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EdTech: Five Smart Ways to Do 1:1 Tablet Deployments

Tablets_mg_0418edit_261My latest piece -- about ways districts can make smart decisions before giving everyone tablets -- is out from the Harvard Education Letter. 

Basically, the advice I got from places like Roslyn, Mooresville, McAllen, and Burlington (MA) boiled down to getting very clear about why you're doing this and what you expect to be different in classrooms because of the devices, holding off (or at least piloting) before making big purchases, and making sure to have enough bandwidth and WiFi access to let all those devices work at roughly the same time.

Click here if you feel like checking it out.

Morning Video: Teaching Low-Income Kids To Code

PBS NewsHour: Seeking tech genius among disadvantaged teens.

Charts: Teachers Use Technology (For What?)

Unnamed (5)Here's some more information from the Gates/Scholastic survey of teachers, focused on uses of technology. Looks like teachers still really love them some YouTube.

 

Quotes: What Are Online Courses Good For?

Main-qimg-0b7d7f1c033b714e82cd214d47052db6Online courses can be excellent and often more suitable than classroom for Knowledge level... Without huge investment, online courses are usually unsuitable for Comprehension, Analysis, and Evaluation.  - NASA engineer Robert Frost (Will online courses ever be more powerful and effective than a classroom course? via Quora)

Afternoon Video: Girl-Focused Toy Startup Won SuperBowl Ad Spot From Intuit

 

Read more about the contest and the possible implications from MSNBC here.

Charts: Venture Capital & Education Innovation

image from educationnext.orgProfiles of founders of Wireless Generation, SchoolNet, and K12 from Education Next (For Education Entrepreneurs, Innovation Yields High Returns)

 

Update: It All Began Ten Years Ago

Jacob riss dana goldstein Hard to believe that I started the weekly email roundup that became "This Week In Education" in November '03, starting with AOL, then moving to GMail (remember when it was so), then Blogger/Blogspot (your eyes still hurt).  

What I'd forgotten along the way is the blog moved over to EdWeek in January '07 -- about six months after I moved to New York City and much later than I had remembered.   The Chicago blog moved over to Catalyst and ChicagoNow a little earlier. 

Way back then, blogs were still strange and new -- now they're strange and old.  Being able to comment immediately rather than write a letter to the editor was new -- now most folks simple Tweet or Facebook what they've got to say.

There was no Politics K-12 or Teacher Beat, no Huffington Post, no Answer Sheet, no GothamSchools/Chalkbeat. Rotherham didn't allow comments. Hess didn't even know what a blog was, much less have his own.

One thing hasn't changed, which is the basic aim of what I'm doing, which I summarized in the 2007 welcome message at EdWeek: "Too often, educators don't understand politics, politicians don't understand education, and education journalists don't understand -- or find ways to capture -- the interactions of these two different worlds. Everyone suffers as a result."

Jacob Riis image via Dana Goldstein's blog.

Weekend Reading: Houston Goes Laptop, DC Streamlines Testing

There's always good reading that comes in over the weekend (or that I miss during the week), but I know that some of you have lives and/or don't take your jobs seriously enough to check the Internet 24/7, so here are some of the best things you might want to check out or at least know about:

Houston Launches Ambitious 1-to-1 Computing Initiative - @BenjaminBHerold @EdWeekEdTech http://ht.ly/sW6EI 

DC Public schools are exploring ways to streamline, make best use of standardized tests http://ht.ly/sVFkf  via @Morning_Edu [also via @washingtonpost! http://wapo.st/1c8J0Pm]

For Kids With Low Self-Esteem, Praise Has Unintended Consequences - @PacificStand http://ht.ly/sXzLj 

How Tumblr and GitHub could be the future of education | Reuters @felixsalmon #edtech http://ht.ly/sXzjs 

Will A Computer Decide Whether You Get Your Next [Teaching] Job? : Planet Money : NPR http://ht.ly/sXDrS 

