eSchool News May 2013

•Program gives 100M offline Americans cheap broadband

•$500 billion needed to modernize U.S. schools

•Report helps educators use open educational resources

•K-12 science instruction poised for big changes

•North Carolina pushing for digital instruction

More schools shifting from textbooks to tablets


App of the week: myCreate

Name: myCreate

What is it? Kids can make animated stories with crafts, toys, or anything hands-on, to share with friends and family. myCreate is a learning tool validated by thousands of teachers and parents around the world for enhancing creativity. Using the built-in camera, kids capture a series of photos of the physical world around them, and immediately play back a stop-motion animation. After recording audio, kids can upload their animations to Facebook and YouTube.

Best for: Younger children and students.

Price: $4.99

Requirements: Compatible with iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.1 or later.

Rated: 4+


  • simplistic, easy-to-use interface
  • dual windows for video playback and image streaming
  • image capture from both front and back cameras
  • audio recording
  • import audio from iTunes library
  • export to Facebook, YouTube, and albums
  • onionskinning
  • moving and deleting of pictures and audio
  • time lapse
  • adjustable frame rate
  • help tags
  • copy frames

Link: [Apple]



Schoolgirl tries science experiment, arrested for felony

Who among us hasn’t — just once in our lives — put a couple of things in a test tube, a bottle, or our mouths and wondered what might happen? Occasionally, this might have difficult consequences. But rarely does someone try to arrest us for it, CNET reports. 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot wasn’t so lucky. This student at Bartow High School in Florida allegedly thought she’d put a couple of household chemicals in an 8-ounce water bottle, just to see the reaction…

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Figuring out how to give teachers useful feedback

When Texas lawmakers rolled out a framework for evaluating public schoolteachers more than 15 years ago, they intended to identify ways to strengthen the state’s teaching corps, The New York Times reports. But the regular result of the largely subjective evaluations since then has been: no improvement needed. Less than 3 percent of educators receive scores below the “proficient” level, and the variation in scores from year to year has been so small that state officials stopped collecting the data from school districts after the 2010-11 academic year…

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Warren Buffett joins Twitter, gains 1,000 followers a minute

Warren Buffett accumulates Twitter followers even faster than he makes money, Reuters reports. The 82-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” joined the service and sent his first tweet on Thursday, picking up more than 45,000 followers in just under 45 minutes. “Warren is in the house,” Buffett said under the handle “@WarrenBuffett.” The handle was not officially verified by Twitter, but was confirmed by Fortune magazine, which hosted Buffett for a live webcast Thursday. It was billed as the first social media event for the notoriously technology-averse billionaire…

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The college degrees employers seek

New grads with business or technology degrees will have a decided advantage when they hit the job market this summer, new research shows. LiveScience reports that a study by CareerBuilder revealed that degrees related to business and technology are the most in demand by employers and account for more than half of the 10 most-sought-after college majors.  Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said more than half of employers are planning to hire new graduates this year. “College students who are graduating in business, technology and health-related majors will have an advantage in terms of the volume of opportunities available today,” Ferguson said. “However, other majors such as liberal arts and sciences are also attractive to employers as they look for individuals with strong communications and critical-thinking skills.”

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Five education grants you don’t want to miss

School funding difficulties show no sign of abating, and school budgets are stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students.

The editors of eSchool News have compiled a list of the most current education grants expiring soon—from AP test assistance to environmental programs. You don’t want to miss out on these school funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators.

(Next page: Win thousands!)


Computer problems in three states hamper student proficiency tests

School districts in Indiana, Oklahoma and Minnesota are rescheduling high-stakes proficiency tests because of technical problems involving the test administrators’ computer systems, the Associated Press reports. Thousands of students have been kicked offline multiple times during testing in recent weeks. School officials say there is no room for error on the tests, on which states are spending millions of dollars and for which teachers and students are held accountable…

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