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From DA

In the United States and around the world, interactive whiteboards continue to be one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of classroom education technology. According to market research firm Future- Source Consulting, more than 300,000 interactive whiteboards were sold in the United States and 750,000 globally in 2009, which represents an increase of 34 percent over 2008. The firm also forecasts a 27 percent increase over 2009 this year, to nearly 1 million units sold worldwide.

Following the publication of a 2004 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education (Biancarosa & Snow, 2004), the topic of adolescent literacy emerged as an issue of concern. It recently has received increased attention thanks to the latest round of studies and calls for additional federal funding (Cassidy, Valadez, Garrett, & Barrera, 2010).

A new report released in May finds that although a majority of K12 educators believe that financial literacy is an important content area that should be taught in schools, only a small minority feel qualified to teach it or have ever taught the topic in class.

Sony

VPL-FX30 and VPL-FX500L

Projectors

$3360, $7080

Blended learning, the integration of online instructional and planning resources with traditional classroom activities, emerged with the advent of the Web in the 1990s. Now, educators are seeing the benefits of adopting a formal structure for tying their various blended learning initiatives together.

As in districts elsewhere, curriculum directors at Garland ISD in Texas were facing a challenge in their efforts to formalize progress monitoring in classrooms: It was very time-consuming to create assessment questions that accurately reflected state standards.

As district administrators nationwide are cutting summer school programs due to budget shortfalls, with some using the last of their stimulus money to retain teaching positions, other districts are prioritizing these programs. They know that, particularly for high poverty students, cutting programming means learning setbacks and a precarious time with few opportunities for physical activity, academic and cultural enrichment, creative exploration, or in some cases, proper nutrition.

School districts gather an overwhelming amount of information from testing, attendance and disciplinary actions each day. But often they find — as the Ozark School District did — that they are data-rich and information-poor.

District Administration aired a Web seminar in April, “Using Smartphones in K12 Classrooms Today: From Why to How,” that gathered experts in mobile learning. They discussed their own programs in the Katy (Texas) Independent School District, the Watkins Glen (N.Y.) Central School District, and St. Marys City (Ohio) Schools.

After discussing these programs, which are explained in our Mobile Learning Pioneers special section in this issue and which are linked below, they answered various questions from the participants in the Web seminar.

 

When seeking technology funding, don't overlook new or obscure grant sources, even if their connection to K12 may not be obvious at first glance.

 

CDI HAS ALWAYS SHIPPED FREE REPLACEMENT PARTS for its recertified computers, no questions asked. But for some clients, waiting for even overnight delivery of a critical component means too much downtime.

 

Sanija Hodzic has been employed by CDI for 11 years, the last two as customer service manager. He has reason to be proud of his work: A company survey last year found that 93 percent of CDI's customers would recommend the computer refurbisher to a family member or friend.

CDI has joined forces with Numonics to offer cost-effective interactive whiteboards as part of its comprehensive technology solutions for schools.

Numonics, based in Montgomeryville, Pa., developed the first pen-centric interactive whiteboard in 1994 and continues to provide innovations in the field. CDI is North America's leading supplier of certified refurbished computer equipment for the educational market.

<b>What are your district's key technology goals?</b>

We're trying to move forward to all 21st century classrooms. Each classroom would have an interactive smartboard, a projector, wireless connectivity and a computer unit to hook into. Eventually we'd have integrated audio, too.

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