Tag Archives: Digital Divide

The ‘Common Application’ evolves

13 May

Moi wrote about the “Common Application” in Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’:
Many students are preparing to apply to college and they will be using the “Common Application” which is used by over 450 universities including some international schools. https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/FAQ.aspx
In addition to U.S. colleges, colleges in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland use the “Common Application.” For a good synopsis of the pros and cons of using the application, go to Should I Use The Common Application? http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-experts/2011/09/07/should-i-use-the-common-application
Jacques Steinberg reported about problems with the “Common Application” in 2010. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2013744243_application23.html

It has been a year of challenges for the Common Application. Kimberly Hefling, AP Education Writer reported in the article, Common Application Makes Changes After Tough Year:

“Given the year we just had, we can’t be complacent about any of this,” Eric Furda, the dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, said during a media briefing. Furda is president-elect of the board of the not-for-profit Common Application membership organization.
The most common problems experienced by students were related to essay formatting, difficulty submitting an application and the inability to determine if they had paid application fees, Furda said. Higher education institutions complained about not being able to pull up documents that had been submitted.
Because of the problems, many colleges and universities extended application deadlines, and some began accepting applications from competing programs.
Furda said most of the problems were corrected by the end of 2013, but challenges persisted.
A review conducted by an outside firm determined that the technology had been rolled out without first being properly tested…http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/common-application-makes-tough-year-23658956

See, Fixing the Common App http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/11/common-application-releases-consultant-report-technical-problems#sthash.9yHgRCsc.dpbs
Jacques Steinberg reported about problems with the “Common Application” in 2010. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2013744243_application23.html
Eric Hoover reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Common Application’s Leaders Get an Earful http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/common-applications-leaders-get-an-earful/36589?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en
In addition to technical problems, the application is facing a law suit.

Eric Hoover reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Has Common App Turned Admissions Into a ‘Straitjacketed Ward of Uniformity’?

Anyone in the mood for colorful renderings of the big business built around the college-admissions process should read the lawsuit filed last week against the Common Application in a federal court in Oregon. The nonprofit group behind the ever-growing online application, a competitor asserts, “has orchestrated a sea change in the student-application process, turning a once vibrant, diverse, and highly competitive market into a straitjacketed ward of uniformity.”
The complaint was brought by CollegeNet Inc., a technology company in Portland, Ore., that builds customized application-processing systems for colleges. CollegeNet argues that the Common Application, which has more than 500 member colleges, has violated federal antitrust laws.
“As colleges are increasingly compelled to join the Common Application,” the lawsuit says, it “is poised to eliminate competition in the broader market within a few short years.”
Over the last decade or so, CollegeNet has lost many customers to the Common Application, whose fee structure rewards member colleges that use its application exclusively. While reporting on the Common App’s growth last year, I talked to Jim Wolfston, CollegeNet’s chief executive, who described his concerns about his competitor….
The Common Application’s leaders have long asserted that increased applications are a side effect of membership—not the organization’s raison d’être. That question aside, the Common App has great influence over the application process at most of the nation’s high-profile colleges.
Whether or not CollegeNet’s legal arguments have merit, some passages in the complaint reflect concerns that admissions officials share. Namely, that the Common App has become too—pick your word—big, dominant, powerful within the realm of selective admissions. (Read all about that here.)
Although the Common App is the biggest fish in the pond, it’s worth noting that plenty of its member colleges use at least one other application, too. Last week, for instance, six colleges announced that they would also accept the Universal College Application, joining 12 institutions that have signed on since last fall. Following months of technical problems with the Common App, some colleges that had used it exclusively have decided not to keep all their eggs in one basket.
After a tumultuous fall, the Common Application’s leaders are doing some soul-searching. Recently, the group’s Board of Directors commissioned an independent review of the organization. One finding was that the Common App’s pricing structure “may be at odds with the mission…. http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/has-common-app-turned-admissions-into-a-straitjacketed-ward-of-uniformity/38299?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Applying to a college is just the first step. Students and families also have to consider the cost of particular college options.

Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn wrote the article, With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs.

Resources:

College Preparation Checklist Brochure http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/college-prep-checklist.pdf

Federal Student Aid At A Glance http://www.emory.edu/FINANCIAL_AID/docs/Federal%20Aid%20at%20a%20Glance.pdf

Related:

The digital divide affects the college application process https://drwilda.com/2012/12/08/the-digital-divide-affects-the-college-application-process/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

That Facebook post may affect your college acceptance

11 Nov

Moi wrote in More prospective college students getting deferral letters: Many parents and students spend the junior and senior years of the child’s high school education preparing for the child’s entrance into hopefully, the college of their choice. Kristina Dell has a great article at the Daily Beast, 10 College Admission Trends http://www.zencollegelife.com/10-college-admission-trends-you-should-know/ about the difficulties students will encounter when applying to college. So, students and families applying to colleges will have to apply to more schools. College.Com has some great suggestions for a good campus tour http://www.gocollege.com/admissions/college-search/campus-tours/ For many families, the expense of a college tour is very difficult considering they are having a difficult time even affording college. Kiplinger has some good suggestions about how to keep costs in check in the article Make The Most of A Campus Tour http://www.kiplinger.com/article/college/T042-C000-S001-make-the-most-of-a-campus-tour.html Many families cannot afford the costs of going to college out of their area, so they will be considering community colleges and colleges close to their home. See, College Tour Checklist, What to Look For http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/college-tour-checklist/story?id=10119635

The College Board has a checklist for the college bound:

The Application
Narrow the List
• How Many College Applications?
• Tips for Finding Your College Match
• Student Search Service® (SSS®)
• What Selectivity Means for You
• Avoid Sending Too Many Applications
Get Organized
• College Application Calendar
• College Application Checklist
• Create a College List
• Your Counselor and the Application Process
Application Elements
• What to Include in Your College Application
• Is Part of Your College Application Really Missing? New!
• Preparing for Admission Tests
• Letters of Recommendation
• The College Interview
• Interview Checklist
• Practice Interviews
Admission Tips
• Early Decision and Early Action
• College Application FAQs
• Home-Schooled Students and College Admission
• What to Do About Senioritis
• College Application Fee Waivers
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/applying-101/college-application-checklist

Parents and students can meet all the deadlines, complete all the forms, and provide all the supporting documentation required and still not be admitted to the college of their choice. Increasingly, students are being put on deferral lists. Add another item to the checklist, making sure your online reputation is appropriate.

