Sunday, December 26, 2010

Education News: December 26, 2010

December 20 | OK teacher describes his school's approach to using collaborative technology to engage students in lessons with THiNQ Ed, which provides the district with a secure network within which students and teachers interact -- eSchool News

December 20 | Continued emphasis on the importance of math education means students are being taught algebraic concepts at earlier ages than the traditional high school years -- Grand Rapids Press

December 20 | Cognitive scientist's research suggests that playing video games can improve some of children's skills in vision, attention, speed, accuracy, and cognition -- NPR

December 20 | VT students lead a campaign to ban the assigning of homework over school breaks to allow students time to spend with their families for their own mental and emotional health -- Burlington Free Press

December 19 | Struggling schools in Boston, MA implement weekly and daily assessments and record and post students' results, using the data to "drive" instruction and involving students in tracking where they are and where they want to be -- Boston Herald

December 19 | NV students voice concerns echoed by those at schools nationwide: Internet filters on school computers are too restrictive and prohibit legitimate educational use of many Web sites -- Las Vegas Review-Journal

December 18 | UT school implements screencasting, capturing everything written on a teacher's interactive whiteboard and spoken during class and then putting it all on a Web site for absent students to view afterward via the Internet -- Daily Herald

December 18 | WI school districts focus on training principals in instructional leadership and evaluation of teachers, seeing the quality of our schools' principals as just as important a concern as the quality of their teachers -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

December 17 | WA company invests in what it predicts will be a hot trend and, eventually, a norm: pico projectors, which are embedded in mobile computing devices (e.g,. smartphones, gaming devices, electronic notebooks, digital cameras) and can beam video or images directly from a device onto any surface -- Reuters

December 17 | Blogger offers teaching strategies for helping students to learn new vocabulary in ways that are not only effective for short-term practicality and long-term retention but also enjoyable -- Edutopia

December 15 | NY teacher takes noted educational researcher Leila Christenbury to task for adapting a university course to meet its students' needs, calling the researcher a "fraudulent" teacher and instigating an exchange of differing opinions

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Education News: December 19, 2010

December 17 | Using social-media Web sites in the classroom:
  • MN teachers find ways to use educational social-meda sites -- St. Cloud Times
  • Blogger recommends teaching students to use social-media sites not just for reposting info that they find but also for creating and debating -- Edutopia
  • Free education-based social networking site Edmodo offers functionality and security for teachers and students -- eSchool News
December 16 | Earning university credit for high school courses (called dual credit, dual enrollment, etc.) can be detrimental for those students once they actually become university students and struggle with legitimately university-level work and expectations -- Inside Higher Ed

December 15 | Scores on standard creativity test decline over past two decades, attributable to more time spent with computers, televisions, and standardized tests -- Wall Street Journal

December 15 | IBM forecasts which technology trends and innovations will have the greatest impact in the next five years on our already-tech-centric lives -- eChannelLine USA Daily News

December 15 | School districts raise concerns about the new requirements for school lunch programs (due to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act recently passed into law) -- Bay Citizen

December 15 | Schools' attitudes toward the iPad vary from seeing it as a "game changer" that all schools should use, to seeing it as a distraction that should be banned from schools, to worrying about leaving behind students at disadvantaged schools that can't afford it -- San Jose Mercury News

December 14 | More states allow students to opt out of physical education, allowing them to substitute other activities or claim waivers for personal reasons, despite an alarming decrease in American children's fitness -- USA Today

December 13 | Research verifies that students lie on end-of-course evaluations of their professors, sometimes positively on behalf of professors whom they like but more often negatively in hopes of punishing professors -- Des Moines Register

December 13 | Digital literacy curriculum will be available through both Common Sense Media and Verizon's Thinkfinity platform, thanks to a new partnership between them -- Education Week

December 13 | Teacher reflects on how the educational use of video has changed over the past 30 years to the point that teachers today can access free videos on numerous topics and must know how to use them to facilitate learning -- Teacher Magazine

December 12 | Facebook's "hate and harassment team" faces the challenge of fighting hate speech and cyberbullying on its site while enduring criticism of curtailing freedom of speech -- New York Times

December 12 | Experts share suggestions for helping students cope with academic stress in light of pressure to  succeed at standardized tests, gain admission to universities, and so on -- New York Times

December 11 | OH and KY schools consider online instruction as an alternative to canceling school altogether on "snow days" -- Cincinnati Enquirer

