Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Technology: A 2020 Vision

While our school system debates their 2020 Vision by evaluating brick and mortar as well as program offerings in order to finally (hopefully) redistrict and consolidate our schools, others in the educational world are also creating 2020 Visions - technology based visions. While the redistricting in DCSS is certainly necessary, we have been stuck on this discussion for three years. I hope that this board will finally make these decisions and enable the system to move forward in focusing on providing the best education possible to our students, regardless of which building they attend.

The staff at T.H.E. Journal have compiled an article focused on the 2020 visions of leaders in educational technology. Entitled, 2020 Vision: Experts Forecast What the Digital Revolution Will Bring Next, you can read it here. The article interviews several leaders in technology, such as Mary McCaffrey, CEO of TH(i)NQ Ed, Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology within the US Department of Education and Linda Roberts, who headed the Office of Educational Technology until 2001, as well as others in educational technology.

What will be the next transformative step in tech-based education?
“I think we’re going to see the revolution from the students, if we can keep them engaged. We’ve separated the world of our students from their school world. When they go to school, the only thing they have is social—their friends they see. We block out the rest of the their life—their texting, their phones, their computers, for the most part their digital world. I don’t think the students are going to put up with that. The students will lead this revolution if we keep them engaged and give them hope that they can make use of these technologies that they love in their private lives and make use of them for learning. Teachers will come along with that because teachers’ role will change. In my 2020 vision, we’ll have teachers as facilitators and mentors, and the students will be directing, leading, and collaborating, even as early as elementary school. The relationship between students and teachers will be, on a whole, much different and more valuable.”

What role can technology play in changing the way we assess students, teachers, and schools?
Race to the Top [which funds states whose education systems are moving toward the US Department of Education’s school reform goals] set aside $350 million for the states to create an entirely new generation of assessments. One of the problems with our current system is we have the testable standards, and then we have the ones we say are nice to have but that we can’t really test now. These have been relegated to “bubble” tests. The opportunity now is to go way beyond the bubble test, to create a new generation of assessments that can give us much better information for students, their teachers, the school, the district, and the system as a whole. The entire world of assessment is about to change dramatically, and technology is going to be central to that.

Let’s talk about textbooks. What will be the fate of the traditional one print textbook per student, per course, per grade level?
I think over the next 18 months or so we’re going to see a transition from a predominantly print-based classroom to a digital classroom in which students have devices and the content is provided for them online in a much more flexible and customizable manner. We can take advantage of the power of technology to do things like simulations, visualizations, and games with better feedback, better adaptive materials, and better opportunities to personalize and conduct deep research on things that students are interested in. We’re going to move away from the notion of a print-based textbook toward a new platform. I’m hopeful about this.

There are all sorts of interesting revolutions that will come out of the movement toward interactive textbooks and multimedia. Using the Kindle app on my iPad, I’ve been loving the social highlighting feature in which you can see the passages in the book that hundreds of other people have highlighted and thought were important. That suddenly takes textbooks and reading to a whole new level. I’m not sure if I would agree with Karen that it’s 18 months away, but it’s closer than most people think it is.

How about this for a vision?

Thomas Frey, futurist, executive director of the DaVinci Institute
What barrier needs to be moved out of the way in the next 10 years to allow the education system to take advantage of the available technology?
“Who is the most famous school teacher in the world? I end up with a lot of blank stares when I ask that question. If I ask you who is the most famous radio talk-show host, you can probably name three or four. If I ask you who the most famous newspaper columnist is, you can probably name three or four of them. The difference is in one word: syndication. Teachers haven’t been able to syndicate their work because they’re owned by the institution they’re working for. We have fifth-grade math being taught by 10,000 teachers across the country every single day. Why do we have such a duplication of effort? Say there’s someone out there who is just exceptional at teaching fifth-grade math. Somehow they’ve mastered this like nobody else. We’re able to package it and deliver that course through some online medium that would enable students to learn from the best. They could sit at the feet of the true master, not the teacher who happens to have been hired for that job at their school. That teacher would become the most famous fifth-grade math teacher in the entire world. Teachers would become the celebrities of the students of that age.”

