DEN Trend Report: 9/24/14

den_trend_report270wLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!?  Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
*If you read this feed, all you’ll owe is a comment below. Let’ us know what captured your eye and why!

Ed-Tech Leader Gender Gaps Identified in New Study (Education Week)

“The so-called gender pay gap is widely recognized, although calculating its exact size and nature can be difficult because of differences in workers’ qualifications and variations in how their work and compensation are structured.”

How Microsoft Can Use Minecraft to Build Its Education Strategy (EdSurge)

“Not a single initial announcement noted a key–and strong–market for Minecraft: K-12 education. Which probably led teachers to turn to the formal dictionary definition of “awesome” after hearing the news: causing feelings of fear and wonder.
It’s an opportunity Microsoft itself should mine.”

States Far From Uniform in Commitment to Kindergarten (Education Week)

“Despite kindergarten’s pivotal role in preparing children for reading and other academics, state laws on what districts must provide still vary widely, resulting in a patchwork of mandatory and voluntary half-day and full-day offerings.”

Amidst Ed-Tech Horror Stories, Some Blended-Learning Schools Shine (Forbes)

“In almost every case, the schools that are getting it right are focused on the problem they are trying to solve and designing an instructional model first. Then they add the technology to support that model, rather than leading with technology for technology’s sake or 1-to-1 computing—a big reason why my colleague Julia Freeland implored the field to strike 1-to-1 from the edu-dictionary.”

Survey: Death of High Schoolers’ Reading Habits Greatly Exaggerated (Education Week)

“Concerns about the devastating impact of technology on young literary habits may be overblown: According to a recent report from Pew Research Center, high school students are reading and using public libraries as much as or more than older Americans are.”

Google Ponies Up $64, 657 in Funding For Area Students (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“The number of requests from teachers for everything from books to Chromebooks exceeds 30,000 nationwide on donorschoose.org, the highest it has been since the crowd-funding site started in 2000.”

With 80 Minutes of Teacher Training Each Week, Schools Set Out to See What Works (Chalkbeat New York)

“After years of meeting over lunch and between bells, the city’s teachers now have 80 uninterrupted minutes every Monday afternoon to collaborate and train.”

You Are Asking the Wrong Question About Education Technology (Forbes)

“Education technology is trendy. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t read an article or have a conversation in which someone makes the familiar argument that “education is the one industry that hasn’t embraced the technologies of the 21st Century.” The world has changed–so the story goes–and while business has adapted, school hasn’t.”

Lessening School Assessment Stress (District Administration)

“Because such complex thinking skills can’t be measured by traditional standardized tests, educators nationwide are turning to new ideas like “stealth assessments” hidden in video games and student roundtables that work like college dissertation defenses.”

Classrooms Without Walls: Using Digital Media to Connect Inside and Outside of the Classroom (edSurge)

“Think about last year. How well did you integrate technology in your classroom? The key word is integrate. Unlike “using” technology, which can seem more like an arbitrary afterthought, integrating technology can be a planned, purposeful part of the classroom environment.”

Digital Literacy is the Key to the Future, But We Still Don’t Know What it Means (WIRED)

“The amount of potential unlocked by the industrial revolution is dwarfed in information terms by what you can do with computers,” said Ari Geshner, a senior software engineer at Palantir, a much-discussed data analysis startup whose customers include US intelligence and defense agencies. “Digital literacy is about learning to use the most powerful tools we’ve ever built.”

What’s Behind ‘Bad’ Math Skills (eSchool News)

“Ask any student what subject they enjoy least, and there’s a good chance they’ll choose math. But as STEM skills, including math, become more important, efforts are underway to change math instruction and how students view math.”

How We Should Be Teaching Math (Wall Street Journal)

“Conceptual understanding has become the mother lode of today’s approach to education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—known as the STEM disciplines. However, an “understanding-centric approach” by educators can create problems.”

Key Strategies for Tablet Success (eSchool News)

“It seems tablets are in more classrooms, in more districts, each day. But as experience shows, simply purchasing and distributing tablets doesn’t mean students will be more engaged with their learning, and it doesn’t guarantee teachers will embrace tech-enabled instruction.”

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