DEN Trend Report: 3/18/2015

DEN Trend Report FeaturedLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
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Reaching Math Students One by One (The New York Times)
By Tina Rosenberg
Like middle school math teachers everywhere, the seventh-grade math teachers at Middle School 88 in the southern part of Brooklyn’s Park Slope have an impossible job. At this high-poverty school, which not long ago was considered failing, students enter with levels of math skills ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade. How can anyone teach to them all?

Addressing Disconnect Between Student Skills and Employer Needs (Education Week)
By Caralee Adams
What students are learning in school and what employers need on the job often are two different sets of skills. That much was largely agreed upon by the educators, business leaders, and technology experts gathered here this morning at a SXSWedu session. When it came to whom to blame and how to solve the disconnect—fingers were pointed in all directions and the ideas were endless.

Survey: Classroom-Tech Adoption Near Universal (Education Week)
By Jordan Moeny
Education’s digital future is near, according to a new survey from the digital education company TES Global that says that 96 percent of U.S. teachers now use technology in the classroom. The company published the results during SXSWedu, a major education conference held in Austin, Texas.

In addition to 1,000 U.S. teachers, TES surveyed more than 2,000 teachers in 25 other countries. Worldwide, the classroom-tech adoption rate was nearly as high, with 94 percent of international respondents saying that technology “plays a significant role in their classroom.”

Researchers Hunt for ‘Secret Sauce’ of Digital Learning Success (EdTech Magazine)
By Frank D. Smith
What makes some digital learning initiatives successful and others not?
That’s the focus of a 2014 study released Wednesday by the America’s Promise Alliance’s Center for Promise. The study is titled “Wired to Learn: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom,” and it examines how five school districts implemented digital learning strategies to help students succeed in the classroom and how those initiatives performed.

When Students Can’t Go Online (The Atlantic)
By Terrance F. Ross
Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist credited with the creation of the Internet, insists that access to the World Wide Web should be recognized as a basic human right. Using that logic, if education is, as the UN states, “a passport to human development,” then Internet access is a right that should be extended to all schools. In America, that goal has largely been achieved.

BBC Is Giving Away 1 Million Mini Computers So Kids Can Learn To Code (Mashable)
By Blathnaid Healy
The BBC wants coding to become as fundamental as writing, and is taking some very practical steps to ensure that happens.
The broadcaster announced on Thursday that it is giving away 1 million micro computers to next year’s cohort of 11- and 12-year-old schoolchildren in Year 7, as part of a new initiative called Make it Digital.
Currently in development, the Micro Bit is a small piece of programmable, wearable hardware that helps kids learn basic coding and programming. It could act as a springboard for more advanced coding on products, such as the single-board computer Raspberry Pi, according to the BBC.

Regardless of Their Titles, CAOs Set Tone for Academics (Education Week)
By Sean Cavanaugh and Michele Molnar
As the pressure to raise student achievement has intensified, many school systems have responded by assigning a single administrator to oversee that difficult work—an individual whose exact title, duties, and status within the K-12 chain of command varies from district to district.

In some cases, those administrators are known as chief academic officers, though they go by many other names, too: assistant superintendents for teaching and learning, chief innovation officers, and curriculum coordinators, among them.

While districts’ interest in designating point people charged with focusing on academic improvement dates back years, perhaps decades, the roles of chief academic officers have grown increasingly defined and commonplace, many observers say. Numerous district officials point to the gradual ramping up of academic expectations and testing from the standards-and-accountability movement of the 1990s through today as having given districts more impetus to create CAO-type positions.

The Achievement Gap in High School Graduation Rates Appears To Be Narrowing (Huffington Post)
By Rebecca Klein
Even though significantly more white and Asian/Pacific Islander students are graduating from high school than their Hispanic, black and American Indian peers, achievement gaps in this area still appear to be closing.

Data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education shows that the high school graduation rates for Hispanic, black, white, American Indian and Asian/Pacific Islander students all increased between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. However, the rate of growth for some groups has been faster than for others, making it so the graduation rate gap between white students and black, Hispanic and American Indian students has narrowed over time.
 How Compatible Are Common Core and Technology? (Hechinger Report)
By Jessica Huseman
Technology is in every room at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn — it’s even in the hallways. Scan the QR code with your phone outside of the fourth-grade classroom of co-teachers Vanessa Desiano and Jamie Coccia and a video will pop up of a student giving a history presentation on early explorers. Step inside, and fourth-grade students are working together to discover the themes of chapter 13 in their latest book, The Birchbark House, and typing what they find on iPads.

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