Back to School: I Can Smell the Sharpened iPads

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Back to School: I Can Smell the Sharpened iPads

back to school pic.jpgIn addition to getting to know new students, teachers and school layouts (for all those incoming middle and high school students), the tens of thousands of students who are headed back to school this week will also be greeted by new education technology innovations. From SMART Boards and iPads to Kindles and online educational systems, back to school is bound to be more interesting than ever before.

This year for example, the Millville Public School District is amping up its use of computer software and handheld devices to monitor how students are taught. Specifically, the McREL Power Walkthrough technology, installed on a range of handheld devices, makes it possible for administrators and teachers to sit in a classroom and quickly create a database on how a class is run. That data can be quickly collected and turned into charts that show what is being taught and how that's being done.

"The collection of data over time allows both the leadership team and the instructional staff to see instructional trends," Superintendent David N. Gentile said in a recent article. "Utilizing the data, the teaching staff and leaders can engage in coaching conversations to foster professional development."

Moreover, the New Jersey Vineland Public Schools will be giving the districts’ parents access to an online system that will allow them to view their kids’ grades, attendance, homework assignments and upcoming events, thanks to a Parent Portal software. The online monitoring site was launched in an effort to help students better meet standardized testing goals.

While we can all reminisce over the excitement of purchasing crisp composition books, sharpened No. 2 pencils and snazzy T-83 calculators, we would all be lying to ourselves if we said we weren’t slightly jealous of this generation’s students who get to go through school with the help of iPads, netbooks and eReaders. Today’s students are at the forefront of the education technology boom and I, myself, can’t help feeling envious that as opposed to sharpening their pencils they will be sharpening their minds with tablets.

Being part of this technological era is not only of big help to students, but teachers and parents as well. For example, while at first glance a site designed to allow parents to glean into their students’ school work and attendance might seem a bit “Big Brother” like, what Vineland is doing is actually of huge help to early intervention. For example, parents can realize very early on that their second grader is struggling with reading comprehension and, accordingly, get him or her appropriate help. Or, as opposed to learning in April of senior year that their high school senior is flunking Calc and is at risk of not graduating, parents can avoid being thrown any curve balls before it’s too late.

So say goodbye to traditional school gizmos and gadgets and hello to the new kid in the classroom – education technology Innovation.



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bonito blog para estudiantes interesados en los estudios

Students to lead educational innovation through technology – including media and software design and production.
Good creativity on education. Like It :)

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