Against the Rage Machine http://ht.ly/sXxCi  Why so many of us are outraged so often, and feel the need to say so via n+1

From Jay Mathews: Students won’t learn? Go visit their parents: D.C. is trying to see if visiting parents at h... http://tinyurl.com/krcektz 

Young Catholics at Eastside High Revolt, Ctd: http://wp.me/p33JF9-Ue7  via @DishFeed

A week later, I'm still not much national coverage of unlawful teacher dismissal lawsuit in NOLA. Also, no one's biting on my prediction that if the new Ezra Klein / Matt Yglesias endeavor has an education component, Dana Goldstein is most likely to head it.   

EdTech: Tablets, MOOCs -- Now Rocketship

Flickr hey rocker angry starWhat's going on in edtech and innovation these days?  Growing pains?  Overly ambitious timelines?  Credulous media suddenly turned skeptical?  Or are there lots of people who've simply taken the wrong path?  

A few weeks ago MOOC enthusiast Sebastiaun Thrun admitted that the model wasn't working (largely due to high attrition rates).  A handful of iPad deployments have blown up or seem unlikely to result in student learning increases.

Now, Rocketship -- the highly blended charter school model -- is having to revamp its programs for a second time (see Edweek here) and apparently rolled back its expansion plans, too (via Caroline Grannan). Image via Flickr.

Morning Video: WorkKeys [Yes, They Still Use It]

From PBS NewsHour: "WorkKeys, developed by ACT,uses actual workplace scenarios to measure how well individuals can decipher charts, graphs and other visual information, convert ratios, measurements, and make calculations across a variety of situations, and effectively comprehend memos, instructions and other authentic workplace documents." Click here to read the transcript.

Update: Schools' Ever-Expanding Uses Of TED Talks

 

TED Talks may or may not be the world's most intellectually rigorous form of idea-sharing for adults, as several recent blog posts and articles have suggested, but the format -- in full or just parts of it -- still has some appeal and potential benefits for teachers and students who want to try it out in schools.

image from hepg.org

This new Harvard Education Letter story I wrote explores schools' small but growing use of TED Talks. Classroom and in-school uses of TED Talks are turning into whole-school TEDx events and even (in at least one case) whole-district TED Talks

"Hosting a standalone TEDx event is no easy feat. For student organizers, the event requires the ability to organize and coordinate, to think through logistics and ideas, and to work with adults as well as other students... Organizers' duties include finding speakers and a venue that's appropriate, creating a program and TEDx event logo, deciding which TED Talks to play in between live presentations, scripting and shaping presentations, recruiting an audience, and arranging with teachers and administrators for students to attend. TEDx events are supposed to be filmed from three different angles, streamed live online, and uploaded to the Internet. (The head-mounted microphone, use of buzzwords, and dramatic pauses are optional.)"  
What do you think?  What do your schools do with TED Talks, if anything? From TED-ifying Schools Harvard Education Letter.  


Media: Blogs Are Dead (Long Live Blogging!)

BloggingBlogger extraordinaire Jason Kottke penned this post for the Nieman Journalism Lab (R.I.P. The Blog, 1997-2013) recently, echoing what I've been telling you guys for years now: The blog is dead, long live the blog.  

Kottke predicts that the blog has been dead for a while now, and that more folks will notice this in 2014 than in the past. It's true -- the blog format with its comments and such is old and creaky.  No argument there.  

But blogging -- the broader activity of sharing useful information and opinions with the world -- is if anything on the rise.  With Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Tumblr, everyone's blogging now.  It's just not called that.  

What to call it?  I have no idea.  Meantime, you can find me on Twitter (@alexanderrusso), Facebook (personal profile or official page), and Tumblr (HotForEd).  And I'll continue and try to bring social media onto this site for all of you who are still not into it.

