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High-Tech Personalized Learning Without All the Screentime? It’s Happening in Georgia

Ed Surge – Jenny Abamu

“At Paulding County High School in Dallas, Georgia, science classes are messy and alive. Each corner is full of something growing, stored or experimented on. Greenhouse lights keep vegetables growing in one corner while fruit flies for genetic experimentation squirm in another. Tables are covered with high-tech laboratory equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers, autoclaves, and laboratory water baths. What makes the place truly unique, however, is the way Marc Pedersen and his wife Tricia Pedersen have set up their classes to offer students a differentiated, high-tech, personalized learning experience—all without relying heavily on screen time.”(more)

New study suggests STEM education needs a rebrand

11 Alive – Jennifer Leslie

“A new study conducted by Atlanta-based Randstad US puts a new focus on STEM education and shows that students lose interest in science, technology, engineering and math as they get older. The study hits home for school districts across metro Atlanta, where schools can spend years working to become STEM-certified by the state. The study shows younger students are more interested in STEM studies and have more confidence in STEM skills than older students.”(more)

Lawmaker: Make recess mandatory for schools

WSB TV – Richard Elliot

“A state lawmaker wants to make recess mandatory for school children from kindergarten to 5th grade. State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, a Stockbridge Democrat, introduced a bill that would require school districts to allow children recess time. The bill would also prevent schools from keeping students out of recess as a punishment.”(more)

Her father desegregated America’s public schools. Now, she champions charter schools.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“As we approach Martin Luther King Day on Monday, civil rights and Dr. King’s legacy are at the forefront of the national dialogue. For me, the struggle for civil rights is directly tied to the struggle to ensure that children of color can sit in the classrooms of excellent public schools just like their white peers. This belief in the centrality of education is both personal and practical. On the personal level, it is so important to me because my father, Oliver Brown, was part of the brave group of parents who filed the lawsuit against the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education. The Supreme Court case that resulted, Brown v. Board of Education, paved the way for children of color like me to have educational options that were closed off to us before.”(more)

How One University Used Big Data To Boost Graduation Rates

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“Whenever you surf the web, sophisticated algorithms are tracking where you go, comparing you with millions of other people. They’re trying to predict what you’ll do next: Apply for a credit card? Book a family vacation? At least 40 percent of universities report that they’re trying some version of the same technology on their students, according to several recent surveys. It’s known as predictive analytics, and it can be used to either help or hurt students, says a new report from the New America Foundation.”(more)

When schools fail our children: America’s education system needs to put more focus on mental health

Salon – Deana Farmer and Ann DiGirolamo

“Students across the country have stepped into their classrooms, filled with excitement to start a new year. In many cases, though, students also bring physical, social and emotional concerns. For some students, these concerns are normal back-to-school jitters that will not affect their schoolwork. For others, these worries profoundly detract from their ability to learn. One in five children in the United States has a diagnosable mental health disorder, but only 21 percent of those children needing mental health services receive care.”(more)