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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

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 average of 17.4 hours on the Web per week — that's not including e-mail — while only putting in 13.8 hours watching TV. "Teens and young adults are searching for independence and control," noted researchers, "and the Internet gives it to them like no other media can."

For Many Students, a Difficult Exit

While high school exit exams have encouraged improvements in curriculum, many students are still not passing on the first go-around, according to a new report from The Center on Education Policy. The study, State High School Exit Exams: Put to the Test, found initial pass rates across the 19 states requiring the tests ranged from 65 percent to 85 percent, with 90 percent of students eventually succeeding. Demographic gaps were significant — for example, 35 percent of African American students in Indiana passed the math portion of the exam at the outset, compared to 73 percent of their white counterparts.

The Teacher Certification Dilemma

Our latest online QuickPoll asked readers how their schools were dealing with No Child Left Behind's teacher quality mandate — specifically, the requirement that new hires at Title I schools must hold state certification and demonstrate subject-specific competency. Forty percent of respondents said it wasn't an issue, while 60 percent felt otherwise. "We are having problems finding qualified and experienced bilingual Spanish-speaking elementary teachers," wrote one reader. Another offered: "In the middle schools, the only solution is to send our elementary-certified teachers back to school. I hope someone is considering grandfathering these folks in."

Hit List

Online

The transformation of Union City Public Schools in New Jersey from struggling urban district to national model has been told many times before, but the George Lucas Educational Foundation has given it a new multimedia twist. Union City's story is explored in a section on GLEF's Web site entitled "Systemwide Change," which in addition to providing an overview of how the district increased math and reading scores by at least 30 percentage points over five years, lets readers click through nuts-and-bolts strategies on everything from revamping the curriculum to restructuring the budget. Punctuating these mini-slide shows are brief video and audio clips of school leaders, parents, and former students providing their perspectives on reform, as well as links to relevant resources. Beyond being an inspirational account, "Systemwide Change" exemplifies how the Web can be uniquely harnessed to convey information. www.glef.org/systemreform

Worthy Cause

The South Central Youth Project in Los Angeles has been jonesing for an electric pencil sharpener, and the Heelan High School Science Club in Sioux City, Iowa, longs for ten Taylor Precision thermometers. Those are just two of many requests indexed on the teachers' wishlist, a sort of bridal registry for schools launched by cyber-community bulletin board Craig's List two years ago. Signing up is simple: Schools and nonprofits select items they want from the online catalog of San Francisco-based Cole Hardware, then get the word out to potential donors. Contributors can scroll through the registries by city or organization — or have one selected at random — and choose what to bequeath. To date, about $45,000 worth of supplies and gift certificates has been donated. wishlist.craigslist.org

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Skinny on School Choice Only a small fraction of kids are transferring out of schools that have failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two straight years under NCLB, according to a new study from the Center on Education Policy. The report, which revealed 2 percent of eligible students have opted

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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