How a telepresence robot is changing some classrooms

A new technology enables both interactive communication and observation capabilities with a telepresence robot platform

Thanks to recent strides in robotics and mobile devices, telepresence technology has opened up numerous possibilities at both the K-12 and higher-ed levels, where remote observation and communication can come in handy.

Educators and students are exploring a new way to remotely observe and interact with colleagues and peers with a telepresence robot that enables face-to-face communication.

Using Kubi, from Revolve Robotics, users download an app onto a tablet and connect the tablet to Kubi using Bluetooth. The tablet sits on a robotic platform. Other users can then “navigate” to Kubi with a browser. This lets them control the robot remotely over the web, including moving it for face-to-face communication.…Read More

Online petition urges computer science education funding

Policy makers, educators, and the private sector ask for federal investments in computer science education

An online petition urges Congress to provide $250 million to help schools and districts integrate computer science into the curriculum.

In a letter sent to Congress, the authors note that technology is quickly changing society, and “participating in this world requires access to computer science in our schools.”

They also state that more than 100 school districts are working to roll out computer science courses, and 20 states have passed policies around the subject and are in the process of identifying professional development for computer science teachers. But despite pockets of growth, three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer meaningful computer science courses.…Read More

eSchool Media, Casey Green to host interactive interviews from ASU GSV Innovation Summit

Shindig, a platform for large-scale video chat, to power the three-day event

eSchool Media and Campus Computing announced plans for interactive Thought Leader Interviews at the 2016 ASU GSV Innovation Summit on April 18, 19 and 20 in San Diego.

The interactive interviews are intended to connect educators in schools and on college campuses with the Summit presenters and participants. Shindig, a turnkey solution for video chat teaching and events, will power the three day event, allowing moderator Casey Green, founding director of Campus Computing, and the interview participants to engage directly with the online audience.

The annual ASU GSV Innovation Summit brings together educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, philanthropists, and university and school district leaders to create partnerships, explore solutions, and to shape the future of learning.…Read More

Introducing the math selfie

Math selfies, QR codes, and Kahoot games enrich one school

Sure, you may have taken a selfie, but you likely haven’t taken an equivalent fraction selfie — and if you ask the Jefferson Elementary School fourth-graders in Jennifer Moser’s fourth-grade math class, you haven’t really lived until you’ve snapped, uploaded and shared your share of equivalent fraction selfies.

These high-tech, mathematically-savvy and, let’s face it, just plain cool selfies are just one way Wichita Falls ISD students are using digital technology in their classrooms as a way to enhance and enrich learning.

Teams of administrators spent much of Wednesday visiting these classrooms, part of the District Classroom Pilot Program, as part of the nationwide Digital Technology Day. They wanted to see the innovative ways educators are using such technology. The district launched the program this school year, supplying 42 teachers across all grade levels and subject areas with iPad Minis, Google Chromebooks or laptops for a cost of about $475,000.…Read More

What does research really say about iPads in the classroom?

Two educators put the research to the test. When (and how) are iPads most effective?

Popular mobile devices may come and go, but the iPad has remained a hit in the K-12 classroom. But even though they’re in schools, our work with teachers has led us to understand that while many of them would like to use iPads meaningfully in their classrooms, they can’t because of time, access, and training.

So for the past year and a half, we’ve both been working with teachers and university students integrating iPad technology into the classroom in a controlled way. While doing this, we came across several outcomes that made us question and dig deeper into what the research actually says about using them in the classroom. Do students and younger teachers use them more effectively? Do they work better for some student populations? It’s probably not giving much away to say that the most important learning outcome we found was that experience is the greatest teacher.

First, a note about who we are. Jeanne is a teacher (elementary and part-time professor) and Tanya is a university professor (former special education teacher) who loved using technology as a teaching tool. Jeanne wrote several grants to bring technology into her school and her classroom but she kept noticing that she was flying solo—very few of her school’s teachers were using iPads in the classroom beyond the usual Friday afternoon fun time and as a reward for being “good.” We wanted to know more about this resistance and hesitation when it came to the use of iPads in the classrooms.…Read More

Certiport announces CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference

Professional development conference helps educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, a test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, announced the CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference, a conference dedicated to helping educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom.

Educators are invited to attend CERTIFIED from June 28-30, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Registration is open now at www.certiport.com/certified.

CERTIFIED 2016 is ideal for secondary education teachers, college faculty, and administrators who are working to empower their students by bringing certification opportunities into their school and classroom.…Read More

Watch 14 thought leadership presentations from a recent ed-tech symposium

New library of thought leadership resources will support creation of dynamic digital learning environments

In July 2015, Discovery Education, provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms and CUE, the California-based organization inspiring innovative learners and advocating educational opportunities for all, partnered with the California State Parks to host a unique leadership symposium.

Designed specifically for California superintendents interested in creating dynamic digital learning environments that meet the needs of today’s learners, this event featured a series of brief, thought-provoking talks that surfaced actionable strategies for improving teaching and learning.

Now, Discovery Education and CUE are sharing with educators nationwide the library of presentations from this event. These presentations explore a variety of critical topics, including using professional development to support device deployment, communicating with stakeholders, improving attendance and discipline during the digital transition, and more, and were delivered by school leaders from across California as well as nationally recognized Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance.…Read More

Is it time to redesign your curriculum for the 21st century learner?

A new framework advocates for carefully curating what students learn. Is it time to rethink your curriculum?

It’s not a stretch to say that today’s educational paradigm is preoccupied with the “how” of learning. Educators are grappling — either by choice or decree — with how to incorporate digital devices, new learning standards, and more collaboration and critical thinking into the already-packed school day. With so much to do, who has time to take a fine-toothed comb through the curriculum or debate whether students still need to know the date of the Battle of Hastings?

But maybe it’s exactly the right time, according to Charles Fadel, the founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign and a visiting practitioner at Harvard’s Graduate School for Education. Fadel has previously written about 21st century skills and recently turned his attention to the “what” of learning as co-author of a new book, Four-Dimensional Education,” which is less of a teach this, not that manual and more of a framework for exploring the modern competencies students will need in a world where job titles and career choices are changing faster than schools can keep up. Recently, Fadel spoke with us about his framework, the appeal of inter-disciplinary subjects, and whether it’s time to retire the old Capitals of the World quiz once and for all.

What is a 21st century curriculum? What needs to change?…Read More

New professional development focuses on engagement through gaming

New online professional development course focuses on increasing student achievement through engagement with game-based learning

The ever-increasing omnipresence of digital media in student’s lives can be challenging for teachers as they compete for kid’s attention in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, Teach n’ Kids Learn (TKL) and DimensionU have teamed up to create a robust Online Professional Development course that supports teachers’ instruction in mathematics and language arts through gamification, quickly and easily.

Included for K-12 educators who enroll in the course by February 15, 2016, is a free DimensionU Class License (for up to 30 students), through the remainder of this school year.

The online professional development course focuses on helping teachers incorporate educational video games and applying game-based learning techniques in the classroom. The DimensionU portfolio of educational games creates high student engagement and offers a solid foundation with demonstrated improvement in students’ achievement results. In regards to the online course, TKL’s instructional methodology, guarantees teachers immediate implementation in the classroom, individualized support and well structured, easy-to-use examples for applying the newly acquired techniques.…Read More