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Monday, October 8, 2012

EduDemic: New Presentation Tool Lets You Easily Keep Students Engaged and MORE!


Posted: 07 Oct 2012 04:05 PM PDT
From Prezi to Google Docs to PowerPoint, there's no shortage of ways for teachers to put together a dynamic presentation. But Klowd wanted to take a different approach to help improve the presentation experience for both the person at the front of the classroom and in the back row.

Posted: 07 Oct 2012 02:05 PM PDT
Students at Burlington High School in Philadelphia, PA have taken the Apple service mantra to heart and set up their very own Genius Bar. They're able to help their fellow students and staff with more than just Apple stuff though.

Posted: 07 Oct 2012 08:35 AM PDT
Pinterest is quickly establishing itself as a great social media resource for colleges, and many are finding great things with their Pinterest pages. Plenty are sharing school highlights, fun game day ideas, and cool photos from campus, and we’re really impressed.

Posted: 07 Oct 2012 05:05 AM PDT
There are a lot of gadgets out there, right? Shiny new products with fun, useful, or amazing capabilities are being churned out at quite the clip.


TCU eLearning: Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 & Outlook Email Tips

kate marshall posted: "In the course of researching something else, I came across Purdue University's Reflections on Teaching and Learning blog, run out of their Instructional Development Center. What a great resource! We've written a lot about email in the course of talking"

New post on TCU eLearning


Outlook Email Tips

In the course of researching something else, I came across Purdue University's Reflections on Teaching and Learning blog, run out of their Instructional Development Center. What a great resource!
We've written a lot about email in the course of talking about other technology tools, but I want to draw your attention to two very helpful posts from the above blog all about Outlook. Managing communication and related tasks more efficiently can help you keep better records, be more attentive to student needs, and leave you more time for teaching and research. Sign me up!
First, check out this double-topic post on managing how Outlook suggests email addresses and on how use the task manager. Did you know you can change how Outlook suggests email addresses as you type the contact? You can tell Outlook to remove certain entities from the drop-down list, to search your contacts (instead of the global address book) first, and even turn off suggestions all together. Likewise, if you're a user of the task tracking within Outlook, this post tells you how to create and edit the tasks resulting from an email - and how to do so with and without the related attachments.
Second, have you ever wanted to create threaded email conversations on your desktop / laptop version of Outlook (the way the iPhone, iPad, and Gmail do by default)? You can! Likewise, if you're a meticulous user of email folders, there's a way to copy and file one email in multiple folders at once. Now you can easily organize those emails that cover a host of issues! Details, how-to, and screen shots are all in the Reflections on Teaching and Learning blog post.
kate marshall | October 3, 2012 at 10:18 am | Tags: ema | Categories: regular | URL:
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Kerrie Conover posted: "The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 list was released yesterday, October 1, 2012.  The list contains tools voted for by 582 learning professionals worldwide. See the full list or view the slideshare below! Let us know your favorites or new ones you"

New post on TCU eLearning


Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 list was released yesterday, October 1, 2012.  The list contains tools voted for by 582 learning professionals worldwide. See the full list or view the slideshare below!
Let us know your favorites or new ones you think you will try, or if there are any that you'd like us to feature on our blog!
Kerrie Conover | October 2, 2012 at 9:24 am | Tags: eLearning, technology, tools, web 2.0 | Categories: link, regular | URL:
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Inside Higher Ed: October 8 2012


As colleges' waitlists grow, admissions leaders debate just what rights applicants should have.

Changes in funding models are starting to shift what public colleges and universities value in the recruitment and admissions process, favoring well-prepared, affluent students over riskier picks.

Stalking is a bigger threat to students than many campuses realize and has a strong correlation to death, said one expert who implored colleges to do more.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Hoodwinked’ Finds More Black Men in College

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
October 3, 2012

Hoodwinked’ Finds More Black Men in College

by Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Documentarian Janks Morton has a simple message when it comes to statistics that portray African-Americans in a negative light: Go to the source and fact-check the figures for yourself.

This is the message that reverberates throughout Morton’s new movie, Hoodwinked: We Can No Longer Doubt Our Greatness, which is being premiered in the coming weeks and months in various venues, including at 7p.m. on Oct. 11 at Howard University, where parts of the documentary was shot.

In the piece, Morton visits Howard and other campuses in the Washington, D.C. area to revisit a question for which he previously gained notoriety: Are there more Black men in college or in jail?

