Educational research psychologist and former teacher Angela Duckworth was named one of this year's 24 MacArthur Fellows.
All fellows named by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation receive a no-strings-attached award-popularly referred to as a "genius grant"-worth $625,000 that is paid out over five years. The foundation awards fellowships to creative individuals who it deems are demonstrating the potential to make important contributions to the world.
Ms. Duckworth, frustrated by the lack of effort she saw from many of her students, quit her job as a high school math and science teacher to try to better understand the psychology behind educational achievement. She joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 2007 as an associate professor in the psychology department.
Her research has focused on how children can learn strategies for self-control, and how that can translate into instruction.
Now, Ms. Duckworth is working to develop interventions that foster traits like grit and self-regulation in children that can then be applied to education.
Hundreds of teens in the 7,500-student Center Grove, Ind., school district circumvented the security devices on district-issued iPads within hours of receiving the devices, according to a report last week in the Daily Journal and republished by the Associated Press.
Between 300 and 400 students found ways to reprogram the iPads so they could download games and apps for social media sites, according to the report, which quoted Center Grove officials as attributing the problem to their security program not being able to handle the number of devices - more than 2,000 - that were distributed.
A Center Grove spokeswoman was unable to provide an update on where the district's efforts to address the problem currently stand.
Districts are also facing increasing threats from outside hackers, as my colleague Sean Meehan reported yesterday.
Keith Krueger, the CEO for the Consortium for School Networking, said such problems are increasingly common as districts deploy an increasing number of devices.
"Kids and adults find ways to hack through things, and it can spread like wildfire," he said. "It's frustrating, and it's a huge challenge for any district."
The best strategy, Krueger said, is to combine the best possible security filters and other technology measures with a comprehensive responsible or acceptable use policy that students and families must sign and a commitment to enforcement.
"It's not surprising that a school district would have some breaches," he said. "The question is how do you leverage it into a teachable moment?"
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