Technology Makes Tutoring Possible

This article looks at the advancements in tutoring through the use of computer technology.  Many studies have shown the benefits of tutoring on early-development and later school success, but some schools have trouble getting tutors to their classrooms.  Tutors, who work with students through the computer, can give these schools and students the advantage they need.  Find more about this article.

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Stanford Online High School

An article in the New York Times titled, “Online High Schools Attracting Elite Names”, discusses how online education has been impacted since Stanford created an online school: Stanford Online High School.

Stanford created an online educational program for gifted youth. This was a significant stepping stone in online education, as “one of the country’s most prestigious universities feels comfortable putting its considerable prestige and brand behind it”.

Besides Stanford, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the University of Missouri have awarded diplomas for online education as well. The George Washington University Online High School just opened in January.

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Education for Mexican Population in New York

An article in the New York Times titled, “In New York, Mexicans Lag in Education” discusses the alarming rate of Mexican students who drop out of school.

According to the article, 41% of Mexicans between ages 16 and 19 drop out of school high school. That rate is significantly higher than any other immigrant group, as there is no other immigrant group that has a dropout rate higher than 20%. Mexicans are the fastest growing immigrant group in the city of New York, and have increased in number by at least 33,600 immigrants since 1990. Statistics show that Mexicans have immigrated to New York at an even higher rate than recorded because of illegal immigration. With the growing Mexican population, why do the educational rates for Mexicans vary so significantly from other minority groups?

The city of New York is working at implementing educational programs to include Mexican immigrants and their children.

Movement and Learning

Can exercise stimulate brain function enough to improve cognitive output? Yes, say some doctors and educators. According to John Ratey of Harvard Medical School, “Exercise makes our brains ready to learn.” Schools that have studied the correlation between movement and intellectual yield have found a rise in students’ problem-solving abilities, reading comprehension and test scores. See the full ABC News article here.

Perhaps a fast-paced game of basketball isn’t possible for all schools. What about a ‘walking classroom’? A number of professional offices have installed ‘walking workstations’, treadmill-and-desk combinations. According to this New York Times article, employers have seen increased concentration when these treadmills are used in conjunction with work. Would this be possible in schools as well?

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Goal: Transformation of Public Schools

Recently, superintendents in Connecticut met to propose solutions to meet the needs of a changing student population, ever-expanding technology, and growing influence of a global economy. The results included both broad-spectrum goals, such as aligning education with how students learn, and specific elements, like allowing access to school materials year-round and for extended hours. The proposal stresses that these changes must be part of ongoing transformations, not simply a one-time modification.

The full report includes 12 key themes, such as:

-Raise the Bar
-Make it Personal
-Start with Early Childhood
-Make it Personal by Design
-Retool Assessments and Accountability
-Leverage Technology
-Continue Transformation

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High-Tech Parents Reject Technology Use In Their Childrens’ Classrooms

While most schools are eager to add more technology to their classrooms, some are refusing to abandon the “retro” style of learning.  Ironically, many of the parents who prefer to have their children learn without the aid of any technology have a strong high-tech connection themselves.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?ref=education

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Single-Sex Schools: Helpful or Harmful?

A recent article in Science Magazine has raised questions regarding both the educational benefits and the legality of separating students by their gender.  The article, “The Pseudoscience of Single Sex Schooling,” suggests that single-sex settings do not produce better academic results and even negatively reinforce sex stereotypes.

http://http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/17/single-sex-schools-separate-but-equal/what-our-research-on-single-sex-education-shows

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Out With Textbooks, in With Laptops for an Indiana School District

Utilizing technology in the classroom is not a news. However, an entire school district doing away with textbooks and replacing them with laptops for the all 2,600 student is newsworthy. The attached article outlines the hurdles and accomplishments that one school district overcame to replacing the traditional textbook with laptops for students in grades 5-12.

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Research Supporting the Benefits of Technology in Reading and Writing

This blog provides several links to reports regarding research about the benefits of using technology in the class room.

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Receiving Higher Education Outside of Minnesota

An article in the Star Tribune titled, “A steady Drain of Collegians from Minnesota, But Why?” discusses the varying reasons why students who graduate high school from Minnesota more frequently go out of state for higher education.

Minnesota exports more college going kinds than it imports. Minnesota generally has a net loss of thousands of students, but why?

One possible theory includes: Minnesota has a great education system K-12, so high school graduates are ‘top notch’ and have a lot of options.

These statistics can have a negative impact, as many students are likely to stay where they received their undergraduate degrees. THis could have a negative impact on Minnesota’s economy.

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