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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 -- AnnArbor.com

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