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Teachers Speak Up at Mooresville Schools’ Summer Connections

MGSD Superintendent, Dr. Mark Edwards addresses the attendees at the Summer Connections 2011 Conference.

They came from all over the country, 400+ attendees from 19 states, to live and learn the lessons from Mooresville’s Schools successful technology initiative, tabbed their “Digital Conversion”.

The setting? The Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD)  “Summer Connections 2011” program, a three day symposium aimed at helping other school districts understand what and how Mooresville has changed their district’s future through the use of implementing technology on a well-planned, thoughtful scale.

It even caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Education, among those in attendance.

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Telepresence a remedy for dissatisfaction with higher ed programs?

July 18, 2011 at 11:28 am PST

So, we’ve talked here about how telepresence can help humanize education, but I’m more and more interested in how telepresence can personalize the learning process.

According to the “Young Adults’ Perspectives on American Education 2011” study conducted by Viacom and The Associated Press, one in four young adults thinks the education system does not understand their values and goals. As a result of this disconnection to their formal education, more 18-24 year olds choose alternative approaches to higher learning, the study found. Students design self-directed curricula, incorporate internships, and teach themselves the knowledge and skills they need for their chosen paths. Read More »

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Boosting Teacher Performance with Telepresence

July 13, 2011 at 7:37 am PST

Remember when the principal used to come into your classroom? Though he or she was only there to observe your teacher, if you were like me, you immediately started running through the day and whether you had littered on campus or let a curse word drop. Total reflex action, then you promptly swallowed your gum and dropped the note you were writing (translation for anyone under 25—text message you were sending) and sat up straight in your chair.

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Inner-city Schools Concert Inspires, Engages Kids

The bright hot autumn sun burned down into Compton, California – right onto the shoulders of a busy nine year-old boy. The boy was respectful, working on hurrying up his chores for his mother so he could play ball with friends.  The boy eyed the last pile of leaves and thought “last one, then I’m done”. He heaved the rake over the pile and pulled back – and stiffened in shock as the rake revealed two automatic hand guns, still warm, hidden in the leaves.

To this day Fred Martin does not like leaves.  Buried under high piles of leaves are where the Compton gangs he grew up with hid their guns – at the safe house of “the Church family” – Fred’s family. The police never searched there; his father was a minister. Soon enough at ten years age Fred, a music prodigy, found himself playing organ in church on Sunday mornings – he later figured the music carried him away from the leaves.

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Connected Kids can be Safe Online

Let’s face it; today’s kids are more connected than ever before.  In fact, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children between the ages of 8-18 spend more than 7 ½ hours a day with those electronic devices, not including the hour and a half they spend texting, or the small amount (30 min) they actually talk on the cell phone.

And these kids are truly digital natives. To them, online access is ubiquitous and expected.  Internet access is everywhere and like oxygen  -- they rely on it, crave it. Whether they tweet, text, update statuses, post pictures, chat and video chat, kids are using their devices to connect, to explore, to share, and yes, to learn.  In fact, a new study has shown that users of social networking sites (SNS) such as Twitter and Facebook, are better off socially, are more trusting of other people and are more civically engaged. Even in classrooms today, teachers have found that using technology has increased their student’s motivation, provided new outlets for student’s creativity, and helped the teachers become better organized. (Read more)

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