Tag Archives: Education and Poverty

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
• Full Text (HTML)
• Full Text (PDF: 111 kb)
• More about this series
• Request reprint permission
• How to cite
• Download Acrobat
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/

Dads read to kids in LA to promote literacy

8 Jun

This comment is not politically correct. If you want politically correct, stop reading. Children, especially boys, need positive male role models. They don’t need another “uncle” or “fiancée” who when the chips are down cashes out. By the way, what is the new definition of “fiancée?” Is that someone who is rented for an indefinite term to introduce the kids from your last “fiancée” to? Back in the day, “fiancée” meant one was engaged to be married, got married and then had kids. Nowadays, it means some one who hangs around for an indeterminate period of time and who may or may not formalize a relationship with baby mama. Kids don’t need someone in their lives who has as a relationship strategy only dating women with children because they are available and probably desperate. What children, especially boys, need are men who are consistently there for them, who model good behavior and values, and who consistently care for loved ones. They don’t need men who have checked out of building relationships and those who are nothing more than sperm donors.

This Washington Post article made moi think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero. Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence

“I love teaching, and I feel like I am needed,” said Thomas, 33, of Bowie. “We need black male teachers in our classrooms because that is the closest connection we are able to make to children. It is critical for all students to see black men in the classrooms involved in trying to make sure they learn and enjoy being in school.”

The shortage of black male teachers compounds the difficulties that many African American boys face in school. About half of black male students do not complete high school in four years, statistics show. Black males also tend to score lower on standardized tests, take fewer Advanced Placement courses and are suspended and expelled at higher rates than other groups, officials said.

Educators said black male teachers expose students to black men as authority figures, help minority students feel that they belong, motivate black students to achieve, demonstrate positive male-female relationships to black girls and provide African American youths with role models and mentors.

The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

Single Parent Households

About.Com has a quick snapshot of which was condensed from the original source Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005 Information from the snapshot comes from the Custodial Mothers report which was released in 2007. According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005, released by the U.S. Census Bureau in August, 2007, there are approximately 13.6 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.2 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).

So what’s the “average” single parent really like? According to the U.S. Census Bureau…

She is a Mother:

·         Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and

·         16% of custodial parents are fathers

She is Divorced or Separated:

Of the mothers who are custodial parents:

·         44% are currently divorced or separated

·         33% have never been married

·         22% are married (In most cases, these numbers represent women who have remarried.)

·         1% were widowed         

Of the fathers who are custodial parents:

·         57% are divorced or separated

·         24% are currently married (In most cases, these numbers represent men who have remarried.)

·         18% have never married

·         1% were widowed

She is Employed:

·         79% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed

o                 50% work full time, year round

o                 29% work part-time or part-year

·         92% of custodial single fathers are gainfully employed

o                 74% work full time, year round

o                 18% work part-time or part-year

References:
United States. Census Department. Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005. 

The current recession has likely increased the number of families in all categories that are classified as living in poverty even if it is a temporary condition. The Foundation for Child Development reports that the Child Well-being Index finds “after improving during the 1990s, since 2000, the economic well-being of families with children has declined.” Single parents suffer more during periods of economic decline.

Children in Poverty provides good data on the types of households most likely to be poor. Their findings for single parent households are:

Family structure continues to be strongly related to whether or not children are poor.

In 2007, children living in households headed by single mothers were more than five times as likely as

     children living in households headed by married parents to be living in poverty—42.9 percent  

     compared   with 8.5 percent. (See Figure 1 )

For non-Hispanic white children, the poverty rate in 2007 was 32.3 percent for children in single mother

    households compared with 4.7 percent for children in married households.

Similarly for black children, the poverty rate was 50.2 percent compared with 11 percent.

For Hispanic children, the poverty rate was 51.4 percent compared with 19.3 percent.

For Asian children, the poverty rate was 32 percent compared with 9.7 percent.

Families headed by single parents face economic challenges that are mitigated by two incomes.

Katrina Puga writes in the Education Nation article, Dads Read to Children in LA School to Promote Literacy about the importance of male role models:

Many of the students, ages 5 to 12, at the 99th Street Elementary School in South Los Angeles, don’t know what it’s like to have a dad. So, in an effort to curb that, Donuts With Dads was created — a program in which dads, or male role models, from the community come to read books to the youngsters. Last month, 150 men participated in the school’s fifth annual event, and because of its success, dads will now be coming to the school to read every first Friday of every month — called Family Friday.

