EdTech - Technology Solutions That Drive Education https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/rss.xml en A Guide to Teaching Computer Skills In K—12 https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/guide-teaching-computer-skills-k-12 <span>A Guide to Teaching Computer Skills In K—12</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/16/2018 - 15:43</span> <div><p><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/shop/search/hubs/Computers/C.aspx" target="_blank">Computers</a> play a huge role in our everyday lives, and now more than ever, it's important that kids have a <strong>basic understanding of how computers work</strong>, what computers can do and how technology can be helpful.</p> <p>From learning how to type to <strong>creating programs from scratch</strong> by writing code, the possibilities are endless. Learning computer skills can be a lot of fun for kids, too.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Teaching Students How Computers Work</h2> <p>Computers have<strong> several different parts that all work together</strong>, and kids may already know what some of them are and what they do. When you're typing, you're using the <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/shop/search/hubs/Computer-Accessories/Keyboards-Keypads/A3.aspx?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">keyboard</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/shop/search/hubs/Computer-Accessories/Mice-Trackballs/A4.aspx?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">The mouse</a> is what makes it possible to move the cursor around the screen. And what you're looking at right now is <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/shop/search/hubs/Monitors-Projectors/LCD-Monitors/D1.aspx?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">the monitor</a>. Inside, there are electrical parts that make up the <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Computer-Accessories/Computer-Components/Add-In-Processors-CPUs/?w=A86&amp;wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">central processing unit</a>, also called the <strong>CPU</strong>, along with the basic input/output system called the BIOS.</p> <p>Computers remember information using <strong>random-access memory</strong>, also known as <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/shop/search/hubs/Memory/System-Memory-RAM/M1.aspx?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">RAM</a>. The <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/software/operating-systems.html?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">operating system</a>, like <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft/windows-10.html?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">Windows</a> or macOS, is what controls the computer and tells it what to do and when.</p> <h3 id="toc_1">Additional Resources:</h3> <ul><li><a href="https://www.rcfl.gov/downloads/documents/how-computers-work?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">How Computers Work Fact Sheet</a></li> <li><a href="https://homepage.cs.uri.edu/faculty/wolfe/book/Readings/Reading04.htm?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">How Computers Work: The CPU and Memory</a></li> <li><a href="http://carnegiecyberacademy.ini.cmu.edu/facultyPages/computer/computers.html?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">The Parts of a Computer and How They Work </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.factmonster.com/science/computers-internet/how-do-computers-work?wcmmode=edit" target="_blank">How Do Computers Work? </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.gcflearnfree.org/computerbasics/basic-parts-of-a-computer/1/?wcmmode=edit/" target="_blank">Computer Basics: Parts of a Computer</a></li> </ul><h2 id="toc_2">Coding Essentials Kids Need to Know</h2> <p>Once all the basic parts of a computer are in place, you need to be able to <strong>tell the computer what to do</strong>. Technology makes it possible for you to write code that allows the computer to do different things.</p> <p>Using coding, you can have the computer add up a bunch of numbers, make a game to play or even animate characters on the screen.</p> <p>The possibilities are endless. But to get the computer to understand what you want, you need to use a language that the computer understands. There are <strong>several different coding languages</strong> that computers can use.</p> <p>Many kids start small with programs like <strong>Scratch</strong> and then move onto more complicated coding languages as they get older and gain more experience.</p> <h3 id="toc_3">Additional Resources:</h3> <ul><li><a href="http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/wilson-moffat-ppig2010-final.pdf" target="_blank">Evaluating Scratch: Introducing Younger Children to Programming (PDF) </a></li> <li><a href="https://cdn.scratch.mit.edu/scratchr2/static/__628c3a81fae8e782363c36921a30b614__/pdfs/help/Getting-Started-Guide-Scratch2.pdf" target="_blank">Getting Started With Scratch (PDF) </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/coding-for-kids/" target="_blank">Coding for Kids: The Benefits of Starting Computer Science Education Young</a></li> <li><a href="https://now.tufts.edu/articles/manifesto-kids-code" target="_blank">Why Kids Should Code </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/coded-success-benefits-learning-program" target="_blank">Coded for Success: The Benefits of Learning to Program</a></li> </ul><h2 id="toc_4">How to Build Typing Skills in Students</h2> <p>Kids aren't going to get very far with coding if they don't know how to type! It's important to get comfortable with how the keyboard looks and feels.</p> <p>They will need to learn to put their fingers in the right places, and they need to learn to f<strong>ind and press all of the different keys with their fingers</strong>. It takes a lot of practice to improve keyboarding skills, but eventually, kids will be able to type quickly without even looking down at their hands.</p> <p>This doesn't happen overnight, so reassure your students that they will get a lot of practice typing through all of their years at school. <strong>When playing typing games online</strong>, you can remind students that someone created those games with the help of coding and a computer.</p> <h3 id="toc_5">Additional Resources</h3> <ul><li><a href="http://www.e-learningforkids.org/computer-skills/lesson/keyboarding-skills/" target="_blank">Keyboarding Skills</a></li> <li><a href="https://libraryliteracy.org/staff/rg/Life_Long_Learn_to_type-use_computer_keyboard.pdf" target="_blank">Learn to Type and Use the Computer Keyboard and Mouse (PDF)</a></li> <li><a href="http://keyboarding.ccsd.edu/typing-positions-presentation" target="_blank">Typing Positions </a></li> <li><a href="https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sign-here-typing/en/" target="_blank">A Start on Typing</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.hamden.org/uploaded/Instructional_Technology/Type_to_Learn/Part3Appendices.pdf" target="_blank">Keyboarding Skills and When to Learn Them (PDF)</a></li> </ul><h2 id="toc_6">Basic Rules for Internet Safety</h2> <p>The internet is a great resource for kids who know how to use a computer. But while there is a lot to see and learn on the internet, it's important that <strong>children understand how to be safe online</strong>.</p> <p>Remind them that it is always a good idea to <strong>start using the internet with a parent or teacher</strong> so that they get a better idea of how to keep themselves safe.</p> <p>One important thing to remind students is that they should <strong>never share their personal information</strong> with anyone online. That means that they shouldn't tell anyone their phone number, their address or anything too specific about themselves.</p> <p>There are plenty of good people on the internet, but there are also some bad people, and those people could use this information to hurt children.</p> <h3 id="toc_7">Additional Resources</h3> <ul><li><a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0001-netcetera.pdf" target="_blank">Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online (PDF)</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST05-002" target="_blank">Keeping Children Safe Online</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.safetynetkids.org.uk/personal-safety/staying-safe-online/" target="_blank">Staying Safe Online</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.netsmartzkids.org/LearnWithClicky/KnowTheRules" target="_blank">NetSmartzKids: Learn With Clicky and Know the Rules (video)</a></li> <li><a href="https://sos.fbi.gov/fourth-grade.html" target="_blank">Safe Online Surfing</a></li> </ul><p><a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/Software/Education-Software/Curriculum-Software/?w=F03" target="_blank">Check out CDW's educational curriculum software to begin your students' computer skills journey.</a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/edtech-staff"> <div>EdTech Staff</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 19:43:25 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41091 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Where Schools Need to Focus Their Ed Tech Efforts https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/where-schools-need-focus-their-ed-tech-efforts <span>Where Schools Need to Focus Their Ed Tech Efforts</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/12/2018 - 16:44</span> <div><p>The market for educational technology solutions is massive, with <strong>numerous gadgets and programs</strong> to choose from. </p> <p>For ambitious school districts with a limited budget, this can pose a challenge as finances need to be allocated <strong>toward the best investment with the greatest return</strong>.