Menu

Technology

A wide divide

Have you ever thought of how the digital world influences us — and by extension, our children?

A number of recent articles made me rethink access, about the use and popularity of digital books by young readers (and their parents), and about what and how is presented in them in both mediums.

Much ado about media

Screen time for young kids has been in the news a lot lately. The last few days of October gave us two new resources on the topic of children's media use.

First, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidance on managing children's and adolescents' media use. Access to the new policy requires a subscription to the American Academy of Pediatrics, but the press release provides a glimpse into the thinking:

How schools can help parents

I read an article in Slate last week called Parents Left Behind that resonated with me. The author writes of her back-to-school night experience: "The evening passed in a blur of acronyms, test names, and emendations to last year's system." Then I experienced my own first middle-school back to school night, and left feeling a little "behind" myself.

Getting boys hooked on reading: How can digital media help?

Did you know that boys often underestimate their ability to read? That boys, on average, read less than girls? And that boys are often less motivated to read than girls? Not only that: By the time boys reach high school, roughly half of them will describe themselves as "nonreaders."

Educational technology near and far

Do you feel like you just got caught up with the iPod Touch and the iPad? You probably have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and can find your way around the App Store with ease. You're good, right? Well, not so much, if you take a look at the 2013 Horizon Report K-12 Edition. For the fifth year in a row, the New Media Consortium collaborated with others to identify technologies that have "potential impact on teaching, learning and creative inquiry."

Digital tools for writing and publishing

Children today are writing more than ever. But what are they writing? Is it all as ephemeral as the latest text and the next tweet? Or are they writing anything enduring?

Well. Yes and sometimes. While some of what they write disappears into the ether, it turns out that many children are writing their own eBooks. And there are several resources that can help them publish and share their ideas.

Let's check out a few together.

Sharpening your skills this summer and organizing them, too!

Last weekend I broke out my beach towel for the first time this year … it felt oh so incredible! I LOVE the smell of summer! Growing up in Southern California, I truly relish the summer sun, knowing that our two months off fly by. Every year, as I am taking down bulletin boards and filing my piles of papers away, I always have one thought: "this is the summer I will organize myself ahead of time, and plan like there's no tomorrow!" Anybody else have those thoughts (thumbs up)? I feel like organizing for the next year is two-fold.

Digital natives: getting connected with the Common Core

There are many pressing issues we face in schools today — one of the biggest is student engagement. We have to change with our ever-changing society. Students in the 21st century are communicating with cell phones, iPods, G-chat, social networks, video games, Skype, webcams, flip cameras, and self-published web pages; e-mail is just a small component of our students' communication toolkit.

Digital tools for kids with special needs

You might think that with all the talk about customizing digital tools for young children with individual needs, we'd hear even more about specific technologies that can help. I was mulling this thought over the other day when I discovered an unread Marshall Memo on my coffee table from a couple of weeks ago. I love the Marshall Memo, especially since Kim Marshall takes the time to read 44 journals every week and report back on the big take-aways. Sometimes I put it aside to read the New Yorker or click around on the Huffington Post, but it's a mistake.

Reading aloud with kids around the globe

What if your students could share a popular work of children's literature with other students around the world? Fourth-grade teacher Jan Wells has blown the lid off her small school in Meriden Kansas (population 813) by taking advantage of (free) projects offered by the educational community on Edmodo that allow her to do just that.

Pages

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney