Archives for October 2012

4 Things You Need to Know to Help Your Students Manage Their Online Reputation

We often hear complaints about what students say and do online, but we often neglect to look into educators helping them manage their online reputation. This infographic is geared toward adults, but it can serve as a great starting point for conversations and activities that educators can engage in with students to help them to establish an active digital footprint that represents who they want to be perceived as online.

EdTech Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

Ever get confused over the latest terms in the world of teaching and learning with technology? This infographic will definately help! (Click on the image to enlarge.)

EdTech Cheat Sheet Infographic
Thanks Jamie Nelson for sharing!

Learning in the 21st Century: Mobile Devices + Social Media = Personalized Learning

Learning in the 21st Century
Each year, Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, facilitates the Speak Up National Research Project and, as part of this initiative, tracks the increasing interest and growth in the use of emerging technologies to address the specific needs and aspirations of students, parents and educators for 21st century learning environments. Since 2007, Project Tomorrow has partnered with Blackboard Inc. to create a series of annual reports that focus on key trends in the use of technology to increase student achievement, teacher productivity and parental engagement.

As outlined in the Speak Up 2011 national reports, many emerging technology products and services are not only addressing instructional needs, but are also enabling greater personalization of the learning process, both in school and out of school. Within this context, the use of mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones combined with wireless accessibility and social media tools stand out increasingly as a game changer in this movement to more personalized learning.

This new special report examines the Speak Up 2011 national findings to both answer some of the questions first posed two years ago but also to present an updated perspective on the role of mobile devices within K-12 education.

The key findings from this report include:

  • Mobile devices when combined with social media and wireless connectivity are enabling more personalized learning opportunities for both students and educators.
  • Driven by several factors, the incorporation of student owned devices within classroom instruction is quickly becoming a viable solution for many schools and districts.
  • Increasingly parental support for mobile learning is changing the district conversation.
  • Changing teacher practice is the critical challenge today to expanding mobile learning.
  • The future of mobile learning depends upon a shared vision for how to personalize learning.

Here are a few more interesting stats and takeaways from this study:

  • In 2011, two-thirds of parents of school aged children (67 percent) noted that they have a personal smartphone; an increase of almost three times from 2006.
  • In the past three years, teachers’ access to a smartphone has more than doubled from 20 percent in 2008 to 54 percent in 2011.
  • District office administrators are almost twice as likely now to be carrying a tablet computer (55 percent) than a simple cellphone that does not have Internet access (31 percent).
  • and administrators’ interest in using a smartphone or a tablet computer is not dependent upon their years of experience. administrators with 1 to 3 years of experience are only slightly more likely to use a smartphone or tablet than their peers with 16 or more years of experience.
  • 87 percent of parents say that the effective implementation of technology within instruction is important to their child’s success (50 percent label it as “extremely important”).
  • But only 64 percent say that their child’s school is doing a good job of using technology to enhance student achievement (and only 12 percent strongly agree with that statement).

Download the complete report here.

Keeping Pace with Online and Blended Learning: A Guide to Policy and Practice 2012

Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice (2012) is the latest in a series of annual reports that began in 2004 that examine the status of K-12 online education across the country. The report provides an overview of the latest policies, practices, and trends affecting online learning programs across all 50 states. Highlights from this year’s report include:

  • Blended learning continues to be an important story in K-12 online learning (and is reflected in our report title for the first time this year). Once-fully online schools are adapting to student demand for in-person services, school districts are responding to student desire for flexibility, and full-time blended schools (typically charters) are opening around the country.
  • 275,000 students were enrolled in fully online K-12 programs around the country in school year 2011-12. As of fall 2012, 31 states allow multi-district fully online schools.
  • State virtual schools reported 619,847 course enrollments (one student enrolled in one semester-long course) in school year 2011-12, an increase of 16%. State virtual schools continue to bifurcate into two groups: those that are well-supported and growing (Florida Virtual School reported 303,329 course enrollments) and those that are not well-supported and shrinking or closing (Tennessee and Kentucky both closed state virtual schools in the last year).
  • Keeping Pace 2011 included a Planning for Quality section that offered guidance to leaders who are starting and growing online and blended programs. Keeping Pace 2012 offers three possible timelines as a companion to that guide.

The complete report can be downloaded from

Social Media and Social Change

Thanks to social media, individuals and organizations have been empowered to advance social change in areas like education like never before. This infographic describes how companies like Kickstarter, DonorsChoose, and others are helping people raise millions for great causes.

Social Media & Social Change
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