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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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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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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To the iGeneration, “WWW does not mean World Wide Web, it means Whatever, Whenever, Wherever.” Larry Rosen examines how technology is ubiquitous in the lives of today’s young adults, and provides further examples of how to utilize technology to enhance education. Rosen identifies a number of useful resources and tools that enable teachers to incorporate technology into their curriculum.

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Can Computers Replace Teachers?

The CNN video discusses how technology has impacted how we learn and what we learn.

Online education for younger students has started to be implement. Some benefits of this are:

–Provides one on one interaction; there are not enough teachers; students are not bound to teachers who are geographically in close proximity.

–Students can’t get what they want from a traditional school setting, but can get this from online education, even at a young age.

–Online is much more personal than we think it is.

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Khan Academy

The video discusses Khan’s remarkable use of youtube and the internet to teach mathematics internationally.

Khan is a MIT and Harvard graduate who quit his job to work at home and create math videos on YouTube. His actions had a remarkable result, as other quickly caught on to the benefits of Khan’s work. He received an endorsement from Bill Gates and also from Google for his work. His use of the internet and YouTube to teach is now applied to not only math, but to other subjects in school.

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iPads in Schools

An Education Weekly article examines the different ways that iPads are used in schools.

iPads offer benefits that laptops do not. For example, the battery life of an iPad is 8-10 hours.  Furthermore, it weights just over a pound, which makes the iPad much more portable than a laptop.  The screen size that an iPad provides allows for more Web use flexibility than a smartphone.

Virginia, as part of the “Beyond Textbooks” initiative,  purchased 350 iPads for its 4th, 7th, and 9th graders.  The computers will be distributed to four counties which will test the educational value of the device in social studies class rooms.

Jamestown Elementary in Arlington, Virginia, has 60 iPads for the 550-student K-5 school.  The school also uses netbook computers and iPod touch devices.

Bill Donovan, 4th grade teacher, uses the devices as part of a math exercise.  He has students travel between different workstations.  Some of the workstations use iPads, iPad touches, or laptops, and others just have pencil and paper.

The article outlines several other schools’ programs and questions whether using an iPad for educational purposes is just a fad.

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BYOT: Bring Your Own Technology

CNN reports that history teacher, Enrique Legaspi, attended a seminar in San Francisco about incorporating technology in the classroom.  Since then, asked his students to bring any technology that will connect them to the Internet.

He asks his students to submit  “tweet” in class, complete with the # sign. The tweets then get projected onto a digital chalkboard.

Legaspi’s primary goal was to increase class participation.  Legaspi says that it has helped students find their voice and has engaged the shy students in his class.

CNN reports that it has also helped students outside of the classroom. One student, Oscar Lozoria, says that kids have stopped teasing him since the project has started. Lozoria says that he feels like his tweets are getting him noticed. “[Other students] see me as somebody now. Like an equal,” Lozoria says.

Legaspi teaches at a public school in East Los Angeles.

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Computer Use in Classes is Higher for Upper-Level Students

The Christian Science Monitor ran an opinion article written by Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University of Law, who did his own study on student’s use of technology in the classroom. Sovern’s observers sat in and recorded information about 60 different class periods. He found that a majority of upper-year law students pay attention to less than half of each class period. They observed that 87% of upper-level students used their laptops for non-class related purposes for more than five minutes per class.

Sovern further found that professors announcing that students were not allowed to surf the web during class made no difference in the students’ web surfing habits.

Sovern did find that first-year students, who rely more on grades for their career prospects, used the computers much less for non-class related purposes than upper level students. Furthermore students were more attentive during discussion of things that they expected to be on the law school exams.

However, Sovern found warns that banning laptops only eliminates one temptation for students. He advocates that law schools require that graduates who are seeking bar admission attend classes.  He also suggests that professors certify that their students not spend their class periods on Facebook. Sovern even suggests that more technology in the classroom may be the answer to technology distraction.

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