NEPC Report Urges Caution on Equating Technology in Schools with Personalized Learning

BOULDER, CO (Nov. 24, 2014) – The use of computers in the classroom – or even instead of classrooms – has generated renewed enthusiasm in influential circles. Advocates of significantly advancing the practice often refer to greater reliance on computer-based learning as “Personalized Instruction.”

Yet while its potential merits thoughtful small-scale adoption, there is little evidence that marrying digital technology to education has changed schooling for the better, according to a new policy brief published today by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC).

The reasons for such lackluster results are many, according to the report’s author, Noel Enyedy, associate professor of education and information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles. Chief among them is the absence of a clear model for what actually constitutes “Personalized Instruction”; advocates of the practice apply the term to a wide range of approaches to teaching that rely heavily on online or other digital resources.

In light of the growing interest – yet lack of evidence to support – sweeping changes in schooling that would rely on digital media, Enyedy offers a series of recommendations for policymakers and researchers:

  • While continuing to invest in technology, policymakers should do so incrementally. They should view skeptically claims and promotion of computerized learning that oversteps what can be concluded from available research evidence.
  • Policymakers and researchers should clearly distinguish among the key features of technologies being used in education so that research and discussions can revolve around shared ideas and concretely defined practices.
  • Much more research is needed in the K-12 education context, because the evidence primarily cited is extrapolated from research involving undergraduate students and in the professions, “where developmental and motivational factors differ,” Enyedy observes.
  • Policymakers should encourage developers of educational technologies to work with researchers and teachers in testing and validating particular software and hardware tools: “We cannot trust market forces alone to sort out which systems are effective.”
  • When investing in technology to be used in education, school administrators must ensure that there is “substantial professional development for teachers” to go with it.
  • Everyone involved with schools must understand that Personalized Instruction is just one of several models for using computers in the classroom, and all need to be open to considering alternative approaches to making greater use of technology in the learning process.

Read the report by Noel Enyedy, Personalized Instruction: New Interest, Old Rhetoric, Limited Results, and the Need for a New Direction for Computer-Mediated Learning, on the web at:  http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/personalized-instruction

Read the entire press release from the National Education Policy Center at http://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2014/11/Personalized-instruction

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Help prepare students for success by signing the Future Ready pledge!

FutureReady-SchoolsJoin us in helping the Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education make all school districts Future Ready. Future Ready aims to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts across the country better prepare students for success in college, a career, and citizenship.

FutureReadySchools.org

As classrooms across the country gain better access to high-speed Internet, schools and districts must develop the human and technological capacity to use the increased bandwidth wisely and effectively.

FutureReady-TakePledgeBy taking The Future Ready District Pledge you can help your district achieve these goals with expert guidance, online support, and regional summits for district leaders.

Future Ready is a bold new effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. The initiative will provide districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. At the center of the initiative are a series of regional summits that will focus on a comprehensive set of issues that drive student learning and will offer district leaders tangible ways to build capacity throughout their districts.

As our main call to action, we’re asking superintendents to take the Future Ready District Pledge, a commitment to work with educators, families, and community members to make all schools in their districts Future Ready.

FutureReadySummitLocations

Follow Future Ready on social media:

  • Twitter: @FutureReady
  • com/Future-Ready-Schools/1578374169049310?ref=hl
  • com/futurereadyschools

Learn more and take the pledge today!

FutureReadySchools.org

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addresses the ConnectED Conference of Superintendents on Wednesday, November 19th.

President Barack Obama address the ConnectED Conerence

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OPEN NH Winter Session Registration Now Open!

OPEN NH

The Winter 2015 Session Online Courses will run from February 4 through March 24, 2015.

Register early for courses and save $10.00 with our Early Bird Special. The offer ends on January 20, 2015.

Register now for Winter 2015!

The following courses are Scheduled to RUN in the OPEN NH Winter 2015 Session:

  • BP-07 Using an Online Professional Learning Community to Support Teacher Leadership Development
  • CE-02 Engaging K-12 Students with Digital Portfolios
  • CE-05 Developing Competencies for High School Courses
  • CE-10 Game-Based Learning
  • EC-01 Creating a Language Rich Environment
  • IE-01 Intel Elements: Project Based Approaches
  • IE-04 Intel Elements: Assessment in 21st Century Classrooms
  • IE-07 Intel Elements: Educational Leadership in the 21st Century
  • LA-01 Best Practices for Vocabulary Instruction in the Elementary Classroom
  • SC-08 Understanding the Science of Life: Characteristics, Classification, and Cycles

For more information, visit OPEN NH.

OPEN NH Winter Session Registration Now Open!

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A mystery Hour of Code in Washington DC: whose classroom is going?

The Hour of Code just got a lot more historic. As the Hour of Code nears in the next few weeks, one lucky classroom will be selected to attend a very special, very exciting Hour of Code event in the nation’s capital — so special that the details are under wraps!

The winning students (and chaperones) will get an all-expenses-covered trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in a full day of mystery activities on Monday, December 8, to kick off Computer Science Education Week, when millions worldwide will try computer science for the first time.

How to participate

If you want your class to experience this trip, make sure your classroom or school is registered for the Hour of Code at http://hourofcode.com.

Already signed up?

Spread the word!

Visit Code.org or HourOfCode.com for more information

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President Obama Supports Net Neutrality

On Monday, November 10, President Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take up the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality, the principle that says Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally.

On Tuesday, Nov. 11, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel discussed President Obama’s net neutrality stance. She spoke with Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson on “Bloomberg West.”

President Obama’s Statement on Keeping the Internet Open and Free   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKcjQPVwfDk

FCC Reacts to Obama’s Net Neutrality Stance   http://www.bloomberg.com/video/fcc-reacts-to-obama-s-net-neutrality-stance-vXnllm4kRvWqVZOX72Rb8w.html

 Obama’s call for an open Internet puts him at odds with regulators   http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/11/the-fcc-weighs-breaking-with-obama-over-the-future-of-the-internet/

Obama says FCC should reclassify internet as a utility
http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/10/7185933/fcc-should-reclassify-internet-as-utility-obama-says

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Indiana Students Showcase Digital Leadership for National Education Leaders

October 27, 2014 (Washington, D.C.) Members of Madison Consolidated High School’s Digital Leadership Team described their innovative program on digital citizenship for fellow students during the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) 2014 Leadership Summit, “Leading and Learning in the Digital Age.” Each year SETDA honors an outstanding K-12 school or district that has leveraged technology to dramatically improve education and asks those students to speak to their experiences. Winners receive the Elsie Brumback Scholarship, which allows them to bring a team of students and educators to attend the annual SETDA Leadership Summit and tour Washington DC.

Madison’s Digital Leadership program provides the opportunity for students to create and teach digital citizenship content for other students and teachers. In addition, the team also organized and hosted the first student digital leadership conference in Indiana.

“Indiana is committed to transforming teaching and learning in the digital age and we are honored that our own Madison Consolidated Schools has been selected to represent that work. Madison’s Digital Leadership Program is a model for other schools across our state, and Madison’s student leaders have set a high bar for living, learning and leading in the digital age,” stated Candice Dodson, Director of eLearning, Indiana Department of Education and SETDA Board Member.

“SETDA is pleased not only to learn about such innovative, student driven initiatives, but also to provide the opportunity for all of our members from across the country to learn from these students,” said Douglas Levin, Executive Director, SETDA.

Jennifer Watson, Co-teacher of Madison’s program said, “Having the opportunity to be a part of The Digital Leadership class has been an amazing journey. This class is so powerful because the students are creating digital citizenship content and teaching the content to their peers and teachers.”

“It is an honor both to represent our school system and to show everyone what we as students can do.” declared Conner Richmond, Madison Consolidated High School student. “This is a fantastic opportunity and we hope that various national education leaders can take away ideas to use for their own success stories.”

About SETDA
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit: setda.org.

Indiana Students Honored for Digital Leadership Team in THE Journal.

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Physics Comedy Show Launches

Q:  What can be more phun than physics?

A:  A physics comedy show.  And now we have one!

Get entertained and educated along with your students with the physics sketch comedy at What the FisX.  Teaching physics one sketch at a time!

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