Things have changed dramatically in classrooms across the country. Teachers are experimenting in innovative ways, trying to find the best method of engaging students in learning. Last month, the Association of Educational Publishers presented Content in Context Conference, at which educators discussed the ways in which they’re mixing it up. Frank Catalano headed up some of the meetings, and wrote about the highlights from the sessions. Here’s his synopsis, as posted on EdNET Insight.
By Frank Catalano
We’ve all seen wish lists of what teachers want in digital resources and technology. We’ve all read the increasingly voluminous studies of what educators, in aggregate, have in their classrooms, schools, and districts.
But what, though, are they actually doing?
If some of the highest-profile applications of digital tech to K-12 learning are any indication, teachers are experimenting in ways as varied and individual as the instructor and classroom.
Their inventiveness became clear as I helped put together, and then moderated, the opening general session of this year’s Content in Context Conference, organized by the Association of Educational Publishers. Session organizers asked educators far and wide to go into more depth about what’s happening with digital in the classroom, used teachers’ own videos to illustrate, and added a panel to provide the administrator and policy perspective.
The only consistency in deep implementations of tech is that there’s none. Here were some of the loosely common threads and trends:
One-to-one computing. One-to-one initiatives tend to get all of the attention, as though they were the gold standard of ed tech. But one-to-one…what? When the term was coined, it was one student to one desktop computer. Yet only the former has remained constant.
- Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia is piloting netbooks loaded with online textbooks for social studies classes in middle and high schools. Students like the ability to immediately look up and manipulate information. Teachers like how they support different learning styles. But Jim Siegl, technical architect for FCPS and a session panelist, said one surprise has been that high school students have been more resistant to the e-textbooks than their middle school counterparts—perhaps indicating that once study habits are established, they’re hard to change. Continue reading