Five ed-tech topics you’d like to see covered—and how we can help


Here are stories and resources that pertain to the five ed-tech topics readers say they’re most interested in.

You’ve spoken, and we’re listening.

Each year, we survey our readers to find out what ed-tech topics you’d like to learn more about. This year, you’ve told us you’d like more information about Common Core standards and testing, free websites and apps for education, special education and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and more.

In response to this year’s survey results, we’ve put together this handy guide to stories and resources we’ve published that pertain to the five ed-tech topics you’re most interested in reading about.

Common Core State Standards

Stories

Common Core could boost U.S. math performance.” The Common Core State Standards in mathematics have the potential to enhance students’ academic performance if properly implemented, but most states have a long way to go, according to research from William Schmidt, a University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University…

How secondary school principals can master the Common Core.” As states move toward implementing the CCSS, school principals must ensure they are fully equipped to help classroom teachers incorporate the standards as effectively as possible…

Report tracks states’ progress toward Common Core Standards.” As the CCSS continue to gain momentum, states say they are more rigorous than previous standards, but many cite challenges in fully implementing the standards, particularly where funding is concerned. “Year Two of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: States’ Progress and Challenges,” a new report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP), sheds light on states’ progress as they work to implement common standards in English language arts and mathematics, and it identifies areas in which states anticipate a struggle as they implement the standards…

Tips for making the move to online assessments.” As states move toward implementing online assessments in 2014, a panel of experts agreed that school technology leaders must ensure that districts have the capacity, manpower, and foresight to see that the transition is a successful one…

 

Resources

School Reform Center: Interested in more stories about school reform and curriculum and assessment changes? Be sure to check our School Reform Center microsite here, or by scrolling down the “Resources” tab on our homepage and clicking “School Reform Center.”

Free websites and apps for education

Stories

New: 10 of the best Apple apps for education in 2012.” Last year, we presented “10 of the best apps for education,” which highlighted some of the best apps for iPhones and iPods. However, with new upgrades in touch technology, HD and 3D features, and the debut of the iPad, we’ve come up with a new list of the best Apple-based education apps for 2012. This year’s list includes some of the most highly rated apps, both by teachers and by Apple, and features a range that spans from simple math games to a revolutionary special-education app, and from 3D imaging of the elements to secure file sharing for students and teachers…

New: 10 of the best Android apps for education in 2012.” Last year, we presented “Ten of the best Android apps for education,” which highlighted some of the best apps for Google Android-based mobile devices. Now, with recent upgrades in touch technology and HD features, we’ve come up with a new list of the best Android-based education apps for 2012. This year’s list includes some of the most highly rated apps, both by teachers and by students, and features a range that spans from an innovative and hyperlinked dictionary developed by the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University to an interactive whiteboard app for tablets…

School lunches get a 21st-century makeover.” With new limits on calories, sodium, and saturated fats, as well as increases in minimums for fruits and vegetables, schools are revisiting their nutrition management. Thankfully, there are software programs, apps, and websites available to help schools, parents, and students make the transition successfully…

 

Resources

Site of the Week: Every week, the editors of eSN choose a site for educators that provide free, high-quality learning resources and tools to use in the classroom. You can find a list of these site here, or by scrolling down the “Resources” tab on our homepage and clicking “Site of the Week.”

How-tos and technology reviews

Stories

New paper proposes ed-tech evaluation system.” In a new paper, two researchers have proposed to create a new third-party ratings system for educational technology products, which would help link ed-tech buyers and sellers and offer reports on software’s effectiveness. The proposed EDU STAR system, dubbed a “Consumer Reports” for educational technology, also could promote transparency in the ed-tech product market and encourage innovation…

Seven steps to implementing critical student skills.” Administrators and educators know they must integrate higher-order thinking skills into teaching and learning if today’s students are to compete on a global scale. But school leaders sometimes struggle with exactly how to weave such skills into the curriculum. Now, steps for successful integration of four key skills are outlined in a new book by Ken Kay and Valerie Greenhill, both of EdLeader21, a professional learning community for 21st-century educators…

How to have assessment without testing—and without losing valuable instructional time.” Most educators can agree that frequent progress monitoring is critical to achieving a data-driven culture. However, under my direction at Cahuenga Elementary School in Los Angeles, we employed a different strategy for progress monitoring of reading skills development: We tested less. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Yet, our results demonstrate remarkable success—and they’ve led to a newfound focus on instruction…

Resources

Best Practices: Learn from other educators, schools, districts, and states how to implement effective 21st-century practices, tools, and technology. Click here or scroll down the “Publications” tab on our homepage and click on “Best Practices.”

Readers’ Choice Awards: Our “Readers’ Choice Awards” is a special editorial supplement that highlights the top ed-tech products each year, as nominated by readers. These annual reports are designed to help you determine the best ed-tech products that will help you transform education in your own schools.

Whitepaper library: This exclusive Whitepaper Library brings you the latest free whitepapers in educational technology, covering topics such as reducing the total cost of ownership for educational technology, boosting achievement, improving safety and security, and more. Click here to access the library, or scroll down the “Resources” tab on our homepage and click on “Whitepaper Library.”

Webinars: Our free webinars are a great place to learn about new technologies, how your colleagues are solving concerns you might have, and more. All of our webinars are free, and all you’ll need on the day of the event is internet access. After you register, you’ll be supplied with a link to log-in at the scheduled time. To access our free webinars, click here or scroll down the “Resources” tab on our homepage and click on “Webinars.”

Library management and school libraries

Stories

Five key roles for 21st-century school librarians.” According to Joyce Valenza, teacher librarian at Springfield Township High School in Pennsylvania and author of School Library Journal’s “Never Ending Search” blog, this is the golden age of librarianship. Valenza outlined five areas in which K-12 schools should turn to their librarians to empower learners with valuable 21st-century college and career readiness skills…

School librarians targeted in budget crunch.” How will students learn key information literacy skills, and how will teachers get help with integrating digital resources into their instruction, without a full-time media specialist in their school? That’s the question a national school library group has asked the nation’s second largest school system as it prepares to cut dozens of school librarians in a high-profile example of a trend that is occurring nationwide…

Special Education, Assistive Technology, and UDL

Stories

Six great special education resources for parents and teachers.” According to some education stakeholders, it’s not always easy finding information on special education, especially when it comes to technology tools. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of six special-education resources that provide vetted tools and technology that can help in many aspects of a child’s learning…

Groups launch joint accessibility campaign.” Thousands of Americans who have combined hearing and vision loss may soon connect with family, friends, and community through the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. Mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the new program to provide support for the local distribution of a wide array of accessible communications technology…

Video games help teach students with autism.” Can off-the-shelf video games spark a breakthrough in treating students with autism? That’s the question researchers are asking as educators quietly discover the therapeutic uses of motion-controlled sensors…

Universal Design for Learning: The next big thing in school reform?” As educators brace for new reforms, what will these changes look like? How will assessments and curriculum differ from previous versions? How can all students get the best education possible? The answer, some experts believe, lies partially in Universal Design for Learning (UDL)—a framework that’s quickly gaining momentum across the U.S. A new report indicates that many states and school districts have implemented UDL with support from Race to the Top monies or federal stimulus funds as they move forward with their education reform efforts…

iPad and iPod apps open a world for special-needs students.” Special-ed teachers say the iPod and the iPad tablet are becoming important tools in teaching and communicating with their students…

eSchool News Staff

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.