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Gleanings The Internet Hits Home The Net has increasingly become a conduit for fostering school-to-home relations, according to CDW-G's 2003 Teachers Talk Tech survey. The study, carried out by InfoTek Research and based on phone interviews of 606 K-12 teachers, found that 63 percent of classroom teachers believe
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Gleanings

The Internet Hits Home

The Net has increasingly become a conduit for fostering school-to-home relations, according to CDW-G's 2003 Teachers Talk Tech survey. The study, carried out by InfoTek Research and based on phone interviews of 606 K-12 teachers, found that 63 percent of classroom teachers believe technology has increased their communication with parents. This is especially true in the area of grade reporting, with 49 percent of middle school teachers and 47 percent of high school teachers sharing student grades with parents online or via e-mail.

Charter Schools See Test Scores Climb

A new report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, billed as "the first national empirical study of charter schools," found charter school students outperformed their public school counterparts on standardized tests. Though the gains over one year were modest — three percentile points in math and two points in reading for kids starting at the 50th percentile — the results gave newfound credence to the nearly 2,700 charter schools in the country. Researchers, in the meantime, are pushing for a randomized follow-up trial.

Keeping Track of Kids, Digital-Style

In our May Trend Watch, we asked readers to weigh in on a new cell phone technology from French-owned Alcatel called Guardian Angel, which allows adults to monitor a child's whereabouts along a predetermined route. Sixty-eight percent of respondents to our online QuickPoll thought it was a good idea ("Forget about privacy. Parents have a right and responsibility to know where their kids are..."), while 32 percent felt otherwise ("I think this opens up a whole new potential for people other than those we want monitoring the movement of a child"). One reader helpfully suggested another potential application for the technology: tracking spouses.

Hit List

Books

Intellectual freedom, access to information, and copyright are just some of the often-prickly issues discussed in Ethics in School Librarianship: A Reader, a compendium penned by a group of seasoned librarians and published by the people behind Library Media Connection magazine. While sometimes repetitive, the book does a good job of delving into common ethical dilemmas faced by today's librarians and media specialists, and includes helpful discussion questions for sparking conversation with colleagues. Perhaps the best-executed chapter is "Ethics in the Use of Technology" from Doug Johnson, who walks readers through the American Library Association Code of Ethics as it relates to technology — for example, how to make fair decisions about student privacy on the network. Linworth Publishing; www.linworth.com

Online

Need to master the art of the apology? Wondering how to lead a workplace that's understaffed and overworked? If any of these issues sound familiar to you, take note of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, an online journal that provides a range of strategy-oriented articles, from tips on giving effective presentations to interviews with HBS professors and industry gurus. No stuffy case studies here — just interesting tidbits on the latest management trends. Organized around thirteen topic areas and updated weekly, the content is geared for the business world but much of it can apply to administrators, technology directors, and other educators in leadership roles. For readers on the go, a convenient download-to-PDA option is available. hbswk.hbs.edu

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Gleanings Summer Surfing Teachers assigning that perennial "How did you spend your summer vacation?" essay should expect to hear about kids' virtual travels as much as, if not more than, their in-the-flesh journeys. That's because youngsters are more likely to use the Net in June and July than any other time,

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Gleanings Teen Net Use Overshadows Television A report commissioned by Yahoo! and Carat Interactive found the Internet has surpassed television and other traditional media as the "hub" of choice for today's youth. The study, which combined online surveys and focus groups, revealed that kids ages 13-18 spend an

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Gleanings A Closer Look at "Failing" Schools Do schools considered "failing" under No Child Left Behind have more or less technology than the average American school? This intriguing question, asked by Market Data Retrieval in their recent Technology in Education 2003 report, yielded interesting numbers. In terms of

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Gleanings Girls Building a Home on the Web Countering conventional notions about gender and technology, a new survey reveals that girls are in fact more likely than boys to have personal Web sites. "Children, Families, and the Internet," the latest study from research firm Grunwald Associates, found 12.2 percent of

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Gleanings Teachers Speak Out A recent survey from Public Agenda revealed many of the nation's teachers feel that the expectations placed on them for raising student achievement are not only unrealistic, but unjust. The report found that 59 percent of the 1,345 public school teachers polled believe "it's unfair to be

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Gleanings Laptop Lessons Some heartening news for proponents of 1-to-1 computing in schools: a recent study out of Canada links wireless laptop use with improved English skills. Conducted by the Peace River North School District in British Columbia, whose Wireless Writing Project puts notebook computers in the hands

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Gleanings The Age of IM Over 53 million American adults swap instant messages on a regular basis, with Generation Y predictably leading the way, reports the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Researchers found 62 percent of Internet users aged 18-27 use instant messaging, with some 35 percent logged on an hour

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Gleanings The Young and the Wired A surprising percentage of kids use e-mail as early as kindergarten, according to NetDay. The nonprofit, which recently released the results of its Speak Up Day 2003 study, found 29 percent of grade K-3 students have their own e-mail accounts, compared to 45 percent for grades 4-6

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Gleanings New Poll Reveals Budget Woes District technology budgets have taken big hits, according to a report released this summer by CoSN and Grunwald Associates. The Digital Leadership Divide survey found that while 38 percent of district tech budgets have increased in the past three years, 62 percent have