</p> <p>A pervasive issue among K–12 districts is administrators going for the newest products without much knowledge of what problems those technologies address and whether they actually work.</p> <p>“There are very few studies being done on the overall effectiveness of edtech interventions,” <a href="https://www.thetechedvocate.org/k-12-schools-need-to-stop-wasting-money-on-tech-they-dont-need/" target="_blank">The Tech </a><a href="https://www.thetechedvocate.org/k-12-schools-need-to-stop-wasting-money-on-tech-they-dont-need/" target="_blank">Edvocate</a><a href="https://www.thetechedvocate.org/k-12-schools-need-to-stop-wasting-money-on-tech-they-dont-need/" target="_blank"> reports</a>. “This means that<strong> administrators can’t see what has produced better learning outcomes</strong> for students as a result of their purchases.”</p> <p>Investing in the wrong technology too quickly can lead to extremely risky situations. <a href="http://go.smarttech.com/hiddencosts" target="_blank">A recent survey</a> found hidden costs from implementing ineffective technology solutions can be as high as <strong>$220 per student</strong>. </p> <p>To shed light on this issue, Smart Technologies conducted a global <a href="https://go.smarttech.com/hubfs/Outcomes Research/Whitepaper - EdTech Capabilities and Learning Outcomes_final (002).pdf?hsCtaTracking=bd25e808-e977-43d5-bee8-ba0ffd05ea82%7Cb8a4a4ab-f6f9-4853-9298-18085a291266" target="_blank">Edtech Capabilities and Learning Outcomes survey</a> for the K–12 sphere, evaluating <strong>22 different ed tech solutions</strong> to find out which have shown to be most beneficial in the classroom.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">High-Outcome Schools Focus on Collaboration and Games</h2> <p>Inspecting the difference between schools with higher and lower student outcomes, higher-performing schools were much more likely to focus on <strong>tools that promoted student collaboration, assessments </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> games</strong>.</p> <p>Authors speculate that these results point to an interest among high-performing schools to shift education programming toward <strong>student-centered pedagogies</strong>, which give students more control over their learning. </p> <p>According to survey results, giving students freedom to be a part of the decision-making process is more common among high-performing schools.</p> <p>For those looking to adopt some of these policies, there are plenty of options available to help put a spotlight on these areas.</p> <p>Introducing tools like <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/solutions/mobility/chromebooks.html" target="_blank">Chromebooks</a> can help <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/3-keys-transform-instruction-chromebooks">foster a collaborative environment</a> and can also be a great way to collect data in order to create <strong>more accurate student assessments</strong>.</p> <p>A little more than <strong>40 percent</strong> of high-outcome schools also reported using game-based programs in the classroom, compared to only <strong>32 percent</strong> of low-outcome schools. With <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/06/review-samsung-gear-vr-sm-r325-galaxy-note8-transforms-classroom-experience">new virtual reality hardware</a> bringing a fresh take to game-based learning, investing in more immersive classroom tools could be a good use of funding for students.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Use Ed Tech for Professional Development and Evaluation</h2> <p>While putting technology in the hands of students and teachers is a good way to empower learning, investing in technology that focuses on <strong>professional development</strong> is a much heavier focus in high-performing schools, researchers found.</p> <p>In a <strong>ranking of importance of technology capabilities</strong>, leaders at high-outcome schools ranked professional-development planning, leadership vision, stakeholder alignment, professional learning and opportunities for collaborative professional development higher than those in low-performing schools.</p> <p>Meanwhile, researchers found a large proportion of schools undervalued investing in areas like developing staff mindsets and acceptable technology use policies. While opportunities for collaborative professional development was ranked higher on the list for higher performing schools, it was also an area that had been undervalued. </p> <p>Taking actions, such as buying <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Software/Education-Software/Computer-Training-Software/?w=F02&amp;ln=3" target="_blank">training software</a> to help teachers <strong>better understand and teach with the technology</strong> integrated in their classrooms, would help boost the ROI. </p> <p>Similarly, bringing teachers into the fold when making decisions on what technologies will be most efficacious is <strong>essential for reaching those undervalued, high-impact capabilities</strong>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 12 Jul 2018 20:44:24 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41081 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 3 Common Student Data Sharing Solutions — and How to Overcome Them https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/3-common-student-data-sharing-solutions-and-how-overcome-them <span>3 Common Student Data Sharing Solutions — and How to Overcome Them</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/11/2018 - 16:22</span> <div><p>As districts look to<strong> stream data seamlessly</strong> between the major players in education, like teachers, administrators and parents, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/06/interoperability-boosts-speed-school-communications">interoperability models</a> are becoming a popular solution.</p> <p>“My office is constantly slammed with unique, one-off data requests,” Tim Cariss, the director of assessment and accountability for the <a href="http://www.chicousd.org/" target="_blank">Chico Unified School District</a> told attendees of the annual <a href="http://www.siia.net/Divisions/ETIN-Education-Technology-Industry-Network" target="_blank">Education Technology Industry Network</a> conference. “It’s like a constant flood.”</p> <p>Integrating interoperable solutions into a school system allows teachers to <strong>pinpoint student data</strong>, share educational tools with each other and keep everyone up to date on how an individual student, or an entire class, is progressing.</p> <p>However, bringing this kind of system to fruition is no easy task. There are <strong>hurdles to overcome</strong> that administrators should be aware of as they start to plan for their district’s future.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Unconsolidated Data Streams Cause Trouble</h2> <p>Student data analysis has become an extremely important tool in devising optimal education strategies, however, as the infatuation with analytics grows so does the <strong>amount of data that is collected</strong>. </p> <p>It can be frustrating when applications monitoring different outcomes are not able to communicate with each other. For some administrators, this means <strong>writing code by hand</strong> to create custom integrations for different data models.</p> <p>At Cajon Valley Union School in southern California, CTO Jonathan Guertin and his team took on the task of constructing a system that would unify the different data coming in, according to a <a href="http://digitalpromise.org/digging-data-interoperability/#c" target="_blank">Digital Promise case study</a>. </p> <p>However, while some of the fixes in this case were simple, overall, schools creating their own systems are<strong> walking a very thin line</strong>. </p> <p>“When districts are being asked to write 15 to 20 different integrations, it leaves a lot of room for error,” says Guertin.</p> <p>As an alternative, organizations like CoSN have <a href="https://cosn.org/sites/default/files/CoSN Interoperability Standards for Education for Non-Technical Leaders.pdf" target="_blank">file-sharing standards</a> that administrators can use as a guide when <strong>discussing what they want from vendors</strong>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Interoperability Can Make School Networks More Vulnerable</h2> <p>One of the major benefits of data interoperability, the ability to share seamlessly from one player to another, comes with <strong>security risks</strong>.</p> <p>As districts envelop more schools into their networks, each addition will have to <strong>update and maintain its security</strong>. </p> <p>With a system that has so many connections to sensitive information, and is being regularly connected to devices across districts, seamless data sharing can be “<strong>irresponsible and unethical without the right security</strong> in place and governed by appropriate data privacy policies,” according to <a href="https://www.projunicorn.org/why-data-interoperability" target="_blank">Project Unicorn, a data interoperability initiative</a>.