Afternoon Video: White House Seeks Classroom Videographers

 Find out more about the White House Film Fest -- then submit your entry

 

The White House is looking for student filmmakers to share short films about " the power of technology in classrooms" -- the deadline is January 29.

#EdGIF Of The Day: Edmodo Co-Founder Nic Borg Talks Timing


Edmodo's Nic Borg is one of several education-related folks in Forbes' 30 Under 30 compiled by @CarolineLHoward. Plus SFER, Jeremiah, folks from NYCDOE, Khan Academy, and more.  In this video-turned-gif, Borg is talking about how successful startups are sometimes the product of lucky timing and have to innovate to figure out how to succeed in the long run. Indeed, I'm wondering how many of the 2007 version of this feature are still around, if there even was such a thing.

Afternoon Video: Computer Scientist Argues For "More Wizards & Witches"

This is a talk from a school-hosted TEDx event at Silicon Valley's Gunn High School about how computers and magic aren't all that far apart.

Media: VentureBeat's New EdTech Channel (& How It's Sponsored)

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 3.23.39 PMThe way thinsgs are these days, nearly the first thing that came up in response to the news that VentureBeat was starting a new education channel was the issue of sponsorship / editorial control.

Indeed, there's a Apollo Education Group icon on the page, though it's not mentioned in the announcement itself. They're the parent company for University of Phoenix.

The arrangement is described elsewhere, in a post that also claims that VentureBeat is "the first major technology news organization to dedicate a channel to how technology is transforming the global education market."

The VentureBeat announcement includes lots of enthusiasm for edtech activity.  No surprise -- there's lots of action in edtech (and lots of money in education, generally speaking). Recent stories from them include How data is driving the biggest revolution in education since the Middle AgesThe President’s ‘gaming guy’ tells us that educational games fascinate Obama.

Of course, there's very little media out there that's not paid in some form -- by advertising, subscriptions, philanthropy-- or free but ideologically driven.  So caveat lector and all that.  Always been that way, probably always will be.  The recently announced NPR expansion is being sponsored by Gates and Wallace foundations, for example. Politico's education page is funded through subscriptions, advertisers, and sponsors like Power Jobs!.  This site is sponsored by Scholastic Administrator. 

 

Afternoon Video: Misunderstood?

I'm not sure this has much to do with education or school reform, or even technology, but it's everywhere and it's pretty interesting for an ad. 

Morning Video: Predictions For The Future Of Education

"4. Every student will have a customized learning experience, with no grades or syllabus." (Five surprising things that will happen in the next five years Sploid)

Afternoon Video: Can Apps Help Ease ADD, Too?

From Fast Company: Can Your Brain Really Be Retrained? 

 

Charts: Lemov, Lexile Scores, and Lord Of The Flies

image from blogs.kqed.org

KQED's MindShift checks in with Doug Lemov about his new book, lexile scores, and Lord of the Rings.

Morning Video: "Flipped" Classrooms - Do They Really Work?

Afternoon Video: Oscar-Worthy Anti-Bullying Video?

 

"A day at work doesn't look like this. What about a day at school?" [Also from Upworthy -- they're so good at the headlines! -- and possibly not new (but I don't remember).]  PS -- It's in French. 

EdTech: Chicago Goes All-In For Computer Coding

image from farm8.staticflickr.comThere's a big national push to get US kids to learn how to code computer programs going on, as you may have noticed (see Google News roundup here).  

You know, there are lots of programming jobs out there, and we need more American kids to program the drones and teachbots of the future.

Apparently Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks that CPS should join in -- by making computer coding a core academic offering.  Or at least so sayeth the Tribune and Sun Times.  

What do you think?  Excited? Fearful? A little of both?  Me, too.

I don't know of any other big city school district making this kind of announcement.

Image via Flickr HackNY 

#EdGIF Of The Day: Schools Crushing Creativity

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 11.57.28 AMKen Robinson's TED Talk about schools and creativity is one of the most-watched videos online.

