Two authors share tips that school technology administrators can use to make their own jobs easier while supporting their institutions with solid, safe IT practices.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"School staff is working toward a common goal, but from differing viewpoints. “When it comes to technology usage and student safety, everyone working with a school comes at the issue from a different angle,” says Brown, who explains that there are administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other constituents to consider when developing good technology usage policies. And while everyone generally has the same common goal of keeping students safe, “everyone also has a different perspective on how that will work—or, what actually poses a threat.”
The Global Digital Citizen Foundation resources list has got something for every teacher, administrator, and student living in the digital age.
Thanks to Beth Dichter for her insight:
If you are looking for excellent resources in the following areas you may want to click through to the Global Digital Citizen Foundation website. They provide a wealth of resources that you may download. Below is a list of their current resources. Consider bookmarking this page as they continue to add new resources.
* Solution Fluency Quickstart Guide
* Information Fluency Quickstart Guide
* Creative Fluency Quickstart Guide
* Media Fluency Quickstart Guide
* Collaboration Fluency Quickstart Guide
* World of Colour: Colour Theory in Marketing and Media
* PBL in the Classroom - this is a series and includes 3 resources
* 10 Things to Know Before Starting a BYOD Program
"Social media and text messages have blurred the lines between students’ school lives and private lives. While most schools take clear steps to protect students at school, more schools are beginning to consider the need to set policies that apply to students’ activities outside of school."
"This app was created to increase cyberbullying. There's no other reason."
So begins the current top review on iTunes for the controversial Burnbook app. The social networking service has made headlines across the country in recent weeks for bringing anonymous cyberbullying and threats of violence to American high schools.
The same reviewer goes on to say, "The app has become popular at my school and is specifically targeting a small group of people. I wish I could repeat the evil things that were posted so I could get my point across, but I cannot bring myself to spread those gruesome things even further."
Recently, we discovered a feature of Google Drive that has changed how we prepare and access materials and resources for our students. As we attempt to make all curricula digital and thus make it available to all students, the idea of using PDFs was always a problem. PDFs are just not editable in most situations, and this was an issue when it came to modifying and differentiating documents. Adobe Acrobat was our “go to” application for this type of conversion, but it was costly and often hard to come by in an educational setting. Note: We still use Adobe Acrobat for complex projects or documents that do not convert well in Google Drive. With the most recent update to Google Drive, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities are better and easier than ever.
Students across Florida were supposed to spend Monday taking computer-based standardized exams — high school students, end-of-course tests; kids in Grades 5-10, the math portion of the new high-stakes Florida Standards Assessment.
Mel Riddile's insight:
In some states, it is the vendor. In others, the problem is the state computers and servers. In some instances, the district is the problem. While in other situations, the school has the problem.
States, districts, and schools with more experience with online testing have fewer issues.
Dragging educational assessment into the 21st Century has proven to be much more difficult that anticipated, unless one goes through a multi-year transition process as our school did.Then you completely understand the potential issues.
These are predictable problems that must, at some time, be addressed before we can enter the modern age.
The researchers noted that teens are diversifying–71% of teens use more than one social network site. While we see frequent reports of its waning popularity, Facebook continues to be the most used social media site among American teens ages 13 to 17, with 71% of all teens using the site; half of the teens surveyed use Instagram; four-in-ten use Snapchat.
Facebook users typically have 145 friends. The typical teen Instagram user has 150 followers in his or her network. The typical teen Twitter user has 95 followers. One third of teens use Google+. Because schools have been adopting Google apps, many teens use Google tools in and out of school for school-related work. One quarter of teens, and even more girls, use Vine to share short videos. And on in seven teens, and even more girls use Tumblr, the microblogging/curation platform."
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Interestingly, African-American and Hispanic youth report more frequent internet use than white teens. Among African-American teens, 34% report going online “almost constantly” as do 32% of Hispanic teens, while 19% of white teens go online that often. Hispanic and African-American youth have somewhat less access to desktops, but African American teens have greater access to smartphones than their Hispanic or white counterparts."
"According to the federal Education Department, more than 19,000 U.S. schools are using School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(PBIS), an evidence-based framework to reduce disciplinary infractions, improve the school climate, and increase student achievement.
Similar to Response to Intervention (RTI), PBIS takes a three-tiered approach to instilling positive behavior in schools. Tier 1 focuses on interventions used on a school-wide basis for all students, such as actively teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Tier 2 applies more targeted approaches to students who need additional support, while the third tier is for students who have significant behavioral problems and may require an individual behavior plan and perhaps wraparound services."
There's a problem with traditional video conferencing clients. Though they are in abundance, they're only remotely useful if all parties are collectively using the same client. Popular services such as VoxOX, ooVoo, IMO and, of course, Skype and Google Hangouts all have this problem, thus putting a damper on quick collaboration. One "solution" to this is…
For almost a decade, the National Assessment Governing Board studied whether and how NAEP could “plausibly estimate” the percentage of U.S. students who “possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities in reading and mathematics that would make them academically prepared for college.”
Mel Riddile's insight:
"What to make of all this? To our eyes, these pictures help explain why America’s college matriculation rate is up but its college completion rate is not: We’ve succeeded at motivating more young people to enroll, but we haven’t prepared more of them to succeed at it. All of the higher education reforms in the world—“fixing” remedial education, providing additional supports to students, easing the debt burden, making community colleges “free”—won’t add up to a hill of beans unless our K–12 system gets a lot better at producing young people with the academic skills to succeed once they arrive on campus. (The alternative is to make college easier, which would only diminish the value of completing it.)"
EdTechTeacher, co-founded by Tom Daccord and Justin Reich, is a wonderful edtech consulting and training organization. Among many things that it does, ETT sponsors conferences, workshops, and leadership seminars. They are perhaps most well known for their Teacher iPad Summits held each year in Boston and San Diego
ETT's website hosts many resources, this Scoop focuses on their outstanding (and growing) collection of video tutorials (185 strong as of today...March 30, 2015). You may find the library on Vimeo (just click on the headline or the image above).
Each video provides a professionally produced demo/explanation of how to use some the the latest and greatest apps and techniques. Recent examples include "Pop up Video with Explain Everything," "VideoNot.es Tutorial," "Snagit Video Tutorial," and "Kaizena Video Tutorial."
All of this material is free. What a generous contribution by these wonderfully talented and creative people!
(AP) — One central Illinois school district has started providing Internet service to needy families at no charge. School Superintendent Barry Reilly says he doesn't want families "to have to choose between Internet access and dinner."
Illinois District Offering Students Free Home Web Access. The Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph (3/30) reports that Illinois’ Bloomington District 87 “is making sure students have no excuse not to get online,” and has “started a pilot program that brings Internet service to the homes of needy families at no charge.” The piece notes that the district began the program at Bloomington Junior High School, which is the only school in the district with a one-to-one device program. The AP (3/30) also covers this story, noting that Superintendent Barry Reilly “says he doesn’t want families ‘to have to choose between Internet access and dinner’” and said that the “program is necessary to close the achievement gap between rich and poor students.”
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