Education Week - March 27, 2013 - (Page 17)

EDUCATION WEEK students by making them more responsible for their own learning. Students will start to align their learning and goals with career aspirations even in the early grades. “I’m not talking about making Einsteins out of 3-year-olds,” said George Wilson, the executive director of the Green River cooperative. “It’s about having them say: ‘What I do now matters about my future.’ ” In Charleston County, S.C., a new digital learning platform will serve as one-stop shopping for all student data so parents, teachers, and students can track academic progress. “One of the most important things we’re pushing is students owning their learning,” said Lisa Herring, the associate superintendent for academic and instructional support for the 45,000-student district. “But that also does not minimize the very important role of the teacher.” Getting students engaged in their own learning—and allowing them to pursue their own interests—is a common strategy of the winning districts. The 24,400-student Harmony public schools, a charter school network in Texas, has designed a “custom day” with two hours of flextime for students to receive remediation in math or English/language arts, take advanced classes in those subjects, or pursue electives. The Iredell-Statesville district in North Carolina gives students 30 minutes of “swag time” (shorthand for one high school’s Supporting Warriors to Achieve Greatness program) to pursue personal interests—learning to play the guitar or practicing French, for example. That is just a small part of a much more comprehensive approach to customized learning, district officials say. “I think the biggest change is the way instruction is delivered. This is a major culture shift,” said Melanie Taylor, an associate superintendent of the 20,000-student IredellStatesville schools. Making the change means incorporating digital learning into the classroom, but it also means using “blended learning coaches” in each building who can help IredellStatesville teachers use new technology and smaller-group instruction in their daily lessons. “There’s less lecture, less students sitting in desk. There will be more of a rotation around project-based learning and smallgroup instruction, and more work happening on a device,” said Kelly Marcy, the executive director of student services. “More subtle will be that the teacher is the leader.” Coverage of “deeper learning” that will prepare students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world is supported in part by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, at TECHNOLOGY NEEDS Laptops for program implementation specialists at each school; new e-portfolio software. Mobile device for every student and teacher. Increased access for students and teachers to "virtual learning devices." Wi-Fi on school buses, with access expanded later to churches and businesses. Mobile, hand-held device for each student and teacher, which features digital content, online learning platform, instructional software, subscriptions. Portable devices for each student to take home. n MARCH 27, 2013 n 17 Project Aims to Expand Web Access By Ian Quillen After nearly 18 months of recruiting partners, piloting outreach methods, and finalizing strategies, the triple threat of discounted broadband Internet, low-cost computers, and free digital literacy instruction became available last week to those who qualify through the Connect to Compete initiative. The nonprofit organization, which grew out of a program launched by the Federal Communications Commission in 2011, is backed by various philanthropic organizations. Now comes what might be the harder part: getting people who need the help to take advantage of it. With the ambitious goal of putting broadband connections in the homes of all 100 million Americans—including tens of millions of students—estimated not to have them, the nonprofit organization and its partners will now need to entice citizens to take part in the program. The discounts themselves should be enough for some people; Internet providers such as the Philadelphiabased Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. of Atlanta, and Freedom Pop of Los Angeles are offering qualifying households broadband- or wireless-access plans for less than $10 per month. Participating hardware vendors also will sell new or refurbished computers to participants for less than $200. “The real value here is in the access to the digital tools, the low-cost Internet and computers,” said Zach Leverenz, the chief executive officer of Connect to Compete, which officially launched its services March 21. “This is going to get past these [long-standing] barriers on costs and access.” Further, some participating companies and organizations already began their efforts ahead and independent of Connect to Compete, and have already been publicizing the undertaking. The corresponding unveiling of the “EveryoneOn” advertising campaign, managed by the Washington-based Ad Council, should help give the partnership more publicity. For the initiative to be successful, particularly in the underprivileged communities where connectivity is a challenge, it may also take the intervention of educators and advocates to promote its benefits. Although Connect to Compete is not explicitly an education initiative, qualification for many of the discounts for Internet and hardware are dependent on households having children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program. “From an educational standpoint, connectivity is the key to ensuring students have access to the best materials for learning,” said Richard Culatta, the acting director of the U.S. Department of Education’s office of educational technology. “We need to support teachers to help them take advantage of technology in effective ways.” Several initiatives within the Education Department should help fuel more effective use of the Connect to Compete program by students, parents, and educators, Mr. Culatta said. For example, Connect to Compete may help replicate efforts to personalize learning now under way among winners of the $400 million in federal Race to the Top competitive district grants, he said. Getting the Word Out The Ad Council has a history of creating child-friendly advertising with characters like McGruff the crime dog, Smokey Bear, and Vince and Larry, the Crash Test Dummies. But the “EveryoneOn” campaign will mainly target adults, particularly those who may be apprehensive about online technology, said Priscilla Natkins, the council’s executive vice president and director of client services. The council will measure people’s attitudes toward home Internet use before and after the campaign launch, as well as monitor traffic on the campaign’s website and to its toll-free number, to judge the campaign’s effectiveness, Ms. Natkins said. Typically, such efforts take a few years to build steam, she added, one reason that partners such as the New York-based aol Inc. and Monster Worldwide Inc., and Facebook Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., have been asked to give a three-year commitment to the project. Other companies that started their own connectivity initiatives before signing on as part of Connect to Compete have been using educational institutions to get the word out. For example, Microsoft Corp., which is participating as a computer vendor, originally targeted its own outreach, instituted in September 2011, toward teachers, providing them modest discounts on hardware and steeper discounts on software. James P. Steyer, the chief executive officer of the San Franciscobased youth media watchdog Common Sense Media, says the importance of relationships with schools should be understood and embraced in all facets of Connect to Compete, but particularly in its attempt to provide digital literacy training at community centers across the nation. Some 21,000 community sites, including many libraries and some community centers under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are expected to be used for that purpose, according to a press release. “There is no question there’s a great nexus between using schools to educate not only teachers but the parents about digital literacy and digital citizenship,” said Mr. Steyer in an interview. His organization partnered with Comcast on its Internet Essentials project and is also on the partners list for Connect to Compete. Ian Quillen is a Baltimore-based writer. Assistant Editor Sean Cavanagh contributed to this report. Offer more books on digital devices, add adaptive reading software to computer labs, create a tablet "app" for educator observation tool. A Fast Track Traditional Ed.D. Digital device for each student to take home. Scale up iPad distribution for teachers, increase iPad and computer access for students, increase use of software such as Dreambox for math, create online observational platform for teacher evaluations. Why more administrators have chosen Seton Hall University’s Executive Ed.D. Program: Netbooks, tablets, or mobile devices to take home. • National/International Reputation • Dissertation Starts on Day One • Cohort Model of 30 Students • Intensive 2-year program: 10 Weekends, Two 4 week Summer sessions. • Personal Care and Support Laptops in 30 wireless, high school English classrooms; 6,750 iPads across all grades; $25 in apps per iPad per year; 110 fortified iPads for special needs students; 500 additional wireless access points for high-density buildings. iPads or similar tablets for all students in grades 8-12; 40 Chrome notebooks for elementary students. Now Accepting Applications for Cohort XVIII Broadband devices for take-home use for 4,500 students and 170 teachers in high school, and 430 teachers and 8,400 students in middle school. New digital tools, to be determined, to personalize STEM learning. Wireless technology for renovated math classrooms; 30 laptops per classroom for students to take home; 60 laptops per classroom for in-school use; laptops for 147 teachers. Each "innovation center" high school student will have a technology device. —MICHELE McNEIL SOURCES: U.S. Department of Education; Individual District Applications “The knowledge and skills acquired at Seton Hall and the network of cohort colleagues were essential elements to my career advancement.” Jason E. Glass, Ed.D. ’11 Iowa’s State Director (Commissioner) of Education For more information, call 1-800-313-9833, email, or go to 400 South Orange Ave. • South Orange, NJ 07079

