News and Trends(24)

from Technology & Learning


Silver Seal Antimicrobial
Seal Shield

Wash your hands all you like. Chances are if you have computer keyboards in class, you could still get sick with a norovirus, the antibiotic resistant staph infection MRSA, or one of the thousands of other contagions that hit schools every year. According to University of Arizona scientist Dr. Charles Gerba, computer keyboards and mice can have about 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. The Silver Seal Shield keyboard may help. It is made from an antimicrobial plastic that contains silver ions, a natural germ repellant. The boards are also dishwasher safe, which makes disinfecting that much easier.

The Trouble with Txt

A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life project confirms what many worried English teachers have reported—64 percent of teens admit that they insert some informal writing styles used in personal electronic communication into their writing for school. Some 25 percent have used emoticons in their school writing; 50 percent have used informal punctuation and grammar; and 38 percent have used text shortcuts such as "LOL," meaning "laugh out loud."

Richard Sterling, chair of the advisory board for the National Commission on Writing, executive director emeritus of the National Writing Project and senior fellow at the College Board, says, "We think these findings point to a critical strategy question for all educators: How can we connect the enthusiasm of young people for informal, technology-based writing with classroom experiences that illuminate the power of well-organized, well-reasoned writing?" For the full report, go to

No Hanna Montana?

Search engine site now publishes a quarterly index of the most popular search terms by students with games taking the top spot this spring. "Search engines like Google and Yahoo pull together lists of the most popular keyword queries, underscoring our nation's interests and fixations and showcasing trends and patterns," says Thinkronize CEO Randy Wilhelm. "Our report offers a different view—a real-time school-based mirror of what our children are searching for—both for academic purposes and out of genuine curiosity." The now used by more than 11 million students, 600,000 teachers, and 20,000 schools in all 50 states in the United States. The total number of unique search terms for the spring quarter was 1,844,677.

Most popular student search terms
Ranking Keyword

  1. Games
  2. Dogs
  3. Animals
  4. Civil War
  5. George Washington
  6. Holocaust
  7. Abraham Lincoln
  8. Multiplication
  9. Math Games
  10. Weather
  11. Frogs
  12. Fractions
  13. Planets
  14. Sharks
  15. Plants