Technology

We explore a major broadband bill that passed the House of Delegates, and we have a discussion with two West Virginia lawmakers who are involved in broadband and technology expansion in the state.

We learn about a state program that’s helping thousands of West Virginia grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and we have a conversation with the co-chairs of a new bipartisan Tech Caucus.

More teens and young adults — particularly girls and young women — are reporting being depressed and anxious, compared with comparable numbers from the mid-2000s. Suicides are up too in that time period, most noticeably among girls ages 10 to 14.

These trends are the basis of a scientific controversy.

One hypothesis that has gotten a lot of traction is that with nearly every teen using a smartphone these days, digital media must take some of the blame for worsening mental health.

Yanfang (Fanny) Ye
West Virginia University

A West Virginia University professor has won a $500,000 grant to work on cybersecurity techniques.

The college announced Monday that Yanfang Ye has won the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

Late in the afternoon on Monday, the West Virginia Senate took up SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – as amended by the House of Delegates. But the upper chamber provided its own amendment to the House’s version. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich break down the day’s floor action over the bill and what could come next. We also hear from the chairman and minority chairman of the House Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.

Broadband Lawsuit
Bidgee / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's governor says broadband network operator Zayo Group will build a fiber network crossing 200 miles of the state.

Changing Course: A School Cooperative Aims To Remake Coal Communities

Nov 27, 2017
Benny Becker / Ohio Valley Resource

Betsy Layne High School serves rural Floyd County in the eastern Kentucky town of Stanville, population 206. Students there produce a video program called “Bobcat Banter” where they usually talk about sports and student life. But early last year “Bobcat Banter” introduced some special guests.

“We’re here with Mr. and Mrs. Gates from the Gates Foundation,” the students said.

The world’s richest man and his partner in life and philanthropy, Melinda Gates, had dropped in for a chat.

 

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Bruce Parsons

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in West Virginia and Kentuckyover the weekend to see some innovative ways that schools are using new technology.

Zuckerberg has been traveling the country working on his New Year’s resolution to speak with people in every state. On Sunday, he met with educators and students from across Eastern Kentucky.

BrokenSphere / wikimedia Commons

About 1,000 iPad tablet computers have not been recovered by a school system in West Virginia over the past three school years.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Kanawha County Board of Education learned Thursday that 1,269 out of just over 15,000 iPads were not recovered. Officials say the county sees about a 2.8 percent annual loss, with the largest source coming from student transfers.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va.
Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

John Dunlap has been named West Virginia's chief technology officer.

Gov. Jim Justice announced Dunlap's appointment Monday.

New STEAM Video

Apr 25, 2016

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has added another video to its STEAM collection on West Virginia LearningMedia.  This latest video looks at Advanced Manufacturing Technicians and the opportunities in the job market.  

Central Catholic High School

This year Central Catholic High School in Ohio County is celebrating roots that stretch 150 years  back. The school has weathered many changes since the end of the Civil War. Student populations have swelled and declined along with the population of the Northern Panhandle. Today the school is looking to the future. Alums and foundations have made investments in new technologically infused learning environments, changing the shape of classrooms, and school officials hope, students’ minds.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new program through the West Virginia Department of Education is taking state government issued computers and turning them into training tools for students of all ages.

The WVDE introduced the program Friday called Second Launch WV, a partnership with the West Virginia Office of Technology.

Second Launch takes computers that are being cycled out of use at state agencies, like the Department of Corrections or Division of Highways, cleans out their databases and places the refurbished desktops in classrooms across the state.

In this piece from The Atlantic, Anya Groner uses January's chemical spill of MCHM into the Elk River to set the stage to discuss the history and future of issues surrounding safe drinking water.

WVU Hosts Hackathon for Women

Oct 30, 2014
David Smith / WVU

Women make up nearly 60 percent of the professional workforce, yet they hold 25 percent of jobs in the area of computer science. That gender gap one reason why West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media hosted a Hackathon that focused on women, media and wearable technology.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Glynis Board reports from Wheeling about the Women and Technology conference.  She’ll talk with the first woman to walk in space.  And Ashton Marra interviews Natalie Tennant, one of the candidates who could become the first women to represent West Virginia in the United States Senate.

On Saturday, a STEM camp for middle school girls will be held at Shepherd University.