Let's start the discussion. What do we envision a DCSS classroom to really look like in 2020?


Anonymous said...

Yesterday, my elementary school child had a problem doing some of her homework.

I immediately referred her to her textbook and within 60 seconds she had found the answer.

The textbook is available on line, but had she had to use it on the computer, it would have taken much longer.

I love books that are being used as resources for a class to be in paper.

Sorry if that makes me old fashioned, but I do think it is much more efficient.

Kim Gokce said...

I think Anon is right to point out the value of paper in a paperless age (apologies to Dunder Mifflin). However, I think that both the paper and the "paperless" approach to teaching have a place for a long, long time.

The key for me isn't whether we have textbooks or computers, it is how we leverage technology to make communications and operations more effective in our school systems and in our classrooms. One of the examples I would like folks to consider is advanced courses.

I hear two reasons why advanced courses aren't more widely available: 1) lack of qualified students, 2) lack of qualified teachers. Putting #1 aside (I don't buy this as an assumption), in many cases we could solve the teacher issue by supporting itinerant teachers with technology.

There is no reason why a calculus teacher couldn't manage the instruction at two schools if all the presented material was "in the cloud." To me, this is the single most easy win for public education in DeKalb.

Some have said that teachers would never stand for having to "move" between schools - I don't believe that as long as the schools were neighboring districts and "the cloud" was a reality for them and not a fantasy. On the contrary, I would think the best teachers would jump at the chance for variety and exposure to more students interested in their subject.


Anonymous said...

Many years ago I got to travel between schools and I loved it. I never had a long day. I had variety. I got to continually see different ways schools did things. I would do it again in a heartbeat. And the last year I did it, I did not put in for gas compensation. I liked it that much. I don't do it now because the program I was part of was discontinued.

Cerebration said...

If interactive or Promethean boards are used correctly, they can open up the world. You can overlay maps, bring in photos and even chat online with students in another country (kids already do this with online games). I've heard stories about teachers who throw questions out to the class asking them to find the answer using their smart phones (kids are experts at this). Instead of Powerpoints, kids can create multimedia presentations with music and video.

Read about some of the things kids are doing with Apple products - like making the morning announcements. School can be fun...

At Central Elementary School in Escondido, California, a fourth-grade classroom using iPod touch has seen dramatic results. Every student’s reading score went up, and overall progress rates were two to three times those of other classrooms in the district.

Learning with Apple

According to recent board minutes, several schools were awarded technology grants that came with laptops, iPod Touch and a bunch of great stuff. I want to hear how these tools are being used successfully.

I'll dig up those minutes in a minute...

Cerebration said...

Here we go - Title II-D Enhancing Education Through Technology Cost Center - Each school was awarded about 75 iTouch 8GB, charging stations, mic/headphones, Turning Point Student Response System (like they're using in the charrettes), 7 teacher netbooks (laptops) 15 student netbooks, IAB and Access Point.

Columbia HS
Miller Grove HS
Dunwoody HS
Southwest DeKalb HS
McNair HS

Cerebration said...

They were also awarded several scholarships for grant-writing seminars from GA Tech and others.

Cerebration said...

In addition, Avondale HS was awarded 64 laptops, carts, projectors, 2 digital cameras, 32 headphones, surge protectors, software, professional development, KSU Learning and money for infrastructure costs.

Same for Avondale Middle - only 32 laptops, plus most of the above and 32 desktop computers and 32 TI calculators.

Cedar Grove HS - same stuff - 32 laptops, 32 desktops, etc.. 2 digital cameras...

Cedar Grove MS - 32 laptops, 32 desktops, TI calculators

Dunwoody HS - 32 laptops, high def video, 2 digital cameras, headphones, 32TI Calculators, 32 desktops

Chamblee MS - 64 laptops, 32 Ti calculators, headphones, etc...

