eSchool News

eSchool News
eSchool News covers the intersection of technology and innovation in education.
  • App of the Week: Geometry in 3D
    volumize-appEd. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from the editors of Graphite.org, a free service from Common Sense Education. Click here to read the full app review. Volumize What’s It Like? Volumize is an app that allows students to import photos from their iPads (using the built-in cameras or any other file
  • 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.
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