DEN Trend Report: 10/12/16

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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Solving the Project-Based Math Conundrum: The Multidimensional Math Classroom (Education Week)
This post is by Will Haase, Calculus and Math IV teacher at High Tech High International

Imagine walking into a math classroom. Everything is quiet, students are diligently writing and reading and thinking. You hear the rustle of paper, scratching pens, and the occasional student shifting in their seat; it seems like any other classroom except that the students are seated in groups facing each other. Then you notice that large pieces of paper cover the entire table and there are different colored markers in the center.

How Will Districts’ Ed-Tech Strategies Change Under ESSA? (Education Week)
By Michele Molnar
The Every Student Succeeds Act opens doors for districts to purchase more education technology and other instructional services—and K-12 companies are lining up to help them do just that.

“ESSA permits us to move from a compliance mentality to an innovative one,” said Bob Wise, the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education on a panel he led at the EdNET 2016 conference held here on Tuesday.

The key is “to assure district leaders that it’s all right to think positively, to dare to be great—to be transformative.”

I made my classroom look like the real-world—and test scores soared (eSchool News)
Think about the jobs in today’s economy — the ones we’re supposed to prepare students for after graduation. Are employees evaluated using bubble-in tests to prove they know the ins and outs of their job? Do they learn and use new skills one at a time in a vacuum? The questions sound a bit silly until you realize too often that’s what students take away from their education. Why is the culture to drill facts into students’ heads just to pass a test?

STEM News Roundup: Student Learns Coding, Creates App to Get Around Math Homework (Education World)
October 6, 2016
16-year-old Amit Kalra has attracted the attention of both the media and Apple for channeling his desire to expedite the tedious process of doing math homework by creating a one-of-a-kind app.

With no previous coding experience, Kalra is an example of how high motivation can turn any determined student into an app-creating wiz.

How Adaptive Learning Really Works (Tech&Learning)
By Tara Smith
Adaptive learning in mathematics is the wave of the future,” says Spencer Hansen, principal of Centerville (UT) Junior High. Educators across the country are riding this wave into the future of learning—in math as well as in language arts and other subject areas. They’re finding that improved adaptive learning technologies offer unique benefits and options for learning, in addition to valuable data and efficiencies. This collection of success stories showcases schools and districts that are celebrating achievements gained through the efforts of dedicated staff implementing adaptive learning strategies.
Looking for More Support, New Teachers Turn to Online Communities (Education Week)
Every other Wednesday night, the questions and the messages of support and encouragement roll in.

That’s when beginning teachers across the country—and experienced teachers looking to help—are tuning into #ntchat, a biweekly Twitter chat geared to new teachers, in which moderators ask questions and respondents answer, sharing what’s worked (and what hasn’t) in their classroom, offering advice, and soliciting tips.

“It’s not based on pedagogy, that’s not what new teachers are looking for in a [Twitter] chat,” said Lisa Dabbs, the chat’s founder and an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne, near Los Angeles, as well as an educational consultant who specializes in new-teacher support.

Free, Virtual Event Offers Educators Strategies for Integrating Digital Media (T.H.E. Journal)
By Sri Ravipati
Educators looking to integrate digital media into the classroom can attend an upcoming virtual event to learn actionable strategies and advice, at no cost. The Discovery Education Community is inviting teachers and administrators worldwide to participate in the 2016 Fall VirtCon on Saturday, Oct. 22.

A bi-annual conference, VirtCon provides a chance to hear from other educators, share ideas and instructional tools, and discover new digital media resources through engaging online workshops, presentations and discussions. The event is streamed live from Discovery Education’s headquarters in Maryland.

Tech Support, PD Are Top Competitive Advantages in Ed-Tech Contracting (Education Week)
By Holly Yettick
Trying to win an ed-tech contract this year? Providing school systems with strong tech support and professional development should be top of mind, according to the results of a proprietary Education Week Research Center online survey of K-12 district leaders.

More than two-thirds of the leaders said high-quality, ongoing tech support gives companies a very large advantage when competing for contracts in their districts. Of nine potential advantages mentioned, quality tech support ranks No. 1, according to the survey, administered to more than 200 district leaders during the spring of 2016.

The Future of Virtual Reality in the Classroom (The State Educational Standard)
As state boards of education and other state policymakers consider the future of schools, sorting fad technology from technology that accelerates learning is key. Virtual reality (VR) is one such technology with promise that seems unlikely to fizzle. Hailed as potentially transformative for education and still in the early stages of application, VR has seen new developments over the past two years that have tipped it into the column of technologies that schools could begin to adopt now.

The Trends and Challenges Shaping Technology Adoption In Schools (KQED Mind/Shift)
Every year for the past 15 years the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) have been taking the pulse of where education technology stands among K-12 educators. A panel of 59 experts from 18 countries discussed major trends in education that are driving the adoption of technology, as well as the big challenges to effective implementation. This collaborative effort helps to paint a picture of where things stand now and where they might be going. This year NMC and CoSN have also put together a digital toolkit to help educators and policy leaders start conversations about these trends in their community, with the hope that some of the changes they see happening in pockets around the world will become more broadly accepted.
Augmented and virtual reality can increase engagement in schools (Education Dive)
Dive Brief:
·         Pokémon Go aside, augmented reality can be a powerful tool for engagement in classrooms — along with its virtual reality cousin — wherein students explore entirely new, digital worlds.
·         District Administration reports an art teacher in Minnesota’s Greenwood Elementary School asks students to record short videos explaining their work and then gives viewers a chance to watch those videos by looking at the physical artwork through the lens of their iPads.
·         Students studying science in Colorado’s Poudre District have created virtual reality tours of the circulatory system, which requires precise knowledge of the system but engages students in the learning process by providing a fun project to complete while learning it.

12 year-old girl devises a computer program to prevent dangerous reaction to medicines (TechWorm)
A medical tablet may work on some individuals but it may have a negative reaction on others. Till now there was no way doctors could tell how the medicine will react in a particular individual but now thanks to a 12-year-old girl, they can.

12-year-old girl from Knoxville Tennessee has devised a computer programme which could help doctors prevent a dangerous reaction to medicines. Sofia Tomov is one of the finalists  in the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a prestigious science competition for middle school students.

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