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Classrooms are changing — How might tech shape the classroom of the future?
eSchool News
Given the fast pace with which technology evolves, it's not entirely a huge stretch to say that a new learning tool could transform classrooms within a year. In 1984, only 8 percent of U.S. households owned a computer. But today, that has jumped to 79 percent. Fifty-eight percent of people in the U.S. own a smartphone. Only 18 percent of households had internet access in 1997, compared to 75 percent today. Efforts are underway to expand technology and broadband access to the 25 percent of Americans without home internet access.
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What online tutoring programs can do for kids
CBS News
Like many 6-year-olds, Maria Baker from Yonkers, New York, has trouble with math. "I do struggle sometimes," she said. "Sometimes I don't do it right, sometimes I get it wrong." Her father Ryan, a cognitive scientist who studies digital learning, signed her up for an online tutoring system called Reasoning Mind. "I've seen major effects from my daughter in her command of math since we started working together at night with Reasoning Mind," Baker said. He said the software helped her develop and improve on specific skills like subtraction.
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New digital literacy program educates K-12 students on Internet safety
EdTech Magazine
Navigating the ins and outs of online privacy, security and fair use in the digital age can be challenging for parents and educators, let alone students. With the rise of Internet-based learning and greater use of technology in the classroom, how should teachers engage students on topics about digital literacy and Internet safety? What should be discussed in an age-appropriate conversation about healthy and responsible use of the Internet and being an ethical digital citizen?
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Why learning space matters
Edutopia
From the front door and school grounds to the classroom, the aesthetics of learning spaces impact brain function and influence how students feel when they're in school — as well as how they feel about their school. Neuroscience continues to inform us about how the brain functions and what this means for effective teaching and, more importantly, effective learning.
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How 'productive struggle' can lead to deeper learning
eSchool News
The new school year provides opportunities to implement fresh learning strategies in the classroom. Some students might struggle getting back into the rhythm of the school year, and others might experience long-term challenges. To address these needs, consider developing a curriculum that emphasizes "productive struggle." Here's what you'll need to know about making it work in the classroom.
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Why kids should choose their own books to read in school
The Washington Post (commentary)
At one time many public schools gave students time to read books of their own choosing, an activity based on the common-sense theory that kids will read what interests them, and that kids who can choose what they read will learn to enjoying reading, and, hence, read more. Unfortunately, many schools no longer let students choose any of the materials that they read. Why this is a problem is explained in this post by Joanne Yatvin, a one time Principal of the Year in Wisconsin and a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, who has never been able to kick the reading habit.
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How can we all keep the kindergarten spirit?
Connected Principals (commentary)
Amber Teamann, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "Last week as I was walking through classrooms, I came across this kinder kid who was working feverishly on the carpet on a project. As I smiled and walked around the room, he waved me over and asked if I wanted to see his invention. 'See this? I made it up, because I needed something that could go real fast. I didn't have it, so I made it up.' In addition to just being adorable, I was impressed with his creativity and that matter of fact attitude. It doesn't occur to a kindergartener that you shouldn't just make up what you need."
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Survey: 9 in 10 students say tablets will change how they learn
THE Journal
Ninety percent of students said tablets will change the way they learn and 89 percent said the devices would make learning more fun, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll for Pearson. The survey of 2,252 students in grades 4-12 found that 81 percent of those surveyed said tablets help them learn in a way that's best for them and 79 percent said the devices help them do better in class. Black and Hispanic students, at 88 and 86 percent, respectively, were even more likely to say that tablets help them learn in their own way than white students, who only agreed 79 percent of the time.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Strategies for effective collaboration (Scholastic)
5 education technology trends to watch for the new school year (eSchool News)
Which states' kids miss the most school? (Mother Jones)
How to get students to work harder (The Atlantic)
Recess redress: The importance of play in education (By Suzanne Mason)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Why don't more men go into teaching?
The New York Times
AS Tommie Leaders, 22, approached college graduation last spring, his professors told him he would have no trouble getting hired. "You're a guy teaching elementary," they said. Leaders, who earned his education degree from the University of Nebraska in June, started teaching fifth grade in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is the only male teacher in the building. Across the country, teaching is an overwhelmingly female profession, and in fact has become more so over time. More than three-quarters of all teachers in kindergarten through high school are women, according to Education Department data, up from about two-thirds three decades ago. The disparity is most pronounced in elementary and middle schools, where more than 80 percent of teachers are women.
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Saving money with refurbished technology
District Administration Magazine
District CIOs looking to save money on computers are increasingly turning to refurbished technology. Buying preowned equipment puts more devices in the hands of students and keeps old machines out of landfills. Administrators at Spencer Technology Academy, a school of 900 K8 students in Chicago Public Schools, wanted to create a 1-to-1 program for middle school math. But the district could not afford to spend $24,000 on 30 new iPads. Instead, administrators purchased 30 refurbished, second-generation iPads for $7,000. They also purchased 10 used MacBooks for $6,000 — saving about $10,000.
