The central problem in science education is the poor performance of pre-college students. We know how to improve this: create innovative, research-based curricula and provide teacher professional development based on these materials. We do not need fundamental research in learning, a massive teacher recruitment program, or motivational awards. What is needed is to enrich what is going on in classrooms with better materials, more technology, and better-prepared teachers. - Bob Tinker, the Concord Consortium, August 2006.
This paper describes an innovative approach to using advanced networking technologies in support of technology-enabled K-12 learning within North America. This collaborative project involves multiple institutions in providing rich instructional resources in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Unique aspects include (a) providing access to advance cyber-infrastructure, i.e. Internet2 and National Lambda Rail, thereby allowing fully interactive bandwidth intensive applications; (b) delivering professional development for teachers and enriched learning experiences for students; (c) and is a replicable model that allows higher education to address pipeline needs within the STEM disciplines. Presented is a proven prototype as well as plans for future development, dissemination, and deployment. Potential collaborators are encouraged to contact the authors.
A Typical K-12 System in Georgia. Severely congested pipes mean long queues in routers. This graph show the delay (in milliseconds) between the clean room at Georgia Tech and a district central office . In the evenings and weekends, delay is 5 milliseconds.
A K-12 System Connected to Peachnet. 2.2 milliseconds 2.4 milliseconds This graph show the delay (in milliseconds) between the clean room at Georgia Tech and a district central office .
Utilization. More capacity means less congestion Immediately see usage 2-3x previous capacity. District upgraded from 20 Mbps to 155 Mbps (Peachnet).
Ongoing monitoring, analysis, feedback, and support through:
Extensive formative evaluation
Annual summative evaluations
Longitudinal studies of students in participating districts during the program and two years after students’ graduate
Formative assessment tied to appropriate performance standards and measures
Quasi-experimental research designs (i.e. comparison group studies where strict randomization is not possible)
Inputs Activities Outputs Outcomes Impact Leadership and committed resources in Barrow, DeKalb, and Putnam School Districts Direct 2 Discovery STEM teachers paired with faculty and education experts collaboratively develop and deliver learning. Increase bandwidth to schools and connect to R&E network Teachers experience measurable growth in content, pedagogical, and pedagogical content knowledge Provide teacher professional development through local universities equipment and resources provided to participating districts Students demonstrate increasingly greater success in STEM Plan, build, and support the necessary cyber-infrastructure Provide classroom resources and equipment
Implement STEM teaching
Experts in Science Education, Educational Technology, Engineering Education, and Math Education Every STEM student learns more richly than through traditional instructional methods. University faculty/researchers