For the past two years the Alliance has been exploring how high-quality digital learning can help drive improved learning in the education system. One thing we have learned is quite clear—even with the best technology, in the end you still need a great teacher. And when technology is used properly, the teacher becomes even more important. That is what the Alliance’s new report--Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered by Digital Learning--is all about: the growing role of teachers and the changes that are taking place as technology and digital learning become more engrained in the education system.Read Entire Post
The big news at the Alliance today is the release of our latest report, Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered by Digital Learning. The report details what educators and schools will require to implement genuine teaching practices that are personalized for each student. Digital learning, the report argues, can be a major strategy for enabling teachers to meet varied students’ needs while also supporting necessary cultural shifts in teaching. Alliance President Bob Wise will have some thoughts about the release this afternoon, so watch this space!
Beyond Culture Shift, there are some other interesting bits of news to relay.
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We’re back with another edition of Stats That Stick. Do you have any particularly sticky stats from this week? Leave them for us in the comments!
Number of states that have been approved for a No Child Left Behind Waiver: 17
With yesterday’s approval of eight more NCLB waivers, the number of states who have been awarded flexibility from the current iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act stands at 17. 26 additional states and the District of Columbia still have pending waiver requests, according to the Associated PressRead Entire Post
Welcome to your Thursday announcements! After you’re done reading these, why not register for today’s webinar on the three T’s? It’s not too late to register, and the webinar is at 2pm.
Yesterday’s big news in education was the announcement of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s education platform. Mr. Romney’s speech came before a luncheon of Latino business leaders, during which called education “the civil rights issue of our era” and said that “millions of kids are getting a third-world education.” Different outlets focused on different parts of Mr. Romney’s speech. Here are three takes from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and The Washington Times.
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Happy Tuesday! Did you know that on this day in 1990, Microsoft released Windows 3.0? This was the first version of Windows that included Solitaire. Just a little trivia for you to think about as you navigate the work day!
Yesterday’s big news was the Department of Education’s announcement of a school district-level Race to the Top contest. This round of RTTT will focus on individualized instruction as well as on evaluating district superintendents and school board members. Two takes on this development, first from Education Week and then the New York Times.
Bad news for school budgets in the Golden State. As the Sacramento Bee reports, California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said yesterday that school districts covering 2.6 million of the state’s 6 million K-12 students are in “financial jeopardy.”
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The following blog post comes from Gerald W. Aungst, supervisor of gifted and elementary mathematics in the School District of Cheltenham Township in Pennsylvania.
In January of 2012, Wyncote Elementary School in Cheltenham began conversations about the upcoming Digital Learning Day scheduled for February 1. The principal, Dr. Crystal Clark, had asked the staff to think about how they could integrate technology into their teaching. Wyncote has teachers who she knew were highly fluent in technology use and others who she knew were becoming anxious at the thought. Not unlike many schools.
She was pleased with the response she got. “There was a willingness to share their tricks of the trade,” says Clark. “Teachers can live a very isolated existence, and everybody just assumes that they know.”
Her request sparked conversations among the teachers. They discussed the tools and software they were already using. “It just started this exchange of resources,” Clark said.
Teachers were made aware of websites they had not encountered before when their colleagues talked about them. Some discovered that other people had been trying out some of the same things they had been using themselves, and they suddenly had a partner to bounce ideas off of. “Once some people heard how others were really using technology, everybody signed up for something in the digital learning cycle,” Clark said.Read Entire Post
Good afternoon! We hope that your weekend was great. Time to find out what’s notable in the news on this Monday!
U.S. News and World Report kicks us off today by reporting on teachers who develop applications that fill gaps in their lessons. The article features Jeff Scheur, a Chicago English teacher, who developed a web application to help his students avoid repeatedly making the same writing mistakes.
Alliance President Bob Wise wrote an editorial for the Detroit Free Press yesterday about the benefits of blending technology into classrooms and promoting digital learning. “Digital hardware by itself does not bring change, but combine teachers and technology with proper leadership, vision and planning, and watch schoolhouses become transformed learning environments,” Wise writes.
The Kansas State Legislature has passed a bill prohibiting state funds from paying for remedial courses and supporting students who fall below minimum admissions requirements, reports the Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas). The bill will now go to Governor Sam Brownback’s desk. The Alliance for Excellent Education previously examined the costs of remediating high school students in Paying Double.
Here’s more news from the state level; this time out of Georgia. The Athens Banner-Herald (Georgia) reports that state funding on education has been declining since 2001. For example, Georgia “has cut funding to the University System of Georgia by 19.8 percent since 2009, and slashed spending on the state technical college system by 11 percent in the same time period.”
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Earlier this week I had the privilege of writing the inaugural blog post for the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC), a new alliance of states, foundations, educators, content providers, developers and vendors who are passionate about using technology to personalize learning and improve education. I believe, as the SLC does, that personalized learning can transform students’ educational experiences and elicit significant gains in the classroom.In my blog post, “Making Personalized Learning a Reality ,” I emphasize—as I have many times in when discussing the benefits of digital learning—the difference that teachers can, and do, make and how our system owes its educators the resources that can best reach students. Read Entire Post
Congratulations to NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who will earn his Ph.D in organizational learning and leadership this weekend. A professional athletic career can only last so long, but an education lasts forever.
The push for a technology-enriched classroom continues as a survey of K-8 teachers shows nearly half of them are incorporating digital games in lessons to engage students and personalize learning. Education Week analyzes the rising popularity of digital learning.Read Entire Post
Technology is the topic of the day with so much of the day’s education reporting focusing on the impact of digital innovation in the classroom. Happy Wednesday, as you engage in digital learning by reading this from your smart phone, tablet, or computer, embrace some of the latest headlines.
From the Washington Post, Montgomery County middle school teacher Amy Soldavini recently borrowed an online lesson comparing hip-hop artists to the Bard. Math teachers at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County sometimes assign students to watch free instructional Web videos at home so they can solve more challenging problems in class. Free online digital textbooks are providing a new competition for traditional textbook retailers.Read Entire Post