Local students to participate in international Hour of Code online learning event

December 12th, 2014

By Frank DeFrank, The Macomb Daily

Macomb County elementary school students will join 100 million or so of their closest friends next week when they participate in a worldwide event designed to pique their interest in computer science. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to “de mystify” code and demonstrate that anybody can learn the basics. The event will be held Dec. 8-14 in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week. Organized by Code.org., a non-profit organization dedicated to making computer science more available in schools, the program affords opportunities for students to get involved simply by logging on to a website, accessing tutorials and setting up an Hour of Code event.

http://www.macombdaily.com/social-affairs/20141203/local-students-to-participate-in-international-hour-of-code-online-learning-event

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5 teaching and learning grants you don’t want to miss

December 11th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding is a challenge even in the post prosperous of times, especially when it comes to ed tech–technology is always changing, and maintaining or upgrading initiatives, tools, or resources is not always free. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students. Each month, eSchool News compiles a list of new education grant opportunities. This month’s grants address early learning, student documentaries, literacy research, and more.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/04/teaching-learning-grants-545/

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Game-based math program expands to Denver students

December 11th, 2014

by eSchool News

Denver Public Schools, DIRECTV, and the nonprofit MIND Research Institute are partnering to deliver a computer-based math program to three local Denver schools. The grant from DIRECTV provides the ST Math game-based instructional software to more than 900 students at Carson Elementary, University Preparatory School, and Smith Renaissance School. DIRECTV and MIND Research’s partnership in Denver builds on the DIRECTV Math Challenge, which was launched in Los Angeles in 2014 to drive student achievement and inspire K-12 students to love science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/04/denver-math-program-034/

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When worlds collide in blended learning

December 11th, 2014

By Mary Stone, Lewiston Tribune

Idaho teacher Kelsy Colwell said incorporating the online component in her classes has many advantages, including making her more available to help individual students during class because her video lectures and lesson presentations are viewed online as part of a student’s homework. Math problems that used to be done as homework are now calculated during class. “They’re doing their consuming outside of school, then doing work and interacting in class,” explained Theresa Carter, who helps educate teachers who use the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, a state-sponsored online school that contracts with the Kamiah district.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/03/worlds-blended-learning-983/

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Coding classes lead to 21st-century skill development

December 10th, 2014

By Jennifer Johnson, eSchool News

Computer coding teaches students problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, math and collaboration, they said. Lewis and Clark students were only on their second session of coding, but have so far enthusiastically embraced the activity, said Tiffany Mannausau, district curriculum tech partner. “Technology isn’t going away,” she said. “Think about how much thinking is going on right now and the math, and tie it into the writing. You can see right now, not one kid is not engaged.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/04/coding-classes-skills-873/

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Online Courses in High School Could Help with College Prep

December 10th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Could online courses help prepare students for the transition from high school to college? A recent study in the United Kingdom suggested that taking online classes especially benefits students’ “self-regulatory behaviors,” which are important for success in higher education. Most of the students were based in the United States, the United Kingdom and India. Virtually all of the students said that learning how to find academic resources online before attending a college is valuable. Nearly eight out of 10 respondents recognized the importance for their college careers of being able to plan and coordinate group tasks using calendars, scheduling and discussion applications. Seven of 10 reported that building relationships with other learners using social networks was an important pre-college learning experience. A similar number found it important to go into college knowing how to use wikis and other online editing tools such as Google Docs for creating shared material.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/12/02/online-courses-in-high-school-could-help-with-college-prep.aspx?admgarea=news

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7 Ways You Can Use Texting to Your Advantage in the Classroom

December 10th, 2014

By Leah Levy, Edudemic

The studies in this area are even newer than texting itself, and results are mixed, with one study indicating that texting makes students worse in one academic area while another study finds the opposite. Let’s take a closer look at the good and the bad of texting, as well as at a few ways you can harness the benefits for the good of your classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/7-ways-texting-advantage-classroom/

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4 Tech Tools That Support New Teachers

December 9th, 2014

By David Raths, THE Journal

The statistics about the percentage of new teachers who stay in the profession are alarming. Several studies have estimated that between 40 percent and 50 percent of new teachers leave within the first five years of teaching. To combat this trend, most districts have developed formal induction programs that offer mentorship from principals and other teachers. But in both rural and urban areas, it can be difficult for districts to relieve teachers of their classroom responsibilities to give them the time to mentor newer teachers. This is where technology can play a role.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/11/12/4-tech-tools-that-support-new-teachers.aspx