And he introduces another question that exposes the gap between what people believe the high school dropout rate is for Black males as opposed it really is.

On the question of whether there are more Black men in jail or in college, one Black student after another offers a ready answer that comports with the notion that more Black men are engaged in criminal behavior than are in pursuit of higher learning.

But the reality, Morton maintains in his movie, is that there are more Black men in postsecondary institutions than who are incarcerated.

Specifically, according to figures Morton said he retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of Black men in college is more than 1.4 million versus the 824,340 who were incarcerated.

As for the dropout rate among Black males, Morton walks various educators he interviewed in the movie through data that show the dropout rate among Black males is nowhere near as bad as is it’s often made to seem.

But if the figures Morton cites prove reliable, why would anyone purposely lead us to accept statistics that make things seem worse than they really are?

The answer — which Morton has stated many times and which he repeats in the film — is: “There are people and principalities that have a vested interest in and are compensated to misinform you so that they can mismanage you. Your mismanagement leads to your division. Your division leads to their profits.”

Whether you agree or not with the movie’s conspiracy theorist tone, there is much to like about Hoodwinked.

For starters, it’s probably one of the rare, if not the only cinematic experience where you will see an array of real life Black scholars — including Boyce Watkins, finance professor at Syracuse University, Marc Lamont Hill, an education professor at Columbia University and Ivory Toldson, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University — opining on statistics and stereotypes and their impact on the souls of Black folk, particularly the young.

One of the most poignant scenes is when he replicates Dr. Kenneth Clark’s famous doll experiment, in which dolls were used to determine children’s perceptions of race, but modifies it to put the focus on higher education.

The colloquies probe deep and serious moral dilemmas, such as how to get funding to combat various social ills that plague the Black community without perpetuating statistics that serve to highlight deficits rather than strengths.

In short, this video should be required viewing for anyone who deals with, relies upon or even remotely cares about education statistics and other facts that form the foundation of what we know and believe about the Black condition.

At the same time, the movie has its share of faults.

Perhaps the movie’s most serious shortcoming is a segment where Morton blames a 2002 Justice Policy Institute report — titled Cellblocks or Classrooms?: The Funding of Higher Education and Corrections and Its Impact on African American Men — for what he said is the false notion that there are more Black men incarcerated than who are enrolled in institutions of higher learning.

The movie suggests that the Justice Policy Institute was rewarded with more funding for putting out the report. The problem is Morton commits a cardinal sin of journalism by failing to include comment from Justice Policy Institute.

Officials at JPI — provided a copy of Hoodwinked by Diverse — took issue with being omitted from a movie that mentions their organization by name.

“The filmmaker did not offer JPI opportunity for comment or explanation of its data collection and analysis during the production of the film,” said the statement, which includes a fact sheet on the methodology JPI used in its report.

“JPI stands by the methodology used in the 2002 report, noting that if the film producer had spoken with researchers, they could have walked him through the data.”

Perhaps more importantly, JPI said the intent behind the report was to highlight the trend in national spending toward corrections rather than education.

“It is JPI’s continued stance that the current criminal justice system doesn’t work, isn’t fair and costs too much,” the statement continues. “Our mission is focused on reducing the use of incarceration and its negative impacts on communities and promoting social investments that can help all people achieve positive life outcomes.”

Morton — who found fault with JPI’s methodology — makes no apologies for not including JPI in the documentary, saying he has sought comment from JPI in the past to no avail, knew what they were going to say and wasn’t interested in reaching out to them again.

The problem is viewers of Hoodwinked don’t know that backstory.

Whatever the case may be, the notion that there are more Black men incarcerated than in college predates the JPI report by more than a decade.

For instance, as far back as 1990, rapper Ice Cube — on one of the songs on his debut solo album, “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted,” asked the question: “Why more n—-s in the pen than in college?”

Scholarly acceptance of the idea also transcends the JPI report.

Princeton History Professor Emeritus Nell Irvin Painter touched on the topic in her 2005 book, Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present.

“In 2000, more Black men were in prison than in college: 781,600 were incarcerated, 603,032 were in college,” Painter’s book states. “But the ratio was different as recently as 1980, when 143,000 Black men were incarcerated and 463,700 were in college. What caused the dramatic increase in Black men’s incarceration rates? The single most important factor was the ‘war on drugs.’”

The situation may have changed today, based on the latest figures cited in Morton’s film.

