Looking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
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Do Superintendents Matter? (Education Week)
Confounding findings from the recent Brookings Institution reported that superintendents could not be directly connected to student achievement. The report found that, “In the end, it is the system that promotes or hinders student achievement. Superintendents are largely indistinguishable.” The report concluded, Superintendents may well be as important to student achievement as the popular perception, their portrayal in the media, and their salaries suggest, but there is almost no quantitative research that addresses their impact.
Why Kids Won’t Quit Technology (The Atlantic)
Smartphones, iPads, TVs, computers, videogames. Technology is omnipresent, especially for young students. They just can’t get enough; one 2013 study found that college students check their digital devices for non-class purposes 11 times per day on average, and 80 percent of them admitted that the technology was distracting them from class.
Fusing Career, Academic Skills Benefits Students, Study Finds (Education Week)
A California initiative that blends rigorous academics with career preparation helps students earn more credits in high school and have greater confidence in their career and life skills than their peers in regular programs, according to a new study of the initiative.
Smartphones and laptops have become essential tools for today’s teenagers. But learning how these devices work has often taken a backseat to other priorities in U.S. schools.
New AP course makes computing more engaging (eSchool News)
The College Board and the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently developed Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles, a course intended to address the challenge of making computing coursework more engaging and accessible for all students and to better prepare a pipeline of STEM majors. Schools will be able to begin offering the new AP course in the fall of 2016, with the first exam being administered in May 2017.
And a Little Child Shall Secure Them: The Next Generation of CISOs (SCMagazine.com)
Kids make the best social engineers, says Reuben Paul, with a giggle, as he tries to cajole this writer out of her password. He knows from whence he speaks – and the giggle is totally, and refreshingly, age-appropriate. Reuben, at 8, is not only well-versed in the wily ways of children, the third-grader is already an information security pro of sorts, developing a pair of security apps aimed at kids, heading up a gaming company and keynoting at IT security conferences like the Houston Security Conference.
K-12 Students on Tech in Schools: More, Please (THE Journal)
Half of middle and high school students judge the amount of technology use in their schools as “moderate.” A third of them consider that just fine; but 55 percent would rather see more technology in use (boys more so than girls).
Six out of 10 teachers expect technology to become “very important” two years from now, whereas 41 percent consider it very important today. Another 47 percent consider it simply “important.”
In other words, both students and teachers are in agreement that technology use in the classroom has value. However, most teachers consider meeting student achievement standards the biggest priority for the use of technology in schools (84 percent), whereas students say that technology makes learning “more fun” (93 percent), “more interesting” (92 percent) and important for teaching skills that will help in getting a job (92 percent).
8 innovative ideas for the tech-strapped teacher (eSchool News)
School districts in the United States spend billions of dollars each year to purchase technology for the classroom, yet the lack of technology and internet access in the nation’s public schools continues to be an issue. Often, a teacher who is faced with little technology in the classroom will feel overwhelmed and will resort to more traditional teaching methods.
Tucker was immediately hooked. She could use her computer to quickly research topics and complete assignments. When she got to high school, she took an online Spanish class and used her laptop to research new potential careers. When she came across the website for the United States Air Force, she was impressed. She used her computer to look up the recruiter’s phone number, take a practice test and watch videos about her dream job, becoming a dental hygienist for the Air Force, which she will join after she graduates in the spring. “If I didn’t have that computer, I probably wouldn’t have joined the Air Force,” Tucker said.