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Claude Almansi

The Power of Educational Technology: New York Times edtech article fails the test! - 1 views

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    Liz B. Davis 5:22 "Titled, In Classroom of the Future, Stagnant Scores , the article describes a school in Arizona where, despite a huge investment in technology, there hasn't been an increase in test scores. The article is based on one school in one town in Arizona, hardly a statistically significant sample. Larry Cuban, an outspoken critic of technology in schools since the early 1990s, is quoted multiple times. Not one of the many experts in the field of educational technology, whom we know and love, was interviewed (or at least quoted) in the article. The only reason given for the failure of technology is a lack of increase in test scores in a district that already had high test scores. Finally, there was no test comparing the technology skills of students in this school to any other school in the state. "
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    About the same NYT article by Matt Richtel, a shorter and later version of which Jim Shimabukuro reviewed in http://etcjournal.com/2011/09/05/a-lesson-from-the-kyrene-school-district-technology-alone-is-not-the-answer/
Claude Almansi

Principals Call for Mobile and Social Technologies in Schools -- THE Journal - 0 views

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    " * By David Nagel * 05/23/11 The National Association of Secondary School Principals is looking to change the conversation about mobile computing and social media in schools. The group's board of directors recently released a position statement advocating greater access to and acceptance of technologies like smart phones and social networking sites in educational institutions. The statement characterized mobile and social technologies as both crises and opportunities for leaders, saying confusion among many principals has to date led many school leaders to knee-jerk policy decisions, such as outright bans on specific technologies. But these bans, in addition to being misguided, have been ineffective."
Jim Shimabukuro

Rupert Murdoch uses eG8 to talk up net's power to transform education | Media | guardian.co.uk - 6 views

