From all of us at The Harlow Report, to all of you, we wish you a blessed and prosperous 2014! Safe travels tonight!
Checking out the analytics on The Harlow Report, I saw we had a visitor from Turkey yesterday. Welcome! 21 nations have stopped in to the website since its launch in late September. Each month has brought increased traffic. As 2013 draws to a close, I am highly appreciative of all my readers and especially thankful for Twitter, the primary means by which this page is accessed.
14 developments to watch in 2014 from the very smart folks at Getting Smart. The last two years focused on the “whats” of digital learning, including device selection and application developments. The next step will be the “hows” of digital learning, such as better assessments and more usage of open education resources. (Edited for a grammatical fix of my own doing.)
Chromebooks take top spot in education sales its low price, document-sharing capabilities, and its keyboard ease are helping educators. Full disclosure: I have no financial stake in any of these products.
Competency Education leads the way in this look-ahead-to-2014 piece from The Atlantic Monthly. (Is it really monthly when its website updates so regularly?) Taking second place is a renewed emphasis on career-technical education. Credit for what you know and learning for a career aren’t anything new. Both were hallmarks of a much-earlier time when children would apprentice in others’ homes to learn a trade.
Chicago study shows 5th-graders used tablets better than anyone expected, including the 5th-graders themselves. Tablet usage also required teachers and administrators to change their approaches to instruction.
District optimistic about future with blended learning, thanks to Straight A Fund. Groveport-Madison is on the southeast side of Columbus and is frequently overlooked compared to its larger, wealthier suburban neighbors. Glad to see things are looking up over there.
BONUS LINK- everyone knows about the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. In Ohio, up by Lake Erie, they drop a fish. Seriously. Full disclosure: it’s about 200 miles from my house and I’ve never even thought about going.
Competency Ed: Competency is the solution to retention woes
Maine: University President advocates for broadband expansion Allyson Handley is president of the University of Maine at Augusta and a member of the Maine Broadband Capacity Building Task Force.
South Carolina: businessman calls on Gov. Haley to replicate Georgia’s Digital Learning Task Force. I don’t think the condescending tone would have been acceptable if directed towards a Democratic female governor, however.
Connecticut Department of Education spending $1 million to promote Common Core the taxpayer dollars will be spent, in part, to explain why test scores are dropping.
Are some former backers Cooling to the Core? Huffington Post asks the question other seem to be afraid to.
From EdSurge: will Common Core encourage or derail creativity in the classroom? A Library Media teacher says 2014 will be about the basics, the year that basic EdTech needs are hopefully, finally met for all.
BONUS LINK: we continue with our “Great Moments in Seat-Time Instruction” series
We’re back after a 3-day hiatus. It’s been a whirlwind with celebrating The Hit Man’s 8th birthday Monday night (his b-day was Friday but illness postponed the festivities), Christmas Eve with Mrs. Report’s family, Christmas, and the Triple-Birthday Blowout at Mama Report’s home yesterday. (Hit Man, plus Baby Report turned 1 on 12/7 and a niece turned 13.)
From the hometown paper: As students debate college’s worth, schools work to prove value this is where America’s education policy chickens are coming home to roost, to borrow a phrase. Between the skills gap, increased costs with a decrease in perceived value, and changing attitudes of the traditional college student, this is a pivotal moment for the American university.
Digital Learning gets INTO Dodge… after the city slickers from Apple came to town, tablets will be in the hand of every young cowboy and cowgirl next month. Dodge City was real, is real, and you can even go visit.
Heartland Institute questions “rigor” in Common Core. Judging from the last paragraph, by “rigor” I think they mean “premise.”
Deep in the Heart of Texas, “techbook” is rolled out. “The fully digital product includes text-to-speech technology, which allows students to listen to instructions or text. The speech technology may also be translated to Spanish or French to help bilingual students and parents work together on school work or in breaking down language barriers.”
India calls for clarification before competency. They’re serious about this and putting a lot of thought into it. “The scheme envisages seven certificate levels with each level with about 1,000 hours, with each 1,000 hours being made of certain number of hours for vocational competency based skill modules and the rest for general learning simultaneously integrated and providing a diploma for vocational education after the certificate level five or leading to a degree after level seven in the university system, subject to their statutory approval. The programmes are sector-specific and sectors such as information technology (IT), media, entertainment, telecommunications, mobile communications, automobile, construction, retail, hotels, and fashion design, among others have been identified for implementation.”
BONUS LINK- two days after Christmas, a look back at about 29 Christmases or so. As usual, the fashion and technology in the background is more interesting than anything else.
We may publish The Harlow Report tomorrow but if we don’t, have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!
Revisiting the predictions of the very smart folks at Getting Smart
From Forbes, What was the Hour of Code like? It was very encouraging to see how easily students adapted and were able to learn.
As Ohio school districts lay out plan for Straight A grants advisory board member John Mullaney reminds us all that “without execution, Big Ideas go nowhere.”
Children’s non-fiction author takes on invitation from Diane Ravitch to defend CCSS. It’s not the strongest defense I’ve ever read but it is a good response to the idea that CCSS is supposed to mass-produce learning among our children.
West Virginia students learning with iPads. West Virginia. I guess they’ve figured out a way to overcome the broadband and access problems other states seem to claim to have.
BONUS LINK: A twitter meme over the weekend was to “techify” our favorite Christmas/winter songs on the #EdTechTheHalls hashtag. The Top Tweets are here.
From the Washington Post: Maryland’s walk in the PARCC a “favor” to POTUS in the long run it may be a favor to Common Core opponents, actually.
