Challenges Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School and Beyond
Challenges of being gifted
my response to ed tech is “It depends.”
Some people seem to be drawn to technology for its own sake—because it’s cool.
Other people, particularly politicians, defend technology on the grounds that it will keep our students “competitive in the global economy.”
But the rationale that I find most disturbing—despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that it’s rarely made explicit—is the idea that technology will increase our efficiency…at teaching the same way that children have been taught for a very long time. Perhaps it hasn’t escaped your notice that ed tech is passionately embraced by very traditional schools: Their institutional pulse quickens over whatever is cutting-edge: instruction that’s blended, flipped, digitally personalized.
We can’t answer the question “Is tech useful in schools?” until we’ve grappled with a deeper question: “What kinds of learning should be taking place in those schools?”
Tarting up a lecture with a SmartBoard, loading a textbook on an iPad, looking up facts online, rehearsing skills with an “adaptive learning system,” writing answers to the teacher’s (or workbook’s) questions and uploading them to Google Docs—these are examples of how technology may make the process a bit more efficient or less dreary but does nothing to challenge the outdated pedagogy. To the contrary: These are shiny things that distract us from rethinking our approach to learning and reassure us that we’re already being innovative.
putting grades online (thereby increasing their salience and their damaging effects), using computers to administer tests and score essays, and setting up “embedded” assessment that’s marketed as “competency-based.” (If your instinct is to ask “What sort of competency? Isn’t that just warmed-over behaviorism?”
But as I argued not long ago, we shouldn’t confuse personalized learning with personal learning. The first involves adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated skills-based exercises based on students’ test scores, and it requires the purchase of software. The second involves working with each student to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests, and it requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well.a recent review found that studies of tech-based personalized instruction “show mixed results ranging from modest impacts to no impact” – despite the fact that it’s remarkably expensive.
an article in Education Week, “a host of national and regional surveys suggest that teachers are far more likely to use tech to make their own jobs easier and to supplement traditional instructional strategies than to put students in control of their own learning.”
OECD reportednegative outcomes when students spent a lot of time using computers, while Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) concluded that online charter schools were basically a disaster.
Larry Cuban, Sherry Turkle, Gary Stager, and Will Richardson.
Emily Talmage points out, uncannily aligned with the wish list of the Digital Learning Council, a group consisting largely of conservative advocacy groups and foundations, and corporations with a financial interest in promoting ed tech.
more on educational technology in this IMS blog
By Steve Hargadon (@stevehargadon) Survey and Report: modernlearning.com |
For the purposes of this report, “educational technology” (often abbreviated as “ed tech”) is assumed to refer principally to the use of modern electronic computing and other high-tech, mostly Internet-enabled, devices and services in education.
Observation 1: There is general agreement that there are good and pedagogically-sound arguments or the implementation and active use of ed tech; and that technology is changing, and will change, education for the better.
Observation 2: There is general agreement that technology is not always beneficial to teaching and learning.
When it becomes a distraction.
● When there is little or no preparation for it.
● When just used for testing / score tracking.
● When used for consuming and not creating, or just for rote learning.
● When “following the education trends: everyone else is doing it.”
● When the tech is “an end rather than means” (also stated as, ”when I don’t have a plan or learning goal…”). We found this very significant, and it is the focus of Observation 6.
● When there is a lack of guidance in how to effectively use new ed tech tools (“when there is no PD”). This is the focus of Observation 4.
● Finally, when it “gets in the way of real time talk / sharing.” Forgetting that the tech “cannot mentor, motivate, show beauty, interact fully, give quality attention, [or] contextualize.” Also: ”outcomes related to acquiring the skills and attitudes cannot be enhanced by technology.” As mentioned in the introduction, this would be missing the “human factor.” One respondent
captured this as follows: “3 reasons tech innovation fails: Misunderstanding Human Motivation, Human Learning, or Human Systems.”
Observation 3: The benefits of ed tech to educator learning are described much more positively, and much less ambiguously, than are the benefits to student learning.
Observation 4: There is a lack of good professional development for educational technology.
Observation 5: Educational technology is prone to grandiose promises.
Observation 6: Some significant percentage of educational technology purchases do not appear to have a pedagogical basis.
