K-12 Tech Trends :: November 8, 2006


It's a Vision Thing

NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE CERTAINLY has been getting a lot of exposure these days, both in the national and international press and at conferences—most recently at the National Educational Computing Conference in San Diego. And deservedly so. A founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Negroponte is now sharing his vision of a low-cost computing device that can be used to transform education and eventually the economies of third-world nations. His determination to turn that powerful idea into a working prototype, and to get United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan to buy into it, is most worthy of attention. One Laptop per Child, the nonprofit association set up to support Negroponte’s vision, is a clear, encapsulated expression of that vision.

I had the opportunity to see the prototype up close at the recent EduStat conference, hosted by SchoolNet in New York City. Walter Bender, president of software and content for OLPC, was eloquent in his account of the evolution of the device, and in his description of Negroponte’s goals...

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News Briefs

SIIA Testifies to Technology's Promising Impact on Math Instruction

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) on Monday affirmed in its testimony before the U.S. Department of Education’s National Math Panel that...

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Sylvia Martinez Named President of Generation YES

Sylvia Martinez, an education technology industry veteran, has been named president of Generation YES (Youth and Educators Succeeding)...

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New Star Student Education Program Rewards Schools for NEC Purchases

NEC Corp. of America (NEC) is launching a new rewards program called NEC Star Student...

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Virginia District Implements 7,000 Wireless Access Points with AirWave

AirWave Wireless recently announced that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia has implemented a wireless network...

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By the Numbers

Music in Education: Study Finds Link with Attendance and Graduation Rates

Is there a link between attendance levels in high schools and the quality of music education programs in those schools? That’s the focus of a study just released by the National Association for Music Education (MENC) and audio industry trade group NAMM.

The report finds a relationship between the existence and quality of music education programs and the graduation and attendance rates in high schools. MENC is an organization that promotes the inherent value of music education in schools, and the study— Understanding the Linkages Between Music Education and Educational Outcomes—set out to discern whether requirements from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) had been contributing to an erosion of music education programs. But the study did not focus exclusively on the impact of NCLB. It also polled the attitudes of school administrators toward music education in general and their own music programs in particular, drawing correlations between attitudes, demographics, and student achievement...

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Show Me the Money

2007 Verizon Tech Savvy Awards Announced

Nominations for the 2007 Verizon Tech Savvy Awards are now available. These are the first national awards honoring programs that improve parents’ and children’s understanding and use of technology. Four $5,000 regional awards and one $25,000 national award will be presented. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 12, 2007. The annual award will be given for the first time in March 2007 in Orlando, FA, at the National Center for Family Literacy’s annual conference. The awards are designed to support programs that help parents bridge the widening gap between adults’ and children’s understanding of technology. Successful programs should create innovative ways to employ technology as an important component in family literacy, and those methods should have the ability to be easily replicated at other sites across the country...

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Products & Services

Adobe Releases Acrobat Pro 8.0

Adobe has started shipping the final release of Acrobat Pro 8.0 for Mac OS X and Windows. The new software is Adobe’s first full Universal Binary release of a major piece of software, and it adds a variety of productivity and creative enhancements for versions on both platforms. The most striking improvements to the new version of Acrobat are in the areas of interface and workflow. This includes a new dialog that appears at start-up to help users perform common tasks, such as combining PDFs, creating new PDFs, adding form fields to imported documents, etc...

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Sketchpad Math Software Goes Universal

Geometer has released an update to Sketchpad, a software tool for teaching and learning math. The new 4.07 update adds native compatibility for Intel-based Macs and continues to support PowerPC-based Macs and Windows systems as well. Sketchpad is a suite designed for both students and educators, with separate editions for each. It allows students to explore mathematics by providing tools for them to create diagrams and figures. Educators can also use the software to generate teaching aids. It includes classroom activities, presentation and sketch samples, learning guides, and reference materials. It also offers modules for various math courses...

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