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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

Read other articles from the September Issue

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