To the best of Diverse’s knowledge, the movie’s premise that there are more Black men in college than locked up pretty much holds up, although the only figure that Diverse could find is that there were 1.18 million Black men enrolled in college as of the 2010 U.S. Census.

However, the mere fact that there are more Black men in college only gets at part of what’s going on.

For one, college students and prisoners are not entirely dichotomous groups in perpetuity, even if they are distinct groups at a given point in time. After all, today’s college student could become tomorrow’s prisoner. Conversely, today’s prisoner could become tomorrow’s college student.

Plus, it may not even make sense to compare the raw numbers of each group. A more meaningful statistic may be the Black male incarceration rate, which at yearend 2010 was 3,074 per 100,000, or nearly 7 times higher than the rate for White non-Hispanic males.

In terms of college enrollment, it may make more sense to examine rates of degree attainment than enrollment, because ultimately it’s the conferring of a degree that matters most. And attainment rates vary based on the type of degree conferred, not to mention the type of institution from which it was issued.

The bottom line is there are more layers of the onion that must be peeled back in order to make sense of it all. Hoodwinked is then, at the very least, a step in the right direction.


EducationAdmin WebAdvisor Newsletter Issue 11 October 8, 2012

Issue 11 · October 8, 2012
Preparing Teachers for Data-Driven Instruction: How Teacher Education Programs Are Doing
Teachers need the knowledge and capability to analyze student assessment data and translate it into effective instructional decisions. Are they being adequately trained in this critical skill?

Discrimination Against Future Law School Students?
Law school students have a tough row to hoe. Besides all the reading, studying, and writing, they may also suffer forms of hiring and testing bias.

Standards-Based Report Cards Proliferating -- Parents Play Catch-Up
Montgomery County, Maryland, elementary schools just adopted standards-based report cards. These progress reports indicate how children are performing relative to state learning standards, but parents are having a hard time deciphering the new, more complex grading system.

Early Learning "Race to the Top" Funding Available for Early Childhood Education Programs
Applications are due at the end of October for Phase 2 Race to the Top funding for innovative early learning and development programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Online Briefings for Education Administrators
Sign Up Now!
How to Write an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy and Related Procedures to Include
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

An effective anti-harassment policy must encompass all types of harassment (including sex- and race-based), all channels (from face-to-face to social media), and all types (student-to-student, staff-to-student, staff-to-staff, and student-to-staff). Get guidance on how to capture all these situations in a comprehensive policy that defines your responsibilities and lowers your legal risks.
Constitutional Protections of Employees During Misconduct Investigations
Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

Understand how to investigate alleged employee misconduct without violating the employee's constitutional rights -- particularly in situations where law enforcement becomes involved in the investigation. Learn about the scope of free speech rights, due process, and other relevant legal and constitutional principles.
Exempt or Non-Exempt Educator and Administrator Classification: How to Make Sure You're in Compliance with FLSA Requirements
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

Like any other employers, schools and universities have to correctly classify their employees -- faculty, administrators, and staff -- under the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In the academic world, that can be complicated.

Alcohol and Drugs in School: How to Deal with the K-12 Epidemic, Legal and Practical Issues
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

Marijuana, prescription drugs, and alcohol -- abuse of these substances keeps rising among middle and high school students and now engulfs even younger children. How do you protect students, staff, and the surrounding community without overstepping legal boundaries? An attorney will provide insights and advice.
How to Develop an Effective Performance Improvement Plan in the School Environment, Step-by-Step
Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 1 PM Eastern

A PIP is an effective way to help school employees turn around performance problems. It also documents school leadership's efforts to guide an employee who is performing poorly should discipline or removal eventually become necessary. An education law expert will explain how to draft a PIP and monitor its compliance.
FMLA Compliance: Special Rules for Schools
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 1 PM Eastern

The Family and Medical Leave Act includes tailored requirements for teachers and instructional employees, who generally don't work year-round and whose workdays may include both paid and unpaid time. Failing to apply the FMLA correctly creates substantial legal and compliance risks for schools and school districts.
Special Education and Disability Laws: Understanding K-12 Compliance Requirements
Thursday, December 6, 2012 @ 1 PM Eastern

