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From: "P. Robert Marino"
Organization: Concord High School
To: wecare-at-nylxs.com, hangout-at-nylxs.com
Subject: [hangout] technlogy in education roundtable
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 23:08:56 -0500
Reply-To: "P. Robert Marino"
List: New Yorker GNU Linux Scene
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this is the official recording of the technology in education round table
P. Robert Marino
Vice President of NYLXS
Chairman of the NYLXS Education Committee
Technology Coordinator of Concord High School
"Some people do a lot of work in the name of laziness.
Don't be one of them. Do it right the first time.
NYLXS: New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....
NYLXS is a trademark of NYLXS, Inc
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="eduroundtable.txt"
The Council of the City of New York
Select Committee on Technology in Government
"Expanding Digital Opportunity in New York City Public Schools"
Tuesday, October 21, 2003, 10:00 a.m.
16th Floor Hearing Room, 250 Broadway
City Council Participants
Gale Brewer (GB)
Bruce Lai (BLA)
Leaders and Experts Participants (Alphabetical by Organization)
Shelly Pasnik, Senior Researcher, Center for Children and Technology, Educa=
tion Development Center (SP)
Luyen Chou, Executive Director / Associate Director, Center for Integrated =
Learning and Teaching / The School, Columbia University (LC)
Elisabeth Stock, Executive Director, Computers for Youth (ES)
Paul Robert Marino, Technology Coordinator, Concord High School, Staten Isl=
Pamela Haas, Manager - Corporate Community Relations, IBM Corporation (PH)=
Robin Willner, Director - Corporate Community Relations, IBM Corporation (R=
Bruce Lincoln, Staff Research Associate, Interactive Learning Technologies,=
Teacher's College, Columbia University (BL)
Michael Davino, Principal, Michael J. Petrides School, Staten Island (MD)
Anthony Salcito, Director - US Enterprise Education, Microsoft Corporation =
Carole Wacey, Executive Director, MOUSE (CW)
Mark Levine, Vice President, One Economy Corporation (ML)
Lisa Ernst, Executive Director, ThinkQuest (LE)
George Cigale, CEO, Tutor.com (GC)
Laura Allen, President, Vision Education (LA)
Greg Gunn, President, Wireless Generation (GG)
Jon Rubin, Director - State and Local Education Services, WNET-Channel 13 (=
Note: All comments have been paraphrased and summarized. =20
Introduction / Opening Remarks
GB: Many organizations are using technology in innovative ways. All of yo=
u have been invited here to discuss concrete strategies. Everyone believes=
technology is crucial to every child. Often there is a challenge in terms=
of content. Hardware is important, but content is also important.=20
Common Shared Goals
GB: Let's talk about funding issues and bureaucratic challenges.
CW: The challenges we face are surmountable. We have been following in the=
same footsteps, doing the same things that have already been done. We face=
a big challenge with The Department of Education. We are dealing with a ch=
allenging environment in which we don't know who to talk to or who the lead=
ership is, although this is slightly shifting. This situation puts those tr=
ying to do important work into a holding pattern. We need to know how to wo=
rk and collaborate with DOE and non-profits.
PM: Concord High School is an alternative transfer school for kids with a =
minimum of 8 credits who normally would not graduate from a regular high sc=
hool. We offer an alternative to the GED. Working with technology is a self=
=2Desteem issue. Students using technology score higher in the science regi=
ons test - it helps student visualize what they are working on. Infrastruct=
ure work has evolved, such as management issues, user accounts, and securit=
y issues. Some issues to be addressed are how computers (laptops) are distr=
ibuted, and rules and regulations for their use.
ES: The key challenge is the presumption that technology is the key issue.=
People are the most important factor. Things must be comprehensive - tech=
support, training, and web content. All of the pieces must be in place - =
hardware is only about =BC of the solution.
RW: The critical issue is strategy, as well as budget issues. Technology s=
hould be totally integrated or children will not get the value or opportuni=
ty that is possible. It is not about technology, but about education. Empha=
sis should be on professional development - if teachers are not prepared, k=
ids wont get much out of it. We can use technology to provide better profes=
sional development. We should think about strategy - integrate technology a=
s part of educational strategy. Teachers need to be brought up to speed.