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    "Rupert Murdoch uses eG8 to talk up net's power to transform education News Corp chairman claims 'Victorian' schools are 'last holdout from digital revolution' Kim Willsher in Paris guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 May 2011 18.10 BST Rupert Murdoch, the News Corporation founder and chairman, used his address to the eG8 Forum in Paris on Tuesday to call for more investment in education and "unlocking the potential" of the world's children. Murdoch said it was not a question of putting a computer in every school, but concentrating on opening up opportunities for youngsters to flourish by using targeted and tailored software. News Corp moved into the $500bn (£310bn) US education sector in late 2010, paying about $360m in cash for 90% of technology company Wireless Generation, which provides mobile and web software to enable teachers to use data to assess student progress and deliver personalised learning."
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    From Harry Keller
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    Interesting contrast with Murdoch's attitude in 2009 - see http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/09/murdoch-google - but is it really a contrast?
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    We've had Ely Broad, Bill Gates, and a host of other billionaires (even George Lucas) attempting to "fix" our education system. They're not doing so well. What is so interesting to me about Murdoch, despite his pirate-like business practices, is that he sees what I think is the real direction for the future of education. Oddly unlike his right-wing colleagues, he's not pushing for vouchers or more school privatization. Unlike the technocrats, he's not pushing for more and more computers in schools. He sees the solution to our schooling problems as "targeted and tailored software." Many (maybe most) countries, including the U.S., lack the political will as societies to fix education the way that Finland did. Software is the other path. Much discussion today centers around the platform. Will we use smart phones or e-tablets or netbooks? Will we see $1 apiece apps as the learning modules or cloud-based solutions? Will our new learning software run on iOS or Android? All of that is window dressing and barely worthy of discussion. For me, Murdoch hit the nail on the head. We have too little software "targeted and tailored" to education or, at least, too little highly professional quality software.
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    Errh yes about Murdoch pushing "targeted and tailored software" , Harry. But see also: "News Corp moved into the $500bn (£310bn) US education sector in late 2010, paying about $360m in cash for 90% of technology company Wireless Generation, which provides mobile and web software to enable teachers to use data to assess student progress and deliver personalised learning." So he is doing at software level what Microsoft etc were doing at hardware - and at times software - level: promoting his wares in a very juicy market. We've had "targeted and tailored to education" software for decades, now: LMSs, addons to office suites, etc. Some good, some bad. The problem with software that is targeted and tailored to education is that it is a) often boring; b) perforce based on an abstract general idea of education; c) often remote from what gets used outside school. Would it not be better to train teachers in adapting whatever software is generally available, be it desktop or on the cloud, to fit their and their specific students' needs?
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    My point is simply that Murdoch gets it. His motives don't have to be pure for us all to benefit from the light he's shining on educational technology. Regarding the software, your points are well-taken. However, one extra qualification must be added. The software must be "good." That means it must avoid the problems you list.
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    "Would it not be better to train teachers in adapting whatever software is generally available, be it desktop or on the cloud, to fit their and their specific students' needs?' I disagree with this analysis. Software not created for educational purposes will only adapt so far. It is, for example, word processing substituting for paper and pencil. That's worthy of doing but really makes no difference in instruction. When software is created specifically for learning, it can reach much more deeply into the learning processes. It's not just peripheral but central to learning. You can adapt lots of software to education in lots of ways, and I've read of many very clever adaptations. Almost all could be done without the use of a computer, albeit somewhat less efficiently but nonetheless effectively. I read Murdoch's call, which echoes something I've been saying for many years, as meaning that we have to build software that answers the necessities of learning. We don't have much today.
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    Taking up your example of word processing as substitute for pen and pencil , Harry: true, and that's what I retorted in the late 1990's to a digitalophobe academic, when we met about the Italian translation of one of his books, and he boasted of having got a letter from a publisher saying he was their last author to deliver typescripts on paper and not as a digital file. I pointed out that cut and paste, copy and paste (the things he particularly hated the ease of in digital media) existed in the real world looooooong before computers, let alone PCs, let alone the Web. And yet... in 2007 I was asked to set up at very short notice an intensive preliminary French workshop for participants in a master course in intercultural studies: though in Lugano, the course was to be in French and English. I asked for access to the Moodle for the course, to store course materials there etc. The organizers refused: "The Moodle will only be explained to the students in the first week of the course proper". The idea that graduate students needed to have a Moodle explained to them in 2007 seemed peregrine, but rather than arguing, I set up a for-free wiki instead. At our first meeting, the students asked why we weren't using the Moodle, I repeated the official explanation, they laughed and got the hang of the wiki immediately. Then, for reading comprehension, they chose one of the assigned texts for the course: a longish book chapter they had received by e-mail as a grayish PDF based on a low-resolution scan, based on a reduced photocopy to make 2 pages fit on an A4 sheet: i.e. with no margin to take notes on. So we printed the PDF, separated the pages with scissors, pasted the separate pages with glue sticks on new A4 sheets, to get wider margins to write in. And then we made a wiki page for it, copied in it the subheadings, between which the students, added the notes they were taking, working in groups on the new paper version. Result: http://micusif.wikispaces.com/Vinsonneau
Jim Shimabukuro

Arirang | Korea for the World, The World for Korea - Arirang.co.kr - 0 views

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    Updated : May 31, 2011 Tablet PCs Change Korea's Educational Environment Tablet PCs are taking the world's IT market by storm. Korea is no exception to the trend, with tablet PC users roaming its streets everywhere. Now, tablet PCs are transforming not just the way we live but also the way we learn. We're now at an elementary school in Incheon, where students are taking lessons at a whole new level. On their desks are tablet PCs and electronic pens instead of the usual paper and pencils. This is a classroom of the digital age. This school is currently conducting digital textbook lessons for 4th and 5th graders. [Interview : Han Gyeong-su, Vice Principal Incheon Samsan Elementary School] "The digital textbook is a technology combining reference books, exercise books and other resources into one device. It could totally change our educational paradigm." These lessons are conducted using digital textbooks, which are tablet PCs with a touch screen and keyboard.
Claude Almansi

