Research Question 3: Critical Challenges

What do you see as the key challenge(s) related to teaching, learning, or creative expression that learning-focused institutions will face during the next 5 years?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - keeneh keeneh Jan 27, 2010


Compose your entries like this:
Challenge Name. Add your ideas here, with few sentences of description including full URLs for references (e.g. http://horizon.nmc.org). And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!


  • 21st Century Technology in 19th Century Schools - quoting from the National Educational Technology Plan (2010) - "...One of the most basic assumptions in our education system is time-based or "seat-time" measures of educational attainment. These measures were created in the late 1800s and early 1900s to smooth transitions from K–12 into higher education by translating high school work to college admissions offices (Shedd 2003) and made their way into higher education when institutions began moving away from standardized curricula. Another basic assumption is the way we organize students into age-determined groups, structure separate academic disciplines, organize learning into classes of roughly equal size with all the students in a particular class receiving the same content at the same pace, and keep these groups in place all year..." Technology opens up real opportunities to address these challenges in meaningful ways. http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010/executive-summary - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 21, 2011 - keeneh keeneh Feb 26, 2011 - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011 - limad limad Feb 26, 2011 - will.richardson will.richardson Feb 26, 2011- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 I think we really need to redefine what schooling is and also develop policies that allow for more eduction beyond the school walls.Clayton Christensen's book "Disrupting Class" alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011- claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Feb 27, 2011 - mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011 Several states have changed regulations to allow competency demonstration to substitute for seat time when qualifying for graduation. Many more need to follow. http://www.inacol.org/research/docs/ClearingthePathReportJan2011.pdf - brandt.redd brandt.redd Feb 27, 2011 - virginie.aimard virginie.aimard Feb 28, 2011 The current infrastructure and rules also don't support 21st century schools. Many schools block programs, do not teach digital citizenship, and filter or block cellphones. The rules need to adapt to allow for the full use of 21st century technologies. - shelley.terrell shelley.terrell Feb 28, 2011

  • Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching. Citation-based metrics, to pick one example, are hard to apply to research based in social media. New forms of peer review and approval, such as reader ratings, inclusion in and mention by influential blogs, tagging, incoming links, and re-tweeting, are arising from the natural actions of the global community of educators, with increasingly relevant and interesting results. These forms of scholarly corroboration are not yet well understood by mainstream faculty and academic decision makers, creating a gap between what is possible and what is acceptable. (From the 2011 Horizon Report)

    I agree that this is a challenge indeed, but not necessarily a challenge unique to or identified with K12. In some ways, this is a meta-challenge - meaning, how are we to address any of the challenges on this page, without reconsidering the ways that those of us working to solve problems in education communicate and collaborate with one another about the progress we are making (or not) toward solving those problems. Of course, this problem is not unique to education and in fact, the isolation of other disciplines addressing very similar problems (e.g. health, prevention) exacerbates the problem. Clay Shirky talks about this in Here Comes Everybody when he discusses the concerns among those who typically hold the "authority" of peer review about giving up that authority. Still, they have another legitimate concern and that is quality , and that is of relevance to K12. Where does the quality of work (whether it be a lesson plan or a research paper) get consideration. I'll note that peer review doesn't necessarily take care of the quality issue either - depending on how you define "quality." From some perspectives, quality is equivalent to highly regarded among peers. The problem, of course, is that the people researchers and other writers want to influence - are not their peers. Once we make practitioners and researchers peers, we will be much closer to solving the other problems listed on this page.- jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 25, 2011- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011- mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011
  • The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices. The increasing demand for education that is customized to each student's unique needs is driving the development of new technologies that provide more learner choice and control and allow for differentiated instruction. It has become clear that one-size-fits-all teaching methods are neither effective nor acceptable for today's diverse students. Technology can and should support individual choices about access to materials and expertise, amount and type of educational content, and methods of teaching. (From the 2011 Horizon Report) - Larry Larry Feb 25, 2011 - limad limad Feb 26, 2011 - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011 - will.richardson will.richardson Feb 26, 2011 Nor is it well understood by those in charge. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 27, 2011- mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011

