DEN Trend Report: 4/13/16

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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80 percent of schools using digital content, says ASCD survey (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney
Eighty percent of school and district leaders responding to a recent survey said they use digital content in their curriculum or outside the classroom in certain ways, although equity concerns prevent some educators from going all-digital.
Of the more than 2,000 survey respondents, 73 percent have a digital device strategy and 64 percent are aligning their digital content plan to that strategy, Respondents also reported that the ability to deliver individualized instruction, greater student engagement, and movement toward a one-to-one program have spurred the increased digital content use.

3 ways to involve students in your ed-tech PD (eSchool News)
By Alan November
Whenever I’m invited to a school or district to talk with teachers about using technology, I’ll ask the principal or superintendent if I can meet with a group of students to prepare first. Often, my request is met with a puzzled reply: “You realize that we want you to come talk to our teachers, right? Why do you want to talk to the kids?”  My experience is that involving students in both staff development planning and during workshops can lead to a much more successful implementation.

The Policy That Could All But Eliminate Achievement Gaps Between Rich And Poor Students (Huffington Post)
By Rebecca Klein
The odds are stacked against low-income, black and Hispanic children before they even start school.

Low-income children enter kindergarten 13 months behind their more affluent peers in reading. Black and Hispanic children are nearly seven months and 12 months behind white students in reading, respectively. The initial disparities make it difficult for disadvantaged and minority students to catch up through high school and college.

U.S. Adults Below Average in Numeracy and Tech, International Report Finds (Education Week)
By Leo Doran
The federal agency charged with reporting and deciphering educational statistics recently offered a dire analysis of the competencies of American adults in basic educational tasks when compared with peers in other developed nations.

The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies is an exam that measures skill in numeracy, literacy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments among adults in many free-market, democratic European nations, as well as in Japan, South Korea, Canada, and the United States.

Why STEM? (Huffington Post)
By Katherine Bihr, Ed.D.
We often refer to the Tiger Woods Learning Center as STEM City. While STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is a widely discussed subject now, the national education community was just starting to recognize its importance at the time the learning center launched. So, how did we get here? Why did we decide to base our curricula in STEM more than a decade ago?
So, When During the School Day Should Teachers Create Curriculum? (T.H.E. Journal)
Why do individuals go into teaching? Why would a reasonable person want to interact with hormone-racked 13-year olds? For that matter, why would a 50-plus-year-old adult want to go down to the floor and up 20 times a morning to “teach”  5-year-olds? Because … (hang onto your seats) …  they want to develop curriculum! Yes … that’s it! And, developing curriculum is so much fun and so rewarding that teachers do it after the eight hours they put in at school – and on the weekends too! Duh … no.

Individuals go into teaching because they love to nurture “the kids” – the learners, the students, the children, the young adults. What motivates teachers is playing a role in seeing their charges develop into responsible, caring, effective individuals. While tweaking a provided curriculum – putting one’s stamp on a unit – is also rewarding, that’s a tertiary task, not a primary one.

The truth is that those now, much-maligned, paper-based textbooks, with their associated teachers’ guides, saved teachers from major curriculum development. But as K-12 finally goes digital, textbooks – and the curriculum infrastructure they provided – are going the way of buggy whips. And “PDF World,” as a friend and colleague calls the digital versions of paper textbooks, is truly a “transitional object.”

The 7 pillars of today’s digital leadership (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney
If educators want to see results in student engagement and achievement, they must adapt their leadership practices to an increasingly digitally-focused learning environment.

This was the focus of a CoSN 2016 spotlight session by Eric Sheninger, a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education and a former high school principal.

“Leadership is not about position, titles, or power. Leadership is about the actions you take,” he said.

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