Welcome to the Generation YES Express
The news from Washington this month about cuts to federal funding for educational technology is certainly disappointing. But there is no reason to abandon your goals for effective technology professional development for teachers, increasing tech support to encourage teachers to use technology and improving student technology literacy. Generation YES schools know that involving students is an effective and sustainable way to make sure that classroom technology is used, and used well. Rather than looking at this loss of potential funds as a negative, you might be able to look at it as call to action to look to innovative, research proven models such as Generation YES offers.
We at Generation YES wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a fruitful new year, and we look forward to welcoming many more schools to our happy family in 2005.
What's New at Generation YES
Welcome New York City Schools!
As part of their EETT efforts, 21 NYC schools have started Gen Y programs for students to support teachers as they integrate technology to improve learning. In addition, six middle schools have adopted the TechYES program to ensure that their students are proficient with technology. Early success in these schools, located primarily in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Harlem, are quickening plans for further expansion of these programs in New York City.
Rochester Schools Start Generation TECH
Rochester, New York high school students are now working with district IT staff to ensure that their hardware, software and networks are functioning properly. The Generation TECH program resources and online tools provide the framework for effective and efficient technology infrastructure support by students.
Generation TECH Praised for Effectiveness
In the November 2004 issue of Technology & Learning, Generation TECH is mentioned as one of the "best-known" examples of "using student experts to help with tech support and professional development" in an article titled, Shoring Up Your Staff: Timely and Sustained Teacher Support, by Judy Salpeter. The article points out that Generation TECH is a "successful approach" that will "maximize the effectiveness of a small team of shared technology experts."
Michigan Laptop Program Pilots TechYES
Laptop schools throughout Michigan began delivering Generation TECH in the fall. Now, eight Michigan schools will pilot the TechYES program to increase the number of tech literate students that will help this initiative succeed.
Kansas Gen Y Students Take the Stage in Denver! (Photo diary)
At the NSBA T+L conference in Denver, three Gen Y students from Longfellow Middle School in Hill City, Kansas were invited to participate in an NSBA T+L2 session presented by Susan Patrick, Director of Education Technology for the U.S. Department of Education.
Jessi Day, Sara Favinger, and Amanda Eckols represented their school and all Gen Y students with a superb presentation about how they and other students have worked with their teachers to improve technology use throughout their school. Their school started with very little technology, but the students were able to do interesting things for the teachers and soon, the community, district and school board began to take notice. Their teacher, Scott Parker, and principal, Chris Terrill, recounted how the school has been able to get more funding for technology from the community because of the impressive projects and active involvement of the Gen Y students. Photos from the session are here: http://www.genyes.org/images/photodiary.html
News You Can Use
53 Million American Adult Internet Users use Instant Messaging
The Pew Internet Study found that 53 million American adult Internet users use instant messaging, 24% of them use IM more frequently than email. For the full report, please visit: http://www.pewinternet.org/report_display.asp?r=133
New Hampshire Schools Tap Into Cell Phone Usage for Education
Cell phones are one of most ubiquitous portable technology devices available to students. According to NetDay's "Speak Up Day for Students 2003" survey, 70% of students in grades 6-12 and 61% of students in grades 3-6 said they use a cell phone either in school or during their free time. To take advantage of this, 25 schools in New Hampshire are encouraging their students who own web-enabled cell phones to use them to access homework, class assignments, and other content. Full story at: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStoryts.cfm?ArticleID=5326
Youth and Technology Programs
In the Fall 2004 issue of Harvard Family Research Project's journal, The Evaluation Exchange, the issue topic is Harnessing Technology for Evaluation. The issue has a special section on how youth programs are using media and video production to engage youth in participatory evaluation, and the challenges and benefits of using technology in youth programming and other settings. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/hfrp/eval/issue27/index.html
The articles are:
Tech Tips Plus
Be the First in Your Pod
Podcasting, the new easy and inexpensive way to broadcast via the Internet holds great potential for schools. Unlike traditional downloaded or streamed audio, Podcasting software automatically finds new "shows" in your subscription list and puts them right on your iPod or favorite media player. You and your students can get in on the ground floor and be the Thomas Edison of this exciting new net revolution.
Gary Stager's education students at Pepperdine University have already podcast their first programs. You can find Gary's podcasting resources and tools at: http://www.stager.org/podcasting.html
Telling Digital Stories
A world of resources, examples and training opportunities to inspire your own digital storytelling tales! Visit the story-making steps, toolkits and galleries of digital stories designed to help jumpstart beginners and inspire veteran storytellers alike. This impressive website is the brainchild of our friend Bernajean Porter. http://www.digitales.us/
Google has another new innovation - Google Scholar that lets you search "for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research."
You can find Google Scholar at: http://scholar.google.com/ and find out how to use it at: http://scholar.google.com/scholar/about.html
Book Review: The BIG Picture by Dennis Littky
Dennis Littky has built remarkable schools across the country based on apprenticeship, authentic learning and meeting the needs of every child. Full of great student stories, big questions and thoughtful answers, there is something for everyone who cares about kids and what is possible in education. This terrific new book supports the Generation YES goals of making students partners in the learning process. To learn more about the Big Picture schools or to buy the book, go to http://www.bigpicture.org
Grants and Opportunities
Be a NASA Explorer School!
Each year, 50 new schools from across the country are chosen to partner with NASA in a program designed to bring engaging mathematics, science, and technology learning to educators, students, and families. Deadline: January 31, 2005. http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/portal/site/nes/
Hewlett-Packard Company - Technology for Teaching Grant
This grant initiative is designed to support the innovative use of mobile technology in K-16 education, and to help identify K-12 public schools and two- and four-year colleges and universities that HP might support with future grants. Deadline: February 15, 2005 (the application period opens Jan. 7, 2005). http://grants.hp.com/us/programs/tech_teaching/index.html
Microsoft Youth IT Challenge
Do your students have what it takes to run their own Internet business? The challenge is a 10-week program beginning January 8, 2005 designed to engage minority boys and girls in the development of an original IT business idea. The program is intended to help students learn team and leadership skills, generate discussion about technology and learn how that technology can be used to create a business. To be eligible for this program, students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and be an enrolled high school student between the ages of 14-18 in one of the participating city's vicinity (Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Paul and Washington DC) and have transportation to a local Urban League office. http://www.youthitchallenge.com
7th Annual Inspired Teacher Scholarships for Visual Learning
Inspiration Software is offering 30 scholarships of $750 each to K-20 educators who use graphic organizers and other visual learning tools to help students develop strong thinking and organizational skills and improve their academic performance. Deadline: January 27, 2005. More information at: http://www.inspiration.com/scholarship
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