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11-State Coalition To Develop OER for K-12 Math and ELA

December 9th, 2014

By David Nagel, THE Journal

A coalition representing 11 state education agencies is setting out to create open educational resources to support math and English/language arts in K–12 schools. Called the K–12 OER Collaborative, the group today released a formal request for proposals seeking “full-course OER” for all grade levels in English/language arts and for grades K–11 in mathematics (through Algebra II). The resources will be aligned to Common Core State Standards.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/11/19/11-state-coalition-to-develop-oer-for-k-12-math-and-ela.aspx

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FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools’ iPad Documents

December 9th, 2014

By CHRISTINE ARMARIO, Associated Press

FBI agents seized 20 boxes of documents related to Los Angeles Unified School District’s beleaguered $1 billion iPad project, officials confirmed Tuesday. Agents confiscated documents at the district’s offices Monday regarding procurement practices involving the Common Core Technology project, LAUSD’s plan to equip all schools with 21st century learning devices. The FBI confirmed an investigation into the district, but would not provide any further information, citing the ongoing probe. “The L.A Unified School District will offer its full cooperation to federal authorities during the course of the investigation,” Interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a statement. The FBI action was first reported by The Los Angeles Times.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/fbi-seizes-los-angeles-schools-ipad-documents-27311468

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Barbie should break the geek ceiling

December 8th, 2014

by Chicago Tribune

Q:How many young women does it take to design and program a computer game?

A. None. Only boys know how to do that.

This, believe it or not, is the message to 4- and 5-year-old girls in the Barbie book, “I Can Be … a Computer Engineer.”

Written for beginning readers, the book tells the tale of a teen Barbie who is creating a computer game but crashes her laptop. She immediately gives up on the idea of solving the problem herself. Barbie also confesses to little sister Skipper that she can’t write software code. “I’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!” Barbie says.  The Barbie book, published in 2010 and available on Amazon.com, has taken a recent pummeling on the internet as misogynistic trash. Amazon last week showed 165 reviews–148 gave the book one star. One critic created a website called Feminist Hacker Barbie that invited contributors to, er, revise the book’s message by rewriting scenes.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/02/barbie-geek-ceiling-372/

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Autodesk offers free design software to students across the globe

December 8th, 2014

by eSchool News

Earlier this year, Autodesk made its software available to U.S. middle and high school students for free in support of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, and now the company is expanding free access to its professional design software to 188 countries across the globe. More than 680 million students and educators from more than 800,000 secondary and post-secondary schools will be able to use Autodesk’s 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software for both in-school and at-home educational use, though commercial use is not allowed.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/02/autodesk-free-design-362/

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7 free flipped classroom creation apps you might not know

December 8th, 2014

by Stephen Noonoo, eSchool News

You might not know these apps for creating lessons, video, and more—perfect for the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom gives students more time in class to do, not just listen, and gives teachers new opportunities to revamp their lessons in creative, multimedia ways for at-home consumption. But for all that you need the right tools. Here, we’ve gathered a handful of apps for content creation, from video to podcasting to slideshows, summarized on APPitic.com, an app resource site with more than 6,000 apps in more than 300 subcategories. And this time, we’ve selected apps that don’t typically crop up on flipped classroom lists, so you and your students can try something new.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/02/flipped-classroom-apps-891/

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Learning online worth the cost?: What’s the value, agenda of ‘free’ courses

December 7th, 2014

By Kelly Gorkoff, Winnipeg Free Press

Primary and secondary online learning materials are a resource to a curriculum. My daughter uses Kahn Academy for math, but only because her teacher tells her to. It’s a great resource for home-schoolers, too. It has a place as a resource for those who guide the education of youngsters. Youngsters themselves would rather watch cat videos on YouTube. Then there is higher learning (a.k.a. post-secondary education), advanced learning and the newest buzzword, lifelong learning. Many of the innovations here in online offerings claim to be a silver bullet, a way to overcome the problems of a traditional bricks-and-mortar university education, which has become too expensive, complicated, ideological and detached from the masses. Anant Agarwal is the president of edX, an online learning platform and provider of MOOCs (massive open online courses) many of which are free and offered worldwide. It’s also open-source. It sounds like it’s a solution.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/learning-online-worth-the-cost-284294121.html

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Regular classrooms replaced with online distance-learning in war-hit eastern Ukraine

