DEN Trend Report: 10/28/15

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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New Professional Standards For School Leaders Are Approved (EdWeek)
By Denisa R. Superville
After more than a year of deliberations, a set of professional standards for education school leaders are set to head out the door.
The National Policy Board for Educational Administration unanimously adopted the standards on Thursday. They will no longer go by the acronym ISLLC, short for Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards, as they have been known since they were first devised and adopted as professional benchmarks for principals and school leaders in 1996.

Middle School Students Dispel Technology Myths (ISTE)
By Angelia Fleming
What do you get when a class of 27 sixth graders has the chance to dispel myths about technology? A virtual explosion of ideas! That’s what happened when the superintendent of the district where I work, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, asked middle school students to counter local media criticism about our 1:1 laptop rollout in 2014.

No More Pencils, No More Books (Slate)
By Will Oremus
Eighteen students file into a brightly lit classroom. Arrayed around its perimeter are 18 computers. The students take their seats, log in to their machines, and silently begin working. At a desk in the back, the instructor’s screen displays a series of spreadsheets and data visualizations to help her track each student’s progress in real time.
This isn’t a Vulcan finishing school or a scene from some Back to the Future sequel. It’s Sheela Whelan’s pre-algebra class at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York.

In Successful Edtech, Pedagogy Comes First–Devices Second (Huffington Post)
By Ken Eastwood
In terms of student proficiency, today’s classrooms are more diverse than ever. We’re “detracking” students previously sorted by ability. We’re mainstreaming those with special needs. And we’re serving more and more students who are just learning English.
In these classrooms, teachers face a seemingly impossible task–providing effective instruction to all the unique students under their care.

It’s Time to Restructure Teacher Professional Development (EdWeek)
By Mike Schmoker
For those interested in better schools, another bomb dropped in August—though I’m not sure many of us heard it. TNTP, a teacher-training and advocacy group, published a report called “The Mirage,” a damning assessment of teacher professional development. Despite being an $18 billion industry, with costs for services of up to $18,000 per year, per teacher, professional development doesn’t appear to have much effect on teaching quality. As Education Week reported, TNTP found that “PD doesn’t seem to factor into why some teachers get better at their jobs and others don’t.” Said one observer quoted: “It just doesn’t look like we have any purchase on what works.”

What I Learned About Technology and Rural Education at NREA (Rethink Blog)
By Jennifer Bessette
How Technology is Transforming Special Education in Small and Rural Schools
It’s a brave new world in the classroom. Advances in technology have opened doors many of us only dreamed were possible when we were in school. These doors are opening our students up to the world around them, exposing them to new ideas and cultures. I have had the pleasure of attending sessions at the NREA (National Rural Education Association) Annual Conference over the past few days, and am so inspired about what these advances mean for students and educators in rural communities. Here is just a taste of what I’ve learned at this amazing event.

This Ninth Grader Invented A Device That Harvests Power From Ocean Waves (Fast CoExist)
By Adele Peters
A few startups have spent millions developing massive underwater power plants that gather energy from ocean waves. But a Florida teenager has invented a small-scale alternative, designed for the developing world, that costs just $12.
Hannah Herbst, age 15, started thinking about renewable energy after talking with her nine-year-old pen pal in Ethiopia. “I found out that she’s living in energy poverty, and she doesn’t have access to things that I take for granted every day,” Herbst says. “Then I was boating with my family through the Boca Raton Inlet, and our boat was really jerked around by the current. I thought, why not use this power?”

Is This Silicon Valley-Inspired School The Future Of Education? (NY Post)
By Doree Lewak
On a crisp autumn morning, Tsi-Ann Calixte furiously pounds on her Chromebook’s keyboard, hashing out details on a project she’s spearheading for her 14-person team.
As she sits at a collaborative table reflecting on a job well-done, half a dozen colleagues surround her, tapping on their own laptops.
It looks like a scene from the floor of an ambitious startup, but the little worker bees are just 8 years old.

What Are The Nation’s Most Innovative K-12 Schools?
On Monday, Noodle released its first Innovative Schools report, which lists the top 41 most innovative public, private, and charter K-12 schools in the U.S.

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