NECC 2008 – Other notes from the ISTE Digital Equity Summit

Here are the rest of my notes from ISTE’s annual digital equity summit at NECC

Discussions

  • Wyatt Sledge, Forth Worth (TX) ISD, told me that the district just hired a dedicated technology trainer for its administrators. Awesome!

Expert panel

Lara Sujo de Montes, New Mexico State University

  • Digital divide v. digital equity
    • Divide = lack of access to equipment
    • Inequity = lack of access to benefits of learning and using that equipment
  • Digital inequity reproduces existing social and socieconomic inequities
  • The Internet is 2/3 in English but only 10% of world population speaks English
  • Developing countries: rural, unemployed, uneducated farmers or unskilled wage laborers, subsisting on $1 or $2 per day, ethnolinguistic minorities
  • Request distance learning courses for high school students, develop online materials yourself (even for a traditional course), install Moodle

David Thornburg, Thornburg Center

  • Digital equity and space exploration as a STEM curriculum
  • Half of workers at Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will retire in the next decade; 15% of Boeing engineers are eligible to retire right now; we don’t have enough new people to replace them
  • We need to go beyond teaching about STEM and help students see themselves in those jobs
  • There is a lot of beauty and joy in STEM
  • In prison they let you out early for good behavior. Schools don’t do that.
  • I’m tired of corporations thinking of children as wallets with bodies.

Ashanti Jefferson, Chicago Public Schools

  • Described some of the work CPS is doing with its kids

Al Byers, National Science Teachers Association

  • NSTA Learning Center: significant gains in the learning of science teachers who participate in its online learning modules
  • Teachers must have a voice in their own professional development if we want to see positive results
  • If you include elementary and middle school teaches (who teach science but don’t think of themselves as science teachers), there are 2.1 million science teachers in the USA

Discussion

  • Thornburg: Students in affluent schools use technology in creative, innovative ways. Students in disadvantaged schools use computers for decontextualized drill-and-kill exercises.

5 Responses to “NECC 2008 – Other notes from the ISTE Digital Equity Summit”

  1. @Scott
    Thanks for sharing your notes from all these sessions. I couldn’t make it this year and I find your notes to be very helpful. All the best.

    Charlie Roy

  2. “David Thornburg, Thornburg Center
    * Digital equity and space exploration
    * We need to go beyond teaching about STEM and help students see themselves in those jobs
    * There is a lot of beauty and joy in STEM”

    I’m surprised the work of FIRST Robotics (www.usfirst.org), and to a lesser extent the VEX system, has not come up in discussion. Both use robotics in a competitive environment to help kids learn about STEM and to see themselves in the fields on engineering, science and math. You should see what these kids and mentors do. They do exactly what Mr. Thornburg is asking for.

  3. @Matthew: Cool! Thanks for sharing. I’ll check ’em out! (FYI, Thornburg only had 5 minutes)

    @Charlie: I was wondering if anyone was reading these. Glad they’re useful!

  4. Scott your notes are extremely helpful and accurate. I hope that people will remember that as we move from digital equity to digital opportunity we also progress the debate of “content vs. context”.

  5. Scott your notes are extremely helpful and accurate. I hope that people will remember that as we move from digital equity to digital opportunity we also progress the debate of “content vs. context”.

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