It's another small step for Satya Nadella's Microsoft as it looks to transition to a software and services company based around the cloud. This week saw Redmond release a new tool for Mac users to move date from the popular Evernote note taking service and move that data into the Mac version of OneNote (and from there, into its cloud).
Nearly two-thirds of responding districts to a recent Center for Digital Education survey already have a 1:1 program or are planning for one. Among the districts with programs in place, 74 percent expect to expand them to more students. While the vision of a full-time, personalized device for every student isn’t a reality yet, most K-12 districts are moving in that direction. Individualized device programs are becoming prevalent as their learning value is more widely recognized and new funding sources support greater technology investments. Download this paper to learn the essential elements for developing an effective program, including how device types and features enhance student learning needs, how to successfully train and support teachers, and how to establish appropriate policies.
Grit has been on NPR several times recently, not to mention front and center on the national education agenda.
The term expresses the idea that a crucial component of success is people's ability to pick a goal and stick with it. That's the main thrust of research by Angela Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania, which has earned her a MacArthur "genius" grant, national acclaim and, this month, a best-selling book.
i Angela Duckworth, professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Zave Smith/Wikimedia Commons But a new report suggests that we should all take a step back and chill. The study, Much Ado about Grit: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis of the Grit Literature, will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It analyzes 88 separate studies by Duckworth and others.
"My overall assessment is that grit is far less important than has commonly been assumed and claimed," says the lead author, Marcus Crede, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University. "And it doesn't tell us anything that we don't already know."
Duckworth has now responded in detail to the charges in the paper — and acknowledges some of the points are correct. In a series of emails to NPR Ed, she added, however, "I can't see, exactly, how the author goes from these findings to the rather bold claims in his press release."
Here are the key claims in Crede's paper:
Effect sizes in one of Duckworth's major papers on grit were described incorrectly to sound misleadingly large. The impact of grit is exaggerated, especially when looking at broader populations of people — not just the high achievers in Duckworth's initial studies. Grit is nearly identical to conscientiousness, which has been known to psychologists for decades as a major dimension of personality. It is not something that's necessarily open to change, especially in adults, whereas Duckworth in her writings suggests that grit is. On Point No. 1, Duckworth admits to the charge of badly describing the size of her outcomes.
“ By Leo Doran and Benjamin Herold Efforts by K-12 schools to give every student a laptop computer increased student achievement and gave a modest boost to their "21st century skills," according to a first-of-its-kind meta-analysis of 15 years' worth of research studies. "It's not like just providing a laptop to every student will automatically increase student achievement, but we find that it's the first step," said Binbin Zheng, an assistant professor of counseling, educational psychology, and special education at Michigan State University. Using statistical techniques to analyze already-completed studies, Zheng and her colleagues found that 1-to-1 laptop programs on average had a statistically significant positive impact on student test scores in English/language arts, writing, math and science. The limited number of rigorous quantitative studies available to analyze mean that those findings are not definitive, but they are clearly a good sign for 1-to-1 proponents and underscore the need for more study, Zheng said. A further review of 86 additional papers by the researchers, meanwhile, found some modest evidence of other positive benefits associated with giving laptops to students, including increased student technology use; more student-centered and project-based instruction; greater student engagement; and better relationships between students and teachers. The analysis focused solely on 1-to-1 laptop efforts. The researchers cautioned that their results are not generalizable to other devices such as tablets, desktop computers, and smartphones. ”
The dominant pedagogy in classrooms today is still direct instruction, the pedagogy underlying so-called computer-based, “personalized learning” environments. But, we argue in this week’s blog that truly 1-to-1 implementations, which are only now becoming feasible, are the opportunity needed to transform classrooms and support educators in moving to an inquiry pedagogy, a pedagogy that develops students’ critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration.
Stuart Brotman writes about how the Department of Education's latest National Educational Technology Plan moves beyond the usual digital divide perspective to emphasize a “digital-use divide” in how apps are actually utilized in schools.
