EdTech
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/24/2020

Philanthropist and investor George Soros said he plans to develop a $1 billion global network to serve as a new model for higher education. The Open Society University Network "will integrate learning and knowledge creation across geographic and demographic boundaries, promote civic engagement to advance open societies and expand access of underserved communities to higher education," Soros said.

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Inside Higher Ed
1/24/2020

The "Outlet Challenge," now circulating on some social media platforms, is being blamed for damaging electrical outlets in three classrooms in a Texas high school. Officials are warning parents about the challenge, which involves a phone charger and a penny, damages the outlet and may cause a fire.

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Texas high school
1/23/2020

School districts are starting to replace traditional school buses with new, electric buses -- motivated by environmental factors, as well as the promise of reduced fuel and maintenance expenses. However, for districts that find the startup costs prohibitive, some utilities, including Dominion Energy, are stepping up to help offset the cost to school districts.

1/23/2020

Blount County, Tenn., officials are installing a new system that allows middle and high school teachers to contact 911 by pushing a button on a pendant connected to the county's Situational Awareness Response Assistant alert system. In an emergency, 911 dispatchers can view what is happening via school security cameras, and the system is already operational at William Blount High School.

1/23/2020

A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed that adolescent psychiatric inpatients who reported experiencing cyberbullying had significantly elevated anger, depression, fantasy dissociation and post-traumatic stress disorder severity, compared with those who weren't bullied. Researchers also found significantly increased levels of lifetime emotional abuse, but not emotional or physical neglect and physical or sexual abuse, among those who were cyberbullied.

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Psych Central
1/22/2020

Virtual reality is helping students with autism at Prior's Court School in England adapt to challenging situations by using headsets that present scenarios such as flying on a plane or shopping in a mall. "The VR sets allow them to experience new realities and probably help them transition when they have to face a new place," says the school's computing instructor, Nuno Guerreiro.

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Reuters
1/22/2020

Using animals for dissection in science classes requires lab space and raises ethical and religious issues for certain students, so some educators are using digital dissection tables and synthetic frogs as alternatives. Students can cut and extract tissue from the fake frogs, while virtual dissection tables provide greater detail of images.

1/22/2020

There are two Twitter accounts for a South Dakota school district but only one belongs to the district. The fake Twitter account looks almost identical but contains different posts, leading district officials to caution families that only the official account will contain the same messaging as is posted on other social media platforms such as Facebook and distributed by email.

1/21/2020

The first Future of Education Technology conference of the new decade featured sessions and content on hot education topics, including social emotional learning, school transformation and teacher mental health. Vendors provided a glimpse of what edtech buyers can expect in the coming decade.

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SmartBrief/Education
1/21/2020

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro Rivera has announced $5.7 million in grants to help more schools offer computer science classes and teacher training. The grants are the latest offered as part of the PAsmart initiative, which helped more than 1,100 teachers participate in STEM education and computer science training during the 2018-19 school year.