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Brits Propose Bridging Home-School Digital Divide

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  • Andy Carvin
    At the British Education Technology Show today, UK schools minister Jim Knight announced a new government goal of bringing Internet access to all students who
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 10, 2007
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      At the British Education Technology Show today, UK
      schools minister Jim Knight announced a new government
      goal of bringing Internet access to all students who
      don't already have it at home. Outlining a series of
      education technology initiatives, Knight stated he was
      launching a multi-stakeholder taskforce to develop a
      sustainable strategy for bridging this home-school
      digital divide.

      From his speech:

      The so-called digital divide cannot be allowed to
      create and reinforce social and academic divisions....
      With more than 800,000 children and young people still
      restricted to access at school, we run the risk that
      they could be isolated and left behind. There is no
      sense in asking every school to provide a learning
      platform to support children at home if some - likely
      to be the ones who might most benefit - are cut off
      from that platform.

      Today, I not only want to reinforce that commitment,
      but to talk further about our aspiration for universal
      home access and how that might be made a reality. The
      way to achieve this is by thinking both innovatively
      and practically, and to use the wisdom of those who
      really know what they are talking about. That's why we
      are relying on industry to help with this - and many
      thanks to Intel, RM and Dell who already doing just
      that. We need to come up with a sustainable solution
      which will work for future generations as well as this
      one, building on existing good practice rather than
      looking for a quick fix....

      I am setting up a Home Access Taskforce which I will
      personally chair. I want this to bring together key
      industry players, the voluntary sector, and education
      representatives to look at the issues. Because ICT at
      every child's fingertips is not the be-all and end-all
      of our ambitions. We need to make sure that schools
      and teachers can take full advantage, and parents too
      can play a significant role.

      More quotes here:

      http://www.andycarvin.com/archives/2007/01/brits_propose_bridging_homeschool_digita.html

      ------------------------
      Andy Carvin
      andycarvin at yahoo com
      www.andycarvin.com
      www.pbs.org/learningnow
      ------------------------
    • Nancy Willard
      ... One of the most important aspects of this ‹ actually THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect from my admittedly biased perspective ‹ is that parents must have a
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 10, 2007
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        >
        >
        > I am setting up a Home Access Taskforce which I will
        > personally chair. I want this to bring together key
        > industry players, the voluntary sector, and education
        > representatives to look at the issues. Because ICT at
        > every child's fingertips is not the be-all and end-all
        > of our ambitions. We need to make sure that schools
        > and teachers can take full advantage, and parents too
        > can play a significant role.

        One of the most important aspects of this ‹ actually THE MOST IMPORTANT
        aspect from my admittedly biased perspective ‹ is that parents must have a
        sufficient understanding of all of the risks and effective strategies to
        address those risks. I mean all risks ‹ not just the 3 p-¹s porn, predators,
        and privacy.

        For example, most of the most popular children¹s web sites are heavily
        involved in advergaming ‹ integrating commercial advertising into
        entertainment activities. So we have lots of kids sitting on their butts
        playing games that encourage them to eat junk food. And parents are largely
        unaware that this is occurring. I am going to be interviewed by Linda Neary
        of NPR on this issue tomorrow (not sure when the story will air).

        There also must be a strong focus on the quality of the online activities.
        Certainly, there are some benefits from surfing, gaming, and gabbing ‹ if
        kept in balance with other life activities. But how much of what young
        people are doing online is of high benefit to their life? How can we
        increase these kinds of activities and decrease the ³time-sink² activities
        that are doing more harm than good?

        Nancy

        --
        Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
        Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
        http://csriu.org
        http://cyberbully.org
        nwillard@...

        Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
        Cruelty, Threats, and Distress, a resource for educators, is now available
        online at http://cyberbully.org

        Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
        Internet Safely and Responsibly. Jossey-Bass (March 16, 2007)




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • tednellen
        oh man, andy, this is interesting. i love this and embraced it when we in the good ole us of a embraced this. our problem has been the freakin filter
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 10, 2007
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          oh man, andy, this is interesting.

          i love this and embraced it when we in the good ole us of a embraced this.
          our problem has been the freakin filter controlled by the religious right.
          we re screwed in schools. access is a crap shoot and usually in the
          House's favor. my main concern is does UK have a filter that would
          hamstring the schools? if so, forget it. if not, bully, and they should
          have no problem. just today i found my scholars' docs and spreadsheets at
          gooogle blocked. after too many hours of work on my part, it will be
          unblocked at next undated, by next monday. swell!

