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educational technology

The Overselling of Education Technology

By Alfie Kohn     Mar 16, 2016

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-03-16-the-overselling-of-education-technology

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examples of how technology may make the process a bit more efficient or less dreary but does nothing to challenge the outdated pedagogy.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.

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more on educational technology in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=educational+technology

learning and educational technology

Modern​ ​Learning:​ ​Re-Discovering​ ​the Transformative​ ​Promise​ ​of Educational​ ​Technology

By​ ​Steve​ ​Hargadon​ ​(​@stevehargadon​) Survey​ ​and​ ​Report:​ ​​modernlearning.com​​ ​|​

http://www.modernlearning.com/the-report.html

  • When do you believe technology enhances learning, and when do you believe
    it does not?
  • How has technology impacted your own learning?
  • Does your school, library, or organization have a specific learning philosophy that guides ed-tech purchases and implementation? If yes, what is that philosophy?
    More than 450 responses were received (those that agreed for their answers to be
    shared publicly can be seen at http://www.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.

  • reduced their isolation by helping them to connect with their peers;
    ● allowed them to feel part of larger educational movements;
    ● afforded them opportunities to become contributors.

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.

conclusions:

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.

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more on educational technology in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=education+technology

learning educational technology

Three lessons from rigorous research on education technology

Hope seen in “personalized” software for math

http://hechingerreport.org/three-lessons-rigorous-research-education-technology/

an August 2017 working paper, “Education Technology: An Evidence-Based Review,” published by the National Bureau of Economic Research with clear tables on which technology improves learning and which doesn’t.

1. Computers and internet access alone don’t boost learning

Handing out laptops, providing high-speed internet access or buying most other kinds of hardware doesn’t on its own boost academic outcomes. The research shows that student achievement doesn’t rise when kids are using computers more, and it sometimes decreases.

2. Some math software shows promise

math programs such as SimCalc and ASSISTments. One popular program, DreamBox, showed small gains for students, as well. Only one piece of software that taught reading, Intelligent Tutoring for the Structure Strategy (ITSS), showed promise, suggesting that it is possible to create good educational software outside of math, but it’s a lot harder.

One commonality of the software that seems to work is that it somehow “personalizes” instruction. Sometimes students start with a pre-test so the computer can determine what they don’t know and then sends each student the right lessons, or a series of worksheet problems, to help fill in the gaps. Other times, the computer ascertains a student’s gaps as he works through problems and makes mistakes, giving personalized feedback. Teachers also get data reports to help pinpoint where students are struggling.

3. Cheap can be effective 

a study in San Francisco where texts reminded mothers to read to their preschoolers. That boosted children’s literacy scores.

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more on educational technology in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=education+technology

educational technology and faculty development

Educational Technology and Faculty Development in Higher Education

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ers1507.pdf

 The Potential of Mobile Devices for Teaching and Learning

Despite the near ubiquity of student laptops and smartphones, in-class BYOD is still an emerging practice.

Educational Technology Engaging Students: bookstores, ebooks and cost for students

From Books to Bytes: How Educational Technology is Engaging Students and Enhancing Learning

Sponsored By: VitalSource
This presentation will begin on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time.

http://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=lobby.jsp&eventid=1030139&sessionid=1&key=65FED8F873D5F1BF695F2E0D8A27ADCF&eventuserid=123437779

moderated by Linda Briggs

David Kent Director VOLSHOP (official bookstore) U of Tennessee, Knoxville
Lisa Kiefer, Managing Director Wakefield ResearchCindy Clarke Vice President Marketing, Vital Source Technologies

stats from presentation available here: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/blog/bytes_books.pdf or http://wcc.on24.com/event/10/30/13/9/rt/1/documents/slidepdf/vitalsource_campustechnologywebcast_finalslidedeck.pdf

methodology: 519 students from 4 years college and u/s

close to what keynote speaker at MN eSummit 2015 shared http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/07/29/mn-esummit-2015/ David Wiley, MN Learning Commons

students want formally taught life skills: interview for a job, balance checkbook and do taxes, how to take out and pay for student loans

Tennessee:
traditional 4 year school. cost is part of the program, not charged as a course fee. all materials avaiable first day of school and available in perpetuity. way below rental books prices. via LMS (BB). no printed textbooks. few books through websites, for books, which do not subscribe for the program. ebooks offered at the store. increasing titles selection. cost, learning outcomes. the outlook for digital in the future: already digital, but open for further development. expand courses offered, launching more programs with materials bundled and online course.
digital is easier to work with, deliver to customer,
business partnership (this is different now from http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/07/29/mn-esummit-2015/ David Wiley, MN Learning Commons). working closely with provost, cio, vital source. working with publishers to make sure that content is available>
business model: program bundle all the content and deliver to students and advertise periodically to students
the course fee model: charged to student account semester by semester bases. also student-paid method. all access model is better for everyone.

ebooks are important for the interactivity, collaboration

Q and As:
what was the students’ reaction moving to digital books. how traditional faculty are accepting the change. A: pilot group of several faculty and gradual roll out. early adopters influencing others.
does the content open on all devices? A: yes, device-agnostic. dedicated apps for iOS, Android, and Windows
disability? A: enhanced apps, migrate all PDF format to proprietory platform. epub and PDF content. user added epub content. Center for accessible material innovation, American Foundation for the blind, Tech for All etc
libraries do not provide course materials for students. clean division between campus store and library
BB admin is loading the codes in the LMS, but the idea is to load the information straight into BB. cio in charge. helpdesk support for vital provided by the cio department.
cost savings in percent for students digital to print. student pay model, ebooks can vary to new book price. ebooks even more expensive. with the course fee, 70% off rental. 3rd party operator may add 30%.  all parties must be looking for reasonable margin. greater digital adoption results in lower costs for students.

digital alleviates dropout rate.

what course which don’t fit digital materials. life sciences and mathematics, science and engineering is landing itself well

how much interactive content and links to social media is incorporated.

 

Teachers on Pinterest – A Great Resource for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Teachers on Pinterest – A Great Resource for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/10/teachers-on-pinterest-great-resource.html

Videos Explaining BYOD for Teachers and Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Excellent Videos Explaining BYOD for Teachers and Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning:

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/11/excellent-videos-explaining-byod-for.html

Bring Your Own Device/Technology is an initiative meant to increase students learning opportunities through technology.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/

A Resource of educational web tools and mobile apps for teachers and educators

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