eSchool News

eSchool News
eSchool News covers the intersection of technology and innovation in education.
  • Experts pick the 21 best apps for autism
    These top apps for autism focus on communication, routines, and social skills. Recently, we asked the experts at Common Sense Graphite, a national nonprofit, to curate their best apps for working with students on the autism spectrum. These top apps for autism focus on communication, routines, and social skills. According to Graphite, more app creators are turning their attention to the particular learning needs of kids on the autism spectrum. The apps on this list can help kids learn to better identify and regulate emotions, communicate and express themselves, manage time and routines, and interact with others.
  • App of the Week: Interactive video tours come to life
    Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Common Sense Graphite. To read the full app review, click here. Zaption What’s It Like? Zaption is an online tool that allows teachers to create video “tours” for their students. These tours can be created using Zaption’s extensive gallery of videos from  [ Read More ]
  • K-8 classroom technology use increasing
    Technology use is increasing, with 4 out of 5 teachers saying they will use classroom technology more frequently during the 2015-2016 school year, according to a survey from Front Row Education, Inc., a company that provides adaptive, gamified and data driven education programs. The largest driver of this increase appears to be access to devices, with more than three-fourths of 1,000 surveyed teachers noting that the availability of classroom technology resources at their school is either good (40 percent) or great (37 percent). Second to access to devices, teachers are embracing classroom technology further as a result of the positive impact they have seen to-date.The survey results indicate that for teachers, a key driving force in this increased use is superior learner outcomes. When choosing which software to use, the most important factor surveyed teachers cited was the advancement of student learning, followed by the availability of valuable information on a student’s progress. Aligning to the Common Core and ease of use came in third and fourth, respectively. When surveyed teachers were asked how classroom technology has changed the way they teach, determining the skill level of their students more efficiently topped the list--followed by determining a student’s skill level more deeply. These two benefits support the third-most-cited impact that surveyed teachers are seeing: freeing up time to focus on giving students individual attention. Additional findings include: High Administrative Support: 75 percent of surveyed teachers noted an increase in administration support for classroom technology; fewer than 1.5 percent said that it has declined.
  • ASCD launches digital resource for teachers
    ASCD has launched ASCD myTeachSource--a classroom-focused, teacher-driven digital subscription that delivers monthly topic packs on popular instructional strategies. The new product, which debuted at the 2015 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership in San Diego, Calif., is designed for ease of use and is accessible from computers or mobile devices. Teachers can learn about all of the product’s features and sign up for a free trial at “At ASCD, we strive to provide professional learning solutions to meet the diverse needs of all educators, and the launch of ASCD myTeachSource is the next major step in that mission,” said Deborah S. Delisle, ASCD executive director and CEO. “This digital subscription product will empower teachers to take charge of their own professional learning by accessing the resources most relevant to them at the times when new tools, strategies, and ideas are needed the most. We look forward to getting teachers started with myTeachSource and to also see how new tools and content will continue to develop the product over time.” ASCD myTeachSource is currently available free for all ASCD members and can also be purchased as a stand-alone annual subscription for $29 per year. Subscriptions are available at a discount when purchased for a group of teachers or school team. The product features include • Practical, evidence-based articles, tools, links, and discussion prompts delivered as part of monthly topic packs. Current topic packs include formative assessment, classroom management, and student engagement, and new packs will be added each month. • Video content that models best practices. • Actionable tools, such as checklists, reproducibles, and rubrics to enable teachers to put what they’ve learned into practice. Starting in December, new resources―articles, videos, or tools―will be added weekly. • Discussion threads that enable teachers to share their knowledge and learn from one another. ASCD myTeachSource is designed to enable personalized professional learning paced and driven by the individual user. Users can customize their learning experience by taking notes within the platform, saving favorite content, using tags to create collections, and filtering relevant topics. All saved notes, favorites, and tags will be available users from the menu at any time during navigation.
  • Minecraft coding, plus apps upon apps
    Each Friday, I’ll be bringing you a recap of some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments that occurred over the week. I can’t fit all of our news stories here, though, so feel free to visit and read up on other news you may have missed. In this week’s news: New Minecraft tutorial teaches kids coding A free Minecraft coding tutorial from Microsoft introduces players ages 6 and older to basic coding contained within the popular game. 7 fun apps to build student thinking skills Looking to give students — or your colleagues — a way to hone their thinking and problem-solving skills while having fun? These free puzzles and games might do the trick. Are schools really wasting money on computers? A recent OECD report recommends that students must develop the 21st century skills necessary to effectively communicate, collaborate, think, and create as global citizens. As educators, this is what we are preparing our students to do. Technology supports students in reaching these goals, but tech alone has never been enough and it never will be. Students cannot achieve these goals without the support of a skilled teacher. 11 tech integration tips to share with your school Embarking on a technology integration plan or beginning a technology pilot can be daunting. However, mapping out a clear path, being flexible, and communicating the stakeholders can help that plan be successful.
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