The Impact of Portable Technologies on Teaching and Learning
In comparison to ISTE 2014, this years show saw almost every Wi-Fi Networking vendor showcasing new 802.11ac access points, along with Wi-Fi controllers and switches. 802.11ac has now become the de facto standard and e-rate is driving adoption but adoption is expected to quicken in the next 12-18 months as funding is approved.
NOT LONG AGO, Douglas Creef, a veteran science teacher at Stuart-Hobson Middle School in the District of Columbia asked his mostly struggling seventh-graders to express in writing their attitudes toward challenging academic work. One student, asked whether he takes on challenges, responded: “When something hard come [sic], if I can’t get it, I skip it.” Asked how much effort he puts into schoolwork and other tasks, he says: “I only do the work I get. I don’t do extra.” To the question of whether he learns from mistakes, he writes: “I try to forget and make an excuse. I try not to be blamed.” Asked how he feels, he responds: “I want to give up.”
Connectivity and infrastructure continues to be a key area of the education sector and most Wi-Fi and networking vendors were exhibiting. 802.11ac Access Points (APs) were being shown by most vendors as well as Wi-Fi switches and controllers.
The management of mobile devices is still an issue for the education market, especially with the proliferation of personal computing devices within the school. Several companies were showing MDM platforms such as Cisco Meraki and AirWatch, the latter displaying its MDM platform as well as teacher tools platform. Impero were also demonstrating its MDM platform as well as the recent announcement it made around the expansion of its iPad management capabilities prior to the show.
3D printing was also a key theme of the show with a number of companies showing how the technology can be utilised in education. Some of the key companies showing this technology were Leapfrog 3D and Ricoh who announced a partnership to supply the Leapfrog Creatr HS 3D printer to customers at BETT, as well as Vector 3
Classroom collaboration solutions are plentiful with many providers offering display/tablet interaction, quizzes, rollcall solutions and classroom management. This market sector is cluttered with a range of suppliers offering overlapping solutions (Interactive Display vendors, Classroom Management vendors, dedicated app/web based software providers).
Under its Common Core Technology Project (CCTP), the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) plans to deliver technology devices to every teacher and student in the district. The effort began in August 2013, with the delivery of devices to the first wave of schools, and will continue through three stages that unfold over five years. The external evaluation of the project, conducted by American Institutes for Research (AIR), will address the implementation and outcomes of the program. This Interim Report is intended to provide formative feedback toward program improvement based on the evaluation of the program’s first year of implementation.
This introduction provides a description of CCTP and an overview of the evaluation approach that was employed in the first year.
Education Elements has been privileged to work with schools from coast to coast that have fundamentally changed the student experience by shifting to a model that enables personalized learning. These schools have transformed learning by leveraging technology and blending learning to better meet students needs. Blended school models couple adaptive digital curriculum with powerful data-driven teaching to better address the varied needs of learners in schools today. Blended learning too frequently has been seen as simply adding computers to learning. Through our work with hundreds of schools, we’ve seen time and time again that skillfully employing blended learning models to begin to personalize learning requires thoughtful shifts in pedagogy.
We are in the midst of a national shift to blended learning—an educational model that combines teacher-led instruction in the classroom with online, mastery-based education that enables personalized learning for each student and increased effectiveness for teachers. The growing availability of high-speed Internet connectivity, affordable devices and high-quality digital content means student-centric, personalized learning is finally achievable for schools and districts at scale. The effective use of technology is a key to blended learning, and technology has thus become increasingly common in schools throughout the country.
Since the publication of the first Tablets for Schools literature review,1 which argued that there was still a significant gap in the literature on the impact of one-to-one Tablets in education, the interest in this area has continued to grow among academic researchers. An increasing number of publications have debated the effects these devices have on teachers and pupils in educational contexts ranging from nurseries to universities. This report will update the findings from the previous publication and discuss the findings from recent studies, as well as the limitations of the research to date. It will also discuss what, if anything, distinguishes Tablets from other technologies that have previously been introduced in schools, such as computers, laptops and netbooks.
A listing of district and central office resources for considering and implementing 1:1
The Horizon Project Preview is a high-level summary of an upcoming edition’s findings used to elaborate on the particular definitions and framings to be used in the report, and to provide a snapshot of the topics that will be explored in the final edition. The contents of this Preview are a work-in-progress.
The One-to-One Institute (OTO) and Amplify have partnered to provide districts and schools with a short guide to launching your first 1:1 program. This guide is based on OTO’s best practices and co-authored research, Project RED. It is not intended as step-by-step instruction but rather as an overview of the key elements needed to develop a successful and sustainable 1:1 implementation.
Anthropologists have long studied the role that mythology plays in the cultural fabric of a community. According to these social scientists, various cultures use myths as a form of storytelling to provide an explanation for a changing or confusing world, to validate existing beliefs, to fill in gaps of knowledge or understanding, and to establish a sense of order amongst chaos. Myths often are also used to inspire awe and wonder amongst the community. While the excitement of the myth story is contagious, the awe and wonder is not intended to stimulate scientific questioning or inquiry, but rather to maintain a status quo of order or power. Such is the case for example with the traditional Navajo myth about the creation of the constellations. As the story is told, the Sun and Moon were made from cutting giant discs of quartz that were then hoisted into the sky to provide light to the Navajo people, both during the day and at night. Not wanting to be wasteful, the creation deity used the remnants of the quartz cutting process to create patterns of stars in the night sky that had an explicit function of explaining the community’s laws. While the myth provided the Navajo people with an awe-inspiring explanation for how the Sun, Moon, and stars were created, it also sought to establish a cultural order within the community, as the medicine men were the only ones recognized with the wisdom to interpret the constellation-based laws.
