February 22, 2013
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Head of the Class
How one top teacher flipped his classroom
Math teacher Jeff Baugus' flipped classroom approach started with complaints from students who struggled to complete their homework. Baugus, from Woodlawn Beach Middle School in Gulf Breeze, Fla., and last year's county Teacher of the Year, experimented with technology that allowed him to record lessons that students could watch at home, and then lead the class the next day to help answer questions and guide students through the new material. "It is very interactive learning, with the entire class involved," he said of the approach. Gulf Breeze (Fla.) News (2/21)
Making digital citizenship part of lessons
One of the responsibilities of educators is to teach students to be digital citizens, writes Andrew Miller, an educational consultant and online educator. In this blog post, he writes that project-based learning is a "great way to target this objective in an engaging and authentic way." Miller suggests methods to teach students about digital citizenship, and recommends teachers create an authentic audience for projects and target content-area standards. Edutopia.org/Andrew Miller's blog (2/21)
Other News
Systems Management
Nev. seeks to speed up adoption of statewide student database
Some officials in Nevada are concerned about the pace of development of a statewide database to track the achievement of students from kindergarten through higher education. However, the state schools chief, James Guthrie, estimated the system could be up and running in 2014. "Nevada's made a good start," Guthrie said. He then added that "we hope to bring this to fruition fast." Las Vegas Review-Journal/The Associated Press (2/21)
Managing Budgets
Education layoffs loom ahead of federal sequestration
Across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, scheduled to take effect next week, will have a dramatic effect on education, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. Already, he noted, school districts are planning layoffs and taking other steps in response to the potential cut of more than $1.3 billion in education spending, which funds programs for many children from low-income families and students with disabilities. "There's no one in their right mind who would say that this is good for kids or good for the country, yet somehow it becomes tenable in Washington," Duncan said. The Washington Post (2/21)
Schools and Social Media
Training addresses latest social media habits of students
A recent event at a New York high school focused on educating parents about social media -- and how to protect children online. Meghan Whalen, education coordinator for the Crime Victims Assistance Center, who led the training, said that while parents are familiar with Facebook, students increasingly are using sites such as Twitter and Instagram. Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.) (2/20)
Your Views
Survey: No one factor driving use of classroom technology
Recent polls of SmartBrief on EdTech readers found that school- or teacher-led programs primarily are driving the use of classroom technology. About 21.2% of respondents, however, said it was a combination of factors, including district policies and initiatives. Of those surveyed, about 57.6% said that a lack of funding was the greatest factor in limiting the use of classroom technology. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/22)
Last Byte
House resolution would establish app-creation contest for students
A House resolution from Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., would launch a nationwide contest to challenge students to create smartphone and tablet applications. The resolution, which seeks to encourage participation in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, will be considered next week. "Bringing together Members of Congress and their younger constituents to participate in activities that will result in a deeper appreciation for STEM fields will foster enthusiasm for education in the sciences," the resolution states. The Hill/Floor Action blog (2/20)
The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done.
Allard Lowenstein,
American politician

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