eSchool News

eSchool News
eSchool News covers the intersection of technology and innovation in education.
  • All about innovation
    news-roundupEvery Friday, I’ll recap some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments that occurred over the week. I can’t fit all of this week's news stories here, though, so feel free to visit eSchoolNews.com and read up on other news you may have missed. This week, we're focusing on innovation--we hear about it all the time, but we don't always see it in practice. Now, we're highlighting some excellent examples of how schools are innovating, from listening to students' requests for the kind of tools they'd like to use, to supporting librarians as they lead the digital transformation. Read on for more: 3 ways to revamp lessons for the interactive learner Today’s students are a uniquely interactive group. Most of the 80 million Americans who are part of the millennial generation—a group that comprises the lion’s share of today’s student population—can’t remember a time when they didn’t have instant access to the internet. Most of them grew up playing video games, and ever since they can remember, they’ve been in constant contact with friends via social media platforms and text messages. A growing number of today’s instructors also fall into this group. Do one-to-one laptop programs improve learning? Students who receive a laptop computer from their school tend to see a noticeable increase in academic achievement, a Michigan State University study reveals. Michigan State University’s Binbin Zheng and colleagues analyzed past studies on one-to-one laptop initiatives, and Zheng’s own research, and found that such programs that take a comprehensive approach, including offering one-to-one program support to both students and teachers, saw higher test scores in English, math, science and writing, along with other benefits.
  • 10 steps to a better one-to-one experience
    laptop-studentPlanning is a big part of any initiative. Here’s how to plan a better one-to-one program The word is out. We hear every day from teachers who tell us their school will be going one-to-one this school year. Their classrooms will be equipped with a laptop or tablet for every student, and in many cases,
  • New resource offers 9 student data privacy best practices
    data privacyTechnology, family involvement and communication are key to executing school data privacy best practices, according to a new white paper from communication service provider West Corporation. “School and Student Data Privacy: Nine Considerations for Community Engagement” offers an overview of nine best practices that can help school leaders navigate student data privacy policies and frameworks. “Data-enabled technology use in schools has increased exponentially over the past decade, helping inform teacher instruction and enterprise decisions and making student privacy and data security more important than ever,” said white paper author Mark Schneiderman, West's Education group vice president of government affairs and former senior director of education policy at SIIA. “Maintaining student confidentiality requires a comprehensive set of school data policies and practices. It is crucial that everyone in the school community—educators, parents and students—understands the importance of data security and privacy.” West’s Education group will host a webinar for school and district leaders addressing school and student data privacy Thursday, June 9, at 11 a.m. Pacific /2 p.m. Eastern. Schneiderman will lead the webinar and will be joined by Linnette Attai, an expert on privacy compliance and best practices as president of PlayWell, LLC and project director for the Consortium for School Network’s (CoSN) Privacy Initiative. All webinar attendees will receive the “School and Student Data Privacy: Nine Considerations for Community Engagement” white paper, and it will be available for download on the SchoolMessenger website following the webinar. To register for the webinar, visit http://bitly.com/DataPrivacyJune2016. The white paper and webinar are not intended to and do not provide legal advice. School leaders should consult legal counsel to best understand their district’s risks and options under the law.
  • Miami-Dade using itlearning LMS in pilot
    lms itslearningThe nation’s fourth largest public school district, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), is running a semester-long pilot program utilizing the itslearning learning management system (LMS) to select, deliver and manage the instructional components for secondary level social science courses in 10 schools. Designed specifically for the K-12 sector, itslearning is a cloud-based LMS that enables teachers to engage today’s “digitally wired” students anytime, anywhere and on any device. The MDCPS pilot will run through May, after which teacher feedback and input will be solicited. In 2014 Miami-Dade Public Schools launched the “Digital Convergence” initiative, a program to provide wireless access in all its schools and put digital learning devices such as laptops and tablets in the hands of all students. According to Brazofsky, the itslearning pilot is a great opportunity for teachers to maximize the potential of the initiative through the use of an LMS. “Because the itslearning platform consolidates and automates the curriculum management process, teachers participating in the pilot are able to infuse digital tools and content into their lessons,” said Brazofsky. “Thus far the teachers report that the system has helped facilitate communication, collaboration and interaction between them and students. They also say that by using digital tools they’re so familiar with, students are far more engaged in their learning.” “The streaming videos is a favorite for me and the students. I don’t have to spend time searching online for proper educational videos because the itslearning system has already vetted them and matched them to our standards. I simply add a link to the video on the assignment and students can watch it from home,” said Jaela Vazquez, a world history and geography teacher at Coral Reef Senior High School. “The Bulletin Board is another incredible tool. I write out agenda on it and attach all the PowerPoints and handouts for students who were absent, or for students to reference later when they’re studying.” Teachers participating in the pilot receive personalized professional development and training from itslearning, including formal face-to-face biweekly digital meetings, and on-demand tutorials that support digital and blended learning via the itslearning platform. The high schools selected to participate in the pilot are: Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Miami Southridge and Miami Southwest. The middle schools include: Ponce de Leon, Country Club, Herbert Ammons, and Jorge Mas Canosa. One school, Miami Arts Studio @ Zelda Glazer Middle School serves students in grades 6-12.
  • 9 case studies reveal secrets of successful blended, online learning programs
    online learningSuccessful online and blended learning programs in a recent survey are those that prioritized better teacher-student relationships, used an online curriculum as a primary instructional source, and used a combination of in-person and virtual instructional support. Over the past year, digital learning policy research and advisory firm Evergreen Education Group conducted in-depth analyses of nine schools that use online curriculum and platforms from Fuel Education (FuelEd) as the instructional foundation of their programs. After observing and interviewing groups of students, faculty, staff, and school leadership at each of the nine schools, Evergreen Education Group identified certain key characteristics that make blended and online learning programs successful, including student relationships, online curriculum as the primary source of instruction, and a variety of instructional support. Evergreen Education Group, in cooperation with FuelEd, has published an executive summary and nine full case studies, “Outcomes of Blended and Online Learning Programs in Schools Using Fuel Education Curriculum.” The report aims to further the understanding and potential benefits of blended and online learning programs among schools demonstrating strong academic results, and to highlight the commonalities in instructional models, practices, measurements of success, and outcomes. Of the nine online or blended learning programs, five were whole school programs and four were credit recovery and remedial programs. While all differed in size, demographics, community types, location, and status of program development, the research team found important similarities. Each program reported improved student outcomes despite serving a broad spectrum of students–from failing and struggling students to mainstream and advanced students seeking a personalized educational experience. In addition, the programs used different measures of success, such as scores on year-end tests, graduation rates, and college attendance rates. Teachers, administrators, and students attributed the success of their programs to several factors: • Better relationships with students—All schools felt establishing deep and meaningful teacher-student relationships was an essential component to success and thus made it a priority. When teachers had a better understanding of both a student’s academic capability and his or her personal and family situations, they were better able to tailor their teaching and counseling activities to fit that student’s individual needs. Students agreed and felt that their teachers genuinely cared about them and would help them succeed.
A triumphant 6th re-union PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 10:00

