news roundup

Nov. 13 news: Smithsonian’s big research, and a future for micro-credentials

Catch up on the most compelling K-12 news stories you may have missed this week

news-roundupEach Friday, I’ll be bringing you a recap of some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments published during the week.

I can’t fit all of our news stories here, though, so feel free to visit and read up on other news you may have missed.


In this week’s news:

How micro-credentials could have a chance

A new report from Digital Promise and Grunwald Associates surveyed teachers to gauge their feelings on professional development. The report also gave teachers a description of micro-credentials, and 65 percent of teachers surveyed said they’re at least somewhat likely to try them as part of professional development.

State leaders push for one-to-one

Education leaders in West Virginia advocated for one-to-one computing to expand across the state, citing a potential to reduce educational inequities among students. The state’s superintendent hopes to have devices for all students by 2020, and wants students in grades 3-12 to take their devices home. Leaders also have asked for local businesses to help fund an initiative that would put wi-fi access on school buses.

NSF funds $800K research on math software

The National Science Foundation has granted $800k to North Carolina State University to use data mining techniques to study the game-based ST Math software program, from MIND Research Institute, that’s currently used in 2,500 schools across the country. The study will analyze millions of data points to explore how student behavior, student problem-solving methods and teacher actions influence learning outcomes and student motivation. Researchers hope the findings will help improve ST Math and other digital learning platforms that have cropped up in a number of classrooms.

Smithsonian to study digital learning practices

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access was awarded a $500,000 grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York to fund a two-year research project on digital learning. Findings from the study will be used to enhance the Smithsonian Learning Lab, which is launching in public beta this fall, and to advance digital learning and teaching strategies throughout the education field. Researchers will analyze teacher and student use of more than 1 million digital learning assets and tools from the Smithsonian’s collections that are available through the Learning Lab. The major focus of the work will be on how K–12 teachers and students use the Learning Lab, based on those who receive professional development and mentoring at pilot sites and those who access the material online independently without support.

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Laura Ascione

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