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Media Workshop Edu-Tech News Digest -- June 5, 2000


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From: Jessica Millstone
Subject: Media Workshop Edu-Tech News Digest -- June 5, 2000
MIME-version: 1.0
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 03:23:29 1000


Each week Media Workshop sends out an email highlighting recent news articles about K-12 educational technology...


week of JUNE 5, 2000



"Computers Not Made for Kids, Study Says"

Amanda J. Crawford

Baltimore Sun,

May 29, 2000

An interesting study produced by Baltimore's Context-Based Research group has found that the design of computers prohibits many kids from using them effectively in their homes. Specific problems include the central nature of the keyboard, since kids often have significant trouble with keyboard/typing skills, and the inability to share control of the computer during its use. It was noted that popular electronic devices, such as gaming consoles, enable collaboration more seamlessly by providing dual control pads. Researchers observed kids in their homes for two hours a week over the course of five months.



"Putting Webcams to Educational Use"

Joyce Kasman Valenza

Philadelphia Inquirer,

June 1, 2000

Webcams, an older web-based technology that has remarkable application in the classrooms, is now mow made even more accessible to teacher through an online "portal" (produced by to webcams around the world. This technology enables teachers and students to log into live and archived images of places, people, animals, and live events in distant locations directly from the classroom. For example, science teachers can have their kids access live images for the Sun's surface (filtered through Doppler technology), something you cannot otherwise see. The article points out some of the stumbling blocks to using webacams with students, such as technology requirements, and recommends a lot of preparation and planning.



"High Schools Discourage Use of Free E-Mail Sites"

Rebecca Weiner

New York Times,

May 31, 2000

Schools in Boston, Portland, and Houston have banned students from using free email services (such as Yahoo email and Hotmail) while at school in an effort to manage limited network resources and better monitor student use of the Internet. Many schools in these cities had offered in-house email addresses to students only upon request, but now they've flipped the process and made school-based email accounts the default, unless a parent objects. School's cite problems with untraceable and threatening email between students as a motivating factor for the policy change, as well as needing to provide easily-managed student email address lists to teachers for communication purposes.



"Bets, Butts, and Tax Bungles Enrich School Technology Funding"

e-School News Online,

[long URL, may need to cut & paste]

Four states with some "found" money - acquired through state lotteries, tobacco settlements, and budget surpluses - have decided to earmark significant portions for education technology programs in their respective states. Georgia has allotted $32.6 million to the purchase of hardware, software, and Internet access this year, about 35% of the gross proceeds from its state lottery game. Oklahoma, which just received a $206 billion settlement from the tobacco industry, will dedicate about $100 million towards technology funding (if the governor and legislature can agree on how exactly to spend the money). California's governor already announced that he is tripling his states' technology budget, dedicating new funds towards teacher training and tech support. Connecticut, which got its money from thousands of income tax return that we lost in the mail, will spend between $10-18 million on K-12 and higher education initiatives.



"Lessons Teachers Beg to Be Taught"

William Raspberry

Washington Post,

May 29, 2000

Researchers were surprised about some of the data gathered in a newly released Public Agenda report on new teachers (fewer than five years in the classroom), which found that most teachers feel unprepared by teachers' colleges and master degree programs to handle issues of classroom management. A previous Public Agenda report found that fewer than 40% of education professors feel that covering classroom management issues is essential.



"School Board Member Investigated for Conflict"

Edward Wyatt

New York Times,

June 1, 2000

The offices of the Special Investigator and Conflict's of Interest Board at New York City's Board of Ed have opened an investigation into board member Irving Hammer's relationship with an online education company called TestU. This company has begun selling its products to select NYC schools, but does not have a vendor contract with the city. Dr. Hammer is also the chairman of a special task force researching ways to better integrate technology into K-12 schools.

"Education Site Snags Rudy Crew"

At New York Newsletter,,1471,8511_383921,00.html

May 31, 2000

Former NYC School Chancellor Rudy Crew is elected to the board of a for profit education company called EChalk, and will consult directly on a program to recruit, train, and retain school leaders in school districts around the country.



"Techie Girls Head Off to Camp" by Katie Dean,1284,36556,00.html?tw=wn20000530

May 30, 2000

This article describes three programs for girls interested in learning about media and technology from other women in the field being offered this summer through universities around the country.

"Barnes & Plans To Offer Array of Courses" by Rebecca Quick

Wall Street Journal ,

[paid subscription required]

May 30, 2000

Starting this summer, is adding "edu-commerce" (online courses) to their website, in an effort to create more of a community of learners -- and shoppers -- around their online bookstore. The courses will range from 1-day offerings to 12-week courses.

"Students use Web to find money for college" by Nicole Ziegler Dizon

Associated Press,

May 30, 2000

College bound students increasingly turn to websites such as and Fast Web to find money for college and advanced degrees.


summaries complied by:

Jessica Millstone (,Technology Consultant

Media Workshop New York, a special project of the Bertelsmann Foundation

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Last updated: June 5, 2000 in Word 2000