</p> <p>At the Katy Independent School District in Texas, administrators began incorporating BYOD policies, all of which were <strong>connected seamlessly into the district’s online learning platform</strong>, according to a CoSN case study.</p> <p>With so many possible entry points into the system, Katy ISD adopted a platform based on <a href="https://www.imsglobal.org/agileopenarchitectureextensiveecosystem.html" target="_blank">IMS Global open standards</a>, which other districts can use to work with vendors when constructing their own systems.</p> <p>Adopting a standards-based application programming interface from vendors like <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/IBM-API-Management-Administration-and-Developer-Portal-license-1-Year-S/3948505" target="_blank">IBM</a> and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Intel-Expressway-API-Manager-Portal-license/3425797" target="_blank">McAfee</a> can be a good solution, according to Digital Promise, since it is structured to <strong>send information through a predetermined pathway</strong>.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. New Students Bring Their Own Types of Records</h2> <p>Interoperable systems are a great way to keep track of kids with longitudinal records that can be accessed and added to year over year. </p> <p>However, until every school buys in to the interoperability system, schools will have to sign up new kids to access the different resources they have, which can be <strong>extremely </strong><strong>time </strong><strong>consuming</strong>.</p> <p>At Cajon Valley, Guertin and his team decided to <strong>i</strong><strong>mplement a single sign-on (SSO) system</strong>, in which a user can access different applications with one login by working through an identity provider such as <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/OKTA-SINGLE-SIGN-ON-10APP-LMT/4841606" target="_blank">Okta</a>.</p> <p>While the system is a good solution, Guertin warns schools that before they pair with a vendor for an SSO, check that the program will <strong>support all of the applications they want students to access</strong>.</p> <p>“<strong>Before we procure any application, it has to meet a set of standards</strong>,” Guertin explains to Digital Promise. “I don’t really purchase anything that doesn’t integrate with our system because the expectation of teachers is that they don’t have time to enter kids’ names into eight different applications.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:22:12 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41076 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 3 Keys to Transform Instruction with Chromebooks https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/3-keys-transform-instruction-chromebooks <span>3 Keys to Transform Instruction with Chromebooks</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/10/2018 - 16:58</span> <div><p>While education technology is key to introducing new learning strategies, the technology itself will only be as good as the <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/how-roll-out-chromebooks-your-district-jiffy">implementation plan around it</a>. <strong>Properly integrating digital solutions</strong> into the classroom is about understanding not just what tech to bring in, but how to use it.</p> <p>"<a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/Computers/Notebook-Computers/?w=C3&amp;pCurrent=1&amp;key=chromebooks&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;ln=0&amp;enkwrd=Chromebooks" target="_blank">Chromebooks</a> are tools. What’s really transformational is a shift in teaching and learning,” notes Tanya Avrith, co-author of <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Google-Infused-Classroom-Holly-Clark/dp/1945167165" target="_blank">The Google Infused Classroom</a></em>.</p> <p>Rather than merely transitioning worksheet-like assignments to laptops, Avrith advises, school districts should adopt curricula that support the following goals:</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Students Make Their Thoughts Visible on Screen</h2> <p>Chromebooks open the door for students to visualize their own thought processes, helping them better understand the material and shift from <strong>simple memorization to comprehension</strong>.</p> <p>Through apps like <a href="https://flipgrid.com/" target="_blank">Flipgrid</a>, for example, students can <strong>show their work on complex math problems</strong> and respond to teachers’ questions. This not only helps teachers see where students need to focus more of their energy to fully grasp the knowledge, it also gives students who may not be as confident in their abilities a chance to answer questions.</p> <p>“You can really hear from every learner in your classroom,” Avrith says. “You’re no longer stuck with asking a question and only hearing from the three kids who regularly respond.” </p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Every Student Has a Voice to Explore</h2> <p>Using Chromebooks in class can also help teachers find <strong>new ways for students to explore subjects</strong>, bringing a new kind of excitement to the classroom. For example, students can use Chromebooks to create original multimedia content, encouraging them to think in more creative ways.</p> <p>“I have students creating podcasts, and they’re interviewing experts from around the world,” says Avrith. “A group of sixth-graders created a collaborative book on ways they can be digital leaders.” </p> <p>Applications like <a href="https://www.wevideo.com/" target="_blank">WeVideo</a> offer video editing capabilities for users of all skills, allowing students to starts at the beginning levels and eventually work their way up to more complicated techniques. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Students Share Work with Authentic Audiences</h2> <p>Creating a collaborative culture is essential for <strong>a productive classroom environment</strong>, and Chromebooks are a great way for students to connect and empower each other. By connecting with peers through social media, kids can find a natural audience for their creations. </p> <p>Avrith tells of a third-grade class that <strong>shared its slam poetry with students at another school</strong>, who then created soundscapes to accompany the verse. “Those kinds of authentic connections are so powerful,” she says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/calvin-hennick"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/calvin-hennick.jpeg.jpg?itok=xXXtEq5w" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/calvin-hennick"> <div>Calvin Hennick</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=calvinhennick&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Calvin Hennick is a freelance journalist who specializes in business and technology writing. He is a contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:58:46 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41066 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Summer 2018 https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/magazine/issue/2018/7/summer-2018 <span>Summer 2018 </span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/09/2018 - 16:57</span> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/magazine/issue/2018/7/summer-2018" data-title="Summer 2018" data-via="EdTech_K12" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Jul</span> <span>09</span> <span>2018</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-googleplus cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-pinterest cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/magazine/issue/2018/7/summer-2018" data-title="Summer 2018" data-via="EdTech_K12" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=https%3A%2F%2Fedtechmagazine.com%2Fk12%2Frss.xml%3Fdestination%3D%2Fk12%2Fnode%2F40851%2Fedit%26_exception_statuscode%3D403" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-googleplus cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-pinterest cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/magazine/issue/2018/7/summer-2018" data-title="Summer 2018" data-via="EdTech_K12" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> Mon, 09 Jul 2018 20:57:47 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41071 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Modern Classrooms Energize Students and Teachers https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/modern-classrooms-energize-students-and-teachers <span>Modern Classrooms Energize Students and Teachers</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:07</span> <div><p>Looking for that nudge toward making your classroom more collaborative and creative? A <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/how-modern-learning-environments-support-numerous-pedagogies">modern learning environment</a>, which allows teachers to <strong>manipulate the classroom for any need</strong> and think beyond just “typical chairs in rows,” could be the key to making any space the right space for innovative thinking, says David Andrade, a K–12 education strategist at CDW-G.</p> <p>“Once you’ve changed what’s in the classroom itself, you can change what you’re doing with the students and really <strong>provide them with wonderful experiences</strong> — creative, explorative and collaborative,” says Andrade.