December 11 | Study suggests that value-added data for evaluating teachers (examining the improvement that students have made on standardized test scores while being taught by one teacher) may reliably predict future teaching performance and are corroborated by student survey results, which often identify the same teachers as the most effective -- Los Angeles Times

December 11 | Survey results show that American adults blame parents, not teachers, for problems with the country's schools, despite lawmakers' focus on punishing teachers for students' misbehavior, lack of studying, and low standardized test scores -- NPR

December 11 | Republican majority in the House of Representatives may share some of Sec'y of Ed. Duncan and Pres. Obama's goals for education reform but could block or limit some of their efforts in the name of battling the federal budget deficit -- New York Times

Friday, December 17, 2010

Learn About the Web and Web Browsers

20 Things I Learned About Browers and the Web -- an appealing online book that explains
  • the Internet, the World Wide Web, cloud computing, and Web applications;
  • the language of Web pages and the use of Web browsers; and
  • the innovations in browser and Web technologies that are making users' online experiences even faster and more immersive.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Education News: December 12, 2010

December 10 | WY legislators recommend eliminating tenure--the widespread practice of protecting teachers from arbitrary firing--claiming that doing so will serve as "a wake-up call" for ineffective teachers, even while endangering the employment of effective ones -- Star-Tribune

December 9 | School of One uses technology both to assess students' learning needs daily and to deliver individualized instruction in a model of differentiation strikingly different from the traditional classroom -- Mind/Shift

December 9 | "Let Students Know What You Want Them to Learn -- And Test Them for That" recommends sharing daily instructional objectives with students in language they can understand so that they take ownership of what they're learning -- ASCD Express

December 9 | "What Teachers Want from Their Coaches" offers seven points for teachers serving as instructional coaches to their peers on the faculty -- ASCD Express

December 9 | "What Happens When Students Are Invited to Enhance Teacher Effectiveness" describes a program that recruits past students to return to serve as peer mentors in a high school course, supplementing the primary instruction from the teacher in ways that are enlightening to that teacher, too -- ASCD Express

December 9 | Educators hoping to increase girls' involvement in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and math) find ways to get girls interested in computer science courses and clubs -- Edutopia

December 8 | KY elementary teacher uses the applications on a classroom set of iPads to enhance reading lessons for her students -- Courier-Journal

December 8 | Blogger asserts that, although school libraries must evolve to suit tech-savvy students, they cannot be eliminated because they serve as information hubs in schools, and librarians are foremost in teaching students how to use technological resources to access and use information -- Edutopia

December 8 | Report shows that school systems worldwide that have raised students' scores on standardized exams have achieved that improvement by using similar strategies -- Education Week

December 8 | Article examines the ways that several large school districts use students' test scores to rate teachers for bonuses or for continuing employment -- WNYC News

December 8 | Technology can be used to allow special needs students access to a traditional classroom, even when doing so virtually -- T.H.E. Journal

December 7 | MN teachers participate in workshops to learn how to incorporate dance in their classes to help students understand non-dance-related concepts in lessons across the disciplines -- Star Tribune

December 7 | MA school district proposes policy that would prohibit teachers from becoming "friends" with students on social networking sites as a step toward preventing possible online misconduct -- Patriot Ledger

December 7 | Digital Learning Council plans to assess how well states are implementing their suggestions for increasing access and equity in digital learning -- Education Week

December 6 | Data suggest that only 30-50% of American juniors are proficient in the math and English content and skills laid out by the Common Core State Standards adopted by all a few states -- Education Week

December 5 | Finnish schools thrive despite (or because of?) characteristics that stand in contrast to other countries' schools -- The Guardian

December 4 | Parents struggle to protect their children from cyberbullying, finding their options for identifying and prosecuting the victimizers to be limited or unclear -- New York Times

December 3 | The Gates Foundation invests millions of dollars in effort to develop a system for evaluating teachers' effectiveness by analyzing their teaching as captured on digital video -- New York Times

December 3 | Teacher proposes three "top ten" lists outlining the responsibilities of teachers, students, and parents if the goal of student success is to be achieved -- Edutopia

December 1 | Neuroscience helps to separate the facts from the myths about brain-based learning and the teaching practices purported to be based upon research about the brain -- Edutopia

December 1 | Neuroscience shows that learning physically changes the brain; its neuroplasticity enables it to adapt in response to new information, and there are things teachers can do to make that growth happen -- Edutopia

