eSchool News November / December 2010

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4 Default Lines
Editor Dennis Pierce on why Waiting for ‘Superman’ disappoints

40 e-Rate Survival Guide
With more than $2 billion at stake, here’s how to ensure your fair share.

What’s News

1 Teens’ online privacy at risk

1 Va. using iPads for learning

1 Grants aim to boost college readiness

1 Virtual schools fight for dollars

6 ASBO conference helps schools save money

8 House Democrats punt on net neutrality

10 Schools still conflicted over Web 2.0 tools

10 Facebook ‘Groups’ could help with collaboration

12 Pa. district settles webcam spying lawsuits

14 Summit: U.S. needs more computer instructors

16 Tech access law helps those with special needs

17 Study: Teacher bonuses failed to raise test scores

18 ‘School of One’ boosts individual learning

19 Survey: Kids like eBooks; parents, not so much


6 eSN Online Update

29 Security Checkpoint

42 Tech Buyer’s Marketplace

43 Advertisers’ Showcase

46 eSchool Partners

eSN Special Report21 Blended learning on the riseSupporters say blended learning combines the benefits of both face-to-face and online instruction.

— Jennifer Nastu


Resources for this issue

29 Security Checkpoint For more school safety news and information, see: resources/safe-center

40 e-Rate Survival Guide For the latest in school funding news, go to


The 10 biggest ed-tech stories of 2010

eSchool News reviews the 10 biggest ed-tech stories of 2010.

STEM education gets a boost amid concerns about U.S. competitiveness … States embrace cloud computing with large-scale school software projects… Assessments get a 21st-century makeover with the help of technology: These are among the many key educational technology developments in the past year.

In this special retrospective, the editors of eSchool News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant educational technology stories of 2010. To learn more about each story, click on the headlines below.

What do you think? Do you agree with this list? Did we leave anything out? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

No. 10: Advancements in audiovisual technology shine a spotlight on school multimedia.

The past year saw many advances in audiovisual technology for schools, most notably the ability for standalone projectors to turn any wall into an interactive whiteboard without needing a specialized surface.

No. 9: STEM education gets a boost as concerns about U.S. competitiveness multiply.

Results from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, released in late 2010, showed the United States continuing to fare in the middle of the pack in terms of math and science achievement. But even before the new PISA figures came out, federal officials had ramped up their efforts to boost science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

No. 8: Schools call on smart phones to help with mobile learning.

Using cell phones as tools for learning actually began a few years ago, but a number of developments occurred in the last year to help accelerate this trend.

No. 7: Statewide ed-tech projects aim high by moving to the cloud.

In April, Oregon announced that it would give its 540,000 public school students free access to the online Google Apps for Education, a move that state officials said could save Oregon’s schools $1.5 million in software hosting and licensing costs over the course of the five-year deal. The announcement made Oregon the first state in the U.S. to announce such a deal … but not for long, as other states—such as Iowa, Colorado, and New York—stepped up to offer similar arrangements.

No. 6: Assessments get a 21st-century makeover with the help of technology.

Spurred on by the goal of having students graduate from high school ready for college or a career, the Education Department doled out $330 million in grants to help states redesign their assessments for the 21st century—and technology will play a key role in these new exams.


Education reform: eight school chiefs to watch in 2011

Education reform will be on many state education agendas across the nation in 2011, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The past year saw Republicans elected or appointed to top state education posts in many states. But a bipartisan group of veteran education leaders has also stepped up to call for more dramatic change in how schools operate. Here’s a sampling of state education leaders to watch:

Click here for the full story


How to find a quality online degree

While online degrees were once largely seen as being second-rate, recent studies have reported that employers are not only more open to, but are even showing a favorable sentiment toward candidates with online degrees these days, reports AOL Jobs. One such study, conducted by Excelsior College/Zogby International, found that 61 percent of CEOs and small-business owners were familiar with online degree programs–and 83 percent of those considered online degrees equivalent to those earned in a traditional classroom…

Click here for the full story


8 educational gadgets that make learning fun

It’s not hard to grasp the concept that making learning fun can lead to better results, so we’re bringing you a selection of eight excellent gadgets that offer an educational take on play, reports Mashable. Our curated list of techie toys spans all the development ages right from the womb to the tweenager stage, so whatever age your little one is, there should be something here to suit…

Click here for the full story


Apple’s absence to be felt at CES gadget show

The International Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off this week in Las Vegas. The elephant is Apple Inc. It won’t be at the show this year, but its tablet computer, the iPad, is the most important new product for an industry that needs to once again excite consumers, the Associated Press reports. Sales of the iPad have been strong since its April debut, and the whole industry is now trying to mimic Apple’s success…

Click here for the full story


Toshiba to launch a 10.1-inch Android tablet

Toshiba will announce a new, yet unnamed 10.1-inch Android tablet this week at CES, Engadget reports. The device is not yet ready for production as it awaits the new version of Android (Honeycomb) which is believed to be optimized for tablets. However, it has a really interesting set of features: a dual-core Tegra 2 chip, a capacitive, 1280×800 resolution display, and a 5-megapixel back camera as well as a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls…

Click here for the full story