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December 6, 2012
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Head of the Class 
 
  • Report: Educators need more training to close the technology gap
    Educators need more training -- through teacher-preparation programs and professional development -- about how best to use technology to teach in the classroom and to analyze student data, according to a report released Monday by the National Association of State Boards of Education. The report highlights the technology gap among teachers and other school officials, and offers several recommendations about how it should be narrowed. Education Week/Digital Education blog (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Questions about Common Core State Standards?
Common Core only gives educators the destination, not a road map explaining how to get there. We've written the map. It's based in research with the goal of student achievement and professional teacher development. Don't miss the definitive Common Core Series of six classes from the Marzano Center.
eLearning 
  • Why computer literacy should begin in grade school
    Schools don't spend enough time teaching students the basic functions of a computer, such as file management, but expect students to complete assignments on a computer, educator Sheena Vaidyanathan writes in this blog post. Vaidyanathan argues that basic computer science lessons -- such as how to save a file so that it doesn't get lost on the computer -- should begin in grade school. "In today’s world, one may argue that this is more important than learning about rock formations," writes Vaidyanathan, who teaches 3D design and computer programming in California. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
  • Ohio middle school pilots online math program
    Miami Trace Middle School in Ohio is piloting the Web-based DIGITS math curriculum, which allows students to work at their own pace and get extra examples and assistance with concepts that are especially difficult. "There are a lot of things implemented into that. They can skip a problem if they don't understand it and go back," said math teacher Michelle Teis. "If you miss that problem, you could do a similar exercise and you can do it again until you get it right. And the homework gets more difficult as it goes along." Record-Herald (Washington Court House, Ohio) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Systems Management 
  • Guidelines are released for school computers under common core
    The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium released guidelines this week for school computers, tablets and other devices that will be used for online testing under the Common Core State Standards. Under the guidelines, devices must have 10-inch screens, a keyboard, Internet access and the ability to disable certain functions that could be used for cheating during assessments. As schools and districts work to implement the common core, some have questioned whether school computers and technology will be able to meet expectations. The Hechinger Report/Digital blog (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing Budgets 
  • District purchases classroom sound systems, iPads
    A Massachusetts school district has used a $100,000 grant to install high-tech sound systems in two schools, which allows students and teachers to better hear each other in the classroom. The sound systems, which were piloted last year, include speakers and microphones. The district also used a portion of the grant to provide iPads for some first-grade students, as well as high-school students. GloucesterTimes.com (Mass.) (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
  • Students lobby for access to social media websites
    In Anne Arundel County, Md., students are asking officials to lift a block on social media websites such as Twitter at school, saying that the restrictions are limiting their education. The student government has adopted as part of its platform advocating for elimination of the block, which affects Wikipedia, Google Images, Facebook and more. "We want to be able to access information that can help us learn and enhance our understanding of certain things we are discussing," said high-school senior Nick Lefavor. "These sites will help with that." Maryland Gazette (Annapolis) (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Last Byte 
  • Teachers need differentiation in professional development
    The one-size-fits-all model of professional development available to most teachers does not work, veteran teacher Katrina Stevens writes in this blog post. Stevens suggests a learning community model with daily, ongoing PD focused on student learning. "In order to successfully implement new practices and improve student learning, a learning community needs to 1) focus its efforts, 2) work collaboratively, 3) be willing to reflect and examine what's working and 4) be willing to make adjustments when they aren't seeing the desired outcomes for students," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
SmartQuote 
Why always 'not yet'? Do flowers in spring say 'not yet'?"
--Norman Douglas,
British writer

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