There's only a couple of days left before thousands of ed-tech experts, administrators, and industry officials (13,000 last year!) converge on Washington to attend the 2009 National Educational Computing Conference. Of course, several of us from Education Week and Digital Directions will be on-site covering the conference with stories, blog posts, tweets, videos, and photos. Stay tuned to the Digital Education blog for the latest coverage of the conference. Or follow us on Twitter @digidirections. Lots of high-profile ed-tech folks will be there, including Chris Dede, Elliot Soloway, Susan Patrick, and ... Malcolm Gladwell? Aside from being an internationally famous ...


There's been a lot of attention paid recently to ed policy in other countries, and even a move toward setting international benchmarks or standards that outline what content and skills students should master in order to be competitive with their peers around the world. I've written a lot about the comparisons made between schools in the United States and other countries, particularly those that perform well on the PISA or TIMSS tests. Inevitably the experts analyzing the data point to the likes of Singapore, South Korea, and Japan as models of academic success. As I wrote in this recent Digital ...


The Bethesda, Md.-based Holton-Arms School, a private college preparatory school for girls in grades 3-12, announced today that it, along with a consortium of other all-girls schools such as the Laurel School in Cleveland, the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., and Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, is opening an all-girls online-only secondary school, starting pilot classes in the 2009-10 school year. Holton-Arms officials claim this is the first online-only school for girls in the United States, but Digital Education could not independently verify that claim. "We believe that girls inhabit online spaces differently than boys and that this initiative ...


It seems that the days of students scrawling formulas and definitions on the palms of their hands are gone, according to this report by the San Francisco-based Common Sense Media. As you might expect, today's students are instead turning to their cell phones and other technologies to help them cheat. As Kathleen points out in her story, more than a third of teens with cellphones admit to using them to cheat at some point, and more than half of the students surveyed have used the Internet to cheat. Students with cellphones admitted to cheating by texting their friends during tests, ...


On Capitol Hill yesterday, teacher Lisa Short schooled members of the House education committee on technology's potential for boosting learning, and then she gave them a pop quiz to make sure they were paying attention. All the testimony is on the committee's YouTube channel, and here is a video of Short during her presentation: The science teacher from Gaithersburg Middle School in suburban Maryland asked the members to use handheld clicker devices to register their answers to a question about the percentage of the nation's schools that utilize the kind of interactive whiteboards that have been effective for her students. ...


The 2009 Game Education Summit, taking place in Pittsburgh, is kicking off today. It's billed as "the only conference where the video game industry and academics from around the world can come together to have meaningful conversations about the future of game development." Whether or not that's true, many of the sessions cover topics that seem to be coming up more and more in the field of educational gaming, such as collaboration between game designers and teachers and incorporating game writing into students' curriculum. And if, like me, you're not able to make it to the conference, they're streaming the ...


A Scottish teacher is censored for tweeting about students.


About a month ago, we mentioned a new initiative that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger set forth to explore free, open-source digital textbooks. This AP article gives a few more details about why the state is pursuing the plan and how it's being received. Using open-source textbooks statewide is an extremely ambitious plan, say most educators, and has never been attempted in this country at such a large scale. But with the state facing a $24 billion deficit, it seems that Gov. Schwarzenegger is hoping to pinch pennies in whatever ways he can. This is a clear example of the way ...


A coalition of civil rights groups has recommendations for ensuring that underrepresented groups have broadband access as a tool to improve educational opportunities, as well as other critical areas.


According to this AP article, there's trouble brewing in Indiana for virtual school advocates. Virtual school supporters scored a victory when Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, included $7 million in his two-year budget proposal to create a state-led online education program and help fund pre-existing cyber schools. But democrats in the state's House argue that it's irresponsible to set aside money for schools that don't even exist yet when the brick-and-mortar schools that do exist are facing budget cuts. The governor's budget proposal includes an annual 2 percent increase for traditional public schools, but those numbers are based heavily on ...


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