Read the American Jobs Act (FULL TEXT) | The White House - 0 views

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    "TITLE II - PUTTING WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB WHILE REBUILDING AND MODERNIZING AMERICA Subtitle A - Veterans Hiring Preferences Sec. 201. Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Work Opportunity Tax Credits Subtitle B - Teacher Stabilization Sec. 202. Purpose Sec. 203. Grants for the Outlying Areas and the Secretary of the Interior; Availability of Funds. Sec. 204. State Allocation Sec. 205. State Application Sec. 206. State Reservation and Responsibilities Sec. 207. Local Educational Agencies Sec. 208. Early Learning Sec. 209. Maintenance of Effort Sec. 210. Reporting Sec. 211. Definitions Sec. 212. Authorization of Appropriations Subtitle C - First Responder Stabilization Sec. 213. Purpose Sec. 214. Grant Program Sec. 215. Appropriations Subtitle D - School Modernization Part I - Elementary and Secondary Schools Sec. 221. Purpose Sec. 222. Authorization of Appropriations Sec. 223. Allocation of Funds Sec. 224. State Use of Funds Sec. 225. State and Local Applications Sec. 226. Use of Funds Sec. 227. Private Schools Sec. 228. Additional Provisions Part II - Community College Modernization Sec. 229. Federal assistance for Community College Modernization"
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    Tagged "Digital Promise" because of the important section on modernizing education.
Claude Almansi

Now You See It // The Blog of Author Cathy N. Davidson » Stagnant Future, Standard Tests: Pointed Response to NY Times "Grading the Digital School"" - 1 views

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    Sept. 6, 2011 "Matt Richtel's panoramic essay, "In Classroom of the Future, Stagnant Scores." weighs in this morning on the topic of "Grading the Digital School." I found myself cheering and jeering alternately throughout this piece. Why? Because it so quickly confuses "standards" with "standardized test scores" and technology put into classrooms with "preparing kids for a digital future (actually, the digital present: it's here, it's now, like it or not). These confusions are so pervasive in our culture and so urgent that I want to take a moment to focus on them. "
Claude Almansi

As regulations loom, a call for cooperation between states | Higher Ed | eSchoolNews.com - 0 views

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    "May 25th, 2011 As online education rules loom, a call for cooperation between states Web-based colleges will more easily comply with state rules if leaders seek 'uniformity,' online education experts say as-online-education-rules-loom-a-call-for-cooperation-between-states By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor Members of an influential online-learning task force said states should create uniform standards for online colleges and universities, making it easier for institutions to comply with a federal rule that will prove costly and confusing to web-based schools."
Claude Almansi

New Report: More Than 20 Million Americans Denied Access to Jobs & Economic Opportunity Within Broadband Economy | FCC.gov | Mark Wigfield 2010-05-20 - 1 views

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    "(...) May 20, 2010 Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253 (...) Progress made, but rural communities across the nation continue to lack access to broadband More than 100 million Americans do not subscribe to broadband (...) approximately 26 million Americans, mostly in rural communities located in every region of the country, are denied access to the jobs and economic opportunity made possible by broadband. While the infrastructure of high-speed Internet is unavailable to those Americans, the FCC report also finds that approximately one-third of Americans do not subscribe to broadband, even when it's available. This suggests that barriers to adoption such as cost, low digital literacy, and concerns about privacy remain too high. The Report also notes limited broadband capacity for schools and libraries as a further indicator that broadband is not being reasonably and timely deployed and is not available to all Americans.(...) "
Jim Shimabukuro

Teachers give a gold star to a free-for-all education camp | Philadelphia Inquirer | 05/30/2011 - 0 views

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    Posted on Mon, May. 30, 2011 Teachers give a gold star to a free-for-all education camp By Adrienne Lu Inquirer Staff Writer For many teachers, the phrase professional development conjures up mandatory, snooze-inducing, school-sponsored lectures. EdCamp, an "unconference" for educators that was conceived in the Philadelphia region last year, was designed to be the exact opposite: the free events are participant-driven and attendance is strictly voluntary.
Claude Almansi

How Twitter can be an #accessibility tool for #deaf / HoH. | Keen Scene - 0 views

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    Catharine McNally - April 27, 2011 "...For those of you who are still on the fence about Twitter, let me assure you that it is not always full of self-promoters or useless babble. When Twitter is "done right" it is a powerful tool for people to tell you what's going on - in a "little d democratic" kind of way. These 140-character statements challenge one to be tactful in how they write, to be understood, interpreted, and actionable. Effectively, the character limit forces one to cut through the fluff to get to the point. For a deaf person like me, Twitter is really helpful. It's kind of a digital version of my friend who sat next to me at lunch in middle school, who I would (often) turn to and ask, "Hey, what's everyone laughing about?" That person-bless her heart-would re-iterate the joke for me concisely and quickly, and of course, I would then laugh when everyone else had stopped laughing. ..."
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    Not "Breaking News" (see date) but likely to lead to developments
Claude Almansi

