Educational Technology

The EdTech Trends To Look Out For In 2015

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 00:40

by Nick Morrison, Forbes

For many educators, technology is now a key tool in their practice, and in some cases even shapes the way they teach. While technology is undoubtedly a useful weapon in any teacher’s armoury, there is a lot of talk about the latest gizmo and not enough about what helps students learn. Not so much a trend as an aspiration is that 2015 will see more inquiry into how technology aids teaching and learning, with less emphasis on the technology and more on showing how it makes a difference. After all, technology in education is a means to an end, not an end in itself. So I thought it would be useful to round up some of the key trends in educational technology to look out for in 2015.

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Computers, coding focus of science center’s Hack Shack club

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 00:29

by Palm Beach Post

Welcome to the Hack Shack. It’s South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s newest technology club for students in fifth to eighth grade (no hacking involved!) who want to explore computers and coding. Fox Lopez is one of them. “I really want to make my own apps and games for mobile devices and I thought the Hack Shack would be a good way to learn,” says the 11-year-old Delray Beach resident. “I also enjoy seeing what the other Hack Shackers are working on. I enjoy the interaction with other kids who like what I like.” Chris Pait with Spencer Brown, 10, of Wellington at the December session of Hack Shack. The club, which meets monthly, provides a relaxed and informal environment where kids can explore and experiment with different kinds of computer-based technology, says Chris Pait, the center’s technical programs coordinator.

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Vocab Tech For Toddlers Encourages ‘Anytime, Anywhere Learning’

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 00:27

by Lynn Neary, National Public Radio

These days, a toddler is just as likely to meet Big Bird for the first time on a tablet or smartphone as on TV, says Michael Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. “Kids tend to consume across platforms and across settings,” Levine says. “They’re on the couch, they’re in the living room, they’re outside even, or they’re on the go. So these mobile media and these interactive platforms allow for anytime, anywhere learning.” Sesame Workshop is building on the popularity of characters like Big Bird as well as 45 years of educational research to create new digital products for young children. Testing is a key step in the development of these products.

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Technology moves faster than ethics

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 00:40

By Frank Kaufmann, Washington Times

Tech changes out-pace spiritual foundations for their ethical use. Tech changes affect three areas. Individuals acquire greater independence and reach. The locus of power shifts accordingly. And traditional buffers between discordant groups dissolve. These developments call for new structures for moral development, and the radical reassessment of human organization. Science fiction writers are doing far better reflecting on change and what is needed than those presumably responsible to govern or lead for the sake of positive human welfare. Virtually all current systems have been rendered obsolete by tech developments of the last 15 years. We race with these obsolete systems down the path toward a truly broken world with each passing day; politics, media and entertainment, education, security, and economics and finance, and more. All of these in their current form arose in the past era marking the rise of the nation state, and of “modern” industrial technology. They simply no longer correspond to the world in which we now live.

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5 Time-Saving Ways Teachers Can Use Google Forms

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 00:35

By Jennifer Carey, Edudemic

One of my favorite features of Google Drive is Google Forms. If you’re unfamiliar with this, think of it as a way to create quick surveys that can be used for a number of applications. Google automatically aggregates this data into a Google Spreadsheet, making forms a great way to quickly collect and share information. I have seen educators and administrators use Google Forms in the most creative and inventive ways. If you’re just starting with Google Forms, here are five ways that you can use them to streamline your classroom!

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Schools look for creative ways to make e-textbooks a possibility

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 00:30

by Heather Mullinix, Crossville-Chronicle

“If it never starts, there is never going to be a shift. To me, let’s take that money that we were going to buy new math textbooks and let’s do something creative and culture shifting with that money instead of continuing to replicate the past,” he added. The school system will be considering adoption of new math textbooks this year and possible purchase of new books for the next school year at an estimated cost of $500,000. However, the school system has also been exploring possibilities for reducing the reliance on printed textbooks with laptops or tablets for each student to access digital learning content in school and at home. “The only way we’ll ever be able to go in this direction is if we have a culture change, we have the professional development to back it up, and we have the ability to utilize textbooks that are free or extremely reduced in cost.”

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Competition essential to solving U.S. STEM gap

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 01/04/2015 - 00:40

by eSchool News

Developing a rigorous vetting process for talented teachers and opening up school choice options are paramount to engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Research Fellow Lloyd Bentsen IV. “It’s important to remember that real education reforms are necessary to effectively engage our students in the education process,” says Bentsen. “Finding and retaining more talented teachers and allowing students to choose the school that makes them the most comfortable are both key to engaging students in difficult subjects like STEM-related education.”

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How to Turn Computer Games into Lesson Plans

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 01/04/2015 - 00:35

By James Hinton, Edudemic

Edutainment is now a very popular tool in the classroom. Current students tend to be computer savvy gamers with a hefty appetite for active learning. A wide variety of edutainment has been created for the classroom to meet this need. But sometimes purpose built software doesn’t meet the specific needs of a given classroom. When that occurs a teacher may have to get a little creative and find ways to adapt commercially available games meant for private gamers. At the university level various professors have engaged in novel solutions. For example, Boise State uses Second Life as an interactive classroom. I myself found Empires III surprisingly helpful in learning how the Tokugawa Shogunate came to power during my military history studies. But what about at the highschool level? Have highschool teachers been able to similarly adapt? Today I’d like to share three real world examples where teachers did precisely this. Hopefully by looking at how they adapted popular games to their classrooms you’ll find inspiration that will help you in your own classrooms. Our three examples are Jeremiah McCall, Dan Bloom, and Don LaBonte.