December 1 | Neuroscience supports the notion that a stressed brain cannot learn; students need to feel emotional safety in the classroom environment if their brains are to form neural connections (i.e., learn) -- Edutopia

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Education News: December 5, 2010

December 2 | Blogger shares five influential books on topics including curriculum, assessment, and digital tools for the classroom -- Edutopia

December 2 | Educational technology experts track the top technology trends liable to have a significant impact on teachers and students and the way teaching and learning occurs -- T.H.E. Journal

December 2 | Blogger highlights five online management tools that make it easier for teachers to track attendance, plan lessons, determine grades, and communicate with parents -- Mashable

December 2 | Blogger prods teachers to re-think routine practices by proposing that we do away with daily lesson plans in favor of plans for "lesson events" -- ASCD Edge

December 2 | CA social studies teacher captivates students by furnishing classroom with realia: the use of multidimensional objects with some kind of connection to the topic being studied (e.g., a suit of knight's armor for a unit on Medieval Europe) -- San Gabriel Valley Tribune

December 1 | Writer urges schools to trust their teachers and stop blocking their in-school access to Internet sites that those teachers know to be useful but that non-discriminatory filtering software keeps them from accessing -- T.H.E. Journal

December 1 | Digital Learning Council issues report with ten suggestions for policy changes that would improve online learning and other aspects of digital education -- Education Week

December 1 | A teacher uses free online resources in lieu of textbooks, and CA looks to open-source digital textbooks to replace hard-copy versions in order to save money -- Edutopia: teacher and CA

November 30 | Blogger makes a case for instituting literature circles in every K-12 classroom -- Edutopia

November 30 | MI high school combines courses (e.g., "geo-art," "history-tech," "bio-lit") and gives students more freedom and responsibility with project-based curriculum --

November 29 | TX high school removes some books from library to make room for computers and couches, simulating high-tech coffeehouse environment and increasing students' access to more e-books -- Houston  Chronicle

November 29 | Research shows how the scientific process could improve teacher training and ongoing professional development -- Education Week

November 29 | CO schools hire staff to run programs to increase parental involvement in the schools, focusing on a combined effort to educate families about their children's options for university study after graduation -- Denver Post

November 29 | Some teachers continue to teach penmanship despite the growing predominance of keyboarding as the means for written communication -- Nashua Telegraph

November 28 | New social networking software with an academic focus tries to make studying a social endeavor (sharing notes, form study groups) and capitalize on the appeal of sites like Facebook -- Chronicle of Higher Education

November 28 | Blogger urges teachers not to give students "extra credit," explaining why it fails to prepare them for the rest of their lives . . . and inspiring a pros-and-cons conversation amongst the blog's commenters -- Teacher Magazine

November 27 | New technology offers users a desk-sized, multi-user, curved touch screen that allows documents to be "handled" (virtually) as life-sized images -- CNET

November 27 | After years of having factored students' behavior (good or bad) into their grades, schools turn to standards-based grading as a means of reporting students' actual achievement -- New York Times

November 25 | VA attorney general states that teachers may seize students' cell phones and laptops and read texts and messages if there is reasonable suspicion that laws or school rules have been violated -- Fox

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Education News: November 28, 2010

November 25 | The "Teaching Boys" issue of this e-journal explores the reasons that boys underachieve compared to girls and the strategiess that teachers are using to teach boys effectively -- ASCD Express

November 23 | The CEO of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) lists the top eight ways that education is benefitting from technology | Mashable

November 22 | Districts nationwide continue the trend of adopting systems of merit pay for teachers, awarding teachers more money if they can demonstrate that their teaching has caused students to learn -- Hechinger Report

November 22 | Sec'y of Education Duncan answers questions about what must be done--and what is being done--to improve public education in the United States -- Wall Street Journal

November 22 | The creator of the World Wide Web itself decries the growth of Facebook and other social networking sites that wall off their users' data from other users of the Web, citing this as a threat to the open standards and neutrality that have made the Web a valuable public resource -- Scientific American

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Education News: November 21, 2010

November 21 | A teacher shares the guidelines he gave his students when introducing wikis into his course as a way of reviving his students' interest in learning and encouraging them to collaborate -- Edutopia

November 21 | Researchers explore the possibility that evermore ubiquitous technology is harming students' attention spans and brain development, even as we add technology more and more to our schools -- New York Times

November 19 | More public schools experiment with various forms of single-sex education, offering particular all-boy or all-girl courses or else keeping boys and girls in the same building but separated throughout most of the school day -- eSchool News

