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2014 Sanilac Career Center Art Show Winners Minimize

Congratulations to these Peck students who were the top three artists at the Sanilac Career Center's annual art show that was held last week.  Justin Schneidewind won "Best of Show" honors while Kaylee Ruthruff and Bailey Sell grabbed the "Spotlight" award. 




      
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50 top ed-tech products, straight from educators
This past spring, we asked readers to give us their top picks for school hardware, software, websites, and other ed-tech services—and here are the best responses.
4 apps for Earth exploration, chemical reactions, and more
4 apps for Earth exploration, chemical reactions, and more This round-up ensures you won’t miss any of our weekly highlighted apps Each week, we feature a new App of the Week on our website and in our newsletters. These apps are for students or educators and offer a range of uses. But one thing is certain: educators and students are using apps now more than ever. Here’s a round-up of the apps we’ve featured over the past month. Check back each Monday for a new App of the Week. And don’t worry–if you miss one, you can find a summary of recent apps at the end of each month. 1. Create a chemical reaction Name: ChemCrafter What is it? ChemCrafter lets you build your own lab to run fun and creative experiments. Best for: Science students Price: Free (Next page: 3 more apps) 2. Fractions, anyone? Name: Quick Fractions What is it? Hate fractions? That’s ok! Quick Fractions is here to help you master one of the most troublesome areas of mathematics! Perfect for those just starting out with fractions, more advanced students, or even adults looking for a challenge. Best for: Students ages 9-11 Price: $2.99 3. Follow that shark! Name: Global Shark Tracker What is it? An app for tracking and observing navigational patterns of sharks Best for: Students and teachers Price: Free 4. Browse the Earth’s visual history Name: EarthViewer What is it? What did Earth’s continents and oceans look like 250 million years ago, or even 1 billion years ago? What do we know about the climate back when our planet formed? EarthViewer is like a time machine for exploring Earth’s deep history. Based on the latest scientific research, it lets you scroll through the last 4.5 billion years with your fingertips. Best for: Students and teachers Price: Free
Jobs requiring STEM skills take longer to fill
The difficulty of filling STEM jobs is a challenge, and it's going to get worse. That's the assessment of a report published in early July. Across a range of industries and occupations, job postings for science, technology, engineering or math openings are being advertised on employers' web pages far longer than for non-STEM jobs, the new Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program study finds. "That's 100 percent correct," said Cynthia Smith, recruitment manager at the University of Kansas Hospital. "It's never been easy to find qualified people for specialized STEM positions. Those jobs have a tendency to take up to 12 weeks to fill, if not a year." The Brookings analysis found that STEM openings nationally are advertised for more than twice as long as all other types of jobs. And sometimes, Smith noted, the jobs have to be re-advertised because initial offers are turned down. The hospital, for example, recently spent seven months and made three offers to fill a very specific cytogenetics laboratory position. The Brookings report concluded that there is a dearth of applicants who meet advertised STEM qualifications. Other analysts suggest that the hiring problems are worsened because employers look for "perfect" candidates instead of training workers who bring other good qualities to the table and could do the work. Brookings associate fellow Jonathan Rothwell, the study's author, said in an interview that comparative recession-era and post-recession data tend to disprove the pickiness argument. "STEM hiring difficulty fell during the recession," Rothwell said, "Presumably that was because employers were getting more qualified applicants. It's basic Economics 101. The supply of qualified workers was higher during the recession." There's also a vibrant national debate about whether U.S. schools are turning out enough STEM-qualified workers. Some reports contend there are plenty of STEM graduates for available jobs.
The top ways digital tools transform learning
Digital tools are often touted for their ability to have a transformative effect on teaching and learning, and an annual survey reveals just how deeply these tools continue to impact education. Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans shared some of the latest Speak Up Survey data. The annual survey focuses on digital tools, emerging technologies, professional development, digital citizenship, STEM, and administrators' challenges. "We have a strong belief that today's students should be well-prepared for the future, and digital tools can help ensure that they are prepared," Evans said. When it comes to district administrators’ views on solutions that can most transform teaching and learning, their top motivating factors include enhancing teacher effectiveness (58 percent), integrating 21st century skills into curriculum (49 percent), and leveraging technology more effectively (46 percent). Students surveyed said their path to a more personalized learning experience includes social-based learning involving interaction with peers and real-world experts, untethered learning that helps students learn outside the physical boundaries of a classroom or classroom resources, and digitally-rich learning that adds relevance and context to the learning process. Teachers who self-assessed their use of digital tools as “advanced” (28 percent of respondents) use a variety of digital tools and approaches, including: Internet to research information about a lesson (90 percent) Watching online videos to learn (74 percent) Text with colleagues (67 percent) Customize digital content for class use (56 percent) Participate in online professional learning communities (55 percent) Teachers' use of digital content in the classroom includes: Videos found online (47 percent of elementary school teachers and 49 percent of middle school teachers) Game environments (35 percent of elementary and 21 percent of middle) Online textbooks (22 percent of elementary and 29 percent of middle) Real-time data (21 percent of elementary and 19 percent of middle) Animations (19 percent of elementary and 22 percent of middle) Self-created videos (6 percent of elementary and 11 percent of middle)
California’s digital divide still gaping
Araceli Barron, the bilingual mother of three young children in Sunnyvale, has seen California's digital divide up close. Until recently, the family had no Internet access at home and as more and more schoolwork required an online presence, her sixth-grade daughter was starting to fall behind. "In January we finally got internet and it's made a huge difference in all my kids' grades," said Barron, whose household income is not much more than $20,000 a year. "And that's really helped my kids' self-esteem." Despite living in the tech-rich heart of Silicon Valley, Barron and her children have straddled a stubborn gap between the state's digital-haves and have-nots that shows little sign of closing anytime soon. According to a statewide Field Poll, broadband adoption rates have stagnated over the past few years, with access by Latinos, seniors and others lagging behind that enjoyed by younger adults and those with higher incomes. According to the poll, 75 percent of adult Californians have broadband Internet connectivity at home. While that's up from 55 percent when the first poll was done in 2008, this year's number was unchanged from 2013 as growth appears to have stalled. Perhaps even more troubling, usage patterns vary significantly across different segments of the state's population. For example, while nearly 90 percent of Californians age 18-29 and those who have graduated from college or who earn annual household incomes of $60,000 or more report having broadband internet access at home, significantly smaller slices of other groups were able to say the same. They include adults who have not graduated from high school (32 percent of whom have broadband Internet access), Spanish-speaking Latinos (46 percent), seniors 65 or older (47 percent) and residents with annual household incomes of less than $20,000 (53 percent).
    
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