Social Media Soup: Savor the Flavor

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June 27, 2013 03:59 pm

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It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to talk digital learning! Today’s post comes from Joquetta Johnson, a library media specialist in Baltimore County Public Schools.

As a self-proclaimed Social Media Butterfly, I welcome every opportunity to share my passion and knowledge of using social media as a vehicle for teaching and learning. As an avid user and advocate for social media, in November of last school year, I had the pleasure of teaching the first social media in-service course in my school district. I am still amazed at the number of educators and administrators who view social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as evil villains or monsters in a scary movie. Some run… Some hide…. Some brave souls even try to fight “The Twitter” and other social media protagonists. Instead of being fearful and combative, educators and administrators need to embrace and form an alliance with social media and in order to facilitate student engagement and academic success.

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Digital Learning Series, Gear: Teaching & Professional Learning

Afternoon Announcements: 5 Steps to Improve E-Rate

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Posted:
June 27, 2013 03:58 pm

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In less than a week, the interest rate on some federal student loans will double if Congress doesn’t act. A bipartisan group in the Senate announced a proposal late this week, but it’s unclear whether they will be able to get the bill to President Obama to sign before the deadline.Washington Post

The No Child Left Behind waiver count rose to 40 this week after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan awarded one to New Hampshire. Only five states have outstanding waiver requests. Politics K-12

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Afternoon Announcements: Arne Duncan Fights Back Against Attacks on Common Core

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Posted:
June 26, 2013 04:02 pm

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“Of course the CCSS, in and of themselves, do not guarantee a level playing field. Naming a challenge does not solve it. But by describing an education that affluent students have been getting all along, these standards announce that all students should have access to the kind of learning they need.” Huffington Post (co-written by Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education) 

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New Editorial by Bob Wise Argues for Common Core, Level Playing Field

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Posted:
June 26, 2013 04:01 pm

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Every student deserves the opportunity to learn in an environment that promotes critical thinking, collaboration, and 21st-century skills, a new Huffington Post op-ed co-written by Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, and Robert Lenz, cofounder and chief executive officer of Envision Schools, argues. In particular, they write, students at-risk of dropping out of high school, would benefit from the deeper learning competencies set by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, would level the playing field for education from low-income and low-achievement schools to the most affluent, highest-achieving schools.

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Afternoon Announcements: Are Teacher Evaluations a Worthwhile Investment?

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June 25, 2013 04:03 pm

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As Congress moves forward with the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), there’s continued disagreement over whether or not teacher evaluation is a worthwhile investment.  Can teacher evaluation really make teachers better?  Eduwonk

The US Supreme Court issued a ruling on the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case dealing with affirmative action. Unfortunately, they didn’t provide a definitive answer to whether schools can consider race in admissions decisions.Inside Higher Ed

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Deeper Learning Digest: Common Core Watch and New Tech Network Spotlight

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Posted:
June 24, 2013 04:05 pm

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We’re back for another edition of the Deeper Learning Digest. We hope last week was a good one for all of you and that this one will be even better. Enjoy these tidbits as a kick start to your week!

First, a little levity (with an unfortunate ring of truth for entirely too many students nationwide) to start us off. (via @Upworthy)

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Afternoon Announcements: Transitioning to Project-Based Learning

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Posted:
June 24, 2013 04:04 pm

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Teachers at a Maryland elementary school are preparing for more difficult assessments with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. They reviewed sample test questions. The new questions get rid of the multiple choice format and ask students to explain their answers “using numbers, symbols and words.” Washington Post 

The Journal of Teacher Education will publish results from a new study that finds online professional development has the same outcomes on student learning and teacher behavior as traditional face-to-face models. Education Week 

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Afternoon Announcements: STEM Schools Built on Project-Based Learning, Critical Thinking, Collaboration

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Posted:
June 20, 2013 04:07 pm

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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce voted on party lines to approve a bill that would replace No Child Left Behind. The Republican-sponsored bill would diminish the role the federal government plays in K-12 schools. The Washington Post

Another take on the House committee’s markup of the partisan NCLB bill. “Everyone agrees the law is in desperate need of makeover, but partisan divisions continue to get in the way.” Politics K-12

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Summer Sustenance: The Changing World of Professional Development

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Posted:
June 20, 2013 03:55 pm

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It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to talk digital learning! Today’s post comes from Robyn Young, the school librarian at Avon High School and the Avon Advanced Learning Center in Avon, Indiana. She is a former Media Specialist of the Year in the State of Indiana.

When I first began teaching, we got out of school at the end of May and didn’t start back until the end of August.  During that time away from school, I never went back into school and I never thought about professional development. My how times have changed!  Not only has summer professional development (PD) grown, but the ever-changing world of technology has had a drastic change on what PD looks like today.

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Digital Learning Series, Gear: Teaching & Professional Learning

Afternoon Announcements: One in Four Dropouts is Still Too Many

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June 19, 2013 03:54 pm

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L.A. Unified School District in California signed a $30 million contract with Apple Inc. to provide students with iPads. The second-largest school district in the nation has a majority low-income and Hispanic students. High School Soup

The Education Commission of the States awarded Delaware its Frank Newman Award for State Innovation, as a recognition of the state’s creative work to improve student learning and achievement. “Delaware is a great example for the rest of the country to see how innovative approaches  can improve education, even in today’s political climate,” ECS President Jeremy Anderson said. Delaware Online

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