Week of 4/14-4/18
- With Time Running Out, Sec. Duncan Discusses Lengthy To-Do List, Education Week: Making headlines this week was this interview with Sec. Duncan. He sees several different priorities ahead; chief among them is the transition to the new standards and tests.
- Out in Front and Optimistic about Online Education, NY Times: This interview with new Coursera CEO Richard Levin, former president of Yale, discusses why he made the move to the edtech company, and the future of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
- When the Circus Descends, NY Times Opinion: Op-ed columnist David Brooks argues in this poignant piece that usually when the far right and the far left both attack an idea, it’s actually a pretty good one. The example he uses to illustrate this idea is the Common Core State Standards:
- Scrutinizing Data Privacy Policies of Edmodo, Khan and Pearson, Education Week: Growing public concern over student data privacy (with no thanks to Heartbleed), is prompting fresh scrutiny of the way that educational technology providers handle children’s educational information.
- New SAT Sample Questions Released, US News & World Report: The College Board released a set of example questions that students can expect from the redesigned SAT.
Week of 4/7-4/11
- State Tests No Longer Major Factor in Student Promotions, Wall Street Journal: In a departure from the past decade’s heavy reliance on tests scores to determine which students advance to the next grade, the NYC DoE said Wednesday that schools will use multiple measures instead, creating something called a “promotion portfolio”.
- While the measure is being applauded by a range of groups, including the teachers union and advocacy group Educators 4 Excellence, some fear this will actually lower the bar of expectations for students. Chalkbeat:
- More than Half of Students Engaged in School, Poll Says, Education Week: Students who have teachers who make them feel excited about the future and who attend schools that they see as committed to building their individual strengths are 30 times more likely than other students to show signs of engagement in the classroom—a key predictor of success according to Gallup Education’s poll released Wednesday.
- White House Says More Tech Key to Education, Politico: The White House is working on a developer’s toolkit—a handbook for entrepreneurs to help them understand the needs of the classroom and to spur more innovation for schools.
- K-12 Group Wants to Highlight Common Core Successes, But Delay High Stakes, Education Week: The Learning First Alliance—a group with more than 10 million members, including AASA, NSBA and the National PTA—want to highlight success stories in implementing the standards, but also want to delay the high-stakes associated with CCSS-aligned tests to ensure the standards ultimately succeed.
Week of 3/31-4/4
- US Students Test Well in Problem Solving, But Trail Foreign Counterparts, New York Times: Fifteen-year-olds in the United States scored above the average of those in the developed world on exams assessing problem-solving skills, but they trailed several countries in Asia and Europe as well as Canada, according to PISA (international standardized tests) results released on Tuesday.
- Report Finds Wide Racial Disparity in US for Children’s Well Being, Chicago Tribune: Dominating headlines this week was a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that found persistent inequities in well-being among children of different racial and ethnic groups. African-American, Latino, and American-Indian children’s poverty, poor housing, and lack of access to education pose a national crisis:
- NY State Budget Deal Reached, New York Times: An agreement was reached earlier this week that would provide NYC $300 million for pre-K as requested by de Blasio.
- Common Core Watch, Education Week: As Common Core debates continue on, Education Week has been updating its map to keep pace with the changes. As noted last week, Indiana is the first state to reverse its adoption of the CCSS. Here’s where things stand:
- Blended Learning, But the Data are Useless: A warning from an educator and researcher says that all of the data from blended learning systems and other ed tech tools can be pretty useless if it’s not exportable, if it doesn’t help guide instruction, and if there’s no real correlation in various edtech software to tests like MAP:
- How to Build Effective 1:1 Environments: Educators share their suggestions for successfully implementing programs where each student is given a device. This post is chock full of links providing advice on educational technology, how schools are using technology, and what to be cautious about when giving students tech tools.
- When Schools Choose “Fee” Over Free, EdSurge: Peter Bencivenga, president of CaseNEX/DataCation, a data management system for schools, discusses how he was able to succeed in part by listening closely to the needs of educators. There are great insights into developing smart teacher dashboards that are user-friendly.
- Rethinking High School: President Obama Announces New Youth CareerConnect Grants, U.S. DoE Blog: In an effort to make high school more interesting, and more connected to the world beyond high school, the White House is making a massive push to redesign high schools for the 21st century economy. The Administration wants to see more kids leaving school with skills that employers are looking for, especially in high-demand fields.
- Charting the PD Waters with Badges, EdSurge: So we’ve heard of badging for students but now there’s a lot of talk about how adults can use badges to show the new skills and learning experiences they acquire through professional development. One educator has completely transformed PD at her school with badges for professional learning.
- Top Edtech Tools for Q1, EdSurge: As the first quarter of the year wraps (and we throw a massive welcome party for spring!), EdSurge lists the most popular tools as judged by number of clicks that these products received in its educator-specific INSTRUCT e-newsletter:
- Think We No Longer Need Libraries, Think Again, Digital Promise: Karen Cator, who leads up Digital Promise—an advocacy group authorized by Congress designed to spur innovation in education—discusses how critical it is for us to support our nation’s libraries. Public libraries are a valuable resource for all learners, and a valuable resource in creating a connected community:
- Next Generation Blends Will Teach to One, Education Week Blog: Tom Vander Ark writes about how New Classrooms seeks to develop an instructional model that addresses the inherent limitations in a very common blended learning scenario—the rotational model.
- Speak Up, part of Project Tomorrow, is out with its annual survey on how K-12 students are using digital tools.
- Digital equity, including access to the Internet outside of school, is the primary concern of district tech leads.
- One-third of students in grades 6-12 are using a mobile divide provided by their school to support schoolwork.
- The Alliance For Excellent Education issued a report this week on connected learning.
- The four key facets include 1/. Learners are the focus. By connecting a students’ interest to academic studies, civic engagement, career opportunities, student engagement and learning outcomes improve. 2/. Students are supported by mentors and peers through use of technology 3/.Connected learning takes place anywhere, any time—at home, in school, in the community. Digital tools offer students to work during OST. 4/.Students become makers and producers meaning they are tasked with creating, producing, and designing products.
Equity & Access