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State of Delaware offering AP computer science online

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 01/04/2015 - 00:30

by Matthew Albright, The News Journal

There are plenty of companies in Delaware who are keenly interested in students seeking computer science degrees. Whether it’s J.P. Morgan Chase seeking cybersecurity experts and technicians to run their massive data operations or PSEG Nuclear that needs experts to maintain its important computer infrastructure, many companies say they are having a hard time finding employess with specialized computer skills they need. AP Computer Science could be a huge boost for students seeking those skills. The class teaches students some of the fundamentals of programming and coding, and could give them a head start into a computer science major in college. The problem, though, is that most schools don’t have enough students who are interested in taking the class to justify the cost of administering it or pulling a teacher aside for it. That’s why the state has started offering the course online.

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Nearly half of workers say Internet improves productivity

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 00:40

by Dan Kedmey, TIME

Nearly half of workers say that the Internet, distractions and all, has improved their productivity at the office, according to a report released last Tuesday. Pew Research Center asked 1,066 Internet users how web access has changed the way they work. Only 7% of respondents blamed the Internet for a decline in productivity, while 46% credited it as an improvement, opening up new paths of communication and extending their workday over longer and more flexible hours. More than one-third of respondents said that round-the-clock Internet access means they now work longer days than they used to.

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App transforms assignments from textbooks to tablets at Raleigh County school

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 00:35

By JESSICA FARRISH, The Register-Herald

Mabscott Elementary School students are putting down their pencils and papers and picking up their iPads as the second year of the iRaleigh Initiative takes shape in district classrooms. Through Showbie — an iPad app that fifth-grade math teacher Emily Greene pioneered at Mabscott — students are completing assignments exclusively with the iPad and getting immediate help with homework from their classroom teachers.–Tablet-Based-Assignments

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Online program to help Madison City Schools bring chess to more students

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 00:30

By Crystal Bonvillian,

A new licensing agreement approved by the Madison school board has given a boost to the already-vibrant chess program in the city’s schools.The board recently approved a one-year site license agreement that provides students with access to, the school-based arm of John Peck, public relations manager for the school district, said every elementary student in the system, plus students enrolled in the middle school chess elective or on one of the schools’ chess teams will have access to the site. Training on using the site begins next month.

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Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 00:35


Hundreds of students fill the seats, but the lecture hall stays quiet enough for everyone to hear each cough and crumpling piece of paper. The instructor speaks from a podium for nearly the entire 80 minutes. Most students take notes. Some scan the Internet. A few doze. In a nearby hall, an instructor, Catherine Uvarov, peppers students with questions and presses them to explain and expand on their answers. Every few minutes, she has them solve problems in small groups. Running up and down the aisles, she sticks a microphone in front of a startled face, looking for an answer. Students dare not nod off or show up without doing the reading.

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Report: N.H. virtual school has 12,000 taking classes

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 00:30


Six years after it launched, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School has more than 12,000 high school students taking at least one class via the online program. New Hampshire Public Radio reported this week that the free program appeals to several kinds of students: Those who are making up classes they failed in a classroom setting so they can graduate with their peers; students looking to graduate early or earn college credits while still in high school; and full-time online learners who thrive in that environment.

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Tablets make great learning tools for kids, but parents should be vigilant

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 00:27

By CAL POWELL, Online Athens

A University of Georgia human development specialist says the introduction of touchscreen tablets into the marketplace represents a technological “game changer” for kids. “The iPad and other tablets are logical: I touch this and something happens,” said Diane Bales, associate professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and UGA Extension specialist. “You’re seeing the connection between the action, and the interface is so easy.” The challenge for parents can be managing their child’s use of the device. “It can be misused,” Bales said. “There are a lot of apps and programs marketed to children that are not very appropriate in terms of being child-directed that aren’t building any deep knowledge.

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2014: One Educator’s Year in Review

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 00:39

by Vicki Davis, Edutopia

The person who never makes mistakes never makes progress. As we embark on new journeys in 2015, remember that there’s truly nothing new under the sun and learn from what has gone before in 2014. For if we cannot inhale the fresh wind of progress, we will surely asphyxiate in the stale wind of yesterday’s exhale. So here’s my pondering on the stories, conversations, and stats of 2014 that suggest trends in education. I hope you’ll add more about the trends you see.

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Exitticket: Creating Individualized Instruction for Students

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 00:35

By Edudemic

When it comes to crafting individualized instruction for your students, ExitTicket tops the class. Tested against other apps in its category, this app emerged as the fullest-featured piece of exit ticket software I’ve seen. Although indispensable for offering individualized instruction, it also offers the additional advantages of being aligned with national Common Core and Science Standards initiatives. After using it over the course of a week for lesson-planning and student assessment, I found that Exitticket’s features and continuity with educational standards create a seamless experience.

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Cuomo Signs Online Learning Bill

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 01/01/2015 - 00:30

by Post-Journal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law authored by state Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean, chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, that will help bring more academic enrichment and opportunities to classrooms across the state. Senate Bill 5509-C calls for the creation of a statewide online and blended learning program. It addresses the need for new technology and teaching systems that will change the classroom experience for students by providing them with access to unique courses and innovative instructional methods. Virtual learning programs include online courses as well as blended learning initiatives that combine both a physical location with online resources. They provide schools with cost-effective opportunities for students to access coursework and educational resources otherwise not available.

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