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November 13, 2012
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Head of the Class 
  • New tool reports whether students read digital textbooks
    While the Internet is heavy with sites and resources to aid students in cheating and plagiarizing, professor Alan Jacobs writes in this blog post that educators increasingly are using technology to catch cheaters. The latest of those tools to gain a following is one offered by CourseSmart that allows educators to track the total time it takes students to read a digital textbook. While some have raised concerns over privacy, officials say students may opt out of the tracking feature. The Atlantic (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
What Does it Mean to Comprehend What One Reads?
When students understand what they read, they are applying a constellation of skills and strategies to interpret the text based on both the features of the text and their own knowledge. In this paper we discuss the building blocks of teaching reading comprehension. Download the Free Whitepaper
  • Why the writing could be on the wall for cursive
    As schools increasingly integrate technology, some say cursive writing instruction could be squeezed out in favor of typing and other electronic forms of communication. Officials in Kansas are considering eliminating cursive instruction entirely, saying that parents prioritize typing. This comes as states begin to implement the Common Core State Standards, which does not include a cursive instruction requirement. TechCrunch (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Systems Management 
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Education Cartoon 
Managing Budgets 
  • Balloons are part of cost-efficient plan to upgrade technology
    Rather than spending $8 million to $10 million for technology upgrades, a Colorado school district is making do with $250,000. Officials say they have adjusted their expectations from installing new fiber optics to using their limited resources to cost-effectively expand their network to keep up with the demand for data usage by users of mobile devices. That includes launching weather balloons as temporary measures to improve the district's point-to-point wireless system. The Reporter-Herald (Loveland, Colo.) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
  • How teachers can use Learnist in the classroom
    English teacher Hauna Zaich writes in this blog post how she uses Learnist -- a website that is similar to Pinterest and is designed for educators -- in her eighth- and 10th-grade classes. Zaich uses "Learnboards," which are collections of Web resources, for her flipped-classroom lessons such as instruction on grammar where she uses reading, examples, videos and online activities. "I see so many possibilities for Learnist in my classroom and am excited to apply this innovation to my teaching practice," she writes. Zaich's blog (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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Last Byte 
  • Student database creation in Britain raises security concerns
    The creation of a database containing personal information about 8 million students in Britain has raised concerns over security. The data -- much of it compiled by teachers -- are part of a system created by the company Capita and being used by about 100 local authorities. The data reportedly were being compiled without parents' knowledge and now are raising concerns over the security of students' information. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear -- fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
--H.L. Mencken,
American journalist and essayist

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