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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Major changes to state education policies have been recommended by the newly formed Digital Learning Council. Some of the ideas include abolishing seat-time requirements, linking teacher pay to student success, and overhauling public school funding models, Education News reports.

The council–headed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise and includes about 100 leaders across government, education, business, technology, and research–also suggests that, not only should all students have access to digital learning opportunities in the form of online or blended courses, but they should have choices between providers and methods of access.

The recommendations are part of the council’s 10 policy suggestions in a report issued Wednesday for states to use digital learning as a catalyst for education reform.

Read more on Edweek.org

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On Tuesday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan released the U.S. Department of Education’s plan for transforming American education through technology, a process that would create state-of-the-art, cradle-to-college school system nationwide.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to reform our schools,” Duncan said during the State Educational Technology Directors Association Education Forum. “With this technology plan, we have laid out a comprehensive vision for how teachers working with technology can transform student learning in classrooms across America. We must dramatically improve teaching and learning, personalize instruction and ensure that the educational environments we offer to all students keep pace with the 21st century.”

The final version of The National Education Technology Plan (NETP), written and refined over 18 months by leading education researchers, also pledges to finance development of open-source educational resources and launch an initiative dedicated to defining and increasing educational productivity, Education Week reported. The Department of Education sees this plan as a crucial component of the administration’s effort to have America lead the world in college completion by 2020 and help close the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.

The plan, titled “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology,” presents a model with key goals in five areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity. Each core section outlines concepts for using technology to holistically transform education, with the aim to achieve each goal by 2015.

  • Learning: Change the learning process so it’s more engaging and tailored to students’ needs and interests.
  • Assessment: Measure student progress on the full range of college and career ready standards and use real time data for continuous improvement.
  • Teaching: Connect teachers to the tools, resources, experts and peers they need to be highly effective and supported.
  • Infrastructure: Provide broadband connectivity for all students, everywhere—in schools, throughout communities and in students’ homes.
  • Productivity: Use technology to help schools become more productive and accelerate student achievement while managing costs.

Overall, the plan addresses technology trends that could transform education, such as mobility and accessibility, the rise of digital content, and the rise of online social networks for information, collaboration and learning. Importantly, it stresses that technology in the classroom only works when paired with effective teaching.

“Technology will never replace good teachers,” Duncan said. “We all know that the most important factor in a student’s success is the teacher leading the class. That will not change.”

To read the finalized NETP, “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology,” visit http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010.

Sources: The Department of Education and Education Week

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American students are losing ground in education attainment compared to countries from Korea to Estonia. In a recent edition of @Brookings, a weekly podcast by the Brookings Institute, expert Grover “Russ” Whitehurst poses provocative solutions for students from kindergarten through college.

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An article in Education Week reveals the growing trend of online learning in U.S. schools. According to a new study, 27 percent of high school students say they were enrolled in at least one online course in 2009, nearly double the 14 percent enrolled in 2008.

Many experts says that students whose parents have taken classes online are more likely to do the same. A study by Blackboard K-12 and Project Tomorrow showed that students are twice as likely to take or explore classes virtually if their parents have done so.

“I think that that’s just a little piece of something bigger that’s going on,” Jessie Woolley-Wilson, Blackboard K-12 president, told Education Week. “The archetypes … are changing. Teachers are students. Students are teachers. And so our notion of a linear learning curve that is completely dictated by your age and by your grade and all this stuff, it all blows up.” Read more.

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Bloomberg Businessweek Assistant Managing Editor Jim Ellis talks with Marc Beattie and Phil Montero about the growing use of video to collaborate in the workplace. The first two minutes of the video is a presentation by Geir Olson, VP of Video Telepresence Specialist Sales for TANDBERG. Watch on Bloomberg.

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In this interview with Joe Caruso of Caruso Leadership Institute, Joe shares his thoughts about a window of opportunity for transformation in the education industry.

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Recently, a New Jersey middle school principal made headlines when he sent parents an email requesting that they prevent their children from using Facebook and text messaging. He believes that social networking sites have no educational value and promote cyber-bullying.

Should school children be forbidden from using social networking tools? Two writers from Businessweek debate the educational relevance of Facebook and other social media outlets. Read more.

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