Announcements

Contest Seeks Innovation In 4G Wireless Broadband; Educators To Be Rewarded For Creative Ideas

RESTON, VA – Two organizations—one a non-profit leader in education and the other a commercial leader in 4G wireless technology—have teamed to sponsor a contest that will explore exciting educational uses for the next revolutionary technology: 4G wireless broadband.

The Source for Learning, Inc. (www.sourceforlearning.org) has created innovative nonprofit web-based learning resources that are used in every state and more than 50 countries.

Clearwire offers a robust suite of advanced high-speed Internet services to consumers and businesses. As part of a multi-year network build-out plan, Clearwire’s 4G service, called CLEAR™, will be available in major metropolitan areas across the U.S., and bring together an unprecedented combination of speed and mobility. Clearwire currently provides 4G service, utilizing WiMAX technology, in 14 markets and provides pre-WiMAX communications services in 40 markets across the U.S. and Europe. Headquartered in Kirkland, Wash., additional information about Clearwire is available at www.clearwire.com.

The two companies are working together to help educators enhance teaching and learning through technology.

New Possibilities for Educators
A new dimension has been added to the learning experience: enhanced mobility. High-quality 4G wireless connectivity, with increased capabilities and speed, is now being deployed, and it will have a major impact on education—especially “anytime/anywhere” learning. But how will it actually be used?

Exciting possibilities are starting to be discussed—imagine, for instance:
A class goes to a field behind the school to research native animals and habitats. While there, with no wires needed, they use the web to learn more about what they find, and share the experience via live video feed with other classrooms—from the same school or from many schools, anywhere in the world.
 
A few students visit a location—for instance a “wind farm” where clean energy is generated. Other classrooms watch the visit live; they ask questions in real time as the students meet an expert and see the workings of the site. Through GPS tracking, the coordinates of the location are uploaded; that data is merged with Google Earth layers showing wind patterns and electric power needs, for a comprehensive understanding of the experience.
 
Following a video streaming introduction of a concept, students from many locations collaborate on an experiment with a teacher/scientist. Input from the students is incorporated live, and real-time video shows the results based on the students' suggestions.
 
A Competition to Stimulate New ideas
Those are sample ideas; the sponsors want to stimulate creative thinking about how this new 4G capability and mobility will be used. So they’ve created a competition for U.S. educators (Pre-K through 16), asking them to use their imaginations about ways teaching and learning might be enhanced using 4G wireless broadband.

Grand Prize Winners of the competition will be invited to present their proposals at the Annual Convention of the National EBS Association in Henderson, Nevada (February 22-24, 2010) and will receive scholarships to cover one presenter's travel expenses, with an additional reimbursement of $200 to each of their schools to cover related school substitute costs.

Up to ten runners-up will receive $100 Amazon gift certificates (one gift certificate per proposal). The presentations submitted by both winners and runners-up will also be exhibited online.

A quick summary of the process:
Initial entries—basically 500-word descriptions of the idea and its requirements—must be submitted online no later than 6:00 pm (Eastern Time) on November 1, 2009.
 
Up to 13 finalists will be chosen, and will submit more detailed descriptions of their ideas, including a PowerPoint presentation, by January 4, 2010.
 
The winners will be announced by January 25, 2010.
 
Clearwire and Source for Learning employees are not eligible to participate.  Additional details of all entry requirements and deadlines are found at www.4GWirelessEducation.com.

The Source for Learning, Inc. is a not-for-profit company offering teachers, students, and parents the web’s best collection of learning resources. Compiled and reviewed by education professionals, the resources cover countless subjects and support diverse learning styles. Together, they enhance education at every level.

The National Educational Broadband Service Association (NEBSA) is the professional association for nonprofit educational entities holding Educational Broadband Service (EBS) licenses. EBS is the designation for certain microwave broadcast frequencies established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide educational services.

Contact: Steven Gorski, The Source for Learning, 703-860-9200, sgorski@sflinc.org