Posted on 07 August 2012.
In the education realm, July can seem like the quietest month. School is nowhere in sight, colleagues are off on family vacations and businesses seem to call it quits by Friday at noon. But while there might be a break in homework, conferences, and meetings, there is still plenty of discussion going on around what is to come in the fall. From the expansion of charter schools, the development of free online universities, and the debate around the common core, reading materials were never in short supply. Check out our top reads below!
Good News, Bad News on the Common Core via The Quick & The Ed First the good news: Teachers are embracing the Common Core State Standards. According to a recent survey by Michigan State University, 90 persent of teachers had heard of the new standards, 70 persent have read them, and, best of all, 90 percent liked them. But it also showed that about 80 percent of teachers think that the Common Core is “pretty much what they are already doing.” That, said Schmidt, is the bad news.
Is a charter school chain called Rocketship ready to soar across America? via The Washington Post Inside a prefabricated beige building hard by the freight tracks, John Danner thinks he has solved one of the nation’s most vexing problems. This is Rocketship Discovery Prep, one of five charter elementary schools founded by Danner that are bridging the achievement gap — the staggering difference in academic performance between poor and privileged children.
Is Coursea the Beginning of the End for Traditional Higher Education? via Forbes “In the New York Times story about the dramatic expansion of online higher education venture Coursera, co-founder Daphne Koller is quoted as saying that the year-old company is not planning to offer degrees. But the more I read about Coursera and other outfits that offer free massive open online courses or MOOCs, the more I wonder whether we may be witnessing the beginning of a fundamental revolution in higher education.”
Most Public Libraries Offer E-Books, but Few Patrons Use Them via Chroncile.com More than half of Americans with library cards don’t know whether they can borrow e-books from the library, though over 75 percent of public libraries offer this service, says a Pew study released today.
What were your top reads?
Posted in News and Other Stuff
Posted on 10 July 2012.
This past month we were at the ISTE 2012 Conference discussing a new kind of professional development for teachers, MyLivePD. As well as the 2012 APSCU convention talking about retention and remediation needs for colleges. And don’t forget ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim talking about our 24/7 reference help service, Ask a Librarian. We ended off the month in Texas with the 100 degree weather at Military Child Education Coalition’s National Training Seminar talking about Tutor.com for military families. And while it was a very busy month, we wouldn’t want it any other way. Meeting new faces and catching up with friends helps us stay on top of the latest trends. So check out our top reads from June below!
Libraries, patrons, and e-books via PewInternet.org In this Pew report the organization investigated the habits of library patrons and their use of e-books. Finding that just 12% of e-book readers have borrowed an e-book from their library, the report also provides information that suggests how libraries can build on their technology services in the future.
Community Colleges Struggling With Spreading the Knowledge via PBS NewHour Now, why some community colleges are rethinking their approach to basic courses. The schools have long been a place where students are required to fill in gaps in their high school educations, but there are important questions about how well it works. And now there’s a move to change the way it’s done.
New Report Discusses Value of Online Tutoring to Address Higher Education Retention and Remediation Issues via Virtual-Strategy.com Cherie Mazer, Ed. M., Harvard University Graduate School of Education, has released a new report, Online Tutoring: A New Retention and Remediation Solution for Colleges. The report, commissioned by Tutor.com, investigates the extent of the remediation and retention crisis in our higher education system and the role online tutoring can serve in addressing the issue.
DOD Schools Mark Successes via DODLive.mil Department of Defense Education Activity’s schools have been on a roll lately with high achievement of both teachers and students. Now that the 2011-12 school year is behind them, students, teachers and parents have much to be proud of.
Did we miss one of your top reads? Let us know in the comment section below!
Posted in News and Other Stuff
Posted on 07 June 2012.
May marks the end of the school year for many colleges, universities, and public schools across the country. But while they were winding down, we have been gearing up for a summer full of conferences, webinars and updates. But before we got too far into the summer mindset, we kept up with trending topics that rounded out the school year. From remediation issues colleges are facing, to the downside of e-books from a librarians perspective, to the new ‘digital divide’ that is popping up across the country, check out our top reads for this past month!
