L.A. district & Snapchat created a celebrity book club for students. More online engagement is in the works
Singer Alicia Keys had a heartfelt book recommendation for the nearly 700,000 students of the Los Angeles Unified School District. So she shared it on Snapchat for any L.A. student to download for free, marking the launch of the A-List Book Club. She’s only one of the celebrity participants in a virtual effort led by...
By Tim Newcomb | July 2, 2020
Barack Obama, LeBron James, the Jonas Brothers headline nationally simulcast HS ‘Graduate Together’ event on Saturday evening
Former President Barack Obama will deliver a commencement address to graduating seniors nationwide as part of an hour-long multimedia Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 event aired simultaneously Saturday evening by more than 20 broadcast TV and digital streaming partners. Joining Obama in headlining the event are NBA star and school...
By Tim Newcomb | May 13, 2020
LAUSD has spent more than $100 million on Chromebooks and iPads, but an escalating technology shortage is delaying arrival of key equipment for educators across America
School districts in need of a sudden rush of technology will likely have to wait. During a virtual meeting of the Ossining Union Free School District in New York, Superintendent Raymond Sanchez told the school board he is aware of a potential for a five-month gap between placing an order for new technology and receiving...
By Tim Newcomb | April 28, 2020
‘Why do I want digital experiences for my kids if it looks like this?’ — Experts fear parent backlash against online learning
School districts countrywide are learning their own lessons right now, all about distance learning. A fluid situation for most, messy for some, nonexistent for others — no matter what each district learns right now, it will have a lasting impact on the future of online education. “It is certainly complex,” says Michael Horn, a co-founder...
By Tim Newcomb | April 13, 2020
Need help sorting through the avalanche of online resources for kids who are now learning at home? 11 sites for parents to look at
With schools shuttered and kids at home — some even asked to stay indoors — parents must now balance their work responsibilities with the educational needs of their children. But finding a place to start can prove downright daunting. Sifting through the online options may prove more overwhelming than useful, so we turned to experts to...
By Tim Newcomb | March 20, 2020
Meet the Etsy of education: Online marketplace lets teachers buy — and sell — millions of classroom materials and lessons
Teachers Pay Teachers represents a growing online marketplace — once dubbed the Etsy of Education — that now has seen 6 million teachers in the past year buy or sell classroom resources. It’s part of an effort to help teachers to help one another create fresh approaches to instruction while getting paid for their work....
By Tim Newcomb | February 24, 2020
Remote-controlled high-tech microscope brings cutting-edge science to Tennessee HS. And now, more underserved schools are getting in on it
The world of 4K microscopes is generally limited to high-level research universities. These ultra-high-definition scopes allow for enhanced detail that make a regular microscope look downright analog. But a push by the National Science Foundation and a nonprofit organization called US Ignite is opening 4K science research for under-resourced high schools across the country, bringing...
By Tim Newcomb | February 14, 2020
Middle school marvel: For her science project, this 14-year-old invented a way to eliminate a car’s blind spot. Now she’s won $25,000 — and Volvo is intrigued
Alaina Gassler’s 2019 science project started small, designed for her middle school in Pennsylvania. Soon, though, her project to remove blind spots from cars was winning county and then regional science fairs — and now, Gassler has taken top honors at the largest middle school science fair in the country, the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied...
By Tim Newcomb | February 4, 2020
Whether through texts or apps, schools are using technology to get the message out to students’ families
Heejae Lim, founder of TalkingPoints, an app that translates text messages from educators into a parent’s home language, likes to tell a story of a San Francisco middle school principal. The administrator wanted to connect with the parents of a Spanish-speaking student at risk of failing. He tried visiting the family at home twice, to no...
By Tim Newcomb | April 15, 2019
Personalized learning boosts math scores, new RAND study finds — but scaling is a challenge
Students who engage in personalized learning do better in math than their peers, and charter schools are more conducive to implementing and scaling personalized learning programs than traditional schools, because of their inherent flexibility. These are among the findings of a new RAND Corp. study of 40 schools nationwide — 31 charters and nine traditional schools —...
By Tim Newcomb | July 11, 2017