- St. Louis Area Teens Worry about the Unrest that Might Be, Washington Post: Though the media coverage has waned over the last couple months, several area high schools have not stopped discussing Michael Brown. As the grand jury prepares a verdict, several students are voicing concerns about potential for impending unrest.
- Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, Lifts Deportation Threat for Millions, Education Week: What accounts for the most sweeping executive action on immigration in decades, Obama has lifted the threat of deportation for parents of millions of America’s K-12 schoolchildren.
- Chromebooks Get Blanket Approval for NYC Schools, TechCrunch: The NYC DoE recently decided to sign onto a deal with Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education, inking one of the largest deals and endorsements for the low-cost laptops.
- Child Homelessness on the Rise in US, Education Week: The number of homeless children has surged in recent years to an all-time high, amounting to one child in every 30 according to a new report. Problems cited: high poverty rates, lack of affordable housing, and impacts of pervasive domestic violence.
- Kevin Huffman Resigns as TN Schools Chief, Education Week: The controversial chief state school officer Kevin Huffman will be leaving his post for a job in the private sector. Huffman has served as the education commissioner for TN since 2011, and while has had successes he has also been met with many challenges particularly from the teacher’s union.
- US Edtech Brings in $112M in October, EdSurge: US edtech raised $112M in VC money in October. This funding was spread across 15 separate deals, with over 40 unique investors.
- Chromebooks Gaining Popularity in Schools, Education Week: Educators are impressed with the low costs and ease of use with Google’s digital devices. The web-based laptops accounted for nearly 1/3 of all mobile-digital devices sold to schools during the first half of this year.
- Hispanic Students Making Steady Math Progress, Washington Post: Hispanic students have made significant progress on federal math tests during the past decade. Some say the combination of urban districts focusing on new high standards in reading and math as well as professional training for teachers has something to do with the gains.
- Blended Learning: It’s Not the Tech, It’s How the Tech Is Used, Huffington Post: The co-founder of Rocketship Education penned an opinion piece that echoes many thoughts as of late: let’s not just have tech for tech’s sake. We must make smart decisions about when and how to employ digital learning for students.
- Giving Voice to the End Users in Districts’ Tech Decisions, EdSurge: The purchasing manager of Baltimore County Public Schools has some tips for how to make the best decisions when it comes to technology. What’s interesting about this post is that the author plays up the importance of the student voice, something all-too often left out of the equation.
- Tech Skills Only Scratch Surface of Digital Divide, The Hechinger Report: Jordan Shapiro notes that the context within one uses digital tools is very important. Because more affluent students have much more access to technology, they are learning to think, behave, and make meaning in ways that will likely correlate with elite status and success in the future.
- I Teachers Try Blended Learning, Without High-stakes Pressure, The Hechinger Report: While there’s agreement on big picture goals, teachers are encouraged to try new strategies and implement new technologies in schools across the state. Check out what a few charter schools are doing to test the tech-waters.
- When Lifting Cellphone Bans is a Good Thing for Poor Students, The Atlantic: As the nation’s largest school district looks to adopt cellphone policies that make it okay for students to bring these into school, The Atlantic examines why this is a particularly good idea for students from low-income communities.
- A 3rd Grader Pleas for More Game-based Learning, MindShift: This TED Talk is quite inspiring. Hear from a third grader why games are so important for the classroom.
- Can Badges Help Your Child Get Into College? MSU: Part 4 of an ongoing series from MSU examines how digital badges can help kids get into college and showcase more than SAT or ACT scores.
- Re-imagining Teaching in a Blended Classroom: TNTP is out with a new report that helps educators and administrators understand how to create a blended classroom, with a specific focus on the role of the teacher.
- Teacher Training is Ridiculously Easy Way to Ace College, Report Says: A new National Council on Teacher Quality report shows that while it’s one of the hardest professions in the world, we’re making it way too easy to get in and out of in terms of prep.