Resources for Connected Educator Month 2014

October 2nd, 2014

by Edutopia

Edutopia is one of the many organizations, companies, and communities participating in the third annual Connected Educator Month (CEM), a celebration of online communities of practice originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education with partners. As with previous years, October 2014 is sure to include an array of rich opportunities for informal professional development, both for educators with established professional learning networks (PLNs) and for those just getting started. Explore the resources below as a guide to connecting, sharing, and collaborating with your network during October and all year long.

http://www.edutopia.org/connected-educator-month-resources

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Library offers extra help for students taking online

October 2nd, 2014

by Monique Brand, Cove Herald

I noticed over the last few weeks one particular patron stuck out like a sore thumb whenever we come to the Cove library. This patron always had an overstuffed bookbag, tons of books on the table, and every once in a while, would step outside to take a few sips of coffee. His name was Owen, a Marine veteran who by day was on the computer taking online classes at the library, only to travel to Temple to his job where he worked in a warehouse at night. It sparked my curiosity incredibly. Per Kevin Marsh, the library’s director, the Cove library has aided in patrons who want to continue their education, even those who do not have a personal laptop or computer at home. “Not many people think we have the resources to cater to those patrons but we do,” said Marsh. From special library time limits for students to books that are used inside accredited institutions, patrons who want to continue their education, even if feel they don’t have the resources, can no longer make an excuse.

http://kdhnews.com/copperas_cove_herald/community/library-offers-extra-help-for-students-taking-online-courses/article_13559cf8-445a-11e4-912f-0017a43b2370.html

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Palmyra Area School District figuring out how to calculate GPA for online courses

October 2nd, 2014

by Monica Von Dobeneck, PennLive

High school Principal Benjamin Ruby brought the issue to the school board Thursday night. He said some students are taking extra courses because they want to graduate early or just because they want the extra challenge. But the online courses cost $400, and some parents might be unwilling to spend that money. If the extra courses are calculated into GPA, that could boost a student’s class rank and help get college scholarships. But that might not be fair to those students who can’t afford the extra classes, Ruby said. Sometimes the GPAs of top students are separated by thousandths of a point, but the best scholarships only go to the top one or two in a class. School board members were divided between wanting to encourage students who have extra drive and being fair to those who can’t afford it.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/09/palmyra_school_district_tackli.html

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How iPads Can Refresh Traditional Classrooms

October 1st, 2014

by Jenny_Collins, Edudemic

Following the trend of mass mobile device adoption, educators increasingly contemplate possibilities of using iPads in classroom. State-of-the-art mobile technology is getting more and more popular in different settings and schools are no exception. Adoption of mobile devices is transforming traditional classrooms into a place that delivers real-world knowledge using efficient tech resources.

http://www.edudemic.com/learning-ipad/

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Five-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching

October 1st, 2014

by Keyana Stevens, Edutopia

The changing racial and cultural landscape of America is certainly a much-discussed topic — some researchers studying U.S. Census data and demographics even say that America could be a “minority majority” country as early as 2050. While the barriers between countries continue to come down, and globalization continues, how can teachers address the needs of students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and upbringings? This collection of videos introduces culturally responsive teaching (CRT), and includes some techniques that you can use to help students from diverse backgrounds succeed together.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-minute-film-festival-culturally-responsive-teaching

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Coursera Co-Founder Promotes Artificial Intelligence ‘Deep Learning’ at SEAS

October 1st, 2014

By KAY LU, Harvard Crimson

Andrew Y. Ng, co-founder of Coursera, talks in a crowded lecture hall on Thursday at Maxwell Dworkin about deep learning in computer programs, inspired by human neural networks. Deep learning, a subfield of computer science, is currently being developed by computer scientists to handle massive amounts of information and data, which can be applied to speech and image recognition. Ng, who is also the chief scientist at the Chinese search engine Baidu and an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University, said that the main goal of his presentation was to “share with [the audience] some strategic views about deep learning and give [them] some general ideas about whether to work on deep learning in the future.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/9/26/ng-deep-learning-talk/

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Blended learning comes to Tift County classrooms

September 30th, 2014

by Tifton Gazette

Changes in technology are changing the way we educate students. This school year marks the beginning of a new program that allows Tift County students to learn online. Blended learning is a new format in which students are taking online classes, but are doing so in a classroom with a Tift County teacher. Blended courses allow students to take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of an online course while retaining the benefits of face-to-face classroom experiences with a certified classroom teachers. It allows students to experience components of online learning, while maintaining the social and instructional interactions that may not readily lend themselves to online delivery, such as lab assignments.