In a similar way, the education community has used anecdotal stories over the years to understand or make sense of the role of technology within the lives of today’s K-12 students. These stories have developed into a comprehensive mythology around student digital learning that closely mimics the role of myths within other cultures. The unprecedented pace of the infiltration of technology tools and resources within our daily lives has created a need, especially for adults, to create a new sense of order within education, and to fill in gaps of knowledge and understanding around the use of technology with overly simplified explanatory narratives.
Today’s K-12 students tap into a wide range of mobile devices to enhance learning—both in and out of school. Principals, parents and teachers support this mobile learning trend by recognizing the benefits of increased access allowing students to learn anytime, anywhere. See how mobile devices enable new and customized learning that is untethered and digitally-rich.
No one knows teaching like teachers, so we asked more than 3,100 educators what kinds of digital instructional tools are essential to help their students be prepared for college and careers in the 21st century.
In surveys and interviews, teachers told us that they are looking for resources that can help their students meet new, more rigorous standards, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards. They also are optimistic that digital instructional tools can be useful. But even as the instructional market is going increasingly digital and a huge array of products exists, gaps remain: Certain types of products that teachers said they need for specific instructional purposes are simply not available; in other cases, there are products available, but teachers aren’t using them or don’t perceive them to be effective. These market gaps present opportunities for product developers to create new digital instructional tools or improve existing ones to better meet the needs of teachers and students.
In an effort to inform EdTech procurement decisions in schools and districts across the country whose leaders realize the potential of technology to personalize learning and improve high-quality educational opportunities, Digital Learning Now! brought together experts from Getting Smart, Curriculum Associates, and The Learning Accelerator to create the Smart Series Guide to EdTech Procurement.
The procurement process outlined is informed by the lessons gleaned from the collective experiences of the authors in working with hundreds of school districts and across education policy matters in dozens of states. The authors have learned a great deal about the challenges that districts face when attempting to discern how best to integrate technology into their schools in a way that creates better environments for teachers to teach and students to learn.
They have heard consistent challenges articulated by educators around the country who are facing inter-related shifts in standards and assessments. In the race to meet these challenges, providers often market themselves in strikingly similar ways, even when their product and service offerings are very different. Frequently, the result is confusion and frustration from educational leaders who do not know where to begin.
The digital revolution is transforming our work, our organisations and our daily lives. This revolution is already in homes across the developed world and increasingly in the developing world too. And there, it is transforming the way children and young people play, access information, communicate with each other and learn. But, so far, this revolution has not
transformed most schools or most teaching and learning in classrooms.
Where technology is used, research findings on its impact on learner outcomes are disappointing. The technological revolution however, does not allow us to abandon our ambition to use technology in classrooms. Nor can we go back to teaching the way we have been so far: the teacher at the front transmitting knowledge and the children listening quietly. The research on brain activity by Rosalind Picard and her colleagues at MIT’s Media Lab suggests that students’ brain activity is nearly non-existent during lectures - even lower than when they are asleep. Lectures equal brain “flatlining” and, as Professor Eric Mazur of Harvard University’s Physics Department puts it, students “are more asleep during lectures than when they are in bed!”
Amanda Lenhart presented nine major themes from the Project’s five-report series on Teens and Online Privacy. In a talk delivered to the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference on November 7th, Amanda examined youth’s social media diversification and sharing practices, privacy choices, and the ways that youth concepts of privacy differ from adults.
The Technology Implementation Practice Guide was developed as a companion document to be used in conjunction with the PowerUp WHAT WORKS website (www.PowerUpWHATWORKS.org). Whether you are a professional development coordinator, school or district administrator, technical assistance provider working with school personnel, or school specialist or teacher, this Practice Guide can help you strategically plan how to expand the use of technology tools to support classroom instruction, address the needs of struggling students, and improve teaching and learning for all students, including students with disabilities.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, PowerUp is a free, comprehensive guide that supports your professional learning in using technology to differentiate instruction and personalize student learning in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
PowerUp has plenty of activities and content to support professional learning! You can explore:
1. The PowerUp Tech Matters Blog, which includes “grab-and-go” resources and ideas on how to use technology in your classroom.
2. Strategy Guides to help strengthen your practice and differentiate instruction in ELA and mathematics, including materials such as Teach With Tech, Strategies in Action, and Multimedia Supports.
3. Professional Development Materials to plan staff learning events on differentiating and personalizing student learning through evidence-based strategies and the use of technology.
4. Make Tech Happen, which provides up-to-date information about technology tools and trends, along with ideas for classroom use.
5. The Technology Implementation Practice Guide and Leadership Team Support Materials, which will help you to find everything you need to make technology work in your school and classrooms.
6. Related Research that provides the foundation for PowerUp evidence-based practices, materials, and resources.
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan calls for “an alternative to the one-size-fits-all model of teaching and learning.” Championing personalized learning, the report goes on to explain, “Personalization refers to instruction that is paced to learning needs [i.e., individualized], tailored to learning preferences [i.e., differentiated], and tailored to the specific interests of different learners. In an environment that is fully personalized, the learning objectives and content as well as the method and pace may all vary.”1 From classrooms to legislatures, advocates for personalized learning are recognizing that online learning has the potential to advance educational opportunities for all students and to deliver on the promise of personalization — at scale.
Learning theory has been a contested scientific field for most of its history, with conflicting contributions from many scientific disciplines, practice and policy positions. With the continuing and disruptive influence of technology on information, knowledge and practice in all sectors of society it is no wonder that innovators, drawn to the interactive potential that computers bring to learning, are challenged by the theoretical basis for their innovations.
Formal education is also a high stakes, culturally & institutionally conservative activity, which serves more than one societal purpose, including: