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Why smart kids shouldn’t use laptops in class

"Now there is an answer, thanks to a big, new experiment from economists at West Point, who randomly banned computers from some sections of a popular economics course this past year at the military academy. One-third of the sections could use laptops or tablets to take notes during lecture; one-third could use tablets, but only to look at class materials; and one-third were prohibited from using any technology.

"Unsurprisingly, the students who were allowed to use laptops — and 80 percent of them did — scored worse on the final exam. What’s interesting is that the smartest students seemed to be harmed the most."

Multi-tasking doesn't work.

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Is your one-to-one program destined to fail?

Is your one-to-one program destined to fail? | Computers for Education |

"At the outset, I typically ask a series of questions: “Why did you decide to go one-to-one?” “How does technology integration align with the school’s vision of meaningful and purposeful learning?” “How is learning supposed to be different as a result of a one-to-one program?” When I ask these questions, it’s not uncommon for there to be silence for a few moments. The administrators often glance at each other and hesitate before responding. What might emerge is a vague statement on improving student proficiency in the four Cs — creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Sometimes administrators divulge that they do not have a vision of how learning should be different as a result of the technology. Many point out that the teachers have everything they need and have given teachers freedom to develop implementation strategies.

"From the outside, it often seems crazy that schools make major technology purchases with no clear plans for how learning should change. We’ve found, however, that there are so many details in technology planning—acquisition, security, sustainability, teacher training, parent education, and so on—that many schools lose track of the most important issues. To paraphrase educator/speaker Dan Meyer: “If iPads/Chromebooks/laptops are the answer, what was the question?""

Just as with the implementation of computers in the 80s and the Internet in the 90s, schools seem determined to jump on board the latest tech without a clear plan for what teachers are going to do with it. Training teachers, visiting success programs in other schools, etc., have to be in place first. If teachers don't have a clear vision of how technology makes things different, no iPad is going to make kids better learners or thinkers.

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Life of an Educator: 5 ways to make your classroom student-centered

Life of an Educator: 5 ways to make your classroom student-centered | Computers for Education |

5 ways to make your classroom student-centered

A student-centered classroom allows students to be an integral part of the assessment development process. This doesn't necessarily mean every assessment is created and designed by students, but it does mean there is a collaborative and joint venture of teachers and students in the planning and implementation stages of assessments. Students who help to design and create their assessments will find the assessments to be more meaningful, and typically students end up creating assessments that are more challenging than what teachers would have created anyway.

"A student-centered classroom focuses on finding solutions to real-world problems. Too often our classroom focus is on solving problems that lack relevance and purpose in the eyes of students. The student-centered classroom addresses real-world problems that affect or will affect students. This in turn will provide meaning and context to student-driven learning, which then will increase levels of engagement and overall student involvement.

"A student-centered classroom is not about what the teacher is doing or what the teacher has done; it's about what the students are doing and what the students can do in the future. We all have experienced the teacher observation model that focuses just on what the teacher is doing, but more and more models are now focusing on what the students are doing. Obviously, what the teacher does affects and impacts what the students are doing, but the most important piece is what the students are doing or are able to do as a result of what the teacher is doing.

"A student-centered classroom embraces the notion that there are multiple ways to accomplish an individual task. When we limit and confine students to following a certain and specific path, we ultimately end up limiting their levels of ownership, innovation, and creativity. A student-centered classroom allows, encourages, and embraces the multitude of paths one can take to solve a given problem. This also allows for students to follow their strengths and their interests when completing a task.

"A student-centered classroom firmly believes that there is a partnership and a strong level of trust between educators and students. The teacher no longer is and hasn't been for a while the 'smartest' person in the room. Because of this, we need to continue forging a partnership between the teachers and the students and accept an equal playing field when it comes to learning, exploration, and discovery. This partnership is built on trust, and trust happens when we are vulnerable and open to learning with and from others...

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Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Things We Can do to Prepare Students to Work Independently

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Things We Can do to Prepare Students to Work Independently | Computers for Education |

"Nearly ten years ago Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod’s Did You Know/ Shift Happens ( videos made many of us aware of the fact that the nature of learning and the nature of work has irreversibly changed. Yet in many schools we continue to we still teach as if we are preparing students to work and learn in the 80’s and 90’s (you can pick the century). While there is value in some of the traditional methods we must strive to incorporate new perspectives and instructional strategies."