    Again, I'm don't actually see this as a challenge, but rather an opportunity. I see that there is, indeed, a growing demand and that demand creates an opportunity for a response that creates a supply of approaches. I think Judy's comment above is more to the point - that the potential of technology may not be well understood by those in charge. And it is their ignorance - not their opposition (at least I think and hope) that stands in the way at the junctures where they hold the gate keys. The greater challenge here is quality and ensuring that personalized learning isn't designed and driven based on models that assess students and then direct them to where they underperform to correct that underperformance. There is some possible potential there if extremely well designed and used...but there is not enough conversation about the potential of personalized learning to open new doors of interest and experience. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011
Reposting this since my comment seemed to disappear. I agree with both points made above...technology is not yet truly providing personalized learning as we see personalization in other sectors of life. And, Jeanne is correct that the good news is this is problem not due to hostitility to the concept, but rather ignorance or lack of awareness of the possibilities. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011

  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. The challenge is due to the fact that despite the widespread agreement on its importance, training in digital literacy skills and techniques is rare in teacher education programs. In higher education, formal training is virtually non-existent. As faculty and instructors begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral. (From the 2011 Horizon Report) - Larry Larry Feb 25, 2011 - keeneh keeneh Feb 26, 2011- Gavin Gavin Feb 27, 2011 - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011- oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 26, 2011- will.richardson will.richardson Feb 26, 2011- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 (- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 27, 2011) Its information fluency and transliteracy issues that are at stake too - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 Just want to note, though, that much of the discussion I hear in K12 is regarding in-service teachers - and providing professional development to teachers in the workforce to "get them" to move to digital media use in their instruction. However, in 2015, the young teachers entering the profession will be those born somewhere between 1990 and 1995 (or so). These teachers will have had digital imprinted on them since birth. I mention this because I'd like to see at least part of the conversation moving toward pre-service education and providing those new teachers with terrific instructional resources that they will be well prepared to grasp and use. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011- keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011 Agree - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 27, 2011- mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011

  • Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of schools. Across the board, institutions are looking for ways to control costs while still providing a high quality of service. Schools are challenged by the need to support a steady — or growing — number of students with fewer resources and staff than before. As a result, creative institutions are developing new models to serve students, such as streaming survey courses over the network so students can attend from their dorm or other locations to free up lecture space. As these pressures continue, other models may emerge that diverge from traditional ones. (From the 2011 Horizon Report) - Larry Larry Feb 25, 2011 I don't see this as a "challenge" at all (as it's been framed above)....this is an incentive to change which is a good thing. Unfortunately, as referenced above, these courses, just because they are streamed over a network, aren't any better than they are live. Larry notes above that other better models may emerge, but that is not something we should leave to chance and hope. So I would reframe this challenge to be something like, "Institutions may consider their courses "innovative" because they are streamed over a network rather than taught live." As we move to the possibility of K12 courses being offered through networks, we need to ensure that the use of technology catalyzes changes in pedagogy and learner engagement (that we've been hoping to see in learning settings for decades). The shift to using technology is not enough - and perhaps worse - if the learning facilitator (whether in school or other settings) and the learner dynamic and engagement doesn't change. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 25, 2011 Excellent points, Jeanne! - - Larry Larry Feb 25, 2011 - - chris.brown chris.brown - - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 (- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 27, 2011) I am sure there are places we can find to reduce costs in education, but what we are being asked to do now in terms of cuts will be damaging to the future of our students. We need to decide whether education is a service for all or a commodity that only the few can afford. alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011 I think the key focus needs to be on where we make investments that make profound long term improvements, and where can we use technology to find/reallocate resources (the "new normal", according to Sec. Duncan) CoSN calls this the ability to Master the Moment. And, Larry is right that while this is hard and painful, it is also a tremendous opportunity to be innovative. Certainly it is not fun to be the "deer in headlights", so we need to carefully understand what of these emerging technologies are really solving important educational problems or saving monies that can be deployed to the core mission of learning -- or else these technologies are simply interesting "baubles" which we cannot afford at this time. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011
  • Educators are increasingly expected to teach digital citizenship. The notion of digital citizenship, and our role as educators in instilling it, is not well understood. Clearly, people of all ages need to understand how to behave civilly and responsibly online, but there is disagreement as to what constitutes responsible behavior and whose province it is to teach it. Like other social mores, online etiquette varies from community to community and culture to culture; the challenge arises in the ease with which community and cultural borders are crossed or even blended in a networked world. (From the 2011 Horizon Report)- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 This is an important challenge, as we are working in a global community and have to make sure the ethical values respect the diversity of each culture. - oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 26, 2011 In the K-12 segment, teaching digital citizenship will have great importance. The existence of digital bullying has not been reduced in recent years, despite awareness raising efforts both nationally as well as internationally. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 and teachers themselves need to be proactive in understanding digital citizenship as a result of their own online engagement and digital footprint. Teachers are slow to move into the digital environment. Establishing a common definition for "digital citizenship" and then establishing a global community (as mentioned above) is key. ISTE is also facilitating dialogue among educators regarding digital citizenship and applications in classrooms in multi-cultural communities to be shared with other educators. - lynn.nolan lynn.nolan Feb 27, 2011 Agree. - mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011I think digital citizenship will need to be put into a larger concept that learners need to "own/be responsible" for their education. We need to empower students/teachers to be self-directed, life-long learners, and through that, they need the tools of digital citizenship/literacy. But I think we often define this too narrowly when it should be the way we think about an educated citizen. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011 far too many teachers are ill- equipped (no fault of their own) to teach digital citizenship - rob.ackerman rob.ackerman Feb 27, 2011 Often this is because teachers are not using technology in the same way students are, and they don't fully understand how to discuss the issues with their students. Developing a common understanding of digital citizenship, as well as building a well-resourced curriculum that embraces the school's mission and values should be a priority for all schools. - mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011 Agree with above observations. What we call Cyberwellness is fast becoming a key concern amongst schools simply because the pace of change of social networking sites as well as other digital affordances outpaces what schools can and are doing in digital citizenship and cyberwellness lessons and learning, e.g. ethics of use, privacy issues, little consensus about what constitutes an individual's rights in the online world, and therefore, how we should govern ourselves in that world. - julie.hoo julie.hoo Feb 28, 2011

