Gates: Why teachers should use technology to connect, collaborate | Students can go to Washington -- in a 3D game | Some districts line up to make digital conversion
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March 12, 2013
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Should E-rate program pay for off-campus investments?
The federal E-rate program reimburses schools for investments in technology -- but only those that occur on campus -- according to some officials who say the restriction is limiting their ability to improve learning for students. Some are seeking to grow the scope of the $2.3 billion program as schools continue to focus on expanding learning outside of the traditional school day and the classroom. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/14)
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University of MD Eastern Shore Brings LCTL to the Community
The Foreign Language Instructional Center at UMES serves students, the campus community, including faculty and staff, and the business community. Their goal is to bring less commonly taught languages to all these groups. Download an overview on how qualified language instruction and technology integration is making a difference for learners at UMES.
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Gates: Why teachers should use technology to connect, collaborate
Bill Gates used his recent keynote address at the SXSWedu Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, to champion the use of social media and other technology to connect educators and allow them to learn from each other, SmartBrief's senior education editor, Melissa Greenwood, writes in this blog post. "The fact that these platforms let you categorize and talk about what your challenges are and sort of reach out to experts anywhere in the country who will be able to give you examples of what works with that type of student, it's really breaking down that isolation in a really strong way," Gates said. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/11)
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Students can go to Washington -- in a 3D game
A new 3D multiplayer game, "Government in Action," is intended to help students who take American government courses to experience life as a U.S. representative. The game, launched by McGraw-Hill Education, was developed in collaboration with Muzzy Lane Software and Rep. John Tierney, D-Massachusetts. "The ability to interact rather than just reading a text in this technology-driven age will probably drive more interest," Tierney said. CNN (3/11)
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Systems Management
Some districts line up to make digital conversion
A growing number of school districts nationwide are implementing or investigating making a digital conversion -- whether it be to one-to-one laptop, bring-your-own-technology, iPads in kindergarten or other programs. The goal, supporters say, is to improve student achievement. However, some caution against placing emphasis on technology, and suggest that educators focus on instructional methods and differentiation. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/14)
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Education Cartoon

Managing Budgets
Dozens of Ohio districts, schools withdraw from Race to the Top
Nearly 80 school districts and charter schools in Ohio have pulled out of the Race to the Top program since winning grants in 2010, in part, because the cost of implementing the mandates exceeds the federal award. Districts also cite having to switch a year early to the state's new teacher-evaluation system, which uses test scores to grade educators. "We were spending a disproportionate amount of time following all the requirements," said Mike Johnson, superintendent of Bexley schools, which has turned down a grant for this year. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (3/10)
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Other News
Schools and Social Media
Is trying to control social media a lost cause?
School districts nationwide are grappling with how to address social media, and for many, they have found trying to control it "similar to trying to stop an oncoming train," writes Ruth Reynard, executive director of academic programs and faculty at Daymar Colleges Group. In this commentary, she offers examples of how some districts have addressed social media through policy and about the new opportunities the technology offers for students and teachers. T.H.E. Journal (3/7)
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Last Byte
High-school senior makes his mark on the app market
Ben Dennis, a high-school senior who has long had an interest in business and technology, incorporated his application-development business when he was just 15. Dennis, who has worked with a wide array of clients, earns $20,000 to $30,000 a year and is planning to attend Indiana University. "My goals for the future are to graduate from Kelley with a high GPA and to create something revolutionary," he said. The Indianapolis Star (tiered subscription model) (3/7)
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief's inside look at #SXSW
SmartBrief is attending the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, with tweeting @SmartBrief and blogging at SmartBlogs. Here's some of our coverage so far.
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True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes."
-- Edward Frederick Lindley Wood,
British politician
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