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Flexible Learning Spaces Encourage Collaboration and Creativity</h2> <p>Looking for a place for students to work collectively on a project? A <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Makerspace%20table&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics </a><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Makerspace%20table&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">and</a><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Makerspace%20table&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank"> </a><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Makerspace%20table&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">makerspace</a><a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Makerspace%20table&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank"> table</a> could be just the ticket. The larger-than-normal table gives students enough room to stand around it in groups, and the movable storage units make it possible to <strong>take elements of projects elsewhere</strong>, while also keeping the classroom organized.</p> <p>Even desks can be revamped. New desk designs that include whiteboard tops and charging stations can enable old-school brainstorming while making it easy to plug into new classroom devices, such as <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Computers/Notebook-Computers/?w=C3&amp;pCurrent=1&amp;key=chromebooks&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;ln=0&amp;enkwrd=Chromebooks" target="_blank">Chromebooks</a>.</p> <p>“It makes the classroom very flexible,” says Andrade.</p> <p>“<strong>Huddle spaces</strong>,” or large tables with big displays, support group work and let students and teachers share digital content in a larger format.</p> <p><script type="text/javascript" src="//sc.liveclicker.net/service/getEmbed?client_id=1526&amp;widget_id=1945783767&amp;width=640&amp;height=360"></script></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Desk Designs Get Teachers Out into the Classroom</h2> <p>Even teachers can get in on the action. The old-school teacher’s desk may be a thing of the past as educators begin to adopt standing desks that can help to <strong>elevate energy levels</strong> and <strong>open up the classroom</strong> for other uses.</p> <p>“Teacher’s desks and materials could take up to<strong> 30 percent of a classroom</strong> when they are only one out of 30 people in the room” says Andrade, adding that, to get rid of much of this wasted space, teacher’s desks are getting smaller and more creatively designed.</p> <p>Moreover, the new designs can help get teachers out from behind the desks and in with the students.</p> <p>“A lot of the emphasis is that the<strong> teachers shouldn’t be sitting at the desk</strong>. They should be out among the classroom working with the students,” says Andrade. He points out that many new designs enable <strong>wireless casting to multiple devices</strong> so that “there’s no reason for the teacher to be stuck behind the desk. They can move around, interact with the students, and [the desk] is just where they can go and sit when they need to.”</p> <p>Overall, Andrade says, modern learning environments can <strong>change the entire atmosphere</strong> of a classroom.</p> <p>“Most of the feedback we get is that the <strong>students are more engaged</strong>, they’re more energetic, they’re more enthusiastic when they come into the room because it doesn’t feel like a classroom,” he says. “They come in and it’s going to be a fun experience, they’re going to be working in groups, and what they’re learning tends to be retained longer.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/juliet-van-wagenen"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Headshot%20JV.JPG.jpg?itok=8ak2COBM" width="58" height="58" alt="Juliet Van Wagenen" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/juliet-van-wagenen"> <div>Juliet Van Wagenen</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Juliet is the senior web editor for <em>StateTech</em> and <em>HealthTech</em> magazines. In her six years as a journalist she has covered everything from aerospace to indie music reviews — but she is unfailingly partial to covering technology.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 06 Jul 2018 15:07:50 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41061 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 High Schools Prep Students to Fill Cybersecurity Skills Shortage https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/high-schools-prep-students-fill-cybersecurity-skills-shortage <span> High Schools Prep Students to Fill Cybersecurity Skills Shortage</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/02/2018 - 15:13</span> <div><p>Six years ago, during the first cybersecurity course offered at <a href="https://parkvillehs.bcps.org/" target="_blank">Baltimore’s Parkville High School</a>, a student stumbled upon <strong>a mysterious section of the network</strong>. “What’s this?” he wondered aloud.</p> <p>“That’s something you shouldn’t be seeing,” replied Parkville technology teacher Nicholas Coppolino, who runs the high school’s <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/cisco.html" target="_blank">Cisco</a> <a href="https://www.netacad.com/" target="_blank">Networking Academy program</a>. The student had <strong>inadvertently hacked into a teacher’s email</strong>.</p> <p>“I read him the riot act,” Coppolino recalls, but it was a valuable lesson. “To protect computers from being hacked, you have to know what the bad guys are doing.”</p> <p>Coppolino’s students are <strong>no longer allowed on the school network during class</strong>, but he still teaches them how to think and operate like hackers. Parkville is among a growing number of high schools around the nation offering cybersecurity programs in which students can <strong>earn professional certification and college credit</strong>.</p> <p>“These classes are growing exponentially,” says Davina Pruitt-Mentle, lead for academic engagement at the <a href="https://www.nist.gov/itl/applied-cybersecurity/nice" target="_blank">National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education</a> (NICE), a division of the <a href="https://www.nist.gov/" target="_blank">National Institute of Standards and Technology</a>.</p> <p>A common template for developing cybersecurity programs is to offer four courses in which students earn industry certification as well as dual or ­articulated credit that can transfer to a two-year college. By becoming a Cisco Networking Academy, schools can choose from several courses that provide them with industry certification.</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q0318_F_Delaney-quote-(Revised).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q0318_F_Delaney-quote-(Revised).jpg" /></p> <p>“I’m using industry curriculum, so you have to a<strong>dapt it to fit the level of the students</strong>,” explains Bill Tomeo, cyber­security instructor at <a href="https://www.d11.org/" target="_blank">Colorado Springs School District 11</a>. In order to prepare students for careers, Pruitt-Mentle also recommends offering other courses that fold in content about how cybersecurity intersects with <strong>business, policy or specific industries</strong>.</p> <p>There’s a strong case for such ­programs. “One only needs to open the newspaper to read about the vulnerability that exists,” says Moise Derosier, career and technical education specialist at the <a href="https://www.palmbeachschools.org/" target="_blank">School District of Palm Beach County</a>, in Florida. “We know nationally there’s <strong>a need for qualified cybersecurity professionals</strong>.”</p> <p>That need is not being met. The cybersecurity skills shortage is projected to lead to <strong>3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2021</strong>, analyst firm <a href="https://cybersecurityventures.com/jobs/" target="_blank">Cybersecurity Ventures reports</a>. And as demand grows, so do salaries. The median income for information security analysts last year was <strong>$95,510 and climbing</strong>, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So K–12 districts like Baltimore County Public Schools, the School District of Palm Beach County and Colorado Springs School District 11 are <strong>preparing students for this high-demand field</strong>.</p> <p>In fact, one of Coppolino’s current students landed a paid internship at the National Security Agency with top-secret clearance that is slated to ­continue into college.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>Cybersecurity Courses Offer Opportunities to Grow</h2> <p>Many cybersecurity career and technology education (CTE) pathways offer networking classes that <strong>lead to professional certification</strong>. <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/cisco.html?enkwrd=cisco" target="_blank">Cisco</a> <a href="https://www.netacad.com/" target="_blank">Networking Academy</a> courses — such as IT Essentials 1 and 2, Linux Essentials and Networking Essentials — allow students to earn <a href="https://certification.comptia.org/why-certify/roadmap/network-and-cloud-technologies" target="_blank">Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician and Computing Technology Industry Association</a> (CompTIA) <strong>A+, Security+ and Network+ credentials</strong>.