These are the 5 most in-demand K-12 languages

Rosetta Stone releases a list of the most popular U.S., global language learning programs

Foreign language skills are increasingly important for students to have as they enter college or the workforce, and technology-based programs have made learning new languages easier for students.

“As shifting demographics, globalization and the adoption of cost-efficient technology-based products continue to increase, so does the need and demand for world languages,” said Judy Verses, president of technology-based learning solutions provider Rosetta Stone’s Global Enterprise & Education Division. “Equipping students with language enables them to differentiate themselves from other candidates in a competitive job market and, ultimately, positions them for professional success.”

Verses noted ELL (English Language Learning) students represent the fastest growing segment of the K-12 population and it is predicted that this segment will grow to 40 percent by 2030.…Read More

New online portal facilitates i-Ready implementation

Collection of online resources aims to give teachers the right tools exactly when they need them

i-ReadyCurriculum Associates recently launched i-Ready Central to help teachers, principals, and administrators successfully implement its i-Ready program.

The online portal, offered at no additional cost to all i-Ready users and accessible 24/7, includes more than 160 resources organized around stages of implementation throughout the school year.

These resources, including tips, training videos, and planning tools, will be updated frequently to ensure educators have the most current, relevant content at their fingertips when they need it.…Read More

Mystery Skype Calls Connect Your Classroom to The World

Mystery Skype calls are a great way to connect with the world

skype-mystery[Ed. note: Katrina Keene will give a related session on Mystery Skype at ISTE 2015 on Monday June 29.]

For centuries, schools have sat in silos. Teachers and students were capable of communicating only with those inside their own buildings. It was at one time not only unattainable, but unthinkable to collaborate and communicate with outside classrooms. The technology for these types of interactions had not yet been introduced to education—and even if they were, cost and practicality were barriers to implementation.

I have been an active user of “video conferencing” since the early 90’s, when this type of technology was usually seen in large businesses or colleges that were fortunate to have the funds to provide the equipment to make use of such a progressive form of communication.…Read More

What will Common Core assessments cost states?

New report sheds light on how CCSS assessments are well within states’ budgets

assessments-statesMany states that once adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are now pressing the pause button on implementation, in light of the cost of CCSS-aligned assessments. State leaders and stakeholders wonder how assessments aligned to the Common Core compare to assessments currently in place, and are trying to decide to what extent cost factors into CCSS adoption.

“Common Core has become a political hot potato, despite early broad acceptance,” said Russ Whitehurst, the former director of the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education, and current director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, during an Oct. 30 event.

The event centered around a recent report, “Standardized Testing and the Common Core Standards: You Get What You Pay For?” by Matthew Chingos, a fellow in the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution.…Read More

Video-based modeling enhances online training for Minn. Teachers

Like many states across the country, Minnesota has implemented strategies to improve mathematics education that include higher standards, greater accountability, and increased access to challenging curricula. Still, the teacher’s role remains central to mathematics reform, particularly for elementary teachers who set the stage for students’ future success in math. Content-specific, practical professional development for these teachers is therefore crucial to the success of these reforms.

Unfortunately, as financial resources shrink, providing professional development to these teachers has become alarmingly cost-prohibitive. Time, funding, and logistics pose significant barriers to all schools, but particularly to those in rural areas where wide disbursement of faculty makes regular face-to-face meetings expensive and inefficient. Even if financial and technical resources were available, often there simply are not enough qualified trainers to reach every teacher in need.

In 2002, Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) brought its digital video expertise into partnership with the Rational Numbers Project (RNP) in an effort to provide teachers and districts with wider, easier, and more cost-effective access to high-quality professional development. The RNP had in its repertory a five-day, face-to-face workshop for mathematics teachers that gave our collaborative project ideal source material on several levels: the workshop’s effectiveness was backed by 20 years of research; its content (focused on increasing student understanding of fractions through the use of hands-on manipulatives) lent itself to online adaptation; and the RNP staff people trained to lead the workshop were few in number but high in demand. …Read More