Hawaii plan would give all students computers

The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) wants to provide every public school student in the state with a laptop or tablet computer by 2015 as part of an initiative that also would include training teachers on the devices and buying digital materials that reflect new national Common Core standards for math and reading.

The department is asking for $42 million over the next two years to kick off the ambitious plan, aimed at standardizing curricula across the state, modernizing classroom instruction, and phasing out printed textbooks.

“This gives a true statement about how committed we are to making sure our students are college- and career-ready,” said Amy Kunz, DOE chief financial officer.

The funding request for the one-to-one computing program is included in a wish list of sorts for the coming fiscal biennium, which was sent to the Governor’s Office last week.

Also in the proposed budget request, above and beyond the DOE’s current base budget of $1.35 billion, was $12.9 million in fiscal year 2013 to tackle projected increases in enrollment, $5 million over the next two fiscal years for bonuses to teachers in “hard to fill” positions, and $8 million in each of the next two years for student transportation costs.

Altogether, the wish list items would cost an additional $40.5 million in fiscal year 2013 and an extra $35.7 million in fiscal year 2014.

Kunz added that because the laptops and tablets would be leased, probably for three-year periods, the initiative likely will require additional appropriations.

“It’s going to be a continuous item that we are going to build into our budget,” she said.

But Board of Education Chairman Don Horner stressed that it is still early in the budgetary process and that there will have to be discussions with the executive and legislative branches to determine whether the one-to-one computing program is the best use of taxpayer dollars.

The BOE approved the department’s proposed budget last week, but Horner said he is approaching the one-to-one computing program cautiously.

“I don’t think the nation has done analysis on the return on investment,” he said. “We need to weigh that in relationship to all the other priorities in the department. The board’s primary objective is to implement Common Core, and that can be done in a variety of different ways, including giving every child a laptop and a tablet.”

In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Neil Abercrombie pledged to move forward with a one-to-one computing program as part of wider efforts to improve Hawaii’s school system.

Under the department’s plan, devices would be rolled out over three years, starting in the coming school year. Five school complexes—or about 60,000 students—would receive laptops or computer tablets annually.

Children in kindergarten through eighth grade would be provided with computer tablets. High-schoolers would receive laptops.

A number of states and school districts already have gone one-to-one with laptops or tablets, and they have had mixed success in boosting student achievement.

Onlookers warn that simply handing a laptop to a child likely won’t improve learning or revolutionize instruction.

“The thing you don’t want to do is drop technology in a classroom and hope it’s going to get used,” said Mark Hines, who helped implement a one-to-one iPad program at Mid-Pacific Institute this school year.

Hines, now director of Mid-Pacific’s Exploratory program, which stresses project-based learning, said professional development for teachers is key to making it clear why instruction needs to change—and then how it needs to change.

“It isn’t just continue using technology the same way we used paper,” he said.

Punahou School started its one-to-one computing program nearly a decade ago. Fourth- through 12th-graders lease the laptop devices, said Punahou President James Scott.

 “It’s an extension of their learning. It’s a tool,” he said, adding that teacher training has been vital.

DOE officials have started contacting private schools and a handful of Hawaii public schools with one-to-one computing programs to get advice and input on how to roll out a statewide program.

And this school year, the DOE is kicking off a small one-to-one computing pilot in Keaau on Hawaii island.

At Keaau Elementary School starting next week, laptops will be available for all students, but children will be able to take the computers home only for big projects.

Keaau Middle School students will kick off a one-to-one computing program as early as December in core classes.

Keaau Middle Principal Ken Watanabe said the school eventually wants to be able to allow kids to take the laptops with them at the end of the school day, but has to iron out a number of details, including whether students have internet access at home.

He estimates about 50 percent of students at his school have internet access at home.

Kunz acknowledged making a one-to-one computing program a reality is more than just leasing devices, but addressing infrastructure and other issues.

