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December 3, 2012
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Head of the Class 
  • Ideas for using video games in STEM lessons
    Professionals who work in science, technology, engineering and math often work in programming, so educator Shawn Cornally writes in this blog post that he incorporates games in his classroom as a segue into programming. Cornally offers lesson suggestions for two popular games, Mindcraft and Portal 2, as well as ideas for teaching students to write their own computer code. For example, Cornally writes, he has his students figure out if the actions in Portal 2 violate the laws of physics. Cornally's blog (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
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  • Should students be allowed to use calculators on math tests?
    Concerned that students are relying too much on calculators, rather than learning basic but important math skills, a Virginia lawmaker has proposed legislation that would prohibit some students from using the devices on their end-of-year math exams. The proposal comes in light of a teacher saying his ninth-grade students struggled to complete basic operations on a pretest, noted Del. Dave Albo, R-Springfield. The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Innovative classroom lessons just one scanned code away
    Bringing QR codes into the classroom can be engaging for students, says Tim Dwyer, of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Dwyer, in a presentation at the recent ACTE CareerTech VISION 2012 conference, described how students in his automotive course produce videos describing how certain car parts operate. The videos are assigned QR codes, and students in other classes use smartphones to scan the codes and watch the videos, writes SmartBrief senior education editor Melissa Greenwood in this blog post. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Systems Management 
  • N.C. law protects teachers from students' online speech
    In North Carolina, a new law that took effect Dec. 1 makes it a misdemeanor for students to harass teachers online or commit certain other online offenses against school employees. The ACLU of North Carolina, however, is speaking out against the law and pledging to help represent any students charged under the new law, believed to be the first such law in the U.S. enacted against students. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing Budgets 
  • Schools take high-tech approach to field trips
    Field trips to museums, historic sites and other traditional landmarks are occurring virtually these days, as schools rely more on online broadcasts and interactive programs because of budgets cuts and tight testing schedules. While in-person trips would be ideal, Nina Corley, a high-school history teacher in Galveston, Texas, says the electronic versions are great opportunities for students to interact with experts on location in such places as Colonial Williamsburg, Va. "They [students] are able to watch what's going on, ask follow-up questions and play games all in one sitting. It really gets them involved," Corley said. USA Today (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Schools and Social Media 
  • Wis. school uses Skype for distance-learning program
    Students at a Wisconsin school are using Skype to participate in a distance-learning exchange with a school in Thailand. The Wisconsin students are learning about Asian culture in an accredited class taught by a teacher in Thailand, while students in Thailand learn about U.S. history. Officials recently announced that the program, which began about two years ago, would continue at least until 2015. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Last Byte 
  • Website supports better library access for students with disabilities
    A new website offers librarians a self-paced online curriculum of videos, games and assessments to help them better meet the needs of students with disabilities. Project ENABLE (Expanding Nondiscriminatory Access by Librarians Everywhere) was developed by Ruth V. Small of Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies after she conducted a survey of school librarians and found that they gave themselves low scores in the area of disability services. School Library Journal (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time."
--Betty Smith,
American author

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