Monday, 24 November 2014

10 Major technology trends in education, by C. Riedel. A Speak Up survey

We have a first look at the results from the latest Speak Up survey, which polled hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, administrators, parents and community members about technology trends in education.

According to the latest data, video for homework is on the rise; mobile computing is "beyond the tipping point"; and most kids don't use traditional computers to connect to the Internet at home. 

1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices

According to the 2013 results, students overwhelmingly have access to personal mobile devices. “If there was any doubt in our mind that we were beyond the tipping point in terms of kids carrying a computer in their pocket, backpack or purse,” she said, “we’re there.”

Specifically, said Evans, 89 percent of high schools students have access to Internet-connected smart phones, while 50 percent of students in grades 3 through 5 have access to the same type of devices. High school student access to tablets tops out at 50 percent and laptops come in at 60 percent. In addition to personal access, the survey found about a third of students have access to a device (typically laptops or tablets) in their school.

2. Internet Connectivity

For Evans, this was an interesting set of  statistics showing the ways students generally connect to the Internet when at home. According to the study, 64 percent of students surveyed identify 3G- or 4G-enabled devices as their primary means of connecting to the Internet, with another 23 percent saying they connect through an Internet-enabled TV or Wii console. When asked why traditional broadband access wasn’t their primary means of connectivity, students said there was less contention for access with other members of the family through these non-traditional devices.

3. Use of Video for Classwork and Homework

Video is another tool that has been on the rise in recent years. While her presentation focused on students, Evans noted that 46 percent of teachers are using video in in the classroom.

One-third of students are accessing video online — through their own initiative — to help with their homework. Evans called this the “Khan Academy effect.” Additionally, 23 percent of students are accessing video created by their teachers.

4. Mobile Devices for Schoolwork

According to the 2013 results, students are leveraging mobile devices both to be more efficient in their day-to-day tasks and to transform their own learning processes.

Sixty percent of students are using mobile devices for anytime research, 43 percent for educational games and 40 percent for collaboration with their peers. Thirty-three percent of students surveyed use mobile devices for reminders and alerts related to their academic lives, 24 percent for taking photos of their assignments, and 18 percent for in-class polling.

Surprisingly, said Evans, 12 percent of the students responding said they use mobile devices to text questions to their instructors while in the classroom. “I do wonder,” she added, “how many of the teachers are responding to those texts.”

5. Using Different Tools for Different Tasks

Evans admitted, with the proliferation of so many tools, it isn’t surprising students are designing “best-fit” solutions for their very specific needs.

Rather than using one or even a few platforms for various tasks, students are increasingly savvy about taking advantage of the benefits of the tools available.

“We find them using video, social media and cell phones for communications; they use e-readers for reading texts and articles; they write, take notes and do research on laptops. But,” she paused, “where does that leave tablets?”

According to Evans, tablets were the second or third choice device for completing many of the academic tasks students are faced with.

“They like the devices,” she noted, “but they are more focused on using the right tool for the task at hand,” and many times tablets don’t seem to fit.

6. Paying Attention to the Digital Footprint

Digital footprint was a new research area for the 2013 survey and, according to Evans, showed some interesting results. Sixty-four percent of high school students responding admitted to being careful about the things they post online; 39 percent said they advise friends about the content they post, with 32 percent saying they stopped interacting with friends who post inappropriate content online. Finally, 44 percent of high school students said they believe a positive digital profile is an important part of their future.

7. An increased Interest in Online Learning

This year’s Speak Up found that students who have not taken an online course are increasingly interested in the opportunity, citing a desire to have more control over their learning and believing that they will get more support from an online teacher.

Math was the subject student were most interested in taking online, with Foreign language coming in second and science a distant third.

8. Gaming is Growing, and the Gender Gap is Closed

Another interesting area for Evans was student gaming. This year’s results showed 60 percent of students using laptops as a gaming device. Cell phones and game consoles tied with 54 percent use, while tablets clocked in at 44 percent.

Of particular note is students’ interest in taking gaming technology and applying it to learning difficult concepts, as well as their interest in using games as a way to explore career opportunities. Evans also noted no gender difference in students’ interest in games, with younger girls actually showing more gaming activity than their male counterparts.

9. Social Media in Schools

Another set of questions revolved around the place of social media in the school. When showing the data for text messaging, networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and chat rooms, it was clear the the student expectations for the use of these technologies far outpaced those of administrators, teachers and parents. Administrators scored the highest among the non-student groups represented.

According to Evans, the data identify “a clear disconnect in terms of the value proposition” of these tools. “Today’s students,” she added, “are looking at social media not as a separate thing that you do occasionally but as a pervasive part of the way they are living their lives outside of school — one they want to connect with their lives inside the classroom.”