          the reason usa schools and education is so far backward and getter
          backwarder more every day, is the darn filter.

          and you know what they don't work. my scholars access myspace, youtube and
          other sites i cant get to unless i use their unfilter hack. okay so what
          kind of lesson is this teaching? america, dont ask dont tell.

          i would really love to know what Knight is going to do. but the question
          about a filter is crucial. does UK have filters in schools as we do?

          ted


          On Wed, 10 Jan 2007, Andy Carvin wrote:

          > At the British Education Technology Show today, UK
          > schools minister Jim Knight announced a new government
          > goal of bringing Internet access to all students who
          > don't already have it at home. Outlining a series of
          > education technology initiatives, Knight stated he was
          > launching a multi-stakeholder taskforce to develop a
          > sustainable strategy for bridging this home-school
          > digital divide.
          >
          > >From his speech:
          >
          > The so-called digital divide cannot be allowed to
          > create and reinforce social and academic divisions....
          > With more than 800,000 children and young people still
          > restricted to access at school, we run the risk that
          > they could be isolated and left behind. There is no
          > sense in asking every school to provide a learning
          > platform to support children at home if some - likely
          > to be the ones who might most benefit - are cut off
          > from that platform.
          >
          > Today, I not only want to reinforce that commitment,
          > but to talk further about our aspiration for universal
          > home access and how that might be made a reality. The
          > way to achieve this is by thinking both innovatively
          > and practically, and to use the wisdom of those who
          > really know what they are talking about. That's why we
          > are relying on industry to help with this - and many
          > thanks to Intel, RM and Dell who already doing just
          > that. We need to come up with a sustainable solution
          > which will work for future generations as well as this
          > one, building on existing good practice rather than
          > looking for a quick fix....
          >
          > I am setting up a Home Access Taskforce which I will
          > personally chair. I want this to bring together key
          > industry players, the voluntary sector, and education
          > representatives to look at the issues. Because ICT at
          > every child's fingertips is not the be-all and end-all
          > of our ambitions. We need to make sure that schools
          > and teachers can take full advantage, and parents too
          > can play a significant role.
          >
          > More quotes here:
          >
          > http://www.andycarvin.com/archives/2007/01/brits_propose_bridging_homeschool_digita.html
          >
          > ------------------------
          > Andy Carvin
          > andycarvin at yahoo com
          > www.andycarvin.com
          > www.pbs.org/learningnow
          > ------------------------
          >
          >
          > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
          > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --

          Ted Nellen 8-) http://www.tnellen.com/

          "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
          To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

          Buckminster Fuller
        • Andy Carvin
          Knight dedicated one sentence in his speech to this issue: And of course, all access to the internet by children must be safe access. He didn t elaborate.
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 10, 2007
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            Knight dedicated one sentence in his speech to this issue:

            "And of course, all access to the internet by children must be safe
            access."

            He didn't elaborate.

            Linda Neary is a cultural correspondent here at NPR, so it could be
            for a variety of our shows. I don't see anything scheduled for
            tomorrow, but Talk of the Nation (TOTN) is tentatively scheduled to do
            a call-in segment next Tuesday at 2-4pm ET on Dateline's online
            predator series. I've circulated materials from WWWEDU to TOTN's
            producers, so they might be reaching out to get an educational
            perspective. And of course, it's a call-in show, so all of you are
            more than welcome to call in and sound off.

