Tuesday at ISTE 2015: STEM and baseball, Blackboard, and 'School 2.0'
The announcements might have slowed down, but there was still plenty to take in
As tends to be the case, the big announcements coming out of ISTE slowed down on Tuesday. But that doesn't mean things came to a halt. There was still plenty to see and hear at the show, as you'll see below.
With Microsoft Windows Server 2003 service ending, Insight raises security awareness
- Microsoft is ending its support for the Windows Server 2003 operating system on July 14.
- Insight has been raising awareness of the date at ISTE, as the system was running on 11.9 million servers globally (39% of all Microsoft Server systems) as of 2014.
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also issued a warning that systems running the operating system face increase cyberattack risk, and Insight says options for educational institutions include upgrading to a newer system that still has support, replacing servers, or going to the cloud.
STEM bases loaded with 'Science of Baseball'
- Speaking of Insight, the company was also promoting the Arizona Diamondbacks' "Science of Baseball" program, which was founded by University of Arizona Professor Ricardo Valerdi and teaches math through the lens of America's favorite pasttime.
- The Philadelphia Phillies' Jeff Francoeur was on-hand at Insight's booth for an autograph signing promoting the program.
- Aside from the Diamondbacks, the program has partner teams in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Colorado Rockies, the Washington Nationals, and the LA Galaxy soccer team.
Blackboard report highlights importance of classroom tech
- A new report released Tuesday by Blackboard in collaboration with Project Tomorrow shows over 90% of K-12 administrators saying effective use of tech is crucial to student success, with over 78% of parents agreeing.
- According to the report, there has been a 45% increase in the use of digital content in the classroom, a 41% boost in mobile learning via devices, an 81% jump in the use of online classes, and a staggering 119% rise in effective online professional development for teachers.
- Responses from more than 400,000 K-12 students, parents, educators, administrators, and other community members from the 2014 Speak Up annual survey were used to assemble the report, according to a release.
Panel of administrators, experts discusses direction of 'School 2.0'
Of course, not all administrators are sold on the necessity of tech in classrooms. A panel of experts, including administrators from Virginia's Albemarle County Public Schools and Iowa's Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency, on Tuesday afternoon detailed the path that the concept of 'School 2.0' is headed down, warning about the dangers of letting tech and standardization stand in the way of learning.
"The reality is that our world is fueled with technology and has been for thousands of years," said Albemarle Superintendent Pamela Moran, who held up a pencil as an example of what a 1:1 technology was when she was in school. And that's not to say the panel was opposed to tech being used at all: The message from Moran and her peers was that tech should be about what kids can do today that they couldn't yesterday, that educators' responsibilities are to kids and not parents, and that standardization is "sucking the passion out of classrooms."
Keep an eye on Education Dive for a full recap over the next few days.
Edmentum unveils new personalized learning tools and courses
- Edmentum revealed new secondary math and English language arts courses for its Plato Courseware and EdOptions Academy, along with more than 40 state-specific courses and career technical education (CTE) offerings.
- Additionally, the platform is adding customizable instructional content via the Flex Assignments tool, and a Virtual Collaboration Space that will allow students to more easily connect.
Cengage's Gale becomes Google for Education Partner
- Cengage Learning's Gale announced its official certification as a Google for Education Partner, expanding its reach to over 40 million Google Apps for Education users around the world.
- According to a release, the partnership will see users gain the ability to login seamlessly to Gale's In Context resource via their Google Accounts and download, save, or share articles via Drive and Docs, as well as the integration of Google tools in Gale products.
- Gale apps are also now available via Chrome Web Store and Apps for Education.
Education Dive will be rounding out its ISTE coverage over the next few days with several more features, so be sure to check back regularly.
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