More than 1 million books are published, and while the nonprofit Benetech works to add titles to its accessible digital reading Bookshare platform, it cannot handle the volume on its own. Benetech is now working directly with publishers such as Macmillan Learning to embed accessibility features for people with reading impairments or disabilities into all e-books at the time of publication.
A Texas school district is asking for parents to help them curb threats made via social media following an online threat made against a high school. Superintendent Kent Scribner, in a letter to parents, writes that such threats are a crime and will be prosecuted as such.
The Panasonic Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation are launching four academies -- in Atlanta; Calexico, Calif.; Newark, N.J.; and Reno, Nev. -- aimed at teaching coding as a second language to middle- and high-school students. One goal of the program is to expose students of color from low-income backgrounds to STEM-related courses.
Funding has stalled the widespread adoption of augmented- and virtual-reality technologies in classrooms, according to a report from ABI Research. Forecasts show that the education sector is projected to spend $6 billion annually on such technologies and that some equipment costs are expected to fall.
School districts in the US were about $443 billion in debt in 2016 -- up from about $323 billion a decade before -- according to data from the US Census Bureau. Officials in a Michigan district describe a cycle of debt that has worsened amid declining enrollment and low financial support from the community, among other challenges.
In a reversal from past practices, some school districts are taking on debt to help fund technology purchases. Districts in California, Kansas, Minnesota and Texas have incurred long-term debt for these purchases by selling bonds.
Students who need academic interventions often lose out when schools make schedules, researchers have found. Schools should consider student equity at an operational level to ensure that all learners have access to high-quality teachers and smaller classes, and new data tools can help them identify problems and plan better for the future.
Students who used a version of Minecraft that was modified to fit curricula in math and language arts showed improvement in problem-solving, reading and writing skills, according to a study. University of Montreal researcher Thierry Karsenti writes that using boundaries and structure for the game is crucial to fostering positive learning outcomes through its use.
Some Kansas schools adopted the Summit Learning program, a Web-based personalized learning initiative funded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Response to the implementation has been mixed, with some students expressing frustration or issues with the program and other students saying they like the self-directed style of learning.
Moving from shabby, overcrowded school buildings to newly constructed facilities can improve outcomes for students, according to researchers at the California Policy Lab at UCLA and University of California at Berkley. Researchers found that four years after moving to new buildings, students had slightly higher grades and test scores, plus improved attendance.
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