            andy


            --- In wwwedu@yahoogroups.com, Nancy Willard <nwillard@...> wrote:
            >
            > >
            > >
            > > I am setting up a Home Access Taskforce which I will
            > > personally chair. I want this to bring together key
            > > industry players, the voluntary sector, and education
            > > representatives to look at the issues. Because ICT at
            > > every child's fingertips is not the be-all and end-all
            > > of our ambitions. We need to make sure that schools
            > > and teachers can take full advantage, and parents too
            > > can play a significant role.
            >
            > One of the most important aspects of this ‹ actually THE MOST IMPORTANT
            > aspect from my admittedly biased perspective ‹ is that parents must
            have a
            > sufficient understanding of all of the risks and effective strategies to
            > address those risks. I mean all risks ‹ not just the 3 p-¹s porn,
            predators,
            > and privacy.
            >
            > For example, most of the most popular children¹s web sites are heavily
            > involved in advergaming ‹ integrating commercial advertising into
            > entertainment activities. So we have lots of kids sitting on their butts
            > playing games that encourage them to eat junk food. And parents are
            largely
            > unaware that this is occurring. I am going to be interviewed by
            Linda Neary
            > of NPR on this issue tomorrow (not sure when the story will air).
            >
            > There also must be a strong focus on the quality of the online
            activities.
            > Certainly, there are some benefits from surfing, gaming, and gabbing
            ‹ if
            > kept in balance with other life activities. But how much of what young
            > people are doing online is of high benefit to their life? How can we
            > increase these kinds of activities and decrease the ³time-sink²
            activities
            > that are doing more harm than good?
            >
            > Nancy
            >
            > --
            > Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
            > Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
            > http://csriu.org
            > http://cyberbully.org
            > nwillard@...
            >
            > Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of
            Online Social
            > Cruelty, Threats, and Distress, a resource for educators, is now
            available
            > online at http://cyberbully.org
            >
            > Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to
            Use the
            > Internet Safely and Responsibly. Jossey-Bass (March 16, 2007)
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • mahlness
            ... This sounds all warm and cozy, headed in a politically correct direction, but... this effort will fall way short, and it comes way too late. Large
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 10, 2007
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              --- In wwwedu@yahoogroups.com, Andy Carvin <andycarvin@...> wrote:
              >
              > At the British Education Technology Show today, UK
              > schools minister Jim Knight announced a new government
              > goal of bringing Internet access to all students who
              > don't already have it at home. Outlining a series of
              > education technology initiatives, Knight stated he was
              > launching a multi-stakeholder taskforce to develop a
              > sustainable strategy for bridging this home-school
              > digital divide.

              This sounds all warm and cozy, headed in a politically correct
              direction, but... this effort will fall way short, and it comes way
              too late. Large organizations move at glacier speed, and our kids
              are moving at the speed of light - in terms of embracing new
              technologies.

              Last night I opened up my classroom blog to my students from last
              year. I emailed all their parents, inviting their kids back, as
              alumni. They have to trust me, as I'm no longer the teacher of their
              kids. Today I heard back from four of those parents (one while I was
              writing this), thankfully taking me up on the offer to reinstate the
              blogs of their kids. We'll see how it goes. I teach third grade.
              They are big time fourth graders now :)

              This is way uncharted territory. My school district is years away
              from understanding or embracing web 2.0. The teachers in my building
              are too overwhelmed prepping their kids for tests to even think
              about this. And parents are looking for guidance...

              Teachers must step up and be the trail blazers between school and
              home right now. I don't know how this can happen on a large scale,
              unsupported by the big machine. Maybe grassroots efforts can still
              make a difference. All I know is there are a few families in Seattle
              who were happy to hear from a teacher at their school talking about
              the Internet in a positive way last night, a teacher willing to hold
              a hand and keep looking forward. I encourage teachers everywhere to
              take a risk or two. Parents are listening, waiting to hear from
              you. - Mark

              Mark Ahlness
              http://roomtwelve.com
            • Steve Feld
              Here is a link to a recent article in the British Times Online about parents texting teachers http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2520873,00.html At the
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 11, 2007
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                Here is a link to a recent article in the British Times Online about
                parents texting teachers
                http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2520873,00.html


                At the FORWARD School of Creative Writing in the Bronx where I am
                currently serving as Technology Consultant, I've developed an
                Attendance System that enables parents and teachers to close the
                communication gap.

                This system integrates class attendance taking procedures to enable the
                teacher to utilize valuable instructional time to teach the lesson. The
                teacher initializes the program. It accurately records attendance data
                as the students scan in making them accountable for their own
                attendance. Once the scanning is complete, the program gives teachers
                access to the name of the students who are absent. It facilitates
                completion of attendance sheets.

                The data collected can be posted on the Internet at myclassinfo.org. The
                parents are invited by the teachers to be part of this community to
                access this list daily to discover if their child and their child's
                friend were present in specific classes. Personal messages can also be
                written to parents opting in to the system.

                Basically, parents also can check if their children cut school or class.
                Students are more likely to attend all their classes if they know their
                parents can check if they were cutting class on that day. The student
                instructional period is optimized. By the time the late bells rings,
                attendance is taken. The data collected for absentees can easily be used
                to send letters home using a word processor. This is especially
                important for students without phones or homes without Internet access.

                Here is a slide show presented to the parents at a recent Parent Teacher
                meeting. http://tqnyc.org/NYC051308/atm/ptaflip.htm

                Sincerely,
                Steve Feld
                Newton's Castle
                http://tqnyc.org/NYC051308

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