DEN Trend Report: 2/10/16

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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How The Education System Is Leveraging Innovation And Technology To Help Students Compete (Forbes)
By Chris Wilde

The US education system is going through a Renaissance in how students learn. Especially when it comes to those learners focused on college preparedness. While many teachers still teach to a test, others are turning to new technologies and systems to help their students to move beyond the traditional instruction-led environments to an experiential environment where many kids thrive. Companies like Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage Learning must work harder to maintain their leadership positions versus emerging education content providers that leverage technology to adapt to how students learn and excel.

Technology In Education: An Overview (Education Week)
Benjamin Herold

Technology is everywhere in education: Public schools in the United States now provide at least one computer for every five students. They spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. Led by the federal government, the country is in the midst of a massive effort to make affordable high-speed Internet and free online teaching resources available to even the most rural and remote schools. And in 2015-16, for the first time, more state standardized tests for the elementary and middle grades will be administered via technology than by paper and pencil.
To keep up with what’s changing (and what isn’t), observers must know where to look.

Growing Ties Between U.S. And Asia Are Helping Schools On Both Side Of Pacific (Washington Post)
Jay Mathews

I can’t think of an international development more helpful for American education than the growing ties between the United States and Asia — particularly with China, India and South Korea. We Americans see ourselves in economic competition with those countries, but in reality, our cultures are becoming interlocked in ways that help schools on both sides of the Pacific.

5 Ways To Make The Most Of Virtual Field Trips (eSchoolNews)
By Kyle Schutt

Tips to help students get the best possible experience from their virtual field trips

I have many great memories from elementary school, but my favorite memories revolve around field trips. The special packed lunch, the bus ride, the opportunity to pair up with a “field trip buddy” for the day all helped make those journeys unforgettable.

While traditional field trips continue to offer opportunities to create memorable learning environments for students of all ages, a new wave of technologies have created new, virtual field trip (VFT) experiences. Through a VFT, an educator leverages digital content and educational technologies to take educators and students beyond their classroom walls to meet people and see places they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.

10 Must-Know Professional Development Insights from Discovery Education (Getting Smart)
By Carri Schneider

We get to spend a lot of time talking to and learning from the folks “in the trenches”–the teachers, principals, superintendents, parents and leaders who are working on the front lines of education innovation. We’ve had the pleasure of doing this work for several years, and it’s been interesting to watch how the FAQs have evolved over time. Early conversations (and publications) revolved around questions like, “What is blended learning or competency-based learning or personalized learning? How do I know this is what is best for kids, and why should I make these shifts?”
Virtual Reality: Poised to Bring Big Changes to Education? (EdWeek)
By Michele Molnar

Virtual reality has been hyped as the “next big thing” for more than two decades, but is 2016 the year that it finally makes a break into schools in a big way?

Some might argue it already has. The increasingly popular Google Expeditions—virtual field trips that students can “take” via smartphones tucked into Google Cardboard viewers made out of the material by the same name—are a simple form of VR. Students hold the viewers—which are designed so that their field of vision is completely focused—up to their eyes, use an app that displays the video to produce an immersive experience that takes students to any of up to 150 destinations, and get the feeling of being inside, or at, the location that is unfolding before their eyes.

Watch 14 Thought Leadership Presentations From A Recent Ed-Tech Symposium (eSchool News)
In July 2015, Discovery Education, provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms and CUE, the California-based organization inspiring innovative learners and advocating educational opportunities for all, partnered with the California State Parks to host a unique leadership symposium.

Designed specifically for California superintendents interested in creating dynamic digital learning environments that meet the needs of today’s learners, this event featured a series of brief, thought-provoking talks that surfaced actionable strategies for improving teaching and learning.

A Little Bird Told Me: RSS Uses Twitter As Professional Development Tool (Salisbury Post, N.C.)
Andrew Smith, director of digital Innovation for the Rowan-Salisbury School System refers to the twitter chat as “throwing ideas against the wall.”

Tuesday night kicked off the first 2016 teacher Twitter Chat for Rowan-Salisbury schools. The chats, a continuing social media conversation connected by a single hashtag “#rsschat,” began last year, Smith said.

“Basically it was part of a bigger idea,” he said, “how do we do professional development differently?”

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