New ‘Digital Divide’ Seen in Wasting Time Online via NY Times In the 90s, the term ‘digitial divide’ emerged to describe technology’s haves and have-nots. It inspired many efforts to get the latest computing tools into the hands of all Americans, particularly low-income families. Those efforts have indeed shrunk the divide. But they created an unintended side effect, one that is surprising and troubling to researchers and policy makers and that the government now wants to fix.
Libraries Grapple With The Downside Of E-Books via NPR Digital books are the fastest growing area of publishing. Libraries are seeing a surge in demand for e-book titles as well, but there’s a downside. Most major publishers won’t allow libraries to lend their titles, while others impose restrictions or charge double or triple the print price.
Experts: Remedial College Classes Need Fixing via Education Week Each year, an estimated 1.7 million U.S. college students are steered to remedial classes to catch them up and prepare them for regular coursework. But a growing body of research shows the courses are eating up time and money, often leading not to degrees but student loan hangovers.
Online classes put the ‘cool’ back in ‘school’ via The Spectator With more jobs online and technology advancing seemingly every day, a basic degree is turning into only one of many options for employers. Online schools allow for individuals to have the choice of getting qualifications without much hassle.
Posted in News and Other Stuff
Posted on 04 May 2012.
April was the Month of the Military Child, National Library week, and a variety of holidays from Earth Day, to Poem in your Pocket Day, to Patriots Day. Even though it was full of events, the debates on remediation in college, flipped K-12 classrooms, and e-tablets continued on. Those debates and more were the focus of our top reads this month. What were yours?
Have Increased Graduation Rates Artificially Depressed America’s 12th-Grade Performance? via EducationNext.org: One of the great mysteries of modern-day school reform is why we’re seeing such strong progress (in math at least, especially among our lowest-performing students) at the elementary and middle school levels, but not in high school.
With A New Educational Platform, TED Gives Teachers The Keys To A Flipped Classroom via TeleCrunch: As an increasingly powerful medium through which the world’s experts share their hard-won knowledge, TED is also an educator. In March, the organization launched the first phase of its “TED-Ed” initiative, in practice a series of a dozen short animated YouTube videos “created for high school students and lifelong learners,” in the big picture an invitation to teachers to collaborate with TED to create more effective video lessons that can be used in classrooms.
Report: College remediation fails students via Brownsville Herald: A new study released Wednesday faults college remediation programs for failing struggling students, but local trends suggest public schools have significantly helped lower the need for development education.
The rise of e-reading via PEW: One-fifth of American adults (21%) report that they have read an e-book in the past year, and this number increased following a gift-giving season that saw a spike in the ownership of both tablet computers and e-book reading devices such as the original Kindles and Nooks. In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%.
Posted in Colleges and Universities, News and Other Stuff
Posted on 03 April 2012.
March kicked off conference season here at Tutor.com. We headed to Philly for Innovations 2012 hosted by the League for Innovation, to Chicago for the T3 International Conference and then ended the month back in Philly for both the Public Library Association Conference and the ASCD Annual Conference. Suffice it to say, we have been busy! Throughout our travels however, we’ve stayed on top of trends in the marketplace. From the beginnings of a national effort to adopt digital textbooks, to a PEW report focusing on the ever changing demands of libraries in hard economic times, to Connecticut legislation moving away from remedial college classes, a lot has been going on. Check out our top reads below!
U.S. Officials Tackle National Adoption of Digital Textbooks via Education Week: The Federal Communications Commission, the newly formed LEAD Commission, and the U.S. Department of Education met today with textbook publishers and technology providers in Washington to discuss the future of digital textbooks in K-12 classrooms.