R. Byrne offers ideas for preparing students for this century.

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Here’s a Snapshot of Online Learning in 2015 – The Ticker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Here’s a Snapshot of Online Learning in 2015 – The Ticker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Computers for Education |
The Babson Survey Research Group released its last annual survey of the online-education landscape on Tuesday. You can read its report on the survey here, and below are some of its key findings:

The percentage of academic leaders who said online learning was critical to their institution’s mission dropped from 71 percent, in 2014 — the highest ever — to 63 percent.
The number of distance-education students increased at a slightly higher rate — 3.9 percent — from 2014 to 2015 than it did in the previous year.
The percentage of academic leaders who said their faculty members believe online education is legitimate remained very low — 29 percent.

This will be Babson’s final annual report. In the introduction to this year’s report, the authors — I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, Babson’s co-directors — cite as reasons to end the annual survey “the maturation of distance-education programs in higher education and the growing number of other reports and surveys that have launched since we began this particular effort, back in 2003.”
ElizabethHS's insight:

Some strange findings -- academic leaders don't feel online learning is crucial, but distance ed students are increasing.

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Why We Changed Our Model of the “8 Essential Elements of PBL” | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE

Why We Changed Our Model of the “8 Essential Elements of PBL” | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE | Computers for Education |
Back in the day – September 2010 to be exact, but it feels like long ago - the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) published an article entitled “7 Essentials for Project-Based Learning” in ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine. Soon thereafter we added an eighth element, “Significant Content,” to counter stereotypes that PBL was not an effective method for teaching standards-based knowledge, understanding, and skills – and to remind teachers to design projects with a clear focus on content standards. These “8 Essential Elements of PBL” became the framework for our publications and “PBL 101” workshop, which had now been experienced by over 50,000 teachers. That article, and the hexagonal graphic below, has been widely circulated and cited over the past few years.

Old Model for PBL

In 2014, however, we decided a revision was needed, and developed a more comprehensive, research-based model that we call “Gold Standard PBL.” With PBL’s growing popularity, we worried that if too many teachers and schools jumped on the PBL bandwagon without clear guidance and adequate preparation, problems will crop up. A lot of practices and curriculum materials labeled as “PBL” will not be rigorous or even truly PBL, and yield disappointing results. Some “projects” will really be only “hands-on activities.” Poorly designed and implemented projects could frustrate students, disappoint teachers, and damage PBL’s reputation. PBL could become another fad on the trash heap of failed efforts to transform education. We believe a Gold Standard PBL model will help ensure this does not happen, and we look forward to seeing high-quality projects in all classrooms, in all settings, for all students.

What we call the new model
In our new conception for Gold Standard PBL, we have created two separate but related components of the model: Essential Project Design Elements, and Project Based Teaching Practices. We call them the Essential Project Design Elements because that’s precisely what they are – not the “elements of PBL” the instructional methodology, which is a much broader topic than the design of a project itself. The Project Based Teaching Practices expand on what it means to implement PBL well, beyond designing the project. You can read more about our new model in the other posts linked above, but as you can see in the diagram below, while some of the familiar “8 Essential Elements” remain, others are gone. Let’s explain where they went and why.

