K-12 Technology News

Here you'll find the latest news from the education technology world, from the newest hardware and software releases to policy and funding updates to research reports to school and district tech initiatives. Looking for more in-depth coverage of important topics? Be sure to visit our Features page.

Walton Grant will Ready Principals to Run 'Autonomous' Schools

A $1.7 million grant will help Indianapolis Public Schools as the school system shifts away from centralized support and its principals take on more autonomy. According to the final paperwork, the purpose of the grant is "to support the development of internal capacities, processes, and systems necessary for implementing full, building-level autonomy for every IPS school."

MERLOT Updated for Better Searchability

MERLOT, the granddaddy of open educational resources developed by the California State University system, has entered its third decade of operation with a new facelift. The project, as always, provides a gateway to OER. But with its newest release, search functionality has been expanded and coding has been done using responsive web design to make it mobile device-friendly.

E-rate Delays and Denials 'Unjust,' According to EducationSuperHighway

The organization blames the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees E-rate program administrator Universal Service Administration Company (USAC). The FCC could accelerate approval of fiber broadband projects, the new site asserted, by directing USAC "to eliminate the red tape in the E-rate application process."

Parents Prefer E-Mail for School Messages — Far and Above Auto-Phone, Texts, Facebook

The only people who seem to want face-to-face meetings and personal phone calls anymore are school principals. Four in five parents consider e-mail the most effective way for schools and districts to communicate with them.

Report Explores Potential of Wearables, AR and VR in Education

A new whitepaper from personalized learning nonprofit KnowledgeWorks explores how wearables, augmented reality and virtual reality could play out in education. Vignettes drill into how educators could use these technologies in and out of the classroom to add "digital depth" to physical reality to increase student engagement, enhance the personalization of learning, help people understand others' experiences and perspectives, generate greater levels of self-awareness and foster critical thinking.

Recorded Books Adds All-You-Can-Watch Streaming Video Service for Libraries

Binge-viewing could be coming to a library near you. RBmedia, which owns Recorded Books, has released an unlimited streaming video service for libraries, as well as a new version of its app to allow patrons to access multiple content services, including the streaming shows. RBdigital, the specialized streaming video service, will give library users the chance to view videos from RBmedia's licensed content in the same way they watch shows on Netflix. They'll be able to watch as many shows as they like in a seven-day period while the library pays for a single checkout.

Former ED Secretary Arne Duncan Joins Turnitin Board

Arne Duncan has added another organization to his CV. The former secretary for the U.S. Department of Education under President Obama recently joined the board of Turnitin, an education technology company that provides services for writing help, literacy skill development and plagiarism checking in K-12 and higher education.

Mentors, Encouragement, Hands-on Learning Boost Girls' Interest in STEM Substantially

Generally girls lose interest in STEM careers as they get older. But, according to a new study, small changes at school and at home can have a profound impact on how girls perceive STEM careers, how confident they feel in class and how likely they are to pursue STEM academically and into their careers.

Character Lab Expands School Research Capacity with Qualtrics Partnership

The Character Lab Research Network, a nonprofit aimed at advancing the science behind social and emotional learning and character development, has partnered with Qualtrics to expand research efforts and make it easier for scientists to work with middle schools and high schools. The partnership was announced at the Qualtrics X4 Summit in Salt Lake City, UT.

Project Pals Rolls out PBR Project Management System

The system, called Project Pals, aims to provide a space in which students can collaborate and upload content; but it also includes tools for teachers to manage group projects and analyze aspects of the students' work, such as who contributed what to the project. And it can serve as a showcase for the students' work to their classmates and parents.

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