eSchool News

eSchool News
eSchool News covers the intersection of technology and innovation in education.
  • School implements standing desks to boost student engagement
    As educators turn their attention to how physical learning environments can influence student learning, more companies are responding to the demand for flexible and innovative classroom furniture. Ergotron, Inc. placed LearnFit Standing Desks in a classroom at Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School in the Pasadena ISD, a suburb of Houston, Texas, earlier this school year and is already receiving positive feedback. Students taking freshman geography started the school year at traditional sitting desks and in October transitioned to Ergotron LearnFit adjustable standing desks to support project-based learning and reinforce the school's focus on open, collaborative classrooms. Next page: What educators think of the standing desks "Since the introduction of the LearnFit standing desks student engagement has gone up markedly," said Jason Rhodes, geography teacher at Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School. "Students are more actively participating in discussions and the amount of time that it takes students to complete tasks has lowered by four to five minutes, which is a big deal in a 45-minute period." The LearnFit desks transform static classrooms into active learning environments. Students can change their own desktop height on demand, so a comfortable position can be achieved whether sitting or standing or using different types of technology like tablets or netbooks. The casters enable easy movement for reconfiguring classroom layout and student collaboration. Desks can be rolled together for small group breakouts and quickly returned to the full classroom configuration when done. "Oftentimes the afternoon, post-lunch hours pose the greatest challenge for teachers as student attention starts to fade," said Rhodes. "The afternoon performance with the LearnFit desks is night and day. I've had no sleeping issues recorded this year, and any time I sense a potential issue I have the students change their positions, which does a great job of recapturing their attention and focus."
  • Schools, STEAM professionals interact online
    Schools in Porterville Unified, Long Beach Unified, and Oakland Unified school districts in the Linked Learning Alliance are receiving full access to Nepris— a cloud-based platform connecting science, technology, engineering, performing arts and math (STEAM) professionals with teachers and their students through a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The Nepris platform helps teachers have online, interactive sessions between students and professionals so that the students can learn first-hand about STEAM. “The Linked Learning Alliance brings meaningful learning experiences to students so they will be thinking ahead to college and career,” said Susan Benz, manager of career readiness for Oakland Unified School District. “Nepris opens a whole new horizon for our students, encouraging them to reach beyond what they might have thought was possible for their lives. Our teachers will love that Nepris does this without being a complicated process or a burden on an already packed curriculum.” “This grant brings Nepris to dozens of California schools and will connect hundreds of students with subject matter experts and professionals from right next door or from across the globe,” said Sabari Raja, CEO and founder of Nepris. “We are pleased to join the Linked Learning Alliance in inspiring students to dream big and achieve great things.” Teachers use Nepris to request speakers or mentors who will talk with their students while exciting them about careers in science, engineering, technology, performing arts and math. By managing the end-to-end process starting with matching professionals’ skills to teachers’ needs and then hosting the sessions, Nepris allows professionals and companies to manageably and effectively reach out and interact teachers and their students. Professionals and educators can see archived sessions or enroll at Nepris.com. Companies can sponsor teachers, schools or districts. Individual teachers from elementary, middle or high schools can sign up for a free trial at any time.
  • School officials sweat as online testing looms next week
    Many Florida superintendents fear their schools won't be able to manage all the new computer-based testing set to begin next week. Required by the state to certify their schools' "readiness" for the computer-based portions of the new Florida Standards Assessment, a third of superintendents who have responded so far signed the document but then wrote letters detailing serious concerns. Many said they weren't really ready and worried the increase in computer-based standardized tests would chew up class time, limit students' ability to go online for class work, lead to technology failures and hurt students unfamiliar with the tools of online exams. Walt Griffin, superintendent for Seminole County schools, noted the state's certification document only provided one option for superintendents. They must sign off on school readiness and promise that any that aren't ready will be "provided with support" so they are. "By default, districts are deemed ready regardless of the number of testing sessions that have to be scheduled and the impact to students and instruction," Griffin wrote in his letter to Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. Seminole will give thousands more students an online test this year than last, he wrote, creating "significant impacts to our primary mission … educating students." The new FSA exams not only include more online versions, but they take longer than those of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which is mostly being retired. A new Algebra 2 exam also will join the online end-of-course roster, adding to the testing load. Districts start giving the end-of-course exams in mid-April. The Orange County school district's letter said its test of the new exam system used 90 percent of the district's bandwidth capacity. Though it showed Orange was ready, the letter said district officials weren't confident that computer systems could handle the testing statewide. Other superintendents — from the state's largest districts in South Florida to its smallest in the Panhandle — also expressed worries about the state's push to give more exams via computers. "I am hereby certifying the readiness of Calhoun County School District. … However, I do so with serious concerns and reservations!" wrote Ralph Yoder, superintendent of that small Panhandle district.
  • School leaders convene to celebrate AASA’s 150th anniversary
    National gathering of superintendents celebrates milestone The School Superintendents Association, AASA, will host its annual conference, the National Conference on Education, Feb. 26-28 in San Diego. The National Superintendent of the Year will be announced at the conference. “AASA has been serving as the voice for school district leaders for 150 years,” said Daniel A.  [ Read More ]
  • 5 gorgeous apps to help you learn about space
    STEM learning seems to be a national priority today, with calls for more computer science, engineering, and coding opportunities for students of all ages. In fact, using students' interests to engage them in STEM learning opportunities is a strategy many educators employ. Encouraging students to learn about space pulls them into STEM topics while also exposing them to innovative concepts. The website APPitic.com, an app resource site with more than 6,000 apps in more than 300 subcategories, offers a number of space-related apps that students and teachers might find useful in and out of the classroom. Here, we’ve gathered a handful of those apps for each of those stages. You can find the full range of suggested apps online. [Editor’s note: eSchool News has selected these apps, which were originally curated by Apple Distinguished Educators, that may help you meet your instructional needs.] Next page: Five apps to learn about space 1. A Solar System Journey, Free This app brings users on a journey through our Solar System. This includes all of the planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Each planet comes with comments and facts. A close up image of the planet is also included. There is also an animated orbit for the planets. 2. Astronomy Picture of the Day, Free Developed in partnership with NASA, Astronomy Picture of the Day for the iPhone/iPad brings the vastness of space right into your hand. Browse through decades of high resolution NASA space photos hand selected by NASA astronomers. Jump to photos by date, save them to your photo roll or share them friends. Want that latest Hubble photo as a background? Then APOD is for you. 3. Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science and Space Exploration, $1.99 This app, created by Buzz Aldrin, brings together a huge wealth of new, important and historical information about science and space exploration. Some features include live NASA streaming TV, hundreds of videos and photos of every important space initiate, both current and historic, and Roundtable discussions moderated by the top minds in the Science and Space community, and roundtable discussions moderated by the top minds in the Science and Space community.
A triumphant 6th re-union PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 10:00