New Model for Gold Standard PBL

What’s gone and what replaces it

From Significant Content to Key Knowledge and Understanding. To describe the student learning goals that are the central focus of a project, we think the word “key” still captures the idea that what students learn should be significant, in terms of state or local standards and what’s important to students, teachers, schools and districts. The term “knowledge and understanding” means the same thing as “content” but says it in more everyday language, since we want to use as little edu-jargon as possible for a broad audience.
From 21st Century Competencies to Success Skills. Our older model separated this element from content – albeit with a dotted line, to indicate a connection – but we now combine the two into one set of student learning goals. Recent standards now explicitly include such competencies as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and making presentations; they are to be taught together with content, since students need to, say, think critically about something, such as history, science, math, and so on. Furthermore, we think the term “success skills” is more readily understood by all audiences, and has less baggage, than our older language or other terms such as “college and career readiness skills.”
From Driving Question to Challenging Problem or Question. Our new model defines the fundamental element of a project – what it is “about” – more broadly as a “challenging problem or question.” This may be expressed as a “problem statement” in classrooms and schools where problem based learning is the preferred style of PBL. In other settings, teachers may prefer to organize projects around an “essential question” or “design challenge.” Although we welcome multiple ways to describe what a project is about, we continue to suggest in our PBL workshops and project design materials that teachers operationalize the challenging problem or question by putting it in the form of a student-friendly, open-ended “driving question” to focus the project.
From In-Depth Inquiry to Sustained Inquiry. Inquiry is pretty much, by definition, not a superficial process. So instead of depth, we decided to emphasize the point that in PBL, inquiry should take place over an extended period of time. Students could, during a not-at-gold-standard project, investigate a topic in depth but only on one occasion. But by extending inquiry over several occasions, students have enough time to engage in an iterative process that involves questioning, finding and evaluating sources of information, posing new questions, and applying what has been learned to the solution of a problem or creation of a product.
From Public Audience to Public Product. It’s hugely important – both for motivational reasons and to make learning visible and discussible – that students make their work public in a project. It adds to a project’s authenticity. But we don’t want to suggest that students always have to make a formal presentation to an audience. There are others ways to make work public; students can put it online, display it on a wall, or provide a product or service that is actually used by people in the real world.
Goodbye Need to Know. The fact that an engaging project creates a genuine “need to know” in a learner is one of the most powerful arguments for PBL. As opposed to learning for the sake of a test, grade, or approval from teachers and parents, students in PBL are motivated to learn because they want to successfully complete the project. However, we think this term belongs in a “Why PBL?” argument, not as a thing teachers design in a project the way they would, say, an authentic product or opportunities for student voice and choice. This concept also was easily confused with the “need to know list” used as a tool in a project. Instead, our Gold Standard PBL model places a list of student-generated questions (which is initiated by an entry event that launches a project) as part of the “sustained inquiry” process. The list of student questions could still be given the heading “What do we need to know?” or it could be called something else, such as a KWL (Know, Want to Learn, Learned) chart.

Two new elements – and where to learn more

Hello Authenticity and Reflection. BIE’s Essential Project Design Elements contain two new items, both of which are familiar to those who know PBL. One is “authenticity,” which has to do with how real-world the project is. The other is “reflection,” which we have previously coupled with “revision” but now stands on its own; students should reflect on what they’re learning, how they’re learning, and what they have accomplished in a project.

To learn more about these and the other Essential Project Design Elements plus the Project Based Teaching Practices, read our blogs and see our Hangouts on Gold Standard PBL at and see our new book published by ASCD, Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning, available in the

This post is also available as a downloadable article.

Watch a Hangout with authors John Larmer and John Mergendoller about the need today for high-quality PBL and the new model for Gold Standard PBL Essential Project Design Elements, Gold Standard PBL: The Why and the What.
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A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school. Here’s what he found.

A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school. Here’s what he found. | Computers for Education |

“What is the purpose of school?” Everywhere I looked — mission statements, meetings with school leaders, websites — I’d find sensible, even inspiring, purposes:

* teach students cognitive and social skills
* teach students to think
* build character and soul
* help students in a process of self-discovery
* prepare students to be responsible, contributing citizens
* inspire students through the study of humanity’s great works
* prepare students for productive careers

I probed educators on these alternatives, trying to determine the purpose of school, as though answering an SAT question. But I gradually came to realize that this choice was poorly framed. For starters, each of these goals have merit. If some classrooms prepare students for productive careers, and others prioritize on character development, that’s a good thing. And shouldn’t we celebrate an educator who accomplishes one of these goals — not snipe over whether an alternative purpose is superior?

But what came across loud and clear in my journeys is that schools don’t have the luxury of striving for any meaningful purpose. We’ve somehow imposed a system on our educators that requires them to:

* cover volumes of bureaucratically-prescribed content
* boost scores on increasingly-pervasive standardized tests
* get kids through this year’s vacuous hoops to prepare for next year’s vacuous hoops
* produce acceptable graduation rates and college placements
* deal with parents who are either obsessive micro-managers or missing in action.

