My friends and I often lament the fact that we weren't taught about money management in school. A few were taught about investing, saving, applying for mortgages, etc. by their parents, but some of us weren't so fortunate. A class giving us some idea of what to expect when we entered the workforce and were responsible for our own finances would have been incredibly beneficial. One Texas lawmaker is hoping to make it mandatory that such a class be taught in our state's high schools. view article arw

The Smith household – Rick Smith, his wife Dr. Abbie Smith, and their three young children – uses technology all the time. Because of that, Rick said it’s important to have conversations with his kids early and often about navigating the digital world.  “As a dad, I want to be able to prevent my son from being a cyberbully, and I want to help him navigate emotions when he is going to likely have to deal with that area of life at some point,” he said. view article arw

Tara Hartford recently presented Krum ISD’s use of safety applications before a statewide meeting of educators. Hartford, a science teacher at Krum High School, explained on Monday afternoon the district’s use of two phone applications at the request of students to address their three largest concerns: safety, drugs and mental illness. view article arw

Technology plays such a major role in our lives: from making phones calls to research on the internet, but that technology requires constant upgrades, which many times comes at big costs, especially when it needs to travel through an entire school district. "Currently, we have over 15,000 Chromebooks, roughly 6,000 desktop computers, 300 or 400 Macbook computers," WFISD Chief Technology Officer Shad McGaha said. Right now, all of those computers are connected across 21 sights across the district. In 2015, the WFISD starting planning what's known as a dark fiber initiative, meaning laying more fiber optic cable than needed and adding more sites. view article arw

Students in the Garland Independent School District can report problems anonymously with a new smartphone app. The school district has Anonymous Alerts set up on about 54,000 devices including iPads and Chromebooks throughout its schools. It’s also available as a smartphone app for parents and students to download. view article arw

Virginia-based technology company LGS Innovations is one step closer to standing up a 9,000-square-foot cybersecurity operations hub at Port San Antonio. City Council on Thursday approved $180,000 in economic development incentives, and the Bexar County Commissioners Court awarded LGS a grant on Tuesday from its Innovation Fund. With the County potentially paying out up to $50,000 for the jobs LGS Innovations is slated to create, the total incentive package could amount to $230,000. view article arw

Janelle Bence recently received the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award, which recognizes exemplary K-12 teachers in Texas. Bence has been a teacher at New Tech @ Coppell since 2012 and she said being with her learners makes her smile every day. According the district, Bence brings awareness to the community and has a passion for other people. view article arw

High School students from across Texas and Oklahoma, some from as far away as Houston converged on Wichita Falls Saturday for the 2nd annual “Rumble in the Falls” robotics competition, hosted by the Iowa Park Independent School District. view article arw

It will be several years before any students from Lufkin Middle School sit down in a college classroom and learn the skills they will need for their future careers. However, they’re getting an early start Becky Walker’s class. Five months ago, Walker was one of the dozens of teachers across 10 campuses named as a recipient of LISD’s Prize Patrol grants. The grant serves as a bridge for teacher to invest in innovative learning projects that cannot be funded through the standard school district budget. view article arw

Students from Neal Elementary School and Jane Long Intermediate School in Bryan became the teachers Thursday afternoon as they traveled to Texas A&M to present projects developed through the Making the Maker program. The presentations are part of a new partnership between A&M and the Bryan school district through the newly established Texas A&M Institute of Technology-Infused Learning (TITIL) in the College of Architecture. Francis Quek, visualization professor and TITIL director, first approached Neal Elementary science teacher Rachael Murphy about the program about five years ago as a way to bring technology into the classroom. view article arw

The future of science, technology, engineering and mathmetics instruction for certain Denison students recently became a little brighter thanks to a new course designed to challenge their creativity and science skills. Teacher Elana Kinghorn teaches a LEGO Mindstorm Robotics class using robot kits to teach students how to combine ingenuity and creativity. The students learn how to program the robots using a computer before meticulously testing the robot to ensure it behaves according to the instructions. view article arw

More students than ever before might soon have a chance to study a classical language- and from the comfort of their own home. Katy ISD officials are developing an online Latin course, expanding a class that is currently taught at only one high school in the district. But it’s not the only course the district is creating. view article arw

