You may be a 21st century educator if…

Getting Smart reports: 1. You have theoretically received an #edchat doctoral degree from the “University of Twitter.” However, your monthly checks do not indicate an increase in pay that is equivalent to your acquired knowledge via the social media giant. 2. Google Maps on your smartphone is required to locate the nearest digital copier in your school because you haven’t visited the trance-inducing copy room in months. 3. Words like “flipped,” “blended,” “asynchronous,” “differentiated,” and “MOOC” are not words to describe how you feel after inhaling a chili hotdog just before riding a roller coaster called the “Vomit Van.” Instead, these words are part of your ever-increasing #edtech vocabulary…

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Pasco leads way as school districts explore social media

When she opened her Twitter account for work in early 2012, Jessica Schultz was an anomaly in Pasco County schools, the Tampa Bay Times reports. District officials remained wary of how to step into the online world beyond static websites. Educators’ virtual presence was suspect, amid fears of potential consequences such as inappropriate student contact. It was clear to the Mitchell High School assistant principal, though, that if she really wanted to communicate with the texting, tweeting teens in her hallways, she’d have to take the plunge…

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Higher Education Evolution Part 1: Student Life in 2023

Divide between K-12 and higher education could shrink over next decade

students-higher-educationCollege could be a very different place when freshmen step foot on university campuses in the fall of 2023. For starters, many students will find that step to be entirely virtual.

A seemingly alarmist prediction from Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen gaining traction among some educators states that more than half of universities will be in bankruptcy within 15 years.

Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, recently made a similar prediction, but provided a slightly more optimistic number of 25 percent.

Either way, this would mean that the high school senior class of 2023 will have far fewer options when it comes to picking a school. But that doesn’t mean they’ll have fewer choices in obtaining an education.

This is the first in an eCampus News series examining the technological changes in higher education over the next 10 years. Click here to read the full article, and be sure to check out Part 2 next week.

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How Texas A&M Has Guaranteed High Availability of Its Network Resources

KEMP230

Texas A&M University wanted to ensure that its core network services would continue uninterrupted in the event of a hardware failure, security breach, or even during periods ofhigh network traffic. Learn how officials solved this challenge cost-effectively with the help of load balancing technology from KEMP Technologies.

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Google+ links teachers, virtual field trips

Google+ virtual field trips will support community of teachers and academic partners

google-field-tripIn an effort to boost teacher collaboration and cultivate digital skills in students, Google+ on Nov. 4 launched Connected Classrooms, a program that connects K-12 teachers with virtual field trip resources and best practices.

Virtual field trips have always been available on Google+, but the Google+ Education Partnership Team sees Connected Classrooms as a more formal way for teachers to locate virtual field trips and connect with other educators in a thriving community.

“This is really just the beginning of where we see Connected Classrooms going,” said Lisa Jiang, Google+ Education Partnerships Lead. “We see this as an opportunity to not just attend a virtual field trip, but for teachers to become more proactive in using digital tools to help equip their students with the skills they need for digital citizenship.”

(Next page: How to access virtual field trips)

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10 facts about teacher evaluation policies

New report says states making “unprecedented” teacher evaluation changes

teacher-evaluation New teacher evaluation policies are being developed across states, but states still have a long way to go in connecting the data from these evaluations to action—specifically when it comes to either rewarding or disciplining teachers, and developing professional development programs, according to a new report.

Spurred partly by federal Race to the Top program funds, as well as by federal conditions to be followed by states pursuing waivers of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), “the widespread adoption of more rigorous teacher evaluation policies represents a seismic shift rarely seen in education policy in general or state teacher policy specifically,” according to the report.

The report, “Connecting the Dots: Using Evaluations of Teacher Effectiveness to Inform Policy and Practice,” by Kathryn Doherty and Sandi Jacobs, was released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)—a non-partisan research and policy organization.

(Next page: Evaluation measures, and using data)

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In public education, edge still goes to rich

“There aren’t many things that are more important to that idea of economic mobility — the idea that you can make it if you try — than a good education,” President Obama told students at the State University of New York in Buffalo in August. It is hardly a partisan belief, The New York Times reports. About a decade ago, on signing the No Child Left Behind Act, President George W. Bush argued that the nation’s biggest challenge was to ensure that “every single child, regardless of where they live, how they’re raised, the income level of their family, every child receive a first-class education in America.” This consensus is comforting. It provides a solution everyone can believe in, whether the problem is income inequality, racial marginalization or the stagnation of the middle class…

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We have what we need: The next steps in education technology

We have SMART boards. iPads. Laptops. Cellphones. We have learning management systems like Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle, the Huffington Post reports. Cloud storage systems like Dropbox, and notetaking apps like Evernote. We have the ability to connect with individuals around the world and talk about everything from the basics of addition and subtraction to the complexities of international relations. We have the ability to provide free educational modules to thousands upon thousands of individuals at one time, and many educators who are already doing so. We have what we need…

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Zuck’s first major ed-tech investment? Panorama Education, the brainchild of a Yale coder

When Aaron Feuer was in high school, he helped write a bill for students to give feedback on their classes, VentureBeat reports. By the time he matriculated at Yale University, Feuer had picked up computer programming skills. He couldn’t shake the feeling that the bill wasn’t enough. School districts still needed a better way to poll students and teachers and incorporate the results. So he began building Panorama Education, which works with school districts to gather the requisite data they needed to improve education. Today, at the age of 22, Feuer closed $4 million in funding from Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million fund, Startup: Education. This is Startup:Education’s first national equity investment…

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