How did we get here?


ElizabethHS's insight:

The article really takes us through ways that we can change and improve the learning experience in schools. One of the chief means, I was happy to see, is project-based learning (PBL).

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First language wires brain for later language-learning | Channels - McGill University

First language wires brain for later language-learning | Channels - McGill University | Computers for Education |
ElizabethHS's insight:

An interesting study of how bilingual learners use their brain differently. All minds are ready to learn a second or third language.

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The Internet's Dark Ages: Raiders of the Lost Web

The Internet's Dark Ages: Raiders of the Lost Web | Computers for Education |
Saving something on the web, just as Kevin Vaughan learned from what happened to his work, means not just preserving websites but maintaining the environments in which they first appeared—the same environments that often fail, even when they’re being actively maintained. Rose, looking ahead hundreds of generations from now, suspects “next to nothing” will survive in a useful way. “If we have continuity in our technological civilization, I suspect a lot of the bare data will remain findable and searchable,” he said. “But I suspect almost nothing of the format in which it was delivered will be recognizable.”
ElizabethHS's insight:

This Atlantic article is fascinating: We are all aware of how links become "unlinked" and how constant revision is part and parcel of any Web page, but in this article's perspective, the Internet is constantly losing ground, even when a site like the Internet Archive is trying to capture everything. The numbers are staggering.

A good read.

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The Textbook Is Dying. Meet the Artificially Intelligent Software That’s Replacing It. 

The Textbook Is Dying. Meet the Artificially Intelligent Software That’s Replacing It.  | Computers for Education |
Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
Oct. 25 2015 8:26 PM
No More Pencils, No More Books
Artificially intelligent software is replacing the textbook—and reshaping American education.
By Will Oremus

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo

Eighteen students file into a brightly lit classroom. Arrayed around its perimeter are 18 computers. The students take their seats, log in to their machines, and silently begin working. At a desk in the back, the instructor’s screen displays a series of spreadsheets and data visualizations to help her track each student’s progress in real time.
Will Oremus Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer. Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

This isn’t a Vulcan finishing school or a scene from some Back to the Future sequel. It’s Sheela Whelan’s pre-algebra class at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York.

The students in Whelan’s class are all using the same program, called ALEKS. But peek over their shoulders and you’ll see that each student is working on a different sort of problem. A young woman near the corner of the room is plugging her way through a basic linear equation. The young man to her left is trying to wrap his mind around a story problem involving fractions. Nearby, a more advanced student is simplifying equations that involve both variables and fractions.

At first glance, each student appears to be at a different point in the course. And that’s true, in one sense. But it’s more accurate to say that the course is literally different for each student.

Just a third of the way through the semester, a few of the most advanced students are nearly ready for the final exam. Others lag far behind. They’re all responsible for mastering the same concepts and skills. But the order in which they tackle them, and the pace at which they do so, is up to the artificially intelligent software that’s guiding them through the material and assessing their performance at every turn.
A Slate Plus Special Feature:
The Fascinating, Mostly Failed History of “Teaching Machines”

And how far we’ve come since the 1920s.

ALEKS starts everyone at the same point. But from the moment students begin to answer the practice questions that it automatically generates for them, ALEKS’ machine-learning algorithms are analyzing their responses to figure out which concepts they understand and which they don’t. A few wrong answers to a given type of question, and the program may prompt them to read some background materials, watch a short video lecture, or view some hints on what they might be doing wrong. But if they’re breezing through a set of questions on, say, linear inequalities, it may whisk them on to polynomials and factoring. Master that, and ALEKS will ask if they’re ready to take a test. Pass, and they’re on to exponents—unless they’d prefer to take a detour into a different topic, like data analysis and probability. So long as they’ve mastered the prerequisites, which topic comes next is up to them.


