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John Evans

Why Technology Alone Won't Fix Schools - The Atlantic - 1 views

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    "For about a month in the spring of 2013, I spent my mornings at Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle whose students are the scions of the Pacific Northwest elite. The beautiful red-brick campus looks like an Ivy League college and costs almost as much to attend. The school boasts Bill Gates among its alumni, and its students come from the families of Amazon and Microsoft executives. Unsurprisingly, there is no dearth of technology: Teachers post assignments on the school's intranet; classes communicate by email; and every student carries a laptop (required) and a smartphone (not).

    In this context, what do parents do when they think their children need an extra boost? I was there as a substitute tutor for students spanning the academic spectrum. A few of them were taking honors calculus. They were diligent but wanted a sounding board as they worked on tough problems. Others, weighed down by intensive extracurricular activities, struggled in geometry and algebra. I would review material with them and offer pointers as they did assignments. Yet another group required no substantive help at all. They just needed some prodding to finish their homework on time. Despite their differences, the students had one thing in common: What their parents were paying for was extra adult supervision."
John Evans

Edtech Conferences You Need To Know | EdSurge News - 0 views

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    "The education world-and the edtech community-have plenty of conferences. At EdSurge, we love to attend them, write about them and share upcoming events on our site here.

    Now in consultation with other conference-trotting stars, we've pulled together a list of the leading 40 or so convenings for educators and edtech entrepreneurs and executives. We're pleased to share it with you-yep, yours' for the taking, in two handy sizes."
John Evans

Makers in the Classroom: A How To Guide | EdSurge News - 5 views

  • At Lighthouse Charter School, we use three Making-inspired models: open-ended student-driven projects, integration into curriculum, and Making-focused curriculum. While a single project may involve more than one of these models, you can use these categories to start thinking about Making in your own classroom, school, or educational program.
  • Open-ended student-driven projects ask students to do most of the heavy lifting. The open-ended projects have a strong focus initially on the heart, and a student’s interests--”What are you passionate about? What gets you excited? What would just be cool?” But to create a final project, the mind and hands must get involved as well.
  • Integrating Making into curriculum happens when Making is tied to core academic curriculum or standards, in order to enhance student understanding. For example, when students build circuits using open-ended materials to introduce to concepts about electricity, design bridges to withstand an earthquake as part of a geology study, and deepen their understanding of geometry by programming shapes in LOGO (a computer language developed as a tool for learning), they engage their hands to solidify and deepen the concepts that they are already learning in the classroom.
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  • In Making-focused curriculum, the goal is to focus on the Making process and skills, shifting from a focus on academic content/standards to a focus on the Making itself. A kindergarten study of sewing, a robotics elective, or a few class sessions on programming with Scratch fit this model.

    An important consideration is whether to concentrate on process (such as ideation and prototyping), skills (such as soldering, programming, and sewing), or both, and then tailor instruction to fit those goals. When I design Making classes that focus on process, I have my students write reflections and engage in whole-class discussions to help students think about how they worked through obstacles throughout the project process.

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    "You see it everywhere in K-12. Kindergarteners design toys for their friends to practice empathy, while learning to use a saw and glue-gun along the way. Second graders deepen their understanding of character traits while designing and sewing puppets to represent a character in a folk-tale. In high school physics, students make wind turbines in order to internalize an understanding of how magnetism can create electricity.

    The "it" I'm referring to is "Making," and simply put, Making is any activity where people create something, often with their hands.

    I often define Making by looking at what people bring to the Maker Faire, which does include more technical aspects like 3D printing, physical computing and programming. But Making also includes woodworking, growing food, making art and crafts."
John Evans

Edtech: Mastering the device vs mastering the pedagogy - Innovate My School - 6 views

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    "What separates the successful mobile learning projects from the unsuccessful? This is a 'million dollar' question, and I've thought long and hard about it. From the 17 large 1:1 projects I've worked on, only three have been truly successful in producing transformational learning. In your own experience, how many schools do you know who have transformed learning vs how many you know rely on iPads as laptop placements, focusing on web browsing and research functions only? I'm sure you'll draw similar conclusions to my own, but if a handful of schools can transform learning with mobile devices, how do we replicate it across more schools? I believe I've found the answer."
John Evans

What's the Future for Mobile Devices in the Classroom? [#Infographic] | EdTech Magazine - 3 views

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    "Mobile devices are more prevalent in K-12 classrooms than ever.

    A new survey on mobile learning from Project Tomorrow shows that today's schools are relying increasingly on students having experience with devices like smartphones and tablets to engage in modern curriculum.

    Project Tomorrow's 12th annual Speak Up Research Project surveyed teachers and students at more than 8,000 schools and 2,600 school districts to gain insight on how these devices are affecting education. The results were adapted into a report and an infographic."
John Evans

2015's Top Education Technology Trends | Edudemic - 2 views

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    "Each year, the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE release the NMC Horizon Report, which looks at the technology most likely to shape education in the next five years. The 2015 report highlights a number of key changes that educators, those at the higher education level in particular, should be aware of."
John Evans

Moving at the Speed of Creativity | 30 Reasons I Love Teaching Elementary STEM - 2 views

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    "This is my 20th year in education but my second year back in the classroom, teaching STEM full-time to 610 4th and 5th graders at Independence Elementary in Yukon, Oklahoma. Our STEM program is very unique, since it's in the "specials "rotation for all students that also includes PE, Music and Art. This is the 4th year of the STEM program in Yukon Public Schools. As we're about to wind down our school year, I thought it would be good to reflect and share about the reasons I love teaching elementary STEM in YPS. If you want to learn more, come to STEMseeds PD Camp June 2-4, 2015!"
John Evans

Stanford Study Shows Dramatic Math Improvement From Playing Video Games Just 10 Minutes... - 3 views

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    "Third graders played for just 10 minutes per day, 3 days a week, for four weeks. The comparison group's class received the same materials and the same instruction, but didn't play the game. The result of playing was a staggering 20.5% improvement after just two hours of self-guided play."
John Evans

Code the Future - Developers and Educators Working Together - 1 views

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    "We believe in a future where every child leaves school knowing how to code. It's not realistic to expect educators to achieve this on their own, developers and the wider community must help. The amazing thing is that many developers believe in our cause and want work with educators to make this happen- someone just needs to bring them together. That's where we step in. We provide a platform where educators can post code-related projects, request a custom project or pick from our growing base of pre-defined projects. Developers can browse projects in their local area and connect with the educators to take discussions further and bring authentic learning opportunities to the classroom.

    So, we're currently looking for our founding partners to get the ball rolling. If you know anyone or would like to become a founding partner, please get in touch with us (team@codefuture.org)!"
John Evans

7 Characteristics Of Teachers Who Effectively Use Technology - 2 views

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    "But using technology in the classroom-and using it effectively-might require some slight adjustments on the part of the teacher to sustain the effort, creative problem-solving, and innovation required to actually improve learning through the use of technology. (And great administrators, too.) This occurs at the belief level-what teachers believe about technology, education, and their own abilities to manage technology.

    Looking at the characteristics of teachers that effectively use technology in the classroom, then, can be useful to create an "edtech" mindset-one that believes in purpose, adaptation, change, and meaningful planning. If you spend your time planning at the upper limits of the SAMR model, this graphic may simply work as a quick reminder of how edtech can work-and work well-at the teacher-human-belief level.

    For everyone else, it's a a beautiful starting point to frame your thinking about education technology in general."
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