Just Released: Quakertown Community School District Interactive Video Profile
Located about forty-five miles north of Philadelphia, PA, Quakertown Community School District (QCSD) has seen tremendous improvement in student achievement and engagement from implementation of a blended learning approach that combines online learning with traditional classroom instruction, finds a new interactive video profile conducted by the Alliance for Excellent Education and Public Impact. “Quakertown Community School District: A Systematic Approach to Blended Learning That Focuses on District Leadership, Staffing, and Cost-effectiveness,” is the first in a series of interactive video profiles highlighting innovative school districts that utilize digital learning to improve teaching and learning. Read (and watch/listen to) the interactive video profile.
Educators, Parents, Students Urged to Sign White House Petition Calling for Investment in School Broadband Connectivity
Only 13 percent of schools have the broadband access needed to give students the same online access that most Americans have at home, work, or even in a coffee shop. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) initiated an online petition urging the Obama administration to take action to invest in school broadband connectivity to ensure all students graduate equipped for success. If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures by May 1, 2013, the White House will respond. Sign the petition.
Awesome Videos from Digital Learning Day 2013
Black Hawk Elementary School (Rapid City Area School District, SD)
This video answers the question, “What does digital learning look like?” It was filmed collaboratively with third-grade teacher Denise McCormick and her students as they worked on a project with librarian Jack Batchelder.
AUSL Wendell Phillips Academy High School (Chicago, IL)
This video shows AUSL Wendell Phillips Academy High School students use digital media, not just in math and science, but also in sports and other areas, including utilizing the CTA Transit tracker so that students can get to school on time. The video was shot by student members of the Phillips’ “Behind the Paws” crew.
See what educators are talking about in these digital learning blog posts. The following blog post comes from Jeremy Macdonald, the new integrated technology systems coordinator Bend–La Pine Schools in Oregon. He says, “It’s not always bigger and better.” Here’s a snippet:
As of this Monday, April 15, I will be the new Integrated Technology Systems Coordinator for Bend-La Pine Schools in Bend, OR. It’s a new job for me and a big move for my family. It’s been bittersweet. As time has passed getting ready at home and at school, I have reflected on my experience here in Klamath, the last seven years, and what it will mean to leave my school.
Part of this reflection included me taking and sharing a series of pictures, of memories. In response to one of these pictures, a friend of mine on Facebook asked, “Off to bigger and better things?” While innocent, the comment caught me off guard. I had to ask myself, “Am I moving on to bigger and better things?”
The school district is a lot bigger. The town is a lot bigger. I’m working with all 24 schools, so I guess that’s bigger. But does that mean it’s better? I started at Mills Elementary School seven years ago. I was a total newbie. Heck, I even had braces at the time. A lot has happened since. A lot of students have come through my classroom doors. A lot of learning has happened and re-happened in my classroom. Everything that has happened here has set a precedent for me on which I will base many of my future experiences. So struggle to say if anything after this will be better. In education, I like to look at things, at students, and classes, at school years as merely different. Each one providing me with a new challenge or unique experience. Each one as special as the next. I think I would have to rank them in order to find one that is better or even the best. And I just cannot do that, at least not now. Read the entire blog post.
Would you like to be a guest blogger? If so, contact Rachel Jones.
Digital Learning Day 2013 was a huge success! Although it is only a one-day celebration, the Alliance believes digital learning should occur every day for every student and encourages your district, schools, teachers, parents, students, colleagues, and friends to try something new and engage in the power of digital learning. Here are some ideas of what you can do:
- Try a new lesson in English language arts, science, math, or social studies—from Digital DNA to media propaganda.
- Explore the digital learning toolkits with resources and ideas for teachers in specific subject areas.
- Learn more about exemplary model schools highlighted on Digital Learning Day.
- Encourage your district to sign up for Project 24 today so that your district’s planning efforts include digital learning.
Technology in Education: Before You Make a Purchase, Make a Plan (April 16, 2013, Huffington Post blog)
“Classroom technology can pay off in higher student achievement, but simply purchasing the devices is not enough to create change,” writes Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. In this blog post, he writes about Project 24, an initiative launched by the Alliance to help school districts think strategically about how to integrate technology into instruction to ensure student learning is more engaged, rigorous, and relevant.
HISD Technology Officer: District Wants Graduates to Be “Good Digital Citizens” (April 15, 2013, Houston Public Radio)
The Houston Independent School District in Texas plans to spend about $10 million to purchase laptops for every high-school student and another $100 million to upgrade the district’s infrastructure to support the new technology. Officials say the goal is not merely to teach students core subjects using the technology but also to teach students to use technology responsibly.
Report: District Use of Social Networks up 44 Percent over 2 Years (April 17, 2013, THE Journal)
The number of school districts represented on at least one social network in the past two years has risen 44 percent, to 74 percent of districts surveyed, according to a survey by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association. The survey also found that 94 percent of districts surveyed permit teachers to use Web 2.0 tools—up from 82 percent two years ago—and just 9 percent of respondents said their districts do not have bring-your-own-device programs.