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October 12, 2012
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Head of the Class 
 
  • How is technology changing standardized testing?
    New online standardized tests set to be implemented in many states in just two years include "computer-enhanced" questions, interactive problems and traditional multiple-choice items. Samples developed by two competing state coalitions have been posted online for evaluation. Federal grants paid for development of the tests, but concerns remain about funding their implementation -- including the cost of computers and bandwidth. The Hechinger Report/HechingerEd blog (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

As students take ownership for learning, teachers will require more support from administrators to become successful classroom facilitators. Thought-leader Alan November shares a wealth of strategies to help you lead the shift of culture in your district. Register today for this free event!
eLearning 
  • English-language learners can benefit from thoughtful use of videos
    Research has shown that videos work well as learning tools for English-language learners, but if not done in strategic ways, they can be overwhelming for students. Teacher Larry Ferlazzo and guest blogger Katie Hull Sypnieski outline eight ways to incorporate videos in the classroom. Included are methods for using the videos to spark class dialogue or group discussions or pair videos with writing exercises. Edutopia.org/Larry Ferlazzo's blog (10/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
  • Report finds leadership is key to success of 1:1 initiatives
    The implementation of 1:1 device programs is more effective when principals and school leaders show confidence and commitment to the initiative, according to a report by Project Red. The report shows that principals must be committed over the life of the project -- not just during implementation -- and ensure that faculty members have enough time to learn the technology. Connected Principals blog (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Systems Management 
  • New software converts PDF text into interactive e-books
    Educators can create interactive textbooks from PDF documents with new software from YUDU Media. The conversion technology allows readers to bookmark and annotate content as well as read across platforms such as PCs and iPads. "Students may need to read and take notes on a Windows PC in the classroom, but then want to pick up where they left off on their iPad at home," said YUDU CEO Richard Stephenson. "With most publishing platforms, this is impossible. YUDU makes it possible." T.H.E. Journal (10/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Some U.K. schools favoring spreadsheets over databases
    Some schools in the U.K. are abandoning proprietary school databases in favor of the good old-fashioned spreadsheet, blogger and former educator John Spencer writes in this post. The spreadsheet is easily customized, can be curated by one or two experts on staff and is compatible across platforms such as MS Excel and Open Office. "As long as [the government] carries on tweaking, then proprietary solutions will always be one or two steps behind. Only spread-sheets are that flexible with a basic user skill set," Spencer writes. Computerworld UK/Spannerman's Edublog (10/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
  • Other News
Managing Budgets 
  • Janus gives $2.1M to Denver schools for blended learning
    Denver Public Schools will receive $2.1 million over three years from the Janus Foundation for blended learning technology. The grant will buy software and hardware and allow the school to hire a director and program staff. "It's tools like blended learning in the hands of quality teachers that will continue to advance learning innovations and cost efficiencies that can truly accelerate closing the achievement gap in America," said Janus CEO Richard Weil. T.H.E. Journal (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Schools and Social Media 
Last Byte 
  • Settlement requires closed-captioning of streamed Internet videos
    Under a new agreement between Netflix and the National Association of the Deaf, all movies and other programming streamed on the Internet by Netflix will be closed-captioned for viewers who are deaf within the next two years. The settlement ends a lawsuit that began in 2010 and gained steam in June when a federal judge ruled that Netflix and other online providers are subject to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (10/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
SmartQuote 
I never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people."
--George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright

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