Technology in School

What the SAMR Model May Be Missing

Personalized learning technologies can, ironically, make the learning experience less personal, less human. That perspective is rooted in my experience teaching in Silicon Valley, using some of the same digital apps and tools that are popular in classrooms today.

Efficiency, Motivation and Comprehension = the 'Skill, Will and Thrill' of Reading

Nick Mack, a fourth-grade teacher in Burlington, Vermont, says his students are at a transformative stage of their early education. “Around fourth grade, students transition from just reading for reading’s sake—or just for pleasure—to reading for understanding content,” he explains. But if students are reading inefficiently, it means they can’t get enough information from the text to develop background knowledge—or to acquire vocabulary.

Does OER Actually Improve Learning?

Regardless of where you stand on the debate over open educational resources, you’re probably wondering: Does OER actually improve learning outcomes?This question came up in a handful of discussions this week at the OpenEd conference in Niagara Falls, NY. And the short answer is, most experts still aren’t sure. But it’s probably not making things more difficult for students. At least, that was one of the main takeaways from a short session led by Phillip Grimaldi, director of research at OpenStax, a nonprofit OER initiative out of Rice University.

Beyond Free Materials: OER Advocates Push For Inclusiveness in Teaching Practices

What is your tolerance for failure in education?Jess Mitchell, senior manager of research and design at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, posed the question on Wednesday to a group of around 850 educators, librarians and other open-access enthusiasts at Lumen Learning’s OpenEd conference in Niagara Falls, NY.

Three Things Teachers Need to Spot—and Stop—Plagiarism

Ask any educator who teaches five classes of 30 students each per day; there’s a lot of homework to assess. And if that homework involves writing assignments, the hours add up fast. Checking student work for possible plagiarism, specifically, has become a time consuming burden for many educators.

What Students Learned When They Made Robotics Relevant to Their Lives

A few years ago, toward the beginning of my journey into robotics, I mentored a team for a local competition. We were on our way to building a Tetrix Prime robot from a kit, when the unimaginable happened—our team’s laptops went missing—and with them, all of our code and design work. While we were no longer able to compete in the local competition, this blow to our team was but a temporary setback.

The Role Analytics Should Play in Your District's Decision-Making Process

With the rise of digital learning resources comes the increased need for easy, fast, and equitable access for all students, no matter the resource and no matter the device. With this digital expansion, however, comes a pressing need to organize, deploy, and evaluate these resources and their impact on education. Districts need to understand how effectively these tools are being used and which tools are worth the investment for them to better serve their student populations.

Free Range Teaching and the Technology Teachers ‘Beg For’

When Central Coast Grammar School (CCGS) refurbished a block of classrooms recently, it installed wireless screen mirroring technology in every room. Then the Australian K-12 school did something really radical. “We literally threw out our teachers’ desks,” says Damon Cooper, an English teacher and the director of teaching and learning at CCGS, in New South Wales. “There are just classrooms, and we can teach from anywhere within them.” He explains, “we’ve physically centered the room around the children. It’s not a theory; it’s not a philosophy; it’s not an approach.

Instagram TV for Teachers: A New Medium for PD and Inspiration

Video is a powerful medium for communicating information—and as teachers know, students love using it, especially YouTube. From a viral video with a clip reminiscent of America’s Funniest Home Videos, to explainer videos and tutorials, YouTube is full useful (and silly) content.

Here's How Single Sign-On Saved One District 2,500 Hours of Instructional Time Per Month

It’s 9:30 am on a Monday morning and an anxious sixth-grade teacher calls her school’s IT department. Two students can’t remember their passwords for the math application she wants to use in her lesson. Another can’t remember his username. Chatter from the class grows louder. The teacher’s voice is sharp as she asks the IT department to reset the students’ login information; she’s losing valuable teaching time, not to mention her students’ attention.

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