D.C. Mayor Delivers a $4.6 Million Technology Investment with 16,400 Devices to Students

#BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

WASHINGTON – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools (DCPS) began delivering more than 16,400 technology devices to students across all eight wards as a part of the Empowered Learner’s Initiative. The initiative is a comprehensive three-year commitment by Mayor Bowser to close the digital divide and empower DCPS students through access to state-of-the-art technology.

“Last year, our community made clear that they wanted us to invest more in technology in our schools – and we answered that call with a $4.6 million investment in new devices for our young learners,” said Mayor Bowser. “But this investment isn’t just about buying devices – it’s about ensuring our students and teachers have the programs and resources they need to help us close the digital divide in Washington, DC.”

Last year, Mayor Bowser made an initial $4.6 million investment in technology to provide every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 with a device to use at school, and students in all other grades will have a 3:1 student-to-device ratio in the classroom. After ensuring schools had the necessary technology infrastructure and providing professional development to educators, classrooms are receiving the Microsoft Surface Go to enhance teaching and learning.

dc-tablets-farabee2020“DCPS is excited to begin delivering on our commitment to close the digital divide and empower students across the district in innovative ways,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee (above left, with students). “This year, students in grades 3, 6, and 9 will receive Microsoft Surface Go’s that will enhance their learning experience and advance college and career success. I thank Mayor Bowser for her investment in the Empowered Learner’s initiative and look forward to providing even more students with access to state-of-the-art technology over the next three years.”

After students and educators tested the Microsoft Surface Go, it was selected for its agility, durability, and long-battery life. The Surface Go has a world-facing camera for video and photography, and an inking stylus for drawing and writing.

Since the beginning of the school year, teachers, technology specialists, and operations staff engaged in professional development focused on this new technology. Students are receiving digital citizenship lessons, published by Common Sense Media, to make safe and responsible decisions online.

“We want to ensure the new technology provides the best experience for students and have been testing and optimizing to make that a reality,” said DC Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker. “Nearly 50 technicians are trained and ready to support students and teachers the moment the devices enter the classroom and students log-in.”

Tablets For TeensThe devices will stay in the classroom so teachers can continue to use the technology to enhance their instruction. Families can expect to see their third grade students using the devices to apply the math skills they learn to control Sphero robots; high school students enrolled in credit recovery can have full access to digital resources and assessment that will help them master the course content; and teachers can provide personalized strategies to meet every student’s individual needs through both in-person and digital instruction.

Next fiscal year, Mayor Bowser plans to make another multimillion dollar investment in technology to provide a device for every student in grades 4, 7, and 10. To learn more about the devices, families can visit the District’s Empowered Learners Initiative website.

Source and photo: Office of the Mayor
Cover photo courtesy: Debbie Truong

* Resources for DCPS parents, teachers, and students are linked here.


** Related articles on BDPA-DC’s Tablets For Teens or National BDPA’s Mobile App Showcase programs are linked here.


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2019 Community Technology Awards

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WASHINGTON — National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org) is hosting an evening of professional networking and Holiday Soirée with Tech Industry executives on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at Samsung Electronics Executive Briefing Center, 700 PENN S.E., Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

2019 High School Computer Competition Champions
2019 National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Champions from Washington, D.C.

This year’s annual Tech & Media Reception, Community Technology Awards,  and Holiday Soirée is co-hosted by Samsung Electronics. In closing out this exciting decade, the association is honoring the region’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) national coding championship team (above), celebrating the 55th Anniversary of The Washington Informer, and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the H.O.P.E. Project DMV.

2019 Community and Technology Award Winners

2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards

2019 Industry Sponsor of the Year

2019 Community Service Award

2019 Member of the Year

  • Terry Wilson-Brox, KPMG
    Tech ‘Team Mom‘ for 2019 National HSCC Coding Champions
    Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ron Hamm , President, HCG
    Government Relations (GovRel) contributor to bdpatoday

2019 President’s Technical Career Awards

  • Anu Fomengia
  • Dernard Hawkins
  • Lynette Hinton
  • Sedley Randolph
  • Phyllis Ussery
  • Brittany Walker

Earl A, Pace, Jr. | Co-Founder, BDPASince 1975, BDPA’s mission sets continue to pay it forward into its fifth (5G) decade to bridge application development, cybersecurity, information technology (IT), and telecommunications competency gaps between Industry, Academia, governments and traditionally underserved communities.

