I've been asked to help facilitate an event at the end of March with educational and government representatives on the topic of using the new technologies of the Web specifically to help low-income and minority students--and in particular to open greater opportunities for higher education to them. If all goes as we're planning right now, I'll be broadcasting the event live as a part of the interview series here and for anyone with an interest in this topic.
My job for that day will be to lay out the vision and possibilities for this angle on Web 2.0, as I've told them that I don't have any particular expertise directly here, but want to be a part of helping to bring the dialog forth.
I'm interested in what ideas you, dear network members, have on this topic, and if there is anyone you think I should particularly look to for thought leadership here. I'm also interested in involving some students in the discussion.
A great list of challenges...the acquiring and use of resources seems to be the starting problem.
(And of course all the politics, distance, time, tech support, knowledge support issues that makes connecting these resources with student educational progress even more problematic)
Can we minimize this problem - at least the acquiring and use side of things?
At the University of Baltimore we worked with middle school students as design partners on new media projects.
There's a couple of take-aways on this.
- As a technology development team we had kids partner up with college students. Basically they acted as subject matter experts on being kids. I think we can leverage local colleges into delivering more resources. Just need to get creative in curriculum. I think we can. (So - an after school program on college campuses)
- Despite our high tech goals, we did a lot of paper prototyping, black box AI, and role playing. We did a lot of games too using faux RFID tags, PDA's, etc etc...Its possible to at least introduce and conceptualize technology without actually having it. Granted, we did focus on faux technology - but there was real research and effort put into these projects, our kids learned about things about marine life and American history - then thought about how it could be put into a game. I suspect folks here are focused on technology as "the tool", so perhaps this doesn't quite fit. Still the question of best usage for scarce resources arises, and developing non technical (and educationally valuable) activities that "lean on" rather than require full technological support seems useful in under served areas.
(PS as for me, I build virtual worlds, which could help - but it doesn't solve the problem of limited resources)
Good in theory but is it good in practice? Using the new technologies of the Web to help low-income and minority students to open greater opportunities for higher education to them is a good idea. However, have they learned the old technology yet? Do they have access to the old technology? Have they become proficient with that technology or should a discuss be held to explore the benefits of the new technology and how it will help low-income and minority students who do not have access to the new technology? Discussions are fine but what about practical application of this medium? Will this discussion lead to hands on application for these at-risk youths? Just a thought!
Let's hope this leads to action. The end goal of this discussion is for me to present to those in positions to make decisions to take action. Hopefully for those of us participating it also provides ideas for things that we can do. Thanks for the thoughts!
The Web 2.0 has been the conduit through which I have had the most success teaching full language immersion in English (EFLESL), Spanish (FLES) and Modern Languages settings. These are programs funded entirely by specific budgets so what we get is what we use- and we make use of everything.
The teacher has a dual role in the classroom as both educator and researcher of best practices. For this, my students and I conduct lots of research seeking for appropriate (we follow a rubric for this) and interesting Web 2.0 applications. The application that they select is then taught and applied in the target language. Hence, the students learn both second language and technology at the same time in a sustained-affective stimulus that is guaranteed to help them succeed.
After they learn to maneuver the application, they can access it in my website. All this is free of charge (for me and for them), highly educational, and makes them feel like champions.
You can get ideas on how to build your own at www.herappleness.com or which are the sites my students and I built together to look for applications.
1. The Stupski Foundation focuses specifically on programs that help large urban districts address issues with poverty and racial inequality.
2. Hersh C. Waxman out of Texas A&M has done quite a bit of research on the impact of technology in education. Some of his work focuses specifically on urban and ELL students.
I am very much enjoying reading through the many fascinating replies. I definitely want to be a part of the discussion in March, if possible.
Hello my name is Haywood Parker, most people just call me "Woody". I am a new member to this forum but I was interested in this particular discussion. I am the founder and owner of "A Second Chance at Learning", which is a Virtual School dedicated to increasing the academic, technological, life and social skills of at-risk youth, teenagers, adults and ex-offenders in the urban core communities of america. We are in fact a start-up business, with a passion for people. We launched our nationwide marketing campaign on January 1st, 2009. We have recently won our first local city contract for delivering academic, technological, life and social skills training to at-risk youth between ages 10-17 in urban core communities. We are now faced with recruiting, retaining, inspiring, and developing a successful program to address the deficencies of this targeted community of participants.
Is there any At-Risk curriculum lesson plans etc. that is already available for delivery over the web to address a lot of these academic and social issues that our youth face today?
Is there any content specifically for minorities to help assist in acquiring the necessary academic, social, life and job readiness skills available?
If these cultural specific education content is not available how do we create it in Web 2.0, Moodle etc.,
What type of activities are events would you recommend for recruiting, retaining and inspiring participants in the 10-17 age group.