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Whelan, the instructor, does not lecture. What would be the point, when no two students are studying the same thing? Instead, she serves as a sort of roving tutor, moving from one student to the next as they call on her for help. A teaching assistant is also on call to help those who get stuck or to verify that they’re ready to take their next test. As the students work, the software logs everything from which questions they get right and wrong to the amount of time they spend on each one. When Whelan’s online dashboard tells her that several are struggling with the same concept, she’ll assemble those students and work through some problems as a small group. It’s teaching as triage.

The result is a classroom experience starkly different from the model that has dominated American education for the past 100 years. In a conventional classroom, an instructor stands behind a lectern or in front of a whiteboard and says the same thing at the same time to a roomful of very different individuals. Some have no idea what she’s talking about. Others, knowing the material cold, are bored. In the middle are a handful who are at just the right point in their progress for the lecture to strike them as both comprehensible and interesting. When the bell rings, the teacher sends them all home to read the same chapter of the same textbook.

Almost everyone who thinks seriously about education agrees that this paradigm—sometimes derided as “sage on a stage”—is flawed. They just can’t agree on what should replace it. Flipped classrooms? Massive open online courses? Hands-on, project-based learning?

It’s teaching as triage.

While the thinkers are arguing, textbook publishers are acting. With their traditional business models under pressure, they’ve begun to reinvent themselves as educational technology companies. They’re selling schools and colleges on a new generation of digital courseware—ALEKS is just one example—that takes on much of the work that teachers used to do. The software isn’t meant to replace teachers, they insist. Rather, it’s meant to free them to focus on the sort of high-level, conceptual instruction that only a human can provide.
ElizabethHS's insight:

But is adaptive learning software really the answer to sage on the stage? Aren't the software makers just replacing the teacher? Who adapts best to the needs of learners?

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The First Goal Of Online Is Access, Not Education

The First Goal Of Online Is Access, Not Education | Computers for Education |
Thinking through comparing modes of delivery, we find that traditional education began with education as the goal. Places, building and methodologies were all created to enhance the first goal of education delivery. Online learning has a different goal: The first goal for online education is access, followed by convenience and flexibility. The conceptual challenge with online involves understanding that it’s not an education-first method; it is a convenience- and effectiveness-first focus.
ElizabethHS's insight:

An interesting concept -- that the goal of online learning is actually access, not education. This concpt leaves us free to not worry about comparing online education to traditional education. Education will take place, for better or worse, in either alignment.


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The 13 most innovative schools in the world

The 13 most innovative schools in the world | Computers for Education |
Sculpting future success.
ElizabethHS's insight:

Interesting ideas for learning environments from around the world -- with striking photographs.

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Making Failure Harder Work Than Passing

Making Failure Harder Work Than Passing | Computers for Education |
One chemistry teacher describes how, through incremental learning goals, formative assessments, and differentiation, she inspires her students to work harder and recognize their potential.
ElizabethHS's insight:

This blog shows how "gamifying" a class can really make a difference in student potential and achievement. If students enter a system where they have mutliple chances and practices, they know they pass the course, and if they don't the help materials are there to get them to the next level. Timing the events in the formative/summative assessment cycle ensure that they don't just flake out. I like this approach and have seen my own student-teachers get hooked on doing better.


t/h Amy Burns on ScoopIt

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Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World

Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World | Computers for Education |
By examining the landscape of the classroom, educators can design collaborative learning spaces that will support the teaching and learning of skills needed for the interconnected world of today and tomorrow. By seamlessly connecting pedagogy, technology, and space, teachers can create spaces that promote social learning and maximum engagement.
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Principal: What happened when my school ended useless homework

Principal: What happened when my school ended useless homework | Computers for Education |
Time management and organizational skills: Kohn points out that rather than teaching time management to students, homework actually requires parents to do more to organize children’s time.

Newly learned skills: Kohn argues that it is rare that all students need the same practice at the end of a lesson. For some, additional practice may be confusing, while for others, it may be unnecessary.

