February 7, 2013
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Head of the Class
Survey: Teachers understand benefits of classroom technology
Technology benefits classroom instruction, according to 74% of teachers who responded to a recent PBS LearningMedia survey. Among the benefits cited by teachers are the ability to expand content, motivate students and provide more individualized instruction, Katrina Schwartz writes in this blog post, which includes links to other articles on technology and education. About 65% of teachers say technology allows them to present information in ways that otherwise would be impossible. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (2/6)
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eLearning
Interactive app released for tablet version of Anne Frank's diary
Students studying "The Diary of Anne Frank" can do more than read her story these days with the release of a mobile application that offers interactive links and documentary film clips about the famous Holocaust victim. The app, available from Penguin Books and developer Beyond the Story for iPad and Nook, also includes audio clips from the woman who helped the Frank family during World War II. Shalom Life (1/30)
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Israel begins new chapter with digital textbooks
Plans in Israel to transition to 21st-century instruction include a pilot program in which 100 elementary schools will begin using digital textbooks this year. Under the program, fifth- and sixth-grade students will use digital textbooks in English, math and an elective picked by the school. Educators also will receive 60 hours of training on using digital textbooks and using the technology with their specific subjects. The Jerusalem Post (free registration) (2/6)
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Other News
Systems Management
Ohio school district plans assistive-technology library
The Delaware City School District in Ohio will create a program that allows educators to test assistive technology before buying it. The equipment planned for the central lending library could include tablets, colored overlay sheets for reading and visual signaling devices. ThisWeekNews.com (Lewis Center, Ohio) (2/5)
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Other News
Managing Budgets
Concerns loom for schools that have their heads in the cloud
Enticed by the ability to improve school technology and save money, districts nationwide are adopting cloud-based computing services -- software or services accessible online and stored off-site. However, moving to the cloud carries several risks, including the exposure of students' data to the cloud operator and the need for additional bandwidth and infrastructure to handle the technology. Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (2/6)
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Other News
Schools and Social Media
Social media takes off in K-12 classrooms
A growing number of teachers are using social media such as wikis, Twitter and other tools to foster engagement through student collaboration and help students learn. With growth, there also are words of warning and opportunities for "teachable moments" if and when students come across inappropriate material online. Schools also are taking additional steps to provide security for students accessing social media. T.H.E. Journal (2/5)
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Last Byte
How school districts can reform professional development
School districts can improve professional development if they have a clear vision and model professional learning, writes Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation for the Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Pa. Murray offers eight tips in this blog post, among them, that leaders also should focus on outcomes rather than time spent in training and think of professional development as a year-round activity, not just as a one-day event. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/6)
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SmartQuote
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
Thomas Szasz,
Hungarian psychiatrist and academic

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Lead Editor:  Katharine Haber
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Publisher, Education Group:  Joe Riddle
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