The elementary school is one of the Los Angeles Unified schools managed by the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, founded five years ago by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Since the program’s inception, which has grown through word of mouth, parent involvement rate at the school, which is 76 percent Latino, is now 85 percent — an increase of 65 percent.

About five years ago…Mayor Villaraigosa took over the 10 worst performing schools in south central Los Angeles around the housing projects in Watts and Boyle Heights,” says 99th Street Elementary School Principal Courtney Sawyer. “The whole staff noticed the terrible parent involvement — only about 10 percent would show up for parent night.”

In an effort to increase parent involvement, she says they took a survey of the school and determined that approximately 80 percent of the students were without fathers or consistent male role models in the household.

We started canvassing the communities to talk to police officers, firefighters — to get them to come to the school and make connections with kids and become involved in our school as mentors,” says Sawyer. “And over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge in math, but not language arts, so we married the two together — literacy and getting men in the classroom.”

She says the dads come in before work and spend the majority of an hour reading to the children, or having the children read to them.

Some classrooms can have up to 10 men, and they’ll read with two to three kids,” says Sawyer…. http://www.educationnation.com/index.cfm?objectid=9618C886-881A-11E2-93ED000C296BA163&aka=0

The Role of a Father

A 2001 study of the impact of a father’s involvement in the life of their child reached the following conclusions:

It appears that fathers contribute to the lives of their children by assuming diverse roles appropriate to their children’s progression through the life cycle. However, much of the available research is based on small observational studies or cross-sectional data, and in fact,relatively few studies have linked father involvement with outcomes among infants and toddlers.

There is a need for new longitudinal research that follows infants through the school years and includes fathers’ multiple domains of influence.

As Lamb (1997a) points out, fathers should be studied in the larger familial context. A father’s relationship with his partner, and other children, as well as how he views himself and his multiple familial and societal roles all affect his parenting style and parent-child interactions.beneficial effects of father involvement on children stem from supportive and nurturant father-child relationships. Continued large-scale research on resident father involvement shouldinclude items spanning multiple domains of paternal influence in addition to items that capture family and social contexts.

Measuring Father Involvement did not have definite conclusions about the importance of a father’s involvement because of the lack of longitudinal or long range study of the father/child relationship, but it hinted at the importance of the relationship.

Some of the key findings from this review of incentives and barriers to father involvementinclude the following:

· Believing that a father’s role is important to child development and perceiving oneself as

competent in the fathering role both serve as incentives to father involvement. 

· Wanting the child and desiring to become a father may also be associated with father involvement. 

· A man’s recollections of his own father-child experiences from childhood could serve either as barriers or incentives to involvement. 

· Egalitarian beliefs may lead to more father-child interactions in general, and more beneficial father-child interactions for girls in particular. 

· The father’s psychological well-being serves as a moderator of father involvement. High levels of stress and depression create barriers for father involvement, whereas high self-esteem increases the likelihood of father involvement. 

· Early fatherhood appears to be a barrier to father involvement. On-time fatherhood (i.e., becoming a father in one’s 20’s) increases the amount of father involvement above that of teen parents, but delaying fatherhood until one’s 30’s or even the 40’s may also yield benefits for children in increased father-child contact and more affectionate and cognitively-stimulating interactions. 

· A harmonious father-mother relationship enhances the likelihood of frequent and positive father child interactions within two-parent families. Conversely, marital conflict serves both as a barrier to father involvement and as a predictor of poor child outcomes. In situations where the father does not reside with the child, father involvement is more likely if the mother perceives the father to be capable of successfully fulfilling the provider role. 

· Being employed, and experiencing job satisfaction and low role stress are all associated with higher levels of father involvement. Conversely, unemployment or job instability, as well as high role stress, serve to minimize the likelihood that fathers will be and/or stay involved in their children’s lives. 

· Additional support from friends, extended family, and institutions may help bolster father involvement in young children’s lives. In addition, certain characteristics of the child may either increase or decrease the extent of                        father involvement. 

The key finding from this study is that the involvement of a father in the life of his children is a process and a complex one, at that.

Male Role Models in Schools

A working paper, Teachers and the Gender Gap, from NBER reported the following.