Networked information technology has rendered the words “teacher” and “student” more ambiguous. YouTube tutorials and social-media discussions, just to cite a couple of obvious examples, have made it abundantly clear that at any given moment anyone—regardless of age or background—can be a learner or a teacher, or even both at once.
more on educational technology in this IMS blog
Game‐based learning is a research field with rich discussions on the use of games in educational contexts. Many of the educational games that exist today focus on subjects such
as Language learning, Mathematics and History, and fewer on subjects in Computer Science
and IT‐security. Dissemination of information about IT‐security is important in today’s digital
society not at least in the industry. As an example many firewalls today are misconfigured
leading to decreased security at the same time as it is hard to motivate students or employees to read long detailed and tedious PDF‐files with security information. Might
things like firewall configuration instead be learnt by an educational game and how to design
a learning game that could be used in university courses on IT‐security?
more on gaming and gamification in this blog:
The news was taken from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MindShift.KQED/posts/913192562049997. Here are the comments:
Marcin Zaród While at the same time in their kung-fu schools they have been using models like “station rotation”, “peer-learning”, “immediate feedback”, mastery learning, even some elements of gamification (like badges-like colour belts showing the mastery on some level and unblocking access to higher-level routines available only for the more advanced students), etc for hundreds of years…. And I am not joking. Just ask anybody who does some kung-fu under the watchful eye of a good coach (sifu).
A great example of a “peer learning” session on the enclosed photo (taken at a kung-fu training in Poland, not in China smile emoticon
China has now reshaped its national exam to focus on a broader range of topics and cognitive skills and, in turn, move away from teacher-dominated lecturing. The new test requires that students employ complex analytical skills, mixed with broader knowledge across various subjects.
This is exactly what Finland and the United Kingdom are aiming with the reforms in their education. In March 2015, this blog reported on a reform in Finland: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/03/24/education-reform-finland/, which is to be followed by the UK.
One of the issues dividing the two main parliamentary blocs is whether there should be a cap on profit margins for publicly funded private schools.
The Swedish school system has received considerable international attention in recent years due to alarming test scores in the OECD’s international PISA study
Segregation is one of the most serious social problems facing Sweden and many other wealthy nations.
A recent report (the English title would be “A Nation Divided – School Choice and Segregation in Sweden”) that I have co-authored for the Stockholm based think tank Arena Idé shows that well-educated and Swedish-born families increasingly opt out of schools where the children have parents with lower educational attainments and an immigrant background. We also show that this “white flight” in Swedish municipalities throughout the country is increased by school choice and other reforms introduced in the early 1990s, whereby publicly financed private schools are allowed to compete with municipal schools for school vouchers allotted to each individual student.
The results in our study should be viewed in light of two recent reports: one from the OECDand another from UNICEF, both highlighting the inequality in the Swedish school system.
The results make it painfully clear that the Swedish school system effectively works against the very idea that schools should level the playing field for students from all backgrounds and give every child equal opportunity. Even after the rise of right-wing populism in Sweden, our established political parties have proven themselves unable, or unwilling, to rein in the highly unregulated Swedish school market.
Sweden: Market-based Education Produces Poor Results, Segregation https://t.co/YcAYe4sDe4
— Diane Ravitch (@DianeRavitch) December 7, 2018
more on educational systems
EdTech Research – Where to Publish, How to Share (Part 1): Journal Overview
Publisher / Organization: Athabasca University Press
Year founded: 2000
Description: The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning disseminates original research, theory, and best practice in open and distributed learning worldwide.
Publisher / Organization: The University of Illinois at Chicago- University Library
Year founded: 1996
Description: First Monday is among the very first open access journals in the EdTech field. The journal’s subject matter encompasses the full range of Internet issues, including educational technologies, social media and web search. Contributors are urged via author guidelines to use simple explanations and less complex sentences and to be mindful that a large proportion of their readers are not part of academia and do not have English as a first language.
Publisher / Organization: Springer (from 2013)
Academic Management: University of Catalonia (UOC)
Year founded: 2004
Description: This journal aims to: provide a vehicle for scholarly presentation and exchange of information between professionals, researchers and practitioners in the technology-enhanced education field; contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge regarding the use of technology and computers in higher education; and inform readers about the latest developments in the application of information technologies (ITs) in higher education learning, training, research and management.
