|12-28-16 Education in the News|
The Record--Technology meets tradition with new learning programs
RIDGEFIELD — A program that educators call blended learning is changing the structure of the classroom where chalkboards, lab reports, and worksheets have given way to virtual lessons on laptop screens.
The program integrates face-to-face instruction with Web-based learning and allows children to work at their own pace while teachers simultaneously receive progress reports.
"Students are driving their own instruction," says John Coviello, principal at Ridgefield Memorial High School. "They learn autonomy, and teachers become the expert facilitator."
Students compose essays, analyze literature and practice word problems. Meanwhile, software analyzes each keystroke and feeds data to teachers in real time, allowing them to discern concepts where students struggle or to identify individuals who need extra help. The district uses Revision Assistant for writing assignments, which offers feedback on sentence structure and content, and Achieve3000, which establishes a student's baseline reading level and adjusts monthly.
Cheryl O'Brien , Staff Writer, @CherylDaleNews 10:26 p.m. EST December 27, 2016
NPR--When A School's Online Eavesdropping Can Prevent A Suicide
Ken Yeh thought his school was buying software to keep kids off of certain websites.
What he didn't know was that it could help identify a student who might be considering suicide.
Yeh is the technology director at a private K-12 school near Los Angeles. Three years ago, the school began buying Chromebook laptops for students to use in class and at home. That, Yeh says, raised concerns from parents about what they'd be used for, especially outside of school.
He turned to a startup called called GoGuardian, which helped the school create a list of off-limits sites: porn, hacking-related sites and "timewasters" like online games, TV and movie streaming. The software also has another feature: It tracks students' browsing and their searches.
And that's how Yeh was alerted that a student appeared to be in severe emotional distress.
He recalls getting an indicator at work that a student had been searching for suicide and several related terms. "I then went in to view the student's browsing history around this time period."
The more he saw, the more Yeh was convinced that this wasn't an idle or isolated query.
Anya Kamenetz| December 23, 20164:26 AM ET
Garden State Coalition of Schools