Posted By Laura Devaney On February 12, 2016 @ 2:00 am In Curriculum,News,Research,School Administration,Top News | No Comments Deeper learning competencies serve as “North Star” for a new vision of teaching, according to a new report Teachers must exchange their traditional instructor role for that of a “learning strategist” in order to achieve deeper learning outcomes, according to a new white paper from the nonprofit National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) and ConsultEd Strategists.
The report’s authors also found that teachers who do achieve deeper learning with their students personalize learning experiences, apply real-world knowledge to learning, and use technology in a way that enhances and empowers student learning.
Deeper learning refers to the competencies, knowledge, and skills that students must develop to be successful post-K-12. There are more than 500 schools across the country that incorporate various types of deeper learning methods.
The white paper, How Deeper Learning Can Create a New Vision for Teaching , describes a new vision for teaching and outlines how teachers’ roles and teaching conditions can best support deeper learning for students.
“Our goal was to highlight and document that teachers need support and training as they make shifts in their practice and in the way they work with colleagues,” said Elizabeth Foster, an author of the white paper and NCTAF’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “We wanted to draw out how teachers, who share a vision of deeper learning for their students, adapt their strategies and take on new roles. In addition, it was also necessary to highlight the kinds of conditions that facilitate teaching for deeper learning, such as a learning culture based on trust and professionalism, shared responsibility for student learning, embedded professional learning, and time for meaningful collaboration.”
HP has introduced a new Chromebook designed specifically for education, the Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition (EE).
The new Chromebook "is the thinnest rugged Chromebook for Education designed to pass MIL-STD [United States Military Standard] testing," according to the company's internal analysis of Chromebooks with rubberized durability features that pass a 27.5-inch drop test.
The company incorporated rugged features, such as co-molded rubber edges and a spill-resistant keyboard into the design to help the device withstand drops from desks and bumps into lockers. It also added collaboration-friendly features such as a 180-degree hinge, so the device can lie flat on a desk, and noise-suppression technology.
Key features of the HP Chromebook 11 G4 EE include:
Intel Celeron processor;Fanless design;Co-molded rubber edges;Spill-resistant keyboard;180-degree hinge;Built-in noise suppression technology;Thickness of 0.8 inches and weight of 2.7 pounds;Up to 9.5 hours of battery life;Optional IPS (in-plane switching) panel for wide viewing angles;Optional 3G/4G wireless wide area network (WWAN); andConfigurable color options.
The HP Chromebook 11 G4 EE also offers an optional Chrome Management Console that lets teachers and administrators manage policies, apps and operating system updates on thousands of Chromebooks from a single Web-based administrative console.
HP expects the Chromebook 11 G4 EE to be available in the United States beginning in January 2016 with a starting price of $199. The company currently offers two other Chromebooks: the 11-2210nr and the 14-ak010nr.
Further information about HP Chromebooks is available on the company's site.
OER: Some Questions and Answers by DAVID on APRIL 29, 2016 Earlier this week I read an op-ed – sponsored by Pearson – titled “If OER is the answer, what is the question?” The article poses three questions and answers them. Below I share some thoughts prompted by the article. (The questions from the article are presented in bold; unattributed blockquotes are from the original article.)
How do we deliver better learning experiences to more students?
There are fantastic learning resources out there of all breeds bringing different types of value to the learning process. OER often shine in their variety and ability to deepen resources for niche topics. Where proprietary courseware (textbooks, etextbooks, or online courseware) stand apart is in pedagogical organization and the unique value of authorship. While it’s possible to build a complete course from OER, the finished product often lacks the scaffolding found in courseware authored by single author/editorial/product teams. That scaffolding connects concepts and practice together, guiding students through the content in a way that maximizes learning.
I’m glad that the author goes straight to the issue of student learning. When all is said and done, the degree to which resources like commercial textbooks and OER support student learning is the only thing that matters. (I will use the language of effectiveness rather than efficacy below, for very important reasons I discussed previously.)
