DEN Trend Report: 11/09/16

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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In the marketplace: Gaming, digital citizenship, PD initiatives, and more (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney

Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

What should we teach students about the future of technology? (eSchool News)
By Dianne Pappafotopoulos

Educators must train students to think critically about the technology they will one day help create

Will we ever become technology?

It sounds like a science fiction statement, but it’s actually not too far from reality. Humans rely on programmable devices for every aspect of their daily lives. These devices have transformed from stationary, to carried and worn, to physically implantable. There is no end to this progression; innovations keep evolving. With the ongoing focus of technology in education, and the need for schools to keep up with the ever-changing scope of its use in the classroom, it is essential that we provide students with the knowledge of how technology affects, and will affect, society.

Four Tips for Effective Digital Leadership (Tech&Learning)
By Lisa Gonzales

As educators transition from being “sages on the stage” to “facilitators of learning,” the culture in our schools needs to be rich in digital learning. Educators must be open-minded and flexible learners, focused on continuous improvement and adjustment, in order to best engage students in digital learning. Educators who are honing skills around visioning, ongoing and differentiated professional development, anytime learning, and risk taking are well on their way to effective technology leadership. Here are four ways you can become an effective digital leader:

Survey: Parents Struggle with ‘Tech Shaming’ and Need Roadmap to Navigate Usage (THE Journal)
By Richard Chang

A new survey reveals that an overwhelming majority of parents (92 percent) say they need a roadmap to help navigate tech usage on a day-to-day basis.

The survey, released by kids’ cable TV network Sprout, also finds that there’s a common feeling of “tech shaming” among parents, with 59 percent saying they feel judged by other parents over their kids’ screen time.

A Teen Figured out How to Make Clean Energy Using a Device That Costs $5 (

Maanasa Mendu thinks she’s cracked the code on how to make wind and solar energy affordable.

On Tuesday, Mendu – a 13-year-old from Ohio – won the grand prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work in creating a cost-effective ‘solar leaves’ design to create energy. In addition to winning the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, she gets $25,000 for her achievement.

The leaves, designed to help developing areas in need of cheaper power sources, cost roughly US $5 to make.

Say goodbye to science class as you know it (Los Angeles Times)
By Joy Resmovits

In California, the guidelines for how to teach science are changing.

It should be hands-on, education officials now say, and its concepts should be connected to other subjects.

California is one of a number of states that in recent years adopted what are called Next Generation Science Standards — goals for each grade intended to make science more experiential, coherent and relevant.

Minecraft: Education Edition officially launches (TechCrunch)
By Sarah Perez

Following months of testing and free trials for early adopters, Microsoft announced this morning that its learning-focused version of the popular Minecraft game, Minecraft: Education Edition, is now available for purchase. The game is available in 50 countries and in 11 different languages, the company said, and will include the Classroom Mode companion app that lets teachers manage settings and interact with students in the game.

High school on Oracle’s campus turns education on its head (CNN Money)
By Selena Larson

Bay Area high school students will soon be able to attend school on a tech campus, with a curriculum that turns traditional education on its head.

Design Tech High School’s ( official home is still just a skeleton nestled up to Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood City, California, but come next year, it will open its doors to students. It will be the first U.S. high school on a technology company’s campus.

Oracle (ORCL, Tech30) is funding the construction of, and has been involved with the school since its inception.

Founded in 2014, the public high school takes a unique approach to education — letting students learn and create projects at their own pace. Teachings are centered on “design thinking,” which finds solutions through empathy, experimentation and evidence-based problem solving, similar to what’s taught at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (

The Equity Case for High-Quality Digital Content (Association of American Publishers)
By Stacey Pusey

Guest blog post by Marty Creel, Chief Academic Officer / Vice President, Curriculum & Instruction, Discovery Education

In my current role as Discovery Education’s Chief Academic Officer, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about different nations’ educational systems as I’ve worked with our network of partners worldwide.  This wonderful experience has shaped my belief that the United States’ education system, when judged on the totality of its mission, is among the greatest public service initiatives in history.

However, that is not to say that our system is not without its issues.  When it comes to the challenges American education faces, I tend to agree with the position of Karen Cator, President and CEO of Digital Promise, who, in a 2014 blog post, stated, “The problem with education in America is not lack of excellence. It’s lack of equity.” Despite the tremendous flexibility and innovative spirit American educators display each day as they meet the needs of their increasingly diverse learners, as Cator states, equity is a critical issue we must overcome.

Our research shows that when students work on projects, they learn more (eSchool News)

In a recent study, students learning via project tested better and improved applied problem-solving skills

Educators often talk about 21st-century skills and the benefits of incorporating communication, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking into lessons. These are skills students rarely learn straight out of a textbook. The best way to teach them, we’ve found, is by making these skills a relevant part of their active lives.

Education’s Secret Ingredient: PD for Digital Teaching (School Leaders Now)
By Wayne D’Orio

Eight years ago in the small North Carolina town of Mooresville, then-superintendent Mark Edwards started an education revolution. Simply put, he went all in on digital teaching and learning. He stopped buying textbooks and put a MacBook Air in the hands of nearly every one of his 6,000 students.

The move has been an unqualified success. Test scores are up, graduation rates have soared, and the waiting list to visit the district has stretched to 500 people. (One visitor pulled rank to cut the line. President Obama choose Mooresville in 2013 to kick off ConnectED, the FCC’s effort to connect 99 percent of the nation’s schools to high-speed internet access by 2018.)

What Are The Main Reasons Teachers Call It Quits? (NPR)
By Eric Westervelt

For Ross Roberts, it was a lack of resources that drove him from the classroom. For Danielle Painton, it was too much emphasis on testing. For Sergio Gonzalez, it was a nasty political environment.

Welcome to the U.S. teaching force, where the “I’m outta here” rate is an estimated 8 percent a year — twice that of high-performing countries like Finland or Singapore. And that 8 percent is a lot higher than other professions.


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