Virtual School Meanderings

October 4, 2019

[Special Report] Why Ed Tech Is Not Used And What to Do About It

This is an interesting perspective…

SPECIAL REPORT: WHY ED TECH IS NOT USED AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Report after report cites low usage rates for educational software, a problem driven largely by districts and schools not thinking through how an ed-tech product or service should be used before buying it. Complicating matters is the fact that there is no clear consensus on just what constitutes a “good” usage rate. Is it 25 percent, 50 percent, or 100 percent? Making sure the right students are using the right product at the right time is also a big challenge.

This special report is the first in a series of three special reports for the 2019-20 school year that Education Week is producing for K-12 ed-tech leaders. The report offers expert advice on how to improve the use of educational technology, a case study on one company’s failed effort to help districts track ed-tech usage, actionable insights about breaking through the barriers to good educational technology use, and lessons learned on how to save money by making some tough decisions about the applications and programs educators use.

I say this is interesting because it makes the assumption that the use of educational software is good pedagogy, and places the blame on school districts (and to a lesser extent teachers) for not using this educational software.  Of course it has nothing to do with the fact that maybe the use of educational software is just bad pedagogy.  Of course it has nothing to do with districts’ concerns with the overuse of simply placing students in front of flickering screens – or of the privacy concerns that come with the amount of student data that many of these software packages keep on its users.  No, its because school districts and teachers haven’t been trained to use the software properly or that teachers are resistant to change.

Anyway, the full message I received read…

EducationWeek®
 Special Report:
Managing the Money
View the Education Week special report, Why Ed Tech Is Not Used and What to Do About It online now.
Why Ed Tech Is Not Used and What to Do About It offers expert advice on how to improve the use of educational technology, and how to make sure the right students are using the right product at the right time. Subscribe so you can read the full report, and get complete access to all of Education Week.
Ed-Tech Usage Levels Are Low: What Should Schools Do?
Evaluating how much students and teachers are using ed-tech products and services is tricky, complicated, and oftentimes confusing. But it can be done.
READ MORE  
Austin CTO Kevin Schwartz Speaks: 5 Ed-Tech Problems and Solutions
The Austin tech chief talks about helping educators avoid common mistakes, pumping up usage levels for ed-tech tools, getting tech and curriculum folks to talk to each other, and more.
READ MORE  
Case Study: Clever’s Troubled Effort to Help Schools Track Ed-Tech Use
The idea was to give educators and administrators a single place to look across multiple learning tools at two simple metrics: how much time did students spend using each program, and how much progress did they make?
READ MORE  
Enjoy the complete reporting provided in Why Ed Tech Is Not Used and What to Do About ItSubscribe to Education Week for more in-depth special reports and daily K-12 news. Enjoy unlimited digital access from every device when you subscribe today!For college/university version: Find out how your entire campus can benefit from premium digital access with an Education Week site license.

Feel free to forward this to your colleagues and let them know about this new special report.

Facebook Twitter
Editorial Projects in Education Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is the independent, nonprofit publisher of Education Week and other high-quality print and online products on K-12 education. Copyright © 2019 Editorial Projects in Education. 

.

September 27, 2019

Sorry You Couldn’t Attend This Webcast

This blended learning webinar recording may be of interest to some readers.

Education Week Webinar

Dear Michael,

We’re sorry you were not able to attend “Leadership Panel: The Challenges and Rewards of Technology and Blended Learning in Our Schools.” This webcast can now be viewed on-demand.

Use the link below to enter the webcast at any time.

WEBCAST LINK:  https://webinars.on24.com/edweek/TechInSchools

SYSTEM TEST:  Test your computer to make sure you meet the minimum technical requirements.
Test Your SystemThank you and enjoy the webcast!


Education Week | 6935 Arlington Road | Suite 100 | Bethesda, MD 20814 | 301-280-3100 | www.edweek.org

If you have questions about this message or require support, please email WebinarSupport@epe.org.

September 24, 2019

[Today] Challenges and Rewards of Technology in Our Schools

See this webinar that is coming up in about 30 minutes.

Education Week Webinar – View This Email Online
Leadership Panel: The Challenges and Rewards of Technology and Blended Learning in Our Schools
Educators across the U.S. have been utilizing technology to bring blended learning to life for decades. But recently, this practice has come under scrutiny in the national media. Leaders of two Educational Technology companies are joined by school and district leadership to discuss technology in the classroom.
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
Register Now
Can’t attend? Register so you can view the on-demand webinar at a later date.

This webinar’s content is provided by DreamBox Learning

SHARE:

Facebook Linkedin Twitter
Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is the publisher of Education Week and other high-quality print and online products on K-12 education.

Copyright ©2018 Editorial Projects in Education.

September 22, 2019

Advancing Literacy, Emerging Bilinguals, Digital Peer Learning

Note the digital learning item below.