July 29, 2009

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it. Author:Francis Bacon Source: Essay—OnGoodness

When our members, friends, and supporters flew from all over North America during this critical economic downturn it shows the love, the passion, and dedication that they have to support our association and what it stands for. We all have good time with friends and family. More so we all were happy when it was announced that the big project was finished and is giving full services. What is so enjoyable other than see the seed we saw six years a go bearing fruit and reach for harvest in our six reunions. We have seen via video the beautiful library filled and equipped with hard cover books. We have seen the children who six years a go were fighting for a sitting space now relaxed and have books as they want in the spacious and elegant library. What else is satisfying other than hearing our little brothers and sisters, our parents, friends, and alike appreciating the marvelous work of each and every one of us put into this. Guys don’t take it easy and do not assume you haven’t done your share. we are changing a generation that is lagging behind. We are bringing the young generation who is still using 19th century technology and outdated books in this 21st century. We are creating a new generation with new ideas, talents, creativity, and what have you. Therefore, you have every reason to be proud.

In general, our members in most cases were and are very optimistic. This year even though the board was not expecting to see many members attending the re-union due to the sluggish economy, many managed to make it. We all were amazed by the number of attendees from different States. It appears to us and to all members that people can do anything and everything if there is a will. We know now more than anytime else that our members are determined to do anything for the quality of education, for bright future of the new generation, and to eradicated backwardness ones and for all.

Those of us who flew have a good time and enjoyed ourselves with friends and alike and contributed some to our beloved association. Those who choose to be with us in spirit also were with us in spirit and have sent their fair share of contribution. Is not this something! We don’t know what it is but there is something unique about this association. We all stand as one, support each other, listen to each other, work together as hand in gloves, bring information, share information, no pointing fingers, always think positive and do what is best to change the life of others. Amazing!

Our DC folks are truly great in their hospitality. If it was not for their money and time scarifies we may not enjoyed our time since driving from one area to the other is so nightmarish. However, by the effort of the father of our association- HBT and others, we have a pleasant week. The Haileselassie Belay household took a week of vacation from their job to facilitate our Stay. The young Robel Haileselassie and his beloved mother Tsige did not have a break until we all depart. Every year, every month, every day, every minute and second we all fall in love with this very kind and big heart family. May God give them longevity so that our ADI will be served better and we all have a good vacation with them year after year? CUDOS HAILE BELAY TEKLU and Family! If we start naming people we may forgot some hard working individuals and committee members so we will stop here but would like to thank all the women who feed us for five days with the best food ever TIHLO.

Financial report: - Members discussed the financial situation of the association. A report was presented by the secretary and each and every one was given the opportunity to look into the financial statement of the association and the books for that matter. In addition, the amount of money collected in the past six years, the amount of funds wired for library construction, student teacher award, books and computer purchases, and power installation were explained.

What was new this year? The establishment of the youth network (AYN) is new. Our association had established Awlaelo Youth Network. Some may ask why another association or network? Well, you know our youngsters who are born or grow up in the states and those of us oldies do not speak the same language nor do we see things in the same fashion. The youth have their way of doing things, their way of supporting others, their methods of fund raising and communication, hence, the need to organize them. They are organized now and eventually they can replace us, they can contribute on their best skills, and they can reach out to youth in Ethiopia using the current technology and medium of communication-the internet supported by their facebook social network. Thanks to Asefa Abay, Selm G and others for taking this project. Our brothers and sisters need your support. Your skills, your intellect is highly need back in ADI and it is hour sincere believe that you will do a good service. Make a call to all university students in Ethiopia and else where to join you. God willing the library will have a broadband and you will have many participants from there too.

So now we can say that we Deqi Awlaelo all have faith. We are very faithful to our God, faithful to our ADI and our people. Our actions, our deeds, our practice tells that all. With love and passion we supported all six high schools. We are opening the eyes of many for better life, better education which will lead to a better society. We are happy to be part of such dedicated group. We are individuals working and striving not to be known by anyone except the beneficiaries. We believe there is no excess charity. We want to share what we have with our people back home.

Board Election: - It was the board’s desire this year to retire from their leading positions. But it did not happen. The current board members had served six years and are still at service. Our members spoken! They don’t want to see the board leave or replaced by new faces. They say “don’t fix it if it is not broken”. However, some new faces were added so that they can be trained some leadership skills from the veterans so that coming year they can assume full responsibility. Since the members say no to the request of electing new board, the board members had no choice except accepting decision and will of the members.

Investment group: - Another new happening this year is the establishment of a committee to study about investment opportunities and some other things that will benefit members. This 7 member committee will study some investment opportunities in Tigray and here in the Diaspora to benefit its members. It will also look into some sort of group insurance for members, scholarship availability for our children, retirement conditions and many more. Over all, this is an interesting idea.

Member driven workshops: -Last year ASAA had drafted a five year plan to support the quality of education in all the high schools in KILTE AWLAELO. Based on that plan the first workshop was given by Engda Hagos (PhD) from Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Engada had given a workshop for 8 teachers and 25 top students in the field of science. He had motivated the students and teachers to do their best and to aim high. The school as well as Dr. Engda was happy with the outcome. Our association is also grateful to have such dedicated professionals who on their spare time teach and guide our brothers and sisters who are very thirsty for education. Thanks Doc for all the help. It is decided that workshops will continue and all professional who flew to ADI for personal case will give seminars, conferences, and workshops to students, teachers, and the other interested groups.

Finally we were happy by the support from our Ethiopian brothers in the Metropolis of the three States (DC, MD, VA). We could not do it without your support. Again thanks. With your support we managed to collect close to $29,000 before expenses. This is not bad. The country is in deep recession and yet we managed to collect such amount. This tells us how people are dedicated to support the needy children of Tigray to excel in education.

Where will ASAA gather next year? It was decided by our Seattle branch that they will host the 7th re-union. We are all happy by the decision of the branch to host it. We know they are not alone. The Seattle Tigrean community is one of the strongest and the best one in North America. We firmly believe Seattle community will support us in full gear. Hope to see you all in Seattle Washington in July 2010.

Abraha W Kahssay for ASAA

Last Updated on Friday, 09 July 2010 03:21