MD: Technology is critical, but we have to transition from the perception =
that technology is an entity that is taught to the perception that it is a =
tool that is utilized. This major shift has never occurred. The group of in=
dividuals that would benefit most from it knows it better than the people t=
hat will teach them. The type of technology that is available now is alread=
y outdated when it gets to hands of the people that will use it. Technology=
must be integrated in new innovative ways. Technology is not a laboratory =
=2D we need to rethink our entire vision.
Our school has 1,200 students, and all 6-12th graders; teaching and support=
staff have laptop computers. The entire campus is a wireless environment. =
Certain classes have the Internet as the textbook - there is a wealth of re=
sources on the Internet. Changes and nuances must be explored.
PM: Issues of classroom management are important - teachers need to be ret=
rained. The idea that every student faces the blackboard doesn't work. Teac=
hers should be able to see what is on students' screens. Computer labs can =
be useful for certain things - like classes on networking. Traditional clas=
sroom design does not work.
BL: Most success models are driven by passion to help students reach the l=
evels they need and they help teachers adjust to make that possible. Conten=
t providers must find leading schools and find what passion drives them. Ch=
ildren have to be the drivers. A lot of these kids have better technology a=
t their homes. We have to drive technology through the entire community. We=
also have to learn about the problems at the most innovative and progressi=
LC: Our school (The School at Columbia University) is about 50% kids of Co=
lumbia faculty, and 50% from the community. The average scholarship is abou=
t $19,000, and most are paying nothing at all. We are setting up computer t=
raining facilities in the school for parents and kids. We don't all agree o=
n technology as a critical part of learning - cost and benefits must be eva=
luated, and there are exorbitant costs. We need to think about what technol=
ogy replaces when implemented in the curriculum. There is so little analysi=
s of best practices, and little cultural understanding within DOE of what i=
s working - even around the country.
JR: Each school administrator is left to reinvent the wheel and implement =
technology in his or her schools. We need a uniform approach to implementat=
ion. Our strength lies in content creation and professional development. Th=
ere is a hunger for this kind of standards-based content. Students are the =
RW: Everyone here is doing innovative things, but that is not the norm in =
public schools. Technology must be used to do new things in new ways - we c=
an't just do old things using technology.
ML: The home environment is key to educational achievement. 60%of Housing =
Authority units have access to technology. Hardware is necessary, but not s=
ufficient. The number one use of these computers is for job searches. Kids =
can use them for homework help - help that is multilingual and of an accept=
able literacy level (5th or 6th grade level). Helping people navigate conte=
nt is key.
ES: A theme here today is that kids are driving the agenda. They are our g=
reatest assets. The typical pedagogical model is that tall people have know=
ledge, but we need to look at it from the other perspective. Kids must be i=
nvolved in everything we do; we must help them feel like they are involved.
GG: We have a saying that teachers are not bad at technology, but that tec=
hnology is bad at teachers. Teachers spend most of their time walking aroun=
d the classroom, so we thought to give them palm pilots that are as mobile =
as they are. Teachers embrace them quickly - they are not afraid to use the=
m. It is their device, they are in control, and they feel a sense of owners=
hip. We should ask ourselves - what kind of technology do teachers embrace,=
and what else can be made accessible or personal?
AS: Is technology inherently good in education? It is not new in education=
and it is not new in industry. The history of technology in business is si=
milar to education. Once technology is immersed into how business is done, =
it is effective. In the past, important factors have been the ratio of stud=
ents to PC's, then the presence of Internet connections. Now, the impact th=
at technology has must be looked at. Kids are much more willing to embrace =
change. Once you address the divide with teachers, you will soon be faced w=
ith the divide with parents. The home may not be receptive - parents will b=
e closed out if they don't have professional development in technology as w=
SP: If you review all of the policy papers, there is surprisingly little d=
ifference in recommendations in the last 20 years. We know that student-cen=
tered learning, an involved community, and an involved administration are n=
ecessary, but we must be more specific in how goals can be achieved, and sp=
ecific needs in each school.
