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Holiday Season Ed-Tech Wrap-Up

Greetings from Education Week global headquarters, where we cut this year's Christmas Tree only after determining its recent growth represented Adequate Yearly Progress.

But if your holiday travels, shopping, and web surfing are failing to meet compliance, consider these ideas as a response and intervention on behalf of your inner ed-tech geek.

— If you and your toddler are spending a lot of time in the car this holiday season, check out Common Sense Media's website for some ideas about apps to download before you toss the smartphone back toward the carseat. If a smartphone seems like a weird thing to hand a toddler (or anyone who's teething), you might want to check out the Cooney Center's research on the pass-back effect. And if you're still not sold on the idea, you can also check out Common Sense Media's suggestions on how to unplug yourself this holiday season and gain some face time with your family.

— Meanwhile, if you've got some time to kill while waiting for Santa Claus, you might want to weigh in on The Best Sites of 2011 competition at AllMyFaves. We expect you'd be voting for one of the 10 selections for the best educational site of the year, but if you want to weigh in on the best travel, music, or self-improvement site competitions, feel free.

— And lastly, if you're in the market for some last-minute Christmas shopping or fund-raising ideas for the new year, then you might want to check out Moms Helping Schools. The website, which kicked off this month, sells mom-invented items ranging from kitchen gadgets to fashion accessories, with 40 percent of every purchase benefiting schools that sign up for help from the program.

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