Virtual School Meanderings

October 18, 2010

Article Notice – Blended Education For Elementary And Secondary Pupils

This came through my Facebook news stream yesterday or the day before.

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In looking at this particular issue, as Cathy indicates it is described as:

Effective Uses of Technology, Autumn 2010

The articles in this issue give a range of perspectives on the various uses of technology and their effectiveness. Among the issues considered are safety on the internet, the use of interactive whiteboards and embedding multimedia, or old-fashioned video, into lessons. There are also thought-provoking pieces on the use of technology to improve testing, and the importance of professional development to help teachers use technology effectively.

And I should note that Cathy has a short article in there on “Blended education for elementary and secondary pupils”.  In looking at this project itself, and the folks behind it (i.e., the Center for Research and Reform in Education [CRRE]), I can’t help but wonder if we (i.e., researchers in the field of educational technology) are continuing to fall into the traps that Tom Reeves has been advising us against for years (see his work from 1995, 1999, 2000, and 2005).  Essentially, the premise is that education is too complex a system and there are simply too many variables that even the myth of the randomized control, double blind, medical-model trials aren’t an effective research methodology to “use student performance data to determine effective plans for meeting state standards, to provide information on program effectiveness, and to evaluate the success of data-driven reform strategies” – as CRRE wishes us to do or would have us believe.

This is not a reflection of Cathy’s article in this journal – as I have not read it – and based on the journal issue’s description this issue doesn’t appear to be as focused as the CRRE mission.  But it is something that researchers, and practitioners, in the field of K-12 online learning need to be weary of when examining what we are being told as research.

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