February 26, 2021
SmartBrief on Special Education
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Curriculum & Instruction
Schools work to provide students emotional support
Students' social-emotional skills have declined during the pandemic, according to a survey of students in the Dallas area. Schools typically provide or help connect students with much-needed mental health support, says Sharon Hoover of the University of Maryland, and the disruption caused by the pandemic has created barriers between students and the services they require.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (2/26) 
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How to conquer the middle of project-based learning
The middle section of project-based learning can often be harder for students, writes Michael McDowell, superintendent of the Ross School District in California. McDowell details three areas for teachers to focus on: direct instruction; feedback and self-evaluation; and building skills in talking, reading and writing.
Full Story: Edutopia (2/24) 
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Educational Leadership
Rural tribal communities get internet access
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Kimball Sekaquaptewa, chief technology director at Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico, worked over the past year to expand access to remote instruction in an area where about 2 in 5 students have at-home access to high-speed internet. Sekaquaptewa says every student and staff member at the school now has access to the internet via wireless-enabled laptops with a SIM card loaded with data.
Full Story: Reuters (2/25) 
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Technology Trends
Opinion: How video platforms will shape learning
After a year of remote instruction, video platforms continue to evolve and it's likely they'll be part of learning going forward, writes Betsy Corcoran, co-founder of EdSurge. In this commentary, Corcoran compares various platforms for engagement, use of artificial intelligence and how they navigate student privacy concerns.
Full Story: EdSurge (2/25) 
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Policy News
As the US House of Representatives moves toward passing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package -- with $129 billion for K-12 public schools -- it has prompted officials to consider how funds in previous packages were spent. A Congressional Budget Office analysis found that the bulk of previous funds have not yet been spent.
Full Story: Education Week (2/24) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Researchers from the University of Houston are studying how the brain responds to art and hope to use their research to help people use their brains to regain control of damaged limbs. "We want to restore movement in people with disabilities by focusing on detecting movement intent," said Jose L. Contreras-Vidal, a professor studying noninvasive brain-machine interface systems and neuroprosthetics.
Full Story: Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (2/23) 
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Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
Muhammad Ali,
professional heavyweight boxer, social activist, entertainer, philanthropist
February is Black History Month
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