November 19 | Columnist greets the release of a new report by NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) with skepticism, doubting that universities will actually implement its calls for more field experience for their education majors -- Washington Post

November 18 | New York City Mayor Bloomberg's choice of a publishing executive to lead the city's school system prompts consideration of what credentials (such as experience as an educator) one needs to qualify as a good educational leader -- Time

November 17 | First-ever Global Education Conference offers round-the-clock sessions by presenters from across the world to participants "attending" online from across the world, as well -- Edutopia

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Education News: October 10, 2010

October 6 | Reviewers of e-portfolios conclude that they're merely electronic scrapbooks unless the "stuff" being collected is also analyzed and presented in such a way that it's clear how the contents serve as evidence of teaching competency -- Campus Technology

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Media Tools, Tips, and Resources

August 30 | Technology Tools for the First Week of School -- Edutopia

April 26 | Technology Integration for Elementary Schools -- Edutopia

March 11 | Making the Case for Social Media in Education -- Edutopia

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Education News: August 15, 2010

August 6 | Experiment to integrate technology into the classroom in one NY school reveals obstacles that may exist for many teachers elsewhere, too -- Education Week

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Education News: August 8, 2010

August 5 | While many traditional schools find ways to add on-line components to the curriculum, a PA virtual school goes the opposite direction, adding face-to-face activities for its youngest students to offer socialization opportunities lacking from wholly on-line options -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 4 | The way that students utilize computer labs is evolving, which may change the way that schools set them or even reduce the need for rooms and equipment dedicated to computer lab use -- Campus Technology

August 4 | A Web comic on the site xkcd creates buzz among developers of university Web sites, who react to its assertion that they have no idea what information the users of their sites want them to include on those sites -- Inside Higher Ed

August 3 | Researcher experiments with the use of iPads with K-8 science students and university-level science students, hoping to reduce the amount of paperwork used for lab reports and create "greener" classrooms -- Campus Technology

August 2 | FL magnet high school makes technology its base with a laptop for every student, wireless Internet service throughout campus, and a mix of classroom and on-line instruction -- Miami Herald

August 1 | Plagiarism is on the rise with Digital Age students who consider on-line info to be common knowledge if an author's name doesn't appear on the Web site and who don't understand the concept of intellectual property because their pop culture is rife with allusions to and sampling of others' work -- New York Times

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Education News: August 1, 2010

July 28 | Educational technology experts share their choices of the top "Web 2.0" tools for teachers to use to foster collaboration amongst their students for maximum learning -- T.H.E. Journal

July 28 | Founder of EdTech Planning Group shares guidelines for planning your classroom's layout and equipment by considering your audiovisual needs as a teacher (and your students' needs as learners) -- Campus Technology

July 28 | Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) meets to discuss the "profoundly disruptive technology" (but in a good way) of electronic portfolios - Campus Technology

July 27 | CA agriculture teacher is recognized for his integration of technology with his subject matter and his awareness of the role technology plays in agricultural careers -- Merced Sun-Star

July 26 | SD teachers use vodcasting (video podcasting) to record lectures for students to view at their own pace at home, allowing classroom time to be used for guided practice activities and questions from students -- KELO

July 26 | Teacher uses a variety of Internet communication tools to manage assignments and track his students' independent work, completing tasks at different paces -- Edutopia

July 23 | OR schools struggle to achieve goal of students' being technologically literate by eighth grade when mandatory computerized state testing blocks teachers' use of computer labs for teaching for weeks at a time several times a year -- The Oregonian

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Education News: July 25, 2010

July 21 | Sec'y of Ed. Duncan announces creation of National Learning Registry to help organize digital educational resources for teachers and students, making them accessible by topic even though they're stored on multiple sites by numerous entities -- Education Week

July 21 | AL initiative to provide one laptop per child requires special training for teachers to know how to utilize that resource in the classroom -- T.H.E. Journal

July 21 | Thomas P. Fordham Institute reports that new Common Core State Standards are as good as or better than the standards in math in all 50 states and in English in all but 3 states -- Washington Post

July 20 | University faculty in AZ create Facebook program that helps students "learn how to teach themselves" as part of a study of how a Web-based environment intended for networking and entertainment might be co-opted for educational purposes -- T.H.E. Journal

July 20 | Bismarck, ND school district builds classrooms to suit new way of teaching math and science: having kids learn by applying those concepts to projects related to technology and engineering -- Bismarck Tribune

