Tag: PARAGON

Technology in the Classroom

Pin It

School furniture is being used less for finger paints and more for Microsoft Paint in most classrooms today.  Worthington Direct has a wide variety of classroom furniture that can also double as computer lab furnitureComputer seating, computer tables, computer cabinets and multimedia centers are all important parts of the modern classroom; from college students all the way down to toddlers clicking away at their early childhood computer tables.  Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today for quality school, church and early childhood furniture that will support the new technology found in today’s classroom.

School Technology FurnitureIn some classrooms, iBooks have replaced textbooks. In others, students prepare video yearbooks that can be delivered to their classmates’ cell phones. In still others, teachers ask students a question and they punch in the answers with “clickers” that look like TV remote control devices.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent getting computers into classrooms, and teachers and students around the country are using technology in new ways. That raises two important questions for parents:

1. How is technology being used to improve learning?

2. Are students developing the skills they’ll need to understand and use it in the future?

Pointers for Parents

It can be tough to assess a school’s use of technology. There is little research to go on since many of the tools and techniques that employ them are new. Here are three pointers to help assess how technology is being used:

1. Ask the teacher or principal how technology is aligned with grade-level goals. Parents might be wowed by an 8-year-old’s ability to produce a Power Point presentation without looking closely at the thinking that went into it. While students need to develop technological skills, it should be in the context of thinking and learning to solve problems. That means the technology needs to be aligned with learning goals, says Shelley Pasnik, senior researcher for the New York-based Center for Children and Technology. “There needs to be a vision on the part of the instructional leaders at the school,” she said. “The content should lead, the tool should follow.”

2. Ask your child about how he uses technology in doing his assignments. Pasnik advises parents to talk to their children about how they use technology in their assignments. If, for example, your child put together a multimedia presentation about the Lewis and Clark expedition, ask why he chose the elements he did. You’ll find out pretty quickly if technology was used for its own sake or because there was thought behind it. “If your child says, ‘I was able to use not only my words to describe Lewis and Clark’s journey, but also a picture’ or ‘I chose this font because it looked like something Lewis and Clark might have used in the 1800s,’ you’ll see that technology was used to give deeper meaning to learning.”

3. Volunteer in the computer lab. Pasnik also encourages parents to help out in the school computer lab to see how technology is used. When you’re visiting the school, ask the teacher why the computer was used in a particular lesson. If she says, for example, that she’s using the Internet so students can pose questions to experts in the field, that’s a sign that technology is being used with a purpose. Continue reading


Business and Education Leaders Revise Learning Goals

Pin It

Worthington Direct has all the information technology furniture your school needs to train the future IT work force.  Find great deals on Flat Panel Workstations by Paragon or lead the class with the popular Sit-Stand Computer Workstation by Bretford.  Visit www.WorthingtonDirect.com today and find the perfect platform on which to grow your technology education program.

 

Looking for support in revising your curriculum to reflect the needs of 21st-century learners? A new online resource could help: On Aug. 2, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), a national coalition of business and education leaders, issued a revised plan to help students and educators achieve 21st-century learning goals.

According to P21, the group’s revised framework "addresses key [concerns] by developing a clear vision for 21st-century student outcomes in the new global economy." For the first time, the plan also "defines how school systems can best support these outcomes," P21 says. This latest offering builds on the organization’s previous efforts to guide the integration of so-called "21st-century skills" into the curriculum. It’s essential, say coalition members, that students have a strong grasp of these skills for the United States to remain competitive in the 21st-century economy.

To help promote what P21 calls "real-world applications of content," the coalition has added a new skills category, called "Learning and Innovation Skills," to its framework. These skills distinguish "those students who can thrive in the complex life and work environments of the 21st century," and they focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, as well as mastery of information, media, and technology skills–all of which are "essential for preparing students for the future," according to Charles Fadel, a P21 board member and global education leader for Cisco Systems Inc. Fadel added: "We live and work in a technology- and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools, and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale.

To be effective in the 21st century, today’s students must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical-thinking skills related to information, media, and technology." Other skills stressed in the new framework are what P21 calls "Life and Career Skills," such as flexibility, accountability, innovation, self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, leadership, and responsibility.