Dee finds that gender interactions between teachers and students have significant effects on these important educational outcomes. Assignment to a teacher of the opposite sex lowers student achievement by about 0.04 standard deviations. Other results imply that just “one year with a male English teacher would eliminate nearly a third of the gender gap in reading performance among 13 year olds…and would do so by improving the performance of boys and simultaneously harming that of girls. Similarly, a year with a female teacher would close the gender gap in science achievement among 13 year olds by half and eliminate entirely the smaller achievement gap in mathematics.”

Female science teachers appeared to reduce the probability that a girl would be seen as inattentive in science, though this had no discernable effect on girls’ science achievement. However, female history teachers significantly raised girls’ history achievement. And, boys were more likely to report that they did not look forward to a particular academic subject when it was taught by a female.

Overall, the data suggest that, “a large fraction of boys’ dramatic underperformance in reading reflects the classroom dynamics associated with the fact that their reading teachers are overwhelmingly female.” According to the U.S. Department of Education’s 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey, 91 percent of the nation’s sixth grade reading teachers, and 83 percent of eighth grade reading teachers are female. This depresses boys’ achievement. The fact that most middle school teachers of math, science, and history are also female may raise girls’ achievement. In short, the current gender imbalance in middle school staffing may be reducing the gender gap in science by helping girls but exacerbating the gender gap in reading by handicapping boys. 

The purpose of this comment is not that boys and girls cannot learn from teachers of either sex. The point is too many children are being raised in single parent homes and they need good role models of both sexes to develop. That brings me back to Will Thomas and The Washington Post story. Mr. Thomas is not only a good teacher, but a positive role model for both his boy and girl students. We need more teachers like Mr. Thomas.

Moi has never met an illegitimate child, she has met plenty of illegitimate parents. People that are so ill-prepared for the parent role that had they been made responsible for an animal, PETA would picket their house. We are at a point in society where we have to say don’t have children you can’t care for. There is no quick, nor easy fix for the children who start behind in life because they are the product of two other people’s choice, whether an informed choice or not.  All parents should seek positive role models for their children. For single mothers who are parenting boys, they must seek positive male role models to be a part of their son’s life. Boys and girls of all ages should think before they procreate and men should give some thought about what it means to be a father before they become baby daddy.

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/

Rutgers study: Underfunding of preschool threatens at-risk children

29 Apr

Moi wrote in Policy brief: The fiscal and educational benefits of universal universal preschool:

In Early learning standards and the K-12 continuum, moi said:

Preschool is a portal to the continuum of life long learning. A good preschool stimulates the learning process and prompts the child into asking questions about their world and environment. Baby Center offers advice about how to find a good preschool and general advice to expectant parents. At the core of why education is important is the goal of equipping every child with the knowledge and skills to pursue THEIR dream, whatever that dream is. Christine Armario and Dorie Turner are reporting in the AP article, AP News Break: Nearly 1 in 4 Fails Military Exam which appeared in the Seattle Times:

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Many children begin their first day of school behind their more advantaged peers. Early childhood learning is an important tool is bridging the education deficit. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/early-learning-standards-and-the-k-12-contiuum/

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/25/policy-brief-the-fiscal-and-educational-benefits-of-universal-universal-preschool/

Joy Resmovits reported in the Huffington Post article, Preschool Funding Reached ‘State Of Emergency’ In 2012: NIEER Report:

States are drastically underfunding programs for their youngest learners now more than ever, according to a report released Monday, even as researchers and policymakers increasingly point to pre-school as a ladder to the middle class.

Funding per student for state pre-school programs has reached its lowest point in a decade, according to “The State of Preschool 2012,” the annual yearbook released by Rutgers University’s National Institute for Early Education Research. “The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for America’s children,” the authors wrote. After a decade of increasing enrollment, that growth stalled, according to the report. Though the 2011-2012 school year marks the first time pre-K enrollment didn’t increase along with the rate of population change.

“The state of preschool was a state of emergency” in 2012, said Steve Barnett, NIEER’s director. Between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, pre-K spending on state programs dropped by more than $548 million overall, and $442 per student (to $3,841) when adjusted for inflation, according to the report.