Local BDPA Chapter goals across the National Capital Region (NCR) are set forth to provide access to technology and career training programs. Events with regional sponsors and mission partners include educational outreach programs for professionals, junior developers (Jr. Devs), young adults, and youth technology programs across the Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (DMV) in direct support of economic development, technology inclusion, and workforce development initiatives.

Reservations for this year’s reception and BDPA Professional Membership drives for 2020 remain open until Monday, November 18, 2019. Discover more by visiting the trade association’s landing pages, publications, and archives → https://bdpadc.org

Select here to RSVP before Monday, November 18th


BDPA-DC Captures National Coding Title

ATLANTA, GA—The High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC.org) captured this year’s national coding and app development title during BDPACon19, the Association’s annual coding combine, 41st National Technology Conference, and Tech Career Expo, hosted by National BDPA in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year, 12 teams advanced from their respective regions to compete nationally for scholarships and internships with National and local BDPA mission-partners and sponsors. For 2019, the top three teams (clockwise, L-R) are BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), BDPA St. Louis (Missouri), and BDPA Southern Minnesota (Rochester, MN.) Click to enlarge photos.

Throughout the year, local BDPA chapters conduct Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) training programs for youth in their communities. These programs are designed to expose students to computing concepts, information technology, and provide them additional expertise to develop web or mobile applications. Some chapters participate in regional competitions throughout the country to further prepare their students.

Regional HSCCIn May, Bowie State University co-hosted this year’s Regional Innovation Summit and HSCC with BDPA-DC and Patriots Technology Training Center. Participating BDPA chapters are able to send one team of 3 to 5 students to the annual national technology conference (BDPACon) and coding combine to compete against teams from other BDPA Chapters from other regions.

The National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, GA has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It was designed to introduce youth to fields of Information Technology (IT), encourage them to seek technical certifications with higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.

Corporate sponsors and mission-partners from the National Capital Region that helped paved the way toward this year’s national championship include AG Grace, Inc.; Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS); Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS); Best Buy; Blacks In Cyber; Bowie State University; Connected2Tech, LLC.; D.C. Courts System; D.C. SBDC; Defender Academy; Eccalon, LLC; Enlightened, Inc.; Federal Government Experts, LLC; GDIT; H.O.P.E. Project DMV; Howard University; Inclusive Innovation Incubator (IN3); Joint Educational Facilities, Inc. (JEF); KPMG; The Microsoft Store;  Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC); Morton Media; National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Oracle; Patriots Technology Training Centers; Premier Enterprise Solutions, Inc.; R&K Cyber Solutions; Samsung USA; SiriusXM Radio, Inc.; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Army; U.S. Coast Guard; Vergo Productions; Washington Association of Black Journalists (WABJ); WOOD Consulting Services, Inc. and select Department of Defense (DOD) agencies.

The Team has scheduled a special open house and press conference on Saturday, August 10, 2019, from 9:00 am to 12 noon at their Gallery Place training facility in Washington, D.C. Invitations may be requested via email:  media@bdpadc.org or info@bdpadc.org.

For additional information, visit BDPAdc.org and BDPA2019.com.

— Photo credits: National BDPA and bdpatoday

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March: National Women’s History Month

SANTA ROSA, CA – Established in 1980, the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) is a registered IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to the promotion and recognition of multicultural American women’s history. NWHP led the successful Congressional campaign to recognize March as National Women’s History Month. The NWHP has trained thousands of teachers on how to include women in their curricula, and use NWHP materials across the country in classrooms, government agencies, and civic organizations.

In 1987 the U.S. Congress designated March as National Women’s History Month. This creates a special opportunity in our schools, our workplaces, and our communities to recognize and celebrate the often-over looked achievements of American women. Each year there is a special theme and women whose lives exemplify that theme are selected as Honorees. The 2018 theme for National Women’s History Month is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”
Throughout this year, NWHP honors outstanding women for their unrelenting and inspirational persistence, and for understanding that, by fighting all forms of discrimination against women and girls, they have shaped America’s history and  future. Their lives demonstrate the power of voice, of persistent action, and of believing that meaningful and lasting change is possible in our democratic society.
Source: National Women’s History Project
Photos: Marvel StudiosNational BDPA, BDPA Chapters, and bdpatoday

In the latest blockbuster movie, Black Panther, actress Letitia Wright plays ‘Shuri’ (above), leader of the Wakandan Design Group. She leverages her new technology skills to help her nation and create better devices that aid her brother [King T’Challa] in his superhero role as the ‘Black Panther’.