Click below for some gifs from the speech to remind you of what makes it so good.

It's one big series of GIFs so it goes on for a while.

Otherwise the post would stretch way down.

Continue reading "#EdGIF Of The Day: Schools Crushing Creativity" »

Quotes: Schools' Bandwidth No Better Than Your Puny Home Setup

The average American school has about the same bandwidth as the average American home, even though obviously there are 200 times as many people at school as there are at home. -- President Barack Obama in a recent speech

Afternoon Audio: Custom Learning in the Digital Age

In this hourlong radio documentary, American Radio Works explores the potential power -- and peril -- of individualized education technology efforts. Can it match a watchful tutor?  Listen above, and/or click here to read and/or see some visual extras: One Child at a Time: Custom Learning in the Digital Age.

EdTech: Drones For Everyone!

image from blog.zap2it.comLast night on 60 Minutes, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced drone delivery in the not too distant future, which set the Internet on fire (so to speak) and reminded me to remind you that drones are coming to schools, too (or at least I think they will and am fasci-horrified by the possibilities).

Previous posts: Drone HighClassroom Drones;If Gossip Site TMZ Gets One, Can LAUSD Be Far Behind?How Long Until Drones PatrolBack To School Drones.

Other tidbits from the 60M segment?  Bezos knows that he's just as likely to be disrupted as previous industries were, and is fighting hard not to let happen to him what happened to Blockbuster, etc.  Also: Cloud computing is Amazon's fastest-growing revenue source.  Like Google, they're not really making money off what you think they're making money off of.

Technology: Laptops Vs. Tablets

AMWT13LAPVSTAB-01
Are you pro-tablet, pro-laptop, or against them both? Gary Stager and a Long Island (NY) superintendent talk pros and cons of tablets/laptops (Day of the Tablet). One thinks it's the right tool for the job. The other, not so much (For the Love of Laptops). I'll let you guess which is which. 

Afternoon Video: Goldieblox Makes Good Use Of "Girls"

The Beastie Boys aren't happy about it (or maybe they're being gamed), but you'll probably like this viral video to promote Goldieblocks and girls' interest in making things.

Quotes: The Limits Of "Big Data" Hiring & Evaluating

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.comA real, live person looks at every résumé [Google] receives. Hiring decisions are made by committee and are based in no small part on opinions formed during structured interviews. -- The Atlantic (They're Watching You at Work)

Afternoon: Google Launches Play For Education

Via Techchrunch

Charts: One Course's Disappearing MOOC Students

image from cdn.theatlantic.comLast week, MOOC founder Sebastian Thrun told Fast Company that, well, things weren't working out as well as he'd hoped three years ago.  Today at the Atlantic Eduction page Owen Youngman describes how 56,000 students turned into 1,200 course passers. 

Morning Video: Creepy iPad App Monitors' Preschoolers' Development

Parent's Pad from Kidaptive on Vimeo.

Maybe it's just me -- I was the only one creeped out last weekend when the bouncer scanned the bar code on my driver's license at the door instead of just checking the date -- but this kind of thing gives me the willies. Via Fast Company

Morning Video: GED Makeover - Will It Help?

From PBS

Afternoon Video: Blended Learning, Explained (Sorta)

The Learning Accelerator via the Hechinger Report

Quotes: MOOC Developer Reversing Course

Quotes2We were on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and at the same time, I was realizing, we don't educate people as others wished, or as I wished. We have a lousy product.

- Udacity's Sebastion Thrun in Fast Company.

Afternoon Video: What're They Doing? No Idea.

 

But at least they're not asking you for money or using a 3D printer to make a gun, right?  (Spotify and New York City Schools Get Together To Hack on Music Education). 

Morning Video: Twitter Bell-Ringer

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

It's not directly about education, but see the video and read the article in which Fast Company tells us about the idealistic (entrepreneurial) student who got to ring the opening bell at yesterday's Twitter IPO launch. Or, watch Degrassi Tyson call Bill Nye from onstage during a speech.

