T&L News(157)

Week of: December 1, 2008

  • Schools Go Virtual
    This fall in Phoenix, Arizona, the two-day Virtual School Symposium, sponsored by Insight Schools and hosted by the North American Council for Online Learning, focused on K-12 online learning and virtual schools; attendees include policy-makers and educators from the US, Canada, and Mexico among other countries. The symposium included a panel of a former state board of education president, school district superintendent, principal, director of special education, teacher and a high-achieving student. These panelists all discussed their experience with virtual schools and they discussed the impacts and benefits of online education for public high schools.
  • How concerned are IT pros about Internet safety?
    A survey commissioned this fall by Web filtering solutions provider St. Bernard asked 200 educational IT professionals about their concerns regarding Internet use in schools participated. Here's what they found:
    —60% of IT administrators at educational institutions spend more than 10 hours per week managing internet access—this time interferes with productivity. 94% spend one hour or more.
    —29% of respondents chose their current Web filtering solution based on mainly on its flexibility.
  • Hunt Institute Discusses Education Standards
    To address the current need for clearer, more concise standards and higher achievement among American students, the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy (of Durham, N.C.) announced its plan to commission studies, to be conducted by the National Research Council of the National Academies.
  • A Message to Obama on Top Education Priority from school leaders
    A recent survey (conducted by the National School Boards Association) of over 500 school leaders shows that finding ways to assess modern learning skills should be top priority on a list of education technology initiatives for the next Administration and Congress.
  • Mark Your Calendar
    The 14th Annual Technology in Education (TechEd) International Conference & Exposition will be held on March 22-25 in Ontario, California. Last year, TechEd 2008 was well received by more than 3,200 K-20 Education attendees from 42 states. The expo will include hands-on software labs, over 250 sessions and workshops, and Educator and Technology Solutions seminars. For more information on participating, visit: http://www.techedevents.org/2009/
  • Over 50% of the district leaders surveyed said their top education technology priority for the upcoming government administration is assessing 21st century skills.
  • 43% want support of increased professional development around educational technology.
  • 38% want an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Over 80% of educators said technology supports their ability to give students more 21st century learning opportunities.
  • 50% said their biggest challenge is funding for technology.
  • 40% said their biggest challenge is integrating technology into the classroom.
  • 64% of districts said they have delayed hardware purchases or upgrades due to the current economy.
  • 29% of districts have explored or incorporated open source technologies (positive!)
  • 20% have explored "green" IT initiatives to offset costs and save money.

School districts are addressing 21st century learning opportunities in the following ways:

  • 43% are using new assessment tools to measure 21st century skills
  • 38% are raising math, science and technology standards
  • 34% are focusing on career tech readiness programs
  • 33% are offering more Advanced Placement courses and tests.