Education News Weekly Update!

Are you going to be at ISTE?  Don’t forget to visit us at Booth 2152!

The Sentinel & Enterprise News stated that a bill was recently passed in Massachusetts by the state’s House of Representatives, which gives school districts more flexibility when instructing students who are not proficient in English. “We need to look at our kids as though they are traveling around with luggage rather than baggage,” said Gary, Director of Language Acquisition in Leominster Public Schools. “The luggage of what kinds of skills they bring with them to school versus (the baggage of) what deficits do they have that they need to fill.” If the bill is passed by the state’s Senate, districts in Massachusetts could propose a bilingual program that would include content class offerings in a student’s native language.

EdTech discussed that in a recent survey from McGraw-Hill Education, a whopping 81% of students say digital tools have helped improve their grades, and 82% say laptops, tablets, and apps have helped them spend even more time studying. Many older students stated that laptops are the most important learning tool for them. Also in the survey, 60% of students say they are using smartphones for studying, which may be due to the number of free mobile apps available.

This past week on WABI, the recent use of virtual reality headsets in classrooms was discussed. These VR headsets are becoming more and more popular because the cost to purchase the headsets has been decreasing, making them more accessible to educators. The goal is to use these headsets for educational purposes, in an attempt to make learning more engaging and interactive. “Educators say these state-of-the-art education tools are not only providing students and teachers with challenges and experiences that were not possible before the advent of the technology, but also present endless possibilities for the future.”

The Avoyelles Journal examined how a school in Louisiana started to implement and benefit from blended learning in their classrooms. “The use of technology will allow teachers to differentiate instruction to all of his/her students,” Principal Laborde continued. “Those who are struggling will be able to catch up, and those who are above grade level will be able to move forward while remaining in their existing class.” The classrooms in this particular school will start using iPads for half the time, while the other half of the class will be participating in traditional instruction from the teacher.

Educators who use more technology in the classroom hope to show their students that learning does not always have to be in a school setting.  Also, it is stated that although technology and blended learning does help in the classroom, benefiting those who are behind or ahead, teachers are still very necessary in a child’s learning experience where teacher-student relationships are key. Teachers are encouraged to also use the technology to celebrate their students’ achievements, which is easier to follow through the use of educational technology platforms.

Thank you to everyone who attended Virtual Educa Columbia! Great job team!

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