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September 18, 2012
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SmartBrief on EdTech Special Report:
Back to School 2012
This SmartBrief on EdTech Special Report is designed to provide a glance at how technology is being used to engage students, enhance learning and provide solutions for school systems, schools and educators. We also highlight some of the latest tech resources available for those in the field.

In addition, we are including an interview with ninth-grade English teacher Sam Patterson, dean of student advising and outreach at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, Calif. Patterson, who also authors two blogs, connects with other educators via Twitter and manages his school's YouTube site.

We hope you find this SmartBrief on EdTech Special Report informative and useful. If you don't already receive SmartBrief on EdTech daily, we urge you to sign up for our timely e-newsletter. SmartBrief on EdTech delivers the stories making news in your profession directly to your in-box -- for free.
Head of the Class 
  • 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) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 Rewarding Effort with Unprecedented Motivation
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Connected Classrooms 
  • Veteran teacher finds her stride with flipped instruction
    When Wendy Roshan began teaching Advanced Placement calculus, she concedes she was thinking about her retirement. Now, with the help of her daughter, Stacey -- also a math teacher -- Wendy Roshan writes about her reluctant decision to flip her classroom and how the teaching technique has transformed and energized her lessons and benefited her students. CNN/Schools of Thought (8/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • One-to-one iPad program transforms teaching
    Students at a Wisconsin high school are using iPads this year in their classes, including in geometry, where teachers say the device offers several tools that will help students succeed. The tools include a math glossary and reference site, as well as an application that allows students to take photos of math formulas she posts on the classroom board. While students will continue to turn in their homework on paper, they are expected to take about half of their tests using the iPad. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (8/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers tweet their feelings about returning to class
    Educators responded through Twitter when asked what they are looking forward to and their concerns about this school year. Teachers tweeted their excitement about meeting students and their families for the first time. Teachers also completed the sentence, "My first thought when my students take their seats is ..." One teacher responded, "I have the power to change a life today." Education Week Teacher/Teaching Now blog (8/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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Technology Solutions 
  • How schools can set themselves up for success with iPads
    Educator and author Matt Levinson in this blog post offers advice for schools seeking to use iPads in the classroom. Among his suggestions are to establish a flexibility policy that outlines expectations for using the devices, provide students with visual examples of how to care for the devices, solicit feedback throughout the year on how the program is working and make adjustments if necessary. blog (8/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Texas launches high-tech initiatives to help schools share resources
    In Texas, officials say that limited resources have forced them to get more innovative in how they share education technology and resources among schools. The Texas Education Agency's Project Share includes resources, such as Web 2.0 tools and applications, that teachers can use in the classroom and in professional development. The Texas Virtual School Network also enrolls students from 383 districts in virtual courses. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some Ohio districts to hold online classes on snow days
    In Ohio, 120 of the state's 614 school districts have applied to use online lessons on snow days -- also known as "calamity days" -- 20 more than in the previous school year. Under the option, districts choosing to participate can allow students to access online lessons when school is closed. Four schools tested the program in 2011, but none used the option last school year because of a mild winter. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (8/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Alabama district rolls out Wi-Fi on school buses
    An Alabama school district is installing wireless Internet on 20 school buses this year as part of a pilot program. Officials, who demonstrated the new technology in August, say there have been some kinks with the new districtwide wireless network that are being addressed with the district's Internet provider and Pearson Education. Using the technology, students will be able to access Wi-Fi on laptops through a password posted on the bus. (Alabama) (8/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Resources for Educators 
  • Top resources shared during Connected Educator Month
    In this blog post, the editors of eSchool News have compiled a list of educational resources shared during Connected Educator Month. The resources include a blog with tips from 33 top educators, a list of five podcasts for "ed-tech fanatics" and the "top 14 educational technology tweeters to follow." The list also includes SmartBlog on Education's "5 ways to develop a connected student." eSchool News (free registration) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • From Facebook to the cloud: Tech tools to better the classroom
    Teachers increasingly are using technology, such as social media websites, to help students learn. Now, the writer of this blog post lists five technology tools making classrooms better. They include the cloud, which allows teachers and students to store resources and make learning more efficient, and Facebook, where students have formed study groups and parents can turn for information. Schools also are using microblogging sites, such as Twitter and Tumblr, and Pinterest, which teachers have found valuable for lesson planning. Mashable (8/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

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