Issue #1 - May 2010

THe Digital Download

In this Issue


About DEG
The Digital Education Group (DEG) is an academic consulting firm specializing in 21st century classroom technology. Our team provides the expertise and guidance to help K-12 schools successfully plan, choose and implement the best instructional and digital technology solutions for their classrooms.

From grant writing and pilot programs to vendor relations and professional development, our comprehensive services are designed to fulfill your institution's unique needs. 

Join Our Network
DEG is always looking for instructional technology and
digital education specialists to join our team of consultants! This is a great chance to share your unique expertise and help us design the next generation of development tools.

To learn more, email

A Message from DEG President Mike Huling

Welcome everyone to the DEG monthly e-newsletter, where we'll share the top stories each month on how educators, schools and companies across the country are using innovative technology solutions to help advance student achievement in K-12 classrooms.

If you're like me, then you're excited with the limitless possibilities of educational technology. Not only will it exponentially expand the number of resources for teacher and students to use in the classroom, but it will allow students to collaborate with piers in the same room or across the country, allow lessons to become more dynamic and visual in nature (e.g. video presentation on how molecules bond), and provide teachers with better tools in order to assess, differentiate and reinforce topics on an individual student level. Can you imagine the ability to assign homework or have quizzes that will be designed for each student?

DEG is extremely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we progress toward the 21st century classroom. We greatly welcome everyone to join our Facebook fan page, where you can discover new developments in the K-12 Ed Tech space and share ideas with other educators.   Together we will define the 21st century classroom! 


Big Classroom? Connect Your Students with Twitter
Raising your hand to ask a question is sooo yesterday. Today, teachers are finding out that Twitter is an easy, effective way to boost student participation, especially since more and more kids come equipped with computers and smart-phones. One Texas teacher—who encourages her students to tweet comments or questions during lectures, which she responds to in a real-time feed displayed prominently in front of the room—claims the approach helps many overcome shyness issues and ask the questions they’ve always wanted to. Another teacher reports that Twitter chatter during class continues outside the classroom. You can read the entire story here

Finally You Can Retire Your Red Pen
When grading a student’s assignment, you should spend more time assessing their ideas, not correcting the grammar. And what if their ideas are too good—too logically laid out in a way that does not match their previous output? Now there’s a solution to both problems. is a free online resource that helps students improve their writing while assisting teachers in reducing plagiarism. Students simply paste the text of their paper into the site, and they immediately get an analysis that includes spelling, word choice, grammar, style, vocabulary and originality. Check it out for yourself at

Smartphones and Creativity - An Interesting Mix
Are smartphones and handheld computers simple time wasters or tools for expression and connection? More people are leaning to the latter. "You put a kid in front of a TV, they veg out," says Andrew Shalit, creator of popular toddler-engaging app, First Words. "With an iPhone app, the opposite is true. They're figuring out puzzles, moving things around using fine motor skills." But how does this apply to the classroom? The potential and pitfalls of device-driven instructional strategies can currently be gleaned from the TeacherMate, a kid-friendly handheld device that some say could revolutionize how children are educated. You can read a thorough review of how the TeacherMate is being used in one Chicago classroom here.

DEG's Innovative Technology in the Classroom Contest 1.0
Share Your Best Ideas and Win an Amazon Kindle® + $100 Gift Certificate!
Attention teachers! If you're using a free or inexpensive technology in your classroom, tell us about it and your name will automatically be entered into our contest to win one of three Amazon Kindles® PLUS a $100 Amazon® Gift Certificate. Plus, we'll take your brilliant idea, combine it with all the other entries and share them with thousands of educators across the country--how awesome is that!  Click here for more information or to enter this free contest! 

Become a DEG Facebook Fan
Have you ever had a dream where you're surrounded by tech-savvy teachers sharing success stories about how they're using digital tools in the classroom? That's no dream - that's the DEG Facebook page! Become a fan today!

Question of the Month
Do you think Apple’s iPad or other tablet tools will make a big impact in your classroom?

Be Forward with this Newsletter
Do you know other teachers or administrators who would find this newsletter as enlightening as you? Then forward it to them or send them to to sign up!

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