Emily Meisel, media specialist at Hudson High School, was named one of three finalists for the Texas Computer Education Association’s Media Specialist competition.  Meisel and two other finalists were up against more than 100 nominations from schools across the state. The winner will be announced at the TCEA state convention on Feb. 5 in San Antonio. Nominations were based on a list of requirements, and instructional technology specialist Joan Ragland said Meisel does everything on the list. view article arw

The idea of the student-athlete is changing. A new scholarship sport at Concordia University Texas doesn't require any running or throwing. Instead, it puts the player behind a video game controller. "I've always loved video games. They've been a part of me," Cameron Hoffman, who has played video games since he was a kid, said. view article arw

The MdBio Foundation recently brought a hi-tech mobile laboratory to several Southeast Texas schools, teaching hurricane-impacted students about wildlife forensics, virtual reality and other STEM-related subjects by providing them with hands-on experience. As part of MdBio’s “Learning Undefeated” program, MdBio Education Outreach Coordinator Desurae Matthews and Education Outreach Fellow Zahra Shihabuddin visited local campuses hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. In December 2018, the MdBio crew visited students enrolled in the Woodrow Wilson Early College High School in Port Arthur and middle school students currently attending classes at the Vidor High School campus.  view article arw

As technology has changed over the years, residents now have their own computer in their hands they can use on a daily basis to contact family members, peruse social media or to stream movies and TV shows. Some reports suggest that mobile devices are becoming a distraction to students while in school, with many districts — including some in the United States — banning them from campuses. Local school officials said its cell phone policies differ from campus to campus. Over the summer, the French government passed a law banning cell phones in school, according to CNN, which came into effect at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year and impacts students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Some schools across the United States are enacting similar policies as a way to decrease distractions for students. view article arw

A typical adult will consult their screen 80 times a day, or 30,000 times a year.  Kids will check theirs more frequently. Fifteen years ago teachers did not have to contend with smart phones in the hands of pupils in classrooms during instruction time.  Today some of those teachers are pulling their hair out.  Others are finding cell phones a handy tool that enhances learning opportunities. view article arw

Families interested in sending their students to Fort Bend ISD’s James Reese Career and Technical Center can apply for enrollment for the 2019-20 school year through Feb. 5 at 3 p.m., according to a release from the district. The center, where historic human remains were discovered last February, is still slated to open this fall offering specialized, hands-on courses to prepare students for post-secondary college and career goals. FBISD sophomores, juniors and seniors may apply, and current seventh- and eighth-grade students may need to choose prerequisite courses at their home campus to be eligible to attend the Reese Center their sophomore through senior year in high school, the release said. view article arw

Clear Creek ISD announced in a press release Jan. 23 it will launch a new podcast, “Car Rider Line,” to communicate with the community. The first episode will be recorded live at noon Jan. 24. The biweekly podcast will cover a wide range of education news, district initiatives, achievements and conversations with district leaders and other guests. Episodes will be recorded live on Clear Creek ISD’s Facebook page, according to the release. view article arw

There’s a program for local schools through Texas Tech that brings Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) projects to local schools. The Center for the Integration of STEM Education and Research or CISER at Texas Tech University brings hands on and interactive projects to classrooms. It is called the CISER Traveling Lab program. Jill White is the Associate program director of STEM outreach at Tech. She says they bring everything to the teachers and schools. The supplies, materials, project worksheets and a teacher workbook is included in the tote. When the project is complete, they will pick up the tote as well. view article arw

Paperless. It’s the way of things these days, and Harlingen School of Health Professions is training its teachers — and students — to do just that through Google. “We have our teachers that are being trained in Google classroom,” said Principal Tina Garza. view article arw

Seguin police and the Seguin Independent School District are stressing the importance of parents warning their children about the dangers of sexting. On Wednesday, the A.J. Briesemeister Middle School held a parent night that included the act of sexting in the discussion. view article arw

Starting Jan. 28, Verizon Wireless customers will no longer receive text notifications from Remind, an app that more than 7 million educators, students and parents use to communicate for educational purposes, free of charge, according to the Remind website. view article arw

