NTIA, RUS Announce Final Round of Broadband Stimulus Funding
Priority for Anchor Institutions: Libraries, Community Colleges; Public Computer Centers at Community Colleges and Libraries
Applications Accepted: beginning Feb.16, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. eastern standard time
Application Deadline: March 15, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. eastern daylight time.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced availability of $4.8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants and loans to expand broadband access and adoption in America. This is the second funding round for the agencies’ broadband programs. The investment will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, and create jobs. NTIA and RUS also announced the rules for applying in this funding round, which have been modified to make the application process easier for applicants and better target program resources.
NTIA’s NOFA allocates approximately $2.6 billion in this funding round of which approximately $2.35 billion will be made available for infrastructure projects. In this round, NTIA is adopting a “comprehensive communities” approach as its top priority in awarding infrastructure grants, focusing on middle mile broadband projects that connect key community anchor institutions – such as libraries, hospitals, community colleges, universities, and public safety institutions. Comprehensive Community Infrastructure projects maximize the benefits of BTOP by leveraging resources, promoting sustainable community growth, and ultimately laying the foundation for reasonably priced broadband service to consumers and businesses.
In addition, NTIA plans to award at least $150 million of the funding for Public Computer Center projects, which will expand access to broadband service and enhance broadband capacity at public libraries, community colleges, and other institutions that service the general public.
NTIA also plans to award at least $100 million for Sustainable Broadband Adoption projects, which include projects to provide broadband education, training, and equipment, particularly to vulnerable population groups where broadband technology has traditionally been underutilized.
Unserved and Underserved Areas: NTIA is removing the requirement that infrastructure projects connecting community anchor institutions, including community colleges, must be located in unserved or underserved areas, though projects in unserved and underserved areas will receive additional consideration.
Improved Online Application Process: NTIA has made numerous adjustments to the online application system to streamline the intake of information and make the process more user-friendly. These include reducing the number of attachments to be uploaded with the application, eliminating the proposed funded service area mapping tool, and modifying the service area delineations from Census blocks to Census tracts and block groups.
See the American Library Association Web site: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/advocacy/knowstimulus/index.cfm
Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition
by Sam Dillon
Jan. 18, 2010, New York Times
“The Obama administration’s main school improvement initiative has spurred education policy changes in states across the nation, but it is meeting with some last-minute resistance as the first deadline for applications arrives Tuesday. Thousands of school districts in California, Ohio and other states have declined to participate, and teachers’ unions in Michigan, Minnesota and Florida have recommended that their local units not sign on to their states’ applications. Several rural states, including Montana, have said they will not apply, at least for now, partly because of the emphasis on charter schools, which would draw resources from small country schools. And Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said last week that his state would not compete for the $700 million that the biggest states are eligible to win in the $4 billion program, known as Race to the Top, calling it an intrusion on states’ rights.”
“Still, about 40 states were rushing to complete applications for the Tuesday deadline, the first in the two-stage competition. The last-minute opposition is unlikely to derail efforts by most of those states to win some of the federal money. President Obama and his aides have been so delighted by the response by states that he will seek to extend the competition into a third round next year and will request an additional $1.3 billion from Congress to do so, senior administration officials said Monday.” . . .
Forget Gum. Walking and Using Phone Is Risky.
by Matt Richtel
Jan. 16, 2010, New York Times
. . . “But there is another growing problem caused by lower-stakes multitasking — distracted walking –which combines a pedestrian, an electronic device and an unseen crack in the sidewalk, the pole of a stop sign, a toy left on the living room floor or a parked (or sometimes moving) car. The era of the mobile gadget is making mobility that much more perilous, particularly on crowded streets and in downtown areas where multiple multitaskers veer and swerve and walk to the beat of their own devices.” . . .
2010 Horizon Report
Jan. 15, 2010, The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative
“In each edition of the Horizon Report, six emerging technologies or practices are described that are likely to enter mainstream use on campuses within three adoption horizons spread over the next one to five years. Each report also presents critical trends and challenges that will affect teaching and learning over the same time frame.”
— The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
— People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
— The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
— The work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature, and there is more crosscampus collaboration between departments.
— The role of the academy — and the way we prepare students for their future lives — is changing.
— New scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching continue to emerge but appropriate metrics for evaluating them increasingly and far too often lag behind.
— Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
— Institutions increasingly focus more narrowly on key goals, as a result of shrinking budgets in the present economic climate.
Technologies to Watch
— One Year or Less – Mobile Computing, Open Content
— Two to Three Years – Electronic Books, Simple Augmented Reality
— Four to Five Years – Gesture-based Computing, Visual Data Analysis
F.C.C. Orders Wireless Mike Modifications
by Matt Richtel
Jan. 15, 2010, New York Times
“Broadway theaters, sports franchises and other public entertainment forums must change the radio frequency they use for their wireless microphones under an order issued Friday by the Federal Communications Commission. Under the order, the groups have until June 12 to find other radio frequencies, something the theaters said could cost thousands of dollars per institution but that they can do. The F.C.C.’s ruling relates to a broader shift in the way the nation allocates precious spectrum used to transmit signals for mobile phones, TVs and other devices.” . . .
