February 8, 2013
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Head of the Class
Will the common core require technology upgrades?
The consortia tasked with designing tests for the Common Core State Standards have released guidelines aimed at ensuring school districts have the necessary technology in place to effectively implement them. Among the guidelines released by one group are a recommendation to replace the popular Windows XP with Windows 7, upgrade computers to at least 1 gigabyte of internal memory, ensure computer screens measure at least 9.5 inches -- with at least a 1024 x 768 resolution -- and have secure browsers in place. Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (2/6)
Report: Most middle-school students can't use smartphones in class
A recent survey shows a disconnect between the number of middle-school students using smartphones to complete assignments after school -- 39% -- and the number who are allowed to use the devices in the classroom -- 6%. The Verizon Foundation report also shows that students who use laptops, tablets or smartphones in the classroom are more likely to be interested in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (2/6)
Other News
Systems Management
Verizon exec: Virtual data centers are more popular than the cloud
Large enterprises have yet to "wholeheartedly" embrace cloud computing, says Andrews Dobbins, Verizon's Asia-Pacific group vice president. "They have been more interested in virtualizing a data center and having cloud as a capacity management approach," he said, adding that telematics are getting more interest, especially in health care. ARN (Australia) (2/6)
Managing Budgets
Duncan: $2.8B in funds made available due to NCLB waivers
The decision to waive parts of the federal education law for 34 states and the District of Columbia allowed the federal government to provide about $2.8 billion in funding for schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday during a hearing in the U.S. Senate. The hearing comes as lawmakers are considering the future of No Child Left Behind, which has expired. Republicans on the committee criticized the conditions placed on the waivers as federal authority over schools, though Duncan characterized the measures as ensuring accountability. The Baltimore Sun/Reuters (2/7)
Schools and Social Media
Schools in Mich. aim for clear guidelines on social media use
Several school districts in Michigan are working to refine policies on the use of social media. While most teachers and students regularly use the sites in their personal lives, social media use in some schools is heavily regulated, and teachers and students in many cases are asked not to interact online. Some schools, however, allow the practice as long as conduct is professional and interaction is directly related to academics. The Voice (New Baltimore, Mich.) (2/1)
Last Byte
How to encourage students to think critically about history
Teaching history should focus on narratives, not memorizing facts and dates, writes Craig Perrier, high-school social studies specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, Va. In this blog post, Perrier shares examples of the standard narrative found in history textbooks, as well as alternative narratives that could be shared with students. "Teaching history through narratives focuses on knowledge construction, resource evaluation and active learning. These skills speak to the demands of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, global competency and 21st-century education," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/7)
After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.
Alfred E. Perlman,
American businessman

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Contributing Editor:  Erin Cunningham
Publisher, Education Group:  Joe Riddle
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