Center for American Progress touts Competency-Based Learning as a “game-changing” higher education reform
Fordham Institute offers its preview of the top 5 education trends for 2014
Professional development opportunity for creating digital learning environments, a key component to successful implementation
Northwest Florida intermediate school gets iPads. One has to love the profound ignorance in the sole comment at the end.
Cleveland makes minimal gains two years into compact. It’s too early to call it a success or a failure but the early signs are encouraging.
Competency on the Range Wyoming education chief pushes competency-based learning
Non-traditional learning comes to Christian home school in Kansas
Early College in Texas extends branch. I am a huge supporter of Early College High Schools and also this part of Texas was home to an excellent New Tech I kept tabs on during my KnowledgeWorks days, but this article was included solely because it may have the best name in the USA of a local school district: the Wink-Loving ISD. If you know of any other good school district names, let me know. Best name for a local newspaper: about an hour east of here, in Adams County, Ohio, The People’s Defender.
From Digital Learning Now: Learning Takes the Lead in Georgia Governor signals approval, commitment to implementation.
It’s more like “A Modest Proposal” than a sound one, but I’d welcome the change. Move Silicon Heavyweights to Cleveland Slate’s Matthew Yglesias says. Then again, some San Fran types appear to have the same level of concern for the poor and the working class that the industrialists who built Cleveland up were reputed to have, so it might be a natural fit.
From The Hechinger Report: Lessons from LA put tech in time out. Yes, they rolled out the devices way too fast with too little teacher training and apparent confusion about basic items such as whether or not they could be taken home. If only there were, you know, resources available on the Internet for free that might have been able to help guide the district.
Iowa’s Competency-Based Task Force issues report. Thirteen items will be presented to the legislature. Getting this down well in Iowa (and New Hampshire) can give competency-based learning important national showcases between now and the winter of 2015-2016. An open Presidential seat means strong competition in both Republican and Democratic caucuses and primaries, with much media attention. Also, surrogates and, let’s be honest, sycophants, for all candidates will make pilgrimages to those states, giving a chance to export what they see on the ground in these states back home.
Competency Ed helps light the Dark Ages
In NYC, resistance to the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice co-located at Boys and Girls High School. “Boys and Girls High School” would be a great name for a school in honor of Ohio’s current state superintendent Dr. Richard Ross.
BONUS LINK- the other song that mentions Georgia from the best episode of Will and Grace ever!
IBM embraces The Smarter Classroom with educators having “the tools they need to learn about every student and personalize instruction… a syllabus based on individual learning style and pace…. greater use of data, including longitudinal data such as test scores, attendance records, and student behavior… analytics will help teachers predict which students are most at risk, what their roadblocks are, and how those obstacles can be overcome based on personal learning style.” 5 years? Some schools will be doing this in 5 months!
The promises and pitfalls of connected classrooms. Some things for all of us to keep in mind.
San Fran dad calls out tech titans over woeful tech in San Fran schools. It is more than a little ironic that this poor tech is happening in Silicon Valley’s backyard. I also can’t believe San Fran’s district management would let their situation deteriorate so badly. The telephone is a device for two-way communication.
From The Hill Silicon Valley congressman impressed with Hour of Code results.
Cali measure sponsored by StudentsFirst would replace seniority with performance-based system. The ballot issue has to be given a title by the Attorney General’s office and may be on a crowded education-related initiative ballot, as is typical in California.
BONUS LINK admit it. You thought I’d forgotten about it. But this fits the weather here in the Midwest this week.
National Review: Competency makes a Comeback positing that students used to advance a grade level only upon mastery of a skill set, the author welcomes a return to basics, at least at the college level. I’d go back even further and suggest that apprenticeships were both competency-based lerning and hands-on learning. Related: New Hampshire develops competency plans and Competency-Based Learning does not change the transcripts
Governing profiles Establishmentarian-gone-rogue Dianne Ravitch and her quest to stop Common Core. People are starting to figure out that Common Core opposition is not just in the Tea Party, which was easy for supporters to dismiss. Opposition on the left is just as strong if not stronger and supporters may have been blindsided not picking up on that in the first place. In public policy, the best defense is a good offense.
From Forbes: P-TECH, meet B-TECH; IBM, meet SAP. Citing the need to close the skills gap and the STEM gap, a network of business-developed Early College High Schools stretching from grades 9-14 is launched. B-TECH also plans expansion to Chicago and Canada.
Straight A Fund news: Early College comes to Marysville, OH with Honda partnership. EDWorks is an affiliate of KnowledgeWorks, where I worked previously, very excited for them.
Tom Vander Ark, in EdWeek: 14 developments to watch for in 2014– we’re definitely seeing a maturing of digital learning and blended learning into implementation, assessment, and personalization.
Average pay for Teachers, state by state. Good information, would love to see how it compares to cost of living and state and local tax burden.
Thank you readers: you’ve already made December the best month for this blog on both visit and page view counts!
Digital Promise CEO Karen Cator: key to 2014 is to close the Digital Learning Gap. My sense is this more a question of desire and decision-making than dollars.
Best use for iPad? Simulating hard-to-find experiences. “the transformative power of the iPad might be to transport students outside the classroom”
News from the Data Quality front: Ohio rolls out some technology to free up teachers’ time. ” the effort, among others, earned the state high marks in a recent study by the Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group dedicated to using high-quality data in education starting in early childhood.”
News from the North- Alaska Governor Sean Parnell proposes $5 million digital learning initiative. Alaska has a Permanent Fund that distributes money from its oil drilling. It’s an interesting and largely unrelated (to this topic) concept.
Common Core: 5 Myths and Facts on Common Core. The sad things, this just scratches the surface.
More Hour Of Code
Idaho’s Treasure Valley students join in