In The News

Professional development takes off on Twitter

Twitter has become the new education conference—and it’s in session all day, every day of the year, some educators now say. Principals, teachers, tech experts and other educators have created dozens of robust, professional learning networks—also called Twitter chats—to connect with each other and share solutions to common challenges.

New laws strengthen protection of student data

States are ramping up student data privacy laws, with lawmakers in the 2014 legislative cycle passing 30 of 120 proposed bills aimed at protecting personal information. The most comprehensive law, passed in California, prohibits educational sites, apps and cloud services from selling or disclosing students’ personal information.

Teacher hiring should be more scientific, study concludes

School districts may be able to hire teachers who do a better job in the classroom if they change the way they screen job applicants, a study from University of Washington's Center for Education Data & Research concluded.

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Tenn. district's tech policy violates constitutional rights, say civil liberties groups

Williamson County Schools has a policy that violates the First and Fourth amendment rights of the county's 35,000 students by overly restricting what they can do with technology and the internet, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Millions pumped into midstate Georgia districts for tech upgrades

Three counties will receive nearly $2.9 million to improve technology infrastructure and outfit schools with high-speed Internet. In all, more than 100 Georgia school districts will receive a combined $36.7 million from the state's Connections for Classrooms funding effort.

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Penn. charter school wants to open a tech-focused high school

Freire Charter School is trying to open a technology and entrepreneurship-focused high school. It’s the first time in seven years that the School District of Philadelphia is accepting applications for new charter schools and Freire, which runs a middle school and high school in Center City, will be one of those applicants.

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N.J. lawmakers follow words of support for vo-tech schools with legislative action

A package of bills intended to improve and support New Jersey’s vocational and technical schools got a speedy boost from the Legislature. The final passage was quick by Trenton standards – the bills intended to bolster vo-tech schools and their burgeoning career academies were introduced only five months ago.

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Low-scoring Florida county schools to get high-tech labs

A $1.9 million state school improvement grant will fund the development of new science labs in nine schools that have received an F or D school grade this year as well as low marks in science on statewide exams.

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Snow days turn digital at more schools

An increasing number of districts are using e-learning to keep class in session during bad weather and to meet the required number of instruction days without having to add makeups to the calendar. Some districts are developing lesson plans specifically for digital snow days. Others offer more time to complete assignments given on snow days.

Career tech expands into new territory

Career and technical education (CTE) isn’t what it used to be. CTE encompasses a dizzying array of subjects and skills: Everything from the traditional (auto tech and welding) to the high-tech (graphic design and animation). At the CareerTech Vision 2014 conference, topics include helping CTE teachers sharpen student literacy and coordinate with academic counterparts.