Aravind Sivaraj / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's public schools will get free computer operating system upgrades for five years under a new agreement with Microsoft.
 
The Charleston Daily Mail reports
that schools will enter the agreement with Microsoft on July 1.
 
Under the agreement, schools can upgrade their computers' operating systems without cost if the hardware can handle the upgrade.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind is controversially changing the job description and requiring more education for the house parents who watch children living on campus. New technology is being used to track the population of deer around the state. Wheeling Jesuit University celebrates Appalachia through a series of lectures.

Morgantown Changing the Way Deer Are Discovered

Apr 2, 2014
Creative Commons Photo

West Virginia’s got a lot of deer within its borders, and they can be a burden. For instance, the state’s vehicle collision rate with deer is one of the highest in the nation, according to a study by State Farm Insurance. In Morgantown, new technology is being used to monitor these animals.

You see them while driving along the interstate. You’ll catch them in your residential neighborhoods, eating vegetables from your garden.

Three West Virginia-based companies have received grants to help commercialize new technologies.
 
The Chemical Alliance Zone's Chemical and Materials Commercialization Fund awarded $20,000 to Liberty Hydro Inc. for a portable water-filtration pilot unit. The unit will be used to demonstrate the company's clean-water technology at customer sites.
 

Federal officials have rejected West Virginia's proposal to spend about $2.5 million in funds leftover from a broadband stimulus grant.
 
     State chief technology officer Gale Given tells the Charleston Gazette that the state likely will have to return the unspent funds to the federal government.
 

Glynis Board / WVPublic

A new tool to train riverboat workers allows trainees to smack into bridges and barges without risking millions of dollars in damages.

The tri-state port of Huntington is the largest inland port in America—bigger than Baltimore and bigger than Philadelphia, based on the tonnage that travels through. That river activity accounts for more than a billion and a half dollars of West Virginia’s economy, as well as some 10,000 jobs. And the inland maritime industry is projecting 1.5 percent in job growth annually over the next decade.

WVU

Charleston native and West Virginia University graduate student Scott Cushing is in pursuit of one of the holy grails of energy sourcing: instead of using gasoline, or other fossil fuels with harmful emissions, he aims to use water and the sun to harvest hydrogen gas.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

A Fairmont attorney is days away from making judicial history in West Virginia.

Beth Vorhees / W.Va. Public Broadcasting

Students at South Charleston High School are working on their own satellite.  It will be launched into space by NASA on a Soyez rocket sometime next year.  The satellite will gather all kinds of data and beam it back to the school for five years.  This is what it means to talk about STEM – science, technology, engineering and math and the students are pretty excited about it.

Trans Tech Conference comes to Morgantown

Nov 7, 2013
Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The term “TransTech” has been floating around for about five years, according to Carl Irwin, creator of the TransTech Energy Program at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy.

It refers to technologies that try to transition the nation’s energy portfolio into something that’s more economically sustainable, while at the same time, being competitive and using lower amounts of carbon. Carl Irwin says the public plays an important part in recognizing transitional technologies.

WVU / WVU

Google Glass. It’s a new computer right out of a James Bond film or a science fiction novel. You wear it like you would wear glasses, but you peer at the world with technologically reinforced eyes.

Like Iron Man.

…Without the suit.

Maybe the suit will come next, but, in the meantime Google Glass is being tested by thousands of people including students at West Virginia University. Professor Mary Kay McFarland got wind that Google was looking for ‘Glass Explorers’ and now she’s incorporated the technology into her class.

Huntington parks set up wireless system

Oct 15, 2013

  The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District is banking on the idea that if WiFi is available, people will come to the park.

An internet service provider based in Huntington pipes a signal directly to antenna’s located at strategic locations in the park. That signal is turned into WiFi; available to connect to mobile devices in the park. At 50 megabytes per second the Park District thinks they’re on to something that the public will enjoy. Kevin Brady is the Executive Director.

Over the summer West Virginia University got a new system of transmitting internet wirelessly up and running. AIR.U, named after the Advanced Internet Regions consortium, is the name of the system that is using vacated television spectrums to broadcast the internet to students and the public.

John Campbell, associate provost and chief information officer at WVU explains that a couple of years ago the Federal Communications Commission made the decision to move to high definition broadcasting.