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BYOD success stories
District Administration Magazine
Districts that have implemented BYOD successfully have found building a powerful Wi-Fi network, developing explicit acceptable use policies, and communicating those policies clearly to students, parents and teachers are critical steps in the technology transition. While the model of bringing in your own device began decades ago with the push for students to use their own calculators in class, the concept of students using their personal phones, tablets and computers in class took off in 2008, according to Sara Hall, the Alliance for Excellent Education's vice president of digital learning. It has only been growing in popularity since.
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3 ways to avoid summer 'brain drain'
eSchool News
Students and teachers usually can't wait for summer — students, to have a break from classes, and teachers, to catch up on professional development and reflect on the previous school year, all while preparing for the start of the next school year. Three strategies can help students, teachers, administrators and community members improve educational outcomes, at the same time avoiding the summer slide and disconnectedness that comes from summer break.
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Adaptive learning: Are we there yet?
THE Journal
For more than a decade, K-12 educators have been hearing about the potential of adaptive learning, an approach to instruction and remediation that uses technology and accumulated data to provide customized program adjustments based on an individual student's level of demonstrated mastery. But interest in adaptive learning has been heating up in the last couple of years, thanks to new attention from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, new partnerships among education publishers and adaptive platform providers, and a growing list of product vendors. Along with that increasing interest and expanding vendor landscape has come a fair bit of confusion about exactly what the term "adaptive learning" means.
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Reading experience may change the brains of dyslexic students
The New York Times
Among the many challenges faced by children with dyslexia (and by their parents and teachers) is the nagging fear that their difficulties with reading are entirely hard-wired: predetermined by their genes and impossible to change. Recent research offers a balm for that fear. It suggests that experience plays a big role in dyslexia, both in exacerbating reading problems and, potentially, in easing them. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States, affecting more than 10 percent of the population. Its cause has remained a mystery, however, and over the years scientists have advanced many theories about the biological mechanism leading to dyslexic people's struggles with reading.
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Revoking the Common Standards: An idea under consideration in several states
Education Week
Not long ago, Indiana became the first state to "un-adopt" the Common Core State Standards. Indiana might soon have company. A few other states are seriously entertaining giving the standards the elbow. It's intriguing, and worth watching, because as my colleague Andrew Ujifusa has noted, many Common Core attacks at the state level have focused not on the standards but on the assessments developed for them by two federally funded consortia.
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Overtesting students: Some truths about standardized testing
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Tom Martellone, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "Many of us have heard the expression, 'Too much of a good thing is bad for you.' It is no wonder that when people, groups, or organizations take things to the extreme, that misconceptions come about. Additionally, not every person is acquainted with every other person's work. For example, I don't know everything that a doctor does, so therefore, if the doctor is prescribing a lot of medication to patients, it may or may not be warranted, despite what my perception is around prescribing the medication."
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How do teachers use technology?
eSchool News
In education it's easy to get data from one school, district, or even state. But obtaining national data, encompassing most of the teachers in the U.S., is no easy feat, and breaking that data into technology use is even rarer. However, that's exactly what the National Center for Education Statistics accomplished. The data compiled by the NCES is one of the most comprehensive breakdowns of how teachers use technology in classrooms, from professional development to its use in parent and student communication. It also details the availability of the technology, and whether or not teachers make use of it.
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Social and emotional benefits of video games: Metacognition and relationships
MindShift
For years, most people thought that video games were like candy: mostly bad, tempting to children, but okay in moderation. Now we understand that they can have more "nutritional" value than our parents ever imagined.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    5 qualities of a tech-savvy administrator (eSchool News)
Safety planning: How to prepare for the worst (District Administration Magazine)
Why boys fail (and what you can do) (Scholastic Magazine)
More school districts rethink zero-tolerance policies (NPR)
Report: US children read, but not well or often (Reuters)

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The 'new normal' life of a teacher
By: Brian Stack
In the age of accountability, college readiness and the Common Core, the role of PK-20 teachers is changing dramatically in schools and communities across the country. We used to think of teachers as masters of their domain and rulers of their classroom. They took the standards and the curriculum frameworks that their school or district gave them and provided students with instruction and assessment to help their students master the content. Since then, accountability has come knocking on the doorsteps of schools and classrooms everywhere.
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For effective schools, teamwork is not optional
Edutopia
The greatest resource that teachers have is other teachers. But sadly, teamwork and collaboration are not commonly found in schools. Having taught for 20 years myself, I know how it works. Teachers have very challenging and stressful jobs, and part of what contributes to their level of challenge and stress is a teacher's tendency to isolate him- or herself. How many teachers close their door and feel like they are all alone in fighting their overwhelming battle against ignorance and apathy and paperwork and standardized testing?
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How transparency can transform school culture
MindShift
To meet the challenges of teaching in an increasingly connected world, school leaders, educators and community members could benefit from building a culture of transparency and connectivity, creating a culture of sharing around the successes and struggles of teaching and learning. Creating a transparent school starts with a school’s leadership. "Leadership has to buy into the value of connectivity," said Joe Mazza, director of connected teaching, learning and leadership at North Penn School District and a former elementary school principal in an edWeb webinar. "The culture offline or online has to say we care about being open minded to the rest of our learning community whether that's local or global."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword SCHOOL CULTURE.


