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December 24, 2012
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Head of the Class 
  • Tech standards issued to help districts with common core testing
    The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two consortia designing curricula and assessments for Common Core State Standards, released on Friday its "minimum specifications" and "recommended" technology guidelines for testing under common core. The guidelines address such areas as acceptable screen sizes and devices permissible for the testing, plus the types of security needed regarding Internet access, cameras and other device features. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium earlier this month released its own list of technology requirements and recommendations. Education Week/Digital Education blog (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Hands-on science in a digital world
Science education is no longer confined to the pages of a textbook. Students are interacting with science concepts through physical objects and digital platforms, and using this knowledge to solve real-world issues. Get insights for making this work in your classroom in this SmartFocus on Hands-on Science.
  • Are students logging too much screen time?
    Teachers should work together to ensure their lessons do not rely too heavily on digital media, suggests Maurice Elias, a professor at Rutgers University. In this blog post, Elias writes about research showing that students are spending too much time in front of screens -- a trend that can affect their social and emotional learning, as well as their health and sleeping habits. Elias' blog (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Systems Management 
  • The next game-changer in education
    Beginning in January, a Kansas school district will begin testing a shift to "open-source" learning materials, which would give students access to digital materials, while replacing traditional textbooks. The Web portal, "Canvas," is part of the district's implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Officials say a benefit is that the system is expected to reduce costs. Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Education Cartoon 
Managing Budgets 
  • Furlough days lead to longer winter breaks in Calif.
    Some California districts have issued furlough days for teachers, meaning that winter breaks have been lengthened in some districts. In one district, winter vacation has been extended from two weeks to three weeks, with a similar plan in place for spring break. It's a similar story in other districts, where a lack of funds have caused an extension of school breaks. In Rialto, Calif., officials said they lengthened the break after logging a decline in student attendance. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (12/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
  • District seeks to make better use of social media
    Officials in a Florida school district say they have learned a lesson from a recent incident in the district, which caused them to correct false rumors that spread rapidly over social media. Now, officials said, their focus will be on better using social media sites to spread information -- correcting false information before it spreads. The district also plans to use social media to publicize positive news about schools. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (12/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Last Byte 
  • Teacher shares some secrets to success
    In this blog post, teacher Diana Laufenberg offers some examples of successful schools that she has observed. Among them are Alpine Leadership Academy, a middle-school program in Arizona in which students are encouraged to explore, and San Marcos Unified School District in California, where "a shift in the teaching and learning was served by the technology, not the other way around." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of Christmas, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
--William Blake,
British poet and painter

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