Publisher / Organization: Online Learning Consortium
Year founded: 1997
Description: Online Learning promotes the development and dissemination of new knowledge at the intersection of pedagogy, emerging technology, policy, and practice in online environments. The journal has been published for over 20 years as the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) and recently merged with the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT).
Publisher / Organization: International Forum of Educational Technology & Society
Description: Educational Technology & Society seeks academic articles on the issues affecting the developers of educational systems and educators who implement and manage these systems. Articles should discuss the perspectives of both communities – the programmers and the instructors. The journal is currently still accepting submissions for ongoing special issues, but will cease publication in the future as the editors feel that the field of EdTech is saturated with high quality publications.
Publisher / Organization: Ascilite (Organization) & PKP Publishing Services Network
Year founded: 1985
Description: The Australasian Journal of Educational Technology aims to promote research and scholarship on the integration of technology in tertiary education, promote effective practice, and inform policy. The goal is to advance understanding of educational technology in post-school education settings, including higher and further education, lifelong learning, and training.
Publisher / Organization: Elsevier Ltd.
YEAR FOUNDED: 1998
DESCRIPTION: The Internet and Higher Education is devoted to addressing contemporary issues and future developments related to online learning, teaching, and administration on the Internet in post-secondary settings. Articles should significantly address innovative deployments of Internet technology in instruction and report on research to demonstrate the effects of information technology on instruction in various contexts in higher education.
Publisher / Organization: British Educational Research Association (BERA)
YEAR FOUNDED: 1970
DESCRIPTION: The journal publishes theoretical perspectives, methodological developments and empirical research that demonstrate whether and how applications of instructional/educational technology systems, networks, tools and resources lead to improvements in formal and non-formal education at all levels, from early years through to higher, technical and vocational education, professional development and corporate training.
Publisher / Organization: Elsevier Ltd.
Year founded: 1976
Description: Computers & Education aims to increase knowledge and understanding of ways in which digital technology can enhance education, through the publication of high quality research, which extends theory and practice.
Publisher / Organization: Springer US
Year founded: 1985
Description: TechTrends targets professionals in the educational communication and technology field. It provides a vehicle that fosters the exchange of important and current information among professional practitioners. Among the topics addressed are the management of media and programs, the application of educational technology principles and techniques to instructional programs, and corporate and military training.
Year founded: 2002
Description: Advances in technology and the growth of e-learning to provide educators and trainers with unique opportunities to enhance learning and teaching in corporate, government, healthcare, and higher education. IJEL serves as a forum to facilitate the international exchange of information on the current research, development, and practice of e-learning in these sectors.
Led by an Editorial Review Board of leaders in the field of e-Learning, the Journal is designed for the following audiences: researchers, developers, and practitioners in corporate, government, healthcare, and higher education. IJEL is a peer-reviewed journal.
Year founded: 1981
Description: JCMST is a highly respected scholarly journal which offers an in-depth forum for the interchange of information in the fields of science, mathematics, and computer science. JCMST is the only periodical devoted specifically to using information technology in the teaching of mathematics and science.
Just as researchers build reputation over time that can be depicted (in part) through quantitative measures such as h-index and i10-index, journals are also compared based on the number of citations they receive..
Year founded: 1997
Description: The Journal of Interactive Learning Research (JILR) publishes papers related to the underlying theory, design, implementation, effectiveness, and impact on education and training of the following interactive learning environments: authoring systems, cognitive tools for learning computer-assisted language learning computer-based assessment systems, computer-based training computer-mediated communications, computer-supported collaborative learning distributed learning environments, electronic performance support systems interactive learning environments, interactive multimedia systems interactive simulations and games, intelligent agents on the Internet intelligent tutoring systems, microworlds, virtual reality based learning systems.
Year founded: 1996
Description: JEMH is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary forum to present and discuss research, development and applications of multimedia and hypermedia in education. It contributes to the advancement of the theory and practice of learning and teaching in environments that integrate images, sound, text, and data.
Publisher / Organization: Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)
Year founded: 1997
Description: JTATE serves as a forum for the exchange of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education. Journal content covers preservice and inservice teacher education, graduate programs in areas such as curriculum and instruction, educational administration, staff development instructional technology, and educational computing.