July 20 | HI schools adopt New Tech model, providing each student with a laptop and using project-based learning in hopes of improving low-performing schools -- Honolulu Star-Advertiser

July 20 | AK summer camp teaches kids about native culture and academics as they learn traditional living skills, crafts, and respect for nature, all while preparing students for success in university -- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

July 20 | OR schools purchase classroom sets of iPod Touch devices as an inexpensive way to achieve the goal of "one computer per student"; they will use selected iPod applications in science and reading courses -- Ashland Daily Tidings

July 19 | PA university launches multiple programs related to robotics to pique K-12 students' interest in pursuing careers in computer science, technology, and sciences -- T.H.E. Journal

July 19 | Recent survey by Software and Information Industry Association reveals that American schools are making progress in implementing educational technology but that the pace is "slow and grudging" -- T.H.E. Journal

July 19 | Pittsburgh, PA teachers participate in "test run" of new system to evaluate their teaching, and they respond favorably to it (called RISE or Research-based Inclusive System of Evaluation) as a source of praise or specific advice for improvement -- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

July 18 | VA teachers spend summer working full-time as interns at various work sites to gain "real-world" experience to share later when teaching students in STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) -- Washington Post

July 15 | Teacher recommends ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, starting with the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) -- Edutopia

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Education News: July 18, 2010

July 15 | As more states pass laws tying evaluation of teachers to their students' standardized test scores, educators worry whether their jobs will depend on factors out of their control (e.g., their students' attitudes toward tests, their students' preparation before coming into their classrooms) and whether it's possible to develop accurate means of evaluating a teacher's influence on a student's academic achievement -- NPR

July 14 | Sec'y of Ed. Duncan issues a challenge for entire communities to become involved in school improvement, calling education "the civil rights issue of our generation" -- Kansas City Star

July 14 | Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps offers free swimming lessons to children in his hometown of Baltimore, MD -- Baltimore Sun

July 14 | Although wikis "fundamentally embody the Internet's original promise of pooling the world's knowledge," their acceptance and use in higher education is mixed, in part due to academe's emphasis on scholarship and "owning" one's own academic work [see also this] [and see this for thoughts about the use of wikis in secondary schools] -- Inside Higher Ed

July 13 | Teachers find another use for Facebook: reunions with their students, many of whom use the social networking site to reconnect with former teachers and express their appreciation, praise their teaching, thank them for being a positive influence, etc. -- New York Times

July 13 | In an effort to spark young people's interest in science and technology, Microsoft and NASA co-create maps of Earth's night sky and of Mars' surface that users can explore via their own computers -- eSchool News

July 13 | In the face of growing support for abolishing teacher tenure as one step toward "educational reform," a law professor counters myths about tenure with facts about it and provides ideas for "streamlining" tenure so long as other steps toward reform are taken in tandem -- Washington Post

July 12 | Digital education resources publisher Shmoop adds economics to its list of topics for which it provides online curriculum, this topic's resources provided by economics professors and designed to include role-playing games for its subtopics -- T.H.E. Journal

July 12 | NJ school teaches with a focus on "visceral indicators"--how a student interacts with peers, works in the school garden, or performs in the music and athletic programs--in its efforts to put into practice Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences -- Wall Street Journal

July 12 | Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham advocates making students more responsible for their own education as they advance through K-12 education so that, once they reach university, they're accustomed to being 100% responsible for what and how well they learn -- Washington Post

July 10 | MN district increases its number of online course offerings but makes them all "blended" or "hybrid" courses, putting some components online but maintaining some classroom time for those components learned best via face-to-face interaction -- Star Tribune

July 9 | Giving home computers to low-income students in order to close "the Digital Divide" and raise their achievement via access to technology actually results in lower achievement due to students' inclination to play games or surf the Internet when unsupervised at home -- New York Times

February and on | Teachers share their own ideas and practices in answer to this question: "What's the best way to stay connected to parents?" -- Edutopia

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Education News: July 11, 2010

July 8 | Education consultant draws attention to an alternative to using students' standardized test scores to judge their schools' effectiveness: using students' writing and application-oriented projects, a system already being used successfully by 28 schools in New York City -- Washington Post

July 8 | MI opens its first teacher-led school: teachers run it (without a principal and without having to follow the usual bureaucratic steps required to purchase materials or repair equipment), and they accept only those students whose parents agree to be involved -- Detroit Free Press