</p> <p>Parkville students follow up the IT Essentials class with <strong>security and network defense courses</strong>. “They learn about configuring hardware and software, firewalls, servers and intrusion detection systems,” says Coppolino.</p> <p>Districts don’t need to build such programs from scratch. They can <strong>adopt</strong><strong> curriculum from a variety of government and business resources</strong>. For instance, the School District of Palm Beach County’s cybersecurity CTE program is based on a pathway offered by the <a href="http://www.fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/career-tech-edu/curriculum-frameworks/" target="_blank">Florida Department of Education</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-education-and-awareness" target="_blank">Department of Homeland Security</a> has <strong>more curricular resources than any teacher could cover</strong> in a four-year program, says Tony Asci, CTE specialist in charge of the ­district’s cybersecurity programs.</p> <p>Some students earn college credits while taking cybersecurity classes in high school, while others go <strong>directly from high school into the workforce</strong>. In cities like Colorado Springs, a hub for cybersecurity, both avenues can be lucrative.</p> <p>“No one’s going to come out of high school and be a cyberanalyst,” says Bill Tomeo. “But if you have experience in everything from workstations and mobile devices to what you need to do to protect infrastructure, that’s going to <strong>give you a leg up</strong> into an entry-level IT position and the opportunity to grow from there.”</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q0318_F_Delaney-elpunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q0318_F_Delaney-elpunto.jpg" /></p> <p>After participating in a <strong>virtual scavenger hunt</strong> to track down hackers at the <a href="https://www.k12cybersecurityconference.org/" target="_blank">NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference</a> in Nashville last December, representatives from the Palm Beach district decided to bring the activity home. Most faculty and staff found it challenging, but the students breezed right through it.</p> <p>“The kids were able to solve the puzzles much more quickly than we were,” says Asci.</p> <p>He sees the students’ success as a testament to the need for programs such as the district’s Cybersecurity Academy, launched in 2016. What started as a ­single course in an existing IT program <strong>grew into</strong> <strong>a four-year dedicated cyber­security pathway</strong> giving ­students at four high schools the skills and certification necessary to enter the workforce upon graduation. The district plans to add six schools to the ­program by 2020.</p> <p>“It just goes to show you, our students in this day and age are ready for this,” Asci says. “They were <strong>born with technology</strong> in their hands.”</p> <h2>Reach Broad and Granular Security Needs Through CTE</h2> <p>Cybersecurity education can be useful for <strong>students entering fields outside of technology</strong>, from human resources managers responsible for hiring and training to medical professionals who must abide by data privacy regulations, says Colorado Springs’ Tomeo.</p> <p>“The biggest threat in most ­industries is an employee <strong>doing something unconsciously</strong> and opening the door to a ransomware attack or taking down the network,” he says. “The growth of the Internet of Things puts even more users and devices at risk.”</p> <p>NICE’s Pruitt-Mentle applauds states that have begun to <strong>overlay cybersecurity</strong> into all 16 CTE clusters.</p> <p>But there’s also a need for <strong>specific cybersecurity </strong><strong>career–focused</strong><strong> programs</strong>, she says, particularly those that help prepare students for cyberjobs within a range of career paths. There are seven high-level cybersecurity job functions outlined in the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework: operate and maintain; oversee and govern; collect and operate; protect and defend; investigate; securely provision; and analyze.</p> <p>Different regions have different needs; for example, D.C. needs defense contractors and Chicago needs manufacturing and control systems specialists. Pruitt-Mentle suggests that <strong>schools partner with local businesses and colleges</strong> so students can more easily transition from high school into jobs or higher education.</p> <p>“You don’t want kids taking these classes thinking they’re going to go out and work, and then they can’t work and have to go back to school to do the same courses over again because the classes weren’t articulated,” she says. “You have to <strong>look at the data</strong>, see where the needs are, see where your partner institutions are and then fit all that together like a puzzle.”</p> <h2>Create Valuable Partnerships With Local Institutions</h2> <p>When choosing locations for its cyber­security pathway, the School District of Palm Beach County considered which schools had labs with enough computers to <strong>accommodate the popular program’s year-to-year growth</strong>. “We didn’t want to borrow someone’s lab for one period every day,” says Asci.</p> <p>Coppolino provides students with routers and switches to use in the networking courses. He teaches in a lab with 18 computers, and because funding is limited, he uses virtual desktops so students can practice hacking different computers and operating systems using the same hardware. Lab activities, he adds, are <strong>crucial to a successful cybersecurity program</strong>. “If they get hired and they’ve never touched a ­firewall or a server, they’ll be laughed at,” he says.</p> <p>Schools with cybersecurity programs also <strong>need an infrastructure that will support hacking activities</strong> without exposing the district network to mischievous students. When students are using hacking tools, the Palm Beach County district removes machines from Active Directory so all students can access is a sandboxed server or virtual network.</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q0318_F_Delaney-elpunto-II.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q0318_F_Delaney-elpunto-II.jpg" /></p> <p>Due to the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals, many businesses and higher education institutions are willing — even eager — to support educational programs by providing<strong> donations, expertise </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> internships for students</strong>, <strong>externships for teachers and information about emerging trends</strong>.</p> <p>In Baltimore, Parkville High’s ­students have access to the network labs at Community <a href="http://www.ccbcmd.edu/" target="_blank">College of Baltimore County Essex </a>thanks to a partnership between the two schools.</p> <p>A year before Colorado Springs School District 11 kicked off its cyber­security pathway,<strong> two local firms donated $150,000 worth of equipment</strong> to the ­district, including servers, PCs and network switches and routers.</p> <p>“We have a lab that’s probably better equipped than a lot of college labs,” Tomeo says. “Students learn better, and they get more excited when they can actually work on gear.”</p> <p>The district also has spent the past two years working with Pikes Peak Community College — where students can earn credit for taking cybersecurity courses in high school — to <strong>build a regional consortium of industry and ­academic partners</strong>. The Cyber Prep initiative, funded by a NICE grant, has brought employers and five local school districts together to ensure that technology education programs are aligned with employment needs.</p> <h2>Resources to Design Cybersecurity Programs Are Everywhere</h2> <p>By partnering with local businesses and colleges, districts can ensure they’re giving students <strong>the skills needed by future employers</strong>. For instance, because the School District of Palm Beach County is located near Florida Power and Light and Okeelanta Sugar Mill — both of which make heavy use of industrial control ­systems — the district’s cybersecurity program has<strong> a strong emphasis on control system security</strong>, says Asci.</p> <p>Businesses, associations and government agencies also offer a wealth of resources for cybersecurity programs. <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>, Cisco, <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/oracle.html?enkwrd=oracle" target="_blank">Oracle</a> and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/comptia-security-certification-kit-exam-sy0-401-self-training-course/4464428" target="_blank">CompTIA</a> offer numerous industry certifications, and educators can get ideas and assistance through events such as the NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference and the <a href="https://s4x18.com/" target="_blank">S4 ICS Security Conference</a>.</p> <p>“There are hundreds of business partners who have a <strong>vested interest in our graduates</strong> and are helping us prepare them for the future,” Asci says.</p> <p><em>Editors' Note: As this issue of</em> EdTech <em>went to press, we learned of Nicholas Coppolino’s untimely passing on June 10, 2018. Mr. Coppolino was a passionate advocate for cybersecurity education and shared his expertise and inspiration with students at Parkville High School. Our thoughts are with his family, coworkers and students, and we are certain he will be greatly missed.