8 special education communication apps – eClassroom News | eClassroom News

These apps are intended to help special-needs students build communication skillsTechnology facilitates faster and easier communication for everyone, and it plays a unique role in helping students with special needs develop important verbal and non-verbal communication skills.Here, we’ve gathered a handful of special education communication apps summarized on APPitic.com, an app resource site with more than 6,000 apps in more than 300 subcategories

via 8 special education communication apps – eClassroom News | eClassroom News.

Technology skills only scratch the surface of the digital divide | The Hechinger Report

The realities of the “digital divide” are increasingly apparent. In a consumer culture that equates status with early adoption of the newest iPhone, access to new technology necessarily splits pretty clearly along socio-economic class lines. According to U.S. census data, for example, more than 30 million homes have no broadband access, most of them concentrated in some of the poorest parts of the country.Even in schools, technological innovation tends to trickle down from the affluent to the disadvantaged. Only 54 percent of middle school and high school teachers surveyed thought their students “have sufficient access to digital tools at school,” according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, and 84 percent said that “today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts.”

via Technology skills only scratch the surface of the digital divide | The Hechinger Report.

The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning | MindShift

How can games unlock a rich world of learning? This is the big question at the heart of the growing games and learning movement that’s gaining momentum in education. The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning [PDF] explains key ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. This guide makes sense of the available research and provides suggestions for practical use.The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning started as a series of blog posts written by Jordan Shapiro with support from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the Games and Learning Publishing Council. We’ve brought together what we felt would be the most relevant highlights of Jordan’s reporting to create a dynamic, in-depth guide that answers many of the most pressing questions that educators, parents, and life-long learners have raised around using digital games for learning. While we had educators in mind when developing this guide, any lifelong learner can use it to develop a sense of how to navigate the games space in an informed and meaningful way.

via The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning | MindShift.

Q&A with Daniel Goleman: How the Research Supports Social-Emotional Learning | Edutopia

Daniel Goleman is best known for his 1995 bestseller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Matters More Than IQ. It was a groundbreaking book in its day, in that it completely redefined our understanding of our emotions. It was one of the seminal works advocating social and emotional literacy.Goleman’s work still examines the unconscious influences on our conscious mind, and gives us tools to understand and harness these influences to positive ends. In his latest book, The Triple Focus: A New Approach to Education, he collaborates with Peter Senge to showcase the importance of cognitive control in helping students make good decisions.I talked to him about cognitive control and the research that supports social and emotional learning SEL.

via Q&A with Daniel Goleman: How the Research Supports Social-Emotional Learning | Edutopia.

More than half of America’s poorest households still don’t get the Internet at home – The Washington Post

Internet use is so ubiquitous that many Americans take it for granted. But a shockingly large number of America’s poorest households live without it.More than 80 percent of American households owned a computer and just shy of 75 percent had an Internet subscription in 2013, according to a new report by  the U.S. Census Bureau based on the American Community Survey. There are some pretty clear demographic trends among who is most up to speed with the digital times, the Census Bureau found.

via More than half of America’s poorest households still don’t get the Internet at home – The Washington Post.

Methods: Tradition vs. Relevance

Originally posted on My Island View:

This morning I read a post from a higher education educator about the negative effects of Tech in lectures. The author was perplexed when he realized a great many students in his lecture hall were paying attention to Facebook, or attending to email during the course of a two-hour lecture. His school chose to ban tech devices from the lecture hall. Additionally, students were required to use nametags, so that the lecturer could address individual students with questions during the lecture. This was to be a spot check to insure people were paying attention.

The author said that grades increased as a result of the changes. It seemed to be implied that the positive effect came from the banning of devices. Of course my perspective on the incident led me to believe that the banning of the devices had less to do with the increased attention on the part of…

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The Life Of A Project: Emotions And Project-Based Learning

At some point, I saw “the life of a project” diagram on pinterest, and thought it did a brilliant job of capturing the emotion of teaching and learning through projects. So I took the idea, attributed to Maureen McHugh, and applied it to education. You can see the results above, and the text below.As I reproduced it, I thought a circle made more sense than a line graph, but staying true to McHugh’s vision, I kept it as a giant check mark for now. I may share the circle version later this week because I spent an hour creating it and now it’s just taking up space on the giant cloud in the sky, so that’s no good.The Big IdeaLearning through projects is a wonderfully flexible approach to education that rewards creativity, accepts technology, and centers students. It also can be a rollercoaster of emotion, reflection, and it-takes-a-village hectic coordination of effort between parents, teachers, and students. To that end, I thought it made sense to communicate what that rollercoaster looks and feels like for students, through stages and characterizing sentiments.

via The Life Of A Project: Emotions And Project-Based Learning.

eSchool News Educators say Apple’s $100M grants can transform schools | eSchool News

Company’s commitment to support ConnectEd initiative is a boon to underprivileged schools[1]

As part of its $100 million commitment to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, Apple will provide devices, software, and support to 114 schools across the nation.The grants will go to schools with at least 96 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Ninety-two percent of students from the 114 recipient schools are minorities.Each student will receive an iPad, and every teacher and administrator will receive an iPad and Mac. Each classroom will have Apple TV.Apple representatives emphasized that their investment goes beyond products. Each school will work with an Apple Education team, which will ensure that IT and educational needs are met. Professional development around technology integration also will be provided.

via eSchool News Educators say Apple’s $100M grants can transform schools | eSchool News.

Testing and monitoring in Kindergarten

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

The picture in this article about new testing protocols for Kindergartners in MD reminds me of this memorable exchange from Shawshank Redemption:

Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means.
1967 Parole Hearings Man: Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin society…
Red: I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it’s just a made up word. A politician’s word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?

The part in bold is most important. Here you have one of the legions of specialists, consultants, coordinators, auditors, whatever, ensuring “readiness” or “fidelity,” or some other made-up word that excuses the perpetual culture of surveillance in schools. Sometimes it feels like I’m on…

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The Value of Connecting the Dots to Create “Real Learning” | MindShift

While leading problem-solving and creativity workshops for a company called Synectics in the 1970s, former schoolteacher Peter Bergson had a revelation. “I realized learning is a creative process—you are creating understanding,” he said. “The Synectics process was remedial, helping middle-aged businessmen develop thinking patterns that are natural to young people but get schooled out of them. What the Synectics process was doing was what the school process should have been doing—helping people develop their innate abilities to create and collaborate.”He decided that conceptual development—the learner-driven creation of mental schemas that leads to an understanding of fundamental concepts and the ability to apply them to diverse situations—is the essence of what he calls “real learning,” because it leads to competence and possible mastery, in contrast to the typical “memorizing and regurgitating” that stops at mere awareness or else at knowledge that lacks practical value.

via The Value of Connecting the Dots to Create “Real Learning” | MindShift.


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