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

Share on Facebook

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

Share on Facebook

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/

Share on Facebook

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/

Share on Facebook

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

Share on Facebook

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/

Share on Facebook

Rural kids get fewer AP classes

December 5th, 2014

By Catherine Candisky & Jim Siegel, Columbus Dispatch

Students in Dublin schools can pick among dozens of rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement studio art, computer science and calculus, along with engineering design, statistics, theater and a variety of International Baccalaureate classes. In all, Dublin offers 92 advanced courses to students. That’s 10 times as many as are available to Hamilton Local students on the other end of Franklin County. According to state data, they have nine available. Some state legislators want to take a more serious look at ways to level the field, including interactive distance learning, in which a teacher can present a class to students in a number of districts. State data show that 99 percent of high-school courses are taught face to face.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/11/30/rural-kids-get-fewer-ap-classes.html

Share on Facebook

Leading and Learning for a Successful Digital Transformation

December 4th, 2014

by Steve Webb, Edutopia

Education, like so many other aspects of our society, has been undergoing a digital transformation. Accepting this reality is inevitable. Embracing it would be wise. But my district has chosen to go a step beyond that as we strive to lead the transformation. Digital transformation in Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) began with our second-generation strategic planning process, which we call Design II. Launched in January 2007, the process engaged hundreds of staff and community members in shaping the future of our district. Flexible learning environments for the 21st century emerged as the strategic goal area for Design II, challenging us to think differently about the use of time, space, and technology to maximize learning potential.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/leading-learning-successful-digital-transformation-steve-webb

Share on Facebook

Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom

December 4th, 2014

by P.K. Yonge Devlopmental Research School

Blended learning is a core part of P. K. Yonge Developmental Research School. Since 2010, the school has taken a schoolwide approach to integrating digital content as part of their instructional framework. Driven by changes already happening at the higher education levels and the need to prepare students for the 21st century workplace, blended learning provides the school with a variety of ways to address student needs, differentiate instruction, and provide teachers with data for instructional decision-making. P. K. Yonge views blended learning as the combination of digital content and activity with face-to-face content and activity. It looks very different in each class at the school. When a teacher has an activity that works well face-toface, there isn’t any reason to look for a digital replacement. If they can find something digital that is more effective or efficient, then that is implemented.

http://www.edutopia.org/practice/blended-learning-making-it-work-your-classroom

Share on Facebook

edX joins ConnectED efforts with PD courses for teachers

December 4th, 2014

by eSchool News

Answering President Obama’s call to help schools embrace technology and digital learning in U.S. classrooms, edX will offer professional development courses for teachers. As part of ConnectEd, edX partner universities and colleges will offer teacher professional development courses, along with courses to prepare students for AP exams. “EdX and our university partners are pleased to stand with President Obama to offer U.S. teachers and school districts free, innovative resources to improve teaching and learning outcomes,” said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO. “These courses will empower teachers to use technology in the classroom in creative and personalized ways.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/21/edx-connected-pd-632/

Share on Facebook

Oklahoma State U offers in-depth view of agriculture through ‘Farm to Fork’ Massive Open Online Course

December 3rd, 2014

By Melissa Mourer, Oklahoma State University

Bailey Norwood, associate professor in the department of agricultural education for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University, will be using the latest teaching methods to take learning to a new level with a Massive Open Online Course titled “Farm to Fork: A Panoramic View of Agriculture.” The 16-week course will be conducted entirely online and is open to anyone. It will focus on topics including livestock-care techniques, the industrialization of agriculture, the impact of local food on the local economy and the role of politics and culture in food. The format of the online course provides Norwood with an opportunity to explore new and contemporary teaching methods.

http://www.hpj.com/archives/2014/dec14/dec1/1120FarmtoForkOSUClassrt.cfm

Share on Facebook

Some schools to avoid snow days through e-learning

December 3rd, 2014

by Kristine Guerra, Indianapolis Star

The Internet is bringing an end to snow days for some Indiana schoolchildren. Northwestern Consolidated Schools in Shelby County is among 29 public school systems and eight private schools that have received approval from the Indiana Department of Education to use a virtual learning option on days when students have to stay home from school due to inclement weather. On those days, Northwestern students at Triton Central, Triton Middle and Triton Elementary schools will use their school-issued iPads and Chromebooks to do their homework, work through lessons and communicate with their teachers.

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/education/2014/11/28/schools-avoid-snow-days-learning/19619607/

Share on Facebook

Private companies want to scoop up your child’s data enrolled in MOOCs

December 3rd, 2014

By CAITLIN EMMA, Politico

Massive open online courses, first envisioned as a way to democratize higher education, have made their way into high schools, but Washington is powerless to stop the flood of personal data about teenage students from flowing to private companies, thanks to loopholes in federal privacy laws. But when middle and high school students participate in classes with names like “Mars: The Next Frontier” or “The Road to Selective College Admissions,” they may be unwittingly transmitting into private hands a torrent of data about their academic strengths and weaknesses, their learning styles and thought processes — even the way they approach challenges. They may also be handing over birth dates, addresses and even drivers license information.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/online-education-run-amok-113208.html