10. What Devices Belong in 'The Ultimate School?'

The final piece of data Evans shared focused on students’ ranking of the relative importance of devices in their classroom experience. Fifty-six percent of students said laptops were most important; 51 percent chose digital readers; and 48 percent selected tablets.

“This is still an evolving area,” said Evans and one She said Project Tomorrow plans to keep and eye on in the coming years. Something of interest, she added, that may not come as a surprise is that 62 percent of students want to bring their own devices.

Full results of the 2013 Speak Up will be released to survey participants Feb. 5 and will be released publicly April 8 when Evans shares the report with Congress.


About the Author

Chris Riedel is a freelance writer based in Illinois. He can be reached here

Thursday, 13 November 2014

How I have implemented the Flipped Mastery Model, by Tiziana Saponaro

As an early adopter of the Flipped Classroom model, I realized there was a next step in this methodology evolution. I created multimedia, interactive modules for each learning objective, posted them on my website and assigned them as homework.This freed up precious classtime to work directly with students on projects or other engaging learning activities. As Bergmann and Sams said "Technology has freed up the teachers to individualize the learning for each student". (Bergmann, Sams 2012).
Now I want to make the best use of my face-to-face class time and I'm ready to venture further, by adopting the Flipped Mastery Model.

In this article I'm going to discuss the following topics:

- What is mastery learning and what is the Flipped Mastery Model
- Why I decided to implement a Flipped Mastery Model
- How I'm implementing the Flipped Mastery Model

What is Mastery Learning?
The basic idea of mastery learning is for students to learn a series of objectives at their own pace. Instead of all students working on the same topics at the same time, all of them work toward predetermined objectives.The key components of mastery learning are:

Students work either in small groups or individually at an appropriate pace.
The teacher gauges understanding and formatively assesses students
Students demonstrate mastery of objectives on summative assessments. For students who do not master a given objective, remediation is provided.

The advantages of this methodology are:

- improvement in student achievement
- increased cooperation among students
- increased student self-assurance
- students receiving a second chance at demonstrating mastery of a given objective.

What is a Flipped Mastery Classroom?
A Flipped Mastery Classroom combines the principles of mastery learning with modern technology to create an engaging learning environment in which
students work asynchronously through content and move on only when they have mastered the content. Basically, all students work on different activities at different times. This is what you might see walking into my classroom:

- students working in groups
- some watching videos on their personal devices
- some doing a quiz on the whiteboard
- some studying individually
- some taking assessments on either a school computer or their own personal device.
- some working one-on-one
- I move around the room interacting with students.
- if a student struggles on any one specific objective and needs to review, I work with them at the SMART board
- if a student struggles to demonstrate mastery of any objectives on the summative assessments, I provide the student with individualized remediation or an alternative form of assessment. Creating multiple versions of each summative assessment for students helps them demonstrate their mastery of each learning objective in a particular unit of study.

Why Implement the Flipped Mastery Model?
In their book "Flipped Learning. Gateway to student engagement", Bergmann and Sams comment "The Flipped Mastery Model has completely transformed our classrooms, how we think about education, and how we interact with our students". According to Bergmann and Sams, the Flipped Mastery:

teaches students to take responsibility for their own learning
creates a way to easily personalize and differentiate the classroom
makes learning the center of the classroom
gives students instant feedback and reduces teacher paperwork
provides opportunities for remediation
allows for multiple means of learning content
provides multiple chances for demonstrating understanding
changes the role of the teacher
increases face-to-face time with the teacher
ensures that all students are involved

How I implemented the Flipped-Mastery Model
As the first few weeks of school are essential for establishing policies and routines, I started the school year introducing the students to the Flipped Mastery Model. With the help of a student I created a video in which I explained the model and my former students gave advice about how they took responsibilty for their learning.
I taught students how to watch and interact with video lectures. I explained that watching an instructional video is not like watching a movie or TV show. To train students, I took the first few days of school to watch a few videos together, I paused the videos to highlight key points and asked questions to check understanding. I encouraged students to take notes, asking them to write down key points and summarize what they had learned.
I helped students learn to manage their own time and pace their schedule
I encouraged straight A kids to help their struggling classmates. As the focus of the classroom is no longer on the teacher, but rather on the learning, students have to realize that learning is the goal and turn to each other for help.
I organized students into learning groups, encouraging interaction, collaboration, and exploration.


Bergmann, Sams: "Flipped Learning. Gateway to student engagement", July 2014

Bergmann, Sams: "Flip your classroom. Reach every student in every class every day, July 2012

Blended Learning,