eSchool News

eSchool News
eSchool News covers the intersection of technology and innovation in education.
  • Leading the Digital Leap May 26, 2015
  • Report looks preparing teachers to lead statistics courses
    The American Statistical Association (ASA) has issued the Statistical Education of Teachers (SET) Report, which calls on mathematicians, statisticians, mathematics educators and statistics educators to collaborate in preparing pre-K–12 teachers to teach intellectually demanding statistics courses in their classrooms. SET was commissioned by the ASA to clarify the recommendations for teacher statistical preparation in the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences’ Mathematical Education of Teachers II report. The ASA’s SET report, which also is a resource stakeholders can use to guide statistics instruction preparation of current and future teachers, was developed by a team of statistics and education experts chaired by Christine A. Franklin, senior statistics lecturer at the University of Georgia. The focus on preparing teachers to teach statistics courses, especially in grades 6–12, was precipitated by the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the country’s first national educational standards, by 43 states and similar other state standards. The CCSM mathematics and related standards place emphasis on statistics and probability. "Effective implementation of the rigorous CCSM and related state standards depends to a large extent on the teachers who will bring them to life in the classroom," says Franklin. "The SET report offers recommendations for the statistical preparation and professional development of those teachers. Its recommendations will help teachers understand how statistical concepts are interconnected and their connections to other areas of mathematics." The SET report uses the ASA Pre-K–12 GAISE Framework as the structure for outlining the content and conceptual understanding teachers need to know in assisting their students develop statistical reasoning skills. Because statistics is mostly taught in mathematics classes at the pre-college level, it is particularly important that teachers be aware of the differences between the disciplines. As such, the SET report facilitates the understanding of key topics such as what sets statistics apart as a discipline distinct from mathematics, the difference between statistical and mathematical reasoning, and the role of probability in statistical reasoning.
  • Report outlines how to shift to tech-enabled personalized learning
    Last year, more than 100 education leaders attended the Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning (TEPL) Summit hosted by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University in collaboration with Digital Promise, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA). This convening was unique in that the leaders included similar representation from industry, associations and nonprofits, and university and K-12 educators. Together, they compared experiences, discussed common challenges and barriers, explored case studies, and identified potential solutions and models that all must be addressed collectively to scale the implementation of personalized learning through technology. Their suggestions are now available in a final report titled Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning: Findings and Recommendations to Accelerate Implementation. “As personalized learning has made its way into the classroom, the role of technology continues to play a role in bringing personalized learning to scale,” said Jill Abbott, CEO of Abbott Advisor Group. “We have learned several important elements that make this successful, as well as identifying several pieces that still need to be reconciled. This white paper is the result of bringing together national experts to provide some recommendations and highlight some areas where the education ecosystem can focus and collaboratively resolve.” Personalized learning is a comprehensive educational approach that puts students at the center and engages students when, where, and how to best meet their unique needs and interests. Summit participants recognize the central human element of teaching and learning and view technology as a teaching force multiplier and a learning accelerator that can enable more efficient and effective use of learning time. “Technology is necessary to personalize learning at scale, and the Summit helped foster public-private partnerships to address technical challenges needed to translate that vision into reality for the success of all students,” said Mark Schneiderman, senior director of education policy for SIIA’s Ed Tech Industry Network. “The discussions and case studies shared by education lea
  • Ohio district extends language software to all students, parents
    For the past six months, Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) has been reaping the rewards of a comprehensive online language learning partnership designed to bridge linguistic differences, improve academic success and create cultural understanding among the district’s students, employees and community partners. The partnership with Rosetta Stone Inc. is a component of Ohio’s Straight A Fund, a competitive grant that funds innovative and cost-effective projects that make an impact and are sustainable over five years. The grant affords access to Rosetta Stone’s English Language Learning (ELL) andWorld Language programs to the district’s 33,000 students and their parents and more than 4,200 CPS employees. “A direct result of Cincinnati’s growing immigrant population is the proliferation of English language learners (ELL) ─ now comprising more than five percent of our school population ─ and an acute need to address the communications gap in order for our students to succeed,” said Mireika “Marie” Kobayashi, ESL/Foreign Language Manager of CPS. “For a large number of our students, English is not the primary language spoken at home, so we view this partnership as playing a significant role in our mission towards advancing the CPS community.” In addition to incorporating Rosetta Stone into its English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum, CPS is making the program available to all ESL parents, who have the choice of attending one-on-one-training sessions with a Technologist-in-Residence at designated venues, while those who are more computer-savvy can access the software directly at a CPS family-friendly website. According to Jack Aylsworth, Technology Coordinator for Ohio’s Straight A Fund, 445 parents have either accessed the program or have attended these sessions thus far, which are held weekly with the assistance from interpreters. Access to 29 additional languages will be available at all schools throughout the district. Since the program’s implementation in September 2014, 800 CPS educators and staff have accessed Rosetta Stone’s language solutions for professional or personal use. Both ESL and foreign language teachers can use the software to supplement their lesson plans or for their own professional development. Ongoing training for CPS staff & ESL/FL teachers is provided after school on alternative Tech Tuesdays and Wired Wednesdays.
  • 5 conditions that support great teaching
    The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future is will lead a positive, collaborative, action-oriented initiative to support great teaching. The initiative will focus on equitable access to great teaching for all students. The three-year initiative will include hosting joint convenings around key issues that impact the teaching profession; establishing a collective research agenda; developing tools and strategies to support teachers, both in their classrooms and careers; and building a repository of best practices, case studies, and positive examples of components of great teaching to highlight what is working well in schools. In 2016, a major report will be released that will include action steps, policy and practice recommendations, as well as a retrospective look at what has happened in the teaching profession since 1996 following the release of NCTAF’s flagship report What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future. The Commission report will be the catalyst for a collective effort from the stakeholder group to implement the highlighted recommendations in the 2016 report. “Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that all students have access to great teaching. It is going to take a concerted effort like this to guarantee that both teachers and students receive the necessary support from the federal, state, and local levels to be successful,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, NCTAF Commissioner and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. “By pooling our brain power, research, and innovative ideas, this group has the potential to address all of the key issues that fall within the teaching continuum.” The country’s 3.4 million public school teachers need the proper support to prepare today’s students to enter a job market where, it has been estimated, 65 percent of those students eventually will be employed in jobs that have yet to be created. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that more than 6.6 million STEM jobs need to be filled by 2022, which outpaces the growth rate of non-STEM jobs by about six percent. “Our nation is at a critical point in time where the demands on teachers, parents, and students, as well as the education and job market landscapes, have changed dramatically. With the leadership of the Commission and the expertise in this stakeholder group, we believe this initiative will offer the guidance and direction needed to help move our schools forward,” said The Honorable Richard W. Riley, Co-chair of NCTAF and former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton.
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