DSA - 64 laptops, high def video, projector, audio, 2 digital cameras, 32 headphones, interactive board, 32 Ti calculators, etc.

Peachtree MS - same middle school pkgs... 32 laptops, etc, 32 desktops, etc, 32 TI calculators, 50 professional development packages.

Cerebration said...

This was also presented to the board by MIS -

Summary of Dell Computer Installations (October 2009 – September 2010)

Number of Computers Purchased 8158

Number of Laptops Purchased 763

Number of Thin Client Stations Purchased 199

Failure rate of Computers Extremely Low

Failure rate of Laptops Extremely Low

Number of DOA’s (computers) 11

Number of DOA’s (laptops) 1

Customer Service Rating 4 (Scale of 1 – 5)

9000 -Projected number of computers for 2010 – 2011. (This includes completion of CIP workstations, CIP Teacher Technology Refresh, CIP Administration Refresh, and CIP completion of Student desktop replacement. New Schools, Renovations and various district and school projects)

** Note: DCSS issued purchase orders for bulk orders, but invoices are not paid
until installations are complete.

It certainly appears that we have purchased or been granted plenty of computers for ALL teachers to be supplied a new one. I saw some new ones in some of the refurbished classrooms at Cross Keys - what a difference for these teachers! They even got a decent chair to go with!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:17: I agree that physical textbooks are valuable. The problem is that DCSS does not fund them (or, at least DCSS does not fund them at all of the schools). For example, my high school student has no Spanish textbook -- either online or physical. There weren't enough to go around and they didn't fund the purchase of an adequate number of them. So therefore, having online textbook would be great, so that my student could actually have some reference to use when studying.

Anonymous said...

Since most classrooms only have 2 computes for 30+ students, technology access for students is a tremendous need in DCSS classrooms.

The computers and interactive boards need to be reliable as well. Teachers cannot plan a lesson using technology and then have the computers down for a week or two. Reliability is a huge component.

Teachers should be routinely evaluating MIS's performance in the schools. These are the MIS "customers" and they need to be giving feedback as to how MIS is doing in the customer service department.

Teachers, students and parents and principals should be involved in the planning for a 21st Century Classroom. After all, those are the individuals who are will be impacted by the 21st Century classroom. Hopefully, the next DCSS Technology Plan will include some teachers, parents, students and principals. This would promote a wiser use of tech dollars and buy-in by all concerned.

Anonymous said...

LOL look at this parent comment from the survey:
"Improve technology access and applications. My 6 year old is smarter than his class room."

Anonymous said...

What's not clear is that the technology only goes to certain departments- math and science. Sometimes it's as if the other departments don't matter. As the parent mentioned the World Languages departments don't have materials and they don't have technology. It would be nice if things were followed up all of the way.

Anonymous said...

DCSS Christmas wish list

Every DCSS student should have a top line Apple computer and Ipad with full Internet access. Free of charge.

Chauffeur driven to school of choice or a school on every corner.

Tutors on call at convenience of the students

Schools that are monuments to

3 meals a day. Gourmet food.

Teachers who get paid at least $125K plus perks.

I hope that Santa will be able to find the BOE palace to deliver the stuff. Better not leave it around too long or it will be stolen.

OOps I maxxed my credit card. Maybe someone in the administration will lend me the one used by Dr CLew.

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa Baby,

Thank you for the return of the wonderful Dekalb County benchmarks!

One of the elves sent out an email warning the teachers "You'd better not be cheating! Because Sonny is watching!"

Any teachers can post the email?

Anonymous said...

Are there an adequate number of computers so students can take the benchmark online and not have to "bubble in" like I did in the 1950s.

Will benchmark results be delivered to teachers desktops the next day so that they can make meaningful adjustments in the delivery of content to their students?

If the answer is no to either of these questions, then the benchmarks will not be effective for students.

Square Peg said...

To think globally, check out this recent article on online math lessons. It gives an anecdotal view of global competition as well as a hope for using technology to help poor students.

