Blog: Dysart Unified School District Prepares Students for the 21st Century

A few years ago, former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, said of teachers and schools, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”

Children today have never known a world without technology. And they exist in a society where they’ve never had to wait. As a result, the brains of young people today are literally “wired” differently. From sending a message to someone on the other side of the world with the tap of a button, to Google searching any information the mind can think of, those coming of age today are accustomed to things happening instantly. Not only has this caused them to cognitively think differently than people of previous generations, children don’t view the digital world as separate from the physical world—to them it is one in the same.

Dysart Unified School District, the fastest growing school system in Arizona, infuses its curriculum with creativity, innovation, information fluency, communication, and critical thinking for the 21st century. Unlike the focus of a decade ago, these schools are in the middle of a transformation from learning “what” to learning “how.” That’s because kids (and adults) must adapt to new technologies at a rate we’re not used to. Every few years, technology changes rendering that which came before it obsolete.…Read More

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

GenCyber Teacher Camp at COD

The GenCyber Teacher Camp at COD camp program targets middle and high school teachers who are passionate about providing students with the tools they need to be safe and responsible online. COD faculty from CIT and HSTI guide teachers through hands-on activities using current technologies, introduce the concept of digital citizenship and present online safety information to take back to the classrooms. Teacher applications are available beginning May 22, 2017.

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Marketplace trend update: 4 ed-tech developments

Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

PC Connection, Inc., a national technology solutions provider, has changed its brand name to Connection. Reflecting the increasing relevance of transformational technologies, this new brand aligns with the company’s mission to connect people with technology that enhances growth, elevates productivity, and empowers innovation. Connection unites PC Connection, GovConnection, MoreDirect, and Softmart into one brand name. Read more.…Read More

Report: Students’ tech use remains infrequent

Students’ use of digital tools and other learning technologies remains relatively sporadic, according to a new study.

Based on direct classroom observations of 140,000 K-12 classrooms across 39 states and 11 countries, the study by the school improvement organization AdvancED found there are still relatively few classrooms in which the use of digital tools and technology is a regular part of a student’s school experience.

The findings come from an analysis of three years of data from AdvancED’s learning observation environments observation tool, eleot, which measures and quantifies active student engagement through learner-centric classroom observations, to determine how extensively technology is being used to engage students in learning.…Read More

Polycom enables Skype for Business with any video platform

New release lets users connect using Skype for Business when they are on different platforms

Polycom,  has removed the complexity of connecting multiple video systems from different vendors the Polycom RealConnect solution for Skype for Business. Now, participants using any video vendor, from Skype for Business, to Polycom and Cisco, and on any device, from voice to immersive telepresence suites, can join a unified meeting with one simple click.

Customers simply want communication technologies to work together seamlessly and cost effectively. Until the Polycom RealConnect solution, Skype for Business video conferencing users could not meet or share content with participants using other video platforms. The result was a frustrating and difficult process for end users.

Polycom RealConnect technology eliminates this barrier by making everything work together and provides each end user with the familiar communication experience they’ve grown accustomed to. There are no requirements to learn complex dialing codes or new platform behaviors, resulting in more time spent on getting business done and less on learning a new service.…Read More

Panasonic showcases new laser projectors, digital displays

Variety of laser projectors and multi-touch displays recently showcased

Panasonic has launched a wide range of visual systems technologies. The booth showcases the latest professional visual systems and professional video technologies through engaging demonstrations, including a new flagship 4K+ SOLID SHINE Laser 3-Chip DLP projector, high-impact projection mapping solutions, an ultra-narrow video-wall display featuring virtually invisible bezels, along with other new professional display and  professional video products.

Product highlights at InfoComm 2016 include:

Projectors

PT-RQ32KU 3-Chip DLP SOLID SHINE 4K+ Laser Projector…Read More

EnGenius introduces K-12 schools to a new network solution

Neutron Series Distributed Network Management Solution provides fast wi-fi connectivity without licensing or subscription fees

EnGenius Technologies, Inc., a provider of high-performance, versatile networking and telecommunications solutions for businesses and consumers, recently introduced its new Neutron Series Distributed Network Management Solution.

The Neutron Series Distributed Network Management Solution is a highly-scalable managed wireless LAN solution that makes it easy and affordable to deploy and centrally manage a high-performance, secure wireless network throughout a campus, or even across multiple campuses in a school district. Addressing the tight budget concerns of many K-12 school districts, the Neutron Series requires no licensing or subscription fees to monitor or manage its products, lowering operating expenses and freeing up budgets for other education initiatives.

Key features and benefits:…Read More

Lenovo, Google launch Project Tango device

Project Tango technology gives a mobile device the ability to navigate the physical world similar to how we do as humans

At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo announced the development of the first consumer mobile device with Project Tango in collaboration with Google.

Available in summer 2016, the new smartphone, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, turns the screen into a magic window that can overlay digital information and objects onto the real world. Lenovo, Google, and Qualcomm Technologies are working closely together to optimize the software and hardware to ensure consumers get the most out of the Project Tango platform.

Google’s Project Tango is a technology platform that uses advanced computer vision, depth sensing, and motion tracking to create on-screen 3D experiences, allowing users to explore their physical environments via their device. Specialized hardware and software combine to let the device react to every movement of the user, when they step forward, backward, or lean side to side. App developers can transform your home into a game level, or create a magic window into virtual and augmented environments. Project Tango-enabled devices can recognize places they’ve been before, like your living room, the office, or public spaces.…Read More

Wiping out the blackboard

Classrooms have had computers for decades, but in the past few years the buzz about “education technology” (or edtech) has become persistent, especially in America, The Economist reports. This is because of new generations of learning software, free online tutorials and better connectivity. Students are also getting ever more gadgets, as iPads and other tablets are handed out in schools. Adaptive learning software is starting to show great promise. These tools offer personalised education for every child, so that they can learn at their own pace. Free online courses such as the KhanAcademy’s mathematics classes are allowing schools to take a more selective approach in acquiring learning resources…

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