She added that if the statewide one-to-one computing program is not funded, the DOE plans to continue what it has been doing during a soft rollout of the Common Core standards: have teachers and schools use existing textbooks and add supplemental material to meet the new benchmarks.

source: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/10/25/hawaii-plan-would-give-all-students-computers/3/ 


Hawaii public school teachers win Presidential Award for Excellence in math, science

Two Hawaii public school teachers have been honored with the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Julia Segawa, a science teacher at Stevenson Middle, and Charles Souza Jr., a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) state resource teacher, were among 97 mathematics and science teachers who received their awards in Washington, D.C., June 27-29.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2011 awardees teach 7th through 12th grades.

“America’s success in the 21st century depends on our ability to educate our children, give our workers the skills they need, and embrace technological change. That starts with the men and women in front of our classrooms. These teachers are the best of the best, and they stand as excellent examples of the kind of leadership we need in order to train the next generation of innovators and help this country get ahead,” said President Barrack Obama.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They were also invited to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the administration.

Segawa and Souza were among four Hawaii finalists for the award. The other two finalists included Melissa Goo, a science teacher at Moanalua High, and Jami Muranaka, a Iolani School science teacher. 

Segawa has been an educator for 16 years and spent the last nine years teaching science at Stevenson Middle. Her love of science goes beyond the classroom. She founded the school’s Robotics Team and has coordinated annual Science Nights, excursions, and science fairs. She was instrumental in securing Stevenson Middle’s Science Signature School status, and was also part of a cadre that led to the design and construction of a new science and technology building.

“The Presidential Award is a prestigious recognition,” Segawa said. “To be selected as a representative of your state is an honor. You stand amongst the best mathematics and science teachers from across the Nation. Each awardee has demonstrated mastery of content and skills, and leadership, and they serve as role models in their schools and communities. The contributions of each awardee have impacted the future STEM leaders of our country. It is humbling and inspiring to be in such respected company.”

Segawa’s leadership role extends outside of her school. She coordinated several grants that provided professional development for complex area teachers and unique experiences for students. She testified in support of several STEM initiatives in the state. Segawa also participated in state science cadres and summer science camps and was the event coordinator for Hawaii’s Middle School VEX Invitational robotics competitions.

A complex area finalist for the 2011 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year award, Segawa is the recipient of several STEM awards, and she participated in the Weightless Flights of Discovery program. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and is a certified elementary education and secondary science teacher.

Souza taught mathematics at Stevenson Middle for the previous 15 years, serving as the Mathematics Department Chairperson for 5 years and as a grade-level chairperson for 6 years. He coached the school’s Mathematics Team for 15 years and taught both seventh and eighth graders. Souza also served as the middle school coordinator, where he created an advisory curriculum that focused on developing life skills for students as well as supporting the reading and mathematics curriculums.

“Being a recipient of the Presidential Award is a great honor and privilege,” said Souza. “The award recognizes all the people who have contributed to my passion for education, including my family, my teachers, my colleagues, and, most importantly, my students. I have always strived to inspire my students to do better, work harder, and enjoy life and learning to the fullest. What I find is that they inspire me. The Presidential Award gives me the opportunity to continue in my journey to educate our future.”

Souza has presented sessions at numerous conferences over the past five years, including the Hawaii Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and he presented at the 2010 Hawaii International Conference on Education. He has presented on many different topics, including student-centered classrooms, integrating technology into the classroom and, his favorite, transforming the classroom into a real player game.

Souza has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a professional diploma in secondary education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.



source: http://hawaiidoereform.org/enews/2012-06/Hawaii-public-school-teachers-win-Presidential-Award-for-Excellence-in-math,-science

DOE receives STEM carts through public-private partnership

A $50,000 donation from AT&T allows Hawaii’s 3R’s to purchase STEM carts in one of Hawaii’s Zones of School Innovation (Keaau, Ka‘u, Pahoa Complex Area).
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi have announced the state has accepted a $50,000 donation to boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Hawaii 3R’s program secured the donation from AT&T to purchase two STEM carts, which are the first of its kind in Hawaii.
The carts are being dispatched to two Big Island schools:

