Last night, I was fortunate to be invited to attend the 11th annual gala of One Economy, a non profit organization that works to provide broadband access, computer literacy and other digital opportunities to low-income, underserved and underperforming communities, schools, children and families. The organization, using generous donations and grants, has been able to connect 100,000 residences to the internet, and through its Digital Connectors program has trained 160,000 young people, giving them 200,000 community service house to use the computer using One Economy’s online resource, the Beehive.
Actor, producer, director Robert Townsend has just put to bed a full length motion picture In the Hive about on one particular digital connector who used the beehive to get a bunch of black teenage boys at a disadvantaged community’s alternative school all kicked out of their high schools and considered “discarded boys” to learn. The film stars Michael Clarke Duncan (Green Mile, Armageddon, Daredevil), Loretta Divine ( Greys Anatomy, Glee, For Colored Girls), who was there last night, and Vivica Fox (Kill Bill: Vol.1, Independence Day, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and is very touching. A trailer was featured last night and I teared up at the amazing story. I urge everyone to see this movie when it is released next year.
|NYC Teachers on Skype providing testimony about peer to peer tutoring program|
After a brief awards ceremony honoring one of its digital connectors, its corporate and government partner, guests got to check out 11 exhibitors showcasing innovative technologies and products that improve educational opportunities for children, parents and teachers.
I got enough information to share with you all for the next month or two and will probably do a post on each program or resource I chatted with twice a week for the next few weeks.
First up is Google, which offers its popular web-focused netbook The Chromebook to schools for $20 per pupil on a 3 year lease. The schools will own the device at the end of the terms. Google Apps also has a platform for Educators and schools which provides schools a wallet of applications, and resources that would help cut IT costs by thousands of dollars because it is FREE. It’s an excellent low cost option for school systems, charter schools and private institutions struggling to meet up with budget needs and keep up with technological advancements.
Interested schools should go to google.com/chromebook/education for more information on how to sign up to purchase these devices or go to http://www.google.com/apps/schools to learn more about Google Apps for Education.