Keeping young people in school longer and improving teacher quality are two top challenges facing educators in Yemen today. Leaders from public and private sectors as well as members of the international donor community and the Ministry of Education met recently to focus on ways to propel Yemen’s education system forward through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The summit was convened by the Ministry and EDC.
Even when students can read, do they always understand? That is the concern of EDC’s literacy experts, who are exploring the use of technology in boosting three key aspects of reading comprehension: identifying themes, sorting information, and connecting ideas.
A lush mangrove forest with its wealth of tropical plants, animals, and sea organisms, one of the most biodiverse wetland habitats on the planet, thrives just off the coast of Colombia. For children in a local neighborhood, the mangroves are a gateway to discovering ecology—and computer software.
The votes are in, and Jane Addams, the social reformer and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, has been selected as the “American History Idol.” Inspired by the hit TV show American Idol, EDC created a curriculum unit where students write persuasive essays on key historical figures, and the class then votes on who had the greatest impact. To gather, organize, and present information for their essays, students use the software program Draft: Builder, originally developed at EDC and now published by Don Johnston, Inc.
Education Development Center (EDC) will host educators from 33 states who have cultivated youth interest in science and technology, to share their strategies after four years in a $73 million program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Participants in the Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program will talk about their projects and experiences at a symposium February 6-8, along with policymakers and research and business leaders interested in boosting youth interest in science-related careers.
In Uganda, where interruptions to the power supply are frequent, Internet
access is spotty. But a low-cost, low-energy computer lab set up for training rural teachers averts these problems, which tend to damage computer equipment and make it hard to reliably access the Web.
Building on young people’s natural creativity and interconnectedness, Adobe Systems Incorporated has launched a five-year, $10 million program to encourage young people to use multimedia tools, such as film, digital art, and animation, to comment on their world and take an active role in their communities.
Watch young people at home today, and you’re likely to see them managing technology with an ease that can inspire awe and envy. They text and they IM; they Google and they design their own Web pages; they download music and burn CDs—all in service of their friendships, romances, interests, and hobbies. But watch young people at school, and you’re more likely to find them seated at desks, listening to lectures, reading from textbooks, and penciling in little oval bubbles on standardized tests.
professional education for teachers and administrators has been a
rapidly expanding industry over the past several years. Educators and
districts across the country have been drawn to the convenience
provided by online courses and workshops. But how effective are these
courses, and what features determine the success of an online offering?
EDC’s FunWorks project has teamed up with technology giant Cisco Systems, Inc., and the National Center for Women & Information Technology to increase awareness of education and career opportunities for girls and women in math, computing, and technology.
The Department of Defense Education Activity
operates 200 schools in 13 countries that enroll more
than 100,000 students—the children of military
service members and Department of Defense civilian
employees. EDC is providing online training and
materials to nearly 3,000 teachers who work in
Information and communication technologies (ICTs), if appropriately deployed, can bring about new and innovative teaching and learning practices among educators and students. dot-EDU’s E-School project in Macedonia is pioneering uses of ICT for improved teaching and learning—and is demonstrating quantifiable impact.
Teachers taking part in a new study say that today’s tech-savvy students have influenced how and what is taught in the classroom. These young people have also influenced their teachers’ knowledge about communications technologies.
At a time when many schools are being pushed to narrow their focus and concentrate on core academic subjects like reading and mathematics, afterschool programs are being pulled in a dozen different directions. Program directors wrestle with a range of questions as they try to meet the diverse needs of funders, parents, and the young people they serve. Should afterschool time be an extension of school, focused on tutoring and homework help? Or a break from school, focused on sports, fitness, arts, and hobbies?
EDC’s Picturing Modern America Web site, a set of online activities and tools that help students learn history through primary documents, was recently honored as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities. The site includes hundreds of documents, photographs, pamphlets and films on U.S. history and culture from the Library of Congress.
EDC has been selected by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a lead organization to implement the Assistance to Basic Education (ABE/BE) initiative, USAID’s new Indefinite Quantity Contract mechanism to support quality basic education around the world.
Teachers know that useful and creative materials are available on the Web, but they often don’t have the time to locate and experiment with them. To make Web resources more readily available, EDC’s Judith Zorfass and her staff at the Center for Family, School, and Community have developed the Literacy Matters Web site, an online resource for middle and high school teachers, parents, and students committed to supporting adolescent literacy.
Today’s students face unprecedented challenges in preparing for a more
globalized society. While many organizations have worked to define
the kinds of skills needed for the 21st century, few have undertaken
efforts to measure the application of these skills. Recognizing this, the
Partnership for 21st Century Skills commissioned a report from EDC’s
Center for Children and Technology (CCT) to inform education leaders
on this crucial issue.
As fewer young people opt for careers in science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM), the National Science Foundation has funded
EDC to develop a resource designed to engage young people in career
exploration and development.
Teams of young people from around the
world gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica,
in August for the First International
Power Users of ICT (information and
Symposium. The event included student
participants from Costa Rica, Latin
America, Australia, the Netherlands,
Nordic countries, and the Philippines.
Participants, who interacted virtually
with teams from Africa and Asia,
demonstrated their digital skills with
the goal of helping focus research on
pressing questions and topics.
In conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the Digital Divide Network (DDN), EDC’s Center for Media & Community has launched a new interactive Web site for activists working to bridge the digital divide. The new Digital Divide Network Web site provides a unique, free online space for technology advocates, Internet activists, educators, and policymakers to collaborate with each other.
In an effort to provide more choices and expanded educational opportunities to their clients, many community technology centers (CTCs) are turning to online learning. ACC recently spoke with two programs funded under the Department of Education CTC grant program that provide online courses as part of their program offerings. These experiences capture both the promises and pitfalls of online learning and show its potential to complement the great work CTCs across the country are already doing.
By 2015 and in accordance with Education for All (EFA), the Government of Honduras seeks to have 50 percent of its pre-school age population in school. Currently, less than a third of preschool age children are able to attend pre-primary institutions, most of which were private.
The current issue of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE) Journal highlights an article the Journal has selected for its series of “seminal articles” about education and technology by EDC Vice President Glenn Kleiman.
Yemen is one of the least developed countries in the Arab world, a society where literacy rates for girls and women run as low as 30%, while poverty rates are correspondingly high. In a bold pilot project beginning this September, USAID will wire 24 Yemeni high schools to the Internet for the first time. EDC and its partners iEARN and World Links, will train teachers to use the new technology as well as conduct research on the impact of the initiative, notably on the experience of girls.