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Edtech is booming-but does it make better teachers?

E-School News – Nancy Lin

“Kids are natural learners, but sometimes schools create an environment where learning does not happen naturally. Many children are struggling with such essential skills like problem-solving, creative thinking and writing, and simple implementation of tablets and ebooks does little to address this problem. According to the Yale Center of Teaching and Learning research 2017, using technology in the classroom appears to have both bright and dark sides. On one hand, engagement may improve when students have a chance to use Twitter for their classroom and homework activities. On the other hand, unlimited internet exposure may wreak havoc on their motivation and final grade.”(more)

Still? Most teachers feel unprepared to use technology in the classroom

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“An alarmingly large majority of U.S. teachers–78 percent–say they feel they haven’t received the training they need to teach with technology in the classroom, according to new research. The study from edtech and coding company SAM Labs, conducted online with independent research firm 72 Point, outlines the opportunities teachers see when it comes to technology in the classroom, as well as some of the biggest challenges the U.S. education system faces related to computer science and coding.”(more)

Making Media Literacy Central to Digital Citizenship

KQED News Mind/Shift – Tanner Higgin

“It’s easy to get caught up in the hype around the latest and greatest classroom tech, from video games to 3-D printers to Raspberry Pi kits to VR to AR and beyond. The reality is that kind of tech — expensive, bleeding-edge tools — makes headlines but doesn’t make it into many classrooms, especially the most needy ones. What does, however, is video. While we often get distracted by the latest device or platform release, video has quietly been riding the wave of all of these advancements, benefiting from broader access to phones, displays, cameras and, most importantly, bandwidth. In fact, 68 percent of teachers are using video in their classrooms, and 74 percent of middle schoolers are watching videos for learning. From social media streams chock-full of video and GIFs to FaceTime with friends to two-hour Twitch broadcasts, video mediates students’ relationships with each other and the world. Video is a key aspect of our always-online attention economy that’s impacting voting behavior, and fueling hate speech and trolling. Put simply: Video is a contested civic space.”(more)

How Silicon Valley Plans to Conquer the Classroom

The New York Times – NATASHA SINGER and DANIELLE IVORY

“Silicon Valley is going all out to own America’s school computer-and-software market, projected to reach $21 billion in sales by 2020. An industry has grown up around courting public-school decision makers, and tech companies are using a sophisticated playbook to reach them, The New York Times has found in a review of thousands of pages of Baltimore County school documents and in interviews with dozens of school officials, researchers, teachers, tech executives and parents.”(more)

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens

KQED News Mind/Shift – Anya Kamenetz

“It’s not your imagination: Tiny tots are spending dramatically more time with tiny screens. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, just released new numbers on media use by children 8 and under. The nationally representative parent survey found that 98 percent of homes with children now have a mobile device — such as a tablet or smartphone. That’s a huge leap from 52 percent just six years ago. Mobile devices are now just as common as televisions in family homes.”(more)

Is Ed Tech Really Working? 5 Core Tenets to Rethink How We Buy, Use, and Measure New Tools

The 74 Million – Todd Bloom, David Deschryver, Pam Moran, Chrisandra Richardson, Joseph South and Katrina Stevens

“Education technology plays an essential role in our schools today. Whether the technology supports instructional intervention, personalized learning, or school administration, the successful application of that technology can dramatically improve productivity and student learning.”(more)