GC: Our organization focuses on the after-school component. Sometimes kids=
need help that they can't get anywhere else. We connect them to live exper=
t tutors. We work in 30 states - primarily in public libraries - here in Qu=
eens and Brooklyn. The library signs up so that all terminals allow student=
s to access live homework help - one-on-one, in real-time. At the end, the =
student completes a survey to tell how it helped them. We service about 200=
0 students a month. Kids love to chat - with this program they feel like th=
ey are, but with an adult that is helping them. We don't face professional =
development challenges, we face money challenges.
LC: The conventional wisdom regarding what qualifies as successful integra=
tion is fairly clear. The position of teachers or administrators does not a=
lways allow implementation.
LA: Teachers are on the front line of a huge change in society - it's not =
just about technology in schools, it's about how everyone is learning. Teac=
hers don't get the support they need. We can make the assumption that Inter=
net will not be an option - often, it doesn't work, it is down, or there is=
no tech support. Teachers need much more help making change - it's about h=
ow learning is used.
MD: Regardless of what level a kid is at, they come in prepared to learn. =
There are already a myriad of issues that have to be addressed - now the di=
gital divide is included. Technology is essential to equity of access. Some=
children from severe poverty levels can't take a walk to the library; they=
don't have an encyclopedia at home to refer to. This issue is not only abo=
ut the classroom and the teachers. It is critical to address equity of educ=
ational achievement and the gap that exists there. One-to-one computing app=
roaches provide equity of access.
MD: We are quick to point out that we need parental involvement, but some =
parents are incapable of providing assistance or stimulation, not because o=
f a lack of desire, but because of a lack of time or resources. Access chan=
ges the environment of learning tremendously.
ES: Computers at home can change education because it involves the kids mo=
re - they develop ownership over their learning. They have opportunities to=
explore their own interests.
RW: As far as content is concerned, there are many great resources. For ex=
ample, IBM's tryscience.org is a site for middle school students to access =
information from science museums worldwide. Kids can get experiences that t=
hey wouldn't get at home and we also have online mentors for children that =
BL: It is important to understand the role in thinking strategically about=
creative policies. We have to think about next generation tools and what i=
CW: It is exciting to have everyone here - this is a tremendous network of=
people. This is a great start of an important conversation, but it must be=
taken to the next level. The agenda must be pushed. With a shared vision, =
the other issues will fall in line.
LC: The conversation must include DOE. Content is not the only thing - con=
text is key. The educational context that is created is most important. We =
have to define the strategy and goals.
Short-Term and Long-Term Strategies
Tom Gilbert (Knowledge Delivery Systems): Training for teachers is importa=
nt, as is Internet access for schools. A short-term solution is to bridge t=
he gap by having teachers become Internet savvy by training them online at =
a low cost.=20
PM: Teachers who are not technology savvy or are technology phobic will ne=
ed handholding for online training.
TG: You would probably need to have one IT person per school that helps sh=
epherd the process.
Dave Katz (Typhoon Networks): If the content cannot reach certain parts of=
community that should be the immediate goal.=20
CW: Broadband access is a crucial issue. New York is only halfway to the n=
Marshall Brown: There are two different initiatives: the tech initiative, =
and this issue here. Over the next few years, NY should become its own tele=
com. Why not have community-based telecom services, with the school as the =
MD: We are fortunate for having broadband access, but there are points whe=
re things slow down and the value is impacted. The quality of service is cr=
AS: There is a core infrastructure discussion that needs to take place. Bu=
ilding infrastructure is critical. The reality and opportunity is to use th=
is to transform the way schools operate holistically. Student information s=
ystems, grading, etc must also be incorporated. We need to think broader ab=
out school operation, as well as classroom design.
GC: When things aren't working, you notice. The vision has to be there, an=
d then companies will invest.
LC: The most seamless and transparent form of communication is the telepho=
ne, yet they are not present in classrooms. Making technology transparent a=
nd easy to use is essential, but it must be accompanied by a parallel effor=
t to demonstrate why it is important and effective.
LE: The long-term strategy and goal is to ensure that every child has acce=
ss to some level of technology. "No Child Left Behind" cannot be ignored - =
it has placed a stronghold on educators in city, and called for a reformula=
tion of our system. The short-term goal should be to find a way to communic=
ate best practices. There are great things happening that are left in the f=
our walls of the school. It is difficult for small non-profits to create th=
e proposal to get in the door of every school.
