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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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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 and 79 percent for grades 7-12. In addition to e-mail, top technology apps for the K-3 set include learning games, creating pictures, and practicing spelling and reading.

Pay for Performance?

T&L QuickPoll Results
Do you think teacher pay should be linked to increased student performance?

In favor: 31%
Opposed: 69%

The outcome of our recent QuickPoll asking if teachers should be compensated for increased student achievement was 31 percent in favor, 69 percent opposed. Here's a sampling of comments we received from readers:

"Would this give teachers an incentive to help students cheat? What about the wonderful teacher who gets low-performing students? What about special education teachers?"

"[This] would ensure teachers are advocates for their students...the teacher should have more of a vested interest in the student achieving and ensuring the school system complies with the laws."

"Teachers dedicate their lives to teaching because it's the right thing to do. Extrinsic rewards are only necessary when one is asked to do things that are not intrinsically rewarding."

"Sometimes our very best efforts can't motivate a student who arrives at school with home issues we can't easily resolve. How are we to motivate and be accountable for students who have no zest for learning?"

"Sad as it may seem, with a pay incentive teachers may be more inspired to do more for their students and to encourage a healthier learning environment."

Pilot Program

Taking a page from MTV's book, a new initiative called Rock 'n' Write uses pop music as the hook for getting students revved up about reading and writing. Tested out this spring by upper elementary and middle school students in Florida, the program provided schools with a music video of "What-If" by the band Natural, an interview with the group about the song, and footage of students talking about what it means to them. Students used the video and what-if context to explore issues such as war, racism, and the environment, and took part in a songwriting contest based on ideas and feelings inspired by the tune. By far the coolest aspect of the project, however, is that it culminated this month with a live concert at the University of Central Florida, with Natural as the headline act. Expect the program to go national in the fall with an expanded roster of up-and-coming musical artists.


Political issues around outsourcing have been a favorite subject in the news lately, but discussion about them has typically focused on the dilemmas and responsibilities of U.S. businesses, not schools. But the educational angle is being recognized in some corners. A recent article from Wired News, "Outsourcing Report Blames Schools," analyzes the American Electronics Association's claim that subpar math and science education is possibly "the single biggest competitive challenge" when it comes to keeping jobs inside our borders. It's a view echoed by New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, who favors free trade but sees outsourcing as a wake-up call for American schools. "I'm hoping the loss of jobs in medicine and computers to India and elsewhere will again jolt us into improving our own teaching of math and science," he wrote.,1367,62780,00;



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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

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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 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 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 Surf Report A new survey from Web filtering company St. Bernard Software and JAS Market Research found inappropriate Net use is alive and kicking in K-12 schools, with 59 percent of the 200 technology decision-makers polled reporting incidents ranging from students accessing games (the number one

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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 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 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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Q&A with Tom Snyder Founder: Tom Snyder Productions in 1980 Hallmarks: Creative and collaborative curriculum products for the one-computer classroom Award Winners: TimeLiner; Fizz & Martina's Math Adventures; Geography Search; Decisions, Decisions; and more. Q: What has been the biggest turning point in education