How iPads are making math more interesting in a Calif. middle school | High-school students create app to improve school announcements | Are schools taking full advantage of technology?
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March 21, 2013
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Head of the Class
Advice for schools undergoing IT modernization
Getting buy-in from stakeholders and ensuring a close connection between curriculum and facilities departments are among the tips Erik Heinrich, IT manager for the San Francisco Unified School District, shares from his experience with his infrastructure modernization. Among his other suggestions, included in this commentary, are to build a centralized data system, improve bandwidth and extend access with wireless networking. EdTech magazine (3/2013)
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How iPads are making math more interesting in a Calif. middle school
Students at Judkins Middle School in Pismo Beach, Calif., are using iPads instead of pencil and paper to do math, and students and educators say the devices help with engagement, especially for reluctant math learners. "They put forth 10 times the amount of effort," said Kristi Fuller, a pre-algebra, leadership and algebra skills teacher. Santa Maria Times (Calif.) (3/20)
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Systems Management
Are schools taking full advantage of technology?
While educators nationwide are doing exciting things with technology, participants at a panel discussion Wednesday said that many K-12 schools do not have the necessary infrastructure to take full advantage of available technology. Members of the panel at the Brookings Institution said that about one-third of schools have proper bandwidth and that improvement will rely on a shift in organizational culture -- such as granting teachers greater flexibility -- rather than a focus on changing the technology. Education Week/Digital Education blog (3/20)
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Managing Budgets
Latest tech budget plan concerns Fla. education board
Florida Board of Education members expressed their ongoing concerns at a meeting Tuesday that the state's schools lack funding for technology upgrades needed to implement online assessments in 2014 and a state mandate to teach half the curriculum digitally by 2015. Board members discussed whether they had made a strong enough case for the more than $400 million requested to upgrade school broadband access and purchase new devices, as a Senate budget plan unveiled this week includes only $76 million for Internet upgrades. "It's all going to be on a technology platform and we should be leading the nation and we are not on this front," board member Kathleen Shanahan said. StateImpact (3/20)
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Schools and Social Media
Minn. district educates students about social media's risks
A school district in Minnesota is working to teach students about the potential consequences of inappropriate social media behavior through the Louder On Line -- or LOL -- program. The weeklong event cautions students against bullying online, texting and driving, and other behaviors. Students also completed a survey on cyberbullying and produced videos on the topic. The Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.) (3/20)
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Last Byte
Looking forward to opportunities for professional development
A range of interesting professional-development opportunities are available for educators to attend this year, Brad Currie, a school administrator for the Chester School District in New Jersey, writes in this blog post. Having recently attended the ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show, Currie recommends that educators add to their calendars Edscape 2013 on Oct. 19, EdcampNJ on Nov. 23, ISTE 2013 in San Antonio, Texas and other conferences. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/20)
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Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have."
-- Émile Chartier,
French philosopher and journalist
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