10 Best 2013 Apple & Android Education Apps

Summer could be the time to take a look at some apps you just needed time to explore.  Here at top picks from  staff writers at  eSchool News in an April 26, 2013 article: Last year we presented “New: 10 of the best Apple apps for education in 2012” which highlighted some of the best apps for iPhones and iPods. However, with new upgrades in touch technology, and the emphasis on Common Core State Standards and school reform in general, we’ve come up with a new list of the best Apple- and Android-based education apps for 2013.

This year’s list includes some of the most highly rated apps, both by educators and by parents and features a range that spans from interactive iBooks to current images of the universe, and from free video software to award-winning STEM curricula. Each entry includes a brief description of each with features and benefits, compatibility, etc.

This is just a brief sample of this year’s listing:

  1. Animoto – turns photos into professional quality videos
  2. HMH FUSE Algebra 1 – Common core math edition gives students a personalized learning experience.
  3. Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second E Continue reading

Ideas Worth Spreading Over the Summer

imagesWe’ve shared TED:  Ideas Worth Sharing with you before, most recently when WGBY aired PBS’s TED Talks Education on May 7th.  TED — not a name but an acronym for technology, engineering and design — offers talks that now span a world of subjects.

Because we’re so inspired by these talks and summer’s a great time to renew, we’ll regularly feature TED talks, some specifically on education and all about learning, teaching and passing on great ideas.

Here are a few suggestions to start off your summer:

Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge (9 mins, 32 sec.): This empowering educator reveals how her Riverside School in India teaches students how to think and act with an “I can” attitude that ‘s infectious. You’ll see how they take issues with real-world relevance and change their world and the people in it.

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education (20  mins, 27 secs.):  The founder and faculty of the Khan Academy talks about how and why he created what has become a wildly successful series of educational videos offering courses in math and other subjects. He shows how powerful interactive exercises can be and asks teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom, giving students video lectures as home assignments and traditional  “homework” in class — where the teacher can help as needed.

Inspire us.  Let us know what you think, and please pass on those ideas you find worth spreading.

Engaging learners through games: Help or hype?

9By Ben L. Grimley, eSchool News, April 4, 2013 — “Engagement” has become a popular buzzword, as educators increasingly cite disengaged students as a problem that needs to be fixed. In this context, games are often trumpeted as the perfect tool for creating student engagement. But what do we really know about how engagement works? What opportunities and risks do games present as tools for increasing engagement? And how can educators judge whether a game product truly helps drive student engagement or is merely hype?

Read the entire article, plus the thought-provoking reader response, by clicking here. 

7 Facts about Ed Tech Leaders

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, eSchool News, March 13, 2013 — School district technology leaders aren’t too optimistic that their ed-tech budgets will increase over the next year, and funding remains among the top challenges that face ed-tech leaders, according to the Consortium for School Networking’s first annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey, released at CoSN’s annual conference in San Diego.

The survey revealed these seven key findings:

  • Eighty percent of school district IT leaders predict flat or declining ed-tech budgets.
  • When asked to name their top three priorities for the 2012-13 school year, K-12 technology leaders identified Bring Your Own Device programs, assessment readiness, and broadband access.
  • Budget and resource limitations, changing the culture of teaching, and breaking down district-wide barriers are ed-tech leaders’ biggest challenges
  • The most common titles, when it comes to school district IT leadership, are chief technology officer (CTO) and chief information office (CIO).
  • Many CTOs have held their positions for more than six years, indicating that the job position is relatively stable.
  • Eighty percent of IT leaders are in charge of both instructional and administrative technology for central and school-based staff.
  • School district CTO salaries tend to lag behind salaries of comparable positions in the business field.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

How teachers are using technology at home and school

technologyBy eSchool News Staff, March 1, 2012 —  A survey by the Pew Research Center, who polled more than 2,400  of U.S. middle and high school teachers, finds that ed tech has become central to their profession. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers—and they report striking differences in access between lower and higher-income students and schools.