July 7 | OH middle school teacher writes grant requesting a classroom set of iPads that could be updated and controlled using one central iMac computer, eliminating the need for textbooks and enabling students to use current technology in their daily learning -- Journal-News

July 7 | WA school contacts truant students and drop-outs via social networking sites, using MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter to reach out to them and encourage them to return to school -- T.H.E. Journal

July 7 | Writer identifies five "common-sense steps" taken by schools that have raised their students' standardized test scores and closed the gap in scores between subgroups of students -- Los Angeles Times

July 6 | VA school installs electronic whiteboards in every elementary classroom despite research showing minimal improvement in achievement for students taught using them; district asserts that it's necessary in order to create a school-wide culture of technology and insure that everyone has access to the same tools -- Virginian-Pilot

July 5 | Schools draw on sleep research in teens to justify later start times for their school days, and positive results include better moods, better attention, less depression, and improved attendance overall -- HealthDay

July 5 | Research shows that the more "screen time" a child has (watching TV, playing video games, or using the computer), the higher the likelihood of his/her developing attention problems in school and into adulthood -- Yahoo! News

July 4 | Experts share their (differing) opinions about how best to identify and serve gifted and talented students, a group sometimes under-served in schools striving to raise test scores of average and struggling students -- New York Times

July 3 | President of National Education Association calls for creation of Commission on Effective Teaching to put practicing teachers in charge of new teacher training, licensing, mentoring, evaluation, and professional development -- Education Week

July 3 | Schools in MO switch from grouping students by grade or age to grouping them by ability level, allowing gifted students to advance when ready rather than remain behind until the end of a term (and allowing students who need extra time or instruction to receive it without "failing") -- Google

July 2 | Blogger shares an idea for helping students--whose first urge, when researching, is to use whatever site a Google search yields--to use the search engine's timeline feature to refine a typical general search into something useful for research (and a blog commenter shares this resource) -- Edutopia

July 2 | TX math teacher wins award for voluntarily mentoring her colleagues, sharing with them the new teaching methods and learning strategies learned at workshops she had attended, including having her math students maintain journals to organize and retain their learning -- Taylor Daily Press

May/June 2009 | Edutopia flashes back to three popular resources from its Digital Generation-themed issue last year: "How to Build a Technology-Based Curriculum," "How to Teach with Technology: Science and Math," and a video interview of a professor of design and technology speaking about "the value of games and the empowerment of play" in the learning process.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Focus on Web Resources: July 7, 2010

Translate from one language to another with Frengly.

Find lesson plans and other teaching resources from various educational agencies with FREE (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence.)

Learn about--and how to use--a variety of technology tools when teaching with Technology in Class.  Resources include software tutorials, recommended Web sites, information on education grants, and an up-to-date blog with useful links to Web sites, educational trends and news, and learning theories.

Decode acronyms used in text messages and online chats with Teen Chat Decoder.

Convert PDF files into Microsoft Word documents with PDFtoWord.

Learn how to use Twitter as a tool to exchange ideas with other teachers with "How to Use Twitter to Grow your PLN" [personal learning network].

Consult the National Education Association to find lesson plans, get other teachers' hints and tips, learn about classroom management, read about promising practices for the classroom, and get teaching tools gathered print and Web sources.

Explore ideas and resources for a classroom that utilizes technology and culture to prepare students for the future with Educational Paradigms.  (Notable post: "Ten Things All Teachers Should Know How to Do.")

Find arts-related lesson plans (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and ideas for integrating them with other subject areas with ArtsEdge.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Education News: July 4, 2010

July/August | In response to nationwide calls for attention to a lag in academic achievement for boys compared to girls, one writer shares ideas for closing achievement gaps for all subgroups as the means for tending to boys, as well -- Harvard Education Letter

July 1 | Advice and resources on how to make the transition from face-to-face teaching into on-line teaching -- Edutopia

June 30 | Discover something about yourself by taking online surveys about how tech-savvy a teacher you are, what your learning style is, and what your emotional intelligence quotient is -- Edutopia

June 29 | Dept. of Education and Justice Dept. remind American universities that they are not allowed to require use of electronic book readers (e.g., Kindle) that are not accessible to those with disabilities (such as impaired vision) -- Campus Technology

June 29 | Exhibit at the annual meeting of the International Society for Technology in Education displays what technology in the classroom could soon look like and how it might be used by teachers and students -- Denver Post

June 28 | K-12 study reveals that teachers who use technology in teaching perceive that their students are learning more because of it; but it also reveals that younger teachers aren't more likely to use technology than veteran educators -- T.H.E. Journal

