Trending: This style of learning has teachers and students re-imagining Future-Ready

The 21st-century classroom has undergone many changes, from the growing implementation of new tools and technologies, to new ways of thinking about teaching and learning. One of these new mindsets has to do with the how much control students have over their own learning. While most classrooms have realized the benefit of hands-on activities and real-life applications, this idea can be taken even further by giving students genuine control over what they learn, and how. Inquiry-based learning gives students the ability to direct their own learning based on their individual interests.

In this interview, three education leaders—Monica Burns, Richard Byrne, and Vicki Davis—will share their takes on this innovative style of learning.

Dennis Pierce: Why do you think inquiry-based learning has gained such momentum in recent years?…Read More

Build a Brighter Future With STEAM

Enter the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest to empower students, inspire ideas, and create change by incorporating STEAM into projects designed to help advance the interests of local communities. Apply by 11/9/17, for a chance to win!

Why we need to change the teacher vs. tech narrative

A recent chart from Bloomberg on the future of artificial intelligence and employment lends evidence to a point I have been making for years: teachers will not be replaced by machines.

The chart compares a wide array of professions based on required education levels, average annual wages, and likelihood of automation. Sure enough, elementary and secondary teachers are among the most educated yet least paid professionals; and their likelihood of automation: practically zero.

Yet the debate about machines replacing teachers rages on. Recent opinion pieces claim that teacher obsolescence is inevitable and something we should embrace. Fortunately, a recent article in the Economist gets the narrative right, pointing out that “the potential for edtech will be realized only if teachers embrace it.”…Read More

These schools are leveraging E-Rate for a complete digital transformation

Textbooks and blackboards have become a thing of the past in K-12 schools as educators collaborate with IT teams to shape a full digital core curriculum as part of their educational strategy for 2017 and beyond. In a 2016 survey conducted by the Consortium for School Networking (COSN), 90 percent of IT administrators at K-12 schools expect that curricula will be at least 50 percent digital over the next three years.

As the world undergoes a digital transformation—with connectivity and access to computers and mobile devices playing an increasingly prominent role in everyone’s lives—elementary schools know they need to incorporate technology in the educational process to prepare their students for future success. To support these initiatives, the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program has recently been expanded to provide schools nationwide with subsidies for high-speed broadband and gigabit wireless networks.

According to the “2016 Digital Curriculum Strategy Survey Report” sponsored by Ruckus Wireless, hardware and network spend is estimated at $16.2 billion in 2017. Whereas currently 78 percent of students have device and network access for almost a full day, the expectation for this year is that schools will have close to one-to-one access, or one device per student.…Read More

This is what Gen Z-designed curriculum looks like for the future

[Editor’s Note: This story is Part 3 of our month-long series on “What it means to teach Gen Z.” Click here to read Part 1 on Gen Z and parents, and click here to read Part 2 on Gen Z and librarians. Check back every Monday in April to read the next installment!]

The generation in school now is the first generation raised entirely in the Age of Technology. They are digital natives, many of them using computers, smartphones, and other digital tools nearly from birth. As technology continues to grow and expand, so too will the ways we use it. This growth and expansion will impact the types of jobs that will be available in the next 10–20 years. So how do we as educators prepare Gen Z for jobs that may not even exist yet?

Go Cross-Curricular…Read More

School district invents custom charging solution for all schools

As Denton Independent School District (ISD) prepares for future ready classrooms with technology and builds new schools, the Texas district is partnering with LocknCharge to create a new mobile device charging cabinet – the Carrier 15 Charging Station™.

“There were no solutions designed to fit the unique needs of Denton ISD,” said Judy Bush technology manager. “LocknCharge stepped in and constructed a new charging station to fit the vision of the curriculum and technology team to incorporate Chromebooks into classrooms.”

This customized solution will store, charge and deploy up to 20,000 devices in the school district.…Read More

How media literacy is critical to saving our democracy

[Editor’s note: This post by Alan November, written exclusively for eSchool Media, is part of a series of upcoming articles by this notable education thought leader. Check back on Monday, January 23rd for the next must-read post!]

“At present, we worry that democracy is threatened by the ease at which disinformation about civic issues is allowed to spread and flourish. … If the children are the future, the future might be very ill-informed.” —Stanford History Education Group, 2016.

The fact that 80 percent of middle school students in a recent study could not distinguish between fake news and authentic news on the web shows that we, as educators, have to do a better job of teaching media literacy in the digital age. That means paying just as much attention to teaching students how to be smart consumers of information as we pay to what we filter in our schools.…Read More

The 4 most common mistakes districts make in professional development

Across the globe, teachers are continually asked to integrate technology into their curriculums to keep up with future-ready skills and in turn they complain that they need more professional development. District administrators then tend to incorporate four common mistakes in professional development programming.

The problem is this: District leaders hear that teachers need more tech-based professional development when, in reality, the ask is much more nuanced: they are pleading with the education system for more time to plan, participate in training, experiment with new technologies and share best practices. Because of this disconnect, tech-based (and, really, overall) professional development offered to teachers is often not as effective as it could be.

The 4 Most Common Mistakes in Tech-Based Professional Development…Read More

Report: Schools expect faster internet within 3 years

Seventy-two percent of E-rate applicants participating in a recent survey said wi-fi is critical to fulfilling their organization’s mission.

Twenty years after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 created E-rate funding, significant measures are underway to update the program that has become vital to schools and libraries across the United States.

The E-rate Trends Report from Funds For Learning aims to help policymakers, administrators and other stakeholders as they shape the future of the program.…Read More