Share on Facebook

6 apps to build algebra skills

December 2nd, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchoolnews.com

Many students begin school with a love of math, but stumble when they reach algebra. With the increasing prevalence of mobile learning, though, on-demand apps and resources can help students stay on top of their algebra lessons. Here, we’ve gathered a handful of algebra apps summarized on APPitic.com, an app resource site with more than 6,000 apps in more than 300 subcategories.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/26/apps-algebra-skills-022/

Share on Facebook

Support English-Language Learners with Scannable Technology

December 2nd, 2014

by Monica Burns, Edutopia

Scannable technology provides opportunities for students to quickly and easily interact with a variety of content. In a differentiated classroom, children should have access to resources and support materials that will push them toward success. This could be a tool to help them make meaning of the content being taught in a lesson, or it could be resources to help them gather background information before starting a new unit of study. Differentiation should happen for students who are approaching and exceeding grade-level benchmarks, for children who have special needs, and for English-language learners (ELLs).

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/support-ells-with-scannable-technology-monica-burns

Share on Facebook

Trendy Buzzword or Transformative Concept: How Legit is Grit?

December 2nd, 2014

by Edudemic

Though Angela Dee Duckworth earned a MacArthur genius grant for her grit research, it remains to be seen whether the data offers a feasible way to improve student performance. Of course, while grit as a component of an organized lesson plan is a recent concept, this type of “stick-to-itiveness” is hardly a new concept. In fact, perseverance is the very value that was so prized in American settlers and explorers during the nation’s rapid westward expansion. Considered from such a historical perspective, it seems that grit has lasting power as a valuable trait in society. However, time will tell whether increasing grit is something one can do with a well-organized school program or if it’s simply an inborn trait to consider when helping students identify their strengths and weaknesses. In either case, it’s an interesting and valuable discussion that’s well worth exploring.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-legit-is-grit/

Share on Facebook

Research: People Ignore Security Warnings through Habit

December 1st, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Don’t be so sure that you pay sufficient attention to messages delivered by your computer warning you about unsafe surfing activities. An experiment at Brigham Young University in Provo found that users “routinely ignore security warnings.” One reason we do that is because we tend to get “habituated” to certain common messages on the screen and overlook them to our peril. Researchers Bonnie Anderson, Brock Kirwan and Anthony Vance conducted the project to explore how people deal with online security risks. While users declared that they “care” about keeping their computers secure, their behavior suggests otherwise.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/20/research-people-ignore-security-warnings-through-habit.aspx

Share on Facebook

5 tips to create strong learning environments with iPads

December 1st, 2014

By Tom Daccord, eSchool News

Putting iPads in the service of learning, in our view, means putting technology in the service of preparing students to solve unstructured problems and communicate persuasively and with deep understanding. That’s our vision of what great schools do. As we approach the challenge of creating powerful learning environments with iPads, we use five bedrock principles to keep us grounded:

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/26/5-tips-ipads-023/

Share on Facebook

11 coding resources for the Hour of Code

December 1st, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

As December’s Hour of Code approaches, coding skills are in the spotlight. Computer science skills are becoming more and more important to success in today’s economy, and this importance is highlighted during the annual Hour of Code. A number of resources on Code.org and other sites can help students of all ages and skill levels develop coding skills. The Hour of Code, which can occur at any time during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14), is a one-hour coding activity during which students choose from self-guided tutorials that work on browsers, smartphones, tablets, or even work without computers at all.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/25/coding-resources-students-392/

Share on Facebook

Programs allow students to take college classes

November 30th, 2014

by Phillip Bock, HTR News

Lincoln High School senior Tyler Kazda is on track to have 30 college credits when he graduates next spring — well on his way toward a technical diploma. Mary Mikeal, a senior at Two Rivers High School in a similar situation, is set to graduate with 30 Lakeshore Technical College credits toward a nursing associates degree program. The two students took full advantage of dual credit partnerships between local high schools and colleges, mainly the youth options and youth apprenticeship programs. Silver Lake College, LTC, and University of Wisconsin – Manitowoc participate in the programs. “The program allows students to take college credit while they are still high school students,” George Henze, assistant campus dean for student affairs at UW-Manitowoc, said. “The program is growing and I think a lot of students are looking to get ahead on their college education if it seems right for them.”

http://www.htrnews.com/story/news/education/2014/11/23/youth-options/19449253/

Share on Facebook

‘Blended-learning’ programs grow in D.C., with students relying more on computers

November 30th, 2014

By Michael Alison Chandler, Washington Post

When Ketcham Elementary School was selected to roll out a schoolwide computer-based learning initiative, Principal Maisha Riddlesprigger was skeptical about “putting kids in front of computers.” Less than two years later, the effort has brought her school a kind of celebrity status. Superintendents and state lawmakers from across the country have begun stopping by this well-wired school in a poor pocket of Southeast Washington — where nearly a third of the students are homeless — to see how they are learning.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/blended-learning-programs-grow-in-dc-with-students-relying-more-on-computers/2014/11/23/e7b84ce2-7197-11e4-8808-afaa1e3a33ef_story.html

Share on Facebook