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As parents and educators, we should not be surprised by the recent article from the Washington Post excerpted below. We've seen the damaging effects that testing has had on our children, from lower self-esteem to increased anxiety. The Post reported the following figures collected from 8,000 parents in a NY state poll: According to the Post article: * 75% reported their child was more anxious in the month before the test * Nearly 80% reported that test prep prevented their child from engaging in meaningful school activities. * 87% reported that the current amount of time devoted to standardized testing is not a good use of their child’s school time. * 95% were opposed to increasing the number and length of tests * 91% were opposed to standardized tests for K-2 * 65% reported that too much time is devoted to test prep In addition to responses to questions, nearly 4,000 of the respondents left comments and short anecdotes. Parents reported that... read more

As the popularity of Apple technology soars, more educators are taking note and using it in the classroom. The iPad, specifically, has been receiving much attention as a great tool for motivating and engaging students, as well as easing teachers' jobs. Some pilot schools have even issued iPads to all students to asses the impact of technology integration on school performance. The best education apps, according to technology writer Derek Walter, are the following: Educreations: The whiteboard app allows teachers to record their lessons and upload them so that the student can access them again at the student's convenience. No more "Can you show me that problem again?" Just rewind and the whiteboard app does it for you. Class Dojo: This app assigns each student a little monster icon that appears on the iPad screen. Teachers can motivate students to good behavior by adding or subtracting points from their on-screen personas. Students love this app because... read more

I recently discovered a list of universities that are recording their lectures and posting them on iTunes. The subjects range from philosophy to economics to calculus. So far, I've checked out Stanford's Historical Jesus course as well as Harvard's Mini Med School. I've found the lectures to be fascinating and am blown away that these very prestigious (very expensive!) schools are offering their classes - free of charge! Below is the URL where you can find the list of free courses. Take a look! I'm sure happy to have found these classes and intend to take full advantage of them. http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses -Kristen

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