CW: Without one person per school to manage technology it is very difficul=
GG: We should look at very strict criteria to see what has worked. Althoug=
h I know people will have a problem with this, we can't be too comfortable =
with intangible achievements.
SP: We should create case studies specific to the NY environment. This sho=
uld be done to look at different initiatives.
CW: We can all benefit from knowing what is out there. We should work with=
DOE to look at technology, how it is being used, and look at other states.
MD: Its not just about looking at technology, but also about instructional=
practices, training, and leadership.
Jennifer Sly (Jacob Riis Settlement House): It is important to link after-=
school with what is done in schools. Partnerships should be strengthened. W=
e should incorporate after-school life with schoolwork - after-school progr=
ams have fewer constraints, less barriers.=20
LC: As we look at best practices, we should expand to look at what is beyo=
nd New York. We should look at what is happening in after-schools, and CTC'=
s. We must do more than spotlight - we should analyze how it came to be, ho=
w was professional development conducted? We shouldn't use a singular axis =
of measurement - test scores. We may also need to rethink the way we assess.
GC: There is a lot of competition between school systems and after-school =
programs - they compete for the same funding, and there is often little or =
no collaboration. The most successful programs will involve collaboration b=
etween schools and after-school programs.
JR: We should look at hardware implementation, best practices, content, pr=
ofessional development, the role of parents/caregivers. We should not bite =
off more than we can chew. We can start by using technology that people are=
comfortable with - TV.
BL: We also must add other participants to the discussion - there are inst=
itutional issues in teachers education programs that need to be addressed. =
We need to think about the standards in creating new teachers. There is a l=
ot of talent that is not finding its way into school system.
ML: People on the frontlines need to figure out how to be a vehicle for lo=
w-income people to connect.
LA: It's not just about technology, but also about evaluating the learning=
process. This is difficult because "NCLB" does not care about children's a=
bility and learning, only about numbers and scores. How do you show that wh=
at you are doing helps kids be better learners? It is all about what you me=
ES: DOE must play a role. As they solidify their vision, it will become cl=
earer to us. Documenting best practices is essential - we have to look at c=
PH: We can look at opportunities for expanding use and expand programs tha=
t are already in place.
BL: It is important to not only document best practices, but also best pra=
ctitioners. We need to get a sense of what drives them, and how we can expa=
nd on that. Some are working in schools, some elsewhere. We should promote =
teachers, and professionalize the work of teachers.
SP: Schools are messy. We should produce case studies, document best pract=
ices, and allow people to see what went on and how they could reproduce tha=
LE: The key issue is a model for educators and lots of support!!!
AS: We should craft a strategic architecture, with a long-term window of f=
ocus. We should look at classroom design, and classroom dynamics. We should=
create a road map, a common movement.
ML: Schools systems connect people to printed materials. We also need a co=
nnection to online resources - a virtual library will have the most impact.
PM: We should create e-mail list servers, so teachers can communicate prob=
lems and share ideas.
JR: We need to think about how every teacher and student can have access t=
o working technology. Access to hardware will lead into development of cont=
ent, and a professional development plan.
LC: NYC schools system should have the ratio of IT school support staff th=
at the business sector has. We have tremendous leverage as one of the large=
st school systems - tech support should be at the forefront. We need to mak=
e a best practices connection.
LA: We should identify schools that are doing good work, and have an open-=
door policy in those schools. We should be able to see those programs in ac=
tion - not a canned presentation. We also need to give teachers access to p=
CW: Strategic planning is needed most - it's been 7 years since DOE did th=
eir last plan. A good first step is to review national policies.
GC: It really is a political issue - -not just about technology. We must g=
et the right people to the table to solve the issue. In the meantime, we sh=
ould all work in our own world, and be able to point to successes.
MD: We should focus more directly - the size and scope of the issue is imm=
ense. We need to undertake initiatives slowly and in a focused way. We can =
destroy an initiative by trying to do too much too quickly. We need to look=
at where our first step should be so that it has the greatest impact. Is i=
t in the area of curriculum, staff development, hardware, etc.?
NYLXS: New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....
NYLXS is a trademark of NYLXS, Inc