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Why aren’t eBooks disrupting the college textbook market?
April 11, 2014 | 12:25 pm

college textbook marketThanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for sending this article my way. The write-up, from a blog called Fast Company has some interesting insights into why the college textbook market has not been taken over by ebooks yet. I have long held my own ideas on this matter. I have taken one course which had an online textbook option, and the functionality was so limited that it wasn't even worth bothering. Cut and paste was completely disabled, the books could not be read offline, they were scanned PDF and not OCR-searchable, and they expired the day after the course ended....

Review: Reading
April 3, 2014 | 4:40 pm

reading a-z.comMy school recently purchased, at my request, a one-year subscription to the website Reading The website offers hundreds of printable leveled reader books in a variety of languages (English, British English, French, Spanish), and I found it when I was looking for French resources I could use to enhance my program for a child who speaks French at home. I think this resource will be useful for other teachers in my school, and I am looking forward to seeing what people do with it. I had thought initially that I could save the PDF files for use on my iPad....

Defining digital literacy
April 1, 2014 | 12:25 pm

digital literacyAn article making the rounds in today's news details the Canadian government's interest in 'defining' digital literacy for teachers and students. From the article: The report released by People for Education on Monday finds that the vast majority of Ontario secondary school teachers use some form of digital technology in the classroom, though it noted that the type of technology and the way it is used varies greatly, necessitating the need for a clearer policy on what makes for a digitally literate student. As both an Ontario teacher, and one who was explicitly trained in integrating technology into the classroom, I have...

Biblionasium: Where kids write book reviews
March 29, 2014 | 2:33 pm

BiblionasiumDigital Book World has a great write-up about Biblionasium, a site I have not heard about until now which describes itself as a 'Goodreads for Kids.' They previously got around the whole 'social media websites and children under 13' privacy issues by limiting their young user's review-writing options to selecting pre-fab options from a drop-down menu. But in response to requests from teachers and librarians, they have now opened up true review-writing abilities for users of all ages. The write-up points out that the site does restrict these posting abilities so that parents and educators can pre-determine where this stuff gets...

OLPC, or not to be?
March 13, 2014 | 1:26 pm

olpcLaptopPDFgerrymWowioBlog Has OLPC jumped the shark? OLPC News seems to think so. In a recent (and controversial) post on the blog, Wayan Vota wonders if there’s any point to OLPC anymore. Vota contends that the XO-1 laptop is 7 years old—ancient technology in Internet time—and that Sugar, its operating system, is “history.” (Though he doesn’t mention the more recent XO-1.75 that came out in 2012.) It’s closed down its Boston office and its founder, Nicholas Negroponte, has long since moved on the global literacy X-Prize project. Yet let us be...

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students
March 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

storycardsHere's an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question. The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The...

A digital game plan for education is sorely needed
March 5, 2014 | 11:15 am

digital game plan for educationIn today's Morning Links, there was a wonderful article from The Digital Shift, which reported on a recent conference at which educators and school administrators explored technology. The comments from participants highlighted many of the issues I myself have written about on this blog before: the lack of forethought and planning in rolling out technology programs, the lack of teacher training and the need to prepare future educators before they hit the classroom. From the article: “It’s imperative that we rethink professional development,” says Linda Clark, superintendent for the Meridian Joint School District No. 2 in Idaho. “Many of us were...

Students today and their fancy, new-fangled technology
January 19, 2014 | 4:34 am

chalkboard (Found via Women Rock Science.)...

mHealth Summit 2013 Article Roundup
December 25, 2013 | 12:16 pm

mHealth Summit 2013A couple of weeks ago, I attended the mHealth Summit here in D.C. (at the swanky Gaylord Convention Center even!). It was three days of  tech, apps and health-related stuff. It's not quite the TeleRead beat, but I thought some of you might be interested in the articles I wrote about the Summit for GadgeTell, one of our sister sites. Especially check out the last one where a piece of Star Trek technology is close to reality. mHealth 2013 Summit Technology Observations Considering the tech focus of the Summit, it was nice to see technology used in interesting ways throughout the conference....

Teachers Pay Teachers: Image Copyright and Educational Fair Use
December 17, 2013 | 4:15 pm

teachers pay teachersI might become a content seller in the new year! A fellow teacher turned me onto a neat little website called Teachers Pay Teachers, which everyone at school is addicted to. Teachers can upload (and sell) their own self-created resources. What makes the site so addictive is that every seller is required to offer their first resource for free, so there are a lot of free materials for other teachers to enjoy. The funny thing is, I perused the seller FAQs (primarily to make sure sellers can be non-American, which they can) and saw a lot of stuff about how to...

iPads in Schools: A Case Study That’s Working, So Far. Part 3 of 3
November 29, 2013 | 2:27 pm

ipads in schoolsPart 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 When we last left off my iPads in schools saga, we had just been gifted with half a dozen more iPad 2 machines by the PTA, bringing our total up to 16 iPads---enough for a class set, with a few leftovers for usage with specialty teachers and other purposes. Here was where things started looking complicated---I was sinking way too much time into ordering apps, updating them and maintaining the machines, and I had some worries that we would run up against an Apple device limit and it would stop letting us register...

Better thinking through arts education: The Crystal Bridges Museum experiment
November 29, 2013 | 12:15 pm

Crystal Bridges MuseumAn excellent article published on the Educational Researcher website and summarized in the New York Times, demonstrates the value of arts in education for building conceptual and critical skills in general. The original study, entitled "Learning to Think Critically: A Visual Art Experiment" "We conduct a randomized controlled trial involving 3,811 students who were assigned by lottery to participate in a School Visit Program at the newly opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art," explains the abstract for the original study. " Students who participated in the School Visit Program demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting." The...