Why STEM lessons are a natural fit in middle grades | Schools in Vietnam focus heavily on computers, programming | Teaching and assessing digital literacy at an inquiry-based school
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March 26, 2013
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Library of resources for Texas teachers offered on iTunes U
The Texas Association of School Administrators has taken the lead in helping to develop a virtual library of resources for teachers available on Apple's iTunes U. Teachers from select districts collected the resources -- all of which are tied to the state's curriculum -- and winnowed it down to the material that would be most helpful to teachers. The resource is not intended to replace existing materials, but rather help teachers and students with particular lessons. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (3/25)
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Technology helps students meet language standards
Farmington, CT, world language teacher, Kelly Vaughn, relies on the various functions of her language lab to keep students on task, working alone and in groups, plus the ability to monitor and give feedback to them. "The Sony Virtuosoâ„¢ Language Lab technology has helped all our students meet language standards." Learn more about Sony Virtuoso labs.
Why STEM lessons are a natural fit in middle grades
The middle grades are an opportune time for teachers to engage students in lessons on topics in science, technology, engineering and math, says Anne Jolly, a former middle-grades teacher and author of the MiddleWeb blog STEM Imagineering. In recognition of Middle Level Education Month, Jolly, in this blog post, offers several tips for STEM teachers or those innovative educators teaching middle grades. She suggests giving control of learning to students, fostering curiosity and collaboration, and accepting failure and drawbacks. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/25)
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Schools in Vietnam focus heavily on computers, programming
Vietnam's focus on introducing students early to lessons on computers and programming appears to be paying off with reports that high-school students in the country are prepared to pass rigorous interviews with technology firm Google, according to observations made by Google engineer Neil Fraser. As early as Year 2, students in Vietnam are learning about the basics of computers, and by Year 4 they have moved on to programming. The Register (U.K.) (3/22)
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Other News
Systems Management
S.C. district to issue iPad2 devices to some students
In adopting a plan to provide iPad2 devices for most students in grades 4-9 in Rock Hill, S.C., officials also established the goal of having all students in the district meet or exceed national math and reading scores over the next three years. The investment in technology comes with a directive to reform teaching and learning, with the devices being used to allow students to learn from each other and for teachers and students also to learn alongside one another. The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) (3/26)
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Education Cartoon

Managing Budgets
Budget-minded schools ask students to bring their own devices
Cash-strapped schools are increasingly asking students to bring their own smartphones, tablets and other portable devices to school as an alternative to spending the money to provide them to pupils. Many educators see mobile devices as excellent tools to help students learn math, take quizzes and share assignments with each other. However, some experts say they're skeptical of that. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/22)
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Schools and Social Media
Students in extracurricular activities singled out online
A California school district recently adopted a policy forbidding students in sports and school clubs from posting disparaging remarks on social media sites -- such as Twitter or Facebook -- or via other electronic media. Officials said they targeted students engaged in such activities because they have the ability to take away those privileges if students disregard the policy. Some students, however, questioned the need to regulate the behavior, saying they can handle it on their own. Lodi News-Sentinel (Calif.) (3/22)
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Last Byte
Excess daily TV may lead to antisocial behavior in children
Five-year-olds who watched television for more than three hours daily were slightly more likely to manifest antisocial behavior by age 7 than those who watched less than an hour a day, U.K. researchers have found. They reported in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood that playing video games was not associated with an increased likelihood of behavioral problems. DailyRx.com (3/25)
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There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it."
-- Charles Edward Montague,
British journalist
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