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T HE D IGITAL D IVIDE : W HAT IS IT ? W HAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT ? S CHOOL P OLICY AND P ERSPECTIVES Donald Owen Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum.

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Presentation on theme: "T HE D IGITAL D IVIDE : W HAT IS IT ? W HAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT ? S CHOOL P OLICY AND P ERSPECTIVES Donald Owen Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum."— Presentation transcript:

1 T HE D IGITAL D IVIDE : W HAT IS IT ? W HAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT ? S CHOOL P OLICY AND P ERSPECTIVES Donald Owen Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Urbana School District #116 Second Annual Fall Lecture Series 2009 - 2010 Graduate School of Library and Information Science

2 D EFINING THE D IGITAL D IVIDE IN S CHOOLS Digital Divide:broadly defined as the gap in access to technology Multiple Gaps:socioeconomic, racial, gender, rural/urban Constantly changing definitions of technology and access In Schools:also refers to opportunity gaps – leads to inherently unequal education

3 A B RIEF D IGITAL H ISTORY OF U RBANA S CHOOL D ISTRICT #116 Pre 1990 – Plato Labs, Apple IIs, connectivity was almost non- existent 1992 – First “modern push” for technology, computers purchased via fund raising, CUSF, and Urbana Alumni Association

4 A B RIEF D IGITAL H ISTORY OF U RBANA S CHOOL D ISTRICT #116 1994 – First connected classrooms – NCSA, NSF-RSE grant 1996 – Computer in (almost) every classroom, lab in (almost) every school: (equity/site based decision making) 1996-2006 – Stagnation Pockets of innovation UMS received numerous awards and grants UHS and UMS art programs, CTE, and science courses were leaders Elementary schools varied widely

5 A B RIEF D IGITAL H ISTORY OF U RBANA S CHOOL D ISTRICT #116 2006 – today – Renaissance, BOE committed funding to refresh computers Dark fiber (Urbana City Fiber Project) Interactive whiteboards in every school Every school has a lab

6 P OLICY IL Learning Standards NETS (for students, teachers, and administrators) NCLB Accountability Title IID E-Rate Acceptable Use Policies Internet Safety Act

7 IL L EARNING S TANDARDS IL Learning Standards were published in 1997 No separate strand for technology Technology was one of five “Applications of Learning”: Solving Problems, Communicating, Using Technology, Working on Teams, and Making Connections Vague (and now dated) attempt at integration

8 N ATIONAL E DUCATIONAL T ECHNOLOGY S TANDARDS International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) first published the NETS in 1998, and recently finished revising them:

9 N O C HILD L EFT B EHIND Federal legislation adopted in 2001 Close achievement gaps – All students will meet or exceed standards by 2014 Increased accountability via standardized tests Reading, Math (and Science and Writing) Progressive penalties and over-sight for not making Adequate Yearly Progress And… Oh yeah… All students will be computer literate by the end of 8 th grade

10 NCLB: T ITLE IID Enhancing Education through Technology “(1) PRIMARY GOAL- The primary goal of this part is to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in elementary schools and secondary schools. (2) ADDITIONAL GOALS- The additional goals of this part are the following: (A) To assist every student in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the time the student finishes the eighth grade, regardless of the student's race, ethnicity, gender, family income, geographic location, or disability. (B) To encourage the effective integration of technology resources and systems with teacher training and curriculum development to establish research-based instructional methods that can be widely implemented as best practices by State educational agencies and local educational agencies” Per pupil formula, adjusted for FRL%

11 NCLB C ONTINUED Intended consequences: Focus on closing gaps, social justice, and equity Move toward continuous improvement models of school leadership Renewed interest in assessment, standards, and curriculum Unintended consequences: Many “off the shelf” solutions – few “out of the box” solutions Forced changes in administrative (and some teacher) level technology literacy Many parts of NCLB are un- or underfunded mandates that with little accountability (exception is Reading and Math)

12 E-R ATE Prior to NCLB, Congress was concerned with the digital divide. In 1997, E-Rate (managed via Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund ) provided a funding system that attempts to close the digital divide Schools are ranked based on their Free/Reduced Lunch percentage (FRL). Schools with higher FRL are more likely to receive rebates and reimbursements for telecommunications and internet services E-Rate has been credited with increasing the overall number of public classrooms with Internet access from 14% in 1996 to 95% in 2005 E-Rate has been criticized for creating a complicated and hard to regulate disbursement system that is ripe with fraud (see “AT&T Missouri settles E-Rate fraud lawsuit” (October 13, 2009)).

13 E-R ATE ( IN 11 E ASY S TEPS ) Step 1 Determine Eligibility Step 2 Develop a Technology Plan (ISBE-NCLB) Step 3 Open a Competitive Bidding Process Step 4 Select a Service Provider Step 5 Calculate the Discount Level Step 6 Determine Your Eligible Services Step 7 Submit Your Application for Program Support Step 8 Undergo Application Review Step 9 Receive Your Funding Decision Step 10 Begin Receipt of Services Step 11 Invoice USAC E-Rates plans must see 2-4 years ahead, but E-Rate reimbursements are 1-2 years behind

14 A CCEPTABLE U SE P OLICIES Challenge is to balance restrictions and/or filtering (required by E-Rate) with educational purpose What is an educational purpose? Curriculum, learning standards Research (Google vs. subscription data bases) Collaboration (social networking, YouTube, Twitter) What is the risk? Cyber-bullying Predators What is the solution? Dialogue Professional Development Involve students in the discussion (IL Mandates – Internet Safety Act)

15 IL I NTERNET S AFETY A CT (105 ILCS 5/27-13.3) “The purpose of this Section is to inform and protect students from inappropriate or illegal communications and solicitation and to encourage school districts to provide education about Internet threats and risks, including without limitation child predators, fraud, and other dangers.” Requires districts to “incorporate a component on Internet safety to be taught at least once each year in grades 3 and above.”

16 P ERSPECTIVES, C HALLENGES, AND S OLUTIONS Funding and connectivity Technology does not wait for funding Bandwidth is beautiful Partnerships University of Illinois (OET, MISTE, NCSA, STEM) City of Urbana (Fiber Project) The Urbana Free Library (, online databases) Professional Development Build on partnerships and expand capacity Balancing Safety and Educational Opportunities Dialogue and experience Teaching and learning

17 R EFERENCES ISBE – ISTE – E-Rate -- NCLB -- USD116 –

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