The OLPC project is alive and well in The Queen City.

Making Digital Literacy a Reality for Everyone

Queens’ Knight School of Communication takes another step toward making Charlotte a model city for digital literacy

WHO:  The James L. Knight School of Communication is launching a digital literacy initiative at Ashley Park Elementary School, a school within the Project L.I.F.T. corridor. Project L.I.F.T. is a non-profit organization that transforms the way students who traditionally perform poorly in school are educated, focusing on nine schools within Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS).

 

WHAT:  The Knight School has partnered with CMS,  One Laptop per Child, Mobile Beacon and EveryoneOn to clear away digital literacy obstacles for Ashley Park Elementary families and assist parents who cannot keep pace with the technological literacy required of their children. The Knight School will assess families’ technology needs; Mobile Beacon is donating 100 modems and is providing free in-home Internet access for the remainder of the school year to participating families; and One Laptop per Child has already provided students with computers. The initiative aligns with the Knight School’s overarching mission—to raise the digital media literacy rate of the city to improve the lives of Charlotteans—and the launch day will be celebrated by a Mayoral Proclamation.

 

WHY: The focus on Ashley Park Elementary follows the Knight School’s Digital Media Literacy (DML) Index, the first tool of its kind to produce a comprehensive view of DML competency across a municipality—in this case, the city of Charlotte. The community surrounding Ashley Park scored the lowest on the Knight School’s Charlotte area index; a deeper look at the data revealed the neighborhood has the lowest Internet use, contains the highest percentage of adults without a high school degree and has the highest percentage of households with an annual income less than $40,000.

 

WHERE:  Ashley Park Elementary School (Media Center)

2401 Belfast Drive, Charlotte

 

WHEN:  The Second Annual Digital Media Literacy Day, an initiative launched in 2013 by the Knight School

Friday, March 21, 2014, 9-10 a.m. and 4-5 p.m

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Remarks by Dean Eric Freedman of the Knight School on the significance and importance of the initiative
  • Students and parents becoming more digitally literate – receiving lessons on how to use their computers, some who will be using computers for the first time

ABOUT THE JAMES L. KNIGHT SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION AT QUEENS UNIVERSITY OF CHARLOTTE

The mission of the James L. Knight School of Communication is to prepare consumers and creators of communication messages to become engaged citizens, advocates and leaders in the communities they serve. The Knight School offers a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Journalism and Digital Media, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Communication, and a Master of Arts in Communication. Alumni thrive in such areas as journalism, media industries, advertising, public and community relations, law, human resources, sports enterprise, corporate communication, government and education.

ABOUT QUEENS UNIVERSITY OF CHARLOTTE 

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, McColl School of Business, Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, James L. Knight School of Communication and Andrew Blair College of Health which features the Presbyterian School of Nursing.

ABOUT MOBILE BEACON

Mobile Beacon provides fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband services exclusively to educational and nonprofit organizations across the United States. Mobile Beacon was created by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is one of the largest national educational broadband service (EBS) providers in the country. Through an agreement with Clearwire, Mobile Beacon provides high-speed data services and mobile Internet access on the CLEAR 4G network. For more information, visit www.mobilebeacon.org.

ABOUT EVERYONEON

EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet, computers, and free digital literacy accessible to all unconnected Americans. EveryoneOn aims to leverage the power of the Internet to provide opportunity to all Americans—regardless of age, race, geography, income or education level. For more information, visit www.everyoneon.org.

 

ABOUT ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD 

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression. In partnership with the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations and supported by comprehensive implementation and pedagogical services, OLPC seeks to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power connected laptop that empowers individual learning and growth. Fore more information, visit www.laptop.org.

Computers going to low-income campuses – Project LIFT

Published Monday, February 25, 2013 3:18 pm by Herbert L. White - The Charlotte Post

More than 2,000 elementary school students in the Project LIFT zone will take delivery of notebook computers on Feb. 26.

One Laptop per Child Association will provide the laptops for students in the first through fourth grades as part of the organization’s largest U.S. effort to date – with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The machines will be presented at Druid Hills Academy, 2801 Lucena St.
“We are pleased to be working with the Knight Foundation and Project LIFT in this bold endeavor,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, chairman and CEO of One Laptop per Child. “We believe that partnering with foundations, the private sector and the public sector is an excellent model that can be replicated across the country.”

