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Why do kids go to school? Americans are divided on the answer, a new poll shows.

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“Americans, asked to pinpoint the purpose of school, were divided. Is school supposed to prepare students academically? Or for the workforce? Or to be knowledgeable citizens able to participate in American civic life? This division has long been an issue in the world of education. Less than half — 45 percent — of adult Americans say preparing students academically is the main goal of a public school education, and just one-third feel that way strongly, the poll found. Other Americans split between saying the main purpose of public schools is to prepare students for work — 25 percent — and for citizenship, 26 percent.”(more)

Some Of The Advantages Of Bilingualism

The Huffington Post – Donna Paul

“In 1992, a philosopher named Ludwig Wittgenstein states, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” The number of words that we can use as we speak can affect how we see the world. By learning at least a second language besides the one you currently speak or your native language can help you to see a bigger world. Being bilingual speakers is most likely to be seen in countries where there’s a mixture of cultures. For example, if you’re in USA, France, and some countries in Africa you’ll find many individuals who speak more than one language. There are also many countries where only one language is spoken and it’s very hard to spot some people who speak two languages.”(more)

Survey Shows Tech Disconnect Between Teens, Parents

Education News – Grace Smith

“A study by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) researched online safety attitudes and behaviors of young people, finding that there is a complex relationship between US parents and teens. “Keeping Up with Generation App: Parent/Teen Online Safety Survey” contained interviews from 804 online teenagers between 13 and 17 and a separate sample of 810 online parents. The study found numerous signs of an apparent “digital disconnect” represented by the fact that 60% of teen internet users have created online accounts that their parents do not know exist. This number is over double the 28% of online parents who speculate their young ones have secret accounts. The research also discovered that there was a high reliance by teens on peer-to-peer support, with 43% of the subjects stating that friends have asked them for backup when they have been confronted with online issues.”(more)

Five Ways to Ensure Real Learning Happens in Maker-Enhanced Projects

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“While not new, project-based learning has become a popular method to try and move beyond surface-level learning. Many teachers are trying to figure out the right ingredients for strong projects that interest and engage students, while helping them meet required learning targets. But implementing project-based learning well isn’t easy, especially when many teachers are more accustomed to direct instruction, when they can be sure they’ve at least touched on all the topics in the curriculum. On top of the push toward projects, some educators are also embracing maker-education, a distinct but often overlapping idea. “There’s a lot of research out there about integrating making into project-based learning to ramp up what students are learning in the core content areas that they’re going to be tested in,” said Michael Stone, an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, who taught high school in Tennessee.”(more)

Could this new observation method boost behavioral and academic outcomes?

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“A new method of observing and measuring interactions between students and teachers could have interesting impacts on academic achievement. Research has shown that interactions between students and teaching during the school day are critical factors in students’ behavioral and academic outcomes. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri College of Education have developed a new method for observing and measuring teacher interaction with every child in a classroom.”(more)