Howdy, folks! Welcome to another in a series of periodic ed tech news roundups. We hope you enjoy this one, and if you have a story you’d like to see included, let us know.
Keeping open, continuous, and fruitful lines of communication with parents is vital for every educator. Technology, of course, can help — but teachers must always thoughtfully choose when and how to communicate with parents.
- ClassDojo is used in elementary and middle schools across the nation. It can be a useful mode of communication with parents, but some families argue that misuses of the technology can have negative consequences. [.coda]
- Meanwhile, a new report from the Center for American Progress argues that personalization, regardless of tech, is the most important factor in communicating with families. [Education Week]
Renewing the Science Classroom
Some science-learning activities are so common, they’re a part of culture: think of animal dissections, model volcanoes, or solar system mobiles. But even the old classics are being updated with modern tech.
- A California student wasn’t comfortable participating in her classes animal dissection, so she put together a team to test and evaluate digital alternatives. [Marin Independent Journal]
- You might remember rows and rows of heavy, blurry microscopes in your science classroom. Now, even traditionally underserved schools are getting a chance to test out ulta-high definition 4K microscopes. [t74]
Tech and Humanity
Empathy is a crucial learning skill and a central part of social-emotional learning. New tools are helping students tap into their humanity, even while digital tech changes the ways in which we interact.
- In an excerpt from her book, Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips delves into the vast amount of digital media kids are consuming — and how tech can complicate interpersonal communication and relationships. [Science Friday]
- In Malaysia, educators are looking for ways to use AR/VR technology to build empathy, along with other learning outcomes. [New Straits Times]
Schools can be a resource for an entire community. In Silver City, New Mexico, weekly math learning nights at Western New Mexico University opens the doors to parents and local and K-12 students alike, hoping to make math learning a fun, cooperative event. [Silver City Daily Press]Photo: Gigi