"Pampered middle-class children, both British and American, make up a good slice of Munish Kumar’s income as an online mathematics tutor, linked by the internet to pupils thousands of miles from his workplace in northern India..."

The article describes the tutor's view of the relative diligence of his British versus US students - (our children are less keen to learn) - but both pale compared to Indian students, who are harder working, are expected to master tougher topics at a young age, and know they have to study to survive.

The article then describes an experiment which offered offshore tutoring from Mr. Kumar's company to students in a London public housing project. So far these children have taken very enthusiastically to online math lessons. Their survival - simply being able to manage their money - also depends on improving their math skills.

My complaints are that the article mentions in passing the "American equivalent" of the British national curriculum - we don't have a national curriculum, but perhaps we should cut a UK-based magazine some slack - and they don't give much detail about the size or success of the pilot projects with struggling students.


Anonymous said...

To: All DeKalb Employees
From: Dr. Morcease Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Subject: District-Wide Benchmark Testing
Date: 30 November 2010

All employees are expected assist DCSS as it sets the standard for excellence. Therefore, everyone is expected to assist in maintaining testing environments that reflect high expectations, honesty and integrity. Students are expected to take benchmark assessments to demonstrate what they have been taught and what they have learned. It is unacceptable for anyone to provide inappropriate assistance to students during benchmark assessments. Cheating is not allowed and will not be supported. All such incidents will be investigated and appropriately addressed. Our teachers and students do not deserve to have their hard work marred by such incidents. All employees are expected to report testing violations, incidents of cheating, etc. to the Principal. We appreciate everyone's contribution as we create a climate of excellence and high performance.

Anonymous said...

It is unacceptable for anyone to provide inappropriate assistance to students during benchmark assessments. Cheating is not allowed and will not be supported.

Whoa. That had to be said?

Anonymous said...

Why is no memo issued from the Central Office asking principals not to pressure teachers to change grades, give extra credit, etc.? That is cheating to IMHO.

Pressuring teachers to give students grades they do not earn is cheating the students who actually earned the grades and cheating the student who didn't earn the grade.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that letting a kid who scored an overall 50% grade for the semester make-up the other 20% online AFTER the term is over is CHEATING!

Do you?

Based on the grading scheme of the Dekalb County Schools, a student would have to be at "room temperature" to achieve a 50%. The furniture in the classroom soaks up more than 50%!!!

Anonymous said...

Given what is coming out in Atlanta schools as we speak, it probably does have to be said.

Though I can't figure out why anyone would cheat on benchmark tests. To make themselves look better, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Pressuring teachers to change grades is just as egregious IMO than cheating on the CRCT. Both situations are cheating students.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. The students are the big losers either way.

Anonymous said...

Are kids still having to "bubble in" on test sheets for the benchmark tests?

Are teachers having to scan hundreds of test sheets?

Are teachers getting timely information that they can use to help students?

Anonymous said...

i could barely get thru these pie in the sky ideas. Whatever, just teach my kid. Math, writing skills and encourage reading. Schools should have higher expectations of behavior. Let the teachers teach and get rid of those who are dinosaurs. I am tired of those who say technology will rule over everything. We don't have the money for these types of dreams. The basics will always need to be taught. So teach them.

Anonymous said...

"i could barely get thru these pie in the sky ideas. Whatever, just teach my kid. Math, writing skills and encourage reading."

The problem is an enormous amount of data is required by the Central Office (1,239 Central office employees - 1 for every 5 teachers) and that requires technology. If there is little technology, teachers have to take planning and teaching time to give them this data. Teachers have never had to do so much reporting of data. It's overwhelming.

Now do you see why technology is important? Either that or the Central Office demands need to be reduced.

Anonymous said...

The problem that I have from a teaching standpoint and a tax payer standpoint is the way that technology is used. In elementary schools, technology is used to practice for tests or to practice math (math games and such), but this is not learning and these things could be done at home or at the local library. Computers are not used to aid in instruction and get students thinking, searching, and finding information to solidify concepts.

