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Title 1 Tech

July 3, 2012

betaclassroom

Not all tech is created equal and as a Title 1 teacher*, I have a special place in my heart for educational technology that works in my classroom.There are extraordinary technologies out there, but within a typical Title 1 classroom, many of these programs become useless because we lack the devices or bandwidth to run them. When it comes to technology,  what I really want to know is whether the “best” educational programs will still be the “best” once they cross the threshold of my classroom-a room with three walls (plus a curtain), spotty internet, and only 1 computer. While my definition for “Title 1 Tech.” is still emerging, here’s what I’ve got thus far:

Title 1 Technology

1. Technology that is developed to succeed in the physical, financial, and political reality common to Title 1 schools.**

2. Technology that bridges the digital divide by promoting competencies and skills needed to benefit from computer use.***

These are only my initial thoughts on what it means to distinguish an app or device as “Title 1 Tech”. Part 2 and 3 will discuss further specifics.

Happy 4th of July!

(*) I’m a Title 1 Teacher, which means that I teach at a Title 1 School. A “Title 1” school, is one that is considered “low-income” according to certain criteria for funding under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The largest federal program supporting elementary and secondary education, Title 1 was funded at $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2012. The goal of this legislation is to improve educational equity for students from lower income families by providing federal funds to school districts serving poor students. In addition to providing funds for high-poverty schools, Title I, Part A, Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged Program, is the federal government’s primary instrument for holding states, districts, and schools accountable for implementing standards-based education. Check Ed.gov for further information regarding Title 1.

(**) Classrooms in Title 1 schools are often characterized by slow-to-unreliable broadband connection or limited access to computers 

(***)One of the key findings from a recent report by the OECD was that “the digital divide in education goes beyond the issue of access to technology.  A second digital divide separates those with the competencies and skills to benefit from computer use from those without.” Therefore, Title 1 Tech distinguishes itself because it promotes competencies and skills needed to benefit from computer use. (e.g. piggybackr and icreatetoeducate are programs that promote creative rather than consumptive use of technology.)
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3 Comments

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  1. July 9, 2012

    I love this distinction, Jenny. Your references at the bottom will be helpful for developers working on these problems. There were some interesting solutions to broadband access, at least, discusssed at ISTE in San Diego. One possibility is 4G access points – cheaper than a wired infrastructure. We are still a ways off from the drone repeaters profiled in this month’s Wired Mag. ; )

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  1. Title 1 Tech. (part two) | Beta Classroom
  2. EVERYDAY I’M HUSTLIN’ | Beta Classroom

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