Learners/Students


Digital Equity & Literacy: Empowering All to Use Technology to Improve Life

As we address the challenges of digital equity and digital literacy we can benefit from the work of the past couple of decades by organizations and standards they have developed:

K-12 DIGITAL LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS/APPROACHES

  • ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education)
    International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a passionate community of global educators who believe in the power of technology to transform teaching and learning, accelerate innovation and solve tough problems in education.STE inspires the creation of solutions and connections that improve opportunities for all learners by delivering: practical guidance, evidence-based professional learning, virtual networks, thought-provoking events and the ISTE Standards.

CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

K-12 DIGITAL STANDARDS

CAREER TECHNICAL STANDARDS

SENIOR TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

My list of the tech skills seniors most want or need:

  1. Thinking about technology (look at things from a different perspective– above and at a slant)
  2. Feeling when things don’t work (mistakes are good- progress = knowing what did NOT work)
  3. Managing passwords (how to avoid frustration)
  4. Using smart phones- contract, type, service
  5. Smart phone- basics of email- sending, receiving, storing, searching
  6. Smart phone-photos- taking
  7. Smart phone-photos-storing and finding
  8. Smart phone-photos- sharing
  9. Smart phone–texts – individual and group
  10. Using social media- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tiktok
  11. Using a computer – parts of computer – mouse, trackpad, screen, camera, keyboard, USB port, power, display set up
  12. Internet browsing, searching, shopping, sharing
  13. Using applications- which to use, how to open, how to use
  14. Creating and saving documents
  15. Using spreadsheets
  16. Organizing- files, folders, desktop
  17. Using your computer network- printer, Internet server, tv
  18. Security-malware, file and online security

Authentic Assessment

The emergence of PBL (Project-Based Learning) has accelerated interest in “authentic assessment”– the evaluation of student work by rubric. This practice makes it possible for students to spend their time learning and for teachers to spend instructional time in support of student learning and progress rather than interrupting learning for testing or test prep.

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Pandemic Academic Regression? School Budget Shortfalls?

Across the country district and school leaders and staff, teachers, families and students are suffering the sudden change to staying at home. One of the very painful realities is that this pandemic is limiting learning for students from less affluent families more, widening the already unacceptable equity gap. Families with less income are more likely not to have Internet connections, or to have weak connections. The student may have no computer or tablet for their study, or they may have a device that cannot handle the challenges of web conferencing, advanced software, or rich media. In some families many children share one device and cannot complete their work or meet at the times teachers give lessons online. Parents in those families are less likely to be able to guide the students with the technology or the academics. Meanwhile, IB, AP, Honors, and self-motivated students with Internet and devices may actually speed ahead of the rate of learning they would have achieved in the school building. We have much to do to address these challenges.

In Hawai‘i, the only district that covers the whole state, it is difficult to measure given the district’s effort to leave decisions and implementation to the schools and complex areas. Parents for Public Schools of Hawai‘i surveyed parents and received a wide variety of responses on accessible Internet and devices, and in the ways in which technology is being used to support students and families during this shelter-in-home time. Honolulu Civil Beat reported on the difficulty getting data on the district’s pandemic response comparing it to efforts in Miami, Los Angeles and other cities.

As Miami’s school buildings closed, the district rushed to provide 90,000 more devices and around 11,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. 91% of Miami Dade students have logged in for virtual lessons.

“We are bracing ourselves for an unprecedented, historic academic regression experienced by our most fragile population of students.” — Alberto Carvahlo, Superintendent, Miami Dade Schools

The Los Angeles, CA Unified School District is spending $95 million to deliver hot spots and laptops to students to address the digital divide. The impact of technology and training needs on the budget is staggering. Overall effect on the LAUSD budget is pictured below. Click here to get to the EdSource article providing that chart and information on other districts facing these challenges.

Parent-Teacher-District Communications for Learning Progress

Parent engagement has a significant impact on student learning progress, comfort, and happiness.  Yet few schools or districts have yet designed systems that support ease and variety of two-way communications between district and parent and teacher and parent. We are gathering resources here to see how easy, empowering communications can be integrated into the learning management systems.

Given the explosion of virtual learning during  the pandemic, parents have been more involved in student learning providing a possible increase in the impact of parent engagement on student progress as well as an increase in utilization of technology learning tools  by teachers, students and parent.

A serious equity gap has widened given the disparity in student devices, Internet access, student, teacheer and parent technology app savvy, and parental knowledge of school processes and the curriculum.

We are gathering research and solutions here with an aim to find or create effective home-school communication to support student learning and family engagement.

How Two-Way Communication Can Boost Parent Engagement

Link to Waterford.org website– information and links to research on Parent/Teacher/District communications.

Communication Between Educators and Parents in Title I Elementary

A dissertation on parent/teacher communications, types and impacts,  in Title I schools.

Link to comparison of Schoolology, PowerSchool, and TalentLMS– learning management systems with extensive school-home communciations. https://comparisons.financesonline.com/schoology-vs-powerschool

Eric Paper on Two Way Parent Teacher Communication

Enhancing School–Home Communication Through Learning Management System Adoption: Parent and Teacher Perceptions and Practices, by Nora S. Laho (This paper examines usage of various communications methods after implementation of Schoology LMS.)

There IS hope for learning – IF we investigate, optimize, protect and invent

As we experience the digital transformation, it is hard to tell which efforts will last, what the impact will be on students who start playing with/learning through digital media at 3 years old or soon thereafter.

What happens to brains when youths take in a large part of their information from electronic sources rather than nature and in-person experiences?

How will youths integrate the knowledge they obtain?

Who will help youths (and all) to learn how to determine if the information received online is valid?

What will the physical, emotional, intellectual, motivational, and real-world career readiness effects be?

Smithsonian’s New Learning Lab–they will focus on learning how people are learning from their collections and resources.

AwesomeStories.com (which I have been working with for several years,) has launched “MakerSpace for the Humanities” enabling learners of all ages and teachers of all levels to engage in research and creation of new knowledge work– stories, papers, lessons– even e-books and whole year curricula. MakerSpace provides ways for learners to engage in the stories of humanity, learn actively and authentically, preparing for work and lives in the digital age.

Edutopia–continues to research and profile important strides in humanizing learning in the digital age through service learning, project-based learning, social and emotional learning and more.

Collective Shift— has been announced by the MacArthur Foundation. They are devoting $25million to “a new nonprofit whose mission is to redesign social systems for the connected age. With $25 million in seed funding, Collective Shift’s first project is LRNG, which is creating a 21st century ecosystem of learning that combines in-school, out-of-school, work-based, and online learning opportunities that are visible and accessible to all.” –

Valid yet: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching and Learning-

The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

  1. 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. 3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. 4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. 6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. 7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. 8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. 10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.