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December 31, 2012
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Head of the Class 
  • Report seeks to help educators assess education technology
    A new report from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology is aimed at helping educators and others evaluate education technology. The report includes a "reference guide" and a "decision-making model" for education-technology purchases. One goal is to offer "greater confidence that investments in cost-effective and cost-saving technology-based interventions are wise, capable producing the outcomes sought," the report states. Education Week/Digital Education blog (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Ill. district pilots middle-school computer science course
    The Champaign, Ill., school district, with the support of community partners and the University of Illinois, has a pilot program to teach computer programming to students at Jefferson Middle School. "They're understanding that you're going to encounter different types of software or technology where the answer might not be right in front of you," science tech teacher Jessica Pitcher said. "They have to use their resources to find where the answer might be." The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, Ill.) (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Systems Management 
  • Mich. law bans requests for social media logins
    Students and potential employees in Michigan will be protected by a new law that prohibits educational institutions and employers from seeking social media login information. Rejecting a job applicant or disciplining a student for refusing to divulge such information will be treated as a misdemeanor, carrying a fine of as much as $1,000. Delaware and California also passed similar legislation. VentureBeat (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Education Cartoon 
Managing Budgets 
  • Middle-school students to use hybrid computers
    A North Dakota school district is preparing to launch a pilot program next year in which students at three middle schools will use hybrid computers that can be used both as laptops and tablets. District officials expect to have purchased the Acer Iconia devices in time to distribute them to students on Valentine's Day. The district is requesting bids on its website and expects to pay about $600 per device. The Forum (Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn.) (free registration) (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
  • Study finds Facebook use could improve students' grades
    A study from a university in Israel finds that students who chat with friends on social networking websites, such as Facebook, have higher exam grades than students who do not. Michael Fire, author of the study, said social networking allowed students to talk one-on-one or arrange to meet elsewhere to help each other study. The findings, Fire said, show the effects of students' friends on their academic performance. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Last Byte 
  • Breaking students out of the classroom cage
    Research shows that one's environment can affect brain development. In this blog post, Jason Flom, director of learning platforms for the Q.E.D. Foundation, writes about what those findings could mean for education. "As we race to embrace standardized stimulation in the form of new-fangled curricula and enhanced assessment batteries, we eliminate play, physical activity, the outdoors, collaboration, creativity and, effectively, communication," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of New Year's Day, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
New Year's Day is every man's birthday."
--Charles Lamb,
English essayist

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