Trend Watch(11)

From Building Blocks to Blogs

A recent article in UK-based Teachers magazine described an after-school blogging club that includes members as young as 8 years old. The teacher who sponsors the club reports that the prospect of an audience — and the thrill of tracking hits on their sites — has proven as motivating for elementary-age writers as it has been for adults.

Meanwhile, new program KidzLog combines the one-step publishing of Web logs with a kid-friendly interface. Students can use the integrated paint program to create pictures to accompany their posts, and teachers can opt to approve all posts before they're published. (via

Next Generation Scientific Americans

In response to a disturbing report from the National Science Board that the United States has fallen from third place (in 1975) to a startling 17th place in science and engineering degrees earned, Intel and others have stepped up to the plate with a scientist-in-training program. Over 70 K-12 students from the United States and other countries will be participating in an intensive six-week program taught by internationally renowned scientists and featuring rigorous college-level academics including hands-on research projects. The program, for which there were more than 1,000 applicants, is a result of a collaborative effort by Intel, the Research Science Institute, and the California Institute of Technology.

An iPod in Every Pocket

Through a deal with Apple, each of this year's incoming freshmen to North Carolina's Duke University will be treated to his or her own Apple iPod — for keeps. Though the device's most popular use is as an MP3 player, the portable hard drives can also be used for purposes beyond music, including transporting files and accessing campus information and schedules. Administrators are counting on the iPod's cool factor to increase the likelihood of students actually integrating the technology into their daily lives. Will K-12 schools be next to turn to the iPod for a one-to-one computing solution?

Quotations of the Month

"Now, I'm not here to bash a statewide test, but I'm simply saying to you that life is not made up of bubbles and dots: we've got to go much higher, much further, and ask much more of these children...",

"If it doesn't work, I need you to let it go. The way you've taught reading, I need you to let it go. The way you've supervised schools and supervise need to let some of that stuff go because fundamentally it is broken..."

"When I say we are going to take back these 39 schools, people please understand, strap on your leather because we are going to take back these schools."

What's Your Opinion?

Is it appropriate for superintendents such as Dr. Crew to earn an executive-level salary that competes with the business world if they can actually deliver on their promise to turn around a major at-risk school district? Click on T&L QuickPoll and let us know what you think. We'll report your responses on the Back Page.

Dr. Rudy Crew, new superintendent of the Miami-Dade Schools, in a speech recently delivered to the district's principals and assistant principals

Dr. Crew, who was chancellor of the New York City Public Schools from 1995 to 2000, will earn approximately $480,000 his first year on the job, making him one of the highest-paid school leaders in the country.