July 29, 2009

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it. Author:Francis Bacon Source: Essay—OnGoodness

When our members, friends, and supporters flew from all over North America during this critical economic downturn it shows the love, the passion, and dedication that they have to support our association and what it stands for. We all have good time with friends and family. More so we all were happy when it was announced that the big project was finished and is giving full services. What is so enjoyable other than see the seed we saw six years a go bearing fruit and reach for harvest in our six reunions. We have seen via video the beautiful library filled and equipped with hard cover books. We have seen the children who six years a go were fighting for a sitting space now relaxed and have books as they want in the spacious and elegant library. What else is satisfying other than hearing our little brothers and sisters, our parents, friends, and alike appreciating the marvelous work of each and every one of us put into this. Guys don’t take it easy and do not assume you haven’t done your share. we are changing a generation that is lagging behind. We are bringing the young generation who is still using 19th century technology and outdated books in this 21st century. We are creating a new generation with new ideas, talents, creativity, and what have you. Therefore, you have every reason to be proud.

In general, our members in most cases were and are very optimistic. This year even though the board was not expecting to see many members attending the re-union due to the sluggish economy, many managed to make it. We all were amazed by the number of attendees from different States. It appears to us and to all members that people can do anything and everything if there is a will. We know now more than anytime else that our members are determined to do anything for the quality of education, for bright future of the new generation, and to eradicated backwardness ones and for all.

Those of us who flew have a good time and enjoyed ourselves with friends and alike and contributed some to our beloved association. Those who choose to be with us in spirit also were with us in spirit and have sent their fair share of contribution. Is not this something! We don’t know what it is but there is something unique about this association. We all stand as one, support each other, listen to each other, work together as hand in gloves, bring information, share information, no pointing fingers, always think positive and do what is best to change the life of others. Amazing!