</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/melissa-delaney"> <div>Melissa Delaney</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Melissa Delaney is a freelance journalist who specializes in business technology. She is a frequent contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Jul 2018 19:13:48 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41046 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 How Modern Learning Environments Support Numerous Pedagogies https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/how-modern-learning-environments-support-numerous-pedagogies <span>How Modern Learning Environments Support Numerous Pedagogies</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/02/2018 - 14:32</span> <div><p>When <a href="https://www.neoshosd.org/Domain/10" target="_blank">Neosho Junior High School</a> teachers and students moved into a sleek, new campus last August, they said goodbye to traditional classrooms and hello to <strong>modern learning spaces that encourage mobility, collaboration and new ways of learning</strong>.</p> <p>The new school in Neosho, Mo., ­features spacious, glass-walled classrooms that open into common learning areas. Each classroom is furnished with<strong> tables on wheels and stackable chairs</strong> that allow the rooms to be easily reconfigured as activities change. And with fast Wi-Fi, students can access <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/G-Suite-by-Google-Cloud-Business-subscription-license-1-month-1-user/4442348?pfm=srh" target="_blank">G Suite for Education</a> and other cloud-based educational apps on their <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?edc=4825459,4825463,4862576" target="_blank">Chromebooks</a>.</p> <p>The two-story building also includes a makerspace and comfortable chairs in the library, a large courtyard with a covered patio that can serve as an outdoor class­room, and <strong>an Innovation Station that houses a computer lab, 3D printers, a video and audio production ­studio</strong> and a workshop where students build things.</p> <p>“Everything is built toward an <strong>open environment and geared toward collaboration</strong>,” says Scott Harris, Neosho School District’s technology director. “We have more group-based learning going on, but we also accommodate individual instruction. Our goal is to enhance learning, and it works. Students are more engaged, and schools have ­better retention.”</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>Enable Different Styles of Learning with Flexible Classrooms </h2> <p>Neosho has joined a growing number of K–12 school districts that are making classroom layouts more open and flexible. These new learning spaces, paired with technology, allow educators to more effectively <strong>adopt different pedagogies to improve education, such as blended, personalized and project-based learning.</strong></p> <p>Studies show that modern learning environments improve student performance. These new classrooms, combined with natural lighting, flexible furniture and mobile devices, audiovisual equipment and a robust Wi-Fi network, foster ­creativity and enhance students’ well-being, which in turn make the spaces more conducive to learning, says <a href="https://uas.arizona.edu/chris-johnson-phd" target="_blank">Chris Johnson</a>, interim program director and assistant professor of educational technology at University of Arizona South.</p> <p><strong>“This is the next revolution in education,”</strong> Johnson says. “Space impacts learning, even more so when you are trying to do innovative teaching. A ­normal ­classroom with rows of desks inhibits what teachers can do in a classroom.”</p> <h2>Create a Neighborhood Vibe with Classroom Design </h2> <p>Before designing a new school for its 700 junior high students, Neosho School District officials brainstormed with teachers and visited other Missouri schools with unique classroom designs to help them generate ideas, says Neosho Junior High School Principal Jenifer Cryer.</p> <p>“We had conversations about the types of classroom designs that would give students the most flexibility, so we could <strong>facilitate different kinds of learning and they could meet in small or large group</strong>s,” she recalls.</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q0318_F_Wong-quote-(Revised).jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q0318_F_Wong-quote-(Revised).jpg" /></p> <p>Neosho’s new junior high school splits seventh- and eighth-graders into <strong>six distinct neighborhoods</strong>, each featuring five classrooms that flow into each other and open into a central collaborative learning space. Two classrooms in each neighborhood have a retractable whiteboard wall in the middle, which can open up and allow teachers to turn the smaller rooms into one larger classroom if they want to combine classes for a project, she says.</p> <p>About <strong>125 students</strong> and a faculty team that teaches core classes, such as English, math, science and social ­studies, are assigned exclusively to each neighborhood. “It becomes a school within a school,” Cryer says.</p> <p>Each neighborhood team of teachers<strong> uses the new classrooms to provide more individualized instruction</strong> and have their students pursue <strong>hands-on learning activities and work on ­interdisciplinary projects</strong>.</p> <p>“Students move back and forth all day in their neighborhoods to get their projects done,” Cryer says.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bryan.k12.oh.us/" target="_blank">Bryan City School District</a> in Bryan, Ohio, designed a similar layout for its new joint building for middle and high school students, but each classroom is built with a garage-type door that opens into a common hallway with <strong>diner-like booths and ­glass-enclosed meeting rooms for collaboration</strong>, says Tom Karnes, the district’s technology director.</p> <p>“When students ­scatter throughout the classroom and into the hallway, teachers can walk around and still see all of them,” Karnes says.</p> <h2>Chromebooks, Wi-Fi and AV Equipment Enhance Learning </h2> <p>Technology helps facilitate new ­pedagogies in a modern learning environment, including <strong>the flipped ­classroom approach, where students learn at home through short video ­lectures and reading assignments</strong>. This frees up class time for discussions and collaborative activities, educators say.</p> <p>In Neosho, the IT department equipped every seventh- and eighth-grader with <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Computers/Notebook-Computers/?w=C3&amp;key=chromebooks&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;ln=0&amp;enkwrd=chromebook&amp;b=LVO" target="_blank">Lenovo Chromebooks</a> this school year. To ensure fast internet speeds, IT staff ­blanketed the school with about 100 <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Networking-Products/Wireless-Networking/Wireless-Access-Points/?w=N23&amp;pCurrent=1&amp;b=ARU&amp;ln=1&amp;enkwrd=Aruba+wireless+access+points" target="_blank">HPE Aruba 802.11ac wireless access points</a>, including one AP per classroom, Harris says.</p> <p>The district standardized on <strong>a ­cloud-based learning management ­system</strong> where students can access digital learning materials and turn in school work. One educational application ­provides self-paced interactive lessons that ­<strong>students can work on individually or together as a class</strong>, while another app allows teachers to pose questions that students can answer by writing a paper or recording audio or video.</p> <p>“Like flexible seating, it allows ­students to have choice,” says Mandy Lybeck, the district’s educational ­technology director. “Maybe a student wants to record a video or make a ­presentation or type something out using Google Docs. Students have ­different options to demonstrate ­mastery of a topic instead of using the cookie-cutter approach of everyone turning in the same thing.”</p> <p>District IT leaders say it’s important to include IT as part of the planning and design process for a new building or new classrooms. At Bryan CSD, Karnes made suggestions on network cabling to make sure there were enough Ethernet drops so he could install a <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=%20Cisco%20Meraki&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Cisco Meraki </a>wireless AP in every classroom, as well as audiovisual equipment.</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q0318_F_Wong-elpunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q0318_F_Wong-elpunto.jpg" /></p> <p>Each classroom in the new Bryan Middle and High School features <strong>a 75-inch interactive flat-panel display</strong>, which works like a giant tablet that teachers can use for presentations or to show videos and websites. Each booth or meeting room in the hallways includes a <strong>42-inch LCD panel</strong> that ­students can <strong>connect to their Chromebooks to display their screens</strong>.</p> <p>Teachers are also equipped with wireless microphones, and ceiling speakers are installed in each corner of every classroom. That ensures students can hear videos and their teachers because sound is equally distributed, Karnes says.