July 30, 2021
SmartBrief on Special Education
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Curriculum & Instruction
Internships prepare students for life after school
Students with disabilities from Madisonville, Texas, recently completed a five-week internship with local businesses that taught them work and life skills. Teacher Suzanne Smith says the program creates a support network for students with special needs within the community, all while preparing students to find employment after graduation.
Full Story: The Madisonville Meteor online (Texas) (7/27) 
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Tips to support teaching, learning in new year
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Susan Shapiro, an assistant professor at the Touro College Graduate School of Education, offers five tips to help support teaching and learning in the 2021-22 school year. In this commentary, Shapiro offers ideas for teachers, including to allow time for socializing when dividing students into small groups and recognizing that learning took a step back during the pandemic.
Full Story: T.H.E. Journal (7/29) 
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Stakeholder Input is Vital to the Success of Virtual Learning
Educational stakeholders share an overwhelming belief in the importance of learning, and their support is crucial to online programs. This SmartFocus looks at the vital roles and strategies of teachers, parents, community partners, and students in the success of virtual learning programs.
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Educational Leadership
The Illinois State Board of Education is following the CDC's lead, recommending in a tweet that students and staff wear face masks indoors at schools to reduce the spread of the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant. "School boards that choose not to implement public health guidance are putting their students and staff at risk and should consult with their insurers as to potential liability," state board spokesperson Januari Trader says.
Full Story: Chalkbeat/Chicago (7/28) 
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Improving Teacher Wellness and Self-Care
As teachers prepare to head back to the classroom, many are looking for ways to manage and protect their mental and emotional health, especially after what has been an incredibly taxing past year. Join SmartBrief on August 26th as mental health experts offer practical tips and ideas to help teachers and school leaders. Register Now
Technology Trends
AI systems can read lips now
New artificial intelligence systems read people's lips by deciphering visemes -- the movements associated with speech. The technology can be useful for noisy situations, patients with vocal cord impairments and movie subtitling, but also raises concerns about corporate surveillance and deepfake production.
Full Story: The Hindu (India) (7/29) 
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Policy News
Lawmakers in Congress are considering an infrastructure plan that would include $5 billion for zero- and low-emission school buses and billions more for broadband internet. However, it's unclear whether schools will receive additional funding for infrastructure needs, which have risen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Story: Education Week (7/29) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Researchers surveyed almost 4,000 high school youths in Pennsylvania and found higher rates of bullying among those who were part of multiple stigmatized groups. The findings in JAMA Network Open also showed that experiences with bullying were linked to forgone medical care, self-harm, suicidal ideation and greater involvement in violence.
Full Story: HealthDay News (7/27) 
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And that's the world's biggest problem: the future is seen as someone else's concern.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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