December 7th, 2014

by Balint Szlanko, The Associated Press

Like most children his age, Denis Akimov spends hours daily on his computer surfing the Internet. It isn’t just for fun. As schools are forced to limit operations in the conflict-battered eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, educators are turning to the Web to keep their charges learning. “It’s not comparable to normal school, because there is no proper atmosphere for studying,” said Akimov, 15, sitting in front of a laptop in the living room of his home. “Very often you get distracted because of all kinds of things, like websites.” Schools and kindergartens haven’t been spared death and destruction in the last seven months of fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

http://www.cp24.com/news/regular-classrooms-replaced-with-online-distance-learning-in-war-hit-eastern-ukraine-1.2126681

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Tech-Savvy Teaching: How Online Learning Helps Students & Teachers

December 7th, 2014

By RACHEL MORELLO, Indiana Public Media

President Obama is pushing for schools to increase their use of technology in the classroom. Teachers nationwide are introducing “Bring Your Own Device” policies, and beginning to use tools like Skype to bring in guest lecturers from around the world. Teachers in Indiana are being recognized for paving the way when it comes to new technology, but effectively incorporating it into teaching can be a challenge.

http://wbaa.org/post/tech-savvy-teaching-how-online-learning-helps-students-teachers

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5 Things to Share With Your Teachers About Educational Technology

December 6th, 2014

by Rob Furman, Huffington Post

Even today, we still have teachers across the country fighting the integration of educational technology into their classrooms. Many use similar excuses as to why they should not waste their time learning technology. The simple fact is that they typically are nervous to learn something new and possibly failing. I think everyone can understand that feeling (especially in front of our peers and our students). So… they make up a variety of reasons why they think it is a bad idea to spend time on technology use, or they simply just close their door and leave the technology in the corner of the room. What do we do? Here is a list of the top 5 things you should share with your teachers in regards to educational technology.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-furman/5-things-to-share-with-yo_b_6218982.html

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Learner Revolution in, Ed Tech Revolution out

December 6th, 2014

by Ron Bethke, eCampusNews

New report suggests investors should focus on companies servicing the “Learner Revolution,” which creates pathways of success that guide individual students. The Ed Tech Revolution is on its way out, and something new is set to take its place: The Learner Revolution. According to a new Education Design Lab report released during the recent National Education Week conference in Washington

D.C., investment in education has been mostly relegated to surface-level areas where returns are quick, but which are unfocused on the personal experiences of students. As a result, the report suggests that investors should shift their focus to companies leading the charge towards utilizing mobile, software, and analytical platforms in order to offer services that create pathways of success and assistance for the individual learner.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/learner-revolution-invest-522/

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When letter grades won’t work, there’s an app for that

December 6th, 2014

By Trevor Shaw, eSchool News

Educators need a way to track traditionally “hard-to-measure” skills–an app might be the solution. In my eighth grade physical computing class, I have a grade problem. The things that are most important to me–things like creativity, curiosity, persistence, critical thinking–are nearly impossible to quantify. I’m sure that I could come up with ways to measure these things indirectly and incorporate them into a mathematical formula, but I don’t believe such a formula would be accurate. Many of these skills and traits are neither linear nor hierarchical. For example, many of us are persistent and curious, but not about everything and not all the time. Furthermore, there is substantial research that indicates that the minute we place extrinsic motivators like grades on something like creativity or critical thinking, we end up reducing the thing we are trying to incentivize.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/01/letter-grades-app-873/

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Competency-based Accelerated Training

December 5th, 2014

by Annie Myers, EDUCAUSE Review

Broward College is piloting accelerated competency-based education as part of its online program. The first associate of science degree offered in the Accelerated IT Training Program is computer system specialist, with courses leading to technical certificates and industry certifications also available. Students can begin courses on a rolling start date and proceed at their own pace, using course and unit assessments to measure mastery of course concepts. Academic coaches support students throughout the program, helping them develop their goals and persist in the face of challenges, and intervene as needed during their studies.

https://www.educause.edu/ero/article/competency-based-accelerated-training

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10 Apps to Make Reading in the Classroom Even More Fun

December 5th, 2014

By Leah Levy, Edudemic

Just about a year ago, we published a post detailing the 10 best web tools for enhancing the reading experience. We still love those tools (almost as much as we love books and reading and libraries), and now we’re adding another 10 to take reading for you and your students up yet another level. Together, you’re sure to have a reading bonanza!

http://www.edudemic.com/10-apps-reading-classroom-fun/

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