Industry News
K-12
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/24/2021

Veronica Wylie, a high-school science teacher in Mississippi, has earned her scuba diving certification and is developing a culturally relevant marine biology curriculum with the help of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers. Wylie says she wants students to see her and themselves in the sciences, including by participating in Youth Diving With a Purpose scuba training with a goal of visiting Florida to explore shipwrecks related to the African Diaspora.

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EdSurge
9/24/2021

Recent photos of migrants from Haiti being pushed out of Texas and into the Rio Grande and toward Mexico by US Border Patrol agents on horseback have reminded some of images from more than a century ago of white people on horseback whipping enslaved Black people. Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, said events at the border are "familiar" to those who know "America's ugly history," and Anne Bailey, a professor and the director of the Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity at Binghamton University, said the images bring to mind "slave patrols."

9/24/2021

Nearly 200 Native American students from 45 tribes attend Rochester Public Schools in Minnesota, where a school that is now under construction will honor that population and the history of the land with the name Dakota Middle School, a first in the district. With the name Dakota, which means friend or ally, the school will help diminish stereotypes while also sending a powerful message to current and future generations, said Regan Kluver, the district's American Indian liaison.

9/24/2021

The US Department of Education announced the 325 schools earning the National Blue Ribbon distinction for 2021. Among the schools recognized was Avalon Middle School in Florida, where teachers and administrators help to close achievement gaps by fostering a growth mindset.

9/24/2021

Over the past few years, chatbots have become common in higher ed, helping students apply to college and for financial aid, among other functions. Now, AI-powered chatbots are being utilized more often in K-12. Proponents say the digital assistants can help districts utilize their human resources more efficiently and promote equity in the process. "We're not trying to replace humans," says
AtlasRTX president Mike Bills. "There are just nowhere near enough humans in education. We are trying to be the assistant to those staff members and faculty so that they can focus on just those high-value tasks."

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Tech & Learning
9/24/2021

Storyboard That lets anyone, be it a teacher, student, parent, whoever - create visually engaging storyboards. A storyboard is a movie-making tool used to lay out a film beforehand visually, with drawing and writing. Think a bit like comic books, but with a more symmetrical and uniform layout. This particular version of that gets you all the visually punchy results without the need to be able to draw. In fact, with lots of community-created content already there, you could have a storyboard without having to come up with any original work at all.

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Tech & Learning
9/24/2021

Unable to use Torrington Middle School's gym or equipment last year because of the pandemic, PE teacher Jim Pepper turned to outdoor lessons to make sure students still got a workout. Pepper, who says community means "common unity," along with other teachers coordinated winter snowshoeing activities and nature walks and had students collect and paint motivational rocks to give out around town.

9/24/2021

Minnetonka Public Schools in Minnesota has launched a transition program for students in special education called Students Achieving Independent Life for skills and guidance after high school. Students in the SAIL program have access to a greenhouse, learning labs, a model apartment and other learning labs.

9/24/2021

Former St. James, Minn., student Dean Hagger says a math teacher got him hooked on computer programming, and now Hagger -- CEO of tech company Jamf -- is paying it forward by bringing an innovation hub to his old schools. Jamf typically creates technology hubs in places such as Kenya and Afghanistan, and St. James is Hagger's first rural US site, bringing middle-schoolers equipment and lessons related to cameras, coding and other technology.

9/24/2021

Microsoft is offering a Surface Adaptive Kit for laptop users with disabilities. Sticky labels, screen openers and port indicators are part of the accessibility effort, with Microsoft's Dave Dame noting, "It's not simply about creating accessible technology, it's about what the person can achieve and experience because of that technology."