DEN Trend Report: 5/13/15

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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5 Innovations From The Past Decade That Aim To Change The American Classroom (The Huffington Post)
By Alexandra Svokos
Many symbols we still associate with classrooms and learning, like chalkboards, pens, notebooks — even classrooms themselves — are quickly becoming outdated. American schools are going high-tech, and a few companies are leading the charge.

Future Ready Summit Tackles How to Plan for Tomorrow’s Ed Tech (eSchool News)
By Ann McMullan
Earlier this week, 43 school district leadership teams from states up and down the West coast and Hawaii gathered together on May 4 and 5 at the Computer History Museum in northern California for this year’s seventh Future Ready Schools Regional Summit. Despite a focus on using technology to prepare for education’s future, discussions about specific devices or applications were completely absent.

Survey: Impact of So-Called ‘High Stakes’ Tests Actually Low (Education Week)
By Lillian Mongeau, Emmanuel Felton, and Sarah Butrymowicz
It turns out that the stakes for this spring’s common-core-aligned tests are not quite as high as they might seem.
The Hechinger Report surveyed the District of Columbia and all 44 states* that have adopted the common core and will beadministering a common-core-aligned test this spring to find out how they plan to use test scores. We found that very few states will be using this spring’s scores for any student-related decisions. And the stakes for teachers are only slightly higher.

Watch John Oliver Dismantle American Standardized Testing (Quartz)
By Sonali Kohli
In his weekly show, John Oliver took on the absurdity of standardized testing, a series of interminable tests that American schoolchildren have to take at this time of year. Parents and teachers have decried the amount of time that schools spend “teaching to the test” and administering them. In fact, some parents and students around the country have gotten so mad, they’ve begun an “opt out” movement.

Is The Classroom A Stressful Place? Thousands Of Teachers Say Yes (Washington Post)
By Lyndsey Layton
A new survey of more than 30,000 U.S. teachers finds that most of them report high levels of stress and low levels of autonomy, but it also shows that they are not ready to bail on the classroom.

The Only Metric That Matters in EdTech: Student Outcomes (Forbes)
By Beverly Perdue and William Hansen
Education technology is getting a lot of attention these days. The Obama Administration proposed nearly $4 billion  to help wire our schools. Meanwhile, more than $600 million in venture capital poured into ed tech last year – a 32% increase over the prior year.

New School Leaders’ Standards Emphasize Instruction, Culture and Managing Talent (Education Week)
By Denisa R. Superville
New professional standards for school leaders—released Monday by the Council of Chief State School Officers—emphasize instruction, culture, and supporting and grooming leaders in schools.

Some Schools Embrace Demands for Education Data (The New York Times)
By Motoko Rich
Custodians monitor dirt under bathroom sinks, while the high school cafeteria supervisor tracks parent and student surveys of lunchroom food preferences. Administrators record monthly tallies of student disciplinary actions, and teachers post scatter plot diagrams of quiz scores on classroom walls. Even kindergartners use brightly colored dots on charts to show how many letters or short words they can recognize.
Does Technology Belong in Classroom Instruction? (The Wall Street Journal)
By Lisa Nielsen and By José Antonio Bowen
There’s no disputing that digital technology plays a major role in education. Millions of students are using personal computers, tablets and even smartphones to research and complete assignments, communicate with each other and with teachers about their courses and sometimes collaborate on school projects.

New School-Leader Standards Stir Dissent (Edweek)
By Denisa Superville
New professional standards for school leaders, which are scheduled to be released next week, are drawing criticism from some educators who say they were sidelined in a final revision process that they contend puts too little emphasis on important aspects of the principal’s job relating to issues of social justice, cultural responsiveness, and ethics.

USA Today’s Toppo: Games Charge Students’ Imaginations
(Education Dive)
By Roger Riddel
Decried for decades by many as a form of media that will rot kids’ brains, digital games have increasingly found support in education as a generation that grew up playing them and recognized their potential entered the workforce. Still, there are plenty of critics who see the rise of game-based learning approaches as an ed tech flavor of the week.


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