http://www.tiftongazette.com/news/article_acaf2a98-440c-11e4-b748-8f43281ef335.html

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Protecting Student Privacy in Online Learning

September 30th, 2014

by Ozier Muhammad, The New York Times

Schools are increasingly using online learning technology. Advocates tout its use in tailoring lessons to each child’s pace and ability as a revolution in education. But privacy advocates have warned that the vast amounts of personal data students generate with the products can be misused. California, for instance, is set to pass the first law prohibiting companies from selling students’ personal information or using it for marketing purposes.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/24/protecting-student-privacy-in-online-learning

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English class a unique option for senior students

September 30th, 2014

by KAYLEIGH RAHN JG-TC

Windsor Junior Senior High School this year has offered seniors a new course option with an online-based English class. The course is taught by Windsor teacher Shanna House, but there is no class time; the work is done on the students’ own time. The curriculum is exchanged through an online teaching aid called Google Classroom, and since students have an extra class hour they are able to take another course they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, says Principal Erik Van Hoveln.

http://jg-tc.com/news/english-class-a-unique-option-for-senior-students/article_8c32ab50-2b0c-512f-813c-a1a2bed27be4.html

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The Top 5 Blended And Flipped Classroom Tools

September 29th, 2014

By Hardik Parikh, Edudemic

Blended and Flipped Classrooms can give students more control over their learning path. Added to that, the teachers get more insight into the learning of the class and can intervene as required. Technology plays an important role in blending the classrooms. User-friendly technology ensures that the student has more control over the time, place and pace of the curriculum. It also ensures that the teacher has the necessary visibility and tools to intervene effectively.

http://www.edudemic.com/blended-and-flipped-classroom-tools/

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A Straightforward Guide To Creative Commons

September 29th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Way back when, research meant going to the library, finding something in a book, and indicating what book you found the information in when you created your bibliography. The internet has brought a significant amount of grey area to the world of citations and bibliographies. Students need to understand how to distinguish relevant, reliable material from the wasteland of trash that otherwise litters the internet. How do you cite a tweet, or other social media post? Is that considered ‘reliable’? And when it comes to sharing that information – especially on the internet- things get even hairier. Enter Creative Commons. (And thank goodness). The Creative Commons licenses allow any internet user to easily understand how they can (and can not) share what they find on the web. The licenses are visual, and if you aren’t sure of what you see on the work you’d like to use, you can refer back to the CC website to see. The handy infographic linked below gives a pretty thorough overview of the licenses and what they mean.

http://www.edudemic.com/guide-creative-commons/

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What to Ask Before Joining an Online Learning Program

September 29th, 2014

by D. Frank Smith, EdTech Magazine

Students looking to achieve a work-life balance while expanding their higher education horizons have plenty of options today, thanks to the growth of online education. Universities have been making online education more accessible, attracting students who want to fit education into their busy schedules. To help orient students interested in pursuing an online course, Online Schools Center, a distance-learning resource organization, has created a seven-question infographic quiz linked below covering the basics on what’s involved with online education.

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2014/09/what-ask-joining-online-learning-program-infographic

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Tablet LMS: Build It Yourself

September 28th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

When Lynn University couldn’t find a suitable gradebook and attendance-tracking application to fit its tablet-first campus, the institution decided to build one itself.  Lynn is now two years removed from hosting the third presidential debate between President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, an event that prompted a major renovation of the university’s networking infrastructure. Since then, Lynn has gradually replaced textbooks with iPad minis, using content produced by its own faculty members hosted on Apple’s course management platform, iTunes U. The move to a tablet-centric model has not been without its growing pains.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/24/lynn-u-free-itself-its-learning-management-system-creates-its-own-software

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College Campuses Get An “F” In Cybersecurity

September 28th, 2014

by Abigail Wang, PC Magazine

BitSight Technology used external data that involved identifying the type of malware infections that struck the schools to rate the groups of universities’ performances on a scale from 250 to 900. The Big 12 had the best security rating with 661 while ACC performed the worst at 588. Overall, however, colleges and universities seem to fail to adequately address security challenges. BitSight notes that the security rating of the education sector as a whole is alarmingly lower than retail and healthcare, two industries that have suffered recent serious data breaches. The schools that did demonstrate a higher performance rating have a dedicated CISO or Director of Information Security on staff, which is crucial for better security on campus. As the school year progresses from September through May, security performance dips drastically due to the increase of students and devices on campus. These institutions also experience high levels of malware infections, including the Flashback malware that targets Macs, as well as adware and Conficker.

