The ongoing debate on the effectiveness of technology use for student learning outcomes still seems to have no clear answers. Some will say technology is highly effective for students; others will say technology has had no measurable impact on outcomes. Why is this, and what can be done about it?
In a recent editorial in K-12 Tech Trends by Patricia Deubel, Ph.D, "Should States Mandate Online Learning," the author questions Michigan's new high school graduation requirement, which mandates students take an non-credit online course or learning experience. It should be noted that, in addition to this experience, Michigan has adopted 16 credits state graduation requirements, including four credits in mathematics and three in science—yes, Algebra, Algebra II, Biology, and Chemistry which will go into effect for the Class of 2011.
In the sixth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker outline what teachers need to know about blended learning training resources, and where they can go to get them.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
The emergence of open educational resources and the implications for learning
As part of an ongoing effort to assess the role of technology in education, the United States Department of Education (ED) has started seeking comments from those who work closely with it. Last week ED sent out a request for opinions from the public, looking to "hear your ideas on the integration of technology in education." We at THE Journal see this as a fantastic opportunity for educators and administrators to bolster federal support for ed tech and encourage all of our readers to participate.
After 25 years of hearing the same calls for action in education technology, I'm throwing down the gauntlet.
- By Therese Mageau
Formative assessment began long before blended learning. But formative assessment is particularly in the spotlight now because it features so prominently in emerging blended learning programs. In fact, it's hard to imagine effective blended learning without strong formative assessment at its foundation.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
A tremendous amount of research can go into deciding on a projector, but the selection of a projection screen can be just as important--not in terms of capital outlay, but in terms of the impact it can have on image quality. The wrong projection screen can make images look terrible, which, in turn, can impact the way students receive and absorb information in class. But the right one enhances the contrast, brightness, and sharpness of images and can lead to less eyestrain for the viewer.
- By Denise Harrison
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
Cognitive psychologists have told us for some time that people process information differently and that meditative and transmittive technologies have affected thinking and perception, which in turn has affected learning. Therefore, instructors have had to become instructional designers conscious of how technology works and what it can offer to the teaching and learning process. Current mobile technology challenges that design even further as it demands a totally different approach to instructional design and also teaching methodology. It requires a fluidity never before seen and new skills from both teacher and student. In fact, I would argue that while we focus on the skills needed for students in the 21st century, we must discuss more and learn more about the skills required of teachers in the 21st century.