* Ka‘u High & Pahala Elementary

* Pahoa High & Intermediate
“This is a public-private partnership that will go a long way in helping students who need it most,” Abercrombie said. “This donation will help boost student achievement in Hawaii’s lowest-performing schools and narrow the digital divide.”
STEM Carts allow students to conduct experiments that would be too hazardous or costly in a traditional laboratory setting. The carts contain more than 250 lessons in science, technology, engineering and math.
Lessons include studying volcanoes, designing a power grid for a green community, and using trigonometry to find a lost person.
“Our students will have access to innovative new tools, which have never been used before in our public schools,” Matayoshi said. “These are proven teaching tools that are interactive and make learning exciting and engaging.”
She said STEM carts allow schools to offer STEM lessons during both the school day and after school, to compliment extended learning opportunities. In addition, the STEM carts support the state’s Race to the Top initiative, by increasing STEM proficiency statewide.
“We are especially pleased that AT&T chose to support our Big Island schools in the Zones of School Innovation,” Matayoshi said.
Daniel Youmans, AT&T External Affairs President for Hawaii and Washington, presented the check to Alan Oshima, chairman of Hawaii 3R’s, which used the funds to purchase two STEM carts for the Department of Education.
“We are proud to partner with Hawaii 3R’s program and the state to provide technology that positions students for success in the digital world,” Youmans said.
“Hawaii 3R’s has facilitated community involvement in helping our public schools for over 10 years,” Oshima said. “We are proud to be part of bringing AT&T and the community together to boost science education in our public schools.”
The state Department of Education plans to purchase additional STEM carts for schools in the Zones of School Innovation on Oahu (Nanakuli-Waianae complex area) later this year.



source: http://www.hawaii247.com/2012/04/26/doe-receives-stem-carts-through-public-private-partnership/

Lingle on plans to boost STEM education

Linda Lingle, candidate for Hawaii’s U.S. Senate seat, released the following statement today after President Obama announced a plan to boost students’ achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The President’s plan includes the creation of a STEM Master Teacher Corps, which will begin in 50 locations across the country, and expand with mentors focused on educating math and science teachers, inspiring students, and helping their communities grow.

“President Obama’s statements in Washington today are in sync with the STEM education programs and initiatives my team and I advocated and worked for during my term as Governor of Hawaii. If I am elected to the U.S. Senate, I would be pleased to support the President’s focus on STEM education that is aimed at placing the best teachers in our keikis’ classrooms.

“The President’s plan to boost STEM education across the country by attracting and retaining the best educators is a good policy for America and will benefit Hawaii’s students, ensuring they are prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. As Governor, my team launched the Hawaii Innovation Initiative, which adopted educational programs in public schools that focused on STEM skills,” Lingle said.

Through the Hawaii Innovation Initiative, STEM-focused programs like hands-on robotics education programs quickly gained traction and by the end of Lingle’s second term in office, more than half of all Hawaii schools offered a robotics team for their students to pursue their excitement for STEM education.

Moreover, student participation in STEM-inspired extracurricular robotics competitions such as FIRST Robotics Competition,
 FIRST LEGO League, Botball, VEX Robotics, Micro Robotics and Underwater ROV, which today are supported by the Friends of Hawaii Robotics, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, climbed from 95 teams in 2008 to almost 500 teams today.


source: http://www.hawaii247.com/2012/07/20/lingle-on-plans-to-boost-stem-education/

Teaching With Technology, Not Against It


Children are assimilating adult technology at younger and younger ages. 52% of kids age zero to eight have access to mobile devices in the United States, with one in five of them using such devices on a daily basis[1]. PCs, tablets and smart phones are practically extensions of their arms from the moment they begin interacting with the world. While these technologies are often found to be distractions in the classroom, they also suggest educational pathways that would otherwise be closed off to traditional teaching.


Finding these pathways has been the aim of Hyperspective Studios, Inc. in developing REPower, an Immersive Discovery Learning tool based around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. REPower is currently geared toward teaching kids about renewable sources of energy. In the game, students are given missions that simultaneously motivate them to gain knowledge of real-world technologies, while learning about the science behind them. At the same time, the open-world game-like environment of REPower gives students the freedom to explore topics at their own pace and target concepts that are most interesting to them.

