Parents can’t help but worry.
Phones, tablets and apps galore are competing for the undivided attention of their children and teens – and chances probably seem good to many moms and dads that the technology is winning.
So what can we do to make sure that our kids are getting the most out of their Internet-connected gadgets? Is there a way to promote their educational potential while mitigating the negative consequences?
Five experts convened March 23 by the NIU College of Education to explore “The Digital Lives of Children: Giving Screen Time a Closer Look” offered opinions and strategies that can help parents make sense of it all. Read more...
Do you think your children spend too much time glued to digital devices? Are you worried that they’re more connected with their phones, tablets and TVs than with their families and friends?
You’re not alone.
Children ages 8 and younger engage with their screens an average of six hours each day, according to a recent study.
For some school-age children, that connection could improve academic achievement, especially language skills and literacy. Others, however, might experience losses in those areas along with higher rates of obesity and depression.
How can educators, parents, guardians and professionals promote the educational promises of screen time while also mitigating the negative consequences?
The NIU College of Education’s spring Community Learning Series will examine this question from all sides Thursday, March 23, with “The Digital Lives of Children: Giving Screen Time a Closer Look.” Read more...
Following the Illinois General Assembly’s update of the Illinois School Code standards for new school superintendents, the NIU Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations accordingly redesigned its programs.
That work has resulted in untangling the Ed.S. – an educational specialist degree that leads to the superintendent endorsement – and the Ed.D., a non-licensure degree.
During this process, the degree was redesigned and renamed as the Ed.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies, a name that underscores the dual strands available in educational leadership or policy studies.
“We felt it good to change the name to be more reflective of the content and the expertise of the faculty who will now teach in the program,” said Carolyn Pluim (Vander Schee), chair of the department. “Faculty in the Educational Foundations and Policy Studies program will now be more involved in teaching and mentoring students, a change which will only augment the diversity of learning experiences available to students.” Read more...
Graduate School Dean Brad Bond (left)
and State University of Tetovo President Vullnet Ameti.
Still energized by the Center for Peace and Transcultural Communication’s first-ever international conference, held in Macedonia, organizers already are gearing up for this fall’s second installment in DeKalb.
NIU and the State University of Tetovo are partners in the center, which was launched to foster “better social platforms for younger generations” and “a better society” in a country torn by nationalistic sentiments that stir hatred and war.
December’s gathering explored of “The Impact of U.S. Policy in Promoting Democracy, Peace, State-Building, Economic Recovery and the Protection of National, Religious and Civic Values in the Countries of the Region.”
Around 225 people, including presenters, professors, students and interested stakeholders of the region, attended.
Patrick Roberts, an associate professor in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations, says the conference facilitated “a sharing of ideas” and “stimulated an understanding, and a conversation, about what are some pretty difficult issues.” Read more...
Teresa Wasonga is grateful for ignorance.
Without it, she says, she probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to learn so much during her doctoral program at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
She probably would have doubted that climbing aboard the single-engine plane sent to fly her to an interview for her first faculty job in the United States was worth the trip.
Most importantly, she probably wouldn’t have embarked on building and opening the Jane Adeny Memorial School (JAMS) for girls in Muhoroni, Kenya. A school is nothing but walls, right? What else could it possibly need?
“I was really naïve when I went to Missouri,” says Wasonga, a professor in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. “I didn’t know anything about the American education system. Zero. I had to start from scratch.” Read more...
Online graduate programs in the NIU College of Education continue to perform near the top of the country, according to new rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.
NIU places fourth (tied with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in the current honor roll of 200 schools, earning a fifth consecutive spot among the nation’s Top 5 and its sixth nod overall.
Among the nine other Illinois schools ranked, only the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (tied for 10th) and the University of St. Francis (tied for 29th) are in the Top 50. Ten universities in the Mid-American Conference are ranked, including Buffalo and Ohio, which are among the five institutions tied for 10th.
Dean Laurie Elish-Piper considers the college’s annual recognition as “evidence of our high-quality online graduate programs.” Read more...
Requirements have changed for educators who want to become school superintendents in Illinois – and NIU is the first university in the state to change with them.
Passage of Public Act 98-413 by the Illinois General Assembly updated the Illinois School Code and authorized the State Superintendent of Education, in consultation with the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board, to develop standards for the preparation of school superintendents.
These changes have been fully implemented with the goal of ensuring the “people getting the new superintendent endorsement will have the skillset they need to be successful,” said Benjamin Creed, an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations.
Guidelines set by the ISBE now require three semesters of internships conducted at one or more public school districts “to enable the candidate to be exposed to and to participate in a variety of educational leadership situations” with “diverse economic and cultural conditions.” Read more...
Angela B. Hurley
Good is all around us, Angela B. Hurley believes.
Unfortunately, says the professor of education at Transylvania University, the negative often distracts our attention and drowns whatever impact something positive might have made.
For example, almost everyone turns their eyes toward parents screaming at a misbehaving child, but few notice the examples and lessons of excellent parenting that are far more common while largely invisible.
Recognition afforded to people who “stand above the crowd” creates a similar disconnect.
“We live in a time when you have to be exceptional to be noticed, and we’re always telling our young people, ‘Be the best you can. Be exceptional. Go out and excel,’ ” Hurley says. Read more...
Once home to a frightening thicket of withering trees and patchy grass, the courtyard outside the ramp between Gabel and Graham halls now offers a picturesque place of serenity.
Funded entirely by the generosity of friends of the College of Education, the work wrapped up just in time for the autumnal equinox.
Visitors can study, eat picnic lunches, wander the stepping stones or simply enjoy the sunshine and tranquility, says Betsy Hull, assistant to the dean in the College of Education. Faculty with small classes also are welcome to teach there for a change of scenery.
“It’s open to everyone,” Hull says, “and we hope that everyone uses it.”
The “Confluence Courtyard” began as an idea in February of 2015, when the former chair of the Department of Special and Early Education proposed turning the space into a “sensory garden.” Read more...
Over 150 donors, students, faculty and staff gathered last Sunday afternoon at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center for our annual Donor Tea event. The event is held to thank our donors and friends for their support of the College of Education over the years. Donors have the opportunity to meet their scholarship recipients and mingle with campus colleagues, faculty and staff while enjoying light refreshments and tea. During a short program, Dean Elish-Piper welcomed everyone to the event and introduced a thank you video which featured several of our scholarship recipients sharing the impact scholarships and other opportunities have had on their lives. John Sentovich, Chief Advancement Officer at the NIU Foundation, addressed the group and discussed the importance of planned giving and how much donor gifts can impact students, as evident from the recipients in the audience. He encouraged all students to pay it forward in the future when they are in the position to give back and assist others. Students David Carson (graduate student LEPF) and Jael Monteagudo (undergraduate student LEED) shared their personal stories of the impact that scholarships have had on their lives. Carson explained what a positive mental boost it was to him to know that others believed in him. Monteagudo shared how driven she was to help students succeed and how the scholarships were helping her lessen her financial burden. Read more...