Want to learn how educators can best use technology to teach students core academics and bring their skills into the 21st century? Check out ASCD SmartBrief's "Literacy 2.0" special report Part I and Part II.
Indiana demands much from its teachers, but the state's teacher-licensing process is not effective, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett writes. It does not require educators' command of subjects they'll teach, he argues. Bennett advocates changes that include altering licensing rules to draw professionals into teaching and requiring more subject-matter knowledge from education majors.
The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education and Kids Voting Arizona are trying to make elections relevant by sponsoring free teacher-training sessions about voting curriculum designed to inspire educators and students during years without national elections. The Kids Voting K-12 Curriculum offers instruction techniques for concepts such as voting, elections and political propaganda.
A review of state science standards found that evolution curriculum has generally improved and expanded since 2000. However, the National Center for Science Education found that creationist terms are being included in evolution teaching. The center would like to see a national standard set for science curriculum.
A social-networking Web site called BetterLesson is allowing teachers to collaborate with colleagues as well as upload and share lesson plans and other ideas. The site has been compared to Facebook, and allows educators to create their own pages, upload an entire year's curriculum and "colleague" each other.
A draft of proposed national technological-literacy exams has been released by the National Assessment Governing Board. The computer-based test, which will be given to a sample of students in fourth, eighth and 12th grades in 2012, will gauge students' ability to use and communicate with technology as well as their understanding of technology's advantages and drawbacks.