Educational Technology

Budget would slash funding for online classes, hurt smallest schools most

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 00:29

by MATT HOFFMAN, Billings Gazette

Montana’s proposed budget would slash funding for an online class program that disproportionately serves rural students, where small schools typically struggle to offer specialty classes. The Montana Digital Academy has grown significantly since its first classes in 2010, but it has never received sustainable funding from the state keeping pace with that growth. Instead, one-time-only funding has been added on top of its original $2.3 million allocation. This year, no one-time only funding has been added, effectively resulting in a $1.7 million decrease.

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Jefferson County middle school offering online safety classes to students

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 00:40

by David Belleville, KMOV St. Louis

Administrators at Valley Middle School in House Springs are teaching 6th graders a new class on the internet safety. The district is doing this partly because when students leave middle school, they will be issued laptops. Teachers want to make sure students know how to be smart and safe when they’re online. “When I get online and I see something that might be a hacker, I just do the things I learned in this class to not do it so I don’t get hacked at all,” Destiny Clary, a 6th grader, said. “If its got an update to your computer, don’t do it, ask your parents, let them do it,” she continued. Along with online safety, students are also learning about how to use online tools, such as customizing Google pages or building websites.

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Indiana educators dislike bill that would require them to pay for online courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 00:35

By Rebecca R. Bibbs, The Herald Bulletin

State Rep. Tony Cook, R-Cicero, said he authored HB 1007 to allow students — especially those in more rural areas — to be able to take courses like advanced physics and calculus or those that seek industry certifications without leaving their schools. However, school districts would be required to pay part of the costs up front and pay the remainder once the individual student has been shown to have met the predetermined educational standards. “It definitely was spurred on by the fact that we have a lot of schools who can’t afford to hire a specialty teacher,” the vice chair of the House Education Committee said. “It’s kind of to broaden the horizons and possibilities for kids to take high-interest classes.”

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Blended Learning: How to Make It Work in Your Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Blended learning is the best of both worlds. Online courses, especially in higher education, have become extremely popular. Online courses allow students to watch lectures and complete classwork when and where it’s convenient for them. The rise of online classes has allowed adults who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend college to earn their degrees while continuing to work or raise a family. However, there are some drawbacks to online learning. Many students feel that it is impersonal. Students can feel isolated without the in-person support of classmates. It can also be difficult to get help from professors or ask questions in an online course. By combining online and in-person elements, educators today are creating the best learning environment possible through blended learning.

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