3 ideas for a successful class blog | Teachers share technology successes, challenges at ASCD conference | Ill. district to replace Blackboard with new system
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March 19, 2013
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How teachers, IT departments can work together
In this blog post, George Couros, who has worked both with teachers and IT departments, addresses a recent article in which the author states that the traditional role of the district technology director is "obsolete." Instead, Couros writes, it is important to ask several questions to help IT departments and teachers work together toward a common goal. He suggests asking what is best for students, how new ventures improve learning, what is the risk vs. the reward and whether decisions are serving a few students or the majority. Connected Principals blog (3/18)
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3 ideas for a successful class blog
Classroom blogs are a great project to motivate students to write, but they can be a lot of work for teachers, writes sixth-grade language arts teacher Bill Ferriter. In this blog post, Ferriter shares three tips he has learned while developing blog projects for his class, such as training students to work as editors to assign, edit and post student articles. "You'll find that they are JUST as capable as you are -- and probably MORE motivated!" he writes. Teacher Leaders Network/Tempered Radical blog (3/17)
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Teachers share technology successes, challenges at ASCD conference
The recent 68th annual ASCD conference, which drew more than 10,000 educators and administrators to Chicago, focused in part on the effects of technology on education. Besides their successes, teachers shared some of the challenges of technology integration and many stated that when a launch occurs, the focus should be on professional development for teachers -- rather than on the specific hardware or software. InformationWeek (3/18)
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Systems Management
Ill. district to replace Blackboard with new system
An Illinois school district is planning next year to launch a new learning-management system called Edline, which will replace Blackboard. The system, to be used by parents, students and teachers, includes a calendar of testing dates, sports practices, projects and other events, as well as materials posted by teachers, signup sheets for help sessions with teachers, online student discussions and other resources. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (3/18)
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Education Cartoon

Managing Budgets
Fla. district could shift some media specialists to the classroom
In Pasco County, Fla., schools superintendent Kurt Browning has included in his budget a plan to eliminate the positions of 100 media specialists, literacy coaches and other staff. Under the plan, some of the media specialists -- many of whom work in technology support roles -- would be shifted to the classroom. The plan would save the district about $8 million, officials said, helping the district fill its $23 million budget shortfall. StateImpact (3/18)
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Schools and Social Media
Is social media the new sex education?
Parents used to dread the "sex talk," but now attention has turned to the "technology talk," in which parents are being encouraged to talk to their children about safe online practices -- rather than enforce bans or time limits on social media. Educators say that, at school, they have noticed students using mobile devices and other technology to engage in inappropriate behavior, and in many cases they say parents may be unaware it is going on. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/The Associated Press (3/18)
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Other News
Last Byte
STEM leaders seek to solve "Colorado Paradox"
Despite a high percentage of college graduates in the state, Colorado has relatively few homegrown professionals in science, technology, engineering and math fields. To help change the so-called "Colorado Paradox," STEM experts offer some solutions in this SmartBlog on Education post by Doug Haller. For example, Gully Stanford, director of partnerships for College in Colorado, says a key is to create more partnerships between schools and industries. Violeta Garcia, STEM coordinator in Colorado, says outreach to the state's rural schools to expose students to STEM experiences also is essential. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/18)
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