Tonight's homework: Play Minecraft | E-books, Wiki page replace paperbacks, pens in all-digital English class | Pa. school converts classroom into role-playing simulator
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March 18, 2013
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Head of the Class
How are schools preparing students for the shift to one-to-one?
While students are technology-savvy in their personal lives, they may be resistant to shifting to a one-to-one environment in school, writes David Jakes, coordinator of instructional technology in an Illinois district. In this blog post, Jakes writes that educators should expect some degree of push-back as they alter what "normal" means at school and change how students use technology. He writes that how schools prepare students for this change "will speak volumes about the type of learning culture your school has." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/15)
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eLearning
Tonight's homework: Play Minecraft
A growing number of teachers are using the computer game Minecraft -- a building game similar to Legos -- to help teach students lessons in history and math. Two social studies teachers in the District of Columbia use the game to help sixth-grade students develop a Roman city. Now, TeacherGaming is helping educators integrate Minecraft into their teaching -- solving technical problems and helping teachers get set up with the program. The Washington Post (3/14)
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Other News
Systems Management
Pa. school converts classroom into role-playing simulator
Shaler Area Elementary School in Glenshaw, Pa., is using an $80,000 grant to transform a classroom into the "IKS Titan," an interactive simulator for classroom lessons and special "missions" for students in grades 4 to 6. The room will be outfitted with iPads, an interactive whiteboard and other technology that can help students take on a part, such as biologist or ship captain, in various interdisciplinary role-playing lessons on topics ranging from history and literature to concepts in science, technology, engineering and math. T.H.E. Journal (3/14)
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Other News
Managing Budgets
Investment in technology pays off at Calif. middle school
Vista Verde Middle School in California recently was named the "most technologically advanced" in Monterey County -- based on the district's $600,000 technology investment and the school's improved student achievement. Monterey Peninsula Unified School District has spent between $15 million and $17 million since 2009, in part, to purchase more computers for students and provide faster Internet. The Monterey County Herald (Calif.) (3/16)
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Ind. district sells software program statewide
The Peru, Ind., school district expects to raise about $125,000 by selling its Academic Monitoring Package software to 26 other districts in the state. To reduce strain on the technology department, the goal is to have about 20 districts using the software at a cost of $7,500 annually -- less than the $50,000 charged by other companies for similar software. Kokomo Tribune (Ind.) (3/18)
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Schools and Social Media
Students read Holocaust survivor's bio for Twitter Book Club
High-school students in schools across Canada are spending spring break reading "Survival Kit," written by Holocaust survivor Zuzana Sermer, and tweeting their observations and reactions to the historical book. The Twitter Book Club project involves students reading and reacting to the tweets of their peers. Scott Masters, head of social studies at North York's Crestwood Preparatory College in Ontario, said he described the Twitter Book Club to his students as doing a book report one tweet at a time. "I think it's an idea with great potential and the wave of the future. This (social media) is where these kids live so re-purpose it," Masters said. InsideToronto.com/North York Mirror (3/14)
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Last Byte
How to bring more girls into STEM
Women working in science, technology, engineering and math fields owe it to the next generation of young women to help them see the potential in STEM careers, writes Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter, senior vice president, global foods, R&D, PepsiCo. "Mentors play a critical role in bringing new people -- and particularly women -- to careers in STEM," she writes. The Huffington Post/The Blog (3/14)
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SmartQuote
The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scales."
-- Aesop,
Greek storyteller
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