Augmented Reality Brings Interactive Learning to the Classroom
The world is at a pinnacle moment of the Information Era, known as the New Media Age. Technology is rapidly progressing at such a rate that many ideas still seem to be that of science fiction. On the roads, cars are literally driving themselves . UAV's and drones are making advancements in some unexpected ways by aiding in efforts related to agriculture, law enforcement, and filmmaking. At work, archaic landline phones are long gone and have been replaced by sleek wireless headsets and powerful communication methods such as telecommunication.

In 2016, many industries will benefit from augmented reality as advancements in technology will start to really make a mark in education. The form of virtual reality known as augmented reality will be increasingly important within this concept.

Augmented reality opens up a previously unexplored avenue for education. The possibilities are still slightly unknown as developing AR tech continues to skyrocket. AR allows students and teachers to expand the physical world. It does this with a form of virtual overlay. Tablets, smartphones, and VR headsets alike are scanning tangible things in our physical world with apps that allow a new layer of information to appear. This newfound form of information is powerful and relatively unexplored. 3D models are powerful tools that will continue to push AR forward.  >>READ MORE
Florida passes bill requiring 20 minute recess for elementary-schools
A bill that would require at least 20 minutes a day of recess for elementary-school students passed by a vote of 112 to two in the Florida House of Representatives late Thursday.

At a news conference earlier in the day, parents and lawmakers in support of the bipartisan legislation talked about the importance of allowing kids a break from academic work.

Christie Bruner is a mother of three from Saint Petersburg, who has traveled to the state capitol several times this year in support of the bill. She says there is no consistent policy on recess among schools.

Bruner says, "We have some schools that have recess, and some schools that do not. We don't see that as fair. It should be across the board. It shouldn't be that one teacher likes it, and another teacher doesn't. All kids need a break, and it's not fair to them."   >>READ MORE
McDonald's coffee grounds help Scottsdale school's garden grow
plant watering
Most everyone needs a little caffeine boost every now and then - even Mother Nature.

Students at Copper Ridge Elementary School in north Scottsdale are giving nature that boost by integrating coffee grounds from McDonald's McCafe into compost for their school's garden.

The school garden has kale, lettuce, other vegetables and a variety of flowers under cultivation.

"Caring for the garden is like a fifth-grade rite of passage," said fifth-grade teacher Nanette Hubbell.

McDonald's is donating the grounds through a new statewide program called McCafe School Gardens Grow!

Dorothy Stingley, who owns 11 free-standing McDonald's restaurants in Arizona, helped launch the initiative.

Stingley said 100 schools with the Arizona Department of Education School Garden Program have signed up and are mixing McDonald's coffee grounds into the soil and compost. The schools pick up the grounds weekly from a local McDonald's restaurant.   >> READ MORE
Suffolk students to take school climate and safety survey
During the spring, the Virginia Center for School Safety, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Education, will be conducting a school climate and safety survey of students and teachers. The survey's purpose is to measure safety conditions, school discipline, student engagement and student support in every public school in Virginia. Information gained will be used to guide educational practices that produce school environments which are safe and orderly.

This survey will have questions regarding how students regard school rules, their perception of their teachers' willingness to assist them, how they feel about attending school and what they, as students, value. Students will be asked what, if any, kind of teasing and bullying they may have observed at school as well as if they, themselves, have been bullied.

Surveys will be conducted online using school computers. Students will not reveal their names on the survey, thus all answers will be anonymous. Researchers at the University of Virginia will analyze the results, then prepare summarized reports for each school. The school will not receive a copy of any student's individual answers to the survey. 
Fuel Education Offers New Career Readiness 'Pathways'
Fuel Education (FuelEd) has launched Career Readiness Pathways, a blended and online program for career and technical education.

The program includes four "Career Clusters," including business management and administration, health science, information technology, and manufacturing.  Courses for the four career pathways are included in each cluster, offering schools the ability to provide a number of various pathways for students to follow.  The pathways allow students to learn the skills necessary to successfully complete industry-recognized certifications, including A*S*K and Microsoft Office, certified nursing assistant and certified pharmacy technician, CompTIA and Adobe certifications, and NIMS Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator Certification and MSSC Certified Production Technician Certification.

In addition, students preparing for the ACT National Career Readiness Certification and the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute exams also receive support.  Career exploration services and a referral for the school to SkillsUSA are also included, allowing students the ability to begin their own careers and technical student organization chapters for networking, writes Joshua Bolkan for The Journal.    >>READ MORE  
Teen Messaging Apps Present Opportunities, Raise Concern
Teenagers are beginning to move from social media sites to smartphone messaging apps, which means they can have practically complete privacy while participating in their online social world.

Popular apps include Kik, Whisper, WhatsApp,, and Line, some of which can be used while the user remains anonymous. That means no parental controls, and, at least when using Snapchat, automatic erasure of inappropriate pictures, reports Michael S. Rosenwald of the Chicago Tribune.

So many parents are less knowledgeable about technology than their children that parental monitoring of these apps would be difficult even if the programs were not anonymous. On the other hand, advertisers are being given an enormous opportunity. Marketers are watching the youngsters' online interaction and using any information they can get for their benefit.

Line, a texting app created in Japan after a disastrous earthquake, is gaining members in the US by selling animated digital stickers of characters like Darth Vader or Snoopy. The idea is to make the teens' chatting even more fun through the use of cute dancing stickers. And on Kik, advertisers text with teens using bots.   >>READ MORE  
Granny Grubbs grabbed and gobbled great gobs of grubbs.  

Sally Bland Sand bagged sixty tan sand bags.

Marvin Meredith married Meredith Mary Marvin.

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Spartans come from Sparta. Football players come from Florida.

That's how J.T. Thomas describes his native state that year after year produces more NFL talent than anywhere else. But through his foundation, the Giants linebacker is teaching local kids that it's not the only definition out there. "It's truly looked at as a salvation amongst the youth and as a really big part of the culture in South Florida," Thomas told "The DA Show" on CBS Sports Radio.

"Unfortunately, to look at the game of football as a salvation, as a student the chance of actually becoming a professional football player is so slim, it's kind of unfair for a kid to base whether he succeeded or not in life, in school, or any other thing off of a game."
ClassDojo Adds Video To Improve Parent Engagement
ClassDojo has added video for its Class Story feature in an effort to improve communication between teachers and parents.

"When teachers, parents, and students are able to share in the school experience, relationships grow, trust develops and classrooms become real communities," said Liam Don, co-founder and chief product officer at ClassDojo, in a prepared statement. "With video, teachers can easily bring the classroom to life, giving parents an even deeper feel for those amazing moments that make their child's day so special. We hope this brings parents, teachers and students even closer together."
Toyota Provides New Interactive Learning Exhibit to New Albany Elementary
New Albany Elementary pre-kindergarten students have a new tool to explore and improve motor skills and early literacy, thanks to the generosity of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.

This past week, a "Roll, Match, Read" unit was installed at the school and will remain for the rest of the semester.

The unit was created by the Mississippi Children's Museum to add to their outreach programs as a rental service and Toyota has paid $7,000 to have the exhibit here.

The 16-foot-wide exhibit has a "roll" section with adjustable magnetic tracks and balls that children can rearrange in order to see the different results.


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