Lessons from the #Digital Classroom | MIT Technology Review #data #education #tech


In four small schools scattered across San Francisco, a data experiment is under way. That is where AltSchool is testing how technology can help teachers maximize their students’ learning. Founded two years ago by Max ­Ventilla, a data expert and former head of personalization at Google, AltSchool runs schools filled with data-gathering technology.

Information is captured from the moment each student arrives at school and checks in on an attendance app. For part of the day, students work independently, using iPads and Chromebooks, on “playlists” of activities that teachers have selected to match their personal goals. Data about each student’s progress is captured for teachers’ later review. Classrooms are recorded, and teachers can flag important moments by pressing a button, as you might TiVo your favorite television show.

The idea is that all the data from this network of schools will be woven into a smart centralized operating system that teachers will be able to use to design effective and personalized instruction. There is even a recommendation engine built in. READ MORE: Educating Data | MIT Technology Review.

Research Summary: #Competencies for Professionals in Learning Labs and #Makerspaces | Kyungwon Koh | Academia.edu #libraries


[T]he authors conducted a research project in order to identify the competencies required for professionals to perform innovative services in library or museum Learning Labs and Makerspaces. READ ARTICLE: Research Summary: Competencies for Professionals in Learning Labs and Makerspaces | Kyungwon Koh | Academia.edu.

Direct Link to PDF

North Carolina’s Omar Currie Resigns After Reading Students A Gay Fable | HuffPost #diversity #bannedbooks #books


Wrong on so many levels. North Carolina (and South Carolina if you are aware of today’s news) seem to be having troubles with kindness lately…(my opinion and not passing judgement on every citizen of these states in the USA). 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — After a third-grader tearfully recounted how another boy had called him “gay” during gym class, teacher Omar Currie chose to raise the issue during story time by reading his students a fable about a prince who falls in love with another prince, ending with a happily-ever-after royal wedding.

That decision in April ignited a public outcry from some parents in the rural hamlet of Efland, North Carolina, resulting in Currie’s resignation this week from a job he loved. The assistant principal who loaned Currie her copy of “King & King” has also resigned, and outraged parents are pressuring administrators at the Orange County Schools to ban the book. READ MORE: North Carolina’s Omar Currie Resigns After Reading Students A Gay Fable | Huffington Post

Also See: North Carolina Teacher Omar Currie Reads His Class Gay Fable After Third-Grader Is Bullied | Huffington Post

Versal Helps Teachers Create Interactive Online Lessons, Partners With Wolfram Alpha | TechCrunch



Versal is a service that allows teachers to build and publish interactive online courses, homework assignments and tutorials. The company launched its service out of beta [March 4, 2015], but maybe more importantly, it also announced a partnership with Wolfram Research. Thanks to this deal with Wolfram Research — which includes Stephen Wolfram joining the Versal board of directors — Versal now allows teachers to embed content from Wolfram into their courses.

READ MORE: Versal Helps Teachers Create Interactive Online Lessons, Partners With Wolfram Alpha | TechCrunch

Kids Need To Learn Digital Literacy—Not How To Code | ReadWrite


The new narrative in education, echoed from Silicon Valley to Washington, D.C., is: “Everyone should learn to code.” But something’s getting lost in translation between technologists and parents of students around the country. Let’s get this out of the way: Not everyone needs to learn how to code. Coding is just one part of the constantly evolving technological landscape. There’s a big difference between learning how to code and having a fundamental understanding of how technology and software operate. Of the two, the latter is way more important for most people. What students—and, really, anyone who wants to function in careers in the future—should learn is how to be digitally literate.

READ MORE: Kids Need To Learn Digital Literacy—Not How To Code | ReadWrite

Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead | The Chronicle of Higher Education


People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses?

READ: Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead | The Chronicle of Higher Education.

20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills | InformED


Teaching digital literacy is about more than just integrating technology into lesson plans; it’s about using technology to understand and enhance modern communication, to locate oneself in digital space, to manage knowledge and experience in the Age of Information.

These are vague descriptions, as are most of the descriptions you’ll find of digital literacy in blog posts and journal articles online. What teachers need, more than a fancy synopsis of how digital publication affects the meaning of a text, is a practical and applicable guide to helping students think productively about the digital world.

[These are] the top do’s and don’ts we’ve come across–in research and in our own experience–when it comes to making students digitally literate. The post reviews 5 Teaching Practices That Destroy Digital Literacy (e.g. criticizing digitalk) and 15 Habits to Cultivate in Your Students (e.g. get used to multiple literacies).

READ: 20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills | InformED

American Library Association Defends Banned Mexican American Studies Courses | Mashable


Librarians do not approve of Arizona’s battle against Mexican American Studies.

A group of 10 educational organizations, including the American Library Association, filed an amicus brief Monday in support of the lawsuit against Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for quashing a controversial Mexican American Studies curriculum in Tucson. Some 48 teachers from across the country filed a second amicus brief defending the banned courses.

The educators argue that in passing legislation aimed at shutting down a progressive Mexican American Studies program, Arizona Republicans were guided by political goals rather than pedagogical ones.

Read: American Library Association Defends Banned Mexican American Studies Courses | Mashable.

News: Books & Publishing, Music & Film


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Education & Technology

The LA Times Trolls Innocent Teachers | TechCrunch
The once-respectable LA Times is leveraging its dwindling platform to attack individual teachers under the guise of data transparency. The editorial board won a court case allowing them to use a highly contentious, self-designed algorithm to rank the best and worst teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Neither the suicide of one of the shamed teachers, nor the widespread criticism of the statistical methods have aroused the editorial board’s better judgment.

Google Earth Tour Builder lets you tell stories through maps | Engadget
Google has used Earth and Maps to tell tales of unfolding tragedies and soldiers fighting for our country. Now its opening up those tools to the public, allowing users to build what they’re calling “Tours” through Google Earth. Tour Builder was released in honor of Veterans Day and it allows users to create narratives tied to points on a map. More Google news: Google Quick Actions Let Users Act on Emails Without Opening Them | MashableYour Face and Name Will Appear in Google Ads Starting Today | Gizmodo and Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won | theguardian

Librarianship