Student visa program: New rules, same problems

The State Department is publicly acknowledging that one of its most popular exchange programs leaves foreign college students vulnerable to exploitation, but it’s unclear if new regulations the agency is pushing will do enough to stop the abuses, the Associated Press reports. The revised rules aim to shift more responsibility onto the 53 entities the department designates official sponsors in the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program. Historically, many sponsors have farmed out those duties to third-party contractors, making the sponsors “mere purveyors of J-1 visas,” according to the State Department’s proposed new rules published this spring in the Federal Register…

Click here for the full story

tags

5 important things tablets can’t do yet

Tablet computers have actually been on the market for some time. However, it wasn’t until the iPad came out that the tablet format really took off, Yahoo! News reports. With the marketing arm of Apple behind it, along with the raging success of the iPhone, the iPad was a shoe-in for a mass-market mobile computing device. Despite all of the fanfare, when we come back to reality, the tablet computer still has a long way to go before it can replace the laptop or netbook for most people and here are 5 reasons why…

Click here for the full story

tags

Navy plans to invest over $100 million in STEM education

A United States Navy official recently announced a plan to improve its focus on America’s science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) over the five years, the Huffington Post reports. The Navy hopes this will help strengthen the service’s somewhat uncertain future workforce, as well as inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. A press release issued by the U.S. Navy states they will invest more than $100 million in science and technology education by 2015…

Click here for the full story

tags

After home schooling, pomp and traditional circumstances

The 26 young men and women, seated in alphabetical order, were nearly silent as they waited for their high school graduation to start. No giggles. No buzz. No camaraderie. And no wonder: they had met just once before, at the rehearsal two weeks earlier where they got their caps and gowns, reports the New York Times. They had come on this muggy June evening to the Miami Zoo, past the flamingos and the tiger, for an hourlong ceremony that Grace Rodriguez, the organizer, proudly called “the very first South Florida home-school graduation ever created.”

Click here for the full story

tags

Education laws in Ohio, Idaho subject of repeal campaigns

Two states are pushing back against new education reforms by putting recently passed laws up for popular vote, the Huffington Post reports. We Are Ohio, a volunteer group of public workers that shares a building with the Ohio Education Association, announced Friday that it had surpassed its goal in receiving enough signatures to put up to popular vote a law passed in March that strips public employees of most collective-bargaining rights and mandates merit pay for teachers…

Click here for the full story

tags

Students, educators leverage educational streaming media

One district saw a boost in student engagement after incorporating streaming media.

Students and staff at a Galesburg, Ill., school district are giving a ringing endorsement to Learn360’s broad range of services that have enhanced the interactive learning experience at an affordable price. From blogging in the classroom to the accessibility of streaming video – creating a new class room curriculum at the click of a mouse – along with an unparalleled professional development platform for educators, Learn360 has energized and inspired Galesburg students and staff in just a matter of months.

The district includes 11 schools, and Galesburg is using Learn360 in three secondary schools – Galesburg High School, Churchill Junior High, and Lombard Middle School. Learn360 became available at the start of the 2010-11 school year.

Learn360 was a cost-effective solution for Community Unit School District #205 staff who, like their in-state peers and those in neighboring states, constantly found themselves in the crosshairs of lawmakers seeking to slash education budgets in this period of national economic stagnation.

District administrators were hoping to inspire students and educators through an updated and technologically-focused learning initiative that wouldn’t break the bank, and after an evaluation period, chose Learn360.

The district’s DVD library was rapidly becoming outdated, and social media websites, such as YouTube, were inaccessible. Now young eyes are being opened to thousands of streaming educational videos from trusted sources, including National Geographic, PBS, Encyclopedia Britannica, and A&E Television Networks.

tags

‘TV textbooks’ bring access to low-income Florida students

TVtextbook delivers 3G content through students' television sets.

Prompted by lackluster reading scores, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) in Jacksonville, Fla., is attempting to reach low-income students by turning students’ televisions into learning centers.

Part of the “Read it Forward Jax” program, into which the district is investing $5.5 million, TVtextbook units will let students without internet access plug into academic programming at home.

“The one area where we were not moving the needle enough was reading, and it ties into two other critical areas: elimination of the achievement gap and even higher graduation rates,” said DCPS Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals. “In the midst of us cutting $91 million from our budget, we invested $5 million in the Read it Forward Jax campaign because it is the foundational skill.”

Only two-thirds of DCPS students were deemed proficient at reading in the third grade, which mirrored the district’s 66-percent graduation rate.

For more information on school reading initiatives, see:

Tackling Reading Comprehension Head-On

“Our students weren’t making gains at the rate of increase that we needed to see,” said Jacqueline Bowen, the district’s supervisor of reading and language arts. “We really didn’t see the total engagement with the whole community and the family, because reading is such a complex task that it takes a community of people to improve it.”

District leaders recognized that without a strong background in reading, students would continue to struggle. And they’ve turned to a technology that is ubiquitous in students’ households to help close the gap.

tags

Apple back to school promo hands out $100 app store credits

Apple has announced that it is switching up its back to school promotion this year. Instead of getting a free iPod Touch, this time students will be offered a $100 gift card to buy apps with, reports Digital Trends. The $100 app store credit comes with purchase of a Mac with Apple education pricing during the period of time between the months of June and September 2011. The qualifying Mac can be bought at an Apple retail or online store, as well as your campus’ store. The credit can then be spent on the Mac App Store, the iOS App Store, iTunes or the iBookstore…

Click here for the full story

tags

The NEA and WWE’s new anti-bullying campaign

What if I told you that World Wrestling Entertainment had partnered with the National Education Association to do an anti-bullying campaign? Would you think it was a bad joke? It’s no joke, reports the Huffington Post. The WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, recently announced the “Be A Star” bullying prevention program in partnership with the National Education Association’s (NEA) Health Information Network (HIN) and the Creative Coalition; an association of well-respected advocacy organizations who focus on youth, racism, homophobia, education, and violence prevention…

Click here for the full story

tags

Mom files complaint after daughters given oral sex survey in middle school

A Massachusetts mother of two middle school students was alarmed to discover her children had been forced to take a survey about sex in the classroom, the Huffington Post reports. Arlene Tessitore is filing a formal complaint with the Department of Education over the survey, which she says asked her daughters inappropriate questions about oral sex, birth control and other topics…

Click here for the full story

tags