New Safe K12 education platform — supported by Google, MS, etc.

Major Tech Companies Partner To Build Educational ‘Platform For Good’

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and other major tech companies have joined together. No, not to build a new phone or gadget. Instead, it’s far more important.

They’ve partnered with non-profit organizationFamily Online Safety Institute (FOSI) to build A Platform For Good. It’s a safe digital place for teens, parents, and teachers to learn about and share information about online safety. I was discussing this with Katie yesterday and we were overwhelmed by the scary things that students and teachers alike could encounter online. It’s great to see the big tech firms understanding this too. Hopefully they know a bit more than we do, though.

Key Features

It’s a host of resources that have been combined into one solid platform. From videos to blogs to tips for parents and kids, there’s more than enough information about online safety to keep you busy.

One of my favorite tools is the Teach Teachers Tech video series. It’s a series of videos (not a ton yet, but more coming soon!) that do what the name suggests. There are videos on turning your classroom into a digital textbook, digital field trips, and more. Here’s one of my favorites:

 

For Teens

– There are polls asking for a teenager’s insight into what technology means to them, online safety, etc.

– Blog posts from teachers and security professionals helping increase awareness about online behavior

– Web tools and apps that are helpful in staying safe online

For Parents

– Upcoming videos on teaching parents technology (currently a poll is there to fill out)

– Recommended tools and apps for parents to use with their children

– Volunteer opportunities

– Safety and security tips for both parents and teens

For Teachers

– Teach Teachers Tech videos (see above)

– Recommended tools and apps for teachers to use with their students

– Regular blog posts from teachers and security experts

 

11 Real Ways Technology Is Affecting Education Right Now

The amount of technology flooding into classrooms may vary widely, but there’s no denying that it’s a red-hot trend in education. A new study further bolsters this idea as it’s found that digital devices are saving students time, are widely accepted, and are actually making students more likely to do their homework.

All these factoids and more are presented in the study by CourseSmart and Wakefield Researchwhich focused on more than 500 currently enrolled college students. It found that nearly all of the students (98%) that own a device have used it in school. 90% of these students say it saves them time, too. Here’s the rundown of what the study found according to a recent MarketWatch article (also check out the handy infographic below for even more details):

  • The survey revealed that technology has become a significant part of students’ everyday lives with the average using three devices daily.
  • A majority (67%) can’t go more than one hour without using some sort of digital technology, with 40% not lasting more than 10 minutes.
  • Print textbooks are losing their reputation of being indispensable. Only 5% of students say textbooks are the most important item in their bag and a majority of students say they are more likely to bring a laptop (51%) than a print textbook (39%) to class.
  • Digital devices also allow for on-the-go reference to information with 79% of college students reporting they have done a quick search on a mobile device or tablet to verify something right before a test or a quiz.
  • The study found that 68% of college students who save time using technology report saving two hours or more each day and nearly one in six students (14%) saving five hours or more.
  • Nearly 3 in 5 students (58%) report that they frequently are unable to complete required reading in time for class and of those, a majority (51%) said they would be more likely to do so if they had digital textbooks that could be accessed on a mobile device, eReader, laptop or tablet.
  • Online courses are gaining popularity with 58% of students reporting they have taken an online course, motivated primarily by being able to take the class on their own time (63%), not having to physically be in a class (48%) and being able to learn at their own pace (47%).
  • Traditional brick and mortar classes, though, are incorporating online elements, creating increasingly hybrid experiences.
  • Nearly all (96%) college students have had online components to a course: a majority of students (79%) have submitted assignments or papers online and 71% have taken online tests and quizzes.
  • Communication between faculty and students is becoming more social with nearly one in five (18%) students having received materials from their professor via Facebook.
  • Professors are also relying more on technology for delivering class announcements and assignments: 84% of students have had professors post a class syllabus online and 78% of students have received class news and updates from their professors via campus systems, such as learning management systems or student portals.

“The survey underscores the undeniable influence technology has on today’s college experience. As technology continues to evolve and digital devices become integral to the evolution of higher education, it’s encouraging to see the positive impact on learning outcomes as students utilize advanced devices and digital course materials to streamline and improve their learning environment,” said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart.

EdWeek’s Top 10 EdTech Stories for 2011

The editors at Education Week have handpicked memorable articles from 2011. Below are ten of the most significant stories from our 2011 coverage of education technology.

Take another look at the reporting and analysis in these stories from our expert team of reporters. For more compilations, visit our complete collection of memorable Education Week stories from the past year.

1. Scandal Clouds News Corp.’s Move Into Education

Amid the furor over a tabloid’s phone hacking, the company’s Wireless Generation subsidiary seeks to distance itself from the fallout while facing questions about New York contracts. (August 9, 2011)

2. Schools Struggle to Balance Digital Innovation, Academic Accountability

Using educational technology in new and different ways to improve student learning is often at odds with standardized testing and other traditional measures of achievement. (June 15, 2011)

3. Virtual Ed. Advocates Respond to Wave of Criticism

As e-learning moves into the K-12 mainstream, it is attracting a growing number of critics, who say it suffers from a lack of accountability and insufficient evidence of effectiveness. (November 23, 2011)

4. Schools Tackle Legal Twists and Turns of Cyberbullying

Experts say getting students to help support school policies to prevent cyberbullying is crucial for those measures to be effective. (February 4, 2011)

5. Lectures Are Homework in Schools Following Khan Academy Lead

The “flip model” of schooling calls for students to watch lectures online for homework and use class time for discussions, problem-solving, and labs. (September 27, 2011)

6. Educators Evaluate Learning Benefits of iPad

In the wake of the iPad 2 release, teachers are still determining best practices for the different versions of the tablet computing device. (June 15, 2011)

7. Building the Digital District

The 1-to-1 laptop program in Mooresville, N.C., is producing results and helping other districts develop a strategy to link technology to achievement. (October 17, 2011)

8. Linking E-Courses to ‘Common Core’ Academic Standards

The widespread pledge by states to adopt common standards could allow virtual education to truly break down state boundaries for teachers and students, experts say.(January 7, 2011)

9. Calif. District Pushes Digital-Textbook Initiative Forward

Hundreds of teachers in the school system are now using digital devices to provide content to students through e-textbooks.(February 4, 2011)

10. Digital Book-Sharing Unlocks Print for Students

A service called Bookshare makes traditional books quickly accessible for students with certain disabilities. (November 1, 2011)