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 27, 2013

Education Week - March 27, 2013
N.Y.C. System School-Match Gaps Tracked
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Educators Questioning Timing of
Resident Teachers Are Getting More ‘Practice’
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Race to Top Districts ‘Personalize’ Plans
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Study Finds Gaps in ‘College Ready’ Math Offerings
Early-Algebra Push Found to Yield No NAEP Boost
Math Teachers Break Down Standards For At-Risk Students
More Teachers Group Students by Ability
San Diego Superintendent Pick Has Deep Parental Ties
Partnership Combines Science Instruction and English Learning
States’ Score Cards Pinpoint Problems Of School Climate
Experts: Later School Start Helps Sleep-Deprived Teens
Blogs of the Week
Project Aims to Expand Web Access
New NAEP Demands Application of Knowledge
Elementary Students Tackling Windmills
Policy Brief
'Parent Trigger’ Laws Catching Fresh Wave
School Angles Seen in Same-Sex-Marriage Cases
‘Sequester’ Cuts Still in Place Amid Budget Wrangling
Political Storm Rages as Acting N.M. Chief Presses on With Job
Congress Eyes Pre-K
REGIS ANNE SHIELDS & KAREN HAWLEY MILES: Want Effective Teachers? Think About Your Value Proposition
ALISON CROWLEY: Getting Rid of the GPS: Teaching the Common Standards in Math
STEPHEN R. HERR: Celebrating Without Accomplishing
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment
AMANDA GARDNER: The Many Keys To Radical Classroom Change

Education Week - March 27, 2013