This means state pre-K funding per child has fallen more than $1,100 in real dollars from 2001-2002. “That’s the lowest since we’ve been tracking pre-K,” Barnett said. He called the cuts “severe” and “unprecedented.” This is the first time NIEER has seen average, per-student spending slip below $4,000. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/preschool-funding-2012-nieer-yearbook_n_3175249.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

Here is the press release from The National Institute for Early Education Research:

Study Finds Drastic State Pre-K Funding Cuts Put Nation’s Youngest Learners at Risk

Monday, April 29, 2013

Funding Per Child Has Fallen More Than $1,000 Over the Decade; Programs Lose Quality as Financial Support Declines

CONTACT:  Jen Fitzgerald, (848) 932-3138, jfitzgerald@nieer.org

Washington, D.C. — State funding for pre-K decreased by over half a billion dollars in 2011-2012, the largest one-year drop ever, says a new study from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) which has tracked state pre-K since 2002.

The State of Preschool 2012 yearbook cited two other “firsts”: After a decade of growth, enrollment in state pre-K has stalled. And despite stagnant enrollment, state funding per child fell to $3,841 — well below the $5,020 (inflation-adjusted) national average in 2001-2002.

Even though the nation is emerging from the Great Recession, it is clear that the nation’s youngest learners are still bearing the brunt of the budget cuts,” said NIEER Director Steve Barnett. Reductions were widespread with 27 of 40 states with pre-K programs reporting funding per child declined in 2011-2012.

The adverse consequences of declining funding were manifested in a retrenchment in program quality as well. Seven programs lost ground against benchmarks for quality standards while only three gained. Only 15 states plus the District of Columbia provided enough funding per-child to meet all 10 benchmarks for quality standards. And, only 20 percent of all children enrolled in state-funded pre-K attend those programs. More than half a million children, or 42 percent of nationwide enrollment, were served by programs that met fewer than half of NIEER’s quality standards benchmarks.

Education in the years before kindergarten plays an important role in preparing our youngest citizens for productive lives in the global economy. Yet, our nation’s public investment in their future through pre-K declined during the recent economic downturn at the very time that parents’ financial capacity to invest in their children was hardest hit. America will pay the price of that lapse for decades to come. Barnett also noted that “while the recession greatly exacerbated the decline in funding, there was already a general trend in the states toward declining funding for quality.” In this respect, President Obama’s new universal pre-K proposal is especially timely. “We have studied the President’s plan and find it provides states with strong incentives to raise quality while expanding access to pre-K. The plan will assist states already leading the way, states that lost ground during the recession, and the 10 states that still have no state-funded pre-K,” he said.  

###

The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, supports early childhood education policy and practice through independent, objective research.

The State of Preschool 2012: State Preschool Yearbook

View the full report

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this country, we are the next third world country.

Related:

What is the Educare preschool model?                           https://drwilda.com/2012/11/09/what-is-the-educare-preschool-model/

The state of preschool education is dire                    https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

Oregon State University study: Ability to pay attention in preschool may predict college success                                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/08/08/oregon-state-university-study-ability-to-pay-attention-in-preschool-may-predict-college-success/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for schoolhttps://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

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/

Studies: For struggling math students, teacher quality matters

14 Apr

 

Moi wrote in Is an individualized program more effective in math learning?

 

Math is important for a number of reasons.

 

Michigan State University’s Office of Supportive Services succinctly states why math is important:

 

Why is math important?

 

All four year Universities have a math requirement

 

Math improves your skills:

 

  • Critical Thinking Skills

  • Deductive Logic and Reasoning Skills

  • Problem Solving Skills

 

A good knowledge of math and statistics can expand your career options

 

Physical Sciences – Chemistry, Engineering, Physics

 

Life and Health Sciences – Biology, Psychology, Pharmacy, Nursing, Optometry

 

Social Sciences – Anthropology, Communications, Economics, Linquistics, Education, Geography

 

Technical Sciences – Computer Science, Networking, Software Development

 

Business and Commerce

 

Actuarial Sciences

 

Medicine

 

http://oss.msu.edu/academic-assistance/why-is-math-important

 

Often, the students who need the best math teachers are shortchanged.

 

Sarah D. Sparks writes in the Education Week article, Qualified Math Teachers Elusive for Struggling Students, Studies Find:

 

Succeeding in freshman-level mathematics is critical for students to stay on track to high school graduation, with students who make poor grades in math in 8th and 9th grades more likely to leave school entirely.

Yet two new studies presented at the Association for Education Finance and Policy meeting here last month suggest that students who enter high school performing below average in math have a lower chance of getting a teacher who is well-qualified to teach math than do higher-achieving students. The problem, the research concludes, exacerbates gaps in teacher access between schools with different performance and wealth levels.