Plan Would Force U. of Wisconsin to Return $39-Million in U.S. Broadband Grants - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

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    "June 8, 2011, 7:01 pm By Marc Parry A budget approved by a legislative committee last week would force the University of Wisconsin to return $39-million in federal grants awarded to expand high-speed Internet access across the state, state education officials said. The plan would also require all University of Wisconsin institutions to withdraw from WiscNet, a nonprofit network cooperative that services the public universities, most of the technical and private colleges in Wisconsin, about 75 percent of the state's elementary and high schools, and 95 percent of its public libraries, according to David F. Giroux, a spokesman for the university system. (...) Another provision in the plan would bar any University of Wisconsin campus from participating in advanced networks connecting research institutions worldwide, according to Mr. Evers's memo. For example, the Madison campus would have to withdraw from Internet2, a high-speed networking consortium, said Mr. Giroux."
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    That's what Lessig had in mind when he said: "Think about the question of broadband policy. (…) The US has been a dismal failure in this respect. As we watch the US going from number 1 in broadband penetration, now to, depending on the scale, number 18, 19, or 28. And that change is because of policies that effectively block competition for broadband providers. Their answer, these broadband providers brought to our government, and got our government to impose actually benefited them and destroyed the incentives for them to compete in a way that would drive broadband penetration. (…)" From Lessig's Keynote Address at g8 7:48 - 8:42 - http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/videos/C6wmjKWrZwlP/
Claude Almansi

Rogue Downloader's Arrest Could Mark Crossroads for Open-Access Movement - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

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    "July 31, 2011 By David Glenn Cambridge, Mass. This past April in Switzerland, Lawrence Lessig gave an impassioned lecture denouncing publishers' paywalls, which charge fees to read scholarly research, thus blocking most people from access. It was a familiar theme for Mr. Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School who is one of the world's most outspoken critics of intellectual-property laws. But in this speech he gave special attention to JSTOR, a not-for-profit journal archive. He cited a tweet from a scholar who called JSTOR "morally offensive" for charging $20 for a six-page 1932 article from the California Historical Society Quarterly. The JSTOR archive is not usually cast as a leading villain by open-access advocates. But Mr. Lessig surely knew in April something that his Swiss audience did not: Aaron Swartz-a friend and former Harvard colleague of Mr. Lessig's-was under investigation for misappropriating more than 4.8 million scholarly papers and other files from JSTOR. On July 19, exactly three months after Mr. Lessig's speech, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging that Mr. Swartz had abused computer networks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and disrupted JSTOR's servers. If convicted on all counts, Mr. Swartz faces up to 35 years in prison."
Claude Almansi

Balancing e-lectures with podcasts - University of Leicester - 0 views

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    by spk7 - Aug. 19, 2011 "Some time ago, Head of the School of Engineering, Professor John Fothergill, with the help of son Henry, produced a very engaging and funny video focusing on his experiences of moving some of his teaching online. In order that his course could still run while he was on sabbatical, John worked closely with Beyond Distance in order to achieve the best online experience for his students. The video draws upon a number of comic influences, most notably Monty Python. We hope you enjoy it!"
Claude Almansi

Murdoch-Owned Wireless Generation's Contract Should Be Scratched, Teachers' Union Leaders Write - 0 views

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    Joy Resmovits Aug. 5, 2011 ""We have become increasingly concerned with the proposed contract," Michael Mulgrew and Richard Iannuzzi, who respectively head New York City's and the state's teachers' unions, wrote in the note. The letter is addressed to New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, state Commissioner of Education John King, Jr., and copied to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. "It is especially troubling that Wireless Generation will be tasked with creating a centralized student database for personal information even as its parent company, News Corporation, stands accused of engaging in illegal news gathering tactics, including the hacking of private voicemail accounts," the letter reads. Murdoch acquired 90 percent of Wireless Generation for about $360 million last November. At the time of the acquisition, Murdoch said he saw K-12 education as a "$500 billion sector." Murdoch's first general move in the education sector had come just a few weeks earlier, when he tapped Joel Klein, then the chancellor of New York City's schools, to lead his education ventures. The Wireless Generation contracts were approved while Klein still ran the district, leading to speculation about the chancellor's intentions."
Claude Almansi

