Yesterday, Pearson announced that they had officially acquired the National Transcript Center, which is one of the largest national transcript and student record exchange providers. From the press release: NTC’s comprehensive solution for securely exchanging electronic student transcripts and student records enhances Pearson’s ability to deliver integrated solutions to increase automation, digital workflow, and data quality in PK-20 education – enabling the development of longitudinal data systems to improve student success – a key element of President Obama’s education reform plan. Indeed, creating electronic transcripts that can easily follow students from school to school and even from high school ...


The 6th annual report on technology integration in U.S. schools, released by the State Educational Technology Directors Association last week, outlines some benefits of ed tech. Five trends highlighted in the report, resulting from federal funding under the No Child Left Behind Act, Title II, Part D: -- Integrating technology into education can lead to academic results, as reported by state directors. -- Options for virtual learning are on the rise. -- Professional development opportunities helped in integrating technology effectively in the classroom. -- More states are coordinating research studies around ed tech. -- More students can demonstrate tech ...


Turning the Internet into a safe space for students is a topic that permeates almost all the stories I write about ed-tech, especially when we talk about emerging technologies which make use of the collaborative nature of the Web. I had an interesting discussion yesterday with Rachel Smith, the vice president of services for the New Media Consortium, a network of organizations that examines new technologies. The security topic apparently came up quite a bit during the writing of the consortium's Horizon Report, which analyzes emerging technologies, their impact on education, and the time until they are likely implemented. Looking ...


It seems like these days I can't get online without hearing something new about the many uses of Twitter. For example, yesterday I was forwarded this article from The Independent about a proposed change to curriculum that would require school children in the UK to learn about Twitter and blogging as part of their everyday instruction. Advocates say that the focus on technology will both engage students and integrate technology in a meaningful way into all subject areas. But critics say that "tweeting" is a skill that only takes a short time to learn and doesn't have many other cross-over ...


This post on the edweek.org blog LeaderTalk, which is a group blog written by school leaders, lays out an all-too-familiar scene in today's schools in which the author of the post, Dave Sherman, finds out that one of his fellow administrators, who he admires, knows very little about Web 2.0 tools and resources. It starts with the principal asking what Skype is and after some digging, Dave finds out that the principal doesn't know about RSS, Google docs, Ning, del.icio.us, or other popular Web tools. Considering that in the past month I have explained and set ...


It is widely assumed among education technology enthusiasts that as younger teachers enter the classroom ed tech will gain more of a footing in improving learning. Younger teachers, common wisdom dictates, are more comfortable with technology and have broad experience using it in their everyday lives. Even so, it may take longer than we think for the teacher corps to be savvy and effective users of electronic and online instructional tools, according to an interesting study I came across on digital natives in teacher preparation programs. In an article in the Spring 2009 issue of the Journal of Computing in ...


A couple weeks back, school officials in Maine announced that they would be expanding their 1-to-1 laptop program. Now local school officials are beginning to question assurances that the program will be paid for and will not require any extra funds. Although schools would not have to pay extra for the laptops themselves, they are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of those computers, which may require hiring an extra staff member—a cost that the district will have to foot, say superintendents. I'm sure experts would agree with the superintendents that it's essential to hire an extra person to ...


Sean Cavanagh, my colleague over at Curriculum Matters, beat me to this story about a conference to help spread education throughout Africa with techology. "Next month, an effort to improve students' access to education in the developing world will be taking place in Dakar, Senegal. It's a conference run by an organization called eLearning Africa, which supports the use and distribution of basic technologies in schools across the continent. The event seeks to bring together nonprofit leaders, university officials, and IT experts with the expertise and connections to get school technology where it's needed." Sean reports that the eLearning Africa ...


My colleague Sean Cavanagh's story about nanotechnology is a fascinating read and a great example of the way that teaching cutting-edge technology can capture students' interest. Nanotechnology—or the study of materials or particles at the molecular or atomic level—is a field of research that's rapidly expanding. It is being used to figure out how to make materials stronger, more stain-resistant, and also how to make computer chips more intricate and sophisticated. It's normally taught at the university level, but students in "Tech Valley," near Albany, N.Y., are getting lessons in the newly emerging field, as well. Part ...


I don't know if we needed a study to confirm this, but the Council on Research Excellence released survey results this week showing that the youngest of the baby boomers are the biggest consumers of the video media among people age 45 or older. Those boomers ages 45 to 54 appear to be the biggest media consumers among all adults in the survey, spending more than 9 1/2 hours daily with blackberries, computers, televisions, and other video-capable devices. The $3.5 million Video Mapping Study, conducted by the Ball State University Center for Media Design, found that despite the ...


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