How teachers can make history current this Presidents’ Day

Social Studies teachers seem to have an impossible challenge: take events that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago and make them relevant to today’s teens. That explains why only about half of middle and high school students say they are engaged in what they are learning in school most of the time, according to recent research from Project Tomorrow.

Presidents’ Day is a great opportunity to turn this around. The key is understanding what gets students jazzed and adapting lessons to fit their preferences.

There are many reasons for the lack of interest in history and other subjects. Teachers worry that it’s hard for them to compete with smartphones and the type of entertaining content that students can access at any time, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. …Read More

Digital teaching and learning in the smartphone era

For much of the past two decades, educators have commonly referred to millennials as “digital natives.” Given that they are the first generation to grow up with access to personal computers, the descriptor seemed apt at the time. But today’s students–the emerging Generation Z–are demonstrating what it really means to be a true digital native.

Not only are these students growing up with widespread access to computers and the internet, they are surrounded by smartphones and other mobile devices with impressive computing power.

Related content: 10 findings about K-12 digital learning…Read More

Teachers may not be so hot on students’ use of digital devices for learning

Close to half of teachers (42 percent) in a Gallup poll say they think digital devices have a “mostly helpful” impact on students’ education, but they have less positive views of devices’ impact on physical and mental health.

Thirty percent of teachers in the March 5-12 poll say digital devices are neither helpful nor harmful to students’ education, and 28 percent say devices are mostly harmful.

Fifty-five percent of surveyed teachers say digital devices have a “mostly harmful” effect on students’ physical health, and a resounding 69 percent of teachers say students’ digital device use has a mostly harmful impact on their mental health.…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

InFocus displays Mondopad and JTouch now feature ‘capacitive touch’

Interactive touchscreens are getting a 4k, mutli-touch upgrade

InFocus is adding premium capabilities, including projected capacitive touch and 4K resolution, to a variety of its interactive touchscreen and video conferencing solutions, the company announced today. InFocus created the original all-in-one video conferencing touchscreen solution and the company is once again defining the category by enabling the best image clarity and most intuitive multi-touch capabilities for professional and education environments.

InFocus 65-inch Capacitive Touch Mondopad

InFocus new 65-inch Mondopad, interactive 65-inch and 70-inch JTouch whiteboards, as well as the previously announced 40-inch JTouch whiteboard and 65-inch Canvas Touch are the first InFocus products to employ projected capacitive touch. The technology, used on leading smartphones and personal tablets, eliminates the need for a stylus and enables a more intuitive and responsive user experience. Unlike IR touchscreens, capacitive touch technology allows more touch points with faster response and bezel-free edge-to-edge glass, allowing for a brighter and sharper display, a sleek design and remarkably fluid multi-touch capabilities.…Read More

District launches responsive website from Rediker Software

Waltham Public Schools chooses Rediker Software’s RediSite for their 10 schools and district office to meet the increasing mobile needs of parents, students and staff

Serving more than 5,500 students and 10 schools, Waltham Public Schools unveiled an improved approach to mobile communications recently by launching a district-wide responsive website from Rediker Software.

The service provides schools and districts with an attractive and affordable website that delivers an optimal viewing experience on any device. The site automatically adjusts to any size screen for easy reading and navigation on smartphones, tablets and computers without having to maintain a separate mobile site.

In keeping with Waltham Superintendent Drew Echelson’s strategic priorities for the district, RediSite will make it easy for all parents to access information about their students’ progress and about their schools.…Read More

IT Products, Solutions, & Services to Empower Growth

ITProducts200x300Founded in 1987, PCMG has been on the front line of the technological revolution before smartphones, local area networks, or even the Internet. Over the decades, we’ve developed a robust portfolio of technology products and services for agencies, enterprises, governmental entities, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities. We are more than just a technology provider. We strive to be your organization partner and we succeed only when you achieve your IT goals

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50 reasons it’s time for smartphones in every classroom

There are many ways to use a smartphone in the classroom, but it continues to be a touchy subject, TeachThought reports. Privacy, equity, bandwidth, lesson design, classroom management, theft, bullying, and scores of other legitimate concerns continue to cloud education’s thinking about how to meaningfully integrate technology in the learning process. To be clear–learning can happen in the absence of technology. Integrated poorly, technology can subdue, distract, stifle, and obscure the kind of personal interactions between learner, content, peer, and performance that lead to learning results…

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Louis C.K.’s case against kids having smart phones

Louis C.K. spent an hour talking to his old boss, Conan O’Brien, Slate reports. They relived the old days a bit—including the time C.K. attempted, disastrously, at an after party, to flirt with Gwyneth Paltrow. And C.K. also explained the reason he doesn’t want his daughters to have smart phones. His reasoning is impressively existential, even for him—and harkens back a bit to the “everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy” routine that helped break his career wide open. As Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker notes, that nearly five-year-old riff was also shared on a Conan O’Brien show, albeit one on NBC. His case against smartphones also includes dueling Springsteen impressions by him and Conan. The whole thing is worth watching…

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College-bound students flock to universities’ mobile websites

Only one in 10 campuses have a mobile website.

A surge in the percentage of recent high school graduates who use smart phones to research colleges and universities could turn campus web development on its head.

Colleges’ mobile sites, once considered experimental by campus leaders, could take priority over traditional websites, and soon.…Read More