One educator says that using Twitter in the classroom teaches students to write concisely, using only 140 characters, and also allows students to collaborate and share resources. However, even as more educators use Twitter, others say the Web site actually harms learning and see no valuable use for it in academia.
When a Virginia middle school handed out iPod Touch devices to students as part of a pilot program, technology specialist Patrick Ledesma and eighth-grade English teacher Steve Jarosz turned to educational resources for ways to incorporate the devices into their lesson plans. But they found some of their best ideas came from their students.
About two dozen teachers are participating in a University of Arizona summer-writing program intended to improve their classroom teaching by developing their skills and confidence as writers. "Our work is part of a remedy to problems that beset the teaching of writing," said the co-director of the program. "Classrooms can have this kind of enthusiasm and motivation if teachers re-create what we do here in their classrooms."
Schools in Arizona would be required to provide information on students unable to prove they are legal U.S. citizens or risk losing some state aid under a bill being considered by state lawmakers. Some say the practice would ensure that taxpayer money is being spent on educating legal citizens, but opponents say it would deter illegal immigrants from enrolling their children in school and create a burden on schools to collect the data.
Budget cuts are forcing school districts nationwide to cut academic summer programs for students that many educators say help boost success. Officials hope that federal stimulus money will help schools maintain the programs, but some anticipate the money will be received too late to rescue this year's summer courses.