Weekly News Roundup: 5.8.2015

By Cari Jackson 05.07.2015 blog

This week in Education News: Edutopia dispels myths around 1:1; Edudemic gathers free videos for teaching social justice; the Times profiles Jim Steyer; EdSurge reports on new offerings from Google Classroom; eSchool News explores the impact of Oregon Trail; and Monica Burns rounds up SAT and ACT prep resources.

A Teacher and a Tech Director Weigh Myth vs. Reality in 1:1 Classrooms

Edutopia looks at three common myths that pervade discussion around 1:1 classrooms. Contrary to popular belief, 1:1 classrooms don’t instantly — or ever — become paperless, students still have to do traditional work and teachers don’t have to be tech-savvy early adopters to keep up. The reality in the classroom is much different than expected.

Free Online Resources for Teaching Social Justice

As Amanda Ronan puts it, “Our students are future policy-makers.” With that in mind, Ms. Ronan, for Edudemic, gathered six online videos to use to teach social justice. The videos cover modern attempts to segregate schools, homelessness, gender equity, labor unions, immigration reform and more. She also offers some excellent resources to further support students’ understanding of each topic.

The New York Times Profiles James P. Steyer

A New York Times profile on James P. Steyer, founder of children’s advocacy group Common Sense Media, explores Mr. Steyer’s efforts to influence government spending on education technology, including broadband access and teachers’ choices of apps. It also discusses the plan to introduce Common Sense Kids Action, an advocacy effort to bolster education, which Mr. Steyer is calling “an AARP for kids.”

Google Classroom Offers New Features for Teachers

EdSurge reports that Google Classroom, a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs, now allows teachers to create and edit assignments on the go on any mobile device and make a copy for every student. Additionally, teachers can now grade assignments from a phone or tablet, and add private feedback for each individual student. Teacher can also take a photo of written assignments, post it on a Classroom page, and assign it to students without have to transfer it from paper to a Google Doc.

An Industry Pro Considers the Impact of Oregon Trail

Full disclosure: Oregon Trail, like Channel One News, is a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt product. Regardless, the game provided some of the most memorable learning to take place during this blogger’s middle school career. Twenty-five years later, eSchool News takes a look at what we can learn from immersive gaming experiences, and what else students might absorb when they learn by virtually experiencing real people doing real things.

A Primer for ACT and SAT Prep Apps

Our very own education blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator Monica Burns rounds up the best apps for SAT and ACT prep, from vocabulary to practice questions.

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