It may be summer vacation for the kids, but we know plenty of teachers that would beg to differ on the whole “vacation” part of summer.  Educators are busy learning new curriculum and teaching methods, creating new lesson plans, and taking advantage of professional development opportunities.

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With that in mind, we decided to do some research on technology in education.  Though it’s not a new concept, it seems to be getting a lot of attention in recent months.

In June, for example, the Administration announced the ConnectED initiative.  The goal is to bring high-speed internet connections to 99% of America’s students within five years.

Following the announcement, the White House hosted a “Show and Tell” with high tech schools from around the country.  Students and teachers from the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA, Loris Elementary in Horry County, SC and Chappell Elementary in Green Bay, WI demonstrated how they are using the internet and technology in their classrooms.  And they’re doing pretty cool stuff.  We’re talking iPads to create digital books, presentations via blog posts, and developing video games.

First things first, educators: do your homework

Allowing internet into the classroom is not without its challenges.  It is imperative that school administrators do their homework (pun intended), implement acceptable use policies, and utilize tools to protect students from inappropriate content.

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Cool Tools

Once you’ve got the policies and protection in place, utilize some of the cool tools that are out there to get your school hooked up with technology.  Take LearnSprout, for example.  In an interview posted on the Boundless blog (an awesome EdTech company in its own right), Franklyn Chien, Co-founder & CEO explained his company’s mission:

At LearnSprout our mission is to make education data universally accessible yet secure. Open, transparent, and accessible data increases the pace of innovation and brings accountability to any industry. Having witnessed the revolution that data transparency has brought and continues to bring to the consumer software industry, we are driven to do the same for education.

Resources

For more information on technology in the classroom, check out the following websites: