DEN Trend Report: 12/21/16

Looking 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.

Are you a site or district administrator interested in receiving updates designed with you in mind? Let us know.

The Nation’s Report Card Goes Digital (The Huffington Post)

Guest post by Dr. William Bushaw, Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board. Bill Bushaw is Executive Director for the independent, bipartisan National Assessment Governing Board ( that was established by Congress to set policy for the Nation’s Report Card. The Governing Board works closely with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which administers the NAEP program.

Authentic Project Based Learning… Santa Believes in PBL… Do You? (Tech&Learning)
It all started on a recent visit I had the pleasure of taking to the North Pole.  It was actually a once in a lifetime experience, one that I will always remember. While I promised Santa I would not divulge secrets I discovered, he did hand me a manuscript and gave me a wink. I could see the amazing sparkle in his eyes as he waited for me to discover a power he was already aware of. I looked at the cover of this torn and faded, yet delightful looking, old book.  I could tell it had been constantly used due to the lack of North Pole magical dust on its soon to be engaging pages.  I spent the next few hours looking through a wonderful collection of written journals. This manuscript was entitled “The Santa Projects”.  How did he know my yearning to learn more about projects?  I then remembered that, of course, I was sitting in front of Santa. He probably had quite a database of everything I had ever dreamed of or desired from my very first teddy bear. Here was a compilation of all of the important projects ever done at this amazing place… at the top of the world. Here were the projects that Santa had brought to his entire staff in order to engage, motivate, educate, and provide means of collaboration and communication. The first project caught my eye. I couldn’t help but smile as I read each of Santa’s journal entries. Allow me to share one of his projects with you.

7 things Gen Z students say about educational technology (eSchool News)
Students and teachers reveal how learning technologies impact their classroom environment

Student-teacher interaction is one of the most important things when creating a positive and effective classroom environment–in fact, it ranked higher than educational technology use, according to both teachers and students in a new survey.

8 Steps to Evaluating Ed Tech Products (Wausau Daily Herald, WI)
Even the best-designed technology pilots still involve a certain amount of trial and error when it comes to ed-tech products.

Now, a new eight-step framework from Digital Promise helps educators evaluate ed-tech products for quality and effectiveness. The framework also helps school leaders share their best practices and use research-based tools to their fullest capacity.

In the marketplace: An NBA math program, coding tools, and a new literacy initiative (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney
Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Discovery Education launched a new multi-year partnership that will deepen middle and high school students’ engagement in mathematics nationwide. In this new collaboration, which harnesses students’ interest in professional basketball to help teach important mathematics concepts, interactive math problems derived from NBA and WNBA game footage and statistics such as points, rebounds, assists and more, have been integrated into Discovery Education’s Math Techbook™.

What the coming educational VR revolution teaches us about the tech’s future (Tech Crunch)
Imagine the following scenario: A fifth-grade science class has just begun and the teacher makes a surprise announcement — today the students will be dissecting a frog.

I’m sure you remember dissecting a frog as a kid — the sour-pickle odor of formaldehyde, the sharp scalpels slicing into rubbery skin. You don’t have to be an animal rights activist to grimace a bit thinking about it.

But here comes the paradox. In this scenario, like-minded fifth-graders who are queasy about cutting open animals are excited to participate in this dissection. Indeed, no animal was harmed when the specimens were collected. What’s more, the teacher promises the students that they won’t have to clean up a messy station afterward.

Technology Should Replace Basic Teaching Tasks, a New Paper Says (Education Week)
Will machines replace teachers one day?

Probably not, despite some fears that it might—but technology can help enhance and supplement the teaching profession, writes Thomas Arnett, the senior research fellow for the Christensen Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on innovation, in a new white paper.


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