Afternoon Video: Teaching Kids About Hacking

 

From a recent PBS NewsHour: "One school in Pittsburgh is training the next generation of cybersecurity experts to fight off the bad guys by teaching them to think the same way."

Update: Toppo Learning Games Book Gets Green Light

Toppo candyUSA Today education writer (and Spencer Fellowship alumnus) Greg Toppo (@gtoppo) has been working on a book about the rise of learning games in education and has just signed a contract with Palgrave Macmillan to publish the book.

Congrats, condolences.

The working title is THE GAME BELIEVES IN YOU: How Video Games Work and Why They're Making Our Kids Smarter.

You can read a recent example of Greg's reporting on learning games here.

This is the umpteenth book deal to come from the Spencer Fellowship program, which began in 2008-2009.  At least four books have been published already.

Read all about the current and former fellows here

Image via Candy House Japan.

Morning Video: Cute Robots Teach Kids Programming (Drones!)

Robot Toys Teach Tots To Program Code "The robots come ready to play out of the box, and children can interact with them using a tablet or smartphone. Children can use the touchscreen to string together a series of commands that will direct the robot."

AM News: Schools Monitoring Students' Social Media Activities

News2

Yes, Your School is Watching You WNYC: The Glendale school district in California is paying a firm over $40,000 to monitor the social media posts of their middle and high school students this school year. The state of Florida recently enacted a cyberbullying law which gives schools the power to investigate the off-campus social media activities of their students. 

Mass School Closings a Nationwide Trend NBC: Craig Melvin talks with a Philadelphia family that is experiencing school closings first hand.

Calif. Could Lose At Least $15 Million in Federal Funds Over Testing Politics K12: Ever since California approved a bill to suspend much of its accountability testing for one year, everyone has been wondering if the feds would punish the Golden State for straying far from the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, which call for states to test students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school and use the results to make key school improvement decisions. 

Study: Dual credit benefits kids in richer schools Hechinger Report: A study by the Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville found that more students were enrolled in dual-credit college courses in high school students in suburban and rural areas with larger enrollments of whites and smaller numbers of low-income families, and that excelled in such things as grades, test scores, and attendance.

Education Department Seeks Feedback On Ratings System For American Universities HuffPost: The Education Department forums are scheduled Nov. 6 at California State University, Dominguez Hills; Nov. 13 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.; Nov. 15 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls; and Nov. 21 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Continue reading "AM News: Schools Monitoring Students' Social Media Activities" »

Media: Who Leaked Deasy's "Resignation" (& Why It Didn't Work)

image from farm8.staticflickr.comWait, what just happened?  First embattled LAUSD superintendent John Deasy was resigning, then he's being re-upped -- for another two years?

The two main theories behind the last few days of tumult and rumor in LA are (a) that Deasy authorized a leak to scare the board into keeping him (and it nearly got out of hand) or (b) that Deasy opponents (most likely Mike Trujillo in Richard Vladovic's office) leaked the story to try and create momentum around an early Deasy departure.

So which was it and why didn't the leak work?

Continue reading "Media: Who Leaked Deasy's "Resignation" (& Why It Didn't Work)" »

Afternoon Video: More On High Schooler's Dino Discovery

 

Via Slate

Morning Video: Obama's Brooklyn High School Visit

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Via MSNBC: "In a speech at a specialized high school in Brooklyn President Obama talks about the importance of education and takes aim at those in congress who he says started the government shutdown."

Morning Video: Colbert On Common Core Robo-Grading

 

"Finally we have the computing power to grade homework at the same blinding speed that it was plagiarized from Wikipedia." Via The Answer Sheet

EdTech: Chicago's Slow But Steady Tablet Rollout

S-IPAD-large300While some districts are having big problems with their tablet rollouts, Chicago seems to be having a much easier (if also slower-moving) experience.  