  • Increasingly, it is becoming part of the public debate that educators need to improve the ability to measure learning in real time. Current assessment models are criticized for not supporting learners when they are most in need, and educational outcomes are limited by our inability to accurately assess individual student abilities and areas for improvement. Learning analytics is increasingly interesting as a possible avenue for addressing this problem, so much so that major efforts are being undertaken to explore and develop it by EDUCAUSE, the Gates Foundation, and other learning-focused bodies. (From the 2011 Horizon Report)- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 We need metrics to measure all aspects of learning, not only content. With the increasing ability to analyze vast data sets, technology should allow us to follow up on student learning each step of the way.

    At the risk of repeating myself, again, this is less of a challenge and more of an opportunity to demonstrate the important utility that emerging technologies can play in addressing assessment needs. The real challenge lies outside of the scope of this effort - and that is bringing a shift to assessments that are high stakes. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011

  • This probably constitutes 2 challenges. First, there is a need to sharpen our ability to 'measure' 21st Century skills, and second, the technical challenge of automating this process. These can then provide real info for both the learner and the teacher to design/apply suitable interventions to enhance the learning journey. - horncheah horncheah Feb 26, 2011
  • This raises more than one issue. Firstly, the so-called "impact debate", i.e. what is the effect of investing in and using technology in the classroom and other learning arenas is a tricky one. Whose who have tried to find a causal relation between investment in ICT and better learning outcome, measured with "rocket science validity", have had a hard time. I think looking for such causals relations partly is barking up the wrong tree. What we should be looking for, ideally, is to identify what it takes to use ICT in an optimal way. Secondly, we need to ask ourselves if we have the right instruments to measure impact. This is partly related to indicators and benchmarks and partly related to how we reinforce our work on embedding ICT in formative and summative assessment. - oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 27, 2011
  • I believe that feedback to learners (formative data) is likely to be the largest opportunity we have for transforming learning. We talk alot about DDD and under accountability we provide to administrators, district/state/national, parents -- and back to teachers (though only at very start of how to use that high stakes data to inform instruction). But too little of the conversation is about providing feedback to the learner. Providing instant feedback in other sectors is what is changing society in the way we work and live. This is a huge opportunity for technology to provide feedback to learners and teachers instantly. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011

