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Showing posts from January, 2020

Simple Tools Get It Done

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A challenge we often encounter when embracing technology is that we tend to go for the multi-use tools, the most complicated, feature-rich devices. As much as I love my multi-tools (scattered liberally in my house, car, etc), my bright red Swiss army knife with a million features, it's the simple knife I reach for to get most jobs done. This came to mind while reading Doug Blue Skunk Johnson's blog entry, Not Missing My Mac:
As a former tech director, I often observed that it was not the lack of features in a technology or computer program that people struggled with, but with too many confusing choices. The drop down menu on Microsoft Word, the system updates, the virus protections, and the printer configurations on regular PCs created great job security for technicians, but I don't think they ever helped the educators with whom I worked be more productive. He's pointing out that the Chromebook captures all or most of his needs. And, I have to agree. These days, when …

An EdTech Guy's Prayer

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When I first read Dean Shareski's blog entry, I Don’t Think I’m an EdTech Guy Anymore, I had to laugh a bit. After all, haven't many of us come to the similar realization? But a part of me holds back.

I can honestly say that Dean's early path, as he describes it below, is not that different from my own. I started teaching in January, 1990 at a private Catholic school. I was already using technology with my students at that point...after all, I'd been using tech since high school in 1983 (gee, 13-14 years old?).
Beginning in the late 1990s, I became an early adopter. It was at this point I began to use computers and cameras, specifically in my classroom. This is when I began to see technology as magic. Doing things I was not previously able to do. At that time, interfaces were clunky, hardware was slow and unreliable and so it was only those that saw the magic and potential that preserved and learned. That enthusiasm allowed me opportunities to share and eventually tak…

The Future is Knocking

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If you've followed the Around the Corner blog, you know how much time I've spent exploring digital coaching, edtech coaching and just plain coaching. I still remember the first time the epiphany hit so many years ago that instructional technologist positions were being transitioned into instructional coaching positions.

While I won't share how that epiphany came about, it was confirmed shortly thereafter at a state convention one year.



This affirmation came shortly after funding for the state technology allotment had been axed, which resulted in the loss of four positions I supervised. It was a bit of a shock at the time for the staff, and I did all I could to prevent the loss of those positions, but it was a done deal. One day, they were there. The next, those folks were being moved into different jobs in the district.

Since then, we've seen instructional coaches pick up additional duties, such as integrating technology into their work. Coaching cycles, meeting protoc…

Another Coffin Nail for Inquiry-Based Learning

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Greg Ashman, Another Big Fail for Inquiry Learning, points out the following findings:
The UK’s Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)...[tested the efficacy of] an inquiry-based learning programme...to science students and measured the impact on science performance. There wasn’t any. There also was no impact on self-efficacy in science (a key component of motivation) and the proportion of students aspiring to a scientific career, although small positive impacts were estimated for confidence and attitude to school...This finding also aligns with correlational evidence from PISA that the more students engage in inquiry-based science, the worse their PISA science score. It may be too quick to say this is a nail in the coffin of inquiry-based learning. However, it does raise the question, "Have we been supporting instructional approaches with no research behind them?"

Consider these points, excerpted a from much longer blog entry:
Hattie found that inquiry-based teaching  had a …