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September 19, 2012
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Head of the Class 
  • Understanding students' freedom of speech in the digital age
    A growing number of states are policing students' online behavior, including in North Carolina, where students can be convicted of misdemeanors for posting comments online that "intimidate or torment" teachers and other school employees. Supporters say the law -- apparently the first to focus on students who cyberbully teachers -- is intended to curb cyberbullying by regulating students' behavior on and off campus. Some observers, however, say the issue raises questions about students' freedom of speech and suggest the issue could end up before the Supreme Court. The Wall Street Journal (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

Technology of all sorts is making its way into the classroom and offering new ways to engage learners with interactive lesson content. Learning Scientist, T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D., provides perspective on how districts can make informed choices for effective technology implementation. Download our FREE whitepaper.
  • Creating connected learning for students, educators
    Teaching students to manage their digital resources is essential to keeping them engaged -- rather than distracted -- in today's connected classrooms, says educator and blogger Sam Patterson. In this interview, Patterson describes strategies for engagement, suggests mobile applications to support literacy in the classroom and offers tips for educators on enhancing their own continuing education through personal learning networks. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • English teacher, students learn lessons from Uganda
    Through an online partnership with the St. Lawrence School in Migyera, Uganda, a New Jersey teacher is bringing greater global awareness to her classroom. With the support of a faculty enrichment grant, Ann Murdock, an English teacher at Rumson Country Day School, in this article writes about the experience of visiting the school in Uganda. She writes that students on both sides of the virtual relationship have valuable information to share with each other. Asbury Park Press (Neptune-Asbury Park, N.J.) (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Sixth-grade girls showcase PBL by launching cameras into space
    A group of sixth-grade girls from Bowling Green, Ky., created their own project-based learning experience this summer when they launched three cameras 22 miles above Earth to take pictures in space. Journalist Suzie Boss in this blog post offers several best practices for PBL that were reinforced through the project, including having ambitious goals, using social networking to build support and pushing beyond obstacles. Boss' blog (9/14) 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.
Systems Management 
  • Online educator is questioned over high student-teacher ratios
    Teachers at K12, the nation's largest online educator, could be responsible for teaching as many as 275 students each, according to company documents. The company has come under scrutiny in Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee for poor student performance and its high student-teacher ratio. Now, Florida is examining whether the company uses teachers who may not be properly certified. Florida Today (Melbourne) (tiered subscription model) (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Managing Budgets 
  • Technology helps schools cut per-pupil spending
    While officials in an Ohio district recognize that technology can help schools cut costs -- as much as $3,600 per student, according to a recent report -- educators say they are still working to determine whether digital tools will help improve students' achievement. Among other things, teachers are using technology to transform book reports, connect with others outside of the classroom and access new, interactive resources. The Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio) (free registration) (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
  • First ladies go off script during Skype chat with students
    Students at a school in Maine got a surprise this week when -- during a live chat via Skype with former first lady Barbara Bush and the state's first lady, Ann LePage, -- the two women made a surprise in-person appearance. The visit came as a surprise to third-grade teacher Cherrie MacInnes, who had helped to organize other virtual chats with the two first ladies. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Last Byte 
  • Math lessons are part of formula for high schooler's app
    A high-school student in Missouri has created an application to help students learn math. Blane Townsend now is testing the program, "Gray Matter," with local fifth-grade students. Based on a classroom teacher's textbook, Townsend's program includes problems and tests and gives students immediate feedback. "It's a lot better than worksheets," said 10-year-old Brock Davis. The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
It is the individual who knows how little they know about themselves who stands the most reasonable chance of finding out something about themselves before they die."
--S.I. Hayakawa,
Canadian-American academic, writer and politician

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