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Posts tagged schools

How to Roll Out Laptops in Schools
July 29, 2013 | 4:45 pm

laptopsMediaShift has an interesting write-up about a school district in Massachusetts that's grappling with how to best roll out laptops in its schools. The article talks about the program in Natick, Mass., which involved issuing Macbooks to all students in grades eight through 12. The results have been great for students—they've spent their time "doing everything from conversing with peers in Costa Rica through Twitter in a history class, to designing and producing their own online magazines." But it hasn't been so great for the IT department employees, who've spent their time trying to reinstall content filters after students worked very...

Schools: The Next Frontier for Battles Over Copyright?
February 4, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Techdirt is one of many who have picked up this story about a copyright battle that's brewing in a Maryland school district over who owns work done by teachers—and students—during school time. The Prince George district is trying to pass a policy that would give it ownership over all materials that teachers create for use in the classroom—and over all work that students produce as a consequence. There are a number of things which are wrong with this theory. Firstly, as this write-up in The Washington Post points out: "It’s not unusual for a company to hold the rights to an employee’s...

On-Demand eBook Service for K-12 Schools Announced from Brain Hive
July 3, 2012 | 10:09 am

Bh m logo From the press release: Brain Hive, LLC, a private Minneapolis-based education company, announced today that it will launch an on-demand eBook lending service for U.S. K-12 schools this fall. The online service, eponymously named Brain Hive™, will offer unlimited access to an eBook collection valued at over $100,000 from respected children’s publishers. Students and educators may check out eBooks from Brain Hive on demand, while the school pays just $1.00 for each book read—a Brain Hive Buck™. Membership to the Brain Hive service is free to schools. Currently being tested in 20 schools, Brain Hive is the first on-demand eBook service for...

How to harness cell phones to help students learn
May 20, 2012 | 9:15 pm

The Innovative Educator has a fairly long blog post proposing a number of ways that schools could use students’ cell phones to increase engagement with reading and writing in the classroom. The piece starts with the startling assertion that texting actually helps students’ grasp of grammar, and goes on to list some interesting ideas for ways cell phones could help kids learn. Some of them have to do with using phones to text notes or journals to themselves, or send text messages to teachers so they can offer feedback without fear of being embarrassed in front of their peers....

Raspberry Pi $35 Linux computer to be available by end of month
February 7, 2012 | 1:18 pm

Raspberry Pi has announced that its first batch of $35 computers will be finished manufacturing as of February 20th, and they will be airfreighted to the UK immediately after that; they should be available for purchase by the end of the month. It has also gotten Broadcom to make available a datasheet about the ARM peripherals in the Pi’s CPU chip—useful for those who want to port other operating systems to the device, or are just interested in the tech specs. As I’ve said before, this device could be quite useful in education and for Internet access in places...

‘Hundreds of schools’ using Chromebooks; three school districts order 27,000 units
January 26, 2012 | 10:45 pm

CNet has an article about Google’s stripped-down Chromebook laptops, and their placement in schools. In a speech at the Florida Educational Technology Converence yesterday, Rajen Sheth, Google’s leader of Chromebook work for business and education, announced that hundreds of schools across 41 states have outfitted at least one classroom with Chromebooks. Three schools in Illinois, Iowa, and South Carolina will be outfitting all their students with the devices—over 27,000 in all. The schools appreciate the advantages the device offers of constant updates, cloud storage, and “invisibility” in terms of booting and use—teachers can focus on instruction rather than technical...

Apple’s e-textbooks do not look so world-changing to educators
January 26, 2012 | 12:15 pm

On Hack Education, Audrey Watters has a fairly long look at why Apple’s new textbook announcement may not be as revolutionary as expected. She was not impressed by Apple’s presentation, stating it lacked Steve Jobs’s magic touch, “the kind of thing that made both fans and skeptics say, ‘Yes, (perhaps) this changes everything.’” She points out that Apple is partnering with the three companies that already make up 90% of the textbook industry, and they have already gotten into digital textbooks (to the tune of $3 billion last year by just one of them). One of...

Rapid-fire book exposure: ‘Extreme Speed Booking’
January 25, 2012 | 11:33 am

Flying BooksHere’s a clever use of technology to promote reading among kids—taking a cue from speed dating to create “Extreme Speed Booking”. The idea is that kids are given two minutes with each book—they can do whatever they like: examine the cover, read the first chapter, skip to the last page—and then rate how interested they would be in reading more (as well as copy down the author and title of those that do interest them). And the great thing about the e-book age is that this sort of thing is easier than ever without needing to have physical copies...

The Kindle as classroom-killer?
December 29, 2011 | 9:53 pm

Author Richard F. Miniter has an article about the revolution in home-schooling that e-readers make possible. His idea is that children can be kept home, away from the faux-egalitarian, inaccurate-propaganda-laden classroom and taught to educate themselves on their own by reading a book a day and writing an essay on it. He brings up the example of a special-education foster child he’d cared for who was essentially unable to read, but who ended up testing at or above his grade level a year later after a course of home-schooling that consisted of daily reading with help on words he...

E-book anthology to raise money for Joplin film production education program
October 27, 2011 | 2:15 pm

UpdatedCover1-662x1024Here’s an e-book project to raise money for a cause local to me. GalleyCat reports on a digital anthology project featuring essays by a number of authors discussing how movies have influenced their work. Editor Cynthia Hawkins explains: [Proceeds] will go to the Joplin Eagles Television 14 Program through the Joplin Schools Tornado Relief Fund. The JET 14 Program instructs 160 students each school year in the fundamentals of film production and broadcasting. […] The JET 14 Program lost everything on May 22, their technology center and studio, studio...

iPad offers communication breakthrough for the autistic
October 24, 2011 | 10:43 am

Autism_Segment_620_620x350As part of its show interviewing Steve Jobs’s biographer, CBS’s 60 Minutes took a good look at the way iPad apps can help autistic people communicate. (We covered this in June of last year.) The video segment is 13 minutes long, but for people who don’t have that much time 60 Minutes also posted the script in the form of an article. The story covers both adults and children, and shows ways that the iPad provides communication tools to let parents and teachers learn things about autistic children that they never knew before. One ten-year-old autistic child was thought...

Apple distributes refurbished iPads to Teach for America teachers
September 21, 2011 | 9:15 pm

Fortune reports that Apple has distributed thousands of free refurbished first-generation iPads to members of the Teach for America corps of teachers for low-income communities. While it is not clear how many of the tablets were actually distributed, Teach for America has over 9,000 members and all were eligible to receive a tablet. Katie Remington (Middlebury '10) picked up hers -- a refurbished model that looked like new -- on Sunday and brought it to the inner-city high school in St. Louis where she runs the science department. "So far," she wrote after the first day,...