This information just in from Andy Carvin...
The Pew Internet Project just released their latest
report on the state of at-home broadband access in the
Among the findings:
* African Americans: 40% of now have broadband at
home, up by 8 percentage points from 2006.
* Rural Americans: 31% of those
living in rural
areas have broadband at home, up 6 percentage points
* Low income households, that is, adults who
report living in households with annual household
incomes under $30,000 annually: 30% of those in this
group report having broadband at home, up by 9
percentage points the prior year and matching the
end-of-2005 national average.
Read Andy's post here:
out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light
new light in the hearts of people.
Thinking more about the homeless issue and how to make an impact. Steve Hargadon and I have been throwing ideas around for awhile now. I plan to Skype him into my two workshops tomorrow at Preparing for Walking Home Together: Steps to a Practical Approach- NC's Conference on Homelessness to talk about using his Public Web Stations idea for setting up free Public Access computer stations for next to nothing with very minimal upkeep. Wouldn't it be cool to create immediate, affordable, maintenance free access for the homeless. Steve has figured a way to do it.
Web 2.0 and its Potential for Breaking Generational Poverty
When I speak at conferences about homelessness one of the things I emphasize is the potential of the Web for helping enable those who need it most. There are lots of great examples of the homeless who are starting to realize the potential for using these tools as a way of climbing out. Now we just need to get homeless service providers and those of us interested in helping on board and connected.
The Role of Libraries?
Take a look at this interesting article,
Other Ideas and Sites
http://www.sparesomechange.com/ is a search engine dedicated to helping homeless find resources created by a former homeless guy.
Austin Free-Net has a cool idea. Austin Free-Net tries to involve computers in the everyday lives of high poverty citizens. Through showing them how to look up bus schedules, use email or even research potential employers, Free-Net integrates the Web into their lives." Austin Free-Net is attempting to arrange classes on using the Web and software while people wait in line each week at the food pantry in hopes that more disadvantaged members of society will get online.
The Homeless Guy
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
National Alliance to End Homelessness
I am preparing for a couple workshops on homelessness I will be giving next week for the NC DOE and came across these two videos. Both caused me to stop and think... reflection is a good thing. Let's see if they cause you to reflect as well.
The one about what we model to children was particularly powerful. As teachers we are also sending messages to our students everyday through our actions. Children see...Children do. What are you modeling to your students? What about your instruction communicates the values and dispositions you want them emulating as they become lifelong learners?
At the beginning of the third millennium a man began collecting cast-off computers in the corner of his dining room in southeast Portland.
People who have access are living in a different society than those who do not have access. It seems the more social change is happening on cutting edge of technology, the more we are leaving the needy in society behind that social curve.
Free Geek is doing something about it. Working for 24 hours at Free Geek will give you a free computer-(adoption). Build six computers and you keep the 6th computer for yourself. (education)
Free geek is a community....run by a community council.
After you check out this video...get your mind around the power of Open Source to solve resource issues by checking out this.
Will says that networks are crucial and the best way to stay current is to network with other passionate learners who want to learn the things you do. As educators we must have a willingness to share and be transparent. He tells us that recognizing patterns is huge. As educators we should look at the distributed conversations that are out there -- which are not linear-- and synthesize ideas, pick out patterns of ideas and connect them.
Why should we be doing this?
Because as educators we are modeling how we learn and act in the 21st Century. Our students learn more by watching what we do- than what we say. When teachers model how they learn form networks, then that has a huge role in bringing technologies to students and getting them prepared for a 21st century learning environment.
This is so true for students of poverty or even for students whose parents (regardless of socio-economic status) are not connected at home. Because if they are not modeling after you in the safety net of your classroom- where are they discovering how to grow and learn in the new technology landscape?
Ask yourself- are the current methods and curriculum being used at your school going to equip a high poverty student to climb out of the circumstance that has been forced upon them? Will sequential, text based delivery of state mandated curriculum truly help your most needy students become literate in the 21st century?
I think you will see very quickly that if for no other reason than the changing demographic of students we are seeing in our classrooms, it is past time to make principled changes in the way we model learning to our students. Using technology as a medium for communication and collaboration isn't a choice or option any longer. 21st Century teaching and learning needs to be happening NOW. These kids can't wait on policy changes. Having access to a positive force (you) and gaining the knowledge of how to learn and connect in their world is going to be the difference between being locked in generational poverty or breaking out.
The way I see it- teachers have a moral responsibility to help these students; the ones who will only learn how to make these connections in the classroom. As educators, it is our responsibility to help them recognize patterns and build on the scholarship of others while learning to access the information they need to become effective and literate in a global society. This is at the core of learning in the 21st Century.
Why should teachers unlearn what they are so vested in (their content) and expand their own learning horizon? Because if you do not show your students the power of virtual networks who will?
Will tells us that learning is no longer an event-- but occurs any time any place- 24/7. That teachers who utilize connections made online become connective learners; they begin to understand and contextualize the changes that need to take place within our schools. Teachers are empowered and equipped to be change agents.
I challenge you to become the strong vital voice for children who otherwise would go unheard- children of poverty. Teach them how to change the circumstance in which they find themselves by giving them the ability to connect.
Change is Tough
Will talked about this moment in time being a disruptive period, as most traditonal media is being challenged. We can all be journalist and report on the events of life. We can produce content and share content in expansive ways that is changing the role of information in our society. The social nature of these technologies and the connections made around them is very disruptive to traditonally held beliefs about how to act and work within our traditional social contexts.
For a child whose circumstance has conspired against them- this is great news. They are no longer held back and forced to take the hand that society and circumstance has dealt them. They can be empowered through access in the connected teacher's classroom. Connected so they can learn and grow beyond what you have time to teach them. Most homeless kids are with a teacher for such a short time. Rather than trying to "catch them up" help them learn by giving them the skills to network, to find resources and postive mentors. That way, when the next move happens in the middle of the night, they are still connected and will not suffer by losing ground. Email address do not have to change with each physical move.
Leverage the Opportunity
Connectivism offers so many opportunities to leverage change as an empowerment strategy for those who need it most. It is only limited by our own resistance to innovation and unwillingness to redesign the way we do things in the classroom.
Just think if we removed time as a constant and began to think of it as a variable (something that was flexible) and instead learning became the constant- (students could take their time to master the content through their passions and perferred learning styles) they wouldnt have to keep step with a calendar to dictate what and when they learn.
What if we planned for extensions of learning outside of the classroom and spent time syndicating content for students to manipulate and contextualize in collaboration with others via the web? What if the exam was an application of the student-centered learning that resulted in a product that proved mastery of the objectives? What if teachers and students were able to be motivated to learn through their passion and strengths?
Will puts the responsibility to change on the teacher. It goes back to what I have always said-- you can't give away what you do not own. As connected teachers we own the skills- and as a result we can give them to our students. Need a reason to get connected? How about-- for the children's sake?
Had the exciting priviledge of being interviewed by Steve Hargadon for his EdTalkLive show.
EdTechLIVE's weekly webcast interviews series by Steve which focus on educational technology. His goal is to produce a library of recordings that provide good, brief introductions to different educational technologies that can be implemented in the K-12 school environment.
I was most impressed by his interview style which resulted not only in an effective exchange of information, but his pacing enable me to throttle the rate at which I answered-- a new experience for me, as often passion takes over when I talk about this topic and I talk way too fast. :)
For those of you who do not know Steve, he has his hands in many incredible projects.
Here are the show notes (from Steve's blog) for our interview as well as the links to the podcasts. Please share your reactions in comments. I'd love to hear your take on what we discussed.
And the final podcast of 4 from my keynote for the NAEHCY conference. This shares valuable information that the homeless need you to know when working with them, especially the 5 Es of blossoming. This clip also gives 7 tips of what you should do if you ever find yourself homeless.
Click below to play or download:
As promised here is the 3rd podcast in a series of 4 from my NAEHCY conference keynote. This one relates my experiences after high school and into adulthood. Embedded are many stories and a theoretical justification about why we should use technology and inquiry driven approaches when working with high poverty populations. Specific examples of how I used technology at W.T. Cooke Elementary school (a Title One school with a high percentage of homeless students) are shared.
I also share ways to help children and adults experiencing poverty escape and begin to develop a skill set that will enable them to break the cycles they find themselves in.
Click below to play or download:
As promised, here is the next segment of my keynote at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. If you haven't joined NAEHCY, you ought to consider it.
As a disclaimer, this post and podcast have nothing to do with technology or Web 2.0 per se, except to help the reader gain an understanding of how a high poverty student's schematic development actually dictates the need for inquiry based methods to learn and master the content in your courses.
Many Stories Untold
In this edited podcast of my NAEHCY presentation, this section is the story of my life during my K-12 years. The fact that it takes place in 10-15 minutes makes it obvious that there are many stories untold-both positive and negative. What I tried to do was put enough detail in to paint the picture of what life is like for some of our students in terms of constant chaos and drama. Many children who are homeless have even a more intense life because of living in the streets 24/7. In my experience as a child, we moved about constantly, but managed more times than not to have some sort of place to "live." My "living in the streets days" occurred as an unaccompanied youth after I left home at age 14.
Life Changing Strategies
Embedded in this part of the story are some strategies to use with children who are experiencing poverty. My hope is that they will be useful for reaching the children in your classroom who so desperately need you to notice them and their plight.
As you listen, ask yourself-- are the current methods and curriculum being used at your school going to equip this student to climb out of the circumstance that has been forced upon her? Will sequential, text based delivery of state mandated curriculum truly help this child become literate in the 21st century? I think you will see very quickly that with the changing demographic of students we are seeing in our classrooms, it is past time to make principled changes in the way we "do" school. Seamless integration of technology isn't a choice or option any longer. 21st Century teaching and learning needs to be happening NOW. These kids can't wait on policy changes- having access to a positive force (you) and gaining technical literacy will be the key to providing their unexpected outcomes.
Click below to play or download:
Other Resources (from the NAEHCY Website)
National Center for Homeless
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Homeless Education is a national resource center of research and information enabling communities to successfully address the needs of homeless children and youth and their families. NCHE products include educational rights posters, parent brochures, the LEA Homeless Education Liaison Handbook, the State Coordinators' Handbook, and the NAEHCY listserv.
National Center on Family Homelessness NCFH is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to developing long-term solutions to family homelessness. The Center is committed to: (1) building a rigorous knowledge base in the areas of family homelessness and poverty; (2) creating model programs, service demonstrations and technical assistance products; and (3) disseminating information to increase public awareness and improve national, state, and local policies and programs.
The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty NLCHP monitors and enforces compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act, providing technical assistance to attorneys, service providers, parents and educators across the country to ensure that homeless children gain access to public school. The NLCHP web site includes a self-advocacy kit, a flowchart for determining homelessness, reproducilble Q&A booklets, and many other materials.
The National Network for Youth
The National Network for Youth is dedicated to ensuring that young people can be safe and lead healthy and productive lives. In doing so, young people are championed, especially those who because of life circumstance, disadvantage, past abuse or community prejudice have less opportunity to become contributing members of their communities.
The National Policy & Advocacy Council on Homelessness NPACH is dedicated to ending homelessness through grassroots advocacy and inclusive partnerships. NPACH works to accomplish its mission by educating the public and policymakers on the causes and consequences of homelessness, creating and advocating for appropriate federal policies in collaboration with local communities, connecting community-based organizations, schools, and work places to national anti-homelessness policy through advocacy and public education initiatives.
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education is the federal agency charged with administration and oversight of the McKinney-Vento Act's Education for Homeless Children and Youth program.