Mary Ann Zehr, my colleague over at Curriculum Matters, has posted a reminder about today's Ed Week chat on International Comparison tests, and a bit of analysis about the issue. She also has a link to the McKinsey report everyone is talking about. Mary Ann, Sean Cavanagh, and I have a series of stories in this week's paper about the growing interest among policymakers here in analyzing the successes of other countries, as related to the international assessments. We have reports on reform efforts in Australia, Slovenia, and South Korea. Her report is here. The OECD, which oversees the PISA, ...


In case you needed a reminder about how far we've come in using technology in schools, I thought I'd send you to the Ed Week archives. Greg Chronister, our executive editor, passed along this story which ran in Education Week 25 years ago this week. "Number of Computers in Schools Doubles," said the headline, above the lede, which read: "Microcomputers were added to thousands of public-school classrooms during the past year, according to a new survey." The story goes on to describe how nearly 70 percent, or 55,765, of the nation's elementary and secondary schools reported using computers for ...


In honor of Earth Day, I'd like to direct your attention to the resources on the Consortium for School Networking's Green Computing Initiative Web site. There, you can calculate your technology energy use and learn how you could save even more, find resources on where to buy green technologies and how to properly dispose of old technological equipment in an earth-friendly way, as well as tips on how to reduce waste and preserve the natural resources in your area. In addition, the initiative has recently launched a new, free certification program for tech. administrators who are particularly interested in making ...


A new report put out by the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University and the Education and the Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder asserts that virtual education is growing at a rapid pace throughout the nation and suggests steps for policymakers to support high-quality virtual education for students. The first suggestion that the paper's author, Gene V. Glass, a regents' professor of education at Arizona State University, makes is to adopt new regulations to govern K-12 online learning. Policies should be set that define what certifications teachers should have, how much interaction they ...


It's getting increasingly complicated to keep students safe at school, especially as technology becomes more widely used in the classroom and for personal communication. Policies to keep students safe in the digital age are often crafted with painstaking detail to allow for a range of scenarios. But as this commentary piece in Sunday's Washington Post describes, the rapid pace of technology and trends in how it is used among young people make it difficult to keep up. And there's always the potential that such policies will have unintended consequences. Ting-Yi Oei, a school administrator in a Northern Virginia school district, ...


This AP article points to a possible change in the way virtual education will be funded in Idaho. Although it still needs to go through the Senate, the measure, backed largely by Republicans, allows schools to shift 5 percent of the money they use to pay teachers, which they either "use or lose," and put it into virtual education. One Republican asserted that this would be a big help to rural districts, which may not have the money to provide all the courses that larger, urban or suburban districts can offer their students. It seems to me that simply having ...


After 13 years at the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Education Board, Bill Thomas, the director of the organization's technology cooperative, has retired. Myk Garn, previously the associate director of the cooperative, has now taken his place. I am definitely excited to get to know Myk better, but I admit that it's hard to see Bill go. He was a great help for me when I first started digging into online education for Technology Counts, and on one of his last days as director of technology for SREB, he shared lots of information in a webinar hosted by edweek.org about online ...


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 ...


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