3 tips for teachers in the digital world | Should computer science be part of the math, science curriculum? | Teacher suggests ways to use iPads in classroom lessons
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March 7, 2013
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Head of the Class
Why some schools are making the switch to digital textbooks
For schools using electronic textbooks, students are receiving up-to-date information about current events, research and other matters as publishers can make almost-instant changes. Educators and others say the benefits of the switch to electronic textbooks include the speed at which they can be updated, the lower cost and the vast resources they open up for students. However, officials also point out that many students do not have access to such technology and stress that districts must focus on teacher training when rolling out digital textbooks. U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press (3/6)
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3 tips for teachers in the digital world
The increased use of classroom technology has forever altered the traditional classroom, notes Zachary Walker, a special educator and technology consultant. In this blog post, he suggests teachers keep in mind three things as they work to prepare the "Last Backpack Generation" to be successful. Among his tips are to be willing to fail in front of students, prioritize creativity, and begin to view the students as types of "co-teachers." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/6)
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Should computer science be part of the math, science curriculum?
Computer science could be considered a legitimate course to help meet a student's math or science requirements for graduation, however, it is often taken as an elective, blogger Susan Hall writes in this post. With mounting requirements in the core subjects, many students may find it harder to fit computer science into their schedules, she notes. A bill under consideration in Washington state -- reportedly supported by a majority of voters -- would make that state the 10th in the country to allow computer science courses to fulfill math or science requirements, Hall adds. ITBusinessEdge.com/Charting Your IT Career blog (3/5)
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Other News
Systems Management
Tenn. lawmakers consider setting limits on virtual schools
State lawmakers in Tennessee are considering giving the state the power to close underperforming virtual schools, following concern about the poor performance of a virtual school in the state. Under the bill, which has advanced in the state Senate, the state Department of Education also would be given the authority to cap enrollment at new virtual schools at 1,500 until they meet expectations and freeze enrollment if the schools demonstrate poor performance. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (3/6)
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Managing Budgets
Calif. school uses federal grant to pay for tablet rollout
A California school district plans to provide tablet computers for all students as part of a $2 million technology upgrade. Officials say that 81% of the project is being paid for through federal grants. In the Central Unified district, about 30 teachers now are using Samsung Galaxy tablets, and 900 will be using them next year ahead of 2015, when all students will receive tablets. KFSN-TV (Fresno, Calif.) (3/6)
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Schools and Social Media
Why teachers should act as social media guides
Teachers should act as guides when teaching students about the proper use of social media in their personal and academic lives, advises Matt Renwick, principal of Howe Elementary in Wisconsin. In this commentary, Renwick suggests the Optimal Learning Model adopted at his own school, in which teachers begin by modeling concepts for students. Under the approach, lessons begin slowly, with teachers and students sharing something they learned online that day, then performing interactive writing assignments and, finally, the students being given more freedom to learn independently. EdTech magazine (3/2013)
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Last Byte
Activity tracker for children has a fun, social focus
Students at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Arlington, Va., use bright orange wristbands called Sqords that track their physical activity. The accelerometer is different from similar data-driven gadgets for adults because it is focused on scoring points, winning medals, competing with friends and sending messages through an avatar. The Washington Post/MisFits (3/5)
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive!
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, from March 8 to 12, and we need your help! SXSW has way too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to our readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on Social Media, Leadership, Finance, Food and Beverage or Education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."
-- Isaac Asimov,
Russian-born American author and biochemist
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