In one studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader, Cara Jackson, a research assistant at the University of Maryland College Park, analyzed the math coursetaking and achievement of 12,900 9th graders at 730 high schools nationwide who were linked with their high school math teachers as part of the federal High School Longitudinal Study of 2009.

Ms. Jackson calculated the odds of different students’ learning math in 9th grade from a “qualified” teacher, defined as one who: had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, with seven or more different courses taken in mathematics; was certified by the state to teach high school math; and had been teaching at least five years.

Assignment Priorities

Ms. Jackson found big differences in how high- and low-performing schools allocate teachers….

Similarly, in a separate reportRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader, researchers from the American Institutes of Research’s Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, or CALDER, probed the differences in the value, as measured by assessment results, that teachers added at high-poverty and wealthy schools in Florida and North Carolina from 2000 to 2005.

At schools with more than 70 percent of their students in poverty, the researchers found, teachers were, on average, less effective than those at schools with less concentrated poverty. Specifically, while highly effective teachers performed at about the same level in both high- and low-poverty schools, there was a much greater range of effectiveness among lower-performing teachers in high-poverty schools than in richer ones. Teachers in high-poverty schools were also generally less likely to have a graduate degree, or to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

“These differences are apparent even among new teachers,” said Philip M. Gleason, a senior fellow with Mathematica Policy Research who was not associated with either study. “This isn’t just a story of high-poverty schools having lots of turnover so more students have inexperienced teachers; that isn’t explaining what they are finding.”

Rather, teachers at low-income schools did not improve professionally over their years of experience as much as their colleagues at wealthier schools, according to study co-author Zeyu Xu, a CALDER senior research associate. “Why is the bottom of the teacher distribution lower in high-poverty schools?” Mr. Xu said. “It could be teachers are learning less in high-poverty schools, or that better teachers are likely to move out of high-poverty schools.”

At the same time, Ms. Jackson’s research also found that, among schools with lower overall student achievement, those with good student behavior and principals with high expectations were more likely to give students of all stripes access to qualified teachers in math. In higher-achieving schools, student behavior was not linked to teacher availability. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/04/03/27access_ep.h32.html?tkn=UMXFs3hTCKncLf9QXvVbjwJ1dHWiba0wucND&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

 

Here is what the Pearson blog said about the Jackson study:

 

Study: Struggling students least likely to have quality math teachers

Many low-performing ninth graders struggling to meet the more rigorous Common Core math standards could improve their chances of success if they had access to quality instruction, but a new study suggests that these students are the least likely of all to be taught by a qualified math teacher.

“Within schools, a student’s access to qualified teachers wasn’t related to gender or race or socioeconomic status, or whether the student is an English-language learner,” Cara Jackson, a research assistant at the University of Maryland College Park, told Education Week. “It is related to whether the student is enrolled in special education or a low-level math class.”

The study defines “qualified” teachers as those who have earned at least a bachelors degree, with seven or more different math courses taken, are state certified to teach high school math and have been teaching for at least five years.

Jackson found that only 54 percent of ninth grade students have a math teacher that is, by the study’s standards, “qualified.” High-performing students are 10 percent more likely to have a qualified math teacher than low-performing students.

At this critical juncture in math education, the disparity may make it even more difficult for struggling students to close the achievement gap as they move towards graduation. http://commoncore.pearsoned.com/index.cfm?locator=PS1n4y&elementType=news&elementId=197441

 

Here is information about the CALDER paper No. 52:

 

Working Paper 52

 

Value Added of Teachers in High-Poverty Schools and Lower-Poverty Schools
Working Paper 52
Author(s): Tim R. Sass, Jane Hannaway, Zeyu Xu, David N. Figlio, and Li Feng

Using data from North Carolina and Florida, this paper examines whether teachers in high-poverty schools are as effective as teachers in schools with more advantaged students. Bottom teachers in high-poverty schools are less effective than bottom teachers in lower-poverty schools. The best teachers, by comparison, are equally effective across school poverty settings. The gap in teacher quality appears to arise from the lower payoff to teacher qualifications in high-poverty schools.  In particular, the experience-productivity relationship is weaker in high-poverty schools and is not related to teacher mobility patterns. Recruiting teachers with good credentials into high-poverty schools may be insufficient to narrow the teacher quality gap. Policies that promote the long-term productivity of teachers in challenging high-poverty schools appear key.