Natasha Singer wrote in the New York Times article, In College Admissions, Social Media Can Be a Double-Edged Sword:

When I wrote my Technophoria column this weekend about how some college admissions officers have occasionally identified social media posts that negatively affected applicants’ chances of acceptance, I assumed the phenomenon would not come as news to the parents of high school students.
After all, I came up with the idea for the piece after learning from a friend that her child, a high school senior who is applying for early admission to college this week, had recently taken a pseudonym on Facebook — a common phenomenon at certain schools.
In fact, the column pointed out that colleges don’t vet applicants’ personal social networking pages as a routine practice; the admissions officials I interviewed said they typically scrutinized social media only if outside sources alerted them to extreme posts like hate speech.
But, on Facebook and Twitter, scores of principals, guidance counselors, teachers and parents took the piece as an opportunity to caution teenagers who bare and publicly share their heartstrings.
Or as an opportunity to educate their parents:
Certainly, the idea of admissions officers randomly vetting the online remarks of a few high school students raises legitimate concerns: colleges could arbitrarily discover seemingly troubled comments by a handful of applicants and deny them admission — without telling them why.
That notion sparked a conversation about what adults, and teenagers, may take for granted as being private or restricted.
Rather than restrict their online engagement during the admissions process, however, some students are beefing up their social media activities in an effort to distinguish themselves in an ocean of college hopefuls.
Take Bernie Zak, who last spring was placed on a wait list for acceptance by the University of California, Los Angeles, his top choice.
After he learned he was on the waiting list, Mr. Zak promptly overhauled his Twitter account, deleting any “moderately risqué Tweets or curses,” he told me last week. Then he started an online campaign publicly touting his virtues, often self-deprecatory, with the hashtag #AcceptBernieUCLA.
“I wanted to get the university’s attention,” Mr. Zak told me. “I was just another name, just another number. I wanted to be unique.”
Did Mr. Zak’s Twitter campaign succeed?
Last week, I emailed U.C.L.A. asking for general information about whether admissions officers there vetted applicants’ use of social media.
In an email, Gary A. Clark Jr., the school’s director of undergraduate admission, replied: “We neither seek nor utilize information related to an applicant’s social media use (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in the process of evaluating applications for admission to U.C.L.A.”
That said, Mr. Zak is now partway through his first semester at U.C.L.A. He is a majoring in economics and political science.
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/11/in-college-admissions-social-media-can-be-a-double-edged-sword/?ref=education&_r=0

Most people pay little attention to their online reputation.

Moi wrote in Scrubbing your online reputation: Yes, words can hurt: Back in the day, folks had to worry about their reputation in their local community. With the advent of social media, the community is now global and folks have to worry about their global reputation.
Because a person’s reputation is key to future opportunities of all types, a new business of helping people rid themselves of unwanted online information is developing. Lini S. Kadaba of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote in the article, Online Reputation Can Make or Break Opportunities http://seattletimes.com/html/living/2013502244_webweb29.html

Scholarships.com offers advice in the article Social Networking Sites and College Admissions: How to Stand Out from the Competition in a Good Way:

Think before you tweet or post. Mark Zuckerberg himself learned that what you post online lives on forever and probably wishes he thought a little more about some of the information he uploaded. The negative can come back to bite you, as can something you thought was funny at the time (if you saw “The Social Network,” you know it’s not advisable to drink and blog); other people are going to see what you publish so if you have even an inkling that what you’re about to post will make you look bad, don’t share it.
Adjust your privacy settings. Tweaking what others can see is easy with customizable privacy settings, which are available on both sites. On Twitter, you can choose to protect your tweets (meaning anyone who wants to access your 140-character musings will need your approval first) while Facebook allows its users to adjust their settings on a friend-by-friend basis. It’s a feature many students overlook in the short run but its long-term value is immeasurable.
Be more than a blip on the radar. Want your intended school to know you’re serious about wanting to attend? Show them not just by “liking” them on Facebook and following their Twitter feeds but by commenting on their posts with insight of your own. Tagging or @replying the school will ensure your response will be seen but if you prefer to just observe, incorporate the topics that appear with the highest frequency or elicit the most feedback into your application essays or interviews. This extra step won’t go unnoticed and could give you an advantage over another applicant.
http://www.scholarships.com/resources/college-prep/applying/social-networking-sites-and-college-admissions-how-to-stand-out-from-the-competition-in-a-good-way/

To quote Clint Eastwood in “Heartbreak Ridge,” “Shut your face, hippy.”

“How would your life be different if…You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“Gossip is just a tool to distract people who have nothing better to do from feeling jealous of those few of us still remaining with noble hearts.”
Anna Godbersen, Splendor

“Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth. ”
Will Rogers

“Allow enemies their space to hate; they will destroy themselves in the process.”
Lisa Du

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

The ‘Common College Application’ has issues

25 Sep

Moi wrote about the “Common Application” in Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’: Many students are preparing to apply to college and they will be using the “Common Application” which is used by over 450 universities including some international schools. According to the “Common Application” site:

GENERAL QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE COMMON APPLICATION?
The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions by providing an admission application – online and in print – that students may submit to any of our 456 members.
The Common App Online Demo for Students (Flash Movi
WHY USE IT?
Once completed online or in print, copies of the Application for Undergraduate Admission can be sent to any number of participating colleges. The same is true of the School Report, Optional Report, Midyear Report, Final Report and Teacher Evaluation forms. This allows you to spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on what’s really important: college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework.
IS IT WIDELY USED?
Absolutely! Millions of Common Applications are printed and accepted by our members each year. In addition, last year almost 2.5 million applications were submitted via the Common App Online.
IS IT TREATED FAIRLY?
YES! Our college and university members have worked together over the past 35 years to develop the application. All members fully support its use, and all give equal consideration to the Common Application and the college’s own form. Many of our members use the Common Application as their only undergraduate admission application.
CAN ALL COLLEGES PARTICIPATE?
Membership is limited to colleges and universities that evaluate students using a holistic selection process. A holistic process includes subjective as well as objective criteria, including at least one recommendation form, at least one untimed essay, and broader campus diversity considerations. The vast majority of colleges and universities in the US use only objective criteria – grades and test scores – and therefore are not eligible to join. If a college or university is not listed on this website, they are not members of the consortium. Sending the Common Application to non-members is prohibited.
WHAT IS THE COMMON APP ONLINE SCHOOL FORMS SYSTEM?
As part of the application process, schools require a variety of information to be provided by teachers and guidance counselors who have interacted with you in the high school environment. Until last year, those forms were only available as PDF files that could be printed, copied, and mailed to the appropriate colleges. Now each teacher and counselor will have the option to complete the forms online via the Common App Online School Forms system if they desire. There is no cost to you or high schools, and using the online system is completely optional for your teachers and counselor.
When you create an account on the Common App Online, you must first indicate what high school you attend. Once this information has been saved, you can access a ‘School Forms’ section of the Common App where teachers and counselors can be identified. By adding a teacher or counselor to the list of school officials, an email is triggered to the teacher or counselor with information about how to log into the Online School Forms system or how to opt for the “offline” or paper process. You are then able to track the progress of your various teachers and counselors via a screen within the Common App Online.
The Common App Online School Forms System Demo (Flash Movie)

