Technology of yesteryear
Many studies have been done and show that teachers that use technology in the classroom have improved student outcomes. Now, here is the interesting part, it’s unclear if teachers are using technology to its fullest potential. Think about one of the very first uses of technology in the classroom, the TV. Remember the days where local education budgets were busted because of the volume of TV purchases made for classrooms. Now, how much did the technology of using a TV add to the instruction of the student. Students were more engaged and liked learning from a new medium. Really how much did using a TV in the classroom advance education goals?
Fast forward to today. Computers are pretty much standard in most schools. Many schools have iPads or other portable devices too. In some ways, teachers are being asked to row a boat upstream without a paddle. Many teachers have not been re-educated in how to use technology in the classroom. You may have a few teachers who are early adopters of new technology, while others are pushed into it without proper resources.
Few educational technology resources follow good pedagogical design. New edtech products need to account for a new student centered approach to learning. No two teachers are the same. No two students are the same. Teachers need to be taught how to use technology in the classroom to support their current efforts. Often they lack the skills to make decisions on how to best use ed tech products.
Wouldn’t it be great if the designers of new ed tech products turned the design process on its head and designed a product that supports teachers. What often happens now is that teachers have to find a way to fit current ed tech products into their teaching plan. This leads to teachers struggling awkwardly to fit these new products into their current lesson plan design.
Designers of new educational technology products may want to focus on theory then design. Start by using theoretical principles of learning, such as constructivism, then apply tech design concepts to this model. This approach starts by using known educational theories that work then layering technology on top for improvements.
Author: Donna Skolnick
Students and teachers are doing some amazing things with 3D printers.
Aveho Learning is a new fun way to learn to speak a second language. Aveho gives students a fully immersible experience as they learn to speak a foreign language. The apps and programs developed are awesome and worth a look.
Education today is so creative and fun. Let me know what you would create if you had access to a 3D printer in your classroom.
Author: Donna M Skolnick
After many months of both sides bloviating, Governor Cuomo singed a new contract with the NY Teacher’s union. As I like to say, even a pancake has 2 sides. Each side was lobbying hard for their voice to be heard in the negotiation. I feel that the final deal was not what either side really wanted. So, it’s probably the best deal for all. In a good negotiation, each side should be a little unhappy.
One of the Governors’ pet peeves was that over 96% of teacher evaluations fell into the top two tiers of “effective” or “highly effective”. He has a point. I think we can all say that 96% of NY teachers don’t deserve such high marks. Under the former system, which the Governor did not like, the Principal had the most weight in determining the “effectiveness” of his teachers.
A new formula for rating NY Teachers is in place. So, keep your fingers crossed. Let’s hope this compromise works best for the students of NY.
Author: Donna M Skolnick
Foreign language teachers
Learn to speak a foreign language
try to get feedback as soon as possible when teaching in the class. Many teachers feel that almost immediate feedback helps to facilitate learning a second language. Researchers suggest that foreign language teachers should use technology to get this instant feedback in the classroom. A secondary benefit of using technology in the classroom is to free up the teacher’s time.
Teacher’s and researchers have been looking for a single solution to get immediate feedback on teaching foreign language students grammar and spelling. A few programs that exist do not correct 100% of the students grammar and spelling. At most, a program may correct 70% of the student’s work.
A program that will give student’s 90% or more of the grammar and spelling corrections would be of great value to the foreign language teacher. Teacher’s anticipate that this type of program would not replace the need for a teacher but rather enhance the teacher’s ability to focus on student’s in different areas.
Let me know what technology you are using in the foreign language department and what works for your school system.
Author: Donna Skolnick
Just joined Path. Looks like a great space
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Learn a language with Aveho Learning which is the first fully immersive language learning experience. Your students will absolutely love to use Aveho
Easily learn to speak a foreign language with Aveho Learning language learning program
. Students learn to speak a foreign language while playing a game. For teachers, we have an easy to use dashboard that provides you will data on each student at a glance. Our analytics engine is second to none. If you want to dive deeper than our simple easy to use dashboard, you can.