Governor plans $20M for technical training

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced plans Thursday for a $20 million grant program that would give money to local training centers that focus on technical skills.

The money will be part of Scott’s upcoming 2015 budget request and will require applicants to submit ideas that improve technology-based learning programs.

“We know the workers of tomorrow are in our classrooms today,” Scott said in a release. “This advanced workforce training creates the environment where our students are getting the skills and training they need to be competitive in the global marketplace.”
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Should Students Be Barred From Taking Cellphones to School?

What is your school’s policy regarding cellphones? Do you take a phone to school? Has your cell-phone helped or hurt your learning?

New York City will be ending its longstanding ban on cellphones in public schools. For years the city ar-gued that cellphones had no place in schools, and that they disrupted student learning. Many parents coun-tered that cellphones were a vital link to their children.

Should students be allowed to take cellphones to school?

In the article “With School Ban Nearing End, New York City Works on How and When to Allow Cellphones,” Motoko Rich and Kate Taylor write:

As New York prepares to lift its longstanding ban on cellphones carried by students in schools, it joins an increasing number of cities, including Chicago and Miami, where school leaders are yielding to the ubiquity of mobile phones and the futility of trying to keep them out of the classroom.

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Tablets coming into the classroom

Imagine a modern day David and Goliath story. But instead of slinging a rock at a giant competitor, Jose Espejo created his own tablet and launched it into a world where Apple has sold more 170 million iPads.

The Venezuelan immigrant and CEO of Quatro Solutions believes he has discovered a niche where his eBolt tablet can penetrate one pocket of the market: education.
“Everyone knows about the iPad, but only some schools in the nation were getting iPads,” said Espejo, 34, of Miami. “The math didn’t add up to me.”

Quatro Solutions’ 10-inch device, which runs the Android 4.2 operating system and has 16 gigabytes of memory, is similar to others, but with a price lower than its competitors.
Last year, the Seminole County school district, near Orlando, brought the devices into four of its elementary schools. The cost of 100 tablets: $30,000, or $300 apiece. The package includes a Bluetooth wireless key-board, high-performance ear buds, a leather case and cables for the classroom. For a similar tablet by Samsung, the cost is about $100 more.

The eBolt has also been used in schools in Miami-Dade County, including a charter school in Little Havana, and in Broward County.
“After we did teacher training, we did student training,” said Minnie Cardona, a languages coordinator for the Seminole school district. “What’s important to us is how it’s going to impact the students’ learning.”
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