3 Predictors of Strong Digital Learning (eSchool News)
Student choice at the state level, student choice at the course level, and the existence and strength of charter school laws are three predictors of how strong a state’s digital learning opportunities are likely to be, according to a new report released on Nov. 3.
For most students, science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) subjects are not intuitive or easy. Learning in general—and STEM in particular—requires repeated trial and error, and a student’s lack of confidence can sometimes stand in her own way. And although teachers and parents may think they are doing otherwise, these adults inadvertently help kids make up their minds early on that they’re not natural scientists or “math people,” which leads them to pursue other subjects instead.
You’ve likely signed a pledge at some point. But have you ever followed through on it?
Sometimes, it helps to have a little push. And right now, the U.S. Office of Educational Technology and the Department of Education (DOE) are outlining a roadmap of supports and activities to make sure that superintendents fulfill a blended learning pledge that launched in September 2014.
Do States Really Need an Education Technology Plan? (eSchool News)
Last week, the New America Foundation’s Chelsea Wilhelm wrote about a startling trend in state education technology planning: by and large, it’s not happening. As Wilhelm summarized, after combing through public records she found that:
[J]ust 19 states have planned past the year 2012. Of those, five states have plans that do not include student learning objectives or professional development objectives, which in our estimation here at New America makes them fairly bare-bones, limited updates. … The remaining 30 (including the District of Columbia) have no current state education technology plans publicly available at all—most have confirmed they are not continuing with state-wide education technology planning.
Social Media Turning Out To Help Teachers Gain PD (T.H.E. Journal)
When teachers who use social media were asked to cite their biggest concerns for education, what topped the list were technology in the classroom (cited by 65 percent of teachers) and professional development (specified by 58 percent). While technology is very helpful for student engagement and motivation, where it really shines is in providing professional development and opportunities for teachers to collaborate with colleagues. And social media is turning out to be a powerful tool for those purposes.