STEM education and renewable energy, in particular, are issues that will be more and more salient to Hawaii's future. The number of jobs in Hawaii related to the renewable energy sector is expected to grow 26 percent, and will likely continue to rise as the state strives to meet a mandate of 70% clean energy usage by 2030[2]. Investing in this type of education now will help ensure a stop to the state's brain drain as young adults move abroad to pursue the sciences. While REPower is targeted toward renewable energy concepts, the game engine itself can be configured to suit the needs of any physical science, and is easily scaled for different age groups.

REPower is tapping into a broader use of technology developed by Hyperspective Studios known as Immersive Discovery Learning (IDL), giving students the impetus to constantly pursue opportunities to learn. IDL breaks down the barriers delineating learning and enjoyment and in doing so, increases retention of concepts that would otherwise be forgotten once outside the classroom door. Technology-based training has been shown to increase knowledge retention by as much as 50% over human-only instruction[3]. When children play REPower, they become invested in learning everything they can because they enjoy the interactivity and control. REPower works with kids' own impulses and directs them to real-world concepts that will serve them well in their education and career.

Hyperspective Studios is an interactive, animation and film production studio located in Honolulu Hawaii. The company has been creating award winning media since it began in 1996 for use in Hawaii, across the US and around the world. To learn more about Hyperspective, visit the company website athttp://www.hyperspective.com/.

source: http://education50.com/issue/mar-apr-2012/article/teaching-with-technology-not-against-it

STEM Week to celebrate, advance Hawaii education efforts


WHAT:   Industry Expo, Job Fair, Awards Banquet
WHERE:   Hawaii Convention Center
WHEN:   April 3-5, 2012 (Awards Banquet at 11:30 a.m. on April 5)

HONOLULU (March 9, 2012) -- The fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are critical to the future of Hawaii and the U.S., with major initiatives launching nationwide to ensure that today’s students become tomorrow’s innovators and leaders. Next month, the inaugural Hawaii STEM Week will bring together a wide range of local stakeholders to highlight these critical areas of education, and encourage greater community support and industry engagement.

Scheduled to run concurrently with the Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), STEM Week will feature events to recognize excellence among Hawaii’s schools, connect students and practitioners with relevant employers and careers, and award local institutions for their work in advancing STEM education.

“Programs in STEM provide an invaluable experience to students by building a sense of self-confidence and igniting a lifelong passion for learning,” said Neal Atebara, board chairman of the Hawaii Academy of Science. “By acknowledging institutional accomplishments in addition to individual achievements, STEM Week will pay tribute to collective school efforts and commitment towards STEM exploration.”

The on-site Industry Exposition and Job Fair will give local businesses and organizations an opportunity to demonstrate their technology and services to students, educators, and even investors. Firms working in Hawaii’s dual-use industry will be well represented, sharing their latest work and available career opportunities.

The STEM Institutional Awards Banquet will highlight educational institutions that strive to make STEM activities ubiquitous in every student's educational experience. The program will honor schools that promote a rich variety of STEM activities and offer students many entry points for involvement in STEM education. 

STEM Week will take place April 3-5, 2012 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The expo will be open from noon to 4:00 p.m. on April 3rd, 10 to 4pm on the 4th, and from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on April 5. The STEM awards banquet will follow at 11:30 a.m. on April 5.

Preparations are well underway, and organizers are currently inviting local companies and groups to participate in STEM Week via the industry expo or as event sponsors. For more information on attending the event or sponsoring STEM Week, please visit http://STEMWeekHawaii.org or email kerrykak@hawaii.edu.

Vincent Kimura
Managing Partner, The Inovi Group
Phone: (808) 291-2080
E-Mail: Vincent.kimura@inovigroup.com


source: http://www.prlog.org/11820422-stem-week-to-celebrate-advance-hawaii-education-efforts.html