June 28 | PA university offers leadership institute for black students to encourage them to attend university and "transform themselves from community participants to community leaders" -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 28 | CA learn theatre games and activities to use in helping their own students learn and demonstrate course concepts via creative dramatics in the classroom -- San Jose Mercury News

June 27 | Disadvantaged FL elementary students attend two-week summertime "technology camp" to learn tech skills that should help them in future courses and close the "digital divide" between them and children from more affluent families -- Tampa Tribune

June 27 | KY teachers learn new formative assessment techniques as part of project to improve math instruction by diagnosing and addressing students' lack of understanding before proceeding with further instruction -- Courier-Journal

June 7 | Consult this guide to get started using Twitter as an educational resource; it includes educationally focused chats for you to join as well as instructions for getting an account and starting to "tweet" -- Edutopia

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Education News: June 27, 2010

June 24 | NY elementary schools adopt digital curricula in math and reading via a software platform intended to create interactive, one-to-one environments for its users -- T.H.E. Journal

June 23 | 30 social studies teachers, selected from applicants across the country, get a behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court and its operations in a week-long institute for teachers -- Google

June 22 | CA district puts summer school students in courses that teach academic content along with job skills . . . and in which students get paid minimum wage -- Bakersfield Californian

June 22 | NC adopt online video game software that helps students prepare for state assessment by playing games and taking practice tests that are tailored to the state's standards and benchmarks -- T.H.E. Journal

June 21 | CA middle school students participate in a project with NASA enabling them to utilize an imaging spacecraft orbiting Mars . . . and they discover a previously unknown cave --

June 21 | Massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico provides "teachable moments" for lessons on science concepts, environmental issues, politics, international relations, and more -- ABC News

June 21 | Tech-savvy students are encouraged to pursue careers in "cybersecurity" or "information assurance," putting their technology knowledge and interest to use at keeping the Internet safe from hackers -- USA Today

June 20 | WA schools and Native American tribes collaborate to create new curricular materials so teachers can have reliable information from which to teach about the state's tribes' history and culture -- Seattle Times

June 19 | New television program for children is part sitcom, part cooking lesson in which children teach children (their viewers) about nutrition and healthy cooking in an effort to combat childhood obesity through entertainment -- Orlando Sentinel

June 18 | CA teacher engages his students during math lessons by performing raps to help them learn--and remember--algebraic equations, a technique that students find effective and for which he has won awards -- Google

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Education News: June 20, 2010

June 17 | Writer emphasizes importance of technology education (for both students and teachers) in this era of technology, condoning proper usage of emerging technology rather than condemning its use in schools -- eSchool News

June 17 | MA elementary students learn their science lessons outdoors, thanks to a partnership with an area nature preserve where children see science concepts in wetlands, woodlands, marsh, and meadow habitats -- Boston Globe

June 16 | TN program trains students to be envoys to teach peers how to be successful in school ("Smart is not just something you are but something you get") in an effort to improve the overall school culture -- Commercial Appeal

June 15 | Carol Ann Tomlinson, expert on differentiated instruction, adds her perspective to the conversation on learning styles: what different people mean by the term, whether they exist, and what they imply for schools and teachers -- ASCD

June 14 |
Research finds that middle school students improve their achievement in algebra (and subsequent math courses) if they study a musical instrument -- Miller-McCune

June 13 | Spurred by concerns over American students' skills for competitiveness in a global economy, some schools teach engineering skills and concepts to students as early as in kindergarten -- New York Times

June 13 | WA middle school science teacher adds iPads to his classroom, hoping students will find the use of technology a motivator for engagement in science and the features of the iPad useful during lessons -- Peninsula Daily News

June 13 |
Amidst pressure to graduate high-performing students, Tennessee district prepares kits for incoming kindergarten students to help them prepare for school in the fall by studying flashcards and filling in worksheets over the summer -- Leaf-Chronicle

June 13 | Alabama program puts Wii video games into schools to get students active as they play games requiring physical movements as part of the gaming experience . . . a first step toward participation in traditional games and sports -- Montgomery Advertiser

June 12 | California high chool's Sports Health Academy not only prepares students for careers in sports medicine and broadcasting but also teaches traditional subjects with a focus on sports (e.g., calculating baseball statistics in math) -- Sacramento Bee

June 12 | Science in Motion program sends state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and experts to schools across Pennsylvania so students get experience with tools that their schools cannot afford -- Philadelphia Inquirer

