DEN Trend Report: 4/4/17

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.

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TCS and Discovery Education Partner to Prepare One Million Students for 21st Century Careers
(Business World)

“Ignite My Future in School” to Transform U.S. Education by Embedding Computational Thinking and Problem Solving into Core School Subjects

20,000 Teachers to be Empowered to use a Trans-disciplinary and Digital Approach Across USA

Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital education content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced the launch of Ignite My Future in School, a multi-million dollar and first-of-its-kind initiative to use computational thinking as a catalyst to transform education in America. This program will enable educators, administrators and school districts to become ambassadors of a transdisciplinary approach and introduce computer science within the context of core subjects such as English, mathematics, social studies, science, and the arts.

Learning to Think Like a Computer
(The New York Times) By Laura Pappano

In “The Beauty and Joy of Computing,” the course he helped conceive for nonmajors at the University of California, Berkeley, Daniel Garcia explains an all-important concept in computer science — abstraction — in terms of milkshakes.

“There is a reason when you go to the ‘Joy of Cooking’ and you want to make a strawberry milkshake, you don’t look under ‘strawberry milkshake,’?” he said. Rather, there is a recipe for milkshakes that instructs you to add ice cream, milk and fruit of your choice. While earlier cookbooks may have had separate recipes for strawberry milkshakes, raspberry milkshakes and boysenberry milkshakes, eventually, he imagines, someone said, “Why don’t we collapse that into one milkshake recipe?”

5 Dos and Donts For a Chromebook Rollout
(EdTech) By Heather B. Hayes

Chromebooks are becoming the go-to computing device for K–12 schools, as officials are increasingly drawn to the ­platform’s low price, ease of use, ease of maintenance and high functionality. Getting maximum return on their investment, however, often turns out to be a harder equation.

“Everybody always has a top-level plan that says, ‘Computers are good, so let’s go get the computers,’” says Elliot Soloway, co-founder of the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education and a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan. “But they’ve really got to go a lot deeper to say, ‘What do we really want to do with these devices, and what specific curriculum are we going to give teachers to make sure that they get the results we want?’”

4 Education Technology Trends That Are Redefining K-12
(EdTech) By Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway

Usually articles that talk about education technology trends and predictions appear at the end of year (e.g., Schaffhauser and Kelly’s predictions) or at the beginning of the year (e.g., Kajeet’s predictions). Throwing tradition to the wind, in this week’s blog post, coming during the home stretch of 2016 income tax filing season, we identify four trends that we predict will redefine K–12 education over the next five years. Redefine K–12? Yes! We understand the serious nature of that claim. So, without further ado, let’s see if we can’t convince you of our vision!

Stunning: Teachers, students say little has really changed in education
(eSchool News) By Laura Ascione

One in four educators participating in a recent survey said their schools are “very traditional,” and findings indicate that these traditional approaches could be holding students and teachers back from more innovative experiences.

The Schools of Hope survey, from learning experience design firm MeTEOR Education, queried more than 7,000 educators.

Twenty-nine percent of surveyed educators indicated their schools are just beginning to integrate project-based, real-world learning approaches.

What Does Personalized Learning Mean for Teachers?
(Getting Smart) By Getting Smart Staff

As families, communities, parents, teachers and students around the country have deep conversations around how to transform schools to better prepare each student for future success, many schools are implementing personalized learning models to best meet the unique needs of each student and prepare all students for a lifetime of success (simultaneously).

Good teachers have always sought to match their teaching to the unique needs of each student – by offering options to dig deeper into an assignment for advanced learners or by offering additional support or a modified assignment to struggling learners.

The big 3: How access, achievement and advancement can close gaps
By Laura Ascione

When it comes to learning, giving students access to a magical mix of high-quality teachers, technology, and the opportunity to develop skills such as collaboration sets them on the right path.

But educational gaps remain–gaps in technology access, in achievement, and in opportunity. The right blend of pedagogy and technology, however, can help close those gaps.

During a session at CUE’s 2017 National Conference, Toni Robinson, director of professional development for Discovery Education, explored some of the ways technology can give students equal learning opportunities.

Closing educational gaps comes down to access, achievement and advancement.

Teachers Quit Principals, Not Schools
(Indy / Ed) By Shawnta Barnes

NBC’s new show This is Us has captured the hearts of America. It highlights the real struggles and triumphs that we as humans face on our journey through life. On a recent episode, “What Now?” Randall was grappling with his father’s death and how much he had sacrificed and given to his job.

Randall did not quit because he didn’t love his job. He quit because of issues stemming from his boss Tyler. It’s been said many times before, “People don’t quit jobs; they quit bosses.” In education, as pointed out in the New York Times article “Want to Fix Schools?  Go to the Principal’s Office.”, there has not been much focus on the leaders of schools. The principal helps set the culture which helps retain teachers. The brief, “Musical Chairs:  Teacher Churn and its impact on Indianapolis Public Schools” published by Teach Plus stated: “for teachers who voluntarily left a school at some point in their career, 49 percent cited school leadership and 40 percent cited school culture as reasons for leaving.” The principal is the one who steers the ship and when the principal cannot steer the ship in the right direction families and teachers look for a different school environment.

State Ed-Tech Leader Sees New Demands for Modular, Organized Content
(EdWeek Market Brief) By Sean Cavanagh

State and district officials are constantly inundated with offerings for instructional materials in both print and digital form. And the materials pitched by commercial publishers and other providers are naturally made to sound superior to the competition.

How can school buyers separate high-quality resources from the rest? In an effort to help state and local policymakers make good buying decisions, and set clear expectations for what they want, the State Educational Technology Directors Association recently released an online guide, “From Print to Digital: Guide to Quality Instructional Materials.”  The association breaks out five key steps for policymakers to follow in choosing materials, and offers a host of resources, and questions to consider, in each category. The five steps are: planning; budgeting and funding; selection; implementation; and effectiveness.

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