At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts: #TechStyle

1b_4x3_0Clothes that respond to the environment, are ingeniously constructed from recycled materials, and garments that come off a 3-D printer ready to wear—all of these innovations are poised to have a profound impact on the future of the fashion industry. Designers have embraced these innovations and “#techstyle” explores how the synergy between fashion and technology is not only changing the way designers design, but also the way people interact with their clothing.

See more at http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/techstyle.

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Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and to Grow

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Report Key Takeaway: Increasing numbers opting for online and blended learning schools despite evidence of poor performance.

 

BOULDER, CO (April 20, 2016) – The fourth edition of the National Education Policy Center’s annual report on online and blended learning schools provides a detailed overview and inventory of full-time virtual and blended learning schools, also called hybrid schools. Little rigorous research has examined the inner workings of these schools, but evidence indicates that students differ from those in traditional public schools, and that school outcomes are consistently below traditional public schools. Nevertheless, enrollment growth has continued, assisted by vigorous advertising campaigns, corporate lobbying, and favorable legislation.

Gary Miron, professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, and Charisse Gulosino, assistant professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Memphis, are the authors of this year’s Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review. This report provides a detailed census of full-time virtual and blended schools, including student demographics, state-specific school performance ratings, and a comparison of virtual school outcomes with state norms. Continue reading

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Historic Vote Will Connect More Low-Income Families to Internet

Now low-income students and families across the country will now have greater opportunities to benefit from broadband access at school and at home! Earlier this month, the Alliance for Excellent Education filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that included hundreds of names from educators and education leaders like you. The petition urged the FCC to vote “yes” on modernizing the Lifeline program. As of yesterday, the Alliance is please to share that the modernization was approved. Continue reading

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Fiber Upgrade Consulting Program Offered Through the NH School Connectivity Initiative Partnership with EducationSuperHighway

nhsci-logo1The newly formed New Hampshire School Connectivity Initiative (NHSCI) represents collaboration between New Hampshire Department of Education, the New Hampshire Department of Information Technology, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, and the University of New Hampshire with the goal of increasing broadband connectivity to our New Hampshire schools. Continue reading

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Moving from Compliance to Agency: What Teachers Need to Make Professional Learning Work

teacheragencyLearning Forward and the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF)  released a joint white paper that offers specific strategies to improve educator agency based on research and conversations with teachers and principals from around the country.  The paper focuses on why agency is an important factor to successful professional learning for teachers and growth for students, along with ways to bridge the gap between the professional learning options teachers currently have and what they really need to improve teaching and learning. Continue reading

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What Will Digital Portfolios Mean for College-Bound Students?

by Holly Korbey on MindShift, March22, 2016 at http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/22/what-will-digital-portfolios-mean-for-college-bound-students/

devices-1920x1078Sometime during the first few weeks of school at Montgomery Bell Academy, an independent, all-boys college preparatory school in Nashville, Tennessee, college counselor Ginny Maddux gathers all the ninth-graders in the auditorium to talk about college. The freshmen are each given a piece of paper and asked to make a list of every college and university they can think of; once finished, they make it into a paper airplane. Maddux then asks the boys to stand up, count to five and try their best to fly their paper airplanes all the way to the auditorium’s stage.

She tells them to keep in mind that some of the airplanes may not make it on the first try, and will need a little help to get all the way to the stage. In this way, she tells them, flying your paper airplane to the stage is a lot like getting into college: “For some of you, it sailed right down here and it seemed a bit seamless. Some of you needed help on how to make an airplane, some of you needed help getting your plane down here, but you all chipped in and different people helped you make that happen.” Continue reading

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Is blended learning really “the best of both worlds”?

screen-shot-2016-03-16-at-2-08-38-pmYou’ve likely heard the declaration that blended learning combines the best of online learning and face-to-face instruction, or simply, is “the best of both worlds.” A quick Google search of the phrase pulls up numerous examples, including “[b]lended learning programs truly are the best of both worlds for students, instructors and the institution” and “[b]lended learning combines the best of traditional, face-to-face teaching with online instruction.”

The idiomatic expression “the best of both worlds” describes two things that are seemingly at odds with each other and not designed to co-exist. A cheeseburger that helps you lose weight fits that description. You get to enjoy something fundamentally unhealthy with the benefits of health—a true best of both worlds situation. Using this type of language when referring to blended learning, however, is problematic for three reasons. Continue reading

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