educational technology

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    Don’t use CARES Act fund to buy computers

    The Southern Coalition for Social Justice and allied groups want the state to use millions in federal coronavirus relief funds to buy computers for disadvantaged students.  The News & Observer reports, The advocacy groups want the aid money to go toward providing computers and free internet service for all…
    Terry Stoops, April 22, 2020
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    District to send $16.25 million in taxpayer money to for-profit company

    According to the News & Observer,  The Wake County school system is planning to pay $16.25 million to purchase 17,000 Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga laptop computers for school district staff to use. Critics of charter schools claim that it is problematic for schools to contract with a for-profit charter management…
    Terry Stoops, October 15, 2019
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    CJ Reports: Cooper administration blocks Istation as battle over reading contract continues

    This week, Carolina Journal’s Lindsay Marchello reported on the recent stay placed on the implementation of North Carolina’s new reading diagnostic tool, Istation. According to Marchello: The N.C. Department of Information Technology Monday, Aug. 19, granted Amplify’s motion to temporarily stay the implementation of Istation while the dispute over the…
    Brenee Goforth, August 22, 2019
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    CJ Reports: State superintendent announces more money for iPads to support literacy instruction

    This week, Carolina Journal’s Lindsay Marchello reported on North Carolina’s plans to put more technology in the hands of its public school students. Marchello reports: The Department of Public Instruction will make an additional $400 available to all K-3 classrooms for literacy instruction. The department will also send out more…
    Brenee Goforth, August 21, 2019
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    Study: Federal E-Rate subsidies for connectivity do not raise student achievement

    E-Rate has been around since passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.  Since the passage of the law, the federal government has disseminated over $25 billion in E-Rate subsidies to states.  Over the last decade or so, much of the E-Rate funding has been used to expand broadband Internet access in…
    Terry Stoops, September 14, 2016
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    PowerSchool: Teachers’ biggest nightmare

    PowerSchool is a disastrous public school information system maintained by Pearson, Inc.  To get a sense of how bad it is, the NC Department of Public Instruction does not have enrollment figures for the first few months of the 2013-14 school year. The PowerTeacher Gradebook is part of the…
    Terry Stoops, February 7, 2014
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    Attention computer geeks!

    The flowchart below describes the movement of school and student data in North Carolina’s Home Base data management system.  Because I do not know much about how these kinds of information systems work, I wonder if this is a typical (or reasonable) setup.  Please write your observations in the comment…
    Terry Stoops, November 20, 2013
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    A belated tribute to David Colin

    David Colin is a retired electronics engineer (and concerned citizen) who asked Guilford County school officials to rethink their plan to distribute Asus tablet computers to students.  (If you have not heard, the Guilford County Schools tablet program is a mess.  Screens are breaking.  Chargers are melting.  Contracts…
    Terry Stoops, October 14, 2013