Nation’s Largest Labor Union Group Creates Online Degree Program
by Jill Laster
Jan. 15, 2010, Chronicle of Higher Education
“A new distance-learning program says it is the first accredited, degree-granting, online college open only to union members. The new program, called the College for Working Families, is a joint venture between the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the National Labor College, and the Penn Foster Education Group (now owned by the Princeton Review). The National Labor College already offers in-person training and some online classes as the only accredited higher-education institution specifically for unions. The new online program would combine the college’s on-the-ground resources with online tools to offer programs in subjects including health care and business administration.” . . .
STRIDE Handbook 8: E-Learning
by Sanjaya Mishra
2009, Indira Gandhi National Open University
“The Handbook is our humble effort to put ‘learning’ before ‘technology’ in e-learning endeavours. We expect this Handbook to be a starting point and reference guide to new as well as seasoned teachers to use e-learning in their teaching and learning, both at face-to-face and at a distance.” Stephen Downes describes this as an “introductory resource.”
PART-A: Conceptual Overviews
Chapter 1: Pedagogical Affordances of Technology by Som Naidu
Chapter 2: Managerial Perspectives on e-Learning by Tony Bates
Chapter 3: Designing Online Learning by Sanjaya Mishra
Chapter 4: Level of Media Interactivity by Jon Baggaley
Chapter 5: The Global e-Learning Framework by Badrul H. Khan
PART-B: Technologies and their Applications
Chapter 6: Electronic Mail by Sanjaya Mishra
Chapter 7: Mailing Lists by Steve McCarty
Chapter 8: Asynchronous Conferences, Discussion Forums by Neil Harris and Maria Sandor
Chapter 9: Podcasting: a learning technology by Palitha Edirisingha and Anguelina Papova
Chapter 10: Online Video by Kevin Burden
Chapter 11: Using Collaborative Video for e-Learning by Leigh Blackall
Chapter 12: Synchronous Conferencing by Jon Baggaley
Chapter 13: Webcasting by Punya Mishra and M. Laeeq Khan
Chapter 14: Blogs in Learning by Stephen Downes
Chapter 15: Wikis by Ke Zhang and Stacey DeLoose
Chapter 16: Social Networking by Terry Anderson
Chapter 17: Social Bookmarking (Delicious) in Education by Gabriela Grosseck
Chapter 18: Slideshows by Brian Kelly
Chapter 19: Virtual Worlds by Sanjaya Mishra
Chapter 20: Really Simple Syndication by Sanjaya Mishra
Chapter 21: Using Micro-blogging (Twitter) in Teaching and Learning by Andy Ramsden
Chapter 22: Concept Mapping in e-Learning by Alberto J. Canas, Priit Reiska and Joseph D. Novak
Chapter 23: Interactive Whiteboards by Rozhan M. Idrus and Raja Maznah Binti Raja Hussain
Chapter 24: Web Surveys and Quizzes by Sanjaya Mishra
Chapter 25: Learning Management Systems by Sanjaya Mishra
Lecturecasting on a Shoestring with a Macbook, Ustream, CamTwist, MPEG Streamclip and Blip.tv
by Wesley Fryer
Jan. 15, 2010, Moving at the Speed of Creativity
“Since I am my own tech support for this lecturecasting process, I need to make it as easy and streamlined as possible. It also needs to be cheap, since I’m self-funding this with my generous adjunct faculty salary. 🙂 In this post, I’ll describe some of my personal history and knowledge of lecturecasting systems, and detail how I’m using my MacBook Pro laptop, free software and websites, and an $8 per month PRO account on blip.tv to accomplish the aforementioned goals for T4T this term.” . . .
Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)
National Science Foundation
Letter of Intent Deadline Date: Jan. 19, 2010
Full Proposal Deadline Date: Feb. 12, 2010
The ITEST program responds to current concerns and projections about the growing demand for professionals and information technology workers in the U.S. and seeks solutions to help ensure the breadth and depth of the STEM workforce. ITEST supports research studies to address questions about how to find solutions. It also supports the development, implementation, testing, and scale-up of implementation models. A large variety of possible approaches to improving the STEM workforce and to building students’ capacity to participate in it may be implemented and studied. ITEST projects may include students or teachers, kindergarten through high school age, and any area of the STEM workforce. Projects that explore cyberlearning, specifically learning with cyberinfrastructure tools such as networked computing and communications technologies in K-12 settings, are of special interest.
This program is interested in addressing such questions as: What does it take to effectively interest and prepare students to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future? What are the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students need in order to participate productively in the changing STEM workforce and be innovators, particularly in STEM-related networked computing and information and communication technology (ICT) areas? How do they acquire them? How can the Nation’s burgeoning cyberinfrastructure be harnessed as a tool for STEM learning in classrooms and informal learning environments? What will ensure that the nation has the capacity it needs to participate in transformative, innovative STEM advances? How can we assess and predict inclination to participate in the STEM fields and how can we measure and study impact of various models to encourage that participation?