views

The experience is called Window Wonderland, with most of the displays offering an audio narrative from the window’s creative director. Along with narration, the windows offer 360-degree panoramic images as well as high-resolution galleries that essentially allow you to “walk” past the windows in much the same way as you might if you were actually in New York.

You won’t get to buy a NY hotdog, or a pretzel, or roasted Chestnuts, or feel the cold wind on your face.

SANTA?

For 12 years now, an entire generation of excited kids have spent Christmas Eve with their eyes glued to the computer watching Santa Claus circle the globe. Over the past few holiday seasons, Google has pulled out all the stops for an interactive holiday experience that runs from the start of the month until Christmas Eve. Google Santa Tracker is fun.It is a much better experience than the quick hit on the news that most people miss.

The Field Trip? Discovery shares regularly scheduled field trips here.

That is one kind of a field trip. Drones have also let us explore real places. Drones also change the Christmas experience in some places.nintchdbpict000282857405

Drones? Here is information if you need it. click here

internet-of-things

Virtual Christmas GIPHY’s? They are here. A lot of people share a lot of ideas that are virtual.  http://blog.giphy.com/post/70205764276/holiday-gift-guide-giphys-picks-for-the-best

One of my unexpected Christmas gifts was that a child I taught made , actually drew her own card and printed it out to take home. Her mother shared it with her employer , a national hotel chain, and it was used as the card that the hotel mailed that year. Sometimes taking the time to introduce a child or adult to progtams that let them express their creativity brings wonderful rewards.

studenttesting

What is CyberLearning?

I live in Washington , DC near the mall, and am steps away from many learning opportunities. So are many students but when I briefly taught in Washington in my own neighborhood there were children who had never , ever been to a museum or a zoo or a learning place. All school systems have rules and management for actual field trips.When they match it is wonderful. Who goes to museums and why? Sometimes the cost, and the time of transport are a problem. But there are many new ways to access museums.p011nryz

Here is a favorite of mine. It has actually been around for a while.

The Smithsonian  http://3d.si.edu

They welcome educators with this message

Welcome educators to SIx3D! We are excited about the possibilities of using 3D objects—and the data sets that make them possible—for K-12 learning and believe that they offer an excellent opportunity to excite and engage students in a valuable, interdisciplinary education experience.

The SIx3D viewer offers students the ability to explore some of the Smithsonian’s most treasured objects with a level of control that has never been possible until now. We hope this revolutionary level of access to the Smithsonian collections will spark your students’ curiosity and that the exploration of these objects will enable them to build lifelong observation and critical thinking skills.

With few exceptions, SIx3D also offers access to these data sets. Hailed by many as the third industrial revolution, 3D technology is molding a new K-12 STEM model. Students can use the same tools as professionals to become creators themselves. Whether students are printing invaluable museum objects or inventions of their own design, we hope the chance to bring objects to life will give students the opportunity to create imaginative and innovative work.

To help you introduce 3D and its possibilities to your students, Smithsonian educators are working on new resources for K-12 classrooms. Click here to be kept up to date about new 3D related education resources. To access the page for educators and the places to sign in use this http://3d.si.edu/article/educators http://3d.si.edu/article/educators

dtn-ssi

You can connect to learning places, and museums in many different ways. There is also the Google Cultural Institute. It offers daily news, and a guide to cultural things around the world.

The Kennedy Center does programs for families, and for some families the most important thing is to know the possibilities. Nutcracker? Do you know the background of it/ and the music. It is here.

pennsylvania-nutcracker

In Arlington , Virginia  I was able to manage field trips, walks and use the Metro to extend my student’s learning in the real world. I had a principal who felt that museums were for all children and she created possibilities for teachers to take workshops, for parents to go on school busses on Saturdays. We did a community grant to do this. Parents and teachers volunteered to participate. It was a great success. Arlington has an outdoor lab facility. Teachers are and were trained to use it for class trips. You can be a community activist for the real field trips while arranging online resources as well.

When teaching in overseas schools, it depended on the location of the school and transportation. So virtual field trips work too, if they are managed correctly in that the content has meaning.

Ok, I cheat. I live near the Smithsonian Mall and love the real museum interaction. But the online is great.  One last goody.. the Chemistry advent calendar for last year. It is awesome.