DEN Trend Report: 4/20/16

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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Ed Tech Spending Increases by 7 Percent (T.H.E. Journal)
By Richard Chang
Education technology hardware spending increased worldwide by 7 percent in 2015, according to a new report issued by Futuresource Consulting.
Spending on educational hardware, such as Chromebooks, classroom displays and mobile PCs, rose to $15 billion globally last year, said Colin Messenger, senior analyst at Futuresource Consulting, a U.K.-based ed tech research firm. Growth has been strong over the past several years, rising $4.5 billion since 2012, Messenger said in a statement released Thursday.

Feds to States: Use Federal Dollars for STEM (US News)
By Lauren Camera
The Department of Education wants more states to tap federal dollars for science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM education, especially for poor students, students of color and other historically underserved students.
“Too often many of our students, especially those who are most vulnerable, do not have equitable access to high-quality STEM and computer science opportunities, which are part of a well-rounded education and can change the course of a child’s life,” Secretary of Education John King said. “We are committed to ensuring that all students have the same opportunities to access a rigorous and challenging education.”

Is personalized learning the future of school? (CNN)
by Dan Simon
(CNN) Silicon Valley has always prided itself on solving the world’s greatest challenges. So it was in that spirit that technology entrepreneur Max Ventilla said he decided to tackle education.
A former Google executive who headed “personalization” for the search giant, Ventilla said the light-bulb moment came when he started researching private schools in San Francisco for his preschool-age daughter.
“We weren’t seeing the kind of experiences that we thought would really prepare her for a lifetime of change,” he said.
“The goalpost has moved. It’s become much more difficult to do your job as an educator and actually prepare students for the 2030s, ’40s and ’50s.”
Why Kids Should Use Their Fingers in Math Class (The Atlantic)
By Jo Boaler and Lang Chen
A few weeks ago I (Jo Boaler) was working in my Stanford office when the silence of the room was interrupted by a phone call. A mother called me to report that her 5-year-old daughter had come home from school crying because her teacher had not allowed her to count on her fingers. This is not an isolated event—schools across the country regularly ban finger use in classrooms or communicate to students that they are babyish. This is despite a compelling and rather surprising branch of neuroscience that shows the importance of an area of our brain that “sees” fingers, well beyond the time and age that people use their fingers to count.

How Should Schools Purchase Ed. Tech? (Education Week)
By Harold. O Levy
School districts across the United States spend billions of dollars every year on educational technology—buying everything from desktop, laptop, and tablet computers to apps, online courses, e-books, videos, and software. Unfortunately, a sizable chunk of that money is being wasted on products that are overpriced and underperform, diverting school funding that could be better used to benefit students in other ways.
School libraries are transforming into digital hubs – report (EdScoop)
By Yizhu Wang
Libraries are no longer associated with quiet reading rooms.
The American Library Association, an advocacy and professional group, released a report on the State of America’s Libraries that highlights a trend also reflected in classrooms across the country: more content is going digital.
The report, which covers libraries that serve K-12 schools, higher education institutions and communities, found that more librarians are retaining digital content for teachers and students alike. Last year, nearly 70 percent of librarians surveyed said they acquired digital content, doubling from 35 percent in 2010. The number of librarians who implemented game-based environments also doubled during those years, to 35 percent from 16 percent.

Researchers: Math needs a more visual approach (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney
Taking a more visual approach to math instruction at the K-12 and higher-ed levels could dramatically change brain development as it relates to future math success, according to a new paper from Stanford researchers.
“SEEING AS UNDERSTANDING: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning,” supports the use of visual mathematics and developing “finger discrimination” in students because it could result in higher math achievement.

Report: Blended Fits Nicely To Re-Engage Dropouts (T.H.E. Journal)
Each year about 485,000 people leave high school before they get a diploma. Students drop out for myriad reasons: They struggle in classes, have personal or family obligations, don’t see the connection between school and their lives or, quite simply, the school environment has become unsupportive. A new report examines the use of blended learning as a strategy for pulling these students, aged 16 to 24, back into high school for completion or an equivalent credential. As the report explained, the blended model of education combines in-person and online or virtual instruction and supports.

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