Beginning this week, school districts in Arizona are required to teach cyberbullying awareness and monitor online chats and social media in schools, in keeping with a bolstered Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Arizona Republic reports. Several school boards have revised their decades-old policies regarding Internet safety, and in turn receive discounts of up to 90 percent on their telecommunication bills. Mesa Public Schools, which at 64,000 students represents the largest district in the state, is mandating that students attend anti-bullying awareness classes, which include rules against harassing students online and at school. Mesa Public Schools will spend $2.8 million on Internet access and telecommunications, which represents a 75-percent discount for compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. According to Mel Van Patten of Oklahoma-based Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, the decreased cost could mean the difference between smaller districts having internet access or not……Read More
Podcast Series: Innovations in Education
Explore the full series of eSchool News podcasts hosted by Kevin Hogan—created to keep you on the cutting edge of innovations in education.
Lawmakers in Arizona look to put controls on teachers’ speech
In a story in Sunday’s Arizona Republic, Alia Beard Rau described efforts by lawmakers to pass a law that would limit teachers’ words in their classrooms. The story was reprinted in USA Today. A group of legislators is trying to pass a law that would make teachers abide by FCC rules regarding profanity, says Brad Boeker for Yahoo! News. Really? This is such a problem in Arizona schools that elected officials in Phoenix need to use their valuable time shutting down all of the potty-mouthed teachers? Are students from Yuma to Flagstaff running home every day and telling mom and dad that their teachers are telling them to shut the, er, heck up? The bill even spells out the penalties teachers would face if the law passes, which range from a one-week suspension for the first offense to firing the third time……Read More
Intel program helps teachers widen horizons
Junior-high students in Holbrook, Ariz., talk with people around the world via Skype. Fifth-graders in Sierra Vista investigate wildlife crime scenes. First-graders in Chandler made a movie about desert animals. These are a few ways students in Arizona are using technology, boosted by a program called Intel Teach, reports the Arizona Republic. The program is designed to help public-school teachers and students tackle the challenges of an increasingly technical world. The Intel training also helps teachers catch up to where their students are in technology. “It’s hard for our educational system to keep up,” said Sunshine Darby, technology-training supervisor for the Dysart School District in Avondale. “The Intel program is a way to keep up. It’s definitely bridging that gap.” Besides increasing technology in the classroom, the Intel training inspires teachers, improves their skills, and helps them create lessons that foster higher-level thinking. Since Intel Teach began almost 10 years ago, 17,500 Arizona educators have participated. The company began working with the Arizona Department of Education three years ago. Seventy school districts are involved in the program……Read More