February 15, 2013
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Head of the Class
How flipped instruction changed one student's life
Switching to the flipped instructional method during the junior year of high school made a huge impact on Kylie McAuley's education -- and life -- the now 12th-grader writes in this commentary. McAuley notes that the instructional method allowed her to learn at her own pace -- rewinding to portions of the lecture that she did not understand. "Almost overnight, my grades went from B's and B-'s- to all A's," she writes. "I began to understand complex problems that I never before grasped." eSchool News (free registration) (2/15)
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eLearning
IPads are "transforming" instruction
Educators say students who use iPads are able to look up unfamiliar words as they are reading on the tablets, receive instant feedback from teachers and have access to an unprecedented amount of information without leaving the classroom. While it's still relatively rare, a growing number of public schools are purchasing enough iPads so that every student can have one. "It's transforming instruction," said Marianne Currie-Hall, principal of Roy B. Kelly Elementary School in Lockport, N.Y. "I've got kindergarteners who email me their work." The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (2/14)
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Va. schools to use mix of face-to-face instruction, digital learning
About 6,000 elementary- and middle-school students in Virginia will learn math via a blended-learning model with games developed by the Mind Research Institute. The games -- designed to be accessible by students with learning disabilities and English-language learners -- will have a direct connection to in-class lessons. T.H.E. Journal (2/14)
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Other News
Systems Management
Ind. district to give school buses high-tech upgrade
A school district in Indiana aims to make it easier for students to complete their homework by installing wireless Internet on its 65 buses. Educators say providing Internet on school buses will help students who participate in after-school activities and sports that require them to travel. The decision comes as the district prepares to implement a one-to-one laptop program for high-school students. Kokomo Tribune (Ind.) (2/12)
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Managing Budgets
Could old photos be new fundraising venture for schools?
A new Web service, Class Photo Fund, allows users to upload old yearbook photos and other school photographs that others can purchase online. The creators of the site, Peter Nordberg and Michelle Luhan Nordberg, say it is being marketed, in part, as a way for schools to raise money. While they say most school class photos are considered public domain, users are urged to be careful of photo copyright issues. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Bucks blog (2/14)
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Schools and Social Media
Teachers take lesson planning to the Web
The job of lesson planning can be made a little bit easier if teachers use Web 2.0 tools, according to consultant Lisa Michelle Dabbs. In this blog post, Dabbs writes that Pinterest, the virtual pinboard, allows educators to access visual, clickable resources that educators can click and share. Other sites, including Edcanvas, Livebinders, Storybird and VoiceThread are free and valuable resources for lesson planning, she writes. Edutopia.org/Lisa Michelle Dabbs' blog (2/14)
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Your Views
What is the biggest obstacle to the increased use of classroom technology in your school or district? 
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Last Byte
N.Y. high school, university partner to create "education ecosystem"
Students enrolled at Tech Valley High School in Rensselaer, N.Y., will be moving next year to a new zero-energy nanotechnology building on the campus of the University at Albany. School officials say the partnership to develop the new building, known as the ZEN building, will help close a skills gap in technical jobs. American City Business Journals (2/14)
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Editor's Note
Your SmartBrief has a new look
Noticed 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
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it.
John Ruskin,
British art critic

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Lead Editor:  Katharine Haber
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Publisher, Education Group:  Joe Riddle
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