New trends for new teaching strategies
Every 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.
As education evolves, so do trends and strategies to deliver instruction in the best possible way. When educators are aware of ways to improve instruction, students benefit and can show increased achievement. This week, we've gathered some of those trends in one place for you, from a new approach to science intruction to turning virtual teachers into online learning experts.
Read on for more:
Are high schools teaching science backward?
U.S. high schools are teaching science in a backward sequence of courses that is a remnant of 19th century thinking, says former Harman executive and New Jersey Teacher of the Year Robert Goodman—and changing the order in which science courses are taken and the way they’re delivered can lead to profound differences in both STEM interest and achievement.
Cyber security course for teachers includes lessons on hacking
As the use of digital technology in education and among students for private use has grown over the years, so too has the threat from hackers, identity thieves and cyber bullies. Daniel Sigler, an 11th and 12th grade social studies teacher at Gadsden City High, said his school’s recent purchase of new computers for all its students opens the possibility of online threats.
Teachers say virtual reality would boost engagement
A large majority of K-12 teachers said they would like to integrate virtual reality in their classrooms, but just 2 percent of teachers have actually done so, according to a survey.
14 surprising facts about educators’ social media use
Social media has fast become an educator's dream, with almost immediate responses to questions about teaching strategies, resources, and professional development opportunities.
But how are educators really using social media, and is it really as widely-used as everyone assumes?
FrontRow Education recently asked 1,000 K-8 teachers how they are using social media personally, professionally and as a communication tool with parents and students.
Here are some of the survey's key findings:
Social media is not widely used to communicate with students or parents
• One in five teachers use social media on a monthly or more frequent basis to communicate with students or parents, with Google + the most widely used platform.
• Some teachers do use Twitter and Facebook to communicate; 13 percent and 12 percent respectively
For personal use, Facebook is the clear winner amongst teachers.
• Seventy-one percent of teachers use Facebook daily for personal use, followed by Google + (33 percent), Pinterest (32 percent), Instagram (27 percent) and Twitter (18 percent).
• The differences narrow with weekly use, with 82 percent logging onto Facebook weekly, followed by Pinterest (69 percent), Google + (49 percent), Instagram (40 percent) and Twitter (32 percent).
Pinterest has the largest correlation between professional and personal Use; Facebook the smallest
• While 69 percent of teachers use Pinterest weekly for personal use, 67 percent use weekly for professional purposes.
• Facebook, on the other hand, is used for professional purposes by just 44 percent of teachers weekly vs. 82 percent for personal use.
Where you teach reflects your social media habits both personally…
• Teachers in the West use Facebook the least for personal use, with 65 percent logging in daily; in the Midwest, that number jumps to 76 percent
• Teachers in the Northeast use Google+ daily for personal use, 17 percentage points more than those in the Midwest (37 percent vs. 20 percent).
• Nearly twice as many teachers in the Midwest (40 percent) use Pinterest daily for personal use compared to the Northeast (20 percent)
5 essential apps for autistic learners
Mobile technology has opened up a plethora of resources for students with special needs, including students with autism. Here we’re highlighting resources and tools that educators might find useful in helping engage students with autism. The autism spectrum disorder rate in children is about 1 in 68, according to current CDC research. As more students
Chromebooks are on the rise, but Windows reliance remains
Sixty-two percent of K-12 schools participating in a recent survey support Chromebook initiatives, and 22 percent of those schools use Chromebooks as a primary classroom device.
While Chromebooks appear to be increasing in popularity, Windows presence remains heavy--92 percent of survey respondents said their schools use at least one Windows-based application, and 29 percent said they use five or more Windows applications for teaching and learning.
[Editor's note: We're always tracking mobile device trends for you; click here and here for the latest information.]
The survey of K-12 educators and IT professionals from more than 1,500 K-12 schools comes from Ericom Software, a provider of application access and virtualization solutions.
Device compatibility with existing applications emerged as a top priority for survey respondents, with 43 percent saying their dependence on desktop and cloud-based Windows applications influenced their thoughts about Chromebook deployment. Sixty percent of respondents said browser-based access to Windows applications on Chromebooks would make them a viable solution.
Next page: Top Chromebook and Windows findings from the survey
"This survey suggests that schools are searching for a solution that allows them to integrate cost-efficient Chromebooks into the learning environment without sacrificing access to Windows and other applications," stated Ilan Paretsky, Vice President of Marketing at Ericom Software. "HMTL5 browser-based remote access provides K-12 schools with a simple solution by making both desktop and cloud-based Windows applications available through a standard browser – a two-for-one solution, simplifying life for both users and IT staff."
One-to-one initiatives are also emerging as a popular solution in K-12 learning environments. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents' schools consider one-to-one capability when evaluating IT solutions. However, according to 71 percent of respondents, at this point, school-issued devices such as laptops, tablets, and Chromebooks, are limited to use during the school day and on school property.
Based on survey results, K-12 schools are using a mixture of strategies to increase device access, with 46 percent of respondents saying their school's top priority is giving every student access to a device within the next three years.
How this state is turning its virtual teachers into online learning experts
A certification program is creating a new generation of online learning savants. How are they doing it?