According to P21, these are skills that many U.S. employers say are increasingly hard to find among prospective employees. Core subjects still included in the revised framework include language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, and government and civics, as well as such 21st-century additions as global awareness; financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy; and health literacy. continue reading


Schools Aim to Fill IT Job Demand

Pin It

Worthington Direct has all the information technology furniture your school needs to train the future IT work force.  Find great deals on Flat Panel Workstations by Paragon or lead the class with the popular Sit-Stand Computer Workstation by Bretford.  Visit www.WorthingtonDirect.com today and find the perfect platform on which to grow your technology education program.

Employers across the nation are finding it increasingly difficult to fill information technology (IT) positions, mainly because of a shortage of qualified entry-level and advanced employees, according to industry experts. Contrary to what many people believe–that available IT jobs are on the decline–businesses throughout the United States say the IT sector offers more job opportunities than ever, and they’re struggling to find employees to fill these many openings.

Industry insiders point to a few reasons for the shortage, including the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education law and lingering perceptions from the dot-com bust that occurred earlier this decade. Now, experts are trying to change these perceptions–and they’re looking to schools for help.

Part of the reason many people think the IT field holds little promise is they don’t understand things have changed since 2000 and 2001, when the IT field took a hit, said Gene Longo, senior manager of U.S. field operations for Cisco Systems’ Networking Academy program. "In 2000 and 2001, when the dot-com bust happened, and then [immediately after] September 11, we saw lots of layoffs in the IT and tech industries," Longo said, adding that many students and professionals shied away from the IT field when they saw jobs were scarce. But that was then.

Job opportunities in areas such as computer software engineering, computer support, and systems administration are expected to increase must faster than the average for all occupations, with computer software engineering projected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations through 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ "2006-07 Occupational Outlook Handbook."

According to the federal agency, computer systems analysts are expected to see a 31-percent increase in total employment from 2004 to 2014. Network systems and data communication analysts are expected to see a 55-percent increase in total employment during that time, and computer software engineers should see a 48-percent increase in employment.

Longo believes another reason for the lack of qualified IT employees in the United States can be traced to high school reform and NCLB, which puts the focus squarely on core skills such as reading, science, and math–and therefore might not give students the chance to explore IT courses or electives while in high school. continue reading


Computer Training Found to Help With ADHD

Pin It

Scientifically speaking, treatment options for students with attention deficits have long been limited. Outside of stimulant medication, and some behavior-modification strategies, few interventions have much of a research base to show that they can help.

That situation could change, though. Recent studies have shown that a computer-based training program developed in Sweden helps sharpen the “working memory” skills of children and teenagers with some form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. And, in the process, the studies show, the program can alleviate some of the problems they have with paying attention, controlling their impulses, and solving problems.

Having comfortable computer furniture that can accommodate those that will be using the computers is important.  Worthington Direct has a variety of computer furniture at great prices.  They carry Cluster Workstations by Paragon which are great for labs that want to maximize their space.  For individual computing, Worthington Direct also has Glass Top Stations by Royal Seating or Adjustable Crank Tables by Balt, which are wheelchair compatible.  Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today!

Working memory is the ability to keep information in mind and work with it at the same time. The brain calls on working memory, for example, when people solve mathematical problems or try to follow through on plans they’ve made. Experts believe that working memory can be particularly difficult for many people with ADHD, a condition that afflicts an estimated 3 percent to 5 percent of school-age children, as well as for people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries or strokes.

In a study published in 2004 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Neuroscience, Dr. Torkel F. Klingberg and his colleagues at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute gave the program to a group of attention-challenged Swedish adults, who used it for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for five weeks. Brain scans taken before and after the training showed activity in the regions that control working memory had increased after the training period, suggesting that the training might have produced physical changes in the brains of those subjects.

Studies Under Way in U.S.

A second report, published a year later in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which is also peer-reviewed, further bolstered the Swedish researchers’ case. That study, a randomized experiment involving 53 Swedish students with the disorder from age 7 to age 12, showed that pupils who underwent the same five-week training outperformed their control-group peers on a variety of tasks meant to measure working memory, self-control, attention, and problem-solving. Such randomized experiments are often referred to as the “gold standard” for research evaluations of educational interventions.

Results reported in March from the first U.S. study of the program, a small-scale trial involving 12 adolescent students, suggest the same improvement pattern. More studies are under way in this country at Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, and New York University. continue reading


Copyright © 1996-2010 Worthington Direct Blog | All things Office, Church and School Furniture Blog. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress