ISTE, Dept. of ED target digital equity through improved tech proficiency

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the U.S. Department of Education have launched an initiative to help new teachers gain the digital skills needed to support learning in today’s classrooms.

More than a dozen educator preparation programs (EPPs) from across the country committed today to use technology for transformative learning throughout teacher candidate programs by signing the EPPs for Digital Equity and Transformation Pledge, and more EPPs are expected to sign on in the coming weeks.

“Knowing how to use technology to support student learning is an essential skill for teachers to thrive in a post-COVID world,” said Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE. “As a country, we have made an unprecedented investment in technology in education – but true transformation and innovation doesn’t come from putting devices in schools, it comes from preparing teachers to use technology in innovative and engaging ways. We are calling on leaders of EPPs to commit to this shared vision of transforming how our students learn.” …Read More

Digital Skills Playlist – a free resource for K-8 students

Learning.com is offering the Digital Skills Playlist – a free resource for K-8 students. It consists of grade-specific digital literacy lessons that students and parents can easily access and launch at home without any setup or district subscription required.

With this tool, your students, and at no cost, dive into the interactive digital lessons and hands-on projects available in a Learning.com curriculum subscription.

The tool is available here: https://info.learning.com/digital-skills-playlist…Read More

App of the Week: Google Applied Digital Skills

Ed. noteApp of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Google Applied Digital Skills can be used as a semester curriculum to teach a digital literacy course or as stand-alone lessons integrated into a core class on an as-needed basis. For example, the If-Then Adventure Story unit fits easily into a creative writing class, but would also be a good project for a history class where students use real events to envision alternative histories. There are several spreadsheet budgeting activities for personal finance class, and librarians can get on board with multiple units focusing on research and technology ethics.…Read More

5 examples of personalized learning in action

As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous in classrooms across the nation, it is easier than ever for students with different learning styles and needs to create personalized learning environments.

A new report from iNACOL gives educators, parents, and policymakers a platform to learn about and advocate for personalized learning in their schools.

The report makes the case that, due to a large opportunity gap, not all students enter college or the workforce with the digital skills they need to succeed. Advocating for personalized learning and involving stakeholders and community members in conversations about personalized learning helps make those learning opportunities more accessible for all students.…Read More

Hidden Common Core skills students need to learn…and how to learn them

School experts say these Common Core tools can teach students the digital skills they need to learn

common-core-student-skills As schools across the country begin to implement Common Core, assessments are asking students to use digital skills that many still need to learn. According to one school district, it’s knowing what these skills are, the online tools available, and in what grades to implement them, that will make students Common Core-ready.

“If you look at the Common Core requirements closely, there are minimal technology requirements for every student,” said Tamra Hogue, supervisor of instructional technology and media services for Bay District Schools in Panama City, Fl., during the FETC 2014 presentation “Common Core: Cool Tools for Your School.”

Beyond knowing how to respond to an online prompt during computer assessments, prompts that often use Microsoft Word icons without instructions, students also need to complete Common Core requirements by creating “brochures” or “video presentations.”…Read More

Digital badges could help measure 21st-century skills

TopCoder, an adviser for the MacArthur Foundation’s competition, currently has a badge system for its community members that validates skills and competencies.

How can schools accurately measure and categorize a student’s 21st-century skills? The MacArthur Foundation hopes to solve this problem with a new competition that calls on participants to create what is known as a “digital badge.”

Digital badges and the digital badge system would, advocates say, help define the skills and knowledge students pick up in an informal way, such as through internships, online courses, open courseware, competitions, and much more.…Read More

4 of 7 public school board members spent beyond budgets

An Education News Colorado analysis of spending by Denver school board members shows that four of the seven blew their annual $5,000 budgets for the fiscal year ending June 30, including one member who spent well over twice the amount each is allocated. Board member Andrea Merida spent more than $12,000, an overspending of $7,000 in a single year, or 153 percent of her annual permitted limit. Thousands of dollars were charged to the district in restaurants and coffee shops, with her credit card statements noting their purpose as “constituent meetings.”

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