WHAT IF I’M A TRANSFER STUDENT?
There’s a Common Application for Transfer Admission as well as First-Year Admission. The Transfer Application is available primarily for online submission; however, the form can be downloaded in PDF format from ourDownload Forms page.
https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/FAQ.aspx

In addition to U.S. colleges, colleges in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland use the “Common Application.” For a good synopsis of the pros and cons of using the application, go to Should I Use The Common Application? http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-experts/2011/09/07/should-i-use-the-common-application

Jacques Steinberg reported about problems with the “Common Application” in 2010. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2013744243_application23.html

Eric Hoover reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Common Application’s Leaders Get an Earful:

For weeks, technical difficulties have prevented many institutions from processing the applications they have received through the Common Application. Further delays, some deans said, would keep their staffs from getting decisions back to applicants on time.
Some background: An overhauled Common Application, years in the making, went live on August 1. The new platform, built to handle an ever-increasing volume of applications from around the world, included various enhancements, many of which college counselors and admissions officers liked. Within the first 20 minutes, 1,000 students in a dozen countries had registered, and within six weeks, nearly 600,000 students had created profiles.
While applicants were typing away, however, an array of problems emerged. In short, some components of the new Common Application didn’t get up and running all at once. As of late August, some institutions, including the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, still did not have live supplements, which include additional questions and essay prompts. Without completing those supplements, an applicant can’t submit an application to a given college.
At Thursday’s session, admissions officers described another problem: The inability to import all the data they receive via the Common Application into their own information systems, so they can start reviewing applications. ”They’re coming in,” said one dean, “but we can’t get to them.” Another dean said his technology staff had offered a diagnosis: “It was a botched implementation.”
My understanding of the complex issue: The construction of the massive new platform got behind schedule, colleges had little or no time to test it before applications started rolling in, and larger-than-anticipated problems arose when colleges tried to get the Common Application’s system to “talk” to their own student-information templates. Solutions to those problems are still being hammered out….
Clark Brigger, senior associate director for undergraduate admissions at Michigan, used a vehicular metaphor. The new Common Application “purported to have a great engine, it looked good on the outside,” he said. “It rolled off the assembly line without the wheels, and didn’t even have the axles to put the wheels on.”
If nothing else, this saga reveals just how much colleges have come to depend on those wheels….http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/common-applications-leaders-get-an-earful/36589?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Nancy Greisemer posts College Explorations great information about the “Common Application.”

In 5 things you should know about the new Common Application, Greisemer advises:

In the meantime, here are five things you might want to know about the new Common Application:

1. Registration
Before you begin the Common Application, you need to register. This isn’t complicated, but you will need to come up with a password that is between 8 and 16 characters, has at least one upper and one lower case alphabetic character, and at least one numeric (1,2,3, etc.) and one non-alpha-numeric (*, &, $, etc.) character. And you need to make sure you provide a working email address—preferably one you check regularly. This is also where you provide permission for the Common App to give your contact information to colleges. If you agree to the information-sharing, expect to receive mail from colleges on your list. Hint: This can be a form of “demonstrated interest.”

2. College Pages and Writing Supplements
According to the Common App, the launch of the new application revealed a “complex technical issue that did not appear in testing.” The problem prompted the technical staff to temporarily suspend the college pages (submitted with the application) and writing supplements (submitted separately). Although the issue has been resolved, these elements of the application are slowly being added and not all colleges have complete applications online (as of this writing). To help applicants sort through this issue, the CA Help Center now includes a list of colleges ready to accept complete applications and writing supplements. Bottom line: Be patient.

3. Testing
A couple of new and unexpected questions have appeared relative to standardized testing. If you decide to report SAT and/or ACT scores on the Common Application, you will need to tell how many times you took each test. This twist, which appears to run counter to what’s allowed under Score Choice, may make many students decide to not self-report scores—an optional part of the application. Note that whether you choose to fill out this section of the application or not, you will still need to have an official score report sent from a testing agency—the ACT or the College Board. Also be aware that the question about “leaving examinations” is meant only for international applicants. Skip it if it does not pertain.

4. Recommendations
The new Common App recommender system will eventually offer counselors, teachers and others a tool for tracking students and submitting school forms online. Students are now able to invite recommenders and those recommenders will be able to log in, view students, and complete a profile. Completion and submission of individual school forms, however, will be temporarily delayed and will roll out on August 19—or thereabouts. Bottom line: This really isn’t your problem and will sort itself out soon.

5. Print Preview
The new Common Application forces applicants to complete an application and begin the submission process before being offered the opportunity to Print Preview their work. Don’t let this hang you up. And don’t be confused by what appears in text boxes or on the “working version” of your application. Simply work through an application, paste in your personal statement and additional information (if appropriate), answer college-specific questions, and invite recommenders. Then begin the submission process. A .pdf will appear which you can save and/or print out. Continue to the next step and accept the offer to return to your dashboard. You may then edit your application. Note that once an application has actually been submitted you will have two opportunities to change your essay—only up to three separate versions are allowed by the new Common Application.

The Common App is using Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the Help Center and a growing Knowledgebase to answer questions and keep applicants, their families and advisors up-to-date on changes, revisions, and improvements to the application. Feel free to direct your questions to the Help Center, as it helps inform the technical staff of issues the average user encounters while completing the application.
And you may find your particular problem is easily resolved. http://collegeexplorations.blogspot.com/2013/08/5-things-you-should-know-about-new.html

You must check your work before submitting your application and if you have questions, contact the Help Center.

Resources:

College Preparation Checklist Brochure
http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/college-prep-checklist.pdf

Federal Student Aid At A Glance
http://www.emory.edu/FINANCIAL_AID/docs/Federal%20Aid%20at%20a%20Glance.pdf

Related:

The digital divide affects the college application process
https://drwilda.com/2012/12/08/the-digital-divide-affects-the-college-application-process/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

NEA policy statement on blended digital learning

27 Jul

Moi wrote in The digital divide in classrooms:
One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense. http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/57449/digitaldivide.pdf

Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education.

