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December 19, 2012
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Head of the Class 
  • District offers students Internet access as a privilege, not a right
    A school district in Indiana is altering the way students access the Internet, granting four levels of access based on grades and behavior. Under the plan, all students start at the second level, but earn greater privileges in the third and fourth levels, such as access to some social networking websites and e-mail. Students at the first level will not be able to take school laptops home. "We're looking at releasing responsibility to students as they can handle it," said Jan Richards, Oak Hill Elementary School principal. The Times (Munster-Hammond-Merrillville-Valparaiso, Ind.) (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
  • How will blended learning evolve?
    Blended learning is likely to further evolve in 2013, write Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, both of the Innosight Institute. In this article, they offer 10 predictions for the process, including more station rotations in elementary schools, additional self-blending in high schools, more virtual schools to begin offering an in-person component and software programs that offer options for small groups, among other things. T.H.E. Journal (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Self-paced math program seeks to enhance elementary curriculum
    The MIND Research Institute has launched a self-paced math lab that features an animated penguin facing a variety of math-related challenges. The Spatial Temporal Math program is in place at Robert Gisler Elementary School in Fountain Valley, Calif., and is aligned with Common Core State Standards. "We are thrilled and very appreciative of the continued support the Fountain Valley School District receives from Hyundai Motor America," said Marc Ecker, superintendent of the district. "Their contributions to our ST Math program have provided additional resources for our students, enabling them to meet the rigorous California State Standards in mathematics." T.H.E. Journal (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Systems Management 
  • Do Ireland's teachers need more technology support?
    Schools in Ireland are being criticized by some in the education field for taking an "ad hoc" approach to the use and support of education technology. Among the complaints: Schools often designate one person to act as ICT manager without proper training or support, and that technology, such as interactive whiteboards, is not being used to full potential. "Teachers don't have a system of support whereby they feel confident that the technology is going to be repaired and it's going to be in perfect working order," said multimedia lecturer Miriam Judge. The Irish Times (Dublin) (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing Budgets 
  • Tenn. considers how to pay for switch to online testing
    As Tennessee prepares to implement new online assessments in the 2014-15 school year, questions remain about how to pay for the thousands of new desktops, laptops or tablets needed to make the transition. The state already has committed to adopting the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career online tests under its Race to the Top application and its waiver from No Child Left Behind. While districts are seeking help from the state, lawmakers have not given an indication of whether they will offer assistance. Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tenn.) (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
  • Student with physical disabilities uses Skype to attend class
    First-grader Gideon Egan, who has a joint and muscle disease that limits his physical mobility and sometimes calls for surgeries with extended recovery time, is using Skype to stay connected with his teachers and classmates at Campbell Ridge Elementary School in Alexandria, Ohio. Through the video chat program, Egan can answer student questions and participate in spelling tests. "I think it means a lot to them," special-education teacher Emily Knight said. "And it opens up a whole new world for them and Gideon." (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Last Byte 
  • Assessing students without grades
    Narrative feedback has replaced grades in the classroom of Mark Barnes, a 20-year teacher and adjunct professor. Under the approach, Barnes provides feedback using a four-part system -- Summarize, Explain, Redirect and Resubmit. Narrative feedback is given daily and assessment is a continuous process, he writes in this blog post. Under the no-grades approach, students are driven to learn -- not discouraged by grades, he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Editor's Note 
  • Best of 2012: 18 SmartBrief interviews with industry thought leaders
    SmartBrief's SmartBlogs network interviewed 18 industry thought leaders this month. Find out what these leaders are projecting for their industries in 2013, and see what other free SmartBrief newsletters you may be missing out on. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

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