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The accountability timeline: Putting students first
Education Week (commentary)
Building a good idea, like building a good structure, takes time, talent, and contributions from various fields of knowledge and expertise. Let's take a skyscraper for example. The work requires funding, understanding of purpose, and a vision for design. It will involve architects, lawyers, steelworkers, electricians, plumbers, perhaps stone workers, drywall installers, interior designers ... and a whole lot more. The plans need to be clear and detailed, informed by expertise and understanding of the project, its limitations, its strengths and its possibilities. After all, we want a skyscraper that does not fall down.
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Report: America's schools could be more efficient if teachers were paid less
The Huffington Post
When it comes to education, the United States isn't getting all the bang it could for its buck, according to a new report. GEMS Education Solutions, an education consulting firm, released its "Efficiency Index" and an accompanying report on Thursday, ranking the return on investment for 30 different nations' education budgets. The index "treats the educational system as if it were a company which attempts to obtain an output," according to the report.
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Inclusion rates for special education students vary by state
Disability Scoop
Where a child lives may significantly impact whether they are placed in an inclusive or segregated classroom, a new national analysis suggests. Regional differences appear to play a role in education placements for students with autism, with those living in the West more likely to attend mainstream classes while students in the Eastern United States are more frequently assigned to segregated settings, according to findings published online in the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.
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Making students partners in data-driven approaches to learning
MindShift
At Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York, third-grade teacher Jean Hurst leans in and listens intently as her student, Jacelyn, reads aloud. Hurst is listening for greater fluency in Jacelyn's oral reading, a skill they have been working on for several weeks. As she listens, she hears greater cadence and confidence in Jacelyn's voice. Hurst is careful to note miscues and the length of time it takes Jacelyn to read the passage. They start their follow-up discussion by reviewing Jacelyn's previous goals and successes and reviewing a chart that shows the growth in her reading level. They focus in on fluency and the word substitutions Hurst heard as Jacelyn read aloud. "Let's take a look at this word," says Hurst.
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Promoting positive parent-teacher communication
By: Brian Stack
Ask teachers what they wish they had more time to dedicate to in their job, and better communication with parents will almost always be at the top of their list. The reality is that teachers want parents to be informed. But once the school year gets going, parent communication often takes a back seat. Teachers quickly fall into the habit of calling home only when they have bad news to report, and that makes for an unhealthy relationship between parents and teachers.
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Education Department proposes big changes to school improvement grant program
Education Week
Floundering schools that receive federal turnaround dollars under the controversial School Improvement Grant program would get some new options for using the money under draft guidance slated to be published in the federal register. But they might not be getting quite as much new flexibility as some folks in Congress had hoped. At Congress' insistence, the proposal would permit states to move beyond the Obama administration's prescriptions for school improvement, by partnering with an organization that has a strong track record of fixing low-performing schools, or by cooking up their own turnaround options.
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Survey: 9 in 10 students say tablets will change how they learn
THE Journal
Ninety percent of students said tablets will change the way they learn and 89 percent said the devices would make learning more fun, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll for Pearson.

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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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Most Americans favor reuniting young migrants with family in US, poll finds
Education Week
While the surge of nearly 60,000 unaccompanied Central American minors over the U.S.-Mexico border in the last 10 months has created a major political conundrum for the Obama administration, most Americans express some sympathy for the plight of the young migrants. In a new national survey from the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of Americans say they favor allowing the unaccompanied minors from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to join their families already living in the United States while their immigration cases are pending.
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More recess time promised for Nashville, Tenn., elementary schools
The Tennessean
More recess time is coming to Metro Nashville's elementary schools. Principals of all the district's elementary schools agreed at a meeting with top Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee officials to ensure at least 20 minutes of recess each day. It will mean an additional five minutes for the 46 schools — 2 out of 3 in the district — in which recess currently lasts only 15 minutes. The move comes after Metro school board member Amy Frogge requested the 20-minute minimum in light of an internal audit that showed wide variation on recess length. This is the recommended daily recess time of the National Association of Sports and Physical Education as part of 155 minutes of weekly physical activity at school.
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School culture check
NAESP
School culture is an element that touches every aspect of students' learning. As you start the school year, assess your school's culture using these four focus areas recommended by the National School Climate Council.
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Download handouts from the 2014 NAESP Annual Conference
NAESP
NAESP's 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville was packed with fresh ideas from visionary thinkers in education. Visit the Session Handouts page to catch up on the conference's hottest presentations. Learn about boosting school climate, working with challenging staff members, flipping meetings, leveraging blended learning and more.
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