Donated tablet computers help engage students in lessons The Verizon Foundation and Samsung recently donated 60 tablet computers to a school in Detroit, along with funding to train math, science and technology teachers and students how to use the devices for classroom activities. So far, officials say the tablets appear to be a hit. One group of seventh-grade students used the devices recently to access Droid Skyview, using GPS coordinates to plot a portion of the solar system. The Detroit News (12/27)
Application helps students, schools track service hours Schools and students can track volunteer and service hours using a mobile application that is also available online. The app, developed by a Texas-based education technology startup called intelliVOL, is being used by schools in 20 states and Canada. "Service is an important factor in the college acceptance process, yet it is the most overlooked process when it comes to 21st century technology solutions in high schools nationwide," said Michele Pitman, the company's chief executive and co-founder. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (12/26)
Advocates, districts challenge state education funding in 10 states Ten states have active legal cases over state funding for education moving through their court systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, many experts say the results of these cases can leave something to be desired as a ruling to increase education spending doesn't always have an impact on school finances in the long term. Stateline.org (12/21)
Schools and Social Media
Scottish school adopts social media curriculum A school in Scotland is teaching students about the libel risks associated with social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Educators said the lessons -- included in the personal, social, health and economic section of the national curriculum -- focus on the ways in which students are using social networking websites and the potential problems they might experience. "Students need to know that whatever they say may just come back to bite them," said Carol Manley, a senior teacher. The Drum (Glasgow, Scotland) (12/27)
Join education's most energetic and innovative leaders at SXSWedu 2013, March 4-7, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Education stakeholders and practitioners of all backgrounds converge at SXSWedu to connect, collaborate and change how we teach and how we learn. For more details, visit http://sxswedu.com.
How school leaders can pay it forward There are three things that good school leaders can do to help develop other leaders, writes Joe Mazza, lead learner at Knapp Elementary School in suburban Philadelphia. He suggests in this blog post that they invest in a healthy school culture, which fosters trust and respect among all teachers. He also recommends that leaders invest in personal relationships and an "outside the box" lens. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/27)
He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet."
--Joseph Joubert, French essayist
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