Brief, the survey found:

  • 92 percent of these teachers said the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials.
  • 69 percent said the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers.
  • 67 percent said the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents, and 57 percent said it has had such an impact on their interaction with students.

The survey found that ed-tech tools are widely used in classrooms and assignments, and a majority of teachers are satisfied with the ed-tech support and resources they receive from their schools. However, it also found that teachers of the lowest-income students face more challenges in using ed-tech tools in their classrooms.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Spring Professional Development from PBS TeacherLine

PBS TeacherLine online professional offers busy teachers a robust collection of professional development courses.  And it’s a sure sign of spring when  PBS TeacherLine graduate courses start on March 27!  Visit our course catalog for a full list of courses or to learn more about the following:

SOST507 – America’s History in the Making: A Special Collection from Annenberg Learner
45 Hours | Enroll Now  Enrich your knowledge of American history and learn how to bring history to life in your classroom through the integrated use of video, text, classroom activities, and Web-based interactives.

TECH325 – Searching and Researching on the Internet
30 Hours | Enroll Now
Learn how to help your students develop their researching skills through responsible Web use, and explore ways to integrate primary resources into the classroom learning environment.

Here are two new PBS TeacherLine courses available for graduate credit and open for spring enrollment:

MATH527: Mathematics Illuminated: A Special Collection from Annenberg Learner
Grade Level: Kindergarten-12th | Hours: 45 | For course description and details, including full Syllabus, check out the course details page.

TECH575: Leveraging Smart and Social Digital Media in the Classroom
Grade Level: 1st-12th | Hours: 30 | For course description and details, including full Syllabus, check out the course details page.

Technology Usage up With K-12 Students

techFrom staff reports, e-School News, February 25, 2013 — More than half of students in grades 6-8 now have access to a tablet computer—a percentage that has doubled since last year. And Twitter use has grown three-fold among high school students in the last year, with a third of high schoolers now using the popular micro-blogging service.

These are a few of the results that the nonprofit Project Tomorrow has released from its annual Speak Up survey of students’ and parents’ technology use, as well as their attitudes and opinions about ed tech.  The findings come from Project Tomorrow’s survey of more than 364,000 students last fall.

Here are those 10 facts…

1. Students say they use the internet to help with homework at home.

2. Students want to learn any time, any place—and at their own pace.

3. A majority of students support the “flipped classroom” model.

4. A growing number of students are asking for digital texts—but print is still the preferred method of reading.

5. More students are learning via YouTube.

6. Students would like to be able to text their teachers for help.

7. Students are experiencing gaming at a younger age.

8. Use of Twitter is exploding among young people.

9. Facebook is now a regular destination for group projects.

10. Students’ use of mobile devices continues to rise.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

Happy Digital Learning Day!

DLD_button    Happy Digital Learning Day everyone!!!  WGBY is proud to support Digital Learning Day, a campaign shines a spotlight on innovative teaching practices in order to build momentum around the effective use of technology inside and outside of PreK-12 classrooms.

With over 20,000 classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted digital resources for PreK-12 educators, PBS LearningMedia is committed to supporting digital learning 365 days a year.  Explore our new collections from Masterpiece, Martha Speaks, and NOVA’s Making Stuff with David Pogue.

Tell us your story: how is digital learning making a difference in your classroom?

Sharing Published Material With Students

CopyrightBy Laura Devaney, Managing Editor, eSchool News, January 11th —   Educators are often reluctant to share published works with students because they fear violation of the copyright laws. But according to the American Library Association (ALA), educators should not worry about using such material to boost student knowledge if it falls under the scope of fair use.

U.S. copyright law includes five exclusive rights: reproduction, distribution, derivative works, public performance, and public display. Creators of copyrighted works have a limited monopoly on those works, meaning they are the only ones able to profit from or sell their works, for a particular period of time under certain conditions. Currently, the “time limit” on copyright is defined as a lifetime plus 70 years.

The article goes on to explain about plagiarism, and defines the term “fair use.” Read the entire article by clicking here