CEC | Ask Arne: A Conversation with the Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) Members and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan - 0 views

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    "As I have travelled across the country visiting schools and classrooms and talking with teachers and parents, I have heard many questions about our plans at the U.S. Department of Education to support children with disabilities, their families, and the teachers who educate them and fight for them daily. To hear more about the issues affecting students with disabilities and their teachers, I asked CEC to contact members through an e-mail blast. Your response was overwhelming. Though CEC received more questions than we could possibly answer here, I have worked with your leadership to identify some of the central questions for educators of children with disabilities, and I have worked with my staff at the Department so that we can address them in this document. I would like to thank CEC members and all teachers of children with disabilities for their outstanding compassion and commitment and for the range of complex skills and talents you bring to teaching your students every day."
Claude Almansi

Unleashing the Potential of Educational Technology - White House - PDF - 0 views

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    Executive Office of the President Council of Economic Advisers Unleashing the Potential of Educational Technology September 16, 2011 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Educational technology holds the promise of substantially improving outcomes for K-12 students, but there are significant challenges in bringing new educational technology products for this population to market. It is difficult for producers of these technologies to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products to potential buyers and market fragmentation creates barriers to entry by all but the largest suppliers. The spread of broadband Internet and Common Core State Standards have improved the landscape for educational technologies, but these factors alone are likely insufficient for a "game changing" advance. Working together, stakeholders can form a plan of action to provide local school systems with easy access to good information about the effectiveness of various educational technology products and give prospective developers of these products access to customers on a scale sufficient to make it worthwhile for them to enter the market. The payoff - in the form of more effective and more widely utilized educational technologies, leading to better outcomes for students - could be enormous.
Claude Almansi

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Strengthening the American Education System (transcript) | The White House - 0 views

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    "The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release September 24, 2011 WEEKLY ADDRESS: Strengthening the American Education System WASHINGTON-In this week's address, President Obama told the American people that it is time to raise the standards of our education system so that every classroom is a place of high expectations and high performance. On Friday, the President announced that states will have greater flexibility to find innovative ways of improving the quality of learning and teaching, so that we can strengthen performance in our classrooms and ensure that teachers are helping students learn rather than teaching to the test. By modernizing our schools and improving the education system, the United States can continue building an economy that lasts into the future and prepare the next generation to succeed in the global economy."
Claude Almansi

Knewton tells us: Education's Internet moment is now. Courtney Boyd Myers. Aug. 17, 2011 - Shareables - 0 views

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    "It's clear that the world is moving faster than it ever has before. This infographic below, produced by Knewton, an adaptive technology platform based in New York City, tells us that education is a 7 trillion dollar industry, 570 times the size of the online advertising market. In a time when 30% of students in the U.S. fail out of high school, our current education system is broken, from the bottom up. But the landscape is changing. The Internet is bringing us digital content, mass distribution and personalized learning. Check it out here and click the image to enlarge."
Claude Almansi

Education Week: Digital Edition: E-Learning for Special Populations - 0 views

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    "This special report examines the growing e-learning opportunities for students with disabilities, English-language learners, gifted and talented students, and those at risk of failing in school. Download the digital edition. (Login or FREE registration required.) You can read the complete online version of the report here. "
Claude Almansi

Best content in educators | Diigo - Groups - 0 views

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    "Educators sharing bookmarks and best practice. We have a set of standard tags to help us share things that you may use in addition to your tags. (You may subscribe to these tags via RSS feed by subject area, which makes it very useful.) Group Info Members: 1989 Items: 9602 Visits: 22590 Owner: Vicki Davis Group type: Public, apply to join Group category: Schools & Education"
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    Educators and ETCJ groups are closely related.
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