Below is the list of news, blogs, and reports that caught our eye this month.
Week of Oct. 20-24
- Level Up Learning Captures State of Digital Games in the Classroom, Games + Learning: The latest report from the Cooney Center/Games + Learning Publishing Council shows that there’s increasing momentum for games in the classroom. Specifically teachers are finding promise in the ability of games to motivate low-performing students.
- NYC Chancellor Forges a New Schooling Era for Nation’s Largest District, Education Week: Among changes happening in the district, Chancellor Fariña has ended the policy of only using test scores to make high-stakes decisions about promoting students to next grade level, started different programs for teachers and principals to collaborate, created a senior position to oversee ELL, policies and has also pledged extra support for ELL students.
- What is Personalized Learning? Education Week: A number of edtech organizations are seeking to clarify what the term really means. This special section dives deep into the hot topic.
- Second Immigration Wave Lifts Diversity to Record High, USA Today: In a special report, USA Today looks into what is being called the biggest wave of immigration since the turn of the last century. This builds on earlier reports that minorities now comprise, for the first time ever, more than half of the American student population.
Week of Oct. 13-17
- Deasy Resigns as LAUSD Chief After Mounting Criticism, NY Times: Mr. Deasy, a strong proponent of new technology in schools and of holding teachers accountable for improving student test scores, has faced mounting criticism from board members and teachers who saw him as an enemy. Detractors of Mr. Deasy also have been vocal about his failed implementation of the messy, now infamous, iPad rollout.
- Poor Kids are Starving for Words, The Atlantic: According to a new initiative announced at the White House this month, the “word gap” that afflicts low-income children needs to be addressed with the same passion as child hunger.
- Karen Lewis Has Brain Tumor, Will Not Run for Mayor, Chicago Sun Times: Chicago Teachers Union head Lewis, has pulled out of the contentious race with the current mayor because of a cancerous brain tumor.
- Groups Honing Real-time Teacher-Performance Exam, Education Week: The University of Michigan and the Educational Testing Service are developing a new assessment that they hope can measure teacher candidates’ ability to execute key aspects of instruction, like leading class discussion and asking probing questions to gauge students’ understanding.
Week of Sept. 29-Oct. 3
- US Deputy Ed Secretary to Step Down, Education Week: Jim Shelton is planning to resign from his post as the number two official at the US DoE at the end of the year. Shelton spent time in the Office of Innovation & Improvement, as well as outside the government with NSVF and McKinsey.
- US HS Dropout Rate falls to Record Low, Pew Research Center: Driven by improvements among blacks and Hispanics, US high school students are staying in school at record numbers according to new data released from the Census Bureau.
- With Steven Hodas Gone, What Happens to NY’s iZone?, edSurge: The head of the NYC iZone has stepped down. The biggest reason he cites is the shifting realities of a new de Blasio Administration. He says he’s confident of the foundation he’s built and that the good work of the zone will continue.
- Teachers Taking Next Gen Learning to Scale, Huffington Post: Tom Vander Ark discusses failures of sweeping reforms, especially in urban centers across the country over the last several years. But he says there’s promise in the ways that teachers are using digital tools to engage students and extend learning; and these teachers have the potential to exhibit leadership to help others adopt their practices.
- The Short Shelf Life of Urban Supts, NPR Ed Blog: In what feels like a month of urban ed-related news, this short radio clip discusses the challenges for urban districts to make long-standing change with the ever-revolving door of leadership.
- 6 Lessons for Edtech Entrepreneurs: School districts are better customers than you think; competition is for losers; solve real problems—these are a few of the lessons that EdSurge recommends to those in the edtech industry.
- 3 Ways Tech Buoys At-Risk Students, eSchool News: If implemented correctly, this article argues that tech can greatly help at-risk students. The right blend of teachers and tech is critical to student success.
- Video Games, Henry Ford, and the Problems of Modern Education, Forbes: Edtech journalist Jordan Shapiro argues that games have the capacity to nurture critical thinking skills, uncertainty, creativity, empathy and human dignity.
- Using Games to Promote Evidence Based Learning, The Journal: One teacher discusses the benefits of using games in the classroom. One of the best things: “more of a formative than a summative assessment” of student learning.
- How GlassLab Teamed Up With NASA To Make a Game that Teaches Argumentation, VentureBeat: VB interviews Jessica Lindl, president of GlassLab, to discuss how the organization’s latest learning game came to fruition.
- Blended Learning & The Paradox of the Experienced Teacher, eSchool News: The move to blended learning can be threatening, even for good teachers. Being aware of their possible concerns is vital for those leading change in organizations.
- Core of the Matter: Using CCSS Electives to Spark a Love of Reading, AEE Blog: A veteran ELA teacher pens a blog for the nonprofit talking about how she was able to create a classroom that was excited to read. This is her way of contributing to closing the opportunity gap that still looms large in our urban low-income communities.
- EdTech, Could It Be Different This Time?, edSurge: In an opinion piece from one of the masterminds behind Oracle, this blog post dissects the edtech market, including a thoughtful explanation on the difference between the edtech hardware market and the individual instructional software market. This is a must-read!
REPORTS AND SURVEYS
- Opportunity Nation Releases State of Economic, Education and Civic Factors: This annual Opportunity Index examines how certain policies, changes in economics, and access to education expand or restrict upward mobility for Americans. Opportunity Nation is a bipartisan coalition of businesses, nonprofits, ed institutions, and community groups working to close the opportunity gap.
- Teachers’ Views on the CCSS One Year Later, Scholastic/Gates Foundation: A new survey released shows that despite the widespread controversy, the use of the new set of standards is going well.
- Course Access, Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students. iNACOL, an organization focused on online and digital learning, has written a new report that advocates to expand access to courses in an effort to increase quality in education.
- Survey says half of urban parents say CCSS is beneficial. The Council of Great City Schools just released a survey of more than 600 parents, one-third of which were identified as being from households that make less than $25,000/year.