If you are tracking the rise of virtual schooling, you’ll find the best current information about the growth and maturing of this new way of teaching and learning in “Keeping Pace With K-12 Online Learning: A Review of State-Level Policy and Practice,” sponsored by 10 groups and companies in the industry, including the North American Council for Online Learning. The fifth annual edition of the report, released Oct. 23, gives evidence that growth continues apace, though not uniformly. Programs that are supplemental to students' enrollment in regular school are growing fastest overall, with one in three increasing enrollment by ...


NetTrekker d.i.—a company that provides an educational search engine for schools—recently released its list of top 100 school districts that keep students safest as they search. The title of the rankings is somewhat misleading, as the criterion for determining the safest school district was based solely upon the amount of time districts spent using the netTrekker software, but it does point to an overall trend in ed-tech to keep students safe online. As students become more and more plugged in and technology savvy, teaching them how to use the Internet appropriately is becoming a bigger issue for ...


Video lessons aiming to help high schoolers succeed in AP-level courses and to give them an edge on college admissions tests are the main offerings of an online startup that debuted this week. San Francisco-based Brightstorm Inc. has rolled out an initial set of 20 courses, each consisting of about 15 “episodes,” or instructional units of from 8 to 15 minutes long. The courses, which cover a range of AP subjects as well as SAT- and ACT-Prep, are supplementary. They assume that students are taking the conventional course in a classroom or perhaps online. But in each video course, a “rock...


Vint Cerf, who is often called the "father of the Internet" for his contribution to creating its technical protocols and architecture, will have a hand in developing a framework for the first nationwide technology literacy assessment of U.S. students, as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. That's the inside scoop from Steven A. Schneider, of WestEd, which on Oct. 6 was awarded the contract by the National Assessment Governing Board to develop the framework and specifications for the test. The assessment, which will be first offered on a pilot basis in 2012, will be "totally computer-based," Schneider, ...


I just finished reading Andrew's post about T.H.E. Journal's endorsement of Sen. Obama, which dovetails nicely with the DD poll about which presidential candidate would do more for ed-tech. Take a minute to weigh in on who you think would be the best ed-tech president....


This Web site gathers videos of government officials talking about IT. Although there isn't much that's directly education-related, a lot of the videos touch on topics that are floating around in education just as much as they are in government—how budget crunches affect IT, security concerns, the effect of Web 2.0 on daily activities, etc. I just finished listening to the Government Leaders' IT Crystal Ball which talks about the future of IT, especially in light of the presidential election. There aren't a whole lot of videos on the site yet to watch, but if its extensive drop-down ...


An ed-tech trade publication has taken an unusual step in endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president. It's an interesting move for T.H.E. Journal, a small monthly that relies on corporate advertisers for practically all of its revenue. "It's not something we did lightly; it was something considered deeply among our editorial staff," Geoffrey H. Fletcher, the editor of the journal, told me in a recent interview. T.H.E. Journal is a competitor with Education Week's Digital Directions. He said the endorsement is based on the differences between Obama and Republican John McCain on the journal's core mission: ...


PC Magazine and The Princeton Review have released their list of the top wired colleges for 2008, with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign topping the list, along with Kansas State University, the University of Utah, Bentley College, and Pomona College. Schools were ranked based on the types of technology-related classes offered, technology resources for students, the technological infrastructure, and the amount of tech support available. One of the most interesting aspects of this list for me is its variability. Only 8 of the top 20 schools appeared on the list the last time the survey was conducted in 2006. ...


This AP story gets to the heart of the tension between school policies about bringing in technology such as cellphones and iPods and the ubiquitous nature of those gadgets, which I talked a little about last Friday. Educators in Minneapolis are beginning to refine school policies about cellphones in the classroom from an all out ban to an out-of-sight rule in order to accommodate the growing number of students who have them and the demand from parents to be able to reach their children at all times. Not all schools in the district have the same view on the cellphone ...


I am currently moderating a chat on cyberbullying, which is a growing problem as young people spend more and more time interacting online. You can participate in the chat by visiting http://www.edweek-chat.org/index.html?act=c&id=199. The guests are two Internet-safety experts. Sameer Hinduja is an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University. Justin W. Patchin is an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. They are co-authors of the new book Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying. They also jointly maintain www.cyberbullying.us,...


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