Technology Times

January 15, 2015

Awesome TED TALK from a 12 year old App Developer!

Digital Learning Day

Friday, March 13th, 9pm

All CCS Schools

More information

What do you have planned for Digital Learning Day? Begin planning now for the March 13, 2015 Digital Learning Day. For more information on the Digital Learning day click on the link below:

What Should Schools and Parents Do About Teenage Sexting?

In this article in The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin reports on how a Virginia community dealt with the revelation that large numbers of middle- and high-school students were using their smartphones to send revealing photos to one another, some of which found their way into an Instagram account. Parents were up in arms, the police got involved, and a number of questions arose:

Is “total abstinence” the best position for parents and schools to take with teens on sexting? Do kids realize the possible college and career consequences of having compromising images online, not to mention the risk of adult stalkers getting involved – or is that message not credible? Should sexting be criminalized as child pornography, or should it be viewed as adolescent experimentation that deserves minor punishments and confiscation of offending phones? (“They’re not violent criminals,” said Dave Albo, chairman of Virginia’s Courts of Justice committee. “If these kids made a dumb-a-- mistake, we don’t want to ruin their future.”) Is sexting “virtual dating” in the new era, less harmful than actual contact? (“A way of being sexual without being sexual, you know?” said one girl).

And what leads boys to put such intense pressure on girlfriends and acquaintances to share photos, sometimes sending 30 texts in a row? Why do some girls not read the danger signs of a highly persistent boy whom they have little reason to trust? What is the difference between girls who stoutly resist pressure from boys to sext and those who succumb? Is the old double standard at work, with some girls suffering social opprobrium while boys got a free pass – and then openly disrespecting girls who sext? And what are boys thinking when they forward photos to others? Is this bullying on steroids?

Marsha Levick of the Juvenile Law Center has a suggestion: “We should draw the line between my daughter stupidly sending a photo of herself to her boyfriend and her boyfriend sending it to all his friends to humiliate her. The first is stupid. The second is more troubling and should be criminal.” But many parents don’t buy the stupid-but-harmless argument (the first part of Levick’s proposal). “I think this is coming from grown-ups who fear that their kids are doing things they don’t understand,” says Levick. “The technology is both hyper-visible and invisible, and parents are spooked by it. So kids are finding what’s a normal part of adolescent experimentation being criminalized.”

Interestingly, according to David Finkelhor of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, sex offenses against minors have declined significantly during the time-period in which sexting has become popular. Finkelhor speculates that the Internet and cellphone cameras have made it possible for teens to do their “risk taking” and “independence testing” online, which may reduce their exposure to actual violence and physical harm.

In cases involving minors, Rosin’s article concludes, the two polarities are clear. “Uploading another minor’s naked picture to the Web, where anyone might eventually find it, should be a criminal act, though not one that should necessarily be prosecuted as child porn. Taking a selfie and sending it to someone who might be receptive to it, or receiving a selfie and keeping it, should not be criminal at all… The nonconsensual sharing of pictures, even among just a few people, should probably count as a criminal act, as long as there is prosecutorial discretion. But even in these instances, the policing should, if possible, be left to teachers and parents, not to the actual police. Or in some cases to no one, because since when was any version of adolescent sexuality fair and free of pain?”


See what kajeet names as the 7 top digital trends in 2015.

1. Common Core Computerized Testing - With many states planning for computerized assessment of the Common Core standards this spring, teachers are getting into gear to make sure students are proficient using computers and tablets. Mastering skills like clicking, swiping, drop-down menus, troubleshooting problems and typing can make the difference between success and failure.

2. Blended Learning Becomes More Prevalent - Using technology to augment lesson plans increases retention and excitement in students, so expect to see more blended learning in classrooms across the country.

3. Flipped Learning Technology Improves - A type of blended learning where students watch video instruction at home and then participate in discussion and homework assignments in the classroom, flipped learning technology is bound to improve and increase to meet the needs of today's classrooms. Flipped classrooms have improved passing rates and decreased discipline cases.

4. Assistive Technology Use Increases - According to a recent Gartner report, 15% of the population could benefit from assistive technologies, and we'd all benefit from the innovation behind these technological developments.

5. Mobile Learning Apps Improve - Whether it's learning a new language or brushing up on math skills, mobile learning apps help develop a lifelong love of learning, allowing students to explore their passions. As the market for these apps expands, developers will be tasked with improving functionality and usability to succeed.

6. 1:1 Programs Expand – More and more school systems are adopting 1:1 programs to ensure equity in learning, afterschool access, and easier performance monitoring, in addition to other benefits. With many areas talking about eliminating snow days in favor of remote learning, 1:1 programs will become even more essential.

7. Awareness of Digital Divide Increases - With the overall increase in technology use in and out of the classroom, teachers are becoming more and more aware that the digital divide is causing a drop in the performance of their low-income students and that they must do something about it. Expect to see a focus from administrators on bridging the digital divide through take-home programs, as well as Internet connectivity.

Kajeet on 1/5/15

Ten Pointers on the Use of Technology in Schools

In this District Management Journal article, John Kim and Kyla Wilkes list ten key reminders on the use of technology in schools:

- Take stock of what you have. Before investing in new hardware and software, use or redeploy existing resources.

- Stay focused on the district’s needs. What are the most pressing issues? How can technology best address them?

- Don’t fall for the latest fad. Ask if it’s the right fit.

- Don’t forget about the humans. Teachers and administrators need good training before they can use technology confidently and correctly.

- Deal with infrastructure. Fancy new equipment won’t work without it.

- Address technology management and support. This includes managing licenses, keeping track of equipment and mobile devices, and keeping everything in working order.

- Invest in management technology. Analytics and management information systems help a district run more efficiently and effectively.

- Don’t assume everything is being used with fidelity. Monitor implementation!

- Measure. Collect data and track costs to assess technology’s real value.

- Assess and modify as needed. Decide what to expand, make adjustments, cut back, or eliminate.

“Technology’s Promise” by John J-H Kim and Kyla Wilkes in The District Management Journal, Winter 2015 (Vol. 16, p. 12-27),