Acer introduces ‘game-changing’ TravelMate notebook

Acer TeachSmart solution with LED status indicator embedded on the lid enables new ways for classroom participation

Acer on Jan. 20 announced its new TravelMate B117 notebook, made for the education market featuring by Windows 10 Pro.

The notebook supports the Acer TeachSmart solution, which enables new ways of classroom interaction, and empowers teachers with tools and cloud-based services to distribute class materials and collect assignments digitally.

The TravelMate B117 with Acer TeachSmart features an LED light embedded on the lid that can flash in different colors. Students can toggle between four colors through a software interface to indicate their status, allowing teachers to easily keep track at a glance.…Read More

Classroom observations may hurt teachers more than they help, study says

Classroom observations — one of the most widely-used forms of teacher evaluation — might be setting teachers up to fail

Teachers might be at a disadvantage during classroom observation of their instructional practice, which is one of the most widely-used tools for high-stakes job performance evaluations. And whether or not students have a history of high classroom achievement could be the reason why.

Research from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) indicates that evaluations based on observing teachers in the classroom often fail to meaningfully assess teacher performance.

The study, published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, adds to the ongoing policy debate over when and how teachers should be evaluated.…Read More

6 fun tools to teach creativity through music

Use these music apps and tools to make your own keyboards or work on a song with others around the world

Technology is not just for the traditional academic classes, but is also a great addition to the “special” classes, particularly the arts, and music is no exception. When it comes to getting students to experience music through, most of us are at least aware of the basics — Garageband, iTunes, and Youtube. But I like to focus on some new lesser-known tools that can be of great help.

Remember, that the goal is not to use apps and websites for their own sake, but rather to engage learners and impart knowledge. Let’s use technology to allow the students to take ownership of their own learning. Here are some ways that I incorporate technology into my elementary music class.

Flat is listed as a music score editor that allows multiple users to write and edit a song. It is based on the same concept as a Google Docs except it is a musical score. Students in the same class can collaborate or team up with a class anywhere in the world. They can start an assignment at school and pull it up on their own computer at home. It will play back what you have written so they can hear their composition. Just like Google Docs , the teacher can see who has edited the song and add comments.…Read More

6 STEAM tinkering tools for the holidays

Engage kids of all ages with these STEM and coding learning toyssteam-tools

 

The year that was brought with it a renewed, and much welcome, interest in science and technology, as STEAM, makerspaces, 3D printing, and coding all became hot topics. Each year, as parents look to celebrate the various holidays with our kids, many of us rack our brains trying to find gifts that are both fun and educational. This year is no different and fortunately, the latest STEAM push has made many of the learning tools very desirable as holiday gifts.

The following are six ed-tech tools that will undoubtedly spark the creative and innovative side of kids of all ages (parents and teachers included). These tools are dynamic, engaging, and fun for everyone. Best of all, they’ll help students focus on higher-order thinking skills as they make, design, create, and code their way into 2016.…Read More

New online portal facilitates i-Ready implementation

Collection of online resources aims to give teachers the right tools exactly when they need them

i-ReadyCurriculum Associates recently launched i-Ready Central to help teachers, principals, and administrators successfully implement its i-Ready program.

The online portal, offered at no additional cost to all i-Ready users and accessible 24/7, includes more than 160 resources organized around stages of implementation throughout the school year.

These resources, including tips, training videos, and planning tools, will be updated frequently to ensure educators have the most current, relevant content at their fingertips when they need it.…Read More

The advanced Google searches every student should know

“Did he seriously just ask that? How old is this guy?” Well yes, I recently seriously just asked a group of students if they knew how to search Google. And yes, the students got a good laugh from my question.

“Of course I know how to use Google,” I have been told by every student to whom I have asked the question.

“Really? Let’s see. This won’t take long,” I promise.…Read More

Set Up Your Own Digital Media Lab for Next to Nothing

A green screen and a Mac turn a storage space into a hi-tech playground

media-labBack when I was in school, class projects were limited to written reports, dioramas, and posters—things we could create with pencils, paper, Popsicle sticks, and glue. To say our students today have many more options available to them would be the understatement of the 21st century.

With the advent of lightning-quick computers and gorgeous digital media tools, students are now dreaming up PowerPoint presentations, Prezis, websites, wikis, Photo Stories, and more—things limited only by their imaginations. Creating these types of digital projects has become second nature to them, and they have no concept of a time when these technologies were not available. In fact, creating digital media has become a very personal matter. Just look on Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter and you will see that our students are creating and sharing digital content on a daily basis.

As educators, it behooves us to find ways to provide opportunities that allow our students to engage in learning activities relevant to their lives. As a library media specialist, I know there’s no better place to provide them with these opportunities than a school’s own library media center.…Read More

New Dept. of Education guide lists the kinds of tools ed tech needs

Educators, developers, and startups are urged to take notice of the biggest education gaps

edtech-guideThe Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) has released a new guide for developers, startups, and entrepreneurs in the ed-tech space, written with help from educators, researchers, and others in the industry. The goal is to help entrepreneurs apply technology to solve real, persistent problems in education

The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs is free, and addresses key questions about the education ecosystem and highlights critical needs and opportunities to develop digital tools and apps for learning.

“Technology makes it possible for us to create a different dynamic between a teacher and a classroom full of students. It can open up limitless new ways to engage kids, support teachers and bring parents into the learning process,” Duncan said recently at the ASU+GSV Summit 2015 in Phoenix. “We need tools designed to help students discover who they are and what they care about, and tools that create portals to a larger world that, in the past, would have remained out of reach for far too many students.”

Next page: What tools does education need?