Staff Picks: Blended Learning, Smart Phones, EdReform, 21st-Century English

Leadership / by

Tom Picks Blended Learning as the Topic of the Year

It looks like 2011 will go down as the inflection point for blended learning (as well as tabs, OER, cloud computing). We’re witnessing an interesting confluence of edtech, online learning, tutoring/SES, and mobile devices and apps.

Most research will lag a few years behind, but we’re starting to see early lessons learned. Kaplan released a white paper reviewing what research tells us about online and blended learning.  Last month SRI reviewed lessons learned from online labs in Miami. The Envisions team published lessons learned from a summer pilot with Khan Academy.

Karen Picks “Review: Teaching Generation Text”

Karen says, “I’ve never been one to deny the usability of a cell/smart phone and applaud the educators who embrace the intelligence and efficiency of this technology. For gift giving this year, think smart phones and smart apps!  Happy Holidays!”

Sarah Picks Byron Sanders’ Response to Gene Marks

Sarah says, “Gene Marks published a Forbes article, which evaluated the ways low-income students from underperforming neighborhoods could pull out of their circumstance with technology alone, this week that turned a lot of heads and heated up a lot of public opinions. I truly appreciated Byron Sanders’ response to Marks in his two articles this week on Getting Smart because he asked us to look at the ways that stereotypes, simple prescriptive answers, polarized thought, and subjective perspective play a role in these complex debates. The bottom line, as Sanders points out, is that we should work together to dive into these challenges in order to help each student succeed.”

Caroline Picks “Life in a 21st-Century English Class”

Caroline says, “I wish my classes and teachers were more like this in high school. The idea of project based learning Wright brings to her class will benefit her students greatly as they transition to college and careers. She is teaching her students to successfully use the internet and the many tools available online. Wright is even teaching her student how to use social media wisely, tools they will likely use for the rest of their lives. Here is an example of a video created by her students:

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