  • Our ability to remix and reuse content is increasingly limited. Over the last eighty or so years, but especially within the last decade, copyright laws have become more and more restrictive. Where once it was natural to study, learn from, and build upon the creative works of the past, it is now difficult even to understand what is permissible and what is not. Open content and digital scholarship are impeded by laws that circumscribe the ability of teachers and scholars to reuse material of all kinds that could be employed in the service of learning. (From the 2011 Horizon Report) - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 We have been having this conversation about what copyright means in a collaborative digital world. We seem stifled by current copyright laws and who owns the content. alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011
  • Usage Based Bandwidth & Issues of Net Neutrality - There is a tendency to believe that schools, business institutions and individuals will see the same level and access to bandwidth as we have in the past. Some of the basic democratic principles of the Internet are currently being threatened and it is not unreasonable to believe that access will be severely restricted or become much more costly in the near term. - alec.couros alec.couros Feb 26, 2011 I think this a huge issue about which we must all stay vigilant. The Internet must remain open and free to everyone in order to keep an informed citizenry. alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011
  • Simply staying organized and current presents a challenge in a world where information, software tools, and devices proliferate at the rate they do today. New developments in technology are exciting and their potential for improving quality of life is enticing, but it can be overwhelming to attempt to keep up with even a few of the many new tools that are released. User-created content is exploding, giving rise to information, ideas, and opinions on all sorts of interesting topics, but following even some of the hundreds of available authorities means sifting through a mountain of information on a weekly or daily basis. There is a greater need than ever for effective tools and filters for finding, interpreting, organizing, and retrieving the data that is important to us. (From the 2011 Horizon Report) - limad limad Feb 26, 2011 - keeneh keeneh Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011- jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011
  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. The challenge is due to the fact that despite the widespread agreement on its importance, training in digital literacy skills and techniques is rare in teacher education and school district professional development programs. As teachers begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral. (From the 2010 Horizon.K12 Report) - - keeneh keeneh Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011- guus guus Feb 27, 2011 alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011 teachers are coming out of grad school with limited knowledge about applying technology skills to teaching. This is due to school of ed's being out of touch with what is occurring in our society and how it interfaces with student learning - rob.ackerman rob.ackerman Feb 27, 2011
  • A key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 education establishment. As long as maintaining the basic elements of the existing system remains the focus of efforts to support education, there will be resistance to any profound change in practice. Learners have increasing opportunities to take their education into their own hands, and options like informal education, online education, and home-based learning are attracting students away from traditional educational settings. If the system is to remain relevant it must adapt, but major change comes hard in education. (From the 2010 Horizon.K12 Report) - - keeneh keeneh Feb 26, 2011 - chris.brown chris.brown - will.richardson will.richardson Feb 26, 2011- Gavin Gavin Feb 27, 2011 This is a huge impediment to meaningful change around learning. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 - horncheah horncheah Feb 26, 2011- guus guus Feb 27, 2011
- mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011 We’re in a transition period.....moving from the horse to the automobile, the sliderule to the calculator, the ATM to the bank teller, the postal stamp/fax to the email, the monarch system to a democratic society . There’s tension between the 4-walled classroom and the online course, yet, the litmus test has not been completely designed. We’re clear, it seems, on one point....change the present structure. Imagine if Dewey were alive today and read “2011 Horizon Report.” (- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 27, 2011) Change the structure of high schools. alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011
  • Seems to me that so many fundamental assumptions continue to be held on in K-12 about what is a school - starting with the way we continue to build building for 20-30 kids per class, with one teacher, etc. Yet as we move to more blended learning which is self-paced, can we really afford that model? And, is the 1 teacher per 20/25/30 kids the best model? The cost of personnel/teachers is about 65-75% of educational budgets, followed by another 10-15% for facilities....yet, we aren't having much of a conversation about how technology can enable us to address that 80-85% of the budget. Instead, we argue over the last 15% and that is where most conversation about technology falls. Realizing I am now being very provocative. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011 But I agree! Just as the one-room schoolhouse gave rise to today's K-12 system, the digital affordances may make our current school appear quaint in the near future - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 27, 2011



  • Learning that incorporates real life experiences is not occurring enough and is undervalued when it does take place. This challenge is an important one in K-12 schools, because it results in a lack of engagement in learning on the part of students who are seeking some connection between their own lives and their experience in school. Use of technology tools that are already familiar to students, project-based learning practices that incorporate real-life experiences, and mentoring from community members are a few practices that support increased engagement. Practices like these may help retain students in school and prepare them for further education, careers, and citizenship in a way that traditional practices are failing to do. (From the 2010 Horizon.K12 Report) - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011 - will.richardson will.richardson Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011- kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 27, 2011- mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011

