DEN Trend Report: 2/4/15

DEN Trend Report Featured


Looking 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!



What Do We Really Mean When We Say ‘Personalized Learning’? (

The idea of personalized learning is seductive – it implies moving away from the industrialized form of education that pumps out cookie-cutter students with the same knowledge and skills. After decades of this approach, it is clear that all children don’t learn the same way and personalization seems to honor those differences. However, that term has taken on several different meanings.

Virtual Preschool: Yes, That’s Now a Real Option (Education Week)

Now an option for parents of young children: a “virtual” preschool with digital learning materials, activity guides, learning analytics, and “homeroom teachers,” all accessible online through your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Obama Budget Calls for Reviving Federal Ed-Tech Program (Education Week)

Roughly four years after he joined Congress in eliminating the Enhancing Education Through Technology program, President Obama is proposing its rebirth—in modified form.
The EETT program was jettisoned in 2010, but the administration’s new budget proposal, unveiled Monday, calls for recreating with $200 million as a vehicle for using competitive grants awarded by states to create “model districts” at the local level.

Closing the Math Gap for Boys (New York Times)

ON a recent afternoon, the banter of boisterous adolescents at Edwin G. Foreman High School, in a poor, racially and ethnically mixed Chicago neighborhood, echoed off the corridor walls. But Room 214 was as silent as a meditation retreat. Inside, 16 ninth- and 10th-grade African-American and Latino boys were working, two-on-one, with a tutor. They’re among 1,326 boys in 12 public schools in this city who are sweating over math for an hour every day.

Closing Education Gap Will Lift Economy, a Study Finds (New York Times)

Study after study has shown a yawning educational achievement gap between the poorest and wealthiest children in America. But what does this gap costs in terms of lost economic growth and tax revenue?
That’s what researchers at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth set out to discover in a new study that concluded the United States could ultimately enrich everybody by improving educational performance for the typical student.

You train a monkey. You ignite teachers. (
How should we reward teachers? We shouldn’t. They’re not pets. Rather, teachers should be paid well, freed from misguided mandates, treated with respect, and provided with the support they need to help their students become increasingly proficient and enthusiastic learners.”

Do U.S. Teachers Really Teach More Hours? (Education Week)

It’s a statistic that has echoed for years in global policy discussions about education: U.S. teachers are in front of their classes 50 percent to 73 percent more than their peers in other countries, including nations—like Finland and Japan—whose students outperform Americans on international tests.
That striking statistic has become common wisdom as part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s regular Education at a Glance reports, but a new study suggests it’s significantly overblown.

Can All Children Be Calculus Whizzes? (The Atlantic)

In suburban Howard County, Maryland, lots of students take calculus in high school. Or at least, lots of white and Asian students do. In 2011, African American and Hispanic students made up about 30 percent of the public school district’s enrollment but only about 11.3 percent of calculus students, according to the U.S. Education Department.

Did Billions of Dollars in School Turnaround Aid Help? (Education Week)

The U.S. Department of Education has pumped more than $5 billion into a supercharged version of the School Improvement Grant program that gave grants of up $2 million to the lowest-performing schools in the country to try out dramatic turnaround strategies (like turning themselves into charters, or getting rid of half their staff).

8 K-12 tech tools to watch in 2015 (Education Dive)

Over the last few years, technology has reshaped the classroom in many ways — and is continuing to do so. From digital textbooks and platforms that make teaching often-complex STEM subjects simpler to deep data analytics that measure and predict student achievement, ed tech is addressing a number of issues in the nation’s schools.

Can a text message help bridge the ‘word gap’ for low income children? (PBS)

Studies show that by age four, kids from low-income households will hear 30 million less words than their more affluent counterparts, who get more quality face-time with caretakers. That means the already disadvantaged are falling behind before the academic race has even begun. Educators have so far been largely unsuccessful when it comes to finding ways to bridge the so-called “word gap.”

True or False? Free And Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor (NPR)

In the education world, you see this phrase all the time: “free and reduced-price lunch.” What’s the percentage at a given school? In a given district or state? It’s not necessarily out of concern about who’s getting fed. Instead, it’s most often used to talk about concentrations of poverty and how that effects learning.

All Around The World, Girls Are Doing Much Better Than Boys Academically (Huffington Post)

Girls are academically outperforming boys in many countries around the world — even in places where women face political, economic or social inequalities. A new report from Dr. Gijsbert Stoet of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and David C. Geary of the University of Missouri found that in 2009, high school girls performed significantly better on an international standardized test in 52 out of 74 studied countries.


Related posts


  1. Sarah said:

    Virtual preschools…yikes! I think Early Childhood education is very important. This is a crucial period in these students’ lives for social development, gross and fine motor skills and learning to be more independent. I don’t think you’re going to get that from a device!

    • Edie Erickson said:

      I do agree with the socialization part, but I don’t plan on sending my little one to school until kindergarten if I can help it, so having some extra tools to use to get her ready academically would be nice. We have play groups and lots of activities for little ones to socialize, so I’m not so worried about that.

  2. Edie Erickson said:

    I was a little shocked with the idea of online preschool at first, but after thinking about it for a second, that seems like an AWESOME idea! What a great way to empower parents who are keeping little ones home!

  3. Sarah said:

    Don’t get me wrong, I think there is much merit to keeping children in the home setting and there are no doubt many social opportunities other than school. I just have concerns based on my experience teaching at the early childhood level that kids are plugged in way too early. If parents are using it in addition to other things- great! It just shouldn’t be a replacement for active engagement with children and opportunities to play in 3-dimensions for the little guys.

  4. Wendy norton said:

    I can see a lot of advantages to the virtual preschool, like the recent health concerns, however I can also see the flip side with socialization & collaboration.

  5. Dana johnston said:

    I have always worked at a Title 1 school and our kinders enter with such low vocabulary. Their parents just don’t talk to them. Much of our kinder and first grade years consist of talking with kids and teaching them how to speak in complete sentences and answer questions. I hope there are more things we can do to educate these parents in how to better help these parents in how to help their children be more successful.

  6. Judy Uhrig said:

    I came from a Title 1 school to a very diverse one. The former school was decked to the nines with technology while the tech at the new school is blotchy. Yes the more “free and reduced” you have the more likely you are to be Tile 1, which entitles you to government funding. We are a school of “haves and have nots” not just among the students but the teachers as well. One teacher might have a full classroom solution installed while the teacher next door only has a projector on a cart or not even that. Although we have an elevated free and reduced population, we also have good scores so we apparently don’t require consistent tech throughout the school.

Comments are closed.