Tom On Point: Unacceptable irony

Thomas J. Gentzel

Like the tiles in a mosaic, each interesting on its own but collectively presenting a separate image, the current state of public education in America generally does not appear as a complete picture when reading individual news stories or research studies. The challenges facing public schools are many, but together they conspire to threaten this most vital institution if left unaddressed.

Coachella Valley Unified School District

Coachella Valley Unified School District

"Innovative Strategies and Practices to Prepare Students for College, Career, Citizenship and Life: The Coachella Valley Unified School District Way!”

October 19 – 21, 2016
Thermal, CA

From the Editor: The new divide

Kathleen Vail

I recently traveled to Wyoming on a business trip. My hosts warned me that my GPS probably wouldn’t work in some of the more remote areas. In fact, most of the time when I was not hooked up to a Wi-Fi network, I couldn’t use my cellphone.

Promising Enterprises

2016 Technology Innovation Showcase boosts up-and-coming technology solutions

Ann Lee Flynn

There once was a parrot, an armadillo, 75 board members, a zoo educator, and a class of third-graders in Ohio. This collection of random facts represents one of my most memorable moments associated with the off-site programming I host during the NSBA annual conference.

Handling social media crises

With social media, misinformation travels at the speed of light, according to officials at Nebraska’s Lincoln Public Schools. In a Monday session entitled, “Purple Penguins and Icebergs: The Slippery Slope of Social Media, Trolls, and Going Viral” at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston, they explained how their district became the focus of unwanted national publicity regarding accommodation of a transgender student.

Every student, every day in North Carolina

Have you heard of “edutourism”? It’s traveling to observe a high-performing school district.

One of the best examples is Mooresville, North Carolina – a town of 32,000 with three claims to fame: (1) it’s home to a number of NASCAR drivers, (2) Lowe’s Companies is headquartered there and (3) it has an acclaimed school district that has been favorably profiled in numerous education journals as well as mainstream media.

Playing to learn

If your district has integrated video games as a regular part of the curriculum, then you already know that they can support learning and engage students. If your district has not, you are missing a valuable opportunity, presenters said at the “Playing to Learn” session Saturday at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston.

While conducting research for his book, The Game Believes in You, Greg Toppo said he wanted to find out if game play “could make school more rigorous, more enjoyable.”

Lajvardi Recounts Underdog Robots Team Story

Arizona educator Fredi Lajvardi spoke at the Education Technology Luncheon at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston on Sunday, April 10.

Lajvardi’s high school robotics team was the inspiration for the movie, “Spare Parts.” It told the underdog story of the team from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix that won first place in a collegiate underwater robotics competition, beating out elite engineering colleges such as MIT.

Transforming with technology

The documentary Most Likely to Succeed examines a California high school that has up-ended the traditional approach to education. Instead of relying on a teacher-centered model that has little changed in more than 100 years, High Tech High in San Diego has become a student-centered model. It emphasizes project-based learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and other skills better suited to a 21st century, information-based workforce.

Attendees at a Friday preconference session at NSBA’s annual conference in Boston got a viewing of the award-winning film.


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