DEN Trend Report: 5/11/16

DEN Trend Report FeaturedLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news. Let us know what you think about this week’s news in the comments below.

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Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future (EdTech Magazine)
By Eric Sheninger
While I am a huge advocate for the purposeful integration of technology in schools, we must resist the temptation to think that this is the solution to solve all the ills in our current education system.

What concerns me most is how many districts and schools are going all in with one-on-one or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives with no real plan for implementation and evaluation of effectiveness. This lack of planning and support will likely result in devices never achieving the outcomes that they were designed to achieve. It’s foolish to think that students will learn just by putting a device in their hands.

Survey: Classroom, Formative Tests Far More Useful Than End-of-Year Exams (Education Week)
By Catherine Gewertz
Parents, students, teachers, and administrators place greater value on classroom tests and formative assessments than they do on summative tests used for accountability, according to a new survey.

The results, from a Gallup poll released Thursday, reflect a view reported widely: that families and educators find statewide accountability testing to have limited value. It was commissioned by theNorthwest Evaluation Association, which has a keen interest in these matters: NWEA is the maker of the widely used MAP formative assessments. In the last four years, it has conducted periodic surveys gauging public opinion on assessment, such as this one, from 2014, about the amount of time students spend taking tests.

4 Ways Teachers Are Learning To Use Technology To Benefit Students with Special Needs (T.H.E. Journal)
By Leila Meyer
Assistive and accessible technology can help students with special needs overcome a wide variety of challenges. Nonverbal students can communicate using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology; students with physical disabilities can take advantage of special keyboards and monitors; and the accessibility features of iPads and Google Apps for Education can helps students with learning disabilities or other challenges. Although some tech-savvy teachers are confident figuring out these technologies on their own, many others need training on how to implement assistive and accessible technology effectively to benefit their students. In some cases, formal training is available, but for time-strapped teachers and cash-strapped districts, attending a course or conference might not be an option. Fortunately, when it comes to technology-related professional development for teachers of students with special needs, a wide variety of options are available.
Emotions Help Steer Students’ Learning, Studies Find (Education Week)
By Sarah Sparks
Despite what Star Trek’s Mr. Spock would have you think, emotions are not the enemy of reason. Rather, new research suggests emotions underpin how students learn in the classroom.

“People think of emotion getting in the way of cognition, but it doesn’t. Emotion steers our thinking; it’s the rudder that directs our mind and organizes what we need to do,” said Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, an associate professor of education, psychology, and neuroscience at the University of Southern California, in an interview with Education Week.

Half of teens think they’re addicted to their smartphones (CNN)
By Kelly Wallace
I don’t have teenagers yet, but watching my 8- and 10-year-olds spend endless amounts of time on iPads during spring break makes me worried about the day — hopefully years from now — when they have their own devices.

A new poll that confirms just how much teens depend on their phones gives me even more to worry about.

Fifty percent of teens feel they are addicted to their mobile devices, according to the poll, which was conducted for Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents, teachers and policymakers negotiate media and technology. A larger number of parents, 59%, said their teens were addicted. The poll involved 1,240 interviews with parents and their children, ages 12 to 18.

One-to-One Laptop Initiatives Boost Student Scores, Researchers Find (Education Week)
By 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.

8 ways digital media will evolve for the future (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney
While digital educational media can continue to have a substantial impact on children, the size of that impact is directly proportional to a commitment to equity, according to a study examining five years of the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative, which represents $72 million in taxpayer dollars.
Interviews with 26 prominent children’s media researchers, producers, and thought leaders were conducted as part of the study.
The study reflects on the initiative’s progress over time and offers examples of how digital educational media have influenced learning.

Few teachers give schools an ‘A’ for classroom technology (eSchool News)
By Laura Devaney
Only 16 percent of teachers in a recent survey give their schools an ‘A’ for incorporating technology into their classroom, and 48 percent of all surveyed teachers consider the technology they do have to be outdated.
Teachers’ Dream Classroom Survey, sponsored by Edgenuity, reveals that of teachers who did give their schools an ‘A’ for classroom technology integration, 80 percent said they feel technology helps them achieve learning objectives.
Eighty-six percent of teachers said they are either somewhat satisfied (64 percent) or very satisfied (22 percent) with how well the tools and technology in their classrooms facilitate learning.

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