Thursday, January 5, 2012

Technology Integration in School Can Lead to Greater Learning Outside of School

Yesterday eSchoolNews published the thoughts of several education technology professionals about the direction ed tech will take in 2012. Some of the experts predicted increased blended learning models, more student-centered learning, or tighter budgets that will lead to greater reliance on open course technologies in order to save money. The prediction of Gene R. Carter, executive director and CEO of ASCD (formerly the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development), stood out to me for its unique emphasis. Carter said:
The first prediction is that a student learning revolution will take off. Over the last few years, educational technologies have flooded into classrooms nationwide. In 2012, the ed-tech boom … will blossom into a true revolution in student learning occurring largely outside classroom walls. Driving that revolution will be (1) the creative integration of technology and digital content into curriculum; (2) an increased focus by school administrators on tracking student performance data, and the thoughtful analysis and application of this data by educators to design personalized instruction; and (3) an increased focus on supporting educators as they gain and sustain the skills needed to address the evolving needs of students. Together, these elements will drive a sharp upturn in creative and innovative blended learning opportunities for students occurring in traditional and non-traditional settings…

Do you agree that learning outside classroom walls is happening more because of the technologies that schools are integrating in students’ learning experiences? At TestOut, we frequently hear educators tell us about students who use TestOut’s LabSim to keep learning at home after school or on breaks because the LabSim courses are available online. Other students keep learning with LabSim even after a semester ends so that they can prepare practically for certification.

Further, the tracking tools in LabSim courses and for LabSim exams help instructors keep up with students who complete work outside of class. Even when school is cancelled for bad weather or when a student is absent, instructors have tools in LabSim to make sure learning can continue.

What other technologies and data tracking tools are integrated at your school that help students keep learning outside of your classroom?

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