 

Visit bdpatoday‘s archives at: https://www.pinterest.com/bdpatoday/  for newly discovered historial pictures, vignettes, and technical achievements of women in computers, cyber, data sciences, and related fields. Student BDPA Memberships and General BDPA Memberships are available to anyone by applying online and selecting a BDPA Chapter via: BDPA.org.

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Spring Ahead: ‘CB’ Time vs. ‘CP’ Time

The Celestial Body (‘CB’) — The Sun, a Moon, a planet, and stars — have provided us a reference for measuring the passage of time throughout our existence. Ancient civilizations relied upon the apparent motion of these bodies through the sky to determine seasons, months, years from “celestial body” time to modern day coders and software developers’ “computer people” time.

spring-ahead-transAccording to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), we know very little about the details of timekeeping in prehistoric eras, but wherever we turn up records and artifacts, we usually discover that in every culture, some people were preoccupied with measuring and recording the passage of time.

Ice-age hunters in Europe over 20,000 years ago scratched lines and gouged holes in sticks and bones, possibly counting the days between phases of the moon. Five thousand years ago, Sumerians in the Tigris-Euphrates valley in today’s Iraq had a calendar that divided the year into 30 day months, divided the day into 12 periods (each corresponding to 2 of our hours), and divided these periods into 30 parts (each like 4 of our minutes). We have no written records of Stonehenge, built over 4000 years ago in England, but its alignments show its purposes apparently included the determination of seasonal or celestial events, such as lunar eclipses, solstices and so on.

The earliest Egyptian calendar was based on the moon’s cycles, but later the Egyptians realized that the “Dog Star” in Canis Major, which we call Sirius, rose next to the sun every 365 days, about when the annual inundation of the Nile began. Based on this knowledge, they devised a 365 day calendar that seems to have begun around 3100 BCE (Before the Common Era), which thus seems to be one of the earliest years recorded in history.

Why do we change clocks twice a year?  Select here to discover more …

—Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

The Hidden Figure$ of Gaming, Data Processing, and Code

SILICON VALLEY, CA—An early computer hobbyist’s club in Southern California has some pretty heady history behind it. You’d be hard pressed to match the geek cred of some of its members — Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, for example — and Jerry Lawson.

jerry-lawon_game-cartridge-creatorThe late Gerald Anderson Lawson (above), known as Jerry, along with Ron Jones, were the only two members of color of the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley.

The club began in 1975, the same year National BDPA was founded,  when hobbyists, most with an electronic engineering or computer programming background, met to talk about the Altair 8800 and to exchange schematics and programming tips. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born electronic engineer, taught himself everything he knew about designing. His impressive creation of the Fairchild Channel F video game console separated him from contemporaries such as Nolan Bushnell and Ralph Baer.

The Fairchild Channel F console was released by Fairchild Semiconductor in November 1976 and was the first programmable ROM cartridge-based video game console, as well as the first console to use a microprocessor. Baer wrote the code for the first video game played on a TV set, called Chase, and in 1972 Bushnell helped create the video game Pong and later that year started Atari Computers.

But it was Lawson’s main distinction as the inventor of the video game cartridge, something that seems simple now, that established our new  standard for how video games were played into the next three decades.

marc-hannahChicago native Marc Regis Hannah (left) is a co-founder of Silicon Graphics (SGI) and is partly responsible for the direction of computer graphics since the company’s 1982 founding in Mountain View, CA. SGI partnered with Nintendo to create the early architecture of the Nintendo 64 gaming system. SGI, in essence, placed the power of a $5,000+ SGI Indy workstation into a $250 toy.  SGI’s technologies were used to design cars, aircraft, and  virtual simulation training for the Defense Department.

sgi-indySGI’s high-powered workstations were responsible for “computerized” films, such as “Mars Attacks!” and “Jurassic Park”.  Hannah’s 16 years at SGI made him a special effects whiz.  Hannah also is the recipient of 13 patents and numerous awards and honors, including the Professional Achievement Award from both Illinois Institute of Technology and the National Technical Association (NTA).

— Sources: Kevin L. Clark, techtimes.com
Photo credits: Estate of Jerry Lawson,
Black American History, and SGI

 

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