Download free copies of whitepapers containing insights and thought leadership from our sponsors.

Closing the Science Achievement Gap 
Provided by Carolina Biological | Read Whitepaper Now

Advancing Literacy with Large Print 
Provided by Gale | Read Whitepaper Now

3 Unique Learner Profiles for Emerging Bilinguals 
Provided by Lexia Learning | Read Whitepaper Now

Effective Questioning Practices to Spur Thinking
Provided by Mentoring Minds | Read Whitepaper Now

Increased Social Connectedness Through Digital Peer Learning
Provided by Instructure | Read Whitepaper Now

How Enterprise-Level Learning Management Systems Support ESSA Focus Areas
Provided by itslearning | Read Whitepaper Now

Accelerate Student Writing Proficiency and Progress With Simple, Effective Feedback 
Provided by Texthelp | Read Whitepaper Now

Effective Social-Emotional Learning for the Next Generation of Leaders
Provided by Visionaria | Read Whitepaper Now

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning 
Provided by Solution Tree | Read Whitepaper Now

The EdTech Efficacy Handbook 
Provided by Dreambox | Read Whitepaper Now

To explore the rest of our sponsor’s whitepapers, visit the current collection here.
The content of these whitepapers is from our sponsors and is not written by Education Week nor any of its affiliates.

Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD  20814. Copyright © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education.

September 16, 2019

Commentary: Digital Learning Tools Are Everywhere, But Evidence Of Impact Is Not

So this item was featured in almost all of the Education Week newsletters that came out this past week (and was also included in Saturday’s Virtual Schooling In The News).

Digital Learning Tools Are Everywhere, But Gauging Effectiveness Remains Elusive, Survey Shows

Educators are using digital tools to boost student learning more than ever. But few believe there’s good information available about which resources work best. Read more.

First and foremost, it is important to heed the warning of Richard Clark in these situations…

“media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition” (Clark, 1983, p. 445)

[put another way]

“there is strong evidence that many very different media attributes accomplish the same learning goal… [as such] …there is no single media attribute that serves a unique cognitive effect for some learning task, then the attributes must be proxies for some other variables that are instrumental in learning gains” (Clark, 1994, p. 22)

What Dr. Clark is saying here is that it isn’t the technology that is impacting learning, but the changes in how the instruction is designed, delivered, and supported that causes any changes in student performance.  The presence or absence of an educational technology tool has no direct impact on student learning.

The problem that we have with this reality is revealed in the article in several locations.  For example…

In the absence of clear evidence, though, educators say they are testing out digital tools largely through trial-and-error.

“We end up just kind of trying them out to see if they are going to be a great tool,” said…

So let’s just experiment with the kids and sometimes we’ll do things that we are able to use in pedagogically sound manner with positive instructional design and students will benefit, but other times we’ll just a piece of educational technology at them and at best its a waste of their valuable instructional time and at worse it hinders their learning.

Imagine if we did this in health care…  I’m going to give you a treatment.  Dr. Bob next store says it worked great with his patients, but I really don’t know if this will cure you or kill you.  But let’s give it a go and see what happens.  Okay?

Later in the article, it was written:

There are still substantial barriers to using technology in the classroom, the survey found. More than half of teachers—56 percent—cited lack of training as a “significant” or “extremely significant” problem. Nearly half say that some teachers believe non-digital tools are more effective. And 46 percent said the problem was that they weren’t sure which tools to use.

There are a couple of things to unpack here.  First, to use the health care analogy again, I’m going to perform this surgery on you.  I’ve seen others do it in the past, but I haven’t done it myself yet.  Now, I’d like you to count backwards from ten and when you wake up everything will be fine.

Second, if you note the last two sentences in this quoted section.  The sentence “Nearly half say that some teachers believe non-digital tools are more effective.” – both in terms of how it is written and where it is included in the article – implies that this is an inaccurate belief that, with appropriate training, could be corrected.  The sentence “And 46 percent said the problem was that they weren’t sure which tools to use.” – both in terms of how it is written and where it is included in the article – implies that educational technology tools are the most effective, teachers just aren’t sure which ones are the most effective.  In both of these instances, the article author has implicitly taken the position – or bought into the marketing of NewSchools Venture Fund – that educational technology tools are the answer…  That educational technology tools will improve student learning.

While not a direct connection, this issue also ties back to a theme that I have written about in this space before – the issue of whether practitioners actually care about research in the first place?  I’ve argued that most don’t.  They will say that they do, but at the end of the day we make time for things that we value.  And unfortunately the vast majority of practitioners would rather take the word of some corporation trying to peddle their wares or some ideologue pushing an agenda than they would any academic research that is out there.  All you have to do is walk into any school in the US and you’l see ample evidence of this…

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.