E-rate & Homework Gap Webinar Nov 17

Lots of good webinars this week. Today’s comes from the SHLB Coalition…

E-rate & Homework Gap Webinar
November 17, 2017
11 am – 12 pm ET
Register Here

Some schools and libraries have made innovative choices to close the homework gap, such as deploying wireless services on school buses and to residential users off-campus. Join our panel as they discuss how E-rate can also be a tool to close the homework gap and how to make the most of this funding.

Moderator: Susan Bearden
Bearden Education Technology Consulting, LLC (Former Senior Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education)

Andrew Moore, CIO at Boulder Valley School District
As Chief Information Officer, Mr. Moore is responsible for both traditional Instructional Technology services  and Educational Technology in the classroom.

John Harrington, CEO, Funds for Learning
John Harrington is CEO at Funds for Learning, a leading firm based in Oklahoma City that specializes in helping schools and libraries across the country receive federal funds for infrastructure and Internet access.

 

Blandin Webinar Archive: Homework Gap: How Lack of Broadband Hinders K-12 Education

Here are notes and video from yesterday’s webinar – Homework Gap: How Lack of Broadband Hinders K-12 Education…

Education processes are now infused with technology.  Many school districts benefit from Gigabit level services on-campus.  One-to-one device initiatives, flipped classrooms and virtual school snow days are now part of the educational lexicon.  This is all well and good until students head to their unconnected home.  How are schools coping with this inequality of educational opportunity and capability?  In some school districts, ubiquitous connectivity and affluent families make connectivity a slight challenge.  In poorly connected regions with high levels of poverty, schools face a significant challenge to cope with the digitally excluded.

Join us for a webinar roundtable discussion with regional school technology experts.  Marc Johnson of East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative and Josh Sumption from the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative will discuss the present challenges, the current responses by education leaders and options for overcoming this broadband challenge.

Blandin Webinar: Homework Gap: How Lack of Broadband Hinders K-12 Education – Nov 9

When: Thurs., November 9 from 3-4 pm
Register Now

Education processes are now infused with technology.  Many school districts benefit from Gigabit level services on-campus.  One-to-one device initiatives, flipped classrooms and virtual school snow days are now part of the educational lexicon.  This is all well and good until students head to their unconnected home.  How are schools coping with this inequality of educational opportunity and capability?  In some school districts, ubiquitous connectivity and affluent families make connectivity a slight challenge.  In poorly connected regions with high levels of poverty, schools face a significant challenge to cope with the digitally excluded.

Join us for a webinar roundtable discussion with regional school technology experts.  Marc Johnson of East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative and Josh Sumption from the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative will discuss the present challenges, the current responses by education leaders and options for overcoming this broadband challenge.

Google to give $1B, help U.S. workers find jobs

According to MSN News

Google will invest $1 billion over the next five years in nonprofit organizations helping people adjust to the changing nature of work, the largest philanthropic pledge to date from the Internet giant.

Here’s a high level look at their plan…

Google will make grants in its three core areas: education, economic opportunity and inclusion. Already in the last few months, it has handed out $100 million of the $1 billion to nonprofits, according to Pichai.

The largest single grant — $10 million, the largest Google’s ever made — is going to Goodwill, which is creating the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. Over the next three years Goodwill, a major player in workforce development, aims to provide 1 million people with access to digital skills and career opportunities. Pichai says 1,000 Google employees will be available for career coaching.

In all, Google employees will donate 1 million volunteer hours to assist organizations like Goodwill trying to close the gap between the education and skills of the American workforce and the new demands of the 21st century workplace, Pichai said.

Work is changing. It doesn’t seem like schools are catching up. Although I do hear about other programs (Coder DoJos for kids, Robotics, Hackfests…) that are leading the way. Hopefully Google can help cushion the disruption for students, workers and businesses!

Personalized Tech Education at Woz(niak) U

Woz U looks so appealing I’m nearly thinking about trying the classes myself. I just need a little free time! But the word comes from Business Insider

Steve “Woz” Wozniak, cofounder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple II computer, announced on Friday the launch of his latest startup, Woz U.

The venture is a “digital institute” meant to help people gain skills in computer science to fill gaps in high-paying technology roles. Wozniak, beloved for his affability, said Woz U was created to make tech less intimidating.

Here’s a little bit more about the programs offered…

Woz U is hardly the first coding school designed to make seasoned engineers out of novice techies. Udacity, for instance, was founded in 2012 and boasts more than 1.5 million users. Around the world, there are dozens more bootcamps with a similar mission. Critics, however, have said the tech industry rarely hires the bootcamp graduate over the person with the four-year degree, arguing the skills they gain still tend to fall short in the workplace.