    I don't disagree that these kinds of experiences aren't occurring enough, but need to point out that they are occurring in increasing amounts through the growing attention given to inclusive STEM schools. Different from what have historically been understood as elite schools for people on a fast track to mathematics and science careers, these schools consider "STEM" something different; something integrated; something directed toward developing citizens who will participate wisely and solve problems in the real world. A terrific example: http://www.themetroschool.org/- jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011
  • Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom. Students can take advantage of learning material online, through games and programs they may have on systems at home, and through their extensive — and constantly available — social networks. The experiences that happen in and around these venues are difficult to tie back to the classroom, as they tend to happen serendipitously and in response to an immediate need for knowledge, rather than being related to topics currently being studied in school. (From the 2010 Horizon.K12 Report)
    - virginie.aimard virginie.aimard Feb 28, 2011
    This challenge relates directly to another challenge that I've grouped here: leaders of reforms in what we have historically thought of as "informal" and "formal" learning environments perceive themselves as being part of separate endeavors. Further, those in one setting often fail to appreciate the merits of the other. And now there is the on-line environment which is neither formal nor traditionally informal (e.g. museum, after school program, etc.). The walls that separate these learning settings need to come down so that instead of the setting, we can focus on the learner and work to create opportunities that scffold learning across all environments....just like real life. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011- guus guus Feb 27, 2011 (- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 27, 2011)

  • Many policy makers and educators believe that deep reform is needed, but at the same time, there is little agreement as to what a new model of education might look like. It is difficult to envision profound change in a system as firmly established as K-12 education is today. Proponents of change promote more learner-centered approaches; open content; programs for continuing teacher professional development in partnership with higher education institutions; and the use of social networking tools to increase access to peers and professionals for both teachers and students, but not everyone is in agreement. Opinions also differ on how to make progress at all and whether it is better to build success slowly, using pilots and small proof-of-concept classrooms, or to push for rapid and radical change on a broader scale. (From the 2010 Horizon.K12 Report)- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011I find little evidence that those in charge of reform understand the learner-centred opportunities that 21st century online enhanced school environments can provide.
  • I think the provision of education needs to be contextualised, as one model working within a system might not work for another due to a whole host of factors, including cultural practices. What could perhaps be useful would be to develop context-specific parameters that can guide formulation of education policies. - horncheah horncheah Feb 26, 2011
  • At the same time there are policy makers who still appear to point to the benefits of a more traditional education. At times of particularly limited resources perhaps there are risks that their views can gain greater credibility or acceptance.- Gavin Gavin Feb 27, 2011

  • Students are different, but educational practice and the material that supports it is changing only slowly. Schools are still using materials developed to teach the students of decades ago, but today's students are actually very different in the way they think and work. Schools need to adapt to current student needs and identify new learning models that are engaging to younger generations. Many education professionals feel that a shift to a more learner-centered model focused on the development of individual potential instead of the imposition of a body of knowledge would lead to deeper and more sustained learning across the curriculum. To support such a change, both teaching practice and the tools used in the classroom must adapt. Assessment has also not kept pace with new modes of working, and must change along with teaching methods, tools, and materials. (From the 2010 Horizon.K12 Report) - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011- jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011- Gavin Gavin Feb 27, 2011- kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 27, 2011 I am not sure that students ate thinking differently today, as much as schools are so distanced from the "outside world' in terms of technology and overall engagement. Todays students demand more ( in a good way) - rob.ackerman rob.ackerman Feb 27, 2011 A big part of this equation lies in teacher training, and not only educational material or the structure of schooling. Are teacher training curricula responding fast enough to the 21st century learning needs of the children? - julie.hoo julie.hoo Feb 28, 2011

