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
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 post comes from Jeremy Macdonald, a 5th Grade & Instructional Technology teacher at Mills Elementary in the Klamath Falls City Schools district in Klamath Falls Oregon.
Many of us who participate or contribute to a Professional Learning Network (PLN) do so outside of our own school community, often as an activity that doesn't involve many (if any) of our building or district colleagues. While a PLN can take many different forms, the most popular seems to be taking place in Twitter.
Several of my colleagues often question the time I spend "on" Twitter. The most common comment is, "When do you have time to do this? Nobody needs to know what I had for breakfast anyway." And my response is almost always the same, "It's not about being on Twitter all the time or sharing today's breakfast, it's about have place to go when I need ideas, resources, and conversations around what's going on in education." My response typically has little effect on their opinion, but that doesn't keep me from trying.
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From USA Today, There is increasing support to bring arts education back to public schools around the country, Particularly, politicians, business leaders, educators, artists and parents are making a big push to restore the arts to California public schools. And the Associated Press reports that celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington and Forest Whitaker are adopting some of the nation's worst-performing schools and pledging to help the Obama administration turn them around by integrating arts education.
From Education Week, a bipartisan group of senators wants to make sure the Obama administration doesn't leave rural schools out in the cold when it crafts the next generation of the Race to the Top competition, which is aimed at districts and could be funded at as much as $417 million.Read Entire Post
Happy Friday to you. Before darting off to enjoy the weekend, or hiding inside because of allergies, enjoy a good helping of education news to get your day and weekend started right.
This edition of the Morning Announcements is all about the attack of the teacher. In cities across the country, overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated teachers are fighting back, with big rewards. In Portland Oregon, the public schools’ officials overstepped the boundaries of their authority by forcing teachers to take on more classes and students. According to the Huffington Post, a state arbitrator ruled this week that the district officials now owe affected educators a total of $1.5 million in compensation . Cha-ching!Read Entire Post
Classroom teachers are overworked. If you are in the trenches doing the job, you already know this. You've got lessons to plan, individualized instruction to prepare, data to record, and attendance at the various PLC meetings that are supposed to help you get better at doing all of it. Where is there time in all of this to learn new technology to integrate into your classrooms?
That's where your school librarian can come in and help. A school librarian has been trained in utilizing technology in the classroom and is a certified teacher as well. When I got my Master's Degree in Library Science, half of my classes were technology classes that taught the integration of technology into the curriculum. Your school librarian has had similar training and can be there to teach you the latest and greatest stuff that you can easily use with your students. Not only that, but you don't have to be an expert in how to use the technology, the school librarian will come in and teach your students how to use it, and be there to support the students when they have questions. Sounds easier than trying to do it yourself, doesn't it?Read Entire Post
While more students from all backgrounds are finishing college, the difference in graduation rates between the top and bottom income groups has widened by nearly 50 percent over two decades, reports CNN.
The Washington Post writes that failure of the congressional supercommittee tasked with reducing the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion could lead to across-the-board budget cuts, which would have a serious impact on already-distressed public education funding.Read Entire Post
Empowering Teaching and Promoting Innovation Through the Digital Learning Day Campaign: Sign Up Today to Learn More!
I am pleased to share details about the first-ever Digital Learning Day, scheduled for February 1, 2012. Alliance President Bob Wise is leading this campaign to celebrate teachers and spotlight innovative strategies that effectively incorporate instructional technology to improve student learning.
Digital Learning Day is a flagship project of the Alliance's newly created Center for Secondary School Digital Learning and Policy (the Center) where leaders within industry, education, and policy fields will focus on the effective uses of technology in the entire education system. The Center will address issues and cultivate models to highlight topics including online- and blended-learning opportunities, robust digital content and the common core state standards, models for funding and investment, innovative practice and pedagogy, teacher continuing education, STEM education, and much more.
But Digital Learning Day isn't just a day-it's a year-round campaign that highlight teachers, schools, districts, and states that are implementing effective approaches that personalize instruction, increase teacher effectiveness, streamline resources, increase rigor, and expand learning opportunities for all students.Read Entire Post
Today, the Washington Post highlights education historian Diane Ravitch’s recent blog post “Why Finland’s schools are great (by doing what we don’t).”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about the Alliance’s recently released report on improving teacher quality by improving the induction of teachers, citing “In 1987–88, the most common experience level of teachers was 15 years. Twenty years later, it was one year.”
Louisiana leads the nation in high school dropouts, as according to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, one of every six students in the state fails to make it to graduation. “In Louisiana, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, the financial impact of the dropout rate is significant. The Alliance for Excellent Education … estimates that dropouts from Louisiana’s class of 2008 could cost the state roughly $6.9 billion in lost wages over their lifetimes,” says the report. (via WWLTV.com in Louisiana)
According to the Huffington Post, YouTube has a Teacher’s Channel that provides teachers with instructions on how to make and upload videos and how to incorporate existing videos in their classroom instruction.Read Entire Post
At the New York Times’ conference on education and technology yesterday, Bob Wise — president of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia — said the United States is entering the phase of “Web 3.0,” a new era focused on how to effectively use technology in the classroom by emphasizing the teacher’s role.
While in the past digital learning had often been limited to a virtual world used by homeschooled students or those with special needs, it has become more of a blended-learning model used by students in traditional schools. Wise said America is moving on to an important third stage: conversations are now focusing on how technology can empower teachers to become “educational designers” by using their professional expertise to help students learn in a personalized manner.
“For the first time we’re talking about the serious role of the teacher,” Wise said. “The teacher has always been involved, but in this “Web 3.0,” it’s high-tech equals high teach […] Teachers are designing a path for each student in that class — that is a professional responsibility. Teaching doesn’t become less, it becomes more in this world.”Wise made these remarks at the New York Times’ “Schools for Tomorrow” conference during the last session entitled “Closing Debate: The System,” moderated by Times columnist David Brooks.
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