NYC schools to deploy free eMail, collaboration tools


Microsoft said last month that the Kentucky Department of Education has implemented Live@edu for its 700,000 students, teachers, and staff throughout the state, saving districts an estimated $6.3 million in costs over four years. In April, the Oregon Department of Education announced that its 540,000 public school students would have access to Google Apps for Education, which includes free eMail and collaborative tools. Earlier this month, Google Apps also won the endorsement of Iowa and Colorado, which will offer the tools and training to their public schools.

ePals SchoolMail plus Live@edu will be available to all New York City schools, but given the district’s empowerment model, it is not mandatory for schools to use the tools, said Ed Fish, president of ePals. “Rather, is being deployed in initiatives across schools in 2010, including the New York City Virtual Learning Environment and NYC Connected Learning … as well as through open calls where schools themselves deploy,” he said.

According to the DOE, the Connected Learning project plans to provide computer training, desktop computers, educational software, and free broadband access for one year to more than 18,000 low-income sixth-graders and their families (approximately 40,000 residents total) in 100 high-need public middle schools throughout the city.

“New York City is setting the standard for other U.S. school systems by introducing collaborative technologies to equip students with digital literacy skills and the ability to create, manage, and share their work,” said DiScipio, “… putting [the city] on par with classrooms in Europe and Asia that have already embraced internet-enabled learning technologies.”

He concluded, “Less than 10 percent of school kids are given the opportunity to use collaborative technology. It’s our hope that the country is influenced by this news.”

Links:

ePals

Live at edu

NYC DOE

Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Re-imagining Education resource center. Inspiring and engaging today’s 21st-century learners, who have grown up surrounded with digital media and are used to having instant access to information, requires flexible resources that change with students’ needs. When teachers can leverage multiple technologies in a resource-rich classroom—supported by top-notch professional development—students forget they’re in school and instead become excited about real-world applications of the lessons they are learning. Go to:

Re-imagining Education

Meris Stansbury

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