For a time, CPS claimed to be "the largest centralized deployment of iPads in the United States."  However, it started with a pilot program -- just 750 devices a 23 schools in the first year (2010-2011), then 3,500 the second year as 13 original schools plus 35 new schools were added. The model is designed to be 1:1 but it's not a take-home system like LAUSD.  

Now there are 55,000 at schools throughout the district. Here is some background from CPS. They lost edtech guru John Connelly along the way, and are about to lose John Mellios, too.  But it's an interesting contrast to the LAUSD experience, among others. 

AM News: LA Considering Slowdown Of Tablet Deployment

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

LAUSD looking to delay iPad distribution LA Daily News: Facing questions about security and other issues, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy has proposed a one-year extension in equipping all 600,000 of the district's students with iPads, pushing completion of the program to December 2015.

Common Core Standards Shake Up Publishing Biz WNYC: New York State has become the epicenter of a major transformation in the $7 billion textbook industry that threatens the preeminence of publishing behemoths like Pearson.

Is Pitbull 'Mr. Education'? Rapper Opens Charter School In Miami NPR: Pitbull is just one of a growing number of celebrities who've lent their names and opened their wallets to the charter school movement. His Sports Leadership And Management Academy opened in Miami this fall.

In Controversy and Success, Tutoring Company Dominates Texas Tribune: Among the companies that began operating in the state after the program launched, few offer a better window into the obstacles to the federal program’s success than the company that served Sifuentes’ children, Austin-based Tutors with Computers.

Former Star reporter to head new education website IBJ: Education News Network is raising funds for Chalkbeat Indiana, and already has lassoed a two-year grant totaling $115,000 from the Indianapolis-based higher education advocacy group Lumina Foundation.  Lumina said ENN also is looking at establishing other education sites for Boston; Memphis, Tenn.; and Austin, Texas.

Continue reading "AM News: LA Considering Slowdown Of Tablet Deployment " »

AM News: Glitches Mar Tablet Deployments

News2

Schools Learn Tablets’ Limits WSJ: The highest-profile snafu came in Los Angeles, where a $1 billion program—funded by voter-approved bonds—to provide Apple Inc. iPads for K-12 students came under fire after some [...]

LA Unified’s iPads pilot phase continues on bumpy road KPCC: Four schools have backed out of pilot phase saying they want to see more planning, said district spokeswoman Shanon Johnson.

4 LA schools defer iPads, citing security, liability issues Los Angeles Times: The rejection apparently is temporary — the schools still want the tablet computers — but their stance underscores ongoing problems faced by the L.A. Unified School District as it attempts to provide every student with a tablet over the next year.

Group Presses for Safeguards on the Personal Data of Schoolchildren NYT: Providers of educational technology can mine the data of young children, but privacy groups are trying to set up barriers.

Denver Public Schools election offers voters two paths Denver Post: Michael Yackel uses a cymbal to alert students to get into their classrooms at West High School in Denver. West Leadership Academy is one of two innovation schools replacing West High School, which is being phased out after years of poor performance.

Online Application Woes Make Students Anxious and Put Colleges Behind Schedule NYT: As deadlines for early decision applications near, students worry they have missed something or messed up, while colleges face delays in reviewing applications.

Elementary students learn keyboard typing ahead of new Common Core tests Washington Post: The 7-year-olds in Natalie May’s second-grade class have to stretch their fingers across the keyboards to reach “ASDF” and “JKL;” as they listen to the animated characters on their computer screens talk about “home keys.”

Many shun CPS' plan for 'welcoming' schools Chicago Tribune: Almost half the youngsters most affected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's school shutdowns did not enroll this fall in the new schools where officials planned for them to go, records from Chicago Public Schools show.

Continue reading "AM News: Glitches Mar Tablet Deployments" »

Afternoon Video: Vancouver Launches 1:1 Tablet Effort

Read all about it here via Charles Barone.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.