  • It is the SYSTEM of education that is hampering the advancement of teaching, learning and creative expression as we know it should be. Teachers are parents. They know the technologies their children are using and they understand how important they are to their daily life. Yet, when those teachers walk into the classroom they fall back into long established very outdated practices of teaching and learning. "We have to start challenging long-held assumptions about teaching and learning. We've made incredible efforts to modify the existing system, but at the end of the day, the existing system is still the existing system." Rick Miller, Superintendent, Riverside, CA Schools. the Feb, 2011 of Educational Leadership is entitled "Teaching Screenagers". http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb11/vol68/num05/toc.aspx the article "Teaching the iGeneration" offers some insight on how schools should respond. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb11/vol68/num05/Teaching-the-iGeneration.aspx - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 Yes.....it is the system, at least in part. But please recognize that many have long been challenging assumptions about teaching and learning; many have made efforts to modify the system. Changing the system will take decades but current and emerging technologies provide us with a tool that those of us who have been doing this for decades already never had available. As the digital generation become teachers of the generation of emerging technologies, it will get easier; but in the mean time, we need to make steady, persistent, incremental progress by helping learners and facilitators of learning operationalize technologies and help others see their power.- jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 26, 2011- guus guus Feb 27, 2011 Yes, the system must change....we live in a 24/7 world, yet, school (learning) continues to be basically, 8-3 ; 180 days of instruction , yet, there are 365; class subjects taught in 45-60 minute blocks, yet, we interact with our world in a more holistic manner...we don't leave our home saying, "Today, I'm going to do only math." Still folks continue to tell students to turn off spellcheck, don't use the calculator, write (not type) your SAT essay, read 'this' book and not one of your choice. We somehow need to move beyond stating the past as I have just done and build models, pioneer and collaborate as we are doing now. (- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 27, 2011) alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 27, 2011 - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 27, 2011 - virginie.aimard virginie.aimard Feb 28, 2011

  • Education systems serve adults not learners and the status quo is preserved. Especially in difficult economic times, attempts to change the system are met with fear. But necessity is after all, the mother of (some) invention, so we can hope that change can occur that simultaneously advantages learning and saves money. This is a winning formula, whether by replacing parts of the old system with the new, e.g., performance based assessment over domain specific multiple choice assessments or by leapfrogging large infrastructure investments with new technologies e.g., cellular and wi fi over cable or copper landlines. (Still need a fiber backbone though) - chris.brown chris.brown Schools have a very difficult time giving up some control to students in their quest to learn.- rob.ackerman rob.ackerman Feb 27, 2011

  • Our teaching staff do not have the time or instruction available to incorporate technologies and creative innovation into instruction. Even though there are resources which teachers can draw from, such as ISTE Learning, there is a learning curve to the use of immersive technologies and the student centered learning model. And as much as there is a call for technology leadership many superintendents and principals are not currently capable of modeling these best practices. - jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 same in Australia- kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 27, 2011 In the end, PD is limited for teachers to use technology and there is too much emphasis on the tools and not the overall mindset of learning.- rob.ackerman rob.ackerman Feb 27, 2011
  • Student and Parent Voice Technology is a way of life for many students who have grown up in an technologically rich world. It can be disruptive, engaging, alluring to many young people but it is a part of their life. The gap between what students are doing outside of school and what teachers know or perceive is increasing and so teachers are not aware that in many cases students are doing things with technology that we may have never thought of and even better could be of significant value in the learning process. In many schools we do not survey, engage in dialogue about what technologies student have, what they are doing with it and how it could be beneficial to learning. Generally, education has not been good at valuing what students bring into school and starting from that position (sometimes, that might be from a low level of sophistication). Hence, a challenge to schools is to get a better understanding of the technologies that students have access to outside of school(eg online surveys are easy to undertake with the student, teacher and parent population) and to value what they bring into school. In better understanding, the school community, it should result in aligning practice with expectation.- garry.putland garry.putland Feb 25, 2011- limad limad Feb 26, 2011 - will.richardson will.richardson Feb 26, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011- guus guus Feb 27, 2011- jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 27, 2011- oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 27, 2011 Right on. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011

  • The loss of ‘control’ in learning outcomes and the need for a 'balance of perspectives'.The use of ICT for teaching and learning has gone through 2 stages of development and is in the midst of a 3rd. The early use of ICT tended to focus on efficiency purposes, eg. the use of powerpoint to replace transparencies. This makes the lesson somewhat more engaging, although the main benefit is the efficiency afforded the teachers in terms of editing, incorporation of resources etc. Shortly afterwards, ICT began to ‘transform’ learning in the sense that learning interactions takes place in an environment that could not happen without the injection of ICT. For instance, the use of simulation software that allows the learner to explore historical events and what could happen when the conditions are changed; or the use of mobile/wireless technology that enable different groups of students to stay connected and collaborate meaningfully while doing geographic fieldwork.

