INGATE

From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Digital learning: It's not just for kids

[February 07, 2013]

Digital learning: It's not just for kids

Feb 07, 2013 (The Charlotte Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- When Symyra Prescott needed to trim her household budget, she dropped her Internet service. So she was delighted when her daughter's school, Statesville Road Elementary, offered the chance to buy a netbook and get a year's broadband Internet access for $150.


Prescott and her daughter, second-grader Syah, are part of the first wave of families tapping into technology through Project LIFT, a five-year, $55 million quest to boost academic achievement in nine West Charlotte schools. The computer and Wi-Fi package would normally cost $1,250, but the effort is subsidized by Project LIFT (for Leadership and Investment for Transformation) and Microsoft's "Shape the Future" program.

Eighty-three families bought the packages in December. LIFT leaders hope to sell about 400 more starting this month. And Microsoft is using the LIFT project, along with a similar effort in Seattle, as models for a national push to get Internet access to 1 million low-income families nationwide.

"We live in a 21st century world where everything is digitally connected," said Project LIFT Zone Superintendent Denise Watts. "Our families must be connected as well." Project LIFT, a partnership between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and private donors, aims to reverse years of academic struggle at West Charlotte High and the eight schools feeding into it. During the rollout this school year, most of the focus has been on "time and talent," such as teacher recruiting bonuses, summer learning programs and year-round school.

Digital divide The digital access program supports two other LIFT goals: Getting better technology into the hands of families and encouraging family engagement with education. The package includes an M&A Technology computer, child-safe broadband access provided by Kajeet, Microsoft software and other educational tools. Just as important: Parents are trained in how to use their new devices to stay in touch with schools, bolster their kids' academic progress and build their own workforce skills.

Prescott, who works in a program that supports people with disabilities, supports those aims.

"I think if parents get involved, they can do a lot of good things," she said. "But parents have to get involved." Project LIFT is also providing laptop computers to elementary students through the One Laptop Per Child program. The low-cost laptops are designed for kids, with small keyboards and sturdy frames. They're staying at school for now but will eventually go home with students.

Almost 90 percent of the 7,000 students in Project LIFT schools come from homes where income is low enough to qualify for federal lunch subsidies.

Project LIFT hasn't done surveys on how many have computers and Internet access at home, but national studies indicate the "digital divide" is a barrier for low-income families, said Denada Jackson, a community engagement coordinator for Project LIFT. And when philanthropists began charting their program, they talked to parents and students in the west Charlotte corridor who told them they needed access to up-to-date technology.

Some families said they couldn't afford the $150 purchase just before Christmas, Jackson said. Ultimately, LIFT's goals call for 75 percent of families to participate in the digital inclusion effort.

The problem of digital access among the poor is also a concern nationally. In part to address the problem, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing a super Wi-Fi network across the nation. Consumer advocates say such a system would benefit the poor, who often cannot afford Internet service.

More than gadgets Alison Harris, principal of Ranson Middle School, said most of her families have some kind of Internet access, even if it's just a smartphone. But she said most adults need help staying up to speed about how to make sure students are using technology safely and wisely.

"We can increase access to technology," she said, "but with it comes responsibility." Ranson invited parents to school on Wednesday to see digital learning in action. Artis Blackmon and Tim Jones were among the parents who followed math/science facilitator Romain Bertrand from class to class. In the computer lab, seventh-graders who had mastered math skills moved ahead by answering Compass Learning problems, with their results immediately available to teachers. In another classroom, students used the ShowMe app on iPads to create videos explaining how they solved math problems.

Blackmon and Jones both said they have access to the technology at home. What they found helpful, they said, was the update on how it's used to teach math and other subjects.

"The technology they're using is awesome," Jones said.

"Everything they do, they want to do on the computer," Blackmon said. Watching the iPad demonstration, he marveled at how old it makes him feel.

"We were counting on our fingers and toes," he joked.

Helms: 704-358-5033 ___ (c)2013 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) Visit The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) at www.charlotteobserver.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Loading
Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner


Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.