K-12 Tech Trends :: February 21, 2007



Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog

If I still taught in K-12, would I use a blog? It's one of those new technology tools that some of us digital immigrants might struggle to appreciate. Knowing what I do now, I probably would at least try one because blogs can support the collaborative element so important for peer to peer learning. While some blogs serve personal agendas, in education they can be used for student journals and portfolios, communication with parents and community members, faculty coaching, classroom management (e.g., posting assignments), and other knowledge management tools (Long, 2002) and enhancing classroom discussion.

But then I start thinking of the work involved to have a good one.

I'm not one to do something just because it's in fashion. As I have taught several online courses in higher education, it occurs to me that there is a relationship between conducting online discussions using a course management system, such as WebCT, and conducting blogs in the K-12 classroom, including some ethical considerations that students must be taught. If I had a blog, it would have a purpose tied to some instructional outcome. To know if that outcome has been achieved, I would have to find a way to set up and moderate the blog without exhausting myself. But how? What are the rules of engagement?...

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News Briefs

NCLB Commission Releases Recommendations

The Commission on No Child Left Behind held a press conference Feb. 13 in Washington, DC to release its final report on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). There were 75 recommendations in total in the report, titled Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nation's Children....

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Business Roundtable Supports NCLB Commission Findings

The Business Roundtable, an association of business leaders representing some $4.5 trillion in annual revenues, today threw in its support for the findings and recommendations of the Commission on No Child Left Behind....

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TEA To Deploy Texas Records Exchange System

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has awarded a three-year contract to the National Transcript Center (NTC), a division of ESP Solutions Group, to develop and deploy "TREx," also known as the Texas Records Exchange System. Edvance Research Inc. (ERI) has been subcontracted to direct statewide training and customer support for the system....

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Labor Dept. Allocates $3 Million for Teacher Distance Learning

The United States Labor Department today announced that it's issuing a $3 million grant to the Western Governors University (WGU) in Salt Lake City, UT. The monies will be used to expand distance learning for students in the teaching profession, with particular emphasis on math and science....

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Benton County Implements Anonymous Student Reporting

Benton County School District in Mississippi is launching a new service to help deal with students' personal problems, such as threats and bullying. The service, "Talk About It," from AnComm, lets students report their problems anonymously to school personnel via the Internet....

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50 Districts Adopt Meru WLAN System

Wireless solutions provider Meru Networks has reported that more than 50 K-12 school districts in North America have adopted its wireless LAN (WLAN) technologies, representing some 1,000 individual schools. The company also said that it sees adoption of WLAN technologies accelerating in schools, driven in part by a "growing reliance on mobile computing in the classroom is the need for interactive multi-media applications to support emerging learning techniques and environments."...

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Manteca Adopts Quest Password Manager

Manteca Unified School District in Northern California has implemented Password Manager from Quest Software to automate its password management. The system is designed to cut down on common problems with passwords that IT departments normally have to deal with....

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Grants & Awards

2007 Sylvia Charp Awards

T.H.E. Journal and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) are pleased to announce the 4th annual award program in honor of Dr. Sylvia Charp and her groundbreaking contributions and extended service to the education technology community....

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Products & Services

Blackboard Connects Faculty and Students with Scholar

Blackboard has launched a new, free service for users of its CMS technologies: Scholar, a "social bookmarking" service designed to connect faculty and students across institutions. Scholar is the first product released from the Blackboard Beyond Initiative, which focuses on centrally hosted Web services...

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TI Releases Spanish-Language Learning Activities

Texas Instruments today released new learning activities supporting the company's "We All Use Math Every Day" (WAUMED) math education initiative. The activities are now available in Spanish....

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Coming Up

  • JUNE 24-27, 2007
    NECC 2007
    28th-Annual National Educational Computing Conference
    Atlanta, GA

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

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.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail editorial@thejournal.com

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