Educational Technology

How Digital and Media Literacy Impacts Today’s Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:32

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

There are not many teachers complaining that they simply don’t have enough material to cover in their classes. Rather, the opposite is normally the case. So the call to add yet more material—this time, in the form of digital literacy and media literacy—is unlikely to be welcomed wholeheartedly by America’s teachers. And yet these topics are so essential to society at large as well as to each individual student that they demand attention.

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Missouri governor signs virtual schools bill hours before resigning his seat

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:31

by Corinne Lestche, edScoop

Students in Missouri’s public schools will be able to take online courses for free, thanks to legislation signed by scandal-plagued Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday, just hours before he resigned from office. The Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program will significantly expand online education for kids in K-12, while students’ district or charter schools pick up the tab. This will allow students in small, rural or underfunded schools that don’t have adequate teaching staff to take classes in advanced subjects such as Chinese or creative writing.

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Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:36

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The digital writing workspace is convenient for several reasons. A single laptop or tablet can hold all the books and materials a student needs. It can also contain tools for research, entertainment activities, and curated music. The tech devices make learning more accessible. With the push of a button or a tap on a screen, students can activate engaging learning experiences, or they can record lectures. Convenience, however, doesn’t trump old-fashioned writing by hand when it comes to learning. Writing by hand has benefits that technology has not been able to reproduce – yet.

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6 technologies you must know for a job in IT-sector

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:35

by Menafn

As a software engineer, if you are beginning your career, or thinking of a change, web technology is the space to be in. Jobs here have increased sharply in recent times. And why not? The world today is functioning on computers. But if you don’t have much knowledge about this field, don’t worry. The following courses are enough to start you on your journey. The most in demand are React JS and Angular .

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Amgen Foundation And Harvard Team Up To Offer Free Online Science Education Platform

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 00:30

The Amgen Foundation and Harvard University today announced plans to launch a free online science education platform uniquely designed to level the playing field for aspiring scientists. The LabXchange platform, which will launch with a focus in biology, will offer digital instruction and virtual lab experiences to high school and college students, enabling them to gain meaningful exposure to the scientific process. It will also include online networking focused on collaboration and mentoring.

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California Connections Academy provides education outside a classroom setting

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:40

by Ridge Crest California

Most of the coursework is done in a virtual classroom environment via the Internet. As an online public school, it’s a tuition-free program, with all required texts and instructional material provided at no cost. The expenses students and families might face are related to field trips (which are optional) and school supplies like notepads, pens and pencils. Rowe said that past available options were chaotic and sometimes not well-managed and didn’t foster a positive environment. David said it isn’t a struggle to reach out to the teachers in order to get help. “Sometimes the teachers are just a phone number away or a click of a button,” David said. “You don’t have to wait until the next day to talk with your teachers.”

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Missouri students may soon get option of free online courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:36

by Associated Press

New legislation passed in Missouri means as early as next year public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade could have the option to take free online courses. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri House and Senate approved this month what’s been dubbed the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program. If Gov. Eric Greitens signs it, the law could go into effect next summer.

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Seven strategies for minimizing tech services staff issues

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:30

by Mark Rowh, University Business

Tackle issues head-on and promptly. This may be especially important for tech staff who ignore policies, fail to carry their load or can’t seem to get along with co-workers. “Don’t let the bad behavior of a few poison those who want to work,” says CIO Yvette Brown Koottungal at Barry University in Florida. She is also vice president for technology at the university, where she manages a team of 63.

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VR Ed Company Targets Low-Cost Oculus Go for Science Units

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:39

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
VictoryVR, a company that creates virtual reality curriculum for grades 5–12, will be making its science content available for the Oculus Go beginning this summer.
VictoryVR, a company that creates virtual reality curriculum for grades 5–12, will be making its science content available for the Oculus Go beginning this summer. At $199 for the 32 GB edition, the Go is being promoted as “VR for everyone,” serving as an entry-level alternative to pricier options, including the Oculus Rift, which sells for $399. A 64 GB version of the Go is $249.

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How to Use Games to Juice up Science Lessons

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:36

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

The use of gaming for student-centered learning eliminates constraints, increases engagement, boosts collaboration and empowers students to find answers through deep and rich experiences. The idea of using games to facilitate student-centered learning doesn’t eliminate “good teaching,” said Meenoo Rami, author, trainer and teacher and, currently, manager for Minecraft: Education Edition. “The content doesn’t go away. It’s more about meeting the students where they are, taking their passion and turning it into an opportunity for learning.”

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Report: Smartphone Sales Swing up Following Recent Decline

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:30

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal
Worldwide shipments of smartphones grew 1.3 percent, year over year, in the first quarter of 2018 following a decline in sales the previous quarter, according to a report from Gartner. Smartphones made up 84 percent of the total mobile phone market, accounting for nearly 384 million of the 455 million units sold. Much of that good news came at the low end of the market, however. “Demand for premium and high-end smartphones continued to suffer due to marginal incremental benefits during upgrade,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement.