The expensive smart boards that are in some classrooms are nothing but an expensive overhead. Teachers do not have time to create lessons for the smart boards, even when they know how to do so.

In my opinion, technology is not a true worry or an expense or something that needs to have a great deal of time spent on dealing with this issue. The true problems in elementary school is how are we going to teach ALL of the children in DCSS, so that they are proficient in reading, writing, and math. How are we going to give our kids a solid foundation and not just pass them on lacking the necessary skills for the next grade?

When we have all students reading better and having not only a deep understanding, but having quick mental knowledge of the base ten system, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and word problems, then we can look at technology.

Many of our teachers are lacking in these areas, which are far more important to have than how to play a video game, which many kids already get at home.

Also, using energy to get discipline, bullying, and dealing with problem children is also a higher priority to me, than worrying about technology.

Our technology department has already shown me by the time that has been wasted and money spent on programs such as ESIS and what not that they don't really have a clue what they are doing. More of the same with the same players in the technology department is not what our children need.

Anonymous said...

MIS has consumed hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 5 years:
- $20,000,000 in annual salaries (this equal $100,000,000)
- $10,000,000 for computer refresh
- $7,000,000 for ACTIvboards
- Tens of millions for the private fiber optic network (almost all SPLOST II technology dollars)
- Tens of millions more for instructional software
- $11,000,000 for eSis and SchoolNet

If we are not receiving value added, then this department needs a complete overhaul.

Anonymous said...

No matter what site I have worked at the MIS support has always been good. The money spent on fiber optics, computers, and active boards is OK. The problem with technology is that it changes at a rapid rate and the truth is that only our children are on the edge of it. What bothers me is that the applications that intrique the students the most are forbidden to us as teaching tools. We should be using Twitter, Facebook, and Podcasts to work with our students.

Of course, there are problems with that. Technology is neither good or bad or neutral. You then have to worry about Cybersafety (you probably should anyway). You find that people (students and teachers) put inappropriate things on Facebook. Finally many teachers (also parents for that matter)are not as adept at these technologies as their students.

I also come from the generation that loves books. So the afirst post has a point-let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Thing we can predict about technology are that it will continue to change at a rapid rate and that will cost money. Even without the changes DCSS will need quite a few MIS people to keep it going, provide training, and oversee MIS purchasing.

We are naive to complain about the size of MIS. DCSS is a bid concern. It owns a bus fleet of over 1000 vehicles. Think of what it takes to maintain, schedule, meet government regulations, inspections, etc. Education now days is more than just the class room. Even if yo break up big systems the cummulative expenditures for the smaller ones would be the same or in some cases larger (economy of scale-2 superintendents instead of 1 etc.)

We do have a right to expect that these expeditures be made prudently and there seems to be some hope for progress in that direction. I am too cyncial to think that a new board would be the magic bullet. We need to remember that there are tough decisions to be made especially in redistricting and closing schools. We will need to encourage the board to think of the district rather than their neighborhood. We can only do it if we think that way ourselves. I see little evidence on this blog or in the charattes that we do.

Anonymous said...

"It is unacceptable for anyone to provide inappropriate assistance to students during benchmark assessments. Cheating is not allowed and will not be supported.

Whoa. That had to be said?"

After what is going on in the Atlanta Public SChools came to light yes.

Cerebration said...

We need to remember that there are tough decisions to be made especially in redistricting and closing schools. We will need to encourage the board to think of the district rather than their neighborhood. We can only do it if we think that way ourselves. I see little evidence on this blog or in the charattes that we do.

I agree. And in reading the survey responses it is obvious that people are absolutely paranoid of change.

Also, regarding technology - the recent purchases of computers and iTouch etc, (in my comments above) as well as the technology refresh FINALLY happening in our renovated schools, we are moving forward. That's good. Books are good as well - but technology is imperative in so many ways.

Dekalbparent said...

I agree with all the comments about the need for technology support in DCSS. The system is huge, and has a need for MIS support.

