U.S. education extends international handshake

International Education Week highlights colleges, exchange programs

international-education-weekWith so much emphasis on comparing the nation’s education to its global counterparts, it’s only fitting that the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) collaborate to bring educators International Education Week, in order to learn from others and to attract new talent from abroad.

International Education Week, which runs Nov. 12-22, 2013, aims to “promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States,” said the Departments in a joint release.

(Next page: International Education Week video and resources)

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7 great iPad apps to create digital portfolios

Digital portofolios have become potent alternatives to the traditional portfolios, EducatorsTechnology reports. The added benefit of digital portfolios is their availability and easy accessibility anytime and anywhere. Be it in school, at home or anywhere else students will be able to check their portfolios and parents will also be able to track the pace of their kids learning. There are several web tools that teachers can use to create digital portfolios and some of these web-based applications are reviewed in an earlier post I wrote entitled ” Teachers’ Guide to Digital Portfolios”. Today, however, I am sharing with you some interesting iPad apps to create and manage digital portfolios on the go. Check out the titles I have below and share with us if you know about other suggestions to add here…

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Going solar atop school buildings

In 2012, The tiny Centerburg School District in central Ohio installed 5,600 solar panels on the rooftops and grounds of its elementary and high schools that are anticipated to provide 80 percent of the electricity the two buildings will use over the 2013-14 school year, AASA’s School Administrator reports. The 1.5-megawatt solar system will save the 1,140-student school district approximately $50,000 in electricity costs in just the first year of the project. Centerburg is not alone in turning to solar energy generation. More and more K-12 schools are turning to renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to power up their facilities. Solar is an attractive option for schools for several reasons…

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The 10 biggest edtech trends of 2013 and 2014

There are a lot of things happening in the world of education, Edubloggery reports. Technology is finally making a big enough impact that teachers can feel like they are well within their right as teachers to bring things like iPads into the classroom. I know of some schools that still basically ban all new technology and they remind me a bit of ostriches with their head in the sand. So it’s reassuring to see the following visual. As you can see below, there are now some pretty significant technology trends happening in the classroom. The guide below outlines the biggest edtech trends that you should know about. It touches on the 4 big ones of this year plus 6 more trends that we should expect to see next year…

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These 11 leaders are running education but have never taught

They design teacher evaluation systems, teacher training guidelines and the types of standards that need to be taught, the Huffington Post reports. Yet, they have never been teachers themselves. These days, being a teacher is clearly not a prerequisite for becoming a leader in education. In fact, some of the leaders with the most daily influence on classrooms come from entirely unrelated fields. Below we have compiled a list of some of the most influential leaders in education who have never been teachers…

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One-to-one motivations: It’s not about the device

Administrators should place goals above devices when it comes to one-to-one

mobile-deviceIn the world of education, it is rare to not hear discussion about providing a device for every student. We read research articles about it and we read newspaper articles about the latest school to move to a one-to-one environment.

As a superintendent, I receive weekly eMails about marketing devices, protective cases, learning management systems, mobile device management systems, and professional development. In a world so inundated with information about moving to one-to-one, one can quickly get drawn into the most important question that needs to be asked: Why go one-to-one?

Our school district made the leap to one-to-one this year at the high school level. Yes, we purchased mobile device management, cases, devices, professional development, a learning management system, and insurance—but before we did all of that we spent time wrestling with tough questions.

(Next page: Prioritizing goals instead of devices)

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Connected Educator Month by the numbers

How did you participate in Connected Educator Month?

cem-monthOn Oct. 31, Connected Educators and the U.S. Department of Education wrapped up the second annual Connected Educator Month, an October event aimed at helping administrators, technology leaders, and classroom educators stay connected and learn from one another.

And while wrap-up events occurred on Oct. 31, the connected events did not end on Oct. 31, and that’s one main goal of Connected Educators and Connected Educators Month–to stay connected all year.

Connected Educators offers five steps for staying connected every month, all year long.

  1. Grow the calendar. Keep adding events to the Connected Educator Month calendar, and keep people engaged so that they continue to check out new events and opportunities.
  2. Take collective action. Don’t stop your efforts on Oct. 31. Keep collaborating with fellow educators. Connected Educators created a Collaborative Projects Google Doc to support ongoing collaborative learning.
  3. Use edConnectr. This app helps connect like-minded educators. The possibilities are many.
  4. Share Connected Educator Month and its resources with less-connected colleagues. You can often prompt someone to become more connected on a permanent basis by showing them an easy way to begin.
  5. Volunteer for next year’s Connected Educator Month.

(Next page: Connected Educator Month by the numbers)

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20 Education Buzz Words and Phrases

The words and phrases we in the education biz love to hate

words-education For those critics who say education moves at a snail’s pace, they’re wrong…at least when it comes to terminology. From buzz words to phrases speakers love to use, it seems there’s a whole new vocabulary—that some call “edubabble”—developed every couple of years.

As education editors, managing editor Laura Devaney and I come across these buzz words frequently, especially over our eight-plus years reporting on education. Now, we’d like to share these words with you, our education-savvy readers!

Each buzz word or phrase is one we’ve either groaned over after attending a large-scale conference (where every story is littered with “edubabble”), or is one we think was pretty neat…at least while it lasted.

Can you think of any buzz words or phrases that didn’t make the list? Do you have a favorite one you love to hate? Or perhaps one you hate but can’t stop yourself from using? And be sure to check out the whole list: we’ve included a bonus word at the end that you don’t want to miss!

(Next page: Words 1-10)

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10 reasons why Connected Educator Month lived up to the hype

As the digital dust settles from another busy Connected Educator Month, I rounded up 10 highlights you shouldn’t miss, Graphite.org reports. May these gems provide an extra push to keep the conversation and connections going. Here are my top 10 reasons why Connected Educator Month lived up to the hype. CEM’s opening panel on Connected Leadership identifies why educators should get connected: the power of learning that is socialized. The panel discussion attempts to answer the questions, “How is connected leadership impacting student achievement, and what are the best basic steps leaders can take today to become more connected?” Getting connected isn’t about new technology, but is taking a systematic approach that embraces openness and collaboration. Testimonials about why it’s worthwhile to be connected abound, and here’s one nice reflection…

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To tweet or not to tweet? A principal’s perspective

To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question many principals are asking, epic-ed reports. They are really asking: “What’s in it for me?” Principals want to know how tweeting and following other tweeters can help them perform their job as a principal better, improve their own professional learning, and help them network with other administrators. Most of all, they want to know if the time they spend in the Twitterverse is really worth their time — time being such an important commodity. Why tweet? To keep people informed. To network and stay connected to others. To have personal growth and entertainment. To stay informed about the latest trends, research, and happenings around the world. Principals who tweet find value in sending and receiving short, specific, to-the-point messages. These messages are easily read and often provide links to more in-depth knowledge and information…

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