Howdy, folks! Welcome to another in a series of biweekly ed tech news roundups. We hope you enjoy — and if you have a story you’d like to see included, let us know.
Staying Safe Online and IRL
Digital citizenship and personal safety online are a vital part of everyone’s life, and a topic of growing concern in education. As the focus grows, schools and districts are working to imbed good digital practices into their curricula.
- Schools have begun monitoring student behavior online in an effort to prevent bullying and violence, both physical and digital. But questions of safety vs. privacy, especially for students, are being raised. [NPR]
- The U.S. Department of Education announced this month that, beginning in 2020, they will grant two Presidential Cybersecurity Education Awards, one to an elementary teacher and one to a secondary teacher, for educators who “best instill skills, knowledge, and passion with respect to cybersecurity and cybersecurity-related subjects.” [ExecutiveGov]
Esports is another growing trend, and even as educators begin to consider the effects and educational potential of competitive video gaming, new resources are being rolled out.
- The High School Esports League (HSEL) has released a free, “turnkey” esports curriculum, with the support of Microsoft, called “Gaming Concepts.” [THE Journal]
- Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers titles are esports mainstays. Now, the Japanese gaming giant has partnered with Digital Schoolhouse to provide UK students with Nintendo’s Switch devices for gaming and devise-based learning. [Pocket-lint]
Not-So-Quiet in the Library
The role of school libraries has changed drastically in previous decades, and as technology continues to adapt, adjust, and innovate, librarians are doing the same.
- In Oregon, the number of licensed librarians in schools has dropped nearly 80% while the number of students per librarian has jumped more than 500%. Schools and districts are hurrying to catch up, even as the role of teacher-librarians expands. [The Register-Guard]
- In a wide-ranging Q & A, a library department supervisor and president of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association weighs in on the role of the modern school librarian. [Lancaster Online]
The students at North Farmington High School in Michigan didn’t grumble when they had to take their student ID pictures this year; instead, they got creative. Check out how these high schoolers recreated their favorite pop culture characters. [Newsweek]