http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/security/326921-college-campuses-get-an-f-in-cybersecurity

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Co-Teaching a Blended Class Across Universities

September 28th, 2014

Tom Gleeson, Inside Higher Ed

Last term I co-taught a graduate class in advanced groundwater hydrology with Grant Ferguson (University of Saskatchewan) and Steve Loheide (University of Wisconsin – Madison). It is mostly win-win for students and professors, but I’ll describe some of the disadvantages below. Instead of being a MOOC , the course is a SPOC – a small, private, online classroom.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-beta/co-teaching-blended-class-across-universities

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5 Tips For Keeping Students On Task While Using Technology

September 27th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Playing games, chatting with their friends, and browsing the internet are all likely suspects drawing your students’ attention away from whatever the task at hand happens to be, but just because students have access to technology doesn’t mean you have to transform into device police and forget about teaching. Even if your students would much rather be watching videos on YouTube than learning about the Roman Empire, you still have the upper hand: they want to be using the device. Period. So how can you leverage that into students who are actually working on what they should be? Linked below are a few tips.

http://www.edudemic.com/5-tips-keeping-students-task-using-tech/

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Key strategies for tablet success

September 27th, 2014

by Laura Devaney, eSchool News

It seems tablets are in more classrooms, in more districts, each day. But as experience shows, simply purchasing and distributing tablets doesn’t mean students will be more engaged with their learning, and it doesn’t guarantee teachers will embrace tech-enabled instruction. Implementing tablets and leveraging the tools to support teaching and learning goals might be easier with the right approach, according to Doug Fisher, professor of educational leadership at San Diego State University and teacher leader at Health Sciences High; Nancy Frey, professor of educational leadership at San Diego State University and teacher leader at Health Sciences High; and Alex Gonzales, technology leader at Health Sciences High.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/22/strategies-tablet-success-930/

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Cognitively Priming Students for Learning

September 27th, 2014

by Judy Willis, Edutopia

There are some standards or units of instruction that, for whatever reason, you know aren’t going to be runaway hits with students. While you can certainly reconsider the unit design, there are other strategies you can use to help prime student brains for learning. Among the simplest of these strategies is promoting curiosity — and students’ natural tendency to predict — by advertising the content the same way that a marketing company might. This promotes advance interest, and the resulting questions increase the student curiosity, opening the brain’s attentive intake filter. In short, it preps their minds to engage.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/cognitively-priming-students-for-learning-judy-willis

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From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD

September 26th, 2014

By Christopher Piehler, THE Journal

Christopher PiehlerA couple of years ago, the first and last word in mobile devices for education was “iPad.” The Apple tablet’s dominance of the ed tech market has been gradually eroded by an armada of Android and Microsoft tablets boasting lower prices, easier enterprise management and integrated access to the Google or Windows cloud ecosystems. These days, though, with districts across the country preparing for online assessments that require keyboards, it’s no coincidence that the most-purchased category of device is the notebook, with the Chromebook especially popular. But the era of one device dominating classrooms is over.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/09/17/from-phone-bans-to-byod.aspx

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7 resources for student collaboration

September 26th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Collaboration is increasingly emerging as one of today’s top skills. Part of the 4Cs, it is needed in K-12 classrooms, in higher education, and in the workforce. Students who leverage technology to build collaboration skills are building strong college- and career-ready skills. More and more classrooms are going mobile, whether that is through school-issued laptops or tablets, or via BYOD initiatives that allow students to bring and use their personal mobile devices in school.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/19/resources-student-collaboration-543/

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10 ways ed-tech tools promote academic honesty

September 26th, 2014

By Andy Trus, Campus Technology

Instructors need to be familiar with methods that make cheating far more difficult than traditional paper and pen homework assignments, and how to check for signs of cheating in their class. With the help of sophisticated ed-tech tools, instructors can easily check for signs of cheating and employ methods to crack down on student dishonesty. The following tactics help provide peace of mind when it comes to academic honesty and ensuring that students maximize their learning potential. These best practices can be used for homework, quizzes, or exams.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/tech-academic-honesty-329/

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