Surrounded by farmland and ranches, Colorado’s Edison School sits off an unpaved road, with tumbleweeds blowing across its dirt parking lot. As recently as a few years ago, many families relied on solar or wind power instead of electricity; today, many still haul home their water from wells. Principal Rachel Paul estimates that 25 to 30 percent of her students don’t have Internet access at home.
Yet at Edison — where about three-quarters of the 120 K-12 students are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch — there are as many computers as there are students. On one recent day, Paul Frank’s fourth- and fifth-graders started off by learning about latitude and longitude on Google Maps and ended sprawled around the classroom on laptops, putting together presentations about the Midwest. While one student searched for photos of famous people born in Minnesota and Wisconsin, another used Google to find out Nebraska’s annual rainfall.
"President Obama has a goal that 100 percent of students should be college or career ready, and in the next decade, most jobs will require at least some post-high school education. The opportunities for high school graduates are declining and generally offer lower earning potential. But are we educating students with the right kind of post-secondary education to meet the demands of the workforce of the future?"
It's not enough to take a traditional K-12 classroom and fill it with technology. The smart classroom requires a more methodic approach that factors in the design of the basic shell, the teacher's space, and the students' independent and collaborative work areas.
Jason Critchlow, 14, l. and Raiden McLean, 14, film documentary at the Willoughby Senior Center in Fort Greene.
Fort Greene resident C-Allah Coombs leaned back in his chair and stared deep into the camera as he talked about his worst day on the Fort Hamilton High School basketball team. "It wasn't good. Dean Meminger scored 50 points on me,” said Coombs. “And he wasn't even a good shooter - just a good defender." Coombs, 63, recounted his front row seat to the Rice High School prodigy and former New York Knicks’s scoring barrage as part of a filmmaking program for 12 students from the Urban Assembly Academy of Arts and Letters are profiling a group of Fort Greene seniors and turning their stories into two-minute documentaries.