The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future report via Pew: Big-city public libraries have rarely been as popular as they are today and rarely as besieged. The hard economic times of recent years have generated increased demand for the free and varied services libraries provide, even as revenue-challenged local governments have cut back on contributions to library budgets. All this comes at a time when libraries are being asked to perform a new and changing range of functions. This report looks at how Philadelphia is faring and the challenges facing urban libraries across America.
Measure Would End No-Credit Remedial Classes at Colleges via The Hartford Courant: Students at community colleges who take at least one remedial course are about half as likely to graduate in three or four years as students who don’t. Now state lawmakers have gotten behind legislation that would eliminate no-credit remedial college classes by 2014, replacing them with regular credit-bearing classes that come with embedded remedial support for students who need it.
Tutor.com App Now Available Through Boopsie via Boopsie.com: Tutor.com and Boopsie, the leading mobile solution for universities and libraries worldwide, announced the availability of Tutor.com through the Boopsie platform. The partnership will make it easy for library patrons whose libraries subscribe to both services to access a live tutor anytime, anywhere through the Boopsie native mobile app.
Educational Opportunity for Military Children via The Huffington Post: The vast majority of the 1.2 million school-aged military children attend public schools. While there are schools that are models of how to support military students, most are still not equipped to help these students manage the stresses of military life. Worse, many school districts, including some near military bases, have no idea if there are military students in their classrooms, let alone how many. How can schools support military students if they don’t know who they are?
Did we miss something? Let us know what your top read for March was in the comments section below.
Posted in Colleges and Universities, Military Families, News and Other Stuff
Posted on 06 March 2012.
Even with its extra day, February still felt like it went by in the blink of an eye. And while it was still the shortest month of the year, we were in no way short on reading material. This month our top reads varied from a U.S. Department of Education follow up on Digital Learning Day and their release of the ‘Digital Textbook Playbook’, to the mobile state of libraries, to Tutor.com’s very own commercial release of MyLivePD, the online coaching service for Math teachers. Check our entire list of top reads out below and tell us what great articles you read this past month!
- Ed. Dept., FCC Unveil ‘Digital Textbook Playbook’ via Education Week: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski were on hand to unveil the new “Digital Textbook Playbook,” a resource designed by the Digital Textbook Collaborative to help guide educators in their transition to electronic resources, as the pair headlined a national online town hall meeting for the inaugural Digital Learning Day.
- Number of U.S. adults with college degrees hits historic high via The Washington Post: Representing a historic high, three in 10 adult Americans held bachelor’s degrees in 2011, census officials reported Thursday.
- The State of Mobile in Libraries 2012 via The Digital Shift: As patrons embrace mobile devices, libraries need to provide new services. Here’s a look at the state of mobile library services—and what libraries need to do to stay on the radar.
- Younger, wealthier students pick community college, bringing expectations via Inside Higher Ed: Community colleges are hot these days, and not just with photo-op seeking politicians. They’re an increasingly popular choice for 18-22 year-olds from the upper middle class, thanks to cheap tuition, a career focus, smoother transfer options and growing public respect for the sector’s academic chops.
- Tutor.com Launches MyLivePD Online Coaching Service for Mathematics Teachers via Tutor.com: MyLivePD™ Online Coaching Service, the first and only on demand professional development program, is now available to all mathematics teachers, announced Tutor.com, from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Conference on Education.
Posted in News and Other Stuff
Posted on 07 February 2012.
From celebrating Digital Learning Day to attending the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, TX, these past few weeks have been flying by. Yet, as always, we made plenty of time to keep up with what is happening in the world of learning. This month our top reads focus on a survey revealing what kids really want out of digital learning, how libraries are evolving to keep up in the age of ebooks and the edtech trends to look out for in 2012. Check all of them out below, and let us know if we missed a great article you loved in January!
- Digital Learning: What Kids Really Want via t.h.e. Journal: According to Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans, “Today’s students have their own ‘student vision’ for how they want to use technology for learning. That vision,” she said, “is really a statement of how students want to learn in general.”