Our DC folks are truly great in their hospitality. If it was not for their money and time scarifies we may not enjoyed our time since driving from one area to the other is so nightmarish. However, by the effort of the father of our association- HBT and others, we have a pleasant week. The Haileselassie Belay household took a week of vacation from their job to facilitate our Stay. The young Robel Haileselassie and his beloved mother Tsige did not have a break until we all depart. Every year, every month, every day, every minute and second we all fall in love with this very kind and big heart family. May God give them longevity so that our ADI will be served better and we all have a good vacation with them year after year? CUDOS HAILE BELAY TEKLU and Family! If we start naming people we may forgot some hard working individuals and committee members so we will stop here but would like to thank all the women who feed us for five days with the best food ever TIHLO.

Financial report: - Members discussed the financial situation of the association. A report was presented by the secretary and each and every one was given the opportunity to look into the financial statement of the association and the books for that matter. In addition, the amount of money collected in the past six years, the amount of funds wired for library construction, student teacher award, books and computer purchases, and power installation were explained.

What was new this year? The establishment of the youth network (AYN) is new. Our association had established Awlaelo Youth Network. Some may ask why another association or network? Well, you know our youngsters who are born or grow up in the states and those of us oldies do not speak the same language nor do we see things in the same fashion. The youth have their way of doing things, their way of supporting others, their methods of fund raising and communication, hence, the need to organize them. They are organized now and eventually they can replace us, they can contribute on their best skills, and they can reach out to youth in Ethiopia using the current technology and medium of communication-the internet supported by their facebook social network. Thanks to Asefa Abay, Selm G and others for taking this project. Our brothers and sisters need your support. Your skills, your intellect is highly need back in ADI and it is hour sincere believe that you will do a good service. Make a call to all university students in Ethiopia and else where to join you. God willing the library will have a broadband and you will have many participants from there too.

So now we can say that we Deqi Awlaelo all have faith. We are very faithful to our God, faithful to our ADI and our people. Our actions, our deeds, our practice tells that all. With love and passion we supported all six high schools. We are opening the eyes of many for better life, better education which will lead to a better society. We are happy to be part of such dedicated group. We are individuals working and striving not to be known by anyone except the beneficiaries. We believe there is no excess charity. We want to share what we have with our people back home.

Board Election: - It was the board’s desire this year to retire from their leading positions. But it did not happen. The current board members had served six years and are still at service. Our members spoken! They don’t want to see the board leave or replaced by new faces. They say “don’t fix it if it is not broken”. However, some new faces were added so that they can be trained some leadership skills from the veterans so that coming year they can assume full responsibility. Since the members say no to the request of electing new board, the board members had no choice except accepting decision and will of the members.

Investment group: - Another new happening this year is the establishment of a committee to study about investment opportunities and some other things that will benefit members. This 7 member committee will study some investment opportunities in Tigray and here in the Diaspora to benefit its members. It will also look into some sort of group insurance for members, scholarship availability for our children, retirement conditions and many more. Over all, this is an interesting idea.

Member driven workshops: -Last year ASAA had drafted a five year plan to support the quality of education in all the high schools in KILTE AWLAELO. Based on that plan the first workshop was given by Engda Hagos (PhD) from Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Engada had given a workshop for 8 teachers and 25 top students in the field of science. He had motivated the students and teachers to do their best and to aim high. The school as well as Dr. Engda was happy with the outcome. Our association is also grateful to have such dedicated professionals who on their spare time teach and guide our brothers and sisters who are very thirsty for education. Thanks Doc for all the help. It is decided that workshops will continue and all professional who flew to ADI for personal case will give seminars, conferences, and workshops to students, teachers, and the other interested groups.

Finally we were happy by the support from our Ethiopian brothers in the Metropolis of the three States (DC, MD, VA). We could not do it without your support. Again thanks. With your support we managed to collect close to $29,000 before expenses. This is not bad. The country is in deep recession and yet we managed to collect such amount. This tells us how people are dedicated to support the needy children of Tigray to excel in education.

Where will ASAA gather next year? It was decided by our Seattle branch that they will host the 7th re-union. We are all happy by the decision of the branch to host it. We know they are not alone. The Seattle Tigrean community is one of the strongest and the best one in North America. We firmly believe Seattle community will support us in full gear. Hope to see you all in Seattle Washington in July 2010.

Abraha W Kahssay for ASAA

Last Updated on Friday, 09 July 2010 03:21