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Teachers Shouldn’t Have To Work Alone — And Now They Don’t Have To

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:40

Michael Horn , Forbes
With the rise of online learning in schools—what educators call blended learning—what teachers do daily is changing in big and small ways.  A central question is what will teaching look like in the future, as online learning can increasingly help students learn knowledge personalized to their specific learning need. Enter a new research paper titled “Innovative Staffing to Personalize Learning: How new teaching roles and blended learning help students succeed” from Public Impact and the Clayton Christensen Institute.  Today’s traditional teaching role asks a lot of teachers. It creates a job that is not that supportive of teachers or their practice. In the future though, there are ample opportunities to leverage blended learning and change the status quo to create more sustainable teaching jobs that also better serve students.

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The Problem With “Learning Styles”

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:31

by Cindi May, Scientific American

A recent review of the scientific literature on learning styles found scant evidence to clearly support the idea that outcomes are best when instructional techniques align with individuals’ learning styles. In fact, there are several studies that contradict this belief. It is clear that people have a strong sense of their own learning preferences (e.g., visual, kinesthetic, intuitive), but it is less clear that these preferences matter. Research by Polly Hussman and Valerie Dean O’Loughlin at Indiana University takes a new look at this important question. Most previous investigations on learning styles focused on classroom learning, and assessed whether instructional style impacted outcomes for different types of learners. Some might argue that, in this era of flipped classrooms and online course materials, students master more of the information on their own. That might explain why instructional style in the classroom matters little. It also raises the possibility that learning styles do matter—perhaps a match between students’ individual learning styles and their study strategies is the key to optimal outcomes.

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How to Use Google Slides in the Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:29

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Google Slides is a presentation product; it is quite similar to the more-familiar PowerPoint. But since it is part of the Google suite of products, it is free to use. It can be a powerful classroom resource. Here are six ways to use Google Slides in the classroom: First, there is simply no justification for giving a lecture in the age of Google Slides. Teachers can supplement what they are saying with a visual presentation that, research shows, will make it far more likely that students will remember what they have been taught since they will not only have heard but also have seen the information. Visual aids can also be added.

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KCS teacher professional development includes micro-credentials, Google

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 00:40

by RICK WAGNER, Kingsport Times-News
Is your child’s teacher a holder of at least one micro-credential and/or certified proficient with Google tools?  If so, he or she may be part of two overlapping groups of educators in Kingsport City Schools. The micro-credential educators in Kingsport City Schools and across Tennessee are in a pilot program of the state Department of Education, which two local educators said is designed to help teachers improve their ability to teach.

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Help Me, Laptop: What’s the Best Touch-Screen Chromebook?

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 00:35

By Rami Tabari. Laptop
If you’ve ever gone to college, you might know the pain of being a broke college student. That pain gets even sharper the moment your professor tells you need to cough up several hundred dollars for a super-specific textbook. Now replace “textbook” with “laptop,” and you know how our forum member The Phoenix is feeling. Aside from the touch screen and price limit, The Phoenix has a few more requirements for their notebook. They also want a system with at least a 2.0-GHz dual-core or 1.6-GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD with upgradable storage.

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How to Future Proof Your School Districts’ Ecosystem

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

It takes time and attention it takes to get your digital network functioning seamlessly, but this investment is not just important for today but for the future as well. We can be sure that technology will continue to change, but if a basic tenant of your network is that all content and systems adheres to inoperability standards like the one created by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, then wherever the future leads us, your system will be able to follow. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) had a hodgepodge of separate systems in use and digital content from a variety of publishers with proprietary data formats and unique usernames and passwords. While they were in the process of purchasing a new Teaching and Learning System (TLS), they came across the concept of interoperability and decided to make it a district goal. They wanted teachers and students to be able to purchase content from different publishers but to have it all available in one location, one central “hub.”

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Virtual learning could help solve school closures issues

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:35

By Anna Quinn, News Times

Virtual learning and at-home assignments may change the way kids see snow days in Connecticut.  Danbury-area students have spent nearly two weeks or more out of the classroom this year due to snow and storm school closures.  Ridgefield, for example, has requested a waiver from the state to end the year with 179 days — one day short of the required 180 — due to a record-breaking 14 school closures caused by three March snowstorms and the recent macroburst that left thousands without power for days. Other local districts have also requested state waivers.

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‘Square pegs’ avoid ‘round holes’ at online school

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:33

By Kari Bray, Herald Net

This is the school’s second year. It is publicly funded through a partnership with the Mary M. Knight School District north of Elma, and considered an alternative learning experience by the state. The program must meet the same standards — including certified teachers and standardized tests — as other public schools. There were 1,037 students enrolled statewide as of Jan. 31, including 105 from Snohomish County. Enrollment has more than doubled from last year. The online program started with kindergarten through 8th grade and is gradually adding high school levels. By 2020, Washington Connections Academy expects to have its first graduating class, Principal Michael Lunde said.

‘Square pegs’ avoid ‘round holes’ at online school

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Using Google Classroom to Flip Your Lessons

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:31

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Flipping the classroom is a simple concept. While a traditional model involves students learning new material during class time and then practicing it at home, a flipped classroom reverses things so that students learn new material at home—typically by watching a video or other presentation–and then practice during class time. There are two main advantages to flipping the classroom: students seem to be more engaged with their homework when it is a video than when it is a worksheet and, secondly, practice is normally more productive when the teacher is available to helps students who need guidance. Of course, this is a radically different approach to instruction, and adopting it requires significant effort on the part of the teacher.

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