Saturday, January 22, 2011

Education & Digital Learning Current Awareness for January 23/11

A review of news and blog articles, commentaries, reports, and technology issues as they relate to education, digital learning, children and youth. Covering the last three weeks of 2011.

News & Blogs


The good, the bad and the ugly education facts
What makes a school successful? In Canada, the provinces have poured money into schools to reduce class sizes. The PISA results – like those of other studies – suggest governments should save their money. Paying teachers better (Canadian teachers are already well-paid, comparatively speaking) surpasses class size as a spur to better results. “Smaller classes are not necessarily associated with better reading performance,” the PISA report said. [CAN]

Globe and Mail, January 13, 2011


Microsoft Expands Its Cloud-Based Educational Tools with Office 365
In the ongoing battle between Google and Microsoft for the cloud-based education market, it's Microsoft's turn today to tout itself as "the premier cloud suite for education worldwide," announcing that Live@edu is now used by more than 15 million students worldwide. In October, Google announced that its Apps for Education had crossed the 10 million user mark.

ReadWriteWeb, January 11, 2011


Google to Dip Into Ed. App. Market
An article on Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Google execs are currently in talks with education software companies about creating educational apps to be featured in Google Apps Marketplace, an online store that opened in March. Education software sales in K-12 and higher ed raked in about $4.6 billion in 2009, according to the article, and Google, which typically makes its profit from search advertising, is hoping to cash in on some of that revenue stream.

Education Week, January 4, 2011


Google Announces the World's First Online Global Science Fair
The Google Science Fair takes the traditional science fair and moves it to the Web. Participating students both build and submit their projects online - using Google Docs, Sites, and YouTube, for example - for all aspects of their research projects - from the data collection to the final presentation. Students from all over the world are encouraged to participate - from Paris, Texas to Paris, France, from Venice, Italy to Venice Beach.

ReadWriteWeb, January 11, 2011


Lessons learned. At last, America may change the way it trains, recruits and rewards teachers
Budget, curriculum, class size—none has a greater effect on a student than his or her teacher. Given this, politicians might be expected to do all in their power to ensure that America’s teachers are good ones. For decades, they have done the opposite. [US]

Economist, January 6, 2011


Math That Moves: Schools Embrace the iPad
A growing number of schools across the nation are embracing the iPad as the latest tool to teach Kafka in multimedia, history through “Jeopardy”-like games and math with step-by-step animation of complex problems. [US]

New York Times, January 4, 2011


E-Readers Kindle Student Learning
When it comes to reading or researching, most kids today turn to a Google search box, not an encyclopedia. Schools like Hopkins North Junior High have taken note. Teachers there are trading paperback books for 30 Nook e-readers this month with hopes that they will kindle kids' excitement about reading. [US]

Education Week, January 12, 2011


Amid E-Book Growth, Students Still Prefer Paper Textbooks
...a study called "Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education," another round in the debate has been settled on the side of paper. 75% of student preferred old-fashioned, paper-and-board textbooks over electronic versions. (A Book Industry study...a last gasp)

ReadWriteWeb, January 7, 2011


More Autism Schools Proposed in New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie has proposed creating additional specialized public schools for educating children with autism in New Jersey, a departure from the current practice in many communities of integrating those children into neighborhood schools...Parents and advocates are split over the idea of creating specialized schools for children with autism [US]

New York Times, January 16, 2011


The Real Cost of Technology Integration
... technology's potential to enhance a student's abilities can be constructive or destructive. And that is magnified for students who have special needs...

Education Week, January 13, 2011


Learning With Disabilities
FOCUS At Landmark, for students with A.D.H.D. and learning disabilities, strategies are developed to deal with attention and productivity issues. For many, the odds are against them. [US]

New York Times, January 7, 2011


Journal Showcases Dying Art of the Research Paper
William H. Fitzhugh, the cantankerous publisher of a journal that showcases high school research papers, sits at his computer in a cluttered office above a secondhand shop here, deploring the nation’s declining academic standards. [US]

New York Times, January 7, 2011


Virginia Poised to Ban Teacher-Student Texting, Facebooking
Should teachers friend their students on Facebook? Should teachers text their students? [US]

ReadWriteWeb, January 9, 2011


A supernova for every child
The best science education teaches problem-solving skills and can help us build a more innovative society. And that begins with getting kids excited about science. [CAN]

Globe and Mail, January 11, 2011


A Chinese school’s secret success
Principal Qingming Li, of Nanshan Experimental School in Shenzen, China, believes an emphasis on reading, rather than test scores, makes for a more successful and well-rounded student. [China]

