Archive | technology

Teachers, Unions working on figuring out appropriate student/teacher social media boundaries

ABC 2 News in Baltimore reported on the latest in a series of discussions about the propriety of students and teachers being friends on social media sites such as Facebook. There are no current laws governing what is appropriate for such media in Maryland, but stories continue to pop up around the country – such as in Michigan, when a teacher lost her job after inapropriate photos of her from a batchelorette party surfaced. She appealed the decision and got her job back, but the situation is still an interesting one for educators.

The Baltimore Teacher’s Union has been holding seminars to educate teachers on both the benefits and drawbacks of social media interaction.

“Facebook is open to the world and educators stand in a different position than regular citizens, they are in a position of trust,” says attorney Keith Zimmerman.

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Roughly 30 percent of STEM teachers not certified

Tom Luce

Tom Luce

From US News and World Report:

With teacher layoffs and staff shortages nationwide, some teachers are being asked to teach subjects they are not certified to teach.

Roughly 30 percent of chemistry and physics teachers in public high schools did not major in these fields and haven’t earned a certificate to teach those subjects, according to a new survey released Monday by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Half of earth science teachers are similarly unqualified.

Tom Luce, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and a former assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, says that, oftentimes, a certificate to teach science isn’t enough.

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Ontario teachers adviced to be careful interacting with students via social media

Photo via The National Post

Earlier this week, the Ontario College of Teachers released a report outlining appropriate online conduct for teachers – generally in relation to interaction with students.

The central themes of the report deal in what would seem to be common sense (though if they are outlined in a report, they clearly haven’t been adopted by all teachers, otherwise there wouldn’t have needed to be one) Continue Reading →


Are iPads more engaging in the classroom?

Students use ipads in their classroom

It didn’t take Gracie Newlin long to choose an activity when her Westbrook Elementary kindergarten class broke into small groups.

The 6-year-old grabbed an Apple iPad. Tiny fingers tipped with pink nail polish slid pictures across the touch screen as she counted through eight minus two.

She moved on to a word game. Usually students pick games or activities on the device, but teacher Renae Salisbury sometimes challenges them with something a bit harder.

“I see them more engaged with this than with computers,” Salisbury said. “It’s always one of their first choices. I’ll teach and they’ll go back and practice.”

Roughly a year after the iPad’s launch, Apple’s innovation has come to a school near you.

Westside Community Schools, Westbrook’s parent district, and a number of other schools in Nebraska, Iowa and the rest of the nation have begun experimenting with the popular devices, seeing what they can do for education.

With school budgets tight, an education technology expert says the spending is worthwhile, if districts use the devices to truly enhance teaching and learning.

“If it’s a fancy encyclopedia, it’s not worth the investment,” said Nick Sauers, leadership training coordinator in Iowa State University’s Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership.

Educators, meanwhile, say students must be prepared for the future. Last year’s National Education Technology Plan, a federal plan for applying advanced technologies to improving education, recommended that every student and teacher have 24-7 access to a device that can tap the Internet.

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