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Shaping Tech for the Classroom

21st-century schools need 21st-century technology. Credit: Bill Duke The biggest question about technology and schools in the 21st century is not so much "What can it do?" First, it helps to look at the typical process of technology adoption (keeping in mind, of course, that schools are not typical of anything.) Dabbling.Doing old things in old ways.Doing old things in new ways.Doing new things in new ways. Until recently, we have mostly been dabbling with technology in our schools: A few Apples here. Old Things in Old Ways When a new technology appears, our first instinct is always to continue doing things within the technology the way we've always done it. That is almost exclusively what we now do with educational technology. People certainly are putting courses, curricula, and lesson plans online. But new technology still faces a great deal of resistance. Old Things in New Ways Two big factors stand in the way of our making more and faster progress in technology adoption in our schools. Related:  Technology Integration

Free Technology for Teachers EdTech Isn't Optional, It's Essential How important do you think it is for teachers to use educational technologies in the classroom? During this school year, how often do you or your students use [insert type of educational technology] in your classroom? What are the biggest challenges to integrating educational technologies in schools? These are some of the questions we asked in a national online survey of teachers and administrators, conducted for Common Sense Media's Graphite by Harris Interactive in May 2013. And here are some of the answers. EdTech isn't optional, it's essential. But demand outstrips usage. 19% of teachers use subject-specific content tools 31% of teachers use information/reference tools 24% of teachers use teacher tools 14% of teachers use digital curricula And only 1 in 9 are implementing 1:1 or BYOD (bring your own device) programs. Funding, Access, Time, and Training. It's tough to find the good stuff. What's your edtech setup and how do you find the best stuff?

There Are No Technology Shortcuts to Good Education Kentaro Toyama There are no technology shortcuts to good education. For primary and secondary schools that are underperforming or limited in resources, efforts to improve education should focus almost exclusively on better teachers and stronger administrations. Information technology, if used at all, should be targeted for certain, specific uses or limited to well-funded schools whose fundamentals are not in question. (Caveat: Because this article was written for an audience most interested in government-funded primary and secondary education in developing countries, words like “wealthy,” “average,” and “typical” should be read with that context in mind. But, the conclusions are relevant for a broad class of primary and secondary schools in developed countries, as well.) To back these assertions, I’ll draw on four different lines of evidence. The history of electronic technologies in schools is fraught with failures. . Computers: The Latest Technology Cycle

Evaluating Technology Use in the Classroom Evaluating the use of technology in a classroom environment is not something most administrators are trained to do. It is easy to walk into a classroom and see that every student is using a computer, but how do you really assess if and what type of learning is taking place? In the past, I have had administrators tell me “I walked into the teacher’s room and all the students were on laptops.” As though just the site of students working on laptops meant they were engaged in the learning process. I have been trying to wrap my head around a simple way for administrators to evaluate the use of technology in the classroom (a thank you to Dennis Harter who got me thinking about this). When most administrators evaluate teachers during the evaluation process, they have some sort of check sheet they are working from either mental or as part of a school’s evaluation process. I remembered a Marc Prensky article in Edutopia in which he talks about the typical process of technology adoption:

Top 10 Social Bookmarking Tools For Educators This is a guest post by Julie-Ann Amos who is a freelance writer who covers topics such as online university ratings and reviews, elearning tools, and more. Social bookmarking is a highly useful tool for educators since it allows specific categorization of websites for easy access and sharing. It works on the basis of the user creating tags or categories in which websites are then placed. Unlike standard search engines that are generated by computers and therefore often misclassify or categories websites, social bookmarking is done by people, usually people that are knowledgeable and informed on the particular subject. The following social bookmarking tools can definitely help out in the classroom, both in sharing information with your students as well as other educators in the field. Stumble Upon – this free service allows you to click on the Stumble integrated browser and instantly receive a list of relevant topics that have been rated by other Stumble Upon subscribers.

3 Tech Tools For the First Day of School 3 tools, individually or together, will help elementary students leverage technology in ways we couldn’t imagine just a few short years ago. 1. The Answer Pad An interactive, graphically based answer response tool that can be used from a mobile device, laptop or desktop – so can really work in any type of classroom or computer lab. The freemium model allows for 36 students, a full teacher dashboard and student use of basic templates, like number lines, graphs and a student drawing tool. The Answer Pad has even more capability coming- by October teachers and students will be able to annotate on the template and push it back and forth to students. 2. This app is the result of a hard working 4th grade teacher, Brad Wilson, from Michigan. Write About This can be used in many different ways inside the classroom. 3. eduClipper This free sharing tool,completely focused on education, is perfect for clipping, curating and sharing content… with other teachers or with students.

Android Tablet for Indian Schools to Cost Just $35 Per Unit Published on: Note -- this news article is more than a year old. By: Ian Mansfield The Indian government has launched a new low cost Android based tablet device that will be distributed to schools in the country. The device will cost the government US$49.98, but will then be subsidised to US$35 per unit. This current phase was a pilot to procure 100,000 devices. The Aakash UbiSlate 7 tablet comes with a 366 Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM along with a 2GB Flash Memory. The screen is a 7-inch display with 800x480 pixel resolution and connectivity is Wi-Fi only. Tags: android tablet India

Faculty Adoption of Educational Technology (EDUCAUSE Quarterly Research in Brief Faculty Adoption of Educational Technology Educational technology support plays a critical role in helping faculty add technology to their teaching By Franziska Zellweger Moser Roughly 10 years into the e-learning age, educational technology has made only modest inroads into changing teaching in universities.1 In Europe, and in Switzerland in particular, governmental programs implemented in the late 1990s aimed to exploit the potential of educational technology and keep pace with developments in Anglo-Saxon countries. An early lesson from these programs was the lack of sustainability of a pure project-funding approach and the need for institutional strategies regarding educational technology.2 The search for such strategies at U.S. research universities was the starting point for my doctoral dissertation. Thus, I selected three highly interesting but very different universities—MIT, Tufts, and Northeastern—for in-depth case studies into this issue. Implications 1. 2. 3. 4.

Adult Education and Technology