May 5, 2014 3:18:00 PM

Assessing School Need for Technology: A Case for Surveys.

Assessing School Need for Technology: A Case for Surveys.

When it comes to the classroom, ultimately a teacher will choose whether or not to utilize any tools provided. Because teachers all have different techniques, it means that you should assess whether or not the technology that’s available will complement their varying styles. When it comes to EdTech, students can ask for technology, administrators can make plans to implement technology, but no one can force a teacher to use that technology. Teachers are at the helm in the classroom, and if they choose not to use a tool, that means the money it took to implement and change infrastructure to make room for that tool could go to waste. In a recent technology survey conducted by the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation, 3100 teachers were surveyed and stated in interviews that “only about half of the digital devices their students use are effective.” They also felt that they didn’t have enough say in what technology comes into their classrooms. A Digedu.com survey reports that teachers underutilize technology that is available to them and feel inadequately trained in school technology, with 50% reporting inadequate assistance when using technology in the classroom. These statements give you some indication of the teacher’s role in education technology, which means that it’s time to turn to the your teachers and ask them the right questions when you’re assessing school need for technology.

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May 1, 2014 11:43:00 AM

Enhance Learning with Technology Tools in the Classroom..

Enhance Learning with Technology Tools in the Classroom..

All funding and curriculum planning aside, the tools of EdTech are the true foundation of education technology integration. It’s true your school needs funding and a rigorous curriculum, and of course you need infrastructure and in-depth training for teachers, but in conjunction you must decide which fundamental tools your school will use to enhance learning with technology. Your device options are as endless as the learning possibilities. We will overview the basic technology tools for the classroom based on EdTech trends and their primary functions for different learning styles.

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Apr 29, 2014 12:12:00 PM

Technology in the Classroom: Extend Learning After the School Day

Technology in the Classroom: Extend Learning After the School Day

An annual study conducted by the research arm of Educause (ECAR – Educause Center for Applied Research) found that more students than ever gave the thumbs up to a teacher’s use of technology in the classroom. 70% of students report that they learn best in a blended learning environment and more than 50% of students responded that they are more actively engaged in classes that use technology, but they wish their instructors used more open educational resources, simulations, and games. Why not use the students’ interest in technology to inspire learning after the school day is over?  Some ideas like take home programs, tech study hall, and technology-centric clubs can be advantageous for infusing technology into student’s life outside of the classroom and providing resources for continued education.

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Apr 24, 2014 10:31:00 PM

The Ugly Truth of EdTech: Don’t Rush Educational Technology

The Ugly Truth of EdTech: Don’t Rush Educational Technology

Over the last few years, we’ve discovered more and more the benefits of educational technology. Initially many questioned the implementation of iPads and other tablet devices in schools. Larry Cuban of Stanford University was quoted in a New York Times article in late 2011 saying, “iPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off and you get into hard-core issues of teaching and learning.” This raised the question: does EdTech really improve the learning experience? We explored some of the latest EdTech trends and some of the most useful apps for teachers. A study completed for The Bertelsmann Foundation by The University of Georgia asserted that cognitive tools (like tablets, computers and other technology resources) empower learners, support deep reflective thinking and enable challenging learning. As beneficial as such technology might be, it is crucial that schools not rush into implementation without the appropriate vision. Let’s explore a few different cases when rushing into technology implementation yielded less than ideal results. 

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