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Top stories summarized by our editors
7/23/2021

Millions of students in the US remain unable to get online despite having at-home internet access because they are under-connected, according to a survey by researchers at New America. Of the 84% of low-income families with devices and internet access at home, 56% are under-connected -- primarily due to slow internet speeds -- researchers found.

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EdSurge
7/23/2021

Ashley Crandall, a second-grade teacher in San Antonio Independent School District, asked her students to create artwork that illustrates the "best" and the "most challenging" parts of their experience during the coronavirus pandemic. Many families have suffered personal losses, unemployment and other challenges, so Crandall says she has focused on offering a safe space for students.

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The 74
7/23/2021

Atlanta high-school students Jayla Jackson and Emani Stanton are the first female duo of color to win the summer debate competition at Harvard University, topping other teams in all 10 rounds. Pairing up a week before the competition began, Jackson and Stanton spent one year training in debate through the Atlanta-based Harvard Diversity Project, an effort to engage Black students in the university's debate contest.

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WXIA-TV (Atlanta)
7/23/2021

The Ector County Independent School District in Texas is partnering with SpaceX to use its Starlink satellite technology to provide broadband internet to 45 families. In this interview, Superintendent Scott Muri shares how the pilot program is helping to close the homework gap in the district.

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K-12 Dive
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SpaceX
7/23/2021

Minnesota State University, Mankato, is tapping into the rising popularity of esports with a training program in video gaming. In addition to competitive play, the students learn teamwork, marketing and sportscasting.

7/23/2021

Tired of Zoom, Professor Cristina Lopes at the University of California, Irvine used OpenSimulator to create an immersive virtual world for students in her introductory computer class. Lectures were conducted in virtual reality and students had their own treehouse that served as their home in the world. While in the virtual environment, students would collaborate with one another on group projects and interact with immersive simulations about how computers work.

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Tech & Learning
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University of California
7/23/2021

There are two schools of thought for district leaders when it comes to using the one-time federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act in education. One is the acknowledgment that this is the largest influx of federal funds to districts since the creation of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and there is a real opportunity to use this lump sum to foster real change and innovation. The other acknowledges that these are, in fact, one-time funds, which means any dollars should not be used for recurring costs. Both schools of thought are valid, but it appears the former is what districts are thinking.

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Tech & Learning
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USDE
7/23/2021

Education has been infused with record levels of federal funding and determining which edtech tools used during remote learning work and which ones to keep has become a critical-yet-necessary process. "It's still difficult to decide which products should be the ones that you want to put in front of students and teachers," says Christina Luke, senior director of Lifelong Learning Pathways for Digital Promise. "Just selecting from the thousands of options, even before you make a purchasing decision, is very difficult."

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Tech & Learning
7/23/2021

Researchers assessed cows' ability to walk straight lines -- similar to a sobriety test for humans -- to learn more about their gait patterns, reporting their findings in PLOS ONE. "Future analysis of these signals in lame cows will allow us to identify the best features that can be used from [inertial measurement unit] data to objectively quantify lameness and might be useful for the development of an automatic recognition method and extensions to computer vision techniques," said the researchers.

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Gizmodo
7/23/2021

A Washington state high school is hosting a three-week, summer Production and Manufacturing Academy aimed at encouraging students to consider careers in the skilled trades. As part of the program, students gain experience in the manufacturing process by creating, designing, building and selling a product.