</p> <h2>Flexible Furniture Lets Districts Build Modern Learning Environments </h2> <p>Flexible furniture goes hand in hand with modern learning spaces and allows faculty and students to <strong>easily configure rooms for lectures, individual work, small groups or classroom discussions</strong>.</p> <p>Teachers, for example, can push ­several trapezoid-shaped desks together to form triangles or half-circles to ­facilitate discussion and collaboration, says Sue Wilson, director of instruction at <a href="http://www.deforest.k12.wi.us/" target="_blank">DeForest Area School District </a>in Deforest, Wis.</p> <p>DeForest began building modern learning environments a few years ago in an effort to shift to <strong>a student-centered approach to learning</strong>. The district recently remodeled two elementary schools with newly designed classroom spaces and flexible furniture.</p> <p>Those elementary school classrooms feature <strong>a variety of desks (including standing desks), ball-shaped chairs and stools that wiggle. </strong>Students have different sitting preferences. Giving them multiple seating options improves their comfort level, which fosters learning, Wilson says.</p> <p><strong>“Our research shows that kids need to move,” </strong>she says. “I was just in a fourth-grade classroom. Some kids were sitting under a table. Some were sitting in a window seat. Some used taller tables and stood, and others used low tables and sat on the floor.”</p> <p>Back in Neosho, the junior high school has desks and chairs of all shapes and sizes. Common learning spaces have a mix of square and circular tables and triangular soft seats and cushioned benches to sit on.</p> <p>In the classrooms, the district has standardized on collapsible rectangular desks and stackable chairs, which ­faculty can push off to the side when the space is needed.</p> <h2>Make Room for Continuous IT Improvements </h2> <p>Moving forward, Neosho School District plans to further improve its classroom spaces by building a new elementary school, replacing one that had been damaged by a tornado. The new school, which will open in time for the new school year, will have the same open, flexible design, Harris says.</p> <p>As for the new junior high, Harris says he plans to <strong>upgrade the school’s existing interactive whiteboards with new 75-inch flat-panel displays </strong>and will add charging stations as budget allows.</p> <p>Overall, the new junior high building, with its modern learning environment, is making a positive educational impact, Lybeck says.</p> <p>“Flexible furniture is amazing,” she says. “Teachers can set up rooms the way they need to for different activities. The students have the flexibility to sit where they want to, and with Chromebooks, they are mobile and have diverse learning materials in their hands. It’s exciting.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/wylie-wong"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/wylie-wong.jpg?itok=gph_Y-uT" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/wylie-wong"> <div>Wylie Wong</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=WylieWong&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Wylie Wong is a freelance journalist who specializes in business, technology and sports. He is a regular contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Jul 2018 18:32:29 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41041 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 K–12 Districts Prepare Students for Careers in the Tech-Dominated Economy https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/k-12-districts-prepare-students-careers-tech-dominated-economy <span>K–12 Districts Prepare Students for Careers in the Tech-Dominated Economy</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/02/2018 - 14:24</span> <div><p>The nut groves, vineyards and cotton fields of the San Joaquin Valley have long been drivers of Fresno, Calif.’s economy and a <strong>main</strong><strong> source of jobs</strong> for the city’s high school and college ­graduates. That said, as agriculture is increasingly automated and new technology-rich ­businesses take root in the city, <a href="https://www.fresnounified.org/" target="_blank">Fresno Unified School District</a> works to keep up, offering students the skills they’ll need to take advantage of ­emerging career opportunities, says district CTO Kurt Madden.</p> <p>“Our schools provide internet access and <strong>offer year-round career and technology classes</strong>,” Madden says. “We also have events and clubs aimed at building student interest and skills.”</p> <p>FUSD’s students have access to <strong>65,000 Windows-based devices</strong>, mostly <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/hp-inc-interstitial.html?enkwrd=HP" target="_blank">HP</a> laptops and desktops. The district is also starting a program that will distribute tablets to students for e-learning at home.</p> <p>With this kind of universal access to technology, students in FUSD high schools can expand their skill set by using CodeCombat resources to learn programming skills (largely through game design), and middle and high school students can participate in extracurricular coding clubs, like CoderGirlz, Madden says.</p> <p>The forward-thinking district also provides an <strong>introduction to emerging technology</strong>, such as 3D printers. Events like the district’s Tournament of Technology generate enthusiasm, while students get hands-on experience in applied technology, Madden says. In the tournament, middle school teams compete in 14 events, including Lego robotics, video production and the 3D Derby, where participants use a 3D printer to design and produce cars, and then race them.</p> <p>The district’s Career Readiness program, part of the formal ­curriculum, offers 130 courses, many of which prepare students for high-tech jobs or for working with modern office technology. Districts should offer as many ways as they can to engage students in hands-on technology, without regard to scale, says Madden.</p> <p>“Start small with a robotics competition or a club,” he says. “Interest in technology spreads pretty quickly in young people, and a small initiative will grow.”</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>Tech Offers a Leg Up for Impoverished Students</h2> <p>More than <strong>88 percent</strong> of the students in the district live in poverty, which places them among the young people most in need of technology education, says Alfred Boyd, assistant professor of education at <a href="https://www.mvsu.edu/" target="_blank">Mississippi Valley State University</a>.</p> <p>“<strong>Students from families with more socio-economic security are doing fine</strong> — they’ve had more technology in their lives, and their schools usually offer good access to technology,” Boyd says. “The ‘have-not’ students operate at a ­disadvantage, both in access and technology training.”</p> <p>K–12 education is evolving, with more students getting<strong> opportunities to explore technology</strong> and learning skills for technical careers, says Boyd. “When I was in school, the club that prepared students for the future was 4H,” he says. “I’m in a rural area of Mississippi, and my middle school son is very involved in his robotics club.”</p> <p>Technology education will improve as schools take a more personalized approach to learning, matching programs to individual interests and abilities, says Boyd. More industry certification programs and apprenticeships in all fields should also give students a leg up on either a career or higher education, he says.</p> <p>“We want everyone who graduates from high school to be ready, willing and trained to go to work, or ready, willing and trained to go to college — or both,” Boyd says.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Proper Tech Training Includes Certification</h2> <p>Half of <a href="http://www.edline.net/pages/brevard_county_schools" target="_blank">Brevard Public Schools</a> graduates who go on to college have jobs while they earn their degrees, says Janice Scholz, director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the sprawling district, which serves <strong>75,000 students from 17 communities</strong> on Florida’s Space Coast.</p> <p>“Students think they’re very tech-savvy, and they are when it comes to the apps they use with their friends,” Scholz says. “In the wider world, though, they need applicable job skills.”</p> <p>As part of a state mandate, all BPS students can earn certification in essential digital skills and tools, such as word processing, coding, spreadsheets and databases. The district has mobile ­computer labs in all schools and provides <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/Samsung-Chromebook-Pro-510C24I-12.3-Core-m3-6Y30-4-GB-RAM-32-GB-SS/4627451?pfm=srh" target="_blank">Samsung Chromebooks</a> and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T470s-14-Core-i5-6300U-8-GB-RAM-256-GB-SSD/4512969?pfm=srh" target="_blank">Lenovo ThinkPads</a> loaded with <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/google.html?enkwrd=Google" target="_blank">Google</a> Apps for Education.