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By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchool News — What are the most critical technology skills for students to learn? We recently asked our readers this question, and here’s what they had to say.

1. Online literacy —  “Students need to be able to read a news article and determine if there is bias and if it’s truthful

2. Critical thinking —  “Critical thinking; from not texting while driving … to understanding the difference between face time and screen time … to employing sound thinking and decision making in each tech area and with each decision

3. The science behind the technology —  “It is dumbfounding how, in this day and age, educators still think learning a specific piece of software or using a specific piece of hardware is important for ‘technology’ learning.

4. Adaptability — “I believe that having enough resourcefulness, initiative, risk-taking, and creativity to learn and master any technology is necessary, as we actually cannot predict what technology 10 years from now will look like.”

5. Courage —  “I think a great skill to have is fearlessness: Being able to experiment with a technology or software and not worry if you’re using it ‘correctly.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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The NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants provide funds to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem-solving that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection.

Maximum award: $5,000.

Eligibility: practicing U.S. public school teachers, public school education support professionals, or faculty or staff at public higher education institutions.

Deadline: October 15, 2012

Note: Please address all questions to the funding organization directly.

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From eSchool News, September 6, 2011 — Plagiarism is going social, according to Turnitin.com, which found that one-third of plagiarized material in student papers can be traced to social networking, content sharing, or question-and-answer websites; sources that more and more students are turning to to fulfill assignments.

Turnitin.com offers software that checks student papers against a vast database of prior works and the internet at large, looking for matches that can indicate possible plagiarism. An analysis of the top sources of matched content flagged by the software reveals a significant shift in the last few years, the company says—from so-called “term paper mills” to social sites and homework help sites.

The white paper outlines three recommendations for educators as they strive to teach students how to research and properly cite from sources online. Read the entire story here.

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The NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants “provide funds to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem-solving that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter”. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection.

Maximum award: $5,000.

Eligibility: practicing U.S. public school teachers, public school education support professionals, or faculty or staff at public higher education institutions.

Deadline: October 15, 2011.

Guidelines are found here:

http://www.neafoundation.org/programs/StudentAchievement_Guidelines.htm

Notice: WGBY is not affiliated with this grantmaking opportunity and is just spreading the word about its availability.  All questions about the grant should be addressed to the NEA.

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A notification we received from our friends at E-School News about a great opportunity for high school students:

“Cathay Pacific is sponsoring students aged between 16 and 18 from all around the world to participate in the new Cathay Pacific Green Explorer program. The eight-day program will take place in Hong Kong and Sichuan, China from August 13-20, 2011. Maximum award: flights to and from, travel, food, and accommodation during an eight-day program in Yingjing County, China. Eligibility: residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, South Africa, Germany, United States and Canada who are full-time students between 16 to 18 years old (as of June 1, 2011), proficient in written and spoken English, with previous voluntary or community service experience. Deadline: June 17, 2011.”

Note: WGBY is not affiliated with this student award program.  For more information, please visit the program website.

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