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5 education technology trends to watch for the new school year
eSchool News
The "maker movement" makes waves in K-12 schools, and school leaders try to navigate a data privacy minefield while also bracing for online testing: These are among the top ed-tech trends to watch for the new school year. Recently, eSchool News counted down the top five ed-tech stories to watch for 2014-2015.
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The dangers of heavy backpacks — And how kids can wear them safely
The Huffington Post
Between studying, homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school may make kids feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. And sometimes, they literally do. After you pile a lunch, school supplies, binders and textbooks — which typically weigh 3.5 lbs each — into your child's backpack, the load he or she is lugging around could be huge ... and potentially dangerous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries every year.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword BACKPACK.




Your child's next field trip may be a virtual one
ABC News
Your child's next field trip may not require a permission slip or a brightly-colored t-shirt that matches his classmates. It may not require any traveling at all, and yet he or she might be interacting with people and places on the other side of the world. Skype in the Classroom uses technology to bring students — some less fortunate — on virtual field trips or to hear lessons from noteworthy people in various career fields.
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Need help picking the right learning game? Some things to consider
MindShift
To make sense of the broad and complex world of games and learning, we're inclined to create neatly organized lists and categories. The truth is that there are so many different kinds of learning games, it's difficult to break them down into clear-cut categories. Especially in an atmosphere of ed-tech entrepreneurship that aims to disrupt our habitual way of thinking about education, familiar classification structures can sometimes hold us back more than they move us forward.
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Use these 4 apps for phonics, art exploration and more
eSchool News
Each week, eSchool News features a new App of the Week on their website and in their newsletters. These apps are for students or educators and offer a range of uses. But one thing is certain: educators and students are using apps now more than ever.
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Social class makes a difference in how children tackle classroom problems
Indiana University via Science Daily
Social class can account for differences in how parents coach their children to manage classroom challenges, a study shows. Such differences can affect a child's education by reproducing inequalities in the classroom. With the widening gaps in educational outcomes between social classes, the researcher suggested that this study could help schools become more aware of these differences and make moves to reduce the inequalities.
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Strategies for effective collaboration
Scholastic
A new school year is just that. Something about the word new brings a refreshing feeling to the unknown. As you walk into your classroom door and compile a list of 500 things you need to do before your students walk in on the first day, think about creating a plan to collaborate more. Use these strategies to work smarter, not harder, while working with your team this school year.
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How well do schools communicate?
Edutopia
On August 20, the first results of the 2014 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public Attitudes Toward the Public Schools were released. The report's overall conclusion is that Americans aren't convinced that federal involvement will improve public education. For example, 56 percent of Americans say local school boards should have the greatest influence in deciding what is taught in the public schools.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Use BYOD strategies to prepare for BYOA (District Administration Magazine)
US education: How we got where we are today (The Christian Science Monitor)
How the tourism industry dictates when kids in 14 states go back to school (Vox)
PDK/Gallup poll finds rising awareness, majority opposition to Common Core (Education Week)
Helping students start the year with a positive mindset (Edutopia)

