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K–12 Districts Prepare Their Infrastructures for the Internet of Things

Ed Tech Magazine – Eli Zimmerman

“The surge of devices used by K–12 students is putting a strain on school district networks, causing IT teams to consider adopting the Internet of Things. Bringing IoT into schools maintains connectivity for students and teachers during the day, through both personal devices and classroom tools like smartboards, Kellie Wilks, chief technology officer of Ector County Independent School District, TX, told EdTech magazine at the ISTE 2018 conference.” (more)

6 resources to help students with information literacy

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Information literacy skills top many lists of must-have abilities, especially in the age of fake news. Not all results in a Google search are legitimate–but how many of today’s students know this? Children have access to devices at younger ages, which underscores the importance of teaching them how to look at news with a critical eye and to evaluate the information’s origin. Because today’s students are growing up in an age where information is easily accessed, they need to know how to apply critical evaluation skills when met with information purporting to be truthful.” (more)

College reality

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

In a few weeks tens of thousands of young Americans will leave home and begin the “college experience”. As they descend on campuses across the country, they will be greeted by impressive buildings, acclaimed alumni, elaborate social functions, and luxury hotel-like accommodations. In addition to getting used to their new “homes”, these newly minted adults will be asked to select majors that prepare them for post college employment.

Interestingly, the university structure and incentives may not always be aligned with what is best for students.

Universities are broken into departments. Each department is responsible for running a profitable business or demonstrating that there is enough demand for its offerings that it would be foolish for the university to close the department. Departments like engineering generally have large research budgets, so they are less concerned about student enrollment than departments like the humanities and social sciences that have fewer research dollars.

As might be expected, the departments with fewest research dollars generally work hardest to convince students to select majors within their purview. Until 15-20 years ago, this model worked well, because it was possible to obtain high quality employment with a wide variety of university degrees.

Technology has improved access to information so much that many jobs related to compiling, organizing, and disseminating information have already been or are being eliminated. Careers that have been hardest hit are law, social sciences, and the humanities.

Since there are fewer job opportunities for people with these degrees, many college graduates find it difficult to procure jobs that pay a premium over what was available to them before they attended college.

This shift creates a dilemma for the parents of a child who did not develop a proclivity for math in high school. Does the parent have the resources to send the child to college so he/she can graduate without debt and go on to a job that he/she most likely could have obtained without attending college? Is it better to consider a high paying trade like plumbing or electricity, rather than expending money on college? Or is it wiser to encourage the child to go to a community college and learn math, so he/she has the skills to obtain a college degree with higher earning potential?

It is a tough decision, but is something that should be discussed before a family blindly spends large sums of money on a college education that does little to improve a child’s long term earning potential.

Librarians: Information literacy is a must-have skill

E-School News – Laura Ascione Devaney

“Nearly half of librarians in a recent survey said their libraries do not advocate for information literacy as much as they should. The ProQuest survey of 217 librarians from higher education, K-12 schools and public libraries reveals that while 83 percent said information literacy has a large impact on college graduation rates, and though 97 percent of those surveyed said information literacy leads to success in the workforce, just 44 percent believe their libraries adequately support the skill. Only 21 percent of surveyed librarians said they believe their library patrons recognize information literacy’s effect on lifelong success, while 34 percent said their patrons do not recognize it and 33 percent were unsure.”(more)

Librarians: Students Need to Master Information Literacy to Succeed

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“In a ProQuest survey of librarians from university, community college, high school and public libraries, the group agreed that in order for students to successfully be prepared for the “real world,” they need to master information literacy skills. Unfortunately, that same group said while they sometimes help students master these skills, it’s not nearly as often or as thoroughly as they would like.”(more)