Archive | technology

Sputnik: Technology without supports – like cotton candy for breakfast

Sputnik - Advancing Education through Innovation and Evidence

Note: This is a guest post by Monica Beglau, Ed.D., Executive Director, and Lorie Kaplan, Ph.D. , eMINTS Program Director for the eMINTS National Center at the University of Missouri.

Does this sound familiar? “Our school just purchased the latest mobile technology tablets for all of the students in our elementary school. Does anyone know where we could get some training about how to use them and what apps we should buy?” We’ve heard variations on this theme across our state and nationally for several years. Too often, as others have noted, the allure of the device outweighs practical planning for the implementation. Appropriate high-quality professional development and ongoing support for teachers is essential to success. Just as having sweet fluffy cotton candy for breakfast hardly fits the bill for a nutritious breakfast, short-term “summer boot camps” or a few hours of professional development after school leave educators hungry for more and without the necessary “nutrients” for effective instructional practices. Continue Reading →


SOE celebrates World Teachers’ Day with videoconference between EBCS pupils and the world

EBCS Students and their international counterparts

EBCS Students and their international counterparts

On October 5th  World Teacher Day, visiting fellow Dr. Fred Mednick arranged for five countries to take a stand for teachers by simultaneously Skyping with educators from East Baltimore, Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, and Mexico.

Over 50 East Baltimore Community School middle school students, parents, and staff came to the SOE education building to participate in the event by asking questions to the teachers abroad and sharing their insights on how teacher strikes and bullying in the US related to the teachers’ stories abroad. Following the event, the EBCS students then took their first tour of Johns Hopkins campus.

Read Dr. Mednick’s recap of the event here.

Learn more about World Teacher Day here.



YouTube launches portal for schools

Already a great resource to find videos to integrate into your lesson plans, YouTube is launching a portal specifically catering to educators and students, curating “education materials and videos on subjects such as history and math while filtering out potentially offensive or distracting content.”

The portal, which is located at, is designed to allow schools that would otherwise restrict students’ use of the website on school grounds (to avoid non-educational time wasting) to have a specific resource for finding appropriate materials for school use.

We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn’t appropriate for students. While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece.

Read more about the new service at