Publisher / Organization: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2015
DESCRIPTION: The Journal of Online Learning Research (JOLR) is a peer-reviewed, international journal devoted to the theoretical, empirical, and pragmatic understanding of technologies and their impact on primary and secondary pedagogy and policy in primary and secondary (K-12) online and blended environments. JOLR is focused on publishing manuscripts that address online learning, catering particularly to the educators who research, practice, design, and/or administer in primary and secondary schooling in online settings. However, the journal also serves those educators who have chosen to blend online learning tools and strategies in their face-to-face classroom.
The most commonly used index to measure the relative importance of journals is the annual Journal Citation Reports (JCR). This report is published by Clarivate Analytics (previously Thomson Reuters).
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR indicator) measures the influence of journals based on the number of citations the articles in the journal receive and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from. The SJR indicator is a free journal metric which uses an algorithm similar to PageRank and provides an open access alternative to the journal impact factor in the Web of Science Journal Citation Report. The portal draws from the information contained in the Scopus database (Elsevier B.V.).
Introduced by Google in 2004, Scholar is a freely accessible search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly publications across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.
Introduced by Elsevier in 2004, Scopus is an abstract and citation database that covers nearly 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers. It offers journal metrics that go beyond just journals to include most serial titles, including supplements, special issues and conference proceedings. Scopus offers useful information such as the total number of citations, the total number of articles published, and the percent of articles cited.
“Citations are not just a reflection of the impact that a particular piece of academic work has generated. Citations can be used to tell stories about academics, journals and fields of research, but they can also be used to distort stories”.
Harzing, A.-W. (2013). The publish or perish book: Your guide to effective and responsible citation analysis. http://harzing.com/popbook/index.htm
ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. The community was founded in May 2008. Today it has over 14 million members.
Google Scholar allows users to search for digital or physical copies of articles, whether online or in libraries. It indexes “full-text journal articles, technical reports, preprints, theses, books, and other documents, including selected Web pages that are deemed to be ‘scholarly. It comprises an estimated 160 million documents.
Academia.edu is a social-networking platform for academics to share research papers. You can upload your own work, and follow the updates of your peers. Founded in 2008, the network currently has 59 million users, and adding 20 million documents.
The ORCHID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. It provides a persistent identity for humans, similar to content-related entities on digital networks that utilize digital object identifiers (DOIs). The organization offers an open and independent registry intended to be the de facto standard for contributor identification in research and academic publishing.
The Scopus Author Identifier assigns a unique number to groups of documents written by the same author via an algorithm that matches authorship based on a certain criteria. If a document cannot be confidently matched with an author identifier, it is grouped separately. In this case, you may see more than one entry for the same author.
more on metrics in this iMS blog
Unique complexities can be distilled down to eight truths, and may explain why vendors never seem to meet expectations in K-12 IT.
Consider the information they handle every day. School districts in America today are complex, sophisticated businesses, not only managing multiple applications across multiple platforms, but also managing people and equipment in the real world, like bus fleets, library systems, and cafeterias.
you will find admins working with an average of 30 onsite and online platforms. That’s 30 systems to feed with data and update. The kicker is that those systems might not be on speaking terms with each other.
Interoperability is a multi-headed issue for any IT professional, but in the K-12 education world it is especially complex. These unique complexities can be distilled down to eight truths, and may explain why vendors who have been very successful in other IT verticals never seem to meet expectations in K-12.
The Solution Cannot Be Point-to-Point
Data from many active sources is profoundly difficult to keep current, especially when considering the different protocols used for each particular point-to-point integration.
There Must Be Multiple Ways of Moving Data
A successful broker/dashboard must be able to accommodate all of these integration methods. The broker needs to support it as well as the industry’s existing standards, such as SIF and CSV.
The System Must Merge Disparate Feeds
Data comes into educational systems from a variety of feeds, including CSVs and file sharing. Handling all these feeds develops a vital function, coveted by IT professionals and system admins everywhere: a comprehensive representation of the data truth of your district.
Your Data Solution Must Be Bidirectional
Different systems don’t always talk to each other politely, and with some districts using as many as 30 applications, writing grades back to the SIS can get thorny.