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Education News: June 13, 2010

June 11 | Food service directors across Colorado attend "boot camps" to learn how to prepare school food that is "made from scratch" to be healthier and tastier -- Denver Post

June 10 | U.S. graduation rate (counting the number of students who earn a standard diploma in four years) slipped to 68.8% in 2007 from a high of 77% in 1969 -- Christian Science Monitor

June 10 | Technology allows elementary students to view science experiments conducted by a NASA scientist and presented from a distance using Internet communication tools -- St. Petersburg Times

June 9 | Study reveals that, in school cafeteriaschildren choose fruits and vegetables over junk food when healthy options are well lit and placed in a prominent location near the cashier -- Washington Post

June 8 | More than one in five American children live in poverty and deal with related issues--such as hunger, illness, and emotional distress--that adversely affect their ability to learn in school -- USA Today

June 7 | Report by online safety task force discourages use of scare tactics when teaching children about Internet safety, recommending instead a focus on modeling positive online behavior -- eSchool News

June 7 | New math software monitors students' emotions and offers encouragement and hints accordingly in an effort to reduce math anxiety and improve learning -- Boston Globe

June 7 | Award-winning educators in Texas share their thoughts about whether effective teaching is an art, a science, or a combination of both -- The Examiner

June 7 | California district raises amount of time elementary students spend studying science with hands-on, inquiry-based learning to build on children's "natural interest in exploring the world" -- Oakland Tribune

June 5 | Some schools furnish classrooms with tall desks and stools so that students may stand to work rather than stay seated at a traditional desk, allowing them to be active and keeping them alert -- Google

June 4 | First Lady Obama encourages chefs nationwide to "adopt" local schools to teach about healthy cooking and proper nutrition in an effort to combat American childhood obesity -- Washington Post

June 2 | Classroom design guidelines evolve as teachers require space to use new technology and teaching practices, such as discussions and group work instead of lectures and presentations -- Campus Technology

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Focus on Technology: June 10, 2010

cell phones | Educator recommends using cell phones as teaching and learning tools, making use of technology that students already have instead of specialized technology only for the classroom -- read the article

Digital Divide | Teacher's frustrations stem from having educational technology ideas that are thwarted by some students' lack of a home computer or Internet access and by school's own restrictions RE: technology -- read the article

discussion boards | Teacher makes up for reduced classroom time by engaging math students in online discussions, during which students energetically share questions and collaborate on answers -- read the article

educational technology | Self-proclaimed "digital junkie" encourages other teachers to experiment with incorporating technology into their teaching and offers steps for getting started -- read the article

educational technology | Author recommends technology as an opportunity for teachers to shift learning so that it is student-focused and differentiated to suit The 'Net Generation -- view the video

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Education News: June 6, 2010

June 3 | New contract ratified by Washington, D.C. teachers could result in a $140,000 salary (merit pay) for teachers who agree to be paid based in part on their students' standardized test results -- Washington Post

June 3 | States participating in the Common Core State Standards Initiative release final version of national standards in mathematics and English language arts -- Washington Post

June 2 | Elementary teacher in Maine uses videoconferencing technology to take her students on a virtual field trip of all 50 states by the end of the school year -- Bangor Daily News

June 2 | Professors acknowledge usefulness of technology but bemoan a decline in "the art of teaching" by those who rely too heavily on technology in the classroom -- Inside Higher Ed

June 1 | Teachers allow students to sit on fitness balls instead of chairs, increasing their comfort and improving attention for students with ADHD, autism, or just excess energy -- Salt Lake Tribune

June 1 | Texas school district creates innovative physical education course specifically for obese students to combat life factors that promote poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle -- San Antonio Express-News

June 1 | New science-focused charter school in Texas will collaborate with nearby museum in creating curriculum, hosting presentations by museum staff, and planning field trips to the museum -- Dallas Morning News

May 31 | Texas program offers effective teachers bonuses to transfer to schools at which students have low standardized test scores; early results are promising -- Houston Chronicle

May 31 | Schools give low-income students free books to read over the summer in an effort inexpensively to prevent students' loss of reading skills gained during the school year -- USA Today

May 30 | Two million American high school students take on-line courses for a variety of reasons; by the end of the decade, 50% of students are predicted to take courses on-line -- Boston Globe

May 30 | Despite their controvery, violent video games may lead to improvement of vision and certain brain functions for children who play them -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette