Posts in Views
Screen time in school: Good, bad, or to be determined?

A large part of my job is working with school districts to build their capacity to support personalized and digital learning for all students. In discussing this transition with a parent group, one concerned mother brought up an intriguing question, “If the entire school is ‘going digital’, how much screen time is my child going to get every day? My pediatrician only recommends two hours a day.”

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Research community @ DLAC

The inaugural Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC) took place on April 1-3, 2019, and one of the highlights of the event for me was the prominent and focused conversation around research and evidence. In fact, DLAC kicked off with a research community meeting, which attracted almost 50 attendees representing roles from across the digital learning sector. Teachers, administrators, policy makers, service providers, developers, and, of course, researchers attended the meeting to learn more about the existing evidence, as well as how to better connect research and practice.

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A roadmap for change: Moving your personalized learning program forward

In her keynote speech at Edgenuity’s 2019 Partner Summit, CEO Sari Factor remarked that other industries have seen dramatic changes in the day-to-day of how they do business based on their innovative uses of technology. Across the country, there are promising school models that are breaking down the traditional structures of our learning system and creating high-quality effective personalized learning programs to better meet student needs, but unfortunately, this shift remains the exception rather than the norm. The transformational promise of online, blended, and digital learning is far from realized in the vast majority of our classrooms, schools, and districts - and consequently, for our students as well. So what is holding us back from truly revolutionizing teaching and learning across our country?

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Whispers about online learning: Five common misconceptions

As a child, did you ever play the game telephone? It starts when one person whispers something into another person’s ear and then the message is passed on from person to person. At the end, the message is completely different from what was first whispered. We see this a lot in real life. Unless a person experiences something for themselves, they typically align themselves with what they’ve heard from others!

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Online safety tips for learners

Major advances in technology over the last three decades have significantly changed how we communicate with each other, especially through the Internet. Today, children are surrounded by technology. From a young age, most learn about how to use the Internet and end up more tech-savvy than many of the adults in their lives. However, being tech-savvy and knowing how to use the Internet doesn’t always mean that children understand how to stay safe online.

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Blended isn’t just about online learning—it’s making space for real-world relationships

Blended learning is helping to unshackle schools from the one-teacher one-classroom model and usher in more creative and diverse instructional approaches. Beyond just restructuring the classroom, blended-learning models are starting to open up new connections and diversify students’ networks. This has huge potential to address not just achievement gaps, but opportunity gaps.

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Office of Civil Rights: Ensuring equitable access to online learning

As online learning and digital applications expand into almost every aspect of a student’s education and as fully online, blended, and supplemental online course programs continue to expand, state departments and school districts must consider how implementation of this wide range of digital options impacts equity in educational opportunities for families and students with disabilities.

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MOOCs never amounted to much

If you’re not familiar with the Gartner hype cycle, you should be, because it provides a useful framework for thinking about the excitement/puff/hysteria that seems to accompany so much technology in education. The cycle diagram shows expectations rapidly rising after a new innovation is introduced, followed by an equally fast fall into the “trough of disillusionment.”

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ViewsJohn WatsonMOOCs
Digging deeper into the i3 Grant evaluation

Honestly, both my conversation with and subsequent column in The Hechinger Report may have focused more on the difficulty of research and educational innovation, and not enough on the importance of building an evidence base. Evidence is the only way to determine which innovations are promising and effective, and integrating evidence helps prevent practitioners from implementing ineffective ideas, like the 1 development project found to have statistically negative effects in the i3 evaluation.

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Teacher commitment to education technology is necessary

Introducing technology into the classroom requires accommodating changes to a school’s curriculum.  When technology is implemented it represents a shift away from traditional methods of teaching; we must realize that not all teachers have the facility to commit, engage, and leverage technology effectively.

This may be due to a lack of belief in education technology, or it may be as simple as a lack of opportunity to develop the necessary skills and conceptualize its benefits. Teachers are not always comfortable with technology in the classroom, but there needs to be an affective commitment in order for technology to be effective in their classroom. According to “Acquiring Teacher Commitment to 1:1 Initiatives: The Role of the Technology Facilitator,” in the Journal of Research on Technology in Education, affective commitment in terms of technology integration is evident in three ways:

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ViewsDavid Cicero