Archive | technology

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


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 →