Jim Jansen reports in the Pew Internet report, Use of the internet in higher-income households:

Those in higher-income households are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use.
95% of those in households earning over $75,000 use the internet and cell phones
Those in higher-income households are more likely to use the internet on any given day, own multiple internet-ready devices, do things involving money online, and get news online.
Some 95% of Americans who live in households earning $75,000 or more a year use the internet at least occasionally, compared with 70% of those living in households earning less than $75,000.
Even among those who use the internet, the well off are more likely than those with less income to use technology. Of those 95% of higher-income internet users:
o 99% use the internet at home, compared with 93% of the internet users in lower brackets.
o 93% of higher-income home internet users have some type of broadband connection versus 85% of the internet users who live in households earning less than $75,000 per year. That translates into 87% of all those in live in those better-off households having broadband at home.
o 95% of higher-income households own some type of cell phone compared with 83% in households with less income.
The differences among income cohorts apply to other technology as well
The relatively well-to-do are also more likely than those in lesser-income households to own a variety of information and communications gear.3
o 79% of those living in households earning $75,000 or more own desktop computers, compared with 55% of those living in less well-off homes.
o 79% of those living in higher-income households own laptops, compared with 47% of those living in less well-off homes.
o 70% of those living in higher-income households own iPods or other MP3 players, compared with 42% of those living in less well-off homes.
o 54% of those living in higher-income households own game consoles, compared with 41% of those living in less well-off homes.
o 12% of those living in higher-income households own e-book readers such as Kindles, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes.
o 9% of those living in higher-income households own tablet computers such as iPads, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Better-off-households.aspx
Read Full Report
o View Online
o Download
Explore Survey Questions
o View Online

Unless school leadership is very innovative in seeking grants and/or outside assistance or the school has been adopted by a technology angel, poorer schools are likely to be far behind their more affluent peers in the acquisition of technology. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Stephen Sawchuck wrote in the Education Week article, NEA Digital-Learning Policy Eschews Online-Only Instruction:

It is the union’s first attempt to update its policies in this area in 11 years. And in a sense, it outlines the NEA’s best hopes and worst fears about the exploding digital-learning movement and all it encompasses.
For instance, the statement says that optimal learning environments “should neither be totally technology free, nor should they be totally online and devoid of educator interaction.” While there is no one best approach, it continues, each student should receive the appropriate blend of face-to-face and technology-facilitated learning, as determined by professional educators.
The statement is fairly dense, but here are some of the important highlights. Among other things, the statement says:
• That the use of technology must be “defined by educators rather than entities driven for for-profit motives.”
• Equity of access to broadband Internet and hardware is a prerequisite to meet all students’ needs, and technology is a tool that “assists and enhances the learning process,” but is not “the driver” of digital-learning plans.
• Teachers must have professional development to effectively use technology.
• Teachers should own the copyright to materials they create digitally (this is a gray area in online lesson-sharing sites).
• Technology should not be used to replace educational employees or limit their employment.
• Teachers of online learning should be fully qualified, certified, and licensed.
The policy was drafted by a committee headed by Paul Toner, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and Christy Levings, a member of the NEA’s executive committee. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2013/07/nea_digital-learning_policy_es.html

Here is the policy statement:

NEA Policy Statement on Digital Learning
In the fast-paced, worldwide, competitive workplace we now live in, our traditional school models are not capable of meeting the needs of the 21st century student. All students—pre-k through graduate students—need to develop advanced critical thinking and information literacy skills and master new digital tools. At the same time, they need to develop the initiative to become self-directed learners while adapting to the ever-changing digital information landscape.
This shifting landscape creates new opportunities for NEA, our affiliates, our members, and our profession in preschools, public elementary and secondary schools, and postsecondary institutions. The appropriate use of technology in education—as defined by educators rather than entities driven by for-profit motives—will improve student learning, quality of instruction, and education employee effectiveness, and will provide opportunities to eradicate educational inequities.
Digital technologies create new opportunities for accelerating, expanding, and individualizing learning. Our members and students are already actively engaged in building the schools and campuses of the future—including quality online communities. Increasingly, teachers, faculty, and staff are becoming curriculum designers who orchestrate the delivery of content using multiple instructional methods and technologies both within and beyond the traditional instructional day. Teaching and learning can now occur beyond the limitations of time and space.
NEA embraces this new environment and these new technologies to better prepare our students for college and for 21st century careers.
Ensure Equity to Meet the Needs of Every Student
NEA believes that educational programs and strategies designed to close the achievement and digital gaps must address equity issues related to broadband Internet access, software and technical support, and hardware maintenance. Also, technical support must be adequate to ensure that digital classrooms function properly and reliably for both educators and students. Under our current inequitable system of funding, simply moving to a large scale use of technology in pre-k12 and postsecondary education will more likely widen achievement gaps among students than close them. For example, school districts with lower income populations simply will not be able to provide or maintain appropriate and relevant digital tools and resources for their students. We as a nation must address the issues of equity and access in a comprehensive manner in order to see the promise and realize the opportunities that digital learning can provide.
To that end, NEA believes that student learning needs can best be met by public school districts and postsecondary institutions working in collaboration with certified teachers, qualified education support professionals, faculty and staff, and local Associations to develop comprehensive and thorough digital learning plans that address all the elements of incorporating technology into the instructional program. These plans should be living documents, constantly reviewed and adapted as changing circumstances require, but always keeping the focus on student learning. Implementation of these plans should honor experimentation and creativity as part of the learning process for both educators and students, while always maintaining support for the professional judgment of educators. It is of critical importance that the use of technology is recognized as a tool that assists and enhances the learning process, and is not the driver of the digital learning plan.
These plans also should include the provision of adaptive technologies to meet individual students’ needs, including assistive technology to support students who are English Language Learners and students with a variety of disabilities or challenges.
Support and Enhance Educator Professionalism
NEA believes that the increasing use of technology in pre-k to graduate level classrooms will transform the role of educators allowing the educational process to become ever more student-centered. This latest transformation is not novel, but part of the continuing evolution of our education system. Educators, as professionals working in the best interests of their students, will continue to adjust and adapt their instructional practice and use of digital technology/tools to meet the needs and enhance the learning of their students.
All educators—pre-k12 and postsecondary teachers, ESPs, and administrators—are essential to student learning and should have access to relevant, high-quality, interactive professional development in the integration of digital learning and the use of technology into their instruction and practice. Teachers need access to relevant training on how to use technology and incorporate its use into their instruction, ESPs need access to training on how best to support the use of technology in classrooms, and administrators need training to make informed decisions about purchasing equipment, technology use, course assignments, and personnel assignments. School districts and postsecondary institutions need to ensure that they provide interactive professional development on an ongoing basis, and to provide time for all educators to take advantage of those opportunities. The training needs to address both the basic preparation on how to make the technology work, and how to most effectively incorporate it into the educational program.
Teacher candidates need problem-solving and creativity experiences and should have the opportunity to learn different strategies throughout their pre-service education and regular professional development so they are prepared for using not only the technology of today, but of tomorrow.
In these changing roles, it is important to protect the rights of educators, and to fairly evaluate the accomplishments of educational institutions as a whole. For example, the use of supplemental, remedial, or course recovery online instruction can affect the hours, wages, and working conditions of all educational employees, but can dramatically affect college and university faculty and staff.
Educators and their local Associations need support and assistance in vetting the quality of digital course materials and in developing or accessing trusted digital venues to share best practices and provide support.
Furthermore, education employees should own the copyright to materials that they create in the course of their employment. There should be an appropriate “teacher’s exception” to the “works made for hire” doctrine, pursuant to which works created by education employees in the course of their employment are owned by the employee. This exception should reflect the unique practices and traditions of academia.
All issues relating to copyright ownership of materials created by education employees should be resolved through collective bargaining or other process of bilateral decision-making between the employer and the affiliate.
The ownership rights of education employees who create copyrightable materials should not prevent education employees from making appropriate use of such materials in providing educational services to their students.
Enhance and Enrich Student Learning
Optimal learning environments should neither be totally technology free, nor should they be totally online and devoid of educator and peer interaction. The Association believes that an environment that maximizes student learning will use a “blended” and/or “hybrid” model situated somewhere along a continuum between these two extremes.
NEA believes there is no one perfect integration of technology and traditional forms of delivering education for all students. Every class will need to be differentiated, and at some level every student needs a different approach. Professional educators are in the best position and must be directly involved in determining what combination works best in particular classes and with particular students.
Students’ maturity and developmental status determines how students adapt to the use of digital technology as they continually face more challenging materials. The use of technology in the classroom will help build self-reliance and motivation in students, but it must be appropriate to their developmental and skill level, as determined by professional educators.
As different digital tools are created and used, the impact of technology on traditional socialization roles must be considered. The face-to-face relationship between student and educator is critical to increasing student learning, and students’ interactions with each other are an important part of their socialization into society.
Additionally, assessment and accountability systems need to be carefully developed to ensure academic integrity and accurately measure the impact on students. Sensible guidelines and strategies should be used to ensure students are completing their own online assignments and taking the appropriate assessments.