Facebook burst onto the scene about 15 years ago, and people have been sharing every tiny little detail about themselves ever since. Only in the last few years has an awareness developed that maybe we shouldn’t be sharing so much information about ourselves. In some cases, the damage is done. People have been hacked, have lost their jobs, and some have lost their lives because of a Facebook post. However, the number of active Facebook users continues to rise, now over 1 billion. Facebook doesn’t appear to be going away, so how can we navigate these seemingly uncharted waters? There are two main areas to look for when dealing with Facebook. The first is privacy. How much information are you putting on Facebook? Who gets to view that information? Is any of that information sensitive data? The second area is reputation. Are you posting that drunk photo of you at your friend’s bachelorette party? Will your employer see the picture you are about to post? Is what you are about to post going to endanger your job or your safety in any way? This world is about how to navigate Facebook in a world where everyone seems to be posting every little tiny detail about themselves. Facebook itself is not an evil. Like all tools, is how it is used that matters. view article arw

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees met for their Tuesday meet where they reviewed academic achievement, worked toward new board goals, and approved a series of online courses for Permian High School and Odessa High School. Trustees voted 6-1 to approve six new online courses through Proximity Learning. Delma Abalos voted against the motion. This proposal will add four courses at Permian HS, including Algebra II, Advanced Placement English III, World History, and English I. view article arw

Students from across 20 Texas school districts joined forces on Saturday, Jan. 12 for the love of science and robots. The TCEA Robotic competition teaches kids life skills outside of the classroom while also helping students develop solutions to real-world problems. view article arw

Several talented Socorro ISD students worked together to participate in an out-of-this-world robotics competition on Saturday. "We work with students trying for what we call gracious professionalism," Advanced Academics Coordinator Stephanie Carrasco told KTSM. "We want them to work well together, develop teamwork together, and understand that it's not only about the competition, but the learning that is happening." view article arw

Through a collaborative partnership between the Ector County Independent School District Innovation Department and Texas Tech Health Sciences, ECISD students in Career and Technical Education health science courses have been given a unique opportunity to contribute to research in a placenta study. Dr. Natalia Schlabritz-Lutsevich is the principal investigator in the study that will fully characterize the placenta organ and its function. view article arw

Almost every school everywhere is doing something with coding and robotics. Educators are preparing students for careers in science and technology. At Williams High in Plano they’re taking things a step further and not just teaching coding but challenging students to design, program, and build their very own app about anything they want. Student Ian Shepley and his team chose to make a game. view article arw

Beginning in Fall 2019, a mobile STEM lab will start making its way around schools in the Killeen Independent School District. KISD has been working with a vendor to design the STEM lab which was approved by the school board Tuesday night. view article arw

Technology in the classroom is molding young minds to think in the future.  One student from Farias Elementary School is applying what he's learned towards assisting his school. What started out as an idea turned into an opportunity for Farias Elementary 5th grader Edgar Camacho to use his skills towards creating a tool that his school can take advantage of. view article arw

Fifth graders from three rural elementary schools here are now enjoying secure access to technology at home thanks to a $150,000 grant used to provide them with laptops and hotspots. About 200 fifth graders from the elementary schools Avila, Brewster and Hargill within the Edinburg school district were selected by district officials to receive Google Chromebooks and hotspots to take home. This was done in an effort to provide access in areas where internet coverage is not widely accessible and laptops might not fit the family’s budget. view article arw

Robert Bostic, a self-described evangelist for science, technology, engineering and math, really started something when he became the superintendent of the Stafford Municipal School District in 2014. The Stafford High Robotics Program, which began two years ago, competed May 19-20 in Austin as one of 32 teams from the state invited to the 2017 University Interscholastic League Robotics FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Division State Championship based on the points it earned at earlier competitions. view article arw

A threat was made against Seven Lakes Junior High School via social media Thursday, officials said. view article arw

On March 11, 2016, the Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education, Mike Morath, requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General on the implementation of SB 507. This new law requires video surveillance of certain special education settings upon request beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. In an earlier blog post, I outlined the provisions of SB 507. view article arw