Absent any effectiveness data, for decades faculty who were evaluating educational resources had no choice but to settle for characteristics of resources that reasonable people might believe correlate positively with effectiveness. These proxies for effectiveness included famous authors, name brand publishers, large product teams with diverse skill sets, Stephen Spielberg-like production quality in graphic design, layout, and imagery, and highly formalized editorial and review processes. Unfortunately, sometime during these passing decades faculty began to believe that only resources with these proxy characteristics could be effective in supporting learning. They began to doubt that other development models must necessarily result in materials that are less effective. I don’t think it would be controversial to say that this “content worldview” was encouraged by publishers.
A growing number of peer-reviewed studies and other research reports are demonstrating that when faculty who previously used commercial products as their core instructional materials replace them with OER, student learning either stays the same or increases. Hilton’s review of this research suggests that this “same or better” outcome for OER users holds about 93% of the time.
This result – that freely available resources can support student learning as well as very expensive resources – runs counter to people’s intuition that “you get what you pay for.” As we see in other areas (e.g., climate change), when the truth differs significantly from people’s beliefs, there can be a steep communications hill to climb. This has certainly been the case for OER, and is the primary reason why it is so critically important that more empirical research on the relative effectiveness of OER be conducted and published in peer-reviewed academic journals.
In an effort to provide educators with additional content that engages students with classroom curriculum, PBS announced today a new series of interactive iBooks for teachers. The iBooks, geared toward K-8 educators, cover topics in math, English language arts, social studies, and Spanish language and culture. PBS LearningMedia, the media on-demand service from PBS that offers more than 120,000 digital resources for teachers, will release four iBooks this month.
Each iBook averages 200 pages and contains contextualized lesson plans, professional development resources, and links to curriculum-targeted videos and games from PBS LearningMedia that teachers can use to enrich classroom instruction. The first four iBooks focus on measurement, holidays, Spanish, and grammar and are available through iTunes.
“Our top priority is making the lives of educators easier. With the launch of our first series of iBooks, we are furthering our commitment to producing high-quality, educational resources that drive classroom performance,” said Alicia Levi, Vice President, PBS Education. “Research shows that PBS LearningMedia content positively impacts student achievement when integrated into existing classroom curriculum. This new series of iBooks will provide students with a fresh perspective on the topics covered and provide educators with a new and engaging way to teach them.”
This course seeks to provide a supportive context for students to grow significantly as writers by discovering and engaging with issues that matter to them. Writing on social and ethical issues, we can see ourselves within a tradition of authors such as Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, George Orwell, Rachel Carson, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., who have used the power of the pen to inspire social change.
February 17 is Digital Learning Day, and the Consortium for School Networking is excited to also announce the launch of a new Digital Equity Action Toolkit for district leaders.
Introduced through CoSN’s new Digital Equity Action Agenda leadership initiative, the toolkit provides school system leaders with thoughtful strategies to address and narrow the “homework gap” in their communities.
Ensuring equitable access to technology inside and outside the classroom is the civil rights issue of today. Alarmingly, many lower-income families cannot stay connected to complete homework assignments, and parents are unable to track their child’s academic performance. School leaders must work with their communities to ensure digital equity and enable all students to benefit from learning that is increasingly delivered digitally.
The new leadership initiative and version 1.0 toolkit provides a historic contextual background of the issue, explains the “homework gap,” details broader implications of household connectivity, and lays out steps school districts can take today. These steps include: survey the district’s connectivity and devices; engage the community; ensure sustainability through community assets; and consider outside-of-the-box solutions.
In addition, the toolkit presents six approaches that will enable school districts to strengthen their leadership and spark innovation in pursuing digital equity in their communities:
Partner with local businesses on Wi-Fi access for learning; Maximize the use of existing assets; Seek mobile hotspot programs; Leverage special broadband offerings; Repurpose educational spectrum; and Create a mesh network. The new initiative will further expand CoSN’s digital equity leadership. In partnership with the National Title I Association, CoSN previously produced the school district-level guide, Rethinking Equity in a Digital Era: Forging a Strong Partnership Between District Title I and Technology. Since last fall, Krueger has written a series of blogs on digital equity challenges, models, and partnerships.
For more information about the Digital Equity Action Agenda leadership initiative, please visit: cosn.org/digital-equity.
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