October 2013 Archives

Language preference is just a new twist on an old tale of discrimination in our schools and for all students to have equal opportunities, this point needs to be recognized and eliminated.

The negative financial ramifications of dropping out of high school cannot be denied but the way they are over-emphasized seems like a worn-out tactic to me. To really reach today's students and encourage them to finish at least a high school education, they should be valued as learners and not simply earners.

For all students to benefit from edtech initiatives, schools need to find the funding for better technology suites and cut through red tape more quickly. Otherwise the educational opportunities presented through gaming will never be fully realized and the students will suffer.

It's time to put writing on the pedestal it deserves. It is the foundation of K-12 academic success and workplace achievement. If we put writing on the back burner, it has the potential to damage every other subject area and hold our students back from their true achievement in school and life beyond the K-12 and college years. Now is the time to make writing a priority, particularly if we expect this next generation of students to lead globally.

Overall, special education is becoming a more normalized experience for the students. Our tech-hungry culture is the perfect backdrop for the tools that these special education learners need to succeed in K-12 classrooms.

K-12 online learning is certainly on the rise across the globe and as it increases in popularity, the U.S. may face competition when it comes to digital access for child learners. In a perfect world the strides being made in other countries will all benefit each other either directly or indirectly through competition. None of the technology matters, of course, unless student achievement improves and that is true in all nations. I'm interested to see how the global race for more K-12 online learning options impacts the well-established trend in the U.S. and how our students are affected.

I advocate for teachers and administrators to revisit their tech policies within their handbooks. Does it reflect the current way in which your school community utilizes technology? Does it provide principles towards responsible and safe use? How can we begin that conversation to a more forward-thinking standard?

Like all classroom technology, virtual labs need to be scrutinized to ensure that behind the flashy capabilities, their true purpose is being met. That will take some time and testing, of course, but I think it is possible with the right combination of in-person and remote lessons.

There is no reason that Mississippi should be viewed as a lost cause when it comes to K-12 achievement and I say that partially out of loyalty but also from a practical standpoint. The first step toward change is recognition that it needs to take place. Recent legislation and the appointment of Wright encourage me that the state of K-12 education in Mississippi today will look much differently in another decade, and for the better.

Some peripheral benefits of cloud computing are decreased energy costs and high security features to ensure protection and privacy of student information. As K-12 schools move toward cloud computing, student information will be better preserved and shared content more accessible. While use of the cloud does not have a large direct impact on classroom activities it does improve teaching efficiency overall. It also has long-term savings attached which is always a bonus when it comes to K-12 technology spending.

So can public schools thrive in a school choice environment? I think so, yes. Options like charter, magnet, private, online and homeschool curricula are not meant to undermine the nation's public schools but to build them up through shared quality standards. There is room for all choices in K-12 schools and students benefit from the options.

There are a lot of reasons to end the government shutdown and some of them are too small to speak up for themselves. As educators, we should be demanding a solution in order to give all of our students the academic opportunities we say they all deserve. One day away from this pursuit is a day too many.

Anything that makes educators' jobs a little easier, without sacrificing student achievement, benefits K-12 learning as a whole.

While colleges and universities, even public ones, move to adjust rapidly to advancements, K-12 institutions are just the opposite. This is a disadvantage to students, teachers and our culture as a whole.


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