Mass. high-school students create homework communications system | McWhorter: The language miracle of teenage texting | N.Y. company to sell Android-powered touch-screen tablet exclusively to schools
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March 6, 2013
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Is technology forcing out traditional teaching methods?
The use of technology in the classroom may be having some unintended consequences for students and teachers, suggests Matthew Lynch, chairman of the department of elementary and special education and an associate professor of education at Langston University, in Langston, Okla. In this commentary, he writes that with students accustomed the instant gratification provided by technology, teachers "must find ways to keep students interested, but not completely abandon tried-and-true methodology." However, he writes, it remains unclear which traditional teaching methods should remain. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/6)
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Mass. high-school students create homework communications system
Homework assignments at Massachusetts' Ashland High School have been modernized, thanks to senior Ankit Kumar and junior Andrew Walter, who created the computer system called the Homework Beacon. Teachers at the school are starting to use a computerized system that allows them to upload assignments and other information, as well as move the due dates for various assignments and projects in real time. "The fact of the matter is student-teacher communication is stuck in the 20th century," Kumar told the Ashland school committee. The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.) (3/4)
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McWhorter: The language miracle of teenage texting
Linguist John McWhorter argues in a TED talk that texting acronyms, such as LOL, are not the ruination of language that many teachers and parents believe them to be. He says they have actually come to imply shades of meaning and levels of subtly distinct from spoken words. "Emergent complexity, this is what we're seeing in this fingered speech," he said. Fast Company online (2/28)
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Other News

"Wakes us up and challenges us to infuse new life, depth, and joy into the warm-up segment of our math block."Lucy West. Number Sense Routines for grades 3-5 shows how routines like Today's Number, Quick Images, and Counting Around the Circle can help students learn to think in more sophisticated ways. Preview the entire book!
Systems Management
Fla. districts could have to post testing schedule online
School districts in Florida would be required to post standardized-testing schedules online under legislation unanimously approved by a state House committee. Under the bill, school districts also must declare which testing they have required beyond state and federal mandates. While some districts do release such information, supporters say they are seeking to make the process more uniform across districts. StateImpact (3/5)
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Managing Budgets
Some Calif. districts are emerging from financial crisis
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said the worst of the state's "school funding crisis is behind us," following the release of a report showing that fewer school districts are in danger of running out of money. A state report shows that, as of May, the number of school districts at risk for being unable to meet financial obligations this year and the next two years is down to 124 from 188 districts. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/5)
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Schools and Social Media
Administrators in Ireland seek to curb cyberbullying
Schools in Ireland are being urged to take a stronger stance against cyberbullying, in part, by educating students about its dangers. Educators also are seeking a social media liaison, dedicated to taking requests from schools. "Principals tell me that the social networks either do not respond or are slow to react to their requests to take down abusive posts about a student in their care," said Clive Byrne, director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals. Silicon Republic (Ireland) (3/4)
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Other News
Last Byte
Study looks at sexting behavior among minority teens
Data from 1,034 10th graders in southeast Texas showed that black males and females had the same sexting practices and were more likely to participate in sexting than Latino males and females. More than 20% of the respondents said they have sent either a nude or semi-nude picture or video, while more than 30% reported receiving a sext. The findings appear in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Booster Shots blog (3/1)
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive!
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival through Tuesday in Austin, Texas, and we need your help! SXSW has too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on social media, leadership, finance, food and beverage or education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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The world is much more interesting than any one discipline."
-- Edward Tufte,
American statistician and professor
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