Toronto Star, January 19, 2011


Toronto school starts hour later and grades improve
The experiment, which began in the fall of 2009, is an acknowledgement by educators that the biological clocks of teenager leave them sluggish in the morning. The Canadian Pediatric Society reported in 2008 that high school students need nine to 10 hours of sleep a night and may struggle in school if they don’t get it. [CAN]

Toronto Star, January 18, 2011


Texas Districts Adopting Online Curriculum
School districts throughout Texas are adopting a new curriculum tool aimed at improving student test scores. [US]

Education Week, January 3, 2011


Halton Catholic board drops ban on gay group
The Halton Catholic District School Board voted Tuesday night to overturn a ban on gay-straight alliances until a new policy can be crafted. The board’s controversial decision earlier this month to exclude the groups from an inclusion policy drafted by the Ontario Ministry of Education earned them international notoriety. [CAN]

Globe and Mail, January 18, 2011


Teachers must be free to touch pupils
Music teachers must be free to touch children to help them learn to play instruments such as the violin, the Education Secretary has said. [UK]

UK Telegraph, January 8, 2011


Parents clash over Halton school board’s plan to expand gifted classes
A new gifted program that separates Grade 1 students into special classes has polarized parents and trustees in Halton region. [CAN]

Toronto Star, January 5, 2011


Handled carefully, merit pay for teachers might work
Should great teachers be paid more than merely good ones? Would merit pay transform good teachers into great ones? And if governments are going to reward our top teachers, how will they evaluate their performance? [CAN]

Globe and Mail, January 6, 2011


Teacher pay plan merits debate
Have you ever heard anything crazier than this? A guy called Kevin Falcon, who is running for the B.C. Liberal leadership, has suggested that people who are really good at their jobs should get paid more than those who are just average... [CAN]

Ottawa Citizen, January 6, 2011


Rewarding teachers
If improving the quality of education was as easy as paying teachers based on how well their students perform, everyone would be doing it. [CAN]

Ottawa Citizen, January 5, 2011


On teacher merit pay, show us the money
Merit pay for teachers is an appealing idea that could wind up costing billions of dollars for little or no result. Its proponents – such as the Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon in British Columbia, who promises to push for it if he becomes premier – need to explain, at least in broad outline, what the costs would be, and how the many practical barriers to its success would be overcome. [CAN]

Globe and Mail, January 5, 2011


Merit pay for teachers a ‘trick shot’ argues BC Liberal contender
Kevin Falcon says public school teachers should be paid according to their teaching skills, not their length of service or level of professional training. He promised to push for such a merit-pay system if he becomes premier on Feb. 26th. [CAN]

Globe and Mail, January 4, 2011


Report Finds Parental Monitoring Software May Carry Privacy and Liability Risks
arents who use anti-bullying and anti-sexting software to monitor their children's online activities may be giving up family privacy and increasing their personal liability, according to the group School Safety Partners. The group, which aims to help support best practices for online safety, says that parents may be unaware of the ways in which the Terms of Service of child monitoring software companies dictate how personal information that's monitored is used.

ReadWriteWeb, January 12, 2011


The Study of Man (or Males)
Male studies, largely the brainchild of Dr. Edward M. Stephens, a New York City psychiatrist, doesn’t actually exist anywhere yet. Last spring, there was a scholarly symposium at Wagner College on Staten Island, intended to raise the movement’s profile and attract funds for a department with a tenured chair on some campus.

New York Times, January 7, 2011


Youth & Technology


Wolfram Alpha Takes on Education With Algebra, Calculus & Music Theory Apps
Wolfram Alpha is on a mission to develop an “app for every course.” The company launched its first three subject-specific iPhone apps on Tuesday, and all three — Algebra, Calculus, and Music Theory — look to be promising educational tools.

Mashable, January 13, 2011


100+ Online Resources That Are Transforming Education
Education technology has become a busy space in recent years. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates continue to push the envelope with enormous philanthropic gifts toward education reform; Blackboard.com was traded at a $1 billion plus valuation; and Google is putting millions into education tech sites like KhanAcademy...

Mashable, January 7, 2011


Finally, A Use for Internet TV Other Than "Cable Cutting": Education
Internet TV has finally found a perfect home - the classroom. We're sure the last thing most parents want to hear about is their children watching more TV, but if they're going to be staring at a screen, it may as well be educational. Google agrees and has announced Google TV for EDU, "a seeding program to support university research."

ReadWriteWeb, January 18, 2011