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In a time when teens spend hours on their laptops or mobile devices, new research is giving educators and parents a glimpse of hope, according to The Washington Post. Although pleasure reading on printed materials (books, newspapers and magazine) dropped 23 percent in 2008, compared with 2003, from 65 minutes a week to 50 minutes a week, experts say that teens are still reading, they are now using different methods.

“They could be reading on the cell phone, in games, on the Web, on the computer. It doesn’t meant they’re not reading, but they’re not reading using the printed page,” Sandra Hofferth, a researcher at the University of Maryland, told The Washington Post.

Read the entire Washington Post article.

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By Emily Raij, Maupin House

WeAreTeachers.com recently posted a powerful, thought-provoking video called “A Vision of K-12 Students Today.” After doing a little YouTube research, it turns out that the video was originally created in 2007. But the ideas presented are still relevant today—perhaps even more so. According to the video description, “This project was created to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways to help students develop higher level thinking skills. Equally important, it serves to motivate district level leaders to provide teachers with the tools and training to do so.”

In a caption alongside the video, WeAreTeachers.com poses the question, “What if kids could learn the way they want to learn?” Well, here’s what I think:

  • Their classrooms would not necessarily be inside of a school.
  • They would not need pens, pencils, and paper.
  • They would text, blog, vlog, tweet, and mashup their homework.
  • They would do most, if not all, of their reading on an iPod.
  • They would learn more and in a more meaningful way.

What do you think? How has learning changed for 21st-century students, and how will it continue to change? How will teachers, administrators, and educational suppliers adapt to meet students’ evolving needs? What can you do to help kids learn the way they want to learn? Please share your thoughts through the blog. Now enjoy the video…

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By Emily Gorovsky, NSSEA Member Supplier

Maupin House Publishing 

 

You’ve probably heard the term “social networking” thrown around a lot lately, but have you been participating in it? With the explosion of educational technology out there and students being more Web-savvy than ever, it’s absolutely necessary to familiarize yourself and your business with social networking. It may seem overwhelming at first, like any other new and rapidly spreading technology, but there are a few easy ways you can use social networking to learn more about the education industry, expand your company’s presence online, and even have some fun while you’re at it.  

 

  • Blogs: If you’re reading this, then you at least know what a blog is and probably how popular they are too. You can start one free with Blogger, WordPress, or LiveJournal, and then just link to it from your website. It takes a while to fully enter the blogosphere, but if you post regularly, vary the length and topics of your blogs, include lots of links to other industry blogs and articles, and write quality content, you’ll get noticed. And, more importantly, you’ll draw traffic to your Website while staying current on educational news and trends.
  • Twitter: This “microblog” lets you send “tweets” or brief updates—including your latest blog posts—to anyone who has signed up to receive them. While 140 characters is not a lot of space, it’s the perfect-sized nibble to intrigue people to read your complete blog post or visit your Website for further information.
  • Facebook: This is the ultimate tool in social networking and allows you to connect with other businesses, potential customers, and anyone else who may be interested in what you do. When creating your Facebook profile, be sure to include your company information (including Website and blog addresses), a description and mission statement, and a list of your products. In particular, you can use Facebook pages to market a business or a product. Start by going to http://www.facebook.com/business/ and choosing Facebook Pages and then the appropriate business category. One of the ways these pages differ from regular Facebook profiles is that they offer special applications specifically for businesses (www.facebook.com/apps/). For example, you can install the “Upcoming” application to easily display all of your upcoming conferences and tradeshows (like Ed Expo!), author events, or product release dates.

These are just a handful of suggestions for starting on the social networking path. Feel free to check out Maupin House Publishing’s blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, for actual examples. We’re still learning too, but we’d be happy to exchange ideas.

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