Education Framework Blog

Focused on the Future of Education in America

PARCC exam discombobulates school resources

Albuquerque Journal

The Rio Rancho school district is using some creative methods to ensure they have enough room and computers for its students to take the new statewide online test in March.

The plan seems “discombobulated” according to one school board member but it is the “least disruptive way to do this” according to one of the organizers.

Students in grades three through eleven will take the online Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers to test their knowledge in math and English. The test replaces the paper and pencil Standards Based Assessment the state has traditionally required to test student proficiency.

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5 ways mobile tech is transforming education

1. Tablets change the perception of "computing"
It's no surprize that kids like tablets. Now tablets are becoming the norm in schools, and there is no longer a need to be anchored to a desk in a computer lab.

2. Gamification of education
Games are fun, and kids know it. When classroom lessons are presented as games they incorporate an element of competition that draws kids in, and makes it fun to try to do their best.

3. Immediate feedback from teachers
With applications like Google Docs, teachers can review student work in real-time, while the student is actually writing a paper.  This type of real-time interaction can accelerate the learning process and can reach students while they are thinking critically about the subject matter.

4. Communication
Is communication better or worse? Face-to-face interactions may be reduced in the digital age, but kids who wouldn't typically raise their hand in class, now have a way to interact without drawing attention.

5. Interactive hands-on learning
Conceptual learning is different than practical hands-on learning. Technology brings kids closer to the subject and facilitates interactive learning experiences that were not available just a few years ago.

New study utilizes 'Kinect' technology to teach geometry

Teachers are getting creative to make math fun for students. 'Kinect' technology from Microsoft is being used to teach elementary school students geometry. A study from the the Journal of Mathematical Behavior, shows that students can make big gains in their understanding of geometry by using their bodies to 'perform' measurements and calculations.

Using technology like 'Kinect' is a great way to keep kids active while they learning important math principles.

Education Funding and Economic Outcomes...Is There a Link?

Blackstone Group's CEO Says More Money Won't Improve Public Education

Despite the financial industry arguing that high pay on Wall Street is needed to retain and develop talent, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, suggested a potential solution for America's education challenges could be unpaid labor.

“I’ve always wondered, what you do in a society with people who just retire,” he told conference attendees. “If you could get those people, like a board, [to be an] unpaid workforce, pay them next to nothing or nothing, and have them go into the school system to be mentors to kids, and be an example of a certain type of success that you would get dramatically different outcomes. If you can get unemployed people that cost nothing, that can have this dramatic difference, that costs nothing. I love things that cost nothing that have great results. Imagine if you laid on technology and other types of things, you could really set the world on fire with this type of stuff.”

Schwarzman's views run counter to those of other analysts. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research this month suggested otherwise, showing a strong link between education funding and education and economic outcomes. Based on almost five decades of data, the researchers found a 10 percent increase in per-student spending leads to more completed years of education, higher wages and a reduction in the incidence of adult poverty. Those results, concluded the study, are even “more pronounced for children from low-income families.”

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Student Data Privacy in the Spotlight

President Obama called for legislation to protect students' online data in a speech at the FTC.

Companies that provide educational technology might find themselves in the spotlight if they fail to sign a voluntary pledge to safeguard student data. 


"We want to encourage every company that provides technology to our schools to join this effort," the president said, "and if you don't join this effort, then we intend to make sure that those parents and those schools know that you haven't joined" it. 


Obama did not provide details about how companies could be called out for failing to sign the pledge.

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The President talks Student Privacy...wait! What??

Why is this important for students and parents? Because, the Administration is taking notice. 

It pushes student privacy to the forefront and will allow us to discuss this issue and work towards effecting change in the way we view privacy, data ownership and technology.

Ed-tech is transforming how children learn. We want students recognized as owners of their data, so they’re empowered to make decisions about their education. As we work to protect student privacy, we must ask ourselves whose privacy are we protecting and what learners are being left vulnerable. Because unless we address these questions, we limit the conversation to what data points should and should not be collected instead of how can we turn data into valuable information.

                                                                                                              - Thoughts from Olga Garcia-Kaplan

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