We Need a Flexible Data Model
some of those free or low-cost integrations are profoundly rigid and can’t accommodate the data reality of school districts.
We Must Deal with “Dumb” End Points
In the world of district data, we are moving toward REST APIs and other unintelligent end points. There is no inherent logic in an API that tells the system how to move data. And as mentioned earlier, many legacy systems still depend on CSV’s for data.
Integration Belongs in the Cloud but Must Accommodate On-Premise Apps
know the cloud actually is an ideal setting for interoperability, especially since so many of our applications are cloud-based. It gives you maximum visibility, maximum diagnostic capability and manageability. You can manage from anywhere, anytime.
Be Multi-Tenant with Supervisory Capability
For areas where intermediate units or a Board of Cooperative Educational Standards (BOCES) provide IT services to districts, the system admins need a big picture approach. The integration platform must allow the IU or BOCES to troubleshoot, diagnose, manage, and support multiple districts in one dashboard, but only show district personnel data belonging to their organization. State education agencies also have this need.
There are several reputable companies that provide an iPaaS–in fact Gartner compared 20 of them in their 2017 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service. However, without a deep understanding of education data models, even these vendors may fall short, and may be expensive.
more on IT for K12 in this IMS blog
By David Nagel 07/06/16
fourth wave, one driven by nanotechnology, biotechnology and artificial intelligence.
In at least one presentation, he referred to the American education system as “the worst educational system known to science.”
Although there will be a “perfect” and direct transfer of information to everyone with or without educators, students will still need to come to class to benefit from the wisdom and experience of their teachers.
“So in the future, there’s going to be a balance, a balance between ‘e-instruction’ and mentoring. And teachers, more and more, will be in the business of mentoring [and] personal experience because you cannot get that on the Internet.”
Those aspects of “mentoring” and “career guidance” are especially important to Kaku, who said that teachers must push students to where the jobs will be in the future.
educators need to figure out what they need to do. Are you trying to have a conversation? Are you simply trying to transmit information? Or are you, in fact, trying to have students create something?
Answer those pedagogical questions first and then – and only then – will you be able to connect people to the kinds of technologies that can do that thing.
The ‘digital native’ is a generational metaphor. It’s a linguistic metaphor. It’s a ridiculous metaphor. It’s the notion that there is a particular generation of people who are fundamentally unknowable and incomprehensible.
There are policy implications: if your university philosophy is grounded in assumptions around digital natives, education and technology, you’re presupposing you don’t have to teach the students how to use tech for their education. And, furthermore, it will never be possible to teach that faculty how to use that technology, either on their own behalf or for their students.
A very different paradigm is ‘visitor and resident‘. Instead of talking about these essentialised categories of native and immigrant, we should be talking about modes of behaviour because, in fact, some people do an awful lot of stuff with technology in some parts of their lives and then not so much in other parts.
How much of your university practice is behind closed doors? This is traditional, of course, gatekeeping our institutions of higher education, keeping the gates in the walled campuses closed. So much of the pedagogy as well as the content of the university is locked away. That has implications not just for potential students but also from a policy perspective – if part of the problem in higher education policy is of non-university people not understanding the work of the university, being open would have really great potential to mitigate that lack of understanding.
I would like to see our universities modelling themselves more closely on what we should be looking for in society generally: networked, open, transparent, providing the opportunity for people to create things that they wouldn’t create all by themselves.
I understand the rationale for gatekeeping, I just don’t think that there’s as much potential with a gatekept system as there is with an open one.
There are two huge problems with the notion of “student expectations”: firstly, the sense that, with the UK’s new fee model, students’ ideas of what higher education should be now weigh much more heavily in the institutions’ educational planning. Secondly, institutions in part think their role is to make their students “employable” because some politician somewhere has said the university is there to get them jobs.
Students coming into higher education don’t know much about what higher education can be. So if we allow student expectations to set the standard for what we should be doing, we create an amazingly low bar.
The point of any educational system is not to provide citizens with jobs. That’s the role of the economy.
Universities are not vocational
Institutions can approach educational technology in two very different ways. They can have a learning technology division that is basically in charge of acquiring and maintaining educational technology. Or they can provide spaces to develop pedagogy and then think about the role of technology within that pedagogy.
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