It’s All About Balance
In this episode, Ricky and Kristy talk about net neutrality, ed tech professional development, ed tech decision making, and how balance is the key to ed tech.
Ed Tech News RunDown
Net Neutrality and Education
With our first story I thought we had to address all the recent news about net neutrality and this article from Inside Higher Ed explains how net neutrality being rolled back is raising some concerns at colleges. So what exactly does rolling back net neutrality mean? (be nice if Matt was here for this) It basically gives Internet Service Providers the ability to charge users more to access certain content or slow content down for whatever reason including competing with content of their own. This could be troublesome for higher ed and K-12 as well, as education continues to leverage online for content delivery. In an already difficult arena because of funding issues, the possibility of paying more is cause for concern for educational institutions. If you aren’t aware, there is an upcoming vote by the FCC in mid December and if you aren’t following this or voicing your opinion to your representatives, you probably should be.
Ed Tech Decision Making
Campus Technology.com reports on research done to determine how ed tech decision making works. These findings came out of a research project undertaken by the EdTech Efficacy Research Academic Symposium. We’ll put a link on edtechweeklyshow.com to the full findings of the report. Some of the more interesting findings are that many decision makers are doing their own research or relying on conferences to help them choose ed tech. The concern there is that they may not be finding what is truly the best option for their students. The study also gave a few recommendation for decision makers which include things we’ve talked about before on this show, such as getting faculty, students, and staff involved early on in the process and running pilots, both small scale and across multiple schools or with other districts.
Giving Teachers a full Ed Tech Training Opportunity
Herald-Mail Media reports on a pretty interesting and innovative approach to faculty professional development in the Greencastle-Antrim School District in Pennsylvania. Superintendent Kendra Trail wanted to make a full spectrum of technology education possible for teachers.
They offered many workshops on a day students weren’t in school on a wide variety of ed tech subjects. They let teachers choose and take ownership over which workshops they attended. The common themes, however, were helping teachers make sense of using ed tech in the classroom and how to get started using tech without having to become experts. While teacher workshops aren’t necessarily innovative, their approach to offer a full service ed tech experience is definitely different than trainings I have seen at school districts.
Is Ed Tech Making Teachers Better?
From eSchool news we get the question that has been asked and continues to be asked… is ed tech making teachers better? And I’ll save you reading this particular article because they really don’t give a definitive answer. What it comes down to, according to the article, is balance. If you are using ed tech to engage students and direct them appropriately then it is most likely going to improve your teaching but if you let them use technology in an unguided way then it will go poorly. Basically don’t just put technology in their hands without a purpose, which is something that I’m hoping we all realize at this point.
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