Happy New Year!

Hello all,

I am going to be taking a few weeks off from posting. I expect my next post to come the week of January 12 (which is the beginning of the spring semester). Until then, check out some of my old content and I will be sure to come back with some good stuff in the new year. Happy holidays everyone – be safe and let there be peace.


Blended Learning 101

I am chatting with Michael Horn on Friday. He and his group have some interesting ideas about blended learning that have the potential to improve education, but I have some important questions about them. I will be sure to direct you to the transcript of our conversation when it is complete. For now here is a video to the introduction of Horn’s course about his ideas.

“Design-Based Research and Educational Technology: Rethinking Technology and the Research Agenda”

I read an interesting article today that makes some really good points. Here is the citation and link:

Amiel, T., & Reeves, T. C. (2008). Design-Based Research and Educational Technology: Rethinking Technology and the Research Agenda. Educational Technology & Society, 11(4), 29-40.

It makes a strong point that some educational reform scholars in general have made, but this article states it through the lens of technology. This point is that asking teachers and schools what their needs are and then co-constructing solutions (in the article’s case, it means sometimes using technology in the process) reforms will produce better results. This also means that our research would have more meaning and real-world applicability. Claims like this make me start to refine my research agenda and how to make it more useful.

Here is the abstract of the article:

The role of educational technologies in improving educational practices and outcomes has been criticized as over-hyped and insignificant. With few exceptions, the state of education has changed less than expected as a result of tools such as computers and the Internet. To a considerable degree, this is due to the minor role educational technology research plays in transforming the use of technological tools in the classroom. This article presents an analysis of technology as a process and as a value-laden system, both of which have substantial consequences to our approach to research. It is argued in the article that design-based research can address some of the deficiencies of other research methods in investigating the role of tools and techniques in the classroom. Through more  democratic research practices and recognizing technology as a system beyond its tools, researchers can increase their impact on educational practice.

Policy Brief on Online Schooling

This is not new, but I do not think I have put it on my website yet. It is worth the read if you are interested in online learning policy like I am.

Here is the summary: Over just the past decade, online learning at the K-12 level has grown from a novelty to a movement. Often using the authority and mechanism of state charters, and in league with home schoolers and other allies, private companies and some state entities are now providing full-time online schooling to a rapidly increasing number of students in the U.S. Yet little or no research is available on the outcomes of such full-time virtual schooling. The rapid growth of virtual schooling raises several immediate, critical questions for legislators regarding matters such as cost, funding, and quality. This policy brief offers recommendations in these and other areas, and the accompanying legal brief offers legislative language to implement the recommendations.

To read the brief you should click here.