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The computers are integral to Project LIFT, a $55 million, community-oriented campaign to improve academic achievement in 11 northwest Charlotte schools. The program’s goal is to have 90 percent of the zone’s elementary students perform on grade level, achieve more than one year of academic growth per grade, and improve the graduation rate at West Charlotte High School. Project LIFT has offered notebook computers at a discount to families and provided free broadband access for a year.
“Our technology pillar has become complete with One Laptop per Child,” said Project LIFT Zone Superintendent Denise Watts. “These strategies will no doubt introduce 21st century technology to our students and help bridge the technology gap,” said Watts.

Continue reading here.

One Laptop per Child Launch Event at Druid Hills Academy

Your presence is requested…
One Laptop per Child Launch Event at Druid Hills Academy

On February 26, more than 2,000 laptops will be distributed to students in the Project L.I.F.T. zone through the One Laptop per Child initiative, which is funded by the Knight Foundation. This initiative seeks to provide students with access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
10:30 a.m.
Druid Hills Academy Cafetorium
2801 Lucena Street Charlotte, NC 28206

North Carolina teachers and students will now have access to Common Core aligned lesson plans

Charlotte, North Carolina teachers and students will now have access to Common Core aligned lesson plans that emphasize the use of The Sugar Learning Platform.

In early 2013, over 2,500 teachers and students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Project L.I.F.T. Zone will receive a connected XO laptop with the latest Sugar Learning Platform software. Nearly 200 exemplar lesson plans and onsite pedagogical support will accompany these laptops.

This collection, available free of charge, includes lesson plan samples for teachers and students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Math and reading lesson plans are aligned with the recently adopted Common Core, a national blueprint for teaching and learning that has now been adopted by 45 states and three territories. The Core aims to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Science, social studies and arts plans will be accessible and aligned with North Carolina Essential Standards.

Project L.I.F.T. Zone Superintendent Denise Watts recognizes this collection as “the beginning of a new way of teaching and learning.” Watts, a former educator herself, sees these tools as “the support teachers need to ensure effective implementation of technology into the classroom.”

Continue to visit the site for new, innovative approaches to teaching using The
Sugar Learning Platform. Professional development communities will continue to
work throughout the year to perfect lesson plans and project ideas.

OLPC Shines at Project L.I.F.T. Annual Meeting

By: Torie Leslie, OLPC facilitator at Allenbrook Elementary School

On October 26th, 2012 the nine CMS Project L.I.F.T. zone schools and community
partners joined forces to host the L.I.F.T annual community meeting. This event
included breakout sessions centered around L.I.F.T’s commitment to appropriate
technology for all students. The “OLPC Lounge” stood out as a shining star during
this time as students, their families and community members enjoyed quality time
with XO laptops and OLPC support staff members. All visitors to the session had the
opportunity to ask questions and explore Activities on the Sugar Learning Platform.

One of my favorite memories from this event was when a 4th grade student was
sitting with his sister who is in Kindergarten and he explained how to open the
Speak Activity so she could type in her name and hear the robot speak her name. He
said to her, “You can use my XO for now but you’ll be getting your own soon!”

Check out this video from the evening created by my colleague, Monique Pollock,
facilitator at Ashley Park Pre-K-8.


 

What’s All This Talk About “Reach Extension?”

Public Impact is a national education policy and management-consulting firm based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They have been working with Project L.I.F.T. in Charlotte, North Carolina where OLPC will be providing connected XO laptops and ongoing training and support to 2,500 teachers and students.

The efforts of Public Impact are aimed at extending the reach of excellent teachers using job redesign and technology. Public Impact believes schools can put in place models to ensure that all students have access to an excellent education. One of these models emphasizes the use of online digital instruction. In Project L.I.F.T. for example, school leadership teams are looking at spaces throughout the academic day where technology can be swapped for a period of teaching time. This will of course free up the classroom teacher’s time, allowing the educator to reach an even larger number of students on a daily basis.

XO laptops will be used throughout The Project L.I.F.T. Zone to support much of this work. Quality online digital instruction and the already available Sugar Learning Platform will serve as tools to ensure that every student receives the support he or she needs to be successful both in and out of the classroom. Both Sugar’s Journal and online program functions will store student work and data, allowing for continuous reflection, review and remediation.

For more information about the transformational work Public Impact is doing in our schools, visit opportunityculture.org.