February 14, 2013
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Head of the Class
A high-tech school model that could spread
In this interview, principal Rashid Davis describes the secret to the success of the IBM-backed Pathways in Technology Early College High School in New York City, which was praised by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday. Davis says every student at the six-year school is paired with a mentor from IBM, and the school's open-admission approach allows educators to prepare a broad base of students for the jobs of the future. GigaOm (2/13)
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eLearning
One-to-one program boosts math achievement in Ariz. district
Officials in the Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, Ariz., have adopted a digital curriculum in core subject areas. The new math curriculum is made up of Conceptua and Agile Mind, and an online program for tutoring called Ascend Math. The results have been positive so far, officials say. "The data show significant growth in a core curricular area where it has historically been very difficult for us to raise student performance," said Christie McDougall, district math coordinator. T.H.E. Journal (2/13)
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Other News
Systems Management
Lawmaker says technology could help small S.D. districts
South Dakota state Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls, has proposed allowing small, rural districts to enter into "joint powers" agreements in an effort to avoid consolidation with other districts. Such agreements would allow districts to use Web-based classes to offer the same curriculum as other, larger districts. "Size and quality are no longer related," said Dan Guericke, director of the Mid-Central Education Cooperative in Platte. "Where the teachers are located is irrelevant with the use of technology." Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, S.D.) (tiered subscription model) (2/13)
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Managing Budgets
Technology contract sparks legislation in Wis.
The decision in Wisconsin to award a contract for a statewide student information system to an out-of-state contractor has led some lawmakers to back a bill that would require the state secure multiple vendors. At issue is the concern that Wisconsin-based Skyward, which currently provides the technology for about half of the schools in the state, no longer would be a provider -- and the local company would be shut out. Marshfield News-Herald (Wis.) (2/13)
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Schools and Social Media
Facebook wants to be the go-to source for app discovery
Facebook wants to be the application-discovery platform of the future. The social network is now integrated within 200,000 apps, according to Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose, and accounts for 23% of all mobile-app engagement time, per comScore. "We are trying to find the right balance between delivering a great user experience and creating value for partners by sending traffic to them and honoring their content," Rose said. In addition to games, Facebook wants to highlight book, movie and fitness apps this year. CNET (2/12)
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Last Byte
Prepare to unplug
As the National Day of Unplugging -- scheduled for March 1 -- approaches, Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, a pediatrician and author, is offering some suggestions to get a head start. She suggests reading a traditional book or magazine, going for a walk and leaving the cellphone behind, or organizing a family game night. Other suggestions include spending time on a hobby, going to a lecture or show, and using a real camera to take photos. The Huffington Post/The Blog (2/14)
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Editor's Note
Your SmartBrief has a new look
Notice a change? SmartBrief on EdTech has the same valuable content but with a reworked design to make reading and sharing stories easier, especially on mobile devices. Have feedback on the change? Send it our way!
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SmartQuote
Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
Pauline Kezer,
American politician

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