CTOs give their best mobile deployment tips

A roundup of best practices from CTOs can help those hoping to start mobile initiatives

mobile-CTOSchool leaders hope to give their students access to mobile learning opportunities, but infrastructure challenges and access barriers often create complications during mobile initiative implementations.

A group of chief technology officers (CTOs) from across the country shared tips and advice for fellow school administrators and technology leaders who are embarking on mobile device deployments such as one-to-one initiatives or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs.

Panelists on the Connected Educator Month webinar included:

(Next page: Valuable advice from the CTOs)


6 ways to modernize teacher-preparation programs

Experts in education discuss how teacher preparation can advance in the digital age

teacher-preparation As the U.S. education system shifts to accommodate a digital world in which 21st century skills are the norm, and not the exception, many stakeholders say teacher-preparation programs must evolve to fulfill student learning expectations.

“Teacher-preparation programs must evolve to ensure that teacher candidates have a deep understanding of pedagogy and curriculum to personalize learning, utilize data and assessments effectively, and incorporate digital learning as an integral part of their instructional strategies,” said the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) report, “Expert Perspectives: Future of Teacher Preparation in the Digital Age.”

The report is a round-up of thought leaders’ tips and advice on the topic of teacher-preparation programs in the digital age. It discusses advice for prospective teachers, transitioning to a learner-centered instructional model, state certification requirements, and the need for qualified teacher to support English Language Learners.

(Next page: 6 ways to modernize teacher-prep programs)


App of the week: Shutterbugs: Wiggle and Stomp

smithsonianappName: Shutterbugs: Wiggle and Stomp

What is it? Designed for the home and classroom by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Filament Games, this game teaches students how to describe movement and motion while visiting rare animals at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Each animal has coloring-page printouts, so you can print and color your favorite critter.

Best for: Ages 3-5

Price: FREE

Rated: 4+

Requirements: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPad.


  • It can be played on the web and select tablets.
  • Shutterbugs is a learning game aligned with the Next Generation Science StandardsCommon Core, and previous national standards.
  • Children will follow Ada, the zookeeper, and be on the lookout for animals that are swimming, running, wiggling, and stomping.
  • The kids will be equipped with a virtual camera to take pictures of the animals as they perform those motions.
  • Once a child has mastered a vocabulary word, he or she will get access to a printable coloring page.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shutterbugs-wiggle-and-stomp/id717204264?mt=8


eSchool News top views: Social media, CCSC and BYOT

Did your favorite articles during the week of October 28 make the top five most viewed articles in eSchool News?

computer-socialThis has been another great week for eSchool News.

This week’s featured stories include tips on how administrators can leverage social media, a closer look at Common Core State Standard cost-benefit analysis, and a guest post on the advantages of the Bring Your Own Technology initiative.

Please enjoy this week’s top 5 most viewed articles:

  1. Valuable advice from tech coordinators
  2. 10 must-watch videos for flipped learning
  3. New: 10 of the best Apple and Android apps for education in 2013
  4. 5 common myths about school administration
  5. Implementing Common Core for students with disabilites

We have several important updates for our readers.

eSchool News conducted several polls over the past week, surveying reader attitudes on augmented learning, Common Core standards and data privacy. It’s not too late to cast your vote and share your thoughts on some of the latest news and innovation in education.

On our Twitter page @eschoolnews, we’re using hashtags to let you more easily join us in the conversation. We encourage you to share your successes and opinions at the hashtag #eSNTopNews.

For instant updates and breaking news, be sure to join our growing community on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Michael on Twitter @Michael_eSM.


Why good teachers quit

She is an amazing teacher who is ready to quit the job she has loved for 20 years, TeachThought reports. She was honored just a few years ago as one of the best teachers in her area. She cares deeply about her students. These students come from some of the poorest living conditions in the state she lives. Many of these students come to school everyday for the stability she brings to their lives. She goes in early every morning and stays late almost every day. She brings home hours of work each night. She carefully prepares her lessons with engaging learning and interactivity for her students. She is one of those teachers who has a interactive white board and the students touch the board as often as she does. She explores lessons in real and meaningful ways and empowers learning in her classroom. What’s the problem? The problem is she is approaching her breaking point with her teaching career. She is ready to leave teaching completely. She is tired of trying so hard, in so many ways, and still feeling as if she is losing the battle. She is losing faith that she is and can make a difference…

Read more


Education secretary Duncan discusses plight of rural schools

Rural students need more access to college and technology to make up for the educational challenges they face, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told small-town teachers and school officials gathered in Columbus yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch reports. “We must first dramatically increase college enrollment and completion,” Duncan said. “Only about a third of young adults living in rural areas are enrolled in postsecondary education today. As long as adults in small towns and rural communities are the least likely people to earn a bachelor’s degree, economic development, job creation and entrepreneurial ventures will be limited.” High-speed internet service can provide access to Advanced Placement courses, college classes and other resources often missing in rural districts, which also face shaky funding and geographical isolation, he said…

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Ready to learn? The key is listening with intention

Listening and observing can be passive activities—in one ear and out the other, as our mothers used to say, Mind/Shift reports. Or they can be rich, active, intense experiences that lead to serious learning. The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion. Here’s how to make sure your intentions are good. Research on how we learn a second language demonstrates that effective listening involves more than simply hearing the words that float past our ears. Rather, it’s an active process of interpreting information and making meaning. Studies of skilled language learners have identified specific listening strategies that lead to superior comprehension. What’s more, research has shown that learners who deliberately adopt these strategies become better listeners…

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School districts using mobile apps to reach on-the-go parents

Washington area school districts are creating mobile apps to make it easier for busy, cell phone-addicted parents to check school lunch menus, eMail a teacher or check on their daughter’s latest math score, the Washington Post reports. Arlington and Fairfax county schools were the latest to add their logos to the iTunes app store this fall. The Prince George’s County school system is designing a second version of its app, and Loudoun County schools and Alexandria schools unveiled mobile apps or mobile-friendly web sites last year. “This has really become the next generation of parents’ way of communicating,” said Linda Erdos, spokeswoman for Arlington’s public schools. “We want to make sure we are reaching them through all possible channels.”

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Leveraging Pinterest for administrators

Pinterest can be a valuable resource for school principals and administrators

pinterest-administrators-educationPinterest, a social networking site in which users “pin” websites and resources to a virtual pinboard, has grown in popularity among the education community. While the site is especially popular with teachers, school administrators are also using the site with more frequency.

School leaders can use Pinterest to help their own teachers grow and build important teaching skills, but they also can use the site to improve their own leadership and practice.

Below are some Pinterest boards focusing on school administrators and leadership. Do you have a favorite Pinterest board that other administrators will find useful? Share it in the comments section below.

(Next page: Pinterest boards for school administrators. Plus, take a Pinterest poll.)