Most Clicked ASCD SmartBrief Stories

1. Lessons learned from early adopters of digital textbooks

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Digital textbooks offer opportunities for schools to teach the most up-to-date content and give students access to quizzes, videos and comments within the text. Still, the digital transition can come with some challenges, say three early users who share their digital-textbook adoption stories. eSchool News (free registration) (01/28)

2. Common Core testing season reflects fragmented adoption

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Some states have abandoned the Common Core State Standards since initial adoption by 45 states and the District of Columbia in 2011. Even among those states implementing Common Core, a number have opted out of using new assessments designed by two national testing consortia. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (01/25)

3. Are credit hours still a valid instructional standard?

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

The credit hour remains a valuable instructional standard, according to a study by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which established the standard more than 100 years ago. Still, about 40 states now allow schools to measure competency in other ways, and some have adopted full competency-based programs. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (01/29)

4. Students using mindfulness techniques perform better in math, study finds

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Students who learned mindfulness practices, such as meditation and gratitude, posted improved math scores compared with students who did not use the practices, according to a recent report. Students also outperformed their peers in other areas, such as cognitive control, emotional control, optimism and empathy. (01/26)

5. Pros, cons of touch in the classroom

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Touch always has been an important part of teaching practices of English teacher Jessica Lahey, whether conveying her support for students in a difficult time or offering a gentle reminder to focus on the work. In this commentary, she writes about the research and what some experts say regarding touch, learning and the potential of touch to help or harm students. Atlantic online, The (01/23)

6. High-school teacher's tech lesson, dance video goes viral

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Students at a project-based high school in Texas recently learned about practical applications of technology. The students created a dance video -- inspired by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres' dance montage during last year's Oscars -- to the song "Uptown Funk." Christian Science Monitor, The (01/27)

7. Md. district paves accessible path to advanced math

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 30, 2015

A Maryland school district took steps to increase access to advanced math after a district-commissioned survey by Harvard's Center for Education Policy Research found racial disparities in the district's advanced-math classes. Steps have included earlier exposure to math skills and universal testing for honors and gifted-education pathways. Atlantic online, The (01/29)

8. Technology helps boost access to AP courses

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Online learning is helping rural schools in Iowa expand Advanced Placement course offerings and offer high-achieving students more academic challenges. The Iowa Online AP Academy provides access to 12 free AP courses to accredited schools in the state. National Journal (01/27)

9. How to develop teachers as leaders

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Fostering teacher leadership is an essential part of retaining top teachers, but it does not happen on its own, Pamela Roggeman, academic dean for the College of Education at University of Phoenix, writes in this commentary. She shares guiding teacher-leadership principles. District Administration magazine online (01/26)

10. U.S. schools get creative amid shortage of psychologists

ASCD SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Schools nationwide are reporting shortages of psychologists, increasing caseloads and limited services. Some districts, however, are finding creative solutions, including a Massachusetts district that launched a Response to Intervention program that focuses on prevention, services for at-risk students and intensive treatment. District Administration magazine online (01/26)

Sign up for ASCD SmartBrief

Designed specifically for professionals in K-12 education, ASCD SmartBrief is a FREE daily e-mail newsletter. It provides the latest education news and information you need to stay on top of issues that are important to you. Learn more