</p> <p><img alt="ET_Q0318_F_Peterson-elpunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q0318_F_Peterson-elpunto.jpg" /></p> <p>Beyond that preparation for the digital world, the BPS CTE department operates <strong>40 training programs out of 170 labs</strong>, most of which are equipped with high-end Lenovo computers loaded with enough RAM to handle computer-aided design software. Programs range from early childhood education to applied robotics technology to web application development. Industry certification gives students a way to ­verify their skills and is a key part of the CTE program, Scholz says.</p> <p>“If you and I are both applying for a job or an apprenticeship, and you can say that you’re certified in <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/Microsoft-Office-Home-and-Business-2016-License-1-PC/3847985?pfm=srh" target="_blank">Microsoft Office</a> or SolidWorks and I can’t, then you’ll get the position,” says Scholz. To select the <strong>training programs and certifications</strong> included in the CTE curriculum, Scholz and her staff look to local industry partners, who point to the IT and other technical skills they need. Those partners also become sources of apprenticeships, internships and job placements, she says.</p> <p>“Our programs are part of the ­economic development of the community,” Scholz says. “Employers and ­parents understand the value of CTE. I think it’s good for all students, regardless of where they want to go when they leave high school.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">School Partnerships Yield Results</h2> <p>On a recent visit to the <a href="http://www.somerville.k12.ma.us/schools/somerville-high-school/departments-academics/center-career-and-technical-education/culinary" target="_blank">Somerville Public Schools Culinary Arts</a> program, advisory board members from local food-related businesses were impressed by almost every aspect of the preparation and presentation. But, they noted, by writing orders on a pad, SPS students were behind the times.</p> <p>“They thought the food was great, but that our students needed to know about electronic ordering and suggested point-of-sale systems we should investigate,” says Leo DeSimone, CTE director for the district, which serves about <strong>5,000 students</strong> in Somerville, Mass., just northwest of Boston. “It’s a good ­example of our partnership with the community, and also of how almost every field uses advanced technology.”</p> <p>Somerville’s proximity to the booming tech hubs of Boston and Cambridge mean that, for well-prepared students, job possibilities are abundant. <strong>“Ninety-eight percent of our kids are tech-savvy</strong>, and the district provides access to the tools they need to use technology in their school work,” says DeSimone. “We want to give the students the technology experience and skills that will prepare them for the world beyond high school.”</p> <p>SPS offers <strong>13 career training programs</strong>, which emphasize learning ­industry-standard technology and ­techniques, says DeSimone.</p> <p>“Certifications are built into many programs, in everything from <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?key=Adobe&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Adobe</a> and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/cisco.html?enkwrd=Cisco" target="_blank">Cisco</a> Networking Academy to pediatric first aid,” he says.</p> <p>The IT and CTE departments plan together to ensure that the SPS infrastructure can support the software and hardware needed for the career training programs, without stretching the district’s technology refresh schedule too far, says DeSimone. “We have to plan years ahead to stay up to date.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Fresno Seeks to Make Coding Inclusive</h2> <p>In 2015, Fresno Unified School District teachers and administrators noticed that there were<strong> no girls signing up for high school computer science courses</strong>. To counter the notion that technology is a strictly male domain, a few teachers organized CoderGirlz, an after-school program where young women could learn and hone programming skills.</p> <p>“We started with four clubs, and now <a href="http://codergirlz.org/" target="_blank">CoderGirlz</a> has <strong>grown to 15 clubs</strong> in the district’s middle and high schools, with plans to double the number of clubs in this coming school year,” says FUSD CTO Kurt Madden. “We’re finding that, for girls who have experience with the clubs, it’s a much <strong>easier leap into computer science</strong> in high school.”</p> <p>FUSD’s entry in the <a href="https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc" target="_blank">FIRST Robotics Competition</a> this year was programmed by three girls who had started in CoderGirlz in middle school.</p> <p>In response to demand from young men, coed CoderClubs groups have also sprung up in schools around the district. “I think the boys were a little jealous, but <strong>now they’re doing fine</strong>,” says Madden.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/tommy-peterson"> <div>Tommy Peterson</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Tommy Peterson is a freelance journalist who specializes in business and technology and is a frequent contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Jul 2018 18:24:24 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41036 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Modern Classrooms and Personalized Learning Are the Perfect Pair https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/07/modern-classrooms-and-personalized-learning-are-perfect-pair <span>Modern Classrooms and Personalized Learning Are the Perfect Pair</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/02/2018 - 14:22</span> <div><p>A 10th-grader enters her classroom, flips open her <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/solutions/mobility/chromebooks.html" target="_blank">Chromebook</a> and then settles into a quiet corner to work. </p> <p>In another part of the room, a group of her peers gather on a couch <strong>to collaborate on a project</strong>. </p> <p>A teacher is there to guide the students when needed and circulates throughout the room to answer questions. He broadcasts a math question <strong>from the interactive screen to each device</strong> and asks the students to help solve it.</p> <p>This is an example of <strong>a modern ­learning environment</strong>, and in an ideal world, students here receive ­personalized instruction that results in better classroom performance. </p> <p><strong>Modern classrooms</strong> are open and flexible and have writable surfaces, modular furniture, one-to-one devices, hands-on learning with makerspace activities and robust broadband connectivity.</p> <p>“Everything is built toward an open environment and geared toward collaboration,” says Scott Harris, <a href="https://www.neoshosd.org/domain/643" target="_blank">Neosho (Mo.) School District’s</a> technology director. “We have more group-based learning going on, but we also accommodate individual instruction. Our goal is to enhance learning, and it works. <strong>Students are more engaged, and schools have better retention</strong>.”</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">The 'Modern Classroom' Movement Is Growing Fast</h2> <p>Neosho has joined the growing trend of <strong>creating flexible classroom environments</strong> to support personalized or blended learning. </p> <p>In a 2017 study by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow, <strong>57 percent of teachers</strong> in blended learning environments said that technology has helped their students collaborate more with their peers, while <strong>48 percent</strong> said that digital tools help students take greater ownership over their studies. </p> <p>Like Neosho, <a href="http://www.cherokeek12.net/" target="_blank">Cherokee County School District</a> in Georgia is creating a modern learning environment — this time, using <strong>audiovisual</strong><strong> and tactile equipment</strong>. According to Samsung America, <strong>83 percent</strong> of teachers believe that virtual reality could improve learning outcomes. </p> <p>Cherokee County schools are well on their way to finding out if that’s right. It’s clear that <strong>educators using traditional teaching methods</strong> — tied to the chalkboard in the front of the classroom — have some catching up to do with districts like Neosho and Cherokee County.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/ryan-petersen"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/ryan-petersen-2013-headshot.jpg?itok=iV6msfy0" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/ryan-petersen"> <div>Ryan Petersen</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="google-plus" href="https://plus.google.com/110888965639568833839/posts?rel=author"><span>Google+</span></a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=RyanPete&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Ryan has been a magazine and newspaper editor for 18 years, with the last 12 covering a variety of bases for CDW’s family of tech magazines. As Editor in Chief, he works on developing editorial strategy and is always on the lookout for new writing talent and sharing great stories with the IT world. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, biking and obsessively following Iowa Hawkeye sports and Cubs baseball.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Jul 2018 18:22:33 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41031 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12