Published: November 2010 | Download: pdf icon new Full Text (PDF 629KB) | Journal Publication

 

In Perhaps the biggest math challenge is how to teach math, moi said:

 

There will continue to be battles between those who favor a more traditional education and those who are open to the latest education fad. These battles will be fought out in school board meetings, PTSAs, and the courts.

 

There is one way to, as Susan Powder says, “Stop the Insanity.” Genuine school choice allows parents or guardians to select the best educational setting for their child. Many policy wonks would like to believe that only one type of family seeks genuine school choice, the right wing wacko who makes regular visits on the “tea party” circuit. That is not true. Many parents favor a back-to-the basics traditional approach to education.

 

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education

 

https://drwilda.com/2012/10/10/is-an-individualized-program-more-effective-in-math-learning/

 

Related:

 

Study: Early mastery of fractions is a predictor of math success https://drwilda.com/2012/06/26/study-early-mastery-of-fractions-is-a-predictor-of-math-success/

 

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 changing role of school libraries

31 Oct

Moi wrote about the importance of access to information 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.

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:

  • 99% use the internet at home, compared with 93% of the internet users in lower brackets.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 79% of those living in higher-income households own laptops, compared with 47% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 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.

  • 54% of those living in higher-income households own game consoles, compared with 41% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 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.

  • 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

Explore Survey Questions

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/

A very important part of helping bridge the digital divide is the school library.

Laura Devaney wrote the article, School libraries changing with move to digital resources, which was posted at eSchool News.

As schools across the nation move from printed textbooks to digital materials and digital learning environments, school libraries are adapting to keep pace—and new advancements are changing the very definition of school libraries and library media specialists.

Many of today’s students do not know what a card catalog is, and challenges lie not in locating information about various topics, but in narrowing it down and determining whether resources are trustworthy or not…

“People often say that the library is going away,” McConnell said. “It’s really not—it’s a critical piece. It’s a place for community, collaboration, and it’s a place to find partners to help you in whatever literacy you’re trying to increase. That may be literacy in resources, media creation—those services are all there.”

And the stereotypical librarian is evolving into someone who knows how to locate reputable online resources and can help students learn how to use those resources in their research.

“I see librarians as media specialists,” McConnell said. “We still have literacy, whether it’s reading or research…the librarian is the perfect partner for the classroom. The role of the librarian has shifted” for the digital age, he said.

McConnell said thinking about physical learning space is critical even as school districts and higher education migrate to digital resources and virtual workspaces…

“We think about different ways of doing business, and it’s not all about economics—it’s also about quality,” Suddreth said. “There are quality resources, and there are not-so-quality resources, and going with the cheapest model is not always the best. Tech directors are the perfect people to make it really clear to people that purchasing the least expensive model is not always going to support teaching and learning.”

Other challenges include:

Content expertise—Nearly every subject area has people who are proponents of that subject area being taught in a particular way, and other people who are against a particular method.
Hardware—Not every school has computers or tablets for every single student, even though 90 percent of all homes have a computer at home and 70 percent of the population has internet access. “Having hardware in the schools is something we see as our responsibility for students who don’t have it at home, but it’s also a challenge,” Suddreth said.
Security—Often of great concern to parents is what student access. Also, issues arise regarding protecting student information. Online assessments lead to security concerns.
Parent reactions—While student are very excited about working with the technology, where they can really be immersed in learning games or web research, parents are not always familiar with that and have concerns over what their students might be able to access. Parents sometimes have a fear of letting go of a more traditional way of learning.
Accessibility—This includes non-native English speakers and students with disabilities, as well as students’ ability to access the internet at home. “In Utah, because we have large families, when a family has five or six children and one computer, this does pose a problem after school,” Suddreth said.

McConnell said that as technology changes learning, libraries are evolving and will partner with students and faculty to help everyone understand how to research topics and filter information.

http://www.eschoolnews.com
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/10/30/school-libraries-changing-with-move-to-digital-resources/

For many children a library is where the are introduced to reading and learning.

In Reading is a key component of learning, moi said:

As more schools use “Common Core” standards, parents must also work at home to prepare their children.

