Education Week - March 27, 2013 - (Page 17)
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
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,
Laptops for program implementation specialists at each school; new e-portfolio
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.
MARCH 27, 2013
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
For more information, call 1-800-313-9833,
email email@example.com, 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
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
'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
AMANDA GARDNER: The Many Keys To Radical Classroom Change
Education Week - March 27, 2013