However, is MIS being supported by skilled and competent people? Are they equipped to do their jobs, or are they there because they had help getting the job? That's what I worry about. I don't mind paying for technology, but it would seem to me we should be getting a lot more for the money, and it comes down to the human beings working there - the machines are the machines, and they are only as functional as the people who purchase/support them.

Anonymous said...

We need to compare the technology our students have access to with other school systems and what they pay for their Information Systems group, network, hardware and software. The technology needs to be reliable as well. Nothing worse than downtime when you have a lesson planned with your students and not enough of the computers in the lab work to use it or the images are different on all the machines or having your administrator asking for a report when eSis doesn't work.

$200,000,000 in the last 5 or so years seems excessive to me for what we get. I'm also troubled to hear posters say that a former BOE member's son got promoted in MIS, didn't bother to show up for work and kept his job.

I would like to see an independent audit done on this department as to pay scale and service.

Anonymous said...

Our MIS support person is wonderful! I have had so many problems with the printer, activboard, and computers. He is always there in a timely manner and takes care of the problem. I am so pleased!

Sagamore 7 said...

Anon 10:28
Please tell all of us who your MIS person is. I would like to share his/her name with our teachers.
I have heard several teachers at our school express concerns regarding non-working white boards and non-functioning computer systems without any support from MIS whatsoever.

This blog needs to hear more about positive, competent MIS support personnel.

There is a lot of concern with the MIS department for several reasons. I hope you will share this person's name for the sake of our entire school system.

New slogan for DCSS:
"There is hope for our kids at DCSS!"

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't share the name, someone might try to poach him. Most elementary schools have to share a technical person and that leads to challenges on the days that person isn't there.

Last year, though, as a parent, I taught several teachers to google the problem they were having and see if they could fix it themselves. You type in specifically what is wrong and wallah if there is a self fix it will show up.

They were thrilled. Of course, this won't work for system wide or school wide issues, but for issues within the classroom it just might. I am a huge technology user in my day to day life, but not everyone is. That is sometimes easy to lose sight of.

Anonymous said...

I worry what kind of access poor children have at home to technology. I know that there are kids who need to credit recovery courses that don't have internet access at home.

I think DeKalb, as a county, has a huge issue with the digital divide.

Anonymous said...

"MIS has consumed hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 5 years:
- $20,000,000 in annual salaries (this equal $100,000,000)
- $10,000,000 for computer refresh
- $7,000,000 for ACTIvboards
- Tens of millions for the private fiber optic network (almost all SPLOST II technology dollars)
- Tens of millions more for instructional software
- $11,000,000 for eSis and SchoolNet

If we are not receiving value added, then this department needs a complete overhaul."

-This is a spot on, fantastic post, but it forgot a biggie: DCSS MIS also pays millions to Dell for a myriad of services.

The budget of MIS is more than adequate to pay for all the "pipe" maintenance and infrastructure needs, while still putting the No. 1 priority on school house support and service.

Sadly, the leadership, and many of the staff members, are not up to the job. And even sadder, and this comes straight from MIS administrators, school house support is not their first or even second priority (but wow does MIS staff pounce when there is even a tiny computer or software problem with a Central Office administrator or BOE member at the Mountain Industrial mega-complex!).

Nancy and Donna: Please Help!!

Anonymous said...

"I worry what kind of access poor children have at home to technology. I know that there are kids who need to credit recovery courses that don't have internet access at home.
I think DeKalb, as a county, has a huge issue with the digital divide."

1) We have a fine county library system that does a very good job with providing computer access, including night and weekend.

2) Every DCSS school should have after school computer lab hours, especially high school and middle, but even elem too.

3) I hate to say this, but as a teacher, even students from low income families have parents with iPhones, Droids', etc., and the majority of high school and middle school students have cell phones themselves. At least three quarters of students at even the lowest income schools have home computers.