US youth activity report card gives poor grades to adults
Reuters
American children are scoring failing marks in fitness because of the lure of the Internet, time-pressed parents and the culture of the car, fitness experts say. Only one quarter of children aged 6 to 15 meet the current guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, said Dr. Russell R. Pate, chairman of the nonprofit National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, which issued the first U.S. report card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
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Report highlights impact of more time for teacher collaboration
EdSource
More hours in the school day for teachers as well as students can lead to improved academic achievement, according to a new report that studies 17 schools across the nation that give teachers more time for collaboration and professional development. The average American teacher spends less than 20 percent of school time outside the classroom — about seven hours per week — according to "Rethinking Teacher Time," a report released Wednesday by the National Center on Time and Learning, a nonprofit group based in Boston that promotes expanding the regular school day.
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Why education is the most important revolution of our time
NPR
Learning is something people, like other animals, do whenever our eyes are open. Education, though, is uniquely human, and right now it's at an unusual point of flux. By some accounts, education is a ripe for disruption. Others see it as almost a sacred pursuit — a means of nurturing developing minds while preserving tradition. Around the world, education means equal rights and opportunity. People risk their lives for it every day.
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Feds warn charters on special education
Disability Scoop
Charter schools must provide special education services and ensure that students with disabilities are not discriminated against just like traditional public schools, federal education officials say. In a "Dear Colleague" letter, the U.S. Department of Education said that charters have the same obligations as regular public schools to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in addition to other federal civil rights laws. Such responsibilities are the same whether or not charters receive federal funding, the Education Department guidance indicates.
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Spending bill would allow some schools to wiggle out of new nutrition standards
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to grant schools a waiver from some strengthened school nutrition standards for the 2014-2015 school year if they can demonstrate that compliance created an economic hardship, under a bill crafted by the House of Representatives panel that oversees the school lunch program. The language, included in spending legislation, would require waivers for districts that can demonstrate "a net loss from operating a food service program for a period of at least 6 months that begins on or after July 1, 2013."
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States tightening loopholes in school vaccine laws
Education Week
As outbreaks of preventable diseases have spread around the country in recent years, some states have been re-evaluating how and why they allow parents to opt their children out of vaccines required for school attendance. Requiring vaccines before school admission has been a key component of a decades-long campaign that had nearly rid the United States of some of its most severe illnesses, from the measles to whooping cough, public-health experts say.
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Still apart: Map shows states with most-segregated schools
USA Today
Segregation is still widespread at American public schools, 60 years after the landmark Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ruling, a new report shows. And it no longer impacts just black and white students. Black and Latino students are more likely to attend schools with mostly poor students, while white and Asian students are more likely to attend middle-class schools, according to a report by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.
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How do teachers use technology?
eSchool News
In education it's easy to get data from one school, district, or even state. But obtaining national data, encompassing most of the teachers in the U.S., is no easy feat, and breaking that data into technology use is even rarer.

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5 common myths about school administration
eSchool News
It's not always teachers who face criticism in the U.S. Many school administrators say that misconceptions about their career motivations and the position in general still exist today — and many myths have survived for decades.

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How much teachers get paid — State by state
The Washington Post
How much do teachers across the United States get paid? Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago.

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Elementary school 'fails' nearly double in annual Maine grading
Portland Press Herald
The number of Maine elementary schools that got failing grades for the last academic year nearly doubled, according to statewide school report cards released Thursday by the Department of Education. Data from the department shows that 52 elementary schools – covering students through eighth grade – received F grades for the 2012-2013 school year, up from 29 for 2011-2012, the report card program's first year. Another 61 elementary schools received D grades for the 2012-2013 school year, up from 48 a year earlier.
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Ohio school lockdown puts officials at nexus of violence and race: Lessons?
The Christian Science Monitor
After permanently locking down a Cincinnati-area elementary school to protect kids from frequent gunfire, Ohio education officials are now under rhetorical fire from local residents, who allege the hard security measures have racist overtones. Princeton City School District officials decided this week to lock down Lincoln Heights Elementary School for the rest of the year, meaning the cancellation primarily of outside activities like recess and P.E. Officials cited several previous lockdowns that resulted from gunfire incidents, including a bullet entering a school bus and lodging next to a bus driver's head, as their reasoning.
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Report: Mississippi's rural schools growing in diversity, poverty
The Hechinger Report
Rural schools in Mississippi are growing in enrollment and serving more low-income and minority students than previous years, according to a report. The Rural School and Community Trust, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit, released "Why Rural Matters," its seventh biennial report that examines education data, socioeconomic factors, funding, and policy in each state. The report ranks states based on 24 data points, or "indicators," to determine which states have the greatest need "for policymakers to address rural education issues within that state."
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Register now for 2014 NAESP conference
NAESP
There's no other event like the NAESP National Conference and Expo, July 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. Only here can you make the contacts, share the ideas, and discover the solutions that will inform your entire school year. Don't let it happen without you! Register today.
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NAESP launches National Panel of New Principals
NAESP
Calling all first- and second-year principals! The National Panel of New Principals is the only initiative of its kind that is dedicated to principals in the first or second year of their principalship. By participating, new principals will contribute to a dynamic knowledge base about what it's really like to be a new principal today.
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