ADA, ADAAA, RA, IDEA -- these laws establishment the legal framework for special education in elementary and secondary schools. Learn what they require and how they intertwine, and get updates on recent changes that affect your obligations.
Did You Miss Something?
All Webinars Are Now Accessible on CD!
What if you have a time conflict and can't participate in a webinar of interest on its scheduled date and time? Don't worry. You can still take advantage of our CD option. Soon after completion of each webinar, the program will be available on CD. Click here for the complete listing and future ordering information.
Education in the Courts
Disabilities Discrimination: A Successful School District Defense

In a case where, according to the judge, "the facts ... are largely undisputed," a Texas school district prevailed by demonstrating that the facts were on its side -- namely, that its efforts to accommodate the educational needs of a student with disabilities were sufficient under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
The plaintiff in the case, I.A., is a paraplegic who relies on a wheelchair for mobility. During his enrollment in the Seguin Independent School District in Texas, I.A. qualified for and received aid and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. However, during his time there, which spanned the third through eighth grades, I.A. alleged that the school district discriminated against him on numerous occasions in violation of the ADA and Section 504.
With regard to ADA, some of the complaints included student bathrooms that were inaccessible; a route to one of the main classroom buildings that had numerous cracks in the sidewalk, making it inaccessible and dangerous; facility entrances that had no curb cuts; and a lack of reserved spaces for school buses carrying students with disabilities. The plaintiff also contended that, while a third and fourth grade student, he sat at a table instead of a wheelchair-accessible desk, which limited his view of the teacher and did not provide a place to hold his school supplies.
With regard to Section 504, the plaintiff alleged that the school district was liable for how school personnel handled several class events that resulted in his exclusion and/or embarrassment. For example, I.A.'s class took a fifth grade field trip to caverns that were wheelchair-inaccessible. The district said the science teacher developed a specialized hands-on experience for I.A. to engage in while the other students explored the cave. At the time, I.A.'s legal guardian said she did not have sufficient information about the alternative learning arrangement and urged that the field trip be cancelled instead.
On another occasion, when I.A. arrived with the band to play at a venue where there was no apparent ramp to get onto the stage, the band director suggested that I.A. play from the floor in front of the stage instead. It was later discovered that the facility had a ramp, but the band teacher was unaware of the ramp, and therefore the appropriate arrangements had not been made.
The judge noted that, to prove a violation under Title II of the ADA, a plaintiff must show: (1) that he is a qualified individual within the meaning of the ADA; (2) that he was excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, services, programs, or activities for which a public entity is responsible, or was otherwise subjected to discrimination by the public entity; and (3) that such exclusion, denial of benefits, or discrimination was because of the plaintiff's disability. To recover monetary damages, a plaintiff must prove that the discrimination was intentional.

The judge ruled that the plaintiff failed to establish that the school and its educational programs were not readily accessible. The judge further noted that the plaintiff had not requested any particular modifications to the facilities. "Undoubtedly these accessibility issues created inconveniences for I.A. that were highly frustrating, but they do not establish intentional discrimination," said the judge.
Prevailing in the Section 504 claim required proving that the school district acted in bad faith or exercised gross misjudgment -- in other words, that it "departed grossly from accepted standards among education professionals." The judge dismissed each of the plaintiff's allegations of bad faith and gross misjudgments, stating that "on the contrary, the evidence tends to show that Seguin consistently made an effort to accommodate I.A.'s various needs. Some of the problems arose from a negligent lack of prior planning, such as the band director failing to ensure that I.A. could access the stage for a band concert. However, I.A. has failed to show that any of these exclusions were done in bad faith or with gross misjudgment."
Consequently, the judge dismissed with prejudice the ADA and Section 504 claims, and awarded the school district its court costs.
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In This Week's Issue
· Education administration, innovation, and compliance news & issues

Informative Webinars Ahead
· Social media use by schools, students, and staff
· Comprehensive school anti-harassment policy
· School employee misconduct investigations: constitutional issues
· Classifying school employees correctly under the FLSA
· Pushback on alcohol and drug abuse in K-12
· School employee performance improvement plans
· FMLA special rules for schools
· K-12 special education and disability laws overview
Education in the Courts
· School district fends off disabilities discrimination claims
Here's a Thought
The Toughest Job
"As a former New York City public school student, now a grandfather of a New York City public school student, I wake up every morning blessed with the fantastic opportunity to lead the country's largest school system and charged with shaping the destiny of 1.1 million students. And, I taught kindergarten, so I know firsthand that teaching is the toughest job in the world."
-- Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education, September 13, 2012

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