The number of DCSS students without any computer access is much lower than you think. The main area where that is a very real problem from teachers I know is the Buford Highway area/heavy Latino population middle and elem schools.

Don't be fooled by the free and reduced lunch figures the county gives to the state and Fed's. They are doctored to secure more Title I dollars. If the state or fed's ever audited DCSS to find out what the FRL figures really should be, all heck would break loose (but at least it would finally lead to Ron Ramsey being let go).

Anonymous said...

"Don't be fooled by the free and reduced lunch figures the county gives to the state and Fed's. They are doctored to secure more Title I dollars. If the state or fed's ever audited DCSS to find out what the FRL figures really should be, all heck would break loose (but at least it would finally lead to Ron Ramsey being let go)."

This is bad or purposeful misinformation. If anything, Title I figures are under reported because they depend on parents returning forms. Title I is stringently audited by the state and fed each year. You might disagree with the way the money is spent but the Title I data exactly tracks with US Census data. Ramsay has nothing to do with the external audit of Title I. Next you be telling us that Ron Ramsay was behind the Kennedy assassination.

Georgia Gal said...

I have read the 40 so far comments and not seen anyone speak about online course options. My own personal experience....my grandson, visiting with an exchange student the family hosted took an on line Latin class in Germany 2 summers ago, last summer, an online Spanish class. Last summer his twin sister took the American lit class. (It was my chance to make up from 50 years of wondering why Cotton Mather, then the tranendentialists were important.

The classes are not cheap. It was $50.00 apiece. Most families could not have afforded it.

However there surely is a forum in the DeKalb School System, which may involve parents themselves who are participating in the US most rapidly developing form of education, the on-line University.

There are many uses. The disruptive child could work in a supervised study hall learning online. More course offerings would be available. There could be specialized hybrid courses where a noncollege bound student could make a kind of "appretinceship" arrangement...say he or she wants to be a chef, have an ultimate goal in supervision in plant maintenance....with a small peer group teacher, and an online course. Of of course in joint enrollment a student could just take college courses.

In order to make this more available...offer it as a nontuition option....


IS THERE A DEKALB SCHOOL SYSTEM inventory of exactly what is the at home computer availability for the almost 100,000 students in the county.

Anonymous said...

Some schools have done inventories. This is exactly what MIS should be doing. For the hundreds of millions we have spent on MIS, they should have this data.

Cerebration said...

FYI - here's an interesting article on how the iPad is helping children with autism.

iHelp for Autism

For autistic children, the new iPad is an effective, portable device for teaching communication and social skills. It’s also way cool...

Though there are other computers designed for children with autism, a growing number of experts say that the iPad is better. It's cheaper, faster, more versatile, more user-friendly, more portable, more engaging, and infinitely cooler for young people. "I just couldn't imagine not introducing this to a parent of a child who has autism," says Tammy Mastropietro, a speech pathologist based outside Boston who uses the technology with numerous clients. She sees it as a game changer for those with autism, particularly those most severely affected.

Cerebration said...

ACT FAST -- Free iPads for non-verbal/minimally verbal individuals with Autism

FYI...The HollyRod Foundation is giving iPads to people diagnosed with autism who are non-verbal or minimally verbal. There is no age limit to apply - children and adults are eligible. Please visit the website below for more information.

Must meet the family income guidelines. Application deadline is December 31, 2010

Link for application: http://www.hollyrod.org/#/holiday-2010/4545650338

What are the eligibility requirements??

1. The individual you are applying for must have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum (as identified in diagnosis report).
2. Reside in the United States of America .
3. Be non-verbal or minimally verbal (as identified in speech pathology report).
4. Be in financial need: Gross income not to exceed $35,000 single income
family or $50,000 two-income family (as identified by documentation).
5. Have access to a computer and an iTunes account (some programs must be downloaded on a computer and transferred to the iPad due to size).
6. A professional on your team (i.e., speech pathologist, doctor, teacher) must be willing to take responsibility of the gift card that downloads the applications.

For more information please visit the foundation's website: www.hollyrod.org