DEN Trend Report: 4/29/15

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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Want Reform? Principals Matter, Too (New York Times)
By Will Miller
Politicians and education reformers are fixated on the performance of teachers, but they often overlook another key ingredient for improving student achievement: principals. The problem is that great principals often don’t end up in the schools that need them most — those with poor and minority students. School districts, states and universities need to do much more to get outstanding principals into these schools.

As Student Tests Move Online, Keyboarding Enters Curriculum (Houston Chronicle, Texas)
By Lisa Leff
For teachers, administrators and parents in San Pablo — and across the country — the games are a way to help students, sometimes as young as 5, acquire the technology skills they will need to excel on standardized tests that now are being offered online for the first time by a majority of states.

Deep or Wide? Two Takes on Ed-Tech Professional Development from AERA (Education Week)
Head-spinning jargon aside, one of the things I appreciate most about covering the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association is the chance to hear about how teachers and students are actually using technology in the classroom.
So immediately upon arrival at this year’s meeting, which opened here today, I sat in on a session titled “Restructuring Instruction Through Technology.”
The presenters offered differing takes on what makes for effective professional development when it comes to helping teachers integrate technology into their classrooms.

These Students Are Using PBL to Define Their Own Learning (eSchool News)
By Ashleigh Schultz
If you’re doing it right, most project-based learning will hit every area of the curriculum, whether it’s social studies, math, reading, or even technology. Any part of the curriculum can shine whenever kids are taking a hands-on approach to learning, because they’re not just sitting at a desk listening to you preach it. They’re the ones doing it themselves, which means they’re kind of assuming that role of the teacher.

Ed-Tech Groups See Promise in K-12 Tech Amendment to ESEA (Education Week)
By Michele Molnar
Educational technology proponents said they are pleased that the U.S. Senate education committee has taken a significant step to deliver more technology to K-12 classrooms and professional development to support its use.

What Can Technology Do for Tomorrow’s Children? (Medium)
By Arne Duncan
School looks different today than it did even a handful of years ago. Teaching and learning is changing?—?in exciting ways?—?because the world is changing.
We now live in a global economy with a knowledge-based marketplace, where the ultimate measure of our success is becoming less about what we know, but more about what we do with what we know, and learning new skills to fit a rapidly changing world.

The Forest School Revolution: Leaves, Logs and Life Skills (The Guardian)
By Lucy Ward
Grey clouds are looming above Chrishall Holy Trinity and St Nicholas CE primary school in the rural north-west corner of Essex, but a row of bright wellies are lined up ready for action outside the reception classroom. Inside, class “praying mantis” are sitting in fleeces and overtrousers, writing and drawing preferred activities on mini-whiteboards for their weekly morning in the forest.

Digital Natives, Yet Strangers to the Web (The Atlantic)
By Alia Wong
When Reuben Loewy took up his first teaching gig in 2012, he had a major revelation: The digital revolution has dramatically transformed the way that kids perceive reality.
Perhaps that makes the 55-year-old teacher sound like a dinosaur. What he discovered is, after all, one of the most obvious realities shaping education policy and parenting guides today. But, as Loewy will clarify, his revelation wasn’t simply that technology is overhauling America’s classrooms and redefining childhood and adolescence. Rather, he was hit with the epiphany that efforts in schools to embrace these shifts are, by and large, focusing on the wrong objectives: equipping kids with fancy gadgets and then making sure the students use those gadgets appropriately and effectively. Loewy half-jokingly compares the state of digital learning in America’s schools to that of sex ed, which, as one NYU education professor describes it, entails “a smattering of information about their reproductive organs and a set of stern warnings about putting them to use.”

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