    With the injection of web 2.0, and the beginning of web 3.0 tools, the learner is now connected to a wide range of resources and expertise. For instance, beyond examining, say, the theory of evolution in the classroom, the learner can connect to scientists, priests, politicians and artists to solicit further perspectives on the subject. This ‘connectedness’, or the connectivity era of learning, broadly means that the learning outcomes are no longer in the hands of the teachers. In such an environment, the challenge is for the educator to provide a ‘balance of perspectives’, ie. to scaffold the learning environment such that the learner can be exposed to a good range of analysis before facilitating the development of viewpoints/conclusions. This is not an easy task, and will require considerable planning and execution from both the individual teacher as well as the educator community.

    Note that this ability to scaffold learning in order to develop a habit of mind is crucial, as connectivity and the overwhelming availability of resources (including both reliable ones as well as fictitious ones) can result in learning being very deep but narrow. For instance, readers who only read the New York Times will have very different ideas from readers who only read Fox News. It is a challenge for educators to develop the learner’s ability to seek out a ‘balance of perspectives’ and to draw conclusions with an open and objective mind. - horncheah horncheah Feb 26, 2011
  • We are not paying enough attention to work on systemic innovation: What I write here is based on the OECD publication "Inspired by Technology, Driven by Pedagogy" which was published last October and partly on the OECD work on systemic innovation. These reports point to several critical flaws in how we as educational systems on regional, national, state and federal levels approach technology-based innovations in schools on a systems level. Firstly the available knowledge base on technologies for learning seems insufficient, and the ability to use it is not sufficiently developed. Secondly, too little attention is paid to monitoring and evalution. A third challenge is that assessment is not properly utilized as a tool for innvation with technology, this goes for both formative and summative assessment. A fourth issue which the report addresses is the disconnect between research and practice. The report calls for more efforts aiming at translating research into practical guidelines in order to better inform practitioners. We need a kind of "prêt-a-porter" approach to this issue. - oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 27, 2011
  • Oystein is correct...you can go in nearly any school or school system and find examples of an innovative teacher or classroom. But those "islands of innovation" too often stay that way and the overall system doesn't learn from that innovation. We must focus on systemic innovative if we want to transform learning and make it relevant for today/tomorrow. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 27, 2011
  • Education systems need more effective feedback loops in M&E of tech in education: In order to enable closer connections between pedagogical practice, research and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) we need to expand our repertoire of M&E. A possible way forward is to combine testbed settings and approaches with action research.- oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 27, 2011
  • There are no worked examples (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worked-example_effect) of how "21st century learning" (for lack of a better phrase) looks in practice that can be reviewed and emulated. Teachers who are willing and interested in trying new things often don't know where to start and there are very few curricular resources (in comparison to traditional resources) to help guide them. Without someone on site that understands the new learning environment, teachers may not be able to find a place to start to move forward. - mscofino mscofino Feb 28, 2011
  • Credentialing for DIY Professional Development and Learning: As more and more teachers and students are having meaningful learning experiences outside of schools the challenge becomes in how to we give credit for DIY learning experiences. Could a dashboard be created that allows users in a school system to pull content they are learning or engaged in to the desktop in the form of school approved widgets. - sheryl.nusbaum-beach sheryl.nusbaum-beach Feb 28, 2011
  • Teacher as Community Leader, Virtual School educator and other PD needs: As more and more classrooms and professional organizations are using online community spaces, virtual and blended instruction and collaborative professional learning community approaches- thought will need to be given to PD experiences that will focus on the how of the shift as much as we have the compelling case for why. - sheryl.nusbaum-beach sheryl.nusbaum-beach Feb 28, 2011
  • Gender and other diversity issues: Ed tech space leadership, tool enthusiasm, emerging technologies, and conference keynotes, books and presence in general is male and Caucasian dominated (think under representation of females in STEM). We need to look at female and people of color representation (especially as these shifts start to change and dominate education) to make sure that a shift in the way we do school doesn't marginalize anyone one facet of educators. - sheryl.nusbaum-beach sheryl.nusbaum-beach Feb 28, 2011