Help gauge students' understanding with online quizzes | Tapping the resources of students and their families | What role should computer games play in classroom learning?
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March 25, 2013
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Head of the Class
High schools are recruiting grounds for U.S. cyberwarriors
The Department of Homeland Security is seeking to recruit high-tech experts in U.S. high schools. The agency estimates it needs about 600 hackers to help combat external threats from foreign hackers who seek American wealth and secrets or intend to do damage to infrastructure. The focus on recruiting young students for such jobs includes the launch of cybercompetitions for high-school and college students. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/24)
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Help gauge students' understanding with online quizzes
Online quizzes are effective ways to assess students' understanding while not overwhelming them, Michael Adams writes in this blog post. Adams, who works for the website, suggests quizzing students on what happened during certain time periods, well-known quotes and town history, as well as helping students remember plot, characters and other details from literature lessons. Edudemic (3/23)
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Tapping the resources of students and their families
Teachers should tap into the "Funds of Knowledge," in which "students' and families' rich resources can be realized and tapped into to enhance learning, self-efficacy and self-identity within the school and home." In adapting a similar program for her kindergarten students and their families, educator Kathleen Bramzel writes that she asked students to share their personal interests and then engaged their families in sharing as well -- opening up her classroom to diverse backgrounds and experiences and engaging students in lessons. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/21)
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What role should computer games play in classroom learning?
Educational technology can enhance learning in many ways, but some educators say computers are no replacement for human interaction. Fifth-grade teacher Jenny Kavanaugh, for example, says she has had students who appear to have mastered a math skill on a computer, but they are unable to explain the math concept and don't fully understand how and why that skill is applied. blog (3/22)
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Systems Management
Fla. district uses technology to track buses, students
Officials in Broward County, Fla., plan to install GPS tracking on school buses and issue ID badges for students that are outfitted with tracking devices to record when and where students get on school buses. The technology upgrades were launched to correct what were seen as deficiencies with the transportation system. Officials say the technology will help provide a greater level of accuracy and accountability. The Miami Herald (free registration) (3/23)
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Other News
Managing Budgets
Ill. district approves purchase in Google Chromebooks, tablets
An Illinois district is moving closer to providing one device per child with the approval of $327,000 in new classroom technology, including Google Chromebooks, Nexus 7 Tablets and other devices. However, Jake Conway, an eighth-grader in the district, questions the purchase, saying the majority of students he sees are using their own devices -- not those issued by the school. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (3/25)
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Schools and Social Media
Teacher from France visits Va. classroom as part of partnership
Nicolas Houpert's math students in France, and Heidi Trude's French classes at Skyline High School in Front Royal, Va., have had a partnership since last year when they began communicating via Skype. The partnership grew this year to include Facebook communication, letters and, finally, a weeklong visit from Houpert to the U.S., while Trude will visit France next year. Through the communication, students in France were able to develop their English skills -- a requirement for them -- and students in the U.S. worked on their French. Northern Virginia Daily (Strasburg, Va.) (3/21)
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Last Byte
Could robots play a role in teaching social skills?
A study has found that preschool-age children who have autism respond favorably to a small robot that was programmed with prompts to help teach and reinforce social skills that might otherwise be taught by a therapist. "A therapist does many things that robots can't do," said Nilanjan Sarkar, a Vanderbilt University mechanical and computer-engineering professor who worked on the study. "But a robot-centered system could provide much of the repeated practice that is essential to learning." Disability Scoop (3/22)
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I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink."
-- Leonardo da Vinci,
Italian artist, scientist and writer
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