DEN Trend Report: 7/22/15

DEN Trend Report FeaturedLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news. Let us know what you think about this week’s news in the comments below.

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The Eight Components Of Great Professional Development (Forbes)
By Nick Morrison
Professional development is vital in any occupation, and nowhere more so than in teaching. But all too often it gets neglected or is more of a box-ticking exercise than any meaningful training.
But a new review has set out the eight core components that go into making continuing professional development (CPD) great – and their relevance goes way beyond teaching to provide a blueprint for training everywhere.

What’s Next: Blended Learning 2.0 (The Hechinger Report)
By Jennifer D. Jordan
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island is fertile ground for experimentation with technology in classrooms as it seeks to the first fully blended learning state in the nation. As such, Rhode Island’s public schools can offer lessons for other districts that are making the same transition.
Blended learning combines traditional face-to-face teaching with technology, in ways that allow students to accelerate their learning at a pace that is right for them. To be successful, experts agree, a blended learning program needs to have a clearly articulated vision from its educational leadership, the right technological tools and an in-depth professional development program for teachers.

Senators Push For Digital Equity For All Students (Center For Digital Education)
July 13, 2015
By Tanya Roscorla

As more teachers require students to do homework online, students from low-income families often don’t have the Internet access to complete their digital work, leaving them at a disadvantage.
That’s why senators proposed two amendments to a bill being considered in the Senate to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The act became law in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was designed to encourage equal education opportunities for every student, particularly those from low-income families, with the help of federal grants and scholarships.

Schools, Organizations to Compare Notes on Education Innovation Clusters (Education Week)
By Michele Molnar
Education innovation clusters—in which various groups join forces with schools to support students’ learning—will be the focus of a national meeting on Aug. 11-12 in Chicago, sponsored by Digital Promise, a nonprofit dedicated to improving education through technology and research.
Clusters “accelerate the pace of innovation by bringing together education, research, and commercial partners.” according to the U.S. Department of Education. Participants working with schools can be foundations, colleges, ed-tech companies, researchers, and community members, as well as investors like the NewSchools Venture Fund.

Survey: Teachers Uncomfortable Using Data To Adapt Instruction (Education Dive)
By Kate Schimel
Dive Brief:
·         A new survey of 200 educators at ISTE from Lexia Learning found that only 35% of respondents felt teachers at their school were comfortable connecting data with changes to instruction.
·         Fewer than half of the respondents felt that their interim assessment systems gave them a clear sense of whether a student was on track or not.
·         More (54%) felt that the assessments they use told them if interventions were working, but few said the tests gave them useful feedback to change their instruction if an intervention wasn’t working.

White House Announces ConnectHome Initiative to Address the Homework Gap (T.H.E. Journal)
By Leila Meyer
The White House today announced ConnectHome, a new initiative to help provide high-speed Internet access, technical assistance, digital literacy programs and devices to students living in public and assisted housing. Initially, a pilot program will reach more than 200,000 children in 27 cities and one tribal nation.

Which Cities Are the Top Ed-Tech Hubs? (Education Week)
By Sean Cavanaugh
A recent story in the Los Angeles Times looks at the hope among entrepreneurs in Southern California that their region—powered in part by its reservoir of talent in the entertainment and animation fields—can emerge as hub for the ed-tech industry.
But Angelenos are hardly the only ones harboring that vision for their metro areas.
We recently wrote about efforts by business and civic leaders in Boston, Baltimore, and other cities to mold themselves into attractive home bases for established education companies and startups, alike.

New Checklist Aims To Help Parents Engage With Schools (The Washington Post)
By Glynn A. Hill
WASHINGTON — Seeking to engage parents more in their children’s education, the Obama administration on Friday released a checklist of questions they should be asking schools.
“I have never met a parent who doesn’t want the best for their child. However, it can be hard for families to know how to support their child’s education,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “Engaging with their educators is a good place to start.”
The checklist is divided into sets of questions officials say parents should ask educators. They cover such areas as the quality of education, how progress is measured, school safety and student engagement.

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