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,...


One of the areas that interests me most as an ed-tech reporter is the intersection between technology and student engagement. I've been writing for the Motivation Matters blog and covering student motivation for Education Week for more than a year now, and during that time, I've found that there's quite a bit of crossover between that and what I cover for Digital Directions about integrating technology into the classroom. For example, a blog post I wrote on Motivation Matters today about using iPods to motivate students to stay on task and whether or not iPods should be allowed in the ...


It's not hard to predict where I fall in the debate over whether technology has made 'millennials'—or the group of people born in the mid-'80s to about the year 2000—the smartest or dumbest generation to date, which was the question at hand at a recent luncheon hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, considering that I am a millennial. Mark Bauerlein, who wrote a book called The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future—Or Don't Trust Anyone Under 30, not surprisingly (considering that title) took the side that this generation of kids ...


It seems it's getting a little scary to be a textbook publisher in the digital age. At least that was the mood at a meeting that the school division of the Association of American Publishers, the industry's trade group, held recently in Arlington, Va. Publishers who gathered at the one-day "technology summit" on Oct. 2 contemplated a rash of challenges to the decades-long dominance of school textbooks over other curriculum materials and methods, and to their historical grip on school budgets. Use of open content, virtual schools, and "authentic" content from original sources were among the upstart trends that attendees ...


This blog post on Ewan McIntosh's edu.blogs.com points out a new peer-reviewed study that links Web 2.0 to academic improvement. The report found that Web 2.0 tools encourage participation and engagement, especially for those students who are timid; help students continue classroom discussions outside of the classroom; let students who are so inclined continue researching anytime, anywhere; and instill a sense of ownership and pride in students for the work they publish online, which can lead to more attention to detail and a better quality of work. The report also found that one of the biggest ...


Here's an interesting post over at PBS's Learning Now blog that talks about a recent court decision that upheld a school's decision to discipline students who made a fake MySpace profile for the school's principal containing offensive and vulgar information. The judge ruled that even though the offense happened off school grounds, its effect directly disrupted the school, and the students could be held responsible. Punishing kids for what happens online, especially on social networking sites like MySpace.com, is a murky subject that educators are still feeling out at this point. As Digital Directions reporter Michelle Davis wrote about ...


A bill passed by Congress on Sept. 30 is likely to boost understanding of two crucial aspects of the vast online world that occupies a growing part of our lives: broadband access and child safety. Of most immediate concern for schools is the bill's second section, authorizing a nationwide program to educate citizens about threats to children’s safety online and strategies to promote their safe use of the Internet. The bill, numbered S. 1492, which President Bush is expected to sign, directs the Federal Trade Commission to start an advisory group that will evaluate the status of industry efforts ...


A new report released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, found that technology has improved the overall quality of life for citizens and has had a generally positive impact on the world. Specifically in regards to education, the report identified three areas where technology has made significant improvements in learning: * Improved learning outcomes * A variety of different instructional methods to meet different learner's needs * Increased access to education Technology, and specifically the Internet, has made it possible for more people to access information they would never have been able to get otherwise, said ...


Is technology in the classroom just about academics? Some educators see it as a way to forge rich connections between students and their communities. I spoke recently with Vicky G. Cline, the technology director for the Greenbrier County schools in West Virginia, who has a vision to use technology to help build students’ “pride of place.” Though known for the ritzy Greenbrier resort, the county offers limited economic prospects to its young people, and many move away after high school, Cline says. But she has led a project that puts “global positioning system” devices into the hands of math students ...


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