Regan Mc Mahon of Common Sense Media has written the article, How to Raise a Reader which gives the following advice:

Read aloud: This comes naturally to lots of new parents, but it’s important to keep it up. Kids will enjoy it longer than you think. For babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kids in early grade school, it’s wonderful to have a kid on your lap, snuggled next to you on the couch, or drifting off to sleep in bed as you enjoy picture books together. You may have to read your kid’s favorite a hundred times, but just go with it. Your kid will remember the closeness as well as the story. And try nonfiction for those who are curious about pirates, Vikings, robots, castles, history, sports, biography, animals, whatever. For second through fifth graders, read those rich and meaty books that might be missed otherwise, maybe classics like Treasure Island or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Many parents think that as soon as their kids learn to read on their own, they no longer need to be read to. But kids still love it and benefit from it as they hear the rhythm of the language, learn correct pronunciation, and get to relax and just take it all in. Kids will get the idea that there’s something worthwhile in books and that there’s something special about time spent with a parent.

Savor the series: It’s common for kids to become book lovers for life after getting hooked on a series. And there are lots of good ones that keep kids hungry for the next installment. Some reliable prospects: Ivy and Bean, Judy Moodyfor beginning readers; Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Percy Jackson series for middle graders; and Hunger Games, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Twilight (unless you think vampires are too creepy) for older kids.

Grab onto a genre: Kids go through phases of genres they’re passionate about, from girl detectives to science fiction and fantasy. Don’t get hung up on whether it’s considered great literature (although some genre books are). Be happy that your kid is devouring books one after the other. 

Feed the favorite-author addiction: Once your kids finds a writer they love, they may want to read all of his or her books — a great excuse for a trip to the library or an opportunity for book swapping among friends and classmates. Here are some good bets for favorites. Younger kids: Dav Pilkey (The Adventures of Captain Underpants), Beverly Cleary (Beezus and Ramona). Middle grade: Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie), Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book). Tweens and teens: Judy Blume (Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret) and Sarah Dessen (Just Listen). 

Count on the Classics: Books are called classics because they continue to engage readers generation after generation. There are no guarantees, but you could try introducing your kids to books you loved as a kid and see which ones click. Some good ones to try are the Dr. Seuss and Narnia books, Charlotte’s Web, and The Secret Garden. Check out our Classic Books for Kids list to find more. 

Find Books About the Things Your Kid Loves: If your kid adores horses, try Black Beauty or any of the titles on our list of best Horse Books. If he’s wild about cars, trucks and trains, check out our list of Vehicle Books. Librarians, booksellers, and Internet searches will help you find books on any favorite topic.

Funny Is Fine: Some parents wrestle with letting their kids read Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other edgy humor books about kids getting in trouble. Talk to your kids about the content, but keep in mind that kids like these books not because they want to imitate the characters’ actions but because they can live vicariously through their bad behavior. Humor is a great pathway to book loving.

Comics Are OK: Graphic novels are among the hottest trends in children’s publishing, and they can get kids hooked on reading. Kids may start with Squish and Babymouse and move on to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But these series can also lead to more sophisticated fare such as Marzi andAmerican Born Chinese. Find other titles in our list of best Graphic Novels.  

Make Reading a Family Value: Actions speak louder than words. Take your kids to the library once a week or once a month to get new books, make regular outings to your local bookstore, hunt for low-cost books at used bookstores or second-hand shops, and show kids that finding a good book is like a treasure hunt.

Fit reading into your family lifestyle. Set aside time for reading only — turning off the TV, computer, and cell phone. Encourage focused reading time, either for independent reading or reading aloud. Take preschoolers to story time hours at libraries and bookstores. For older kids, a parent-kid book club can be fun. Read to kids at bedtime. Provide time and space for your kids to read for pleasure in the car (if they don’t get car sick!), on vacation, after homework is done, on their own before bed. Warning: It could be habit-forming! http://www.commonsensemedia.org/new/how-raise-reader?utm_source=newsletter01.12.12&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved. Parents are an important part because they enforce lessons learned at school by reading to their children and taking their children for regular library time. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/18/reading-is-a-key-component-of-learning/

Resources:

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments

The ABCs of Ready to Learn

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn

Ebony Magazine’s How to Prepare Your Child for Success

General Tips for Preparing for Kindergarten

Louise Hajjar Diamond in an article for the American School Counselor Association writes about preparing a child for middle school

Getting Your Child Ready to Learn

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success

Related:

Helping at-risk children start a home library                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/13/helping-at-risk-children-start-a-home-library/

Cultural literacy: Is there necessary core knowledge to be academically successful?                                                              https://drwilda.com/2012/03/12/cultural-literacy-is-there-necessary-core-knowledge-to-be-academically-successful/

The slow reading movement                                                https://drwilda.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum                                                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

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/