Texas School District to Give iPads to All Teachers, Students
In the McAllen school district, officials last week announced a more than $20 million commitment to provide an iPad for all 25,300 students and 1,634 teachers.
And despite painful budget cuts, Superintendent James Ponce said the costly initiative—coined “Teaching Learning in the Classroom, Campus and Community,” or TLC-3—was mandatory in the 21st century.
Will YouTube Videos Ever Replace Teachers?
The “flipped classroom"—which switches the order of classroom instruction and homework—is the latest education craze. Instead of receiving in-class lectures from a teacher, students watch a video lesson on YouTube. The next day, they head to school and do homework under the teacher’s supervision. Flipped classroom advocates say the model is more effective because students have their teachers and peers with them to give them feedback when they encounter problems with homework.
But there’s a major flaw in this innovative model: the nation still has a tremendous digital divide.
The other element left out of the flipped classroom discussion is that watching a video is no more active or engaging than reading a textbook.
The Flipped Classroom and the Changing Role of the Educator?
Facebook is Not Ruining Student Grades, Study Says
The latest of several studies to look into the relationship between Facebook use and low grades has a counterintuitive twist — some kinds of Facebook use are correlated withhigher GPAs.
“Facebook use in and of itself is not detrimental to academic outcome,” says study author Reynol Junco, a professor at the Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. “It depends how it’s used.”
All Facebook activities do not have the same relationship with grades. Posting status updates and using Facebook chat generally mean a lower GPA, while checking to see what friends are up to and sharing links suggest a higher GPA. In other words, social Facebook activities were correlated with lower grades and information-related Facebook activities were correlated with higher grades.
Great read about classrooms and their technology future
To be sure, test scores can go up or down for many reasons. But to many education experts, something is not adding up — here and across the country. In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.
This conundrum calls into question one of the most significant contemporary educational movements. Advocates for giving schools a major technological upgrade — which include powerful educators, Silicon Valley titans and White House appointees — say digital devices let students learn at their own pace, teach skills needed in a modern economy and hold the attention of a generation weaned on gadgets.
“The data is pretty weak. It’s very difficult when we’re pressed to come up with convincing data,” said Tom Vander Ark, the former executive director for education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and an investor in educational technology companies.
And yet, in virtually the same breath, he said change of a historic magnitude is inevitably coming to classrooms this decade: “It’s one of the three or four biggest things happening in the world today.”
Read more from the New York Times.
Missouri lawmakers vote to repeal Facebook limits
Missouri lawmakers on Sept. 23 passed and sent to the governor a bill designed to refriend Facebook and other electronic media for thousands of Missouri’s teachers and students.
Not everyone, however, has decided to “like” it–including Gov. Jay Nixon, who wants to hear what teachers and school boards think.
The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed a repeal of an earlier law barring most private electronic contact between teachers and students, including exchanges on social media websites such as Facebook.
But the new bill does more than just repeal the so-called Facebook law. It also requires local school districts to adopt their own policies by next March, “to prevent improper communications between staff members and students.”