What the research says: Kohn scoured the research to find that there is no evidence that homework in elementary school leads to an increase in student achievement.
ElizabethHS's insight:
This principal found an excellent way to get her whole school on board with "no homework" (which actually turned out to be some 'homework' in the form of extensive reading with family): She gave them Kohn's book to read for their homework, held discussions, and had each teacher decide what the best way was to tackle the problem. Result: No more boring worksheets.
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The Victorian MOOC - Hybrid Pedagogy

The Victorian MOOC - Hybrid Pedagogy | Computers for Education |
This is the story of how Anna Ticknor in her fiftieth year, and over two hundred women volunteers, leveraged the postal service — the most advanced, accessible and democratising information technology of their day — to provide support, education, opportunity, and resources to women regardless of race, location, class, or financial disposition. Women who were actively, explicitly, and implicitly excluded from education. It’s the story of an edtech revolution that came to be called the “Silent University” — The Society to Encourage Studies at Home, founded in 1873.
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Lever Press Makes Academic Publishing Free | Digital Book World

The Oberlin Group, a consortium of university libraries across the United States, has started a new project called Lever Press, which allows academic authors to publish on an open access digital platform. Production costs will be taken care of by supporting academic institutions, and readers will access content for free.

The organization hopes to acquire, develop and produce 60 new titles on arts, humanities and social science topics by the end of 2020.

Because Lever Press functions digitally, costs of production will remain low and the platform’s editorial board can focus on publishing articles based solely on merit. This also allows the board to publish pieces that may be considered outside the realm of legacy publishing and explore partnerships with the emerging digital humanities community.

Nearly 40 liberal arts college libraries—many of whom are members of the Oberlin Group—have pledged more than $1 million altogether to work on Lever Press over the next five years. Now that the project has financial backing, the next step is to form an editorial board comprised of distinguished faculty members from participating institutions who will vet and approve articles.
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Ready to Flip: Three Ways to Hold Students Accountable for Pre-Class Work - Faculty Focus

Ready to Flip: Three Ways to Hold Students Accountable for Pre-Class Work - Faculty Focus | Computers for Education |
One of the most frequent questions faculty ask about the flipped classroom model is: “How do you encourage students to actually do the pre-class work and come to class prepared?”

This is not really a new question for educators. We’ve always assigned some type of homework, and there have always been students who do not come to class ready to learn. However, the flipped classroom conversation has launched this question straight to the top of the list of challenges faculty face when implementing this model in their classrooms. By design, the flipped model places more emphasis on the importance of homework or pre-class work to ensure that in-person class time is effective, allowing the instructor and the students to explore higher levels of application and analysis together. If students are unprepared, it leads to frustration, stress, and anxiety for everyone.
ElizabethHS's insight:

These are three practical ways to keep everyone in class on track and ready to join the discussion of the day.

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What Kind of Feedback Helps Students Who Are Doing Poorly?

What Kind of Feedback Helps Students Who Are Doing Poorly? | Computers for Education |
Students perform poorly in our courses for a variety of reasons. Here are some students you’ve likely encountered over the years, as well as a few ideas on the type of feedback that best helps them turn things around.
ElizabethHS's insight:

Several good ideas to cope with college-age problem students.

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The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con

The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con | Computers for Education |
So in the end, why should we care so much about the flipped-classroom model? The primary reason is because it is forcing teachers to reflect on their practice and rethink how they reach their kids. It is inspiring teachers to change the way they've always done things, and it is motivating them to bring technology into their classrooms through the use of video and virtual classrooms like Edmodo and similar tools. As long as learning remains the focus, and as long as educators are constantly reflecting and asking themselves if what they are doing is truly something different or just a different way of doing the same things they've always done, there is hope that some of Dewey's philosophies will again permeate our schools. We just need to remember that flipping is only the beginning.
ElizabethHS's insight:

An interesting article, although one might think that by now, 2016, most classes would be flipped, one way or another.

Always good to re-think our assumptions about teaching. This is a thoughtful article.

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CLIL for young learners

CLIL is not a matter of learning first one of either content or language and only then the other, but of learning both content and language simultaneously (Coyle, Hood &Marsh, 2010). This is, of course, the deceptively simple but critical difference enshrined in the original definition of CLIL (Marsh, 2012), as well as many subsequent reformulations.In this sense, CLIL is closely related (Banegas, 2012b; Tarnopolsky, 2013) to concepts such as ‘content-based instruction/learning’ or ‘CBI/CBL’ (the most familiar term in North American contexts), ‘immersion’ education (a term often associated with Canadian contexts), and ‘language across the curriculum’.