- Using Libraries In the Age of eBooks via PCWorld: Matt Hamblen’s recent article on ebook borrowing illustrates the difficulties libraries are facing in the digital age. It’s too bad, because libraries are an important resource.
- Older workers head back to college via USA Today|College: More and more nontraditional, older students are returning to college, but they may never be see on a four-year university campus.
- 5 K-12 Ed Tech Trends for 2012 via t.h.e. Journal: In 2012 education technology will see an increased focus on individualization—from personalized learning environments to digital textbooks designed to connect students to the resources that work best for them.
Posted in News and Other Stuff
Posted on 04 January 2012.
As the year draws to a close it always seems to get a bit quieter. That gave us plenty of time to catch up on some end-of-year reading. Trends we tracked during the last month of the year included reports about the rise of community colleges, the billion reasons why libraries are still important, and a study that showed academically, military children are staying a step ahead of their civilian counterparts. Check out the top articles we read this month and share some of your own with us!
Rural Schools Face Technology Challenges via EdWeek: Technology can give rural students access to teachers and classes they otherwise wouldn’t have, but remote schools often struggle with a lack of infrastructure, money, and technology proficient leaders.
1.6 Billion Reasons Why America Still Needs Libraries via Business Insider: There were 1.59 billion public library visits in 2009, a six percent increase from the year before. Libraries have been named as an important tool for millions of job seekers and idle youth. Where else can you use the internet for free — with free access to hundreds of thousands of books and movies.
Study: Two-fifths of high schools graduates are unprepared for college or the workforce via The Washington Post: Two-fifths of high school students graduate prepared neither for traditional college nor for career training, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona. College-preparatory programming has expanded dramatically in the past decade. Career-preparatory programs have evolved, as well, and school-to-work “pathways” have replaced tired old vocational programs. But they are not enough.
For Community Colleges, a Time to Shine via The Chronicle: The absence of excellence in the common understanding of community colleges has a subtle but powerful effect on the sector. If people can’t see greatness, they won’t invest in it, which is one reason that many two-year institutions struggle to get by with pennies on the dollar given to well-known flagship research institutions. Community colleges and the students within them are the forgotten half of American higher education. This week something important is happening to start changing all of that.
Military Children Stay a Step Ahead of Public Schools Students via The New York Times: The results are now public from the 2011 federal testing program known as NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. And once again, schools on the nation’s military bases have outperformed public schools on both reading and math tests for fourth and eighth graders.
Posted in Colleges and Universities, News and Other Stuff
Posted on 01 December 2011.
We’re always tracking education trends, research studies and more. That means lots of reading – just check out our Delicious feed. This past month we were busy reading about online public schools, blended learning reports, citywide wireless initiatives and leveraging what makes America innovative. Have a great article we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Piedmont students get citywide wireless via eSchool News: The city of Piedmont, AL may be less than six months away from setting up a citywide wireless broadband service – a project that started with a push to provide wireless access for students.
College, school erase remedial course via The Columbus Dispatch: Just because a student graduates from high school doesn’t mean he or she is ready for college. Knowing that this is true for too many students, Columbus State Community College and Reynoldsburg High School have teamed to offer a college-prep math course.
America is Still the Most Innovative Country in the World via The Atlantic: To ‘win the future,’ we don’t need to be more like Finland, or Germany, or the next flavor-of-the-month country. Instead, we need to recognize and leverage our own unique strengths.
My Teacher Is an App via The Wall Street Journal: In a radical rethinking of what it means to go to school, states and districts nationwide are launching online public schools that let students from kindergarten to 12th grade take some – or all – of their classes from their bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens.
Blended Learning on the Rise, Report Says via Education Week: The 8th annual Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning report finds that single-district online programs – many of which include blended learning – are the fastest-growing segment of online education this year.
Survey Highlights How Technology is Used in Higher Education via US News University Directory: An October study by the Lone Star College System shows that approximately 78% of degree seekers feel that when technology is used properly on college campuses, they can improve their grades and become more engaged in their learning experience.
Posted in News and Other Stuff