While the wider uses of technology have increased student awareness of what is possible, within teaching and learning technology use often remains quite stagnant and out of date based on notions of what good teaching looks like and how standards must drive the process rather than the process itself. This is most clearly seen in current course delivery software platforms, which remain supportive of teacher-driven instructional design and content production and delivery. But a tension now exists between the potential for individual customization that threatens the very essence of conventional wisdom in course design and delivery.
Although similar, macro- and micro-blogging differ from one another in important ways. Recognizing those distinctions can help instructors find new ways to engage learners and improve outcomes.
- By Geoffrey H. Fletcher
In the ninth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker predict how blended learning programs will evolve in 2013.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
One FETC presenter details his very popular "Design a Disney World Theme Park" workshop, which teaches collaboration, creativity, and STEM concepts.
The custodial aspect of schools has, in some ways, eclipsed their educational function.
- By Therese Mageau
Good communication is central to good education, and teachers have long been aware of the importance of teaching students how and when to use various language forms and to what purpose. What is viewed as "regular" constantly changes, and, with the use of Web 2.0 tools, those changes are more rapid and pose continual challenges to K-12 teachers.
Never before has it been more viable for educators to put instruction front and center of learning space design than now. Never before has collaboration with students and peers and with the world been more possible than now. So why are our learning spaces still so reminiscent of the past? Why are these spaces still so constrained?
The issue of assigning homework is controversial in terms of its purpose, what to assign, the amount of time needed to complete it, parental involvement, its actual affect on learning and achievement, and impact on family life and other valuable activities that occur outside of school hours. I have encountered all of those controversies in my years of teaching mathematics. Math homework is usually a daily event. Unfortunately, many teachers assign most homework from problem sets following the section of the text that was addressed that day. There is little differentiation. For the most part the entire class gets the same assignment. (In fairness, teachers do take into consideration the nature of those problems, which are often grouped by difficulty, deciding which to assign based on the general ability level of students in the class: below average, average, above average, or mixed.)
- By Patricia Deubel
Today every teacher needs to be in charge of his or her own professional development, if for no other reason than district budgets require everyone to be so much more creative. Here are a few ways teachers can better take advantage of formal and informal learning, the use of a back channel, and modeling life-long learning.