The top ways digital tools transform learning
Digital tools are often touted for their ability to have a transformative effect on teaching and learning, and an annual survey reveals just how deeply these tools continue to impact education.
Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans shared some of the latest Speak Up Survey data. The annual survey focuses on digital tools, emerging technologies, professional development, digital citizenship, STEM, and administrators' challenges.
"We have a strong belief that today's students should be well-prepared for the future, and digital tools can help ensure that they are prepared," Evans said.
When it comes to district administrators’ views on solutions that can most transform teaching and learning, their top motivating factors include enhancing teacher effectiveness (58 percent), integrating 21st century skills into curriculum (49 percent), and leveraging technology more effectively (46 percent).
Students surveyed said their path to a more personalized learning experience includes social-based learning involving interaction with peers and real-world experts, untethered learning that helps students learn outside the physical boundaries of a classroom or classroom resources, and digitally-rich learning that adds relevance and context to the learning process.
Teachers who self-assessed their use of digital tools as “advanced” (28 percent of respondents) use a variety of digital tools and approaches, including:
Internet to research information about a lesson (90 percent)
Watching online videos to learn (74 percent)
Text with colleagues (67 percent)
Customize digital content for class use (56 percent)
Participate in online professional learning communities (55 percent)
Teachers' use of digital content in the classroom includes:
Videos found online (47 percent of elementary school teachers and 49 percent of middle school teachers)
Game environments (35 percent of elementary and 21 percent of middle)
Online textbooks (22 percent of elementary and 29 percent of middle)
Real-time data (21 percent of elementary and 19 percent of middle)
Animations (19 percent of elementary and 22 percent of middle)
Self-created videos (6 percent of elementary and 11 percent of middle)
California’s digital divide still gaping
Araceli Barron, the bilingual mother of three young children in Sunnyvale, has seen California's digital divide up close. Until recently, the family had no Internet access at home and as more and more schoolwork required an online presence, her sixth-grade daughter was starting to fall behind.
"In January we finally got internet and it's made a huge difference in all my kids' grades," said Barron, whose household income is not much more than $20,000 a year. "And that's really helped my kids' self-esteem."
Despite living in the tech-rich heart of Silicon Valley, Barron and her children have straddled a stubborn gap between the state's digital-haves and have-nots that shows little sign of closing anytime soon.
According to a statewide Field Poll, broadband adoption rates have stagnated over the past few years, with access by Latinos, seniors and others lagging behind that enjoyed by younger adults and those with higher incomes.
According to the poll, 75 percent of adult Californians have broadband Internet connectivity at home. While that's up from 55 percent when the first poll was done in 2008, this year's number was unchanged from 2013 as growth appears to have stalled.
Perhaps even more troubling, usage patterns vary significantly across different segments of the state's population. For example, while nearly 90 percent of Californians age 18-29 and those who have graduated from college or who earn annual household incomes of $60,000 or more report having broadband internet access at home, significantly smaller slices of other groups were able to say the same.
They include adults who have not graduated from high school (32 percent of whom have broadband Internet access), Spanish-speaking Latinos (46 percent), seniors 65 or older (47 percent) and residents with annual household incomes of less than $20,000 (53 percent).
Common Core assessments just got a little easier
Educators have a new assessment resources for Common Core implementation A new free solution directly addresses the Common Core implementation challenges looming ahead for K-12 schools and districts around the country. Edulastic is a web-based formative assessment platform that helps teachers prepare and deliver effective Common Core curricula by simultaneously improving the assessment creation, assignment, [ Read More ]
5 TED Talks that delve into education
Every educator needs some inspiration now and then, and these days, such inspiration can be found online in just a few seconds.
The internet brings inspiring and motivational speakers and experts to anyone with a connection and an internet-ready device.
TED Talks are some of today’s most popular examples of the internet’s power to expand learning opportunities to all.
Each month, we’ll bring you a handful of inspiring TED Talks. Some will focus specifically on education; others will highlight innovative practices that have long-lasting impact. But all will inspire and motivate educators and students alike.
Did you miss our most recent TED Talks features? You can find them here:
1. Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents'
It's called the "Flynn effect" — the fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it. Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking differently? In this fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th century, moral philosopher James Flynn suggests that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.
2. Our failing schools. Enough is enough!
Why, why, why does our education system look so similar to the way it did 50 years ago? Millions of students were failing then, as they are now — and it’s because we’re clinging to a business model that clearly doesn’t work. Education advocate Geoffrey Canada dares the system to look at the data, think about the customers and make systematic shifts in order to help greater numbers of kids excel.
Breaking language and digital barriers in bilingual education
Taking a foreign language class can aid in ordering a French crepe or finding the nearest bathroom, but it can only get a student so far in a globalized world.