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by Jill Barshay
"Inside Hoboken’s combined junior-senior high school is a storage closet. Behind the locked door, some mothballed laptop computers are strewn among brown cardboard boxes. Others are stacked one atop another. Dozens more are stored on mobile computer carts, many of them on their last legs.
"That’s all that remains from a failed experiment to assign every student a laptop at Hoboken Junior Senior High School. It began five years ago with an unexpected windfall of stimulus money from Washington, D.C., and good intentions to help the district’s students, the majority of whom are under or near the poverty line, keep up with their wealthier peers. But Hoboken faced problem after problem and is abandoning the laptops entirely this summer."
by Dean Takahashi
"Hawkins — the charismatic founder of game publishers 3DO, Electronic Arts, and Digital Chocolate — has a new passion to teach children the social and emotional skills (SEL) that they don’t learn in school. He has a story-based app that gets lessons across that help kids deal with emotions and problems like bullies. But rather than launch it as a free-to-play game, Hawkins has gone a different route, releasing it instead as a subscription game....
"While the first chapter is free, subsequent chapters require a monthly subscription fee of $5 per month. Hawkins believes that parents will like this better than the somewhat risky free-to-play model, where children sometimes get into trouble by spending too much real money on virtual goods.
"Hawkins also said that each chapter will contain a few hours of gameplay as parents don’t want games to consume an inordinate amount of a child’s time. The dashboard app is a tool for parents to help monitor their children’s accomplishments and keep them motivated to do more.
"Hawkins said that the game is aimed at helping kids manage difficult emotions, persevere through challenges, make healthy decisions, and show empathy and compassion. As important as all of this is, most schools don’t teach it."
by Annie Murphy Paul
"This is a very particular take on learning: the autodidact’s take. We shouldn’t mistake it for most people’s reality. Productive learning without guidance and support from others is rare. A pair of eminent researchers has gone so far as to call the very notion of self-directed learning “an urban legend in education.”
"In a paper published in Educational Psychologist last year, Paul A. Kirschner of the Open University of the Netherlands and Jeroen J.G. van Merriënboer of Maastricht University challenge the popular assumption “that it is the learner who knows best and that she or he should be the controlling force in her or his learning.”
by Matthew Lynch
"...technology has made it possible for students who fall off the traditional path to jump back on and finish what they spent most of their childhood working towards. This may be in the form of taking remote classes from home, remedial classes in on-campus computer labs or even by enrolling in full-time online schools, public or private. The technology available for these options benefits students who face difficulties with a normal school schedule including teenage parents, students with short-term or long-term illnesses, teens with substance abuse struggles, or those who had poor academic performance due to learning disabilities or bullying."
from the website
"The New Yorker has made its archives since 2007 (and a few articles from before that) free for the next three months. That includes some great journalism on education — a tour of the biggest debates in K-12 and higher education.
"If you need something to read on your next flight, want a break from beach reading, or are aiming for a better grasp of the American education system before the kids go back to school this fall… here's your summer reading syllabus."
by Paul Fain
"The U.S. Department of Education will give its blessing -- and grant federal aid eligibility -- to colleges' experimentation with competency-based education and prior learning assessment.
"On Tuesday the department announced a new round of its “experimental sites” initiative, which waives certain rules for federal aid programs so institutions can test new approaches without losing their aid eligibility. Many colleges may ramp up their experiments with competency-based programs -- and sources said more than 350 institutions currently offer or are seeking to create such degree tracks."
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/07/23/competency-based-education-gets-boost-education-department#ixzz38JAty0wZ
Inside Higher Ed
by Gregory Ciotti
"Have you ever wished you were more creative? If you do creative work, have you ever suffered from a creative block and been stuck wondering what exactly is wrong, and how you can get yourself out of it? Of course you have, I mean, who hasn’t! Today, you’re in luck — you are about to read one."
According to a survey of educators who attended the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) annual conference, individualized learning is the biggest challenge faced by educators today. Edmentum, a leading provider of online learning solutions, has released the results of an informal survey it conducted about challenges in education that included more than 500 respondents attending ISTE.
The survey asked event attendees to identify their top challenge from a list of seven challenges prevalent in education today. Individualized learning was by far the most common response, with nearly 38 percent of respondents reporting that as their biggest challenge, followed by intervention at 19 percent. The full results are below:
Biggest Challenge for Educators
Individualized learning 38%
Data analysis 11%
Instructional assistance 10%
College and career readiness 8%
School improvement 7.5%
Dropout prevention 6.5%
*from a total of 587 respondents"
s"Higher education institutions are abuzz with the concept of Open Badges. Defined as a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality or interest, Open Badges are not only a hot topic as of late, but are also debated by some critics as the latest threat to higher education.
"A closer look at this emerging trend reveals benefits for traditional institutions and alternative learning programs alike. Some advocates have suggested that badges representing learning and skills acquired outside the classroom, or even in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), will soon supplant diplomas and course credits."
by Molly Wood
"Security experts say email is a lot more like a postcard than a letter inside an envelope, and almost anyone can read it while the note is in transit.
"One promising new encryption tool is Virtru, a feature that can be added to Chrome and Firefox browsers or installed on the Mail program on the Mac and for Outlook on Windows. One of Virtru’s big selling points is that it works with web-mail services like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. There are also apps for iOS and Android."
by Chelsea Miller
description by EdSurge
"Edtech products today often address academics and behavior independently," says Goalbook's Chelsea Miller, "under the assumption that the former is the focus of classroom learning, while social and emotional learning should be used as an intervention on an as-needed basis." She makes a compelling argument why this reactive model is ineffective."