Digital Tools

Are Existing Tech Tools Effective for Teachers and Students?

Are Existing Tech Tools Effective for Teachers and Students?

The Gates Foundation released a report today surveying teachers and students on the kinds of digital tools they’d like to see available in classrooms.

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Teaching Strategies

Tapping Into the Potential of Games and Uninhibited Play for Learning

Tapping Into the Potential of Games and Uninhibited Play for Learning

In the classroom, fiero — excitement that gamers experience when they overcome challenges — makes students see that they’re empowered players in their own education. They’re released into the exciting adventure that learning can be. Without the intrinsic motivating power of fiero, however, gamification becomes nothing more than semantic spin: a language game in which a letter-based grade system is replaced by a points-based reward system. In these cases, gamification does little to address the shortcomings of a system that relies on high-stakes testing.

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Other Recent Posts

What Will Happen to ‘Big Data’ In Education?

What Will Happen to ‘Big Data’ In Education?

| April 3, 2014 | 6 Comments

Privacy concerns have put the breaks on many efforts to use “big data” in education. Why are people so skittish of education data when other kinds of digital information are readily accessible?

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Can Schools Be Held Accountable Without Standardized Tests?

Can Schools Be Held Accountable Without Standardized Tests?

| April 2, 2014 | 18 Comments

A Colorado school district is trying to prove to the state that its performance-based assessments of student learning work better than state standardized tests.

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To Advance Education, We Must First Reimagine Society

To Advance Education, We Must First Reimagine Society

| April 1, 2014 | 125 Comments

Why haven’t education reform efforts amounted to much? Because they start with the wrong problem, says John Abbott, director of the 21st Century Learning Initiative. Overhauling the educational paradigm means replacing the metaphor — the concept of the world and its inhabitants as machine-like entities — that has shaped the education system, as well as many other aspects of our culture.

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How Are Students’ Roles Changing in the New Economy of Information?

How Are Students’ Roles Changing in the New Economy of Information?

| March 31, 2014 | 15 Comments

Beyond increasing the amount of information that students can access, the new abundant economy of information has far greater implications. It represents both a shift in the way that future classrooms will operate as well as in the student behaviors that we will value and expect.

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The Key To Innovation: Making Smart Analogies

The Key To Innovation: Making Smart Analogies

| March 29, 2014 | 3 Comments

If we know that X does Y when Z, is it possible that A does Y when Z, too? That’s often how innovations get their start, in the lab and elsewhere: by taking a familiar starting point and using it as a launch pad to explore new territory.

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The Difference Between Praise and Feedback

The Difference Between Praise and Feedback

| March 28, 2014 | 15 Comments

Parenting these days is patrolled by the language police. Sometimes it seems like the worst thing you could ever say to a kid is “Good job!” or the dreaded, “Good girl!” Widely popularized psychological research warns about the “inverse power of praise” and the importance of “unconditional parenting.” What are these researchers really getting at? Are the particular words we use to talk to our kids so important? And how do we convey positive feelings without negative consequences?

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One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for Variety in Learning

One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for Variety in Learning

| March 27, 2014 | 8 Comments

When you want to improve your physical health, you don’t have to eat one specific type of food or exercise in a specific way. Rather, you need an appropriate mix of healthy foods and exercise — no one thing is required. Different types of exercise and foods are in some sense interchangeable. What matters is that you get the appropriate dose. Could this common idea from health translate into the world of education?

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10 Free Online Educational Game Sites

10 Free Online Educational Game Sites

| March 27, 2014 | 20 Comments

Web-based games can prove to be a treasure trove of learning opportunities, and there are a variety of content-areas, age ranges, and skill levels to choose from. The true pay dirt for browser-based learning games can be found on large online digital game hubs. Here are 10 game hubs players that teachers can use to as one tool in their arsenal.

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Cursive, Print, or Type? The Point is To Keep Writing

Cursive, Print, or Type? The Point is To Keep Writing

| March 26, 2014

The real fear among those who study kids and handwriting is not that our schools will stop teaching cursive; it’s that students aren’t writing enough.

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What’s Your Learning Disposition? How to Foster Students’ Mindsets

What’s Your Learning Disposition? How to Foster Students’ Mindsets

| March 25, 2014 | 8 Comments

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindsets has dominated much of the attention around how students can influence their own learning. But there are other ways to help students tap into their own motivation, too. Here are a few other important mindsets to consider.

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