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Moving Toward Integrated Schools

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Lecturer Lee Teitel (pictured, left) is building a movement focused on school integration. “Building high-quality diverse and equitable schools is something we can do,” Teitel insists. But getting America to a place where schools are truly integrated is a work-in-progress. Since launching Reimagining Integration: The Diverse and Equitable Schools Project (RIDES), an initiative that investigates and identifies a common vision for growing equitable, diverse, and truly integrated schools, in 2015, Teitel has relied on students and educators working together to help capture what integration actually looks like in schools. Through two courses designed and taught by Teitel — Leading for Equity and Diversity in Integrated Schools and the newer Coaching for Equity and Diversity in Schools and Systems — HGSE students partner with K–12 schools and districts to tackle the intense and complex work of school integration. “It is very real experience,” Teitel says. “It is not a lab experiment...
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Harvard EdCast: Test Prep Tech

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Test prep isn't what it used to be. With technological advances, gone are the days of poring over a three-inch thick manual and filling out Scantron bubbles on sample test sheet after sample test sheet. Now, companies like Kaplan Test Prep offer a variety of digital learning methods, including self-paced online courses and interactive live-streaming for groups. These advances, while making test prep more convenient for all learners, also opens up new possibilities for students who had not previously been able to participate, whether due to geography or other limitations. "It's nice that technology is now allowing us to enter modes of delivery that can increase access and meet the learner where she is," says Mike Palmer, vice president of digital media at Kaplan. But the company's courses are about much more than preparing for the test, says Palmer and Esther Lee, Ed.M.'14, Kaplan's director of digital media program development....
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Harvard EdCast: The Mythbuster

Harvard EdCast: The Mythbuster
Chris Cerf
Christopher Cerf came to Newark in 2015 ready to work. The public schools in the city had faced a number of tumultuous years — even becoming state-operated in 1995 — but, if the low graduation rates and test scores, and low percentage of students reading on grade level were any indication, there was more to be done. "Change was in order," says Cerf, when he took on the role of the city's superintendent. He jumped in, first dismantling the system's "top-down monopoly" of traditional public schools run by traditional school boards. Now the city's students have options: they still have a number traditional public schools, but also magnet and charter schools that are showing encouraging results. "A central part of [the school department's] function is to bring in great schools and to make sure that existing schools are, themselves, great," says Cerf, who also faces the daunting task of beginning...
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Sesame Workshop and IBM Watson Team Up for Personalized Learning

Sesame Workshop and IBM Watson Team Up for Personalized Learning
Photo: IBM
Sesame Workshop and IBM Watson recently completed a pilot in Georgia’s Gwinnett County Public Schools of the industry’s first cognitive, tablet-based, vocabulary-learning app. The app, built on the companies' new platform for personalized learning and vocabulary development, is intended to "level the learning field" by giving teachers additional insight into their students' progress. We asked Harvard Graduate School of Education Lecturer Todd Rose , who is also an adviser to the ongoing project and development of the platform, about the Sesame-IBM partnership and innovation, the connection to his research and work at HGSE, and what the future holds for the business of personalized learning. There's a lot of products, platforms, and apps out there for kids to use and learn from. What is it about Sesame Workshop and IBM Watson’s that sets it apart?  Sesame Workshop and IBM Watson are really making a longer term bet here with their new...
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Digital Risks

Digital Risks
Recent weeks have brought worst-case reminders of the possible real-world implications of young people’s digital interactions. A litany of incriminating text messages led to a guilty verdict in the case of Michelle Carter, charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to take his own life. Harvard University announced that it had rescinded offers of admission to a group of students found to have exchanged offensive memes in a private Facebook chat. The Snapchats, Internet searches, and text messages of a group of Penn State fraternity brothers will be evidence in a criminal case arising from a horrific hazing death. We asked Carrie James , a sociologist at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who explores connections between young people’s digital, moral, and civic lives, to share perspectives on the Carter/Roy case, as well as takeaways for parents and educators. What does a guilty verdict in the Michelle...
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