Report: Students’ tech use remains infrequent
Students' use of digital tools and other learning technologies remains relatively sporadic, according to a new study.
Based on direct classroom observations of 140,000 K-12 classrooms across 39 states and 11 countries, the study by the school improvement organization AdvancED found there are still relatively few classrooms in which the use of digital tools and technology is a regular part of a student’s school experience.
The findings come from an analysis of three years of data from AdvancED's learning observation environments observation tool, eleot, which measures and quantifies active student engagement through learner-centric classroom observations, to determine how extensively technology is being used to engage students in learning.
Three eleot items focus specifically on students' use of digital tools and technology for a variety of purposes:
1. Students use digital tools/technology to gather, evaluate and/or use information for learning.
2. Students use digital tools/technology to conduct research, solve problems and/or create original works for learning.
3. Students use digital tools/technology to communicate and work collaboratively for learning.
More than half of classrooms included in the study (52.7 percent) showed no evidence of using technology to gather, evaluate, or use information for learning. Roughly two-thirds of surveyed classrooms showed no evidence of using technology to conduct research, solve problems, or create original work, nor to communicate and work collaboratively for learning.
The study looked at data gathered in 20-minute observation periods during which specially trained observers conducted student-centered classroom observations in randomly selected classrooms, lessons, and schools at the beginning, middle, and end of class.
Dr. Ludy van Broekhuizen, chief innovation officer for AdvancED and author of the research study, notes that increasing student engagement may be a far more powerful learning tool than technology itself.
“When students are genuinely engaged in their learning around topics that connect to their lives and interest them, they are much less inclined to engage in off-task behaviors with or without access to technology,” he noted. “It is when students lose themselves in their learning that we have accomplished what we set out to do for them in the first place.”
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Brightspace Excellence Awards highlight innovation in online learning
This year’s Brightspace Excellence Awards, announced at FUSION 2016 by global learning technology provider D2L, recognized the promise of online learning and its ability to connect more and more people to high-quality educational programs.
Faculty dedicated to helping students learn online created robust online environments and high-quality tools to help students succeed in their online learning endeavors.
This year’s crop of winners demonstrated progress and innovation in student and teacher engagement, student retention, and teaching and learning efficiencies that resulted in cost savings.
“This year’s Brightspace Excellence Award winners stand out for their ability to creatively use technology to address some of the most critical challenges facing education today,” said John Baker, President and CEO, D2L. “Students require affordable tuition costs, an engaging learning experience and the most advanced tools to garner the benefits of their education experience. Our award winners have made progress in each of these areas and we couldn’t be more pleased with how they have harnessed and unleashed the power of Brightspace.”
2016 Brightspace Awards for Excellence Winners
The Awards for Excellence celebrate inspiration and innovation in the delivery of a teaching and learning experience that is both unique and collaborative.
University of Akron: Jodi Henderson-Ross, Faculty Designer; Teresa Potter, Senior Instructional Designer
University of Colorado Boulder: Courtney Fell, Instructional Technologist/Designer; Doris Cheung, Learning Experience Designer, Academic Technology Design Team, Office of Information Technology; Aisha Jackson, IT Program Manager, Teaching and Learning Applications, Office of Information Technology; Rebecca Kallemeyn, IT Program Manager, New Student and Family Programs
Gwinnett County Public Schools: Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent, Dr. Robert McClure, Chairman of Gwinnett County Board of Education
The University of Akron launched the GenEd Core Pilot Program in Fall 2015 to help increase access to higher education. The program used Brightspace to deliver blended learning courses designed with experiential learning elements that allowed them to be offered with significant cost savings. The Brightspace platform enabled students to personally craft their experiences to adapt to their learning needs, while quizzes and other formative assessments made sure students were on track for success. The design of a “master course” using Brightspace to coordinate and streamline student assessment across multiple sections and faculty members, resulted in new efficiencies that further contributed to cost savings.
Free learning platform targets improved media literacy
KQED Teach, which launched on July 11, provides a series of free, self-paced courses to help K-12 educators develop the media skills necessary to bring media production and communication to their learning environments. These courses will take place in an online platform developed by KQED Education that tracks user progress and encourages sharing and feedback
ClassDojo introduces student-led digital portfolios
ClassDojo has launched Student Stories, an easy way for students to add photos and videos of their classwork to their own digital portfolio, and share them home. Parents will be able to follow along with their child’s learning: whether it’s a photo of a poem they wrote, a video of a science experiment, or a