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Keeping the heart of an educator
Connected Principals (commentary)
William Parker, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "I remember a story a good friend told me about her first year as an assistant principal. She worked with a teacher who frequently referred the same boy to the office for misbehavior. Although the boy (I'll call him Billy) deserved the consequences he received, the teacher was convinced he was impossible to help and really wanted him out of her class."
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Taking charge of back-to-school fears
Psychology Today
"You're going to be fine. Don't worry! Of course you'll make friends. Of course you'll be able to do the work, you're a great student! Relax, it's going to be a great year!" What's wrong with this parent's response to their child's freak-out about starting back to school? On the surface, absolutely nothing. It's exactly what the child needs to think. But on the surface these good ideas will stay and won't sink in to your child's mind, for one reason. While well-intentioned mom is busy reassuring that everything will be fine, her son is in amygdala-overdrive, the anxiety like a force field blocking out logic and stirring up butterflies in the stomach and disaster in the mind's eye.
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Kids and screen time: What does the research say?
NPR
Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles. The Study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.
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US Department of Education projects public schools will be 'majority-minority' this fall
Pew Research Center
A milestone is expected to be reached this fall when minorities outnumber whites among the nation's public school students for the first time, U.S. Department of Education projections show. This is due largely to fast growth in the number of Hispanic and Asian school-age children born in the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. A steady demographic change over the years has resulted in a decline in the number of whites in classrooms even as the total number of public school students has increased. In 1997, the U.S. had 46.1 million public school students, of which 63.4 percent were white.
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How Duncan's teacher reprieve aids students, Common Core, tests
The Hechinger Report (commentary)
Test: It's just a four-letter word for measuring skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities or aptitude. In public education lately, test has become another kind of four-letter word: one associated with stressed out students, angry parents and teachers fearful of losing their jobs. Testing has such a negative connotation that in New York City alone this year, nearly 2,000 families formally opted their children out of standardized tests.
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Judge: Texas school finance system unconstitutional
The Texas Tribune
Nearly three years after more than 600 Texas school districts filed litigation challenging the state's school finance system, a Travis County district judge has ruled in their favor. In an almost 400-page opinion, District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin said that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional not only because of inadequate funding and flaws in the way it distributes money to districts, but also because it imposes a de facto state property tax. Certain to be appealed by the state, the lawsuit that arose after lawmakers cut roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011 will now continue to the Texas Supreme Court.
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The hidden victims of Ferguson are the children
By: Danielle Wegert
Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old man, was shot and killed by a police officer on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. To everyone outside of Ferguson, the images of riots, damaged businesses and police officers standing in front of military-style vehicles with weapons drawn was everything. Ferguson and the surrounding areas were a place of chaos and violence. What about the citizens not on the streets? What about the children? Not every resident of Ferguson was rioting, but they were forgotten.
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Charter school to eliminate recess to shorten day
The Washington Post
A charter school in Prince George's County will eliminate recess, a revered part of each student's daily routine, in an effort to shorten its academic day. The county's Board of Education approved the change at College Park Academy by a vote of 12-0, with one member abstaining and another absent. Frank Brewer, interim executive director of the academy, which is a middle school that has ties to the University of Maryland in College Park, said teachers suggested the move.
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Kids and screen time: What does the research say?
NPR
Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Maximizing PLC time to flip your class
District Administration Magazine
Recently, we have been talking with a number of people about how to best implement flipped learning, and one hurdle mentioned over and over by teachers is that they do not have enough time.

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5 apps for today's administrators
eSchool News
Leading a school or a school district is, understandably, an important and critical job. Today's school administrators must keep up to date with learning trends, instructional strategies, technology initiatives, and everything in between.

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Kansas wins over US Department of Education on teacher evaluations
The Topeka Capital-Journal
The U.S. Department of Education will for another year exempt Kansas from parts of the federal law commonly called No Child Left Behind. Kansas, like other states, had asked the federal government for the extension, but receiving it was no certainty. Kansas education officials faced skepticism from the federal agency over their approach to certain school reforms.
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California lawmakers approve measure to repeal limits on bilingual education
Education Week
A piece of legislation aimed at asking California voters to overturn a 16-year-old state law that restricts the use of bilingual education in California's public schools has made it out of the legislature and now awaits action from Gov. Jerry Brown. The California State Assembly this week voted in favor of the measure that seeks to repeal Proposition 227, the 1998 voter-approved ballot measure that severely limited the availability of bilingual education programs for the state's large share of students who are still learning English.
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Bullying prevention: Checklist for principals
NAESP
Educators know bullying programs are important — but how do we know if all the necessary concepts are in place? According to the literature on bullying, there are 16 key steps principals should take to strengthen bullying prevention programs.
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Principal professional development provider opportunity
NAESP
With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Mathematica Policy Research is issuing a request for proposals inviting principal professional development providers to participate in a large-scale impact study. The goal of the evaluation is to determine whether a specific principal professional development program is effective when implemented with fidelity in a large number of districts and elementary schools. The RFP will available online on approximately Sept. 9 here, and will be due Oct. 14.
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