Posts tagged "Technology in Education"
June 14, 2012
A pool of federal funds that has enabled schools and teachers to get help adopting new technologies is drying up at the end of the summer.
By the end of August, the Department of Education will no longer receive a federal grant called Title II-D, which helped schools pay for technology training centers in each borough, online curriculum, iPads, laptops, and other tools.
The U.S. Department of Education decided to eliminate Title II-D funds last year after the Obama administration reorganized its education budget to cut programs considered to be inefficient. The administration slashed the $100 million budget for education technology.
That means the city may have to find another way to pay for its technology centers and school gizmos without more funding, which amounted to $22.5 million over three years.
“I think people are working on seeing if there could be some sort of sustained support, but there’s nothing that’s been formally announced,” said Lisa Nielsen, who runs the Manhattan section of the department’s Educational Technology office.
The Education Technology office distributes the grants across five boroughs and helps train teachers at the borough’s technology center and in classrooms. The office also help schools use funding to buy items that encourage technological innovations in the classroom, such as iPads.
Nielsen and nearly 25 department employees are also expected to lose their positions because of the cuts. They will enter the Absent Teacher Reserve pool after August 30, when the funding ends.
“The relevance of us is that we are really able to personalize support to each school. I don’t believe that the schools will be able to take on using technology well without this sort of support,” added Nielsen. “When you’re the technology liaison or the media library specialist in your school, there’s usually just one of you so you feel alone. This was an opportunity to bring everyone together, to share ideas.” (more…)
May 21, 2012
Danielle Boone’s U.S. History class at Olympus Academy High School had just begun, but she didn’t need a teacher to tell her what to do. The glowing screen looking back at her told her everything she needed to know.
Boone typed out the final section of an assignment on immigration – “a FIVE-sentence summary paragraph (including analysis sentence) about immigration and urbanization” – which she emailed to her teacher, sitting nearby, for grading. She then watched a short video online about the Civil War to research her next assignment, an essay on the Transcontinental Railroad.
Boone will continue knocking off these assignments on her school-issued Mac computer at her own blistering pace until, finally, she’s completed what is required to pass the course and earn a credit. The day after she completes the last assignment for the U.S. History class, she’ll start working on another course she needs to pass to graduate.
“I’m a student who works fast and this school helps me get credits,” Boone said during a brief break in her work. “The faster you go, the faster you get credits.”
Boone is the kind of self-starter that city officials envisioned when they tasked Olympus Academy, a transfer school, with creating an online learning model in its school for its over-aged population two years ago.
Olympus is part of the iLearnNYC initiative, a division of the city’s Innovation Zone. Until now, the initiative, which included 124 schools this year, mainly provided technological resources to schools that were devising ways to mix traditional classroom instruction with online curriculum, an approach known as blended learning. (more…)
January 26, 2009
Last week, I chronicled an academic discussion on the subject of where school reform should go under President Obama. Over the weekend, a bunch of tech geeks had a conference on the same subject — and their ideas will probably end up being just as important to the future of schooling.
The conference, called Educon, attracted members of the increasingly large but sorely underlooked education movement called Learning 2.0, the MySpace/Twitter-inspired approach to school, in which technology facilitates extra interaction between students and teachers (and students and students and teachers and teachers). Among the people gathered in Philadelphia was at least one group from New York City: 20 staff members at CIS 339 in the Bronx, a middle school whose approach to technology I profiled in the Village Voice a few months ago.
You can read 339 Principal Jason Levy’s takeaways from the conference at his Principal 2.0 blog, here, including notes from the panel he ran, on what to do if your principal says no to a new idea. (One apparently good consideration is “The ‘Media’ Test: Where in the NY Post will this story end up?”)
David Warlick also provides good notes from a panel discussion on the direction President Obama should take education. The conference’s convener, Chris Lehmann, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, made the case that “accountability has to be a richer more complex conversation.” Another person talked about making accountability more “intelligent” with tests that assess for deeper learning, not just memorization.
Naturally, Warlick communicated his own takeaway via Twitter:
I just twittered: “The point of ed reform is having classrooms where it just doesn’t matter if kids are getting tested — to them or the teachers.”
December 16, 2008
A commenter named Scott raised readers’ eyebrows by declaring that Obama’s choice for education secretary, Arne Duncan, doesn’t use a computer. Scott added, intriguingly, that:
“His secretary prints out the emails he receives, he writes the response and the secretary responds. The man literally does not know how to use a computer.”
Not exactly, according to two spokesmen I just talked to at the Chicago public schools headquarters. It is true, they said, that Duncan sometimes has his assistant, a woman named Maribel, print out his e-mail messages for him. But he does have a computer, and he sometimes reads his own e-mail with it. He also carries a Blackberry.
Said spokesman Mike Vaughn:
“He’s out at schools all the time, meeting with principals and meeting with administrators, meeting with kids and teachers, various meetings throughout the city. He does not spend a whole lot of time at his desk. But there are times when he sits at his desk and reads his emails, there’s times that he responds to them with Maribel, there’s times that he responds with his Blackberry.”
Another spokesman, Malon Edwards, said Duncan has championed bringing technology to education. (more…)
November 26, 2008
A colleague drew my attention to this fascinating video, tied to The New York Times Magazine’s screens issue. It plays a series of young people’s faces captured while they played a video game.
I wonder what would it look like to videotape the same kids in class.
(For more on the notion that schools have something to learn from video games, see this Times story, this story I wrote for the Village Voice, and this Web site, the home of Marc Presnky, an educational consultant who has made a career out of the idea.)