The Role of the Association in Promoting High Quality, Digital Learning
The development and implementation of high quality digital learning must be a top priority of NEA and its affiliates. The Representative Assembly, therefore, directs that NEA demonstrate its support of digital learning by providing leadership and sharing learning opportunities to develop and implement high quality digital learning that enhances instruction and improves student learning. The Representative Assembly strongly encourages NEA to do this work in the field of digital learning in partnership with trusted organizations and experts who can work at the national, state, and local levels to assist states, school districts, colleges and universities, and local Associations in developing their capacity for high quality digital learning.
The Representative Assembly also directs NEA to encourage its members and utilize their expertise to engage in professional learning that enhances their understanding of how to creatively and appropriately integrate digital tools and high quality digital learning into their instruction. Such professional learning should include sharing of expertise by members who can serve as valuable mentors and professional partners for other members who are new to digital instruction.
The Representative Assembly further directs that NEA work with stakeholders, including parents, students, and policy makers, to seize the opportunities that digital technologies provide. Some educators now have access to the technological tools to further professionalize teaching, vastly enhance and enrich student learning, and meet the individual needs of every student. It is time to ensure that ALL educators have access and are prepared to use these digital tools.
ADDENDUM
Blended and/or Hybrid Learning
Blended and/or hybrid learning is an integrated instructional approach in which a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised physical location away from home and through online delivery where the student has control over at least some aspects of the time and place of accessing the curriculum. The policy statement supports maximizing student learning by using both technology and real life educators in the process. It rejects the idea that effective learning can take place completely online and without interaction with certified teachers and fully qualified faculty.
The Definition of Fully Qualified Educators
The term “educator” includes teachers and education support professionals in pre-k12 public schools, and faculty and staff of higher education institutions. Teachers should be fully qualified, certified, and/or licensed to teach the subjects they are teaching, including in online instructional settings.
Technology as a Tool
Technology is a tool to enhance and enrich instruction for students, and should not be used to replace educational employees who work with students or limit their employment.
Special Education Services
Use of virtual learning to provide instruction to students receiving special education services for behavioral/self-regulation needs will be determined by the IEP Team. The enrollment in a virtual school will not be used as a behavior consequence. http://www.nea.org/home/55434.htm

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country.
Related:

Translating digital learning into K-12 education https://drwilda.com/2012/11/18/translating-digital-learning-into-k-12-education/

Rural schools and the digital divide
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

The digital divide affects the college application process https://drwilda.com/2012/12/08/the-digital-divide-affects-the-college-application-process/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

The struggle to educate students in rural America

6 Jul

Moi has posted several articles about the struggle to provide children in rural America a quality education. In Rural schools, moi said:
A significant number of children attend rural schools. According to The Rural Assistance Center, the definition of a rural school is:

Question: What is the definition of a rural and/or small school?
Answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the definition of rural schools was revised in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology and the 2000 Office of Management and Budget definitions of metro areas that rely less on population size and county boundaries than proximity of an address to an urbanized area. Small schools do not necessarily mean rural, and rural does not mean small. A small school could be an urban school with a decreasing population. Rural schools can be large due to the center school concept where students are bused in to one school to save on costs. Some schools are considered small when compared to the mega-schools of several thousand that are common in some districts. A small school could be one designed to accommodate a specific population of students and their unique needs or a private school. Rural and/or small schools have similar needs and concerns.
According to The Condition of Education in Rural Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1994), ‘few issues bedevil analysts and planners concerned with rural education more than the question of what actually constitutes “rural”.’ In the Federal Register published December 27, 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. These new standards replace and supersede the 1990 standards for defining Metropolitan Areas. OMB announced definitions of areas based on the new standards and Census 2000 data in June 2003. The lack of a clear, accepted definition of “rural” has impeded research in the field of rural education. When defining the term rural, population and remoteness are important considerations as these factors influence school organization, availability of resources, and economic and social conditions.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of “small rural schools” are those schools eligible to participate in the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. SRSA includes districts with average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students, or districts in which all schools are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile, AND all schools served by the districts are located in a rural area with a school locale code of 7 or 8. http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools/schoolsfaq.php

Rural schools face unique challenges. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/
Sarah Carr of the Hechinger Report writes in the Time article, Plight of Rural Schools Laid Bare in Dying Delta Town:

One promising young teacher decided she wanted to start a family outside of the Mississippi Delta. A second teacher left abruptly in the middle of the first semester with little explanation. A third took one spin through town before the school year started and never came back.
Schools across the country struggle to attract and keep good teachers. In this fading Mississippi Delta town of 1,200, a place with a storied history and a slender chance of economic revival, it’s an epic quest. Some residents have even allegedly set their own homes on fire, hoping the insurance money will enable them to start over elsewhere.
“Experienced teachers who don’t live here say they have very little reason to come,” said Pauline Rhodes, the superintendent of Coahoma County School District, which includes Friars Point Elementary, a school of about 150 students–down from 200 two years ago–and the town’s only elementary school. “If you are a really good applicant, you can select what district you go to.”
All of the school’s students come from families living below the poverty level; 97% are African-American. Although the school, which runs from kindergarten through sixth grade, has made some academic gains, in 2011-12 less than half of the students scored proficient on the state’s standardized tests, according to figures from the Mississippi Department of Education. In a typical year, the school has to replace at least a third of its teachers; some years, it’s as many as half, said Sherry Coleman, the school’s hard-working principal. She will have to fill at least five of 13 teaching positions for the 2013-14 school year, and possibly more if some teachers make last-minute decisions to leave over the summer.
There are more rural schools in America than city or suburban ones: During the 2011-12 school year, the U.S. Department of Education reported 33,000 schools in rural locations, 28,000 in suburbs, and 27,000 in cities. But the current approach to school reform in America, which centers on getting the best teacher in front of each classroom, and then holding them accountable for student results, often neglects rural schools’ unique needs. It is rooted in corporate principles of competition and change: If a teacher fails to get the job done, replace him; if a school fails to meet its bottom line (defined by test scores), close it.
As Friars Point shows, this strategy, designed largely with struggling urban school districts in mind, breaks down in impoverished small towns. These are places with little civic or economic infrastructure and a shortage of educated professionals. There’s often no qualified teacher available to take the place of a colleague who does not make the cut, no charter school operator poised to swoop in and take the reins of a “failing” school, and little left to keep the community alive if the school closes outright…. http://nation.time.com/2013/07/03/plight-of-rural-schools-laid-bare-in-dying-delta-town/#ixzz2YIlh6B4k

In Rural education: Dwindling after-school options, moi wrote:
Diette Courrégé writes in Education Week about the challenges rural educators face in the article, Rural After-School Efforts Must Stretch to Serve:

For after-school providers in rural communities, much like their urban counterparts, the economy is an ongoing challenge to their ability to provide high-quality programming to enough students, said Ms. Rinehart, citing recent studies.
“The indication is that rural communities seem to be right in line with the overall after-school picture, which is not optimistic,” she said.
A 2011 Harvard Family Research Project report found that out-of-school-time programs in rural areas had positive effects on students, but they face problems that urban and suburban programs did not.
The report, “Out-of-School Time Programs in Rural Areas,” highlighted high family poverty, low funding, lack of transportation, and a shortage of qualified workers as some of the biggest issues facing rural communities.
On funding, rural areas generally have smaller populations that limit financial resources. They receive less federal, state, and local money for after-school services compared with urban and suburban areas, according to the study.
Another report, “Uncertain Times 2012,” released this year by the Afterschool Alliance, found that nearly four out of 10 programs reported that their budgets were worse today than at the height of the recession in 2008.
That lack of money is huge for Sherry Comer, who has directed an after-school program in Camdenton, Mo., for 14 years. Her program was one of the original recipients of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, and it’s relied on a combination of sources, such as federal Title I and economic-stimulus money, to keep afloat since then….
Out-of-School Enrichment
Many rural communities rely on 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to serve their students. The program offers funding for centers that provide academic-enrichment opportunities during nonschool hours for children, especially those who are considered poor and attend low-performing schools.
The $1.2 billion program is formula-based and allows states to decide how to distribute the money. There’s no mandate for a rural set-aside, although some states award grant applicants more priority points if they are rural.
An estimated 8.5 million children are in after-school programs nationwide, and more than 1.5 million are in those funded by that pot of federal money, according to the Afterschool Alliance.
Sylvia Lyles, the director for academic improvement and teacher-quality programs in the U.S. Department of Education’s office of elementary and secondary education, which oversees the 21st Century grants, has rural areas on her agenda because they face so many difficulties. She has worked closely with some states on solutions…
In some communities, the lack of money can lead to a lack of access, which is troubling for rural after-school advocates. One national study found that 57 percent of rural parents who said their children didn’t participate in after-school programs cited the unavailability of such programs, compared with 37 percent of suburban parents and 36 percent of urban parents…
The isolation of rural communities can make transportation to and from out-of-school programs a costly and time-intensive prospect. Rural areas typically don’t have the public-transportation systems available in more-populated areas.
“It’s harder to keep the kids here and to get them home,” said Ms. Comer, the Missouri after-school provider. “Transportation is a huge barrier.”
Ms. Comer spends roughly 15 percent of her program’s budget on transportation, but that’s still not enough to be able to deliver students to their front doors. The program trimmed costs by creating drop-off points, and those work well until later in a given month, when parents run low on money, she said. When parents can’t afford the gas to get to work, much less pick up their child from a drop-off point, the child can’t stay after school, she said.
Finding the staff needed to run out-of-school programs can also be difficult. A smaller workforce, low education levels, and high poverty rates make it tough to recruit and retain employees.
In Wyoming, it’s hard to find employees who are willing to come in and work for two hours in the middle of the afternoon with no benefits, Ms. Barton of Lights on in Lander said.
Finding Success
It’s also hard to find money or time to offer additional training, and there’s no money set aside to provide for cost-of-living adjustments or raises, which Ms. Barton called a flaw in the federal 21st Century grant program.
“How do you run these programs effectively and meet the requirements that are becoming much more demanding in terms of expectations?” she said. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/12/14rural.h32.html?tkn=LSRFlCqaxp1eMa22PBXdX5i10FfLeHcyffT4&cmp=clp-edweek

Here is the press release from Harvard:

Volume 6, March 2011
Research Update 6: Out-Of-School Time Programs In Rural Areas
Erin Harris, Helen Malone, Tai Sunnanon
Download a PDF of this publication (111 kb) | View all publications in this series

Article Information
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• Full Text (PDF: 111 kb)
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Inside this Research Update: The benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas.
Out-of-school time (OST) programming can be a crucial asset to families in rural areas where resources to support children’s learning and development are often insufficient to meet the community’s needs. OST programs that offer youth in rural communities a safe and supportive adult-supervised environment—along with various growth-enhancing opportunities—can promote academic, personal, social, and recreational development. However, programs located in rural areas face a number of challenges in implementation and sustainability. This Research Update highlights findings from evaluations and research studies of nine programs located in rural areas, all of which have been profiled in HFRP’s OST Database.
The rural programs profiled in the OST database represent a diverse range of geographic locations across the U.S. These programs mainly serve elementary-age children, but some also serve middle school grades. Some of the programs focus on a specific demographic, such as Spanish-speaking children or struggling students, while other programs provide services to any interested child within the local community. They also provide a variety of program offerings, from academic supports to recreational activities.
This Research Update addresses the benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas, based on data from the nine programs, and supplemented by other OST research examining programs in rural areas. In addition, the Appendix provides listings of all of the research and evaluations about rural OST programs that we are currently tracking in our OST bibliography.
About this Series
The Research Update series provides insight from the evaluations and research studies profiled in Harvard Family Research Project’s Out-of-School Time (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database. Research Updates highlight new and innovative topics, methods, and findings in the increasingly sophisticated, growing field of OST research and evaluation.
Free. Available online only.

