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