Woz U wants to separate itself through its various divisions. The primary one is the collection of online classes that people can enroll in to learn the basics of computer support and software development. In time, the curriculum will expand to include data scientists and cybersecurity experts. Woz U will also focus on getting students career-ready by helping them with their resumes, practice coding tests, and building out their portfolios.

In addition, Woz U will look to enter schools to encourage kids in K-12 to pursue science, tech, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM); it’ll build an accelerator program to “develop elite tech talent”; and it’ll work with companies to recruit and train new talent on-site, through Woz U programs.

Paul Bunyan Communications 2nd Annual GigaZone Gaming Championship this weekend

I’ve written about this before – but what a great excuse to get the whole family up to Bemidji (up for most of us) for fall colors and gaming. It is the perfect vacation for the right family!

2nd Annual GigaZone Gaming Championship This Friday and Saturday in Bemidji

Free and open to all, the event includes open console and arcade gaming along with gaming tournaments

 

(Bemidji, MN)  – The first stadium style eSports event in the region, the GigaZone Gaming Championship, returns to the Sanford Center Ballroom in Bemidji this Friday and Saturday.  The doors open at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday.

 

Northern Minnesota’s best League of Legends teams will compete for more than $4,500 in cash and prizes and the first match scheduled for 5 p.m.  The championship match is expected to start between 7:30-8 p.m. on Saturday.

 

In addition to the League of Legends Tournament, the public is invited to participate in open console and arcade gaming both days along with tournaments of Madden 18, Overwatch, Street Fighter 5, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Brothers, Magic the Gathering, and more.  Admission is free for tournaments and the event plus there will be a chance at great door prizes throughout.  There is also a Cosplay Contest for those who dress up and embrace their inner fantasy character with prizes of up to $200 for the top costume of the weekend.

 

“We’re excited to bring back GigaZone Gaming Championship to the region!  After our first event last year was a success we’ve expanded the fun to 2 days and added a lot more different open gaming and gaming tournaments.  There is a large gaming community in our area and this event is a way that we can give all gamers, whether competitive or just in it for fun, to come out and enjoy a one of a kind gaming weekend” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.

 

Consoles systems to try will include Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo Wii.  Games on the various console systems will include Madden 18, NHL18, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart 8, Street Fighter V, and more.

 

Arcade games to play will include Ms Pac, Galaga, Big Buck Pro Hunter, Battletoads, Police Trainer, Alien vs Predator, Rush The Rock, Pirates of the Caribbean Pinball, Surfin’ Safari Tekken, Confidential Mission, Vapor TRX, Neo Geo, Silent Scope, and Pole Position.

 

“With the GigaZone providing Internet speeds up to a Gigabit per second it is the ultimate connection for the online gaming experience. Our cooperative has one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and this event showcases the GigaZone Internet speeds and the impact it has on the overall gaming experience.” added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Digital Services Supervisor.

 

For more information on the GigaZone Gaming Championship visit www.gigazonegaming.com

 

“We had such a great turnout last year and we hope even more will come to check it out this year. Concessions and GigaZone Gaming Championship merchandise which will be available for purchase too.  Whether you are a competitive gamer or like me, just a casual player, the GigaZone Gaming Championship has something for everyone,” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

 

White House to devote $200M per year to STEM grants – opportunity for rural schools?

The White House reports an effort to expand access to high quality STEM and Computer Science education…

Recognizing the importance of expanding access to high-quality STEM and Computer Science education, particularly among historically underserved groups, this PM directs the Secretary of Education to:

  • Establish high-quality STEM education, with a particular focus on Computer Science, as one of the Department of Education’s priorities.

  • Establish a goal of devoting at least $200 million per year in grant funds towards this priority.

  • Explore administrative actions that will add or increase focus on Computer Science in existing K-12 and post-secondary programs.

The announcement was made yesterday. I don’t see a lot of details – but it looks positive. They do mention the gender gap in the tech field. They don’t mention rural urban gap but I was just rereading a recent MN State Demographer’s report on rural areas – and from the graph you can see that urban areas have a commanding lead over other areas when it comes to “Professional, scientific…” jobs and a lead in information. So rural areas may be poised to take advantage of the opportunity.

The same report points out that non-urban women are in the earn less than any other group. STEM preparation could help change that…

Half or more of men working fulltime
in rural, small town, or large town Minnesota earn less than $45,300 annually. Half or more of all
women working full-time in rural, small town, or large town Minnesota earn less than $34,600 annually.
Urban workers’ median earnings, for men and women, are $10,000 or slightly more higher than all other
geography types.