All children have a right to a good basic education
Related:
Rural schools and the digital divide https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/
Gifted students in rural areas https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/gifted-students-in-rural-areas/
STEM education in rural schools https://drwilda.com/2012/10/09/stem-education-in-rural-schools/
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Pew Research study: Digital divide adversely impacts low-income students

4 Mar

Moi wrote in The digital divide in classrooms:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has agood bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense. http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/57449/digitaldivide.pdf

Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/ Betsy Isaacson reports about a Pew Internet Research study in the Huffington Post article, Digital Divide Is ‘Major Challenge’ In Teaching Low-Income Students, Survey Finds:

The survey, which reaffirms other findings on the digital divide, reveals that 56 percent of teachers who work with low-income students say that their students’ lack of access to digital technology is a “major challenge” to using quality online resources in their lessons. The Washington Post, which reported on the findings earlier Thursday, notes that 3 percent of low-income students have access to Internet at home, in contrast to 50 percent of higher-income students.

Those without available Internet at home may take creative measures to gain online access: Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on low-income students with no home Internet who used the Wi-Fi provided by McDonald’s and Starbucks for schoolwork. Other students may use local public libraries for Internet access, but many libraries have closed due to a lack of funds. Those that remain may have computer time limits.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/digital-divide-low-income-students_n_2782528.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

Here’s a summary of the Pew findings:

A survey of 2,462 Advanced Placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers finds that digital technologies have helped them in teaching their middle school and high school students in many ways. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers.

In addition, they report that there are striking differences in the role of technology in wealthier school districts compared with poorer school districts and that there are clear generational differences among teachers when it comes to their comfort with technology and its use in their classrooms.

Asked about the impact of the internet and digital tools in their role as middle and high school educators, these teachers say the following about the overall impact on their teaching and their classroom work:

  • 92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching
  • 69% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers
  • 67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students

At the same time, 75% of AP and NWP teachers say the internet and other digital tools have added new demands to their lives, agreeing with the statement that these tools have a “major impact” by increasing the range of content and skills about which they must be knowledgeable.  And 41% report a “major impact” by requiring more work on their part to be an effective teacher. 

AP and NWP teachers bring a wide variety of digital tools into the learning process, including mobile phones, tablets, and e-book readers

The survey reveals the degree to which the internet and digital technologies, particularly mobile phones, suffuse teaching activities.  Laptops and desktops are central, but they note mobile technology use has also become commonplace in the learning process:

  • 73% of AP and NWP teachers say that they and/or their students use their mobile phones in the classroom or to complete assignments
  • 45% report they or their students use e-readers and 43% use tablet computers in the classroom or to complete assignments

Teachers most commonly use digital tools to have students conduct research online, which was the focus of an earlier report based on these data.1 It is also common for these teachers to have students access (79%) and submit (76%) assignments online.  More interactive online learning activities, such as developing wikis, engaging in online discussions, and editing work using collaborative platforms such as GoogleDocs, are also employed by some of the teachers in the sample. 

Overall, 62% of AP and NWP teachers feel their school does a “good job” supporting teachers’ efforts to bring digital tools into the learning process, and 68% say their school provides formal training in this area.  Still, 85% of these teachers seek out their own opportunities to learn new ways to effectively incorporate these tools into their teaching. 

Teachers worry about digital divides, though they are split about the impact of digital tools on their students

These teachers see disparities in access to digital tools having at least some impact on their students. More than half (54%) say all or almost all of their students have sufficient access to digital tools at school, but only a fifth of these teachers (18%) say all or almost all of their students have access to the digital tools they need at home.

Figure 1

Teachers of the lowest income students are the least likely to say their students have sufficient access to the digital tools they need, both in school and at home. In terms of community type, teachers in urban areas are the least likely to say their students have sufficient access to digital tools IN SCHOOL, while rural teachers are the least likely to say their students have sufficient access AT HOME. 

Overall, while many AP and NWP teachers express concern about growing disparities across schools and school districts, they are divided as to whether access to digital tools is leading to greater disparities among their students.  A large majority of these teachers (84%) agree to some extent with the statement that “Today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts.”  However, asked whether today’s digital technologies are narrowing or widening the gap between the most and least academically successful students, 44% say technology is narrowing the gap and 56% say it is widening the gap.  

Teachers of the lowest income students experience the impact of digital tools in the learning environment differently than teachers whose students are from more affluent households

AP and NWP teachers’ experiences with using digital tools in their teaching vary in some notable ways depending on the socioeconomic status of the students they teach.  Among these findings:

  • 70% of teachers working in the highest income areas say their school does a “good job” providing teachers the resources and support they need to incorporate digital tools in the classroom, compared with 50% of teachers working in the lowest income areas

  • 73% of teachers of high income students receive formal training in this area, compared with 60% of teachers of low income students

  • 56% of teachers of students from higher income households say they or their students use tablet computers in the learning process, compared with 37% of teachers of the lowest income students

  • 55% of teachers of higher income students say they or their students use e-readers in the classroom, compared with 41%  teaching in low income areas

  • 52% of teachers of upper and upper-middle income students say their students use cell phones to look up information in class, compared with 35% of teachers of the lowest income students

  • 39% of AP and NWP teachers of low income students say their school is “behind the curve” when it comes to effectively using digital tools in the learning process; just 15% of teachers of higher income students rate their schools poorly in this area

  • 56% of teachers of the lowest income students say that a lack of resources among students to access digital technologies is a “major challenge” to incorporating more digital tools into their teaching; 21% of teachers of the highest income students report that problem

  • 49% of teachers of students living in low income households say their school’s use of internet filters has a major impact on their teaching, compared with 24% of those who teach better off students who say that

  • 33% of teachers of lower income students say their school’s rules about classroom cell phone use by students have a major impact on their teaching, compared with 15% of those who teach students from the highest income households…. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teachers-and-technology/Summary-of-Findings.aspx

Citation:

How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms

Feb 28, 2013by Kristen Purcell, Alan Heaps, Judy Buchanan, Linda Friedrich

Summary of Findings

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country.

