K-12 Tech Trends :: December 6, 2006


If We Had Then What We Have Now

As an education major, I spent my senior year of college student-teaching. I didn’t have access to the whiz-bang tools of today—electronic whiteboards, laptops, and the like—but I was able to discover the power of technology in the classroom. For that lesson, I have one student in particular to thank. His unwitting demonstration of the motivational power of technology got my attention, but the setting of the story was key to its impact on me.

The scene was a bleak inner-city high school, a far cry from the wealthy, white-bread neighborhood I was raised in. When I met my class of 10th-graders, it was all I could do to pretend that seeing pregnant teenagers and kids with rap sheets was nothing out of the ordinary for me. Then came the challenge of meeting the needs of five new students classified as emotionally handicapped.

Fortunately, my internship allowed me time to observe the lead teacher. I picked up cues from her, but I thought she was boring the kids because the lessons were so rudimentary. When I had a turn at the helm, though, I saw the relevance—these students ranged from functionally illiterate to, tops, what I would consider seventh-grade level.

Barely recovered from culture shock, I had to adjust my expectations again. I had to scrap my “high school-level” lesson plans and move classroom management from the bottom of my list of priorities to the top. And I knew if I didn’t make classtime engaging, I didn’t have a chance of reaching anyone...

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News Briefs

Houghton Mifflin, Riverdeep to be Acquired by HM Rivergroup

HM Rivergroup PLC, a newly formed Irish public limited company, announced last week that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Houghton Mifflin Holding Company Inc., a leading US educational publisher...

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SFLC Seeks Reexamination of Blackboard Patent

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed a request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reexamine Blackboard Inc.’s eLearning patent...

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Washington District Implements Interactive Learning Tools from Hitachi for Research Project

Maximizing the benefits of an interactive education, Educational Service District 112 (ESD 112) in Vancouver, WA, has utilized Hitachi Software StarBoard panels, wireless tablets, and Hitachi projectors for an interactive education research project...

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Library Video Co. Appoints Michael Miller as New CFO, COO

Library Video Co. recently announced that Michael Miller has joined the company as chief financial officer and chief operating officer...

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By the Numbers

NCES Study Analyzes Internet Access in Public Schools

A report recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics presents 11 years of data from 1994 to 2005 (no survey was conducted in 2004) on internet access in US public schools by school characteristics. It provides trend analysis on the percent of public schools and instructional rooms with internet access, as well as on the ratio of students to instructional computers with internet access. The report contains data on the types of internet connections, technologies, and procedures used to prevent student access to inappropriate material on the internet, and the availability of handheld and laptop computers to students and teachers. It also provides information on teacher professional development, on how to integrate the use of the internet into the curriculum, and on the use of the internet to provide opportunities and information for teaching and learning...

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Show Me the Money

Photoshop User Awards to Highlight Student Designers

The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) has announced its call for entries to the second annual Photoshop User Awards (formerly the Digital Canvas Awards). Winners will be chosen in 11 categories, including one for student work. The Best of Show Grand Prize winner will be sent by Photoshop User magazine on a dream assignment to Rome, Italy, where he will work to design the artwork for an upcoming cover of Photoshop User magazine. Besides the Best of Show award, the winning images in each category will appear in a special issue of Photoshop User, and each category winner will receive a prize package worth more than $2,500. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, 2006, and winners will be announced Feb. 1, 2007...

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Products & Services

BenQ Introduces 1080p Projector

BenQ has just introduced a new model in its digital projector lineup, the W9000...

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NCEE Distributes Free Virtual Economics CD-ROM to US Schools

The National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) is shipping Virtual Economics 3.0 CD-ROMs to every US school district through funding provided by the US Department of Education as part of the No Child Left Behind “Excellence in Economic Education” program...

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Coming Up

THE Journal Opportunities

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T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
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