As Brown (2006: 91) notes, there are a “multitude of reasons” why children may have difficulty acquiring a second language, including complex personal, social, cultural and political factors. In response to these, the CLIL approach may offer greater and more flexible opportunities to improve language learning. Marsh (2000) argues that CLIL offers YLs more realistic and natural opportunities to learn and use an additional language in such a way that they soon forget about learning the language as such and focus only on learning the content. That said, language is a key ingredient to success in a world increasingly“interconnected by the exchange of information and knowledge” (Mehisto, Marsh & Frigols-Martín, 2008: 10). This re-emphasizes the primary importance that language education arguably should (but does not always) have in contemporary educational practice. CLIL not only provides learners with proficiency in the ‘vehicular language’ (VL) but also with the associated content knowledge and skills needed/required for a globalized world.


This chapter considers the potential benefits and challenges of implementing CLIL for YLs in light of the existing research. It highlights the relative lack of attention that has so far been directed towards CLIL in pre-secondary levels, but suggests particular avenues that might be suitable for CLIL implementation with YLs at different stages. . . .

ElizabethHS's insight:

Rather dense and scholarly, but with some good ideas for CLIL for YLs. "Immersion" is worth re-investigating.

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Parents: Reject Technology Shame

Parents: Reject Technology Shame | Computers for Education |
Digital mentors instead take an active role in guiding their kids onto the Internet. They not only make up a third of parents overall, but a little more than a third of parents in each age range—suggesting that this is an approach to digital-age parenting that can actually sustain a family long-term, from the time baby first lays her hands on a touchscreen all the way until she heads off for college.
ElizabethHS's insight:

Digital mentors' kids learn the skills needed to control their own behavior online and use technology in productive ways. The info graphic here indicates behaviors that can be avoided with good training in digital activities.

The article reminds us that all was not an idyllic world before technology. Parents probably spent no more time with their kids than they do now. Spending time with kids with technology can be very productive.


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Comparisons of Online Versus Traditional Education Miss The Point

Comparisons of Online Versus Traditional Education Miss The Point | Computers for Education |
Learned readers, of course, will note online education has been around for over 30 years and distance education longer.

Although the discussion has arisen anew once again, the tone of the conversation is worryingly similar to the years of dialogue that have come before. It seems we educators cannot get beyond our biases, even burying them deep beneath a wall of “research.” However, research methodologies focused on comparative modality studies keep reporting similar outcomes and often ask the wrong research question, or develop questions and hypotheses without fully understanding modern learning processes and technology.

One reason educators search for alternative education modalities is to provide access venues to overcome student challenges. For many students, online is the only modality by which they are able to attend college or continue with a college education.
ElizabethHS's insight:

I like the idea that we often forget: distance learning has been around a very long -- it's just getting a technological boost now. How do we justify online learning in an age of technology?


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100 Videos and Counting: Lessons From a Flipped Classroom

100 Videos and Counting: Lessons From a Flipped Classroom | Computers for Education |
After making 100 videos, a veteran flipped learning educator reflects on what he's learned: keep it simple, employ differentiated instruction tools, and respect students' schedules.
ElizabethHS's insight:

Excellent advice on how to make the flipped structure work for higher learning.

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Death of the Discussion Forum: a #digped Chat - Hybrid Pedagogy

Death of the Discussion Forum: a #digped Chat - Hybrid Pedagogy | Computers for Education |
The semester begins. Servers everywhere fire up. And students across the globe introduce themselves in discussion forums. In Canvas, in D2L, in Blackboard, in Moodle. Teachers from every field, students...
ElizabethHS's insight:

Having announced the death of the forum discussion, I was hoping Sean Michael Morris would give us the solution, or at least the site of the funeral...

     A suggestion to use Twitter just doesn't seem practicable. Twitter to me is still a charring and random set of half-baked thoughts. While the chaos is pleasing to those trying to justifying theoretical constructivism, how about something for the rest of us who have deadlines, curricular restrictions, and (shudder) grades?

     I find some forum discussion is really meaningful and helpful to others in the forum -- and they say so.

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