Related:

Translating digital learning into K-12 education             https://drwilda.com/2012/11/18/translating-digital-learning-into-k-12-education/

Rural schools and the digital divide                        https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

The digital divide affects the college application process https://drwilda.com/2012/12/08/the-digital-divide-affects-the-college-application-process/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                   Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                          http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                               http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                  https://drwilda.com/

The digital divide affects the college application process

8 Dec

Moi wrote in The digital divide in classrooms:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has agood bibliography, go toPoverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense. http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/57449/digitaldivide.pdf

Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Nora Fleming has written the provocative Education Week article, Digital Divide Hits College-Admissions Process: Some students lack hardware, savvy:

But while technology is changing the face of college admissions, not all students are reaping the benefits of this virtual access to resources and information. For disadvantaged students lacking awareness or the digital-connection capabilities, entry into college may become harder to obtain than ever before.

“Our first-generation college students, even if they have computers with high-speed Internet, still struggle through the college-application process because they do not have the same frame of reference and knowledge base when it comes to things like college-search websites,” said Darrell Sampson, a guidance counselor with the 182,000-student Fairfax County school district in Virginia.

“If you do not know what it is you are supposed to be looking for, or how the process is supposed to work,” he said, “you are probably not going to be accessing the wealth of information available through technology meant to assist you.”

Online Growth

Those same challenges to accessing college admissions—such as seeking out digital resources and determining credibility of information—follow students when they enter college, educators say, where digital resources, and the expectation to use them, abound.

In 1998, the Common Application, a standard admissions application accepted at colleges and universities in place of their own, was made available online for the first time.

Today, the application, supported by a nonprofit organization of the same name, is accepted by more than 488 higher education institutions, and similar application sites, like XAP and the Universal College Application, have also emerged, dramatically changing the college-admissions process. The Common Application received 2.78 million applications last year from 663,000 students, as a student can now fill out one form and submit it to many colleges at once.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling, based in Arlington, Va., reports that the proportion of virtual applications increased from 56.5 percent in 2004 to 85 percent in 2011 of all those received at four-year institutions. Given the ease of applying, the applications in total at each institution have also substantially increased, while the acceptance rate has declined, stiffening competition.

Virtual portals also enable students to track the status of their applications.

But the application is not the only facet of college admissions that has become virtual. Students can now use a whole host of websites, such as Naviance, Cappex, Zinch, and College Confidential to search for and get matched with potential schools, receive step-by-step guidance on admissions, take virtual tours, and practice for the SAT and the ACT.

Bob Patterson, the director of college outreach at Zinch, a website where students create a profile to get matched with colleges and scholarship money, says such sites help reach students through familiar, digital communication tools. That reduces stress in the admissions process, he said, particularly in high schools where the student-to-counselor ratio is very high.

According to NACAC, the national average is 421-to-1.

“The idea of instant feedback, online searches, and connecting with students in real time is the way higher education institutions will need to engage with the student of the future,” said Mr. Patterson, who worked as an admissions counselor for 15 years at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among other universities, before going to Zinch.

Web-Based Help

Cappex: Provides college reviews, admissions games, searchable information on colleges including video, and college and scholarship matching. www.cappex.com

College Board: Provides SAT registration with free sample questions, study guides, and information on local courses; guidance on how to find colleges, pay for them, and plan academic work to make student applications stronger. www.collegeboard.com

College Connection: Helps students find schools based on career goals, courses offered, and location; includes online degrees. www.collegeconnection.com

Common Application: Allows students to fill out a standard application and submit it electronically to as many member institutions (of 488) as desired; includes charts detailing deadlines and additional requirements of each member school. www.commonapp.org

Naviance: Helps students, their families, and their school counselors organize the admissions process through goal-setting and application management; also provides long-range-planning advice for students’ careers based on self-designed profiles and assessments. www.naviance.com

Princeton Review: Offers SAT, ACT, and PSAT preparation guidelines including free practice tests and free events, along with registration for paid courses; includes other college-search advice and general guidance. www.princetonreview.com

Zinch: Students create a profile and are matched with colleges, graduate schools, and scholarship money; students can connect with other students going through the admissions process for advice. www.zinch.com

SOURCE: Education Week

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/05/13digital.h32.html?tkn=XRPFs4cKjuDxKn8Oi8b07%2Bbadpo3TxPX9Sek&cmp=clp-edweek

See, Schools Must Bridge the Digital Divide http://www.abpc21.org/digitaldivide.html

Moi wrote about college access in College Board’s ‘Big Future’: Helping low-income kids apply to college:

The College Board announce the “Big Future” program:

College Board Introduces BigFuture.org, a Free Comprehensive College Planning Resource

See, Admissions 101: Will new tool help low-income students tackle admissions?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/admissions-101-will-new-tool-help-low-income-students-tackle-admissions/2012/04/18/gIQAVGl8QT_blog.html

Education Week had this take on “Big Future” in the article, College Board Launches New Web Resource for Students by Caralee Adams:

The material was developed in collaboration with an advisory group of educators and Education Conservancy, a nonprofit based in Portland, Ore., focused on improving the admissions process.

This idea was to create an interactive, user-friendly resource in response to concerns that the college-admissions process is becoming increasingly complex and access to expert counseling is unequal. “All students deserve access to good guidance information and top-notch online information,” says Ben-Yoseph. “The goal to make the college process more accessible, simple, and easier to navigate.”

Students can get to much of the information on BigFuture without signing up, but to create a plan or save your work, users do need to create an account. Those with College Board accounts can use their existing user names and passwords. (College Board’s privacy policy states that it does not sell student names or their related information, except through the optional Student Search Service program.)

Rather than being static and listing 10 things to do each year in high school, BigFuture starts the process by asking the user some questions and tailoring the action to the individual’s interests.

When searching for colleges that match a student’s interest on BigFuture, the user can sort by filters such as location, majors, sports, diversity, and cost and give each a weight of importance on a sliding scale. College-profile information of nearly 4,000 institutions is collected by the College Board in its Annual Survey of Colleges. Note: The price includes tuition and fees, but not room and board.

Information throughout the site is provided in nugget-sized tips and one-minute videos with student stories such as how they decided about going to school in a city, what role extracurricular activities played in deciding a major, and putting together a financial-aid plan for college. There are also videos from experts addressing topics of college planning.

College Board envisions the audience for BigFuture to be as young as 8th graders. The content can be applicable for students of any age interested in higher education, said Ben-Yoseph. The hope is that the tool will be engaging enough that it is used across a student’s entire high school career and by school guidance counselors. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2012/03/college_board_launches_new_web_resource_for_students.html

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/19/college-boards-big-future-helping-low-income-kids-apply-to-college/

Resources:

College Preparation Checklist

College Preparation Checklist Brochure

Funding Education Beyond High School

Related:

Translating digital learning into K-12 education               https://drwilda.com/2012/11/18/translating-digital-learning-into-k-12-education/

Rural schools and the digital divide                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’                    https://drwilda.com/2012/05/15/many-u-s-colleges-use-the-common-application/

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